Thursday, December 28, 2017

Broken heater. Minus 15 degrees. Mason, Ohio man flies around the world with his son.





Think it's cold outside?

Try minus 15 degrees and more than 10,000 feet in the air – in a plane where the heat doesn't work. 

That's what Mick Beale and his son did for three weeks in November. 

Mick is 73.

His son, Scott, is a senior vice president for an aircraft service company in Virginia. The 46-year-old is also a pilot.

Scott's company had a small, single-engine plane in Africa that needed to be delivered to a military base in North Carolina. The plane could hold up to nine people.

Scott asked his dad to go with him. 

It was just them, a mechanic and thousands of miles in the air. Mick, a Vietnam War veteran and former pilot himself, helped navigate.

When the two flew over the Atlantic Ocean, they had to wear immersion suits in case the plane went down. Picture large, puffy red suits that make you look like a marshmallow.

When flying over Greenland, the subzero temperatures made it impossible to hold a conversation or move around because of the energy every little thing took.

Mick, of Mason, guessed it got down to about minus 20 or minus 30 outside. He doesn't know exactly.

"I can tell you this," Mick said. "It was damn cold."

Near the end, they landed in Egypt. Mick posted a video on Facebook calling it "maybe the hottest place I've ever been."

The father and son went to 12 countries. They went on a safari. They visited temples in Egypt.

They flew to France, Scotland, Ethiopia, Croatia and more. In Kenya, they visited an orphanage full of kids who had never seen a plane before. Then they let the kids fly with them.

The reactions moved Mick to tears.

He and his son did so much, it's easier for him to describe the trip in pictures. But ask Mick what the best part of the trip was and he's got a quick answer:

"The greatest thing was being with my son for three weeks."

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

GE Aviation lands $53M contract modification

Workers at GE Aviation in Vandalia assemble coils for electrical generation equipment for military aircraft.


The GE Aviation Systems plant in Vandalia is being awarded a $53 million modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract to build 370 G3 generator converter units for use on the Navy F/A-18 aircraft.

The work is expected to be completed in November 2019, according to the contract. The Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.


The General Electric Co. is Ohio’s largest manufacturing employer of more than 15,000 people. In Southwest Ohio, where its aviation unit is headquartered, GE anchors an aerospace parts manufacturing industry that employs thousands.


There are about 335 GE Aviation employees in Vandalia and about 1,300 total employees at three Dayton-area sites — including Unison Industries Dayton in Beavercreek and TDI-GE Aviation, also in Vandalia.


Worldwide, GE Aviation employs about 44,000 people at more than 80 locations.


Story and photo ➤ http://www.daytondailynews.com

Another forgotten aircraft located

Tony Krizan’s hiking partner Dani holding sheet metal and cowing from the engine of a Piper Cub that crashed near Edison Lake in 1962.


My Mountain Secrets
By Tony Krizan


Sometime during the summer of 1962 a small Piper Cub aircraft on a photo shoot of the Edison Lake area, crashed somewhere in the surrounding mountains. Both pilot and passenger survived but the aircraft was a total loss. Over time this historic aircraft location was forgotten and another mountain mystery was born.

It was a hot September afternoon at Mono Hot Springs when a deer hunter by the name of Marty walked into our cabin and introduced us to his discovery. The previous day while hunting the mountains above Bear Creek, he stumbled across this airplane crash site. His story led to my personal two year trek searching for the site.

My first two solo attempts were in vain, sleeping under the stars with one eye open is quite an experience. Try waking up in the morning with bear tracks around your sleeping bag. Needless to say I was quite disappointed my search lead me to nothing.

It was early October when I decided to attempt a second search before the snow falls. This time a lady by the name of Dani wanted to share this adventure. Maybe another pair of eyes will help solve this mystery?

We departed into the mountains with blue skies and no threat of snow. We would follow a trail until arriving at the first saddle, then hike due east across these rugged mountains. Marty had sketched out a rough map and hopefully between the map and my previous treks we’ll locate the aircraft. After an hour forging our way through Manzanita bush, a higher elevation should be an easier route. Difficult to believe that boulder hopping was an easier choice.

Before starting these searches I reviewed the specs of a 1947 to 1953 Piper Cub single engine aircraft. This light aircraft sits two in tandem with only a 90 HP engine which could limit its performance on an extremely hot day.

Two passengers with fuel and camera gear must have caused it to struggle flying over the steep mountains. The passes are lower in elevation, so my decision was to search those areas. The first saddle was much to narrow with large trees to block any passage for a small aircraft. 

Read more and photos ➤ http://www.sierrastar.com

Transportation Security Administration on pace to collect about 4,000 firearms from airline passengers in 2017, another record



Security officers at U.S. airports are on pace to confiscate nearly 4,000 firearms from travelers in 2017, surpassing a record set last year by nearly 15%.

The Transportation Security Administration on its blog publishes a weekly tally of weapons found. As of Christmas Eve, 3,888 firearms had been discovered on passengers at U.S. airport checkpoints for the year.

The final week of the year, when travel is busiest, is likely to push that total close to 4,000, according to TSA officials.

At the end of 2016, the TSA reported it has taken 3,391 firearms from passengers, a 28% increase from the previous year.

Although the latest numbers show that the rate of increase in firearm seizures is slowing, other aspects remain about the same.

For instance, the share of guns found loaded over the past three years has held steady at 83%.

The three airports that have led the nation in most guns uncovered have been Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston.

The size of the airport doesn't seem to be a factor in the number of guns uncovered. Los Angeles International Airport, for example, is the nation's second-busiest but hasn't been in the top five for firearms over the past few years, according to the TSA data.

Both Texas and Georgia allow people to openly carry handguns with a permit. California doesn't.

Most of the guns have been found in carry-on bags but some have been concealed in stuffed animals, potted plants and mixed in with tools, according to the TSA.

Federal law prohibits airline passengers from carrying firearms or other weapons into the cabin of a plane. If a TSA agent uncovers such a weapon, the traveler can face a civil fine ranging from $330 to $13,000 and be turned over to local police for prosecution under local guns laws, which vary by state.

Story and photo ➤ http://beta.latimes.com

Incident occurred December 28, 2017 in Somis, Ventura County, California

Two people on a tandem skydive jump did not appear to be seriously injured after hitting some utility lines Thursday in the Somis area, authorities said. 

Emergency medical personnel responded about 10 a.m. to the 3300 block of West Street to make sure the man and woman were OK, according to the Ventura County Fire Department. 

Crews found the pair injured but the wounds did not seem to be major or life-threatening, according to the Ventura County Sheriff's Office. 

It was unknown what utility the line serves, authorities said. 

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

Mooney M20C Ranger, N5593Q: Incident occurred December 28, 2017 at Casa Grande Municipal Airport (KCGZ), Pinal County, Arizona

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Scottsdale, Arizona

Aircraft landed gear up.


http://registry.faa.gov/N5593Q


Date: 28-DEC-17

Time: 18:52:00Z
Regis#: N5593Q
Aircraft Make: MOONEY
Aircraft Model: M20C
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: CASA GRANDE
State: ARIZONA





CASA GRANDE — Police said no one was injured when a small plane made a hard landing at Casa Grande Municipal Airport Thursday.

Casa Grande Police Chief Mark McCrory said the pilot was out of the plane and walking when first responders arrived. The man, whose name or age wasn't known, reportedly failed to put his landing gear down upon descent.

The call came in shortly before noon, said Joe Jett, airport manager.

Jett said the Mooney M20C Ranger landed with his landing gear up and slid down the runway for about 450 feet before stopping. The plane sustained minor physical damage and no damage was done to the runway.

"It just took a while to clean up," Jett said.

The plane was towed off of the runway. Jett said the Federal Aviation Administration will conduct an investigation, as is protocol.

The flight originated in Kingman, Jett said.

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

Charleston International Airport (KCHS) closing in on new passenger record, adding new airline

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -  Charleston's growth as a tourist destination has led to more passengers and a new airline at its airport. 

Passenger counts rose 6.6 percent over November 2016 and now sits at 3,671,219 for the year, according to a release from the Charleston International Airport. If the count reaches 4 million, it would be a new record. 

“Hitting 4 million passengers is a significant milestone for Charleston International," Charleston County Aviation Authority CEO Paul Campbell said in a statement. "We’ve gone from a small-town airport to a metropolitan airport that plays a vital role in supporting the regional economy.”

The airport saw a year over year rise in passenger rates in every month except February (0.9 percent decrease) and September (10 percent decrease). The latter can be attributed to the impact of Hurricane Irma.

Campbell said the growth is expected to continue in December and 2018. 

The additional haul in and out of Charleston has also attracted another carrier. Frontier Airlines will begin nonstop flights to Denver and Philadelphia on Feb. 20 then start service to Chicago in May. 

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

Fiji: Boost for aviation sector

Fiji Airways managing director and CEO Andre Viljoen, left, Attorney-General and Minister for Civil Aviation Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Captain Anthony Browne and Fiji Airways board chairman Rajesh Punja beside an artist's impression of the Fiji Aviation Academy. 



Dr. Sushil Sharma
Dr. Sushil Sharma is a former British Aerospace Aviation Meteorologist seconded to the Royal Saudi Air Force and presently is an associate professor of meteorology at the FNU. Views expressed are his and not of this newspaper or his employer.


The Fiji Aviation Academy (FAA) is expected to be operational by 2019 in Namaka, Nadi International Airport. Its establishment in Fiji, preceded with a groundbreaking ceremony on December 7, 2017, is visionary and will be a great technical boost to the aviation industry in our part of the world. The FAA will have its own in-house simulator for training of Airbus A330 and Boeing 737 pilots, with a state-of-the-art aviation academy.

The FAA will provide our national airline, Fiji Airways, with full control of its pilot training program with total independence, speed, efficiencies and enormous savings. I believe having ownership of the entire FAA on its home soil right next to its head office, with total ownership of the highly sophisticated and expensive simulators replicating the real cockpit of the Airbus and Boeing planes is a great boon to the national airline and the Fijian Government.

Simulator training saves costs to an airline as the cost of flying a real plane for training is estimated about 40 times more. Conversely, this means that training on a simulator is 40 times cheaper. Should the organisation have ownership of the simulator itself and/or if the academy belongs to the national airline itself then its training costs are reduced many times over.

Further income can be generated for the national airline and/or government by opening up the academy for commercial operational training or simulator use by other airlines in the region.

Many people close to the airline industry and the minister himself, from the side of the Government, have worked very hard to cement the vision of the Government to have its own aviation academy.

I commend the efforts of Fiji Airways managing director and CEO Andre Viljoen, Attorney-General and Minister for Civil Aviation Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Boeing 737 fleet manager Captain Anthony Browne, Fiji Airways board chairman Rajesh Punja, and Brendan Long from simulator supplier CAE to support this grand project.

Fiji has broken ground and gone ahead with a project that many in the developed world have been unable to replicate so far. This is a great milestone for a small nation like Fiji and is a feather in the cap for our leaders who have had faith in the project and did not give up where many others would have succumbed to, I believe, the fear of failure and probably given up by now. This project is no small task and will cost as much as $100 million.

Fiji also has its own Fiji Maritime Academy (FMA) in Laucala Bay, Suva where the Government has spent more than $2m for a navigation bridge simulator and engine room simulator.

It is believed that the FMA's new educational resource is the best facility in the South Pacific region for maritime training and it will definitely benefit not only Fijian students but also regional students.

While the FMA is an entity of the Fiji National University (FNU), it is now managed by Sri Lankan-based CINEC Maritime Campus.

Captain Gurusinghe said the newly-managed institution aimed to equip each student to be a qualified and competent professional in his or her chosen career.

"These developments will place the academy as one of the leading maritime training institutions in the world. We want our students to be competent in the field of work and that is how we will be grooming them to be."

CINEC campus management started on January 1, 2014 and so far, developments at the academy have been ongoing.

In a bid to produce qualified and competent professionals in the maritime industry, the academy is developing its teaching resources, curriculum and facilities as the Government has now prioritised development of the maritime sector and maritime training.

To this end, it has allocated funds to upgrade equipment and facilities at the academy. The new changes are in line with Government's focus and emphasis on education that is aimed at producing a competent and a globally competitive workforce.

Complementing the FMA, the Fiji Aviation Academy will be a state-of-the -art facility and will be built at a cost of about $US45m ($F92.8m).

The FAA is envisioned to cater for the training of pilots locally and those from the Pacific region, including Australia and New Zealand.

It was also fitting that the groundbreaking ceremony was done on International Civil Aviation Day, which fell on December 7 with the theme "Working Together to Ensure No Country is Left Behind" on the heels of which we will be celebrating the Wright Brothers' triumph.

Wilber Wright and Orville Wright made history 114 years ago, one week shy of Christmas Day on December 17, 1903, for piloting the first powered airplane 20 feet (6 metres) above a wind-swept beach in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, US. The flight lasted 12 seconds and covered 120 feet (36 metres).

It was therefore fitting that the groundbreaking was done on International Civil Aviation Day, the purpose of which is to help generate and reinforce worldwide awareness of the importance of international civil aviation to the social and economic development of states, and of the unique role of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in helping states.

As the UN and world nations have now adopted Agenda 2030 and embarked on a new era in global sustainable development, the importance of aviation as an engine of global connectivity has never been more relevant to the Chicago Convention's objectives to look to international flight as a fundamental enabler of global peace and prosperity.

This will mean that Fiji Airways will have the supply of certified internationally-trained pilots in Fiji.

A full flight simulator provides a complete representation of the simulated aircraft in question. It consists of a fully accurate flight deck, a visual system, a control loading system and a motion system.

There are four levels of certification a full flight simulator (FFS) can receive (A, B, C and D) with D being the highest one. A level D simulator consists of six degrees of freedom motion system as well as wraparound collimated visuals. Level D simulators must provide additional special effects and cues to the pilot and there are more quality tests that are required to be run to demonstrate the simulator matches the aircraft.

Airlines make extensive and full use of full flight simulators (FFS) and they are incredibly useful.

The average level D simulator might cost $US15m ($30.8m) but it is a small fraction of the cost required to train on the real aircraft (factoring in fuel and maintenance etc).

Training statistics show that the FFS training can only be 1/40th the cost of using the real aircraft. In addition to the cost savings, they allow crew members to train for situations that would be too dangerous or impossible to simulate using a real aircraft, for example a sudden engine failure, among many others.

The advantage of a level D simulator is that it is certified to allow zero flight time training, whereas the first flight a pilot flies on a plane is a revenue flight. Full flight simulators are used in both initial and recurrent pilot training.

A FFS is also designed to replicate the manner in which an aircraft will react to external factors such as air density, turbulence, wind shear, cloud, precipitation, severe icing, head wind, tail wind and the loss of visibility because of inclement weather.

Story and photo ➤ http://www.fijitimes.com

Ultralight aircraft seized from marriage palace in Jalandhar

Ludhiana, December 28

The Income Tax Department’s raids continued at Bath Castle group in Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Nakodar on second day today. The department seized an ultralight aircraft from the marriage palace in Jalandhar. Not only this, papers related to the possession of a helicopter were also found. However, no helicopter was found on the premises.

The department has sealed 10 bank lockers and Rs25 lakh cash was also seized. Nine business premises and six residential premises were raided by the IT sleuths. Papers related to investment in property and share market has also been recovered.

The department is hopeful of unearthing huge unaccounted money from the group. It has come to light that the staff did not mention the exact number of bookings at the marriage palaces. The data of clients has also been seized.

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

Just Aircraft Highlander, N376CG, G-DAWG LLC: Accident occurred March 31, 2015 at Just Aircraft facility - private airfield near Walhalla, South 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; West Columbia, South Carolina 

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

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

http://registry.faa.gov/N376CG


Location: Walhalla, SC
Accident Number: ERA15LA174
Date & Time: 03/31/2015, 1435 EDT
Registration: N376CG
Aircraft: G-DAWG LLC JUST ACFT HIGHLANDER
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 2 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Business 

Analysis 

The private pilot was demonstrating the experimental, light sport airplane to a potential buyer. The wind was calm when they departed, but gusty when they returned about 30 minutes later. Due to the runway's sloping terrain, all takeoffs were performed in one direction and all landings in the opposite direction. The pilot estimated that a 20-mph tailwind prevailed during final approach, gusting to between 25 and 30 mph. The airplane approached the runway too fast, and the pilot conducted a go-around. He increased the engine power to full, and the airplane began to climb, but as it approached trees at the end of the runway, it encountered a wind gust and stopped climbing. The airplane then impacted a treetop, descended, and impacted the ground.

Examination of the wreckage did not reveal evidence of any preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation nor did the pilot report any anomalies. The recorded wind about the time of the accident at an airport located 10 miles east of the accident site indicated that a 12-knot tailwind, gusting to 21 knots, existed. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to maintain airplane control during a go-around in gusting tailwind conditions, which resulted in a collision with trees.

Findings

Aircraft
Climb rate - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Tailwind - Effect on operation (Cause)
Gusts - Effect on operation (Cause)


Factual Information

On March 31, 2015, about 1435 eastern daylight time, an experimental light sport Just Aircraft Highlander, N376CG, was substantially damaged when it impacted trees and terrain at a private airfield near Walhalla, South Carolina. The private pilot and passenger were seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The local business flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part
91.

The pilot was demonstrating the airplane to a potential buyer. The pilot reported that the wind was calm when they departed, but gusty when they returned about 30 minutes later. He estimated the wind as a 20-mph tailwind during final approach, gusting to a 25 to 30-mph tailwind. The airplane approached too fast and the pilot performed a go-around. He increased the engine power to full power and the airplane began to climb, but as it approached trees at the end of the runway, "a big tailwind gust" caused the airplane to cease climbing. The airplane collided with the top of the tree, descended, and impacted the ground. The pilot did not report any preimpact mechanical malfunctions.

According to a witness, the accident flight was one of several flights performed to demonstrate the performance characteristics of the airplane to a potential buyer and his friend. The witness indicated that during the accident flight, the airplane was landing toward the east with a tailwind, and travelling faster than normal as it approached the runway. As the airplane descended toward the runway surface, the witness observed an increase in engine power, and the airplane subsequently "ballooned." Shortly thereafter the pilot "added full power" and the airplane began to climb and flew over a two-story building located about 100 ft east of the runway, along its extended centerline. The airplane then struck trees adjacent to the north side of the building before it impacted the ground in a wooded ravine. The witness added that the turf runway was 400 to 500 ft in length, oriented east-west. Due to sloping terrain, all landings are performed to the east and all takeoffs performed to the west.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for single-engine land, airplane single-engine sea, and instrument airplane. The pilot reported a total flight experience of 6,672 hours; of which about 46 hours were in the same make and model as the accident airplane. All 46 hours were flown during the 90-day period preceding the accident.

Oconee County Regional Airport (CEU), Clemson, South Carolina was located about 10 miles east of the accident site. The recorded weather at CEU, at 1454, was: wind from 260° at 12 knots, gusting to 21 knots; visibility 10 miles; sky clear; temperature 26° C; dew point 2° C; altimeter 29.92 inches of mercury. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 61, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 01/22/2015
Flight Time: 6672 hours (Total, all aircraft), 46 hours (Total, this make and model), 6600 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 60 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 28 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 



Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: G-DAWG LLC
Registration: N376CG
Model/Series: JUST ACFT HIGHLANDER
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental Light Sport
Serial Number: JAESC0141
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1320 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2568 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Rotax
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: 914
Registered Owner: G-DAWG LLC
Rated Power: 115 hp
Operator: G-DAWG LLC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 



Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KCEU, 891 ft msl
Observation Time: 1454 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 111°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 2°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility 10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 12 knots/ 21 knots, 260°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 29.92 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV): 
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Walhalla, SC (PVT)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Walhalla, SC (PVT)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1400 EDT
Type of Airspace: 

Airport Information

Airport: Just Aircraft Facility (PVT)
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 900 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 090
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 450 ft / 60 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Go Around 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 34.732500, -83.078611 (est)




NTSB Identification: ERA15LA174
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, March 31, 2015 in Walhalla, SC
Aircraft: G-DAWG LLC JUST ACFT HIGHLANDER, registration: N376CG
Injuries: 2 Serious.

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 March 31, 2015, about 1435 eastern daylight time, an experimental Light Sport Just Aircraft Highlander, N376CG, was substantially damaged when it impacted trees and terrain at a private airfield near Walhalla, South Carolina. The private pilot and passenger were seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The local business flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to a witness, the accident flight was one of several flights performed to demonstrate the performance characteristics of the airplane to a potential buyer and his friend. The witness indicated that on the accident flight, the airplane was landing toward the east with a tailwind, and travelling faster than normal as it approached the runway. As the airplane descended toward the runway surface, the witness observed an increase in engine power, and the airplane subsequently "ballooned". Shortly thereafter the pilot "added full power" and the airplane began to climb and flew over a 2-story building located about 100 ft east of the runway, along its extended centerline. The airplane then struck trees adjacent to the north side of the building before it impacted the ground in a wooded ravine.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for single engine land, single engine sea, and instrument airplane. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third-class medical certificate was issued on July 3, 2013. He reported 6,500 total hours of flight experience on that date.

Satellite imagery and geographical information system data indicate the turf field was approximately 450 ft long by 60 feet wide, and oriented roughly east-west. The elevation at the west end of the field was about 900 ft, and the east end about 950 feet.

The nearest weather reporting station was located at Oconee County Regional Airport, about 10 miles east of the accident location. About the time of the accident, it reported clear skies, visibility 10 miles, winds from the west at 12 knots gusting 21 knots, temperature 79F, dewpoint 36F, altimeter setting 29.92.

A hobby takes flight: How one man built a collection of historic military planes in St. Louis

Dan Bissell


ST. LOUIS • The Bissell Auto & Body truck repair shop has been a mystery for drivers through St. Louis for years. The phone rings in the nondescript garage business almost every day with someone looking for answers.

“They’re constantly calling about the planes,” said owner Dan Bissell.

Behind the beige building at 3000 Chouteau Avenue, noses from a collection of 26 warbird airplanes and helicopters from the U.S. and Russian military can be spotted from the busy road.

They’re part of Bissell’s private collection of military planes dating back to the 1950s. But they tend to stick out in the industrial lot in urban St. Louis.

Bissell said so many people drive down a side road to get a look behind the building at the planes that he became concerned about trespassing and set up security cameras. Pilots who spotted the collection from the sky have even stopped in to ask about the mysterious planes.

The answer? It’s a hobby.

Bissell bought most of the collection in varying states of repair over 25 years from government auctions and — in most cases — saved them from the scrap yard by bidding against recyclers.

“We know it’s not the typical hobby,” said Bissell’s wife, lawyer Alex Bissell. “But he’s been able to save planes where there really aren’t that many left in the world now, but now we’ve got them here.”




Remote control to the real thing

Dan Bissell had war plane posters and an airplane ID book in his childhood bedroom growing up in Town and Country.

“He can tell you any kind of commercial jet or military jet just from the silhouette in the sky,” said Alex Bissell. “You know, I think people are just wired a certain way, and he’s been wired towards airplanes his whole life.”

Dan Bissell theorizes that the fascination comes from a few different places: His grandfather and father were wartime pilots in WWI and WWII, respectively. But Bissell also has had a mechanical mind since he was a child, working in the same truck repair shop he owns today. The business has been in his family since the 1940s.

As a boy, Bissell had a collection of remote-control airplanes, including complicated models that ran on actual fuel, that he’d spend hours flying.

When he became an adult he set his sights on the real thing, starting by collecting engines from military planes.

”I guess it just sort of escalated from there,” he said.




The greatest airplane boneyard

There was only one place for Bissell to go to take his airplane fascination to the next level: the military plane boneyard at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base outside Tucson, Ariz.

Today the base is the sole location for excess military and government aircraft and houses more than 4,400 planes in its military plane graveyard.

Visits to the place inspired Bissell to look into government auctions at which they sold off decommissioned planes by the pound for their metal content.

In the early 1990s, Bissell made his first major purchase: a massive F-105 Thunderchief that was used for training during the Vietnam War. Its sides are covered with patches where pilots practiced repairing the aircraft in case of an emergency.

For the next decade, Bissell went on buying sprees, quickly creating an airplane boneyard of his own, including a B-52, an F-86, a T-33 and a collection of the MiGs that were a staple of the Russian and Soviet air force. Those he buys overseas and has delivered in shipping containers.

”It’s kind of amazing that they just let you buy this stuff,” he said standing next to a Russian MiG in a garage where he keeps a few additional planes. “I mean, I’m pretty sure that if you sat in that ejection seat it could send you through the ceiling.”

The planes in Bissell’s collection cost between $10,000 and $75,000, but sometimes getting a plane to St. Louis is more than the cost of the plane itself. Getting a warbird shipped across the country can run between $15,000 and $30,000, Bissell said.

“They are extremely difficult to transport,” he said. “It’s not easy to move a plane that can’t fly.”

And it doesn’t always go well. In one case, a shipped plane headed for Bissell’s collection lost a chunk from a wing when it hit a bridge in transport, he said.

But, he said, the image of a new plane arriving and getting lifted into his yard by a crane is thrilling.

Bissell said government sales of full military planes slowed after the 9/11 attacks, when the Defense Department began to sell more equipment in pieces or scrap to prevent technology from getting into the wrong hands.

Still, Bissell is a natural collector — he also owns 45 motorcycles and has a warehouse full of items he can’t bring himself to give away — and still hopes to grow his collection from buying parts and more planes from other collectors.

“I have a few I have my eyes on now,” he said.

The Bissells said their 19-year-old son who attended Fontbonne University had plans to fix up the planes and use them in an event space.

“It would be nice to put them somewhere where people could really appreciate the history,” Alex Bissell said.

But Dan Bissell also still holds on to the idea of creating a museum with his collection.

“I have plans in my mind of what a museum would look like,” he said. “That would be the dream.”

But for now, the planes remain another urban oddity of St. Louis that the keep cars turning down a side street and the calls coming in to the small truck repair shop on Chouteau Avenue.

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

Beech E33A, N8401N: Accident occurred June 11, 2015 at Cholla Airpark (57AZ), Oro Valley, Pima County, Arizona

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

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

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

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

http://registry.faa.gov/N8401N

Location: Tucson, AZ
Accident Number: WPR15LA183
Date & Time: 06/11/2015, 0840 MST
Registration: N8401N
Aircraft: BEECH E33A
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Sys/Comp malf/fail (non-power)
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On June 11, 2015, about 0840 mountain standard time, a Beech E33A, N8401N, exited the runway landing surface during the landing rollout at La Cholla Airpark, Tucson, Arizona, and collided with a drainage ditch. The owner/pilot was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The commercial pilot was not injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The local personal flight departed Tucson, about 0800. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

In a written statement, the pilot reported that the landing touchdown was smooth, with power nearly off. During the landing roll, he applied gentle pressure to the brakes to slow down, however the left side braking action was non-existent, while the right side brake held. The pilot was unable to maintain directional control as the airplane departed the narrow runway and subsequently collided with a drainage ditch and low cement wall.

The wreckage was recovered to a secured facility where a Federal Aviation Administration Inspector from the Scottsdale, Arizona, Flight Standards District Office examined the brake system. The inspector reported no evidence of a mechanical malfunction or failure. The hydraulic system was almost empty due to the bleeder valve on the brake caliper was sheared off. 

Pilot Information


Certificate: Commercial
Age: 82, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 01/14/2015
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 08/01/2013
Flight Time:  4500 hours (Total, all aircraft), 2000 hours (Total, this make and model), 4000 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 6 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information


Aircraft Manufacturer: BEECH
Registration: N8401N
Model/Series: E33A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1968
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: CE-215
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/20/2015, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3300 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 2 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 5000 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: CONT MOTOR
ELT: C91  installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO 520 SERIES
Registered Owner: WARREN ADRIAN TRUSTEE
Rated Power: 285 hp
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: KDMA, 2704 ft msl
Observation Time: 1558 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 18 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 160°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 27°C / 15°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots, 330°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 29.88 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Tucson, AZ (57AZ)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Tucson, AZ (57AZ)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0800 MST
Type of Airspace: 

Airport Information


Airport: LA CHOLLA AIRPARK (57AZ)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 2940 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 01
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4500 ft / 44 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Traffic Pattern 

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: 32.446667, -111.002778 (est)

Airlines shrug off Cancun warning



U.S. airlines are wagering that American tourists will keep flocking to Cancun despite rising violence in Mexico and a warning from the State Department.

Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines and Delta Air Lines are adding flights to the resort. United Continental Holdings is using one of its biggest jets once a week to ply the Chicago-Cancun route.

The extra flights suggest stable growth in U.S. tourism even after the State Department said turf wars between crime gangs were fueling a surge in violence in two Mexican states, including the one where Cancun is. Mexico's top beach destination potentially also could pick up visitors from other Caribbean destinations that suffered severe hurricane damage.

"It's quickly become our largest international market," Steven Swan, Southwest's director of international planning, said of Cancun. It's common for traffic to rebound after briefly dipping on travel warnings, he said. "People tend to have a relatively short-term memory."

From the airlines' perspective, Cancun flights are good business because of their lower costs, high passenger counts and heavy sales of booze, said Mark Drusch, a consultant and former airline executive. American Airlines Group Inc. has more flights into Cancun than any other international destination, American spokesman Kristen Foster said.

International passenger traffic to Mexico's largest resort has climbed since the U.S. State Department's Aug. 22 travel warning. It rose 6.3 percent in November from a year earlier and has increased more than 8 percent this year, according to the regional airport's operator.

Without a doubt, some of the news coming out of Mexican beach towns this year has been grim. Innocent bystanders in Quintana Roo, the location of Cancun, and some other Mexican destinations have been caught up in shooting battles between criminal gangs, the U.S. advisory noted. Five people died in January at a nightclub in Playa del Carmen near Cancun.

But such warnings are "not top of mind" for people just looking to relax, Drusch said. Quintana Roo receives about 10 million tourists a year and accounts for a third of Mexico's international visitors.

With all the news about mass shootings and racial tension in the U.S. this year, Mexico's neighbor to the north seems just as dangerous, Vancouver resident Clark MacPherson said. The golf pro was trying to decide between Cancun, Nashville, Tenn., or the Carolinas for his recent honeymoon. Because of all the "terrifying incidents" in the U.S. recently, Mexico "seemed like the safer option," he said.

Carriers expanding flights to the region in recent months include Southwest, which in November announced two new seasonal routes to the Mexican resort town from Pittsburgh and Raleigh-Durham, N.C., and deep discounter Spirit, which is adding year-round service from Baltimore/Washington and Chicago. Delta this month added a third daily flight from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport to Cancun, and added another flight from Boston.

Story and photo ➤ http://www.arkansasonline.com



U.S. airlines are wagering that American tourists will keep flocking to Cancun despite rising violence in Mexico and a warning from the State Department.

Southwest Airlines Co., Spirit Airlines Inc. and Delta Air Lines Inc. are adding flights to the resort. United Continental Holdings Inc. is using one of its biggest jets once a week to ply the Chicago-Cancun route.

The extra flights suggest stable growth in U.S. tourism even after the State Department said turf wars between crime gangs were fueling a surge in violence in two Mexican states, including the one where Cancun is located. Mexico’s top beach destination potentially could also pick up visitors from other Caribbean destinations that suffered severe hurricane damage.

“It’s quickly become our largest international market,” Steven Swan, Southwest’s director of international planning, said of Cancun. It’s common for traffic to rebound after briefly dipping on travel warnings, he said. “People tend to have a relatively short-term memory.”

From the airlines’ perspective, Cancun flights are good business because of their lower costs, high passenger counts and heavy sales of booze, said Mark Drusch, a consultant and former airline executive. American Airlines Group Inc. has more flights into Cancun than any other international destination, American spokeswoman Kristen Foster said.

Traffic Rising

International passenger traffic to Mexico’s largest resort has climbed since the U.S. State Department’s Aug. 22 travel warning. It rose 6.3 percent in November from a year earlier and has increased more than 8 percent this year, according to the regional airport’s operator.
Resort Rebound

Without a doubt, some of the news coming out of Mexican beach towns this year has been grim. Innocent bystanders in Quintana Roo, where Cancun is located, and some other Mexican destinations have been caught up in shooting battles between criminal gangs, the U.S. advisory noted. Five people died in January at a nightclub in Playa del Carmen near Cancun.

But such warnings are “not top of mind” for people just looking to relax, Drusch said. Quintana Roo receives about 10 million tourists a year and accounts for a third of Mexico’s international visitors.

‘Terrifying Incidents’

With all the news about mass shootings and racial tension in the U.S. this year, Mexico’s neighbor to the north seems just as dangerous, said Vancouver resident Clark MacPherson. The golf pro was trying to decide between Cancun and Nashville or the Carolinas for his recent honeymoon. Because of all the “terrifying incidents” in the U.S. recently, Mexico “seemed like the safer option,” he said.

Carriers expanding flights to the region in recent months include Southwest, which in November announced two new seasonal routes to the Mexican resort town from Pittsburgh and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, and deep discounter Spirit, which is adding year-round service from Baltimore/Washington and Chicago. Delta this month added a third daily flight from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to Cancun, and added another flight from Boston.

Story and slideshow ➤ https://www.bloomberg.com