Sunday, July 3, 2016

Aeronca 11AC, N86078; fatal accident occurred July 03, 2016 near William "Tiny" Zehnder Field Airport (66G), Frankenmuth, Saginaw County, Michigan -Kathryn's Report

Eugene L. Root: http://registry.faa.gov/N86078

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Grand Rapids FSDO-09

NTSB Identification: CEN16FA240 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, July 03, 2016 in Frankenmuth, MI
Aircraft: AERONCA 11AC, registration: N86078
Injuries: 2 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 July 3, 2016, about 1720 eastern daylight time, an Aeronca Chief AC11, airplane, N86078, impacted terrain near Frankenmuth, Michigan. The private rated pilot and passenger were fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal fight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and the airplane was not on a flight plan. The local flight was originating from the William 'Tiny' Zehnder Field Airport (66G), Frankenmuth, Michigan, at the time of the accident.

Several witness reported seeing the airplane earlier. One witness said the wind was calm, and the pilot was doing "touch-n-goes"; departing to the east and then landing to the west. The witness added that they heard the crash and saw smoke. 

The on-site examination of the wreckage revealed the airplane impacted about a quarter mile, east of the 66G airport. A post-crash fire consumed much of the airplane. 

After the initial on-site documentation of the wreckage, the airplane's engine was recovered to a secure facility for further examination.

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





FRANKENMUTH, MI — Police have identified one of the victims who died in a plane crash that happened in Frankenmuth on July 3.

Police, firefighters and paramedics responded at about 5:22 p.m. on Sunday to the William "Tiny" Zehnder Air Field for the report of a plane crash, according to a press release from Frankenmuth Police Department.


Officers who arrived on the scene found the aircraft completely engulfed in flames, according to police Chief Don Mawer.


The pilot of the aircraft was Eugene Root, 55, of Millington. Root's 9-year-old grandson, also of Millington, was also killed in the crash.


Witnesses said the pilot had kept the aircraft at the air field and was holding a birthday get together at his hanger.


Witnesses also said that the pilot had been performing a maneuver described as "touch and goes," and last observed the aircraft banking right, before losing sight of the aircraft and hearing the impact.


The William "Tiny" Zehnder Air Field is a privately-owned airport run by Frankenmuth Airport Inc. that features a 2530-foot-long turf runway marked by yellow cones.

This investigation has now been turned over to the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board, Mawer said.

Story and video:   http://www.mlive.com


A small plane crashed Sunday evening in a field near Frankenmuth, killing two people, the FAA said.

Police responded to an emergency call just before 5:30 p.m. They came upon wreckage near the Curtis Road/Block Road intersection, southeast of Frankenmuth.

A post Monday on the Frankenmuth Police Department Facebook page identified the two victims as Eugene Root, 55, of Millington, and his 9-year-old grandson, who is also from Millington.

Police said Root, the pilot, was holding a “birthday get together” at his hangar at “Tiny Zehnder Air Field.”

“Witnesses stated that the pilot had been performing a maneuver described as ‘touch and goes,’ police said in a statement. “Witnesses last observed the aircraft banking right, before losing sight of the aircraft, and hearing the impact.”

Roland Herwig, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said the plane involved in the crash was a Piper PA 22, described as a “general aviation small airplane.”

The FAA registry indicates the “fixed wing single-engine plane” is based at William “Tiny” Zehnder Field, which is close to the crash site.

Original article can be found here: http://www.detroitnews.com







FRANKENMUTH TOWNSHIP — A plane crash in Frankenmuth Township has left two dead, according to the Frankenmuth Police Department.

The crash happened around 6:00 p.m. in a field by Curtis Road near Block Road, near the Tiny Zehnder Airfield located along South Block Road in Frankenmuth Township.

The Frankenmuth Police Department says that the 55-year-old pilot, Eugene Root of Millington, was killed in the crash.

Also killed was Root's 9-year-old grandson. The grandson's name was not released.

Police say Root kept his plane at the airfield and was having a birthday party. Police were told Root was performing a maneuver called the "touch and goes" when the crash took place.

The FAA and the NTSB are both now handling the investigation.

Story and video:   http://nbc25news.com 

Maule M-4-210, N4745T: Incident occurred May 29, 2016 - While taxiing the right main gear leg separated at the mounting flange, gear folded and right wing struck the ground with a propeller strike











AIRCRAFT:   1964 Maule M-4-210  SN# 1015  N4745T

ENGINE:        Continental IO-360A5B  SN# 20117-R          

PROPELLER: McCauley D2A34C67-NP  SN# 758280

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

ENGINE:   1314.5 TT since factory rebuild on 5/23/1978

21.7 since overhauled cylinders on 2/4/2016

PROPELLER: 597.47 SMOH   TT unknown   

AIRFRAME:      2740.9  NOTE: airframe log starts 10/21/1982 @ 1426.38, prior logs lost                     

OTHER EQUIPMENT: Apollo SL15, GNX-80, JPI 701-830

DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT:  While taxiing on 5/29/2016 the right main gear leg separated at the mounting flange, gear folded and right wing struck the ground with a propeller strike.    

DESCRIPTION OF DAMAGES: Propeller Strike, engine stoppage, right gear mounting flange broken at fuselage, lower fuselage fabric punctured, antenna pulled away,                       

right wing lift strut damaged, right wing buckled with skins wrinkled, wing tip damaged, aileron damaged.    

LOCATION OF AIRCRAFT:     Hicks Airport in Fort Worth, TX  

REMARKS: Adjuster has logs and records   

Read more here:  http://www.avclaims.com/N4745T.htm

Alaska to Louisiana: father-son duo reunited with dream plane

Kathryn's Report: http://www.kathrynsreport.com

Major Monty Harper always dreamed about building one of these rare kit planes with his children. 



SULPHUR, LA (KPLC) -

David Harper, the assistant principal at Elton Elementary school, thought a field trip to the Southland Field Airport was just going to be another day with his students. 

That is, until he saw a Long-Ez in the corner of the hangar. 

Harper was born and raised in Eagle River Alaska. His father was a combat pilot in the U.S. Air Force for 22 years.

He was, of course, a plane enthusiast and had a favorite plane called the Long-Ez. 

Major Monty Harper always dreamed about building one of these rare kit planes with his children. David fondly recalls the days when his father would rush them out onto the deck to watch a Long-Ez pass over their house. 

Although they had all of the plans and knew every detail about the plane, Monty and David would never get to build one. 

Later on 7News Nightcast, KPLC's Kaitlin Rust has the full story of what that fateful trip to the Southland Field Airport meant for Monty and David.

Story and video:  http://www.ksla.com

Cessna Ector 305A, East Moriches Aerial Advertising Ltd., N12633; incident occurred July 03, 2016 at Brookhaven Airport (KHWV), Shirley, Suffolk County, New York -Kathryn's Report

EAST MORICHES AERIAL ADVERTISING LTD:   http://registry.faa.gov/N12633

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Farmingdale FSDO-11

Date: 03-JUL-16
Time: 16:50:00Z
Regis#: N12633
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 305
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: SHIRLEY
State: New York


AIRCRAFT ON LANDING, GEAR COLLAPSED, SHIRLEY, NEW YORK.

The landing gear of a single-engine airplane collapsed while coming in to Brookhaven Calabro Airport on Sunday afternoon, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said.

The FAA will investigate the cause of the rough landing, spokesman Jim Peters said. A single person was aboard the plane, he said. The pilot walked away from the aircraft after the landing and was not hurt, according to the Mastic Fire Department.

Suffolk police said the 911 call came in at 12:51 p.m.

The vintage plane came to rest on its belly, with its right wing on the ground.

The aircraft is a Cessna 305C, Peters said. Aviation websites describe it as a military aircraft that flew for the first time in 1949 and that the Army retired in 1974. It was a liaison and observation plane, the websites said.

The airport is owned by the Town of Brookhaven.

Story and video:  http://www.newsday.com

Cessna 182M Skylane, N1642T: Accident occurred July 03, 2016 at Brian Ranch Airport (CL13), Palmdale,, Los Angeles County, California

http://registry.faa.gov/N1642T

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA El Segundo (Los Angeles) FSDO-23


NTSB Identification: GAA16CA356
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, July 03, 2016 in Llano, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/31/2016
Aircraft: CESSNA 182, registration: N1642T
Injuries: 4 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 reported that during takeoff from a private dirt airstrip with an air density altitude near 6,100 feet, the airplane became airborne in ground effect, but was not able to "build airspeed sufficient to pitch for Vy (best rate of climb)". The pilot further reported that the wind pushed the airplane over an orchard and he intentionally put the airplane into an aerodynamic stall prior to impacting terrain.

A post-impact fire ensued and the airplane was destroyed.

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

The pilot reported that during the takeoff roll he heard a "bang" which he initially assumed to be a rock hitting the fuselage, but later believed to be an engine failure. 

An examination of the postaccident photographs of the two-bladed propeller showed, approximately 1/3 of the outer portion of one propeller blade was snapped off across the cord perpendicular to the leading edge and the second propeller blade showed "S" bending, torsional twisting, and tip curl, which are all indications consistent with the engine producing power at the time of impact.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to attain an adequate airspeed and his intentional aerodynamic stall, which resulted in an impact with terrain and a post-impact fire.




LLANO, Calif. (KABC) -- A small plane carrying four people crashed while taking off in Llano on Sunday, according to officials.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said the crash was reported at Brian Ranch Airport, located at 34810 Largo Vista Rd., at about 1:35 p.m.

Deputies with the Palmdale sheriff's station said the plane was taking off when it got about 30 feet into the air and crashed back down onto the ground.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the aircraft, which was identified as a Cessna, hit a tree, crashed and then caught on fire.

According to the sheriff's department, the four adult passengers were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

Original article can be found here:   http://abc7.com

PALMDALE, Calif. - Federal aviation officials say no one was injured after a small aircraft with four people on board crashed north of Los Angeles.

The FAA says a Cessna went down Sunday at the Brian Ranch Airport in the unincorporated community of Llano, about 75 miles north of Los Angeles.

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said the plane crashed after striking a tree. The impact sparked a small fire, but the pilot and passengers were not seriously injured.

A Los Angeles County Fire Department dispatcher said no one required treatment at the scene.

Original article can be found here: http://www.brandonsun.com

A small plane went down Sunday afternoon at a private airport in the Llano community of the Antelope Valley, prompting a response from emergency personnel, according to sheriff’s and fire officials.

The incident was reported shortly after 1:30 p.m. at Brian Ranch Airport, said Lt. Ken Wright of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Four male occupants were aboard the four-seater aircraft when it went down, the lieutenant said.

There were conflicting reports about whether anyone was injured.

A spokesman for the Los Angeles County Fire Department, who described the incident as a “hard landing,” said no one was hurt.

According to the Sheriff’s Department, the four people on the plane suffered minor injuries.

Brian Ranch Airport, located about 25 miles east of Palmdale, specializes in “ultralights and light sport aircraft,” according to its website.

QuickSilver Sprint2S, N250AB: Accident occurred July 02, 2016 in Bullard, Cherokee County, Texas

http://registry.faa.gov/N250AB

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Dallas FSDO-05

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA244
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, July 02, 2016 in Bullard, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/26/2017
Aircraft: POLLACK QUICKSILVER SPRINT2S, registration: N250AB
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airline transport pilot stated that a preflight check of the flight controls revealed no anomalies, and he and the passenger taxied the float-equipped airplane from its dock onto the lake for takeoff. The pilot reported that, shortly after takeoff, the flight controls felt abnormal, and he elected to return to the lake for landing. He stated that he could not correct the airplane’s bank angle before touching down, and the airplane landed hard on the water in a right bank. The pilot and passenger egressed, and the airplane subsequently sank. Attempts to locate and retrieve the airplane following the accident were unsuccessful; therefore, no examination of the airplane was performed, and the reason for the pilot’s reported control difficulties could not be determined.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
A loss of airplane control during landing for reasons that could not be determined, because the airplane sank and was not recovered.

On July 2, 2016, about 1945 central daylight time, a Pollack Quicksilver Sprint2S airplane, N250AB, impacted Lake Palestine, Texas, during a forced landing. The airline transport rated pilot and his passenger were uninjured. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions existed in the area of the accident site about the time of the accident, and the flight was not operated on a flight plan. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.


According to the pilot's accident report, he performed a preflight check of the airplane while it was tied to a dock. He taxied out about 1930 and the flight control check was "all good." The pilot started a takeoff to the south and after takeoff, the controls did not feel right. He arrested the climb out and turned north. The controls still did not "seem right" so the pilot turned right to return for a landing. He could not arrest all of the right turn and landed hard with a right bank. The airplane impacted the water with its right float first and the float took on water. The airplane remained afloat as the pilot began towing it to shore. The towing process was delayed as wardens and troopers requested reports and it was during this time that the airplane sank. The pilot hired a salvage company. However, the airplane was not located and therefore could not be examined as part of this investigation.


NTSB Identification: CEN16LA244
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, July 02, 2016 in Bullard, TX
Aircraft: POLLACK QUICKSILVER SPRINT2S, registration: N250AB
Injuries: 2 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 July 2, 2016, about 1945 central daylight time, a Pollack Quicksilver Sprint2S airplane, N250AB, impacted Lake Palestine, near Bullard, Texas, during a rejected takeoff. The pilot and passenger were uninjured. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions existed in the area of the accident site about the time of the accident, and the flight was not operated on a flight plan. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

According to preliminary information, the pilot reported that there was a mechanical malfunction in the flight control system during the takeoff and he rejected the takeoff.


Cherokee County, Texas --   Emergency crews are on scene of a plane which crashed into Lake Palestine early Saturday evening. 


The ultralight plane crashed into the southern part of the lake around 8:30.

We are told two people were inside the plane when it crash. However, they have been rescued and are okay. 

At this time it's unknown why the plane went down. 

Crews are working to pull the plane from the lake. 

Story and video:  http://www.myeasttex.com


CHEROKEE COUNTY, TX --   Officials are investigating after a plane crashed on Lake Palestine Saturday evening.

According to the Department of Public Safety, the ultralight plane crashed after 8:30 p.m. near Charlya Drive.

Two people were on the Quicksilver MX II Sprint LSA Light Sport Aircraft Ultralight plane when the crash occurred, according to the FAA. They say it was a hard landing float plane aviation accident. There were no injuries.

The FAA is investigating the incident.

Story and video:  http://www.kltv.com

Efforts to expanded Pullman/Moscow Regional Airport (KPUW) runway hit snag

Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport manager Tony Bean stands on the tarmac at the airport in Pullman, Wash., Tuesday, June 28, 2016. Plans to expand the runway at the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport have run into a snag, as the proposal could lead to the demolition of dozens of buildings at Washington State University. The airport needs to lengthen and widen its main runway under Federal Aviation Administration rules because it is being served by larger planes, Bean said. 



PULLMAN, WASH.   Plans to expand the runway at the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport have run into a snag, as the proposal could lead to the demolition of dozens of buildings at Washington State University.


The airport needs to lengthen and widen its main runway under Federal Aviation Administration rules because it is being served by larger planes, airport manager Tony Bean said.


An offer by the airport to buy about 100 acres of land from WSU to accommodate the larger runway was rejected because the land includes about 40 buildings involved in millions of dollars' worth of research.


The university is preparing a counter-offer, and both sides are trying to work out a deal.


The stakes are high for travelers in these remote college towns. The airport is a major transportation lifeline for Pullman, home to Washington State, and Moscow, Idaho, home to the University of Idaho. There is no interstate highway or passenger train service near the towns, which straddle the border about 300 miles east of Seattle.


"If we don't realign the runway, the consequence is a loss of air service," Bean said.


The towns, with a combined population of about 50,000 people, are served by Alaska Airlines with three incoming flights from Seattle and three outgoing flights to Seattle each day. About 50,000 people boarded planes at the airport last year, and the number is projected to reach 60,000 this year.


The problem is the airport was built to handle the old 19-seat propeller planes that were major commuter aircraft in the past. But Alaska serves the airport with 76-seat Bombardier Q400 planes. The airport is also sometimes used by Boeing 737 charter planes delivering college sports teams.


The larger planes have larger wingspans, which makes it impossible to use the existing runway and taxiway at the same time. That is a violation of FAA rules, and the airport is operating under an FAA waiver that allows operations to continue only while a solution is being pursued, Bean said.


Plans call for increasing the runway from 100 to 150 feet wide, and from 6,730 feet to 7,100 feet long, Bean said. That work will require that the runway be realigned about 5 degrees, meaning some 40 WSU buildings and other facilities will suddenly find themselves at the end of the pavement.


The FAA would prefer there be no buildings in the so-called runway protection zone, Bean said, hence the push to remove those structures, which include laboratory buildings, animal pens, large equipment storage sheds and other buildings.


Both sides insist they want to settle the dispute.


"We're trying very hard not to make it a controversy," said Olivia Wang, a vice president of WSU.


But she said the research being conducted in those buildings, especially in the area of food safety, is important.


Ideally, WSU would like to sell the land to the airport for an amount that allows it to replace the buildings and other research facilities that will be lost, Wang said. She estimated that the impacted area has drawn $100 million in research dollars since 2006.


Washington State University is the largest employer in Pullman-Moscow, and a heavy user of the airport.


"'We would all benefit from better air service," Wang said.


The new runway is expected to cost some $100 million, the vast majority paid by federal funds.


The airport has already received some funding from the FAA and will start moving dirt on property it already owns in early July.


One option for the airport is to invoke eminent domain status, but Bean said it's too early to say if that is needed.


Original article can be found here:   http://www.sunherald.com

BB Gun-Wielding Boy Stops Vehicle Traffic Near Hector International Airport (KFAR)

Kathryn's Report: http://www.kathrynsreport.com




Hector International Airport was shut down for about an hour Friday night after a report of a man with a gun.

This situation sounds very serious, but was actually a big misunderstanding. It actually turned out to be a 10-year-old and a family playing with a BB gun.

The call came in just before 9pm for a person with a gun at the cell phone park. Police closed off the airport road and started to slowly approach the park with guns drawn.

They also started communicating with the Airport Traffic Control Tower to see what they could see.

Then when a car left with the alleged suspect, police pulled it over to find the 10 year old with the BB gun. Police say the family now understands why it may have been a bad idea to play with the gun here.

They were then allowed to leave. As for the airport, it's now functioning as normal and allowing people in and out.

Story and video:  http://www.wday.com

Piper PA-24-260, N9246P: Incident occurred July 03, 2016 at Sacramento International Airport (KSMF), Sacramento County, California

Kathryn's Report: http://www.kathrynsreport.com

http://registry.faa.gov/N9246P

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Sacramento FSDO-25

Date: 03-JUL-16
Time: 15:10:00Z
Regis#: N9246P
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA24
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: SACRAMENTO
State: California

AIRCRAFT ON LANDING, GEAR COLLAPSED, SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA.




SACRAMENTO, Calif. —A landing gear failure led to a hard landing Sunday for a private plane at Sacramento International Airport.

Authorities said the landing happened just after 8 a.m. while the single-engine plane was attempting to land.

Officials said the three people aboard the plane were able to escape without injury after the plane landed on its belly.

The runway was closed and other aircraft diverted to the airport's east runway.


The plane was towed from the runway.


Officials said the plane was heading to Sacramento from Modesto.


Original article can be found here:  http://www.kcra.com 


A private plane experienced landing failure while attempting to land at Sacramento International Airport.

Passengers walked away unscathed after the private jet made a low belly impact on the runway. According to a press release from Sacramento airport spokeswoman Laurie Slothower, just after 8 a.m. Sunday, July 3, Airport Rescue Firefighters responded to the scene. No fuel hazards were reported.

The disabled aircraft was on the runway until just before 11 a.m. before it was towed. During that time period, the runway was closed, causing flights arriving and departing to move to the airport's easy runway. No impact to customers was reported. 

The plane is believed to have originated from Modesto. The National Transportation Safety Board has been notified.

Original article can be found here:   http://www.abc10.com

Incident occurred July 02, 2016 in Jefferson Davis Parish, Louisiana

Kathryn's Report: http://www.kathrynsreport.com




JEFF DAVIS PARISH, LA (KPLC) -

A small plane crashed Saturday evening west of Meyers Field which is located along Interstate 10 near Highway 165.

Deputy Elam Fontenot with the Jeff Davis Sheriff's Office said, "According to the pilot, he lost altitude for an unknown reason, and was able to land the plane safely west of the airfield in the brush."

No injuries were reported.

Authorities are working to retrieve the plane from the field.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash.

Story and video:  http://www.wafb.com




A small plane crashed Saturday evening west of Meyers Field which is located along Interstate 10 near Highway 165 in Jeff Davis Parish.

Deputy Elam Fontenot with the Jeff Davis Sheriff’s Office said, “According to the pilot, he lost altitude for an unknown reason, and was able to land the plane safely west of the airfield in the brush.”

No injuries were reported.

Local residents are assisting the pilot in retrieving the plane from the field.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash.

Original article can be found here:  http://klfy.com

Survival Flight Inc. to land in Russellville, Pope County, Arkansas

Kathryn's Report: http://www.kathrynsreport.com

Survival Flight Inc., an emergency medical helicopter transportation company based in Mesa, Arizona, is going to call Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center home later this month.

The air ambulance service will provide a crew 24 hours a day, seven days a week at the hospital, as well as one Bell 407 helicopter.

The company is dedicated to air medical transportation that is focused on the quality of care to patients and their safety with aviation medical transportation. Its mission and purpose is serving customers with unsurpassed and rapid medical services to save lives.

Steven Perry, base clinical manager for the Russellville base, said the company's CEO and personnel were excited about coming to Russellville. Not only will the helicopter buy fuel from Russellville Regional Airport, but the helicopter will be moved to a hangar at the airport in case of inclement weather or routine maintenance.

"Saint Mary's reached out and showed some interest," Perry explained. "They had heard of the concept we came up with, partnerships with local hospitals. There was a need for air ambulance services to be close to hospitals to transfer patients out, so the concept was created to base our helicopter and crew at a hospital.

"The most important part of this joint venture is the relationship between the hospital and our company. When they reached out to us, it was a perfect opportunity. The main thing I would like everybody to know is that we got here through the relationship with Saint Mary's."

Survival Flight Inc. already has bases at the White River Medical Center in Batesville and the White County Unity Hospital in Searcy. Perry said future plans include putting a couple more bases in Arkansas by the end of the year. The company also has bases in Missouri and Illinois.

Perry explained the services Survival Flight can provide include ensuring patients get complete focus and expertise to preserve and enhance their safety until they are transported to the medical care they require.

"We say if we are called to a scene, more than likely that is the worst day of that patient's life. We want to be the best part of that day," Perry said. "To do that, you have to access them quickly. We are going to be centrally located in Russellville. But in the end, it is all about ETAs (estimated times of arrival).

"If there's an accident on Interstate 40, someone will call us and ask for an ETA. We will give them one, and they may call other services to see if there is one closer. We want the general public in this area to know we are here to provide a service."

Survival Flight uses Bell 407 helicopters. Another advantage of the 407 is that a third person can ride with the EMT and patient, Perry pointed out.

"We pick you up at the scene, we can take a third rider with us. It's a bad day, again the worst day in someone's life. It works to have another person to be able to go. Kids are a million times better if they have a parent in the helicopter with them. There's no better helicopter in this area for EMS than the Bell 407."

Online: www.survivalflightinc.com.

Original article can be found here: http://www.couriernews.com

Port Angeles port to use federal grant to attract an airline service

Kathryn's Report: http://www.kathrynsreport.com

PORT ANGELES — The Port of Port Angeles will use a $200,000 federal grant to attract a commercial passenger airline operator to William R. Fairchild International Airport, said Executive Director Karen Goschen.

The grant is from the Small Community Air Service Development Program from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced Thursday that $5.15 million in grant money is going to nine small communities — including Port Angeles — to help them improve local air service.

Port officials applied for the competitive grant a few months ago, Goschen said Friday.

Port officials have been seeking a commercial airline to provide passenger service between Fairchild and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport since Kenmore Air abandoned operations there in November 2014.

Negotiations with SeaPort Airlines Inc. fell apart when the company filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in January. 

The Port of Port Angeles will use the grant to subsidize low introductory airfare rates offered by an airline that agrees to operate at Fairchild, Goschen said.

“It is set up as a revenue-guarantee grant and allows an airline to offer a low introductory fare,” she said. 

“That means that whatever the normal fare is, the difference can be made up by using these grant dollars,” she said.

“The concept behind that is that the airline is able to achieve the revenue they need to cover their expenses but at the same time allow them to build a customer base because customers are more willing to try something new.”

If a new airline agrees to operate out of Fairchild, port officials would encourage “people in our community to take that flight [and determine] if it is better than driving,” Goschen said.

“By having a low fare, they get to experience that . . . and that would build ridership for” the new airline, she said.

She added that new customers probably wouldn’t mind paying the full fare once they have discovered the convenience of the service.

“From that perspective, this grant becomes a really important component to help secure the commitment of the airline,” Goschen said.

Goschen said port officials are actively pursuing several companies to potentially operate out of Fairchild.

“We have a couple of airlines that we have been working with,” she said.

“These are always a major decision for the airlines to open up a new route of service, and they are still in the analysis phase. 

“Something like this revenue guarantee — we are hoping it will be the component that puts them over the mark to say, ‘Yes, we are going to go ahead and commit.’ ”

Grant recipients

Nine communities are receiving grants through the federal program this year, according to a U.S. Department of Transportation news release.

They are Bullhead City, Ariz., which is receiving $750,000; Inyokern, Calif., which is receiving $450,000; Stockton, Calif., which is receiving $650,000; Hailey, Idaho, which is receiving $500,000; Billings, Mont., which is receiving $750,000; Missoula, Mont., which is receiving $600,000; Santa Fe, N.M., which is receiving $500,000; Amarillo, Texas, which is receiving $750,000; and Port Angeles.

Representatives of each community submitted a competitive application that demonstrated community and air carrier support, along with investment from other sources such as public-private partnerships, according to the news release. 

This year’s grantees met all of those criteria, committing more than $3 million in local financial resources in addition to other in-kind contributions.

Goschen credits strong community support with the successful allotment of the grant.

“We received probably 20 letters of support saying that this grant was really important to our community, and I think they helped make the difference for us to get this grant,” she said.

Letter writers included the three Clallam County commissioners; the Clallam County Economic Development Corp.; Olympic Medical Center commissioners; U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Mountlake Terrace; and U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, Goschen said.

Kilmer represents the 6th Congressional District, which includes the North Olympic Peninsula. 

Original article can be found here: http://www.peninsuladailynews.com

First impression: First-rate Contour’s first 90 days of air service in Tupelo met with praise

Kathryn's Report: http://www.kathrynsreport.com

Donna Sanderson, from left, Pam Minor and Tracy Pharr each bought $19 specially priced one-way tickets from Tupelo to Nashville, taking advantage of a promotion by Contour Airlines so they could take a “girls’ trip” to the city.



TUPELO – Pam Minor, Tracy Pharr and Donna Sanderson decided to take a girls’ trip to Nashville last week, taking advantage of a special promotion by Contour Airlines.

“We just wanted to get away, and we’ve been looking forward to the trip,” Pharr said.

The trio each bought $19 specially priced one-way tickets from Tupelo to Nashville, offered by Contour to entice passengers to its new service.

The nine-seat, twin-engine Jetstream plane took off from Tupelo at 9:01 a.m. Wednesday and landed 42 minutes later.

Within 5 minutes, they were walking toward gate B-10 at Nashville International Airport.

“It was fantastic,” Sanderson said of the flight.

“And,” added Minor, “look at the money we saved and the time we saved not having to drive.”

Other passengers have made similar comments during the past three months.

Airline and airport officials knew they had to get the public interested in flying out of Tupelo Regional Airport following three years of poor service provided by two previous airlines.

Their plan has worked well so far.

Matt Chaifetz, left, CEO of Corporate Flight Management, the parent company of Contour, says sales during the promotional period have exceeded expectations.



While the initial promotional period is over, Contour has sold some 6,000 tickets so far, ranging in price from $19 to $79. The higher price is for refundable tickets.

“We’ve doubled the number we thought we’d sell at this point,” said Matt Chaifetz, the CEO of Corporate Flight Management, the parent of Contour.

Providing superior customer service – centered around getting people between Tupelo and Nashville on time – has been Contour’s focus from the beginning.

Sometimes it means going a step farther.

Like waiting an extra 10 minutes for its very first passenger from Nashville, whose in-bound flight on another carrier was late. Or flying an octogenarian for his first-ever flight. Or giving a young boy who’d never been in a plane a tour and allowing him to sit in the cockpit.

The 9 a.m. flight last Wednesday morning to Nashville had seven of its nine seats filled. The return flight had eight passengers. The outgoing passengers also had Scarlet’s donuts and bottled water waiting for them.

CFM believed it was a good fit for Tupelo to provide air service, and vice-versa. And air service was not new for CFM.

The company was founded in 1982, providing aircraft management and charter services. It has two fixed-based operations in Smyrna, Tennessee, where it also has a certified repair facility, aircraft sales division and pilot and maintenance training.

Having provided federally funded Alternate Essential Air Service in Michigan and Texas, CFM saw Tupelo as a good complement.

“We had spare capacity in our Jetstream fleet,” Chaifetz said. “I felt strongly this was a great springboard for us because it’s in our backyard. And especially for some of the stuff that comes along with it. Like being able to hire our own people and interact with them regularly.”

A hands-on CEO, Chaifetz has no office at the company’s headquarters in Smyrna. He is on the move constantly, visiting various offices, going to the maintenance shop, checking in on every aspect of the operation.

He even picked the carpet for a corporate jet being renovated for a client.

His attention to detail includes keeping track of its Tupelo-Nashville service, which Contour is being paid more than $4.2 million a year for two years to provide.

He admits – and the U.S. Department of Transportation noted – that CFM/Contour’s bid for service was higher.

“But you get what you pay for,” an unapologetic Chaifetz says. “And I think we’ve proven that.”

Contour’s subsidy through the Essential Air Service program allows a 5 percent profit. CFM estimates $686,000 in passenger revenue through ticket sales (with prices averaging $49 per ticket).

Expenses total more than $4.7 million, covering fuel, maintenance, pilot costs, aircraft fixed costs and other indirect costs. The $4.2 million subsidy gives CFM a profit of about $237,000. Contour gets paid only for flights completed.

Also critical for continued air service is that the subsidy averages to about $200 per passenger. That means seven of the nine seats on any given flight need to be filled. So far, it is averaging about 6.5 passengers per flight.

Very, very close.

But, Chaifetz said, “It’s not all about the stats; it’s about building relationships with your customers and your community.”

Do that, and the customers will buy tickets and build those numbers.

Tupelo Airport Authority member Jim Newman says Contour “has done very well. Certainly their on-time performance and completion of flights is impressive.”

In May, Contour completed all of its flights on time. In June, it would have been another perfect report, but a couple of weather delays kept that from happening.

Chaifetz believes there’s no reason not to have good air service in Tupelo.

“We’re not dealing with 150 customers – we’re dealing with nine people at a time, so there’s time for that interpersonal relationship,” he said.

There have been suggestions that Tupelo would be better served with a connection to Atlanta, but that was not a viable option for CFM/Contour.

“It’s a longer flight, it’s more expensive, which means more subsidy,” Chaifetz said. “That makes it harder to get the subsidy cap to $200 per passenger. … we’re focused on getting Tupelo under the cap. When you add expenses, that’s that many more passengers to do it with. I just don’t know if that’s possible.”

An airline industry consultant told Chaifetz there has never been a nine-seat plane operator to ever average more than having 70 percent of its seats filled, and if Atlanta were the destination, essentially every seat on every flight needs to be filled.

So, Nashville is only viable connection for now. After all, it does have 40 active gates across three concourses at its terminal, with eight airlines offering nearly 400 daily nonstop flights across the country.

And Contour’s success is not dependent on the mix of business traveler or leisure travelers.

“It doesn’t matter – we just want to have the traffic,” Chaifetz said. “The business travelers might want Atlanta, but business travel isn’t stimulated by low fares. We can get people going to a destination city like Nashville with low fares, people who maybe have no reason to travel. Nashville is the stronger tourist destination.”

Newman would like to see a connection to Atlanta made eventually, but knows getting under the subsidy cap is the first step.

“Let’s get there first, then talk about options,” he said.

Original article can be found here:  http://djournal.com