Thursday, April 27, 2017

Jet Airways expat pilot accused of assaulting woman passenger, derostered

Mumbai, Apr 27 (PTI): An expat pilot with Jet Airways has been accused of hurling "racist" comments and assaulting a woman besides abusing a physically challenged man on a domestic flight, prompting the airline to deroster him.

The incident aboard a Chandigarh-Mumbai Jet flight on April 3 came to light when cricketer Harbhajan Singh tweeted about it today.

Expressing regret over the incident, the airline said today that corrective action would be taken as per company policy, and after due investigation.

The pilot concerned remains derostered since the day of the incident, the airline said in a statement.

Harbhajan while giving details of the incident, however, said he was not on the flight. He said he learnt of it through an acquaintance.

"We are proud Indians, not 'bloody Indians'... I don't need apology, I want this captain to be out of India so no one dare to (sic) call us bloody Indians," Singh told PTI. The cricketer condemned the incident as "disgraceful".

In a series of tweets, the cricketer alleged that the pilot assaulted a woman and abused a physically challenged man.

"So called this Bernd Hoesslin a pilot with @jetairways called my fellow Indian (u bloody Indian get out of my flight) while he is earning here," he said.

"Not only was he a racist, but physically assaulted a lady and abused a physically challenged man... absolutely disgraceful and shame on @jetairways," the cricketer said but did not give details.

Demanding that strict action be taken and such things not be allowed or tolerated in the country, Singh tweeted "#proudtobeindian let's get together and sort this".

The incident involved passengers Puja Gujral and her wheelchair-bound friend Jitendra Shah.

Gujral, who claims to be close to Harbhajan's wife Geeta Basra, said when the plane landed in Mumbai there was a delay in arranging a wheelchair for Shah, which allegedly infuriated the pilot.

"The plane had to take off for Chennai on its next leg and there had been a delay of more than 20 minutes because of some confusion over a wheelchair for my friend. As a result the pilot got angry and came out of the cockpit and pushed me and said 'you bloody Indians just get out of my flight'," Gujral claimed.

"When my friend intervened the pilot told him 'you little one you get out first'," she added. Gujral also said that she approached the local police two days later to file a case. However, no FIR has been lodged yet, she added.

A Jet Airways statement said it has already issued an apology to the passengers concerned.

"The airline has as per policy initiated a full-fledged investigation, based on specific inputs from guests, concerned departments and agencies," it added.

The airline emphasised that it has zero tolerance towards any action of its employees that contravenes local or international laws prevalent in the countries of its operations.

"Additionally, we have a strict employee code of conduct which is based on the values and ethos of the airline."

The tweets from Singh also come at a time when Jet Airways' local pilots body NAG has raised concerns about the behavior of expat pilots with the airline.

Last week, the National Aviators Guild (NAG) had said the carrier is treating Indian pilots in a "step-motherly" manner compared to their expat counterparts on the rolls.

Demanding swift action against alleged racist approach of the expat pilots at the airline, the guild had called for disallowing such pilots in the cockpit.

NAG has also asked its members not to fly with the expats in the cockpit after one of the foreign pilots allegedly assaulted a trainer in Bengaluru recently.

Jet Airways has nearly 60 expat commanders who mainly operate its Boeing 737 and ATR fleet.

In response to NAG's allegations, the airline last week said it has a strict and common code for employees.

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

Robinson R44 Raven II, N728CB: Accident occurred April 27, 2017 in Newton, Catawba County, North Carolina

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Charlotte, North Carolina
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania 
Robinson Helicopter Company; Torrance, California 

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report -  National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf
  
http://registry.faa.gov/N728CB



NTSB Identification: ERA17LA168
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, April 27, 2017 in Newton, NC
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER COMPANY R44 II, registration: N728CB
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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 April 27, 2017, about 1330 eastern daylight time, a Robinson R44 II, N728CB, operated by Chesapeake Bay Helicopters, was substantially damaged during a collision with terrain while maneuvering near Newton, North Carolina. The commercial pilot and crewmember incurred minor injuries. The local aerial observation flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a company flight plan was filed for the flight that originated from Concord Regional Airport (JQF), Concord, North Carolina, about 1225.

The pilot reported that he was performing a pipeline patrol at 500 feet above ground level and an airspeed of 70 knots. During the patrol, the crew observed a right-of-way infraction and circled the location at the same airspeed and altitude. While extending the circling pattern, the pilot felt a shudder in the controls while at the same time, the nose of the helicopter yawed right and the helicopter began to spin. He immediately lowered the nose in an attempt to increase forward motion, but the rate of spin increased. He then attempted to set up for an autorotation and avoid residences and utility wires. The helicopter subsequently impacted the ground and the pilot was able to shut down the engine and exit the helicopter.

The observer reported that while on pipeline patrol, they circled to photograph construction work. While circling, the helicopter lost control and spun two or three times before impacting the ground.

Examination of the wreckage revealed substantial damage to the helicopter. Tailrotor driveshaft continuity was confirmed from the tailrotor blades to the main rotor. Continuity was also confirmed from the left anti-torque pedal to the tailrotor. A section of right anti-torque pedal control tube was found bent and separated. The separated section of control tube was retained for metallurgical examination.

The helicopter's most recent 100-hour inspection was completed on March 10, 2017. At that time, the airframe and engine had accumulated 1,873.6 total hours of operation. The helicopter had flown and additional 43.6 hours from the time of the inspection, until the accident flight.

The recorded wind at an airport located about 10 miles northwest of the accident site, at 1253, was from 190° at 8 knots.



CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. -- The pilot of a helicopter that crashed inches from a Catawba County house will be released from a Charlotte hospital on Friday.

The pilot, whose name has not been released, was flown to Charlotte after suffering serious injuries when investigators said his helicopter began having mechanical issues and slammed into the ground.

A clean-up crew spent about an hour Friday afternoon collecting the wreckage outside of a house on Killian Avenue near Newton in Catawba County.

The crew will take it to a facility where NTSB investigators can go through the wreckage to determine the cause of the crash.

The pilot and the passenger inside work for Chesapeake Bay Helicopters in Virginia.

In a phone interview, the company's safety and compliance officer, Kristen McDaniel, said both men are doing fine and will soon be heading home.

"We're just extremely grateful that both the pilot and the observer are okay," McDaniel said. "We are fully cooperating with the NTSB, and we know it'll be a process through the investigation, but we are fully ready to do what we can to help them."

She said the company is not yet releasing the two men's identities.

NBC Charlotte obtained the radio traffic between paramedics and Frye Regional Medical Center in Hickory as the pilot was being transported to the hospital.

"This is Medic 10. We're enroute to your facility with a 34-year-old male pilot of a helicopter crash," the paramedic said.

"What's the patient's injuries?" a Frye employee asked later in the radio traffic.

"Patient's complaining of severe back pain," the paramedic responded.

NBC Charlotte also got the helicopter's tail number. According to the FAA, the helicopter was deemed "airworthy" in 2010 and has no record of maintenance issues.

The NTSB said its still in the preliminary stages of the investigation and hope to have an update next week.

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




CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. -- Two people were injured in a helicopter crash near Newton in Catawba County on Thursday afternoon.

Catawba County Emergency Management Director Karyn Yaussy said the helicopter was doing survey work on a new gas line for Piedmont Natural Gas when it began to have engine trouble.

Highway Patrol spoke to witnesses who said the chopper spun around three times before the engine sounded, as if it cut off.

The chopper crashed inches from Nino Gonzalez's house on McKay Road; its rotor blades clipped a section of his home's roof.

"I'm just like, 'What the heck's going on?'" Gonzalez said. "Me and a couple of the neighbors tried to help the pilot get out because the pilot was crushed up underneath."

Lakea Cromwell lives a few homes down from where the crash happened. She was impressed the pilot was able to maneuver the chopper away from the homes.

"It's a miracle," Cromwell said. "There's too much that could've went wrong."

Yaussy said the pilot suffered critical injuries and was taken to Frye Regional Medical Center in Hickory before being airlifted to a hospital in Charlotte. NBC Charlotte is working to confirm which hospital the pilot was flown to.

A passenger in the helicopter was also taken to Frye Regional Medical Center, but that person is expected to be okay.

Investigators with the NTSB are expected to arrive at the site within the next 24 hours.

Story and video:  http://www.wcnc.com


Nino Gonzalez describes how he asleep in bed when the helicopter crashed into his home.


NEWTON – A helicopter crashed near the corner of Sigmon Dairy Road and McKay Farm Road in Newton on Thursday afternoon.


The helicopter nearly collided with a house at about 1:50 p.m. Although the house was missed directly, the rotors clipped the roof and foundation resulting in some damage.

The pilot and passenger were both injured and transported by Catawba County Emergency Medical Services. The pilot is in critical condition and may be flown to another facility.

The helicopter was surveying a route for a natural gas line before experiencing engine trouble.

The Newton Police Department, Newton Fire Department, Catawba County EMS, and North Carolina State Highway Patrol all responded to the scene.

Officials are waiting for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to arrive from Charlotte to lead the investigation.

While waiting, the local authorities are leaving the helicopter unmoved for the FAA’s assessment.

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

Nanchang CJ-6A, N192NG, G&C CJ6 LLC: Fatal accident occurred April 27, 2017 in Keene, Kern County, California

  
Gutierrez, Gilbert

 
Gilbert Gutierrez was a successful registered professional engineer and philanthropist who passed away at age 75 on April 27, 2017. Gilbert was born in Gallup, NM and raised in Albuquerque, NM and Winslow, AZ working at his father's service stations. He joined the army in 1963 and was later honorably discharged. From the military he attended Arizona State University and received both a BSE and MSE in chemical engineering. After getting married and having two sons, he founded and operated a successful engineering business in 1980 that still is in operation today. During his professional career he served on several boards including but not limited to the EPA, Selective Service, and the Professional Engineering Review Board of the State of Arizona. He has been involved in Rotary for over 20 years and started flying, his dream in 2001. He passed away following his dream. He loved his family and did everything he could to help and be there for them. That love and assistance extended beyond his family through his charity work, friendships, and stopping for the random person on the street that needed a helping hand. Always proud and humble, never wanting to draw attention to himself, he will be missed dearly. He is survived by his wife, Candice; sons, Gilbert (Eugenia) and Andrew (Christine); grandchildren, Summer, Jack, and Jayla; exchange student daughters, Geziely, Melinda, and Gealle; and 2 brothers and 2 sisters. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the International Rotary Foundation (rotary.org) using the donation button on the bottom of their Web page. A public memorial will be held May 12, 2017 at 2:30pm at Calvary Community Church, 12612 N Black Canyon Hwy, Phoenix, AZ 85029.

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Fresno, California

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

G&C CJ6 LLC:   http://registry.faa.gov/N192NG


 


NTSB Identification: WPR17FA091
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, April 27, 2017 in Keene, CA
Aircraft: NANCHANG CJ6A, registration: N192NG
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On April 27, 2017, about 1350 Pacific daylight time, a Nanchang CJ6A, N192NG, was destroyed when it impacted terrain near Keene, California. The private pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to G&C CJ6 LLC, and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed in the area at the time of the accident and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight. The cross-country flight originated from the Apple Valley Airport, Apple Valley (APV), California, about 1255, with an intended destination of Porterville, California.

Information provided by friends of the pilot, who were part of a four-airplane formation flight revealed that the flight originally departed from Phoenix, Arizona earlier in the morning, with a fuel stop at APV. Following lunch and a brief delay for weather, the flight of four departed APV, enroute to Porterville. As the flight neared Tehachapi, California, they were at an altitude of about 7,500 feet mean sea level (msl), maintaining separation from an overcast to broken cloud layer throughout the area. As they passed Tehachapi, the flight began a shallow descent. During the descent, the lead pilot lost sight of the accident pilot, who was positioned in the number two position (left of the lead pilot, in a diamond formation) and asked the accident pilot if he was ok. The accident pilot responded to the lead pilot that he was ok.

A short time later, the lead pilot asked the accident pilot a second time if he was ok, in which the pilot responded he was. Subsequently, the pilot who was in the slot position (in trail of the lead pilot) reported that the accident pilot was behind his position and lower, and eventually lost sight of him and maneuvered to reestablish visual contact unsuccessfully. The pilot who was flying in the number 3 position (right side of lead), reported shortly after that the pilot in the slot position lost sight of the accident pilot, he observed the accident pilot fly into a cloud layer while in a wings level, slightly nose low attitude, behind and lower than his position. The formation flight never reestablished radio or visual contact with the accident pilot.

A witness who was in a vehicle nearby the accident reported that they observed an airplane descend from a cloud layer in an almost vertical attitude until they lost sight of it behind a mountain.

Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane impacted hilly terrain about 5.5 miles northwest of the Tehachapi Airport. The airplane came to rest in an almost vertical attitude on a heading of about 249 degrees magnetic. All of the major structural components of the airplane were located within about 100 feet of the main wreckage. The wreckage was recovered to a secure location for further examination.

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



 
PORTERVILLE, Calif. (KFSN) --  Authorities have identified the Phoenix pilot who crashed his plane in Kern County Thursday night as 75-year-old Gilbert Gutierrez.

As pilots prepared to take off and land at the Porterville Municipal Airport, what happened to one of their own raced across the runway with them.

"It's a brotherhood," one pilot said. "And we're obviously sad to hear of the passing of one of the pilots."

Gutierrez was traveling from Phoenix to the Central Valley when his single-engine, older model plane went down in Kern County. He was less than a hundred miles away from his destination."

"We were expecting that particular aircraft to show up for this event for this clinic and when we heard the news we put two and two together," pilot Gal Lipaz said.

Lipaz says he and Gutierrez not only flew the same aircraft but were both participating in basic military formation training at an event called All Red Star.

It is here that pilots learn safe maneuvering techniques while also having a little fun.

"He has been flying with us for many years," he said. "Very likable guy, and, you know, it's very sad."

It's especially tragic since he was not able to park his aircraft on the tarmac and reconnect with the guys on his annual trip. So, a group of men held a moment of silence for Gutierrez Thursday night.

"We will miss him," Lipaz said. "We feel for him and mostly we feel for the family."

Now the FAA and the NTSB are both investigating, it is unknown at this time what caused the plane to crash. But the FAA says any plane, especially ones like these that are restored, has to get an airworthiness certificate before going up into the air.

Story and video:    http://abc30.com



KEENE, CA -  A 75-year-old pilot has died while heading to a California gathering of vintage Soviet airplanes.

Kern County coroner's officials say Gilbert Thomas Gutierrez of Phoenix, was killed in Thursday's crash.

His Nanchang CJ-6A aircraft went down near the town of Keene, about 75 miles north of Los Angeles.

The plane was on its way to an event called "All Red Star" in Porterville. It's an annual gathering of enthusiasts of former Soviet and Communist Bloc aircraft.


Original article can be found here: http://www.abc15.com




A 75-year-old Phoenix man was killed Thursday when the plane he was piloting crashed near Tehachapi.

The Kern County Coroner’s office said Gilbert Thomas Gutierrez, 75, was found dead at the scene of the crash in the 22800 block of Broome Road, near the historic Tehachapi Loop rail line. The coroner’s office said it would conduct a postmortem autopsy on May 1.





KEENE — One person died in a plane crash Thursday afternoon, Kern County Fire Department Capt. Jason Knaggs said near the crash site.

A passerby reported seeing a Nanchang Yak-18A plane go down on the side of the mountain northeast of Highway 58, about a mile from the highway, Knaggs said, and reported it to officials at 1:56 p.m.

"The Nanchang CJ-6A crashed under unknown circumstances near Keene," Allen Kenitzer from the FAA Office of Communications wrote in an email to Tehachapi News and The Bakersfield Californian. He added that one person was on the plane.

Firefighters from Keene searched the area by helicopter and found the crash site at 2:40 p.m. They lowered a firefighter to the scene in a hoist operation and secured the area, Knaggs said.

The plane was in pieces. There was no indication of a fire, Knaggs said.

A command post for responding agencies was set up at Highway 58 and Broome Road, firefighters said.

In addition to the fire department, California Highway Patrol and Kern County Sheriff's Office personnel were at the scene. Later in the evening, deputies were awaiting the FAA to arrive and take over the investigation, sheriff's Senior Deputy Pat McNeal.

Both the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate, Kenitzer wrote.

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




KEENE, Calif. - We now know the name of the man killed in a plane crash near Keene. The coroner identified him as Gilbert Thomas Gutierrez, 75, from Phoenix, Arizona.

Officials got a report from a passerby who said she saw a plane hit the side of a mountain around 2 p.m. Thursday afternoon near Keene, California.

A Kern County Fire helicopter spotted the wreckage at 2:40 p.m. after performing a hoist operation. The firefighter who was lowered to the ground confirmed one person was dead in the crash.

The plane was confirmed as a Nanchang CJ-6A, FAA officials confirmed.  The plane appears to be registered out of Phoenix, Arizona.

A command post was being set up at Broome Road and Highway 58, between Keene and Tehachapi, a KCFD official said.

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
















BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - UPDATE (9:03 a.m.): The Kern County Coroner's Office has identified the man killed in Thursday's plane crash as 75-year-old Gilbert Gutierrez of Phoenix. 

One person is dead after a plane crashed near Keene on Thursday afternoon, the Kern County Fire Department said.

"A Nanchang CJ-6A crashed under unknown circumstances near Keene," Federal Aviation Administration Public Affairs Manager Ian Gregor said.

KCFD received the call about the possible crash at 2:08 p.m. and launched a helicopter to search for the plane; the aircraft was later found in a remote area. The Kern County Sheriff's Department is searching the area for any other potential casualties.

KCFD crews have a command post set up in the area of Highway 58 and Broome Road, and the FAA and NTSB are also investigating.  It wasn't immediately clear what may have led up to the crash.

Story and video:   http://www.turnto23.com

Boeing seeks U.S. anti-dumping probe against Bombardier jet



Boeing Co on Thursday asked the U.S. Commerce Department to investigate alleged subsidies and unfair pricing for Canadian planemaker Bombardier's new CSeries airplane, against the backdrop of rising trade tensions between the United States and Canada.

The petition against Canada's new competitor to the Boeing 737 aircraft came just days after the Commerce Department imposed duties averaging 20 percent on Canadian softwood lumber, saying that its origin from public land amounted to an unfair government subsidy.

On Wednesday, U.S. President Donald Trump told Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto that he intended to begin renegotiating the 23-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement, after White House officials said Trump had been considering an order to withdraw from the pact.

Boeing said in its petition that Bombardier, determined to win a key order from Delta Air Lines Inc after losing a competition at United Airlines had offered its planes to the airline at an "absurdly low" $19.6 million each, well below what it described as the aircraft’s production cost of $33.2 million.



"Propelled by massive, supply creating and illegal government subsidies, Bombardier Inc has embarked on an aggressive campaign to dump its CSeries aircraft in the United States," Boeing said in its petition.

Boeing's similarly sized 737-700 model has a list price of $83.4 million, with the new 737-MAX 7 priced at $92.2 million. Sales discounts from list prices are typically 40 percent to 50 percent in the industry.

Bombardier won the Delta order, its biggest yet, in April 2016 for 75 CS100 jets, worth an estimated $5.6 billion based on the list price of about $71.8 million.

Bombardier’s chief executive conceded the company had been “aggressive” on pricing in order to win, and sources familiar with the deal pegged the discount closer to two-thirds off the nominal list price.

Bombardier said in a statement that it was reviewing the petition.

"Bombardier structures its commercial dealings to ensure compliance with the laws and regulations of the jurisdictions in which we operate, including those issues raised by Boeing," the company said.

The request for anti-dumping measures was also addressed to the U.S. International Trade Commission, an independent U.S. trade body that will review any decisions by the Commerce Department.

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

Hendersonville Airport (0A7) can’t identify plane that released smoke over Asheville, North Carolina

Updated at 5:06 p.m. on Thursday, April 27: 

by Virginia Daffron 

Local Facebook accounts are buzzing with questions about a small plane observed over North Asheville on the evening of Wednesday, April 26, at about 7:45 p.m.

On Thursday, Kathleen Bergen of the Federal Aviation Administration wrote in an email: “The FAA determined that an aircraft departed from Hendersonville Airport at 7:45 pm, circled over Asheville twice, then returned to the airport. The radar system could not identify the aircraft or its altitude, and the pilot did not contact air traffic control. The pilot was flying under visual flight rules and was not required to communicate with air traffic control. We cannot confirm that this is the aircraft that residents reported. FAA systems cannot identify whether aircraft are spraying.”

Xpress reached a representative of Aerolina, Inc., which operates the Hendersonville Airport, late on Thursday afternoon. The representative declined to give his name, but said that he was not present on Wednesday evening and had no idea whether a plane matching the description given to the FAA had flown out of his airport at that time. The field is a “non-control” airport, he said, and pilots are not required to file flight plans or reports.

The Aerolina representative declined to answer whether any spraying operations are based out of the airfield, saying that he had provided that information to the FAA. With regards to reports that the plane had a vintage appearance, the Aerolina representative said he wasn’t aware of any of the historic aircraft at the Western North Carolina Air Museum (which is located at the Hendersonville Airport) having flown yesterday evening.

Since I was among the Ashevilleans who saw the plane, it is relevant to share my observations here as we await more details:

At about 7:30, or as late as 7:45 p.m., yesterday evening, I noticed a small plane flying low above North Asheville as I walked along the stretch of Kimberly Avenue that borders the golf course of the Grove Park Inn.

The plane, which appeared to be a small, vintage aircraft with no visible markings, was flying southward, over the Charlotte Street area, releasing a trail of smoke that appeared orange in the light of the setting sun.

I first thought the pilot must be skywriting, but then almost immediately rejected that theory because the plane was flying so low. From where I walked, the plane appeared to be just above tree level.

As I watched, the smoke trail stopped and the plane flew away, banked slightly to the east as it continued its southward trajectory. Within seconds, the plane had disappeared behind the trees.

At home, I told my son about the sighting, saying how strange it had seemed to see a plane flying so low and releasing a colored trail of smoke late in the evening. Although I don’t have any particular expertise in assessing the altitude of aircraft, I estimated the plane to be flying at about 300-400 feet above the ground.

I later learned that others also were saying they had observed the strange sight. One local Facebooker wrote: “Anyone witness the small engine plane flying over 240 and spraying red fog on charlotte street that fell like red ash flakes and then the plane moved to the south end over Biltmore Mall area and sprayed a bunch more ? Several folks have witnessed this plane flying at around 200′ and it the airport has no record of it.” By shortly before noon on Thursday, the post had attracted 81 comments, many from other eyewitnesses.

One commenter wrote that her husband had seen and heard the plane from Town Mountain; she said he estimated the plane’s altitude at 700-1,000 feet. He also witnessed smoke coming from the plane: “he thought the sun being almost opposite and close to horizon was making blackish smoke glow brownish, thought at first it was a skywriter, as it passed over charlotte st. banked a wide circle and smoke appeared to stop as it went across chestnut hill neighborhood and came back across 240 headed south… he didn’t notice fallout from smoke, just dispersion…”

Some others wrote that the plane had left a red flaky residue along the Charlotte Street corridor.

No commenter on threads reviewed by Xpress reported having photos or videos of the airplane.

According to Alex Bradley, spokesperson for the Asheville Regional Airport Authority, “Pilots must communicate with the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) when operating in controlled airspace. We do not have any information about this flight.”

Bradley referred Xpress to FAA Communications Manager Kathleen Bergen.

Xpress will update this post as more information is received. Please contact us at 828-251-1333 or leave a comment if you have photos, videos or information about the plane to share.

Original article can be found here:   https://mountainx.com




Answer Man: Odd, spraying plane?

by John Boyle 

Question: Facebook was abuzz Wednesday night with descriptions of a small plane, described as a single engine plane and possibly a vintage aircraft, flying low over North Asheville near I-240 and Charlotte Street and releasing a strange red-orange smoke or substance. Here's part of one Facebook post: "I saw the plane flying as I was heading east towards Zippy's Car Wash. It was flying across 240 normally." The reader was too late for the car wash and turned around, heading west on 240. " At this point I look up right at the exact moment the airplane starts spraying this stuff' out of the back of it or the bottom of it or somewhere ... and it started making a clear circle. At first I was like, 'This is just smoke or exhaust,' but then after completing the full circle the plane straightened out and the stuff discontinued spraying from the plane." The person noted that a car full "of tourists next to me were all looking up at the sky at this floating stuff slowly dissipating as it fell from the sky, and kind of excitedly talking back and forth to each other and pointing at the sky."

Virginia Daffron, a Mountain Xpress reporter who wrote about the incident, also witnessed it and described the incident on their website:

"The plane, which appeared to be a small, vintage aircraft with no visible markings, was flying southward, over the Charlotte Street area, releasing a trail of smoke that appeared orange in the light of the setting sun," Daffron wrote. "I first thought the pilot must be skywriting, but then almost immediately rejected that theory because the plane was flying so low. From where I walked, the plane appeared to be just above tree level. As I watched, the smoke trail stopped and the plane flew away, banked slightly to the east as it continued its southward trajectory. Within seconds, the plane had disappeared behind the trees."

As several people tagged me in the post, suggesting I investigate, I'm giving it a shot.

My answer: I'm pretty sure this was Councilman Cecil Bothwell spraying anti-development dust. It is the season, you know.

Real answer: By press time I was not able to get a satisfactory answer, but some details are emerging.

First, here's what Kathleen Bergen, spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration out of Atlanta, told me via email:

"The FAA determined that an aircraft departed from Hendersonville Airport at 7:45 p.m., circled over Asheville twice, then returned to the airport," Bergen said. "The radar system could not identify the aircraft or its altitude, and the pilot did not contact air traffic control. The pilot was flying under visual flight rules and was not required to communicate with air traffic control."

While it sounds like a good candidate, Bergen said, "We cannot confirm that this is the aircraft that residents reported. FAA systems cannot identify whether aircraft are spraying."

Several local residents called the Asheville Police Department to report the plane.

"Calls reported a red/yellow crop-duster type aircraft," said APD spokeswoman Christina Hallingse. "Officers responding were not able to locate the aircraft when they arrived to the general area the plane had been spotted."

The APD's communications supervisor was directed to contact the main tower at Asheville Regional Airport, "but was not able to make contact with anyone."

Asheville Regional Airport spokeswoman Tina Kinsey had no information on the incident and said the FAA would be the best source.

The tower at Asheville Regional Airport also referred me to the FAA.

"We would not be able to give out that information even it we had it," Mike Silvius, air traffic manager, said.

I left messages for the Hendersonville Airport, as well as the Western North Carolina Air Museum, which is based out of the Hendersonville Airport and has vintage planes. I'll note that the WNC Air Museum does have a couple of planes on site that fit the description.

Stay tuned.

Original article can be found here:  http://www.citizen-times.com

Banning, California, attempts again to close its airport



Robbie Spencer, of Oceanside, has been looking forward to opening a skydiving school at the Banning Municipal Airport, hoping to take advantage of virtually no interference in the air, or on the ground, for his program.

It would replicate success he has had in Perris, and is slated to open at the beginning of May.

A lease agreement of $1,000 a month to rent a hangar, and an additional $1,000 for landing zone rights for Skydive West Coast was approved in February, with 2 percent annual increases.

With a four-year lease signed, he was caught off guard when a reporter asked him about Banning city council’s decision to close the airport.

“This would completely shut me down and put me out of business,” he said. “I think we’d bring a lot of people to the city, and the airport would be a great asset that could host charity events,” a sentiment echoed by a couple of citizens who addressed the issue at the April 25 council meeting.

“FedEx and others will become more viable as the population grows,” Spencer said. “Once an airport is closed, it can never reopen.”

The city, which has not demonstrated much interest in reinvigorating its airport, believes it can lure more immediately lucrative industries to occupy the nearly 154 acres with logistics centers and warehouses that could take advantage of the nearby freeway and rail systems.

In January, it declined to provide incentives to the Banning Work Lofts project to invest nearby.

Banning is relying on a study by Diamond Bar-based HdL, which concludes that having the airport is not currently in the city’s best fiscal interest, and points out the declining trend in consumer aviation as evidence that there is little interest in small, municipal airports as lethargic as Banning’s, which had 1,324 flight operations in 2015, down from 4,674 in 2010 when a recession began.




That compares to more than 27,000 flights in and out of the privately held Perris Valley Airport that year; Riverside Municipal Airport, with 109,865 operations; or the city of Redlands’ municipal airport, which had 43,800 flights that year.

The airport’s operations barely break even, and struggles to make a profit. The 2016-17 operating budget projects $136,285 in expenditures, and $138,750 in projected revenue.

According to HdL, “The highest and best uses for the airport, now or in the future, doesn’t appear to be operating it as a municipal airport,” citing declining general aviation use nationally, reflected at Banning Municipal Airport. “Given its location and adjacent land uses, along with mid to near-term market conditions, any redevelopment possibility of the airport should focus on future land use for industrial development, which could include users such as distribution, logistics, e-commerce, and light manufacturing.”

David Cushing, manager of the Los Angeles Airports District Office has previously told the city that it would have to prove that closing an airport and leaving the FAA with one less venue for air traffic, would be in the federal organization’s best interest, and that the city would have to pay funds to the FAA in order to have air traffic directed to other airports.

That would be in addition to have to pay back Airport Improvement Grants in excess of $2 million.

Cushing had also previously advised the city that it will have to pay back a $5.5 million land grant.

“Airports that accept federal AIP grants agree to keep the airport open for at least 20 years following the receipt of the most recent grant, and Banning last received a grant in 2015 in the amount of $127,170 for installing airfield guidance signs, and removing obstructions,” Ian Gregor, public affairs manager for the FAA Pacific Division, said in an interview. Based on that alone, the airport would have to remain open until 2035.

The city estimates closure costs would be between $5,200,000 and $9,200,000.

The city also received a grant in 2013 for taxiway work, according to Gregor.

City council voted 4-1, with councilwoman Debbie Franklin being the lone dissenter, to declare that “it shall be a goal of the city of Banning to close the Banning Municipal Airport as soon as legally permitted, and directing the city manager to implement necessary administrative measures accordingly.”

Original article can be found here:  http://www.recordgazette.net

Bell OH-58A, Puerto Rico Police Department, N161PD: Accident occurred October 25, 2016 in Ponce, Puerto Rico

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

NTSB Identification: ERA17CA056
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, October 25, 2016 in Ponce, PR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/07/2017
Aircraft: BELL OH 58A, registration: N161PD
Injuries: 2 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.

During an instructional flight, the helicopter was about 40 to 50 ft above ground level and at 60 knots when the flight instructor intended to demonstrate a simulated engine failure and run-on landing. Although the flight instructor had intended to recover from the maneuver before an actual run-on landing, he noticed that he did not have enough rotor rpm to recover and chose to continue with the run-on landing. The helicopter then landed hard on a taxiway and slid about 300 ft before coming to rest upright. The flight instructor added that there were no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation. Examination of the helicopter by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed damage to the aft engine bulkhead and wrinkles in the helicopter panels near the tailboom and rotor gear box.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The helicopter flight instructor's inadequate demonstration of a simulated engine failure, which resulted in a hard landing.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Ponce, Puerto Rico

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

Puerto Rico Police Department: http://registry.faa.gov/N161PD

NTSB Identification: ERA17CA056
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, October 25, 2016 in Ponce, PR
Aircraft: BELL OH 58A, registration: N161PD
Injuries: 2 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.


During an instructional flight, the helicopter was at an altitude of 40 to 50 ft above ground level, at 60 knots, when the flight instructor intended to demonstrate a simulated engine failure and run-on landing. Although the flight instructor had intended to recover from the maneuver prior to an actual run-on landing, he noticed that he did not have enough rotor rpm to recover and elected to continue with the run-on landing. The helicopter then landed hard on a taxiway and slid about 300 ft before coming to rest upright. The flight instructor added that there were no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation. Examination of the helicopter by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed damage to the aft engine bulkhead and wrinkles in the helicopter panels near the tail boom and rotor gear box.

Cessna 172M, N4331R, Consolidated Aviation Services LLC: Accident occurred November 20, 2016 in Dayton, County, Tennessee

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Nashville, Tennessee


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

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

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


Consolidated Aviation Services LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N4331R

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA079
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, November 20, 2016 in Dayton, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/05/2017
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N4331R
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.

According to the student pilot, the single-engine airplane was configured in a crab profile during the landing. After the flare, the airplane settled into ground effect and a deer then approached the airplane from the left and struck the left main landing gear. The pilot initiated a go-around, but the left wing struck the ground. The airplane landed hard on the nose landing gear, the nose landing gear collapsed, and the airplane slid to a stop after exiting the runway to the right. The firewall sustained substantial damage.

The airport facility directory stated that deer were present on and near the airport.

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

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:

The student pilot’s inability to maintain pitch and bank control during the landing after the airplane was struck by a deer.

Cessna 195B Businessliner, Cardinal 19PC LLC, N195PC (and) Piper PA-44-180 Seminole, Airline Transport Professional Corp of USA, N1221K: Accident occurred December 11, 2016 at Jacksonville Executive at Craig Airport (KCRG), Duval County, Florida

N195PC Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf 

N1221K Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Airline Transport Professional Corp of USA: http://registry.faa.gov/N1221K

Cardinal 19PC LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N195PC 

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA097A 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, December 11, 2016 in Jacksonville, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/20/2017
Aircraft: CESSNA 195, registration: N195PC
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA097B
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, December 11, 2016 in Jacksonville, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/20/2017
Aircraft: PIPER PA 44, registration: N1221K

Injuries: 3 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 taxi, he turned right to position the airplane to perform pretakeoff procedures, and the right wing passed over the running engine of a stationary airplane and struck the turning propeller. 

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing, and the stationary airplane sustained minor damage. 

Both pilots reported no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with their airplanes that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s failure to see and avoid the stationary airplane during taxi.

The pilot of the tailwheel-equipped airplane reported that during taxi, he turned right to position the airplane to perform pre-takeoff procedures, and the right wing passed over the running engine of a stationary airplane. The right wing struck the turning propeller of the stationary airplane. 

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing, and the stationary airplane sustained minor damage. 

Both pilots reported no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with their airplane's that would have precluded normal operation.

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/ppf

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA097A
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, December 11, 2016 in Jacksonville, FL
Aircraft: CESSNA 195, registration: N195PC
Injuries: 3 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 taxi, he turned right to position the airplane to perform pre-takeoff procedures, and the right wing passed over the running engine of a stationary airplane. The right wing struck the turning propeller of the stationary airplane.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing, and the stationary airplane sustained minor damage. 

Both pilots reported no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with their airplane's that would have precluded normal operation.

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

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA097B
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, December 11, 2016 in Jacksonville, FL
Aircraft: PIPER PA 44, registration: N1221K
Injuries: 3 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 taxi, he turned right to position the airplane to perform pre-takeoff procedures, and the right wing passed over the running engine of a stationary airplane. The right wing struck the turning propeller of the stationary airplane.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing, and the stationary airplane sustained minor damage. 

Both pilots reported no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with their airplane's that would have precluded normal operation.