Monday, November 20, 2017

Houston police patrolling Houston airports with AR-15s

Police officers are toting AR-15 rifles at Bush Intercontinental and Hobby airports this holiday season, the latest security enhancement as airports nationwide upgrade their firepower for an era of mass shootings using high-powered rifles.

"We just want to be able to match, hopefully, whoever is coming in with the threat of violence," said Capt. Glenn Yorek with Houston Police Department's airport division at Bush Intercontinental.

The open display of force may be jarring to some, but it's pretty common at airports in other countries. And other U.S. airports are beginning to use them as well.

Local officers aren't responding to a specific known threat, Yorek emphasized. Some officers already keep these weapons in their vehicles. Openly carrying them is a precaution as roughly 1.23 million people will pass through Houston's commercial airports during the 10-day Thanksgiving travel period.

"In today's climate of what's occurring throughout the world, it was time that Houston put another tool in their tool belt to combat any would-be violence," Yorek said.

Airport and HPD officials have discussed carrying long guns for more than a year. HPD officers will carry the rifles during heightened travel periods, including Christmas and spring break, and following any major domestic incidents that could spur copycats.

It's a sign of the times, and security experts predict such measures will be adopted by more U.S. airports.

"It's a staple of airport security throughout the world, and I'm surprised it took this long," said Jeff Price, professor of aviation management at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

He said officers at Boston Logan International and Los Angeles International airports began carrying long guns after Sept. 11. Surges in other airports adopting the enhanced security occurred after the 2013 shooting in Los Angeles International, where a semiautomatic rifle was used to kill a Transportation Security Administration officer, and the January 2017 shooting in Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International, where a handgun was used to kill five people.

Recent mass shootings in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs have only increased the urgency.

"As more incidents happen, then airport police departments find more and more support for doing it," said Price, who is also the lead author of "Practical Aviation Security: Predicting and Preventing Future Threats."

Price said the AR-15s allow police officers to match the firepower an attacker could have. It's also more accurate and stable than a pistol. Officers can shoot more rounds without having to readjust each time they pull the trigger.

There's an intimidation factor that may deter attackers, too.

"It looks like a big scary gun to a lot of people and that's part of the intent," Price said. "They want to look intimidating."

Police officers aren't just handed the rifles. Yorek said his officers take a week-long course to show proficiency in the weapon before they can carry it. They also receive additional training for active shooter scenarios.

"Their training has changed to match the style of weapon that they're carrying and to match the style of threat that they're facing," said Anthony Roman, president of global investigation and risk management firm Roman & Associates.

Roman said carrying long guns is just one part of an airport's security. For instance, they've trained officers to identify suspicious behaviors and equipped them with bomb-sniffing dogs.

Still, he says there's room for improvement.

Roman said airports nationwide should have two fences surrounding the airfield's perimeter instead of just one. With two fences, officers could be alerted when bad guys breach the first fence and then have time to stop assailants before they breach the second fence. With just one fence, he said bad guys can be on the runway before officials have time to respond.

Another issue is insufficient budgets and manpower, Roman said. This limits officers' ability to provide robust, full-time monitoring of vehicles and passengers before they get to the terminal.

"It's not only about having guns in the terminal," he said. "Really, we're much better off if we prevent trouble from arriving at the terminal."

Yorek said the airport beefs up security during the holidays, with more officers in the terminal and more officers monitoring vehicles before get to terminal.

And this Turkey Day isn't the first time long guns have been present on airport property, said Houston Airport System Chief Operating Officer Jesus Saenz, Jr. TSA special teams have carried the long guns in the past as they patrol Houston's airports. But these special teams have a smaller presence than the HPD officers.

"We took proactive steps with HPD to ensure they're equipped with the right guns to respond accordingly," Saenz said.

The Houston Airport System doesn't want travelers to be caught off guard by the new firearms. The Airport System and TSA have provided other tips, too, for a stress-free Thanksgiving vacation.

TSA is reminding travelers of stricter screening practices announced in July for carry-on luggage. Travelers are now required to place all electronics larger than a cell phone into bins, without anything on top of or below the electronics, for X-ray screening. This is similar to how laptops are screened.

The new TSA procedures have been fully implemented at Hobby Airport. They are being phased in at Bush Intercontinental and will be fully implemented next year. The new policies do not apply to members of TSA PreCheck, a program that provides expedited security for pre-approved travelers.

The Houston Airport System is also pointing travelers to its website,, for information on flights, restaurants, available parking and wait times for security checkpoints. The website also provides step-by-step directions for navigating the airport.

And with the Thanksgiving travel period underway, Yorek said his officers with the AR-15s are already being noticed.

"We're already getting citizens coming up to us saying how much they appreciate it," he said, "and it's about time Houston did it."

Story and photo gallery ➤

Robinson R22 Beta, N4179M, registered to the pilot and operated by Carmichael Helicopter Service LLC: Fatal accident occurred November 20, 2017 in Electra, Wichita County, Texas

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lubbock, Texas
Robinson Helicopter Company; Torrance, California
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Gideon Carmichael:

Location: Electra, TX
Accident Number: CEN18FA035
Date & Time: 11/20/2017, 1505 CST
Registration: N4179M
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Other Work Use

On November 20, 2017, about 1505 central standard time, a Robinson Helicopter R22 Beta, N4179M, impacted power lines and terrain near Electra, Texas. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. The helicopter was destroyed during a subsequent ground fire. The helicopter was registered to the pilot and operated by Carmichael Helicopter Service LLC as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 cattle herding flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed in the area about the time of the accident, and the flight was not operated on a flight plan. The local flight originated at time unknown.

According to initial witness information, the helicopter was observed herding cattle and a horn could heard during the low-level operation. The helicopter was observed over the powerlines and it maneuvered until it descended in a nose low attitude. The helicopter impacted terrain and a ground fire occurred.

According to initial information from repair personnel, powerlines were found damaged above the helicopter wreckage. A powerline was found nicked and another line was found with strands that were separated. A nearby cross arms support was found damaged. The powerline height was about 29 ft 3 inches above ground level.

The 25-year-old pilot held a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) commercial pilot certificate with a rotorcraft helicopter rating. He held an FAA second-class medical certificate issued on December 15, 2016, with no limitations. At the time of that medical, he reported accumulating 2,100 hours total flight time and 400 hours of flight time in the six months before that exam.

N4179M, serial number 4413, was a Robinson Helicopter R22 Beta, two-place, single main rotor, single-engine helicopter, with a spring and yield skid type landing gear. The primary structure of its fuselage was welded steel tubing and riveted aluminum sheet. The tailcone was a monocoque structure consisting of an aluminum skin. Fiberglass and thermoplastics were used in the secondary structure of the cabin, engine-cooling system, and in other ducts and fairings. The doors were constructed of fiberglass and thermoplastics. A 145-horsepower Lycoming O-360-J2A engine, serial number L-40955-36E, powered the helicopter.

At 1452, the recorded weather at the Sheppard Air Force Base/Wichita Falls Municipal Airport, near Wichita Falls (SPS), Texas, was: Wind 190° at 15 kts; visibility 10 statute miles; sky condition few clouds at 25,000 ft; temperature 19° C; dew point -3° C; altimeter 29.91 inches of mercury. Peak wind at 1400 was 190° at 28 kts.

The main wreckage came to rest with a 110° heading on its right side about 21 nautical miles and 276° from SPS. The fuselage forward of the firewall was discolored, deformed, and charred consistent with a ground fire. Both skids were found separated from the fuselage and one skid tip had semicircular witness marks consistent with arcing. The main rotor blades remained attached to its mast. The helicopter's beacon light separated from the tailboom and the tailboom had sliding witness marks consistent with powerline contact. The aft portion of the tailboom separated and its tail rotor driveshaft was torn. The twisting separation of the driveshaft was consistent with overload. The aft section of the tail boom was found about 15° and 27 ft from the main wreckage. One tail rotor blade separated and its two liberated sections were found. The tail rotor blade tip was found about 340° and 120 ft from the main wreckage and the other section of the tail rotor blade was found about 80° and 85 ft from the main wreckage. The liberated blade sections separations mated and these sections exhibited semicircular deformation consistent with the shape and size of the powerline. The engine was discolored and deformed consistent with a ground fire. Flight and engine controls could not be traced due to the fire damage. However, all observed discontinuities were consistent with overload or melting separations.

The Wichita County Coroner was asked to perform an autopsy on the pilot and to take samples for toxicological testing. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: ROBINSON HELICOPTER
Registration: N4179M
Model/Series: R22 BETA
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built:  No  
Operator: Carmichael Helicopter Service LLC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KSPS, 1019 ft msl
Observation Time: 1452 CST
Distance from Accident Site: 21 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 19°C / -3°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 25000 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 15 knots, 190°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.91 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Electra, TX
Destination: Electra, TX

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 34.002500, -98.900833

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

Gideon William Carmichael
June 05, 1992 - November 20, 2017

Gideon was the owner of Carmichael Helicopter Services, and loved to fly. He enjoyed snowboarding, wakeboarding, kiteboarding, hunting, fishing, deep sea fishing, and traveling around the country on many hunting expeditions. He loved The Lord, his family, people, music and being in the roping pen. Gideon loved life; he lived it to the fullest, and never said no to any adventure. 

A 25-year-old Texoma man who lost his life in a helicopter crash is being remembered for his willingness to always lend a helping hand.

Gideon William Carmichael passed away in a tragic accident Monday in Electra.

Trey Webb, owner of Flap-Air Helicopter Service out of North Texas, said Gideon was like a second son to him and shared how he turned his passion for flying into a tool to help Hurricane Harvey victims. 

Video captured by the West Texas Air Force shows how a group of pilots came together when our neighbors down south needed them most. One of those aviators, 25-year-old Gideon Carmichael.

Webb said he knew Carmichael since he was a teen when he taught him how to fly and helped him get his pilot’s license. Since then, Carmichael has been a part of his family.

He said he was a very respectful, polite young man who grew up in the ranching industry and was always outdoors.

So it comes as no surprise the young pilot, along with other members of the West Texas Air Force, packed up to help out.

A fellow pilot said Carmichael spent about four days down south helping deliver food, blood donations and even moved about 3,000 cattle from the flood water to dry land.

That pilot said he and Carmichael are both from farm and ranching families and felt they could not just sit back and watch when Harvey hit but had to take action.

Carmichael's friends and family members are taking to Facebook to send their thoughts and prayers to his family and share their memories.

A post on Flap-Air Helicopter Service’s page says “Our prayers, our hearts and our deepest sympathy go out to the Carmichael family. You raised an amazing young man, who we loved and will miss greatly. Gideon, you received a new pair of wings yesterday--- "fly baby fly!"

The Carmichael family says they would like to extend their heartfelt appreciation for all of the thoughts and prayers during this time. 

To honor Gideon Carmichael's life, in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Gideon Carmichael Memorial Scholarship or by making a donation in his name to Wishes for Warriors, a place his family says he gave much of his time and heart.  

Gideon Carmichael Memorial Scholarship:

c/o Haskell CISD PO Box 937

Haskell, TX 79521

Story and video ➤

Gideon Carmichael

ELECTRA, TX (KAUZ) -  DPS Trooper Dan Buesing confirmed to Newschannel 6 the pilot, who died, following a helicopter crash in Electra as Gideon William Carmichael, 25, of Haskell.

Carmichael was the only person in the Robinson R22 Beta helicopter. The aircraft went down around 3:00 p.m. on Monday afternoon at Business 287 and Jennings Road. 

DPS Troopers said Gideon Carmichael worked for Carmichael Helicopter Service out of Haskell.

On his Facebook page, it says he was the owner of the business that does everything from cattle work, predator control, game surveys and even aerial video and photography. Other media outlets are reporting that Gideon helped Hurricane Harvey victims.

Trooper Buesing said Carmichael was working when the crash happened.

“Kind of regular ranch-type operations,” said Buesing. “A lot of time in these areas where there's some rough terrains pretty normal thing for helicopters to be involved in helping out with some of the livestock.”

Trooper Buesing said Carmichael was herding cattle before his helicopter hit some power lines, causing him to crash. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Law enforcement said a witness told them once the helicopter hit the ground, a fire sparked.

“There was about a three-acre grass fire burning," said Wichita County Sheriff David Duke. "When we got to the scene, a helicopter was below the power lines." 

Oncor was on the scene for most of the night due to the two power lines that were knocked down.

Carmichael's body has been sent to the Dallas/Fort Worth area for an autopsy. 

Story, video and photo gallery ➤

Gideon Carmichael

A private helicopter reportedly crashed and burst into flames Monday afternoon near Electra, killing a 25-year-old man from Haskell, Texas.

The helicopter pilot, Gideon William Carmichael, was reportedly hired to work cattle through the thick brush area when he crashed about three miles south of Electra, off Jennings Road.

The tail rotor reportedly got hung in a power line, causing the helicopter to spin around and catch on fire. Carmichael was pronounced dead at the scene by the Electra justice of the peace. FAA will be in charge of investigation. Carmichael’s body was sent off for autopsy..

Around 3:10 p.m., a call came into the Wichita County Sheriff's Office that a helicopter had crashed. The scanner reports indicated the helicopter might have snagged a nearby power line.

Initial scanner reports said the helicopter had been fully engulfed in flames.

Traffic was diverted from the area to preserve the crash scene until the proper agencies could arrive to begin their investigation.

Sheppard Air Force Base was notified of the crash. State troopers with the Texas Department of Public Safety and Oncor were en route to the scene around 3:30 p.m.

Story and photo gallery ➤

ELECTRA - UPDATE 7:48 P.M.: According to DPS Sergeant Dan Buesing, Gideon William Carmichael, 25, with Carmichael Helicopters in Haskell, Texas was the sole passenger in the Robinson R22 Beta helicopter that crashed in Electra Monday afternoon.

UPDATE 4:52 P.M.: DPS Sergeant Dan Buesing has confirmed to us that the Haskell man piloting the helicopter has died.

UPDATE 4:28 P.M.: A witness on the scene said a man was trying to get cattle back to their home when the tail of the helicopter got caught on a power line, and in a matter of seconds, the helicopter was engulfed in flames.  We are still waiting for an official condition of the pilot.

UPDATE 3:46 P.M.: Our crew has arrived on the scene, and are unable to get close to the scene of the crash. DPS Sergeant Dan Buesing has confirmed to us that this is a helicopter crash.

ORIGINAL STORY: We're getting reports of a possible helicopter crash near Electra. According to authorities, the helicopter is fully engulfed. We have a crew on the way and will continue to bring you updates on the situation.

Original article ➤

Northrop T-38C Talon, United States Air Force Fatal accident occurred November 20, 2017 in Del Rio, Val Verde County, Texas

DEL RIO, Texas - A small military plane crashed near Lake Amistad Monday, killing the pilot and sending another person on board to the hospital.

The Laughlin Air Force Base said the pilot of the plane died, while the other person was transferred to the Val Verde Regional Medical Center.

The Air Force said it was one of their planes assigned to the Laughlin Air Force Base that crashed at about 4 p.m. Monday. The crash happened approximately 14 miles northwest of the base.

"Our biggest priority at this time is caring for the family and friends of our Airmen," said Col. Michelle Pryor, 47th Flying Training Wing vice commander. "We are a close knit family, and when a tragedy like this occurs every member of the U.S. Armed Forces feels it. Our people take top priority, and we are committed to ensuring their safety and security."

The Val Verde Sheriff's Department and Laughlin Air Force bases are investigating. Emergency crews are on scene.

Officials are asking people traveling in the area to not block the flow of traffic during the investigation.

Original article can be found here ➤

DEL RIO, Texas - The Val Verde County Sheriff’s Department confirmed it is investigating after a plane crashed near Lake Amistad on Monday.

According to a KSAT viewer, the plane went down near Highway 90 West and Agua Dulce Trail, near the lake.

The Air Force confirmed it was a Talon T-38 plane assigned to Laughlin AFB that crashed around 4 p.m.

Laughlin emergency response personnel and local responders responded to the scene to assist in recovery efforts.

A board of officers will investigate the accident. 

Original article can be found here ➤

A Northrop T-38C Talon crashed near Lake Amistad on Monday afternoon, Laughlin Air Force Base confirmed.

The base released this statement just before 6 p.m.: 

"An Air Force T-38 Talon assigned here at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, crashed at approximately 4 p.m. today approximately 14 miles northwest of the base near Spur 454 and U.S. 90 in Del Rio, Texas.

"At the time of release, Laughlin emergency response personnel and local responders were on scene to assist in recovery efforts.

"A board of officers will investigate the accident."

According to the Del Rio News-Herald, witnesses said they saw someone parachute away from the crash.

Laughlin has not yet addressed whether there were injuries or fatalities

A T-38 Talon is "a twin-engine, high-altitude, supersonic jet trainer used in a variety of roles because of its design, economy of operations, ease of maintenance, high performance and exceptional safety record," according to the Air Force's website.

The site further states: "Air Education and Training Command uses the Northrop T-38C Talon to prepare pilots for front-line fighter and bomber aircraft."

The Northrop T-38C Talon a crew of two: a student and instructor.

Original article can be found here ➤

Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche, N7942Y: Incident occurred November 20, 2017 at St. Mary's County Regional Airport (2W6), Leonardtown, Maryland

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Washington, District of Columbia

Aircraft landed gear up.

Atlantic Aero Marine Inc

Date: 20-NOV-17
Time: 21:30:00Z
Regis#: N7942Y
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA30
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)

A pilot successfully landed a small plane with defective landing gear at a Maryland airport Monday afternoon.

The plane circled St. Mary's County Regional Airport for more than 90 minutes before executing the emergency landing on its belly, which Chopper4 captured on camera.

A man could be seen getting out of the plane without issue after it stopped on a runway.

St. Mary's County Fire and Rescue was on hand for the landing.

A crane was used to remove the plane from the runway. 

St. Mary's County Regional Airport is a small airport in southern Maryland.

Story and raw video ➤

Why Amazon’s Drone Delivery Service Is Unrealistic

By Kyle Bailey

• Kyle Bailey is a television news aviation analyst, pilot, and former Federal Aviation Administration Safety Team Representative

Will Amazon’s drone delivery program remain permanently grounded? Amazon

With the official kickoff of the Christmas shopping season several days away, Amazon Prime Air is about to be put through the most stringent test of all—one that will last all the way until Christmas Eve, as analysts predict record sales for the behemoth online retailer this year. And that’s up from the 600 million parcels they already deliver annually (according to one estimate). A cargo airline that contracts through a number of different airlines, Amazon Prime Air is also the arm of the company working on their the drone-based delivery system—which has long been in development after its initial announcement in 2013, but has essentially stalled due to U.S. airspace regulations. Could this season be the sign for the company to concentrate on its cargo operations, and give up the ghost on drones?

Interestingly enough, Amazon’s Prime Air cargo airline isn’t actually a cargo airline at all, or any other kind of airline for that matter. The shiny Boeing 767 freighters enrobed in the signature Amazon Prime insignia are actually leased to Amazon and operated by three other certificated FAA Part 121 air carriers (airlines), that are under contract with Amazon. Atlas Air, ABX Air and Air Transport International currently operate a combined 32 Boeing 767-300F aircraft for Amazon out of the company’s Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport cargo hub. The retailer plans to have a total of 40 aircraft operating by end of 2018. Amazon can also exercise options to purchase a 20 percent stake in the airlines that currently operate the Prime Air fleet. Many speculate that Amazon might, at some point, consider purchasing one of its contract airlines outright. This maneuver happens quite frequently with newly launched air carriers, as they can legally skirt around the lengthy air carrier FAA certification process by essentially purchasing an entire existing airline—along with its valid FAA air carrier certificate. At its Cincinnati hub, Amazon is investing 1.5 billion dollars into making  it a state of the art transportation hub.

Amazon’s public relations and marketing department did what they do best when they first announced the 30 minute drone delivery service back in 2013. The world’s media loved the idea, which in turn generated lots of free publicity and buzz for Prime Air, as well as Amazon. The company even went as far as patenting what they call an “airborne fulfillment center.”

Now, four years later, Amazon is making progress abroad with its drone testing, while here in the U.S., it seems to be moving forward at a snail’s pace. Especially since the FAA enacted regulations on small unmanned aircraft systems in 2016, which related specifically to the operation of commercial drones. The regulations specify, among other things, that a commercial drone must be within line-of-site of the operator at all times.

The bottom line is that while it does seem feasible that perhaps in a few years we might see Amazon Prime Air making 30 minute drone deliveries in rural international locations (such as within the U.K., where they are currently conducting drone testing) it’s unlikely it will happen in or around major metropolitan areas in the U.S. any time soon. Presently drones can’t even operate in New York City proper, even for recreational use, unless a waiver is granted.

So while the general public thinks that Prime Air drones will be delivering to them any day now, the reality is quite different. A drone operator must be aware of surface sustained wind, gusts of wind, visibility, temperature, precipitation and any local or federal flight restrictions at departure, arrival and on the precise drone route of flight. The problem is that we can verify surface weather conditions at airports or at weather reporting stations, in which they have automated weather observations, but along the route they are few and far between. Amazon’s aim of having thousands of drones operating in U.S. skies every day does not really seem viable in light of these regulations.

Lastly, speaking on the security perspective. We currently have armored cars manned with armed guards picking up cash from various business all around the country . Now just for a second, imagine the Amazon Prime Air drones zipping around at 100 feet, carrying new iPhones. Wonder what the bad guys would do? I don’t know, but skeet shooting pops into mind.

Original article can be found here ➤

Don’t Sell Your Company’s Private Jet Fleet Just Yet: When company’s operations are spread out and governance is good, corporate jets can boost performance

The Wall Street Journal
By Alex Frangos
Nov. 20, 2017 12:49 p.m. ET

General Electric’s executives are getting reacquainted with the joys of commercial air travel. But the decision by the company’s new chief executive to cut the use of company-owned jets may pay off in symbolism rather than performance.

GE became the latest high profile case of corporate aviation misadventures, when the company revealed it had been sending a backup plane to fly with former boss Jeffrey Immelt. The decision by new chief, John Flannery, is a welcome sign of improved governance, but for a company with as many locations and operations as GE, it risks going too far.

In fact, the time saved and communication facilitated by private jet travel generates improved operating performance in terms of measures such as return on assets, notes a recent working paper by finance and accounting professors Lian Fen Lee, Michelle Lowry and Susan Shu. Using The Wall Street Journal’s flight tracker database, published in 2011, the trio of academics collated the routes of private jets with the location of company subsidiaries.

The findings were strongest for firms that had the most widely spread business operations and would seem to benefit from being able to have executives hopscotch from location to location. Also benefiting from jet travel: firms in industries with high research and development costs, for whom complicated information sharing requires face-to-face explanations.

The risk is that companies don’t use the jets for legitimate business purposes. Around 10% of flights are to resort destinations such as Scottsdale, Ariz., West Palm Beach, Fla., and Las Vegas. Companies that had otherwise poor corporate governance metrics, such as dual class shares, joint chief executive and chairman and anti-merger provisions, benefited the least from using private jets.

If corporate jets were purely seen as excessive, their use would probably be on the wane. But in fact, roughly half of public companies report jet use in some form in their corporate documents. The actual number is probably higher. And that hasn’t changed much in recent years, even as activist investors and corporate governance pressure has increased in other areas of boardroom conduct. For corporate jet makers such as General Dynamics and Bombardier, GE, may be an outlier.

The trouble is how to determine whether the plane is being used for work or pleasure. After The Wall Street Journal popularized the use of public database searches to track planes, executives and companies have gone to great lengths to obscure their flights. Clever hedge funds may still be able to track tail numbers, but the investing public is mostly in the dark.

Investors could demand another solution: Ask companies to voluntarily disclose in broad strokes how private jets are used. If say, 95% of trips were to subsidiaries or finance centers like New York, rather than vacation spots like Honolulu, that would be a sign of judiciousness. Investors would feel better and executives might not feel guilty about one of the key perks they enjoy.

Original article can be found here ➤

Piper PA-28R-200, N4884T, Redstone Arsenal Flying Activity: Incident occurred November 17, 2017 at Redstone Army Airfield (KHUA), Huntsville, Alabama

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

Aircraft gear collapsed and went off the side of the runway.

Redstone Arsenal Flying Activity:

Date: 17-NOV-17
Time: 21:55:00Z
Regis#: N4884T
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA28
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)

AutoGyro Cavalon, N953LS: Accident occurred November 18, 2017 at Casa Grande Municipal Airport (KCGZ), Pinal County, Arizona

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Scottsdale, Arizona

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Casa Grande, AZ
Accident Number: GAA18CA049
Date & Time: 11/18/2017, 1745 MST
Registration: N953LS
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 


The pilot reported that, during landing, the right wheel touched down first on the runway and the gyroplane veered to the right. He added that, the "aircraft bounced from one wheel to the other" multiple times until the main rotor blade struck the runway. The gyroplane then rolled to the right, slid off the runway and came to rest on its left side. A post-crash fire ignited in the engine compartment and consumed the gyroplane.

The gyroplane was destroyed.

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

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's improper landing flare, which resulted in loss of directional control and a subsequent runway excursion.


Landing flare - Not attained/maintained (Cause)
Directional control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Dragged wing/rotor/float/other

Landing-landing roll
Runway excursion

Roll over

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 68, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Gyroplane
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Sport Pilot Unknown
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 300 hours (Total, all aircraft), 200 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 12 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 5 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: JOHN ROSCOE
Registration: N953LS
Aircraft Category: Gyroplane
Year of Manufacture: 2013
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: V00110
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 11/18/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 990 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 241 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Rotax
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: 914
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 115 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Dusk
Observation Facility, Elevation: KCHD, 1243 ft msl
Observation Time: 0047 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 19 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 353°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 23°C / -2°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots, 300°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.04 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: SAN MANUEL, AZ (E77)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Casa Grande, AZ (CGZ)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1620 MST
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 1464 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 05
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5200 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Traffic Pattern 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Minor
Latitude, Longitude:  32.953611, -111.769444 (est)

Preventing Similar Accidents

Stay Centered: Preventing Loss of Control During Landing

Loss of control during landing is one of the leading causes of general aviation accidents and is often attributed to operational issues. Although most loss of control during landing accidents do not result in serious injuries, they typically require extensive airplane repairs and may involve potential damage to nearby objects such as fences, signs, and lighting.

Often, wind plays a role in these accidents. Landing in a crosswind presents challenges for pilots of all experience levels. Other wind conditions, such as gusting wind, tailwind, variable wind, or wind shifts, can also interfere with pilots’ abilities to land the airplane and maintain directional control.

What can pilots do?

Evaluate your mental and physical fitness before each flight using the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) “I'M SAFE Checklist." Being emotionally and physically ready will help you stay alert and potentially avoid common and preventable loss of control during landing accidents.

Check wind conditions and forecasts often. Take time during every approach briefing to fully understand the wind conditions. Use simple rules of thumb to help (for example, if the wind direction is 30 degrees off the runway heading, the crosswind component will be half of the total wind velocity).

Know your limitations and those of the airplane you are flying. Stay current and practice landings on different runways and during various wind conditions. If possible, practice with a flight instructor on board who can provide useful feedback and techniques for maintaining and improving your landing procedures.

Prepare early to perform a go around if the approach is not stabilized and does not go as planned or if you do not feel comfortable with the landing. Once you are airborne and stable again, you can decide to attempt to land again, reassess your landing runway, or land at an alternate airport. Incorporate go-around procedures into your recurrent training.

During landing, stay aligned with the centerline. Any misalignment reduces the time available to react if an unexpected event such as a wind gust or a tire blowout occurs.

Do not allow the airplane to touch down in a drift or in a crab. For airplanes with tricycle landing gear, do not allow the nosewheel to touch down first.

Maintain positive control of the airplane throughout the landing and be alert for directional control difficulties immediately upon and after touchdown. A loss of directional control can lead to a nose-over or ground loop, which can cause the airplane to tip or lean enough for the wing tip to contact the ground.

Stay mentally focused throughout the landing roll and taxi. During landing, avoid distractions, such as conversations with passengers or setting radio frequencies.

Interested in More Information?

The FAA’s “Airplane Flying Handbook” (FAA-H-8083-3B), chapter 8, “Approaches and Landings,” provides guidance about how to conduct crosswind approaches and landings and discusses maximum safe crosswind velocities. The handbook can be accessed from the FAA’s website (

The FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) provides access to online training courses, seminars, and webinars as part of the FAA’s “WINGS—Pilot Proficiency Program.” This program includes targeted flight training designed to help pilots develop the knowledge and skills needed to achieve flight proficiency and to assess and mitigate the risks associated with the most common causes of accidents, including loss of directional control. The courses listed below can be accessed from the FAASTeam website (

Avoiding Loss of Control
Maneuvering: Approach and Landing
Normal Approach and Landing
Takeoffs, Landings, and Aircraft Control

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Air Safety Institute offers several interactive courses, presentations, publications, and other safety resources that can be accessed from its website (

The NTSB’s Aviation Information Resources web page,, provides convenient access to NTSB aviation safety products.

The NTSB presents this information to prevent recurrence of similar accidents. Note that this should not be considered guidance from the regulator, nor does this supersede existing FAA Regulations (FARs).