Monday, April 18, 2016

Civilian aircraft spotters did their duty in WWII

HAWLEY - There was a time in Hawley's history when it was patriotic to keep one's “eyes on the skies” and look up they did. As in other towns and cities and areas across the country, volunteer, civilian airplane spotters were needed here to help defend this Nation during World War II. Many were women and teens, who were not eligible for regular enlistment but found a way to serve.

Three of those spotters shared some of what they recall from those days.

Editions of The Hawley Times through much of 1943 had numerous articles about the local defense effort, along with many reports of local sons and daughters who were serving in the European or Pacific Theater, or stateside.

An Honor Roll sign that was posted on Main Avenue next to the 1st National Bank (across from what is now the diner) listed 423 names of service members during World War II, who were from the Hawley area.

The July 15, 1943 edition reported that an executive meeting for the Hawley Observation Post of the Army Air Force Ground Observer Corps. held a meeting at Fireman's Hall, Wednesday night the 14th. The purpose was to check duties of officers manning their post, to discuss the comfort of observers in the coming winter, recognition school- where volunteers learned how to identify planes, and registering of new volunteers.

Attending were Captains of the Day - Carl Beilman, Adrian McNamara, Mathew Finan, Warren Murphy, Rev. Frederick, Allen Gilpin, Ed Richardson, Chief Observer Edward T. Wilson, Sub-District Director C. Miler and several junior workers.

Classes were held at Hawley High School that summer to train volunteers. Their instructor was Recognition Officer, Mrs. Helen Bone, of Lake Ariel. She stated that it was a “military necessity” for observers to become more proficient in identifying planes. Diplomas would be issued at the end.

“An observer who can identify only five planes can render greater service to our country,” the story reported.

They remember

Nancy Killam Gumble, Eugene “Art” Glantz and Harold E. Vogler, all Hawley natives, shared their stories.

I was a high school junior then,” said Nancy Gumble, who was born in 1925. A lot of the teens from the high school were signing up and helping to fill the schedule of shifts. She was paired with one of the other girl students.

They reported to a small building - Art Glantz called it a ”shack” - on the property of Earl and Irene Baisden, who lived at 815 Oakland Street. This is on a hill, just up from Hudson Street and the Eddy Bridge. Earl Baisden, who operated a garage on Church Street with his brother Frank, was one of the captains in the local spotter program.

Nancy recalled that they had pictures of the underbellies of planes; she doesn't remember having binoculars. Art stated that not many could afford a pair.

Harold Vogler, who operated the feed store on Penn Avenue for many years, stated that he was only 12 when he helped his mother watch for planes. He said she was an “official” but he was too young to be official, he said. His mother did have a pair of binoculars.

He said there were no high altitude planes in those days. They mostly saw planes heading to the airports in New York, he said.

Art Glantz, who is 86, was in parochial school in Brooklyn when the war broke out. He was back in town in October 1942. He described the spotter shack and their duties in more detail.

“The post was was equipped with a telephone, a table, a pot belly stove and chairs,” he said. “When we heard a plane overhead, we would try to find it visually and make a report by phone. The procedure was as follows. We would crank the phone that gave us a connection to either Scranton or Mitchell Field in New York (I was never sure which). When the operator came on, we would say, 'Army Flash - one bi-hi Claude 39 SW NE' which translated meant that a two engine aircraft was sighted, flying high (if it was that) followed by a code for our location and the direction that the plane was flying. I don't think we were expected to i.d. the type of plane although we did later have lessons in aircraft identification. Our code i.d. was later changed to Sugar 381, and of course, there was a log for recording the information we had called in.

“One of the advantages, or so I thought, of volunteering for certain shifts was that we would be excused from our first period class in school. This proved disastrous for me because I nearly flunked 8th grade math because I missed so many classes!…

He said he recalls when Mrs. Baisden gave him his AWS armband, which identified him as an official spotter. He still has this memento, in a frame. The band was made of blue wool with the logo embossed in orange and white. Some also received a small pair of wings that could be attached as a lapel pin.

At night, observers would have to listen for the plane and tell its direction. Planes also used red and blue wing lights. Art said it was still dark at 8 a.m. when he reported for duty because they were on “war time” which meanest double daylight savings time.

Among Art's schoolmates who were also very involved in aircraft spotting were his cousins Ed and Gene Krawitz; Henry Rodriquez, Tommy Ball and Bill Morgan.

Art reminisced about a time when they gathered at the home of Eltinge LaBar and built paper models of aircraft, used to help them learn to identify plans, they were also displayed in the PP&L office building on Church Street.

 The August 12th 1943 Hawley Times listed the graduates from Observers School, at Hawley High School. There were speeches meant to inspire, and patriotic, romantic and “hilarious” musical numbers played.
Lt. Haley of the Signal Corps presented diplomas to 43 graduates in the auditorium.

“We could probably identify anything that flew,” Art said. There were a lot of war movies shown at the Ritz downtown. “Often times, when we saw American aircraft used as enemy planes, we would shout, 'that's no Zero, it's a T-6!' The Zero was well-known Japanese warplane.


Observation schedules were published each week in The Hawley Times. The newspaper headlines the schedule, “They Also Serve Who Stand And Observe.” There were both adults and youth. Two at a time would be scheduled for shifts that was as long as four hours- around the clock day and night. The 7 a.m. shift was only two hours.

The July 22nd edition, for instance, listed Art Glantz paired with his cousin Ed Krawitz, taking the 7 to 9 a.m. shift on Tuesday. The captain for Tuesday was Mathew Finan, the barber.

Nancy Killam was seen listed on another schedule for Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m.; her partner on that occasion had not been decided. Here and there, asterisks marked slots needing volunteers but most were filled.

Scanning the list, many familiar names can be found, including Harold's mother Martha Vogler, Richard Teeter's mother Helen Teeter and Dick Murphy's parents Olive and Warren Murphy, who watched the skies together.

The Monaghan family, which operated the Erie garage opposite Bingham Park, offered a piece of ground where a new observation tower could be erected. The garage is where the Borough Hall is located today. The August 25, 1943 edition reported that the First Fighter Command had approved the location, after deliberating several weeks.

Volunteer labor and donations were requested by Chief Observer Wilson and the Captains of the Day.

“Careful consideration has been given to the convenience of the majority of observers,” the newspaper reported. “The officials believe, however, that any increased hardship to individual volunteers will be accepted with good spirit because of the resulting services rendered to the Army.”

The newspaper reported of another meeting of the Hawley airplane observers, held Wednesday night, August 25 at the Murray building on Main Avenue. they discussed changing the shift from a four week to a two week period, but that was discarded until they could get more trained volunteers.

On August 19, an appeal letter went out to local citizens asking for funds to build the new observation post. A “fairly good response” was reported. Civic groups were going to be approached.

No more information has been found on the outcome of the efforts to build a new post.

The September 9th edition reported on a meeting held at the Odd Fellows Hall, where officers were named. Chief Observer was Edward T. Wilson; Recognition Officer, E.S. Labor Supply-Recognition Officer, Ernest Ryan; Instruction Recognition Officer, George Miller; Liaison Officer, Helen Swingle; Publicity officer, Mary Jane Drake; Personnel Officer, August Walser; Time Keeper, Bertha Wilson. Captains-of-the Day were Carl Beilman, Adrian McNamara, Matthew J. Finan, Warren Murphy, Rev. Walter Frederick, Allen Gilpin and Edward Richardson, Junior Captains were Joseph VonHake, William Morgan, Edward Krawitz and Eugene Krawitz.

Search of the weekly editions of The Hawley Times for the remainder of 1943, and into 1944, found no more reports or schedules listed for Hawley's aircraft spotters. Local news of the war, however, remained intense, with reports of military personnel, from the routine or good news, to the devastating, including being taken prisoner, missing or killed in action.

The war had taken a major turn in June 1944 with the landing at Normandy.

Art suggested that the nation's initial concern that had driven the effort to watch for enemy aircraft over the homeland, had abated.

Organized in May 1941, Aircraft Warning Service (AWS) was the civilian service of the United States Army Ground Observer Corps. They became inactive on May 29, 1944.

Nothing is known to remain of the historic, little shack. Jim Dyson, the present owner of the Baisden house, said there was never a shack on the property in the nearly 30 years he and his wife have lived there. The field with an open view of the sky, is still there.

Air Raid Wardens

Hawley also had Air Raid Wardens, as in other towns and cities. A notice was published in January 1942 that an Air Raid Warden School was scheduled January 15 at 7:30 p.m. at Hawley High School. All Senior and Junior Air Raid Wardens of Hawley, Bohemia and Lackawaxen were asked to attend. A Hawley educator, Prof. Albert Haggerty, who had recently attended a similar school in Harrisburg, was in charge. Dr. Hobart Owens, a Hawley physician and Chairman o the Medical Advisory Committee of Wayne County Council of Defense, was to give the first lesson on Emergency First Aid.

Gail Wallat, who grew up in Hawley, said she recalls air raid drills at the Hawley school. “In first grade we had to duck under our desk and cover our heads with our hands,” Gail stated. She also seems to remember town sirens, and having to go inside and down to the cellar.

Anna Sommer also recalled ducking under school desks.

Constance Hames recalls hearing the sirens in Hawley go off at least twice. “My mother and I went under the dining room table 'for protection;' now i'm wondering why we didn't had down to the cellar too.”

Jim Monaghan said his grandparents still had the black out shades on their windows until the family sold the home in the early 1990's.

Carl Rose, who was a classmate of Nancy's, joined the Navy when he was 17, two weeks out of high school. He served on a destroyer escort chasing Natzi subs in the Atlantic and later in the Pacific was at Pearl Harbor the day the Japanese surrendered. When home on leave, Carl recalls hearing “the waning sound of warning practice sirens from uptime Hawley.”

The Women's Auxiliary of American Legion Post 311 in Hawley “manned” an observation tower for Civil Defense, made surgical dressings, purchased a bloodmobile and took first aid courses. A Junior Auxiliary also formed and helped with bake sales and welfare work.

Classmates answered call

The senior classes in Hawley High School were being depleted of boys, as some joined the service early. Later on they could come back and receive the equivalent of a diploma. No all made it back. Nancy recalled, sadly, of her classmate, Bruno Gifford, who was declared Missing in Action. “He was never found,” she said. a grave marker was eventually put up for the family. “He was 19.”

She said in those days it was typical to exchange letter with their friends in the service. She had received her last letter from Bruno, after he was declared missing (it took some time for the mail to reach her)- the best she can recall. She said in later years she gave that letter to Bruno's sister.

Patriotic duty

Nancy also spoke of the wartime shortages offers, shoes and sugar. Everyone had ration books. “I never got the feeling we were ever in trouble,” she said. “We were all in the same boat. I guess we were poor but we didn't know it.”

She also remembered the scrap metal drives. Nancy and other kids would even pick up the tin foil in cigarettes packages that were cast away,, roll up the foil into a good-sized ball and turn it in.

Thinking back on being an aircraft spotter, Nancy reflected, “It was no great excitement.” She said it was doing their patriotic duty. “Everyone care about one another and wanted to help,” she said. There was not a lot of selfishness, she recalled; the country was pulling together.

Story and photo gallery:

Just Aircraft JA30 SuperSTOL, N826AK: Accident occurred April 18, 2016 at Palmer Airport (PAAQ), Alaska 

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Anchorage FSDO-03

NTSB Identification: GAA16CA195
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, April 18, 2016 in Palmer, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/15/2016
Aircraft: GARY A JAMIESON JA30 SUPERSTOL, registration: N826AK
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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.

The pilot of the tailwheel-equipped airplane reported that during the landing touchdown the tail immediately lifted and the airplane nosed over on the gravel runway. 

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the empennage.

According to the pilot there were no preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain pitch control of the airplane during the landing touchdown, which resulted in a nose over.

Plane belongs to Gary Jamieson of Eagle River. Glad he's okay. Super STOL doesn't look too bad on the outside.

PALMER – A pilot was unharmed after his plane flipped upside down Monday morning at the Palmer Airport.

The pilot, Gary Jamieson of Eagle River, said he was practicing short field take offs and landings when he crashed.

“It just happened so fast,” Jamieson told KTVA reporter Shannon Ballard at the scene.

The plane, a Just Aircraft SuperSTOL, is designed for shorter take offs and landings.

The north-south runway is currently closed as crews work to move the plane.

Original article can be found here:

Contractor will turn plane right side up and tow it. Runway should be back open in 45 minutes to an hour.

A pilot survived with only minor injuries after a plane crashed during a landing at the Palmer airport Monday morning.

Ken Barkley, director of fire and rescue with Mat-Su Emergency Services, said the sole occupant had been able to get out of the aircraft, which flipped shortly before 11 a.m.

“Quite a bit of damage to the plane but very little damage to the pilot,” Barkley said.

National Transportation Safety Board investigator Shaun Williams said Monday afternoon that he was notified at about 11 a.m. the plane, a kit-built Just Aircraft JA-30, had crashed at the airport.

“We got notification that there was an aircraft that had flipped at some point during the landing phase in Palmer,” Williams said.

Williams said the NTSB had released the plane for recovery Monday afternoon, with a representative from the Federal Aviation Administration at the scene.

Original article can be found here:

Workers prepare to try and turn a plane upright at the Palmer Airport on Monday after the aircraft flipped over on the runway. The pilot, who was the only occupant onboard at the time of the crash, suffered a minor cut to his finger but was otherwise unhurt.

PALMER — A pilot suffered a cut finger but no other injuries after his plane flipped on Monday on a gravel runway at the Palmer Airport.

The incident occurred at around 10:30 Monday morning. The pilot — who was the only person aboard the plane — was able to walk away from the crash.

The plane flipped while the pilot was making a landing, according to an investigator with the FAA.

Original article can be found here:

Cessna 172C Skyhawk, N1863Y: Fatal accident occurred April 18, 2016 in Westmoreland, Oneida County, New York


NTSB Identification: ERA16FA161
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, April 18, 2016 in Westmoreland, NY
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N1863Y
Injuries: 2 Fatal, 1 Minor.

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 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.

On April 18, 2016, about 1910 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172C, N1863Y, collided with trees and terrain during takeoff from Sophie's Choice airstrip, Westmoreland, New York. The private pilot and one passenger were fatally injured, while one passenger sustained minor injuries. The airplane was destroyed by a postcrash fire. The airplane was registered to a private individual, and operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed. The flight was originating at the time of the occurrence, and was destined for Griffiss International Airport (RME), Rome New York.

Witnesses reported the pilot initiated takeoff to the east from the downsloping grass runway with about 1,130 feet of runway available. The flight became airborne when past the windsock located near the departure end of the runway and continued to the east. While flying past the departure end of the runway, a pilot-rated witness reported seeing the airplane bank to the right, then left and described it as "hanging on the propeller." While in a right bank, the left wing collided with a tree about 30 feet above ground level and the right wing collided with the ground. The airplane came to rest upright about 40 feet past the tree contact location, and a postcrash fire started shortly after the airplane came to rest.

A small plane crash in Westmoreland one week ago has claimed the life of a second victim.

The pilot, 37-year-old John Balio of Frankfort, passed away yesterday afternoon at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Balio was at the controls of the aircraft that failed to reach altitude last Monday as it took off from a field near Lowell road in Westmoreland. However it is been learned, by eyewitness accounts and police investigation that Balio's efforts both in flight and after the crash were nothing short of heroic.

Oneida County Undersheriff Rob Swenszkowski adds,
"Not only was Mr. Balio able to actually bring the plane down without, what we understand to believe serious injuries. But he was able to get Ms. Odell out of the plane, and then it was apparent Mr. Kasperski was having some difficulty getting out of the plane. And Mr. Balio, in what we see as a very valiant and heroic effort, tried to assist Mr. Kasperski. And at that time being covered with fuel from the wings that was leaking out of the plane, and had somehow ignited. Whether the muffler had ignited, we're not so sure at this point.

Swenszkowski adds while tragic, the actions by both first responders and community members was instrumental in avoiding further damage.

"It's very unfortunate of the incident, in and out of itself. But, we're fortunate to have at least one survivor. And hopefully the families can move on with this with the memories of their loved ones."

Story and video:

John Balio, a 37-year-old pilot of a plane that crashed in Oneida County on April 18, has died from his injuries, his family and sheriff's deputies said Monday.

Balio - who suffered fourth-degree burns all over his body and had been transferred to a hospital in Boston - died Sunday afternoon, his family said. The small plane crashed on take-off near Creaser Road in Westmoreland.

Oneida County sheriff's deputies said Balio "in a heroic effort" attempted to free passenger James Kaperski, 76, from the plane. Kaperski later died of his injuries.

Police said witnesses said Balio and a passenger Amanda Udell, 31, were able to exit the plane through the door. That's when fuel leaking from the plane ignited, burning both Balio and Kaperski, deputies said.

"He was a hero,'' said Cosmo Balio, 42, John's older brother.

Cosmo Balio said he talked to the homeowner whose property the plane landed on, and she told him she's grateful he was able to avoid her house when the plane went down.

Udell, the pilot's girlfriend, was able to escape the crash with minor injuries but is terribly broken up over Balio's death, Cosmo Balio said.

John Balio, of West Frankfort in Herkimer County, took up flying about five years ago, his brother said. He would fly to his sales appointments in Rochester and all over the state, and also flew to his nieces' soccer tournaments in Virginia.

"He was passionate about flying,'' Cosmo Balio said. "He just loved it. He loved being able to go anywhere. I let my two daughters fly with him, and I never had any concerns about it. He was very skilled."

Cosmo Balio said he doesn't know what happened to cause the crash that day.

He does know that John Balio, his girlfriend and a friend, Kaperski, were flying that day with two other small planes. They flew to Old Forge that day, and then touched down at the private runway off Lowell and Creaser roads in Westmoreland, he said.

John Balio would send his brother funny YouTube videos, and sometimes he'd dress up as Will Ferrell and dance around.

"He was someone who cared about everyone else before himself, " he said.

John Balio also is survived by a younger brother and his parents.

A GoFundMe page set up when Balio was first hospitalized has raised more than $53,000 to cover hospital expenses.

"The response has brought us to our knees as a family,'' Cosmo Balio said. "It shows how loved he was by everyone."

Cosmo said the family will use the money raised for a college fund for John Balio's daughter, Morgan.

WESTMORELAND (WSYR-TV) -- 76-year-old James Kasperski, a passenger in the small plane that crashed in Westmoreland on Monday night, has died from his injuries, according to the Oneida County Sheriff's Office.

37-year-old John Bailo, the plane's pilot, remains in critical condition at Upstate University Hospital.

Another passenger, 31-year-old Amy Odell of Rome, was treated for her injuries and released.

According to Sheriff Robert Maciol, the small plane crashed after take-off from a grass airstrip located on Lowell Rd.

Maciol did not say where the people were traveling from.

Officials say neighbors called 911 and helped the victims out of the plane.

"We were having a practice over at the elementary school and there were three or four planes flying over head really low. Then all of a sudden, one of them was gone. We saw this big smoke cloud go up and one of the other coaches who's a fireman with Westmoreland got called away and he said there's a plane crash," said Randy Walker, who witnessed the incident.

Story and video:

UPDATE:The names of the victim's in last night's Westmoreland plane crash have been revealed as 31-year-old Amanda Odell of Rome, 37-year-old John Bailo of Frankfort, who was piloting the plane. and 76-year-old James Kasperski.

Oneida County Undersheriff's revealed that Odell was released from the hospital while Bailo and Kasperski are still at Upstate University Hospital in critical condition.

WESTMORELAND, N.Y. --- Surrounded by the hills and streams in Westmoreland, Don Marino was inside his home when he heard a plane taking off from a nearby landing strip- seconds later he saw the plane go down.

"It was literally within 7 or 8 secs from the time he lifted until it went down." said Marino.

Grabbing the phone to call 9-1-1, Don started running toward the crash site. He was about half way there when he saw the plane go up in flames.

"They already started climbing out of the plane. There were two of them on the ground when I got there. The one I attended to was actually on fire. What was left of his clothing was still burning. And he was trying to roll. And, he was rolling in dry grass, which was catching on fire." said Marino.

About ten feet away there happened to be a small creek near the wreckage. Don used the water to his advantage. He was able to bring one of the passengers into the creek to stop the fire from spreading.

"It was a pretty tough scene to deal with. But, I was kinda of glad I was here and I was kinda glad I was able to help." he said

As FAA and NTSB investigators search to find out what caused the plane to go down, Oneida County Sheriffs Department says all three people were lucky.

"The only better outcome would have been that there were no injuries but they were very fortunate that it happened in the manner it did and in the area that it did." said Robert Swenszkowski, an Oneida County Undersheriff.

Both the sheriffs dept and the neighbors said, if the plane had to crash this way, this was the best way because there were people here to help and the water right there.

Story and video:

WESTMORELAND -- Three people were injured Monday after a small plane crashed and burned behind a barn in a backyard on Lowell Road in Westmoreland, said Oneida County Undersheriff Robert Swenszkowski.

Neighbors saw the plane crash shortly after it took off from a small airstrip around 7 p.m. a couple of hundred feet away from the crash site by Lowell Road and called 911 early Monday evening, he said.

The homeowners where the plane crashed ran out to assist the victims, helping them out of the plane, Swenszkowski said. He added that he believes the neighbors helped to put out flames on one of the occupants.

The crash happened near the intersection with Creaser Road.

The plane’s occupants suffered burns and other injuries, and were taken by ambulance to area hospitals; two were expected to be transferred to Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, he said.

Swenszkowski declined to release any information on the identity of the plane’s occupants.

The scene has been secured pending the arrival of the Federal Aviation Administration, which will investigate the accident, he said.

Deputies were assisted at the scene by state police, Westmoreland Volunteer Fire Department, and COCVAC Ambulance.

As of 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office is waiting for the FAA and NTSB to respond to the scene.

Story and video:

WESTMORELAND, NY- Three people were rushed to area hospitals following a plane crash in Westmoreland Monday evening.

The crash happened shortly after 7pm near Lowell and Creaser Roads in Westmoreland.

Officials confirm two of the victims were badly injured with burns.  A witness tells NEWSChannel 2's Don Shipman one of the victims is a 76 year-old man and has burns on nearly 90% of his body.  The pilot, according to a witness, was also badly burned.

The second passenger, according to a witness, was not visibly hurt.

The Westmoreland Fire Department, New York State Police and Oneida County Sheriff's Department were called to the scene.

The investigation will be turned over the FAA.  So far, local officials say they don't know what caused the plane to crash.

"It appears the plane touched down at a local air strip down the road took back off and then crashed behind us here," Undersheriff Robert Swenszkowski, Oneida County Sheriff's Dept.  "There were three occupants. They all suffered burns and other injuries. They've all been sent to local hospitals for treatment. All three have survived the crash."

- Story and video:

WESTMORELAND — Three people were hospitalized after witnesses said they walked away from a plane crash near the intersection of Lowell and Creaser roads Monday evening. 

The small plane came down just behind a farm on Lowell Road shortly after 7 p.m. Law enforcement officials said the three suffered burns and other injuries and were taken to local hospitals. 

Officials said the plane had just taken off from a small airstrip across the road from the farm.

"It was a crash," said Undersheriff Robert S. Swenszkowski. Authorities do not yet know what caused the plane to lose altitude so quickly. The plane managed to avoid a nearby barn before crashing into a field.

The plane was totaled, but witnesses said all three occupants managed to free themselves.

"All three have survived the crash," Swenszkowski said at the scene. "They suffered some burns and other injuries."

Witnesses said there was thick black smoke coming from the debris, and a little flame. All three occupants were out of the plane by the time nearby residents reached the crash site.

Rescue personnel from Westmoreland and other agencies were dispatched. The three were taken to nearby hospitals.

Swenszkowski said the Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the crash.

Original article can be found here: 

ONEIDA COUNTY, N.Y. --- There are report from WKTV of a plane crash that occurred shortly after 7 p.m. Monday night.

According to WKTV the crash happened near Lowell and Creaser Roads in Westmoreland, which has reportedly left 2 people seriously injured.

A helicopter and two ambulances were sent to transport those affected to nearby hospitals.

UPDATE: Notable portions of call audio.

10:22 "AIRCRAFT accident area of Lowell road and greaser road, a possible airplane crash Westmoreland."

10:37 (tones go out) "Fire control to oneida county ambulance Westmoreland aircraft accident Lowell road greaser road. Oneida county ambulance Westmoreland Air craft accident Lowell road and greaser road."

11:05 "Per the caller Cessna plane on fire Lowell road and greaser"

11:55 "Two subjects on the aircraft with severe burns (per caller)"

12:40 "Two patients with severe burns, helicopter notified, the plane is on fire."

Original article can be found here:

Beech 35 Bonanza, N2715V: Aircraft veered off runway after loss of right brake control, striking concrete block slab and tipping up on nose resulting in prop strike

AIRCRAFT:   1947 Beech 35 Bonanza N2715V, s/n D-91

ENGINE – Continental E-185-8, s/n 25830-D-2-8, 185hp 

PROPELLER – Beech Propeller, type 215-207, s/n 4-1221; installed as serviceable on 7/9/1996 by HAS Propellers, Inc. Lubbock, TX.

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

ENGINE:   As of 1/5/2016, Tach 3787.22, TTSMO 867.37

PROPELLER:    395.4 since installation on 7/9/1996   

AIRFRAME:     As of 1/7/2016, Tach 3787.22, TT 3787.22                

OTHER EQUIPMENT:      N/A; standard avionics, no upgrades or modifications.

DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT:  Aircraft veered off runway after loss of right brake control, striking concrete block slab and tipping up on nose resulting in prop strike.

DESCRIPTION OF DAMAGES: Propeller bent, engine stoppage, nose gear collapse, lower front fuselage and lower cowling, possible hidden damage.       

LOCATION OF AIRCRAFT:     Private hangar, Lewisburg, TN  (KLUG)     

REMARKS: Contact adjuster to inspect aircraft. Logbooks located in adjuster’s office.  

Read more here:

American Airlines brings D.C. direct flights back to Lansing, Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Flying can be exhausting. So imagine how hard it might be to set up a route from Lansing to Washington, D.C.

“Throughout a nine month period we let them know that we were not going away,” said Bob Selig, president and CEO of the Capital Region Airport Authority.

He says he constantly checked in with the FAA and Department of Transportation—and he’s not the only one.

“I must have called the secretary of transportation a dozen times,” explained Rep. Mike Bishop, R-MI.

The announcement earned a bipartisan congressional seal of approval and Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, Tim Daman, says with Lansing’s political hub, D.C. is a no brainer.

“It’s the number one business travel destination from Lansing.”

Even if you aren’t looking to visit the White House or pose with Honest Abe, this flight path is good news.

“D.C. isn’t just D.C. There are points beyond D.C. We fly internationally from D.C., we have the shuttle service up and down the east coast out of Washington, D.C.,” explained Mark Tochman, American Airlines’ corporate sales manager.

And even if you aren’t planning to fly at all, Daman says these changes will benefit Lansing’s economy by attracting companies.

“Maybe they’re looking to stay and grow and expand here … Having a quality airport and air service is critical into that equation.”

American hasn’t flown out of Lansing in nearly 16 years and Selig says it’s important to take advantage of the airline’s return.

“We need to get the word out because we haven’t had DC service for six, nine months, use it so that we don’t lose it.”

The flights take off beginning July 5.

Story and video:

Energy should be on fixing the Federal Aviation Administration, not corporate welfare - Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.)

By Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.)

Congress has a chance this year to pass meaningful and conservative reforms to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).  These reforms will bring an end to the FAA’s decades-long failed attempts to modernize our Nation’s air traffic control system, and protect taxpayers from wasteful spending.  We should not jeopardize this unique opportunity for reforming our aviation system by adding miscellaneous corporate welfare tax provisions such as those being discussed in the Senate.

Congress just last year passed the PATH Act, which made some tax provisions permanent while extending others.  This legislation was born out of the need to end the annual business tax extenders which we believe has kept us from moving on to comprehensive business tax reform and allowed certain industries to continue to receive corporate welfare subsidies through the tax code.  Many of the green crony energy provisions were part of the PATH Act and the omnibus bill.  I opposed these provisions then and will continue to oppose the policies of this Administration to reward uneconomical forms of energy and punish the coal and fossil fuel industry which has created hundreds of thousands of jobs across this country and provided low energy costs for millions of consumers.

Modernizing our FAA allows the United States the opportunity to continue to lead the world in aviation.  Attaching unrelated energy tax provisions onto legislation not only has nothing to do with aviation or previous aviation laws but also jeopardizes this historic opportunity to make necessary and long-term reforms to the FAA.

Shuster is serving his second term as Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

Original article can be found here:

Indian River Sheriff’s Office plans aviation hangar, heliport on site

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Sheriff's Office helicopters will be able to take off and land from the department's campus on 41st Avenue in Vero Beach by the end of the year.

Sheriff Deryl Loar said the department will build a 9,628-square-foot aviation hangar, 4,989 square feet of office space and a lighted heliport near the Indian River County Jail. The project is ready for bid, with a pre-bid meeting scheduled for April 21.

"It is part of our capital improvement plan," said Loar. "We have been leasing a hangar at the Vero Beach Regional Airport for over 20 years, but we think it will be easier to monitor if the helicopters are kept right on our site."

Currently, the Sheriff's Office pays the airport about $1,700 a month in rent, plus utilities and upkeep for the hanger, which Loar said is aging.

"It's going to save us a big monthly expense," Loar said. "And the airport is anxious to release us since they already have interest in the hangar."

The new, pre-engineered metal building system proposed for the Sheriff's Office is expected to cost between $1.5 and $2 million. It includes exterior impact resistant windows and doors, electrically operated, one-piece hydraulic powered aviation door system, along with standard roll-up overhead doors. Costs for the new hangar and heliport will be covered through impact fees and some optional sales tax money from Indian River County, Loar said.

The Sheriff's Office operates two OH-58 helicopters, one built in 1969 and the second in 1972. Although a bit antiquated, Loar said the two choppers are workhorses and kept in tiptop shape by a mechanic who specializes in repairing former military helicopters.

After the new hangar is constructed, both helicopters will be stored inside, and rolled out to the helicopter pad as needed. The office space, which is on the east and north sides of the new hangar, will include a debriefing room and offices for the K-9 and Ranch and Groves units.

As part of a long-range plan, Loar would like to see a trauma helicopter stationed at the Sheriff's Office in conjunction with Indian River County Fire Rescue. The helicopter and emergency personnel could respond directly from the helipad and reduce response time to emergencies. Also on the horizon for the Sheriff's Office complex are the possible construction of a new administration building and an upgraded 911 system for the county, Loar said.


Bid documents for the aviation hangar and heliport are available at the Sheriff's Office Human Resources building, 3885 41st St.

There's a mandatory pre-bid meeting on April 21 at 2 p.m. in the auditorium of the Indian River County Sheriff's Office, 4055 41st Ave.

Original article can be found here:

Allegiant Air touts increased spending on safety

Allegiant Air maintains that it has one of the best safety records in the industry and accuses some media of unfairly focusing on its maintenance mishaps when such incidents are routine in the industry.

But in comments to reporters last week at Allegiant's Las Vegas headquarters, where the company held a "media day," the airline's chief operating officer touted efforts to improve operations as it spends more money on safety programs.

The COO, Jude Bricker, said the airline's efforts have led to a lower rate of service interruptions such as aborted takeoffs and emergency landings, from 2.81 per 1,000 flights in April 2015 to 1.37 last month, according to Bloomberg news. Engine failures, the carrier said, are either steady or falling.

"We're investing in everything we know to invest in," Bricker said. "Most of the indicators we watch are positive. Everything is moving in the right direction."

The comments are the latest sign that Allegiant, which flies 95 percent of the passenger traffic at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport, has been dealing with concrete operational and safety issues even as it blasts its critics.

In January, Allegiant's leaders talked in a conference call with financial analysts about increasing the reliability of its fleet of roughly 80 aircraft and noted the airline's rapid growth has caused operations problems.

And in January, Allegiant COO Steve Harfst unexpectedly resigned as Allegiant leaders emphasized the change was an opportunity to "refocus" on operational needs and areas of improvement.

The Tampa Bay Times received no response Monday to a request for comment from Allegiant. The airline has stopped communicating with the Times because it has said the newspaper's reporting on a series of flight mishaps and other safety issues has been unfair.

Allegiant now has flights from about 50 cities to St. Pete-Clearwater airport, making it one of the busiest destinations in its network. So the airline is particularly sensitive to publicity in the Florida market.

That may be why Allegiant CEO Maurice Gallagher Jr. is scheduled to speak at a breakfast event hosted by state Sen. Jack Latvala on Thursday.

An April 15 story by Bloomberg reporter Mary Schlangenstein said Allegiant has hired an outside auditor to review its safety programs and regulatory compliance. In addition, the airline has invested in an "extensive safety database and risk assessment system" and has stepped up pilot training beyond what the Federal Aviation Administration requires.

Also, Allegiant said it is encouraging its employees to report issues to the airline by, among other things, providing tablets to all pilots and flight attendants in order to send information electronically.

Outside contractors who work on engines and other systems, Allegiant also noted, have been placed under increased oversight.

Allegiant is one of the fastest-growing airlines in the United States. But with its spectacular growth have come a steady stream of highly publicized maintenance problems that have caused emergency landings or aborted takeoffs.

The airline suffered five emergency landings the last week of 2015, for example, and had one aircraft that made four emergency landings in about six weeks. An Allegiant aircraft nearly crashed in August at Las Vegas after an elevator on its tail jammed, which would have made the aircraft uncontrollable. But pilots managed to abort the takeoff at 138 mph seconds before liftoff.

Original article can be found here:

Eurocopter-Kawasaki EC-145 (BK-117C-2), N145HH: Incident occurred April 15, 2016 in Meriden, New Haven County, Connecticut


Date: 15-APR-16
Time: 19:45:00Z
Regis#: N145HH
Aircraft Make: MBB
Aircraft Model: BK117
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Activity: Ambulance
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Aircraft Operator: AIR METHODS CORP
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Windsor Locks FSDO-63
State: Connecticut


Beechcraft Premier I: Incident occurred April 18, 2016 at Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport (KICT), Wichita, Sedgwick County, Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. Update--4:30 p.m. The Beechcraft Premier I, headed for Dallas from Grand Forks, N.D., was scheduled for a fuel stop in Wichita.

The emergency call came in because of the report of a possible blown tire, an Eisenhower Airport spokeswoman said. 

The noise that was thought to have possible been a blown tire was heard as the plane was coming into Wichita.

The plane landed safely and the landing gear was in good condition, the airport spokeswoman said. 

It's unknown what caused the noise that necessitated the emergency call.

The airport spokeswoman said it's up to the crew of the plane whether to continue the flight to Dallas. 

Update--3:15 p.m. Information from shows that the Raytheon twin-jet has landed safely at Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport. The pilot of the plane, headed from Grand Forks, N.D. to Dallas, had reported spotting an unsafe gear indicator prior to touching down. 


An airport spokeswoman for Wichita's Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport reports the pilot of an approaching business jet has spotted an unsafe gear indicator.

At about 3:05 p.m., the plane was 10 minutes out from landing at the airport.

Original article can be found here:

Ercoupe 415-C, N3353H: Incident occurred April 17, 2016 in Warrenton, Fauquier County, Virginia

Date: 17-APR-16
Time: 17:45:00Z
Regis#: N3353H
Aircraft Make: ERCOUPE
Aircraft Model: 415
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Washington FSDO-27
State: Virginia


Sport aircraft village, aviation complex planned for DeLand Municipal Airport (KDED)

DeLand Airport Manager John Eiff stands with Renegade Light Sport Aircraft own Christopher "Doc" Bailey, who is pushing for the development of a sport aviation village at the city airport. 

DELAND — Christopher “Doc” Bailey says the airplanes he makes are easy to fly.

“They’re economical, they’re easy to maintain, they’re smaller, you can put two or three of them in a hangar,” he said. “It’s brought aviation affordability back to the airport.”

Bailey, a light sport aircraft manufacturer and owner of Renegade Light Sport Aircraft who is also hoping to bring rescheduled air races to DeLand in January, and city officials want to see the development of a sport aviation village at the DeLand Municipal Airport for the small, recreational planes.

“The light sport industry is a new category of aircraft,” said Airport Manager John Eiff. “They’re smaller, less regulated, more economical.”

The mostly two-seaters are also quieter, he said.

The first phase of the sport aviation village could break ground this summer and could eventually feature more than 40 hangars, including six for manufacturing, although the plan is flexible, according to DeLand Public Services Director Keith Riger and Eiff. Development of additional phases would be driven by demand.

DeLand is already home to a number of companies in the parachute industry, and those businesses work together, Eiff said. He hopes to see the same thing in the light sport aviation industry.

“They all use a lot of common parts,” he said. “So you may have like a paint shop that takes care of everybody or a welding shop that takes care of everybody, instead of everybody having to put in a paint shop or a welding shop.”

Bailey, who has been at the airport for two years, gave an example of a composite part that he uses but another company makes.

“We don’t make that, but we subcontract that out,” he said. “Why not subcontract it out here, rather than North Carolina?”

He also compared the planned village to an auto mall.

“One light sport plane doesn’t do everything for anybody,” he said. “But if they know that all they have to do is come to one place to see 10 different airplanes, wouldn’t you rather do that than driving from here to Ft. Lauderdale to see a Honda, go to somewhere to see a Chevy, go somewhere to see another car?”

The city would prepare and construct building pads and set up infrastructure for the sport aviation village. It is expected to cost about $1 million for the planning and permitting of the village and the city’s construction on the first phase, according to Eiff, and would be 80 percent funded by the Florida Department of Transportation. The remaining cost would be paid for by money from business leases at the airport.

DeLand isn't the only area airport working with the light sport airplane industry. Super Petrel USA Inc. recently leased a hangar at Ormond Beach Municipal Airport for an aircraft assembly/sales/distribution and parts facility.

Joe Mannarino, Ormond Beach's economic development director, said the city's hope is the company eventually adds a manufacturing component.

"They're still testing the market," he said

He said the airport has additional land available for development and would welcome more light sport aviation businesses.

“It’s great to have markets that open up for airports so that we can lease properties and grow businesses on the airport," he said.

Separate from the light sport village at DeLand Municipal Airport, the city is also planning a general aviation complex that would feature a new administration building. It would be 6,400 square feet. Airport administration currently works out of a small office space in the maintenance building.

“We just need bigger facilities because we’re growing so fast,” Eiff said.

The new space will have a meeting room that can hold at least 50 people.

The general aviation complex would cost $2.5 million and be funded the same way as the sport aviation village, although the airport is also seeking additional grant funds for the project, Eiff said. In addition to the administration building, four box hangars would be built, an existing ramp would be rehabbed and a new one would be added.

The plan is for work on the complex to start this fall and should be completed in two years if anticipated funding comes through on time, Eiff said.

Nick Conte Jr., executive director of the DeLand Area Chamber of Commerce & Orange City Alliance, is excited about the airport’s future: “It’s our next development frontier,” he said.

Original article can be found here: