Monday, December 18, 2017

Turbulence in the air: Accusations fly in probe of former Vermont aviation chief

VTDigger 
News in pursuit of truth 

Claims of defamation, bribery and political payback are coming to light following news of a probe into the former director of the state aviation program for allegedly playing fast and loose with taxpayer money.

Guy Rouelle is firing back at state officials who are making accusations against him, saying he is perplexed by what he describes as an attempt to discredit him six months after he resigned from the Vermont Agency of Transportation.

Also entangled in “Aviation-gate” is a Stowe attorney who says he has ended up in the crosshairs for his outspokenness in his attempt to hold the state accountable for its alleged role in the largest investor fraud scandal in the history of the EB-5 program.

An internal Agency of Transportation memo uncovered from a VTDigger public records request uses terms like “misappropriation of funds” and “shell game” regarding the aviation program Rouelle had been overseeing.

The former aviation chief didn’t mince words when asked about the allegations in that internal memo, using the term “total horse crap” more than once.

“We never misappropriated state funds, ever,” Rouelle said. “There was plenty of oversight on these things. If they had any problem with any of these things, they should have brought them up at the time.”

Information from that internal memo and interviews by VTDigger regarding Rouelle and the aviation division he ran has led to a crossfire of allegations, innuendo and talk of retribution.

Gov. Phil Scott, speaking last week at an event in Bennington, said an “internal investigation” took place after Rouelle stepped down as head of the aviation program, which oversees the state’s 10 regional airports. Scott recently eliminated the aviation program as a standalone division and rolled it into the rail program.

“There is an investigation at this point in time with the state police,” the governor added. “There is no report yet — they are continuing. We would release that as soon as they come to some conclusion.”

State police and Agency of Transportation officials remain tight-lipped about the probe, saying they can’t discuss the matter while it is still under investigation.

State Transportation Secretary Joe Flynn declined last week to answer questions about the specifics of the allegations or investigation, saying he didn’t want to compromise a probe that is now in the hands of the state police.

“I can say that we had some concerns about potential activities in the aviation program and we feel it’s important to ensure Vermonters we’re managing tax dollars in an appropriate fashion, and I wanted to look into it,” Flynn said.

The transportation secretary said the aviation program review prompted an agencywide assessment of practices and the implementation of tighter financial controls.

Rouelle said he has been contacted by Vermont State Police and has agreed to meet with them, though he wasn’t sure when that would take place.

Allegations against Rouelle laid out in documents, including an email with the subject line “Audit of Aviation,” include keeping one set of books for lawmakers and another for his supervisors, and misusing funds for helicopter training for himself and later for a helicopter rental, all on the state’s dime.

The subject line appears to be a misnomer, as no audit of the aviation program has been conducted, according to Karen Haines, the public information officer for VTrans.

Rouelle called the allegations against him a “smear campaign” and denied any improper actions, saying his supervisors knew what he was doing all along and never raised an objection.

It’s only the helicopter matter that the state police have asked to talk to him about, he added. Rouelle said he’ll “gladly cooperate.”

“I have absolutely nothing to hide,” he said.

Every invoice and expenditure he made for tuition and helicopter training was approved, he said. In all, Rouelle spent about $27,000 on professional training for a helicopter license in 2016 that he says he needed for airport planning.

“I had no inkling there was an issue at the time,” Rouelle said. “Everybody in the agency knew I was taking helicopter training classes.”

Documents show that Michele Boomhower, the director of policy, planning and intermodal development for the Transportation Agency, and Trini Brassard, the agency’s assistant director of operations, signed off on the invoices for Sharkey’s Helicopters in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

Read more here ➤ https://vtdigger.org

The Georgia Forestry gets a firefighting aircraft



Thrush Aircraft delivered a 510 G Switchback to Georgia Forestry, on Friday morning.

The 510 G Switchback is an aircraft that will be used to put out wildfires.

The plane can dump 500 gallons of water in less than two seconds.

According to Thrush Aircraft, Georgia experiences an average of 4,000 wild fires a year.

Thrush Aircraft delivered a 510 G Switchback to Georgia Forestry, on Friday morning.

The 510 G Switchback is an aircraft that will be used to put out wildfires. The plane can dump 500 gallons of water in less than two seconds.

According to Thrush Aircraft, Georgia experiences an average of 4,000 wild fires a year.

These fires typically damage 35,000 acres of forested land.

Thrush said it's important to effectively put out these wild fires to protect the state's $32 billion timber industry.

Eric Rojek said, "Now we're going to do a better job fighting fires. And it's even better to do it in our own backyard, in our home state, in our home county. We get to do something that makes a difference."

The project was funded through Georgia tax dollars. That's according to the Georgia Forestry. 

Story and photo ➤ http://wfxl.com

Former pilot Brad Herriott remembered as fun-loving, friendly

Brad Herriott had a "village" of family and friends who loved and appreciated his larger-than-life personality, warm heart and ready smile. 

His village, with endless stories to tell about his humor and kindness, is feeling lost without him.

Herriott, a Naples Realtor and former pilot, died December 11 from a rare, aggressive cancer. He was 46.  

Even through his years-long struggle with cancer, he found ways to make others laugh, with his magic tricks and pranks, including patients and doctors he met during his treatments over the past few years.

One of those pranks was to put life-like bugs in surprising places. Brother Billy Herriott, who lives in Illinois, recalls how Brad slipped a cockroach in a bandage before a follow-up visit to his oncologist at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas.

"The surgeon was like, 'Whoa, that shouldn't be there,' " Billy said with a laugh.

There are so many funny stories to tell about Brad, like the time he tied a rope to Billy's belt loop when he was 5 or 6 years old so he could hoist his little brother up a tree at the family farm in Seymour, Illinois. The two ended up dangling in mid-air.  

We were three to four feet off the ground, blaming each other," Billy recalled.

They stayed there until their younger brother discovered them and their mom came to the rescue.

Brad's father, Bill Herriott, also a pilot, remembers flying with his son when he was a teen and buzzing a nearby house more than a few times as a joke to shake a friend out of his house. 

"We had great times in the airplane," his father said.

As a child, Brad loved airplanes. After mastering a Piper Cherokee when he was 14, he earned his pilot's license at 15.

In high school, Brad played the trombone in the marching band and jazz band. In college, he joined the Marching Illini Band at the University of Illinois.

"He was a problem-solver. He was very creative with whatever he did. He was very musical growing up," said his brother Ben, who lives in Illinois.

Brad was a broker associate at NOCO, a no-commission, full-service real estate agency in Naples. 

Friend Ken Thomas, who lives in Naples, offered this funny story: Brad once listed a neighbor's property, although the neighbor was a Realtor himself, after convincing him he could use the help. Brad could be very convincing that way.

"He was truly a positive person with an unbreakable spirit," Thomas said.

After earning various aeronautic certificates at the University of Illinois School of Aviation, Brad graduated with a bachelor's degree from Eastern Illinois University in 1993. 

He worked as a flight instructor in Champaign, Illinois, before realizing his dream of becoming a professional pilot in 1995. He was one of the youngest airline captains in the history of United Airlines.

In 2001, Brad received a "Safety First Award" and other recognition for preventing a runway accident that involved his airplane. He averted a crash when he noticed the other pilot taking off too soon, putting the two planes on a collision course. 

"Both planes took off at the same time. He jerked the airplane in the air and the other one went underneath," his father said proudly.  

Brad had a way of lighting up a room. He made everyone feel like his best friend. He was a devoted husband and father to a son and three daughters. 

His foster daughter, Dania Padilla, 18, said she'll never forget the first day she met Brad, when he and his wife, Nathalie, rescued her from a group home. 

"Since the first day, he called me daughter and he told me how proud he was to have me in his family," Padilla said. "Every day he told me to do my best." 

Stepdaughter Kaeli Smashey, 20, who attends Broward College in Fort Lauderdale and plays tennis there, said her father was always supportive and proud, buying her first tennis racquets. 

"Even through the cancer, he always found a way to make me smile," she said. "He always made me feel better about everything. Even when he was sick, even in the hospital, he was making everyone laugh." 

Brad met his South American wife in Miami in 1999. They moved to Naples in 2008, opening their doors to foster children. Friends and family say the couple still giggled and carried on like "honeymooners," hugging and kissing each other and sitting close when they were at home on the couch, even when there were visitors. 

Brad and Nathalie threw some big parties at their home, which often included dancing. For several years, they hosted a neighborhood Halloween party for 300 to 400. They once had a "redneck party," with a mechanical bull and baby chicks. 

For Thanksgiving and Christmas, Brad often did the cooking for family and friends. 

Those who knew Brad the best say he'll be remembered most for the joy he spread wherever he went. 

Brad was diagnosed with cancer after finding a lump the size of a quarter on his left thigh in 2015. His tumor was a rare one, a high-grade sarcoma. He sought the best treatments, participating in clinical trials, but eventually the disease spread to his lungs.

Besides his wife and children, parents, Bill and Barb, and three brothers, Brad is survived by his three half-siblings, his in-laws, a nephew and three nieces.

A memorial service was held Saturday at First Baptist Church in North Naples. Brad asked that attendees wear white or other light and happy colors. Hundreds turned out to say their goodbyes.

Brad's last words for his family and friends were to take care of each other.

"He wanted everybody to be happy," Billy Herriott said. "I think that was his main wish for his family — and to do their best." 

The family requested that In lieu of flowers, donations be made to Friends of Foster Children Forever in Naples, which provides health insurance, school supplies, tutoring and pocket money to foster children in the area. 

Story and photos ➤ http://www.naplesnews.com

Cockpit Café at the Sanford Seacoast Regional Airport (KSFM), York County, Maine

Sanford wants to make changes to 30-year-old café




SANFORD (WGME) -- Controversy surrounds the fate of a popular breakfast and lunch spot.

The Cockpit Café at the Sanford Seacoast Regional Airport is on city property.

Owner Rene Bernier says the restaurant has been there for 30 years and she hasn’t changed a thing.

“I have been here for all of these years. It’s my heart and soul here," Bernier said.

The walls are covered in war memorabilia.

“People love the history of this restaurant," said Bernier.

However, the city has other plans for the space.

"We were looking for additional services like taking credit cards for example, adult beverages, extended weekend hours in the summer and outdoor seating," Mayor Tom Cote told CBS 13. "There's no one that's interested in shutting down an existing business. Part of the challenge here, honestly, has been a willingness to negotiate."


Rene Bernier
 Cockpit Cafe at the  Sanford Seacoast Regional Airport (KSFM)


Bernier says she has no problem allowing credit cards, but the other demands go too far.

"I’m being told how to run my business. I have to abide by all of these rules, and if I abide by whatever I’m being told, I’ll be out of business in a month," Bernier said.

She added that in addition to paying rent for the kitchen and dining room, the city wants her to pay rent for storage space, bathrooms, dumpster areas and the patio.

The Sanford City Council will vote on the lease renewal on Tuesday.

Story and video ➤ http://wgme.com

Sikorsky S-76A, N911FK, operated by Global Sky Air Charter Corporation: Accident occurred December 15, 2017 in Islamorada, Monroe County, Florida

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Miramar, Florida
Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation; Jupiter, Florida
SAFRAN Turbo Meca; FN
BEA; FN

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N911FK


Location: Islamorada, FL
Accident Number: ERA18LA053
Date & Time: 12/15/2017, 0650 EST
Registration: N911FK
Aircraft: SIKORSKY S76
Injuries:1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter - Non-scheduled - Air Medical (Medical Emergency) 

On December 15, 2017, about 0650 eastern standard time, a Sikorsky S76A, N911FK, operated by Global Sky Air Charter Corporation, was substantially damaged by an engine compartment fire after landing near Islamorada, Florida. The airline transport pilot was not injured. The flight was operated in accordance with Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 as an on-demand air medical flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a company visual flight rules flight plan was filed for the flight that departed The Florida Keys Marathon International Airport (MTH), Marathon, Florida at 0637.

The operator reported that the pilot was conducting an air medical trauma patient pickup and had landed at a pre-surveyed landing zone in Islamorada, Florida at 0650. After landing, the pilot positioned the engines controls to ground idle and applied the rotor brake before the onboard medical crew departed the helicopter. After the medical crew departed the helicopter and arrived at the parked ambulance, the flight nurse looked at the helicopter and noticed black smoke, followed by flames coming out of the main rotor gear box area.

The pilot reported that he noticed No. 1 engine temperature fluctuations and shut down the engine. The flight nurse waved her arms and shouted that the helicopter was on fire. The pilot did not observe any indications of a fire from the cockpit; however, he noticed flames when he partially exited the helicopter. He then shut down the No. 2 engine, discharged both fire bottles, and exited the helicopter. He stated the fire continued until the fire department extinguished it.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the helicopter was manufactured in 1981. It was equipped with twin Safran turboshaft engines driving a four-blade main rotor system. At the time of the accident, the helicopter had 11,406 airframe total hours. It was issued a standard airworthiness certificate in the transport category on June 22, 1998.

According to the pilot and operator records, the pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with ratings for airplane multi-engine land and helicopter. His reported total flight time was 5,850 total hours with 685 hours in make and model. In the last 90 days, he flew 43 hours.

Examination of the helicopter by an FAA inspector revealed that the engine compartment was damaged by fire and there was heat damage to the hydraulic lines, rotor shaft, swashplate and rotor blades. In addition, the rotor brake was damaged and fused by heat.

The helicopter was recovered from the accident site and retained for additional examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: SIKORSKY
Registration: N911FK
Model/Series: S76 A
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Global Sky Air Charter Corp.
Operating Certificate(s) Held: On-demand Air Taxi (135)
Operator Does Business As: Trauma Sky
Operator Designator Code: Meteorological Information and Flight Plan
Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: MTH, 5 ft msl
Observation Time: 0653 EST
Distance from Accident Site: 30 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 13°C / 12°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.09 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Company VFR
Departure Point: Marathon, FL (MTH)
Destination: Marathon, FL (MTH) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 24.922222, -80.630556 (est)

Air Attack: Scoop planes join the fight against Thomas Fire



As winds began to die down Sunday morning, fire crews sent aircraft to battle the Thomas Fire. 

Fire officials say scoop planes were utilized as fire crews started day 14 of the fire. 

"They kind of fly in over a (body of water), scoop up some water into the belly of the airplane, and drop it where it needs to go," said Skye Sieber, public information officer for the Thomas Fire. 

A scoop plane is time efficient, Sieber says, they need about 12 seconds to fill its 1,600-gallon tank.  

"This is different than a helicopter that's dipping a bucket and pulling up water," Sieber said. "It's different than an air tanker that already has retardant in it. It's coming, collecting the water from the lake and then going where it's needed to go."

Sieber says she's never even seen scoop planes operating on a fire. 

"My understanding is they use them quite a bit in Canada," she told KSBY. "It's a resource that is available to us when they're not being utilized in Canada."

A scoop plane's travel time to and from the fire is about 10 to 15 minutes, which is a huge help to those fighting the flames in the rugged terrain. 

"They're giving a chance for the crews on the ground to kind of cool things off, so they can get in and do more direct attack," Sieber said.

With the wind being much more calm than Saturday, scoop planes and helicopters have been working nonstop all day to help contain the fire. 

Jay Smith, who is also a public information officer, says the western front of the fire near Santa Barbara is one of their main targets. 

"It's full bore," Smith said. "Let's go hit this thing. Let's attack it while we have this small opportunity to do it, because of the wind events that can happen, and are predicted to happen."

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

Cessna 152, N95550, registered to and operated by Flying Academy Miami: Accident occurred December 16, 2017 near Oasis Ranger Station – US Government Airport (9FL7), Everglades City, Florida

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Miramar, Florida

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N95550

Location: Everglades City, FL
Accident Number: ERA18LA050
Date & Time: 12/16/2017, 1320 EST
Registration: N95550
Aircraft: CESSNA 152
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On December 16, 2017, about 1320 eastern standard time, a Cessna 152, N95550, experienced a total loss of engine power and impacted terrain prior to the runway at Oasis Ranger Station – US Government Airport (9FL7), Everglades City, Florida. The airplane sustained substantial damage and the two private pilots were not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Flying Academy Miami as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and no flight plan was filed for the flight. The flight originated at Miami Executive Airport (TMB), Miami, Florida, and was destined for Venice Municipal Airport (VNC), Venice, Florida.

According to the pilot flying, they departed TMB and climbed to a cruise altitude of 4,500 ft mean sea level (msl). He reduced the engine power, leaned the mixture, and approximately 5 minutes later, the engine lost total power. He declared an emergency and elected to try to land at 9FL7, which was nearby, and began attempting to restart the engine. The airplane continued to descend, they entered the base leg of the traffic pattern, and he "secured the cockpit for landing," by leaning the mixture, pulling the throttle fully aft, turning the carburetor heat off, and the electrical equipment off. According to the pilot not flying, while on final approach to the runway, they unsuccessfully attempted to restart the engine "one last time," but the propeller "only spun three times and then stopped." While on short final, the airplane struck an airport perimeter fence prior to impacting the ground just short of the runway.

The airplane came to rest upright in a grassy area. An examination of the airplane revealed that the fuselage was substantially damaged. In addition, the landing gear were impact damaged aft. The engine was retained for further examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N95550
Model/Series: 152 NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Flying Academy Miami
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: TMB, 10 ft msl
Observation Time: 1253 EST
Distance from Accident Site: 35 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 27°C / 16°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots, 100°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.16 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: MIAMI, FL (TMB)
Destination: VENICE, FL (VNC) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 25.863611, -81.034722 (est)

Boeing CEO: Bombardier sold new planes at used plane prices

Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Kevin McAllister testified before the International Trade Commission on Bombardier's sale of 75 C Series airliners to Delta Air Lines in 2016.

The ITC is gathering testimony ahead of its ruling on whether or not to make the Department of Commerce's proposed 299.45% tariff on Bombardier C Series jet bound for the US into effect.

The Seattle-based airplane maker has accused its Canadian rivals of using government subsidies to prop up unseasonably low prices. 

"Subsidized competitors don’t face the same market realities we do.  Our fortunes rise or fall based on the business decisions we make.  There’s no one there to bail us out if we misstep," McAllister said. "But because of its massive government subsidies, Bombardier doesn’t have to worry about these market realities.  It used those subsidies to create and sell airplanes for millions of dollars under cost in the United States. "

According to Boeing, the low prices Bombardier is offering is "destroying" the marking for its 737-700 and 737MAX 7 airliners. 

 In his testimony, McAllister said:

"As we explained in May, Bombardier’s unfair competition is destroying the market for the 700 and MAX 7 airplanes.  It started in 2015.  We competed our 700 head-to-head with the CS100 at United.  But Bombardier slashed its prices.  That pushed us to the wall.  The -700 ultimately won at United against the CS100, but only after we were forced to slash our prices to the lowest possible level.  And this lowered the pricing threshold for both the -700 and the MAX 7.  But this was only the first sign of how bad things would ultimately get.

"The United campaign proved that the -700 could compete and win against the CS100.  But, Bombardier was even more aggressive at Delta.  Delta was looking to buy used airplanes.  As we were pulling together a package to meet Delta’s requirements, Bombardier swooped in and offered to sell Delta brand new C Series airplanes for less than 20 million dollars each.  No new airplane, rationally priced—including the 700—could compete at that price point.  Essentially, Bombardier offered new airplanes at used airplane prices.  And it worked.  Delta bought 75 C Series airplanes with options for 50 more."

According to McAllister, Boeing's aggressive stance on the issues comes from its decade-long trade dispute with Airbus. 

"In some ways, this is déjà vu for Boeing," he said. "From Airbus’s very inception, we’ve lived the Airbus threat and suffered the Airbus injury.  We’ve seen Airbus use billions and billions in government subsidies to create its products and muscle its way into the market, putting American aerospace companies out of business."

In response, Canadian Ambassador to the US, David MacNaughton called the facts of the case "perplexing."

"Boeing did not compete against the plane that Bombardier sold to Delta because it does not have a plane in that size," Ambassador MacNaughton said in a statement to the ITC.  "Moreover, it is difficult to understand how a company with such an enviable commercial and financial position and an order book stretching nearly seven years into the future could file a case complaining of a threat of future injury by a new entrant to the market."

"Boeing has been quite candid that its target is not the plane that exists now, but the competitive threat that Bombardier may pose in the future," he added.

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian is adamant that the price it received from Bombardier is completely above board and Boeing wasn't harmed as a result of the deal. 

"As a launch customer, we got launch customer pricing just like every single launch customer on every single aircraft product whether it's made by Boeing or Airbus or Embraer or Bombardier," Bastian told Business Insider in a recent interview. "I don't see how Boeing can justify harm when they don't have the product. That has mystified me all along."

According to Delta, the only proposal submitted by Boeing was for a block of 20 second-hand Brazilian Embraer regional jets.  

Read more here ➤ http://www.businessinsider.com

Champion 7ECA, N1632G: Incident occurred December 17, 2017 at Bartow Municipal Airport (KBOW), Polk County, Florida

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

Aircraft landed and ground looped onto grass.

http://registry.faa.gov/N1632G

Date: 17-DEC-17
Time: 19:14:00Z
Regis#: N1632G
Aircraft Make: CHAMPION
Aircraft Model: 7ECA
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: BARTOW
State: FLORIDA

Wildfire refugees: Shelter dogs airlifted from California to Cranbrook, British Columbia, Canada



A remarkable airlift of animals from an overcrowded California shelter touched down in Cranbrook Sunday evening, December 17, bringing 32 dogs to Canada and to new forever homes.

The Wings of Rescue flight from Camarillo brought the dogs in from the Ventura County Animal Services shelter (VCAS), which has seen its population of animals swell by hundreds over a matter of days, due to the devastation caused by the wildfires burning across southern California.

In an effort to help out, Karla Shalley, who operates Playpen Boarding And Grooming in Cranbrook, and Jaffray’s Deb Therrien, who heads up the Calgary Chapter of BARCS, a dog rescue service, took on the arrangement of the flight to Canada and the transfer of the dogs to new homes in Cranbrook, Jaffray and Calgary.

“Last Friday, I had an idea that I needed to help the animals in California,” Shalley said. “I was literally going to rent a van to drive down there and help them.”

Instead, Shalley started working with Therrien on the plan, and things went forward quickly.

“We brainstormed, [Therrien] said ‘let me see what I can do’ and that’s where it started.”

Therrien, through her own contacts with Ventura Animal Rescue Services, was able to arrange the Wings of Rescue flight from Camarillo to Cranbrook.




“They made the magic happen,” Shalley said. “They picked some dogs, they said ‘do you want these ones,’ we said ‘yes, we’ll take them up.’”

Wings of Rescue — a charity that flies endangered pets to new locations where they can be adopted — was able to make the transition quickly — within the week, Shalley said. The plane took off from Camarillo Sunday morning, after delays caused by wildfire smoke, carrying the dogs in portable kennels, and touched down at the Canadian Rockies International Airport (CRIA) late afternoon on Sunday, Dec. 17

Shalley, Therrien, and a team of volunteers were there to welcome the dogs to Canadian soil.

Therrien moved from Calgary to Jaffray in recent years, taking the opportunity to expand BARCS area of operations. She said the havoc wrought by the California fires have put massive pressure on animal shelters. The big VCAS shelter, for example, normally has a population of around 400 animals. This number quickly rose to 800 when the fires started burning. At present there are some 1,100 animals in the shelter — who’ve become separated from their owners or whose homes have been destroyed. The Thomas Fire burning though Ventura County, where Camarillo is located, has destroyed some 114,000 acres (more than 46,000 hectares). BARCS, Wings of Rescue and other organizations have been working to help relieve the pressure and find homes for the unclaimed animals, with flights all over North America. The Cranbrook flight was the biggest Canadian operation to date.

On Sunday afternoon, the plane landed at CRIA, and the team of volunteers pushed it into the ELT Aviation hanger. The volunteers had spent an hour in advance arranging the travel kennels for each of the dogs to be transferred to.

Customs officials were on hand to check the paperwork. Such an operation as a cross-border animal shelter airlift requires a great deal of preparation.

Therrien said that all the dogs have had to pass a rigorous battery of health certificate tests, and are completely up to date with their shots. And it is essential that they were calm and healthy before getting on the plane.

“If they are sick, or acting out, they will not get on the plane,” Therrien said.

From the plane, the volunteers unloaded the dogs in their cages and placed them on the hanger floor, so the paperwork could be checked, and the dogs transferred one at a time, to their Canadian travel kennels. The four dogs going to Calgary — all pitbulls — were given quick walks around the hanger prior to departure.

Many different breeds were represented in the airlift — pitbulls, border collies, terriers, a schnauzer cross, a chocolate lab, chihuahuas … bearing names like Biscuit and Bandit, Molly, Mary, Martini and Max. The dogs were calm and subdued after their flight, though a chorus of barking soon rang out throughout the hanger. When released from their cages, for a brief stretch, the canines joy and relief was palpable.

Shalley stressed that the dogs flown to Canada were dogs who would not be claimed by former owners, who had been in the shelter before the fires began.

“These are dogs who have been surrendered and are available for adoption,” she said. “Strictly dogs who will not be reclaimed.”




The dogs did who did not go on to Calgary Sunday night were off for a sojourn at the Playpen in Cranbrook for a couple of days, to stretch their legs.

“We’re going to assess them, take a look at their behaviour … some of them, due to the expediency of this operation, are still intact, and need to be spayed or neutered. And because of that they’ll be staying with us at the Playpen for a while until they get their surgery.

“Then we’re looking for forever homes.”

Shalley said that over the past week, there has been a great feedback from the local public.

“A lot of people have wanted to meet the dogs, and we’ve had a great response in terms of donations from the community. People have really stepped up.”

For more information on the Cranbrook dog rescue efforts, you can go to the Playpen’s Facebook Page — “The Playpen- Pet Boarding & Grooming” in the search bar.

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

Piper PA-28R-180 Cherokee Arrow, N3873T, Derby City Aviation LLC: Incident occurred December 17, 2017 at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (KFXE), Broward County, Florida

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; South Florida

Aircraft landed long on runway and went into grass.

Derby City Aviation LLC:  http://registry.faa.gov/N3873T

Date: 17-DEC-17
Time: 14:42:00Z
Regis#: N3873T
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA 28R 180
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: FORT LAUDERDALE
State: FLORIDA

Stolen Drone: Boeing Store in Renton, King County, Washington

An employee from Boeing contacted police Nov. 14 to report someone had stolen a drone from the Boeing store on Park Avenue North.

Surveillance footage shows three men entering the store and looking around. When the store clerk was distracted, one of the men took the drone and walked out of the door, followed by the other door.

The video wasn’t clear enough to help officers positively identify the suspects.

There is no further suspect information at this time.

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

Apollo Gyro AG1, N15LU: Accident occurred December 17, 2017 in Las Vegas, Clark County, Nevada

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Las Vegas, Nevada

http://registry.faa.gov/N15LU

NTSB Identification: GAA18CA086
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, December 17, 2017 in North Las Vegas, NV
Aircraft: HALLEY KFT APOLLO AG-1, registration: N15LU

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.

Gyrocopter blade and prop strike on taxiway.

Date: 18-DEC-17
Time: 00:38:00Z
Regis#: N15LU
Aircraft Make: HALLEY KFT EXPERIMENTAL
Aircraft Model: APOLLO AG 1
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: TAXI (TXI)
City: LAS VEGAS
State: NEVADA

Piaggio P.180 Avanti, N141JT: Accident occurred December 18, 2017 at Georgetown Municipal Airport (KGTU), Williamson County, Texas

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; San Antonio, Texas

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N141JT 

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Location: Georgetown, TX
Accident Number: CEN18CA058
Date & Time: 12/18/2017, 0745 CST
Registration: N141JT
Aircraft: Piaggio P.180
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Landing gear collapse
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

The pilot said he was flying the RNAV (GPS) runway 36 approach in 3 miles visibility. He said the wind was from 070° at 9 knots. At 50 feet above the missed approach point (MAP), the runway was sighted. He said he was slightly right of runway centerline and there was a right crosswind as well. When the right main landing gear contacted the runway, it folded under the body and the airplane came to a stop.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration inspector who examined the accident site, the pilot made a hard landing that caused the right main landing gear to collapse. The airplane exited the right side of the runway onto the grass about 1,000 feet from the end of the runway. Further examination of the airplane revealed no mechanical anomalies or malfunctions that would have resulted in the landing gear collapse. Visibility and wind as reported by the airport's AWOS-3 (Automated Weather Observing System), was 0.25 miles and 100° at 4 knots.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Commercial
Age: 69, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: 
Instrument Rating(s):  Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Helicopter; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 03/30/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 05/14/2017
Flight Time:   (Estimated) 19811 hours (Total, all aircraft), 812 hours (Total, this make and model), 19631 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 46 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 20 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Pilot-Rated Passenger Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 51, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s):
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 09/05/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  3100 hours (Total, all aircraft), 25 hours (Total, this make and model) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: Piaggio
Registration: N141JT
Model/Series: P.180
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 1141
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 9
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/22/2017, Continuous Airworthiness
Certified Max Gross Wt.:  12100 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 2 Turbo Prop
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: Pratt & Whitney
ELT:
Engine Model/Series: PT6A-660
Registered Owner:  Conway Aviation Sales and Leasing, LLC
Rated Power:  850
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Instrument Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KGTU, 790 ft msl
Observation Time: 0754 CST
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Temperature/Dew Point: 9°C / 9°C
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 300 ft agl
Visibility:  0.25 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots, 100°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.18 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: Dallas, TX (KADS)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Destination: Georgetown, TX (KGTU)
Type of Clearance: IFR
Departure Time: 0720 CST
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Airport: Georgetown Municipal (KGTU)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 790 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Wet
Runway Used: 36
IFR Approach: Global Positioning System
Runway Length/Width: 5004 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude:  30.678333, -97.400000 (est)

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, TEXAS - The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating a small plane accident after its landing gear collapsed while it was touching down at the Georgetown Municipal Airport Monday morning.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, a Piaggio P.180 Avanti slid off the right side of the runway and into the grass after its right main gear collapsed.

Officials said the plane stopped about 1,000 feet from the end of the runway.

Two people were onboard the flight but none were injured.

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

Cessna 182Q Skylane, N199RN, registered to Western Flying Club Inc and operated by the pilot -and- Piper J3C-65, N25786, registered to Grecor LLC and operated by the pilot: Accident occurred December 16, 2017 near Burlington–Alamance Regional Airport (KBUY), Burlington, Alamance County, North Carolina

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Greensboro, North Carolina

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

Western Flying Club Inc: http://registry.faa.gov/N199RN

Location: Burlington, NC
Accident Number: ERA18LA055A
Date & Time: 12/16/2017, 1230 EST
Registration: N199RN
Aircraft: CESSNA 182
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On December 16, 2017, about 1230 eastern standard time, a Cessna 182Q, N199RN, and a Piper J3C-65, N25786, collided in midair near Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport (BUY), Burlington, North Carolina. The private pilot of the Cessna and the commercial pilot of the Piper were not injured. The Cessna and the Piper both sustained substantial damage. The Cessna was registered to Western Flying Club Inc. and was operated by the pilot. The Piper was registered to Grecor LLC and was operated by the pilot. Both flights were conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations part 91 as personal flights. Day, visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plans were filed for either flight. The flights originated at BUY about 1220.

The Piper pilot reported that he had recently performed maintenance on the smoke generator system and installed a new fuel pump. He asked the Cessna pilot to fly adjacent to him to verify the smoke system operation. After departure, the Piper pilot flew on the right side of the Cessna and both pilots acknowledged each other. The Piper pilot turned on the smoke system and the Cessna pilot verified that it operated normally. The Piper pilot then broke-off to the right to leave the formation.

The Piper pilot subsequently elected to fly inverted to check the oil system and mixture control. After clearing for traffic and tightening his harness, he rolled inverted. The systems operated normally, so he rolled again to level the airplane upright. During the return to level flight, he heard a loud noise and the airplane rolled to the right. He believed that he had experienced aileron flutter. He was able to control the airplane and returned to BUY and landed without further incident. It was after landing that he realized that he had collided with the Cessna.

The Cessna pilot reported that, while in straight and level flight, he observed a flash of yellow at his 9 o'clock position, which was the Piper. He reported that the Piper struck his left wing. He was able to maintain airplane control and returned to BUY for landing.

An inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration responded to the accident site and examined both airplanes. The right wing and aileron of the Piper were structurally damaged, as was the outboard portion of the Cessna's left wing. No other damage was noted. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N199RN
Model/Series: 182 Q
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: BUY, 616 ft msl
Observation Time: 1754 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 9°C / -5°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots, 250°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.2 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Burlington, NC (BUY)
Destination: Burlington, NC (BUY) 

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: 36.049722, -79.473056 (est)

Grecor LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N25786

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

Location: Burlington, NC
Accident Number: ERA18LA055B
Date & Time: 12/16/2017, 1230 EST
Registration: N25786
Aircraft: PIPER J3C
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On December 16, 2017, about 1230 eastern standard time, a Cessna 182Q, N199RN, and a Piper J3C-65, N25786, collided in midair near Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport (BUY), Burlington, North Carolina. The private pilot of the Cessna and the commercial pilot of the Piper were not injured. The Cessna and the Piper both sustained substantial damage. The Cessna was registered to Western Flying Club Inc. and was operated by the pilot. The Piper was registered to Grecor LLC and was operated by the pilot. Both flights were conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations part 91 as personal flights. Day, visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plans were filed for either flight. The flights originated at BUY about 1220.

The Piper pilot reported that he had recently performed maintenance on the smoke generator system and installed a new fuel pump. He asked the Cessna pilot to fly adjacent to him to verify the smoke system operation. After departure, the Piper pilot flew on the right side of the Cessna and both pilots acknowledged each other. The Piper pilot turned on the smoke system and the Cessna pilot verified that it operated normally. The Piper pilot then broke-off to the right to leave the formation.

The Piper pilot subsequently elected to fly inverted to check the oil system and mixture control. After clearing for traffic and tightening his harness, he rolled inverted. The systems operated normally, so he rolled again to level the airplane upright. During the return to level flight, he heard a loud noise and the airplane rolled to the right. He believed that he had experienced aileron flutter. He was able to control the airplane and returned to BUY and landed without further incident. It was after landing that he realized that he had collided with the Cessna.

The Cessna pilot reported that, while in straight and level flight, he observed a flash of yellow at his 9 o'clock position, which was the Piper. He reported that the Piper struck his left wing. He was able to maintain airplane control and returned to BUY for landing.

An inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration responded to the accident site and examined both airplanes. The right wing and aileron of the Piper were structurally damaged, as was the outboard portion of the Cessna's left wing. No other damage was noted. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N25786
Model/Series: J3C 65
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: BUY, 616 ft msl
Observation Time: 1754 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 9°C / -5°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots, 250°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.2 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Burlington, NC (BUY)
Destination: Burlington, NC (BUY) 

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: 36.049722, -79.473056 (est)




"Two planes hit in midair. Their pilots somehow landed safely. We spent the last week chasing down this story and finally got confirmation today, December 28th." -Times-News

Two planes apparently sustained minor damage after a midair collision December 16 a few miles from the Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport.

“My unconfirmed understanding is that on Saturday, December 16, 2017, two aircraft that had departed the Burlington Alamance Regional airport were flying in an area approximately 5 to 10 nautical miles north of the Burlington Alamance Regional Airport. While in flight, the two aircraft came in physical contact,” Airport Manager Dan Danieley wrote in a statement to the Times-News. “The pilots did in fact safely return both aircraft to the Burlington Alamance Regional Airport and to their respective airplane hangars. The Federal Aviation Administration was called in to investigate the incident. The Federal Aviation Administration has turned over the investigation to the National Transportation Safety Board, with whom the investigation remains.”

Five to 10 nautical miles (about 5.75 to 11.5 statute miles) due north of the airport would be about from David Moore and Stoney Creek Church roads, northeast of Altamahaw, to U.S. 158 near Casville in Caswell County.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration registry, the two planes were a Cessna 182Q belonging to the Western Flying Club — the club’s newest plane, according to its Facebook page — and a Piper JC3-65 belonging to Grecor LLC of Asheville, Ala., which operates under the name Greg Koontz Airshows.

“I wasn’t in the plane; I would not be the one to tell you anything about it,” said Greg Koontz, owner of Greg Koontz Airshows. “I’m still waiting on the reports myself.”

The Western Flying Club is based at the airport. The Times-News received unconfirmed photos of a plane with the same tail number as its plane, showing a piece of the tip of the left wing missing and wires hanging, and another plane with no visible identifying information and with damage going about halfway along the back of its right wing.

Christopher O’Neil, National Transportation Safety Board chief of media relations, confirmed there was a “limited investigation” ongoing. In response to a Facebook message from the Times-News, the Western Flying Club referred questions to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Accidents at the Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport have been rare in the past few years. A crash Feb. 16 damaged the wing of a Cessna 172M belonging to Missionary Air Group at the end of a runway. That incident was blamed on crosswinds. Before that, no accident had been reported at the airport since 2013.

2013 was, however, a bad year.

On Jan. 16, 2013, David Gamble, 57, died in the crash of a Pilatus PC-12 carrying LabCorp samples. The National Transportation Safety Board concluded Gamble became disoriented after the nighttime take-off, possibly while being distracted resetting the plane’s transponder.

On Dec. 16, 2013, there was a non-fatal accident with a Cessna 182T while the pilot was practicing takeoffs and landings. Mechanical error was a possible explanation but not a certainty, according to the National Transportation Safety Board report.

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