Friday, January 20, 2017

U.S. Attorney's Office: Jordan Gunter pretended to be law enforcement officer

SAN ANTONIO - A 26-year-old man was sentenced Friday for illegally carrying a firearm on an aircraft, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas said.

Jordan Gunter, of Pflugerville, was sentenced to 63 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said Gunter pleaded guilty on May 11 to one count of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and one count of carrying a weapon on an aircraft.

By pleading guilty, Gunter admitted that on Jan. 10, 2016, he possessed a firearm in Pearsall. The U.S. Attorney's Office said at the time, Gunter was federally prohibited from doing so due to a 2011 criminal conviction in Maryland for possession of a concealed deadly weapon.

Gunter also admitted that on March 9, 2015, he boarded a flight at San Antonio International Airport while in possession of a firearm after claiming to Transportation Security Administration authorities that he was a law enforcement officer with the additional required training to carry a firearm on an airplane, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Information provided in court at sentencing revealed Gunter boarded multiple commercial flights while transporting an actual prisoner as he pretended to be a law enforcement officer, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Gunter has remained in federal custody since his arrest last February.


Thunderbird crash air traffic audio released

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - KRDO NewsChannel 13 has obtained air traffic control audio recordings from last summer's Thunderbird crash.

The pilot, Major Alex Turner, was able to safely navigate the F-16 into a field just south of the Colorado Springs Airport and then eject.

Turner was just about to land after performing at the Air Force Academy graduation when the crash happened.

A throttle malfunction was determined to be the cause of the crash. It forced the engine to shut down prematurely.

Turner was not seriously injured. 

The $29 million aircraft was destroyed. 

Story and video:

An overweight plane, a fuel leak and a six-hour delay

A group of Okanagan resident's spent the first day of their Mexican vacation at the Kelowna International Airport (YLW), instead of the beach.

A sequence of events caused their flight from Kelowna to Puerto Vallarta to be delayed for more than six hours on Friday.

Passengers tell the Kelowna Capital News that half of their bags were sent on a separate flight to Mexico, and that they were kept in the dark for most of the day wondering if they would ever make it to their destination vacation.

“It is beyond ridiculous now. We have no idea when we will leave or if we will leave,” said one passenger, three hours into the delay.

“Something is pretty fishy about the whole story.”

WestJet flight 2164 finally departed YLW at 4:35 p.m., originally scheduled to depart at 10:20 a.m.

According to WestJet, the flight was delayed due to a number of factors including being overweight before takeoff and later, a fuel spill on the tarmac.

“We apologize to our guests from flight 2164 for the frustrating delay they have endured today,” writes Lauren Stewart, WestJet communications.

“This is an unusual situation and we worked as quickly as possible to resolve it.”

Stewart says the flight was initially delayed when the crew determined the plane was too heavy to depart safely due to wet conditions and the length of the runway.

“Out of an abundance of caution a decision was made to lighten the fuel load instead of removing some guests to a later flight,” says Stewart.

While the fuel was being removed from the plane, she says a maintenance issue was discovered and fuel leaked on to the tarmac.

That spill of about 50 gallons of jet fuel prompted an emergency response.

“As is normal with any size of fuel spill at any airport, emergency vehicles were brought on to the scene to help contain the release,” says Stewart, who claims the spill was entirely cleaned up.

“There has been no impact to storm drains and no environmental damage has occurred. With the fuel spill occurring and the cleanup, it did add to the delay.”

YLW Airport Operations senior manager Phillip Elchitz says this is a rare incident and that airport staff did the best they could to assist WestJet passengers during the delay.

“It is not a usual occurrence for a plane to have to de-fuel prior to departure. It doesn't happen very often, we consider it an irregular operation,” says Elchitz.

“The passengers were kept in the boarding lounge and they were well taken care of. WestJet was updating them on the status of the departure.”

Elchitz says while today's incident was rare, it is not unheard off.

“Depending on the runway conditions and other factors, the WestJet operations centre and the captain will do calculations to determine the maximum weight the plane can be to take off,” explains Elchitz.

“Offloading fuel is not something that normally happens and it does take a fair amount of time.”

As for the passengers, they aren't quick to believe WestJet's story. They were told more than 12,000 pounds had to be removed from the plane which doesn't add up to them.

“I think they had a problem from the start and fed us a line all day,” said one passenger who added they were only provided a $15 food voucher at the airport, where options were limited to junk food.

WestJet says that the aircraft did eventually undergo a full maintenance check and depart to Vancouver, where it was set to refuel before carrying on to Puerto Vallarta. The passengers anticipate arriving in Mexico at about 1 a.m.

When asked if the passengers would be compensated for the delay – WestJet stated that that information was confidential.

“We don't discuss compensation except with the individual guests,” says Stewart.


Mitsubishi to postpone jet delivery for fifth time: sources

Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp will delay delivery of its Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) by about two years from the previously expected mid-2018, in the fifth postponement since announcing plans for the aircraft, two sources told Reuters on Friday.

A further delay in Japan's first commercial passenger plane in half a century could hurt the company's chances of winning fresh orders in the regional jet market, dominated by Canada's Bombardier Inc and Brazil's Embraer SA. The MRJ was originally slated for delivery in 2013.

Mitsubishi Aircraft and its parent company, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd, last month said they were reviewing the MRJ's entire schedule, from testing to delivery.

Mitsubishi Heavy declined to comment, saying it would provide details on the MRJ business at a news conference with Mitsubishi Aircraft on Monday.

Reuters' sources, who have direct knowledge of the matter, declined to be named as the latest plan was not yet public.

The MRJ, which made its maiden test flight in November, represents Japan's long-held ambition to re-establish a commercial aircraft industry that was dismantled by the United States after Japan's defeat in World War Two.


High school student charged after throwing paper airplane at teacher

An Andrews High School student could face 30 days in jail after allegedly throwing a paper airplane that struck a teacher in the eye.

On Tuesday, Jan. 10, Georgetown County Sheriff's Office deputies arrested 17-year-old David Michael Elliott after his instructor, Edward McIver, told them he was struck in the eye by a paper airplane he threw during class. He was charged with third-degree assault and battery.

Times staff requested a copy of the incident report concerning Elliott's arrest after seeing his name, mugshot and charge in the Georgetown County Detention Center booking record. In response, the sheriff's office provided the report, but redacted the name of the student who was arrested.

According to the incident report, McIver - a science teacher, who also serves on the Florence Public School District One Board of Trustees - contacted the school resource officer, Deputy Paul Glover, and told him he had been struck in the eye. In the report, Glover noted McIver's eye appeared "very red." Glover said McIver was "very upset" about being struck in the eye because of a recent ocular surgery.

McIver reported he spoke with other students, Glover said, who told him Elliott threw the paper airplane at him during class. He added, Glover said, he and Elliott had been involved in past confrontations over Elliott's behavior and "something needs to be done." Glover said McIver also told him, if Elliott was responsible, he wanted to press charges.

Glover reported he then met with Elliott and a vice principal in the school's conference room. It was then, he said, Elliott said he did throw the paper airplane at McIver. Elliott added he intended to hit McIver in the head, Glover said, instead of the eye. Glover added Elliott did not provide a "logical reason" as to why he threw the airplane at McIver.

Elliott was then cited for third-degree assault and battery, a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a maximum fine of $500. Later that day, he was transported to the Georgetown County Detention Center, where he was later released on a $1,087.50 bond. 

According to statute 16-3-600, third degree assault and battery occurs when "the person unlawfully injures another person, or offers or attempts to injure another person with the present ability to do so."

When asked if she felt Elliott's arrest was warranted, AHS Principal Michelle Greene said she thought the incident did constitute an assault, but added deputies make the ultimate determination as to whether criminal charges are filed.

"That's the law enforcement side," Greene said. "That is a violation of school policy, but if law enforcement ... deem it necessary to get a warrant for it, then that's what happens. The school does not interfere with law enforcement business, and they don't interfere with ours."

In a separate interview with Times staff, Georgetown County School District Director of Safety and Risk Management Alan Walters echoed Greene's response, and added school staff is duty-bound to report perceived crimes.

"If any employee believes a crime has taken place, we report it," Walters said. "Law enforcement makes a decision if a crime occurred or not and, if it did, whether they choose to file charges or not."

When asked if he was concerned over a possible public perception of whether Elliott should have been arrested for throwing a paper airplane, Walters declined to comment.

"I'm not going to get into all that," he said. "We did what we were supposed to do, and from there it was in law enforcement's hands."

Times staff contacted GCSO Sgt. Ursula Armstrong, who supervises the county's school resources officers, for comment on the incident. Armstrong declined and deferred all comment to the department's public information office and to Assistant Sheriff Carter Weaver.

Lt. Mike Nelson, who oversees the GCSO's public information office, responded to the request for interview. Nelson deferred to the statute when asked how the incident constituted assault, but declined to address questions aimed at the necessity of Elliott's arrest.

"I'm not going to debate the contents here," Nelson said. "The deputy felt there was sufficient probable cause to charge and made the charge."

Elliott's first court appearance was scheduled for Feb. 14. It was unknown if he was being represented by an attorney.


Q: What is the latest on whether Smith Reynolds Airport (KINT) will have an air show in the near future?

Answer: There won’t be an air show in 2017, but there may be one in 2018.

“Next month, the Airport Commission of Forsyth County will be advertising for bids for a construction project that will impact the availability of Runway 4-22 and the ramp in front of the main terminal building,” said Mark Davidson, airport director at Smith Reynolds. “Although the Airport Commission expects the construction to be done in a timely manner, there is too much uncertainty of exactly when it would be completed and ready for use. The runway and ramp are critical in hosting an air show.”

He said that the Airport Commission is hopeful they will be able to host an air show in 2018, “but the show is not set in stone at this time. Future construction should not be an issue and the additional planning time would position the airport for greater success. The Airport Commissioners understand that the air show is a great community event and looks forward to hosting another show in September 2018.”


Private company to bring more business to Coulter Field Airport (KCFD)

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - Coulter Airfield is growing.

The Bryan City Council has approved a lease contract with a private company that plans to build a new hangar at the small airport.

This addition through Schieffer Development will bring a total of three aircraft to Coulter, continuing the city's plan to use the airfield to make money.

Schieffer will pay just more than $2,700 per year to lease 2/3 of an acre.

The city says there will not be any upfront costs to Bryan taxpayers.


Passenger discovers missing screws on wing of Frontier airplane

DENVER – Frontier Airlines is investigating why a plane flew with about 20 screws missing from an area near the front of the wing, Denver7 Investigates confirmed with officials Friday.

A passenger noticed the missing screws on a Frontier Airlines Airbus 319 from Trenton, N.J., to Punta Gorda, Fla., on January 5 and notified the captain.

The aircraft was grounded by the company until the fasteners were received and installed, FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer told Denver7 Investigates.

Frontier spokesman Jim Faulkner said the issue was not severe and the plane returned to service that same day.

“The panel remained sealed and secured at all times, and at no time was safety compromised,” Faulkner said. “Frontier voluntarily disclosed this information to the FAA upon learning of the missing fasteners and has been coordinating with the FAA to determine what happened.”

The screws were missing from a section where the front slats meet the fixed part of the wing. Slats, like flaps, can be extended to create lift. Slats are often extended during landing to assist the plane in staying airborne when the speed of the plane is reduced.

Denver aviation expert Kevin Kuhlmann said the missing screws on this specific section of the plane are unlikely to cause problems in flight, but he says it would be important for an airline to uncover how this occurred. Kuhlmann is the associate chair of Aviation and Aerospace at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

“The concern is what safety measures were missed thus allowing this oversight and what unseen issues may occur in the future,” Kuhlmann said Friday.


Pilot tells engineer plane 'chadha doonga', grounded

NEW DELHI: Intimidating phrases like "thok doonga" or "maar doonga" (Will hit you) may be common in our everyday lives but an Air India pilot was recently grounded after he threatened the ground engineer with "plane chadha doonga" (Will run you down with the plane) unless he cleared the aircraft for take off soon.

This unprecedented exchange took place late last year in Mumbai when the captain was in the cockpit and waiting for ground engineers to complete their pre-flight checks so that the Airbus A-320 could begin taxiing and take-off for Bengaluru.

"The captain was in a hurry to take-off for some reason and said those words to the ground engineer. The engineers immediately completed their checks and removed chocks - wooden blocks kept in front and rear of tires - after which the plane is towed back and then taxi to the runway for take off," said a source.

The engineers were most upset as this threat had come just months after they lost a colleague in Mumbai near that very bay after he was sucked into an aircraft engine.

As soon as the plane took off, the engineers lodged a formal complaint about the pilot's behavior with their own and AI's flight safety department (FSD). The moment the plane landed in Bengaluru, the FSD ordered that the content of the cockpit voice recorder be downloaded.

"This exchange took place a few months back. We went through the recording and took a very serious note of that threat, irrespective of whether it was made in jest or anger. The pilot was taken off flying duties for about a month. During that time he was made to undergo counselling that included anger management," said a senior AI official.

"We went through the record of the pilot. He was neither found to be a habitual offender nor someone who had similar complaints in the past. He may have even said it in jest but we took a serious note of that. After the counselling was over and due to his past record, he is back flying," said the official.

However, following this episode the FSD has told AI crew members not to come under stress as they are under tremendous pressure to improve the airline's poor on time performance (OTP) record.

AI domestic flights are among the least punctual ones, according to the data given out by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) every month. The aviation ministry seeks a daily report from AI and the airline has to explain every delayed departure.

"The pilots and other crew members are therefore under tremendous pressure to fly on time. But FSD has issued an advisory to them not to operate under stress and fly with a cool head," said a senior official. 


Glider Activity Moved To South Side Of Harriman-and-West Airport (KAQW)

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Airport Commission has voted to move all glider and tow-plane activity to the south side of the runway.

The commissioners unanimously voted on the issue Tuesday even though they had concerns about letting the tow plane operate in an area designated for ultralight aircraft. 

"The whole point was to separate the planes by their speed and now you put the tow plane in with the gliders," Commissioner Trevor Gilman said. "Just because the glider pilots are familiar with it doesn’t make it any less of an obstacle in the pattern because it is still a 100-naught airplane on that side."

Initially, Gilman requested that just glider activity was just moved to the south side of the airport. He said the FAA cleared the change assuming they properly charted the operation.

He said as long as the gliders carry a handheld radio to contact other planes there should be no confusion with flight patterns.

Pilot Michael Milazzo suggested that all glider operation be set to the south side of the airport, including the tow plane for safety reasons.

"The tow plan has a tow rope and I have had instances where a faster plane is coming in and I have 200 feet rope dangling from the end of my plane," he said. "Now you don’t only have a plane that is 8 feet tall … but now you have 200 feet of rope hanging out there like fishing line."

He said tow planes always know where the gliders are and it would be safer to keep them with the gliders.

He added it would also help with noise abatement. 

Gilman noted that the FAA were ok with glider operations on one side of the airport but he didn’t know how they would feel about throwing a tow plane into the mix. He also feared having a tow plane in the area would confuse transient pilots.

Gilman said he would be willing to bend to the request if the glider pilots followed the rules. He noted that pilots often line up their gliders on the edge of the runway in the safe zone for prepping.

"That is way inside the safety zone for planning traffic," he said. "If we have a King Air come into land and there are gliders on the edge they are literally within the wingspan. They need to be in the designated area." 

Airport Manager Bill Greenwald added that the glider pilots should not have more than one vehicle in the infield.

Greenwald, who was also hesitant to allow the tow plane in, said if it doesn’t work they can revert to past practices.

Since there is no glider activity this time of year, commission members will meet with gliders and work out an agreement.


Elite Airways scales back in Naples, but Vero Beach looking at expansion

When Elite Airways landed in Vero Beach about a year ago, its nonstop service to Newark was almost instantly declared a success. Across the state in Naples, however, Elite struggled almost from the get-go.

Now, as Vero officials are talking with Elite about adding destinations and flights and building an Elite hangar at the airport, Naples officials may terminate Elite's contract at Naples Municipal Airport and begin charging the Maine-based airline rent.

In December 2015, Elite began twice-weekly direct flights between Vero Beach Regional Airport and Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey. Frequency has grown to four times a week, with increased flights during holiday season and connections to Portland, Maine, and Long Island, New York.

About two months later, in February 2016, Elite began direct Newark flights from Naples. But unlike in Vero Beach, the Naples' flights were discontinued in June because of poor sales. A short-lived Naples-Vero Beach route also was discontinued because of low bookings. Elite plans to continue regular service next month with Monday and Friday flights from Naples to Melbourne International Airport, with connections to Portland and Long Island.


Vero's routes and its relationship with Elite remain unaffected by the airline's struggles in Naples, Elite officials have said. Elite President and CEO John  Pearsall, in fact, has called Vero Beach the airline's strongest market. Last month, Elite announced plans for Vero Beach flights to Asheville, North Carolina, and a limited schedule to Tallahassee.

"The Vero Beach service is doing very well, and we look forward to continuing to grow there," Elite spokeswoman Rebecca Ayers said. Pearsall declined comment about the airline's relationship with Naples.

The two beachside cities are similar in population, although Naples is larger. Each had studies showing overwhelming support for bringing commercial passenger flights back to their local airports.

Still, each city approached Elite's arrival differently.

In Vero Beach, officials saw Elite's flights as a way to bring visitors to Indian River County.

"We thought it was great from the beginning," said Allison McNeal, tourism director for the Indian River County Chamber of Commerce. "Making it easier (with direct flights) to travel to Vero Beach definitely helps."

Between October 2015 to October 2016,  Indian River County tourism increased about 6.4 percent, McNeal said, though cautioning not all of it could be attributed to Elite's arrival.

In Naples, critics questioned local demand for Elite flights, the Naples Daily News reported. Airport neighbors were concerned about potential noise. Naples City Council members and airport commissioners voiced concern they weren't consulted before the deal between Elite and the airport was finalized, the newspaper reported.

Outside forces may have contributed to Elite's success in Vero and struggles in Naples.

Elite may have underestimated the competition it would face in the Naples area, specifically other airlines' service to Newark. At Southwest Florida International Airport, about 30 minutes from Naples, ,  several airlines — including jetBlue, United and Delta — fly directly to the New York area.

By comparison, the nearest airport to Vero Beach with passenger flights is almost an hour away in Melbourne. Many Vero Beach residents use Orlando and Palm Beach international airports. Each is more than an hour away, and both charge for parking. Parking at Vero Beach Regional Airport is free.

Timing also favored Vero Beach.

Its Elite flights began in December while in Naples, Transportation Safety Administration security delays meant Elite's debut was delayed until February, well into the winter tourist season, to begin flying.


On Thursday, Naples Airport Authority commissioners discussed their contract with Elite, which promised commercial service to a major hub. Commissioners are considering terminating the agreement, possibly charging the airline rent at the airport and cutting off city subsidies. Naples Municipal Airport spent $50,000 in marketing Elite and waived about $24,000 in rent, the Naples Daily News reported earlier this month.

"This is not going well," Naples Airport Authority Vice Chairman Dick Evans said Thursday.

Naples airport Executive Director Chris Rozansky said at Thursday's meeting Elite  claimed lack of reservations for its flight cancellations. Some flights had less than two reservations, "which is dismal," he told airport commissioners. Rozansky was unavailable for comment. He told commissioners he was working with Elite and Naples Convention and Visitors Bureau officials to use tourism data to either find alternate destinations or develop a new plan for its service.

At the same time, officials of Elite and Vero Beach are discussing development of a maintenance hub. Talks are preliminary, Pearsall said last month, but construction of the hangar could begin as early as the summer. It would take two to three years to complete, and would provide hundreds of jobs, he said.

The airport has property available for an Elite hangar, which would be built to its specifications.

In December, Vero Beach City Council approved a three-year agreement allowing Elite to continue renting counter space at the airport. Elite pays $700 a month for the space, which allows passenger check-ins, according to city documents. The airport collects about $8,400 in licensing fees each year from Elite.

Once the airport records its 10,000th passenger, the expanded lease agreement would increase federal grants from about $150,000 annually to about $1 million, city documents state.


Piper PA-31T Cheyenne II, N779MF, American Medflight Inc: Fatal accident occurred November 18, 2016 near Elko Regional Airport (KEKO), Nevada

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident. 

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report  -  National Transportation Safety Board:


FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Reno FSDO-11

NTSB Identification: WPR17FA024
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Friday, November 18, 2016 in Elko, NV
Aircraft: PIPER PA 31T, registration: N779MF
Injuries: 4 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 November 18, 2016, about 1920 Pacific standard time, a twin-engine, turbine powered, Piper PA-31T "Cheyenne II" airplane, N779MF, was destroyed when it impacted terrain following a loss of control during initial climb from the Elko Regional Airport, Elko, Nevada. The pilot, two medical crewmembers and one patient sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was being operated as an instrument flight rules (IFR) air transport medical flight by American Med Flight, Inc. under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135. Night, visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an FAA instrument flight plan was filed but had not been activated for the intended flight to Salt Lake City, Utah.

During a telephone conversation with a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator, a witness located at the Elko Airport, reported that the airplane departed runway 06. During the initial climb, he stated that the airplane made an initial left turn about 30 degrees from the runway heading, then stopped climbing and made an abrupt left bank and descended out of his line of sight. 

The airplane impacted into a parking lot about .5 miles from the departure end of the runway, and immediately burst into flames. Several secondary explosions happened after impact as a result of fire damage to medical compressed gas bottles and several vehicles that were consumed by the post impact fire. The airplane sustained extensive thermal damage from the postcrash fire. All major structural components of the airplane were located within the wreckage.

The wreckage was recovered to a secure location, and detailed examinations of the airframe and engines are pending.

The closest weather reporting facility is the Elko Regional Airport (EKO). At 1856, an aviation routine weather report (METAR) at EKO reported wind 110 degrees at 7 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; clear skies; temperature 33 degrees F; dew point 19 degrees F; altimeter 30.11 inHg.

Tiffany Urresti, Flight Nurse

 Captain Yuji Irie 

Flight paramedic Jake Shepherd

Patient Edward Clohesey

Elko police officer Michael O’Farrell received two awards for his service in 2016.

ELKO – Nineteen officers and other staff of the Elko Police Department were recognized for their work over the past year during a recent ceremony in the Great Basin College Theatre.

Detective Cpl. Josh Morrell was named officer of the year, officer Christopher Ballesteros was named rookie of the year, and five officers received police medals for their exceptional service.

“We are very proud of the significant accomplishments and courageous acts of our Elko Police employees throughout the year,” said Police Chief Ben Reed. “This is the one time each year we stop to reflect and honor the outstanding accomplishments exhibited by a very dedicated group of men and women.”

Officer Michael O’Farrell received both a police life saving medal and an exemplary performance award.

O’Farrell and police Sgt. Jason Pepper were recognized for their response to the American Medflight plane crash on Nov. 18.

“I was the first officer on the scene,” O’Farrell told the Free Press. “Sgt. Pepper was right behind me. We went up to clear the area and the plane was fully engulfed with flames; there wasn’t really anything we could do as far as the plane, pilot, passengers. But there was a lot of people, civilians in the parking lot, so we basically just went up to remove them from the site to make sure there wasn’t any further casualties caused by the accident.

“And while we were up in the area there was a secondary explosion that went off. I think they later deduced that is was the aviation oxygen tanks,” O’Farrell added. “… It was a big flash and it staggered both of us. I didn’t actually go down but -- whiplash pretty bad. They diagnosed us with a concussion. My ears still ring.”

The crash killed the pilot and four passengers. Aside from the two officers there were no injuries on the ground.

“It wasn’t anything I ever expected to get any kind of recognition for,” O’Farrell said. “I was just doing my job.”

The life saving medal was for O’Farrell’s response to a report of an unconscious man who was not breathing at a local motel. He performed CPR, restoring the man’s pulse before he was taken to the hospital, where he recovered.


Beech 95-B55 Baron, N3070W: Accident occurred January 20, 2017 at Boire Field Airport (KASH), Nashua, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire


FAA Flight Standards District Office:   Portland, Maine


Date: 20-JAN-17
Time: 18:00:00Z
Regis#: N3070W
Aircraft Make: BEECH
Aircraft Model: B55
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)

NASHUA — An aircraft with two people on board experienced a rough landing at Boire Airfield on Friday afternoon.

The Nashua Fire Department said they responded to the airport at 93 Perimeter Rd for a report of an inbound aircraft suffering a landing gear malfunction.

Firefighters stood by as the aircraft attempted to land. The plane's nose landing gear collapsed upon impact, causing the plane to skid about 150 feet on its nose and still functioning rear landing gear.

Firefighters deployed a foam line to help extinguish any fires, but none ignited. They also had equipment ready to assist those on board the aircraft if they became trapped, but both of the occupants were able to free themselves and escaped without injury.

The airport was closed as the pilot and rescue crews secured the plane. Rescue officials said no fuel leaked as a result of the hard landing.

The Nashua Fire Department said the aircraft suffered thousands of dollars in damage to its nose and props.


Reading Regional Airport (KRDG) Authority to support construction of new hangar, storage facility

Bern Township, Pennsylvania -    The Reading Regional Airport board of directors has voted to support a proposal by the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum to build a new hangar and storage building.

Museum President Russell A. Strine said Tuesday that the existing cinder block hangar and its three-gable roof date from World War II and have seen better days. "If we don't do something soon the roof will end up on the floor," he said, adding that the air museum has only been using the hangar for storage.

The museum plans call for a new hangar measuring 80 feet square and a storage building measuring 80 feet by 40 feet.

"What we need is a hangar large enough to accommodate the B-25 medium bomber and the P-61 fighter which we own," Strine said.

Bern Township Manager Brian Potts was at the meeting and said he expected very little in the way of stormwater problems that could slow the project down.

Strine said the project would require many state and local permits.

"At best I expect construction to start this summer," he added

"It'll be a very nice addition to the airport," authority member Thomas G. Kopel, said.


Cessna 172S Skyhawk SP, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Inc., N461ER: Incident occurred January 20, 2017 in Daytona Beach, Volusia County, Florida


FAA Flight Standards District Office: ORLANDO


Date: 20-JAN-17
Time: 03:05:00Z
Regis#: N461ER
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: C172
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: NONE
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Flight Number: RDDL461

United Airlines, Boeing 737: Incident occurred January 19, 2017 at LaGuardia Airport (KLGA), New York

FAA Flight Standards District Office: NEW YORK


Date: 19-JAN-17
Time: 11:15:00Z
Regis#: UAL1561
Aircraft Make: BOEING
Aircraft Model: B737
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Operation: 121
Aircraft Operator: UNITED AIRLINES
Flight Number: UAL1561

Bombardier CL-600-2B16, N156RC: Accident occurred January 03, 2017 in Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio


FAA Flight Standards District Office: CLEVELAND


Date: 03-JAN-17
Time: 21:10:00Z
Regis#: N156RC
Aircraft Make: BOMBARDIER
Aircraft Model: CL600
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: ON DEMAND
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Flight Number: RJE156
State: OHIO

Jamestown, Devils Lake, Bismarck airports see increase in paid passenger boardings in 2016

The Jamestown, Devils Lake and Bismarck airports were the only commercial service airports in the state to see increases in paid passenger boardings for 2016, according to the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission.

Overall passenger boardings in North Dakota were down in 2016 almost 11 percent at its eight commercial service airports compared to 2015.

Jamestown Regional Airport set a new record in 2016 with 11,123 paid passenger boardings, according to the Jim Boyd, Jamestown Regional Airport Authority chairman. Jamestown Regional Airport had a 39 percent increase in paid passenger boardings over 2015 when the airport had 7,996 paid passenger boardings.

Boyd said having more than 11,000 paid passengers file through the doors at the Jamestown Regional Airport is great news, but he is expecting more for 2017. Jamestown Regional Airport will receive $1 million in entitlement funding in 2018 from the Federal Aviation Administration for exceeding the 10,000 paid passenger boardings mark in 2016.

"We need to keep moving forward (on getting more passengers)," Boyd said. "The word-of-mouth (about the airport and the services it offers) is wonderful."

Overall the state's eight commercial service airports in Bismarck, Jamestown, Devils Lake, Fargo, Dickinson, Grand Forks, Minot and Williston, had 1,049,451 paid passengers in 2016, which is down from 1,176,043 in 2015.

Kyle Wanner, North Dakota Aeronautics Commission director, said some of the largest impacts came from the loss of routes to Dickinson and Williston. In December 2015 Delta stopped jet passenger service from Dickinson to Minneapolis, Wanner said. In July 2016 Dickinson Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport went back on the U.S. Department of Transportation's Essential Air Service program, and SkyWest Airlines is continuing to provide passenger jet service between Dickinson and Denver.

Williston lost daily, round trip jet passenger service to Houston, Texas, in 2015. Williston broke ground in October on a new $240 million airport, Williston Basin International Airport, which will replace Sloulin Field International Airport. The project should be completed by fall 2019.

"Anytime an airport loses a route, it's going to affect the numbers," Wanner said.

Wanner said Hector International Airport in Fargo had a decline of 33,637 paid passengers between 2016 and 2015. He said he talked with the airport manager in Fargo and he attributed the loss to a lack of pilots. Wanner said the pilot shortage is a problem around the nation.

"The airlines aren't eager to throw in more routes or more airplanes because of the pilot issues," he said.

Wanner said low oil and commodity prices have impacted passenger boardings over the last two years. He said with the loss of routes in Dickinson and Williston, it's not fair to compare 2016 to 2015.

"It's not an apples-to-apples comparison when you lose routes," he said.

Wanner is confident that 2017 will show a leveling off of passenger boarding declines and the state will see increases in passenger boardings. He said when looking at the 2016 numbers, the year started off with big declines, like 14 percent each month. Then the declines went to 12 percent, then to 10 and 8 percent. In December 2016 the passenger boardings declined by 5.5 percent.

Wanner said the good news is the state's eight commercial service airports all have passenger jet service and if conditions are right, meaning an upward swing in oil and commodity prices, the routes lost in Dickinson and Williston could come back.


Flights cancelled at Green Bay-Austin Straubel International Airport (KGRB) due to fog

ASHWAUBENON, WI -- A number of flights have been canceled or delayed at Austin Straubel International Airport due to poor weather conditions. 

Passengers we spoke with flying in from Detroit say they couldn't land in Green Bay due to fog so they were brought to Appleton International Airport instead. 

If you have flights in or out of Green Bay, check flight info on their website for expected arrival and departure times. 


Boeing 717, VH-NXN, and Fokker F28 MK 0100, VH-NHF, Paraburdoo Airport, Western Australia, on October 05, 2016 • • Cessna 210, VH-UPN, Broome Airport, Western Australia, on October 10, 2016

QantasLink accident a result of pilot error 

Pilot error caused a QantasLink aircraft to clip the tail of another plane in the parking bay at Para­burdoo airport in Western Australia, delaying by one day the return to Perth of more than 100 mine workers, according to an investigation.

The latest Australian Transport Safety Bureau safety bulletin outlines the cause of this incident along with 11 others that it investigated last year.

The incident in October occurred because the Qantas Boeing 717 “deviated” from the taxi line in the bay when trying to make room for an incoming company plane.

On board the Qantas flight operated by Cobham Aviation were five crew and 115 passengers, most of them mine workers.

As the Qantas B717 began taxiing an engineer noticed that it “deviated from the painted taxi line” and the engineer tried to warn the captain that he was approaching a parked Fokker F100.

As the B717 approached the F100 the engineer gave a thumbs up to indicate that the tails were not in contact, but he assumed the B717 would taxi towards the runway. Instead, the B717 continued towards the F100 until the engineer ran towards the front of the aircraft and waved to the captain to stop. The captain braked heavily. The plane’s passengers had to disembark and be bussed to another airport before flying to Perth the following day.

The report found that one of the contributing factors was that a wing walker was not in place to ­assist the crew as they taxied.

A Qantas spokesman said that immediately after the incident the company had reminded pilots that they were required to follow taxi line markings at all times, except when under the guidance of an aircraft marshaller.

Qantas is talking to several stakeholders to expand the parking bay area at Paraburdoo.

The ATSB also revealed that a pilot who crash-landed a Cessna aircraft with three passengers on board in October might have failed to lower the landing gear because the pre-landing checklist had been completed “mentally”. The pilot was used to flying aircraft with fixed landing gear, an investigation found.

The key reason for the Cessna incident at Broome airport appears to be the failure to properly carry out pre-landing procedures.

“The pilot may have only completed the pre-landing checklist mentally without actually performing the required actions,” the report says. “The pilot’s roster required them to operate both the fixed landing gear Cessna 206 and the retractable landing gear Cessna 210. They found this difficult and felt that this may have contributed to the landing gear not being selected down prior to ­landing.”

However, the extreme heat that day also may have been a factor. Before the departure from Fitzroy Crossing, the pilot had flown from Broome and then spent about 40 minutes in 41C heat while waiting for late-arriving passengers to board the flight.

The ATSB report did not name the charter company or the pilot. This is consistent with its policy of wanting to “reduce the risk of smaller operators not reporting transport safety matters to the ATSB to avoid negative public inferences”, a spokesman said.

This policy was being reviewed to make it consistent with International Civil Aviation Organisation practice, he added.

A Civil Aviation Safety Authority spokesman said CASA was “satisfied all appropriate steps had been taken by the air operator in relation to the accident”.


Taxiing collision involving Boeing 717, VH-NXN, and Fokker F28 MK 0100, VH-NHF, Paraburdoo Airport, Western Australia, on October 05, 2016

On October 05,  2016, at about 1600 Western Standard Time, a Boeing 717 (B717) aircraft, registered VH-NXN (NXN), was being operated by Cobham Aviation Services as QantasLink, on a scheduled passenger flight from Paraburdoo Airport to Perth, Western Australia. On board were the captain, first officer, three cabin crewmembers and 115 passengers.

As the aircraft commenced taxiing, the captain sighted a company B717 aircraft about to land on runway 06. The captain quickly assessed that due to limited apron space at Paraburdoo, they needed to taxi behind a Network Aviation Fokker F28 MK 0100 (F100) aircraft, registered VH-NHF (NHF), which was parked on Bay 1, to allow the inbound B717 room to pass and taxi to Bay 2, which they had just vacated.

An engineer for Network Aviation, who had been working on the F100, observed NXN taxiing and became concerned about the proximity of its left wingtip to the tail of the parked F100. The engineer checked the clearance between its wingtip and tail of the F100, and gave the captain the signal to indicate the aircraft was clear.  The captain assumed therefore that the aircraft was clear and continued taxiing around the back of the F100, and turned the aircraft sharply to the right to leave enough room for the inbound B717 to taxi past.

The engineer had expected NXN to taxi towards the runway rather than turning around the back of the F100. The engineer immediately assessed that the horizontal stabilisers of the two aircraft may collide, and tried to signal the captain to stop, but was near the wing of the aircraft and no longer in the captain’s sight. The engineer ran towards the front of the aircraft and waved to the captain to stop. The captain braked heavily but did not feel a collision. Some hours later, it was determined that the horizontal stabiliser of NXN had slid under that of NHF, scraping the surface, and both aircraft sustained minor damage. The passengers and crew of NXN were not injured and no one was on board NHF.

Investigation number AO-2016-129:

Wheels up landing involving Cessna 210, VH-UPN, Broome Airport, Western Australia, on October 10,  2016

At 1433 Western Standard Time, on October 10 2016, a Cessna 210N aircraft, registered VH-UPN, departed Fitzroy Crossing, Western Australia (WA), for a passenger charter flight to Broome Airport, WA. On board were a pilot and three passengers.

At 1545, the aircraft approached 5 NM from Broome Airport, the pilot reported they levelled the aircraft at 1,000 ft and conducted the pre-landing checklist in accordance with operator procedures. The pre-landing checklist included selecting the landing gear down and confirming that the landing gear was extended. At about 1547, an individual located under the approach path to runway 28, about 800 m from the runway 28 threshold, observed a Cessna 210 on approach with the landing gear retracted.

At 1548, the aircraft touched down on runway 28 with the undercarriage retracted. No persons were injured in the incident and the aircraft sustained minor damage.

This incident provides a good example of the importance of checklist vigilance. Checklists are designed to ensure that flight crew properly configure the aircraft for any given phase of flight. Regular routine flying can lead to checklists, which are regularly completed, being conducted mentally without the required actions being completed. Vigilance is required to ensure that each checklist is completed correctly and in full.

The Flight Safety Australia article Those who won’t: avoiding gear-up landings includes valuable information to assist pilots in avoiding gear up landings.

Investigation number AO-2016-134: