Thursday, March 2, 2017

Sheriff: Men flew 200lbs of marijuana from west coast to Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport (KBKV)

BROOKSVILLE (FOX 13) - A small aircraft carrying around $350,000 of marijuana landed at the Brooksville airport Monday, setting off an investigation involving law enforcement agencies from the local sheriff to Homeland Security. 

The Hernando County Sheriff's Office is now looking for the two men they say flew the Beech Baron twin engine plane from the west coast to Florida. 

Hernando County Sheriff Al Neinhuis said in a news conference Thursday, four large bags containing almost 200 pounds of marijuana, the aircraft and a pickup truck had been seized as part of the investigation. Street value of the seized pot was estimated to be worth between $300,000 and $350,000.

It all started Monday night with what the sheriff said was a surprise call from Homeland Security officials at around 10:30. They asked for help with a plane landing at the Brooksville airport, saying the plane was "acting suspiciously."

Neinhuis said his office keeps a close watch on the airport, and keeps a deputy nearby, so they sent the nearest deputy over to check it out. When she arrived, the deputy said the plane had been parked in a hangar, which was being closed as she arrived. 

When backup got there, they found Joshua Overton and Aaron Andris leaving the hangar. The sheriff said the two were not cooperative and would not let officers search the hangar. While law enforcement, including Homeland Security, worked to get a search warrant for the hangar, the men asked if they were free to leave. With no cause to hold them, officers let them go. 

The search warrant was approved and executed around 6:30 a.m. Tuesday morning. After finding the large amount of pot, the sheriff said they began to investigate the two men. Records show Overton owns the plane and rented the hangar. He is from the St. Petersburg area and does not have a criminal past. 

Andris is from Chico, California and also had a clean criminal history. Both men are wanted for trafficking marijuana, possession of a conveyance (the aircraft), and possession of paraphernalia. The sheriff said if they are caught, or preferably turn themselves in, they will be held under a $41,000 bond each. 

Sheriff Neinhuis said he was not sure if this was an isolated incident for the Brooksville airport, or if the two men had flow drugs in before, adding, "It's probably not the first time they've been involved in drug smuggling."

"I don't think drug traffickers really have a set way of doing things and that's why sometimes it makes them a little difficult," the sheriff said. "We do spend a lot of time monitoring the airport... and try to have a unit in the area most of the time."

The sheriff said anyone with information about where the two men are may contact Crime Stoppers and be eligible for a cash reward up to $1,000.

At the news conference, Senator Wilton Simpson (R-District 10) was on hand to say he appreciated the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.

"This is two in a row. Last month we had a major bust and now this month we have marijuana. The sheriff is saving lots of lives here. There are a lot of sheriff's in our area that are known for being tough on crime. The state is willing to a partner with the sheriff any time."

Sheriff Neinhuis thanked The Lake County Sheriff's Office, agents with Customs and Border Enforcement, Federal Aviation Administration officers from Orlando and Atlanta, Georgia, and Homeland Security officials for help with the investigation. 


Pilot,  Joshua Overton 32, of St. Petersburg, Florida 

Passenger, Aaron Andrus, 38, of Chico, California

BROOKSVILLE, Fla.  (WFLA) – Hernando County Sheriff’s deputies seize nearly 200 pounds worth of marijuana on Monday, with a street value of more than $300,000.

They said Joshua Overton and Aaron Andrus flew the marijuana into the Brooksville Tampa Bay Regional Airport Monday night, but before they touched down, deputies got a call from the Department of Homeland Security telling them the two might be smuggling drugs.

“It’s probably not their first time being involved in drug smuggling,” said Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis at a press conference at the airport Thursday afternoon.

The sheriff said the pair landed the million dollar Beechcraft Baron Monday night, but deputies but didn’t have enough cause to hold them.

Hours later when deputies executed a search warrant, they found the plane packed with pot, but by then, Overton and Andrus were long gone.

“It was pretty sophisticated, as you can see by the packaging,” Sheriff Nienhuis told News Channel 8.

The pot was neatly sealed in the passenger’s compartment in vacuum-packed bags stuffed into duffel bags.

“I would say there’s a very good likelihood this is not the first time they smuggled drugs,” Nienhuis said.

But, was this their first time to Brooksville?  The sheriff said yes.

He said the pair took off from California and thought Brooksville would be off the fed’s radar, but that wasn’t the case.

Now, the sheriff and local lawmakers are glad this pot never made it to its final destination.

“I’m proud that this is not on the streets,” said state Senator Wilton Simpson.  “People are losing their lives or worse in some cases.”

“I think at the very minimum, it inhibits our economic recovery and at the maximum, lives are lost,” Nienhuis told News Channel 8.

Neither man has a criminal record.

If you see them, you’re urged to contact the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.

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Don't worry, that helicopter and swarm of Coast Guard boats on Lake Michigan was only a drill

The news crackling over the dispatch radio was grim: a plane crashed into Lake Michigan with 71 passengers and four crew members.

The U.S. Coast Guard began coordinating a massive rescue response, relying on 20 other law enforcement agencies to help get survivors out of the freezing water and to medical centers in the region.

The Coast Guard's Mobile Bay, primarily used for icebreaking, headed out to McKinley Marina Thursday morning while a Coast Guard rescue helicopter from Traverse City, Mich., buzzed overhead. Milwaukee Police Department divers suited up and the Fire Department coordinated from shore inside its mobile command post.

It was only a drill, but also a test of preparedness for such a mass rescue operation.

"The big takeaway is not one agency can do everything, so we have to build that network," said Lt. j.g. Tom Morrell of the Coast Guard's enforcement division.

The Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan frequently responds to rescues of people in kayaks or paddleboards who have gone too far from shore or people who fall off boats.

"Typically, one to four people is sort of standard," said Ensign Paul Grotelueschen of sector command center. "Anything that goes beyond that enters the realm of a mass rescue operation."

Although rare, planes have crashed into Lake Michigan. Nearly four years ago, two people were killed when a small plane bound for EAA AirVenture crashed into the waters off Cudahy.

In June 2007, six people died when a plane carrying a transplant team from the University of Michigan Medical Center crashed just off Milwaukee's lakefront. The team was in Milwaukee to harvest organs. At the time, Lake Michigan was about 57 degrees, which would allow a person to survive for about 6 hours, officials said.

And in general, statistics have indicated Lake Michigan is the deadliest of the Great Lakes with nearly as many drownings and water rescues since 2010 as the four lakes combined, according to the nonprofit Great Lake Surf Rescue Project.

The Coast Guard conducts ice-rescue training annually with partner agencies — such a drill was happening simultaneously Thursday morning in Cudahy — and has had past mass rescue training sessions in Green Bay and Superior.

The Coast Guard also urged boaters and others who enjoy winter activities on the lake to be prepared.

"Even in warm weather, if you're going out make sure you have the correct safety gear," Morrell said. "Always dress for the water temperature, not the air temperature."

Story, photo gallery and comments:

Corporate Air adding two new aircraft to meet rising demand

Corporate Air is adding two new ultralong-range Gulfstream aircraft to its fleet in the next few months to keep up with increasing demand it has seen since the November election, according to its business development coordinator.

Mike Vargo, vice president of sales and business development for Corporate Air, said the private aircraft charter and management company has added $100 million worth of aircraft in the last two to three years, and has seen an uptick an interest in its services in the last few months, a trend he attributes, in part, to a shift in attitude following the election of President Donald Trump.

"Interest and activity in private aviation has increased significantly since the election," he said. "Unfortunately, under the previous administration, private aircraft were demonized and mischaracterized grossly, and it was truly unfortunate because private aviation is about jobs, so when people were hiding from their aircraft and not using their aircraft and not buying more aircraft, it kills jobs."

The company currently employs 150, and will add about 10 new jobs with the addition of its new aircraft, Vargo said. Corporate Air, the largest tenant in the Allegheny County Airport in West Mifflin, also operates the county's only flight school, the Pittsburgh Flight Training Center. According to Vargo, while its enrollment for the flight school has been steady, it's working on attracting more students to meet a predicted pilot shortage in the aviation industry, just as the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics has been trying to cultivate interest in aviation mechanics in the face of another potential industry shortage.

"We're trying to champion ourselves and let people know that it's an option for kids who maybe don't want to go to an institution of higher learning," Vargo said. "I think it's awareness; I don't think a lot of kids understand that this is an opportunity for them."

Corporate Air is looking toward even more expansion, Vargo said — it has existing hangar space at Pittsburgh International Airport and in Washington, D.C., and is looking to lease or purchase hangar space in New York, New Jersey and south Florida.

"Over the past month, we have not been able to keep up. We have not had enough aircraft to meet what has been requested," he said. "It's a good problem to have, but it's a problem nonetheless."


Incident occurred March 02, 2017 at Richard Lloyd Jones Jr. Airport (KRVS), Tulsa, Oklahoma

TULSA -- A plane flipped over at R.L. Jones Airport in south Tulsa Thursday morning.

The student pilot on board was not injured.

The Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology student was on a solo flight around 9 a.m. when as he was coming in for the landing, something went wrong.

2 Works for You has learned that the pilot possibly did what is called porpoising - when a plane lands hard, bounces up and comes down nose first. The president of Spartan said an investigation is underway.

"We're getting all of the information from the instructor who was watching the flight because this was a solo flight. We are also taking information from the control tower and we have our FAA inspector coming in from Oklahoma City."

The plane sustained damage to the engine and tail fin. The plane just came off an inspection and was good for another 100 hours.


Pilot no longer employed by Grant Aviation: Beech B200 Super King Air, N313HS; incident occurred February 14, 2017 at Unalaska Airport (PADU), Dutch Harbor, Unalaska, Alaska

Grant Aviation says it wasn’t a mechanical problem that forced one its planes to belly flop at the Unalaska airport last month.

Beyond that, airline officials are keeping quiet about the accident’s cause -- at least for now.

“We’ve all got our theories," said Rob Kelly, Grant's chief financial officer. "But if we say something and the investigation concludes differently, that’s not a good position for us to be in.”

Although Grant is waiting on official findings from the National Transportation Safety Board, the southwest Alaska carrier has already taken action that may point toward human error.

“The pilot is no longer employed by us,” said Kelly.

That pilot was flying two passengers from Akun Island to Unalaska when the accident occurred Feb. 14. As it arrived on the island, the aircraft -- a Super King Air 200 -- touched down without landing gear.

No injuries were reported. Kelly said the plane’s engines and propellers bore the brunt of the impact.

“It looks like there may be significant damage to the engines, so we’re not sure if they’ll be able to be restored,” he said.

While Grant assesses whether the plane can be repaired, Kelly said the airline has sent a replacement and flight service is operating normally around the region.

The last time Grant recorded a crash in Unalaska was about four years ago, when a plane’s landing gear failed to deploy in strong cross winds. No one was injured, but the aircraft never flew again.

Officials say weather was not a factor in last month's accident. 


Grant Aviation Inc:

FAA Flight Standards District Office: Anchorage 

Aircraft landed gear up.  

Date: 14-FEB-17

Time: 22:23:00Z
Regis#: N313HS
Aircraft Make: BEECH
Aircraft Model: B200
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Aircraft Operator: GRANT AVIATION

A small airplane landed on its belly Tuesday at the Unalaska airport. No one aboard was injured, but the accident shut down the runway for about four hours. 

Returning from Akun Island, the Grant Aviation plane touched down without landing gear around 1:30 p.m., according to a statement by the Alaska State Troopers (AST).

The pilot and two passengers exited safely and declined medical attention. But the aircraft -- a Beech B200 Super King Air -- sat on the runway with bent propeller blades for several hours before officials could bring a crane to move it.

Grant Aviation officials didn’t immediately return calls for comment, but a mechanic at the airport said he didn’t know why the plane came down without landing gear.

The runway sustained minimal damage, according to a spokesperson for the Alaska Department of Transportation (DOT). The extent of damage to the plane is still unclear.

The AST and DOT are investigating the cause of the accident, according to a statement by the Unalaska Department of Public Safety.


Piper PA-32-RT-300, Simmons Pet Properties LLC, N3016L: Incident occurred March 02, 2017 at Palm Beach County Park Airport (KLNA), West Palm Beach, Florida

Simmons Pet Properties LLC:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office: South Florida  

Aircraft landed gear up.  

Date: 02-MAR-17
Time: 22:10:00Z
Regis#: N3016L
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA32
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)

LANTANA, Fla. (CBS12) — A small plane had a hard landing at Lantana airport after the landing gear did not collapse, according to Fire Rescue.

Two people were on board.

Fire Rescue is on scene evaluating and say there are no injuries or fire reported.

FAA will be investigating.

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Maule M-5-180C, N56552: Accident occurred March 02, 2017 in Roxbury, McPherson County, Kansas

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office: Wichita, Kansas 

Docket And Docket Items - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA170
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, March 02, 2017 in Roxbury, KS
Aircraft: MAULE M5, registration: N56552
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot of the tailwheel-equipped airplane reported that during the flare, while landing on a road in gusty crosswind conditions, the right wing lifted to about a 60° angle. He immediately initiated a go-around and added full power, full right aileron, and lowered the nose. The airplane had drifted off the center of the road to the left heading toward powerlines, and he elected to go under them. After the airplane cleared the powerlines, the left wingtip struck the ground and the airplane cartwheeled. The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings, the fuselage, and the empennage.

The pilot reported that there were no pre-accident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

By the time emergency personnel arrived at the site of a Kansas plane crash this week, the uninjured pilot already had:

Cleaned his personal belongings out of the plane.

Walked to a nearby bank.

Attended a business meeting.

Called federal aviation and transportation officials.

And caught a ride out of town.

The pilot, Randy Shannon, had no idea that local authorities considered him “missing” after a passerby spotted the crumpled plane Thursday afternoon in a field near Roxybury, Kansas, and called 911.

Read more here:

Authorities say a pilot went missing for several hours after a small plane crash-landed in a central Kansas field.

Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Ben Gardner says the plane went down around 3:30 p.m. Thursday in a rural area near the small town of Roxbury. The Federal Aviation Administration says wind caught the Maule M-5 and that the left wing struck the ground during the landing.

Gardner says troopers tried reaching out to hospitals in the area in an effort to locate the pilot but were unsuccessful. Gardner says the patrol didn’t hear from the pilot until he called dispatchers about six hours later.

Gardner says the pilot’s plane was disabled and that it’s unclear how he left the scene. Gardner says investigators are trying to determine what happened.

A pilot was able to walk away when his  small plane crashed near the McPherson County community of Roxbury Thursday afternoon.

The Maule M-5-180C plane went down at around 3:30 in a field.

A witness told KSAL News at the scene that she heard the crash. A few minutes later when she approached it the pilot was gone, presumably headed to seek medical treatment.

Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Craig Davis told KSAL News at the scene that McPherson County law enforcement were the first to arrive. He says that the pilot was not at the crash site when law enforcement arrived. They were still in search of the pilot late in the afternoon.

The patrol is investigating to determine what caused the plane to go down.

The plane ended upright, and was not leaking fuel.

The small community of Roxbury is located in the northeast corner of McPherson County, between Salina and McPherson, or 18 miles east of Lindsborg.


Eurocopter AS350B3, N858MB

AIRCRAFT: 2014 Eurocopter AS350B3, N858MB     SN: 7842

ENGINE - M&M, S/N: Turbomeca Arriel 2D     SN: 50502

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

ENGINE: 336.1


OTHER EQUIPMENT:   Medical equipment is not included with the salvage.

DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT: On October 23, 2016, aircraft responded to a motor vehicle accident and was waiting for the patient to be loaded for transport. The first responders were having a difficult time intubating the patient so the pilot shut down the engine and walked around the helicopter. At that point, an alleged drunk driver broke through the police barrier and struck a fire truck and then the helicopter, causing it to roll on its side.

Read more here:

Multi-million dollar concept proposed for Hillsdale Municipal Airport (KJYM) expansion

A set of concept designs shared exclusively with The Collegian showcase plans for a $3 to $8 million expansion for the Hillsdale Municipal Airport, including the additions of a restaurant, museum, and pilot shop.

“We want to get together some sponsors, donors, and aviation enthusiasts to help build and incorporate an educational element into this terminal,” Airport Manager Jason Walters said.”This is all an initiative to develop and design a terminal that is self-sufficient so it can be a lifetime building.”

The Hillsdale Municipal Airport is managed by Walters and his company Patriot Aviation, a relatively small organization, with five full and part-time employees. Despite only serving 1,000 to 1,500 landings and takeoffs a year, Walters said he is optimistic that he can fund the ambitious airport project with the help of sponsors to avoid dipping into public funds.

“The taxpayer dollars that go to this will be used strictly for service management and grant insurance compliance,” Walters said. “This is an out-of-the-box initiative to find a way to eliminate the burden on the taxpayers.”

Since becoming the airport manager last year, Walters said he has lead a series of improvements at the airport, including the renovation and remodeling of the existing terminal and securing $800,000 in funds from Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to replace the existing parking area for aircraft. By hosting a Fly-In on September 11 for military helicopters and World War II-era planes, Walters helped to promote the airport’s presence in Hillsdale.

“These improvements will allow the airport to be better used to promote new business opportunities by improving transportation options,” City Manager David Mackie said. “Additionally, we’re hoping these improvements will entice others, who use the airport, to participate in the city’s plans to privately develop and maintain a new multi-use terminal.”

Most recently, the airport acquired a Cessna Skyhawk plane to use for flying lessons, costing $130 to $150 an hour.

But Walters said he wants to do more. While the addition of a restaurant and a museum to a rural airport may seem unusual, Walters said it will promote aviation in the community.

“Almost anyone that lives and breathes aviation will tell you the same thing. Promoting aviation involves promoting all aspects of it,” Walters said. “You inspire young, future pilots by getting them active and involved. It’s a Fly-In with Army, Black Hawk helicopters and a Chinook troop transport that is impressionable to that young child. When you look at museums, it’s all connected to that.”

The tentative plan according to Walters’ concept designs is to house two vintage planes in a spare hangar, one military plane and one transport or passenger plane.

“The museum will provide proof to the average person that aviation is right there and it’s achievable,” Walters said. “It will inspire, educate, and entertain. The appreciation for aviation grows when you have static displays to ponder and discuss.”

In addition to the museum, Walters said that the construction of a restaurant will not only be an appeal for more pilots to visit the airport, but  that it will also bring people from the community to experience aviation.

“The concept for the restaurant is to put in a small diner-style restaurant in the terminal, which is popular for many other terminals,” Walters said. “Not only does it provide a reason for people to fly in, but it also gets people in the community involved so that they can see planes take off and land as they are eating.”

Walters said interested restaurant owners would be able to lease out the space, and all the serving and cooking equipment would be provided for their use. While Walters said the overall vision has received acclaim from city officials and local business owners, some residents are cautious.

Jeff King — a pilot and founder and former member of the Airport Advisory Committee to the Hillsdale City Council — said the vision for the terminal is impressive, but safety concerns should be foremost.

“I feel it’s a good vision and I’m glad that they have private sponsors to fund it, but I have ongoing concerns that the city cannot afford to properly maintain the airport,” King said. “As a pilot, what matters most to me is safety and usefulness of an airport.”

Constructing the whole vision as seen in the concept drawings would be great, Walters said, but he wants to prioritize the right aspects of the airport.

“Even if we don’t raise enough to build all of it, we intend to raise enough to build a terminal and educational components,” Walters said. “We would take away things that wouldn’t generate revenue or be a good return on investment.” 

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Second Dunkirk-Lake Shore Air Show planned

Dunkirk Festivals and Special Events Coordinator Hector Rosas, right, and Information Technology Specialist Brayden Manzella display this year’s Dunkirk-Lake Shore Air Show poster. The show will be held July 1 and 2 along Dunkirk’s waterfront.

Residents and visitors who were wowed last year by the first air show in 50 years are in for a treat — the city of Dunkirk, along with its partners and sponsors, have announced the second annual Dunkirk-Lake Shore Air Show, planned for July 1 and 2 at 1 p.m. each day.

At a special press conference Wednesday in city hall, Mayor Wilfred Rosas and Dunkirk Festivals and Special Events Coordinator Hector Rosas shared the big news. Not only will a show be planned for this summer, but it will be bigger and better, even, than last year’s show.

“We are enthused and thrilled to be able to present to you (plans for) our second annual Dunkirk-Lake Shore Air Show for 2017,” said Hector Rosas.

“There’s a lot of excitement with reference to our air show that we’re planning again this year,” said the mayor. “This will be our second air show here in 50 years, so we’re very proud to be able to present this.”

Mayor Rosas introduced some of the show’s key partners, including Lake Shore Savings Bank CEO Dan Reininga, the show’s presenting sponsor; Lou Nalbone and Carl Bjurlin of Dunkirk Aviation, who coordinate all the acts and deal with logistics; Randy Woodbury, the city’s engineer; and his development team. He also called out the city’s first responders and the Department of Public Works for their continued support and assistance, saying that it takes these folks and many more working together as a team to pull off an event as big as the air show — and it will be a doozie this year. 

“There’s a lot of excitement here in the city,” the mayor said. “We have different acts, different pilots coming this year.”

Hector Rosas shared that the air show last year brought in “upwards of 30,000 people to Dunkirk over the weekend, and when you include the July 4th celebration, that’s 45,000 people here, which would equal a $3 million economic boon to this area.”

He explained that the city is also working with Chautauqua County, thanking County Executive Vince Horrigan and the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency; the State University of New York at Fredonia, which supplies parking and lodging for the amazing pilots; the Chautauqua County Fairgrounds and its administration, for more off-site parking; and APG Sound, which sets up the speakers for the event and more.

Plus, a new feature will be added this year to make the show more enjoyable for those up close and farther away.

“APG sound will do something completely different (this year) when it comes to the sound technology. … They’ll set up the whole perimeter of the show line and that will be from Main Street on Lakefront Boulevard to Serval Street. That will all be covered with speakers,” Hector Rosas stated. “This will be then tied in to a live feed (remotely) to WDOE and 94.9 FM/1410 AM for any of the boaters (out on Lake Erie) or anyone at home.”

The live radio feed will allow those who sit farther away, or even those at home, to listen to not only the emcees for the event, but to the pilots’ commentary.

The city arranged this due to feedback they received about last year’s show; everyone loved it, but some couldn’t hear the speakers.

“That’s something we’ve added this year that we’re very proud of,” he said.

This year’s show will once again include crowd favorites the Misty Blues, an all-female parachuting team; Gordon Price, a 76-year-old veteran F-104 fighter pilot for the Royal Canadian Air Force and National Aerobatic Champion title holder; Rick Volker, whose flying skills are well known near and far; Scooter Yoak and his “Quick Silver” P-51; Jim Tobul and the “Korean War Hero” F4U-4 Corsair; a wingwalker, and several other acts. There will be a special tribute to the “Class of 1945” that veterans, their loved ones, and those who value their freedom won’t want to miss.

Bjurlin and Nalbone have been working hard to secure other nationally famous acts, too, with Bjurlin traveling from Canada to Las Vegas to meet the stars of aerobatics and talk to them about the show back home. To their surprise, many of them had already heard about Dunkirk’s first-class event, and were eager to sign on. In fact, the show this year will be almost twice as long as last year’s. Get there early for a seat along the new seawall, close to Leming Street, to be in “Show Central!”

There will once again be live music, food trucks, vendors, and much more.

Event sponsors include Chautauqua Opportunities, Shultz Resale Center, Bart’s Cove, Dunkirk Aviation, the Rotary Club, Best Western, Lakeshore Savings Bank, SUNY Fredonia and the city of Dunkirk, without whom the air show — which is free for attendees — wouldn’t be possible.

More acts and sponsors will be announced soon! Those interested in sponsoring may contact Hector Rosas at

For more information, search “Dunkirk-Lake Shore Air Show 2017” on Facebook, and see clips from last year’s show on YouTube — including Gordon Price’s footage, shot from up in the air using a GoPro camera! (Search “Dunkirk NY 2 July 2016.”)

As always, the city will hold a fireworks show on July 4, with festivities and food vendors in Memorial Park. The Rotary Club’s “Fly-in Breakfast” will be held July 9 at the Dunkirk Airport, where visitors can see vintage aircraft on display and enjoy all-you-can-eat pancakes, eggs, sausage, fresh juice and coffee. 


Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (KAUS) Bag Handler Looted Luggage for Guns, Traded Weapons for Drugs

AUSTIN - Federal authorities have charged a baggage handler at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport after he allegedly stole firearms from passenger bags and traded some of the stolen guns for marijuana.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office states Ja’Quan Johnson, 25, of Austin surrendered to FBI agents Wednesday morning. Authorities say in a criminal complaint that Johnson stole the weapons between Nov. 29, 2016 and Feb. 2, 2017, and that Austin police have recovered seven firearms that authorities say Johnson stole. In a Thursday briefing, police said their investigation began when a man reported his gun missing after he checked it for a flight. Seven other weapons were reported stolen between November and early February.

APD said the organized crime division secured search warrants for Johnson's home after surveillance and watching employee card swipes. While serving those warrants, police arrested Matthew Bartlett, 21, and Catronn Hewitt, 36, on felony marijuana charges. Investigators say Johnson traded the guns for marijuana, but did not provide a specific amount.

Johnson is a contract employee with ABIA, and KVUE's news partners at the Austin American-Statesman report he passed a background check.

The complaint charges Johnson with theft from an interstate shipment and possession of stolen firearms. If convicted, Johnson faces up to 10 years in federal prison for each charge.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office added “Johnson was released on personal recognizance bond following his initial court appearance."

APD said they feel confident they have addressed all known theft of firearm cases, but ask anyone who feels their firearm was stolen from checked baggage at ABIA to call Detective Westling at 512-530-7540.

Story and video:

Man accused of stealing guns from baggage at Austin airport had passed background check

The Austin airport baggage handler who the FBI and Austin police say stole handguns from bags to trade for pot had passed a background check, police said Thursday.

The employee, 25-year-old Austin resident Ja’Quan Johnson, has been fired from his contract job at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, Lt. Joe Robles said.

Authorities believe Johnson stole seven handguns from checked bags at the airport from Nov. 29 through Feb. 2. Many of those handguns he traded for marijuana, authorities said.

Police have recovered five of the seven weapons stolen from the airport. Two more handguns also identified as stolen from elsewhere were recovered during the investigation, Robles said.

Johnson has been charged with theft from an interstate shipment and possession of stolen firearms. He turned himself in on Wednesday and was release on a personal recognizance bond, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. He could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

On Feb. 3, Austin police searched Johnson’s home on Parkfield Drive in North Austin. As a result, they arrested his roommate Matthew Bartlett, 21, and charged him with felony possession of marijuana.

At the time, police interviewed Johnson and he confessed to stealing the weapons from airport baggage. He was terminated from his baggage handling job almost immediately, Robles said.

Through those interviews, Austin police were also led to Catronn Hewitt, 36, who was also arrested and charged with felony possession of marijuana.

Story and video:

Mount Royal grounds twin-engine planes as precaution during plane crash investigations: Tecnam P2006T, C-GRDV

Jeffrey Bird (left) and Reynold "Reyn" Johnson (right) were killed when their small passenger plane crashed northwest of Cochrane on February 13, 2017.

Mount Royal University has confirmed the aviation program's remaining two TECNAM planes are grounded indefinitely after a tragic crash killed two pilot instructors.

The decision comes as students return to flying for the first time since the plane went down. The twin-engine planes will be grounded until the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) and the school finish their respective investigations. 

Students, of which there are 66 registered, returned to the cockpit this week in the program's five other planes - single-engine Cessna 172s.

"We are trying to come to terms with what's gone on as we begin to resume regular flying operations," said Leon Cygman, chair of Mount Royal University’s Aviation program. "It's true that we can't instantly pick up where we left off, we are taking a cautious and deliberate approach to getting back into the air."

Students are being sat in the cockpit again, but this time, instead of taking to the skies in their regular exercises, their instructors are asking them how they feel before leading them to a fly around the airport in circuits before heading to their designated practice area and coming back.

Luc Sinal, right stands by the now-grounded TECNAM airplane with Leon Cygman, chair of Mount Royal University’s Aviation program.

"Our initial reaction is disappointment," said Luc Sinal, president of the MRU Student Aviation Executive. "We're all ready to get back to flying…this will delay our training, but our school is doing a good job at being accommodating."

Sinal said each of the students are in unique positions and at different points in their schooling.

This is the first week back in the air for students since the loss of Jeff Bird and Reyn Johnson, two of the program's flight instructors.

Before starting class again, Sinal said the tight-knit crew of people sat and talked about what was on their minds, and where the program would go, then they were ready to move on from there.

Cygman said none of the students have dropped out of the program in response to the tragedy.

"This is our decision alone," Cygman said. "Given the tragedy, and as safety's our top priority, we want to get all facts. We are acting with caution until we receive complete reviews, including our own internal review, and the findings of the TSB investigation.

He said he openly supports the aircraft, and the decision is being made because MRU won't compromise on safety.

Students were only told about the grounding Thursday afternoon, at the school's first opportunity. MRU made the decision before a press conference on Monday.

Although the school still has five other crafts, they are single engine machines, and the TECNAM grounding means some students who need experience on twin-engine machines won't complete their program on time.

Cygman said MRU is exploring options to lease aircrafts and partnering with other flight schools; as long as they can meet their own program's stringent standards.

"Unfortunately this tragedy has provided opportunities, and this is one of them, to evaluate other aircraft that best suits our needs," Cygman said. "We're quite fortunate being at Springbank. A lot of the companies around here are flight schools…we don't think they'll need to go anywhere outside the airport."

The program will be carrying another burden, with the tragedy and grounding of planes comes additional costs. Though it's not yet clear what those costs could be, Cygman said the institution is behind them and students won't have those burdens passed on to them. 

The school has said it will go ahead with its annual wings ceremony on April 29. That ceremony allows students to celebrate the achievements of the last year.


Robinson R22 BETA, N7095A: Accident occurred February 18, 2017 in Holbrook, Navajo County, Arizona (and) Incident occurred December 27, 2016 in Snowflake, Navajo County, Arizona

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

NTSB Identification: WPR17LA068 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, February 18, 2017 in Holbrook, AZ
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER R22 BETA, registration: N7095A
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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

On February 18, 2017, about 0800 mountain standard time, the pilot of a Robinson R22 Beta, N7095A, experienced a loss of helicopter control while maneuvering in a turn and landed hard in an open field near Holbrook, Arizona. The private pilot/owner operated the helicopter under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, as a personal flight. The pilot and one passenger were not injured. The helicopter was substantially damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local area flight and no flight plan had been filed. The flight departed from a private residence about 0715 the morning of the accident.

According to the pilot's written statement, he departed from his brother's residence about 0715 with the intent of flying around Holbrook on a personal flight. They over flew a cow pasture, and descended to look at the cows. The pilot reported his airspeed was about 10 knots with a 7-knot headwind. He maneuvered the helicopter in a 180-degree turn and the helicopter started an un-commanded descent. He pulled cyclic control, which responded by lowering engine and main rotor blade rpm; he tried to lower and increase throttle, and flared to land; however, the helicopter landed hard. The main rotor blades contacted and subsequently severed the tail boom.

The pilot stated that there were no mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation of the helicopter.

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office: Scottsdale, Arizona 

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

NTSB Identification: WPR17LA068

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, February 18, 2017 in Holbrook, AZ
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER R22 BETA, registration: N7095A
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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

On February 18, 2017, about 0800 mountain standard time, a Robinson R22 Beta, N7095A, landed hard in an open field near Holbrook, Arizona, after the pilot experienced a loss of helicopter control while maneuvering. The private pilot/owner operated the helicopter as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The pilot and one passenger were not injured. The helicopter was substantially damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local area flight and no flight plan had been filed. The flight departed from a private residence about 0715 the morning of the accident.

According to the pilot's written statement, he departed from his brothers residence about 0715 with the intent of flying around Holbrook on a personal flight. They overflew and descended over a cow pasture to look at the cows. The pilot reported his airspeed was about 10 knots with a 7 knot headwind. He maneuvered the helicopter in a 180-degree turn and the helicopter lost lift. He pulled cyclic, which responded by lowering engine and main rotor blade rpm; he tried to lower and increase throttle, and flared to land; however, the helicopter landed hard. The main rotor blades contacted and subsequently severed the tail boom.

The pilot stated that there were no mechanical problems that would have precluded normal operation of the helicopter.

While landing on a flatbed, the rotor struck the head of a person on the ground.

Date: 27-DEC-16
Time: 23:41:00Z
Regis#: N7095A
Aircraft Make: ROBINSON
Aircraft Model: R22
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: MINOR
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: NONE
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)

Rotorcraft landed in a pasture and was powering down when the ground crew was to refuel the rotorcraft was struck in the back of the head by a rotor blade, requiring transport to a hospital and at least two (2) stitches.   

Date: 27-DEC-16
Time: 23:41:00Z
Regis#: N709FA
Aircraft Make: ROBINSON
Aircraft Model: R22
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: MINOR
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: STANDING (STD)
Operation: 91