Friday, December 8, 2017

Skydive Long Island: Jerks accused of stealing man’s ID and going skydiving

Maryam Burkes and Abass Ibrahim

These two skydivers just landed in jail.

Ibrahim’s mugshot.

A Brooklyn couple vying for a spot on “World’s Dumbest Criminals” stole a credit card and used it to pay for a thrill-seeking adventure — including a video of the experience that led to their arrest, police said.

“For them to use a stolen credit card for skydiving, then get the video-and-photo package, it was certainly brazen,” Suffolk Police Chief Stuart Cameron said of Abass Ibrahim, 21, and Maryam Burkes, 19.

“Not only do you see their pictures, but you hear them speak and see their mannerisms, which made it much easier to identify them.”

The Capital One credit card data was stolen from a man in Washington State, prosecutors said Wednesday during the couple’s morning arraignment. They then ordered two tickets online for Sky Dive Long Island in Shirley, choosing the deluxe package, officials said.

When they showed up for the dive June 20, they presented a photocopy of the credit card, along with a phone number they said was for the owner of the card.

Sky Dive’s owner called the phone number, and a co-conspirator claiming to be the owner answered and authorized the $854 total payment. It wasn’t until weeks later that Sky Dive’s owner realized he’d been had.

The diving package included a video of the experience, which the couple proudly posed for, answering questions to an off-camera instructor and throwing thumbs up signs to the lens from 10,000 feet in the air.

“I’m scared and I’m excited,” Burkes says in the clip.

Ibrahim was more cavalier.

“I just want to get it over with. I’m not really scared, I just want to get the feeling out already,” the thrill-seeker tells the camera man, who asks him if he likes “risk.”

“Yeah,” Ibrahim nods. “I take risks.”

When a Sky Dive worker realized the fraudulent charges on the account, police headed to the company’s office and found the video.

Earlier this month, cops posted the video and photos online and sent them to media outlets.

Mark Pollard, Ibrahim’s lawyer, said his client saw his photo on ABC News before the duo turned themselves in to Suffolk County police Tuesday around 5 p.m.

At their arraignment, Pollard said his client is a college student studying computer engineering who “has everything to lose.”

“He is a good kid. He is a college student who attends school in Buffalo. He has no priors. He has never done anything like that before. He has a real future ahead of him and he deserves a second chance.”

Ibrahim, who is charged with identity theft and forgery, was held with bail set at $10,000.

Burkes, hit with the same amount, cried at her separate arraignment, for one count of identify theft.

“This is a relatively minor offense. [Bail] is a little high, for the amount of money used,” her lawyer said.

They both pleaded not guilty.

Story and photos:

Police are looking for the duo who they said stole a credit card number in June and went skydiving. 
(Suffolk County Police)

SUFFOLK COUNTY, Long Island — A couple went skydiving on Long Island and bought video of the experience to save as a memory -- but they charged it all to someone else's tab.

Police say the pair used a stolen credit card to purchase two sessions and video footage at Skydive Long Island in Shirley on June 20.

On Friday, police in Suffolk County released that video with a call for help identifying the suspected thieves, whose faces and voices were clearly recorded in the footage.

The 3-minute long video shows the wanted couple talking about their nerves before the flight, smiling for the camera on the plane, skydiving with their instructors and captures their reactions when they land.

"So much fun! Thank you!" the woman says as she poses for the camera.

"That was amazing. Best thing I ever did in my life," the man says.

It was not revealed how much money the couple charged to the stolen credit card, but according to prices listed on Skydive Long Island's website, it was likely hundreds of dollars. A single tandem skydive experience costs $298; a video package costs $119; and a video and photo package costs $149.

A cash reward of up to $5,000 for information that can lead to an arrest.

Anyone with information is asked to call Suffolk County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls are confidential.

Story, video and photo gallery:

Cessna 172N Skyhawk, N4801D, Boeing Employees Flying Association Inc: Accident occurred December 08, 2017 -and- Accident occurred August 04, 2016 at Paine Field (KPAE), Everett, Snohomish County, Washington

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Seattle, Washington

Boeing Employees Flying Association Inc

NTSB Identification: GAA18CA078
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, December 08, 2017 in Everett, WA
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N4801D

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

Aircraft bounced on runway and went through a fence.

Date: 08-DEC-17
Time: 23:10:00Z
Regis#: N4801D
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 172N
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: MINOR
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)

It was a busy afternoon for the crews at Paine Field Fire. Two different incidents happened within an hour.

In the first, a Cessna 172 with two people aboard was doing touch and gos on runway 16L-34R when according to Airport Director Arif Ghouse the plane didn’t gain enough altitude and came down in the safety zone at the south end of the runway. Momentum carried the plane through the fence and it ended up partially on 112th street. No one was hurt.

About 30 minutes later a small plane had landing gear issues and came down on the main runway without nose gear. The pilot of that plane was okay and the runway was soon re-opened.

The FAA has been notified about both incidents and will look into what happened.

There have been three incidents involving small planes at Paine Field in the last 6 days. On Monday a small plane crashed after taking off on runway 16L-34R. Two people on board were able to walk away but that plane was totaled. 

Story and photo ➤

EVERETT, Wash. -- Two small planes crashed at Paine Field on Friday afternoon.

Two men were on one plane that crashed just after 3 p.m.

The Federal Aviation Administration and Paine Field officials said the Cessna 172 ran through the airport perimeter fence onto 112th Street Southwest at the south end of the airport.

There were no significant injuries. But the small runway is closed while the fence is repaired.

The second crash occurred about 4 p.m. when an experimental plane had problems with its nose landing gear.

It had to land on a main runway without the nose gear down.

There were no significant injuries to the male pilot.

Story and photo ➤

There were two plane crashes within an hour of each other Friday at Everett’s Paine Field. The incidents are unrelated, and are the second and third crashes at the airport within a week.

The first crash occurred around 3 p.m.

“On take off, this Cessna which had two males — a passenger and pilot — was unable to gain altitude, so they attempted to land in a field, which they did successfully,” KIRO 7’s Joanna Small said.

Two males who appeared in their 20s were aboard the airplane, according to the Everett Herald. Minor injuries were reported.

The fixed-wing Cessna 172 airplane didn’t gain altitude during takeoff while the men were practicing touch-and-go landings around 3 p.m. On one practice landing, the plane kept going south on the runway, eventually smashing through a fence. The plane came to rest on a road outside the airport with damaged wings and a bent propeller.

About an hour later, a second small airplane crashed on the same runway. A pilot failed to extend the plane’s landing gear, and skidded as it landed. No injuries were reported. The airplane was quickly removed from the runway.

There was another plane crash at Paine Field nearly one week ago. A man and a woman were on that airplane at the time, but were uninjured. An investigation into that crash is underway.

Story, photo and comments ➤

EVERETT, Wash. - A small plane has crashed near Paine Field in Everett, officials said Friday.

First responders were reporting to the scene around 3 p.m. 

Officials with the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office said so far there are no reports of injuries. 

FAA officials said the small plane crashed while landing and ran through the airport perimeter fence onto a street. 

Two people were onboard. 

Earlier this week, on Dec. 3, a small plane crashed near Paine Field. In that crash, no one was injured. 

Story and photo ➤

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Everett, WA
Accident Number: GAA16CA417
Date & Time: 08/03/2016, 2124 PDT
Registration: N4801D
Aircraft: CESSNA 172
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Airport occurrence
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal


After a local flight, the pilot reported that while taxing in the non-movement area at night he made a left turn and impacted a building door with the left wing.
The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing.

The pilot reported that there were no preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airframe or engine 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 failure to maintain clearance from the building door, which resulted in substantial damage to the left wing.


Personnel issues
Monitoring environment - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Airport structure - Effect on operation (Cause)

Dark - Effect on personnel

Factual Information

History of Flight


Airport occurrence (Defining event)
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)
Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 57, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:  
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 04/01/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 06/22/2016
Flight Time: (Estimated) 415 hours (Total, all aircraft), 350 hours (Total, this make and model), 415 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 15 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 8 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 3.8 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)
Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N4801D
Model/Series: 172 N
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 17272362
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 06/01/2016, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2400 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 10645.1 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-320-D2J
Rated Power: 160 lbs
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: KPAE, 606 ft msl
Observation Time: 0353 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 20°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 18°C / 12°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm
Visibility (RVR): 
Altimeter Setting: 30.19 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV): 
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: RENTON, WA (RNT)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Everett, WA (PAE)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 2045 PDT
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 607 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 47.902500, -122.283056 (est)

Fliers face flight woes Saturday as winter storm heads north

Air travelers faced another day of delays and cancellations Saturday as an early-season winter storm moved from the South toward the Northeast. All big airlines were waiving changes for flights to a number of destinations across the East.

Nationwide, more than 770 flights had been canceled and another 1,300 delayed as of 10:40 a.m. ET, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware.

For the second day in a row, Atlanta’s airport was the hardest hit. More than 400 flights had been canceled there so far on Saturday. With that total, about one out of every five flights in Atlanta had been canceled for Saturday. On Friday, nearly 1,200 flights there were canceled -- are more than 40% of the schedule. 

The Atlanta disruptions were particularly troublesome for Delta Air Lines, which operates its busiest hub at the airport.

“Prolonged wintry precipitation and plunging temperatures continue to adversely affect Delta’s hub operation in Atlanta,” the carrier said Saturday morning. Delta said the storm forced it to cancel 970 flights Friday and 290 so far Saturday.

Southwest, the No. 2 carrier in Atlanta, also has been forced to cancel more than 130 flights across the nation on both Friday and Saturday.

By Saturday morning, the travel woes had expanded beyond the South. By mid-morning, snow had begun to fall in New York, Washington, Baltimore, Boston and Philadelphia. Snow totals were forecast to be less than 6 inches for most of the region, a relatively modest amount for a region used to wintry precipitation. Still, the weather was causing problems at airports.

At the Baltimore/Washington International – a major base for Southwest and Spirit – 88 flights had been canceled as of 10:40 a.m. ET, FlightAware counted. That accounted for more than 10% of day’s flights.

Most of the region’s other major airports also were seeing above-average rates of delays and cancellations. Though none were gridlocked, airports where fliers were  seeing at least some disruptions included Newark Liberty; New York LaGuardia; New York JFK; Washington Reagan National; Boston; Raleigh/Durham; Columbus, Ohio; and Richmond, Va.

The ripple effect of the problems in Atlanta and the Northeast were being felt across the nation.

In Florida, for example, about 30 flights had been canceled at Orlando International – mostly fallout from the problems in Atlanta and the Northeast.

Story and photo gallery ➤

BAY COUNTY — Winter Storm Benji didn’t dump any snow on Bay County, but it did lead to cold weather shelters opening and some area flights being canceled.

Several local travelers experienced cancellations after Delta Air Lines canceled all of Friday’s incoming and outgoing flights between Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

ECP Airport executive director Parker McClellan said the airline canceled a majority of its flights as a result of a winter weather advisory in Atlanta. Scheduled arrivals from Atlanta will be dependent upon the weather, but he said the airline anticipates resuming all flights Saturday. McClellan said the cancellations have nothing to do with weather conditions in Bay County, where temperatures were hovering in the 40s all morning.

“We’re asking everyone to check with airlines before they come to the airport,” McClellan said.

As of midday Friday, Delta had canceled ECP’s 6 a.m., 2:50 p.m., and 6:05 p.m. Friday flights to Atlanta. It also canceled ECP-bound flights scheduled for 9:22 a.m., 5:25 p.m. and an 8:15 p.m.

Meteorologist Lauren Merritt with the National Weather Service in Atlanta said reports of snow have been coming in, and the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is expected to receive 2 inches of snow today.

“We’re seeing some rain and some snow,” she said. “There might be a little sleet.”

Read more here ➤

Aviation-Related Accident Investigations in Ghana – A Way Forward

Okatakyie Kwasi Adjekum, Ph.D 

The recent aviation-related safety event (Runway excursion during take-off) involving a Starbow Airline ATR 42-700 aircraft at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) has once again prompted the urgent need for a permanent aviation safety board to conduct aviation -related accident investigations in Ghana. Having written extensively on this topic in previous articles since 2008, it is heart-warming that some efforts have been made in the recent amendments of the Ghana Civil Aviation Act (Act 906, 2016).

The new Act brings aviation-related accident investigations in Ghana to conform with the International Civil Aviation Organization Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) Annex 13. Annex 13 SARPs deals with the conduct and management of aircraft accident investigations. However, there are still some challenges and room for improvement. This article seeks to highlight current aircraft accident investigation protocols in Ghana, some challenges and recommend a way forward.

Currently, aviation -related accidents and incidents investigations are under the mandate of the Ministry of Aviation as opposed to the previous practice where it was under the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and most of the investigators in charge (IIC) and investigators were co-opted from that outfit. The problem with the former was the obvious conflict of interest for investigators who are part of GCAA and may at times identify and must report on potential administrative and regulatory lapses/weakness of a regulatory entity tasked with investigative functions (investigating itself).

Under the provisions of the new act, GCAA Act 906 (2016) Section, whenever there is any aviation-related accident or occurrences in Ghana or the territorial waters of Ghana, The State of Ghana shall institute an investigation into the circumstances of the accident and shall also be responsible for the conduct of the investigation. Ghana can also delegate the whole or any part of the conducting of such investigation to another State by mutual arrangement and consent.

Under Section 13.6 of the Act, the Minister for Aviation shall order and appoint an independent investigation into any accident involving a civil aircraft whether such accident is required to be notified under these Regulations or not, and may appoint or designate any person qualified as an Accident Investigator to be an Investigator-in-Charge of the Accident for initiating and carrying out the investigation immediately and reporting as soon as possible after the report is issued.

While this provision meets the ICAO Annex 13 SARPs requirements, it may not be the best in terms of proactivity and sustainability of safety management in Ghana’s aviation sector. The formation of such ad-hoc committees and investigations stifles continuity of an organized and business-like approach to accident investigation and proactive safety management system. It can also have an adverse effect on the expeditiousness of such investigations, since experts and resources may have to be sourced from both external and internal means to facilitate such investigations. This is even more relevant when faced with a chaotic environment of a mass-casualty aviation accident.

Aviation accidents, though rare in terms of occurrence per hundreds of thousand flight hours could be stochastic in nature which may require a well-equipped and trained preliminary team of investigators to collect essential crash data and conduct on-site crash analysis within a time-sensitive window. It may be difficult to scramble such “Go-teams” when we depend on an ad-hoc committee that needs to be formed by a Minister. We also need a permanent office/facility where accident reports and safety analysis from such reports can be archived, crash analysis laboratory can be located and research into aviation safety conducted.

Ghana Aviation Safety Board

It is within these framework, that I strongly moot the idea of the Ghana Aviation Safety Board (GASB). The GASB will be an independent but permanent entity under the Ministry of Aviation and will improve safety and public confidence in the aviation through excellence in independent investigation of aviation accidents and other safety occurrences, safety data recording, analysis and research, fostering safety awareness, knowledge and action. I propose a GASB composed of five (5) board members nominated to a fixed tenure of 4 years by the Minister of Aviation and confirmed by a parliamentary-select committee on Transport or Aviation.

The confirmed board shall elect one of their members as the chairperson. Membership to the board shall be based on subject-matter/technical expertise in the field of aviation safety. The board shall oversee a permanent secretariat/facility where GASB administrative and technical offices will be located. A staff of investigators, administrators and financial personnel commensurate to the scale and scope of the board’s mandate and operation shall be maintained. The recurring expenditure of the board shall be charged to the consolidated chest. Every accident investigation shall be led by a selected member of the board, who will have oversight over the various investigation teams.

The GASB’s primary focus will be the safety of the travelling public and one of the objectives of the board will be to concentrate its resources on those investigations considered most likely to enhance aviation safety. When the GASB investigates an accident or incident, investigators will seek to determine its circumstances, identify any safety issues, and encourage relevant safety action. The aim of all GASB investigations will be to prevent the occurrence of other accidents and incidents, rather than to assign blame or liability. This approach helps ensure the continued free flow of safety information for the purposes of improving safety in the future.

GASB Accident Investigations

The GASB will be tasked with on-site aircraft accident investigations which will be detailed investigations where investigators travel to the site of the accident. GASB investigators will be responsible for the wreckage and the site's safety when control of the site is handed over to the GASB after emergency services have declared that it is safe. The investigators will photograph and record all the evidence on the ground or associated with the wreckage of the aircraft, and later examine the aircraft's logbooks and maintenance records.

They may then arrange for the aircraft wreckage, components and other material evidence to be transported to some other secure area, for further examination and testing. Consistent with international practices, it will be accepted protocol for GASB investigators to seek information or assistance in a manner that encourages cooperation and the GASB will liaise with other parties who have an interest.

To reconstruct the sequence of events preceding the accident, GASB investigators will, where necessary, interview the flight crew, passengers and other witnesses. They may also visit the departure and destination airfields and interview the pilots’ acquaintances and officials, including air traffic controllers, who may have been in contact with the flight crew either during or before the flight. They will generally ask for records relating to the flight crew training and experience, and may require company documents relating to the aircraft's operation.

GASB will also require data concerning airfield operations if the accident occurred during the takeoff, approach or landing phase of flight. Maintenance records and interviews with maintenance personnel may also be required. Aircraft accident reports can take several months to produce. It may be necessary to interview numerous individuals, cross-check evidence, examine suspect equipment and consult other technical experts. That can include overseas investigation agencies, regulators, and manufacturers.

Powers of Subpoena and Granting of Immunity

For the purposes of safety investigations and free-flow of information vital for flight safety, it will be important for the accident investigators of the GASB to assure witnesses some form of self-incrimination immunity when required to testify before the accident investigation board under the powers of the GCAA Act 906. This will be a better option than the current provisions under Act 906, Section 40D (1) (2) which I deem coercive and intimidating.

The section grants the Director General of GCAA the power to compel witnesses to appear and testify before the Investigations Committee or in matters relating to the investigation of an accident; or a person to produce books, papers or documents required by the Investigations Committee or for investigation of accidents. Refusal to respond to such subpoena is an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than six hundred penalty units or, to a term of imprisonment of not more than three months.

The proposed powers to grant immunity by the investigators will ensure that privileged Information provided under these circumstances cannot be used against the person in criminal or civil proceedings. However, if at any time investigators uncover any acts that are criminal or imply deliberate or malevolent actions/sabotage on the part of witnesses, such immunity can be waived. Safety -relevant information that is obtained during the investigation including from directly involved parties may be disclosed in the GASB report.

GASB Accident Reports

One of the most important aspects of any accident investigation is the prompt release of findings, conclusion and safety recommendations to the relevant stake-holders and the public. The greatest challenge for the Ghanaian aviation sector has been the mode of dissemination of finalized accident/incident reports and ease of accessibility. As at now it is very challenging to access final accident reports of aviation-related accidents for research and industry review purposes. My interaction with a lot of aviation professionals in Ghana suggest that access to database or documentary archives of findings and recommendations from aviation accident reports are virtually non-existent.

Under the current structure, the investigative board for aircraft accidents in Ghana are required under Section 13.12.1 of Act 906 to submit a report to the Minister of Aviation stating all relevant facts about the accident and conclusion about the causes of the accident together with observations and recommendations. The Minister shall make comments and if the Minister thinks fit, cause the whole or any part of such report to be published. I will recommend that the preliminary findings, conclusions and recommendations on draft accident reports be subjected to a majority vote by the members of GASB prior to acceptance as a final draft. However, dissenting opinions may be written by non-concurring members and added to the final draft before submission to the Minister of Aviation for comments and release.

Proactive Safety Reporting and Data-Base Management

The GCAA Act 906 calls for the establishment of a mandatory incident reporting system to facilitate collection of information on actual or potential safety deficiencies. The Act also calls for the establishment of a voluntary incident reporting system to facilitate the collection of information that may not be captured by a mandatory incident reporting system. This voluntary incident reporting system shall be non-punitive and afford protection to the sources of information. The establishment of the GASB will be a step in the right direction to serve as an independent repository for all such safety reporting system where non-jeopardy reports from aviation professionals can be used for safety analysis and predictive studies aimed at improving aviation safety in Ghana.

Another requirement of the Act which is the establishment of a National Aviation Safety Data-Base will be best facilitated by the creation of the GASB. Researchers in academia, industry professionals and regulators such as the GCAA can access this incident/accident data-base to conduct trend analysis and predictive studies on aviation safety in Ghana and the West-African sub-region. Such a data-base will also facilitate info-share for cross-collaborative studies with aviation safety organizations such as the Nigerian Air Accident Investigation Board (AAIB), NTSB of USA and AAIB of the UK. The safety data-base will also facilitate effective analysis of the information obtained from incident reporting systems.

The GASB shall also promote the establishment of safety information sharing networks among all stakeholders of the aviation systems such as the GCAA, Ghana Airports Company Limited, Ghana Meteorological Agency, Ghana Air Force and Domestic Airlines through the free exchange of information on actual and potential safety deficiencies identified during predictive safety analysis of aviation data. With the required investments and political will to act, Ghana can have a responsive and proactive aviation safety board.

Okatakyie Kwasi Adjekum, Ph.D., CSP, ASP

Aviation Safety Consultant @ AeroProSafe Consult, Grand Forks. ND.

Original article can be found here ➤

Bird strikes up at Dallas Love Field Airport (KDAL), officials seeking military tech for help

Bird strikes have spiked at Dallas Love Field, and now officials are wanting to buy a new state of the art camera system to help minimize the problem.

Every year, bird strikes are a top hazard for airline pilots. Capt. Scott Shankland, a current airline pilot based out of the metro, says it’s one of the scariest things a pilot can go through.

“Bird strikes are a major concern,” Shankland said. “Anytime it happens, a pilot only has seconds to react.”

Those strikes can cause major damage, and can even bring down a plane.

In 2009, pilots Chesley Sullenberger and Jeff Skiles had to make an emergency landing in the Hudson River between New York and New Jersey due to a bird strike.

That incident is often referred to as the “The Miracle on the Hudson,” and was recently depicted in the movie Sully.

Dallas’ Director of Aviation, Mark Duebner, says bird strikes are a major concern at airports across the country.

“Trying to minimize that damage and trying to minimize that impact—that’s what airports across the country are doing all the time,” Duebner said.

So far in 2017, there have been 180 bird strikes at Love Field.

In 2016 there were 18, 120 were recorded in 2015, and in 2014 there were 83 strikes confirmed.

Duebner says being next to Bachman Lake hasn’t helped. The city has even put up signs around the area that asks patrons not to feed the birds.

“We’ve tried to reduce the nesting, we’ve tried to reduce the food source, but the fact is we’re a big open and attractive space for birds to hang out,” Duebner said.

Duebner says that bird strikes have likely fluctuated over the years because of urban development around the metro that disrupts habitats, forcing birds to relocate.

Now, Duebner and the Department of Aviation are turning to a new state of the art camera system called “Pharovision” for help.

Pharovision is an infrared system that automatically detects movement. So, if a flock of birds is spotted--the control tower will know, and air traffic can be held until the all clear is given.

“Having that information that there's a potential conflict between birds and the aircraft as early as possible, allows the control tower to make sure that it’s not sending planes into harm’s way,” Duebner said.

The system can also scan for other wildlife, drones, and people.

Dr. Nicholas Carter, the CEO of Pharovision, says that the technology was originally developed by the military to help detect small rockets in combat zones.

Carter says that the technology was recently declassified a few years ago, and has made its way into the civilian market.

Council members with the City of Dallas are expected to approve the purchase of the Pharovision camera system next week, which totals around $1.7 million when you tally maintenance and a 5-year warranty.

The money to purchase the tech would come from revenue generated by the airport.

If approved, the system should be installed in 2018 and Love Field would be the first major airport in the metro with the technology.

“For the cost, we’re getting a big bump in increased safety at Love Field,” Duebner said.

Original article can be found here ➤

Paraglider: Incident occurred December 08, 2017 in Deltona, Volusia County, Florida

Firefighters in Deltona rescue man from tree 40-50 ft off the ground. He was learning to use a paraglider in a field off Wiggley Farms Road and got caught in tree. Not injured. Stuck for 45 minutes as ladder truck brought in.

DELTONA, Fla. - A paraglider was rescued from a tree Friday morning in Volusia County, officials said.

The incident was reported around 9 a.m. in the 2100 block of Wiggley Farms Road in Deltona.

Officials said the man, who lives out of state, made a miscalculation that resulted in him getting tangled in the tree.

The man, who was not seriously injured, told News 6 that he was hanging about 50 feet from the ground for 15 minutes before firefighters helped him.

"I took off and didn't turn enough to the right and hit a tree," the man said. "It's a great sport. I just didn't have enough experience yet, but I'm having a great time doing it. I'm not going to get discouraged, I'll be up again next week, probably."

No other details have been released. 

Story and video:

Pentagon Makes New Push to Put a Laser Weapon on a Fighter Jet: Contract with Lockheed Martin comes as military leaders say they are ‘on the cusp’ of breakthrough

The Wall Street Journal
By Doug Cameron
Updated Dec. 8, 2017 3:29 p.m. ET

The Pentagon has tasked Lockheed Martin Corp. LMT 0.34% with equipping a fighter jet with a missile-killing laser by 2021, a challenge that has eluded the military for more than two decades.

Lockheed in November secured a $26 million deal to develop a laser for a supersonic F-15 jet capable of disabling a missile or drone from a mile or more away. It is the landmark piece of a Pentagon push to develop a low-cost solution to outmatch adversaries such as China that are fielding ever-more capable missiles and drones in greater numbers.

Lasers fired from trucks or a Navy ship already have been tested, but fitting one to a jet is viewed by military leaders as a crucial breakthrough in providing defenses that can be employed in large numbers.

The Pentagon wants a laser weapon with an initial 50 kilowatts of power—some five times more than that of the largest industrial lasers—capable of destroying a target a mile or more away. The Pentagon hopes eventually to procure lasers with up to 100 or 150 kilowatts or power.

Military leaders working with Lockheed rivals such as Boeing Co. and Northrop Grumman Corp. have spent a quarter century and an estimated $8 billion testing lasers and other directed-energy systems such as microwaves. However, none has ever been fielded or advanced to production.

The Pentagon is now more confident that technology has caught up with the promise of a cheaper alternative to missiles that can be fired multiple times.

“Every single service has been over-promised and undelivered on their promises over these last two decades,” Mary Miller, the Pentagon’s acting assistant secretary for research and development, said at an industry conference. “We are on the cusp of seeing many, many aspects of directed energy start to proliferate.”

Weight and cost issues stalled previous efforts to install lasers on aircraft. The Boeing-led Airborne Laser program relied on a 12,000-pound chemical laser shoehorned into a jumbo jet. The Pentagon abandoned the project in 2011 after spending more than $6 billion, believing it impractical to fly the dozens of jets necessary to provide adequate defenses against ballistic missiles.

Now, defense companies are focusing on fiber lasers first developed for the telecommunications industry that amplify and focus light from hundreds of strands into a single beam.

“It’s a significant advancement in the technology from a size and weight perspective,” said Rob Afzal, a Lockheed senior fellow in laser weapon systems.

The lasers have been tested on missiles, drones and artillery rounds. They burn up a hostile projectile’s electronic systems rather than completely destroy it like a missile. The advantage is they don’t run out of ammunition, so long as they have a power supply. The energy cost of $1 to $5 a shot compares with $100,000 to $200,000 for a defensive missile. Northrop is developing equipment to focus the beam and Boeing is building the pod to house the system on a jet.

Mr. Afzal said the quest for an affordable and compact option has been aided by rapid growth in demand for more powerful industrial lasers.

Firms such as Massachusetts-based IPG Photonics Corp and Germany’s Trumpf GmbH have benefited from surging demand for lasers as powerful as 10 kilowatts that are used to cut and weld materials such as lightweight metal alloys and ceramics for customers including Boeing and Lockheed, said Mark Neice, executive director of the Directed Energy Professional Society, a trade group.

The global market for directed energy weapons, including lasers, is forecast to grow to more than $24 billion by 2021 from around $7 billion, according to research firm Markets and Markets. Some military experts said that estimate is too optimistic. The recent U.S. defense policy bill allotted just $200 million to directed energy.

General Atomics, maker of Predator drones usually equipped with missiles, also won an $18 million contract last month to develop a laser that could be installed by 2021 on a high-altitude unmanned aircraft to shoot down missiles.

Original article can be found here ➤

Beechcraft King Air C90, N19LW, registered to Planemarketing LLC and operated by L3 Airline Academy as CONN900: Fatal accident occurred December 08, 2017 in Geneva, Seminole County, Florida

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Orlando, Florida
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Geneva, FL
Accident Number: WPR18FA045
Date & Time: 12/08/2017, 1115 EST
Registration: N19LW
Aircraft: BEECH C90
Injuries: 3 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional

On December 8, 2017, about 1115 eastern standard time, a Beech C90, N19LW, was destroyed when it impacted the waters of Lake Harney, near Geneva, Florida. The airplane was registered to Planemarketing LLC, Vero Beach, Florida, and operated by L3 Airline Academy as CONN900 as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight. The Flight Instructor and two commercial pilots receiving instruction were fatally injured. Instrument and visual meteorological conditions prevailed in the area, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the flight, which originated from Sanford, Florida, about 0753.

Review of preliminary information provided by the Federal Aviation Administration revealed that following an uneventful flight to Milledgeville, Georgia, the flight returned to the Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) and conducted a practice instrument approach to runway 09. After the flight completed the instrument approach, the active runway was changed to 27R and Air Traffic Control (ATC) controllers vectored the flight for a practice ILS Runway 27R instrument approach. About 2 minutes after the flight was given a vector to intercept the localizer and cleared for the approach, the controller issued a low altitude alert and advised the flight to climb to 1,600 feet. Following a second low altitude alert with instructions to immediately climb to 1,600 feet, the flight responded that "I am sir, I am." Shortly after, radar and radio communication with the accident airplane was lost.

A witness, who was located on a boat near the north end of Lake Harney reported hearing a low flying airplane approach his position at a low altitude. The witness stated that he could not see the airplane initially due to low clouds and light ground fog, however, he observed the airplane below the cloud ceiling at 250 to 300 feet above ground level, and then climb rapidly. The witness further stated that they were looking in the general direction of the engine noise when they observed the airplane dive vertically into the lake south of their position.

The wreckage was recovered from Lake Harney and transported to a secure location for further examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: BEECH
Registration: N19LW
Model/Series: C90 UNDESIGNATED
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: L3 Airline Academy
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KSFB, 55 ft msl
Observation Time: 1553 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 21°C / 18°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 8 knots, 170°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 800 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.89 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Sanford, FL (SFB)
Destination: Sanford, FL (SFB) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:   28.764722, -81.061111

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

Kam Jimi Naik

Kam Jimi Naik was a flight instructor and former airline pilot, a friend to many and enemy to none.

His laugh and smile was contagious.

Throughout his career as a instructor he taught and mentored hundreds of students.

Outside of work Jimi always found time for his family, friends and God. 

We are writing this with a heavy heart that December 8th ,2017 Jimi received new wings. 

His plane crashed into a lake in Sanford Florida. 

He is leaving behind his beautiful wife Karen and two daughters.

We are trying to help raise funds to assist the family in this difficult time to help with arrangements and whatever may lay ahead. 

Thank you.

Read more here:

Kamalesh (Jimi) Naik
Current: First Officer at Silver Airways 
Previous:  Delta Connection Academy

SANFORD, Fla. —  Dive teams are searching the murky waters of Lake Harney Monday, hoping to recover wreckage from a plane crash that killed three people last week.

Even though the water at the crash site is only 10-feet deep, visibility has been an issue for divers.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the twin-engine Beechcraft was attempting to land at Orlando Sanford International Airport when it crashed at about 11:30 a.m. Friday into Lake Harney.

Three bodies were recovered on Saturday.

The Seminole County Sheriff's Office identified the pilot as 56-year-old Kamalesh Naik of Sanford, and the passengers as two Chinese nationals, 22-year-old Men Tao and 23-year-old Hou Xupeng. The plane belonged to a commercial flight school at the airport.

Investigators hope some of the wreckage will aid in the investigation.

Investigators have also recovered both radio and radar communication that indicates the plane was headed for Orlando Sanford International Airport. The National Transportation Safety Board said it expects to have a preliminary report on the cause of the crash within five days.

Story and video:

Josh Cawthra, Aviation Accident Investigator 
National Transportation Safety Board

Three people, including two from China, are presumed dead after their plane crashed Friday morning into a lake near the border of Seminole and Volusia counties, officials said.

The pilot is identified as Kamalesh Naik, 56, of Sanford. The two passengers are identified as Men Tao, 22, and Hou Xupeng, 23, both of China, currently staying in Sanford.

Seminole County sheriff’s deputies say they received calls just before 11:30 a.m. about a plane flying low and crashing into Lake Harney.

Members of the Seminole and Volusia county sheriff’s offices along with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission responded to the scene for search and recovery efforts.

The victims’ bodies have not yet been recovered, officials say. The search will resume on Saturday morning and officials ask that people avoid the area.

Lake Harney is located east of Geneva.

Original article ➤

Hou Xupeng

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - Multiple law enforcement agencies are searching for a plane that crashed into a lake near the Volusia-Seminole county line. 

Federal Aviation Administration officials said three people were on board the the Connection 900 plane when it went down in Lake Harney.

The crash was reported about 11:30 a.m. Friday.

Deputies with Seminole and Volusia counties are involved with the search.

Dive teams, search and rescue teams and boats have spent hours in the lake searching for the passengers and pilot.

The FAA said the aircraft was on its way to Orlando Sanford International Airport.

Investigators found what appeared to be a plane seat.

George Tanner was fishing on his boat when he heard about the crash.

“They first approached me to ask if I had seen a low-flying plane because they were still looking for the crash site, but I didn’t hear anything,” Tanner said.

The pilot was later identified as Kamalesh Naik, 56, of Sanford.

The two passengers were identified as Men Tao, 22, and Hou Xupeng, 23, both Chinese nationals who were staying in Sanford.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the cause of the crash. 

Story and photo gallery  ➤

Crews work to recover plane wreckage from Lake Harney

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — The search is on for passengers who are missing after a plane crashed into Lake Harney in Seminole County. 

The Sheriff's Office said it is now a recovery mission.

The plane crashed into the lake a little after 11 a.m. Friday. The lake is nine square miles in size.

Seminole and Volusia authorities responded to the crash, which happened on the Seminole/Volusia line.

Because of Lake Harney's size, rescue crews hustled to get to the crash site from a variety of locations.

The dive team left the boat ramp along State Road 46 as quickly as it arrived, to take a different route to the wreckage.

Some dive team members and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission airboats took off from the west side, or the Geneva side, of Lake Harney, to see if that was the best route.

Both the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.

The FAA said the Beech 90 King Air was on approach to Orlando Sanford International Airport when it crashed.

The airport president told WESH 2 News that according to airport operations, there wasn't a conversation between the tower and the aircraft.

Lake Harney is often a little murky and stirred up because of its size. That could be an issue, since water levels are still high after Hurricane Irma, and a storm front is coming in.

The Sheriff's Office said it will keep working as long as light and weather allows.

Story and video ➤

This forensics team was looking at what appears to be a seat and a reflective vest at Lake Harney. 

Commercial Training Solutions, which owned the plane involved, released the following statement:

“Commercial Training Solutions can confirm that a King Air aircraft that crashed in Lake Harney, Florida this morning involved one of our employees and two trainees. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the victims of this tragedy. We are awaiting updates from local authorities on developments around this incident, and will cooperate fully with the FAA and the NTSB in the ongoing investigation. No further information is available at this time."

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - The bodies of three people were recovered from a plane that crashed into Lake Harney Friday, according to officials with the National Transportation Safety Board.

Search crews found the sunken plane Saturday near the Seminole-Volusia County line, investigators said.

Authorities cannot confirm how long it will take to recover the plane from the lake due to poor visibility.

Three people were on board the Connection 900 "King Air" plane when it went down in Lake Harney at about 11:30 a.m., Federal Aviation Administration officials said.

Deputies with Seminole and Volusia counties were involved with the search.

Dive teams, search and rescue teams and boats spent hours at the lake Friday searching for the passengers and the pilot, but to no avail.

The pilot was identified as Kamalesh Naik, 56, of Sanford.

The two passengers were identified as Men Tao, 22, and Hou Xupeng, 23, both Chinese nationals who were staying in Sanford.

The FAA said the aircraft was on its way to Orlando-Sanford International Airport.

George Tanner was fishing on his boat when he heard about the crash.

“They first approached me to ask if I had seen a low-flying plane because they were still looking for the crash site, but I didn’t hear anything,” Tanner said.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the cause of the crash.

Story, video and photo gallery ➤

LAKE HARNEY, Fla. - An airplane carrying up to three people crashed into Lake Harney on Friday near the Seminole-Volusia county line, officials said.

A fisherman reported the crash in the southeast side of the lake near Lake Harney Woods Boulevard and Morgan Alderman Road.

The Federal Aviation Administration said a Connection 900 BE-9L aircraft coming from L3 Airline Academy was approaching the Orlando Sanford International Airport when it crashed.

Divers are searching for the aircraft and possible survivors, officials said.

Officials said the recovery efforts could take anywhere from five to seven days. 

Kenneth Miller was working in his nearby yard when he said he heard the roar of the plane's engine.

"It was a loud explosion and then I heard nothing," Miller said.

The FAA will investigate the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board will determine the cause of the crash.

No other details have been released. 

Story and video ➤