Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Aldermen Angry When Aviation Boss Misses Hearing On Toxic-Smelling Windows

(CBS) – Aldermen held a hearing for people living near Midway Airport who say the sound-dampening windows the city installed are stinking up their homes.

Something was missing: Chicago Aviation Commissioner Ginger Evans.

Evans was missing Wednesday, despite a summons issued by the Chicago City Council’s Finance Committee. That infuriated some aldermen and homeowners who have been complaining about the toxic-smelling windows.

Aldermen and dozens of residents were hoping to get answers from Evans. She failed to show up, sending a deputy, Aaron Framme, instead.

“We take this issue very seriously, and our actions are aimed at addressing the concerns of the homeowners as quickly and as thoroughly as possible,” Framme said, reading from a prepared statement.

“Apparently, it’s not important enough to the Department of Aviation to have the commissioner comply with an order of the city council to be present, is that correct?” demanded Ald. Ed Burke.

Framme said Evans had a prior commitment.

Burke shot back: “Does she think her prior commitments are more important than the safety and the security of the good people who live out here, worried about the air that their children and their parents and their spouses are breathing?”

“Alderman, I don’t want to speak for the commissioner,” Framme said.

Ald. Ray Lopez noted: “This woman is paid $300,000 a year to run our airports, plus a bonus. I don’t care what her previous engagements were, and I think it’s outrageous that she’s not here today.”

Framme said the city has received 86 complaints so far from the Midway Airport area. The city has hired a private company to advise the department how to test the windows and possibly the air quality of some of the homes.

Attendees were shown reports from the 2 Investigators about the problems experienced by some of the residents whose homes were installed with the special windows, which are meant to reduce noise.

The man whose now-defunct company made the windows tells Zekman he doesn’t know why some homes are reporting the toxic-smelling odors. He says it’s not the manufacturer’s fault.

Story and video ➤

Atkinson Municipal Airport (KPTS), Pittsburg, Kansas: Aircraft tractor dedicated to late pilot

Linda Poznich looks at a plaque which the airport will hang on the wall in memory of her late husband Tom Poznich Sr. on Wednesday. 

PITTSBURG — Tom Poznich was a pilot for over 44 years in Pittsburg and on Wednesday a new aircraft tractor was dedicated to him for his years of service at the Atkinson Municipal Airport. 

Tom Poznich Sr. was around planes most of his life, his father flew in the service and his uncle was a pilot, which his widow Linda Poznich said is what fueled his passion for flying.

“His dad was in the service and flew a Helldiver, and his uncle flew planes when they were younger — he had always liked going up with his uncle,” she said. “I think he was a natural at it.” 

Linda Poznich said she was lucky to go on some of his travels, to the Key West, Florida, and San Juan, Puerto Rico on company business — which she said created good memories. 
“He has been a pilot all of our married life — we were married for 44 years and we have been lucky enough to stay here in our home area,” Linda Poznich said. 

One of the Poznich’s sons Tom Poznich Jr. and his wife Kari along with their four-year-old daughter Kennedy, were present at the dedication. The couple have three other children Korbin, Jackson and Grant who were in school. The Poznich’s other son Joshua Poznich was unable to attend.

“It is an incredible opportunity for somebody who spent his whole life at the airport to be honored like that is a big deal.” Tom Poznich Jr. said. 

Kennedy said she loved to watch her grandfather fly, she didn’t get to go up in the plane, but her brothers have. Her nine-year-old brother Grant wants to be a pilot like his grandfather according to his mother. 

“He said Papa will always be his wingman,” Kari said. 

An anonymous donor made it possible to purchase the tractor tug. 

Atkinson Municipal Airport Airport Manager Bill Pyle said the airport is very appreciative to have received the aircraft tug. 

“Tom learned to fly here at Pittsburg as a young man and was able to have his flying career in Pittsburg for over 40 years,” Pyle said. “That’s a very long time and we got to know Tom very well here.”

A plaque which the airport will hang on the wall in memory of Tom Poznich Sr. was presented to the Poznich family. 

Linda Poznich said it was an honor to have the tractor tug dedicated to him. 

“It is just awesome,” she said. “It is such an honor to have him recognized that way. 

“This was such a part of his life — it was his life.” 

City of Pittsburg Director of Public Works Cameron Alden said the existing equipment was becoming too old and newer equipment would allow the airport to pull larger planes. 

“He had enough impact on the community that someone wanted to anonymously donate money so we would be able to purchase that tow tractor,” Alden said. “It is roughly a $40,000 piece of equipment — that’s how much of an impact he had on the community.” 

The airport also celebrated the near-completion of the 600 foot extension of the airport’s landing strip. The strip was extended so larger planes could utilize the airport under all conditions. 

“For them to be able take off and land in all conditions they needed that additional 600 feet,” Alden said. “Without that extra length they couldn’t take on a full load or in some cases potentially land and take off under some weather conditions.”

Alden thanked the folks at Federal Aviation Administration, Lochner (design engineers) and Capital Paving and Construction for their services and teamwork. 

“It is said with every project there’s always a team involved,” Alden said to the crowd. “The FAA made sure we got the funding to move forward, we also had the Lochner as our engineer design inspection for the contract as well.

“The other instrumental member in our teamwork was Capital Paving and Construction, as you can imagine it rains occasionally in Kansas and sometimes it’s not just a light mist either — they were able to push through those conditions.” 

Alden gave Lochner and Capital Paving and Construction a token of appreciation as well — a small memento signed by all the airport staff.

Story and photo gallery ➤

McCarran International Airport (KLAS), Nevada: Influx of private jets expected for Mayweather-McGregor fight

Corporate jets may pack a punch on air traffic at McCarran International Airport this weekend.

Airport officials are bracing for an onslaught of general aviation aircraft flying into Las Vegas, filled with well-heeled passengers headed to watch Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s fight with Conor McGregor at T-Mobile Arena.

“We’re trying to be better prepared and improve the guest experience,” airport spokeswoman Christine Crews said. “While this action appears to be favoring our wealthiest customers, this is really to the benefit of everyone using the airport.”

Airport officials don’t want to see a repeat of the knockout traffic experienced during Mayweather’s headliner bout with Manny Pacquiao in May 2015. Nearly 1,000 private jets overloaded capacity at the airport that weekend, prompting officials to convert a taxiway into a makeshift parking lot.

Another 282 planes were parked at Henderson Executive Airport and 80 planes at North Las Vegas Airport for the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight.

It’s unclear how many private planes fly into the three airports on a typical weekend, but officials said they don’t want to be caught off guard this time around.

Pilots and plane owners are being asked to make reservations this weekend with either Atlantic Aviation or Signature Flight Support, which oversee the fueling and parking operations for private jets passing through McCarran.

Reservations for spaces at the Henderson and North Las Vegas airports can be made through the Clark County Department of Aviation.

Private plane traffic typically jumps during major fight weekends and the Consumer Electronics Show held every January in Las Vegas, said Shannon Walles, a customer service manager at Atlantic Aviation.

“We’ll absolutely be busy this weekend, but it’s hard to say because this is a different type of fight,” Walles said. “It’s an interesting type of clientele because they have that leisure to jump on a plane whenever they want, so we’ll see what happens.”

A manager with Signature Flight Support declined to comment.

The influx could affect private jet owners who are in Las Vegas for work rather than pleasure, said Dan Hubbard, a spokesman for the National Business Aviation Association, which issued a warning last week to its members.

“We want our entrepreneurs and companies to know that, if they need to be in that area for some business reason, then they should know this major fight is going on,” Hubbard said. “We just want them to prepare a little more than they might normally need to for that weekend.”

With about 60 commercial and private planes taking off hourly from McCarran, airport officials said that the advance reservations will help them determine departure demands and keep traffic moving this weekend.

“This helps us look at the scheduling for everyone because departures are on a first-come, first-served basis,” Crews said. “For the commercial flier, this means you might experience a delay if too many planes want to leave at the same time, so this is an effort to make it a smooth experience.”

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Air Force explores changing fighter jet flight patterns at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, though more noise could result

The U.S. Air Force is considering changes in fighter jet runway use at Anchorage's Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson that officials say could lead to more efficiency and safety in the airspace but expose several hundred residents in the nearby neighborhood of Mountain View to more jet noise.

The Air Force has set a public hearing and open house for Wednesday night at Clark Middle School, 150 Bragaw St. Military officials will hold a presentation on the proposal and record testimony from residents.

In a dense 38-page draft environmental impact statement, military officials identify a leading plan to change where the fighter jets, F-22 Raptors, take off and land at the base. The proposal, known as "Alternative A," would largely direct departures to JBER's south-north runway, with jets taking off to the north, and arrivals to its west-east runway, which officials say will allow for more flexible use of the runway and better access to training airspace.

Right now, because of various restrictions, F-22 pilots take off to the north roughly one-third of the time, though that's the runway that maximizes training time for pilots, the document says.

The plan would "increase the off-base noise and have disproportionate effects on minority and low-income populations in the community of Mountain View." Officials estimate 424 people would be affected, including children and the elderly, the document says. Noise would rise above 65 decibels, the document says. That's between the volume of a normal conversation and that of a vacuum.

Noise would rise for children at Mountain View Elementary  School, though the document notes that school bonds have funded renovations to improve sound insulation at the school.

The current number of people who live on JBER and are exposed to the higher-decibel noise would decline under the plan, from more than 1,400 to 824.

Other plans identified by military officials would reduce noise but require the Air Force to build a 2,500-foot extension to the north end of its runway. Construction would affect about 557 acres of land, including 28 acres of wetlands.

"Two plant species considered rare in Alaska are in proximity to, and could be affected by, a runway expansion," officials wrote in the document.

JBER officials weren't available for comment Tuesday. In the draft document, officials say restrictions on runway use lead to less training time in the airspace for two Air Force fighter squadrons, the 90th and the 525th.

The proposal would lead to more F-22 departures on JBER's north-south runway, and cut down on conflicts in arrivals and departures as well as "potentially unsafe" interactions with civil and military operations, the document says.

Wednesday's hearing is set to start at 6 p.m. with an open house, and a formal hearing will begin at 6:30 p.m. Hard copies and CD copies of the environmental impact statement are available at the Mountain View, Muldoon, Loussac and Chugiak-Eagle River branch libraries, as well as the JBER library on base.

Digital copies can also be downloaded at

Original article can be found here ➤

Military Aviation Museum’s new director envisions bigger and better at Virginia Beach attraction

Jarod Hoogland, new director at the Military Aviation Museum, stands next to one of two airplanes that can be rented for soaring flights above Pungo and beyond. 

In Alaska where he grew up, Jarod Hoogland knew firsthand the importance of airplanes, especially the many bush float planes that help people get from place to place.

It’s a culture that led him to his career path, not as a pilot, but first as a staff member and then as director of the Alaska Aviation Museum for two years.

“The stories and histories of the brave men and women who pioneered the skies is addicting and I was hooked,” said Hoogland.

“At the Alaska Aviation Museum, we showed numerous golden-age Alaska bush planes, many of which are famous in their own right within the state.”

In June, Hoogland journeyed to Virginia Beach to become museum director at the Military Aviation Museum in Pungo. He calls the new position an opportunity too good to pass up.

“Many of the processes and strategies I utilized to good effect in Alaska are directly relatable here, but I expect on a much larger scale, given the magnitude of the possibilities at this museum,” he said.

Hoogland, who has degrees in history, economics and business administration, wants to take a long-view approach to the museum’s future, hoping to build a sustainable business model that “allows the museum to keep flying and sharing these histories.”

In 2018, the biggest change will be how exhibits are done. Hoogland wants to showcase exhibits that explore deeper human stories, and to include more interactive, behind-the-aircraft features and details that will appeal to a wider audience.

To kick this all off, 2018 will spotlight a transformation of the museum’s main hangar to tell a variety of World War I stories. A special treat will be the display of the “Snoopy and the Red Baron Exhibit” from the Charles Schulz Museum, culminating with a World War I airshow. Partnerships with other area museums are also in the works.

“I also want the museum to become better partners with our community, in particular businesses and organizations that support the Hampton Roads region,” Hoogland said.

What is your favorite plane at the museum? 
The PBY Catalina, and luckily I did ride in it. This aircraft (an “American flying boat” and amphibious aircraft from the 1930s-‘40s) has a long history in Alaska, both during the war and after – it’s more like a boat than an airplane, so as a passenger my view was mostly metal.

What is your favorite corner at the museum?
Tucked back into the corner of the Army hangar is a Bell P-63 Kingcobra fighter plane. The story of this aircraft reveals an element of WWII that many might not know – while the United States was building its own fleet, we were also building and shipping aircraft to the USSR to fight Germany on the eastern front. This is why guests will see an American aircraft with Soviet markings.

What prepared you for your new job? 
The experience I gained as director of the Alaska Aviation Museum is most directly relevant, but a lot of what I do is problem solving, and the preparation for that goes back much further. Back in college, I was a member of the debate team for the University of Alaska in Anchorage. The coach there was Steve Johnson, who excelled at teaching critical thinking. Essentially, I was taught not only how to think through a problem, but around a problem.

If you could be a vintage plane, what would it be? 

The PBY because with both wheels and hull, I could go on adventures anywhere and everywhere.


Name: Jarod Thomas Hoogland

Neighborhood: Hilltop

Hometown: Anchorage, Alaska

Marital status: Married, Julie, five years

Occupation: Museum director, Military Aviation Museum in Pungo

Education: Bachelor’s degrees in history and economics; master’s in business administration from the University of Alaska in Anchorage

If you go...

What: Military Aviation Museum, 1341 Princess Anne Road, Pungo area of Virginia Beach.

Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily


Details: The 65,000-square-foot museum sits on 100 acres with a 5,000-foot grass runway; it has six full-time and six part-time staff and more than 200 volunteers. There are four exhibit hangars, two historic buildings and the Fighter Factory maintenance hangar - More than 70 vintage airplanes are on display, along with other related memorabilia. Jerrassic Park, a fun collection of oversize metal dinosaurs, is located at the entrance to the museum.

New stuff: The museum recently welcomed three new World War I-era aircraft: A DR1, SE5 and a Sopwith triplane.

Upcoming events: On Sept. 23, Wings & Wheels Car Show with Tidewater Region Antique Automobile Club of America; Oct. 7-8, and Biplanes and Triplanes Airshow with World War II planes soaring, food trucks, live entertainment - tickets and details at

Original article ➤

Airplane nearly crashes into drone illegally flown near Memphis International Airport (KMEM)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -  A close encounter of the unmanned kind nearly caused a disaster at Memphis International Airport on August 7.

A drone flying one mile away from the airport nearly collided with an airplane during takeoff.

"They should not be flying drones next to an airport. That's ridiculous," said Memphis resident, Robert Fox. 

He's absolutely right. In fact, it's against FAA rules for anyone to fly a drone within five miles of an airport, unless the drone pilot receives authorization from the airport ahead of time.

The person flying the drone on August 7 ignored those rules. A Delta AirLines pilot reported a "near miss" with the drone.

Darwin Elkins, a frequent flyer, said with drones buzzing through the sky, he's surprised incidents like this aren't happening more often.

"There are drones flying all over the place. Too many people have them and they go where they want to go," Elkins said.

WMC Action News 5 is working to find out whether the drone pilot will face criminal charges in this incident.

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Little Creek, Bowers fire companies poised for water rescues during Dover air show

Rescue personnel from the Little Creek and Bowers fire companies will have their eyes to the sky while focusing on the water below this weekend when Dover Air Force Base hosts the "Thunder Over Dover" air show and open house.

The two fire companies have been training together since the beginning of the month in case a pilot needs to ditch a plane in the Delaware Bay during the air show, which starts Friday with practice flights by the famed Thunderbirds.

"Thunder Over Dover" marks the first time Dover Air Force Base has been open to the general public since 2009. Officials are looking for 150,000-200,000 people to attend the air show and open house on Saturday and Sunday.

While firefighters for Little Creek and Bowers will be a part of the emergency crews on and around the base – deploying a total of 36 members during the event – their main task will be to patrol the bay between the two towns, which is the designated area for pilots to ditch should they experience problems.

"We've been tasked by the Dover Air Force Base fire department to handle water rescues," said Little Creek Chief Scott Bundek. "They have a huge plan in place, and it was natural for us to be in the water. We'll have vessels at the north and south ends of the designated area."

Bundek said that the partnership between his fire company and Bowers makes sense because they both have water rescue capabilities and are located near Dover Air Force Base. 

He hopes their services won't be needed.

"We've never deployed a boat in the water before for an air show, and I hope we won't be needed this weekend," said Bundek, who has been with the company for 30 years. "But we've had some real-world training, so we'll be ready if we are needed."

The Little Creek fire chief said that in addition to working with Bowers this month, his first responders have spent a lot of time this summer on how to extract someone from the water during a maritime emergency.

"Our guys are prepared for anything that happens on the water," he said.

Safety has been a focus for the DAFB fire department for this two-day public event with so many planes taking part in the air show and so many people on base to take in the shows and the exhibits on the main ramp and at the Air Mobility Command Museum.

First responders tested their capabilities in late July during a major-accident response exercise on the base in preparation for the air show and open house.

DAFB officials said that countless base units and off-base community partners worked hand in hand throughout the exercise ensuring the safety of attendees of the upcoming event.

“What we are doing is exercising our emergency response plans and our command and control communications,” said Lt. Col. Ryan Orfe, open house director. “We are making sure that if this were to happen in the real world, we can respond to it efficiently and safely.”

The exercise simulated an aircraft accident resulting in more than 100 casualties. First responders reacted to the incident rapidly, quickly implementing search and rescue techniques to save as many lives as possible. Medical services were provided at the site.

“The point of the exercise was to help the open house team prepare their plans in case of a mass-casualty scenario,” said Capt. Nick Mortimer, 436th Airlift wing inspector general and deputy chief of exercises. “The IG team has been working on this for months getting the players involved. We coordinated with local and state agencies to see when they were able to participate.”

Fire companies and emergency medical services from Dover, Little Creek, Camden-Wyoming, Leipsic, Frederica, Magnolia, Marydel and Kent County all participated in the simulation and will be on base ready to react if needed during the air show and open house.

The main event

"Thunder Over Dover" will mean different things to different people depending on a person's age.

The air show and open house will showcase U.S. Air Force heritage from World War II to the present during the free two-day event.

This year marks the Air Force’s 70th anniversary, and the entire year is devoted to “Celebrating Our Heritage.” "Thunder Over Dover" is DAFB’s first open house in eight years and will highlight the U.S. Air Force's heritage with the greater Delmarva community and people from a five-state area.

“We’re going to trace the history of air power in the United States Air Force,” said Lt. Col. Todd Walker, 436th Logistics Readiness Squadron commander and 2017 "Thunder Over Dover" open house ground boss. “You’re going to get a little bit of World War II all the way up to present day." 

Both Saturday’s and Sunday’s schedules are packed with aerial demonstrations, including the USAF Thunderbirds, the Army’s Black Daggers parachute team, a P-51D Mustang demonstration and aerial acrobatics.

The main event will be the Thunderbirds, which haven't performed in Dover for eight years, Orfe said. 

The Thunderbirds have entertained more than 280 million people in over 3,500 demonstrations in all 50 states and around the world since the team first started aerial demonstrations in 1953, according to the U.S. Air Force.

Throughout the years, the team, officially known as the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, has upped its game by adding more and tougher aerial acrobatics and now features a 75-minute ground and air demonstration.

The Thunderbirds are scheduled to perform in 38 places this year, including DAFB, and are scheduled for 38 shows in 2018. Orfe said the Air Force is two years out in its scheduling due to the popularity of the Thunderbirds.

Folks taking in the Thunderbirds demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday will be treated to a choreographed, drill-style ground ceremony before the pilots take to the skies for a show where they will fly only a few feet from wingtip to wingtip over Dover Air Force Base.

"They are one of the main forces of the Air Force," Orfe said. "To bring them back to Dover is a huge deal. We're serious about putting on a good show by bringing in a headliner."

There also will be more than 30 static aircraft displays in addition to the more than 40 displays also available at the Air Mobility Command Museum, which will be open and accessible via a free shuttle.

“This is the first air show we’ve had in about eight years, and it’s the first time we’ve invited the community onto the actual base in a long time,” Orfe said. “One reason for the open house is to allow the community a peek behind the curtain and tell our story. We're hoping for a lot of interaction with community members so we can say, 'Thank you for your support.'"

Orfe said event organizers are ready to welcome more than 200,000 guests to participate in a unique behind-the-scenes experience on Dover Air Force Base.

The open house director said there will be a full schedule on both days, with a plane in the air for almost every minute of the day from approximately 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition, he said there will be many static displays that visitors can climb around in and ask the pilots and aircrews questions about.

"You’ll get a real up-close look that you won’t be able to get many other places," he said. "We’re looking to put on a great show.”


WHAT: "Thunder Over Dover" air show and open house

WHEN: Saturday and Sunday. Gates open at 9 a.m. and show ends at 5 p.m. both days.

WHERE: Dover Air Force Base, 442 13th St., Dover

PARKING: Visitors are invited to park on Dover Air Force Base, accessible through the North Gate, at Del. 10 and U.S. 13. Additional parking is also available at Bergold Farms on Bergold Lane off of Del. 9, with a free shuttle service to the main event running every five to 10 minutes.

ALSO: The Air Mobility Command Museum also will be open during the open house, and a shuttle service will offer free transportation throughout the day.

COST: Free

MORE INFORMATION: For a full schedule, a list of displays, maps and a list of suggested and prohibited items, visit the "Thunder Over Dover" website at

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Charlottesville Albemarle Airport (KCHO) needs volunteers for aircraft accident drill

ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (NEWSPLEX) -- The Charlottesville Albemarle Airport is getting ready for an airport exercise and needs volunteers to help.

The Charlottesville-UVA-Albemarle Office of Emergency Management is looking for people who can play the role of "victims" from an airplane accident.

CHO is required to hold a full-scale exercise every three years to test the response to an incident involving a commercial aircraft.

This year's exercise will take place September 23rd.

Volunteers are needed between 7:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.

According to a release, they will be outside most of the time. Volunteers will have makeup applied and are encouraged to wear clothing that can be stained or altered to depict injuries.

Anyone interested in volunteering should click on the link in the Related Links box to register.

Registration is required and there are liability release forms that must be signed in order to participate.

Anyone with questions should contact Allison Farole at

Original article ➤

Chesapeake man aims to create a fleet of rescue drones

Tom Walker, founder of DroneUp

Imagine a fleet of drones scouring rural areas or cities to help find a missing child.

That’s what Tom Walker of Chesapeake-based DART Ventures envisioned when he bought a drone last October.

“I took it out and flew it for about a week or two and got bored. And I realized that there had to be something that I could do,” he said. “I didn’t really want to use it to make money, but I started doing research and realized that there were a lot of people who were doing a lot of great things with drones. They were saving lives. They were finding missing children.”

But there was a pattern Walker saw in each of the cases involving drones finding missing people: It was just happenstance.

“They happened to be standing by and they happened to have a drone,” he said.

Walker’s solution was to build an application system called DroneUp that would send law enforcement alerts to nearby drone operators. Pilots would receive the information through the app, accept or decline a mission, and then choose to use their drones to help find a missing person.

But it’s not entirely that simple. Drone operators have to meet certain qualifications before joining a response team.

“As I started working with the FAA and everyone else, it really turned into something bigger because we began to identify problems with airspace management, basic safety rules and coordination between law enforcement,” Walker said.

DroneUp provides required training and exercises for drone operators so they can receive commercial remote pilot certification through the Federal Aviation Administration.

Walker said he hopes training requirements will help ease concerns with law enforcement, who have had “tepid” reactions to the technology.

“I think my biggest concern is making sure that we don’t do or say something that could get law enforcement nervous about what we’re doing ...” he said, adding he hopes the two entities will be transparent with each other.

Walker presented and demonstrated the app to the public and several law enforcement members for its official launch Aug. 21.

Several local drone pilots were live on the app and responded to a fake mission for a missing person. A map on the app showed the location of each drone pilot within a set radius.

The demonstration was live and the “missing” person was Walker’s neighbor, who hid in her backyard till one of the drone pilots found her. A video feed of the last few seconds of the search was displayed on a screen.

According to Walker, less than 1 percent of drones are used for commercial purposes; the remaining 99 percent are used by hobbyists and enthusiasts. Those drones have the potential to be a positive impact on society, he said.

“Right now, there’s 120,000 to 150,000 drones flying in Virginia,” he said. “We believe by the end of 2018, there will be about a million drones flying in Virginia. That’s not an insignificant number.”

Original article ➤

When it comes to pilot training, safety is about more than flight hours

By Faye Malarkey Black, opinion contributor 

Faye Malarkey Black is president of the Regional Airline Association, an advocacy organization for North American regional airlines.

With the reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) before Congress, some have accused special-interest groups of weakening aviation safety.

Recently, Air Line Pilots Association, International’s president, Capt. Tim Canoll, argued this point while he distorted the truth about a provision added by Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) during a markup of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization.

The Association appropriately credits the 2010 Aviation Safety Act with contributing to eight subsequent years without accidents but creates a straw man argument when he equates Thune’s provision with undermining a large collection of enumerated regulatory enhancements.

In fact, the flight hour provision in question relates to a rule implemented in 2013, governing commercial airline First Officer Qualifications (FOQ). Far from undoing safety advancements, the provision expands one successful element of that rule: allowing more structured training pathways to provide credit toward pilot qualification.

Canoll mentions safety data gained by prior accidents but fails to mention that the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board each rejected “flight time” as a factor in any recent accident. Canoll similarly ignores other gold standard safety programs that evolved over the past decade. These programs allow collaborative data sharing among all walks of industry and provide insight into millions of operations, identifying and addressing risk in the system before accidents occur. These programs go to the very heart of today’s safe system, and downplaying their role in elevating safety is a discredit to the more than 57,000 association professionals, who tirelessly support them.

Emphasizing the importance of flight time, Canoll misleadingly suggests that pilots gain enriched flying experience after they graduate. In reality, pilots do any type of flying they can to gain hours, accumulating unsupervised flight time in unmanaged airspace in aircraft that bear no resemblance to technically advanced commercial airliners.

Pilots without access to structured training pathways spend years in these environments before entering airline training, where — unsurprisingly — they succeed less often than before. Training experts across the country report reduced proficiency among pilot candidates because they are now spending years away from training. In fact, regional airline training departments fail more candidates than before despite expanding training to provide extra support.

In the face of this, Canoll’s association paints an entirely misleading portrayal of the provision, suggesting it guts safety and training rules Congress enacted. To the contrary, the provision was guided by the scientific findings of some of the best aviation universities in the country. 

A 2015 Pilot Source Study found pilots following structured training pathways perform best in training, while pilots with high flight hours but limited structured training perform worse. The provision would allow airlines to offer (and pay for) additional structured training pathways. These pathways work because they provide additional supervised training as credit toward a portion of the unsupervised flying a pilot would otherwise gain. 

In fact, the FAA would review any training proposals offered by airlines line-by-line. As before, the FAA may approve these pathways only when they enhance safety over other means of qualification.

The association claims there is “no substitute” for an hour in flight. In reality, structured training pathways ensure pilots are trained for scenarios they may never encounter in flight, like losing an engine or icing on the wing.

The association’s objections are particularly cynical in light of their prior support for structured training pathways noting, “We concur with the recent statement by the Flight Safety Foundation that the public deserves a more sophisticated solution than a blanket move to 1,500 hours… The law’s flight-hour credit provision is entirely justified on the basis of quality of experience and not merely quantity of experience.”

What the Air Line Pilots Association does not acknowledge is that blocking pathways preserves a high barrier of entry to the career, even as a growing pilot shortage is viewed by some as collective bargaining leverage.

To be clear, pilots deserve fair compensation. Substantial wage increases have already taken place and will continue. Profit-driven manipulation of aviation safety regulations must not. The structured training pathways the association would block offer more training and a higher level of safety to the traveling public. It is time for the Air Line Pilots Association to end cynical attacks on industry partners and start working together to support new pilots and enhanced safety.

Original article can be found here ➤

Burlington International Airport (KBTV), Vermont: South Burlington brings fight for airport control to Colchester, other neighbors

The Colchester Selectboard had a front-row view of the fight that has emerged over control of the Burlington International Airport.

The board heard Tuesday from representatives of the City of South Burlington, who are pushing for regional governance, and representatives of the airport who favor Burlington keeping control. 

The Selectboard has not yet made a decision on whether it would support a study group around separating the airport from Burlington's control. Winooski passed a resolution to join South Burlington's effort. The City of Burlington opposes the change. 

Williston and Shelburne also considered resolutions at meetings Tuesday but did not take action. 

The Burlington International Airport is owned by the City of Burlington, but it is located in South Burlington. Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger appoints the airport's director of aviation. There is an advisory Airport Commission with four representatives from Burlington and one from South Burlington. The Burlington City Council would have final say on whether a study group should be convened.

South Burlington City Manager Kevin Dorn and City Council member Thomas Chittenden urged Colchester's Selectboard said regional governance would ensure all stakeholders are at the table for large decisions that affect towns surrounding the airport. 

"South Burlington, nor Williston, nor Winooski, nor Colchester, nor Shelburne or any of the other communities, nor the state for that matter, have a say in its governance," Dorn said. "It doesn't make any difference what we think should happen in our community about the airport. It only depends on what the director of aviation and the mayor of Burlington say should happen." 

Chittenden said South Burlington in particular has had to resort to legal remedies, including lawsuits, to solve conflicts with Burlington. He said while the area has been caught up with these distractions, the airport in Plattsburgh, New York, has expanded. 

"I think it's really holding us back from mutual prosperity," Chittenden said.

Colchester Selectboard member Tom Mulcahy said the economic argument "piqued my interest."

"When I first looked at this, I didn't think we had a dog in the fight," Mulcahy said. "But when you look at the airport as being a conduit for those economics, there is an interest." 

Chittenden added that the regionalized governance could help provide more stability in the face of any potential political shifts in Burlington's governance that could affect decision-making on airport issues. He said he wasn't criticizing the way the airport was run on the inside, but was more interested in the rights of towns on the outside.

Gene Richards, director of aviation at the airport, spoke in favor of keeping the current governance model. He cautioned the board against believing everything presented by the South Burlington representatives, saying some fact-checking needs to be done.

"This has been a dysfunctional relationship for some time," Richards said. "We give hundreds of hours per year to South Burlington in explanations and understanding. At the end of the day, we're governed not by the Mayor in any way. The Mayor is a guide and he does the right thing." 

Richards called comparison to Plattsburgh's airport's success "scare tactics." He cited the Burlington International Airport's recent signing of five-year agreements with all its airlines as an example of its success and growth.

Richards said many of the airport's programs are governed by the Federal Aviation Administration,

"It doesn't matter what body you have, you won't make those decisions," Richards said. 

Chittenden said that in 2013, a Burlington International Airport Strategic Planning Committee recommended to the Burlington City Council that it work with the state and other potential regional partners to explore a regional authority model. 

In a letter to Colchester Town Manager Dawn Francis, Mayor Weinberger wrote that municipal ownership of Burlington International Airport has worked successfully for the region for the past 100 years and that change in ownership risks undermining the airport's "role as a regional economic engine." 

"I urge you to consider that there is a real risk that regionalization done wrong, or for parochial reasons, could actually weaken one of the region's most successful economic drivers," Weinberger wrote. "It is possible that a regional authority could complicate the Airport's ability to sustain its improving financial health or serve as a catalyst for economic growth."

It was unclear on Tuesday evening when the board would take formal action on the issue.The next Colchester Selectboard meeting is planned for Sept. 12.

Story and video:

Cessna 180, N1585C; accident occurred August 20, 2017 at Parlin Field Airport (2B3), Newport, Sullivan County, New Hampshire

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Portland, Maine

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Newport, NH

Accident Number: ERA17LA290
Date & Time: 08/20/2017, 1700 EDT
Registration: N1585C
Aircraft: CESSNA 180
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Miscellaneous/other
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 


The commercial pilot was initiating a personal flight and noted no discrepancies with the brakes during the preflight inspection, the engine run-up, or the initial portion of taxiing aside from the left brake pedal not lining up exactly with the right brake pedal, which had been that way for a while. When the pilot attempted to slow the airplane during the taxi, the right brake pedal travelled to the floor, which resulted in asymmetric braking. In an effort to avoid trees, the pilot intentionally ground looped the airplane and added power, which exacerbated the turn and resulted in the right wing impacting the ground. Postaccident examination of the right brake revealed no fluid in the reservoir and a leak at the slave cylinder, which likely resulted in the asymmetric braking and ground loop.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
A leak in the right brake slave cylinder, which led to no fluid in the reservoir and subsequent asymmetric braking.


Master cylinder/brake valve - Malfunction (Cause)
Directional control - Attain/maintain not possible (Cause)
Fluids - Fluid level (Cause)

Factual Information

On August 20, 2017, about 1700 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 180, N1585C, was substantially damaged while taxiing for takeoff at Parlin Field Airport (2B3), Newport, New Hampshire. The commercial pilot was not injured. The airplane was being operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the flight that was originating at the time of the accident, and was destined for Rutland-Southern Vermont Regional Airport (RUT), Rutland, Vermont.

The pilot stated that he performed a preflight inspection of the airplane that included an inspection of the wheel assemblies and noted no fluid was on the ground. After engine start, he performed an engine run-up, and reported no issues with the brakes. He then back-taxied to the approach end of runway 36. While taxiing, he noted the left brake pedal did not line-up exactly with the right brake pedal; however, he noted that the difference in brake pedal position had been that way for a while. He continued to taxi, steering with the tailwheel. When near the approach end of the runway while starting to slow; the left brake was normal, but the right brake pedal traveled completely to the floor. In an effort to avoid trees off the side of the runway, he intentionally ground-looped the airplane. He believed the airplane ground-looped twice, and on the second turn, he added power to get some rudder authority which only exacerbated the turn. The right wing impacted the ground, and was substantially damaged, before the airplane came to rest.

Examination of the right brake system following recovery of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration airworthiness inspector revealed that during brake pedal application, the right brake pedal went to the floor. Examination of the right brake master cylinder revealed no fluid. Visual examination of the cockpit area of the right brake pedal revealed no evidence of leaking fluid. The right brake was bled of air and the reservoir was filled with fluid. Visual examination of the right brake over the course of 1 week revealed fluid leaking at the slave cylinder. No determination was made as to the reason for the leaking slave cylinder.

The airplane's last annual inspection was signed off as being completed on June 12, 2017. The airplane had accrued about 13 hours, and there had been no brake work done since the annual was completed. The pilot also indicated that there were no issues with the brakes on the flight into 2B3.

History of Flight

Taxi-to runway
Miscellaneous/other (Defining event)
Loss of control on ground

Dragged wing/rotor/float/other

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Commercial
Age: 59, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 08/08/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 02/06/2017
Flight Time:  38000 hours (Total, all aircraft), 30 hours (Total, this make and model), 23000 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 270 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 80 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Registration: N1585C
Model/Series: 180 UNDESIGNATED
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1953
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 30285
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 06/12/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2550 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 13 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 5016.1 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: CONT MOTOR
ELT: C91A installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-470-J
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 260 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: VSF, 578 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 15 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1654 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 260°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 6500 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 7 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 300°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.03 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 12°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Newport, NH (2B3)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Rutland, VT (RUT)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1700 EDT
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: Parin Field Airport (2B3)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 783 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 18
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3448 ft / 50 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 43.383333, -72.185000 (est)

NTSB Identification: ERA17LA290
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, August 20, 2017 in Newport, NH
Aircraft: CESSNA 180, registration: N1585C
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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

On August 20, 2017, about 1700 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 180, N1585C, was substantially damaged while taxiing for takeoff at Parlin Field Airport (2B3), Newport, New Hampshire. The commercial pilot was not injured. The airplane was being operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the flight that was originating at the time of the accident, and was destined for Rutland-Southern Vermont Regional Airport (RUT), Rutland, Vermont.

The pilot stated that prior to the flight, he performed a preflight inspection of the airplane with no discrepancies noted. After engine start he performed an engine run-up, and reported no issues with the brakes during the initial taxi or engine run-up. He then back-taxied to the approach end of runway 36. While taxiing, he noted the left brake pedal did not line-up exactly with the right brake pedal; however, he noted that the difference in brake pedal position had been that way for a while. He continued to taxi, steering with the tailwheel. When near the approach end of the runway he started to slow down; the left brake was normal, but the right brake pedal traveled completely to the floor. In an effort to avoid trees off the side of the runway, he intentionally ground-looped the airplane. He believed the airplane ground-looped twice, and on the second turn, he added power to get some rudder authority which only exacerbated the turn. The right wing impacted the ground, and was substantially damaged, before the airplane came to rest.

The airplane was recovered for further examination of the right brake.