Saturday, June 30, 2018

Fatal accident occurred June 30, 2018 at Davenport Municipal Airport (KDVN), Scott County, Iowa

A Clinton man who police say died after intentionally jumping into a fire that started after he crashed into an aviation fuel container Saturday morning at the Davenport Municipal Airport has been identified as Scott M. Schaefer, 29.

Iowa State Patrol Lt. Brian Votroubek said the incident began on U.S. 30 in Clinton County, where Schaefer was driving erratically at high speeds in a 2004 Ford Taurus.

State troopers located the vehicle on U.S. 61 near Eldridge and began to pursue it, Votroubek said.

Schaefer refused to stop and the pursuit continued to the airport, 9230 N. Harrison St.

Schaefer crashed through a gate and into an aviation fuel container, which caused a large fire, Votroubek said.

Votroubek said Schaefer exited the vehicle and walked around after the crash. He then jumped into the flames in the direction of the vehicle for unknown reasons, Votroubek said.

He said it is unknown whether Schaefer got back inside the vehicle because “it had burned so much already that it’s hard to say because the fire was so strong and there was nothing left.”

Multiple agencies responded to the scene Saturday.

Votroubek said there are a lot of unknowns, but the case is closed.

“The ‘whys’ is what we’ll probably never know,” he said.

Authorities on Saturday morning inspect the remains of this Ford Taurus whose driver fled police, crashed through gates of the Davenport Municipal Airport and slammed into an aviation fuel tank. The car caught fire but the fuel did not. The driver of the car died, but police did not say if he died as a result of the crash. 

One person is dead after crashing his vehicle into an aviation fuel container at Davenport Municipal Airport, causing the car to catch fire, the Iowa State Patrol said in a news release.

The incident occurred at 7:20 a.m. Saturday, police said.

Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Jose Varela said the driver of a 2004 Ford Taurus was driving recklessly when Iowa State Patrol troopers tried to pull the vehicle over.

The Taurus fled from police, eventually crashing through the gates of the airport.

Varela said the driver then accelerated and rammed into an aviation fuel container which caused a large fire.

While the man's car caught fire, the aviation fuel did not. 

Varela did not say if the driver initially died as a result of the crash and resulting fire.

The name of the driver has not been released.

Varela said that multiple agencies assisted, but did not say where the pursuit was initiated or which agencies were assisting.

Original article ➤

Davenport, Iowa-- Iowa State Patrol was notified of a reckless driver in Clinton County on the morning of June 30th.

Patrol officers chased the suspect into Davenport. Where the driver crashed through the gates of the Davenport Municipal Airport and drove onto the runway.

A state patrol deputy says the driver then accelerated and crashed into fuel container causing the vehicle to catch on fire.

The driver of the car died in the vehicle. The driver's name hasn't been released and the incident is still under investigation.

Story and video ➤

Crater Lake-Klamath Regional Airport (KLMT): Taxiway Bravo Construction Completed Under Budget with 93% Federal Aviation Administration Grant Funding

The City of Klamath Falls, The Crater Lake – Klamath Regional Airport, Rocky Mountain Construction, and Mead and Hunt celebrated the completion of the Taxiway Bravo project on the afternoon of June 29, 2018. 

The newly completed Taxiway Bravo provides access to tenants on the east side of the airfield, provides a key connection point to the large apron on the east side of the airfield, increases runway safety on Runway 14/32 by reducing the time an aircraft spends on the runway surface, and will stimulate future economic development of the Airport’s east side.

The Taxiway Bravo project started construction in May 2017 and was substantially completed in June 2018 after a hiatus for winter shutdown. 

The new taxiway is approximately 2,350 feet in length, 75 feet wide, and capable of handling aircraft up to 475,000 pounds.  Now complete the project included 8.6 lane miles of asphalt pavement, 41,000 cubic yards of earthwork, 27,000 tons of asphalt, 106 LED airfield lights, 10 LED airfield guidance signs, and 17,424 square feet of pavement markings.

The project was originally bid at $7.77M.  The final cost of the project was approximately $7.50M.  The project was funded 93.75% by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grant funds and 6.25% by the City of Klamath Falls. 

AIP grant funds are available to public use airports for eligible planning and capital improvement projects.

Press release provided from the City of Klamath Falls.

Original article ➤

Fuel Exhaustion: Cessna 152, N89887, accident occurred June 30, 2018 near Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (KECP), Bay County, Florida

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Vestavia Hills, Alabama

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Panama City, FL
Accident Number: GAA18CA419
Date & Time: 06/30/2018, 1645 CDT
Registration: N89887
Aircraft: Cessna 152
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel exhaustion
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal


The pilot reported that, 15 minutes into a cross-country flight, the airplane's engine lost rpm. He added power, and the engine regained rpm briefly before losing all power. The pilot selected a dirt road for an emergency landing, during which the nose landing gear touched down on a soft surface, and the airplane nosed over.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left and right wings and the front windshield.

The pilot reported that the airplane had 4.5 gallons of fuel on board at the last takeoff. A Federal Aviation Administration inspector reported that, during postaccident examination of the airplane, the fuel tanks were found empty. The gascolator had residual fuel, and about 1 gallon of fuel was removed from the fuselage fuel drain. He added that, according to the manufacturer's specifications, the airplane should have had 1.5 gallons of unusable fuel. He turned on the airplane's master power switch to view the fuel quantity gauge indications, and the left-wing tank gauge indicated between empty and a quarter full with no fuel in the tank, and the right-wing fuel tank gauge indicated empty.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's improper preflight fuel planning, which resulted in fuel exhaustion and a subsequent total loss of engine power.


Fuel - Fluid level (Cause)

Personnel issues
Fuel planning - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Soft surface - Contributed to outcome

Factual Information

History of Flight

Fuel exhaustion (Defining event)
Loss of engine power (total)
Off-field or emergency landing

Nose over/nose down 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 25, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 11/03/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 06/25/2018
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 198 hours (Total, all aircraft), 67 hours (Total, this make and model), 134 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 21 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 13 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N89887
Model/Series: 152 No Series
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1978
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 15282904
Landing Gear Type:Tricycle 
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection:  10/26/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1669 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 6735.7 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C91A installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-235-L26
Registered Owner: Skyline Solutions Inc
Rated Power: 125 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Pilot School (141)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KECP, 69 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 3 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1045 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 94°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Calm /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting:
Temperature/Dew Point: 32°C / 26°C
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: Destin, FL (DTS)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Panama City, FL (ECP)
Type of Clearance: VFR Flight Following
Departure Time: 1030 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

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: 30.352500, -85.841111 (est)

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - According to BCSO, deputies have arrived on the scene of a single engine Cessna plane crash on Sunbelt Road, off of Steelfield Road, in the Pine Log/West Bay area.

Officials said the pilot has been speaking to deputies and appears to be uninjured.

The plane is reportedly a rental plane out of Deland.

BCSO officials said the pilot flew to Destin from Deland and was headed to Panama City Beach when he had to make an emergency landing.

They also said upon landing on the dirt road, the front tire appears to have sunk in the sand and the plane flipped over.

According to BCSO, Bay County Fire is on scene as well as officials from the Northwest Florida International Airport.

Officials said the scene will be secured to await a team from the FAA, which will conduct the investigation into the crash.

Original article can be found here ➤

BAY COUNTY — Emergency personnel are responding to a call of a downed plane in the Pine Log/West Bay area of Bay County, according to the Bay County Sheriff’s Office.

The plane was found upside-down on Sunbelt Road, near Steelfield Landfill. 

BCSO reported that the pilot had to make an emergency landing, and “upon landing on the dirt road, the front tire appears to have sunk in the sand and the plane flipped over.”

The pilot was speaking with deputies on scene and appeared uninjured, BCSO reported. 

Initial reports indicated the plane ran out of fuel about 6 miles shy of Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport.

The plane — a Cessna 152, a single-engine fixed-wing aircraft — is a rental out of Deland, BCSO reported. 

The pilot reportedly had flown to Destin from Deland, and was headed to Panama City Beach.

The Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the crash.

Original article can be found here ➤

Balony Kubicek Spol Sro BB30Z, N717FN: Fatal accident occurred June 29, 2018 in Ashland, Ohio

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

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Cleveland

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Ashland, OH
Accident Number: CEN18LA245
Date & Time: 06/29/2018, 2000 EDT
Registration: N717FN
Aircraft: Kubicek BB30
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 3 Minor
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On June 30, 2018, about 2000 eastern daylight time, a Balony Kubicek SPOL SRO BB 30Z standard hot air balloon, N717FN, experienced a surface wind gust that caught the balloon envelope and flipped the balloon basket and burner assembly over, following landing on a field near Ashland, Ohio. The instructor pilot on board sustained a fatal head injury. The student pilot and 2 passengers on board sustained minor injuries. The balloon was not damaged. The balloon was registered to and operated by the instructor pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan had not been filed for the local flight which departed from a nearby field about 1945.

According to the student pilot, the balloon had landed after a short flight that had originated as part of the Ashland Balloonfest hot air balloon festival. They were just starting to deflate the envelope when the wind increased and caught the envelope, which "acted like a sail and pulled it (the balloon) and flipped the basket down." The instructor pilot hit his head on the duel burner assembly, seriously injuring him. The instructor pilot was transported to a nearby hospital where he was later pronounced deceased.

At 1953, the weather conditions at Mansfield Lahm Municipal Airport, Mansfield, Ohio, 12 miles west of the accident scene, was wind 170°at 9 knots, clear skies, visibility 10 statute miles, temperature 84° Fahrenheit, dew point 70° F and altimeter 30.07 inches of Mercury. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Kubicek
Registration: N717FN
Model/Series: BB30 Z
Aircraft Category: Balloon
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: KMFD, 1200 ft msl
Observation Time: 1953 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 12 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C / 21°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction:  9 knots / , 170°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.07 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Ashland, OH
Destination: Ashland, OH

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Minor
Passenger Injuries: 2 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal, 3 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 40.877222, -82.331667 (est)

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email 

ASHLAND, Ohio - A hot air balloon pilot with the Ashland BalloonFest died Friday night following an incident.

According to officials, the 74-year-old pilot suffered a fatal injury when he hit his head on the burner while disassembling the balloon.

The pilot was identified as John Moran, 74. 

The Saturday morning competition flight was canceled as a result. The evening competition and festivities will continue as planned.

The Ashland Balloonfest committee released the following statement: 

The Ashland Balloonfest committee is saddened by the loss of Balloonist, John Moran.  John was a staple here at our event, this being his 23rd year with us.  John loved the sport and the ballooning community.  He will be deeply missed by so many. 

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. 

We will be honoring the memory of John tonight at our balloon glow, scheduled for 9:15 p.m. at Freer Field.

The FAA is investigating the incident.  

Story and video:

Pilot John Moran died Friday evening following a fatal injury that occurred shortly after the landing pictured here. Moran's balloon landed on Eastlake Drive around 8 p.m. Friday.

ASHLAND The balloon pilot who died in an accident after landing his balloon Friday evening has been identified by Ashland BalloonFest organizers.

In a late Saturday afternoon press release, BalloonFest president Mindi Cantrell confirmed the deceased pilot was John Moran, 74, of Cortland. Moran was a 23-year veteran of the local hot air balloon event.

Moran had landed his “Tetris” balloon on a road north of the city Friday night when the accident occurred

“During disassembly of the balloon the pilot hit his head on the burners, sustaining a fatal injury,” Cantrell had said in an earlier Saturday press release.

Moran died at University Hospitals Samaritan Medical Center where he was transported by the Ashland Fire Department.

In the Saturday afternoon release, Cantrell said, “John loved the sport and the ballooning community. He will be deeply missed by so many. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

The Saturday night balloon glow was going to be held in the memory of Moran, she said.

He was a salesman for Kubicek Balloons, according to his biography in the official BalloonFest guide. His Facebook page says he served as Johnston Township fiscal official.

Saturday morning’s competition flight was canceled, but the rest of the day’s events went on as scheduled.

BalloonFest is an annual three-day summer festival in this North Central Ohio city, featuring nearly 30 hot air balloons.

ASHLAND - John Moran, a Cortland area man and a 23-year veteran of Ashland Balloonfest, has been identified as the man who died in a post-landing incident following a flight Friday evening.

Moran, 74, was piloting a balloon called Tetris, a largely white balloon with a multicolored pattern during the 28th annual Ashland Ballonfest. 

"The Ashland Balloonfest committee is saddened by the loss of balloonist, John Moran," Balloonfest committee president Mindi Cantrell said Saturday afternoon in a news release. "John was a staple here at our event, this being his 23rd year with us. John loved the sport and the ballooning community. He will be deeply missed by so many."

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. We will be honoring the memory of John tonight at our balloon glow, scheduled for 9:15 p.m. at Freer Field," the release said.

Friends of Moran’s who declined to be named said he lived in and worked for Johnston Township near Cortland, Ohio. Moran’s Facebook page indicates he served as the township’s fiscal officer.

“We lost a dear friend,” balloon pilot Walt Rudy said of Moran. “He was an ambassador for ballooning, and several of the pilots here grew up with him.”

Moran was a Kubicek Balloons dealer who repaired and inspected balloons in his shop. Like many balloon pilots, Moran enjoyed sharing his love of ballooning with others and teaching people how to fly, friends said.

“He really jumped into everything with a passion,” Rudy said.

Friends described Moran as eccentric and even a little goofy. He raised free-range chickens on his fifth-generation family farm, and he would give away the eggs to anyone who would promise to return the cartons.

He loved ice cream and was even known to carry a scoop in each hand. He also cared for his black lab, Jackson, and he was actively involved in church.

Rudy remarked that while Moran will be deeply missed, the pilot died while doing what he loved.

“You’ve got to live your life like every day’s going to be your last,” Rudy said.

The incident that led to Moran's death occurred around 8 p.m. Friday, shortly after Moran’s balloon landed in a field on the 100 block of Eastlake Drive just outside city limits on Ashland’s north side.

"During disassembly of the balloon the pilot hit his head on the burners, sustaining a fatal injury," Cantrell said in a press release.

Balloonfest cancelled its morning flight Saturday but is holding all other events as scheduled. The pilot meet-and-greet was abbreviated due to hot weather.

Several balloon pilots emphasized their belief that hot air ballooning is generally safe and their knowledge that Moran was a pilot who took safety seriously.

In an interview with a Balloonfest pilot prior to Friday’s incident, pilot Jeff Conley explained the training the FAA requires of balloon pilots.

“You have to have a certain number of hours being trained by a commercial pilot that has been passed for the FAA instruction,” he said. “Once you do that, you have to have a minimum number of solo flights, meaning only you in the basket flying, and then pass an exam with an FAA examiner actually flying, going over all aspects of emergency landings, safety, altitude difference, just a conglomerate of things you learn in your training.”

The incident remains under investigation by the FAA. The Ashland Post of Ohio Highway Patrol, Ashland Fire Department and Ashland Police Department also responded to and assisted at the scene.

Original article can be found here ➤

ASHLAND -- A 74-year-old male hot air balloon pilot died at the hospital Friday night following an accident just after landing around 8 p.m.

The incident occurred shortly after the hot air balloon landed in a field on the 100 block of Eastlake Drive during the annual Ashland Balloonfest hot air balloon festival.

"During disassembly of the balloon the pilot hit his head on the burners, sustaining a fatal injury," Ashland Balloonfest committee president Mindi Cantrell said in a press release.

The 74-year-old man was unresponsive and was considered to be in traumatic cardiac arrest when he was taken to University Hospitals Samaritan Hospital, according to Ashland Fire Capt. Ken Gardner.

Ashland Balloonfest officials confirmed shortly before 10 p.m. that the man had died at the hospital.

Officials at the scene referred to the deceased as a passenger in the balloon and indicated he was teaching another man to fly the balloon.

In an emailed statement to media, and later by phone, Balloonfest committee president Mindi Cantrell referred to the deceased as the balloon’s pilot.

Cantrell said no other information would be released Friday evening and stated a press conference likely will be issued Saturday. 

Around midnight Saturday, Ashland Balloonfest announced on Facebook its Saturday morning balloon flight would be cancelled. 

The Ashland Post of Ohio Highway Patrol was investigating at the scene, and Balloonfest officials say the FAA was on scene as well and completed an initial investigation. Ashland Police assisted at the scene.

Original article can be found here ➤

Zenith Aircraft Company: Nigerian students build airplanes at Mexico, Missouri, aviation factory

MEXICO, Mo. — After flying half way around the world, five students from the International College of Aeronautics near Lagos, Nigeria, are in Mexico, Missouri, learning to build airplanes of their own.

Solomon Adio worked in the U.S. for more than 35 years as a pilot and maintenance engineer before he decided to start a flight school in his native Nigeria. He said that when he returned to open the school, he realized one critical problem: there were no airplanes.

Adio created a curriculum at the International College of Aeronautics (ICA) in Nigeria based around building aircraft and began enrolling students in his program, Aircraft Building Engineering Technology. The program works in collaboration with Lagos State Polytechnic - Ikorodu. He said it took a long time for people to believe the students -- and civilians in general -- could actually build their own airplanes.

“The concept is, if you teach them how to build, they will fly what they build,” said Adio. “And once they fly what they build, then they can fix what they’ve flown.”

The program aims to teach aviation and maintenance skills while also creating employment opportunities for young people in Nigeria.

“We cannot continue to chase jobs that do not exist,” said Adio. “We have to create new job opportunities.”

Adio decided to purchase an airplane kit from Zenith Aircraft Company in Mexico for his students to build. Rather than attempt to put it together in Nigeria, though, he decided the best learning opportunity would be for the students to travel to the U.S.

Students were eligible to make the trip if they had completed the first two years of Adio’s program at the ICA. Five students -- David Opateyibo, Fausat Idowu, Aliyyah Adio, Michael Fakuade and Abdul-Hafeez Onisarotu -- made the trip with Adio. They will live in Mexico until September while they work at the factory to fully construct their own two-seater airplane. They will then ship the finished plane back to Nigeria and put it into use as both a training tool and a functional airplane.

“This is the first of its kind in the country and we’re probably gonna be doing exhibition flights all over the country first, get more people interested in it,” Adio said. “Now (the students) can start to get orders from other people to build airplanes for them. It will be exciting, something everybody’s looking forward to.”

Sebastien Heintz, owner and president of Zenith Aircraft Company in Mexico, said discussion with Adio about bringing students to town began several years ago. Originally only a workshop was discussed.

The workshop eventually grew into a four-month stay where the students would assemble their own plane using parts manufactured by Zenith Aircraft Company.

“I think it’s a fantastic learning opportunity for them and they’ve been doing a great job here at our factory,” Heintz said. “They decided to come out here and learn as much as they possibly can while they’re here about the tools and the skills and the processes involved in building their own airplane.”

Abdul-Hafeez Onisarotu, 20, grew up watching planes flying to and from the airport near his home in Nigeria. He still remembers watching the planes and thinking “I want to fly one day.”

Onisarotu recently graduated from the Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with a specialty in aircraft maintenance. He joined Adio and his team at Zenith Aircraft Company in May to put his skills to work.

“I can maintain them, I’m learning how to build them right now, then in the future I’ll learn how to fly,” Onisarotu said.

Though he has been in the U.S. for two years now, he said he enjoys how different Mexico is from the the other towns he has visited. “Everyone knows each other,” Onisarotu said, “just like a small family.”

Aliyyah Adio, 18, chose to participate in the program after being inspired by her father, the director of the ICA. She said she particularly enjoys learning the mechanical side of aviation.

“I never knew what was inside of the airplane so I was very excited to know the different parts and using different tools,” Adio said.

She has enjoyed it so much, in fact, that she will be attending Middle Georgia State University in Macon, Georgia, to study aviation science and management. Aliyyah Adio is also an avid dancer and knows exactly how she wants to combine the two activities in the future.

“I see myself flying in an airline and doing my dancing in between,” she said. “Just a dancer and a student pilot, that’s all.”

Heintz is happy to have the students use Zenith Aircraft Company’s tools, airplane kit and physical space as their classroom and is eager to see how the partnership could continue.

“As a promoter of aviation, I love to work with folks like that because, again, I think the future of aviation will come a lot from outside the United States,” he said.

As for Solomon Adio, he said he is looking forward to providing more affordable options of aviation in Nigeria and hopefully aiding youth unemployment in the country.

“Nigeria has a population of over 180 million people,” he said. “If you can just get 10 percent of them to fly, that’s 18 million people to fly airplanes. There’s a future there.”

The group has a GoFundMe page at to raise funds for their stay in Mexico and for the cost of shipping the completed airplane back to Nigeria.

Original article ➤

French helicopter company testing prototype in Farmington, New Mexico

In this photo taken June 26, 2018, Gregory LePage, a flight test instrumentation engineer for Airbus Helicopters, works on an H160 helicopter at the Four Corners Regional Airport in Farmington, New Mexico.

In this photo taken June 26, 2018, Airbus Helicopters crew members hold down equipment as the Airbus H160 helicopter flies by during testing at the Four Corners Regional Airport in Farmington, New Mexico.

In this photo taken June 26, 2018, Pascal Jervaise, a support analyst for Airbus Helicopters works at the Four Corners Regional Airport in Farmington, New Mexico.

In this photo taken June 26, 2018, Mike Lewis, left, airport manager for the Four Corners Regional Airport looks over the Airbus H160 helicopter as Pascal Jervaise, a support analyst for Airbus Helicopters works at the Four Corners Regional Airport in Farmington, New Mexico.

In this photo taken June 26, 2018, Carla Lebena, a flight test instrumentation engineer for Airbus Helicopters, works on an H160 helicopter with experimental test pilot Olivier Gensse before the helicopter's test flight over the Four Corners Regional Airport in Farmington, New Mexico.

In this photo taken June 26, 2018, a crew member talks with Airbus Helicopters experimental test pilot Olivier Gensse before the helicopter's test flight over the Four Corners Regional Airport in Farmington, New Mexico.

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — A France-based helicopter company has come to test a prototype helicopter at the Four Corners Regional Airport in Farmington where mid-altitude conditions and warm weather can be found.

Experimental flight test engineer Nicolas Certain tells The Daily Times that the test performed this week involves mimicking engine failure.

He says the test is necessary so Airbus Helicopters' H160 can receive certification from both the Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency.

Prior to visiting Farmington, the crew tested the H160 helicopter in the hot temperatures of Lake Havasu, Arizona. Its next stop will be Leadville, Colorado, where the crew will test its ability to fly at high altitude.

Airbus hopes to get the helicopter certified so it can start selling it by 2019.

Information from: The Daily Times,

Beech E-90 King Air, N43PC: Incident occurred June 29, 2018 at McCarran International Airport (KLAS), Las Vegas, Nevada

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Las Vegas

Gear collapsed on landing.

Ranchwood Holdings Inc:

Date: 29-JUN-18
Time: 22:39:00Z
Regis#: N43PC
Aircraft Make: BEECH
Aircraft Model: E90
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: UNKNOWN
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

A small passenger airplane landed on its belly Friday afternoon at McCarran International Airport, officials said.

None of the three people aboard the Beech E-90 King Air plane were injured after it landed on its belly about 3:40 p.m. at the airport, spokeswoman Christine Crews said.

The plane had a landing gear issue and landed on its belly to the south of a runway at the airport, coming to rest between taxi lanes five and six, she said. FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said the landing gear collapsed when it landed near Runway 8R.

The plane suffered minor damage, Gregor said.

Airport officials weren’t notified of the landing until the plane was already on the ground, Crews said.

The runway was temporarily closed while authorities worked to remove the plane, Crews said.

Original article can be found here ➤

Federal Aviation Administration Proposes $1.4 Million Civil Penalty Against Virgin Islands Port Authority

Press Release 
Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Department of Transportation - Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes a $1,466,775 civil penalty against the Virgin Islands Port Authority (VIPA) for alleged violations of airport safety regulations at Henry E. Rohlsen Airport in St. Croix and Cyril E. King Airport in St. Thomas.

The FAA inspected both airports in late January and early February 2018 and found numerous violations at both airports. The FAA alleges that VIPA did not have qualified personnel to oversee airport operations, to conduct required daily inspections, or to conduct Airport Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) operations. The agency also alleges the airports did not maintain and make available to the FAA required records including its Airport Certification Manuals, airport emergency plans, and training records for operations supervisors and ARFF employees.

Additionally, the FAA alleges that VIPA did not meet the ARFF requirements for air carrier flights at Henry E. Rohlsen Airport (STX) after an ARFF unit could not apply a fire-extinguishing agent within the required time and was not capable of performing its required functions.

FAA inspectors also found that VIPA did not properly grade the safety area for runways at both airports to eliminate hazardous ruts, humps, depressions or other surface variations. The runways and taxiways were not properly lighted, marked, or signed and VIPA failed to issue Notices to Airman (NOTAM) informing air carriers of the runway and taxiway issues at the airports, the FAA alleges.

VIPA also failed to confirm that each fueling agent at STX had trained fueling personnel, and failed to take immediate action to alleviate wildlife hazards detected at the landfill near the airport, the FAA alleges.

VIPA has 30 days after receiving the FAAs enforcement letter to respond to the agency.

Original article can be found here ➤

Virgin Islands Port Authority: Owners of Abandoned Aircraft Parked at Airports Must Remove Them

The Virgin Islands Port Authority (VIPA) is asking owners of abandoned or damaged aircraft parked at the Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas or Henry E. Rohlsen Airport on St. Croix to have their aircraft removed from the airports immediately.

VIPA is cleaning its airfields and removing unsightly equipment or objects that may be projectiles in the event of a storm. Owners have until July 15 to remove their immobile aircraft. Any planes not claimed will be disassembled, and the metal will be taken to the landfill for disposal.

Aircraft owners may contact Michael Todman, VIPA’s director of aviation operations, at 774-5100 (CEKA) / 778-1012 (HERA) or by email at

Original article can be found here ➤

Surf Air hits financial turbulence

Surf Air, the membership-based airline that has drawn noise complaints while flying in and out of the San Carlos Airport, has hit some financial turbulence.

Surf Air owes one creditor $3.1 million and the Internal Revenue Service has slapped $2.3 million in tax liens on the Santa Monica-based company.

San Mateo County has also imposed a tax lien of $131,000 on Surf Air, said county spokeswoman Michelle Durand. Surf Air is current on all other payments to the county, Durand confirmed.

If Surf Air doesn’t pay the liens, some of its assets — such as its Pilatus PC-12 aircraft — could be seized.

Surf Air did not return a request for comment from the Post. But CEO Sudhin Shahani told the Los Angeles Times that the company is working with the IRS to pay down the owed taxes.

Dispute with plane operator

Shahani played down the $3.1 million lawsuit by Encompass, the former operator of Surf Air’s planes. He said Encompass was a disgruntled operator that was replaced because it did a poor job.

Encompass CEO Steve Harfst said in a statement that Surf Air was collecting revenue from its customers and spending it “on things other than paying in full for flight operations and aircraft maintenance.”

When Encompass sued Surf Air on June 19 for the $3.1 million, Surf Air abruptly ended its contract with Encompass. The U.S. District Court lawsuit also alleges breach of contract.

Still accepting memberships

While there appear to be financial issues, Surf Air is still accepting new memberships, starting at $1,950 a month. New members must also pay a one-time $1,000 “initiation fee.”

San Mateo County has been plagued with complaints from residents ever since Surf Air began operating out of the San Carlos Airport about five years ago.

Surf Air operates about 20 flights a day with its Pilatus PC-12 planes. Due to the increased frequency of flights in and out of the airport and the loudness of the planes, resident noise complaints have increased due to Surf Air.

Surf Air’s flightpath roughly follows El Camino Real, and goes over Palo Alto, Mountain View, Menlo Park, Atherton, Redwood City and San Carlos, sparking complaints to the airport from all of those cities.

The county has been attempting to address residents’ noise complaints. From July 2016 to January 2017, it participated in an Federal Aviation Administration pilot program that sent planes over the Bay instead of homes.

Original article can be found here ➤

Incident occurred June 29, 2018 in Sterling, Worcester County, Massachusetts

STERLING - A local man was injured when he accidentally started up his remote control airplane set up on a stand behind the police station.

The accident took place at about 2:30 p.m. Friday as the victim was setting up to fly his airplane. The plane’s propeller struck him in the leg, causing a deep laceration, according to the Sterling Fire Department. He was treated by Sterling Fire Department emergency medical services

The man, whose name was not available, is a member of a remote control flying club that uses the field as a flying site and landing strip.

Original article can be found here ➤

Willoughby Lost Nation Municipal Airport (KLNN) master plan update given to Port Authority board

There are now 89 based aircraft at the Lost Nation Airport. Airport manager Patty Fulop said they’re almost at capacity for what they can currently house.

The Lost Nation Airport’s master plan process is nearing completion and an update on the project was given at the Lake County Ohio Port and Economic Development Authority’s June meeting.

The Port Authority took over the airport from the city of Willoughby in 2014, and the master planning progress started the following year.

When that planning process began, there were 76 aircraft based at the airport — meaning the number of operational and airworthy aircraft based out of the airport for the majority of the year. That number has increased to 89 now, which airport manager Patty Fulop said is pretty much at capacity for what they can currently house.

“Until we start building additional buildings, we can’t really go too much higher,” Fulop said.

She attributes the increase to improvements made to the airport since the port authority took over, including repairs to both runways.

“We were actually having some pilots that did not want to bring in some of our critical aircraft,” Fulop said. “As they were going down the runways, the expansion joints had opened up to the point that it was going ‘bam! bam! bam!’ as you went down the runway even to the point of breaking landing lights.”

With those repairs, those aircraft are coming back. Fulop added that the Republican National Convention in 2016 as well as the recent success of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Indians, couple with a high-quality customer service from their fixed-based operator, or FBO, has also helped.

“People were coming in from areas that did not normally come into the airport and they were seeing that customer service and now they are coming back,” she said.

The consultants are forecasting a high of 94 based aircraft in 2021 and 98 in 2036.

Additional aircraft storage will be needed and is one of the facility requirements outlined in the consultants’ report.

Fulop said the FBO is already looking at the possibility of building another large hangar. Lost Nation, however does not currently have any Tee-hangars, which are becoming increasingly popular.

Consultant Kim Fabend of C&S Companies described Tee-hangars as individualized hangars that are almost like “personal garages” for aircraft.

“Everything that we know and we’ve heard that’s happening locally, as people buy their own aircraft, spend money on their own aircraft, they would like their own space to park an aircraft” Fabend said.

Fabend said there are plans in place to build 30 Tee-hangars. Even if those are built relatively soon, that will still be 37 short of the anticipated demand in 2036.

Building Tee-hangars can be a costly project and because they are revenue generating, they are not eligible for grant funds from the Federal Aviation Administration. Fulop said they are exploring other possible grant and funding opportunities.

“There are a lot of things we are looking at, we just haven’t found the beast that we need and that’s where we are held up because without that neither the private builders or the airport can build those Tee-hangars, which are crucial to us right now,” Fulop said.

They are also looking at installing parallel taxiways, which the airport does not currently have.

“Right now, somebody lands on one of the runways, they have to turn around and taxi back on the runway to get to any of the hangars,” Fabend said. “That is obviously not a safe situation.”

Other facility requirements identified in the presentation include protecting/controlling runway protection zones at the end of runways and removing or mitigating obstructions.

Fulop said the airport has obtained an Ohio Department of Transportation grant to clear obstructions at the end of runway 10/28 and have applied for a grant from ODOT next year to remove the rest of the obstructions.

Other identified projects include providing consistent fence height, establishing a gateway to the airport and improving signage and relocating hangar building number four.

A name change for the airport is also being considered, something the port authority has been thinking about for a few years. The port authority’s executive director, mark Rantala, said they didn’t want to started that process before the RNC and cause confusion as people tried to find the airport.

Rantala said in the past they’ve had discussion over whether “Lost Nation” is the name of an airport people would want to come to. He joked that changing the name to “Bermuda Triangle” is not under consideration.

“We did talk about whether it should be Lake County Executive Airport or something like that,” Rantala said. “When we get to the next stage we would still like that input from (the consultants) as to if we should change it and what we should change it to or at least what we should consider.” 

Original article can be found here ➤