Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Rogerson Aircraft Corporation: Avionics Co. Sues Ex-Partner For $100M In Trade Secret Row

Law360, Houston (December 13, 2017, 5:17 PM EST) -- Avionics maker Rogerson Aircraft Corp. sued Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. in Texas state court on Tuesday seeking more than $100 million in damages, contending Bell is trampling its trade secret rights and disseminating confidential information after turning to a new supplier.

Rogerson told the court that after decades of working collaboratively to develop “state-of-the-art avionics and instrument systems” specifically for Bell’s helicopters, Bell has told Rogerson it won’t renew its long-term agreement between the parties and will instead work with a new company for its avionics... 

Original article can be found here ➤

More in store for the Dixon Municipal Airport (C73): Board wants to clean house – or, rather hangars – and take other action to improve a city asset

DIXON – Hangars are full at the Dixon Municipal Airport, and efforts are underway to make sure the spaces are being used to house operational aircraft rather than storing dead planes.

Updated leases will be sent out to hangar tenants next month as well as a warning that they will need to be in compliance with the rules, primarily that the hangar must house a flyable plane.

The airport has about 40 hangars, two of which are used to store city snow plows, and the Airport Board estimates that 10 of the spaces store out-of-service aircraft.

The goal is to make sure the hangars are being used for their intended purpose and drawing traffic for the facility instead of storing junk and other materials that could be a safety hazard.

“We’re giving people a couple of months to come into compliance,” Airport and Street Department Manager Jim Canterbury said during the board meeting Tuesday.

Other items on the airport’s to-do list are repair the automated weather observing system (AWOS) that has had issues for about a year, move forward with improving the lighting on its main runway using Federal Aviation Administration funds and get approved to once again be able to have nighttime approaches.

The City Council signed off on a feasibility study more than a year ago to gauge whether the airport was worth keeping open, and the goal for the past several months has been to find ways to improve the airport, make it as self sufficient as possible, and bring in new development.

Board Chairman Dan Ruckman said more interest is being shown in the airport and its value in the community.

“I think things are positive, and the city sees that, and the city now feels that it’s an asset,” he said.

The airport recently received a new fixed-base operator, M&M Aviation Services, headed by former Whiteside County Airport Manager Mike Dowell, who is renting four hangars and providing a flight school, charter service and aircraft rental.

The board recognized Dowell and hope that his business will generate more activity at the airport.


The Dixon Municipal Airport Board next meets at 5 p.m. Jan. 10 at the airport, 1650 Franklin Grove Road.

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Two people face federal drug trafficking charges after allegedly transporting 260 pounds of marijuana on a private jet from California to Orlando Executive Airport (KORL), Orange County, Florida

Chayla Archambault

ORLANDO, Florida  - Two people face federal drug trafficking charges after allegedly transporting 260 pounds of marijuana on a private jet from California to Orlando, officials said.

Agents with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security reported that a confidential informant tipped them off that the jet was on its way.

They were at Orlando Executive Airport when the jet touched down and said they observed two individuals load luggage into an SUV before driving away.

The SUV was tracked from the air by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office as it drove on State Road 408.

When deputies tried to pull it over for speeding in a construction zone, the SUV sped up and exited the highway, before ultimately crashing, investigators said.

Cesar Martins was ejected from the SUV and Chayla Archambault was trapped inside, a federal criminal complaint said.

When deputies arrived at the crash scene, they reported smelling a strong odor of marijuana and found 260 pounds of marijuana packed in airtight plastic inside the wrecked vehicle.

Martins and Archambault were not seriously injured in the crash, officials said.

Archambault told investigators that she was flying back after visiting the wine country in California and did not know what was inside the luggage, the federal complaint said.

Federal agents did not buy her story, though, and Archambault and Martins were both arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.

Archambault has since been released from custody, but no one answered when Channel 9 went to the Clermont home where she listed as staying.

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Federal agents who were investigating a drug trafficking tip found 260 pounds of marijuana when the vehicle they were following crashed on Interstate 4 in Orange County, bringing a high-speed chase to an end.

The investigation began when an agent from the Department of Homeland Security received a tip that an aircraft landing at Orlando Executive Airport around 1 a.m. Monday might be transporting narcotics, according to a criminal complaint.

Agents arrived at the airport before the plane landed from Sonoma, Calif., and watched as an unidentified man, Chayla Archambault and an unidentified woman removed several suitcases and load them into an Infiniti SUV, the report said.

After the suitcases were loaded in the vehicle, Archambault got in the driver's seat and Cesar Martins, the man who drove the SUV to the airport, got into the passenger's seat. They left the airport at the same time as a red Jeep that had parked near the aircraft, agents said.

Authorities watched as both vehicles were driven onto westbound Sate Road 408, then I-4. An Orange County deputy who was assisting with surveillance attempted to pull the Infiniti over for speeding in a construction zone, but the vehicle continued to speed, according to the criminal complaint.

Agents said the high-speed pursuit ended when the SUV crashed near Kirkman Road, ejecting Martins from the passenger seat and trapping Archambault in the driver's seat.

After the suspects were rescued from the crash, authorities said they found several pieces of luggage containing 260 pounds worth of packaged marijuana.

Archambault and Martins were arrested after being treated for their crash-related injuries. 

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M T Propeller USA Inc: Employee steals $253,000 from DeLand Municipal Airport (KDED) business

Sarah Denton

A DeLeon Springs woman is accused of stealing more than $250,000 from a DeLand Municipal Airport business where she worked as the bookkeeper, police said.

Sarah Denton, 38, was arrested on a warrant Monday by Volusia sheriff’s deputies and jailed on charges of grand theft over $100,000, fraudulent use of a credit card and organized scheme to defraud more than $50,000. She was out of jail on $12,500 bail. Reached Tuesday by telephone, Denton said she had no comment.

Denton was hired as a secretary for M T Propeller USA Inc. in November 2001 and eventually became the business’ bookkeeper, reports show.

Police said Denton stole the money from the business between 2014 and 2017.

All the goods that Denton bought with the money or what she used the money for are redacted from the police charging document but police said that during the period that the money was stolen, Denton’s husband opened a landscaping business.

Denton was fired Nov. 11 by M T Propeller USA Inc. after Peter Marshall, a manager discovered many fraudulent charges to a Lowe’s credit card and fraudulently cashed checks from a SunTrust bank account, a DeLand police report said.

M T Propeller at 1180 Airport Terminal Road, manufactures airplane propellers in Germany and the DeLand business is the U.S. office of the company, reports show.

On Nov. 11, Marshall discovered that Denton made multiple unauthorized purchases using the Lowe’s credit card totaling $11,374.33. Denton had been making the purchases since Dec. 3, 2014, DeLand police detectives said.

Marshall confronted Denton who could not give him an explanation other than it had been an accident. Denton was fired, police said.

Reached by telephone Tuesday, Marshall declined comment on Denton’s arrest.

After Denton was terminated, the manager also discovered that statements from a SunTrust bank account were missing. Further investigations revealed that Denton made out fake checks to freight companies and then cashed the checks herself. She cashed at least 94 checks and made three unauthorized withdrawals from the company’s bank account, investigators said.

In all, Denton, who was a 16-year employee of the propeller business, is suspected of stealing a total of $253,500, police said.

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A New Push Against Human Trafficking on Flights: U.S. airports, airlines and Homeland Security are working to educate employees and passengers for signs of exploited people they see traveling

McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas has signs at baggage claim and in every bathroom stall to raise awareness about human trafficking. 

The Wall Street Journal  
By Scott McCartney
Dec. 13, 2017 10:27 a.m. ET

A flight attendant notices a teenage girl uncomfortable with the older man she’s traveling with and leaves her a note in a bathroom. The teen writes back: “I need help.” A teenage boy from New Zealand on a one-way ticket to visit a sex offender is intercepted by a careful Los Angeles customs agent.

These are two stark examples of how airlines, airports and the Department of Homeland Security are stepping up efforts to thwart human trafficking, which is transporting people for forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation. Travelers will see a lot more warnings, and be encouraged to learn how to spot the crimes they may be sitting next to on flights.

Training is expanding at airports, from skycaps to shop clerks, and signs are going up, including one in every bathroom stall at the Las Vegas airport. Over the next month or so, Delta Air Lines will start placing 8-foot-tall signs at gates in hub airports. Some give victims a number to text or call and others educate travelers about signs of trafficking.

“It’s happening right under our noses,” says Nancy Rivard, a former American Airlines flight attendant who is president and founder of Airline Ambassadors International, a group that conducts training for travel-industry workers. Stopping the illegal flow of people “takes us being alert and having the guts or the moral imperative to make a call,” she says. “You hope you’re wrong, but your action could save a life.”

Last year, the National Human Trafficking Hotline took 26,727 substantive calls involving 7,621 reported cases of trafficking humans for work or sex, according to the Polaris Project, the nonprofit that operates the hotline for the Health and Human Services Department.

This year’s numbers are running 10% to 20% higher, Polaris says.

Las Vegas knows that big events, from boxing matches to Super Bowl weekends, draw criminals along with other visitors. As local authorities stepped up efforts to thwart sex trafficking in particular, Rosemary Vassiliadis, director of aviation at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, realized “these monsters are coming through the airport.”

She started asking employees. Those working the taxi line told her they thought they saw it fairly regularly but didn’t know what to do. So the airport hired Airline Ambassadors to train front-line workers. Now everyone who works at the airport goes through a summary of the training when they get their airport-issued badge.

Ms. Vassiliadis says she flunked the training on first go—she instinctively tried to intervene in a situation that looked like someone was traveling against her will. That’s the wrong move—they’ll often run. Workers are trained to try to keep people in sight without spooking them and call the right authorities when they are able.

When eyeing a potential trafficking victim, Polaris says to look for people unable to provide details of their departure, destination or flight information. Traffickers typically give their victims little information. Look for a traveler who has someone speaking for him or her, a traveler who isn’t carrying his or her own identification, doesn’t have any personal luggage, or isn’t appropriately dressed for travel or their destination.

Other signs: nervousness, avoiding eye contact. And people buying a large number of one-way tickets with cash can be a red flag.

Congress included a requirement in FAA authorization last year that airlines train flight attendants in human trafficking. A short online training program created by the Homeland Security and Transportation departments meets the requirement. The government’s Blue Lightning Initiative even has a version of the training for the traveling public.

Several carriers are doing more. Delta started training employees in 2013 and so far has educated 54,000 of 80,000 on human trafficking. Last year the airline broadened its effort, using more extensive training, supporting anti-trafficking organizations and deciding to educate customers. It isn’t necessarily great marketing—hitting customers with disturbing warnings of criminals in their midst flies against traditional airline pitches of warm places and smiling faces.

“I think it’s our social responsibility when we have the influence we have,” says Allison Ausband, Delta’s senior vice president of in-flight services.

Alaska Airlines flight attendant Shelia Fedrick noticed a young woman with greasy hair on a Seattle-to-San Francisco flight who looked uncomfortable with the well-dressed older man with her. She tried to engage them in conversation, but the man was defensive. Ms. Fedrick whispered to the teen to go to the bathroom and she left a note there. On the back of the paper, the woman wrote “I need help.”

The flight attendant alerted pilots and police arrested the man for sex trafficking.

Alaska says it started training flight attendants in 2015, shortly before Ms. Fedrick’s February 2016 flight. The airline has also trained customer-service agents.

Last week, a Customs and Border Protection agent interviewed a 17-year-old boy traveling alone from New Zealand. He was on a one-way ticket and said he was on his way to visit a Michigan family he met on social media. He carried just $26, CBP says.

The agent followed standard procedure designed to protect minors and looked up the names the boy had. The man he had been communicating with was actually a registered child sex offender with two felony convictions, CBP says. The teen was found inadmissible to the U.S. under a rule giving CBP extra responsibility for minors traveling alone. He returned to New Zealand, where he lives with a caregiver.

“The whole narrative was highly suspicious,” a CBP spokesman says. “We didn’t want to allow him in and in two weeks see a rape case or abuse.”

Airports say they try to find ways to get information to victims without flagging traffickers. They post a hotline phone number, sometimes with dashes in nontraditional places to make it easier to remember without writing down: 888-373-7888. Polaris chief executive Bradley Myles says there’s an initiative under way to put bars of soap in hotels with the number printed on it so they see it in private, just like the Las Vegas airport bathroom stalls.

The hotline staff is trained to identify the type of situation: People held captive and forced to work in agriculture or construction or massage parlors, for example. Polaris works with a network of law enforcement agencies across the country to refer cases to someone locally trained in trafficking cases.

The travel attention has already led to some ugly incidents of false accusations: fathers traveling with daughters who get questioned by police after a flight crew or others think something is amiss. Several airlines have had to apologize to detained passengers.

Airlines aren’t liable for trafficking as long as passengers meet requirements on passports and visas. Advocates say good Samaritan laws protect airline employees who might end up making a false accusation.

Delta says it trains employees to ask a colleague to look over a situation and see if there’s agreement before making a report. Others say following the criteria for possible trafficking scenarios usually avoids mistaken reports.

“I want people to err on the side of calling when your gut is telling you something may be wrong,” Mr. Myles says. “I think the number of times people got it right far outweighs the number of times people got it wrong.”

Original article can be found here ➤

Skydiver injured after making hard landing near DeLand Municipal Airport (KDED), Volusia County, Florida

DELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – A skydiver was injured after making a hard landing in DeLand in Volusia County on Wednesday.

Police were called to DeLand Municipal Airport at about 11:30 a.m.

The 35-year-old skydiver landed northwest of the airport after being forced to deploy the reserve parachute, authorities said.

The person was flown to Halifax Health Center in Daytona Beach. There was no immediate word on their condition.

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Delta Air Lines, Boeing 737-900: Incident occurred November 29, 2017 at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (KATL), Atlanta, Georgia

National Transportation Safety Board Office of Public Affairs 
NTSB Releases Incident Investigation Information

​WASHINGTON (Dec. 13, 2017) — The National Transportation Safety Board released information gathered to date from its investigation of an incident at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

The incident involves Delta Air Lines flight 2196, which was cleared to land on runway 09R at about 11:06 a.m., Nov. 29, 2017. The airplane was initially lined up on the runway but radar data indicate that when within about one mile of the runway, flight 2196 began to deviate left of the approach course and subsequently aligned with taxiway N. A go-around was initiated after crossing the start of the taxiway. While there was an occupied airplane on taxiway N at that time, flight 2196 did not overfly the airplane during the go-around.

The NTSB was notified of the incident Nov. 30 and began the incident investigation. Investigative groups for this incident include operational factors, human performance, flight data recorder, air traffic control, and meteorology. Parties to the investigation include the Air Line Pilots Association, Delta Air Lines, the FAA and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.

The factual information from the incident investigation is available on the NTSB’s website at


WASHINGTON — A Delta Air Lines plane nearly landed on a taxiway that was occupied by another plane at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, federal accident investigators said Wednesday.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it has opened an investigation into the November 29 incident. Delta flight 2196 had been cleared to land and initially lined up with a runway, but about a mile from the airport the plane began to veer left and lined up with a taxiway where another Delta plane was waiting, according to a preliminary report by the board.

The Boeing B737, which was arriving from Indianapolis, descended to about 100 feet off the ground before aborting the landing and circling back for another try, the report said. When the plane pitched upward to begin its ascent in order to abort the landing, its tail reached as low as 60 feet off the ground, the report said.

Despite the low altitude, the Delta plane didn’t fly over the top of the plane on the taxiway, the report said.

Delta spokesman Michael Thomas said the airline would work with the NTSB on its investigation.

The first officer was at the controls of the Delta plane during the aborted landing and the captain was monitoring, the report said. The first officer told investigators that he was initially too far to the right to line up for the runway and corrected to the left, but apparently “overcorrected,” the report said.

The NTSB was already investigating a July 7 incident in which an Air Canada plane nearly landed on a taxiway in San Francisco that already had four fully loaded and fueled planes lined up and waiting for takeoff.

The deadliest accident in aviation history occurred on March 27, 1977 at the Tenerife airport in the Canary Islands when two Boeing 747s collided on a runway, killing 583 people.

Original article  ➤

On first visit to state, UPS chief touts Alaska role in Asia trade route

 A United Parcel Service Inc. jet taxies into the UPS hub in Anchorage as a small plane takes off from the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. UPS lands 110 flights per week in Anchorage, and employs 1,200 drivers in the state. 

UPS International President Jim Barber told an Anchorage group the right timing for his first trip to Alaska had come for a number of reasons, including the hub’s expanding importance in connecting to China and Asian-Pacific communities.

Barber, the head of the United Parcel Service International, spoke Dec. 8 before the Alaska World Affairs Council at the 49th State Brewing Co.

Barber has been president of UPS since 2013, previously serving as president of UPS Europe. In that role, he helped oversee the second wave of international expansion for UPS that began in the mid 1990s.

Barber spoke of UPS’ continued commitment to use Anchorage as a critical “node” in its global logistics operation. In Alaska, UPS employs 1,200 drivers. It lands 110 flights each week. And it pays between $10 million and $15 million per year in landing fees to Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage.

“On this first trip to Alaska, I came for a couple of reasons,” Barber said. “It was time to get up here and continue to support it in different ways… here there is a great connecting point to the Asian Pacific and China.”

Barber cited the statistic that 1 in 10 Anchorage jobs is tied to the airport. It is the fifth-largest airport in the world in terms of cargo throughput. In terms of logistics, Alaska is already a global player, he said. But Alaska could ship more goods to the Far East, given huge demand.

“Alaska is a unique node for us as we shift to the concept of China and e-commerce,” he said.

China, with its 1.4 billion people and its model of consumerism “is one that is most interesting to me,” Barber said. “It’s an economy whose middle class of 335 million people is bigger than the U.S. population and it is growing and it is continuing to grow. It wants what we have.”

He predicts their demand for Western products and services will ultimately swell the economy and change the world in the next 20 to 30 years.

Another factor is that of the world’s 50 wealthiest per capita cities, nine are in China.

Barber’s Alaska visit, therefore, “focused in the past couple of days on how we at UPS need to support that growth model. Our airplanes that go full come back 20 to 25 percent full of similar product. The more we can do to change that, it will continue to help us invest in Anchorage and Alaska.”

He encouraged Alaskan entrepreneurs to keep their products in mind for this huge Chinese market.

Despite protectionist trade talk coming from Washington, D.C., UPS believes a lot of good comes from international trade, Barber said.

“We don’t plan to back up, regardless of what you hear in Washington and what you hear in London,” he said.

While acknowledging it is indisputable that the U.S. lost jobs to overseas manufacturing, he doesn’t want to see the U.S. nix the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, in a “backwards move.”

“Our job is to refresh it. When we talk about NAFTA it does need to be refreshed, particularly with Mexico,” he said. “But we must do it respectfully.”

In fact, after reduced corporate taxes, Barber said his second big Christmas wish is for an easing in world trade relations.

In May 2018, Barber said UPS plans to launch a product in the China market, but he declined to say more.

UPS made news earlier this year when it provided a grant of $800,000 plus logistical support through the UPS Foundation in a partnership to get vaccines to poor countries, Barber noted. With the robotics company, Zipline International Inc., UPS undertook drone flights in Rwanda starting in August. The drones delivered blood and vaccines to half the transfusion centers in the country, saving lives.

UPS will look at using drone technology in the future, but for now, the “culture of UPS” is about the human relationships grounded to communities, he said.

Another new technology has transformed UPS’ bottom line and makes customers happy: the On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation tool, or ORION. The technology helps UPS drivers determine the optimal way to deliver and pick-up packages.

The system relies on online map data, customized by UPS, to calculate miles and travel time to plan the most cost-effective routes.

For every mile reduced, costs are also reduced. ORION has helped save UPS $50 million, which also is a reduction in the company’s carbon emissions.

A good retail season bodes well for UPS this year. But keeping up with the seasonal spike of 750 million packages to deliver “takes every breath we have to keep up,” Barber said. He would like to find new ways to streamline so that the high e-commerce demand for package delivery can be done “in a way that makes everyone happier.”

UPS has adapted and moved forward, and pulled back when necessary, he said. They hire about 100,000 new employees in the fleet each season.

Robots may seem the wave of the future, but Barber said that concept keeps him awake at night because of what UPS will lose in its community connections and jobs.

Barber mentioned a friend in the wholesale grocery business. He built his own robots to move groceries through a 500,000-square foot warehouse in New York.

“There used to be 600 people moving groceries through the building. He can run that building with four people and robots do the rest,” Barber said. “In a logistics industry, robotics hasn’t yet come.”

UPS is able to win the hearts and minds of communities by being on the ground in 220 countries, he said. The 110 flights through Anchorage a week is part of the global network, but to “become part of the fabric of a community happens by having feet on the ground,” he added.

UPS is bringing on 14 new Boeing 747-8 cargo freighters, and many will flow through Alaska in the coming year. During a question and answer exchange, Barber was asked about establishing an Anchorage distribution arm of UPS.

He didn’t rule it out.

“In your move as a state from oil and gas to what it will be in the next 100 years, certainly logistics is part of what it will be in the future,” he said. “We don’t have any plans to leave. As UPS continues to grow, Anchorage and Alaska will also be benefactors.”

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Prosecution halted of 'delusional' Minnesota man who shot at aircraft: A judge rules that the defendant lacks the mental competency to aid in his defense

Chad L. Olson

A judge has ruled that a man whose gunfire struck a small airplane flying over northwestern Minnesota is severely “delusional” and unable to stand trial.

Chad L. Olson, who turns 52 on Thursday, has been ordered by Polk County District Judge Jeffrey Remick to be housed and receive treatment at the state-licensed Northwest Regional Corrections Center in Crookston.

In the meantime, the judge has put on hold the prosecution of Olson on charges of second-degree attempted murder, second-degree assault and two counts of first-degree criminal damage to property. Remick on Tuesday scheduled a May court date for further review of the case.

Olson, of Fertile, who has long chafed over aircraft flying over his property, pierced the airplane with gunfire on Oct. 6 and explained that he was on an anti-terrorism mission, according to the criminal complaint.

Remick’s ruling that Olson was mentally incompetent to assist in his own defense came after the defendant was examined by a doctor Oct. 31.

Dr. Charles Chmielewski concluded that Olson has a fairly severe case of “delusional disorder ... with multiple episodes, quite severe,” the judge’s ruling read.

Pointing to a concern that Olson might hurt himself or others, the doctor recommended that the defendant be moved to the corrections center, a secure treatment facility.

At the time Olson was taken into custody, he objected to his placement, the judge’s ruling noted.

A pilot told a sheriff’s deputy that he flew his single-engine Cessna from the Crookston airport to nearby Fertile and was on his third or fourth “touch-and-go” landing and takeoff when he heard a “twang” while flying over a greenhouse.

The pilot, whose identity has remained undisclosed by authorities, returned to the Crookston airport without difficulty. He estimated the damage to his plane from the rifle gunfire at $20,000.

Olson, who lives under the flight path of the plane, was known by authorities for making several complaints about low-flying aircraft. In mid-May, one of Olson’s neighbors reported hearing gunfire after an airplane flew by.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) worker told the Sheriff’s Office that Olson had been harassing the agency with complaints about planes flying over his property. Olson told the FAA he “may have to use lethal force if he felt threatened by the airplanes,” the charges against him read.

Matthew Hegre told the Sheriff’s Office that Olson explained to him that “he was using lethal force to defend himself because the airplanes were engaged in terrorism.”

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Piper PA-23: Accident occurred December 13, 2017 near Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (KFXE), Broward County, Florida

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; South Florida

Aircraft on attempted return, crashed into lake.

Date: 13-DEC-17
Time: 17:13:00Z
Regis#: N/A
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA32
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)

OAKLAND PARK, FLA. (WSVN) - The Broward Sheriff’s Office has responded to the scene of a small plane crash at an Oakland Park lake, Wednesday.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the Piper PA-23 plane lost power while flying south of Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport before crashing into a lake just west of Northwest 21st Street Avenue, at around 12:15 p.m.

Officials have confirmed that the pilot was able to escape the plane and swim to shore. According to Oakland Park Fire Rescue, the pilot appeared to be OK, and said he did not need medical assistance.

Several witnesses from the surrounding area said they saw the plane go down into the water.

“It was coming from north going south,” said witness Roland Forbes. “When it got about here – in the middle here – there was a puff of smoke, went up in the air, and the plane start taking a nose dive.”

The pilot had landed in a lake surrounded by apartments and condos.

“I told my wife, ‘The guy is in trouble,'” said witness Angelo Marfisi, who saw the plane from his third story balcony. “You could hear the engine just fluttering, and he got really close to us, and he was able to make a turn.”

The plane turned and landed in the water.

Video shows the tail of the plane sticking out of the water with the pilot standing outside.

“When it came down, hit the water, about two or three seconds [later] the guy came out. He was dazed. He was dazed, but he stood on the wing,” Forbes said.

The plane is believed to have sunk to the bottom of the lake.

“‘Wait a minute. Is that a plane in a lake?’ We see the plane sitting there with the tale end sticking straight up out of the water. I thought it was a joke or something,” said one man. “We watched it, and then it just sank right down in the water.”

The pilot then jumped into the water and swam to safety.

“It’s a lucky thing too because I thought he was dead. He could’ve landed on any one of these houses, on a road,” said the witness. “Heck – the school is over there too. He could have landed on the school. That could have been a real catastrophe.”

The FAA is now investigating and the National Transportation Safety Board will look into the cause of the accident.

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The pilot of a small plane swam to safety after his aircraft lost power and went down in a lake in Oakland Park on Wednesday, federal aviation authorities say.

The Canadian-registered, twin-engine light aircraft sank quickly and was no longer visible shortly after the crash that happened around noon near the 3200 block of Northwest 21st Avenue.

“It sounds like an early Christmas miracle. The pilot crashed the small plane into a lake and was able to extricate himself,” said David Rafter, an Oakland Park spokesman. “No injuries reported.”

The plane took off out of Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport and was returning to the airport when it crashed, said Kathleen Bergen, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson.

Ronald Forbes said he was sitting in his truck eating lunch when he saw a puff of smoke in the sky as the plane’s engine went out.

Then he watched the plane nosedive into the lake, he said.

The pilot emerged from the plane seemingly unscathed and stood on the wing as it began to sink, Forbes said.

“At about five to six minutes the plane was completely down except for the tail sticking out and by the time the police got here it went under,” he said.

Rescue crews were at the scene. Witnesses said the pilot was able to swim to safety after the crash.

The pilot and his insurance company are expected to arrange for the removal of the plane, if possible, Bergen said.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate and determine the probable cause of the accident.

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A pilot was okay after his small plane crashed into a lake in Oakland Park Wednesday.

The crash was reported in the area of Northwest 21st Avenue and Oakland Park Boulevard around 12:15 p.m.

Officials said the Piper PA-23 lost power and went down about two miles from Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport.

Broward Sheriff's Office officials said the pilot was able to get out of the plane and swim to shore before the aircraft sank into the lake.

"I was sitting in my truck, I was having some lunch and right about here in the middle of the sky here, the engine went out on the plane, there was a puff of smoke, the plane started taking a nosedive down," witness Rona Forbes said. "When it dropped in the water, I was watching it and I was shouting, I asked the neighbors to rescue the guy.”

The FAA and NTSB will investigate the cause of the crash.

No other information was immediately known.

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OAKLAND PARK, Fla. - A small plane crashed into a lake Wednesday in Oakland Park.

According to the Oakland Park Fire Rescue Department, the plane went down in a lake just west of Veterans Park.

"it just popped and we saw smoke come out of it," one witness, Xavier Bryan, said. 

The pilot got out of the plane and wasn't injured.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said the Canadian-registered Piper PA-23 lost power about 12:15 p.m.

The plane, which apparently sank, was nowhere to be seen when Sky 10 arrived.

"Once we heard the engine knock, the plane went down. They nosedived right into the lake," Bryan said. 

Cellphone video taken just after the crash shows the plane with its tail in the air. 

"The engine went out right here, in the middle of the air, so it seems that way to me because it was a puff of smoke and the plane started to nosedive," another witness, Ronald Forbes, said. 

Witnesses said the pilot swam to shore after the crash.

"He had, like, a box, and he was actually swimming with the box from the plane to the shore," Bryan said.

Bergen said the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the cause of the crash. 

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Commonwealth Ports Authority asks court to dismiss Star Marianas lawsuit

The Commonwealth Ports Authority has asked the federal court to dismiss the lawsuit filed by Star Marianas Air.

In its complaint, Star Marianas accused Commonwealth Ports Authority and other unidentified individuals of breach of contract, and violation of the Anti-Head Tax Act.

The Commonwealth Ports Authority, through attorney Robert T. Torres, said the court should dismiss Star Marianas claims because the Anti-Head-Tax-Act does not provide for a private right of action, adding that the court has no jurisdiction over the alleged federal claim because the air carrier has failed to exhaust administrative remedies.

If the court finds it has no jurisdiction, it has no discretion to exercise supplemental jurisdiction and must dismiss all of Star Marianas’ claims, Torres added.

Represented by attorney Timothy Bellas, Star Marianas said Commonwealth Ports Authority user fees are excessive and that the ports authority is not complying with the requirements of their airport use agreement.

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Williamsburg Landing gets approval to expand toward Williamsburg-Jamestown Airport (KJGG)

A map of Williamsburg Landing and the Williamsburg-Jamestown Airport included in the Planning Commission meeting agenda.
(Courtesy James City County)

Williamsburg Landing has received permission for the construction of 135 new residences.

James City County’s Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to approve an application for the expansion of the retirement community.

The proposal, submitted by Paul W. Gerhardt and William L. Holt of Kaufman and Canoles, calls for the construction of structures up to 60 feet tall to house 135 independent living units, according to meeting documents. Sixty-five of the housing units will be duplexes or townhomes, and 70 will be apartments.

Founded in 1985 along College Creek, Williamsburg Landing is a “Life Plan Community,” whose more than 500 residents maintain independence and receive health care on site as they age and their health needs change.

Supervisor John McGlennon supported the application, calling the proposal “one of the better uses” for the property. He also added that Williamsburg Landing has become an “essential component” of health care in the community.

Williamsburg Landing did not provide a timeline for construction, but the Board granted a 10-year Special Use Permit in which to begin construction. Williamsburg Landing also received a height limit waiver in order to construct buildings up to 60-feet-tall.

The proposal also required the rezoning of the 15.5-acre parcel from the airport designation to the R-5 Multifamily Residential district, which strikes a balance between multifamily dwellings and lower-density developments.

The approved residences will be built as close as roughly 950 feet away from the Williamsburg-Jamestown Airport, according to meeting documents- more than 500 feet closer than existing buildings.

While the Virginia Department of Aviation and some members of the county’s Planning Commission expressed concern over air traffic safety and potential noise complaints due to the proximity to the airport, the commission voted unanimously to recommend the proposal in November.

The Department of Aviation requested the county receive a “Determination of No Hazard” from the Federal Aviation Administration prior to approval. The FAA conducted the aeronautical study of the proposal in June and determined “the structure does not exceed obstruction standards,” and posed no hazard to air navigation, according to meeting documents.

Williamsburg Landing has had the parcel under contract since 2016, according to a presentation from the applicant.

Applicant Will Holt said the new residences would allow Williamsburg Landing to continue to serve the community and bring in new residents from the community’s waiting list.

“James City County’s aging resident’s need a place to go,” Williamsburg Landing’s Resident Council President Bill Kaufmann said before the board. “Williamsburg Landing wants to provide that place so families don’t have to look outside the area. It’s a painful decision for families who want to keep loved ones nearby.”

Original article can be found here ➤

Incident occurred December 12, 2017 in Fort Myers, Lee County, Florida

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Tampa, Florida

Aircraft made a precautionary landing in a field due to an engine issue.

Date: 12-DEC-17
Time: 12:05:00Z
Regis#: N2304D
Aircraft Make: ROBINSON
Aircraft Model: R22
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: PERSONAL
Operation: 91

Bede BD-4, N579SC: Incident occurred December 12, 2017 at Portland-Hillsboro Airport (KHIO), Washington County, Oregon

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

Aircraft struck propeller while taxiing.

Date: 12-DEC-17
Time: 18:38:00Z
Regis#: N579SC
Aircraft Model: BD-4
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: TAXI (TXI)
Operation: 91

Kitfox Series 6, N552EZ: Accident occurred December 12, 2017 in Salmon Bar, Oregon

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Boise, Idaho

NTSB Identification: GAA18CA084
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, December 12, 2017 in Salmon Bar, OR
Aircraft: CORBEIL SHAWN CORBEIL SHAWN SER VI, registration: N552EZ

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 struck a tree after a forced landing.

Date: 12-DEC-17
Time: 21:30:00Z
Regis#: N552EZ
Aircraft Model: KITFOX 6
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: MINOR
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Operation: 91

Window falls off U.S. military copter, injures child at school

TOKYO — Japanese officials said a boy was injured in Okinawa on Wednesday when a metal window frame fell from a U.S. military helicopter, the second such incident in the past week on the southern island.

Officials from the city of Ginowan said the window fell from a CH-53 transport helicopter and landed on a school playground, leaving a boy with minor arm injuries. About 50 children were outside the school, which is next to the Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, at the time.

Last week, a part of another U.S. military helicopter fell on a nearby kindergarten roof, but no one was injured.

“It’s outrageous this happened again,” Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga told reporters angrily. “Despite repeated accidents, U.S. military officials would not lend their ears to our concerns.”

Brig. Gen. Paul Rock, who oversees Marine Corps installations in the Pacific region, said later Wednesday that all CH-53 helicopters at the Futenma base have been grounded for safety checks when he visited the prefectural government to offer an apology over the incident.

The base in a crowded residential area in central Okinawa is a source of anti-U.S. military sentiment and safety concerns. Its planned relocation, pushed by the Japanese and U.S. governments, has been delayed for more than 20 years because many residents want it entirely off of Okinawa.

The latest incidents are likely to further fuel opposition to the U.S. military presence on Okinawa, where about half of the 50,000 American troops in Japan are stationed and where local residents have expressed concerns about military crime and safety.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga urged the U.S. military to be more attentive to safety and make more efforts to minimize its impact on the local community.

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Evolution Revo, N20EV, registered to and operated by Twilight Aviation: Accident occurred June 29, 2016 near Park Township Airport (KHLM), Holland, Michigan

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Grand Rapids, Michigan

Aviation Accident Factual Report -  National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket- National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Holland, MI
Accident Number: CEN16LA245
Date & Time: 06/29/2016, 1900 EDT
Registration: N20EV
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

On June 29, 2016, at 1900 eastern daylight time, an Evolution Aircraft Inc. Revo, weight-shift aircraft, N20EV, impacted terrain during landing at Park Township Airport (HLM), Holland, Michigan. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The flight instructor received serious injuries, and a student pilot received minor injuries. The aircraft was registered to and operated by Twilight Aviation under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an instructional flight that was not operating on a flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight that originated at 1800.

The operator/student pilot stated that purpose of the training flight was to receive instruction on straight and level flight. The operator stated that the student pilot and the flight instructor performed "some" straight and level flying during the flight with the flight instructor demonstrating S-turns. The student pilot then took the flight controls and they flew to HLM, and as the airplane approached HLM, the flight instructor took the flight controls. The flight instructor flew the aircraft into a left-hand airport traffic pattern and about 700 feet above ground level, he made an approach to landing for runway 23. The aircraft touched down on the runway, and then the engine "seemed to go to full throttle." The aircraft then lifted "slightly," about 10 feet above the runway, and ceased to climb. The aircraft drifted right and over a grass area on the right side of the runway. The aircraft still did not climb and began a "mild oscillation." The student pilot said they were "rapidly running out of runway," and the aircraft hit the ground "very hard," ending up on its side.

The student pilot stated that that earlier in the flight, he had asked the flight instructor what was the trim position. The student pilot said the flight instructor told him that the trim position was in the "fast" position. The student pilot said that after recovery of the aircraft wreckage, the trim was in the "fast" position.

The student pilot stated there was no mechanical malfunction/failure of the aircraft.

Post-accident examination of the aircraft by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the trim position was in the fast position, and the examination also confirmed flight control continuity.

According to the Evolution Aircraft Inc. Aircraft Operating Instruction and Flight Training Supplement - Evolution Aircraft, Inc Rev 7.0, the electric in-flight speed trim is an option that allows the pilot to fly hands off by changing the speed of the wing with the push of a momentary switch. The electric in-flight speed trim shifts the entire hang block fore and aft on the keel. It is important to understand that this system only relieves the pilot's arms from holding the bar in a position that may be different then a fixed hang point trim speed. In no way can it over-ride the pilot's input. To use the speed trim press and hold the momentary switch. Holding down the switch will pull the hang block forward and shift the center-of-gravity of the wing forward causing it to trim faster. Holding up the switch will allow the hang block to slide back and shift the center of gravity of the wing aft causing it to trim slower. Takeoff in a full fast trim setting will require much more pressure to push the control bar forward. The control bar is the best indicator of where the trim is set when in flight. It is also possible to simply look up and note the position of the hang block between the stops for trim setting. Setting the trim for landing position is similar to the takeoff position. Landing in full slow trim however, will require more pressure to pull the control bar in.

The supplement states that if the electric speed trim is not set properly, it will require more pressure to slow the aircraft down when trimmed fast and more pressure to maintain higher air speed when trimmed slow which may be taxing to the body. Ultimately, the pilot controls the speed not the trim setting of the aircraft.

A review of the aircraft checklist showed that the trim setting was an aircraft checklist item for phases of flight that included descent and landing. 

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Private
Age: 63, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Glider
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Single-engine
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 12/01/2012
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: Student
Age: 70, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Rear
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Sport Pilot
Last FAA Medical Exam: 
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 
Flight Time:  30 hours (Total, all aircraft), 30 hours (Total, this make and model), 1 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: EVOLUTION AIRCRAFT INC
Registration: N20EV
Model/Series: Revo
Aircraft Category: Weight-Shift
Year of Manufacture: 2014
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental Light Sport
Serial Number: 000600
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/17/2016, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1160 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 34 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Rotax
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: 912 ULS
Registered Owner: Twilight Aviation LLC
Rated Power: 100 hp
Operator: Pilot
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: BIV, 698 ft msl
Observation Time: 1853 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 4 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 145°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C / 6°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 8 knots, 270°
Visibility (RVR): 
Altimeter Setting: 30.09 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV): 
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Grand Haven, MI (3GM)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Grand Haven, MI (HLM)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1800 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Park Township Airport (HLM)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 603 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 23
IFR Approach:  None
Runway Length/Width: 2999 ft / 50 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Touch and Go; Traffic Pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 42.795833, 86.916944 (est)

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA245
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, June 29, 2016 in Holland, MI
Aircraft: EVOLUTION AIRCRAFT INC Revo, registration: N20EV
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor.

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

On June 29, 2016, at 1900 eastern daylight time, an Evolution Aircraft Inc Revo, N20EV, impacted terrain during an initial climb at Park Township Airport (HLM), Holland, Michigan. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The flight instructor received serious injuries and a student pilot received minor injuries. The airplane was operated by the student pilot under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an instructional flight that was not operating on a flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight that originated at 1800.