Saturday, March 17, 2018

Boeing's newest 737 Max makes first flight into a cloudy market

SEATTLE — Boeing's newest and smallest 737 Max jetliner took flight for the first time, into blue skies — and a cloudy, crowded market.

The takeoff, at 10:17 a.m. Friday outside Seattle, was characteristically drama-free for the third of four planned models in the Max family. Boeing's upgraded planes have largely met milestones on a schedule plotted years ago even as the manufacturer pushes single-aisle output to record highs.

But prospects for the new aircraft — the Max 7 —  are hazy. Sales have flagged as low-cost carriers migrated to larger, more economical models. Even Southwest Airlines, the launch customer for the Max 7 and largest operator of the 737-700, the jet's predecessor, is part of the trend. The Dallas-based carrier has ordered 30 Max 7s, and 210 of its larger sibling, the Max 8.

Chicago-based Boeing responded to the Max 7's two biggest customers, Southwest and Canada's WestJet Airlines, by stretching the narrow-body plane's airframe to seat 138 passengers, a dozen more than originally planned. The new model also flies farther than other Max models or its competitors. With a range of 3,850 nautical miles, the new jet should be able to fly directly from Dallas to Honolulu.

Boeing's propulsion center in North Charleston designs and assembles engine nacelle inlets for the 737 Max program. Boeing also designs the engine nacelle fan cowls at the Palmetto Commerce Park site, a few miles from the aerospace giant's 787 Dreamliner campus.

Competition in the small-jet market is fierce. New models from Brazil's Embraer and Canada's Bombardier are jockeying for sales in the same sliver of the market: jets that seat between 130 and 150 travelers. France's Airbus has all but conceded sales for its A319neo as it prepares to take control of Bombardier's C Series through a joint venture forged last year.

The flood of new planes might rekindle airline interest in the category, however, said Richard Aboulafia, aerospace analyst with Teal Group.

"It could be the Max 7 stays in a small niche," he said. "Or maybe the Embraer and C Series jets stimulate the 130-seat market. It is a notch up from the no man's land of 100-seaters."

Original article can be found here ➤

San Antonio Police Department boasts only female police helicopter pilot in Texas: Years of being denied made Army veteran more determined

SAN ANTONIO - The only woman to operate a law enforcement helicopter in the entire Lone Star State will retire at the end of the year after serving 32 years with the San Antonio Police Department.

“The freedom of flying, yes, I’ll miss it,” Officer Kathy O’Connor said. “And I’ll miss the guys I work with.”

Finally becoming a pilot — and working with “the guys” — took years of tenacity.

Before flying, O’Connor worked as an SAPD patrol officer and was shot in the line of duty, earning honors for her brave police work. She then became a tactical flight officer, sitting next to the pilot in the chopper.

“Running the camera system, calling the chases, talking to the dispatchers while the pilot flies,” O’Connor said. “And I did that for about three and a half years and I finally said, ‘I want to do that other side.’”

But O’Connor was told it would never happen.

“I was told for those couple of years that I came in as a tactical flight officer, that this unit would never have a female pilot,” she said.

Each "no" she heard only bolstered her determination.

“I kept knocking on the door and applying every time they had a pilot's position open, and I said, ‘One of these days, you're going to let me in.’ And finally I got in,” O'Connor said.

O’Connor said flying the SAPD Eagle helicopter is the best job in the department. She calls it “searching for bad guys from the sky.”

“The day begins with everything from robberies in progress to foot chases of wanted people to looking for missing children who hadn't shown up from school to elderly people who have walked away from nursing homes,” she said.

Growing up in a housing project on the south side of Chicago, O’Connor’s yearn to fly began while watching planes go in and out of Midway International Airport. She joined the Army, in part, as a way to go to college. Her service brought her to Military City, U.S.A., where she stayed after leaving the Army.

O’Connor joined SAPD in 1986. It was in the 1990s when she began to see more women enter the ranks.

Besides landing the job as a pilot, O’Connor doesn’t feel like she has faced any challenges unique to being a woman in the male-dominated skies. So what’s it like to be the only woman in her position?

“It's great! The guys I work with are great. They’ve all accepted me very well,” she said. “It's a great working environment.”

Don’t expect her to brag. O’Connor knows what she has achieved is extraordinary, and others have taken notice, too. She earned a lifetime achievement award from Texas Women in Law Enforcement and won an Inspiring Women's Award from the Silver Stars, the city's former WNBA team.

As her three decades in law enforcement come to a close, O’Connor said she hopes to see even more women soar.

“If there's something you want to do in life, go do it,” she said. “Don’t take no for an answer, because if you really want to do it, you'll find the way to accomplish it.”

O’Connor has one more promotion coming her way before retirement: She’s about to become a grandmother. 

Original article can be found here ➤

Lake Superior College Promoting Career Paths In Aviation

DULUTH, Minn. – Lake Superior College (LSC) is helping student soar to new heights with a career in aviation.

LSC’s Aviation Career Night gives students many options whether they decide on a career as a pilot or in aviation maintenance.

Students like Troy Naughton chose a career path in aviation because of the promising job opportunities.

He’s graduating in may and hopes to stay in Duluth and begin his career as an aviation technician.

“The job growth it’s encouraging right now, both the pilot side of things; pilots are in a really high demand and it’s only going to increase, same with the mechanic side of things,” said Naughton.

Companies like AAR have a partnership with LSC so students can reach their career goals.

AAR offers students a part time position before they even graduate, which can lead to a full time job with the company.

“They can get actual hands on training and earn a living while going to school and studying to get their license down the road,” said AAR Project Manager John Hagadorn.

An aviation degree from LSC may be completed in about two years.

LSC also has financial aid and scholarships available to help cover the cost of the program.

Here’s some motivation for you, an airline and commercial pilot’s average salary is around $100,000.

For more information on LSC’s aviation program click here.

Original article can be found here ➤

Friday, March 16, 2018

American Eagle, Canadair Regional Jet CRJ-900: Incident occurred March 16, 2018 at San Antonio International Airport (KSAT), Texas


A plane that prompted an emergency call for an 'aircraft in trouble' landed safely at the San Antonio International Airport Friday afternoon.

The San Antonio International Airport released the following statement concerning the incident:

At approximately 4:00pm today at San Antonio International Airport, an American Airlines plane made a precautionary landing due to a possible aircraft system malfunction. Emergency response personnel were on the scene when the plane landed safely with 82 passengers on board. 

Original article can be found here ➤

An airplane that reported a potential brake malfunction Friday afternoon has landed safely. That same aircraft is back in use after inspection.

More than a dozen fire units were standing by at San Antonio International Airport to assist the American Eagle plane returning to San Antonio after a distress call.

Aircraft officials reported a potential malfunction with the airplane's braking equipment. The plane headed for Phoenix landed back in San Antonio shortly after 4 p.m.

According to American Airlines public relations officials, the flight was going from San Antonio to Phoenix, In mid-air, there was an indicator in the cockpit that there was a potential mechanical issue.

As a precaution, the flight returned to San Antonio mid-flight. There were no injuries on board nor any official emergencies declared. The team on the ground inspected the aircraft and cleared it to carry on.

A spokesperson for the San Antonio Fire Department says that 82 passengers were onboard the plane, American Airlines flight 5803. The passengers re-departed for Arizona at 5:45 p.m. Officials say there is no further cause for concern.

Original article can be found here ➤

Cirrus SR22, N816CD and Cirrus SR20, N486DA: Accident occurred March 16, 2018 at Palatka Municipal Airport (28J), Putnam County, Florida

B & S Aviation Enterprises LLC:

Aerosim Academy Inc:

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - No one was hurt when two planes collided on the tarmac Friday morning at the Palatka Municipal Airport, authorities said.

The collision occurred shortly before 11 a.m. at the airport on Reid Street.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol report, both planes were descending at the same time when the plane piloted by former Jaguar Robert Meier hit the top rear of the second aircraft. 

Putnam County Sheriff Homer "Gator" DeLoach said there were no injuries reported at the scene, but the collision did result in a fuel leak.

Former Jaguars tight end Kyle Brady, who owns a stake in one of the planes involved, said the Palatka airport does not have a control tower, meaning pilots communicate with one another over the radio and use their own senses to avoid crashes.

Cary Green, a pilot who frequently flies out of the airport, said it's always up to the pilots to know when it's safe to land or take off.

"We are talking to one another, but there isn't even a requirement at non-towered airports to have a radio," he said. "You can come in here and there are aircraft that don't have electrical systems, but operate in and out of this place. So you just have to watch for other aircraft."

Green did not wish to speculate about what happened, but said it can be difficult to see other aircraft when piloting a low-wing plane. "You just have to be aware of what you can't see," he said.

One of the planes involved is registered to a B & S Aviation Enterprises, an Atlantic Beach-based firm. It belongs to Brady and two co-owners, one of whom was piloting the aircraft at the time of the incident.

The other plane is registered to Aerosim Academy, a flight school in Sanford. Troopers identified the pilot of that plane as a 29-year-old Deland man and the passenger as a 28-year-old Sanford man.

Green said there tend to be a lot of training flights through the Palatka airport because access is easier without a tower.

"Traffic can vary quite a bit," he said. "On a typical day, it can be very quiet, but within an hour we can get quite a few training aircraft."

The collision is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration. The agency will determine who, if anyone was at fault, and what penalties might be meted out as a result.

Original article can be found here ➤

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, two planes collided while on the ground at the Key Larkin Airport in Palatka.

Officials report no one was injured in the small collision.

First Coast News has discovered former Jaguars tight end Kyle Brady is an owner of a business linked to one of the planes. It is unknown who was piloting the planes at the time of the crash.

Crews are working to clean up a small fuel leak where several gallons of fuel was leaked onto the roadway. We're told the spill is considered contained.

Three total occupants were among the two planes. It is unknown what the two planes were doing at the time of the collision.

FAA Statement:

"An SR22 aircraft landed on top of an SR20 aircraft on Runway 27 at the Palatka Municipal Airport, Palatka, FL today

at 10:30 a.m. The SR20 landed on Runway 27 first and the SR22 then landed on top of the other aircraft. Local authorities report that there were no injuries. The FAA will investigate. The registration numbers for the SR22 aircraft is N816CD and the registration number for the SR20 aircraft is N486DA."

Original article can be found here ➤ 

A single-engine plane ended up atop another Friday morning at Palatka Municipal Airport, but no one was injured, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The Federal Aviation Administration said a Cirrus SR22 aircraft landed on top of a Cirrus SR20 at 10:30 a.m. on Runway 27 at the small airport at 4015 Reid St.

“The SR20 landed on Runway 27 first and the SR22 then landed on top of the other aircraft,” the FAA statement said.

The SR22 was piloted by 40-year-old Robert Jack Daniel Meier of Jacksonville, according to the Highway Patrol report. No one else was in that plane. The other was piloted by 29-year-old Luis Andres Salvador Zamb of Deland with passenger Xiao Wang, 28, of Sanford.

Times-Union news partner First Coast News learned that former Jaguars tight end Kyle Brady is an owner of a business linked to one of the planes involved, but it was unclear which one.

This was the third aircraft incident in Putnam County in the past three weeks, and the second connected to the airport.

Two people suffered minor injuries March 6 after a single-engine plane apparently lost power and crashed into a backyard while approaching the airport, just a mile west of the crash site, according to the Highway Patrol.

Two men were killed Feb. 27 when their single-engine plane crashed in the St. Johns River near Fort Gates Ferry.

Original article can be found here ➤

Incident occurred March 16, 2018 at Vernal Regional Airport (KVEL), Uintah County, Utah

VERNAL, Utah – A flight instructor and his student walked away without injury Friday following a hard landing at Vernal Regional Airport.

Firefighters were called to the airport after the pilot reported that the front landing gear of his Cessna 310K would not lock into place, according to a Facebook post by Geoff Liesik Communications based in Vernal.

The pilot circled the airport several times before landing about 5:30 p.m.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.

Original article can be found here ➤

Cessna 210M Centurion, N761DV: Accident occurred March 16, 2018 in Shelburne, Chittenden County, Vermont

GV Air Inc:

SHELBURNE, Vt. — A small plane crashed Friday in Shelburne.

Police said it happened about 2:40 p.m. on Dorset Street.

Investigators said the plane crashed in a homeowner's yard.

The pilot was the only person on the Cessna and was not injured.

Police said he was doing routine land survey work in the area when the plane's engine stopped at about 2,600 feet.

The plane's nose and wing were damaged but it did not strike the house.

The owners were not home when the plane crashed.

Police said the Florida-based company that owns the plane will have to work with the homeowners to get it removed and fix any damage to their yard.

According to FAA records, the 41-year-old is registered to GV Air in Medford, Oregon.

It's certificate was renewed in May 2017.

Multiple crews responded to the scene.

Original article can be found here ➤

SHELBURNE, Vt. - Shelburne Police say a small single engine Cessna plane went down in a residential area Friday afternoon.

Police say they got the 911 call around 2:40 Friday afternoon that a plane had gone down in the 5200 area of Dorset Street.

Shelburne Police say the pilot, Ryan Carraway, 24, was the sole occupant, and uninjured.

According to police, Carraway works for GV AIR INC out of Florida, and was performing surveying.

Carraway was flying the Cessna 210 when he says he experienced engine failure.

Police say he was able to land in a field to avoid injuring himself or others, but the plane experienced extensive damage.

Original article ➤

Republic escapes turbulence, but still combats pilot shortage

In many respects, Indianapolis-based Republic Airline Inc. is on surer footing now than when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February 2016.

Yet the airline continues to grapple with one of the key concerns that drove it into bankruptcy two years ago: an industry-wide shortage of pilots caused by a variety of factors.

First, the good news: The regional carrier, which emerged from bankruptcy in April 2017, now has a more efficient fleet of aircraft—a smaller number of planes that are all the same size. A key measure of operational performance hit an all-time high this year. The airline turned a profit, and it recently increased its pilot pay.

“The airline’s been thriving,” said Matt Koscal, Republic’s chief administrative officer.

One metric the airline is especially proud of: Nearly every single one of its schedule departures—99.95 percent—actually took off in 2017, not including cancellations for weather, airport closures or other factors outside the airline’s control.

In other words, only 0.05 percent of scheduled Republic flights last year were canceled due to controllable factors like maintenance and staffing problems. It was a new record for the company, exceeding its goal of 99.6 percent.

On this metric, Koscal said, small changes are significant, and a change of even half a point up or down is “a big deal.”

In comparison, in 2015—as Republic was struggling with pilot staffing and resulting cancellations—its so-called “controllable completion factor” fell as low as 98.4 percent.

Seth Kaplan, managing partner of the aviation industry publication Airline Weekly, said Republic’s performance on the metric is admirable.

“Anything above 99 percent for a regional carrier is quite good,” Kaplan said.

Republic’s passenger counts and departures both grew last year and, according to U.S. Department of Transportation data, the privately held Republic earned profit of $332 million for the 12-month period ending in the third quarter of 2017.

Still, Koscal said, Republic’s top threat is a top threat industry-wide: the struggle to find enough pilots to fill cockpits.

According to a report issued last year by aircraft maker Boeing, 637,000 new commercial airline pilots will be needed worldwide by 2036 to meet demand, because of factors like pilot retirements and worldwide aviation growth.

Student recruiters

Republic is tackling the challenge by deploying a variety of tactics, some tried-and-true and others more innovative. They include a brand-new approach to connecting with college aviation students and some big-picture strategizing about reducing training costs for students.

Just this year, Republic launched an on-campus ambassador program in which the airline pays aviation students to promote the company among their peers.

The first class of 50 ambassadors—students from aviation schools around the country—came to Indianapolis in January for two days of training. They learned about the company, got training in social media and public speaking, and joined Republic’s payroll.

Republic routinely visits aviation schools to recruit students—but with a schedule of 75 schools to visit, employees are able to make it to each campus only once or twice a year.

Having a network of trained advocates—students who aspire to become Republic pilots themselves—helps the airline maintain more frequent contact with each college. “If we’ve got updates about the company, we can tell our ambassadors, who can share that news on campus,” said Lauren McNamara, a talent brand strategist within Republic’s human resources department.

The concept of having on-campus student representatives focused on pilot recruitment is “incredibly new,” said Martin Rottler, a faculty member at the Ohio State University Center for Aviation Studies in Columbus.

 The Ohio State program has about 250 students, about half of whom are training to become pilots. Two of those students are official Republic ambassadors.

Republic is the only airline to date that uses college ambassadors at Ohio State, Rottler said.

Students were already very aware of Republic because the airline has crew and maintenance bases in Columbus, Rottler said. And other airlines send pilots and recruiters to talk with students on campus. But using college students as brand ambassadors takes things to another level.

“Carriers are starting to get more and more aware of the fact that they need to have a larger presence and a more regular presence in these students’ lives. That helps build a relationship,” Rottler said.

To date, he said, Ohio State’s Republic ambassadors have helped plan an on-campus recruiting event, an off-campus networking dinner and a tour of Republic’s local maintenance base.

Louis Smith, president of Nevada-based pilot advisory firm, said he expects to see more regional airlines start college ambassador programs. “It’s a recent development and innovative, so others will copy it. All competitive advantages are short-lived in the regional airline sector,” Smith said in an e-mail to IBJ.

Pilot crunch

Such advantages are important because, over the next several years, a wave of commercial pilots will hit the mandatory retirement age of 65, leaving the mainline carriers with thousands of vacancies. Those carriers usually hire from the regional carriers, which puts airlines like Republic in a squeeze.

“You have more people retiring over the next 10 years from the mainline airlines than are in the regional airlines altogether,” Republic’s Koscal said.

And worldwide growth in aviation means many U.S. aviation schools enroll a sizable number of foreign students, Koscal said, which reduces the system’s capacity to train U.S. pilots.

Making matters worse, Federal Aviation Administration rules instituted in 2013 dramatically increased the training requirements for commercial pilots, making the path from classroom to cockpit lengthier and more costly.

Republic and other airlines have taken steps to ease this burden by raising pilot pay and subsidizing some training costs for qualified students.

In February, Republic inked a contract extension with its more than 2,000 pilots. The new contract includes pay increases retroactive to Jan. 1, with increases that range from 14 percent to 28 percent, depending on a pilot’s length of service.

First-year hires now earn $45 per flight hour, up from $40.40 under the previous contract terms that took effect in October 2015. That contract represented a huge improvement over the airline’s previous starting hourly rate of $22.95.

Affordable education

Republic is also looking at how it might make an aviation career more financially accessible. Students can learn to fly through either a college aviation program or a commercial flight school. Because of flight-instruction fees, aviation programs tend to be significantly more costly than other fields of study. Then, after graduation, students must typically log hundreds of additional flight hours to meet the 1,500 hours required to qualify for airline jobs.

The high cost can discourage students from even entering the field, Koscal said. “There’s a lot of bright young individuals out there … but the door—not only is it not open, but they don’t even know where the door is.”

One tack Republic is trying is to advocate for changes in how flight training is credited.

Republic recently invested in state-of-the-art cockpit-training equipment that gives student pilots the ability to train in a variety of simulated dangerous conditions. Training to fly in simulated storms, heavy fog or equipment failure, Koscal said, provides a higher level of training than pilots could otherwise receive.

So Republic plans to advocate for premium credit for high-quality flight training, similar to existing rules that allow pilots with a college degree in aviation or who received military flight training to qualify for commercial-pilot credentials with fewer than 1,500 flight hours.

That change could pay big dividends, Aviation Weekly’s Kaplan said. “That would probably be the biggest help, if they could do something about that,” he said of the 1,500 rule. “That’s what has vastly raised the cost of getting pilots.”

Republic is also exploring whether it can help change rules about the types of funding that can be used for flight training.

Currently, federal financial aid and savings in 529 college plans can’t be used for commercial flight school or to pay for post-graduate flight hours. Republic would like that to change, though its chance of success may be a long shot, one industry insider says.

“I think it’s always in the realm of possibility—just maybe not a strong likelihood of it happening,” said Troy Montigney, executive director of the Indiana Education Savings Authority, which administrates the state’s CollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan.

Under federal tax reforms passed in December, Montigney said, parents can now use up to $10,000 of their 529 plan savings to pay for K-12 education expenses. But lawmakers did not add vocational training as a qualified expense, he said.

Because 529 plan rules are based on federal tax law, he said, changes tend to come from the federal level. It’s possible but “highly unlikely” that states with 529 plans would institute state-level rules different from federal law, he said.

Original article can be found here ➤

Captain Maher Sayegh: Air Asia pilot dies on his way to airport in Kolkata

Captain Maher Sayegh

KOLKATA: An Air Asia pilot, Captain Maher Sayegh died on his way to the airport in a cab from a hotel on VIP Road on Friday afternoon. Police said, Sayegh, a resident of Syria had reached the city early on Friday and had checked into the hotel. He was reporting for his duty on Friday afternoon and had headed from hotel to the airport in a cab when the driver found him unconscious in the backseat.

He was immediately taken to the nearest private hospital where the doctor declared him dead on arrival. The doctor suspected him to have underwent a massive cardiac arrest that led to his death. Police have started a case of unnatural death and have sent the body for post mortem examination at RG Kar Medical College and Hospital. 

Original article  ➤

Surge in airline hiring boosts interest in aspiring pilots

DALLAS (AP) — Major U.S. airlines are hiring pilots at a rate not seen since before 9/11, and that is encouraging more young people to consider a career in the cockpit.

Hiring is likely to remain brisk for years. Smaller airlines in the U.S. are struggling with a shortage that will continue as they lose pilots to the bigger carriers, which in turn will need to replace thousands of retiring pilots over the next few years.

Aircraft maker Boeing predicts that the U.S. will need 117,000 new pilots by 2036. Just a decade ago thousands of pilots were furloughed and some abandoned the profession.

The shortage has been felt most keenly at regional carriers where many pilots start their airline careers.

Last summer, Alaska Airlines subsidiary Horizon Air canceled more than 300 flights over two months for lack of pilots. Republic Airways filed for bankruptcy protection in 2016, citing a pilot shortage that forced it to ground flights.

Many regional carriers fly smaller planes for American Eagle, Delta Connection and United Express. Signing bonuses and higher pay have helped them hire more than 17,000 pilots in the past four years, but that only replaced those who moved up to the major carriers, according to the Regional Airline Association.

Demand at the major airlines is expected to grow as thousands of pilots at American, Delta, United and Southwest hit the U.S. mandatory pilot-retirement age of 65 in the next several years.

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker believes the industry will cope.

"Economics is going to take care of this, and I think that's what is happening now," Parker says. "The (flight) schools are starting to fill up with people who realize, 'If I can get myself to 1,500 hours (the minimum flight hours needed to get an airline-pilot license), I can be assured of a career as a pilot.' That's not something people could convince themselves of from 9/11 on until now."

Pilot hiring nosedived after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks that led to a decline in travel, and again during the global financial crisis in 2008-2009. Major U.S. airlines hired only 30 pilots in 2009, according to Future & Active Pilot Advisors, a career-counseling business for pilots.

The job market didn't pick up significantly until around 2014. Last year 10 of the largest U.S. passenger and cargo airlines hired 4,988 pilots, the most since 2000 when they hired 5,105.

"It's the best sellers' market I have seen in the last 45 years of monitoring airline pilot hiring," says Louis Smith, a retired airline pilot who runs the pilot-counseling outfit.

Smith says forums for aspiring pilots that once drew a couple dozen people now sometimes attract more than 150. Some hope to make a mid-career change, which was rare just a few years ago.

Aaron Ludomirski is one of those career-changers. The 31-year-old from Asbury Park, New Jersey, says he always wanted to be a pilot but studied business instead because the bleak job opportunities for pilots in the years after 9/11 didn't justify the cost of school and flight training. After college he started an online marketing business.

"Year after year I found myself less and less satisfied with my work," he says. "I started thinking about what kind of career would really lead me to feeling fulfilled and accomplished, and I kept coming back to aviation."

Ludomirski did some fresh research and learned that pilots were back in demand — and more would be retiring in the next few years. He quit his job and went to flight school. Now he is working as a flight instructor to gain the required flying time for an airline pilot.

"I can interview for and even accept a conditional letter of employment and know I have my dream job lined up for me when I'm ready," he says.

Applications for commercial aviation majors at the University of North Dakota, a big aeronautical school, have more than doubled in the last three years, says Elizabeth Bjerke, an aviation professor and one of the authors of the university's widely watched forecast on pilot supply.

Some students graduate early to take advantage of the job market and the chance to move up the seniority list quickly because so many older pilots are retiring.

"Our graduates will fly at the regionals for a very short period," Bjerke said. "They are getting picked up by the major carriers in their mid-20s, which would have been just crazy to think of 15 or 20 years ago."

Michael Wiggins, chairman of the aeronautical science department at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, says his school's graduates are getting multiple job offers from regional airlines.

Pilots who become captains on jumbo jets that fly international routes can earn more than $300,000 a year. But for anyone starting out in the profession, the training is expensive — upward of $100,000.

A few years ago, those who made it faced starting pay for first officers or co-pilots at regional airlines in the low-$20,000s. With bonuses and higher hourly rates, some regionals now claim to offer starting pay of $80,000 or more, but even that might not be enough to meet future demand.

The Regional Airline Association is pushing to change a 2013 federal rule that requires 1,500 hours of flying time — usually in small, single-engine planes — by replacing some of it with supervised classroom instruction. The group's president, Faye Malarkey Black, says supervised training would produce aviators with skills more relevant to piloting an airliner.

But a similar proposal appears stalled in Congress, partly due to opposition from families of the 50 people who died in the last deadly crash of a U.S. airliner, a Colgan Air plane in 2009. Black believes the Trump administration has the authority to change the minimum flight hours without waiting for Congress to act, but she admits that will be difficult "as long as those changes are successfully cast as rolling back safety."

JetBlue Airways is beginning a small-scale program of training people with no flying experience — an approach used by Lufthansa and other international airlines. The JetBlue program costs about $125,000, however, the airline says it is looking into providing financial assistance.

Even with assistance, however, life for newcomers can be taxing. In addition to flying smaller planes for lower wages, they work on holidays and spend lots of time away from home.

Starting pilots need "a passion for flying that drives the thrill of going to work," says Smith, the career adviser. "It's certainly not for everyone."

Original article can be found here ➤

Beech C99 Airliner, N213AV: Accident occurred March 16, 2018 at Hastings Municipal Airport (KHSI), Adams County, Nebraska

UAS Transervices Inc: 

An airplane crashed Friday morning at the Hastings Municipal Airport.

Hastings Police Capt. Brian Hessler said the incident occurred about 7:49 a.m. as a flight from Ameriflight was landing at the airport.

The cargo airplane was coming in from the southwest and landing on Runway 4 when it skidded off the runway and across an open field before coming to rest an a second runway.

The pilot and co-pilot on the plane were uninjured in the crash.

The front landing gear of the plane came off during the crash and the engine compartment was smoking. Hessler said they had a report of fire, but officers didn’t see any flames upon arrival.

Airport director Jack Newlun and the Federal Aviation Administration have been notified about the incident and an investigation is underway.

Hastings Fire and Rescue and the Adams County Sheriff's Office also responded to the scene.

Original article can be found here ➤

HASTINGS, Neb. (AP) — A fire chief says no one was injured in a plane crash at the Hastings airport in south-central Nebraska.

Firefighters and other first responders were dispatched to Hastings Municipal Airport around 8 a.m. Friday. Hastings Fire Chief Kent Gilbert says only a pilot and co-pilot were on board.

Gilbert says the plane crashed upon landing, ending up with its nose on the ground. He couldn’t say what caused the twin-engine aircraft’s carrier’s mishap.

Airport manager David Wacker says he doesn’t know whether winds gusting over 35 mph (56 kph) played any role in the accident.

Wacker says the plane is operated by Ameriflight, a cargo outfit based at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Ameriflight officials didn’t immediately return a call from The Associated Press.

A plane crash at the Hastings Municipal Airport is being investigated.

Hastings Police said an Ameriflight plane skidded off the runway into a field during landing at 7: 49 a.m. Friday.

Police said there are no injuries.

They said smoke was coming from the engine of the plane, but there was no fire as initially reported.

The airport is closed, except for medical flights, because of debris on the runway.

Original article can be found here ➤

Cessna 401A, N6276Q: Incident occurred March 15, 2018 at Huntsville International Airport (KHSV), Madison County, Alabama

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Alabama and Northwest, Florida

Aircraft landed, had gear collapsed and veered off the runway.

Atlantic Group LLC:

Date: 15-MAR-18
Time: 17:47:00Z
Regis#: N6276Q
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 401A
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

CubCrafters CC11-160, N473CC: Incident occurred March 15, 2018 at Mammoth Yosemite Airport (KMMH), Mono County, California

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Fresno

Aircraft ground looped on landing.

Date: 16-MAR-18
Time: 08:50:00Z
Regis#: N473CC
Aircraft Make: CUB CRAFTERS
Aircraft Model: CC11 160
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

United Airlines, Airbus A320-200, N433UA: Incident occurred March 15, 2018 at Tampa International Airport (KTPA), Hillsborough County, Florida

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Tampa

Flight UA-2051: Struck a flock of birds during departure, returned and landed without further incident.

United Airlines Inc:

Date: 15-MAR-18

Time: 15:42:00Z
Regis#: UNK
Aircraft Make: AIRBUS
Aircraft Model: A320
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 121
Aircraft Operator: UNITED AIRLINES
Flight Number: 2051

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) - A United Airlines passenger jet landed safely at Tampa International Airport Thursday morning following a bird strike during takeoff.

United Flight 2051 was headed to San Francisco and was carrying a heavy load of fuel for the cross-country flight when it hit the bird.

Kathleen Stellmach was on the plane and reading a book during takeoff and wasn't sure what the pilot said when he first made an announcement about a problem with the plane.

"I turned to the gentleman sitting next to me and I asked for clarification; 'did he just say birds hit our plane?'" said Stellmach.

TIA spokesperson Emily Nipps said the plane had to return to the airport, but pilots had to fly over the Gulf of Mexico to get rid of the fuel which lightened the weight of the plane so it could make a safe landing, which Nipps said is protocol.

A relative of one of the passengers on the plane notified WFLA News Channel 8 about the plane’s plight after her daughter contacted her from the plane. The daughter told her mother that the plane hit a bird and the plane was going to return to TIA. The daughter said the plane had been flying around for a long time and passengers were not told why.

FlightAware showed the live movement of United Flight 2051 during the ordeal.  According to the website, United Flight 2051 departed from the gate at 7:55 a.m. and took off at 8:17 a.m.  The website showed the path the plane took over north Hillsborough County and Pinellas County before it flew to the Gulf of Mexico.

The website then shows the plane flying in long, circles over the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pinellas County. Hours later, the plane had dumped enough fuel to fly back to TIA and land safely. According to FlightAware, the plane landed at TIA at 11:32 a.m.

Stellmach says the pilot and flight crew were perfectly calm and professional, although she was not.

"To be honest, I was thinking about the movie, well the story that happened in New York and then the movie I saw about the pilot landing the plane on the Hudson and honestly I was scared." said Stellmach

Arrangements were made for passengers to be placed on other flights and continue on to their destination of San Francisco.

“The plane has landed safely, everyone is fine, and United has arranged for another plane to take the passengers on to SFO,” said Nipps.

News Channel 8 crews were at TIA when the plane landed. Emergency vehicles and firefighters were standing by as a precaution.

A spokesperson for United verified the plane returned to TIA due to "mechanical issues." The spokesperson says there were 132 passengers and 5 crew members on board.

A brief statement on the incident from United says: "United Airlines Flight 2051 from Tampa, Fla., to San Francisco returned to Tampa due to a mechanical issue shortly after takeoff. The aircraft landed safely, and we apologize to customers for the delay and are working to get them to San Francisco as soon as possible."

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