Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Rockwell International 112TCA, N4638W: Incident occurred June 21, 2017 at Oxnard Airport (KOXR), Ventura County, California

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Van Nuys, California

Aircraft landed gear up. 

Date: 21-JUN-17
Time: 22:28:00Z
Regis#: N4638W
Aircraft Model: 112TCA
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)

No injuries were reported after a plane landed at the Oxnard Airport on Wednesday without its landing gear, officials said. 

Rescue crews with the Oxnard and Ventura County fire departments responded at 3:27 p.m. to the airport in the 2800 block of West Fifth Street after learning that the plane was having a problem. 

Oxnard fire officials said the single-engine private plane was damaged when it landed with its landing gear still up inside the plane. The pilot was the only occupant and was not injured. 

Most crews had left the scene by 3:38 p.m., but some personnel and equipment remained there to help get the plane off the runway, officials said.

State, federal agents interview employees at Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport (KPHF)

Agents with the Virginia State Police and two federal agencies spent several hours at Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport on Tuesday interviewing employees about "matters of the airport," the airport's current chief said.

Sandy Wanner, the airport's acting executive director, said three investigators — special agents with the state police's criminal investigations division, the Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Department of Transportation's Office of Inspector General — met with five employees over the course of the day.

"They did not reveal anything to me about anything," Wanner said of what the agents were looking into. "They asked me, 'Can I arrange it?' and I said yes."

Last week, Wanner said, the investigator with the Department of Transportation Inspector General's Office asked for copies of the airport's annual audit reports going back to 2009. Wanner said he turned over the bound copies.

The moves come in the wake of a scathing Virginia Department of Transportation audit report that detailed widespread issues with airport spending — including a loan guarantee to a startup airline that ultimately cost $4.5 million in taxpayer money.

Wanner declined to name the five employees who were interviewed Tuesday, saying only that they were workers at "various levels" of the airport hierarchy. He also would not identify the agents beyond their agencies.

The three investigators arrived at the airport at 9 a.m. Tuesday, and when Wanner left the office at 4:15 p.m., he said, "they hadn't completed their last interview." He had scheduled the employee interviews in one-hour intervals, he said, "but I didn't track whether they were in there for an hour, two hours, or 10 minutes" for each one.

As of 5:40 p.m. Tuesday, the interviews appeared to be done for the day. No federal agents appeared to be inside the airport's front lobby area, and the lights were dark in the executive offices off the main terminal.

Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corrine Geller could not be reached for comment Tuesday evening on whether the agency has launched a criminal investigation into the Newport News airport or any of its current or past employees.

Representatives from the IRS and the U.S. Department of Transportation Inspector General's Office also could not be immediately reached. The DOT's inspector general monitors spending and other issues pertaining to the Federal Aviation Administration and other federal transportation agencies.

The airport and its financial practices have been under scrutiny since early this year, when the Daily Press reported that in 2014, the Peninsula Airport Commission quietly guaranteed a line of credit of up to $5 million from TowneBank for startup airline People Express.

After People Express quickly collapsed and defaulted on its loan, the commission paid off the $4.5 million debt using $3.5 million in state airport construction grants, $300,000 in federal grant money, and $700,000 from a regional marketing group funded by local city councils and county boards.

The Virginia Department of Transportation — which vowed to cut off future construction grants to the airport — launched a comprehensive audit that found the commission had improperly used state taxpayer money to guarantee the loan.

Moreover, Attorney General Mark Herring issued a formal opinion declaring the loan guarantee illegal under a provision of the state constitution that generally bars public bodies statewide from lending their credit to private interests.

The state auditors also found that airport executives routinely used commission money for personal expenses, skirted procurement rules, and worked to shield the loan from public scrutiny.

They found that Ken Spirito, the airport's executive director at the time of the loan, also authorized some airport employees to charge up to $2,400 for gasoline on their airport credit cards without requiring it to be tied to business travel. According to the audit report, Spirito directed the airport accounting department not to treat the gas allowance as taxable income.

The audit report quotes a passage from the letter of dismissal that the airport commission sent to Spirito:

"These payments actually are compensation to each employee receiving free gas, not fuel expense. According(ly), you have hidden employee compensation in the fuel expense account, also exposing these employees and the PAC to back taxes, additional filing obligations, and possible interest and penalties."

As controversy swirled around the loan guarantee and improper spending, the commission and city have seen major shake-ups.

On March 2, Newport News City Manager Jim Bourey — who voted for the loan agreement as an airport commissioner — resigned as an airport board member, then stepped down as city manager a few days later.

Also on March 2, the commission fired its longtime legal counsel, Herbert V. Kelly Jr., who had assured commissioners the loan guaranty was legal. The job serving as the airport's lawyer had been in Kelly's family for decades, with the airport terminal named after Kelly's father, Herbert V. Kelly Sr.

The Newport News City Council later removed longtime airport commission member Aubrey Fitzgerald as a board member.

Finally, on May 15, the Peninsula Airport Commission fired Spirito after auditors reported he had used commission money to pay for personal expenses — including car repairs for himself and Jessica Wharton, the airport's marketing and public relations director.

Wanner, the airport's acting executive director, said two of the investigating agents — from the state police and the IRS — came to his office last Tuesday to introduce themselves, in a meeting that lasted about 15 minutes.

"They said they were dealing with matters of the airport," Wanner said. "They did not say anything in any way, shape or form about any individual or individuals" (being investigated). ... They introduced themselves and said they'd be in contact."

The next day, he said, an agent with the U.S. Department of Transportation IG's office came by for an introductory meeting that lasted 10 minutes. It was during that meeting that the agent asked for "the audits from the airport going back to 2009," Wanner said.

Those are the annual audits performed by an outside accounting firm, Dixon Hughes Goodman LLC, of Newport News.

Later in the week, Wanner said, the agents called back about setting up Tuesday's meetings.

More than $49K missing from Gainesville Regional Airport (KGNV)

Gainesville police detectives are trying to learn what happened to nearly $50,000 missing from the Gainesville Regional Airport’s paid-parking system.

Cash deposits totaling $49,090 went missing from the airport’s HUB parking system over a period of about 10 months, from April 2016 until February, said Matt Lyons, the airport’s chief financial officer and business manager.

Gainesville Police spokesman Ben Tobias said police are investigating, but no arrests have been made.

Lyons and Allan Penksa, the airport’s chief executive officer, suspect the missing money was stolen. Technological and software glitches with the parking system have been ruled out, they said.

About 30 technology-issue-related inquiries to the HUB Parking Technology support staff were made during the time airport officials believe the money went missing, according to emails acquired by The Sun through a public records request, but the glitches could not have added up to the almost $50,000 in missing cash, Penksa said.

For every transaction, the system records the amount of cash taken in, much like a cash register, Penksa said.

He said times when airport employees had to override the system to open the gate for exiting patrons because of system glitches or when parking tickets were unreadable would not cause the system to register the occurrences as transactions. The problem appears to be connected only to instances when customers used cash, Penksa said.

Airport officials collected those parking tickets from that time frame and matched them up with the transactions, and everything matched up — except for the money.

“These are complete periods of times that transactions were made and the cash transactions were processed, but the money was not deposited,” Penksa said.

The parking system, Lyons said, tracks how much money should be in the “safe,” which is a small black metal box where the cash is collected and stored in the machine. Lyons said when the safe is opened and a “pull” is made, the system records the time and date, but zeroes out the safe, which allowed the missing cash to go unnoticed until records were reviewed.

Lyons said the airport collects about $120,000 to $150,000 in parking revenue each month. With revenue varying month to month and with most of the revenue coming from credit card payments, a difference of a few thousand dollars each month didn’t seem unusual.

The parking system’s cash-deposit logs show a pattern of discrepancies between what was pulled from the safe and what ended up with the airport’s accountant.

On 39 dates from mid-April 2016 to mid-February 2017, 78 pulls were made, one from each of the airport’s two cash-eligible machines, ranging in amounts from about $35 to $1,600. Those deposits never made it to the accountant, records show.

The first missing pull was on April 14, 2016. A pull was made for $338 from one machine and $47 was taken from the other.

Less than a week later, pulls were made for $239 and $108 from the machines.

Months later, on June 27, the biggest pulls were made, totaling $2,362, with $1,600 pulled from one machine and $702 from the other.

The final pull occurred on Feb. 13: $388 and $666. Gone.

“We’ve never had anything like this happen before,” Penksa said.

The airport’s paid-parking system generates about $1.5 million a year in revenue, which goes to pay employees and operating expenses, Lyons said.

When it was discovered by an accountant in February and airport employees were informed, the phantom pulls stopped, leaving Penksa convinced that it was not a software issue, but a human one.

There were three keys. One key to open the ticket machine, another to pull out the safe box and one to open the safe box. No employee was supposed to have more than one of the keys, Penksa said.

However, Penksa believes someone got the keys required to open up the parking machine to make the money pulls.

While there was not a written policy in place at the time, Penksa said since May, the airport has had a two-page document detailing how new cash handlers should make deposits.

Acquiring and making deposits from the system still takes multiple keys and separation of those who have access to the keys. It takes at least two people to log and witness deposits and to count and agree on the amount of the deposit, Penksa said.

He said he’s confident the written policy will keep similar situations from happening again.

While he would only answer questions by email, Gainesville-Alachua County Regional Airport Authority Chairman Kinnon Thomas said he believes Penksa and airport staff handled the newly installed parking system machine “as well as expected.” He noted, however, as chair of the board, he cannot speak for the other board members.

He added in hindsight, more could have been done.

“We should have written as well as verbal instructions on the proper money-collection procedures,” Thomas wrote.

Whether police will ever be able to determine how the money went missing remains to be seen.

The airport has a surveillance camera in the area of the parking system machines, but the video data can only be stored for a certain amount of time, and airport officials believe any footage of the suspected theft has now been overwritten. Penksa said he’s working to increase the video data storage limit.

Penksa said he has given police deposit slips, airport attendance and security system records, credit card and cash transaction information, and the details of the safe pulls during the months when money went missing.

Now, he’s waiting for an answer.

“We’re hopeful that there will be a resolution.”

25th Annual Nebraska State Fly-In and Airfest set to take flight this weekend: Norfolk Regional Airport (KOFK)

NORFOLK, NE (NCN) -  The Nebraska State Fly-in and Airfest is returning to Norfolk this weekend in it's 25th year.

Whether in the sky or on the ground, organizers of the 25th Nebraska Fly-in and Airfest hope to share the thrill of flying in Norfolk this weekend.

Held in a different Nebraska city each year, the Nebraska Aeronautics Commission chose Norfolk Regional Airport as this year's destination.

Airfest organization committee member John Linke explains each location decides the best way to showcase their airport, and this year, Norfolk will take a trip back to World War II

"There's a P-51 Mustang and a P-40 which are fighter planes from WWII. And then there's a C-47 that is actually from WWII but was used during the Vietnam war as a gun ship. And there's a B-25 bomber that should be here," he said.

Linke remarks the WWII-era planes will be a treat for both the young and old.

"For some of the old folks around who are aware of what wen ton during ww2, these are exciting things, but I think also for young people they can see what we flew and how we fought world war 2. And, it gives a new, kinda realistic appraisal of history because it's flying right before your very eyes," he said.

Beginning at noon on Saturday, Linke says airshow spectators will witness parachute jumpers, a Piper Cub landing on top of a Suburban, a flyby by the Nebraska National Guard, and much more!

"The P-51 Mustang and the P-40 will probably make flybys and do some mild aerobatics, and I think there's going to be a mock combat display between a couple of other aircraft chasing each other around with simulated gun firing and that kind of thing," he said.

Linke says spectators will be able to walk through a corporate jet, and check out ground displays of army helicopters, military aircraft, and various planes.

On Friday morning, Linke says those willing to pay can go for a ride in the P-51 Mustang or Tandem jump with the Crete Skydiving Team.

More Airfest information and rules can be found at the Nebraska Airfest website.

Story and video:

Bombardier Starts Apprenticeship Program to Encourage Aviation Careers

Planes need mechanics, and a career in aviation is taking off. In Bridgeport, one company is looking for locals to expand their work place.

Bombardier, an aviation company, has started an apprenticeship program to encourage more individuals in this area to look to the sky when it comes to employment.

"Well, the apprenticeship program gives us the opportunity to bring in local talent and train them to fill job opportunities that we are going to have in our business over the coming years," said Chad Hill, director of operations.

Hill said this area has all the resources individuals need to jump start a career in aviation, which include a school, a growing industry, and a company invested in the community.

"Well, I think the important thing is the aviation industry in general in West Virginia is a growing industry and I hope this program brings attention to that. We have a great school here next door that trains for the AMP mechanics and I would love to see enrollment up in that school, to drive a pipeline of trained mechanics into the industry here in West Virginia," said Hill.

"This isn't just something that we want to have a job. We want to make a career for these individuals so if you are interested in aviation or mechanics in general, this is a great avenue to start a career," said Mike Genin, manager of operations.

Those interested in a career in aviation and working for Bombardier can go to the Bridgeport Conference Center on June 26 to apply for an apprenticeship.

Story and video:

Bombardier CRJ700, Jet Stream International, Flight JIA5559: Incident occurred June 21, 2017 at Craig Field (KSEM), Selma, Dallas County, Alabama

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Birmingham, Alabama

Registration not reported. Aircraft diverted with smoke in the cockpit. Persons on board evacuated via door over wing. One (1) person sustained minor injury.

Date: 21-JUN-17
Time: 17:07:00Z
Regis#: JIA5559
Aircraft Make: BOMBARDIER
Aircraft Model: CRJ7
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: MINOR
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: NONE
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
Operation: 121
Flight Number: JIA5559

Two people suffered minor injuries after an American Eagle flight made an emergency landing Wednesday morning at Craig Field.

The plane, American Airlines Flight 5559, was heading from Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington, D.C. when it diverted to Craig Field.

According to a statement from American Airlines, two people were transported to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries. The plane landed because of a strong burning smell in the cockpit and cabin, according to the airline.

The emergency landing happened at about 11:40 a.m. There were 65 passengers and four crew members on board.

Menzo Driskell, Craig Field executive director, said the airport received a call from Montgomery alerting them about the emergency landing.

“My secretary came in and said there is a plane that has an emergency, they have an unresponsive passenger and there’s smoke on the plane. We alerted our volunteer fire department, and you can see the rest is kind of history,” he said. “They got the plane down, got it shut down and got the people off.”

Driskell said two passengers suffered what appeared to be minor injuries after climbing out onto one of the wings and jumping down onto the wet runway. Three passengers were evaluated by medical personnel and two were ultimately transported to the hospital.

The passengers were safely evacuated shortly after landing and were taken from the runway to a hangar to get out of Wednesday’s steady rain.

“They were standing in the rain, but we opened up [this hangar] and got them in here. A lot of my guys pitched in with that,” Driskell said.

Selma Fire and Rescue and multiple ambulances responded to the scene. Dallas County Schools buses were used to transport passengers from the plane to a hangar.

“They were like you’d expect,” Driskell said. “They were scared and disoriented. The ones I took [to the hangar], it was like they didn’t know where they were. There was one gal actually from Alabama.”

The flight is operated by PSA Airlines, which flies under the American Eagle brand, for American Airlines and left New Orleans at 10:52 a.m. and was scheduled to arrive in D.C. at 2:27 p.m. local time. The plane is a Bombardier CRJ700 jet.

As the passengers waited in the hangar, an airlines representative told them tour buses were on their way from Montgomery to pick them up and carry them back to Montgomery Regional Airport. The airline confirmed the passengers made it safely to Montgomery Wednesday around 4:30 p.m.

“Our customer relations team will be reaching out to each of our customers to offer our apologies for what transpired,” said Ross Feinstein, spokesperson for the airline. “We’ll be offering some compensation of course as well.”

The plane is being inspected to determine what happened.

“Our maintenance team will evaluate the aircraft, and we will most likely ferry that aircraft out of there once the inspection is complete,” Feinstein said. “[The plane] will undergo an additional thorough inspection prior to being placed back in service. It’s preliminary to say when that will be, but of course the aircraft will be inspected by an aircraft maintenance team with PSA, which operated that flight.”

Driskell said there have been emergency situations at Craig Field before but nothing like Wednesday’s.

“Not on anything of a scale like this,” he said. “We’ve had a military plane break a landing gear off, but the crew was three [people] on that thing, and some things like that. We don’t get 100-passenger planes here very often.”

SELMA, AL (WSFA) - An American Eagle flight on course for Washington D.C. made an emergency landing at Craig Field in Selma Wednesday.

Passengers said they were in the air, when the oxygen masks dropped down and they were told to put them on.

“They told us it was a malfunction with the breaks and that they saw smoke outside,” passenger Shavonne Bowman said. “My heart started racing. I started praying, and I just followed the instructions.”

According to media relations from American Airlines the plane was forced to land because of a burning smell coming from the cabin and cockpit.

The flight departed from New Orleans carrying 65 passengers and four crew members. 

Two passengers were transferred to a local hospital in Selma with minor injuries, American Airlines confirmed. According to a statement from American Airlines, one of the two passengers has been released. 

The plane landed around 11:40 a.m., and according to Executive Director of Craig Field Airport & Industrial Authority Menzo Driskell, the Selma Fire/Rescue Department responded almost immediately. 

"Everything went smoothly," Driskell said. 

According to Driskell, Dallas County school buses arrived at the airport and transported the 65 passengers on the flight to the hangars, while the Red Cross provided food and drinks.

"Everyone is in good spirits," Driskell said.

Many passengers said they were impressed with how the Selma and Montgomery first responders arrived and tended to them so quickly and effectively.

The passengers were bused to Montgomery Regional Airport to continue their flight to Washington D.C. Their flight left Montgomery at around 5:30 p.m.

Authorities said two passengers of an American Eagle flight were taken to the hospital Wednesday after a plane made an emergency landing at Craig Field in Selma.

American Eagle flight 5559 was on its way from New Orleans to Washington, D.C. with 65 passengers on board when the pilot diverted due to a burning smell in the cabin and cockpit. American Airlines media relations said the plane landed safely at Craig Field at 11:40 a.m. 

Media relations said local authorities were called to ensure the passengers' safety. 

The two passengers who went to the hospital are receiving treatment for their minor injuries.

The remaining passengers were bussed to Montgomery Regional Airport to continue their flight to Washington D.C.

Scoot marks start of long-haul operations with maiden flight to Athens

Singapore - Scoot today marked yet another milestone with its inaugural flight to the historical city of Athens, Greece, this morning.  Apart from being the sole carrier flying nonstop between Singapore and Athens, the flight is also the airline’s first to a European destination and maiden long-haul flight.  

Operated on Scoot’s newest Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the 11.5-hour flight takes off from Singapore every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. The aircraft has been named to commemorate the new milestone; with the name Mous-Scoot-Ka being inspired by Moussaka, an iconic Greek baked dish.  Passengers in the inaugural flight were also treated to a “Scootitude” journey filled with in-flight games and prizes. 

“Scoot is currently the only airline and low-cost carrier offering direct flight between Southeast Asia and Greece via a direct flight between Singapore and Athens,” said Mr Lee Lik Hsin, CEO, Scoot. “With our debut into long-haul operations, Scoot is planning to launch five more new destinations in the next year, including one long-haul destination and four new short to mid-haul routes.This will open up new travel options for Asian travellers as well as European ones now with the start of our Singapore – Athens service.” 

Mous-Scoot-Ka landed at the Athens International Airport (AIA) at about 8.45am Greece time (1.45pm Singapore time). Scoot’s 787 Dreamliner received an enthusiastic reception with water cannon salute at AIA and a Greek Moussaka Party, much to the delight of Scoot’s passengers. 

Yiannis Paraschis, CEO, Athens International Airport, warmly welcomed the new non-stop flight. “We are delighted with Scoot’s first flight connecting, as of June 20th, Athens with Singapore on the exciting brand new 787 Dreamliner! 

One of the highlights of our 2017 network, this remarkable development establishes Athens as the European gateway for the carrier’s flights from/to the Asia-Pacific region. Scoot continues the long and successful history of the Singapore Airlines family in Athens, and we wish them all the best for a highly significant route that enhances Athens' connectivity and allows travellers to enjoy two fantastic and rewarding destinations!” 

To ensure that guests can satisfy their hunger on this long-haul service, Scoot has introduced a meal bundle which guests can conveniently purchase with their flight.  The long-haul meal bundle offers two meal combos comprising a deluxe meal with two sides and a drink, and a light meal with two snacks and a drink.  In line with the destination of call, traditional Greek food items such as Greek salad and Moussaka have been included in the Scoot CafĂ© menu on this route.  The meal bundle can be pre-ordered up to 72 hours before the flight.  

As a destination, Athens offers visitors a chance to immerse in the richness of Greek history.  The city is home to historical sites such as the Acropolis of Athens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which showcases ancient buildings of great architectural significance including the iconic Pathenon.  Travellers can also enjoy the unique flavours of Greek cuisine which features native produce such as seafood, grains, vegetables and meat.  Athens is an ideal gateway city to other parts of Greece including the beautiful islands of Mykonos and Santorini, and other cities in Europe.

The growth in Scoot’s network is built upon the success of Scoot and Tigerair’s integration since May 2016.  Tigerair’s robust network in Southeast Asia lays a strong foundation to fuel connecting traffic to the long-haul flights operated by Scoot.  The addition of Athens brings Scoot and sister airline Tigerair’s network to a total of 60 destinations in 17 countries.

Said Mr Lee, “The introduction of Athens marks the beginning of a new chapter for Scoot.  We have much more in store for our guests, and are looking forward to unveiling these plans in the months to come.”

To celebrate the Athens inaugural, Scoot is offering attractive one-way fares from Singapore to Athens from as low as SGD268 on Economy and SGD858 on ScootBiz. Promotion starts now till 30 June 2017. For more information and to book your next flight, visit 

About Scoot 

Scoot™, the low-cost, medium-to-long haul arm of the Singapore Airlines Group managed by Budget Aviation Holdings, has carried over seven million guests since taking to the skies in June 2012. The world’s first all 787 Dreamliner fleet operates between Singapore and Sydney, Gold Coast, Bangkok, Taipei, Tokyo, Tianjin, Shenyang, Nanjing, Qingdao, Seoul, Hong Kong, Perth, Osaka, Kaohsiung, Hangzhou, Melbourne, Guangzhou, Jeddah, Chennai, Amritsar, Sapporo, Dalian and Athens. Scoot provides – in addition to fantastic value airfares – a safe, reliable and contemporary travel experience with a unique attitude – Scootitude™. Offering amenities including on-board Wi-Fi Internet connectivity and in-seat power as well as the ability to redeem and accrue Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles, Scoot was voted 2015, 2016 and 2017 Best Low Cost Airline (Asia/Pacific) by and ranked in the Top 10 of the World’s Best Low-Cost Airlines in 2015 by Skytrax. Scoot is passionate about changing the way people travel long distance. Book your tickets at or contact our Call Centre. Find out more on,, or

About Budget Aviation Holdings

Budget Aviation Holdings (“BAH”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore Airlines Group (“SIA”) formed in 2016, owns and manages SIA’s low-cost carriers (“LCCs”) Scoot and Tigerair.  Scoot and Tigerair offer a combined network of 60 destinations over 17 countries across the Asia Pacific, with Scoot operating an all-787 Dreamliner fleet to medium-to-longhaul destinations and Tigerair offering short-to-medium-haul flights on its Airbus A320-family aircraft from Singapore.  Both airlines are part of Value Alliance, the world’s first panregional low-cost carrier alliance. Together, Scoot and Tigerair offer travellers exciting travel possibilities at exceptional value, while ensuring the highest standards of safety and reliability.  Book your tickets at 

Story and video:

Charles M. Schulz–Sonoma County Airport (KSTS) is maxing out

After lengthening its main runway to 6,000 feet in 2014 and more recently almost doubling its passenger service terminal, the Charles M. Schulz–Sonoma County Airport is “maxing out.”

The regional airport now has 15 daily commercial flights to nine western destinations, served by four airlines with one more due to be added in mid-August.

Some of the growth is being accommodated in “long term” temporary facilities and work on a new 450-space parking lot with a large solar collector project is due to break ground in coming days.

Just this month, United Airlines renewed daily connection flights to San Francisco SFO, allowing travelers to connect to longer flights without fighting Highway 101 congestion.

Alaska Airlines has been offering daily flights and anticipates serving 425,000 local passengers this year, according to airport general manager Jon Stout.

The airport is also a busy facility for private aircraft, including the annual July fly-in by corporate jet owners for the Bohemian Grove encampment.

The Sonoma Air Attack Base of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection is also located at the airport to provide fire protection throughout northern California. The service averages 300 calls with multiple flights per call each year.

In total, there are 350 people who work at the airport for the various entities which also include two busy charter companies, TruAir and Vine Jet. Actual county government employees total just 19, according to Stout.

“We are an enterprise fund of the county government,” Stout explained. “That means we pay our own way and contribute to the county’s general fund.”

With the completion of the new parking lot, the airport’s solar field will collect one megawatt of power, with excess amounts to be sold on the market as new airport revenue.

The recent terminal expansion, parking lot and other upgrades is part of a $27 million construction project. The project was expanded mid-project because of the new commercial traffic and need for more ticketing stations.

The Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) has rated the airport’s passenger terminal too small for anticipated traffic and another expansion plan is on the drawing boards to begin after 2019.

There is a 2030 Airport Master Plan that anticipates an increase of commercial air passengers to 573,000, 240,000 general aviation flights and 800 airport-based aircraft.

The 6,000-foot main runway is not anticipated to be expanded at the 1,014-acre property, said Stout. The runway length limits the type of planes that can be used by the commercial airlines and also impacts passenger loads on some flights.

Beginning Aug. 24, Sun Country Airlines will begin weekly flights to and from Minneapolis, offering direct connections to Boston and New York.

“That connection is very popular to Wine Country visitors,” Stout said about the pending Sun Country route. “We hope to prove a demand for adding more daily flights in the future.”

The airport currently has service provided by Alaska Airlines to Seattle, Portland, Orange County, Los Angeles and San Diego; Allegiant with service to Las Vegas twice per week and American Airlines to Phoenix Sky Harbor.

Also in the future, a shuttle bus will connect the airport to the Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) station 1.5 miles east on Airport Blvd.

Original article can be found here:

United Technologies Research Center developing new protective aircraft landing gear coating

East Hartford-based United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) and UTC Aerospace Systems are developing a more environmentally friendly primer to coat and protect aircraft landing gear from corrosion.

The patented pigment and primer is free of chromate, which oxidizes and can promote rust. It would be used on steel parts for commercial airplanes, said Steve Tongue, senior director, UTC Aerospace systems program office at the UTRC.

The development was announced at the Paris Air Show. UTC Aerospace is a division of Farmington-based United Technologies Corp.

Following a 16-month inspection, a field evaluation of Porter Airlines' landing gear that use the primer show no signs of coating deterioration or corrosion. UTC Aerospace is monitoring the primer's performance as it evaluates moving toward commercialization.

The primer also is compliant with European Union regulations, the company said.

"We still have a long way to go, but are encouraged by the recent advances we've made," said Tongue.

Original article can be found here:

Wings & Wheels fly-in and car show at Ravalli County Airport (6S5), Hamilton, Montana

Dave Hedditch, president of the Pilots Association and chair of the Airport Advisory Board for Ravalli County, and his crew of volunteers have been planning the Wings & Wheels show at the Ravalli County Airport since November. Hedditch said, “The success of this event is due to the volunteers who have helped. I’m really impressed with the number of people working and how hard they are working to make this a success.”

Loop-the-loops and car engines revving up, that will be part of the sights and sounds happening at the Ravalli County Airport this Saturday, June 24th. It’s the second annual Wings & Wheels ‘Freedom to Dream’ Fly-In and car show. The event is made possible by several businesses throughout the valley, according to the ramrod of the show, Dave Hedditch.

This is the seventh year for the fly-in. Hedditch said people will fly in from all over western Montana, eastern Idaho, and even beyond. Last year, the BitterRodders Car Club approached the Pilots’ Association at the airport to see if they could partner up and put on a car show out on the grass while the fly-in was happening.

“It was a natural fit, we meshed well,” said Hedditch.

Mary Lemons is a member of the BitterRodders and flies out of the airport. She said there were 80 cars in the show last year but they are expecting around 100 cars on Saturday. The cars will ‘cruise’ on Friday night through Corvallis, possibly Victor, and finish up driving down Hamilton’s Main Street. On Saturday, they will be lined up on the grass to the west of the runways and Choice Aviation. There will be a people’s choice Best of Show award given, as well as a few other awards.

The Fly-In will have some competitions also. There will be a flour bombing run where pilots have to hit a target with a bag of flour. There’s also going to be a ‘spot’ landing competition. Pilots have to land closest to a designated line but cannot land short of the line. Hedditch said this is very competitive and it’s difficult to not land before the line. There will also be a ping pong ball drop for the kids with prizes in some of the balls.

From 7 to 11 a.m. a pancake breakfast will be served. Cost for this is $5 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under. This is the only charge for the day’s activities. During the time breakfast is being served, the planes that are in the airshow will be on display, as well as other planes. The pilots, who love to talk about their planes, will be there to visit with also.

At 11am, the airshow will begin. Three different shows will take to the skies. Hedditch said he has been working closely with the FAA to ensure the safety of the spectators, and the fliers. He has drawn out a diagram of everything on the Hamilton Airport and will have security people keeping people in the designated areas which is basically everything on the west side of the taxi way and the runways. The airspace has been blocked as well. He said that Troy Hunter of Ennis will be the air boss and will monitor the area and the radios to make sure no unsuspecting aircraft puts anyone in danger.

The airshow is actually three airshows. The Legacy Flight Museum is based in Rexburg, Idaho. They will be bringing Bob Hoover’s Famous ‘Ole Yeller’ P-51D Mustang, and the North American T-6 Texan which was used to train pilots for combat in World War II. A plane ride for a valley veteran will be raffled off this week. Contact a Pepsi dealer or the airport for more information.

Brad Wursten’s Power Addiction Airshow will feature powerful performance airplanes made from state of the art materials including carbon fiber. He flies a MXS-R made by MX Aircraft that is designed for the aerobatics but only weights 1,100 pounds. The engine, a 385HP Lycoming, can reach a top speed of over 300 mph and roll rate at 420 degrees per second, and a “G” loading at +/- 15 “G”s, per Wursten’s website.

The final participant in the airshow is Danny Sorensen’s Golden Age Airshow. This will feature a BF9-2 custom biplane that has been designed specifically for airshow performances. Styled in the manner of a 1930’s biplane, the plane is a modern day high performance machine that has a wingspan of 21 feet and is 20’3” long and can reach a top speed of 175 mph.

There may be a few other unique aircraft on display. Hedditch is hoping Life Flight will be able to come down as well as a ‘stagger wing’ airplane and an ‘Alexander Eagle Rock’ plane.

With 70 hangers at the Ravalli County Airport, this airport is one of the busiest general aviation airports in the region. Saturday’s Wings & Wheels offers the public a chance to see what the airport has to offer as well as have some fun and watch a thrilling air show.

For more information, go to

Original article can be found here:

Cessna 172RG Cutlass, N5424V: Accident occurred June 20, 2017 at Gillespie Field Airport (KSEE), El Cajon and Incident occurred April 29, 2015 at Montgomery Field Airport (KMYF), San Diego, California

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; San Diego, California 

Sorbi Aviation LLC:

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA372
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, June 20, 2017 in El Cajon, CA
Aircraft: CESSNA 172RG, registration: N5424V

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

Aircraft on landing, gear collapsed.  

Date:    20-JUN-17
Time:    20:20:00Z
Regis#:    N5424V
Aircraft Make:    CESSNA
Aircraft Model:    C172
Event Type:    ACCIDENT
Highest Injury:    NONE
Aircraft Missing:    No
Activity:    UNKNOWN
Flight Phase:    LANDING (LDG)
City:    EL CAJON

April 29, 2015:  Aircraft landed gear up.
Blossom Valley Aviation LLC:

Date:    29-APR-15
Regis#: N5424V 
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 172RG
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Minor
Activity: Instruction
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
State: California

SAN DIEGO — A small-plane pilot and passenger made a safe belly-landing at Montgomery Field April 29, 2015, a fire official said.

The pilot of a single-engine Cessna 172 radioed the tower that he was having landing gear problems about 11 a.m., said San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Capt. Joe Amador.

Only one wheel descended as the plane headed for the runway. 

When the plane touched down, the single wheel retracted back inside and the aircraft skidded about 50 yards on its belly, Amador said.

The pilot kept the Cessna on the runway and neither he nor his passenger were injured, Amador said. 

The plane sustained some damage to its propeller and underside.

Cessna 150H, N23153: Incident occurred June 20, 2017 in Houston, Texas

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Houston, Texas

Aircraft on landing, bounced and went off the runway. 

Date:    20-JUN-17
Time:    18:38:00Z
Regis#:    N23153
Aircraft Make:    CESSNA
Aircraft Model:    C150
Event Type:    INCIDENT
Highest Injury:    NONE
Aircraft Missing:    No
Damage:    NONE
Activity:    INSTRUCTION
Flight Phase:    LANDING (LDG)
City:    HOUSTON
State:    TEXAS

Cessna 172N, N66P, Ikarus Aviation LLC: Incident occurred June 20, 2017 at Greenville Downtown Airport (KGMU), Greenville County, South Carolina

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Greensboro, South Carolina

Ikarus Aviation LLC:

Aircraft ground looped and went off the runway. 

Date:    20-JUN-17
Time:    17:37:00Z
Regis#:    N66P
Aircraft Make:    CESSNA
Aircraft Model:    C172
Event Type:    INCIDENT
Highest Injury:    NONE
Aircraft Missing:    No
Damage:    UNKNOWN
Activity:    INSTRUCTION
Flight Phase:    LANDING (LDG)

Piper PA-23-250, N52WW, FRG2 Aircraft LLC: Incident occurred June 20, 2017 at Elizabeth Field Airport (0B8), Fishers Island, Suffolk County, New York

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Farmingdale, New York

FRG2 Aircraft LLC:

Aircraft landed and went off the runway and struck the propeller. 

Date:    20-JUN-17
Time:    21:00:00Z
Regis#:    N52WW
Aircraft Make:    PIPER
Aircraft Model:    PA23
Event Type:    INCIDENT
Highest Injury:    NONE
Aircraft Missing:    No
Damage:    MINOR
Activity:    UNKNOWN
Flight Phase:    LANDING (LDG)
State:    NEW YORK

Bellanca 7GCBC, N88237: Accident occurred June 20, 2017 at Sandia Airpark Estates East Airport (1N1), Edgewood, Santa Fe County, New Mexico

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Albuquerque, New Mexico

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA357
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, June 20, 2017 in Edgewood, NM
Aircraft: BELLANCA 7GCBC, registration: N88237

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

Aircraft on takeoff, went off the side of the runway.

Date:    20-JUN-17
Time:    00:00:00Z
Regis#:    N88237
Aircraft Make:    BELLANCA
Aircraft Model:    7GCBC
Event Type:    INCIDENT
Highest Injury:    NONE
Aircraft Missing:    No
Damage:    UNKNOWN
Activity:    UNKNOWN
Flight Phase:    TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation:    91
State:    NEW MEXICO

Cessna 172S Skyhawk, N99HV, Aerohawk LLC: Accident occurred June 10, 2017 at Lawrence Municipal Airport (KLWC), Douglas County, Kansas

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office;  Wichita, Kansas

Aerohawk LLC:

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA351
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, June 10, 2017 in Lawrence, KS
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N99HV

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

Aircraft on landing, sustained substantial damage. 

Date:    10-JUN-17
Time:    17:00:00Z
Regis#:    N99HV
Aircraft Make:    CESSNA
Aircraft Model:    C172
Event Type:    ACCIDENT
Highest Injury:    NONE
Aircraft Missing:    No
Activity:    INSTRUCTION
Flight Phase:    LANDING (LDG)
State:    KANSAS

Cessna 172R Skyhawk II, N5335G, Southern Illinois University: Incident occurred June 20, 2017 at Southern Illinois Airport (KMDH), Carbondale, Jackson County, Illinois

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Springfield, Illinois

Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University

TEC SIU Aviation Management and Flight

Aircraft on landing, went off the runway and struck runway lights.

Date:    20-JUN-17
Time:    16:01:00Z
Regis#:    N5335G
Aircraft Make:    CESSNA
Aircraft Model:    C172
Event Type:    INCIDENT
Highest Injury:    NONE
Aircraft Missing:    No
Damage:    MINOR
Activity:    INSTRUCTION
Flight Phase:    LANDING (LDG)
State:    ILLINOIS

Boeing 737-800, N12225, United Airlines, Flight UA-1031: Incident occurred June 20, 2017 at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (KIAH), Houston, Texas

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office;  Houston, Texas

United Airlines Inc:

Aircraft encountered turbulence over Gulf of Mexico. Four (4) persons on board sustained unknown injuries.  Landed without incident. 

Date:    20-JUN-17
Time:    17:50:00Z
Regis#:    UAL1031
Aircraft Make:    BOEING
Aircraft Model:    B737
Event Type:    INCIDENT
Highest Injury:    UNKNOWN
Aircraft Missing:    No
Damage:    NONE
Activity:    COMMERCIAL
Flight Phase:    EN ROUTE (ENR)
Operation:    121
Aircraft Operator:    UNITED AIRLINES
Flight Number:    UAL1031
City:    CANCUN

Piper PA46-500TP, N455SG, Graftaire LLC: Incident occurred June 20, 2017 at Vero Beach Regional Airport (KVRB), Indian River County, Florida

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office;  Orlando, Florida

Graftaire LLC:

Aircraft landed gear up. 

Date:    20-JUN-17
Time:    12:38:00Z
Regis#:    N455SG
Aircraft Make:    PIPER
Aircraft Model:    PA46
Event Type:    INCIDENT
Highest Injury:    NONE
Aircraft Missing:    No
Damage:    UNKNOWN
Activity:    UNKNOWN
Flight Phase:    LANDING (LDG)
State:    FLORIDA

Piper PA-18-150, N4420Z: Accident occurred June 18, 2017 in Red Bluff, Tehama County, California

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Sacramento, California

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA352
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, June 18, 2017 in Red Bluff, CA
Aircraft: PIPER PA 18-150, registration: N4420Z

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

Aircraft on landing on a sandbar, flipped over.  

Date:    18-JUN-17
Time:    16:30:00Z
Regis#:    N4420Z
Aircraft Make:    PIPER
Aircraft Model:    PA18
Event Type:    ACCIDENT
Highest Injury:    NONE
Aircraft Missing:    No
Activity:    UNKNOWN
Flight Phase:    LANDING (LDG)
City:    RED BLUFF

Piper PA-12 Super Cruiser, N4018H: Accident occurred June 17, 2017 in Skwentna Alaska

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office;  Anchorage, Alaska

NTSB Identification: ANC17CA033 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, June 17, 2017 in Skwentna, AK
Aircraft: PIPER PA 12, registration: N4018H

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

Aircraft on landing, sustained unknown damage.  

Date:    17-JUN-17
Time:    23:00:00Z
Regis#:    N4018H
Aircraft Make:    PIPER
Aircraft Model:    PA12
Event Type:    INCIDENT
Highest Injury:    NONE
Aircraft Missing:    No
Damage:    UNKNOWN
Activity:    UNKNOWN
Flight Phase:    LANDING (LDG)
State:    ALASKA

Aeronca 7BCM, N2558E: Accident occurred June 20, 2017 near Mahnomen County Airport (3N8), Minnesota

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office;  Minneapolis, Minnesota

Aircraft crashed onto a field shortly after takeoff. 

Date:    21-JUN-17
Time:    01:30:00Z
Regis#:    N2558E
Aircraft Make:    AERONCA
Aircraft Model:    7BCM
Event Type:    ACCIDENT
Highest Injury:    SERIOUS
Aircraft Missing:    No
Damage:    DESTROYED
Activity:    UNKNOWN
Flight Phase:    UNKNOWN (UNK)

Mahnomen, Minn. (WDAY/WDAZ-TV)--A pilot is in a Fargo hospital after a plane crashed in a field near the Mahnomen Airport. 

Mark Habedank, 55, of Twin Valley crashed around 8:00 p.m. Tuesday evening according to Mahnomen County Sheriff's Office. 

Two MNDOT employees were first on scene and pulled Habedank from the cockpit. 

Habedank was then airlifted to Sanford in Fargo where his condition is mostly unknown. 

We do know that he has broken bones and lacerations which will need surgery to be fixed.

The crash is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board. 

Original article can be found here:

At Paris Air Show, GE Takes Role of American Upstart: Acquisition spree gives the U.S. conglomerate a strong presence in Europe and new expertise

David Joyce, head of General Electric Co.’s aviation division, in front of a jet engine at the Paris Air Show on Monday.

The Wall Street Journal
By Daniel Michaels and  Robert Wall
June 21, 2017 5:30 a.m. ET

LE BOURGET, France—One of the biggest European players at this year’s Paris Air Show isn’t a European company at all. It’s General Electric Co.

Over the past decade, the U.S. industrial icon has bought a number of aerospace companies and suppliers from Britain and Sweden to Italy and the Czech Republic. The deals have made GE parts ubiquitous on modern jetliners. It has grown into one of Europe’s largest aerospace employers, with roughly 11,600 workers across the continent, setting it apart from many of its peers.

European deals are familiar turf for John Flannery, who last week was named GE’s new chief executive officer starting in August. He made his mark at the company leading GE’s biggest industrial acquisition ever, the $17 billion purchase of France’s Alstom SA power business.

GE is now trying to turn its collection of disparate European aerospace assets into a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. It wants to knit the businesses into a pan-European group that can develop new equipment and tap European Union development funding.

“We pick the best companies at the time wherever they are globally,” David Joyce, GE vice chairman and boss of the aviation business said. “As long as it makes sense we buy them.”

Rivals are watching with interest. Eric Schulz, president for civil aerospace at Britain’s Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC, said “GE’s size has always been and I believe will always be a threat for Rolls-Royce and for the others, including their own customers.” The British aircraft-engine maker is GE’s biggest rival in powering the largest jetliners.

But Mr. Schulz said size has drawbacks, making companies less flexible as they try to protect broader corporate interest and, as a result, fail to offer the most competitive product. Being leaner “I hope gives us more creativity and innovation,” Mr. Schulz said. Rolls also is investing, including in the U.S., he said.

GE executives in Europe say that getting employees from a variety of companies and countries to learn the conglomerate’s ways and to cooperate is can be difficult, but their engineering talent benefits the group.

GE’s recent European spree is built on deep links. In 1941, GE built the U.S.’s first jet engine based on a British design. In 1974, it teamed up with a French rival, which was building engines for the supersonic Concorde, and today their CFM International joint venture is the world’s biggest producer of jet engines. In 2007, GE bought U.K. airplane-electronics maker Smiths Aerospace, expanding its aviation business beyond engines and landing gear.

The company’s massive plane-leasing business, GE Capital Aviation Services, known as GECAS, largely operates from Dublin and London. It has a fleet of about 1,700 planes with more than 200 customers. GECAS placed deals to buy 100 Airbus aircraft and another 20 from Boeing on the first day of the Paris Air Show unfolding outside the French capital this week.

When GE decided to expand into the civilian turboprop market, long dominated by U.S. rival Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp. , it bought Prague-based Walter Aircraft Engines in 2008.

In 2013, GE snapped up Avio Aero, an important supplier near Milan whose private-equity owner was looking to exit. The company makes vital engines components for jets, turboprops and helicopters.

Last year, GE acquired 3-D printing companies in Germany and Sweden that are important suppliers to Avio, Walter and GE’s engine division in the U.S. Mr. Joyce said that when GE wanted to grow its 3-D activities, it had to strike deals in Europe because that is where the expertise resided.

Last week, on the day GE named Mr. Flannery its new boss, it also said it had bought OC Robotics of Bristol, England, for an undisclosed sum. The company’s snake-arm robots should make repairs in difficult to reach places on wings easier.

GE’s European empire “is something that came together almost accidentally,” said Riccardo Procacci, a GE veteran who moved to Avio from its Italian oil-and-gas business. “Stepping back now, we can see we are one of the biggest aviation companies in Europe.”

For GE, “a strong presence in Europe brings a different perspective on the world,” said Mr. Procacci.

Being based in Europe allows companies to sell locally developed high-tech components like engine combustors that in the U.S. face export restrictions due to national-security concerns, he said.

GE’s newly grown European roots give it access to national technology funding it couldn’t otherwise tap. In Italy, it has built a network of ties to universities and small business that benefit from government support.

And the various acquisitions bring GE a new continent of expertise it can draw from. When GE explored the best way to create a new turboprop engines, its experts in Prague and the U.S. looked at what other units, including Avio, could offer. “We said, this is going to be a European engine,” said Brad Mottier, a vice president at GE Aviation.

The engine is now in development at GE locations across Europe.

Original article can be found here: