Saturday, July 29, 2017

Beach alarm as San Javier jets scare bathers

Two jet aircraft from the San Javier airbase, caused alarm amongst bathers on the Playa de San Juan last week when they overflew the beach at a height of just 30 meters. One of the aircraft is said to have caused a ‘deafening noise’.

According to eyewitnesses, as the bathers were enjoying a relaxing summer's day at the beach when the two aircraft passed overhead at low level and directly above the bathers.

The noise was so loud that everyone on the beach was startled. There were also many alarms raised in nearby homes.  One local resident of a 2nd line beach property said “I was with my grandson preparing our food and it was as if there had been a big explosion. We all jumped up and thought the windows had shattered in the house.”

Such behavior by aircraft is completely prohibited unless the pilot has a special authority. According to Civil Aviation regulations, aircraft have to fly above a thousand feet (300 metres) when they fly over empty areas and two thousand (600 metres ) in the case of an resident and inhabited areas such as the beach de San Juan.

A spokesman from the San Javier airbase confirmed that two aircraft were practicing over the beach but, was quite clear in stating that they fully respected the safety coordinates established by regulations.

Passenger strips down on Spirit flight then gets medical assistance: McCarran International Airport (KLAS), Las Vegas, Nevada

LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV) — Shortly after boarding Spirit Airlines Flight 359 for Oakland this morning, a passenger stripped off his clothes at McCarran International Airport.

"He removed his clothes and then approached a flight attendant," said Chris Jones, McCarran spokesman. "Metro officers were called and he was given medical attention."

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officers responded to the gate about 11:30 a.m.

The passenger received medical treatment, according to LVMPD Lt. Carlos Hank.

Jones said he understood the man was taken to the hospital for an evaluation.

The plane departed for Oakland about noon, according to

Canadian with cocaine on plane pleads guilty

The pilot who landed a Canada-bound plane loaded with 290 pounds of cocaine in Athens County faces up to 11 years and three months in prison.

Sylvain Desjardins had faced a statutory sentence of 10 years to life in prison before pleading guilty Friday in federal court in Columbus. He now faces a minimum of nine years in prison.

He admitted making the emergency landing at Ohio University’s Gordon K. Bush Airport on March 29 after developing engine trouble over southern Ohio.

He pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Algenon L. Marbley to possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute.

Desjardins also agreed to forfeit the plane, a 1969 twin-engine Piper Navajo that he owns, to the federal government.

Desjardin, 48, and a passenger, David Ayotte, 46, were headed to Montreal with the drugs when one of the plane’s engines began smoking.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection had tracked the aircraft after it left the Bahamas and saw the plane divert to the OU airport. The plane was destined for Ontario, Canada, officials said.

The plane was met at the airport by Athens County sheriff’s deputies, OU police officers and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

The plane had made other flights between the Bahamas and Ontario, according to records based on the tail number.

The Montreal Gazette reported that both men have prior drug convictions in Canada.

Ayotte pleaded guilty to the same drug charge in May. A sentencing date will be set for both after a presentence investigation is done. The men will serve their time in a U.S. prison and then likely be deported to Canada, authorities said.

Both are from Mirabel, a suburb of Montreal, according to court documents.

United Airlines service takes off Tuesday: Columbia Regional Airport (KCOU)

Starting Tuesday, Columbia Regional Airport passengers will have a few additional flight options.

United Airlines will begin a daily flight to Denver International Airport and twice-daily flights to Chicago O’Hare International Airport on Aug. 1. Airport Manager Mike Parks said feedback the airline has received showed Denver was a desired location among the airport’s passengers.

“We always listen to the Mid-Missouri travelers for their needs and wants for additional destinations out of Columbia,” he said. “Denver is the gateway to the west. It opens up all travel to the west part of the country. It’s a highly demanded airport.”

American Airlines is the only airline currently serving the Columbia airport. City and United officials announced United’s plan to offer flights at the Columbia airport in February. Mayor Brian Treece at the time described the airport as a “catalyst” for Columbia’s economy.

He said adding Denver as a travel option at the airport will provide opportunities for people in Mid-Missouri to travel west and for others to directly fly to Columbia. That opens up more opportunities for people conducting business, traveling to Columbia for healthcare or for festivals and activities, he said. The city has boosted its efforts to be a medical tourism destination.

United Airlines is expected to bring in about 80,000 inbound and outbound passengers to Columbia Regional Airport each year. And, American Airlines -- currently the only airline serving the airport until Tuesday — is expected attract 145,000 passengers in 2017. That is a 14 percent increase over the airline’s passenger counts from last year.

The city’s proposed budget expects revenue from airport fees and services to increase from an estimated $903,842 in the current fiscal year to a proposed $1,155,569 next fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1.


The airport is celebrating the service to Denver with a ribbon cutting event Wednesday afternoon. Local officials will speak starting at 1:15 p.m. Parks said the airport has spent the past several months preparing for United and the increase in passengers it’s expected to bring. The airport added 258 parking spots, which makes the total parking available at 900 spots in the lots around the airport.

The airport also added about 62 extra seats inside, repurposing the former restaurant space upstairs to help add that seating.

“We’re continuing to work with United Airlines personnel at the airport and also working alongside the construction contractors that have been hired to do the work,” Parks said.

Parks said United has been finishing up its own preparations behind its counter area to ensure everything is in place for when flights take off next week. The airline also has spent this week wrapping up construction on its office space and counter space near the terminal.

The airline will use CRJ200 regional jet aircrafts that seat 50 people each, Andrew Bell, United Airlines sales manager for Missouri, previously told the Tribune.

American also offers flights to Chicago and United’s Chicago flights will provide more choices for passengers. Adding an additional airline is always good for passengers, Parks said, because it gives people more options.

“More options is something highly desirable for every passenger whether that is a leisure traveler or business traveler,” Parks said.

The city council approved a revenue guarantee as part of its incentive to lure United. The city also had a revenue guarantee agreement with American when it was establishing service in Columbia.

The revenue guarantee with United — of up to $600,000 — lasts one year. The agreement requires the city, other public agencies and private partners who contributed to the revenue guarantee to cover any revenue shortfall the airline experiences in its first year at the Columbia airport. After a year, any funds left from the $600,000 are distributed back to the donors who chipped in.

The city’s agreement with United also included the city spending $250,000 on marketing and promotional materials and for up to $125,000 in facility rent and fees to be waived.


The airport and city are working to add a new terminal at the Columbia Regional Airport. The project, from design through construction, is estimated to cost $38.1 million.

The city’s proposed fiscal year 2018 budget also includes funds for the design of a new terminal complex. The state appropriated $2.5 million in its 2018 fiscal year budget. Stacey Button, the city’s economic development director, said the city estimates design work will cost about $2.7 million. The remaining $190,000 needed for the design will come from lodging tax revenue.

Voters last fall approved a 1 percent increase to the local motels tax, raising the rate from 4 to 5 percent. The 1 percent increase will go toward the new terminal project and is expected to bring in $10 million.

The Columbia Hospitality Association, whose members manage about half of the city’s more than 3,000 hotel rooms, spoke against the tax increase last summer. The group argued that the airport terminal is not a tourism project and the lodging tax was created to help promote tourism in central Missouri.

Some hotels have made tax payments “under protest” since the tax hike passed last fall. When a payment is made under protest, it is set aside for 90 days. If the entity which paid under protest does not file a lawsuit within those 90 days, the money is placed in the same city account as other lodging tax payments. So far, no legal action has been taken.

Aside from the lodging tax’s $10 million and the state’s $2.5 million, the city also is planning to apply for FAA funding. That funding source could provide up to $20 million for the new terminal project, which would include the terminal, parking and other improvements.

Button said the city hopes to apply for the federal funding this spring. However, she added that airport and city officials are still discussing the best timing for its application.

If the city receives that grant, Button said officials will need to identify other funding sources to make up the rest of the needed $38.1 million. There are no specific plans for those other sources yet. Button said officials need to first see how much FAA money the project receives so they know what funding gap needs to be filled.

The city’s proposed 2018 budget includes possible future bonds in fiscal years 2019 and 2020 related to the new terminal project.


The Columbia airport started offering services in 1928 at the location of what currently is Cosmo Park off Stadium Boulevard. The airport received improvements so that it could serve as an emergency landing field between Kansas City and St. Louis.

The airport was there until 1968. The National Airport Plan in 1962 recommended the city’s airport have a 5,300 foot runway, which would have been a 1,300 foot extension at the time, to accommodate a Convair CV340 plane. The property off Stadium left the airport landlocked and unable to make that extension. The city considered 23 sites before choosing the Highway H location.

The city council held a bond election in 1964 and a $3.5 million facility was approved in 1964. The city obtained the 183-acre site for the new airport in 1966 and it opened a couple years later. When the airport opened, it included a single 6,500 foot north to south runway, a full-length taxiway, runway lighting system, a road connecting to State Highway H and paved terminal apron.

The city paid off the bond in 1986. Since then, the airport has completed multiple capital improvement projects, including an air traffic control tower, hanger construction, tenant buildings, further land acquisition, road realignment, addition of fire-safety vehicles and several phases of apron expansion.

Aside from working toward the new terminal project, the airport has a slew of other capital improvement projects on its list. Currently, an ADA ramp is being constructed on the south side of the airport to make access easier. That should be completed by mid-August, Parks said.

Later this year, the airport will start work on Taxiway Charlie. A bid recently was awarded for work on that project. And, runway 1331 is being expanded by about 1,100 feet, while also shifting to the east.

“We’ve got a lot going on,” Parks said. “All good stuff.”

Over the years, the airlines serving the Columbia Regional Airport have shifted. Delta Air Lines left in 2013 after the city arranged to bring in American Airlines, offering the new airline a $3 million revenue guarantee. The city spoke with American Airlines as it was working with United Airlines to add its service. So far, Parks said there has been no tension and Treece previously has said both airlines recognize the competition as “ultimately good.”

Atlanta will pay nearly $70,000 to someone who will shoot wildlife at the Hartsfield - Jackson Atlanta International Airport (KATL)

Looking for work? Are you a pretty good shot when your opponent travels by wing, scales or on four feet? The City of Atlanta might have a spot for you.

A job posting for “Airport Wildlife Biologist” located at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport will pay someone between $50,900 – $67,800 to take a job “overseeing the Airport’s Wildlife Management Program, conduct Wildlife Hazard Assessments as required, and provide technical assistance and leadership to the Wildlife Hazards Working Group.”

Not to put too fine a point on it, but the qualified candidate needs to be ready to pack, and we’re not talking about luggage. Among the qualifications: “Maintain firearms proficiency at least annually through NRA Basic Pistol, Rifle, and Shotgun.”

The need to keep critters off the runway is a serious matter.

“During the past century, wildlife-aircraft strikes have resulted in the loss of hundreds of lives worldwide, as well as billions of dollars in aircraft damage,” the Federal Aviation Administration’s site says. “The FAA maintains a comprehensive program to address wildlife hazards.”

Birds are the most common wildlife threat to airline departures, a search of FAA records indicates. Scrolling through records from 2000 to the present at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport found more than 1,200 reports, and since reporting isn’t mandatory, it’s possible more aircraft-animal encounters occurred. Birds, bats and owls account for most of the tarmac incidents, although documents show an unlucky raccoon met the business end of an ExpressJet engine on May 26, 2015, and a coyote was found in the takeoff zone on May 1, 2014.

Snakes show up on occasion, too. This probably won’t seem like much of a thing to the flying public but if you’re working the ramp you might want to know about the one that slithered onto the scene on July 22, 2006.

Someone logged appearances by “Virginia opossums” on May 26, 2011 and on March 19, 2012, which makes us wonder if the possums had passports on them or what.

Anyway, we love animals and all but if it’s a choice between a bird and an aircraft full of passengers, we have three words: Lock. And. Load.

Here’s the job listing:

Wow Air axes Cork to Iceland flights after just five months

The Icelandic low-fares airline confirmed last night the route, launched in May as a year-round service and which offered onward flights to the US, is being “suspended” for the winter months.

It is understood that low demand for seats on the route is to blame.

A decision will not be announced until later this year on the future of the service as the airline finalises its summer 2018 schedule.

The airline has also cancelled a small number of flights from Cork in September and early October.

“Affected customers have been informed and offered to rebook on another flight from Cork, to rebook on our Dublin services, or a full refund. Most passengers have rescheduled for another day,” said a spokesperson.

“Wow Air will continue to operate its Cork to Reykjavik summer season service until October 27 next, at which point the route will be suspended for the winter season. A decision on Wow Air’s plans for summer 2018 from Cork will be made later in the autumn.”

Wow Air became the first airline to operate a direct scheduled service between Ireland and Iceland when it launched its Dublin-Reykjavik service two years ago.

The airline said it will continue to operate this service up to nine times per week.

The planned suspension of the Cork service comes as a blow to airport management who have announced a string of new services in recent months, including Cork’s first direct transatlantic service with Norwegian Air to Providence near Boston.

Wow Air launched the Cork to Reykjavik route in May, with airport and tourism chiefs hailing its transatlantic connectivity, via Reykjavik, to destinations across North America.

It operated on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, and was due to operate three times a week during winter.

Seanad leader Jerry Buttimer said it was a bitter disappointment to lose the route for the winter.

“It makes the transatlantic connectivity provided by Norwegian Air all the more important and highlights the importance of a substantial marketing fund to drive the promotion of this route on both sides of the Atlantic,” said the Cork-based senator.

Organizers cancel 2017 Texas Panhandle Honor Flight due to funding challenges

BORGER, TEXAS -   There's a first time for everything. For the Texas Panhandle Honor Flight (TPHF) organization, that time has come as organizers announced the cancellation of their 2017 trip due to funding challenges. It's the first time in the organization's history the flight has been canceled according to TPHF officials.

TPHF President Don Ricks, a Vietnam veteran, said falling donations and higher costs lead to the decision. According to Ricks, 54 veterans applied for the September 2017 trip. On average an Honor Flight costs around $200,000, but this year's flight was expected to carry a $230,000 price tag.

Falling donations have also impacted TPHF efforts. Proceeds raised during the TPHF telethon in 2016 raised $61,000. This year's event raised just $20,000. The group plans a Saturday, September 16 reunion for the approximately 140 veterans who flew on the 2015 and 2016 Honor Flights.

The TPHF is a non-profit organization of volunteers dedicated to honoring the service and sacrifices of WWII, Korea and Vietnam veterans. Mail your support to: Texas Panhandle Honor Flight, PO Box 3218, Amarillo, TX 79116.

Henry E. Rohlsen Airport (STX) To Receive Over $2 Million In Federal Funding For Repairs

ST. CROIX — The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced a grant award of over $2 million to the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport to be used for improvements and repairs. The Transportation department has made multiple grants to the Virgin Islands Port Authority for enhancements. However, before receiving the funding, V.I.P.A. must meet certain conditions set forth by the Transportation department.

The latest grant will be used for continued work on the airport’s apron, which has gone through various phases of rehabilitation. In April 2015, Damian Cartwright, then a senior engineer at V.I.P.A. (Mr. Cartwright is now V.I.P.A.’s assistant executive director), revealed to The Consortium that V.I.P.A. had received a $4.9 million airport improvement grant from the Department of Transportation.

In a release issued Friday announcing the grant, Delegate to Congress Stacey Plaskett said the funds will facilitate continued improvements at the airport.

“I am proud to announce that the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport on St. Croix will receive an important Rehabilitate Apron Grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The Department announced that the Virgin Islands Port Authority would receive a $2,270,311.00 award. The airport apron is the area where aircraft are parked, unloaded or loaded, refueled, or boarded. This grant will fund the rehabilitation of 13,444 square yards of the existing apron to maintain the structural integrity of the pavement at this important airport,” she said.

“This grant is significant to the residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands and St. Croix because it allows the USVI Port Authority to address the existing challenges of the Rohlsen Airport as well as supporting our argument to the airline industry of the viability and commercial attraction of St. Croix as an aviation hub,” Ms. Plaskett concluded.

Monthly parking cost coming to Florida Keys Marathon International Airport (KMTH)

It has been a long time since there was a charge for long-term parking at Florida Keys Marathon International Airport but that will change on Sept. 1.

Monroe County commissioners earlier this month approved the airport charging $100 for cars parked at the Middle Keys airport for longer than 30 days, said T.J. Henderson, airport manager.

“If you’re coming for the day, a short period of time or a few days, there is no charge,” Henderson said.

The reason for the new policy is to generate some revenue for the airport, he said, not because of an increase in air traffic.

“It is widely known around town as a good place to park, but there are people who generally don’t have any airport business and leave town, leaving their vehicle long term,” he said.

Prior to leaving, the vehicle owner has to register with the airport’s administration office and give the car’s make, model, year, license plate number and copies of insurance and registration.

Trailers, storage containers and other equipment will not be allowed. Vehicles not registered with the airport office will be towed.

Years ago, the airport had a gate-controlled, paid parking lot, Henderson said. At Key West International Airport, the daily parking rate is $15. Monthly, the cost is $100 if paid in advance, Henderson said.

“If you compare that to airports around the country, that’s very low,” he said.

Lost in the woods, the 1945 crash site of Navy hero

Clutching a bundle of American flags to his chest, Dave Rocco made his way up Mount Beacon, battling through the 90-degree heat and pain from his titanium knees.

Rocco, 60, negotiated the rocky path blazed 72 years ago by rescuers who hacked their way up the mountain following a plane crash some 1,100 feet up in the Hudson Highlands, a few miles east of Beacon, N.Y., a 75-minute drive north of New York City.

Rocco hopes to turn the rocky passage into a path of recognition to the place where a Navy transport plane went down in the rain and fog on Nov. 11, 1945, killing all six servicemen aboard.

"You can still see the scorched earth — it's still bare after 72 years," Rocco said of the crash site.

Rocco and some friends have been hiking to this wooded spot in recent years to tend it as a memorial to the victims, who included Commodore Dixie Kiefer, 49, a decorated Naval hero who served in both world wars.

Kiefer emerged as one of the most famous commanders in World War II, and received the Distinguished Service Medal from the Secretary of the Navy, James Forrestal, a Beacon native who nicknamed Kiefer "the indestructible man," for his having survived close brushes with death in battle.

A few months after receiving the award, Kiefer died on this ridge on a routine flight.

"Imagine surviving both World Wars and dying in a crash — ain't that a kick in the ass," Rocco said.

Rocco, a former carpenter for the New York City Housing Authority, has dedicated himself to drawing attention not only to Kiefer, but the other servicemen who died on Mount Beacon on Armistice Day in 1945, a predecessor to Veterans Day.

Memories of the crash have faded into the domain of local lore and some military buffs, said Rocco, who hopes to change that. He helped create a group to honor the victims and has led numerous hikes to the site. He has given presentations and found people with connections to the crash and victims. He is raising funds to have a memorial installed.

"Most of all, I just want their story to be told," said Rocco, who spent more than three years gathering research material on the crash through libraries, historical societies and government archives.

He said he attended a reunion of surviving sailors who served under Kiefer, "and every time I asked them about Dixie Kiefer, tears came down their faces."

Rocco is no writer, but in January he happened to pick up a book by Don Keith, an author in Alabama who specializes in military history and themes. Keith's books have been turned into movies, including "Firing Point," a 2012 submarine thriller that is being made into "Hunter Killer," a film starring Gerard Butler, Gary Oldman and Billy Bob Thornton. Rocco contacted Keith and interested him in the crash and the story of Kiefer, a graduate of the Naval Academy who suffered 10 major wounds in the wars.

During the Battle of Midway in 1942, Kiefer survived the sinking of the USS Yorktown and was wounded while saving other sailors. During the kamikaze attacks on the Ticonderoga, he ordered the ship maneuvered in a way that saved many lives, even while he was badly wounded.

Keith agreed to write a book with Rocco, which resulted in the recently published biography, "The Indestructible Man: The True Story of World War II Hero 'Captain Dixie'."

At the crash site, Rocco pulled out two small boxes containing Kiefer's Navy medals. The "indestructible man" was less concerned with medals than the welfare of his sailors, Rocco said, adding that 240 of Kiefer's men rushed from the base to help with the rescue efforts.

After a 15-hour search, Kiefer's cap was found along with his charred remains. He was 49.

Mercy Air Care celebrates 30 years of lifesaving flights

SIOUX CITY (KTIV) -   With more than nine thousand medical flights performed, Mercy Air Care, better known as MAC, is celebrating 30 years of life saving transportation for Siouxland.

Siouxland's critically injured patients who need the fastest transportation possible rely on Mercy Air Care, also known as MAC. Mac offers regional helicopter service for a 100-mile radius around Siouxland at speeds of 160 mph. 

"Our criteria for trauma activation is based on the type of injury or on the how stable the patient is when they come in. But usually when they come in by air they are a more severely injured patient so it is more likely to be a code red or a highest trauma activation," said Craig Nemechek, Medical Director, Mercy Air Care

When a call comes in, MAC can be airborne within 10 minutes.

"Mac gets about 70 requests per month, they accept just about half. 

The deciding factors are weather, fuel load and of course, if they are already on a call. Because of the advanced, life-saving equipment on board, the helicopter is often referred to as a flying intensive care unit. 

"In the air they can perform many needs of the patient or any service of the patient that they would require if they were lying in the back of an ambulance, it's just smaller quarters to perform them in, the good news is that you don't have to go looking for anything because everything is within arms reach," said Mickey Sauser, Program Director, Mercy Air Care.

On board there is the pilot, one nurse and one paramedic.

Medical staff says that clear communication to the waiting hospital staff is critical.

'We get a very good idea of the mechanism of injury and we can mobilize the appropriate before the appropriate staff before the patient even gets to the hospital," continued Nemechek. 

MAC also serves parts of Sioux Falls, Des Moines and Omaha, it also has a global positioning system which allows pilots to determine their exact position and distance from their intended landing zone.

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Air Guard tankers activated to fight western wildfires

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Air National Guard C-130s from Wyoming, Nevada and Colorado that are equipped to battle wildfires have been activated to fight wildfires in the western U.S.

The three large aircraft will be stationed in Fresno, California.

Currently the activation is scheduled to last one month but can be changed.

Lt. Col. Todd Davis of the 187th Airlift Squadron in Wyoming says the C-130 will fly as low as 150 feet above the ground while on wildfire missions.

The planes can discharge up to 3,000 gallons of water or fire retardant in less than 5 seconds and cover an area one-quarter of a mile long by 100 feet wide. Once the load is discharged, it can be refilled in less than 12 minutes.

New manager named for Stanly County Airport (KVUJ)

Stanly County leaders didn’t have to look too far for the next airport director, since he was already on the premises.

Ken Swaringen, a Stanly County native and resident of Norwood, starts as the newest airport director on Monday. Swaringen, 66, retired from the Air National Guard with 28 years of service. In fact, he was part of the first ANG unit to partake in exercises at the Stanly County Airport.

“I’ve always felt the airport is one of the gems of Stanly County,” Swaringen said. “There are a lot of things going for Stanly County at the airport.”

The Air National Guard’s increased presence at the airport has been a vital part of its development over the last 20 years. Stanly’s partnership with the ANG has led to a number of significant improvements at the airport, such as a radar system, control tower, two parallel runways, extended runways and a fire department.

Those additions make Stanly’s airport one of the more unique facilities for general aviation in the state, Swaringen said.

Because of the significance in the relationship between the ANG and the airport, county authorities wanted its new manager to be familiar with Guard practices and well respected in military circles.

“We needed someone who can continue the relationship with the N.C. Air National Guard that David Griffin (retired airport manager) held down,” said Mike Harwood, chairman of the Airport Authority. “Ken is going to do a good job for us.”

As the ANG prepares for a new direction with the introduction of the C-17, an aircraft set to replace the workhorse C-130, the conversion will mean changes at the airport, too.

“Our biggest challenge is staying on pace with their (ANG) missions,” Swaringen said.

In addition to strengthening the relationship with ANG, Swaringen hopes to extend the airport’s training-friendly assets to other military branches.

Other opportunities exist, too. Swaringen said the airport needs to expand its commercial services as well. There are opportunities for expansion with hangars, flight schools and tenants along with a nearby industrial park.

However, part of that realization relies on the addition of broadband.

“It all ties together,” Swaringen added.

Swaringen has been working at the airport as a private contractor that fields an office at the terminal. Since 2013, he has been working as the operations manager of Secure Canopy. The company provides integrated security solutions, including video surveillance, access control systems and structured wiring.

He replaces David Griffin, who retired last month as the airport manager after more than 32 years at the helm.

As airport manager, Swaringen will earn $65,000 annually. Another $9,500 has been appropriated for Griffin to provide part-time assistance with Swaringen’s assistance, according to human resources.

Cessna 140, N3704V: Incident occurred July 29, 2017 at Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport (KAZO), Kalamazoo County, Michigan

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Grand Rapids, Michigan

Aircraft on taxi, ground looped.

Date: 29-JUL-17
Time: 16:49:00Z
Regis#: N3704V
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: C140
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: TAXI (TXI)

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Kalamazoo Public Safety officers were called to the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport following an accident with a small airplane after it had landed.

Police said a single-engine Cessna 140 landed safely on the airport runway when strong winds lifted the tail and tipped the plane onto it's nose.

Airport fire crew and KDPS immediately responded to the incident.

The pilot, who was the only person aboard the plane, was uninjured. The plane sustained minor damage to the nose when it tipped forward.

The airport closed airline traffic while the incident was investigated. It has opened again to normal activities.

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Kalamazoo police say a small plane tipped shortly after landing Saturday afternoon.

It happened at the Kalamazoo-Battle Creek International Airport.

Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley tells 24 Hour News 8 that a small plane was taxiing and made a sharp turn. The plane caught some wind and tipped over.

Chief Hadley says one person suffered “very minor” injuries.

KALAMAZOO COUNTY, Mich. — Wind caught a small plane and caused it to tip over Saturday afternoon, resulting in minor injuries to the pilot.

According to the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, the plane had landed at the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport shortly before 1 p.m. Saturday, was taxiing on a runway and made a sharp turn when wind caught it and caused it to tip.

KDPS said the pilot suffered scratches during the incident.

Sydney, Australia, terrorism raids believed to relate to 'bomb plot involving aircraft'

The Australian Federal Police have conducted a number of terrorist raids across Sydney over a suspected bomb plot to bring down a plane.

The raids, conducted by the Sydney Joint Counter Terrorism team, took place in Surry Hills, Lakemba, Wiley Park and Punchbowl on Saturday afternoon.

The operations are part of an ongoing investigation. 

Fairfax Media understands the raids relate to a terrorist cell and a bomb plot to bring down an aircraft. The raids were not planned but instead were a rapid response to information about the plot received by police. 

Four men have been taken into custody and the searches at the properties are expected to go late into the night. The man who was arrested in Surry Hills emerged with blood on his head and was taken to hospital by paramedics.

"These searches and the broader investigation remain ongoing, and further information will be made available at the appropriate time," the AFP said in a statement.

"Members of the public are urged to follow any instructions they receive from police at or in the vicinity of search locations."

The police operations commenced around 1pm on Saturday afternoon with police shutting down a large stretch of Cleveland Street. 

The bomb squad is at the scene of the Surry Hills raid on Cleveland Street, which remains closed in both directions between Elizabeth and Baptist streets. 

"Motorists are advised to avoid the area or allow plenty of extra travel time," a Transport Management Centre spokesman said in a statement.

Channel 7 reported that police found a suspicious device in a house there.

Police entered the house from both the front and the back, with a number of officers entering from Goodlet Lane. 

The officers used force while entering, with a section of the house's back fence collapsing during the raid.

The family who lived in the raided house on Cleveland Street have been described as "perfectly nice and normal people" by a neighbour whose property backs onto theirs.

"We knew them to say hello to and they seemed nice," the woman in her early 30s, who didn't want to be identified, told AAP. An elderly couple lived in the home, the neighbour said, and they had adult children.  

The neighbor came home while the raid was underway and said there were "heaps" of police at the scene.

The Lakemba raid took place at a home on Sproule Street, not far from Lakemba Station. 

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said in a statement he had been "closely briefed" about the operation, which involves the AFP, ASIO and the NSW Police.

"These operations are designed to disrupt and prevent plans to undertake terrorist attacks in Australia," Mr Turnbull said.

"I have been kept closely briefed on the progress of the operations by the heads of our relevant security agencies.

"However, as the operations are ongoing, it is inappropriate to provide further detail at this stage."

Mr. Turnbull said his number one priority is the safety and security of all Australians. 

"The public should be reassured that our security and intelligence agencies are working tirelessly to keep us safe."

The AFP are asking members of the public to follow any instructions they receive from police.

"Members of the public are urged to follow any instructions they receive from police at or in the vicinity of search locations," a statement read.

"The community should continue to go about their daily business and report any suspicious activity to triple zero, Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or the National Security Hotline on 1800 123 400."

Read more here:

Feds order rebid of Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport (KSHD) passenger service

WAYNESBORO — The U.S. Department of Transportation Friday ordered a rebidding of passenger air service at Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport due to the poor performance of its current airline, ViaAir.

The order from DOT acknowledges “numerous reports about poor service in terms of cancellations, on-time performance.” The order calls for proposals for new carriers to be received by DOT no later than Sept. 18. Soon after, the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport Commission will be asked to comment on proposals before a new carrier is selected by DOT.

The proposal calls for essential air service for the area that includes Waynesboro, Staunton, Harrisonburg and Augusta and Rockingham counties.  The aircraft sizes and frequency of trips could include either a 30 to 50-seat aircraft with 12 round trips per week, or an 8-seat to 29-seat aircraft with 24 to 28 round trips per week.

Airport Commission Chairman Gerald Garber said on Saturday that the rebidding “is the desired result.’’ He said “we (airport commission) are pleased that DOT responded relatively quickly to the July 21 request for a rebid. Now it is up to the flying community.” Garber said DOT “understood the problem and was equally distressed’’ about ViaAir’s performance.

Florida-based ViaAir secured a two-year contract at about $3.8 million a year to provide the Weyers Cave airport service to both Charlotte and Orlando. The service began in November. But the airline has been plagued by cancellations and delays for all but two months of its contract.

And last month, of the 104 flights ViaAir was to deliver, 19 were delayed and 14 were canceled. The result has been passengers paying walk-up fares for additional tickets because of missed connections or paying for a night’s lodging because of delays.

When asked to comment on ViaAir’s problems last week, the airline’s vice president of operations, Matt Macri, said “we always strive to improve, and look at any feedback from the community as constructive criticism.”

Short Tucano T1, N206PZ, Tucano Flyer LLC: Fatal accident occurred June 22, 2015 in Maricopa, Kern County, California

James Horner  
The composer, responsible for more than 100 film scores over 40 years, died in a Short Tucano T1 plane crash on June 22, 2015.

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Van Nuys, California 
Honeywell; Phoenix, Arizona
Hartzell Propeller; Piqua, Ohio
RS Warbirds; Phoenix, Arizona 

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Tucano Flyer LLC:

James Horner  

NTSB Identification: WPR15FA195
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, June 22, 2015 in Maricopa, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/20/2017
Aircraft: SHORT BROTHERS PLC S312 TUCANO T MK1, registration: N206PZ
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The private pilot was performing airwork and was in contact with an air traffic controller. The pilot informed the controller that he would be performing airwork between 2,500 and 10,000 ft mean sea level (msl). The controller explained that he would probably lose radio contact and would not be able to provide flight following below 7,000 ft msl. About 1 hour later, the pilot advised the controller that he would be descending, then would climb to 9,000 ft msl and return to the airport, and the controller acknowledged. Subsequently, the controller made several attempts to contact the pilot, but no further response was received from him. Shortly thereafter, an airplane flying in the area of the accident site reported to air traffic control that a small fire was located in a river bed. Local authorities responded to the fire and confirmed that it was the accident site.

A review of Federal Aviation Administration radar data showed the airplane performing multiple turns and rapidly changing altitude and airspeed while performing the airwork. At one point, the airplane descended to less than 100 ft above a mountain ridgeline. The last radar targets showed the airplane heading eastbound about 1,600 ft agl while approaching the area of the accident site. Two witnesses located near the accident site stated that, as the airplane flew overhead, they noted no engine anomalies.

Postaccident examination of the wreckage did not reveal any preimpact malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation. Wreckage and impact signatures were consistent with a high-energy high-angle impact with terrain. It is likely that as the pilot continued to perform low level airwork, he did not properly gauge the airplane's distance from terrain and failed to control the airplane in time to avoid impacting terrain.

The pilot's high cholesterol and the medications he was using to treat it likely did not cause any acute symptoms. Limited samples were available for toxicology testing; therefore, it could not be determined whether the ethanol detected in the pilot's muscle tissue was due to ingestion or postmortem production nor whether impairment due to ethanol contributed to the accident. The testing also detected butalbital and codeine, both of which are impairing. The butalbital was within the therapeutic level, indicating that he was likely impaired by it. The presence of both codeine and butalbital indicates that the pilot had likely recently used a combination product that contained at least these two medications. Therefore, it is likely that the pilot's mental and/or physical abilities required for the duration of the high workload flight performance was impaired by the combined effects of butalbital and codeine and that this impairment contributed to the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from terrain during low-level airwork, which resulted in uncontrolled collision with terrain. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's impairment from the combined effects of butalbital and codeine.


On June 22, 2015, about 0930 Pacific daylight time, an experimental, exhibition-category Short Brothers PLC S312 Tucano T MK 1 airplane, N206PZ, impacted terrain about 16 miles south of Maricopa, California. The private pilot was fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to Tucano Flyer LLC and was being operated as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions existed near the accident site about the time of the accident, and a flight plan had not been filed. The flight originated from Camarillo Airport (CMA), Camarillo, California, at 0810.

According to the air traffic control (ATC) communications, the pilot was in contact with the Southern California Air Route Traffic Control Center and was receiving advisories while performing airwork. At 0823, the pilot informed the controller that he would be performing airwork between 2,500 and 10,000 ft mean sea level (msl). The controller explained that he would probably lose radio contact and would not be able to provide flight following below 7,000 ft msl. The pilot replied that he understood and would be performing airwork for about 1 hour before returning to CMA. The controller continued to monitor the airplane during the flight. At 0924, the pilot advised the controller that he would be descending and that he may lose him for a few minutes. He added that he would then climb to 9,000 ft msl and return to CMA, and the controller acknowledged. Subsequently, the controller made several attempts to contact the pilot, but no further response was received from him.

Review of radar data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed a primary target, consistent with the accident airplane, performing multiple turns and rapidly changing altitude and airspeed. At 0845, the airplane was traveling on an eastbound heading at 3,400 ft above ground level (agl), and during the next 2 minutes, it climbed over rising terrain. Over the next 8 minutes, the airplane's speed varied and reached 325 knots and continued to make multiple turns and rapid changes in altitude and descended to within less than 100 ft above a mountain ridgeline. The airplane then continued to the northwest over lower terrain before turning southbound. During the next 18 minutes, the airplane performed multiple turns at altitudes between 2,000 and 3,000 ft agl. During the last 6 minutes of the flight, the airplane performed a 360° descending right turn near a residence at the lower entrance of Quatal Canyon at an altitude of about 3,600 ft, descending to 1,600 ft agl. The airplane headed westbound for 3 minutes and then returned to the lower entrance of Quatal Canyon. At 0924, the last radar targets showed the airplane heading eastbound above the canyon's dry river bed about 1,600 ft agl. 

At 0925 radar contact was lost. Shortly after, an airplane in the area of the accident site reported to ATC that a small fire was located in a river bed. Local authorities responded to the fire and confirmed that it was the accident site.

A witness, located about 1 1/2 miles west of the accident site, reported seeing the airplane circle near her house about 500 to 800 ft agl. She stated that the engine sound was "loud and consistent." She added that she last saw the airplane fly eastbound, parallel to Quatal Canyon Road, and that shortly after saw dust and smoke rise high above a nearby mountain.

Another witness, located about 2 3/4 miles west-southwest of the accident site, reported seeing the airplane fly directly over his house in straight-and-level flight between 500 and 750 ft agl. He added that the engine sounded different than other airplanes that fly in the area but that it did not sound like anything was wrong. The airplane continued to fly straight and level in an easterly direction toward Quatal Canyon Road.


The pilot held a private pilot certificate with airplane single-engine land and rotorcraft ratings. He held an FAA second-class airman medical certificate, issued on June 19, 2015, with the limitation that he must wear corrective lenses.

According to the pilot's logbooks, he had accumulated 891.2 total flight hours in fixed wing aircraft and rotorcraft. He had accumulated 76.9 hours in the accident airplane make and model, 27.8 hours of which were in the previous 6 months. The pilot successfully completed his most recent flight review on January 14, 2015, in the accident airplane.


The two-seat, low-wing airplane, serial number (S/N) T31, was manufactured in 1989. It was powered by a Honeywell (Garrett) TPE331-12B-703A engine, S/N P-65617, rated at 1,100 shaft horsepower at a propeller speed of 2,000 rpm. The airplane was equipped with a Hartzell propeller, model HC-D4N-5C. Review of the maintenance records showed that an annual inspection was completed on October 20, 2014. The airplane was produced to meet stringent military requirements and was designed for high-g landing loads; advanced fatigue testing; and spin tests, including inverted spins, at all altitude.


Data recorded by the Meadows Field Airport, Bakersfield, California, automated weather observation station, located about 41 miles northeast of the accident site, included winds from 180° at 4 knots, visibility clear, temperature 24°C, dew point 3°C, and an altimeter setting of 30.01 inches of mercury.


Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane was destroyed by high-impact forces and postimpact fire, which was observed along the debris path; the fire burned about 1 acre of land surrounding the accident site. The wreckage, including all major structural airplane components and primary flight controls, was located in a dry creek bed and was contained within a debris path that was about 641 ft long and 355 ft wide.

The first identified point of contact (FIPC) was a trough of disturbed ground about 2 ft wide, 20 ft long, and 1 ft deep, consistent with an airplane attitude of 45-degrees nose down and right wing downward about 90-degrees from level flight. The wreckage debris path was oriented along a magnetic heading of about 360° from the FIPC to the main wreckage. A green light emitting diode navigation light was found near the FIPC. At the end of the trough was a crater, about 11 ft in diameter and 5 ft deep. Two separated propeller blades, a landing gear strut with the wheel attached, and distorted pieces of sheet metal were found in and near the crater. The dirt in the crater was discolored and smelled of fuel. A third propeller blade, the wing and fuselage sections, and the engine bull gear assembly were found between the crater and the main wreckage.

The main wreckage was located about 180 ft from the FIPC and included the empennage, aft fuselage, firewall, and engine, and the wreckage was twisted and distorted. Wire bundles and cabin instrumentation were found with the main wreckage, and all of it was burned and crushed. The fourth propeller blade was located about 80 ft past the main wreckage. All four propeller blades revealed S-type bending, chordwise scoring, and leading-edge gouging near the tips.

The attached parachute and canopy were found in several sections past the main wreckage and in line with the center of the debris field. A single-point refueling port was found 641 ft from the FIPC and was the last piece of wreckage found along the debris path.

The aft fuselage and tail section structure were partially intact, and cable control continuity was confirmed to the midsection of the fuselage. The aileron control cables were found with the main wreckage. All primary flight controls were found in the debris field.

The engine exhibited thermal discoloration and impact damage. The first stage of the compressor section was visible, and all of the blades exhibited rotational signatures. The third stage was also visible from the damaged housing and exhibited rotational signatures.

Follow-up Examination

The wreckage was relocated to a secure facility where a layout examination took place. The examination of the wreckage revealed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. The wing sections exhibited leading edge crush damage. The main spar was found in several sections with bending near the midsection. Each of the ailerons were found in two 3-ft sections. The wing flaps exhibited signatures suggesting that they were in the retracted position during impact. Both elevators and horizontal stabilizers were impact damaged and crushed. The trim actuator shaft had separated midspan, and 45° shear lips were observed on the separation surfaces. The trim actuator shaft was measured from the shaft bolt to the rubber seal and was 3.845 inches long, which equated to about a 0.5° (near neutral) pitch trim position. The rudder and vertical stabilizer sustained impact damage and remained attached via the rudder control cables. The vertical stabilizer and aft fuselage remained secure at all the attachment points.

The propeller assembly, which had separated from the engine during the accident sequence, was impact damaged. The cylinder, piston, feathering spring, and hub were found separated into numerous sections. Hub sections were removed from two of the four blade shanks. The blades revealed leading edge gouging and chordwise scoring from the shank areas to the tips. Two of the blades were bent rearward from the midsection to the tip and had a decreased pitch twist from the midsection to the tip. Another blade had a slight rearward bend, and the last blade was bent forward from the midsection to the tip. For further information, refer to the Hartzell Propeller Teardown Report in the public docket for this accident.

The engine was found separated in three major sections: the bull gear, second-stage compressor housing and impeller, and the turbine stator outer vane support housing. Other loose engine parts were found in the debris field. The engine exhibited damage signatures consistent with the engine operating during impact. For further information, refer to the Honeywell Aerospace Engine Wreckage Examination Notes in the public docket for this accident.

The cabin instruments had separated from the instrument panel and were impact damaged. The rpm gauge face had separated from the instrument housing and was bent; white paint transfer marks were visible near the '100' displayed on the face. The torque gauge face had white paint transfer marks between the '80' and '100' displayed on the face.


The pilot was ejected from the airplane during the accident sequence. The Ventura County Coroner's Office did not conduct an autopsy on the pilot because of the condition of the body. The pilot had reported high cholesterol and the use of the prescription drugs rosuvastatin and fenofibrate to treat it to the FAA.

The FAA's Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory performed toxicology testing of the pilot's muscle tissue. The testing detected 0.046 gm/dl of ethanol, 2.033 ug/g of butalbital (the therapeutic range is between 1 and 10 ug/ml), and 0.033 ug/g of codeine.

Ethanol may be detected due to ingestion, or it may also be produced by postmortem microbial activity in the body. Ethanol significantly impairs pilots' performance even at low levels. FAA regulations prohibit any person from acting or attempting to act as a crewmember of a civil aircraft while having 0.040 gm/dl or more ethanol in the blood.

Butalbital and codeine are frequently combined with acetaminophen, aspirin, and/or caffeine in prescription medications to treat pain or headaches. The combination of the two drugs carries the following warning: "Butalbital, Acetaminophen, Caffeine, and Codeine Phosphate Capsules may impair mental and/or physical abilities required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks such as driving a car or operating machinery. Such tasks should be avoided while taking this combination product. Alcohol and other CNS [central nervous system] depressants may produce an additive CNS depression when taken with this combination product and should be avoided."

NTSB Identification: WPR15FA195
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, June 22, 2015 in Maricopa, CA
Aircraft: SHORT BROTHERS PLC S312 TUCANO T MK1, registration: N206PZ
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

On June 22, 2015, about 0930 Pacific daylight time, an experimental exhibition category Short Brothers PLC S312 Tucano T MK1 airplane, N206PZ, was destroyed when it impacted terrain about 16 miles south of Maricopa, California. The private pilot, who was the sole occupant, was fatally injured. The aircraft was registered to Tucano Flyer LLC, and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan had not been filed. The flight originated from Camarillo Airport (CMA), Camarillo, California, at 0810. 

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the pilot was in contact with the SoCal Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) and was receiving advisories while maneuvering over the Chumash Wilderness area. Radar reviewed by NTSB investigators depicted multiple turns, rapid changes in altitude, and airspeed. At 0925 radar contact was lost and no other communication was received from the pilot. 

Examination of the accident site revealed that the wreckage was located in a dry creek bed. The airplane was destroyed by high impact forces and a postimpact fire. The debris field was 641 feet in length and 355 feet wide. A large crater about 11 feet in diameter and 5 feet deep, was found at the beginning of the debris field. Postimpact fire was observed along the debris path and throughout the surrounding terrain. About 1 acre of land was burned. All major structural components and primary flight controls were located within the debris path. 

A witness stated that the airplane flew directly over his house in straight and level flight between 500 and 750 feet above ground level (agl). He further stated that the sound was different than other airplanes that fly in the area, but it didn't sound like anything was wrong. The airplane continued to fly straight and level in an easterly direction towards Quatal Canyon road. 

Another witness located at her residence on Quatal Canyon road, was about 1 mile northeast from the first witness's location. She was outside when she saw the airplane circle her home and depart eastward paralleling Quatal Road and proceeded to fly up the canyon. She further stated that the airplane was about 500 feet agl. The engine sound was loud and consistent. After losing sight of the airplane behind a small hill, smoke and dust was seen rising from the canyon. 

The wreckage was relocated to a secure facility for further examination.