Sunday, January 22, 2017

Cessna 182A Skylane, N3828D: Incident occurred January 22, 2017 at Tri-City Airport (3G6), Beloit, Mahoning County, Ohio

http://registry.faa.gov/N3828D

FAA Flight Standards District Office: CLEVELAND


AIRCRAFT ON LANDING IN THE GRASS NEXT TO THE RUNWAY, FLIPPED OVER, SEBRING, OHIO


Date: 22-JAN-17
Time: 15:40:00Z
Regis#: N3828D
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: C182
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: SKYDIVING
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: SEBRING
State: OHIO


Location where the Cessna 182A Skylane flipped over.



BELOIT, Ohio -  The Ohio State Highway Patrol Canfield Post is investigating a plane incident at the Tri-City Airport in Beloit.

Troopers say Thomas Wagner was piloting the Cessna 182A Skylane during a landing attempt at around 3:30 p.m. Sunday. 

The plane struck the ground before reaching the landing strip causing damage to the nose gear tire. 

The plane took off after contact with the ground. 

Wagner, 62, of Alliance, made another landing attempt on a grass stretch of land west of the landing strip. 

The plane struck the ground and flipped over.

Wagner was not injured in the crash.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were contacted and will be conducting an investigation.

Source:   http://www.wfmj.com

Bellanca 17-30A Viking, N39819: Accident occurred January 21, 2017 near Stoltzfus Airfield (OH22), Wayne County, Ohio

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N39819

FAA Flight Standards District Office: CLEVELAND

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report  -  National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

NTSB Identification: CEN17LA081
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, January 21, 2017 in Kidron, OH
Aircraft: BELLANCA 17 30, registration: N39819
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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

On January 21, 2017, about 1400 eastern standard time, a Bellanca 17-30A airplane, N39819, conducted a forced landing near Kidron, Ohio. The airline transport rated pilot received was not injured and the airplane was substantially damaged during the accident. The airplane 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 at the time. 

The pilot reported that he was on a personal flight, and had been airborne for about 40 minutes. He added that he was in cruise flight at about 2,600 ft MSL, when he heard a "bang", and the engine started to shake and lose power. He turned back towards the airport, but believed that the airplane was not going to make the airport, so he selected a field for the forced landing. During the forced landing, the left wing collided with a brush pile; the airplane then impacted a stand of pine trees, before coming to a stop. 

Substantial damage was noted to the airplane's fuselage and wings. Fuel was present on site. 


The airplane was retained for further examination.



WAYNE, COUNTY, OHIO  - The pilot of a Bellanca 17-30A Viking plane force landed Saturday afternoon, January 21st. 

The incident occurred in East Union Township just south of Kansas Rd.

Sometime before 3:00 in the afternoon the pilot was forced to look for a place to land his plane experienced mechanical failures that caused his engine to quit. 

The pilot directed the plane towards Stoltzfus Airfield, but soon realized he would not make the distance. He then attempted to land the plane in a nearby field. 

The plane came to its final resting place on the edge of the wooded area next to the field.

Miraculously, he was able to walk away from his aircraft. He has no reported injuries, and was able to explain what happened to a crowd that gathered.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol responded to the incident, and the FAA and local fire station were contacted.

The family says they are "just glad he's ok and no one was hurt." They also commend his quick thinking and navigation, saying "he did an outstanding job."

Story and video:  https://wmfd.com

Plane crash survivor flies again

The Duo Deuce is pictured before the accident, while it was still under construction.



“Oh my God, I’m alive—but please don’t let me burn,” Roberta “Bobbi” Boucher implored as she hung upside down from the wreckage of her plane, which crashed June 6 in Stafford County.

Boucher, 63, of Fredericksburg, said she remembers every single moment of the day of the crash.

She recalled being giddy with excitement as she climbed into the single-seat aircraft she had designed in her shop, The Plane Doctor, at Shannon Airport in Spotsylvania County.

And she felt comfortable behind the controls of the Duo Deuce. In addition to decades of experience as a certified airframes and power-plants mechanic, she is also a certified aircraft inspector and flight instructor. For Boucher, flying never gets old.

The experimental aircraft had been approved by an engineer and Boucher had done all her usual checks prior to boarding, so she felt confident as she steered it onto the runway of Stafford Regional Airport to perform a high-speed taxi.

But things quickly started going downhill. She inadvertently lifted off and experienced engine failure. As she approached Interstate 95, her stomach felt like it was in knots.

She feared that she would hit the cars and trucks she could see beneath her, driving along the highway.

All of a sudden, the plane stalled and began to plummet.

“I just closed my eyes,” she said. “I didn’t want to see it coming. I think maybe subconsciously I knew that if I could see what was coming, I would tense up.”

The plane ended up nose-diving into a field of mulch between Centreport Parkway and Interstate 95. She remembers hitting the ground hard, and the plane sliding before coming to an abrupt stop.

Then, in what seemed like slow motion, the tail came up until the plane stood straight on its nose.

Boucher remembers praying the plane would not tip over, but, within moments, it started to fall. The glass canopy surrounding the cockpit smashed, upside down, into deep mulch. It covered her.

“My adrenaline was going so fast that time just kind of stopped, and seconds turned into hours,” she said.

COMPASSION, HEROISM

Shortly after the crash, a man jumped over the fence from I–95 and ran toward her yelling “Are you OK?” over and over again. She managed to call out “Yes,” as she watched fuel gush from the plane and soak the ground around her.

Once the man reached the plane, he began trying to dig Boucher out of the mulch. He managed to grab her hand, and give it a squeeze. He kept trying to reassure her by saying, “I’m here, I’m here.”

Boucher still chokes up when she thinks about the moment when the man—whose identity is still a mystery to her—took her hand in his.

She knew, as she dangled upside down, drenched in fuel with coarse mulch matted against her face, that death was imminent if the plane exploded. She needed the touch of another human being to remind her she was not alone.

“At that point, human contact was a wonderful thing,” she said. “I wish I knew his name.”

When fire and rescue personnel arrived, they saw the man, joined by someone from Stafford Airport, furiously pulling at the dirt to free Boucher. The rescue crew told them to stop because the plane was leaking fuel, but the men kept digging.

Boucher heard one respond, “I’m already drenched, it doesn’t matter.”

She describes the moment as the greatest display of human compassion and heroism she has ever witnessed.

As emergency personnel worked to free her, they began cutting the plane’s canopy. Her arm was trapped in the wreckage of it, and she screeched as they inadvertently began sawing into her arm. The noise from the generators made it difficult for them to hear her pleas at first.

As fire and rescue workers stood ready with hoses to spray the plane if it caught fire, the rescuers managed to pull Boucher out of the wreckage. She remembers squeezing her eyes against the glare of the sun. She recalls hugging one of the fire and rescue workers and thanking him for saving her.

On the way to Mary Washington Hospital in the ambulance, the emergency personnel asked Boucher for the names of her doctors. When she arrived at the hospital, her doctors and friends were gathered just outside the Emergency Room.

The surgeon discovered that Boucher’s third thoracic vertebrae had been crushed in the accident. After determining that the spinal injury was beyond his expertise, he sent Boucher to a hospital in Richmond.

Boucher cannot remember how long she was at MWH, but she does remember being transported to the helicopter that would fly her to Richmond. The crew asked who the patient was and the hospital staff said “Bobbi Boucher.”

“Bobbi Boucher of Shannon Airport?” they asked. “We know Bobbi—we will take good care of her.”

LONG, SLOW RECOVERY

Boucher spent 10 days in the intensive care unit. She had multiple IVs, a feeding tube and several broken bones. Nurses would come in to flip her over every 45 minutes, making it difficult to rest. She also had to undergo many X–rays, which she recalled being ice cold and painful due to her back injury.

Despite her age and the severity of her symptoms, Boucher began to heal quickly. At first, she could barely move her left arm and she had severe pain between her shoulder blades when pulling or pushing. She also couldn’t walk because of muscle atrophy.

“I had a feeling my doctors were surprised I was healing so quickly,” Boucher said. “My body knew what it had to do. But, recovery has been long and slow—too slow.”

Full recovery will take a year—and she will probably never completely return to normal, but Boucher can now walk, although she often uses a wheelchair or walker. She can also drive, although it can be difficult.

Pushing and pulling continues to be strenuous, which makes her responsibilities at her aircraft repair shop challenging.

She gets by with the help of her friend, Linda Knowles, who she met several years ago in Florida at the Air Race Classic, an annual cross-county air race for female pilots.

Her injuries have not kept her away from planes. Boucher continues to spend her days in the hangar at the airport where her shop is located. Knowles serves as her hands, and Boucher instructs her on what to do.

She has also flown again—an experience she described as both unnerving and exhilarating. She went out briefly in a low-wing plane with a copilot.

While it was difficult to board the plane, she said it was easier to fly than drive, since air controls don’t require the pushing and pulling motions that aggravate her back injury.

EAGER TO SOLO AGAIN

Boucher has always been independent, so it has been difficult learning to rely on others for help. While she feels grateful she is not paralyzed, she said everything feels different and she is worried about her business.

“I feel like I’m going to lose my shop because of this accident,” she said. “I have always wanted to go on my terms. But, I wouldn’t have this shop without Linda right now, and I still have so many business expenses to pay. I’m worried keeping this shop has just become a pipe dream.”

She says she is grateful to everyone who has supported her. She recalls being blown away by the number of people who came to visit her at the hospital in Richmond. She even heard the hospital had to turn away visitors.

Her friend, Andrew Ellison, started a GoFundMe page to assist with her medical expenses. She appreciates the generosity of friends, acquaintances and total strangers who contributed.

“I spend my days in this little shop working on planes,” she said. “I didn’t realize I had an effect on so many people.”

But if anyone knows planes, it is Boucher, and her impact on the world of aviation has been far-reaching.

Her love of planes began during the early days of her service in the Navy as a jet engine mechanic. She spent several years working on the jet engines of the P2V Neptune, an aircraft designed to hunt submarines, and later, on P-3s. She was able to get her A&P certificate and flight engineer rating while in the Navy.

After her military service ended, she worked for Shannon Airport for five years before opening The Plane Doctor in 1983.

Her career highlights include a trip to Africa in 1998, at the request of the World Wildlife Foundation to build and fly a Beaver RX 550 ultralight aircraft for the foundation. She arrived in Central Africa just days after a coup, so her host carried a machine gun on the 13-hour journey by truck to the remote destination.

She spent 15 days putting together and testing an airplane that would be used to detect elephant hunters who were killing the animals for ivory.

The trip had an unfortunate ending. Shortly before Boucher was scheduled to return home, the patched-roof building where the airplane was being stored collapsed, and crushed the airplane. Without new parts, which could take months to get there, the plane was irreparable.

“After working on something so long, it was hard to lose it,” Boucher said.

Boucher has also participated in five Air Race Classics, something she hopes to repeat. However, the race is expensive and money is tight, so keeping her shop going will continue to be her main priority.

“I’m looking forward to getting back into an airplane by myself again,” she said.

Source:  http://www.dailyprogress.com




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

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report  -  National Transportation Safety Board:   https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

http://registry.faa.gov/N808DD 

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA204
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, June 06, 2016 in Stafford, VA
Aircraft: BOBBI BOUCHER DUO DEUCE, registration: N808DD
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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

On June 6, 2016, at 1759 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Duo Deuce, N808DD, was substantially damaged during a collision with terrain after takeoff from Stafford Regional Airport (RMN), Stafford, Virginia. The commercial pilot/owner/builder was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the initial test flight, which was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. 

In an interview with a police officer just after the accident, the pilot reported that during the initial climb after takeoff, both engines experienced a "sudden" loss of power. She identified an open area for the forced landing, and upon touchdown, the airplane nosed over and came to rest inverted. 

In a subsequent telephone interview, the pilot stated that she did not recall the conversation with the officer, and stated the right engine stopped producing power. 

Several witnesses provided statements, and they described the takeoff and climb as "slow," stating that the airplane was "wobbling" and the wings were "rocking." One witness estimated that the airplane climbed to about 300 feet above the runway, before it slowly descended. 

A review of videos recorded from two airport security cameras, as well as an on-board video recorded with the pilot's cellphone revealed a shallow takeoff and initial climb. Almost immediately after takeoff, the airplane's track diverged from the runway centerline off the right side of the runway and over the grass apron. The climb stopped at what appeared to be treetop height, the wings rocked, and the airplane continued to pitch up as it descended until ground contact. The instrument panel could not be viewed, but the propeller speeds appeared constant and both propellers appeared to be turning at the same speed during the takeoff roll and the entire flight until ground contact. 

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single and multiengine land and sea, and instructor ratings for airplane single and multiengine. She was issued an FAA second-class medical certificate on October 29, 2015, and reported 6,420 total hours of flight experience on that date. 

The two-seat, twin-engine, low-wing airplane was manufactured in 2013, and was equipped with two Lycoming IO-320-B1A engines. The pilot/owner/builder modified a Van's Aircraft, Inc., RV-8 single engine airplane kit. Instead of the nose-mounted, single-engine configuration for which the kit was designed, the airplane was equipped with two wing-mounted engines. 

Examination of photographs revealed the airplane remained largely intact, with the left engine separated. Both wings and the tail section were substantially damaged. The airplane was retained for a detailed examination at a later date.

Greenbrier Valley Airport (KLWB) attracts Pocahontas tourism partners

MAXWELTON — Despite Greenbrier Valley Airport’s recent struggle to maintain regularly scheduled commercial flights, manager Stephen Snyder is finding great success in drumming up support from the region’s tourist attractions.

Serving an area that includes such high-volume visitor magnets as The Greenbrier, The Omni Homestead and Snowshoe Mountain, the airport’s viability is crucial to the continued success of its tourism partners, according to Snyder.

“Airports are an economic driver for the community,” he said this week.

In order to cement those bonds, Snyder has begun working with consultant Molly Wong to invite potential tourism partners from Pocahontas County to describe their enterprises to the Greenbrier County Airport Authority.

Representatives of three nonprofit partners — groups associated with Watoga State Park, the Greenbrier River Trail and Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad — delivered brief presentations to the authority during a meeting at the airport Tuesday.

David Elliott, chairman of the Watoga State Park Foundation Inc., told of Watoga’s four major annual tourism events, putting special emphasis on the largest of these — the Mountain Trail Challenge, a race event that comprises a half marathon in addition to 5K trail races.

Last year’s Challenge attracted 118 contestants, Elliott said. Slated for Aug. 12, this year’s race will be advertised throughout the Eastern Seaboard, he said, inquiring if the airport could help publicize the event.

Snyder said that the airport now has an interactive online calendar which provides not only listings of local events but also links to the sponsoring entities’ web pages.

“We can be a clearinghouse for this information,” Snyder said.

Other major tourist-friendly events planned for Watoga this year are the Wild Edible Festival/Earth Day celebration April 21-22, the Mushroom Foray July 21-22 and Art in the Park, slated for Labor Day weekend. Watoga will also celebrate its 80th birthday as a state park July 1.

For more information about Watoga, visit www.watogafoundation.org or www.watoga.com.

• • •

“We’re a tourist county,” said Lawrence “Laurie” Cameron of the Pocahontas-based Greenbrier River Trail Association.

The trail itself is quite popular with tourists, although the most-visited portion — located in Greenbrier County — is currently closed due to damage sustained in last summer’s devastating flood.

Cameron said that it took the trail four years to recover from the flood of 1985, but he hopes for a quicker turnaround this time, given the number of people who are raising funds for its restoration.

“It’s going to cost quite a bit — hundreds of thousands,” he predicted.

Cameron’s recommendation for his organization is that it not wait “until we have every dollar in hand” before proceeding with the necessary work. He said the GRTA should instead contact “willing contractors” who have time and inclination to work on the trail’s restoration for a few days in between other projects and “pay as we go.”

“Let us know how we can help,” Snyder said.

The airport manager suggested that the association contact the Army Corps of Engineers or the Seabees, members of the U.S. Naval Construction Forces, for assistance. Snyder said Seabees take on domestic projects to hone their skills for more challenging work in combat situations.

Also, pending confirmation of legality, Snyder said the airport might be able to lend a bulldozer to the association or make use of the “fill dirt” that needs to be carted away from the site of a 400-foot-long, 150-foot-tall mudslide that still covers a section of the trail.

When the 80-mile trail is fully open, it provides a $3.5 million annual economic boost to the local region, according to figures provided this summer by the state chief of parks.

For more information on the trail and the work of the GRTA, visit wordpress.greenbrierrivertrail.com.

• • •

The Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad is building on its success as a tourist attraction, with plans to eventually operate excursion trains along a 90-mile loop extending from Pocahontas County through Elkins in Randolph County.

Frank Hammons told airport authority members that the more rail lines that open in the network, the more tourists will be drawn to the region.

“We get a lot of passengers,” he said. “More is better when it comes to routes. People come for one and then stay to try another one.”

He predicted it will take around 10 years to bring the entire plan to fruition, mainly because the process involves so many regulatory hurdles.

The nonprofit organization operates the popular Cass Scenic Railroad and also works out of the Elkins Railyard, which is a hub for commercial hauling of materials like gravel, Hammons said. The Elkins site is “being built back up,” he said, noting there are plans to once again begin hauling logs across the mountain after Elkins and Cass are reconnected.

For more information, visit mountainrailwv.com.

To access Greenbrier Valley Airport’s online calendar, go to www.gvair.com and click on “Calendar.”  
Read more here:   http://www.register-herald.com

Police find drone pilot

HANGZHOU police said that they have found the man who flew a drone close to the flight path of planes departing from or landing at Xiaoshan International Airport on January 15.

An eight-second video of aerial footage allegedly recorded by the man was posted on the Weibo ac­count Hangkongwuyu. The video attracted more than 2,800 comments and was shared 5,900 times.

Police were able to track the man down through a website dedicated to DJI-brand drones. The suspect, a 23-year-old surnamed Yuan, is said to have admitted to making the video.

To record the video, Yuan said he flew his quadcopter drone around 5pm on January 15 in Xinjie Town, about 8.5 kilometers from the airport. The drone hovered about 450 meters above the ground and recorded videos and pictures for about 10 minutes.

Yuan handed in his drone and im­ages over to police for investigation and said he regretted his actions.

China has rules that forbid raising pigeons, launching fireworks, using signal detonators, flying kites and balloons and objects like drones in the vicinity of airports. Violators can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined up to 100,000 yuan.

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

Robinson R44 II, XA-CSJ: Fatal accident occurred January 21, 2017 in Salinas Victoria, Mexico

NTSB Identification: CEN17WA083
Accident occurred Saturday, January 21, 2017 in Salinas Victoria, Mexico
Aircraft: ROBINSON R44, registration:
Injuries: 2 Fatal.
The foreign authority was the source of this information.

On January 21, 2017, about 1800 universal coordinated time, a Robinson R44 helicopter, XA-CSJ, impacted terrain near Salinas Victoria, Mexico. 

The pilot and one passenger were fatally injured and the helicopter was destroyed by impact and fire damage. 

The aircraft originated from Municipio Bustamante. 

The accident investigation is under the jurisdiction and control of the Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil (DGAC). 

This report is for informational purposes only and contains information released by or obtained from the government of the Mexico.

Further information pertaining to this accident may be obtained from:

Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil
Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes
Providencia No. 807 - 6o piso
Colonia del Valle
Codigo Postal 03100
México, D.F.
Mexico

Searcy Municipal Airport (KSRC) requests grounds equipment

Searcy Municipal Airport Manager Roger Pearson has requested that funds be included in this year's budget to purchase a lawnmower and other grounds-related equipment for the airport.

Pearson made his requests to the Searcy City Council on Thursday as part of the city department budget meetings being held this month. The final budgets are due to be approved by Feb. 1.

Pearson asked that the council consider letting the airport purchase a used 72-inch radius lawnmower for $4,795.

Currently, Searcy Parks and Recreation leases the mower and the term is nearing its end. The airport is interested in buying the mower instead of purchasing the same model new for $12,500. The airport's old radius mower is out of service and needs to be replaced, Pearson said.

Aldermen asked Pearson why the mower is needed since the airport has a bush hog.

"This is the mower that we use for around the runway lights and taxiway lights, as well as up against the fences and hangars," Pearson said.

Those areas are too tight for the batwing bush hog airport workers use for the rest of the field, he said.

In that line item, there was additional dollars listed and questioned by the council. Pearson said two more equipment purchases were being requested. The "tremendous" weight of the batwing bush hog causes the tractor to get stuck when the ground is too wet; therefore the airport would like to purchase a lighter bush hog attachment that could extend to the wet areas, he said.

Certain areas at the airport are required to be mowed despite how wet the grass gets during heavy rain, Pearson explained after the meeting. If the grass in those areas exceeds 18 inches in height, it could interfere with the instruments used during bad weather to help aircraft arrive safely.

"It is not optional to let [the grass] grow, as it is part of our agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration to maintain the ground to allow for proper functioning of the instruments," Pearson said. As far as the rest of the funds requested, the airport intends to buy a snowblower, if the budget line item is approved.

Pearson reminded the council that he had a snow blade attachment built for the tractor that is used to clear snow off the surface operations area; however it pushes the snow up against the sides of those areas and interferes with visibility of the lights.

"We can't allow for the buildup because it can cover runway and taxiway lighting, and cause wingtip strikes," Pearson said. "The solution would be to purchase a walk-behind snowblower and blow the snow out beyond the lighting after it is pushed to the side."

Source:   http://www.thedailycitizen.com

Grand Junction Regional Airport (KGJT) fires at Jviation, countering its lawsuit

Had a Front Range consultant lived up to its billing on aviation-related matters, Grand Junction Regional Airport might never have ended up in the mess it did, the airport says in court papers.

The company, Jviation Inc., “held itself out as an expert in a variety of aviation-related areas,” including dealing with the Federal Aviation Administration, its bidding and regulatory functions, as well as “expertise in federal funding procedures through personnel formerly associated with the FAA,” the airport said in a counterclaim to a lawsuit filed by Jviation.

Jviation sued the airport last year, demanding $225,000 in payment for work it did at the airport.

Airport officials are ultimately responsible for the problems that beset it, said Heather Hanneman, an attorney representing Jviation.

“Jviation has done work for the airport for years and the airport was always very happy with this work,” Hanneman said, noting that Jviation relied on information given to it by airport officials.

Jviation officials “want to get their story out. We’re very confident that the evidence is going to show Jviation was not at fault” in issues surrounding construction of the airport administration building and security fence, Hanneman said.

Jviation’s close relationship with airport officials, especially Rex Tippetts, the former director of aviation at Grand Junction Regional Airport, was at the heart of a series of events that went awry, according to the airport’s filings in Mesa County District Court.

Over the course of a relationship that began in 2008, airport officials developed trust in Jviation to the extent that the company became a fiduciary, or adviser trusted to care for money or other assets prudently, in dealing with the FAA, the airport said.

Jviation, meanwhile, curried a close relationship with Rex Tippetts, the airport’s director of aviation, by giving him tickets to sporting events and travel opportunities, according to filings.

“Individuals from Jviation traveled with Tippetts on vacation and socialized with Tippetts and his wife outside of the work environment,” the court papers said.

Tippetts discussed with Jviation his plans for a new terminal — later an administration building, which remains unfinished — even though the project was not among those included in the 2008 agreement, the filings said.

Jviation’s advice resulted in mishandling bids for the $6.2 million building, which included Tippetts negotiating with the low bidder to bring the project within budget, even though several other builders put in bids, according to the airport.

Jviation failed to advise Tippetts that negotiating only with the low bidder was against FAA rules, the airport said.

“During this material period, false statements were made to the (airport) board at publicly held board meetings regarding the compliance with FAA rules for grant procurement and contractor bidding,” the filings say.

Ultimately, the airport halted construction on the project and relinquished FAA grants for it, leaving the airport with no way to finish the job.

“In addition (the airport) has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorneys’ fees that otherwise would not have been incurred but for Jviation’s breach of its obligations” to the airport, the filing said.

The airport is on the hook for $16,500 — and possibly as much as $16.5 million — in a whistleblower suit alleging that it fraudulently pursued FAA funding for construction of the security fence. It also has to return $520,000 to the FAA for constructing the fence with an electrified topper, which hadn’t been approved by the agency.

Jviation failed the airport with its advice regarding construction of the fence, the airport said.

Jviation had no fault in the electrified topper issue, according to a sworn declaration filed by the manager of the FAA’s Denver District, which found no fraud “related to the electrification of the three strand wire topper.”

The FAA decided after discussions with the Transportation Security Administration that the electrified fence topper was ineligible for federal funding.

The airport is seeking unspecified damages for negligent misrepresentation, fraud by nondisclosure, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract.

In its original complaint, Jviation said it was owed $133,000 for work on the administration building and $92,000 for work on a new placement for a remote receiver-transmitter.

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

Federal Aviation Administration investigating after reports of lasers pointed at planes leaving Louisville International Airport (KSDF)



LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating reports of lasers being pointed at planes while leaving Louisville. 

Six United Parcel Service (UPS) flights reported red and green lasers being pointed at them over a 20-minute period around 2 a.m. Thursday. 

Each pilot reported the lasers as the planes were over a local electric power plant. 

The Federal Aviation Administration says lasers directed at an aircraft can temporarily blind pilots and cause aborted landings.

There have been 54 laser-related events at the Louisville International Airport and more than 7,000 nationally.

Source:  http://www.wdrb.com

Cathay Pacific -- a fallen star of the air? Despite overhaul, Hong Kong's premium airline set for rare loss



HONG KONG -- A Cathay Pacific Airways Boeing 747 aircraft flying over the roofs of high-rises in the crowded, aging district of Kowloon City was a typical picture-postcard image of colonial Hong Kong. Last October, dozens of nostalgic fans flocked to see the last flyover of the double-decker, dubbed the "Queen of the Skies," as the Hong Kong-based airline phased out older planes for lighter, more economic models.

Some commentators sentimentally described the moment as the "end of an era" -- when the jumbo jet propelled international travel, transforming Hong Kong from a regional seaport into a global hub of finance and trade. It was also a time when the homegrown airline wowed international rivals and impressed shareholders with its growth prospects and distinguished earnings records.

"It only made losses in two out of 70 years of operations," wrote Mohshin Aziz, an aviation analyst at Malaysia's Maybank Kim Eng, in a report on Jan. 17. "No other airline has a better track record."

Cathay Pacific has indeed been reigning over the skies of Hong Kong since 1946. The airline is one of the core businesses of Hong Kong-listed parent Swire Pacific, which owns a 45% stake. Swire Pacific's regional activities include property, beverages, marine services, retail and trading. It is one of the largest Coca-Cola bottlers in the world.

Cathay's ultimate parent is John Swire & Sons, a London-based family conglomerate with over 200 years of history and more than 130,000 staff worldwide. It owns 55% of Swire Pacific and in 2014, appointed John Slosar, an American, as that company's first non-British chairman. He also chairs Cathay Pacific.

Cathay's winning streak is likely to be broken. Some analysts expect the airline to post its third full-year loss in March-- and its first full-year loss since 2008. A major reason for its problems: Cathay's business model is looking outdated, with a full rebound in demand for its premium service perhaps impossible given shifts in corporate and individual travel spending. At the same time, fuel costs are rising after several years of weakness and budget airlines and state-backed airlines from China and the Gulf are challenging Cathay on far more routes than before.

On Jan. 18, Cathay announced job cuts and hinted at a leadership reshuffle in what it said would be its largest restructuring exercise in two decades. "2017 is going to be a year of significant change" in an "increasingly competitive aviation landscape," the airline said in a statement, after a review meeting by its leadership team.

Cathay said the overhaul would create new positions but "some jobs will no longer be needed." Citing the need for a "leaner, simpler structure," it said key changes would "start at the top" and take effect by the middle of the year. The airline will also tap into data analytics and digital capabilities for consumer insight and reducing wastage.

An employer of some 27,000 workers, Cathay gave scant details on how many positions would be cut. But it appeared that front-line workers would be less affected due to the recent addition of new services to Barcelona and Tel Aviv, extra flights to Toronto and new lounges in Hong Kong and Singapore. "Most losses would be in the back office," said Dora Lai Yuk-sim, head of Cathay's flight attendants union, who attended the leadership meeting.

The market responded negatively to the strategic plan, with some investors calling the measures too late, too little. Cathay's share price lost 4% the next day, nearly erasing the gains since news of its impending restructuring surfaced on Jan. 16. The slump brought its valuation to the lowest levels in eight years -- since the global financial crisis -- making it one of the worst-performing airline stocks across the region.

Original article can be found here:   http://asia.nikkei.com

AirAsia denies wrongdoing in dealings with Rolls-Royce: Carrier says it followed ‘all procedures’ over private jet’s maintenance



AirAsia, the Malaysian budget carrier, has denied wrongdoing after an inquiry into corruption at Rolls-Royce found that the UK engine maker failed to prevent its employees from bribing an AirAsia executive with a $3.2m discount for the maintenance of a private jet part-owned by Tony Fernandes, the airline’s co-founder. 

The UK’s Serious Fraud Office charged that Rolls-Royce failed to prevent staff from paying a credit “despite those employees believing that, in consequence, the AAG executive intended to perform a relevant function improperly.” This discount was given at the request of an AirAsia executive in return for his “showing favour” towards Rolls-Royce in the purchase of products and services, said the SFO.

The $3.2m credits were provided for a Bombardier Global Xpress business jet owned by Tune Group, the investment holding company set up by Mr Fernandes, the AirAsia chief executive, and his business partner Kamarudin Meranun, AirAsia’s executive chairman, the Financial Times has established.

AirAsia’s denial comes after Rolls-Royce last week admitted a string of bribery and corruption offenses stretching over 23 years and a dozen countries as part of a £671m settlement with authorities in the UK, US and Brazil.

The company will not be prosecuted as long as it abides by the terms of the settlement, but UK and US investigators are expected to launch criminal charges against individuals in the coming months.

Sir John Rose, chief executive between 1996 and 2011, has hired the lawyer who defended Barings rogue trader Nick Leeson to represent him in relation to the probe. The lawyer, Stephen Pollard, partner at WilmerHale, declined to comment.

A former music executive, Mr. Fernandes bought AirAsia, then a tiny, lossmaking airline, in 2001 and built it into the region’s biggest low-cost carrier. An outspoken businessman with a passion for sports, he owns Queens Park Rangers, the London football club, alongside Mr Meranun and other investors.

After rapid expansion left AirAsia saddled with debt and prompted questions about its accounting practices, Mr Fernandes has moved to reorganise the group, implementing a debt-for-equity conversion at its struggling Indonesian subsidiary, raising cash through the sale and leaseback of aircraft and planning to spin off its leasing division.

AirAsia said it had “followed all procedures” in obtaining credits from Rolls-Royce and that the private jet was used by the AirAsia’s executives for business travel, with the airline paying for the operational and maintenance costs.

At the time when the private jet credits were provided, AirAsia and Rolls-Royce were negotiating on the lease of aircraft with Rolls-Royce engines, for which the British company would provide servicing.

The purpose of the credits was not “clear or transparent” to anyone at AirAsia apart from a single senior employee, the SFO said.

In a message disclosed by the SFO, Rolls-Royce’s compliance department warned against providing the credits, saying the UK company could not grant the AirAsia executive preferential rates on a personal aircraft just because of the business the two companies were transacting.

“The two should not be linked as there are both legal and ethical implications to doing so,” the Rolls-Royce compliance department said.

AirAsia said that the credits were used to offset the operational costs of the corporate jet used by senior executives of AirAsia X — the carrier’s long-haul arm — for business travel.

The airline added: “AirAsia and AirAsia X board of directors and management were kept informed at all times of transactions relating to the jet, the upkeep for which was also clearly spelt out in the annual reports for both companies and AirAsia X initial public offering prospectus.”

AirAsia bought the Bombardier private jet from CaterhamJet Global, a company in which Tune Group is the sole shareholder, for $10m in June last year.

Indonesia’s anti-corruption agency announced last week that it had placed two people under investigation for suspected corruption in the purchase of aircraft and engines from Rolls-Royce and Airbus.

Singapore’s Corrupt Practices Investigations Bureau said that it was “working closely with the relevant authorities” in connection with the investigation into Rolls-Royce.

Original article can be found here:   https://www.ft.com

Why are burned planes still at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (KFLL)? Dynamic Airways, FedEx planes catch fire year apart

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Two planes that caught fire a year apart at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport remain stored at the airport.

Dynamic Airways Flight 405 caught fire on the tarmac Oct. 29, 2015, as it was about to take off for Caracas, Venezuela.

Authorities said 21 people were injured in the incident.

A year later on Oct. 28, 2016, FedEx flight 910 had just landed from Memphis when it caught fire. Everyone got out safely.

The FedEx plane has been sitting on the ground, burned out since the fire, and it is the first thing travelers see when entering the airport.

"It looks like the engine was lying on the tarmac, and the wing was all burned up," Lisa Morris said. "I was curious if that had been there for a while or what happened."

Some passengers said the sight was unnerving for travelers to see.

"I think it should be moved to a place where people that are flying out aren't able to see it, because if you see it, it's like, 'OK, maybe I just need to drive,'" James Chapman said.

"It is lying there right on the ground, like it crashed yesterday," Butch Leroy added. "They should get it out of there by now. I mean, I don't understand why the investigation is taking so long."

Airport officials said the 767 leased by Dynamic Airways is under litigation and can't be moved, but FedEx’s DC-10 has cleared its National Transportation Safety Board investigation, and crews have begun dismantling it so it can be moved.

Either way, for passengers heading in and out of FLL, it cannot come soon enough.

"It's not real good advertisement for coming into Fort Lauderdale," Leroy said.

Story and video:   http://www.local10.com





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

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report  -  National Transportation Safety Board:   https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

NTSB Identification: DCA16FA013
Scheduled 14 CFR Part 121: Air Carrier operation of Dynamic International
Accident occurred Thursday, October 29, 2015 in Fort Lauderdale, FL
Aircraft: BOEING 767, registration: N251MY
Injuries: 1 Serious, 21 Minor, 79 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 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 October 29, 2015, about 1233 eastern daylight time (EDT), Dynamic International Airways flight 405, a Boeing 767-200ER, N251MY, caught fire while taxiing for departure at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), Fort Lauderdale, Florida. One passenger received serious injuries and the remaining 89 passengers and 11 crewmembers received minor injuries or were not injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage from the fire. The scheduled charter flight was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121 supplemental and was en route to Maiquetia - Simon Bolivar International Airport (CCS), Caracas, Venezuela. 



Federal Express, McDonnell Douglas MD-10, N370FE: Accident occurred October 28, 2016 at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport (KFLL), Broward County, Florida 

FEDERAL EXPRESS CORPORATION: http://registry.faa.gov/N370FE

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Miami FSDO-19

AIRCRAFT ON LANDING GEAR COLLAPSED AND CAUGHT FIRE, THE 2 PERSONS ON BOARD EVACUATED, FIRE EXTINGUISHED, FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA.  

Date: 28-OCT-16
Time: 21:50:00Z
Regis#: N370FE
Aircraft Make: MCDONNELL DOUGLAS
Aircraft Model: MD10
Event Type: Accident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Substantial
Activity: Commercial
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Aircraft Operator: FDX-Federal Express
Flight Number: FDX910
City: FORT LAUDERDALE
State: Florida

GI Aviation launches ‘affordable’ private jets: Company uses PC-12NG aircraft that are more cost-efficient

Dubai: Affordability isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of private jets. But GI Aviation, a private air charter company based in Abu Dhabi, is looking to bridge that gap.

GI Aviation launched its services in the UAE on Sunday, and said the pricing for its jets is around 40 percent lower than that of other small jets, and around 10 percent higher than Business Class seats on a commercial A320 aircraft.

Marios Belidis, general manager at GI Aviation, said the company uses single-engine PC-12NG jets, which are “more cost-efficient” compared to other jets as they require low maintenance and low operation costs, able to seat six to eight people.

“This type of aircraft has never been used in the Middle East. The Middle East used to have either big jets or the smallest jets, and there was nothing in between. There was a gap in the market because we see that the market is not doing as well as it used to; more people are becoming cost-conscious and they need something more affordable, so there is a gap and the market needs this product,” Belidis said.

He added, “It’s difficult to predict the economy at this stage, but the way I see 2017 there has to be something more affordable, so this is the perfect time to launch a product like this.”

The company only formally launched operations on Sunday, but the general manager said he expected to see strong demand, with GI Aviation having already seen “dozens” of requests for price quotations.

The company also said it was in talks with health care authorities about offering its jets for air ambulance services.

The aircraft are currently based in Abu Dhabi’s Al Bateen Airport, and only fly to destinations in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) region as they cannot fly longer than around three hours.

“We are limited to the GCC region, but we could do Tehran. We are looking to start [flying to] Tehran once we make sure that all the US sanctions are lifted and it’s legally safe for us to fly there,” Belidis said.

Source:  http://gulfnews.com

Piper PA-30-160 Twin Comanche, G-ATMT, Montagu-Smith & Company Ltd: Fatal accident occurred January 15, 2017 in Aston Rowant Nature Reserve, Chiltern Hills, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom

NTSB Identification: CEN17WA077
Accident occurred Sunday, January 15, 2017 in Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
Aircraft: PIPER AIRCRAFT CORPORATION PIPER PA-30, registration:
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

The foreign authority was the source of this information.

On January 15, 2017, a Piper PA-30 airplane, (G-ATMT, s/n 30-439), crashed into woodland near Oxfordshire, United Kingdom. There was one person on board, who was fatally injured, and the aircraft was destroyed.

This investigation is under the jurisdiction and control of the government of the United Kingdom. Any further information may be obtained from:

Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB)
Telephone: +44 0 1252 51300
Facsimile: +44 0 1252 376699
Email: investigations@aaib.gov.uk

This report is for informational purposes only and contains only information released by, or obtained from, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch.



The pilot of a light aircraft has died in a plane crash in Oxfordshire.

The aircraft left Turweston Aerodrome in north Buckinghamshire but then crashed at Aston Rowant Nature Reserve at 14:35 GMT.

A spokesman for Thames Valley Police said: "Sadly, the pilot of the aircraft, a man, has been pronounced dead at the scene."

Road diversions are in place around the area and an investigation into the crash is under way.

Police say the man was in his 60s and his next-of-kin have been informed.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch said it had sent a team to investigate the crash site.

Police have locked down the Aston Rowant Nature Reserve after the aircraft accident, with a steady flow of police vehicles coming in and out of the site.

Conditions around the reserve were treacherous even for drivers on Sunday evening with very heavy fog on the Oxfordshire/Buckinghamshire border.

It is not known yet whether fog or poor visibility had a part to play in the fatal air crash at the nature reserve, which straddles the M40 near Stokenchurch.

What we do know is that recovery and investigations will continue throughout the night, although the fog may affect recovery overnight.

Cargo traffic soars, as more passengers choose Lehigh Valley International Airport (KABE), too



The first full year of amazon.com cargo traffic coursing through Lehigh Valley International Airport helped make for a strong 2016, the facility's owner/operator announced.

Cargo traffic increased 165.7 percent compared to 2015, with nearly 126 million pounds of deliveries aboard flights at LVIA, up from 47.4 million.

Passenger traffic increased, as well, reaching its highest level since 2013, according to the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority.

For the year in 2016, 688,505 passengers chose LVIA, up 2.2 percent from 673,505 in 2015, the authority announced.

"We are extremely grateful to every passenger and the Lehigh Valley community for choosing LVIA when scheduling their vacations, business trips and travel needs," Charles Everett, executive director of the airport authority, said in a statement. "The increase indicates that our mission of delivering a memorable customer experience is working and those standards must be maintained."

Everett gives credit for the increase, in part, to Allegiant Air flying larger aircraft that can seat more passengers in and out of the airport in Hanover Township, Lehigh County.

"They added some seats to some of their Florida destinations like Orlando-Sanford, St. Petersburg, Punta Gorda," he said. "And as you know they're starting service to Fort Lauderdale in February of this year."

Ensuring passengers enjoy their time at LVIA is a focus of the airport authority and airport staff, Everett stressed. He pointed to customer-appreciation efforts such as free snacks on certain days, like candy at Halloween.

"Small things, but it conveys a message to the passengers that we care," he said.

Trained six months earlier in CPR and use of an AED, the employees saved the life of a traveler whose heart stopped.

Lehigh Valley International has embarked on a $5 million makeover of rental car, bus and related ground transportation facilities, scheduled to open this year. The goal is to increase customer convenience, including by bringing the rental lots closer to the rental companies' counters. The demolition that wrapped up earlier this month of a 1965 firehouse provides a clear view from the car concessions to the lot, as well.

Looking ahead, the authority committed in November to a $57 million five-year capital investment at LVIA, including a runway rehabilitation scheduled to begin with the design phase this year, new hangars for general aviation pilots who rent space at the airport and expanded parking for cargo aircraft.

Cargo has become big business at LVIA, evidenced by the 2016 traffic.

Since September 2015, three cargo companies have been flying delivery routes for the retail giant amazon.com out of LVIA: ABX Air, Air Transportation International and Atlas Air Inc., Everett said. That's in addition to FedEx, which is building a ground transportation hub on land purchased from the airport authority in Allen Township.

"Increased cargo operations created jobs and provided an important revenue stream for the airport authority to regain financial sustainability," Everett stated.

Amazon.com operates fulfillment centers spanning 1.1 million square feet at the Chrin Commerce Center in Palmer Township and two, at 615,000 and 483,200 square feet, on Boulder Drive in Upper Macungie Township.

On the passenger side, LVIA partners with Allegiant Air, American, Delta and United to offer 11 nonstop destinations to both leisure destinations and major airline hubs with global connections. The nonstop destinations include Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Myrtle Beach (seasonal), Newark, Orlando, Punta Gorda and Tampa Bay.

Read more here: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com