Sunday, November 5, 2017

Virginia man tried to bring loaded gun onto plane at Reagan National Airport (KDCA), officials say

ARLINGTON, Va. (ABC7) — A man was caught trying to bring a loaded gun with a bullet in the chamber onto a plane at Reagan National Airport on Thursday, according to authorities.

The Transportation Security Administration says their officers stopped a Manassas man at a checkpoint after they found the loaded 9mm semi-automatic handgun in his carry-on luggage.

The gun was loaded with seven bullets, officials say.

Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police were called to the airport, confiscated the gun and then cited the man on a state weapons charge. 

Read more here ➤ http://wjla.com

Second pronghorn release on Colville Indian Reservation


NESPELEM – Ninety-eight pronghorn antelope were released on the Colville Indian Reservation recently; this is the second transplant operation since January 2016. The Colville Tribes’ Fish and Wildlife (CTFW) Department worked with the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) to coordinate efforts that included helicopter captures from several antelope populations near Elko, Nevada.

“We captured 12 males and 87 females from Nevada,” said Eric Krausz, wildlife biologist for CTFW. “The total composition included 26 fawns, 20 yearlings, and 53 female adults. We lost one female antelope due to injury.”

He added, “We collared 50 adult female antelope with GPS/VHF collars. The collars will track their locations approximately every 12 hours, detect mortalities after 24 hours of inactivity, and last for up to four years.”

Prior to the relocation effort, NDOW staff used a fixed wing reconnaissance flight and ground monitoring to locate antelope groups. Processing stations were set up to collect samples, give injections, apply collars or ear tags and load antelope into trailers.

“Our interest in targeting these animals was due to the loss of critical winter range caused by wildfires in Nevada during 2017,” said Cody McKee, big game biologist for NDOW. “Our objective was to reduce densities of pronghorn in these areas and allow for those being transported to Colville lands time to acclimate to their new environment before the arrival of winter. Since animal welfare is our primary priority, we scheduled the captures for October. The pronghorn had body temperatures and stress levels that were consistent with healthy transport. We are optimistic that the pronghorn that remain in Nevada will have less competition for food on degraded winter range.”

About 50 people were brought together in Elko for the operation. The team consisted of a helicopter capture crew, veterinarians from Omaha Zoo, NDOW and Utah Department of Natural Resources, wildlife biologists and technicians, and volunteer youth workers from NDOW.

“We all had a great sense of what our individual roles were in the capture effort and what we could do to make the process run smoothly,” said Sam Rushing, wildlife biologist for CTFW. “The main factors that helped this capture to be more successful were the fact that there were multiple target populations and the ability to move quickly to different capture sites.”


“Once we arrived at a new capture location, we set up base camp and the helicopter would receive current antelope locations via radio from NDOW biologists scouting in the hills,” said Krausz. “The helicopter pilot and capture crew would then locate an antelope group and proceed to net gun an animal. Once an animal has been net gunned, a mugger from the helicopter capture team exits the helicopter to untangle the antelope from the net, apply blindfolds, apply hobbles on their legs, and place them in transport bags that were connected by a carabiner to the long line under the helicopter. Immediately after capture each antelope received an injection of a drug to help calm the animal.”

The pronghorn were transported in four horse trailers and were released on land that is managed for the benefit of wildlife and their habitats through funding by Bonneville Power Administration. Bureau of Indian Affairs funds were used for the capture efforts.

At this time, it is estimated that approximately 29,000 pronghorn exist in the state of Nevada, making them the second most common wild-ungulate in the state behind mule deer.

Story and photo gallery ➤ http://www.gazette-tribune.com

Casper/Natrona County International Airport (KCPR) sees uptick in business




The Casper/Natrona County International Airport has seen an uptick in notable metrics recently, and the director says the stats are a sign that the airport — and Wyoming’s economy — is rebounding from the energy downturn.

Last year, officials were wondering, “’Where’s the bottom?’” Glenn Januska said. “Tell us where the bottom is. If we know where the bottom is now, even if it’s not going to get better — just don’t tell me its going to get worse. ... Now, we’re starting to see an uptick.”

Rental car revenue — of which the airport receives a cut — is up, which Januska said was a good sign that business is doing better as more people travel to Casper and pick up cars for work. Parking revenue and fuel storage are also both up. More crucially, so, too, is passenger enplanement, or the number of people boarding planes.

Compared to this time last year, enplanements are up 4.4 percent. The number is significant, given that September saw a more than 4 percent decline, after Allegiant Air announced a stoppage and the airport effectively closed briefly for runway work.

As for the eclipse, Januska said the airport saw a slight bump, though he said that, like the city of Casper, it wasn’t as significant as some had perhaps thought beforehand.

Elsewhere, airport operations — or takeoffs and landings by all kinds of aircraft — jumped last month by more than 7 percent but are still down overall this year by 6 percent. Freight shipping by companies like FedEx and UPS remains down, though Januska said that’s often related to equipment in the oil and gas industry.

He said that the airport operations is a difficult number to dissect, in terms of its affect on the broader economy. It could be fewer takeoffs by people learning to fly, rather than a drop in the number of corporate jets landing. Fewer of one could mean something completely different — if it means anything at all — compared to fewer of the other.

Januska also noted that the airport has 350 lease agreements for buildings that it owns.

“Typically when things are not good, we start to see vacancies,” he said. “We have not seen that, have not gotten vacancies in our buildings. ... That’s been relatively consistent, which has been good for us. Seems like things seem to be stable.”

Overall, Januska said, the figures are good news for the airport and likely good news for Wyoming.

“What this tells me overall if I start looking at this, we’re starting to see an uptick back in passengers, rental car revenue, parking revenue,” he said. “Things are indicating that the passengers are using the airport more this year compared to last year.”

Original article can be found here ➤  http://trib.com/business

Brunswick Executive Airport (KBXM) hits record for flight ops

BRUNSWICK, Maine (AP) — The Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority likes to tout the number of jobs created at the former Brunswick Naval Air Station. But the airport is growing, too.

Officials say the Brunswick Executive Airport had 1,795 flight operations through the end of October, besting the previous year by 200.

The airport boasts dual, 8,000-foot runways built by the Navy.

The buildings on the 3,200-acre property have been transformed into a business campus where more than 100 entities employ more than 1,400 civilian workers. The facility has doubled projections for new jobs since the Navy left in 2011.

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

Opinion: ICON A5

ICON A5 production in its Vacaville plant has risen. So have costs and price. CEO Kirk Hawkins recently sent out an update. “The (A5) is significantly better than first envisioned,” Kirk said, but it’s also significantly more costly to build. Early-day estimate was in the $200,000 range. The 2018 base price is $269,000. Fully loaded, $389,000. And worth it. An A5 must be as much fun as a box of birds. 

Original article  ➤ http://www.thereporter.com/opinion

United Considers Buying New Boeing 767 Passenger Jets: Aerospace giant looks at ways to restart production of passenger 767 to meet demand from airlines



The Wall Street Journal
By Doug Cameron
November 5, 2017 9:00 a.m. ET

United Continental Holdings Inc. said it is considering replacing older wide-body planes with new Boeing Co. 767 jets, in what would be a surprising revival of fortune for the 35-year-old aircraft.

Boeing stopped making the passenger version of the twin-aisle plane three years ago but recently increased production of models converted for use as military refueling tankers and freighters. Now the aerospace giant is looking at ways to restart production of a passenger 767 to meet emerging demand from airlines seeking to replace aging jets in the next several years, according to people familiar with Boeing’s plans.

The focus is on reviving the 767-300ER, the most popular version of the jet family which can seat about 200 passengers. This would also help satisfy demand before the company launches a new twin-aisle jet in the middle of the next decade, according to the people familiar with Boeing’s plans.

Boeing recently established a program office for its proposed new midsize airplane—dubbed the 797 by some in the industry—but hasn’t definitively decided to build the plane.

Boeing declined to comment on customer discussions.

Chicago-based United operates 51 of the current 767 passenger jets on trans-Atlantic routes and to South America. The airline has been assessing options for replacing the planes, which are close to 20 years old on average. Analysts had expected United, which operated the first 767 in 1982, to select either new Boeing 787 jets or Airbus A330s to replace them. New 767s would be less expensive.

“We have not recently asked for an offer for any particular wide-body aircraft type but have in the ordinary course of discussions asked for information about several wide-body aircraft, including the 767,” a United spokeswoman said.

Boeing has delivered more than 700 passenger versions of the jet since the plane was introduced. Other big operators include Delta Air Lines Inc. and American Airlines Group Inc. Delta, which has 82 767s, said it wasn’t thinking of adding new 767s. American declined to comment.

Boeing has 101 outstanding orders for the military and cargo versions of the plane and recently raised annual output to 30 767s to meet orders from the Air Force and FedEx Corp.

Amazon.com Inc. has contracted two cargo carriers to fly converted 767s for its Prime Air unit. That fleet is expected to grow to 40 planes next year. Its new cargo hub in Kentucky has space for 100 aircraft.

The demand for freighters has led to a shortage of older passenger models available for conversion to cargo use, and Boeing expects the military tanker version to win as many as 400 orders.

“We don’t see the 767 line as a sunset-ing production line,” Boeing Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg said on an analyst call last month. “It’s a strong, long-term production line, and it does have some growth opportunities for us.”

—Susan Carey contributed to this article.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.wsj.com

The 747 flies into the sunset



Years ago, famed British architect Norman Foster proclaimed that his favorite building of the 20th century was an PLANE -- the Boeing 747. Now, the jumbo jet he so honored is on its final approach as a passenger plane. Kris Van Kleave gives us the view from the cockpit: 

"I don't know any pilot that does not want to fly a 747," said Theresa Clairborne. "If they tell you that they don't, they're lying."

There aren't many aviators who've had have a career like Clairborne. She was the first African-American woman pilot in the Air Force, and for the last 27 years, one of only a handful of black women pilots at United Airlines. 

But if you ask this trailblazer the highlight? Hands down it was flying "the Queen of the Skies." "First of all, it's beautiful. I mean, if you just look at the shape of it. It doesn't look like any other airplane. That second story, that hump. Kind of reminiscent of a whale. It's just a gorgeous airplane."

Clairborne has spent more than 15,000 hours as a first officer on that plane, but none as captain.

"It would have been nice if I'd been able to slide over to the left seat. But that wasn't to be the case."

"You're sliding over there now," said Van Cleave.

"I am. In a smaller airplane."

She's finally going to make captain, but on the 757, because on Tuesday United Airlines will fly its very last passenger flight on the 747. And by year's end, not a single U.S. airline will still be flying what's arguably the greatest of all American airplanes.

"The 747 was such a big airplane that people just literally thought it wouldn't fly," said Michael Lombardi, the historian at Boeing -- the company that in 1969 revolutionized air travel when it unveiled the world's first jumbo jet. 

The prototype is now on display at Seattle's Museum of Flight.

"When it first came out, it was twice the size of the next biggest airplane," Lombardi said.

Before long, airlines from around the world were lining up to buy their very own jumbo. "Your airline wasn't an airline unless you had a 747," Lombardi said.

And how did those airlines make use all that extra space? By trying to outdo each other to build the best lounge. 

Early 747s were often equipped with standup bars, cocktail tables, even pianos.

But after airline deregulation in the late '70s, those cocktail bars gave way to more seats.

In the years ahead, the 747 helped ferry millions of people to faraway destinations.

"Because of its size, because of its range, it made flying affordable," said Lombardi.

With that distinctive hump, that spiral staircase, it was a plane that captured the imagination. Its four engines carried the space shuttle across the country, and five U.S. presidents around the world -- a beacon of American ingenuity.

But that same American ingenuity has built newer, more fuel-efficient twin-engine planes.

The 747's days carrying passengers are now numbered, but it's outlasted the expectations of its original engineers by almost 40 years, and counting.

Back in the Sixties, Boeing thought supersonic jets, like the Concorde, would soon be the norm … and once that happened, the company figured airlines would want to retrofit their 747s for a second life carrying freight. 

Those supersonic jets never took off, but they helped make the 747 the most recognizable plane in the world.

"When they were designing the 747, they knew it was going to be a freighter -- they wanted to be able to load freight through the nose," said Lombardi. "So to do that, they moved the flight deck up on top of the fuselage. That's how the 747 got its hump."

"This iconic design came out of a need to be able to load cargo?" asked Van Cleave.

"Right. The original design goals of making this a great freighter plane, that's what's keeping this airplane in service. And will keep this airplane around for decades to come."

When Paul Chamberlin joined Boeing in 1990, the company was cranking out six 747s a month at its production facility north of Seattle. Now Boeing delivers just one every two months.

"I'm still coming to work every day and still building these," he said. "There's a bit of me on every one of those airplanes. So it's kind of an odd feeling to see that phasing out. It's kind of traumatic, in a way."

But he hopes the plane's life as a freighter will keep him building 747s as long as he can.

"Every time it takes off, I get goose bumps to think that something this big, something this awesome, just lifted off," Chamberlin said. "It's in the air! It's pretty phenomenal!"

Even people who don't know airplanes know a 747 when they see it. And that's what United's Theresa Clairborne will miss most.

"Everybody, they just stop and stare, 'cause it's that awesome," she said. 

"They call it the 'Queen of the Skies.' Do you think that's fitting?" asked Van Cleave.

"Well, between you and me, I used to call it the king!"

Story, video, photo gallery, comments ➤ https://www.cbsnews.com

A VETERAN’S STORY: ‘Engine trouble, sir’

Orange stripes were painted on this Huey to show that it was part of the cease-fire effort.


A young Army aviator in flight school understands too many mistakes in training can easily result in an unwanted transfer to a new career field. Once bitten by the aviation bug, a pilot’s license is the only known cure. One thing a trainee shouldn’t do during “a soft field landing” practice at low level is to accidentally pull the fuel mixture throttle. To do so starves the engine of fuel, the engine cuts off and at low level the plane and its trainee are going down.

The instructor in another aircraft spotted the Army trainer sitting in the middle of a field, which meant an unauthorized landing had taken place. More irritated than concerned, he asked the pilot cadet via net, “What in the world are you doing, Blanton?”

Without offering detailed information, Blanton replied, “Engine trouble, sir.”


Army pilot Steve Blanton


The young lieutenant telling the whopper was Steve Blanton, a Grady Baby and present resident of Newton County. From sitting in a vacant field imagining his Army aviation career had just crashed and burned, Blanton would circumvent the rookie mistake and go on to serve his country with distinction for 31 years until retiring in August of 2008 with the rank of brigadier general.

He recalled a childhood lacking modern conveniences. “Shoot, we were dirt poor. No indoor plumbing, and I remember toting buckets of water from Granny’s house because she had city water. Heat was generated by a wood burning stove and we used the old lamp lights. I thought we were rich when we finally got electricity.”

By the time Blanton received his high school diploma from South Cobb in 1966, two of his brothers were already serving in the Marines. “That is what I wanted to do,” Blanton said. “Marine aviation, jet fighters to be exact. So when I started my collegiate education at North Georgia College, I joined the Army cadet corps with the option to apply for a Marine commission. Well, I ended up signing an Army contract. Shoot, I was rolling in dough, an enormous $50 per month.”

A new program was introduced at North Georgia College called ROTC Flight Training. Blanton said, “I could not believe my good luck, free flight courses in Cessna 150s, ground school and the opportunity to earn a private pilot’s license. We knew upperclassmen were being lost in Vietnam, but we were young, immortal, and flying was very exciting.”

Keeping his hand off the fuel mixture throttle, Blanton earned his wings as an Army aviator. Choppers awaited his future. From February 1971 until August 1972, Blanton learned the gauges, knobs and throttles of several rotor-winged aircraft. On Army airfields from Virginia, Texas, Alabama, and finally Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, he learned maintenance and gained air time in choppers like the CH-54 Skycrane and TH-55 Osage. His comment on learning how to hover the obsolete Osage, “Like standing on a basketball while drying off with a towel.”

His next chopper to master was the legendary Huey of Vietnam fame. Blanton said of transitioning from the Osage to a Huey, “Like leaving behind a Model T Ford and crawling into a Cadillac.” Then he got his hands on the newest and deadliest helicopter in the Army inventory, the sleek Cobra assault chopper. Of that transition, Blanton claimed, “Like going from a Cadillac to a Ferrari, with armament.”

August of 1972: Blanton arrives at Tan Son Nhut AFB in Saigon. “My assigned base was Can Tho in the enemy-controlled Mekong Delta. I flew ash and trash missions most of the time. Most of the American troops had pulled out by then and the ARVN (Army of South Vietnam) had taken over ground operations. We flew combat support missions and resupply to fire bases and other hot spots, basically a bullets and beans mission.”

Beans indicated everything but ordnance; bullets meant aerial combat missions including high-ranking officers aboard to plot B-52 strikes. “I never flew the Cobra in combat,” Blanton stated. “My bird was a Huey for my entire tour of duty. By that time in the war the so-called rules of engagement had become the rules of fools. I’ll give you an example. If we spotted an enemy concentration and called in the coordinates, the upcoming strike would be debated and planned then maybe, if lucky, the bombers would show up 24 hours later. The enemy knew what the heck was going on. They knew we weren’t sightseeing in the Huey, so they simply moved out of the area. An Arc Light (B-52) strike is a heck of a thing to witness, it’s awesome, but a total waste of ordnance if an enemy is given time to skedaddle. After the strike they fly in damage assessment teams to survey the bomb damage. Well, the team would come under immediate enemy fire. The team didn’t find bodies, only a live and kickin’ enemy that all the rules favored.”

Missions into Cambodia were no different. Blanton recalled, “It’s hard to believe, but we used masking tape to cover ARMY on the US ARMY decals on our Hueys. On top of that absurdity, we had to hover 3 feet off the ground because we couldn’t touch down on Cambodian soil. I mean, really, is that a way to fight a war?”




Blanton had attended a stateside IFR course (instrument flying rules). The training saved his life in Vietnam. “We were heading back to Can Tho and spotted two thunderheads moving toward each other. We poured on the coal but didn’t make it. Our Huey was suddenly flying in zero visibility, lightning bolts dancing all around us, we couldn’t see one darn thing. The pilot was not trained in IFR so I had to take the chopper through the soup. Yeah, we made it back to base, but once on the turf at Can Tho I had to change every stitch of clothing on my body. I was soaking wet with sweat.”

Blanton recalled another testy mission over Cambodia. “The colonel on our aircraft spotted an enemy concentration and called in Navy jets. To our surprise the jets were over target in about 10 minutes. Problem was, they couldn’t see the target. One of the pilots radioed, “We can’t see anything. You guys need to go down to about 500 feet and mark the target with a smoke grenade.” I radioed back, “Say again?” He repeated the request. We didn’t have a choice, so down we go. I pulled the pin on a smoke grenade, dropped it out the window, bullets flying all around the chopper, but not one round hit the Huey. The Navy jets hit target and we flew back to Can Tho, to change our clothes, again!”

By January of 1973, the Paris Peace Talks produced a cease fire, mostly advantageous to the communist forces. Blanton said, “I actually was the one to turn off the lights for the last time at our hangar in Can Tho. We handed over 34 mission-ready Hueys to the South Vietnamese. A Vietnamese Air Force captain inspected the choppers and handed me an extensive repair list with the comment, ‘You fix.’ I handed it back to the guy and said, ‘You want, you sign.’ He left without signing, I turned off the lights, then I headed home.”

Boarding the plane at Tan Son Nhut for his flight home, Steve Blanton and all remaining American personnel had to tolerate an indignity that this journalist, thankfully, did not have to experience. Blanton: “Part of the peace agreement called for representatives from four nations to oversee the American withdrawal. Indonesia, Poland, Hungary, and Canada sent observers. All well and good, but the humiliation came from an agreement that allowed the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong to personally observe the American departure. For me and so many guys, that was the ultimate disgrace.”

His closing comments on Vietnam. “You know, if I’d died in Vietnam the gates of hell would have split wide open. It wasn’t until my son was dedicated to the Lord in 1976 that I finally chose the right path for my life. The Good Lord accepted me knowing all my faults. But as for the war in Vietnam, our military did not lose that war. Our soldiers did an admirable job; they never lost a major fight or battle. The war, our war, was lost at the negotiating table in Paris and in the clammy hallways of Washington, D.C. We were the best and we did our best, but politicians on both sides of the aisle did their absolute worst.”

March of 1973 is accepted as the American withdrawal from Vietnam. In April of 1975, North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces occupied the South Vietnamese capitol of Saigon. The war was finally over.


Steve Blanton retired from the Army after 31 year at the rank of brigadier general.


General Blanton’s story, like so many of the veterans I’ve interviewed, is worthy of a book. His dedication to duty and country deserves better than a newspaper column. He taught school for a total of 24 years at Rutledge Academy, Nathaniel Green Academy, Newton High School and Eastside High School. For eight years he coached high school sports: football, basketball, and track. He served as a city councilman in Rutledge for six years and a volunteer fireman for 15 years.

A man of faith, General Blanton is an active member of Rutledge Baptist Church. He’s served as a Sunday school director and teacher, church treasurer and trustee, been actively involved in the Gideon Ministry since 1985 and has been on an active speaker circuit for several years.

As with the generation of all Vietnam veterans, we did our duty as best we could under impossible rules of engagement. Like our fathers and grandfathers who won World War II, had we been given the same marching orders under the banner of “unconditional surrender” then the Vietnam War would have had an entirely different outcome. Warriors like Steve Blanton have earned the respect and recognition of our countrymen as reflected in present day sentiment. For the boys lost, for the men who have passed from Agent Orange or by their own hand, the accolades are belated but appreciated by we who survived.

Pete Mecca is a Vietnam veteran. For story consideration visit his website at aveteransstory.us and click on “contact us.”

Story and photo gallery  ➤ http://www.rockdalenewtoncitizen.com

Sheridan County, Wyoming: First Lt. Byron Elmgren Sheridan’s only WWII flying ace



SHERIDAN — Inside Sheridan County Airport, there hangs a large photograph of a painting of a fighter pilot. It may appear an apt decoration for an airport, something worth a glance in the hustle to catch a flight, but it is more than decor. 

The man in the painting is First Lt. Charles Byron Elmgren, lifelong Sheridan resident, World War II fighter pilot, and Sheridan County’s only flying ace. 

Elmgren died in July 2016 at the age of 95. 

Although he shared war stories with friends, Elmgren, like many in the Greatest Generation, didn’t talk much about his service. A year after his death, his nephew Curt Symons wants more people to know about his Uncle Byron. 

“A lot of people didn’t know that he was an Ace,” Symons said. “He just kept that with friends.” 

•••••

One of Elmgren’s friends, local artist Kendrick Harmon, felt his service was worth commemorating. Over a span of several years, Harmon put brush to canvas to create a portrait of Elmgren based on an official military photograph.

With rich oil tones, Harmon captured Elmgren’s confident grin and inherent charm. The young airman rests one arm on an auxiliary oxygen tank, his name — C. B. Elmgren — etched neatly behind him over the wing of his aircraft. He is, as Harmon described it, “kitted out.” 

A piece of white celluloid is sewn onto the right knee of his trousers. Tucked inside is a paper that contains his latest mission. A yellow Mae West, or inflatable flotation device named after ample-bosomed actress Mae West, is strapped beneath his oxygen mask and parachute, the ripcord dangling at hip height.  

Aviator goggles perch on Elmgren’s forehead and a white silk neckerchief is tucked into the front of his partially unzipped leather jacket. The white neckerchief was the symbol of a fighter pilot, Harmon said, but not just because it looked macho. Fighter pilots constantly turned their head from side to side in flight, and the neckerchief prevented chafing.

Harmon, son of Rosa-Maye Kendrick and Lt. Gen. Hubert Reilly Harmon, finished the painting in 1991. The original hangs in the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, a fitting home since Harmon’s father is designated “The Father of the Air Force Academy” for his role in securing legislative approval for the academy, in building it and in serving as its first superintendent.

“I’ve been known to paint a painting now and again,” Harmon said. “I’m a child of World War II, and I was raised in the fledgling Air Corps, and to this day am intensely gung-ho Air Force, aviation and so forth. What better subject matter than Byron Elmgren?”

•••••

Elmgren was a student studying geology at the University of Wyoming when America entered World War II. He enlisted and went to Texas to train for the Air Corps.

Stationed at the Royal Air Force Bentwaters station near Woodbridge in England, Elmgren flew missions over France and Germany, serving a total of three years from 1942-1945. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with 8 Oak Leaf Clusters in his time flying a P-51 Mustang with the 436th Fighter Squadron. 

A short newspaper clipping in THE Wyoming Room at Sheridan Fulmer Public Library hails Elmgren for his service with a “lucky” squadron. The clip describes 50 missions flown over a period of three months that resulted in the destruction of 39 enemy planes — 12 in the air, 27 on the ground — as well as 32 damaged planes, nine smashed locomotives, 21 railroad cars, and many German army trucks, half-tracks and automobiles. 

Whether Elmgren’s status as an ace came in those three months or spread over his service is unknown. Either way, his gun camera captured a total of seven “kills,” or direct hits on enemy ground craft such as trains or trucks. 

A flying ace is a military pilot credited with shooting down several enemy aircraft during aerial combat. Standards for what is considered a kill differ in various countries, but the most widely accepted minimum “kills” to be considered an ace is five.

The concept began during World War I — the era of the Red Baron, or German fighter pilot Manfred von Richthofen, who had 80 kills — and became an incentive for pilots to fly and fight with skill.

A list of aces compiled by Al Bowers and David Lednicer credits America with 110-120 aces in World War I, 1,283 aces in WWII, 38 in Korea and 2 in Vietnam. Gene Gurney, in his book “Five Down and Glory,” lists seven aces whose hometown was in Wyoming. Elmgren is listed as the only ace in Sheridan. 

“Pretty much the Luftwaffe had been shot down and so to create an incentive and reward for pilots doing ground support, they created a ground ace,” Harmon said. 

Whether in the air or on the ground, a hit is a hit. Or, as Symons put it: “An ace is an ace.” 

Original article can be found here ➤ https://thesheridanpress.com

State’s border security planes fly over San Antonio neighborhoods




Two high-altitude surveillance planes the state bought for more than $15 million to help secure the Mexican border are regularly circling over San Antonio, according to records and interviews, but details about exactly what they’re doing are scarce.

The Swiss-built Pilatus aircraft are each equipped with more than $1 million in high-definition cameras, capable of capturing images night and day, clear enough that they can show the color of someone’s shirt from two miles overhead. Pilots are guided by powerful mapping software that can superimpose addresses and parcel data over the live video, which can be streamed in real-time by Department of Public Safety officials on the ground.

Public flight records show that after the border, San Antonio is the urban area most heavily circled by the two planes, which collectively spent time on at least 52 days so far this year flying above San Antonio neighborhoods, many of them on the East Side and West Side.

The San Antonio Police Department initially denied knowledge of the planes or using them in any joint surveillance operations with the state and thus said it had no records of why the planes would be flying over San Antonio. But on Friday an SAPD spokesman said there had been a misunderstanding, and that SAPD has been working regularly with the aircraft. SAPD Lt. Jesse Salame said the planes have helped search for suspects such as in the case of the 2016 shooting of SAPD Detective Benjamin Marconi, and also assist the city’s Violent Crimes Task Force. But the department didn’t provide any numbers on how many cases have been assisted by the planes, the result of the assistance or any other details.

For its part, DPS officials say one of the planes helped recently in an unspecified federal human trafficking case in San Antonio. DPS said the planes can be used to support local law enforcement in manhunts, locating missing persons, disaster reconnaissance, search and rescue, tracking vehicles during pursuits and more but, again, the agency would not provide any details, such as the number and type of cases it has assisted, what agencies requested that assistance and results of the flyovers.

Since the purchase, the planes’ activity has received little public scrutiny. But the aircraft — which can reach an altitude of 30,000 feet — are in the air roughly half the days in the year, flying at night, during the day and on weekends, according to public flight records.

While most missions are still tied to monitoring the border, the planes’ work has shifted since 2014 to include more criminal patrols, DPS records show.

Since January, the older Pilatus — based in San Antonio — has made trips to the Rio Grande Valley, but spent time during at least 40 days flying or circling above the Alamo City, according to public flight records. While the trips varied in length, from less than an hour to more than three, pilots focused on the Southeast Side of the city. As of mid-September, 18 out of 96 San Antonio homicides occurred in City Council District 3 on the Southeast Side, followed by 17 homicides in District 2 on the East Side.

On Thursday, the plane took off just after 9 p.m. Over two hours, it made more than 20 circles over downtown San Antonio.

The newer plane, based in Edinburg, spends more time at the border, where it is stationed. Still, that plane circled San Antonio on more than a dozen days this year, also focusing on the Southeast Side of the city and some on the West Side, near South Zarzamora and U.S. 90. Residents there have complained of rising crime and petitioned the city for a police storefront substation, but there’s no indication that the planes were brought in specifically to address their concerns.

Privacy concerns

In response to a question about privacy protections, Salame said, “When the plane is out looking, it’s probably narrowly tailored to a specific subject or a specific area. … I don’t think they are out randomly looking in people’s backyards and their swimming pools.”

DPS said the planes’ cameras aren’t always rolling.

“The camera is not immediately turned on simply because the aircraft is airborne,” the agency said in a statement. “There is a difference between the camera simply being activated, the camera recoding and the video footage being retained.”

DPS spokesman Tom Vinger said later that the planes’ imaging systems, which have thermal capabilities, only tape “significant events” that could be used as evidence or for training purposes.

While the video is public under the Texas Public Information Act, DPS has not fulfilled a San Antonio Express-News request for records related to the Pilatus planes. The agency’s legal department agreed to let the Express-News view some of the records in person, but never set a date for a viewing and has not responded to repeated requests over the past several weeks.

Privacy experts said the public should know about use of the technology, which is often deployed by police forces across the country without a warrant, a court order or notice to the local community, said Chris Calabrese, vice president of policy at the Center for Democracy and Technology.

“If a local community doesn't know that surveillance is happening, can we really be comfortable with that?” he said.

DPS wouldn’t say directly whether it gets warrants for any of the flights, but said the planes fly mostly in high altitudes, which is considered a public place.

“There is no expectation of privacy when the individual is in plain view of others in a public place,” Vinger said. “Also, the quality of the image-capturing equipment is not typically sufficient enough to identify a person’s face.”

Use of the planes over San Antonio wouldn’t require sign-off from the police chief or the City Council, Salame said.

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg had no comment, a spokesman said.

Drones versus planes

DPS bought the first plane in 2012 and the second in 2016 with money that lawmakers approved for securing the border. While the aircraft frequently fly along the Rio Grande Valley, public flight records show they also spend time circling over cities hundreds of miles away, including San Antonio, Houston and Austin.

“Border crime does not stop at the border,” Vinger said. “It is routine for DPS to assist other agencies to combat criminal activity. Our aircraft will go where there threats and crime are located.”

Still, experts said a drone could do much of that work at a fraction of the cost.

“Putting a plane in the air to try to identify the next burglar or the next shoplifter, I really think that’s overkill,” said Alex del Carmen, executive director of the School of Criminology, Criminal Justice and Strategic Studies at Tarleton State University.

Vinger countered that drones and planes aren’t interchangeable.

“Their missions and capabilities are not comparable. There are also numerous limitations placed on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles by the FAA,” Vinger said.

The Pilatus PC-12 NG Spectre planes are two of more than 20 DPS aircraft. The two planes are among the most expensive, purchased for roughly $7.4 million and $8.1 million each.

It costs the department an average of $474 to fly the plane for one hour, including insurance and hanger expenses, according to 2016 fiscal year records. Fuel for one plane has cost the state more than $150,000 annually. The older Pilatus plane flew more than 600 hours over about 180 days last year, according to agency flight logs.

Salame said the city doesn’t pay for use of the plane, just as it wouldn’t pay for troopers who assist with local needs.

Some lawmakers questioned why the state is pumping millions of dollars into the two aircraft, while they said other needs such as public education and health care are being underfunded.

“This is a perfect example of why we need metrics on every dollar spent on border security,” said Sen. José Menéndez, D-San Antonio. “That’s what the taxpayers deserve, because if they have therapeutic needs, or are in classrooms that are overcrowded, they deserve to know.”

But Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, who chairs the House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee, touted the benefits of the Pilatus planes. They can stay airborne for more than seven hours, far longer than any other aircraft in the DPS fleet, making them a versatile asset for crime-fighting or search and rescue, he said.

“They can be deployed anywhere,” King said. “But their primary function is to work human and drug trafficking near the border.”

Who knew what when

Initially, SAPD said it had no record of the plane and “does not conduct any type of joint surveillance utilizing Texas Department of Public Safety assets such as fixed-wing aircraft.”

But Salame said Friday that had been “bad information” and wasn’t properly verified before getting released. Often times, he said, details about the use of outside equipment is known only by those SAPD officials involved in the operation.

“There’s a number of things we use on a daily basis that are loaned to us by other agencies,” Salame said.

At a news conference last week, Police Chief William McManus said he didn’t know how long the planes have been flying for the task force.

The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office had initially denied coordinating with the planes, too. Thursday, a spokeswoman for the sheriff also said there had been a misunderstanding and the office has indeed used the aircraft. She declined to give more detail about what they do and directed all further questions to DPS, which said the Bexar County Sheriff’s office provides a tactical flight officer who rides on state aircraft during joint missions, including the Pilatus, Vinger said.

Other missions

Outside San Antonio, DPS said the planes flew during Hurricane Harvey as an “airborne command and control platform” directing other aircraft in the area, monitored the tops of buildings in Dallas when five city police officers were killed in 2016, helped track an airplane to Llano County where more than 200 pounds of marijuana were seized and assisted in “rescuing illegal immigrants in distress.”

Some state legislators were surprised to learn the plane has been assisting other law enforcement agencies hundreds of miles from the border.

“I think taxpayers deserve an authentic understanding of where their tax money is going,” said Rep. Mary González, D-Clint, who sits on the House Appropriations Committee.

One expert said the planes can be beneficial for traffic surveillance and search and rescue, because they can cover a wide area quickly.

“People will say, ‘is it worth the expense?’ All I can say is how much is one life worth?” said Tom Mijares, a criminal justice professor at Texas State University.

But others questioned whether the high-dollar planes are the best to use for those purposes. The Department of Homeland Security, for example, uses planes primarily for investigation as opposed to patrolling the border, said Victor Manjarrez Jr., who spent more than 20 years with the U.S. Border Patrol and now works at the University of Texas-El Paso.

“It just sounds like someone got nice-to-have equipment, instead of got-to-have,” he said.

http://www.expressnews.com




SAN ANTONIO - Two high-altitude surveillance planes the state bought for more than $15 million to help secure the Mexican border are regularly circling over San Antonio, according to records and interviews, but details about what they're doing are scarce.

The Swiss-built Pilatus aircraft are equipped with more than $1 million in high-definition cameras, capable of capturing images night and day, clear enough that they can show the color of someone's shirt from 2 miles overhead. Pilots are guided by powerful mapping software that can superimpose addresses and parcel data over the live video, which can be streamed in real time by Department of Public Safety officials on the ground.

Working with police

Public flight records show that after the border, San Antonio is the urban area most heavily circled by the two planes, which collectively spent time on at least 52 days this year flying above San Antonio neighborhoods, many of them on the east side and west side.

The San Antonio Police Department initially denied knowledge of the planes or using them in any joint surveillance operations with the state and thus said it had no records of why the planes would be flying over San Antonio. But Friday an SAPD spokesman said there had been a misunderstanding, and that SAPD has been working with the aircraft.

SAPD Lt. Jesse Salame said the planes have helped search for suspects such as in the case of the 2016 shooting of SAPD Detective Benjamin Marconi, and also assist the city's Violent Crimes Task Force. But the department didn't provide any numbers on how many cases have been assisted by the planes, the result of the assistance or any other details.

For its part, DPS officials say one of the planes helped recently in an unspecified federal human trafficking case in San Antonio.

DPS said the planes can be used to support local law enforcement in manhunts, locating missing persons, disaster reconnaissance, search and rescue, tracking vehicles during pursuits and more but, again, the agency would not provide any details, such as the number and type of cases it has assisted, what agencies requested that assistance and results of the flyovers.

Since the purchase, the planes' activity has received little public scrutiny. But the aircraft - which can reach an altitude of 30,000 feet - are in the air roughly half the days in the year, flying at night, during the day and on weekends, according to public flight records.

Most missions are tied to monitoring the border, but the planes' work has shifted since 2014 to include more criminal patrols, DPS records show.

Cameras might be off

Since January, the older Pilatus - based in San Antonio - has made trips to the Rio Grande Valley, but spent time during at least 40 days flying or circling above the Alamo City, according to public flight records.

The newer plane, based in Edinburg, spends more time at the border, where it is based. Still, that plane circled San Antonio on more than a dozen days this year.

In response to a question about privacy protections, Salame said, "When the plane is out looking, it's probably narrowly tailored to a specific subject or a specific area. … I don't think they are out randomly looking in people's backyards and their swimming pools."

DPS said the planes' cameras aren't always rolling.

"The camera is not immediately turned on simply because the aircraft is airborne," the agency said in a statement. "There is a difference between the camera simply being activated, the camera recording and the video footage being retained."


Original article ➤ http://www.houstonchronicle.com

Navy Sailor Hit by In-Tow Aircraft Aboard USS Carl Vinson

USS Carl Vinson was conducting what is called a Sustainment Training Exercise, or SUSTEX, off the coast of Southern California at the time of the incident.




The United States Navy has launched an investigation into how a sailor aboard USS Carl Vinson (CV 70) was struck by an aircraft in-tow aboard the ship’s flight deck.

The sailor, who was not named, was transported via helicopter to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla with non-life threatening injuries after the accident aboard the aircraft carrier around 6:30 p.m. Friday, Navy Commander Steve Fiebing.

The Navy on Saturday said he was in stable condition.

USS Carl Vinson was conducting what is called a Sustainment Training Exercise, or SUSTEX, off the coast of Southern California at the time of the incident.

The training session allows all elements of a CSG to regroup in order to maintain their efficiency ahead of a future deployment, Fiebing said. 

The U.S. Navy recently concluded investigations into its operations after two fatal collisions in the Pacific — one between the destroyer USS Fitzgerald and a Philippine-registered container ship; the second between the destroyer USS McCain and a Liberian oil tanker. 

Seventeen American sailors were killed in the two accidents that the Navy deemed "avoidable" in a report released Wednesday.

USS Carl Vinson is home-ported at Coronado’s Naval Air Station North Island. 

Story and video ➤  https://www.nbcsandiego.com




A sailor aboard the San Diego-based aircraft carrier Carl Vinson sustained serious injuries Friday evening when he was struck by a plane as it was being towed on the flight deck.


The U.S. Navy did not have full details on how the sailor was struck, and an investigation is ongoing to determine what happened, Navy spokesman Steve Fiebing said Saturday. The incident occurred about 6:30 p.m. Friday.


The sailor was flown by helicopter to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla in stable condition with a serious, non-life threatening injury, Fiebing said.


The Carl Vinson is off the coast of Southern California conducting training exercises and was closer to San Diego when the incident occurred, Fiebing said. He noted that the remainder of flight operations were suspended Friday night and some operations planned for Saturday morning were delayed but will resume in the afternoon.


Original article ➤ http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com

Beechcraft Bonanza V35B, N777PH, Dan Howard Aircraft Sales LLC: Fatal accident occurred November 04, 2017 near Alva Regional Airport (KAVK), Woods County, Oklahoma

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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Continental Motors; Mobile, Alabama
American Bonanza Society; Wichita, Kansas

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

Dan Howard Aircraft Sales LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N777PH

NTSB Identification: CEN18FA023
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, November 04, 2017 in Alva, OK
Aircraft: BEECH V35B, registration: N777PH
Injuries: 2 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 November 4, 2017, at 1728 central daylight time, a Beech V35B airplane, N777PH, impacted terrain during approach to the Alva Regional Airport (AVK), Alva, Oklahoma. The airplane was destroyed and the flight instructor and pilot were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an instructional flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight, which departed without a flight plan about 1710. 

According to a state trooper who spoke with the pilot in the emergency room at Alva, the pilot and flight instructor flew to Cherokee Municipal Airport (4O5), Cherokee, Oklahoma for a practice approach and were returning to AVK. While on a visual approach to Runway 18, the pilot and flight instructor noticed the left engine cowling pop up. According to the pilot, the flight instructor assumed control of the airplane. The airplane continued its descent until striking trees and a power line, which were about 40 ft higher than the airport's elevation and 3,000 ft prior to the Runway 18 threshold. The airplane came to rest on its left side and a post-crash fire ensued.

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


David Thomas Chael, left, Cory Washburn, right.


ALVA, Okla. — The second pilot critically injured in a Saturday plane crash has died, an Integris Health spokesperson confirmed today.

Cortney "Cory" Washburn, 39, of Alva, died at 6:43 a.m. today, said Integris spokeswoman Brooke Cayot.

According to an Oklahoma Highway Patrol collision report, Washburn was at the controls of a single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza airplane flying southbound and approaching the north side of the Alva airport at about 5:30 p.m. Saturday when a cowl hatch opened on the airplane.

The report stated David Thomas Chael, 61, of Enid took the controls when the cowl hatch opened, the landing gear deployed and the front landing gear struck a power line.

The aircraft crashed at 5:31 p.m. Saturday, coming to rest on its top, according to the report. Both occupants were exiting the plane when it exploded, according to the report.

Chael was pronounced dead at the scene from massive injuries, the OHP report stated.

Washburn was flown by AirEvac to Integris Baptist Burn Center in Oklahoma City, where he was admitted in critical condition, according to the OHP report.

The OHP report states seat belts were equipped and in use at the time of the collision. The condition of the pilot and cause of the collision remain under investigation, according to the report.

Washburn was vice president of Washburn Ford Lincoln in Alva and had a private pilot certificate issued in 2011.

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

Dave Chael 
Phillips University Legacy Foundation


ALVA — Cortney Washburn, 39, of Alva, Oklahoma died Tuesday morning at Baptist Burn Center in Oklahoma City.

He was a passenger in a Beechcraft Bonanza aircraft that crashed Saturday in Alva. He was flown by AirEvac to the Oklahoma City hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The pilot of  the plane, David Thomas Chael, 61, of Enid, was pronounced dead at the scene from massive injuries.

The aircraft was southbound, approaching the north side of the airport when a cowl hatch opened.  Washburn was piloting at that time and Chael took over when the opened.

The landing gear deployed and the front wheel struck a power line.  The aircraft came to rest on its top and both occupants were exiting the plane when it exploded.

https://www.poncacitynow.com



ALVA, Okla. (KOKH) — Oklahoma Highway Patrol is responded to a fixed wing aircraft crash in Alva Saturday afternoon.

OHP reports the flight was a teaching flight and the instructor, David Chael, 61 of Enid, died. The student, Cortney Washburn, 39, of Alva, was airlifted to an Oklahoma City hospital and at last report was in critical condition.

OHP says that the aircraft was piloted by Washburn and was coming in to land at the airport when a cowl hatch on the plane opened. Chael took over the controls and attempted to land. The landing gear had deployed and the front wheel struck a power line.

The plane came to a stop on its top. Chael and Washburn were getting out of the plane when it exploded.

No other injuries were reported.

OHP says the FAA has been notified and will investigate the crash.

Story and video ➤  http://okcfox.com

A fatal aircraft crash occurred at 5:31 p.m. Saturday on the 800 block fo Share Drive in Alva, OK in Woods County.

A Beechcraft Bonanza aircraft was flown by David Thoms Chael (SIC), 61, of Enid, OK. He was pronounced dead at the scene, from massive injuries, by Medical Examiner Rory Garien.

A passenger, Courtney Washburn, 39, of Alva, OK was flown by AirEvac to Baptist Burn Center in Oklahoma City, OK. Washburn is listed in critical condition.

Investigators said the aircraft was flying southbound approaching the north side of the airport when a cowl hatch opened. Washburn was piloting at that time and David Chael took over when the cowl hatch opened. The landing gear deployed and a front wheel struck a power line. The aircraft came to rest on its top. Both occupants were exiting the plane when it exploded.

The investigation into the crash continues.

Investigated by Trooper Justin Barney J332 of the Alfalfa County Detachment of Troop J.

Assisted by Trooper Brock Morgan J459 of the Woods County Detachment, Woods County Sheriff’s Office, Alva Police Department, Alva Fire Department, NTSB, FAA, M.E. Rory Garren, and Air Evac.

This report is based upon the troopers investigation of this accident. It may contain the opinion of the trooper.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.poncacitynow.com



Cory Washburn, 49, of Alva was badly burned in a plane crash Saturday afternoon. The pilot, David Thomas Chael, 61, of Enid, died at the scene from massive injuries, according to the Highway Patrol.

The crash occurred at 5:31 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, near Share Medical Center at the south edge of Alva. According to Share CEO Kandice Allen the plane crashed in the canyon just beyond the road that runs behind the hospital. Although the medical center lost electrical power, the emergency generator came online until power could be restored.

Kirk Washburn said his son Cory was flown by AirEvac to the Integris Burn Center in Oklahoma City with burns over 85 percent of his body. He was admitted in critical condition. Cory’s parents, Kirk and Drue, and his wife Sarah traveled to Oklahoma City to be near him.

About a week ago Cory purchased the Beechcraft Bonanza, an American-made single engine plane. He needed 15 hours of dual instruction (flying with a certified instructor) before he could fly alone. The plane has a retractable gear (the wheels retract in flight) and requires instruction “in type.”

Saturday Washburn and Chael, the instructor, were coming in for a landing at the Alva Regional Airport. They were near Share Medical Center when the engine cowling (cover) popped up in front of the windshield and blinded them. According to Kirk, Cory was handling the controls at the time, but Chael took over just before they crashed.

A report from the Highway Patrol says the landing gear deployed and the front wheel struck a power line. The aircraft came to rest on its top. Both occupants were exiting the plane when it exploded.

Drue Washburn put out a plea for prayers on Facebook saying, “He’s being mediflighted to Integris Burn Center after a plane wreck. That’s all I know. He crawled out and was talking.” She asked that people not try to call Cory’s wife as she was on her way to Oklahoma City. “Just pray.”

The plane crash also took out electrical power to a large part of Alva including the downtown area. Although power was restored to much of the city about two hours later, OG&E was reporting 326 customers still had no power as of 7:20 p.m. The outage website gave an estimate of 11:48 p.m. for power to be fully restored.

Original article ➤ http://www.alvareviewcourier.com

ALVA, Okla. - Pilot David Thomas Chael of Enid, Oklahoma is dead and another is in critical condition after a private plane crashed in Alva on Saturday just north of a local hospital. 

The Beechcraft Bonanza aircraft was southbound approaching the north side of the airport when the cowl hatch opened.  The passenger was piloting at the time, but Chael took over when the cowl hatch opened.  The landing gear deployed and the front wheel struck power lines leaving many parts of Alva, including part of the Northwestern Oklahoma State University's campus, without power.

After the crash, the small plane came to rest on its top.  While both the occupants were exiting the plane, it exploded.

Story and video ➤ http://kfor.com

ALVA — One person died and another was critically injured Saturday afternoon after a plane crashed during its final approach to the Alva airport. 

The plane — which was carrying a student pilot and an instructor — experienced a mechanical failure about 5:30 p.m. Saturday as it approached the Alva Regional Airport, Oklahoma Highway Patrol Capt. Paul Timmons said.

The plane, a small, fixed-wing aircraft, struck power lines and trees during the crash. One of the two on board was killed and the other was critically injured, Timmons said.

It was not immediately clear Saturday evening which person onboard the aircraft was killed. A state trooper dispatcher at about 9 p.m. Saturday said that investigators were still on scene of the crash.

Timmons said the plane flew from Alva to Cherokee and back, about a 40-mile trip.

The crash initially knocked out power to about 1,300 Oklahoma Gas and Energy Co. customers. At 9 p.m. Saturday, about 325 customers did not have power.

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

ALVA, Okla. — Authorities confirmed that one person was killed and another one injured in a plane crash Saturday evening in the northwestern Oklahoma town of Alva. 

According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, the crash was reported near the Share Medical Center, near College Boulevard and E0160 Road, less than a mile away from Northwestern Oklahoma State University.

On its official Facebook page, Northwestern Oklahoma State University said many parts of Alva are without electricity due to a "significant event" in the southern part of the city.

Authorities originally reported that it was a helicopter crash. Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed with KOCO 5 that it was a single-engine Bonanza aircraft that crashed and burned while attempting to land.

Officials said the FAA will investigate and the NTSB will lead the investigation.

OG&E reports power was knocked out for 1,335 customers around 5:27 p.m. 

Officials said they expect power to be restored by 9 p.m.

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