Saturday, September 23, 2017

Incident occurred September 23, 2017 in Newberg, Yamhill County, Oregon

NEWBERG, OR (KPTV) -   A pilot received minor injuries after the power glider he was operating crashed into a fence in Newberg.

Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue said the incident happened Saturday afternoon in a residential area.

The homeowner was home at the time and called 911.

The pilot of the power glider walked away with just minor injuries. No one on the ground was injured.

Original article can be found here ➤

Gering, Scotts Bluff County, Nebraska: Flying is a lifelong passion for pastor

GERING — Gary Hashley has pastored at Calvary Memorial Church in Gering for 10 1/2 years. If you can’t find him at he church he might be flying high above the community.

Hashley grew up deeply involved in the ministry as a missionary kid in Michigan.

“I was born into a ministry family. My parents joined a ministry in Michigan called the Rural Bible Mission when I was a month old,” Hashley said. “My dad’s ministry had us constantly moving. I went to five different schools between kindergarten and 12th grade and we lived in 13 different houses.”

Because of his parents’ ministry, Hashley came to faith early in life at the age of seven.

Growing up, Hashley had no intention or interest in becoming a pastor.

“When I went to Bible school out of high school I was still 17. I went to the Grand Rapids School of the Bible and Music in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and I started training to be a missionary pilot,” he said. “That’s where my flying began. My idea was to be a pilot, serving missionaries. My own personal goal was Alaska.”

Hashley earned his private pilot’s license and was starting on his commercial and instrument license when God showed him that was not the plan.

“It’s easy to do, he ran me out of money, because flying has never been cheap,” Hashley said, chuckling.

After meeting his wife Rachel in college and then lacking the funding to continue his piloting education, Hashley joined his father in Michigan.

“So I joined the ministry. Rachel and I got married 40 years ago and I joined the ministry my folks were with and spent some years in that same children’s ministry still fighting back against being a pastor,” Hashley said. “That was never what I had in mind. And then, finally in 1981, I got tired of telling God no and finally told him yes and became the pastor of the first church I pastored in Langford, Michigan, in 1982.”

Hashley and his family later moved to La Grange, Wyoming, in 1995 so he could teach at Frontier School of the Bible.

During his time at Frontier, Hashley worked as the interim pastor at Calvary Memorial in 1996 and 97.

“I always dreamed of coming back some day and here we are,” Hashley said smiling.

Hashley took a sabbatical from flying during that time. However, after moving back to Scottsbluff, Hashley and some friends founded the Panhandle Flyers Club.

“I was out of flying for 30 years, back when it was ‘feed the children or go fly’ and groceries took a precedent,” Hashley said. “Since I’ve been back here we’ve formed a flying club in the area that owns a plane. By being a part of a flying club the expenses are shared to the point where I can afford to fly again.”

Hashley expressed his excitement about being part of the Panhandle Flyers.

“It’s a wonderful thing because we have a daughter and her husband and five kids in Laramie so it’s quicker to get to Laramie to see grandchildren,” Hashley said. “So we use it a lot to go see the kids and the grandchildren.”

Hashley talked about his favorite thing about flying.

“I guess I never tire at looking down at the wonder of God’s earth he created from any altitude,” Hashley said. “To see the mountains, to see the valleys and the rivers out here and the reservoirs, it’s just astounding. I just love looking down on God’s beautiful earth.”

As a child, Hashley had a fascination with planes.

“I went up with a pastor friend of my dads who was giving away airplane rides as Vacation Bible School prizes,” Hashley said. “As the missionary’s son I got to go along when they went to the airport and there was room to give me a ride. I must have been in fifth grade and I’ve been in love with airplanes ever since.”

Hashley also talked about the people who influenced him in the ministry.

“My dad and his devotion to ministry, like I say I was a month old when he joined the mission,” he said. “My dad and mom were missionaries my whole life. In Michigan, not in Africa or South America, but their devotion and willingness to serve God even when the pay was small just was really a great role model.”

Along with his dad, Hashley’s pastor was also very influential.

“My pastor in my high school years was named Paul Deal. Paul Deal was such an influence in my life,” Hashley said. “He was not only my pastor, he was my friend and when I became a pastor he became my mentor. I would call him with questions and doubts and frustrations and he was always there to help me.”

While talking about the struggles and joys of pastoring, Hashley mentioned his favorite part.

“People,” he said without hesitation. “I just love people. And in helping people and teaching God’s word, it gives me the opportunity to serve them, encourage them, support them and get close to them. I’ve heard a pastor say ‘I’d love to pastor if it wasn’t for the people.’ I thought ‘he wouldn’t be a pastor if it wasn’t for the people.’”

Hashley said if he could go back in time to give advice to his younger self, he’d say don’t fight what God wants.

“I probably would tell myself to not fight God about being a pastor,” he said. “Because I had a lot of reasons in my head why I didn’t want to be a pastor and now looking back on 35 years of being a pastor and I wouldn’t want to do anything else.”

Original article can be found here ➤

Griffiss International (KRME), Rome, Oneida County, New York: Griffiss remains sky-high over drone testing at airport

Griffiss International Airport continues to play a critical role in positioning Central New York as a leader in the future of unmanned aerial systems. 

That was the upbeat assessment of Aviation Commissioner Russell O. Stark when he spoke at the Mohawk Valley EDGE board meeting this week.

The county airport was designated as a drone test site by the Federal Aviation Administration in late 2013. Since the, the official said, more than 1,100 flight operations have been conducted. There are seven such sites across the country.

Griffiss, with high-definition air traffic surveillance, state-of-the-art data collection and analysis capabilities, is the foundation for testing and certification of drone detect-and-avoid systems to meet future FAA standards and support the safe integration of commercial drones into U.S. airspace. 

The idea is to figure out how drones can safely operate in the air alongside piloted aircraft.

In 2016, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced the creation of a 50-mile corridor customized for drones as an attempt to lure companies to Central New York. The corridor between the former Griffiss Air Force Base and Syracuse is going to cost $30 million, and is expected to be completed in 2018.

The test site at Griffiss, managed by the NUAIR Alliance, is undergoing expansion to cover 15,000 square miles of New York airspace, creating a world-class beyond-visual-line-of-sight test and development facility for the FAA and the drone industry. 

Additionally, Stark said the state is part of two specific initiatives.

Project UAS Secure Autonomous Flight Environment, also called U-SAFE, is being developed at the test site to further catalyze and expand the economic opportunities being created by this industry. It will create a low-altitude air traffic control system for safe drone operation, and will allow for testing of small UAS and commercial applications to include package delivery, railway and power line inspection, and precision agriculture and security applications, specifically surrounding airports. 

The U-SAFE project also establishes a new testing center for drone airworthiness and cybersecurity. Called NUSTAR, or National Unmanned Aerial System Standardized Testing and Rating, the center will offer independent performance and safety benchmark testing for drones and drone-related products. The hope is that the presence of NUSTAR will help draw industries involved in the production and use of drones to Central New York.

Stark said NUSTAR is similar to Underwriter Laboratories, or UL, which is a not-for-profit testing company that conducts safety and quality tests on a broad range of products, from fire doors to closed-circuit cameras.

“When they (New York state) decided to come into the ballgame, they came in a big way,” said the commissioner.

During his remarks Stark listed several drone accomplishments at Griffiss since 2013. They included:

In June, Griffiss simultaneously flew four remotely piloted machines from a command center on simulated missions for the first time. It was part of a job for NASA , which has contracted with the FAA test sites to further test and refine its unmanned aircraft systems traffic management technologies.

Aurora Flight Sciences successfully flew its Centaur optionally piloted aircraft in multiple pilotless flights from the airport. The flights marked the first time any large-scale, fixed-wing aircraft flew unmanned at any of the U.S. drone test sites.

A team led by Lockheed Martin Corp. has successfully tested a pair of unmanned aerial drones that its developers hope can be used to put out large fires without endangering the lives of pilots. Lockheed Martin used a helicopter drone to airlift and dump 24,000 pounds of water onto a controlled fire set at the airport.

DJI, a global leader in the production of small drones, held the finals of its 2016 SDK Challenge at Griffiss. Ten teams competed for a $100,000 prize to see whose software could best launch drones from the bed of a moving vehicle, guide them through a simulated disaster site to identify victims and return to land back on the vehicle.

“Pretty impressive for a little test site in Rome, New York,” said a smiling Stark as his presentation neared its end.

County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. spoke briefly after the commissioner.

He noted that drones were launched in July to survey flooding from the air when parts of the county were drenched by heavy rains in a short amount of time.

“You don’t see everything,” he said. “There’s a lot going on and it is a work in progress.”

Original article can be found here ➤

Clearwater Helicopters Inc: Piper PA-28R-201 Cherokee Arrow III, N1881H -and- Robinson R22, N404TB: Accident occurred September 23, 2017 at Clearwater Airpark (KCLW), Pinellas County, Florida

Clearwater Helicopters Inc

A helicopter and a small airplane collided Saturday afternoon at a Clearwater airport.

The collision happened at the Clearwater Air Park, 1000 N Hercules Ave.

Zack Taylor said the helicopter was hovering over the runway when the plane approached. The plane's pilot did not make any radio calls as they made their way towards the landing.

The plane struck the back of the copter. The helicopter was able to make a safe emergency landing, but the plane lost part of a wing and flipped as a result of the collision.

The plane's pilot was taken to a local hospital for observation. The two people on the helicopter are speaking with officials.

Clearwater Fire Rescue was cleaning up the fuel spill.

Story and video ➤

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) -At least two people were injured when a helicopter collided with a plane that was making an emergency landing at Clearwater Airpark, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the helicopter, a Robinson R22 was hovering as the Piper PA-28 aircraft was landing on Runway 34. A collision occurred and the plane carrying two passengers flipped over.

Only the pilot was on the helicopter when he hit the plane.   Officials said two people were left with minor injuries, but their names and current conditions are unknown.

The Clearwater Fire Department is on the scene cleaning up a fuel leak.

Original article can be found here ➤

As Securities and Exchange Commission investigates, Steve Down tightens connection to Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon

Last summer, supporters of the embattled Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in McMinnville hoped a new era of stability and calm was at hand after Utah entrepreneur Steve Down bought much of the property out of bankruptcy.

But a year later, uncertainty is again at the museum’s door.

In the first detailed interview he’s granted in Oregon, Down confirmed the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in June notified The Falls Event Center -- the Down company that purchased the Evergreen assets out of bankruptcy -- that it had found evidence of wrongdoing and could launch an enforcement action.

Down denies he did anything wrong and remains confident the SEC will back off. He acknowledges, however, that his companies have suffered some significant setbacks, particularly in its fundraising from investors. By this spring, Down told The Oregonian/OregonLive, his companies had fallen $20 million short of expectations. The resulting cash bind prompted Down to sell two important planes out of the museum because he needed the money.

The latest twist in the saga came this week, when Down filed a $25 million lawsuit against two Oregon men, one of them a former museum insider, accusing them of launching a stealth campaign to sabotage his business.

In a lengthy interview, Down described his business, his financial philosophy and goals for McMinnville.

He says his diversified family of companies -- which includes a chain of sandwich restaurants, event centers for weddings and corporate meetings, a financial coaching firm and several others -- has made him wealthy.

He practices what he calls “cause capitalism.” Even Steven, his restaurant chain, provides a sandwich to a homeless shelter for everyone it sells, he said.

It’s apparently a winning formula for attracting investors. Down said he’s raised between $70 million and $80 million from 300 individual investors.

Down returned to his native Oregon last summer when his Falls Event Center emerged as the winning bidder for most of the buildings that house the Evergreen museum and adjacent real estate.

For just under $11 million, Down said, The Falls Event Center obtained property worth more than $110 million, in a bankruptcy sale. The deal also gave Down’s company all future revenue from the water park at the site.

In recognition of that, Down agreed to donate $70,000 a month to the museum. Down also agreed not to charge the museum any rent.

“That was a proud day for this Oregonian,” Down said. “I felt like I had saved the museum.”

Everything was proceeding as planned, Down said, until last spring. Someone stole data from their computer system, including lists of lenders and investors, he said. The cyber-thieves urged investors to steer clear of Down's organization, Down said.

Fundraising suddenly became much more difficult, he added.

In dire need of cash, he sold two aircraft out of the museum for nearly $3 million. This summer, two prized WWII planes -- a P-51 Mustang and a Corsair -- were packed up and shipped to new owners.

The move outraged some aviation buffs. One of them was Paul Peterson, who helped run an education program for high school students at the museum. The Mustang and Corsair were two of the most historically significant planes in the entire place, Peterson said, and here was Down selling them for fire-sale prices.

Peterson said the two planes are worth $6 million to $8 million in their current condition and would fetch $10 million or more if restored to flying condition.

Down’s cash crunch worsened after The Oregonian/OregonLive broke the news of the SEC investigation in July. Down said his detractors sent copies of the stories to all of his investors.

Down’s organization informed investors this summer that The Falls Event Center lost $8.5 million in the first half of 2017 on $2.5 million in revenue.

It’s not just the aviation museum feeling the impact of Down’s financial travails. The Falls Event Center owes the city of Beaverton more than $33,000 in unpaid utility bills. The company bought 14,000 square feet of ground-floor space at The Round, an office and condo complex. It intends to make the space into one of its event centers. But months after the purchase work has yet to begun.

None of this has deterred the Evergreen museum board from tightening its relationship with down. Earlier this month, the board signed a new 30-year lease with The Falls Event Center. Brandon Roben, the museum executive director, said the museum is not going to get a similar, rent-free deal from another owner.

Federal investigators began looking into Down’s organization last October. Down’s team didn’t inform company investors until Aug. 5.

“The reason we waited to advise private equity partners is because, quite honestly, we believed we had answered their (the SEC’s) questions so thoroughly that they would go away,” said John Neubauer, Down’s corporate general manager. “And even if they file charges, we are quite prepared and confident of being able to successfully defend ourselves in court, as the issues in the Wells letter we have already responded to and addressed - we believe - quite satisfactorily.”

But the SEC put Down on notice in June that it may not agree.  The agency, which declined to comment, could still refrain from taking any action, said Tung Yin, a law professor at Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland.

“But this is the SEC saying in effect “we think you’ve done something wrong and we’re investigating it seriously,” Yin said. “It’s not good news. Other than getting a target letter from the U.S. Attorneys’ office, I can’t think of a worse letter to get.”

Down went on the attack this week.

The Falls Event Center sued Peterson and JW Millegan, a McMinnville hedge fund operator, in federal court on Thursday. The lawsuit claimed the duo launched a sustained campaign to disparage Down in hopes it would cause him to default on his debt, which would allow the defendants to buy the museum at a bargain price. He is seeking $25 million in damages.

Peterson and Millegan said Down’s accusations are untrue.

Peterson said he was told Friday to leave the museum campus.

Down, meanwhile, vowed to carry on. He said is working on a major refinancing deal that will allow him to begin work on a major four-star hotel on the museum grounds.

“We’ve got a lot of things in the pipeline,” Down said. “The big hotel is part of this.”

Story, photo gallery, comments:

Jack Brooks Regional (KBPT), Beaumont, Jefferson County, Texas: Amid Harvey’s flooding, airport became base for rescue operations

When Harvey’s flood waters inundated Port Arthur and surrounding communities, crews from across the country converged on the Jack Brooks Regional Airport and set up a rescue operation of an unprecedented scale.

From Aug. 30 to Sept. 10, records show 2,300 flight operations occurred at the Jack Brooks Regional Airport, said Manager Alex Rupp. That’s more than double the average for the first half of the year, Rupp said. And it may not include all flights.

As airplanes and helicopters buzzed over the area, some flights weren’t logged, meaning the number of total “flight operations” could be more than the 2,300 number. Buses and cars transported evacuees and first responders, too.

“It was 24/7 for four or five days,” Rupp said. “Time runs together, but I know at one time we had so many aircraft on the ground that we had to shut down a taxiway to park aircraft … Our level of activity was tremendously increased.”

Rupp said the airport sold 100,000 gallons of jet fuel from Aug. 30 to Sept. 10, which is about 20 percent of what the facility would sell in an average year. Some of those sales include repeat purchases from the same aircraft, he said.

A number of the airplanes were military C-130s or helicopters, but private and commercial pilots also flew evacuees out of Jefferson County, said Rupp and Nederland Fire Chief Gary Collins.

Rupp and Collins said some of the crews who flew into or conducted operations out of the airport included: The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Colorado Task Force One, National Guard units from multiple states, the Coast Guard, the U.S. Army, The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“You name it, they were there,” Collins said.

Operations roughly broke down into a few categories: humanitarian aide, search and rescue, observation and evacuations. Crews even set up a mobile hospital in a parking lot, Rupp said.

With such a large operation at the airport, staff received significant help from volunteers, many of whom were affiliated with Nederland High School. From laundry to cooking, volunteers performed a wide array of tasks, said Brian Swindel.

“People just got in there and got after it,” said Swindel, one of the volunteers.

Volunteers showed a “selfless call to duty,” he said.

For his part, Swindel used a party bus to shuttle evacuees dropped off by helicopters at the airport’s older Jerry Ware Terminal to the newer terminal used for commercial flights.

First responders and crews at the airport also didn’t have a way to shower, Swindel said. So, he shuttled people to Powerhouse Gym in Port Neches, which opened their facility for first responders to use.

First responders also needed somewhere to wash their clothes. So, volunteers at the airport collected dirty laundry, split it up amongst themselves and washed it in their own homes, Swindel said.

Rupp said volunteers also obtained air mattresses and cots for crews based at the airport to use.

“It was just such an awesome thing to see everybody working together,” Swindel said. “It didn’t matter whether you had a high income or what you did on a daily basis, you just assumed your role and got to work.”

Relatively unaffected by flooding, the Jack Brooks Airport served as an invaluable resource for emergency operations, Collins said.

It’s unclear exactly how many evacuees moved through the airport, but Collins estimates the number to be 4,000 to 4,500 people. Some left the airport in buses or cars. Many left by air.

“For a lot of these people, you could tell that they didn’t know what they were going to do,” Swindel said. “Literally everything they had worked for was under water … It was just kind of surreal.”

At one point, buses weren’t able to leave the airport because of rising floodwaters, Collins said. As a result, evacuees were placed on the buses, which had air conditioning and small TVs, until an airplane arrived.

Environmental Protection Agency trailers remain parked at the airport. Some, minor repairs need to be made to the facility, but airport operations are mostly back to normal, Rupp said. The airport, however, largely escaped the wrath of Harvey.

“If you look at the devastation that occurred in other areas, we were relatively unscathed,” he said.

Original article can be found here ➤

Cessna TR182 Skylane, N4777T: Fatal accident occurred September 23, 2017 near Thief River Falls Regional Airport (KTVF), Pennington County, Minnesota

Moy Wing:

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 

A small plane crashed just a few miles west of a regional Minnesota airport, killing all three people on board.

The Cessna TR182 Skylane went down around 7:50 a.m. Saturday morning at Center Avenue Northeast and 130th Street Northeast in Thief River Falls, the Pennington County Sheriff's Office said.

That's just a few miles west of the Thief River Falls Regional Airport, though authorities haven't said if the plane had taken off from or was landing there.

The three people on board were killed: 69-year-old Moy Wing, 27-year-old Brian Duke and 26-year-old Zach Ostertag, the sheriff's office said. All of them were from Rawlins, Wyoming.

According to FAA records, there is a Moy Wing from Rawlins that owns two Cessnas, including a 1981 TR182 model. Wing was a member of the Carbon County Airport Board in Wyoming.

It's unclear if that's the one that crashed Saturday. A search on Flight Aware only comes up with a Cuba-to-California flight from two years ago. And a look at recent flights to and from the Thief River Falls Airport does not show either of the aircraft registered to Wing.

According to Facebook, both Duke and Ostertag work at Mountain West Motors in Rawlins. Ostertag was married, while Duke was engaged. 

The Pennington County Sheriff's Office said the FAA has been notified, and the case is under investigation.

Original article can be found here ➤

THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. -- Employees of Mountain West Motors Inc. in Rawlins, Wyo., gathered Saturday afternoon, Sept. 23, at the outdoor sports store to mourn the loss of their co-workers and friends.

Three men were killed shortly before 8 a.m. when their Cessna TR182 Skylane crashed in a stubble wheat field outside Thief River Falls.

The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office identified the men as Moy Wing, 69, Brian Duke, 27, and Zach Ostertag, 26, all of Rawlins.

Social media indicated both Duke and Ostertag were mechanics at Mountain West, but the Herald was unable to verify if Wing also was employed there.

“We’re a small town in Wyoming, and everybody’s devastated right now,” said a Mountain West employee who spoke briefly to the Herald. “We’re just all finding out. It just happened this morning. We’re honestly all in shock right now.”

A Facebook post from Ostertag dated Wednesday, Sept. 20, announced “3 more days, I’m ready to go home.” He replied to a friend’s post that we was training for “Arctic Cat and Textron snow and dirt machines.”

Arctic Cat Inc., a major manufacturer of snowmobiles, ATVs and other off-road vehicles, is located in Thief River Falls.

The scene

The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release it received a 911 call shortly before 8 a.m. that a plane was down near the intersection of Center Avenue Northeast and 130th Street Northeast, an area southwest of town and about 2½ miles west of the Thief River Falls Regional Airport.

Emergency responders found the three men dead at the scene, the news release said.

A stretch of gravel road at 130th Street was blocked off Saturday afternoon as about a half-dozen uniformed officers and others continued to investigate the scene. From a distance, wreckage appeared to cross the roadway with debris scattered about 100 yards into the field.

Elizabeth Cory, a public affairs spokeswoman with the Federal Aviation Administration, said the crash is being investigated by the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board. No updates would be available until next week, she said, adding that investigations can take several months to more than a year to complete.

The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, Thief River Falls Police Department, St. Hilaire Fire and First Responders, Thief River Falls Area Ambulance, Thief River Falls Fire Department and Minnesota State Patrol all responded to the crash.

Original article can be found here ➤

Three men from the state of Wyoming were found dead Saturday morning in the wreckage of a single-engine plane that crashed overnight near Thief River Falls, in northwestern Minnesota.

The Pennington County Sheriff's Office said it responded to a 911 call just before 8 a.m. Saturday. All three occupants, identified as Moy Wing, 69; Brian Duke, 27, and Zach Ostertag, 26; are from Rawlins, Wyo.

Authorities described the small plane as a Cessna 182. Thief River Falls is about 70 miles from the Canadian border — and 940 miles from Rawlins.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.

Ostertag, an auto mechanic, was attending an Arctic Cat seminar on specialized vehicles in Thief River Falls, according to his Facebook page. On Friday afternoon, he posted a picture of two Textron certificates — one for factory ATV/ROVs and another for factory snowmobiles — along with binders and some merchandise.

Later that night, Ostertag posted a video of a lightning storm in the area. It remains unclear when exactly the plane took off, but a calendar he recently posted on Facebook indicated that he expected to return home Saturday.

Duke and Ostertag both worked at Mountain West Motors Inc., an Arctic Cat dealership and auto body garage in Rawlins. When reached by phone Saturday, a worker at the shop declined to comment beyond, "We're still trying to piece together what happened. Everyone is walking around in shock."

According to FAA records, pilot Wing was issued a private pilot's certification in 2009.

Original article can be found here ➤

Nothing can substitute pilot training and experience to ensure safe skies

By Capt. Rick Dominguez, opinion contributor

Capt. Rick Dominguez is the executive administrator of Air Line Pilots Association, International.

Airline passengers and shippers expect and demand safe air transportation — and they’ve found it in U.S. air travel. Since the passage of the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Extension Act of 2010, the United States has not had a single fatality due to an accident on a passenger airliner. But those who oppose this regulation will stop at nothing — including jeopardizing the traveling public —to weaken these standards in the upcoming FAA reauthorization.

For all of us, experience matters in our careers and families. Whether it’s your first day working in Washington after winning a seat in Congress or your first time as a parent dropping off your child at school, we’ve all felt the difference between doing something for the first time and going through an event we’ve already encountered.

The same applies for airline pilots— experience counts when operating complex equipment in a changing airspace. Airline pilots evaluate our environment and our aircraft using our senses. We learn to use the physical experience of being at the controls of the aircraft to ensure safe operations, not only for our current flight but for future trips. For airline pilots as well as members of Congress, experience is cumulative — It’s amassed over time, and there are no shortcuts or substitutes.

The data overwhelmingly support the importance of airline pilot experience. A recent RAND presentation on military pilots showed that those with the most experience performed at the highest levels. Conversely, the lack of experience threatens safety. For example, in its investigation of the Colgan Flight 3407 crash near Buffalo, N.Y., the National Transportation Safety Board noted the pilots’ lack of flight experience in winter conditions. Tragically, the first officer can be heard on the cockpit voice recorder lamenting her lack of winter flying experience just before the plane goes down.

When, at the direction of Congress, the FAA reviewed the Colgan accident and 30 others, it found that shortcomings in airline pilot qualification and training had played a role. The regulations that resulted improved the training pilots receive for, among other things, flying in adverse weather and icing, recognizing and recovering from upsets and stalls and mentoring other crewmembers. The rules also updated pilot certificate and type rating requirements.

In the 20 years prior to the congressional action, more than 1,100 passengers lost their lives in airline accidents in the United States. Since lawmakers acted, that number has been reduced to zero. While the pilot training and experience rules are not the only improvement that occurred during this time, the new set of regulations was by far the most comprehensive.

Despite the fact that well-trained and experienced pilots save lives, some critics of this valuable training are working to overturn these rules in the FAA reauthorization. The Regional Airline Association has accused the president of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, of distorting the facts about what they know all too well — experience and training matters.

Experience also matters in how members of Congress, regulators, and passengers evaluate their arguments. The public will decide who is credible, but when Capt. Tim Canoll, who is ALPA’s president and a 27-year airline pilot with thousands of hours of commercial and military flight experience including landing F/A-18 Hornets on U.S. Navy aircraft carriers, speaks out on aviation safety, his word carries serious weight when compared to those calling to rollback safety.

The record of U.S. passenger airline fatalities since these safety rules were put in place speaks for itself. Airline pilots will not relent in our drive to block any effort to weaken the rules that mean well-trained and experienced pilots will continue to be part of the safest era in history for U.S. airlines.

Original article and comments ➤

Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee, N4470X: Accident occurred September 21, 2016 in Wooster, Wayne County, Ohio

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Cleveland, Ohio

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA382 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, September 21, 2016 in Wooster, OH
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28-140, registration: N4470X
Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 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.

On September 21, 2016 at 1236 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-28-140, N4470X, nosed over during an off-airport landing in near Wooster, Ohio, following a loss of engine power. The private pilot received a minor injury and the passenger was not injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The aircraft was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operating on a flight plan. The flight originated from the Norwalk-Huron County Airport (5A1), Norwalk, Ohio, with an intended destination of the Carrol County-Tolson Airport (TSO), Carrollton, Ohio.

The pilot reported the airplane operated normally during the first part of the flight. About 30 to 40 minutes into the flight, at an altitude of 3,500 ft, the engine suddenly lost all power. The pilot turned on the fuel boost pump, adjusted the mixture, and switched fuel tank to restart the engine. The propeller rotated, but the engine did not start. The pilot subsequently landed the airplane in a soybean field. Upon touching down, the nose gear dug into the dirt and the airplane nosed over. The pilot and passenger kicked out the windscreen and exited the airplane.

A postaccident examination of the airplane was conducted by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector. The inspector reported he verified there was fuel going to the engine, the magnetos sparked, compression on all cylinders, and continuity throughout the engine. The inspector reported the air intake duct was crushed, which most likely occurred during the accident sequence. The examination did not reveal any preimpact anomalies that would have resulted in the loss of engine power. The temperature and dewpoint were not conducive to carburetor icing at cruise power.

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA382
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, September 21, 2016 in Wooster, OH
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28-140, registration: N4470X
Injuries: 1 Minor, 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 September 21, 2016 at 1230 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-28-140, N4470X, nosed over during an off airport landing in Wooster, Ohio, following a loss of engine power. The private pilot received a minor injury and the passenger was not injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The aircraft was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operating on a flight plan. The flight originated from the Norwalk-Huron County Airport (5A1), Norwalk, Ohio, with an intended destination of the Carrol County-Tolson Airport (TSO), Carrollton, Ohio.

Mooney M20E Super 21, N34BE, Cleared Direct Aviation LLC: Accident occurred September 22, 2017 in Glendale, Los Angeles County, California

Cleared Direct Aviation LLC: 

A Mooney M20E Super 21 plane crashed onto a surface street in Glendale after it lost an engine Friday night, authorities said, and one of the two occupants of the plane is said to have suffered minor injuries as he or she was experiencing some arm pain afterward.

By about 10 p.m., Los Angeles firefighters and other emergency responders were still just arriving to the scene. Sky5 footage showed the crash site was near the intersection of Glenoaks Boulevard and Allen Avenue, next to a Smart & Final store's parking lot.

Authorities said they are now investigating the crash, and the pilot was being questioned at the scene.

The pilot made a radio call to Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, where the plane was headed, once the aircraft started experiencing some engine trouble, authorities said.

A witness at the scene named Mike Agajanyan said it was "the scariest thing I ever seen."

"One thing led to another and I see a plane crashing down," he said. " I saw a bright light and everything started falling apart — trees, roof, plane."

Trees at the crash site could be seen visibly damaged by the falling aircraft, which was seen with its passenger door open. There did not appear to be any post-crash fire visible at the scene, as Sky5 footage showed.

The crash site was about six miles from Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, and police later confirmed that the plane was inbound to the airport when it had lost an engine.

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A Mooney M20E Super 21 plane that was heading to Hollywood Burbank Airport crashed in Glendale near the parking lot of a Smart and Final store but none of the occupants were injured.

The crash was reported just before 10 p.m. Friday, in the area of Glenoaks Boulevard and Allen Avenue.

The plane, which clipped a tree, missed a nearby a apartment building and parked cars on the street, police said. No one on the ground was injured.

Two men who were on board the plane were able to get out safely and appeared to be fine, according to reports from the scene.

“I thought I was going to die,” Alan Kassis who was a passenger on the small plane told ABC7. “But everyone is OK.”

The plane did not catch fire when it crashed. However, firefighters had to put out a small fire when they went to remove the plane.

Glendale resident Mike Agajanyan described the scene of the crash, which unfolded near his home.

“A loud noise started coming in, and a bright light,” he said. “One thing led to another, (and) I see a plane crash down. Most scariest thing I’d ever seen. I was pretty much across the street, literally where the plane crashed.”

The cause of the crash remained under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.

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GLENDALE, Calif. (KABC) -- A Mooney M20E Super 21 crashed onto a street in Glendale Friday night, and the pilot and passenger escaped unharmed.

Authorities reported the crash shortly before 10 p.m. near Allen Avenue and Glenoaks Boulevard. 

The pilot and passenger were University of Redlands students and fraternity brothers. They were headed back to Burbank when they said there was a problem with their engine.

The passenger, Alan Kassis, said the pilot started looking for a place to land as he made an emergency landing call to Burbank Airport.

"We were flying into Burbank, lost power to one of the engines for some reason, called in a mayday and just glided, tried to find somewhere safe to put us down. He basically parallel parked the friggen plane," he said. "We're lucky to be alive. I thought I was going to die. I thought it was going to be fiery, but we're OK. No injuries. We're a little banged up."

The plane clipped a tree and hit several cars parked along the roadway. No one on the busy stretch of road was injured during the crash.

The investigation was ongoing.

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Friday, September 22, 2017

Hastings Municipal Airport (KHSI), Adams County, Nebraska: Council mulls options for airport’s future

Members of the Hastings City Council spent more than half an hour during their work session Monday discussing what they want the Hastings Municipal Airport to be.

Councilman Paul Hamelink, who serves as a council liaison to the airport advisory board, requested discussion about the airport organizational structure at the work session.

“I think it’s something we want to look as an opportunity for economic development for the city,” he said. “For that to happen, we’ve been addressing issues of how we structure the city for other departments, and this is a good opportunity to do that (with the airport).”

One option would be establishing an airport authority. However, Hamelink said because an airport authority would operate autonomous of the city, that is something he opposes.

“Because I see this as an opportunity for economic development, it ought to involve things like Hastings Economic Development Corp., the chamber of commerce, those sorts of things,” he said.

The airport is currently overseen by the city’s engineering department.

Councilwoman Ginny Skutnik asked Hamelink if there are needs that are not being met.

Hamelink said it’s more like opportunities not being met.  

He would like to see the airport operate similar to the Hastings Museum or Hastings Public Library with a functioning board that’s under the umbrella of the city.

Councilman Butch Eley presented Nebraska municipal airport statistics courtesy of the airport advisory board.

Hastings is in the middle based on population of communities with an airport but is the only airport that does not provide aircraft maintenance, flight instruction, aircraft rental and fuel truck services.

“Which is why when people are flying into those other airports they are spending a lot of money on fuel at those airports,” he said.

Skutnik asked how many potential new businesses are asking for aviation services.

Mayor Corey Stutte said the city has had “quite a few” businesses he described as “near wins” that have flown into the community, assessing Hastings.

“If some of these businesses that would bring in 150-300 employees into our community actually happen, they’ll be shuttling people back and forth from their headquarters,” he said. “They would like to fly into Hastings versus Grand Island. From HEDC’s perspective, I do think they see it as an economic development opportunity.”

The area west of the airport is designated for use as an industrial park.

Because of the economic development potential with the airport, Hamelink suggested the city’s development services department might be the best department to oversee it with a part-time employee taking that oversight role.

Stutte asked Hamelink if the city needs a fixed-base operator to run the airport.

Hamelink agreed that would be a good move.

Stutte suggested the city put out a request for proposals for a fixed-base operator to run the airport.

“That doesn’t mean we’re necessarily committing to anything, but at least it gets us off of center where he have been sitting on this issue for the last year,” he said.

Hamelink questioned whether the city could put out a request for proposals if the airport oversight structure has not been identified.

City Administrator Joe Patterson said moving the airport under the oversight of the development services department would be quite a change with regard to city structure.

“It may have merit, but we need to do a lot more discussing and looking at how other cities are managing that resource,” he said. “We know where we’re at. The question is, what does our community need it to be? I’m not so sure we’ve done enough soul searching to really answer that question. Certainly, from what we’ve inherited 17 years ago (from the airport authority) to where it is now from a plant perspective is totally different.”

He said he would work on drafting a request for proposals for an FBO.

The council also went into executive session to discuss personnel.

Original article can be found here ➤

REVA: Air ambulance crew rescues pregnant military member after Irma

It was an unforgettable mission after an unprecedented storm.

“It is usually a lush, green, tropical island, and we broke out and it was completely brown. The trees were bare. There were no leaves,” said REVA pilot Ben Watsky.

REVA is a medical air transport service with a team based at Schenectady County Airport. After Hurricane Irma ripped through the Virgin Islands, Ben was part of a REVA crew called on to rescue a 35-week pregnant U.S. military member who was trapped in her home on St. Thomas.

“You could see the houses on the coastline and the cliffs, windows were blown out. Roofs were off their houses,” said Watsky.

The woman was flown to a hospital outside Washington, D.C. She and her then-unborn child were both believed to be in good health at the time.

“It was a situation that could’ve turned into a medical emergency. It wasn’t currently, but if she waited any longer, it probably would’ve been,” said Watsky.

The trip was made using one of REVA's new Hawker 800XP airplanes. Two pilots were on board with three medical personnel. The plane can make its way to the U.S. Virgin Islands and back without having to stop and refuel.

Company officials say in recent weeks, their entire fleet has been focused on the Caribbean and Puerto Rico. They’ve transported nearly double the normal number of patients for this time of year.

“We’ve also converted some of our aircraft to more of a cargo configuration,” said Philip Spizale, REVA’s chief sales officer.

In addition to its normal business, REVA is also delivering essential supplies to areas devastated by recent storms.

“Fly those over to Puerto Rico to where the people need it most, and then as soon as we have access, throughout the Virgin Islands where the hospital systems are going to be in dire need over the coming weeks,” said Spizale.

They’re giving back to the very communities that helped REVA get off the ground, allowing them to fly these lifesaving missions.

“It’s like no other flying job that you can do. Having the opportunity to fly these aircraft and go pick these patients up and help people interact one-on-one is absolutely rewarding,” said Watsky.

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