Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Offensive word spotted on sign: G. O. Carlson Airport (KMQS), Coatesville, Chester County, Pennsylvania

Coatesville, Pennsylvania -   An offensive word was spotted on a sign outside of a local airport. 

Police in Valley Township say a sign is most likely the work of vandals rather than an organized group. According to police, on April 22 vandals rearranged the removable letters on the sign leading up to the Chester County G. O. Carlson Airport near Coatesville. FOX 29 has decided to blur the photos of the offensive message.

A passerby noticed and alerted the manager of the airport restaurant that owns the sign before it was removed.

Gary Hudson, a longtime airport manager, who is African American could not comment on the investigation but tells us he doesn't think he was the target of the sign. 

"This shouldn't be happening in 2016. But you have ignorant people out there so what you going to do?" said Coatesville resident Jackie Green.

Police tell FOX 29 they have identified three men as persons of interest in the case but so far no arrests. They are stopping short of calling this a hate crime saying they think the criminal mischief is more vandalism than racism.

James Jackson, 57,  a lifelong resident of Valley Township, says he remembers a time as a kid where African Americans wouldn’t be welcome in this part of town. After seeing the racist message on the sign he says he's disappointed to say the least.

“I think it just sets us back as a community when we call strive to work hard together" says Jackson.

Valley Township police say investigators know the names of the suspects but haven’t been able to contact them. If you know any information, please call Valley Township Police at (610) 384-8133.

Story and video:

Air ambulance charges can reach $100,000

Emergency response in rural areas raises the question: How much is a life worth?

The Interstate 90 corridor from Superior to Haugan is reportedly higher in car accidents than any other stretch of the highway in Montana, according to the Montana Traffic and Safety Bureau.

In 2014, the Montana Highway Patrol reported 326 incidents in Mineral County resulting in 1 death, 88 injuries, and 237 crashes involving property damage.

Emergencies like car accidents and a multitude of other health issues, may require air ambulance services.

Life-saving resources can be costly, especially in rural areas like Mineral County where driving a patient to a Missoula hospital can take up to an hour.

“I’m told that many insurance companies don’t, or won’t, cover expenses and costs can run over $8,000 to a Missoula facility,” said Mineral Community Hospital representative, Monte Turner.

Reducing excessive air ambulance charges is a goal of Sen. Jon Tester’s. He is proposing legislation which would give states the authority to establish some rules for how much healthcare companies can charge their customers.

He states that “too many air ambulance companies are taking advantage of families in crisis by charging an exorbitant amount of money for critical medical service. In some cases, air ambulance bills are totaling $100,000. As a result, Montana families are being forced to consider cashing out their savings, selling their homes, or declaring bankruptcy just to pay the bill.”

Tester also says that many of these families have health insurance, and so they think they are covered. But some of these ‘for-profit, out-of-state companies, aren’t affiliated with local hospitals, and they don’t have contracts with insurance companies. Leaving families with few options when dealing with the charges.

The effort Sen. Tester along with Republican Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota sought was to amend the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization legislation to allow states to decide if they want to create rules governing air ambulance rates and services.

That effort failed, but the Montana Legislature’s economic affairs interim committee is studying the issue and intends to introduce a bill during its 2017 session. However according to chief counsel for the Montana Auditor and Insurance Commissioner’s Office, Jesse Laslovich, state legislation will likely be limited in its effectiveness.

“We can teeter around the edges, but in dealing with the substance of the problem, we’re going to need an act of Congress to say air ambulances don’t fall under the aviation deregulation act,” he said in a recent interview.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners recently issued a statement on the subject and advised people to make sure they understand what, if any, air ambulance coverage they have.

Some private air ambulance companies are offering annual memberships for their services. For example, in April, Northwest MedStar became the preferred provider of critical care transport for Providence St. Patrick Hospital and Community Medical Center in Missoula.

Life Flight air ambulance was serving Missoula Hospitals. On April 1, 2016, Northwest MedStar joined the Life Flight Network in order to expand their network.

Northwest MedStar provides care and transport services to over 3,700 patients each year from bases in Missoula, Spokane, TriCities, Moses Lake, Pullman, as well as Seattle and other facilities throughout the U.S. and Canada. With two new helicopter bases slated for Colville and Walla Walla, Washington. A MedStar membership costs $60 per year.

But there is still no guarantee the company, like MedStar, will be the one that actually transports the covered patient. Sometimes patients don’t realize they should ask or might not be capable of asking, whether their transportation is in network or how much their insurance will cover. This can result in large medical bills for patients.

The Montana Senate and House of Representatives are to have studies on this subject concluded by September 15, 2016 and final results will be reported at the next Legislative session.

Original article can be found here:

County purchasing property for Washington County Airport (KAFJ), Washington, Pennsylvania

Washington County Redevelopment Authority, which operates Washington County Airport, has asked the Washington County commissioners to approve the purchase of one acre from the Lutes estate, 826 Mounts Road, at a price not to exceed $66,000.

Last month, the county purchased about one adjacent acre, which included a mobile home, at 806 Mounts Road from John and Linda Murr for a sum not to exceed $71,000 plus closing costs, also for eventual runway expansion within the area of the airport master plan.

William McGowen, executive director of the redevelopment authority, said the runway project is “years away,” but property acquisition is part of the initial phase.

The state Bureau of Aviation approved both purchases, to be funded 90 percent by federal taxpayers, 5 percent by state taxpayers and 5 percent by county taxpayers.

Original article can be found here:

Wheels UP Offers Uber-Like Air Travel Service

For many people, the days of air travel are about to become as simple as requesting an Uber. Private aviation firm Wheels Up looks to capitalize on the increasing growth in private air travel.

During an interview on the FOX Business Network Mornings with Maria, Wheels Up Founder and CEO Kenny Dichter told Maria Bartiromo the company has seen the number of its members double in the last year due to an increase in access to private travel.

“The key for us is to democratize the space. You need a bigger addressable market and with our King Air 350i offering, we really broaden the space and we’ve taken to a much larger customer base,” Dichter said.

Dichter described the King Air 350i as a “flying SUV” with seating for eight passengers and eight golf bags, making it significantly more economical than comparable jet aircraft.

Wheels Up offers a variety of new products through its membership tier including a ridesharing program through its app that allows its members to fill up any unused seats available by other Wheels Up members from your smartphone.

“You are [flying] with like-minded folks that are already members of the club. They been vetted and verified because they are members already,” Dichter said. “And again, in less than a two hour flight, you might meet somebody and do some business.”

Dichter credits its membership business model to the likes of Costco (COST), Amazon Prime (AMZN) and Netflix (NFLX), where membership retention rates continue to grow in a shared economy.

The Wheels Up CEO discussed his vision for the next three to five years and how he plans to expand the business.

“We see ourselves doubling the whole private aviation pyramid,” Dichter said.

Story and video:

Hundreds of pilots poised to leave Allegiant Air

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) - Allegiant Air has been rocked by a new scandal.

Pilots poised to flee in search of safer skies and a better work environment.

Contact 13's Darcy Spears has been investigating Allegiant for nearly a year. She tells us why hundreds of pilots say they're looking to leave.

Overworked and underpaid. Flying for an airline with a bare minimum approach to maintenance and safety, which leads to avoidable emergencies. 

That's what the majority of Allegiant pilots say is forcing them out.

Teamsters Local 1224 President Daniel Wells said, "At an operation like Allegiant with all these many problems, the one last line of defense preventing a tragedy has been the incredible skill of the Allegiant pilots."

But hundreds of Allegiant pilots say they've had enough. 

This pilot satisfaction survey released Wednesday polled more than 500 captains and first officers ranging from new hires to veterans. 

More than half say Allegiant's scheduling system creates confusion and fatigue. They say their pay and benefits fall below industry standards. 

And they're fed up with the airline's failure to negotiate a contract with the Teamsters. 

On top of that, Wells says, "They lack what we would say is a safety culture."

The survey release comes just days after Allegiant's latest incident -- this time in Phoenix. 

"They had what was ostensibly a new airplane, an Airbus, have a catastrophic engine failure in the process of a go-around in Phoenix," Wells says. "Extraordinarily rare event. Something that as a professional crew member you hope you never come across in the entirety of your career."

The plane landed safely a short time later, but Wells says it's part of a culture of cutting corners on maintenance that makes pilots afraid.

"Almost half of the pilots said they will not allow their own families to fly on the aircraft. That is a stunning repudiation of the operations at Allegiant. I have never heard that before at a carrier. And that is not sour grapes. That is not to make publicity. That is a real fear that these pilots have. And the reason is because they're on the front lines and observe day in and day out the way Allegiant skimps on maintenance, pushes their aircraft."

Allegiant has experienced high pilot turnover in recent years. Citing an internal newsletter, the union says Allegiant's pilot resignation rate increased 600 percent between 2011 and 2014. 

Earlier this year, Chief Operations Officer Steve Harfst abruptly resigned. 

And Contact 13 obtained an internal announcement that Director of Maintenance Jesse Peek is retiring later this month.

"And I think that it's not coincidence that it's in the midst of this ongoing FAA investigation into their maintenance practices," Wells says

The Federal Aviation Administration is auditing Allegiant two years ahead of schedule. The agency says it wants to ensure Allegiant is making improvements and addressing internal issue. The FAA expects to complete their evaluation in June. 

We asked Allegiant for comment, but they refused.

Instead, they sent a statement saying, "As the safety of our passengers and crew is of the utmost importance to every single person in our company, we will not engage with a member of the media who distorts the facts and lacks objectivity."

Story and video:

MD Helicopters 500E (369E), N629JK: Fatal accident occurred May 04, 2016 in Reedsville, Manitowoc County, Wisconsin


NTSB Identification: CEN16FA171
14 CFR Part 133: Rotorcraft Ext. Load
Accident occurred Wednesday, May 04, 2016 in Reedsville, WI
Aircraft: MCDONNELL DOUGLAS HELICOPTER 369E, registration: N629JK
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 May 4, 2016, about 1000 central daylight time, an MD Helicopters 369E helicopter, N629JK, impacted trees and terrain near Reedsville, Wisconsin. The commercial rated pilot was fatally injured and the helicopter sustained substantial damage. The helicopter was registered to Padgett Ag Air LLC, Pawleys Island, South Carolina, and operated by Rotor Blade LLC, Georgetown, South Carolina, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 133 as an external load operation. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and no flight plan was filed. The flight departed from the Manitowoc County Airport (MTW), Manitowoc, Wisconsin, about 0730. 

According to the operator, the helicopter was being used to transport personnel and equipment in support of power line maintenance. The helicopter arrived at a predetermined landing zone (LZ) about 0800 where 25 gallons of fuel were added. 

There were two witnesses were personnel atop the nearest powerline structure and another witness located in a vehicle about 170 yards to the north. They reported that the helicopter approached the powerline structure from the east and then made a right turn to point the nose of the helicopter into the wind. When the helicopter approached the powerline structure the witnesses noticed change in the helicopter's sound and then it made a sudden descent. The helicopter veered to the right and the main rotor blades appeared to decrease in speed. The helicopter impacted trees and terrain and came to rest on its right side. One witness climbed down from the structure, arrived at the main wreckage, and reported that the engine was still operating. In order to shut down the engine, he pulled the emergency fuel shutoff valve and then rendered assistance to the pilot. 

At 0956, the weather observation at MTW, located 13 nautical miles east-southeast, reported wind from 340° at 22 knots gusting to 32 knots, 10 statute miles visibility, overcast ceiling at 2,600 ft, temperature 46° F, dew point 36° F, and altimeter setting 29.77 inches of mercury. 

A Garmin 496 GPS was found in the wreckage and was sent to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Laboratory for examination and download. 

The helicopter was retained for further examination.

Paul Ruppert
Sept. 12, 1954-May 4, 2016

MADISON, Wis. - Paul Ray Ruppert was born on Sept. 12, 1954, and grew up on his family's farm near Currie, the oldest of six children. He attended Immaculate Heart of Mary school in Currie for grades K-8 and Tracy High School in Tracy for grades 9-12. After graduating in 1972, he attended Mankato State University in Mankato, then served in the U.S. Army as a medic, stationed in Germany. Following his discharge, Paul returned to Currie to farm, and it was during that time he learned that helicopters were being used for chemical application to crops. His father helped him buy his first helicopter, and for 21 years Paul worked as a helicopter pilot in aerial application.

Never one to resist a new challenge, Paul transitioned to the power line construction industry, where helicopters were being used for completion of numerous tasks. He worked for 15 years in that industry - one in which he was well-known and respected, not only for his precision flying skills but also for his strong commitment to safety and his ability to successfully train power line helicopter pilots and linemen how to work safely as a team.

Paul had a tough exterior, befitting a man whose job required him to hold others' lives in his hands. But those who knew him best appreciated him for his kind heart, humility, sense of humor, and generosity toward friends and strangers alike. In addition to flying helicopters, he loved music, reading, art, motorcycling, hiking, bicycling, dining out, and exploring small towns. Additional interests included woodworking, photography, stained glass, cooking, gardening, and spending time with friends.

On Wednesday, May 4, 2016, Paul passed away as the result of a helicopter crash and will be sadly missed by all those who loved him and whose lives he touched.

He is survived by his beloved mother Dorothy Ruppert of Currie; his life partner Linda Linssen of Madison, Wis.; daughters Eryn Ruppert of Vista, Calif. and Anna Ruppert of Colorado Springs, Colo.; grandchildren Plato Ruppert of Vista, Calif., and Luna Barreras of Colorado Springs, Colo.; siblings Karl (Kim) Ruppert of Currie; Rebecca (Francis) Biesanz of Sleepy Eye; Matt (Tammy) of Mound; Ramona Ruppert (Rebecca) of Minneapolis; and Jody (Kent) Shaw of Colorado Springs, Colo.; dozens of nieces, nephews, and cousins; and his aviation family and friends from around the world.

Paul was preceded in death by his father, Raymond Ruppert, his lifelong hero and role model. At the time of his death, Paul lived in Madison, Wis., with Linda.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials in Paul's name to the charity of your choice or to one of the following:

American Diabetes Organization in honor of Paul's daughter Anna, who lives with Type 1 diabetes.

Hogs for Heroes, a nonprofit organization dedicated to healing the mental and physical wounds suffered by veterans during the course of active duty through the therapeutic benefits of owning and riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle.

Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, which provides financial assistance to career musicians struggling to make ends meet while facing illness, disability, or age-related issues.


Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email,  and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

The pilot of the helicopter that crashed in Manitowoc County Wednesday is identified as 61-year-old Paul Ruppert of Madison.

Ruppert sustained trauma including his head, neck, chest and right leg as a result of the crash.

He was removed from the aircraft prior to the arrival of EMS and other rescue personnel by ground personnel and co-workers present when the aircraft crashed. They attempted CPR at the scene.

He was pronounced dead at the scene by Coroner Curtis Green at 11:40 a.m. Wednesday. All family has been notified. Funeral arrangements are being made.

Statement regarding helicopter crash in Manitowoc County, Wis.

DEPERE, Wis. –  American Transmission Co. has received word of a helicopter crash near the intersection of Marquette Road and Sandy Road near Reedsville, Wis. The helicopter was involved in stringing wire along an ATC transmission line between the Point Beach Nuclear Plant and the Forest Junction Substation.

The helicopter is owned by Rotor Blade,LLC, which is a subcontractor for Henkels & McCoy. Rotor Blade is a South Carolina-based company that provides helicopter services to the utilities industry.

An internal team has been assembled to respond to the emergency at the scene and to investigate the accident.


A pilot helping with the installation of transmission lines was killed when the helicopter crashed in Manitowoc County Wednesday morning. Tonight, investigators are trying to learn why the helicopter went down.

At about 10 a.m., the chopper went down in a “remote and swampy area” at 19420 Marquette Road in Maple Grove, near Reedsville, the sheriff’s office said.

The Federal Aviation Administration says the MD 500E (369E) helicopter “crashed under unknown circumstances.” It came to rest on its side in trees just feet from the tower the crew was working on.

The pilot was the only person on-board. So far the person hasn’t been publicly identified.

Video provided by local viewer Jesse Jossart taken shortly before the crash shows the helicopter hovering above a crew installing a communication line between the Point Beach nuclear plant and Forest Junction substation. The work was part of a project by the American Transmission Company. The video does not show the crash.

Neighbors say they’ve been watching this pilot and his crew for the past couple weeks and admiring the pilot’s skill as crews worked to install wires on transmission towers.

Steve Sorenson, who lives down the road, told us, “The helicopter pilot was able to hover in one spot and be able to drive guys in there and hold that helicopter steady, and then I saw him trimming the lines back and forth with a big pole trimmer, and he was able to go on both sides of that, and he was a very skilled pilot in my mind.”

“I’ve been watching the guy for a month working around here, and I was pretty impressed with his skills. It’s pretty sad news.”

Sorenson said the last time he saw the helicopter it had dropped off the crew and was hovering over a neighbor’s shed. He didn’t see it crash. “The next thing I know, the ambulances were showing up.”

American Transmission Company released a statement to Action 2 News, saying the helicopter is owned by Rotor Blade, a South Carolina-based company. Rotor Blade, a subcontractor for Henkels & McCoy, provides services to utilities.

“An internal team has been assembled to respond to the emergency at the scene and to investigate the accident,” reads a statement from ATC.

The FAA is responding to the scene to begin an investigation, which will be led by the National Transportation Safety Board. The NTSB says an investigator is en route from Denver and will be here by Thursday morning to start their investigation.

ATC says it’s assisting both agencies during this investigation.

“It’s a tragedy,” ATC spokesperson Jackie Olson said. “We take pride in our safety record at American Transmission Company. Even our office meetings begin with a safety briefing, so it’s a very high priority, and it’s a very sad day when something like this happens.”

Officials say the NTSB’s report will be made public within 10 days.

The Manitowoc County coroner was on the scene.

The Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Office received help at the scene from Reedsville Fire Department and First Responders, Collins Fire Department, Kellnersville Fire Department, Wayside Fire Department, and Valders Ambulance.

Original article can be found here:

Authorities report that a pilot was killed when a helicopter owned by a Georgetown County-based business crashed while performing maintenance work in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin.

A release from the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Office indicates the helicopter crashed in an area near 19420 Marquette Road in the town of Maple Grove at about 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 4.

In the release, Sheriff Robert C. Hermann said deputies were dispatched at 10:02 a.m. after receiving a call reporting the crash. When deputies arrived, Hermann said, they saw the crash occurred in a “remote and swampy area” near the aforementioned residence.

“They were stringing power lines from our nuclear plant ... over to Forest Junction,” Hermann said, in an interview with the Georgetown Times staff. “The helicopter company was subcontracted to assist.”

Hermann added there was no indication as to what may have caused the fatal crash.

“That’s still under investigation,” he said. “There were some witnesses, and it doesn’t look like he hit anything. But I can’t say for sure what it was.”

Representatives with the Federal Aviation Administration and National Travel Safety Board were en route to Manitowoc County to investigate the crash site. Although his department handled the initial investigation, Hermann said he thought it would continue through NTSB.

The pilot was identified only as a man. Hermann said his identity would be withheld pending notification of his next-of-kin.

Times staff left a message with Rotor Blade staff asking for a statement on Wednesday’s crash. That message was not immediately returned.

Original article can be found here:

MAPLE GROVE - A pilot is dead after the helicopter he was operating crashed in rural Manitowoc County just after 10 a.m. Wednesday.

The crash occurred in a swampy area at 19420 Marquette Road in the town of Maple Grove, according to the Manitowoc County Sheriff's Office. The pilot's identity has not been released, but he was the only occupant of the MD 369E helicopter.

The cause of the crash has not been determined. The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration are investigating.

According to the American Transmission Co., the pilot was stringing wire along an ATC transmission line between the Point Beach Nuclear Plant and the Forest Junction Substation.

The helicopter is owned by Rotor Blade LLC, which is a subcontractor for Henkels & McCoy. Rotor Blade is a South Carolina-based company that provides helicopter services to the utility industry.

The Manitowoc County Sheriff's Office was assisted by Reedsville Fire Department and First Responders, Collins Fire Department, Kellnersville Fire Department, Wayside Fire Department and the Valders Ambulance. Manitowoc County Coroner Curt Green was also on scene assisting.

Initial scanner reports also indicated power lines were down and fuel was leaking from the helicopter.

Original article can be found here:

MANITOWOC COUNTY (WLUK) -- The pilot has been killed in a helicopter crash near Reedsville, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The Manitowoc County Sheriff's Office says the crash happened just after 10 a.m. in a swampy area near 19420 Marquette Rd. in the Town of Maple Grove. The pilot was the only person in the helicopter.

Citing local law enforcement, the FAA says the crash is a fatality.

American Transmission Company says the helicopter was being used to help string wire along an ATC electrical transmission line between the Point Beach nuclear plant and the Forest Junction Substation.

ATC says the helicopter is owned by South Carolina-based Rotor Blade, LLC, which is working as a subcontractor for Henkels & McCoy. According to the FAA, the helicopter was an MD Helicopters model 369E. It's unknown what led to the crash.

The FAA says the National Transportation Safety Board will lead the investigation, and any further information will come from the NTSB.

Original article can be found here:


A pilot was killed after crashing his helicopter north of Reedsville in Manitowoc County. The pilot was helping install transmission lines for  American Transmission Co. 

Neighbors reported seeing the helicopter earlier in the day and it's unclear what made the chopper crash "My heart goes out the families that were involved in this. what a terrible loss," said Steve Sorenson.

The NTSB is now leading an investigation into what happened. The helicopter is owned by the South Carolina company. But was contracted to help American Transmission Co. "We pride ourselves on our safety record at American Transmission Co. even our corporate office meetings begin with safety briefings so it's a tragic day," said Jackie Olson with American Transmission Co.

The pilots identity has not been released.

Original article can be found here:

Smaller, local airports to serve passengers on new ImagineAir flights

Pilot and ImagineAir CEO Ben Hamilton poses with one of the Cirrus SR22 aircraft being used for the new on-demand private flights from closeby airports.

Road warriors and others who fly frequently are well aware of the problems and delays that can cause flights to be delayed or canceled.

It’s almost impossible these days to commit to an arrival time by commercial flight.

A one- to two-hour flight can easily consume a half day once the mandates of advance check-in, luggage handling and security checks are balanced along with weather, equipment of other vagaries of the increasingly difficult formula for flying.

That’s where pilot Ben Hamilton steps up to the plate with ImagineAir, a service that puts smaller three-passenger jet aircraft at the disposal of travelers and takes them to their destinations from close-to-home airports.

“We bring the plane to you,” he said. “We can pick you up and drop you off at almost any airport.”

He sees ImagineAir as giving travelers their day back and getting them back home in time for dinner.

Instead of having to deal with a 40-minute drive to Cleveland Hopkins International, his local customers might choose to fly from Lost Nation Airport in Willoughby, Cuyahoga County Airport in Richmond Heights or Burke Lakefront Airport near downtown Cleveland.

“In many cases, you can save even more time by driving drive directly to your aircraft,” he said. “You deal with no TSA checkpoints, lost luggage issues or layovers.”

You rent the entire plane and can take two others along, so the arrangements may be ideal for business meetings, golf outings and small group forays. ImagineAir specializes in short hops such as flights to places such as Columbus, Pittsburgh, Detroit and Buffalo, which can be even more problematic than longer journeys. Although those flights may take just an hour or so to complete, passengers still need to accommodate check-in time that’s more time-consuming than the flight itself.

Booking and fares are subject to supply and demand, but flights can often cost close to what they would aboard a commercial flight.

“Fares are dynamic,” Hamilton said.

They’re done online to keep costs low, although the staff can help figure out options that might save even more time and money.

Travelers to New York City, for instance, might get shut out on flights to John F. Kennedy or LaGuardia but can more easily reach the city through smaller nearby airports such an Farmingdale, he said.

“Flights often can be booked just a day or two in advance and cost about $1,500,” Hamilton said. That’s for the entire plane with three passengers

He said 85 percent of travelers live close to a smaller airport, but few are able to factor in and arrival or departure from there.

This is what he is trying to change.

“Our flights are ideal for doctors, lawyers and other professional people as well as for politicians and rock bands,” he said.

They also seemingly would be an viable option for family or business emergencies as well as impromptu beach getaways and concerts.

Frequent travelers can buy in with two different levels of membership and get either a 7 percent discount or 15 percent discount on their flights.

Hamilton likens the experience of flying aboard one of the company’s Cirrus SR22-GTS aircraft as similar to sitting in a midsize luxury sedan but cruising at 200 mph.

He’s a licensed pilot with a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a master of business administration degree from Emory University in Atlanta.

Prior to his affiliation with ImagineAir, Hamilton was president of Georgia Tech’s 200-member Yellow Jacket Flying Club and served as a flight instructor for students, faculty and alumni. Co-founder of ImagineAir, Hamilton has served as the company’s director of operations and CEO.

Original article can be found here:

Cessna 150F, N8130F: Incident occurred May 03, 2016 in Warden, Grant County, Washington

Date: 04-MAY-16
Time: 05:00:00Z
Regis#: N8130F
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 150
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Minor
Activity: Personal
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Spokane FSDO-13
State: Washington


MOSES LAKE, WA - A small private airplane crash landed in a waste pond near Washington Potato around 10 p.m. last night, no one was hurt.

The pilot, and only occupant of the plane, has been identified as Larry Stevenson, 80, of College Place according to The Warden Police Department.

He reportedly took off from Walla Walla to Tonasket but did not refuel prior to return. After running low on fuel, he tried to land at the Warden airstrip where he reportedly approached too fast.

Warden Police Department and Grant County Fire District 4 responded to the call after an employee from Washington Potato called 911.

The FAA has been notified and is investigating the incident.

Original article can be found here:

A small private airplane crash-landed in a waste pond near Moses Lake on Tuesday night. 

The pilot was the only one onboard and he was not hurt.

The Warden Police Department says 80-year-old pilot Larry Stevenson was flying from Walla Walla to Tonasket at about 10 p.m. Tuesday when he ran low on fuel.

Stevenson, who is from College Place, Washington, opted to land at the Warden airstrip but he came in too fast and crashed the plane near the Washington State Potato Commission office.

The Federal Aviation Administration was notified and is investigating the incident.

Original article can be found here:

Incident occurred May 04, 2016 at La Plata-Durango Airport (KDRO), Durango, La Plata County, Colorado

An American Airlines flight thought to have landing gear troubles landed safely at La Plata-Durango Airport, an airport representative said at 11:40 a.m. Wednesday.

Kip Turner, director of aviation, said American Airlines flight 3140 reported it had potential gear trouble, but ultimately landed without issue at 11:37 a.m.

“I’m sure they’ll look for maintenance issues,” he said. “But everything is good.”

According to the American Airlines website, the plane departed from Grand Junction and was headed to Dallas-Fort Worth, but was diverted to La Plata-Durango. Turner did not know why the plane had redirected toward La Plata County.

According to the police scanner, about 45 passengers are on board the commercial flight.

Original article can be found here:

Incident occurred May 02, 2016 at Macomb Municipal Airport (KMQB), McDonough County, Illinois

MACOMB — A couple made an emergency landing at Macomb Municipal Airport Monday evening with no injuries reported.

According to McDonough County Sheriff Rick VanBrooker, emergency responders were dispatched about 9:45 p.m. to the airport on a report of a plane crash. 

VanBrooker said that on arrival firefighters and law enforcement found a man and woman outside the prop plane unharmed. 

The couple was flying from Florida to Burlington, Iowa, when there was a sudden loss of power. 

The pilot successfully landed the plane, but one of the wheels slipped off the edge of the runway as the pilot turned toward the hangar. 

The plane was eventually fully placed back on the runway, and emergency medical personnel cleared the scene about 10 p.m.

Original article can be found here:

As opposition to Lake Elmo Airport (21D) mounts, more people move next to it

Across the street from the Lake Elmo Airport, work is underway creating a new neighborhood where a cornfield once stood. 

Across the street from the Lake Elmo Airport, the second-smallest airport of the Metropolitan Airports Commission’s “reliever airports” — a neighborhood is rising from the onetime cornfields.

That’s significant given that the airport is becoming the focus of neighborhood opposition because of plans to expand one of the runways to a length similar to those at other small airports in the area, such as South St. Paul’s Fleming Field.

“Lake Elmo (Airport) is literally surrounded by residential, not commercial property like all of the other airports,” resident Maria Appelt said in a Stillwater Gazette article this week about residents taking their concerns to the Legislature.

“They (Metropolitan Council) have already said Lake Elmo needs to grow, and this seems to be in opposition to that,” Appelt said. “We have never been opposed to safety, but what do you need to have a safe airport?”

One might argue — as I’m arguing now — that one answer is not to build houses next to an airport.

But it’s too late for that solution. Sprawl is on the march in Lake Elmo, famous for its long-standing opposition to growth.

The city has thrown in the towel on preventing it, and farmers and other property owners are cashing in on the most profitable crop they’ll ever grow — houses.

“I have never seen a group so organized and so intelligent,” state Sen. Karin Housley, R-St Marys Point, told opponents of the plan when asked if she’d meet with the Metropolitan Airports Commission members who’ve advanced the plan in the face of their opposition. “I will help you with whatever you need help with.”

During a forum at South St. Paul’s Fleming Field, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association CEO Mark Baker listed congressional initiatives to halt a decline in the country’s pilot population.

What might be the solution? Time, perhaps.

Speaking last Saturday to a group of mostly-graying pilots, the head of the largest association representing general aviation (that is: non-commercial aviation) presented daunting statistics showing a continuing decline in the number of licensed pilots.

Mark Baker, a Minnesota native and CEO of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, said the pilot population has dropped 65 percent from the 1980s. He’s embracing proposals in Congress that would simplify medical certification reform, but that’s an area of more concern to older pilots rather than younger people.

That reality, coupled with the unstoppable march of suburban sprawl, is dooming small airports all over America to shopping malls and housing tracts.

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Greeneville-Greene County Municipal Airport (KGCY) Future Still Not Grounded

Greeneville Mayor W.T. Daniels, center, speaks Tuesday during a workshop regarding the Greeneville-Greene County Municipal Airport.

The Greene County Commission's continued involvement with the Greeneville-Greene County Municipal Airport remains up in the air.

Members of the Greeneville Board of Mayor and Aldermen, Greeneville-Greene County Airport Authority and ten members of the Greene County Commission gathered on Tuesday in the hopes of smoothing some of the turbulence caused by Greene County's possible departure from the airport.

The commission is set to decide the county's continued role at its May 16 meeting.

Tuesday's discussion stemmed from a Feb. 22 letter from Greeneville Mayor W.T. Daniels to Greene County Mayor David Crum.

Daniels' letter stated that the airport had insufficient funds to cover a legal judgment levied against it. In December, Chancellor Douglas T. Jenkins ruled that garnishments against the airport's monthly rental revenue would continue to pay a nearly $800,000 judgment, plus interest, awarded to Baker's Construction Services Inc.

Baker's previously filed a lawsuit alleging breach of contact on the part of the Airport Authority related to ongoing projects at the airport.

In his letter, Daniels presented the county with two options -- either partnering with the city to cover the judgment, with each entity paying $400,000, or allowing the town of Greeneville to pay the entire judgment and transferring all ownership to the city, which is already the fiscal agent for the airport.

"In my opinion, we're going to have to pay the debt off," Daniels said Tuesday. "We're going to have to get Baker's Construction off our back."

Daniels also said because the airport's revenue stream is being garnished, the airport will not have the funding it needs to operate.

"We have some issues at the airport and they definitely need to be addressed," Daniels said. "The clock's running."

The airport's revenue is around $284,000 annually, Daniels said. The facility's yearly expenditures are approximately $271,000, leaving a profit of about $13,000 per year.

Airport authority Chair Janet Malone said the garnishments, the largest of which started last fall, are attached to the rental of airport facilities, excluding its T-hangar, and fuel flow fees. The total monthly garnishment, she said, is around $14,000.

Commissioner Paul Burkey, who represents the commission on the airport authority, said he agrees with Daniels that the judgment needs to paid off. He said the county and town could co-sign on refinancing the airport's debt or each could come up with $400,000 to cover the judgment.
"We're not up against the wall on either of those choices as I see it, and you can figure out which one you like the best ," Burkey said. "My opinion is that the airport authority is a self-financing and, generally, revenue-positive enterprise. I think (the refinancing) makes more sense because it keeps us out of the check-writing business for the airport."

The authority discussed refinancing at its March meeting. Malone said $2.2 million in debt, which includes the judgment, could be refinanced. She said revenue generated from the T-hangar alone would be enough to pay the debt if it is refinanced on a 20-year schedule.

Malone said Tuesday it would be take 60 to 90 days to begin the refinancing process.

"Whether we had the issue between the city and the county as far as ownership and administration, it would be fiscally irresponsible for us not to refinance our existing debt," she said.

Ron Woods, attorney for the town of Greeneville, said that if the county wishes to opt out, the city and county would have to reach a comprehensive agreement regarding the airport's debts.

Greeneville Aldermen Keith Paxton and Sarah Webster, as well as Johnson, said they would like to see a paid, full-time manager brought on board to oversee airport finances and operations.

"I personally feel that the airport, a stable, successful airport, is a very critical part of the infrastructure for any future growth in all of Greene County," Webster said.

Commissioner John Waddle said a move by the county to discontinue its involvement would not absolve its debt responsibility, as the county has signed off on some of the airport's debt.

"I think this is a good investment for us, and I really think we need to stay in it," Waddle said.

Commissioner Tim White said he, too, wishes to continue involvement with the airport, as it is an economic recruitment tool.

Walter Johnson, who serves on the airport authority, said it is the "responsible thing" for the county to continue its involvement.

Burkey added that the future potential of the airport is strong.

"I think it's important for the future of Greene County to put a unified voice forward to say, 'This is an important facility that makes us attractive, more attractive than the hundreds of other municipalities and counties that are vying for economic development that we're in competition with,'" Burkey said.

Commissioner Dale Tucker questioned the value of the airport, but said it is time for the commission to make a decision.

"I feel like the majority of the commission does feel the airport is very much necessary, I really do," Tucker said. "I know it's necessary.

"The bottom line is this -- we have to decide in a couple of weeks whether or not we want to spend money to get this garnishment off the airport."

Commissioner Brad Peters said he would like to see the joint venture come to an end.

"I feel like as long as there's two parties involved, one is always going to weigh the other one down, no matter what," Peters said. "That's just the way joint ventures are. And whether it's the city running it or owning it, or the county, I would like to see one body take it and run with it and the other one shake their hand and say, 'Thanks for the work you've put in and good luck.'"

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