Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Delta starts flying to Rome from Minneapolis-St. Paul: Boeing 767 airplane will fly in both directions from June through August

Kathryn's Report:

Delta Air Lines has begun its seasonal nonstop service between Minneapolis-St. Paul and Rome on Wednesday.

The Atlanta-based carrier celebrated the latest addition to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport’s list of global destinations with preflight water arches and Italian fare. Delta is the dominant carrier at MSP, offering its customers the most long-haul destinations including Amsterdam, London, Paris and Tokyo-Narita.

Most Rome flights from the U.S. originate in New York but Delta’s route from Minneapolis may grab some travelers in the Midwest, said William S. Swelbar, a research engineer at MIT’s International Center for Air Transportation. “They see an opportunity to intercept some of the [Midwest feeder] traffic and to become an alternative” to the New York departure points, he said.

A Boeing 767 airplane will fly in both directions from June through August. The daily flight departs from MSP around 5:30 p.m. and arrives at Fiumicino — Leonardo da Vinci International Airport about nine hours and 40 minutes later. Return flights leave Rome daily around noon, landing in the Twin Cities nearly 11 hours later around 4 p.m.

Those who plan their vacations n advance can expect to pay roughly $1,200 to $1,700 for a round-trip ticket, according to a search on Delta’s reservation system.

Delta last week began new daily, nonstop service to Reykjavik, Iceland, putting it direct competition with Icelandair, which already flies the route. Delta will fly the route only during the summer months. Both airlines fly a Boeing 757 aircraft on the route and depart within a few hours of one another, but Delta significantly undercuts Icelandair on price on many of the days. Icelandair flies the nonstop route year-round, reducing its frequencies during the winter months.

Delta’s projected summer traffic numbers will lift MSP to the airline’s No. 2 hub after Atlanta, surpassing Detroit International Airport in terms of passenger volume, company executives said last month.


Gundersen to expand availability with second MedLink Air helicopter

Kathryn's Report:

To meet growing demands, Gundersen Health System has announced that beginning June 1 they will add a second MedLink Air helicopter on a six-month trial basis. In addition, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day, one of the helicopters will be stationed at the Sparta-McCoy Airport and one at the Decorah, Iowa, airport.

“Because of our high demand, we aren’t always able to respond when a request for a transport comes in. Adding the second helicopter will allow us to better respond to the needs in our communities,” Stephanie Hill, program director of Gundersen MedLink Air, said.

“Having our aircraft based outside La Crosse will help us to better cover our entire service area,” Hill continued. “This will give us greater reach and allow us to handle a greater volume of flights from our regional hospitals and accident scenes. In most cases it will also shorten transport time, especially from some of our remote locations. This should result in better patient outcomes for time-critical emergencies such as stroke and heart attack.”

The helicopters will be located at Gundersen in La Crosse from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. and only one will be in service. Gundersen will be using existing medical flight crew during the trial. A purchase decision will be made near the end of the trial period.

Original article can be found here:

US could license Norwegian Air to fly to Boston within weeks: Airline wants to launch low-cost service using its Irish-registered subsidiary

Kathryn's Report:

Washington could license Irish-based Norwegian Air International to fly to the US within weeks, paving the way for services connecting Cork and Shannon with Boston.

Norwegian Air wants to launch a low-cost transatlantic service connecting Europe with North America, using its Irish-registered and regulated subsidiary, but faces opposition from US unions and airlines.

Eamonn Brennan, chief executive of the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), said yesterday that he believed the US department of transportation would grant Norwegian a foreign carrier’s permit within weeks, which would allow the airline to begin planned flights from Cork and Shannon airports to Boston.

The department recently announced that it had “tentatively” agreed to give Norwegian its permit, but sought final submissions from interested parties before making a final decision.

Claims by US unions and rival airlines that Norwegian is using the Republic as a flag of convenience to hire crew on low wages have delayed a department of transportation decision on the permit by two years.

Category one

Mr. Brennan pointed out that the US justice department had already said that there was no legal basis for denying Norwegian its permit. He added that the country’s Federal Aviation Administration classes the Republic’s airline safety regime as category one, meaning it meets the highest standards.

EU officials will shortly meet with federal government representatives in Washington to press the airline’s case. As Norwegian Air International is registered in the Republic and employs a substantial number of people at its Dublin Airport base, it should be entitled to the permit under EU-US aviation treaties.

The IAA has dismissed the flag of convenience claims as untrue in two submissions to the department of transportation. Speaking as the International Air Transport Association opened its annual conference in Dublin, Mr Brennan said that Norwegian’s opponents chiefly feared competition.

“This is a new business model; they are trying to bring the Ryanair approach to long-haul,” he said. “They are encountering huge opposition to this change from airlines, supported by labour unions, in the US.

“Norwegian is regulated, it will be flying brand new American-made 787s and it is going to run a very legitimate operation.”

The IAA is responsible for regulating Norwegian Air International as it is registered in the Republic. It also oversees Ryanair, one of the world’s biggest airlines, with a fleet of 350 craft.

Aer Lingus chief executive, Stephen Kavanagh, also voiced his support for Norwegian’s bid, even though both airlines are set to be rivals if the Scandinavian-owned group gets its US permit.

He said that the Irish airline was already the lowest cost operator on the Atlantic, and added that he would question the motives of some of those opposing Norwegian’s permit.

Original article can be found here:

Gambler accused of insider trading wants to fly on his private jet

Kathryn's Report:

The poor thing might have to fly first class.

Billy Walters, a professional gambler accused of providing pro golfer Phil Mickelson nonpublic info on publicly traded dairy conglomerate Dean Foods, asked two Manhattan federal judges to grant him unfettered access to his private jet as he awaits trial.

Walters, who pleaded not guilty Wednesday to insider trading charges, originally got his ritzy wish — but wound up with some travel restrictions in a separate hearing shortly thereafter.

In that hearing, Judge P. Kevin Castel decided that pretrial services, which will supervise Waltes while he’s out on bail, can determine whether to let the mega-millionaire use his own airliner.

Castel also limited Walters' travels to parts of New York and California, and required he give authorities notice before traveling to a handful of other states for business.

Lawyers for Walters, who's out on a $25 million personal recognizance bond backed by $10 million in cash or property, had argued in favor of private jet access by claiming his businesses require extensive cross-country travel.

Prosecutor Brooke E. Cucinella countered Walters — who's worth some $200 million — can easily catch commercial planes, minimizing his flight risk.

"He can fly first class," a seemingly exasperated Cucinella told Castel, explaining prosecutors are not asking for burdensome restrictions.

In May, Thomas C. Davis, Dean Foods' former chairman, pled guilty to slipping Walters secret intel in exchange for money. Mickelson agreed last month to forfeit $1 million that he allegedly got from one of Walters’ insider tips.

Original article can be found here:

Allegiant Airbus A320-200, N228NV, Flight G4-871, incident occurred June 01, 2016 (and) Flight G4-844 incident occurred June 02, 2016; St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (KPIE), Pinellas County, Florida

Kathryn's Report: 

ST. PETERSBURG — An Allegiant Air flight that made an emergency landing shortly after takeoff Thursday at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport is the same plane that made an emergency landing at the same airport less than 24 hours earlier.

"Our mechanics and operations team are currently conducting a thorough review and report of the incidents, but we are not able to confirm the root cause at this time," Allegiant said in an email that confirmed that the same plane was involved in both incidents.

Allegiant would not say if the aircraft, an Airbus 320 that was manufactured in 1997, suffered the same mechanical problem on both days. But firefighters at the airport said in a radio transmission that it was the same mechanical issue both days.

Flight 844 to New Windsor, N.Y., departed the airport at 7:27 a.m. Thursday, the company said in statement. At 7:58 a.m., the crew discovered an unspecified mechanical problem and decided to return to the airport, according to the airline.

About 8:30 a.m., the flight tracking website FlightAware showed the plane circling over the Gulf of Mexico.

More than a dozen emergency vehicles were in position at the north end of the runway awaiting the plane's arrival. The plane appeared to land without any problems and two vehicles sped toward it as it moved toward the south end of the runway.

The plane turned and taxied under its own power to the airport terminal. Shortly afterward, ambulances and fire trucks left the scene.

The plane landed shortly before 9 a.m. It was carrying 165 passengers and six crew members, according to Allegiant.

The same plane arriving from Moline, Ill., made the emergency landing on Wednesday at 12:19 p.m. at St. Pete-Clearwater, its scheduled destination. The airline also did not identify the mechanical issue on that flight.

Within half an hour after landing, passengers on the Thursday were sent directly to another plane for boarding, a Pinellas County Sheriff's deputy told news crews at the scene.

Annamaria Accetta of Tampa had family aboard and learned of the problem while scrolling through Facebook during a break at work. She couldn't reach Allegiant so she drove to the airport.

When the plane landed, Accetta talked to her 11-year-old son and 70-year-old mother on the phone for about five minutes. She told Allegiant representatives there she wanted to see her son, Tommas, who was crying hysterically, she said. But the airline didn't permit her to see him before he boarded the other plane, she said.

"I think I'm about to have a heart attack," Accetta said at the airport. "I'm still shaking."

Her friend, Melinda Kebreau, went with Accetta to the airport Thursday.

"She has every right and every other customer had every right to be very nervous about their loved ones on the plane," Kebreau of Tampa said. "To let her not even see her 11-year-old who is frantic back there somewhere crying. He just wants his mother."

In a statement released about 9:15 a.m., Allegiant said, "The safety of our passengers and crew is our highest priority, and our primary focus is accommodating any immediate needs they may have. Our mechanics will do a thorough investigation of the aircraft to diagnosis and repair the issue."

Allegiant is under review by the Federal Aviation Administration after a series of issues in the last year with maintenance and safety.

Another Allegiant flight made an emergency landing at the local airport on Wednesday, according to a NewsChannel 8 report.

In 2015, airport records show, Allegiant carried about 95 percent of St. Pete-Clearwater's 1.6 million passengers.

Original article can be found here:

An Allegiant Air flight from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport lands safely, with emergency personnel close by, after turning around after experiencing a mechanical issue shortly after takeoff on Thursday. Flight 844 to Stewart International Airport departed the airport at 7:27 a.m., the company said in statement.

The flight tracking website FlightAware showed the plane circling over the Gulf of Mexico and then returning for an emergency landing. 

STEWART AIRPORT - Passengers arriving on the continuation of Allegiant Air Flight 844 Thursday told a harrowing tale of circling the St. Petersburg-Clearwater Airport in Florida for about 90 minutes while the crew burned off fuel to prepare for an emergency landing.

Lisa Cozzolino of New Paltz, who was traveling with her sister, Carrie Wilson of Center Valley, Pa., said they were about 30 minutes into the flight when the pilot came on the PA system and told them the plane was experiencing a hydraulic problem and they would have to get the fuel level down to what he called an acceptable level before they could bring the plane down.
"I was nervous the whole time," Cozzolino said. "I was taking tranquilizers."

Wilson said they could see fire trucks on the ground below as they finally returned to St. Petersburg-Clearwater. "I said 'that's not good,' " Wilson said.

Derrick Pierce, a former Middletown resident who was returning to visit family, was on the plane with his 2-year-old son, Dalton. He managed to keep Dalton calm as the plane kept circling over land and water. Finally, Pierce said, the plane landed.

"I was so happy to be back on the ground." he said.

The plane had taken off about 7:30 a.m. It was back on the ground shortly after 9 a.m. The 165 passengers got on a different plane about an hour and a half later and they landed at Stewart International Airport about 1:15 p.m.

A crowd of worried relatives and friends was waiting.

"I was so nervous," said Cynthia Zeno of Montgomery, who was waiting anxiously for a group of relatives to arrive on the plane.

"I was scared," said Haddy Sanchez, Zeno's sister-in-law, who was on the plane. "I was dizzy the whole time."

“The safety of our passengers and crew is our highest priority,” Allegiant said ina statement. “Our mechanics will do a thorough investigation of the aircraft to diagnose and repair the issue.”


ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) - Passengers on an Allegiant Airlines flight from Moline, Illinois to St. Pete-Clearwater airport did not expect their plane would be emergency-landed on Wednesday - but it was.

Flight 871 was towed into the gate after making an emergency landing around 12:30 p.m.

Around 140 people were onboard when the plane had a mechanical issue. 

Allegiant spokeswoman Jessica Wheeler told FOX 13 News St. Pete-Clearwater was already the nearest airport when pilots had to land the plane.

Airport crews took extra precautions - including dispatching local fire engines to the runway - as an extra precaution for the emergency landing.

"Our mechanics are doing a full investigation and inspection to diagnose and repair the issue," Allegiant Airlines said in a statement.

The airline has had a series of mechanical issues and emergency landings in the past year. WESH-TV reports a Monday flight from Orlando to North Carolina was forced to turn back to the airport because of a number of issues, including electrical problems.

“I was assuming, as soon as I heard that they had those issues, that my flight would have been safer,” said Allegiant passenger Tina Gatt at St. Pete-Clearwater airport on Wednesday. “But hearing the plane that landed just before us kind of does concern me.” 

The FAA started a review of the airline in April – two years ahead of schedule – because of the ongoing flight issues. The report could be released as early as next month. 

The problems used some delays while crews found another plane for an outbound flight. Flight 890, a St. Petersburg to Fort Wayne, Indiana flight scheduled to depart before 2 pm was delayed by several hours. Flight 891, a Fort Wayne to St. Petersburg flight scheduled to arrive tonight will also be delayed.

Story and video:

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – An Allegiant Air plane arriving at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport made an emergency landing Wednesday.

Flight 871 traveled from Moline, IL to Pinellas County. It landed at 12:19 p.m., an Allegiant spokesperson said. The spokesperson said the emergency landing was made because of a mechanical issue.

“The aircraft landed safely and was towed to the gate where passengers disembarked the aircraft,” the spokesperson said. “The safety of our passengers and crew is our highest priority, and we are working to ensure any immediate passenger and crew needs are accommodated.”

Allegiant is investigating and inspecting the plane to repair the problem, officials said.

Original article can be found here:

An Allegiant Air flight made an emergency landing at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport Wednesday after suffering a mechanical problem, according to WFLA-Ch. 8.

An Allegiant spokesperson confirmed for the station that Flight 871 from Moline, Ill., made the emergency landing at the Pinellas County airport, its scheduled destination, at 12:19 p.m. The airline apparently did not identify the nature of the mechanical issue that caused the emergency nor say how many passengers and crew were aboard.

The airline told WFLA that the plane landed safety and that it is investigating the mechanical problem.

Allegiant officials did not respond to requests for comment.

The Las Vegas headquartered airline has encountered a series of emergency landings and other maintenance issues during the last year and has been accused by its pilots' union of skimping on safety. The airline denies doing so and says Allegiant is one of the safest airlines in the nation.

The airline carries about 95 percent of the passenger traffic at the St. Pete-Clearwater airport, which reported a record 1.6 million passengers in 2015.


Aeronca 7AC Champion, N83547: Accident occurred June 01, 2016 at New Garden Airport (N57), Toughkenamon, Chester County, Pennsylvania

National Transportation Safety Board - Aviation Accident Preliminary Report:

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Philadelphia FSDO-17

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA200
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, June 01, 2016 in Toughkenamon, PA
Aircraft: AERONCA 7AC, registration: N83547
Injuries: 2 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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On June 1, 2016, about 0900 eastern daylight time, an Aeronca 7AC, N83547, was substantially damaged after impacting an aircraft hangar following a total loss of engine power during a go-around at New Garden Airport (N57), Toughkenamon, Pennsylvania. The flight instructor and a student pilot received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local instructional flight operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to the student pilot, they were practicing takeoffs and landings on the grass parallel to runway 6, for about 1 hour when on the downwind leg of the traffic pattern, the flight instructor directed him to demonstrate a simulated engine failure The student pilot initiated a simulated forced landing which included a steep turn to the base and then final legs of the traffic pattern. The airplane was about one-quarter of the way down the runway, still over the grass, when he initiated go-around. The flight instructor then told him to move over to the center of the paved runway. At this point the engine sputtered and then lost power. The flight instructor took over the flight controls and made a left turn about 100 feet above the ground with the intent of flying over a hanger. The student pilot added that the engine "was now completely off."

According to the flight instructor, he and the student pilot were flying for about 30 minutes when he initiated a simulated engine out procedure. The student pilot maneuvered the airplane for the grass parallel to the runway, and commenced a go-around when the airplane was about 25 feet above the ground. The airplane was approximately 200 feet above the ground when the engine quit, momentarily sputtered, and then went silent. He recalled checking the magnetos, carburetor heat and fuel lever, which all appeared to be in proper position.

The flight instructor considered landing options, and noted that a forward trajectory had more dangers and obstacles, such as construction traffic, vehicles, a shallow ravine, electric wires and a busy road. He took the controls from the student pilot and turned left 90 degrees, positioning the airplane in a trajectory over a hangar for a touchdown and rollout on the grass in an uphill direction to dissipate speed and energy. As the turn progressed, the flight instructor realized that they would most likely not clear the top of the hangar and that would be a worse situation. At that point the airplane was losing altitude rapidly and heading toward the hangar door. He used the last movement of the stick control to place the airplane into a 45-degree nose up position to have the engine penetrate the metal door of the hangar before the fuselage.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the airplane came to rest upright inside the hangar after penetrating the hangar wall. The fabric covering of the airplane displayed multiple tears and punctures, the left main landing gear was displaced aft and was collapsed against the bottom of the fuselage, and the right main landing gear was displaced forward and collapsed next to the right side of the fuselage. Both the left and right wing spars were broken and the wings had folded aft just outboard of their mounting locations at the breaks in the spars. The horizontal stabilizers, elevators, vertical stabilizer, and rudder, displayed crush and compression damage. Control continuity was established from the flight control surfaces to the rudder pedals, and control sticks in the cockpit. The front of the propeller spinner was crushed. One propeller blade was bent back under the engine, and the other propeller blade was straight. Neither propeller blade showed any evidence of S-bending, leading edge gouging, or chordwise scratching. The wreckage was retained for further examination.

According to FAA and pilot records, the flight instructor held an airline transport pilot certificate with ratings for airplane multiengine land, and rotorcraft-helicopter, with commercial privileges for airplane single-engine land, and instrument helicopter, and a type rating for the BH-206. He also held a flight instructor certificate with ratings for airplane single and multiengine, instrument airplane, and rotorcraft-helicopter. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on August 12, 2014. He reported that he had accrued approximately 10,000 total hours of flight experience, 200 hours of which were in the accident airplane make and model.

According to FAA and pilot records, the student pilot held a student pilot certificate which was issued on December 15, 2015. He reported that he had accrued 279 total hours of flight experience, 180 of which were in the accident airplane make and model.

According to FAA and airplane maintenance records, the airplane was manufactured in 1946. The airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on March 28, 2015. At the time of the inspection, the airplane had accrued approximately 6,410 total hours of operation.

NEW GARDEN >> A 1940s-era airplane crashed after losing altitude at New Garden Flying Field Wednesday morning, colliding with a hangar and injuring two men inside the aircraft.

The accident occurred at 8:58 a.m. under ideal flying conditions. The two men inside the two-seater aircraft, a 68-year-old male and a 70-year-old male, were transported to Christiana Hospital in Stanton, De., according to police. Both are in stable condition with non-life threatening injuries. Their names are not being released until their families are notified.

A preliminary investigation revealed that the aircraft, a 1940’s Aeronca Champ left the runway heading in a northeasterly direction when it lost power and attempted to return to the airfield. Upon attempting the turn, the aircraft collided on the east side of a hanger penetrating into the structure where it came to rest. No persons were present inside and minimal property damage occurred to objects within the hanger. The hanger structure has suffered damage and is being evaluated by township engineers.

John Martin, manager of New Garden Flying Field, was unavailable for comment. Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration were called to the scene.

Avondale Fire and Ambulance Company and Medic 94 responded to New Garden Flying Field, located at 1235 Newark Road.

Aeronca became the first company to build a commercially successful general aviation aircraft. When production ended in 1951, Aeronca had sold 17,408 aircraft in 55 models. In 1945, following the end of World War II, Aeronca returned to civilian production with two new models, the 7AC Champ and the 11AC Chief. While the Champ shared its tandem seating arrangement with the prewar tandem trainer—and the Chief shared its name and seating arrangement with the prewar Chief designs—both were new designs, and very similar to each other.


Two senior citizens suffered minor injuries Wednesday morning when a small vintage plane crashed at a Chester County airport. 

The two-seater 1940s Aeronca Champ plane left the runway at the New Garden Airport in New Garden Township just before 9 a.m., and then lost altitude and crashed moments later, according to a news release from New Garden Police.

Police and medics responded to the scene, where SkyForce10 captured images of a hole through the wall of a hangar where the plane crashed.

Authorities said two men inside the plane, ages 68 and 70, sustained minor injuries in the crash and went to a nearby hospital for treatment.

The plane lost power after takeoff and was trying to return to the airfield when it collided with the hangar, crashing clear through the wall. Authorities said there was minimal damage inside the hangar and that no one was in it at the time of the crash. The hangar itself suffered more severe damage, and engineers are evaluating it for repairs.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.

Story and video: 

NEW GARDEN TWP., Pa. (WPVI) -- Two people are recovering after a mishap involving a small plane in Chester County.

It happened before 9 a.m. Wednesday at the New Garden Airport on Newark Road in New Garden Township.

New Garden Police tell Action News a couple was trying to take off in a 1940s-era Aeronca Champ two-seat aircraft when the plane lost power and struck a hangar.

Police say the plane went into the hangar, passing between two other parked planes before coming to rest inside the structure.

Neither of the other planes was damaged, and no one inside the hangar was hurt.

Video from Chopper 6 HD showed a large, gaping hole in one side of the hangar.

The pilot and a passenger were taken to Christiana Hospital to be evaluated for injuries described as minor.

Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident.

Story and video:

American Legend AL3, MHOC LLC, N156WB: Accident occurred May 31, 2016 in Elberta, Baldwin County, Alabama

Kathryn's Report:


FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Birmingham FSDO-09

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA199
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, May 31, 2016 in Elberta, AL
Aircraft: AMERICAN LEGEND AIRCRAFT CO AL3, registration: N156WB
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On May 31, 2016, about 1045 eastern daylight time, an American Legend Aircraft Company AL3, N156WB, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain, after it experienced a total loss engine power during the initial climb after takeoff from Perdido Winds Airpark (AL08), Elberta, Alabama. The sport pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight that originated from Ferguson Airport (82J), Pensacola, Florida. The airplane was registered to and operated by MHOC LLC, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The pilot was a mechanic for the company that owned the light-sport airplane. The pilot/mechanic reported that the airplane was due for a condition inspection, and he wanted to "warm the airplane up" before starting the inspection. He arrived at 82J and fueled the airplane with 17 gallons of fuel around 1000. The airplane last flew on May 7, and he waited a period of time before sumping the fuel tanks. He completed the preflight inspection, sumped the fuel tanks, and took off for AL08.

The pilot made one full-stop landing at AL08, taxied back and departed runway 35 for two touch-and-go landings. After the last touch-and-go landing, he made a teardrop turn and planned to land on runway 17. During his slight right climbing turn, the engine "just quit." The airplane was approximately 200 feet above the ground, and he attempted to turn back to the airport; however, the airplane subsequently impacted trees about 50 feet short of the runway. The pilot observed fuel "pouring out" and shut off the electrical system prior to exiting the airplane.

The airplane, which was equipped with a Continental Motors Inc., O-200-D series, 100-horspower engine, was retained for further examination.

XCOR lays off several employees

Kathryn's Report:

Midland-headquartered XCOR Aerospace has laid off several members of its workforce, according to several sources, including XCOR, ahead of the release of a formal announcement.

XCOR Chief Operating Officer Randy Baker told the Reporter-Telegram in an email Tuesday, “I can confirm that a number of XCOR employees were laid off last Friday from both the Mojave location and the Midland location.” Baker said the company would not disclose the number of employees nor the positions that were eliminated.

Space industry blog Parabolic Arc, which broke the story Sunday, reported that about 25 employees were laid off. The Reporter-Telegram reported in January that XCOR had 63 employees.

Parabolic Arc also reported that most layoffs were to its Lynx suborbital space plane team. The Lynx is a reusable horizontal-takeoff spacecraft under development. XCOR’s intent was to launch the Lynx from Midland International Air & Space Port, which received its FAA spaceport license in September 2014.

Baker said the company will shift focus to “the final development of the revolutionary liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen (LH2) program.”

“This innovative propulsion technology has applications to upper stage liquid hydrogen capabilities and further underscores the partnership between XCOR and ULA, USA’s premier launch services provider that was announced March 9 this year,” he said.

Baker said the Lynx program “remains an important part of the company’s future.”

“XCOR’s current focus on engine technologies was based on an assessment of the best use of resources for both the short-term and the longer-term objectives of the company,” he said.

XCOR splits development operations between Midland and Mojave, California. XCOR agreed to move its headquarters from Mojave to Midland in 2012 after agreeing to a $10 million incentive deal with Midland Development Corp., an economic development organization funded by the type 4A quarter-cent sales tax.

MDC agreed to pay $2 million in relocation costs, $3 million for costs and expenses associated with its property and $5 million for meeting its payroll requirements, according to the original agreement.

MDC board Chairman Brent Hilliard told the Reporter-Telegram on Tuesday via email that the organization has paid out $9 million dollars to XCOR and $270,000 in lease payments to the city of Midland.

XCOR is headquartered at Hangar A at Midland International. The space company and MDC changed their development agreement earlier this year after XCOR indicated that it didn’t need the entire space it was leasing.

“Out of the $10 million, the original development agreement provided for the equivalent of $1 million of payments to cover the hangar lease where XCOR is currently operating,” Hilliard said. “That amount was amended earlier this year, and now XCOR is paying the MDC $6,000 per month in lease payments for the portion of the hangar they are currently occupying. In other words, the MDC has funded $270,000 of lease payments out of its original commitment to fund $1 million of lease payments making the total amount funded to date equal $9.27 million.”

The unused portion of Hangar A is available for other interested entities to lease.

“The restructuring of the hangar requirements followed an assessment of our needs going forward and allowed the people of Midland an opportunity to see even greater reward for their investment by providing facilities that can be leased to third parties to the benefit of Midland,”  Baker said.

As part of the incentive deal, XCOR is obligated to create jobs at its property at Midland International and pay annual salaries and wages of at least $12 million within six years of relocating to Midland.

Baker said all employees in Midland are full-time and that they spend all of their time in Midland, “apart from occasional short-term visits (a day or two) to Mojave for technical or other meetings (generally by executives).”
Neither Baker nor Hilliard were concerned that XCOR would not be able to meet its payroll obligation, though Hilliard said, “The agreement has repayment claw backs for non-compliance.”

Baker said the company has no plans to leave Midland.

“The support of MDC and the people of Midland has been fantastic and the company intends to remain at Midland International Air & Space Port,” he said. “Furthermore, XCOR fully expects to relocate the majority of the remainder of its Mojave employees to Midland over the course of this year.”

“Although XCOR will not be flying the Lynx from Midland in the near future, the spaceport designation remains important to the city and the industry, as it remains the first primary commercial service airport to achieve a spaceport designation,” Baker said. “Midland is the model upon which all future spaceports will be based. XCOR looks forward to flying from Midland when the Lynx project is completed.”

Hilliard said MDC does not think XCOR’s actions will affect the company’s spaceport application.

“The commercial space launch license as granted by the FAA stays in affect and can be adapted to other vehicles as appropriate,” he said.

Original article can be found here:

Cessna 210E Centurion, N4970U, T-Wing LLC: Incident occurred May 31, 2016 at Bishop International Airport (KFNT), Flint, Genesee County, Michigan

Kathryn's Report:

Date: 31-MAY-16
Time: 21:45:00Z
Regis#: N4970U
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 210
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Minor
Activity: Instruction
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA East Michigan FSDO-23
State: Michigan



FLINT (WJRT) - (05/31/16) - A student pilot got some real life training in making an emergency landing Tuesday evening and luckily everyone is OK.

It happened at Flint's Bishop International Airport shortly after 5:30 p.m.

According to an airport spokesperson, two people from Alma were on board when they realized they were having an issue.

While trying to get to the ground safely, the landing gear malfunctioned too causing the wheels to collapse.

As a result, the plane came in on its belly.

The runway was shutdown, but we're told it didn't impact any other flights.

FAA records online show the plane is a 6-seat Cessna 210E, registered to an owner in St. Johns.


Piper PA-34-200T, Cirrus Aviation Inc., N4396X: Incident occurred May 31, 2016 in Sarasota, Florida

Kathryn's Report:

Date: 31-MAY-16
Time: 16:00:00Z
Regis#: N4396X
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA34
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
FAA Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Miami FSDO-19
State: Florida



Sisler Cygnet SF-2A, N81DK: Accident occurred May 31, 2016 in Zanesville, Muskingum County, Ohio

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Docket And Docket Items  -  National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary  -  National Transportation Safety Board:

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Columbus FSDO-07

NTSB Identification: GAA16CA274
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, May 31, 2016 in Zanesville, OH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/31/2016
Aircraft: KOONS DONALD H CYGNET, registration: N81DK
Injuries: 2 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 roll in crosswind conditions the airplane veered off the runway to the left. The pilot further reported that in order to avoid hitting a drainage ditch he "braked too hard" and subsequently the airplane nosed over. 

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the firewall. 

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 directional control during the landing roll, which resulted in a runway excursion, and a nose over.

Diamond DA40 NG, CTC Aviation, N154BY: Incidents occurred April 20, 2017 (and) May 31, 2016 near Phoenix Goodyear Airport (KGYR), Goodyear, Maricopa County, Arizona

CTC Aviation Leasing (US) Inc:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office;  Scottsdale, Arizona

GOODYEAR, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -  A small plane went down in a field in the area of MC85 and Sarival Avenue in Goodyear, not far from Goodyear Airport, Thursday morning.

The pilot, the only person aboard, was not injured.

The plane had just taken off from Phoenix Goodyear Airport when something went wrong.

The pilot was able to put the plane down in a nearby field and walk away unhurt. The Goodyear Fire Department tweeted that he refused medical treatment.

"A single-engine Diamond DA 40 crashed under unknown circumstances shortly after departing from Runway 21 at Goodyear," Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said in an email response to our inquiry.

The Goodyear Fire Department also tweeted that fuel was leaking from the downed plane, but said there was no fire.

It's possible that the plane clipped a power line as it went down, knocking out power to a few area residents.

Bruce Haffner was over the scene in the Penguin Air & Plumbing New Chopper. His video showed firefighters walking around the plane, which is registered to a flight school called CTC Aviation.

The FAA is en route to investigate the incident.

The Diamond DA40 is a four-seat aircraft with fixed tricycle landing gear and a T-tail.

According to a 2011 analysis by Aviation Consumer magazine, the Diamond DA40 has the lowest fatal accident rate in U.S. general aviation.

"Its overall and fatal accident rates are one-eighth that of the general aviation fleet ...," according to Wikipedia.

Phoenix Goodyear Airport is a general aviation reliever airport for Sky Harbor International Airport. According to its website, GYR has "one of the best general aviation runways in the country."

The U.S. Navy built and ran the airport until 1968, when the City of Phoenix bought it and took over operations.

Original article and video can be found here:


Date:  31-MAY-16
Time:  20:08:00Z
Regis#:  N154BY
Aircraft Make:  DIAMOND
Aircraft Model:  DA40
Event Type:  Incident
Highest Injury:  None
Damage:  Minor
Activity:  Instruction
Flight Phase:  LANDING (LDG)
State:  Arizona

GOODYEAR, AZ - Authorities are responding after a plane landed in an empty lot near the Goodyear airport on Tuesday.

Images from Air15 showed the plane in a desert area southwest of the airport, near S. Sarival Avenue and MC 85.

Goodyear firefighters said the plane landed safely and the two pilots onboard were not injured.

Story and video:

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Authorities say a small plane from a flight school had to make an emergency landing in a field south of Phoenix Goodyear Airport.

Goodyear Fire Department officials said a crew responded to the scene Tuesday afternoon after reports of a plane down near 163rd Avenue and Ocotillo Road.

They said the two pilots aboard the plane weren’t injured. Their names and ages weren’t immediately released, but authorities said the plane was affiliated with BTC flight school.

There’s no immediate word on why the aircraft had to make the emergency landing.

GOODYEAR, AZ (KPHO/KTVK) -  A small plane landed in a field near 163rd Avenue and Ocotillo Road Tuesday afternoon.

Crews from the Goodyear Fire Department responded to the scene, calling it out as an Alert 2.

Firefighters say the aircraft landed safely just south of an airport.

Neither pilot was hurt.