Monday, May 22, 2017

Private Jet Terminal At San Jose Mineta International Airport (KSJC) Allegedly Shared Secret Security Codes With Tech Execs

SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — A company that caters to elite travelers is under federal investigation for allegedly allowing Silicon Valley tech execs access onto highly restricted airport property at San Jose Mineta International.

The probe comes on the heels of one security breach after another at Mineta, including a teen stowaway, and a woman who jumped a fence.

KPIX 5 has learned that this time the breach went undetected until a tipster came forward.

According to a law enforcement source, the tipster told investigators he or she worked at Google, and tech execs at the company were passing along a code that opens the Signature Flight Support gate at Mineta.

Signature Flight Support’s 10,000 square foot executive terminal caters to business and private jets at Mineta.

“They have access to the whole commercial side of the airport,” said Jeff Harp, a KPIX 5 security analyst and former FBI special agent.

The security issue has prompted an investigation by the Transportation Security Administration. The TSA confirms it could result in fines.

“Al Qaida has told us they want to come get us and they’ve done so through the use of airplanes.” said Harp. “Isis is the same way. Everybody knows if you want to get more bang for the buck, so to speak, you take a commercial airliner down.”

The source tells KPIX 5 that the tech execs didn’t have clearance to access airport property, which includes a background check.

Harp is not only familiar with the process, but the security level needed for getting onto airport property:

“Even as an FBI agent when I was employed with the bureau I had an access badge for the San Francisco airport but i also had to go through a clearance process through TSA and the security folks down at the airport,” said Harp.

Signature declined an on-camera interview, but according to a source, whoever wanted the gate code, likely wanted it so they didn’t need to wait for Signature’s employees to let them in.

Mineta has tried to step up its security in recent months but it keeps landing in the spotlight.

“I think what we have here is just a real good example of a lackadaisical security mind set,” said Harp.

Story and video:

Hampton, Hunterdon County, New Jersey: Man wins Master Pilot Award from Federal Aviation Administration

Joel Turpin of Hampton was given the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award by the Federal Aviation Administration in a ceremony at the Lehigh Valley International Airport late last month.

The award is only given to those few pilots who have flown continuously for 50 years accident and violation free. Turpin began his flying career when he took his first flying lesson in 1966 as a junior in high school while growing up in St.Louis, Missouri.

He later became the youngest flight instructors in the St. Louis area when he earned his license to teach flying as a 19 year old college student. Turpin went on to fly for United Airlines for nearly 29 years, retiring as a Boeing 767 Captain in 2014 with over 27,000 hours in his pilot log book.

Joel currently flies a turboprop airplane for two different corporations in the local area. He also teaches instrument flying and writes technical articles for 3 different flying magazines. Joel is married to Isabell Turpin, his wife of 19 years. Isabell is a United Airlines flight attendant. They met on a Boeing 737 when they flew together as a crew in 1997.   

Original article can be foundhere:

PenAir Promises Better Service For Unalaska, Following Airline’s 'Worst Performance'

PenAir CEO Danny Seybert takes questions Thursday at Unalaska City Hall.

The head of PenAir fielded questions Thursday from frustrated flyers in Unalaska.

Thirty island residents gathered at a public meeting to ask CEO Danny Seybert why their only option for traveling to and from Anchorage has been so unreliable over the last year.

“I’m embarrassed by last winter," said Seybert, referring to mechanical cancellations that have plagued the airline since its pilots started flying Saab 2000s. "It was the worst performance I’ve seen in the history of the company," he said.

The new planes are bigger and faster than the previous Saab 340s, but they’ve only completed 90 percent of scheduled flights.

Seybert said the problem is twofold: Mechanics are still learning how to maintain the new aircraft, and PenAir is still waiting on a fifth and final plane to join the fleet.

“I’m very confident that we’re going to work the bugs out and that the worst is behind us," he said. "I expect the fifth aircraft to be up and running in two to three weeks.”

Unalaskans were happy to hear the backup plane is nearly ready after an eight-month delay, but Mayor Frank Kelty pressed Seybert on why PenAir wasn’t better prepared for the transition.

“It would have been nice if you’d kept some of those 340s in Alaska to help cover for this issue," said Kelty.

In hindsight, Seybert agreed. But by the time the 2000s were having problems, PenAir had already won government contracts to fly the smaller planes in the Lower 48.

Seybert promised the expansion won’t hurt markets in southwest Alaska.

But many Unalaskans -- including Rachelle Hatfield -- said they’re already having problems with the current service, like frequently bumped baggage and difficulty rescheduling after cancelations.

“When patrons call PenAir to get an issue fixed, PenAir refers them to Alaska Airlines," said Hatfield. "When we call Alaska Airlines, they refer us to PenAir, and we really don’t get the issue resolved.”

Communication has been a problem since the beginning of PenAir’s longtime partnership with Alaska Airlines, according to Seybert.

He didn't offer a new solution. He encouraged flyers to continue contacting Alaska Airlines with questions about pricing and flight availability, while PenAir handles concerns about the planes themselves.

Meanwhile, Seybert explained PenAir’s decision to cancel Unalaska’s daily cargo flight. He said profits from mail delivery declined by a third in the last year, as a result of the new planes.

While ACE Air Cargo picks up most of the slack, he said PenAir will continue hauling limited freight on passenger flights.

“I’m not concerned that you guys are going to be without cargo service," Seybert told Unalaskans. "You’re going to have very close to the same capacity as when I was operating, if little ACE comes through with what they said they’re going to do.”

ACE will take over as Unalaska’s primary provider of air freight on June 1.

Original article can be found here:

Isn’t now right time to plan for airport? Lowcountry Regional (KRBW), Walterboro, South Carolina

Dear Editor:

I am writing to clarify and correct some information contained in an article printed in the May 11th edition of this newspaper (“Noise assessment on airport requested”).

First — I am not a resident of Walterboro; I am a Walterboro native and homeowner. I am making this request on behalf of a diverse group of Walterboro residents and homeowners — some of whom live in the two Walterboro historic districts, some in the North Lemacks Street neighborhood, and some outside of these two areas.

Second — We are not asking that the airport be “closed” or “shut down” as some of your readers apparently believe. Our petition states: “We, the undersigned, respectfully request the Walterboro-Colleton County Airport Commission order an environmental assessment to determine the effects of aircraft traffic landing and taking off from the various runways at the Lowcountry Regional Airport in Walterboro, S.C. We further request that the commission investigate alternate flight paths that would require aircraft traffic to avoid flying over heavily populated residential areas (relative to the general population of Walterboro), and to use any other runway(s) instead of Runway #5 (located near the intersection of North Lemacks Street and Robertson Boulevard), due to concerns related to noise, safety, health and the free exercise of religion.”

These planes and jets are flying very low over the houses and churches in the areas near Runway #5, (particularly during landings and takeoffs), causing concerns over noise, safety, health and the free exercise of religion (the planes and jets are flying over these churches even during church services).

I have consulted with a commercial pilot employed by one of the major airlines who has advised me that Runway #35 (which also has GPS navigational landing capability, as Runway #5 has) can be used. This pilot could see from the aerial maps of the airport and technical information gleaned from that the pilots can more easily taxi directly to the terminal if they use Runway #5 instead of Runway #35 — and that is more than likely why they are choosing Runway #5.

We believe that our valid concerns should not take a back seat to the extra few minutes a pilot would need to taxi to the terminal from another runway —especially since there is more vacant land near the ends of all the other runways.

Long-term residents have advised us that aircraft were not allowed to takeoff and land (or perhaps even fly) so close to residential areas during the heyday of the airport during World War II.

Many of the comments I have read are based on the noise and number of planes and jets that are flying over Walterboro now — but how many may be flying over residential areas in the future? We understand that at least some of the aircraft traffic is due to flight training and takeoffs/landings connected simply to the sale of jet fuel (see the airport’s website: “Fly in and let us top off the tank for you.”).

As the city and county have recently approved an ordinance leasing airport property to a business (Lowcountry Aviation Company Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul, LLC, hereinafter “Lowcountry Aviation”) that states as one of its planned business activities as flight training, we are even more concerned that we will be subjected to an increased number of aircraft conducting “touch-and-go” landings, and from safety issues due to inexperienced pilots learning to fly right over our heads.

Tourism and economic development efforts have used the historic nature of Walterboro as a tool to draw both visitors and business owners to come to the area — but we are being asked to bear the brunt of the negative effects of the airport expansion efforts.

Many general aviation airports restrict the use of certain runways located near residential neighborhoods under noise abatement mandates. Residents of the North Lemacks Street neighborhood in particular are enduring the worst noise problems and safety concerns; how does it make sense to “revitalize” this neighborhood with grant monies spent to install sidewalks and improve drainage if these large jets are allowed to fly so low over this area on their landing approaches?

As Lowcountry Aviation has not made its plans public (as was stated in The Press and Standard would be done during the first quarter of 2017), we cannot know what other plans they may have for the site leased to them for at least the next 30 years (not including the renewal terms granted) — initially for only $3,000 per year (with slight increases later tied to the Consumer Price Index).

What we do know is that tax monies estimated as approximately $1.69 million will help fund an expansion of the terminal. The airport is currently seeking funding for runway lighting and an ILS Approach Lighting System (for planes that do not have GPS navigational capabilities); why weren’t the tax monies earmarked for the airport terminal instead used for improvements to runways not located as close to residential areas?

Lowcountry Aviation has stated its intention to invest approximately $3.2 million and hire approximately 127 employees (not required in any public documents to be Colleton County residents), and we have been advised that at least one group has approached the city about opening a flight training school near the intersection of North Lemacks Street and Robertson Boulevard.

Isn’t now the right time to determine how the airport can operate in such a way as to lessen any negative impacts on its residential neighbors?

Carol Black 

Los Angeles, Calif.

and Walterboro

Original article can be found here:

Spirit Airlines to begin international service out of Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport

Spirit Airlines will begin offering international flights out of Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport later this year starting with Cancun.

The airline made the announcement Monday that it would offer the first international flight out of BWI to Cancun International Airport beginning Nov. 9. Baltimore is one of two cities to get flights to Cancun, with flights out of Chicago O’Hare Airport also starting in November.

“We welcome the announcement that Spirit Airlines will bring new international flight options and more ultra-low fares for our travelers,” BWI CEO Ricky Smith said in a statement. “This service boosts the travel value for our passengers, while adding to the growth and success here at BWI Marshall Airport.”

The new service brings Spirit's total markets serviced out of BWI to 19. Spirit first started regional operations out of Baltimore in 2012 with two destinations.

The airline announced in January new West Coast destinations flying out BWI for the summer with flights to Oakland, San Diego and Seattle set to begin on Thursday. Spirit also started service out of BWI to New Orleans this month.

Icelandic airline WOW Air has continued to grow its international flights out of BWI, adding service to Israel starting in September, while Southwest Airlines, BWI's largest carrier, looks to expand its international presence nationwide.

BWI set a fiscal year passenger record in 2016 in welcoming 24.7 million passengers. The airport has set monthly passenger records in 21-straight months through March 2017.

Original article can be found here:

Military aircraft to train in the skies above Yakima Valley, Washington

YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash.--Community members in Yakima County may see and hear some extra activity in the skies this week as special military aircraft training takes place.

Several aircraft will be flying above the area starting Sunday night and lasting through Friday.

The training will start at 2 p.m. each day and end at around midnight.

There will be some increased activity at the Yakima Air Terminal during this time as the aircraft will be stationed there.

Loud noises may occur in the skies due the aircraft flying above.

Original articlce can be found here:

Emirates customer service accidentally sends passenger explicit email after their complaint: When Claire Finch asked the airline to explain offensive message, it took a further four weeks to respond

“Wtf …” is not a subject line you expect to see in a message from the customer-service staff of one of the world’s biggest airlines. But it was the header for a highly offensive message sent in error to an Emirates passenger who sought compensation after a late flight from Manchester to Dubai.

Claire Finch applied for the statutory €600 in compensation through the Resolver website. Her application was successful, but shortly after sending through the confirmation an Emirates customer-service representative sent a second email with the subject line “Wtf …”.

It continued: “… is she on about?!? If you’ve put it in the letter, what the fuk [sic] does she need to do!!!”

A third message arrived shortly afterwards, saying the sender “would like to recall the message, ‘Wtf…’.”

Ms. Finch then complained to Emirates, and received an acknowledgment on 24 April. After four weeks of waiting she contacted The Independent. 

An airline executive then wrote to her, saying: “Firstly, please accept my personal apologies for any dissatisfaction that you have experienced with Emirates.

“Naturally, I was most concerned to discover that you had inadvertently been copied on an inappropriate internal communication, which was unrelated to yourself or any other passenger.

“Please be assured that we do not condone such actions and this is not indicative of our high standards and the image which Emirates wishes to portray. I can confirm that this matter has already been dealt with internally with the employee concerned.”

Ms. Finch, who lives in Congleton in Cheshire, said: “I feel very disappointed and disillusioned with Emirates. They hold themselves up to be one of the more upmarket airlines but their customer service is nothing short of shocking.

“I fully accept that mistakes happen but when they do, a company is measured on how they put them right.

"I feel Emirates have actually treated me with contempt and if it were not for The Independent’s intervention, I would still be awaiting a response.”

An Emirates spokesperson said the airline was “surprised by the language used in the email exchange”, adding: “This does not represent the customer friendly attitude that we pride ourselves on here at Emirates. We sincerely apologize to Ms. Finch and will contact her directly to assure her that this is an isolated incident and necessary actions will be taken.”

The airline did not explain the delay in responding to Ms. Finch.

Original article can be found here:

Delta begins seasonal service to Juneau

Another sure sign of summer appeared in the air above Juneau this week, as Delta Air Lines’ seasonal service to the capital city began Thursday night.

Delta will fly once a day between Juneau and Seattle, as a Boeing 737 aircraft will land in Juneau at night and depart in the morning. Delta’s annual return to Juneau will bring more congestion to the Juneau International Airport, and Delta officials advise passengers to allow for two hours to check in.

Juneau’s airport is notoriously difficult to land at due to weather conditions, but Delta is more prepared for that this year, Airport Manager Patty Wahto said in a release Thursday. Delta is utilizing required navigation performance (RNP) technology to better deal with the weather conditions, hoping to lead to easier landings.

“When the weather is kind of nasty, instead of doing missed approaches, Delta has a better chance of getting in,” Wahto said. “It’s similar to what Alaska Airlines has. It puts Delta at a level playing field as far as getting in and out.”

Read more here:

Great Lakes Airlines adds flights to, from Los Angeles

FARMINGTON — The sole provider of commercial flights at the Four Corners Regional Airport has added service to Los Angeles International Airport.

Airport manager Mike Lewis said Great Lakes Airlines started offering direct flights to Los Angeles earlier this month. The flights are scheduled every Monday and Thursday. Departure from Farmington is at 1:12 p.m. and arrival from Los Angeles is at 3:10 p.m. both days.

"The market here in Farmington has always been good for them," Lewis said. "Farmington — in the history of aviation — has always played a critical part in being a connection for an airline system."

John Freeman, director of customer service for Great Lakes Airlines, said the company is excited to offer more service here.

"I think we're pleased that we're able to add additional cities to our network," Freeman said.

Lewis said the airline made a commitment to Farmington last October to restore flight services because the city is considered a large market.

The restoration comes after a 2013 Federal Aviation Administration rule increased the number of training hours required for co-pilots, which resulted in a pilot shortage and a reduction in flights.

Lewis said Great Lakes has been operating a "robust flight schedule" in Farmington since Oct. 1 with only 13 flights cancelled between October and April. Of that number, 11 flights were cancelled due to weather in Denver during December, January and February, he said.

"That's a pretty phenomenal performance as far as making sure all flights fly," Lewis said.

The new Los Angeles service also comes after Great Lakes began utilizing a 30-seat turboprop aircraft in December.

"So, we've seen the number of passengers boarding (in Farmington) increase greatly since Oct. 1. We've already boarded more people in 2017 than we did for the entire year of 2016," Lewis said.

Jody Carman, an administrative assistant for the airport, said the facility will participate in the Jolt Your Summer Challenge from 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, June 9. The challenge is a contest in which residents visit various locations around the city, and it is sponsored by the Farmington Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The event will include mini tours of the airport and activities for children, Carman said.

"We like to see people look at aviation as a way to contemplate their future," Lewis said.

Original article can be found here:

Piper PA-28-181 Archer, N8304F, Dulles Aviation Inc: Accident occurred May 21, 2017 near Manassas Regional Airport (KHEF), Virginia

Additional Participating entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Herndon, Virginia

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Registered Owner: Dulles Aviation Inc

Operator: Dulles Aviation Inc

NTSB Identification: ERA17CA186
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Bristow, VA
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28-181, registration: N8304F
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.

The flight instructor was working with the private pilot on his flight review. Prior to the flight, the pilot checked the fuel and observed that the fuel level in both fuel tanks was below the tabs, and that the right fuel tank had less fuel in it then the left fuel tank. After departing, maneuvering in the local area, the pilot and the flight instructor returned to the airport, landed, then taxied back for another takeoff. After completing two traffic pattern circuits, on the third takeoff the engine stopped producing power at 800 ft. msl, on the upwind leg of the traffic pattern. The private pilot lowered the airplane's nose and the engine started running again. The flight instructor then took over control of the airplane as they started on the right crosswind leg for the runway, and at 900 ft. msl, the engine lost power again. After deciding that the airplane did not have enough altitude, to make the runway, she advised the air traffic control tower that they were going to attempt a landing in a field near the airport. She then checked the mixture, throttle, and ignition, without result, but neither she nor the private pilot, attempted to switch from the right fuel tank to the left fuel tank.

During the off-airport landing, the airplane went through an electric fence, spun around about 180 degrees. The nose landing gear sheared off, resulting in substantial damage to the airframe. Examination of the engine revealed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation. Examination and draining of the fuel system, revealed that the fuel strainer bowl, the line from the fuel strainer to the carburetor, and the carburetor float bowl were absent of fuel. The right fuel tank also contained only about 1 pint of fuel, while the left fuel tank contained about 3 gallons of fuel. Review of flight school records revealed that the airplane had flown 4.7 hours since it was last refueled. When asked, the flight instructor advised that she had not observed the private pilot as he performed his preflight inspection, did not know when the airplane had last been refueled, and did not remember asking the private pilot about the fuel quantity before they departed.

A plane crashed along Bristow Road, Sunday evening, but the two occupants were able to walk away without any serious injuries.

Virginia State Police responded to a crash landing in Prince William County. The incident occurred May 21, 2017, at 8:35 p.m. in a field in the 10,800 block of Bristow Road in Bristow, Virginia.

“A Piper PA-28-181 began experiencing engine problems and made a crash landing in the field,” said Virginia State Police Public Relations Director Corinne Geller. “The aircraft struck a wire fence in its landing.”

First responders treated the plane’s two occupants for minor injuries at the scene. Debra Lea Varnon Schuldt of Annandale, Virginia, was identified as the pilot.

The plane’s passenger was Jeffrey Poindexter of Manassas. According to his wife, Deborah Poindexter, he sustained only minor injuries and is at home recovering.

The FAA and NTSB were notified of the incident. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

According to Deborah Poindexter, the airplane had been totaled in the crash.

Original article can be found here:

AIRCRAFT:   1982 Piper PA-28-181 Archer 11    N8304F

ENGINE - M&M: Lycoming 0-360-A4M   S/N: L26539-36A

PROPELLER – M&M: Sensenich 76EM8S5-0-62

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

ENGINE: TT 6024.0     TSMOH: 359.9           

PROPELLER: TT: 278.72         TSPOH 278.72                       

AIRFRAME:  6204.0                    

OTHER EQUIPMENT: King KR86 ADF, Bendix King KMA-24 Audio Panel, King KN 64 DME, NARCO ELT 10, King KX 155 Nav/Comm #2, Garmin GNS 430 GPS & Radio #1, King KT 76A Transponder       

DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT:  Aircraft ran out of fuel landed in wheat field, hit electric fence

DESCRIPTION OF DAMAGES: Damage includes but not limited to stabilator, rear fuselage, right wing, right flap, left wing, left flap. Left aileron, lower right fuselage, pilot window, firewall. Lower cowl, propeller, engine TDI               

LOCATION OF AIRCRAFT:  Plane Care, 14235 Oak Spring Road, Hagerstown, MD 21742 (KHGR)          

REMARKS: Sold as is / where is; Field adjuster has possession of aircraft logbooks. Prior written permission required to inspect salvage and contact field adjuster to schedule viewing.

Beechcraft (Fuji) T-34A Mentor (B45), N55GF, Fightertown LLC: Incident occurred May 21, 2017 at Coeur d'Alene Airport (KCOE), Kootenai County, Idaho

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Spokane, Washington

Fightertown LLC:

Aircraft on landing, nose gear collapsed.

Date: 21-MAY-17
Time: 23:35:00Z
Regis#: N55GF
Aircraft Make: BEECH
Aircraft Model: BE45
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
State: IDAHO

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho -  Update: Deputies and fire crews from Northern Lakes Fire department responded to a report of an airplane in distress around 4 p.m.

It was reported to the Coeur d'Alene Airport by the pilot, identified as 62-year-old James T. Ostrich from Redding, California, that he had a possible landing gear issues. Ostrich communicated with airport personnel to conduct a "fly-by" to get the status of the landing gear. As the aircraft made the fly-by it was determined that the front landing gear was not all the way out.

Ostrich decided to attempt a controlled landing at the airport, and circled the airport to burn off excess fuel. At 4:30 p.m. the aircraft landed safely on the runway. The front landing gear did collapse when it touched down, but the pilot was able to keep the nose up long enough to prevent any major damage or injury.

The aircraft was described as a 1956 Beech, fixed-wing, single engine plane with only one occupant. The pilot was not injured.

The investigation was handed over to the FAA and the CDA Airport Sunday evening.

Previous coverage:

Kootenai County Sheriff's deputies are investigating after a small plane crash landed near Coeur d'Alene Airport Sunday evening.

Kootenai County deputies report the airplane reported having landing gear issues and circled the airport for about 45 minutes before the pilot had to crash land the two-person aircraft. Only one person was on board the plane at the time.

No injuries were reported as a result of the crash landing. The plane did sustain some minor damage.

Story and video:

An apparent landing gear issue forced a plane to make a controlled landing Sunday afternoon at the Coeur d’Alene Airport, according to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office and personnel from the Northern Lakes Fire Department and the Coeur d’Alene Airport converged at the site after pilot James T. Ostrich, 62, reported that the front landing gear of his fixed-wing, single-engine plane would not fully extend, according to a Sheriff’s Office release. A fly-by of the airport confirmed the fact.

Ostrich circled the airport to burn off excess fuel, then attempted a controlled landing on a runway, according to the release. Although the front landing gear collapsed, the pilot was able to keep the plane’s nose up long enough to avoid major damage or injury. Ostrich was the aircraft’s only occupant.

Original article can be found here:

Fairchild 24R-40, N25329: Accident occurred May 21, 2017 near Maples Field Airport (VG57), Catlett, Fauquier County, Virginia

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Herndon, Virginia

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket  - National Transportation Safety Board:

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA295
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Catlett, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/14/2017
Aircraft: FAIRCHILD 24R, registration: N25329
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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 in the tailwheel-equipped airplane reported that, during the approach to land on a grass airstrip, he avoided power lines and buildings that were located at the approach end of what he perceived to be the runway. Before the landing flare, he realized that what he perceived as the runway was a wheat field. The airplane’s main landing gear became entangled with the wheat stocks, and the airplane impacted the ground. The airplane nosed over and came to rest inverted. Substantial damage was sustained to the engine mounts, the rudder, the vertical stabilizer, and the wing strut.

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 pilot’s selection of an unsuitable landing area, which resulted in the airplane impacting wheat stalks and a subsequent nose-over.

The pilot in the tail-wheel equipped airplane reported that he accomplished an approach to land on a grass airstrip. During the approach he avoided powerline wires and buildings that were located at the approach end of what he perceived to be the runway. Prior to the landing flare he realized that what he perceived as the runway was a wheat field. The airplane's main landing gear became entangled with the wheat stocks and the airplane impacted the ground. The airplane nosed over and came to rest inverted. Substantial damage was sustained to the engine mounts, the rudder, the vertical stabilizer and the wing strut.

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

The Virginia State Police are investigating a plane crash that happened yesterday afternoon at Maples Field Airport in Catlett.

Police say there were two people in the plane when it crashed. 

The pilot, William A. Hargreaves, 45, of Lovettsville, was not injured. 

The passenger, Donald J. Rhynalds, 85, of Bealeton, was flown to INOVA Fairfax Hospital.

At 1:12 p.m. on May 21, the Virginia State Police received a report of a plane crash at Maples Field Airport in 1700 block of Sowego Road in Catlett. 

The aircraft involved was a 1940 Fairchild R40-404, fixed-wing, single-engine, two seater aircraft.  It was trying to land on the turf runway, when it ran off the left side and went into tall uncut grass and overturned, police say.

The state police and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the crash to determine its cause, officials say.

Original article can be found here:

An 85-year-old man was injured Sunday in a light plane crash at Maples Field Airport in Fauquier County. Donald J. Rhynalds, of Bealeton, was flown to INOVA Fairfax Hospital. 

The pilot, William A. Hargreaves, 45, of Lovettsville, was not hurt.

Virginia State Police say the accident happened at 1:12 p.m. Sunday at Maples Field, located in 1700 block of Sowego Road in the eastern part of Fauquier County. Maples Field consists of a turf runway. The aircraft involved was plane was a 1940 Fairchild R40-404, fixed-wing, single-engine, two seater aircraft.

The aircraft was attempting to land at the airport when it ran off the left side of the grassy runway and went into tall uncut grass and overturned.

The Virginia State Police and FAA are investigating the incident to determine the cause.

Original article can be found here:

CORRECTION: Bristow Beat would like to apologize for mistakenly reporting that Donald Rhynalds had passed away. We have spoken to Charles Maple of Maple Field, and learned that Rhynalds is alive and well and recovering at home. 

An 85-year-old Bealeton was injured while flying as a passenger in a small plane that crashed in Fauquier County while attempting its landing.

Virginia State Police were notified of a plane crash that occurred at Maples Field Airport located in 1700 block of Sowego Road in Catlett, Sunday at 1:12 p.m. Maples Field consists of a turf runway.

“The aircraft involved was plane was a 1940 Fairchild R40-404, fixed-wing, single-engine, two seater aircraft,” said Virginia State Police Public Information Officer, Sgt. F.L. Tyler. “The aircraft was attempting to land at the airport when it ran off the left side of the grassy runway and went into tall uncut grass and overturned.”

Two occupants were in the aircraft at the time of the crash, the pilot is identified as William A. Hargreaves, age 45 of Lovettsville, Virginia and passenger as Donald J. Rhynalds, age 85 of Bealeton, Virginia.

The pilot was not injured the passenger was flown to INOVA Fairfax Hospital.

The Virginia State Police along with and FAA are investigating the incident to determine the causative factors that led to the crash.

Original article can be found here:

Llewellyn King: Air traffic control system desperately needs update, not upheaval

Llewellyn King is executive producer and host of “White House Chronicle” on PBS. He wrote this for

The air traffic control system is one of the miracles of our infrastructure: an essential and silent cornerstone of modern transportation. Not only is it the largest and most complex air traffic system on earth, but it is the most egalitarian. It integrates little Textron Cessnas into the same airways as Airbus A380s and Boeing 747s. It manages flights to the smallest airports and the largest.

To know how it works and to have been involved with it as a pilot is to love the system, to venerate it and to want to see it survive. The system was celebrated in “Pushing Tin,” the 1999 film with John Cusack and Cate Blanchett.

But it is falling behind the times. Like so much of the infrastructure, it is getting old and has suffered from inadequate sustained funding for years. Attempts to modernize it have been haphazard, underfunded and subject to whims of contractors and Congress.

The first thing about the air traffic control system we have is that it works and it works safely. The second is that it is in real time: You can’t park airplanes in the sky while you fool with new ways of doing things.

The system’s governance has grown too sluggish and bureaucratic, but is the solution to create a corporation? Isn’t that the kind of thinking that gave us Amtrak?

The technical plans for the future of the air traffic control system come under the rubric of “NextGen.” That means using new technologies and changing from the present radar-based system to a GPS-based one. There is no doubt that it will be more efficient and get more airplanes into the sky and onto the ground with the same number of runways. FedEx has already proved that with a privately funded experiment in Memphis.

But NextGen will be a great upheaval. It involves converting from a system that works perfectly with humans at every stage to one that relies on advanced technology for the grunt work of air traffic separation.

It also will affect the air traffic controllers — the heroes of today’s system — who love what they do as much as the pilots who they direct. It is a band of brothers and sisters tied together by tension, excitement and the certainty that they make a difference and that what they do is unforgiving of sloth, stupidity or moodiness.

New systems will affect these extraordinary people bound together by the camaraderie of aviation — which is as strong a bond as I’ve ever found.

They will go, as airline pilots have, from being people who control things to people who manage systems; the art of air traffic control will be subsumed to the technology of air traffic control. No more seat-of-the-pants, just systems management. No more controllers like the one at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport who told me and my flying partner Mike Skov in bad weather, “Get in here! I’ve got a hole.”

Or the controller at New York’s LaGuardia who said at 5 p.m., when I was stuck behind a line of jets, and the jet wash was causing my little plane difficulties, “Gentlemen, let me get the single out ahead of you, if you don’t mind.” I went. Machines don’t do kindness, people do.

Now the future of the air traffic controllers and, for that matter, the future of the whole system is in President Donald Trump’s sights. Tighten your seat belts, turbulence ahead.

The case for privatization is that the Federal Aviation Administration is too bureaucratic to manage the changes in the system that are needed. It suggests that the current system is failing. It isn’t. But it is falling behind the technology available: Its computers are old, systems date back to the post-World War II era.

What the FAA’s system needs now is steady funding to facilitate the technological revolution. It doesn’t need a system that will favor the airlines, UPS and FedEx. Can a company be expected to treat the small, rural airport and the small airplane with the same care it does now when money is the rationale?

Surely, there are other ways of streamlining the Federal Aviation Administration bureaucracy and guaranteeing multi-year funding without flying into the clear blue yonder of privatization.

Original article can be found here:

Azerbaijan contributes supporting over 200,000 jobs in Renton, King County, Washington

Azerbaijan, a strategically located partner of the United States in the Caspian region, is emerging as a key transportation hub along the historic Silk Road as demonstrated by Azerbaijan’s Silk Way Airlines’ recent purchase of 10 new Boeing 737-Max 8 aircraft to be built at Boeing’s plant in Renton, Azerbaijani Ambassador to the US Elin Suleymanov wrote in his article published by HeraldNet.

Suleymanov said that while offering economic opportunities and stabilizing energy supplies, Azerbaijan stands with the US in struggling against terrorism and striving for a more peaceful world.

“Our recent purchase helps support more than 12,000 workers at the assembly plant in Renton, which will increase production and ramp up hiring,” he said.

“In the highly cyclical aerospace industry, now suffering declining demand for widebody jets, Azerbaijan’s emergence as an export market for Boeing can counter pressures for further job losses, such as the recent layoffs of engineers.”

“This is Azerbaijan’s third major investment in Boeing aircraft,” the ambassador said.

“In 2015, Silk Way purchased three Boeing 747-8 freighters manufactured at Boeing’s factory in Everett, with a total of 30,000 workers.”

“The same year, Azerbaijan Airlines — our country’s flag carrier and largest airline — acquired its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner, assembled in South Carolina,” the ambassador said. “Today, Azerbaijan Airlines Dreamliner (an aircraft built in both states) connects our countries via a nonstop Baku-New York flight.”

“I am proud that Azerbaijan is contributing to a sector that supports some 252,800 jobs in Washington, with $21 billion in wages and nearly $95 billion in economic activity,” Suleymanov said.

“Azerbaijan’s partnership with the United States extends far beyond buying jetliners,” the ambassador said. “Bordering Iran and Russia, Azerbaijan is a trusted ally in a tough neighborhood.”

Suleymanov said that within 24 hours of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Azerbaijan offered the US unconditional support against terrorism, granting American military aircraft over-flights for a third of the non-lethal supplies for coalition forces, while Azerbaijani soldiers serve shoulder to shoulder with Americans in Afghanistan.

“We continue to cooperate with the US and its allies to combat terrorism, nuclear proliferation and narcotics trafficking,” he added. “With 7 billion barrels of oil reserves and 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves, Azerbaijan provides about a million barrels of oil a day to Europe, as well as 40 percent of Israel’s consumption.”

“Through the new Southern Gas Corridor pipeline network, Azerbaijan will also bring 16 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Europe every year, securing Europe’s energy supplies while stabilizing the world economy, including air travel,” he said.

“Azerbaijan’s economic potential is about much more than energy,” Suleymanov said.

He added that last year alone, the US exported $434.2 million worth of products to Azerbaijan, while importing $142 million in goods, for a trade surplus of $292.2 million.

According to the article, American companies are exporting aircraft and heavy machinery to Azerbaijan while exploring investment opportunities in telecommunications and other non-energy sectors.

“Just as important as building oil rigs, Azerbaijan is helping America and its friends build bridges to the Islamic world,” Suleymanov said. “As a predominantly Muslim society with a secular government, Azerbaijan is an example of pluralism and moderation, offering religious freedom for Islam, Christianity and Judaism.”

“For 1,400 years, our Jewish community, now numbering about 30,000, has lived alongside Muslims without antagonism or persecution,” he said.

According to the article, in 1918, Azerbaijan became the first majority-Muslim society to recognize women’s right to vote — two years before the entire US.

“Participating in European institutions, including the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, as well as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which brings together 56 Muslim countries, Azerbaijan promotes mutual understanding,” he said. “With close ties to the US, Israel, the European Union and the Muslim nations, we strive to transform divisiveness into dialogue.”

Original article can be found here: