Monday, January 8, 2018

Modesto City-County Airport (KMOD) admits prospects for commercial flights dim

Modesto could give up its Federal Aviation Administration certificate that allows it to have commercial passenger flights, a move that saves the city money, comes 3 1/2 years after the last commercial flight landed here, and is an acknowledgement that these flights will not be returning soon.

City officials are recommending Modesto surrender what is called its Part 139 Airport Operating Certificate. A city report says that will save the airport as much as $138,000 annually because it will eliminate expenses associated with the certificate.

Modesto already reduced some of its expenses when the Federal Aviation Administration – at the city's request – placed the certificate on inactive status in February 2016, according to the report. The report says Modesto can ask the FAA to reinstate the certificate if commercial flights become viable again.

But that could take a lot time.

"The regional airline industry has experienced an exodus of air carriers from smaller markets like Modesto," the report states. "... Industry experts estimate it may take many years before small regional markets might become profitable enough to attract scheduled commercial air services."

City officials will ask the City Council's Economic Development Committee on Wednesday to endorse this recommendation and forward it to the council for approval.

The airport has not had passenger flights since June 2014, when SkyWest Airlines ended its daily flights between Modesto and San Francisco, citing "poor performance in the market."

The flights were subject to delays and cancellations because of fog and other problems at San Francisco International Airport, causing passengers to miss their connecting flights.

This is the first time since the 1980s that Modesto has not had commercial passenger service, according to Modesto Bee archives. City officials have said the service is critical because it helps with the region's economic development efforts and is a convenience for local residents who now drive to the Bay Area or Sacramento to catch a flight.

The city has contacted other airlines to provide commercial flights but without success.

Airport Manager Mark Germanowski said Modesto is among about 50 regional airports across the nation that have lost commercial air service. He said the reasons include a pilot shortage brought on by requiring more training hours for new pilots and older ones retiring and airlines focusing on large hub airports at the expense of smaller airports.

Germanowski said he will continue to follow industry trends and talk with industry colleagues to make sure Modesto does not miss any opportunities for commercial air service.

"I truly believe it will come back," he said about the flights. "This is just where we are in the industry right now. I can't see it not coming back. There are too many markets. There are too many people who want to fly."

He said Modesto Airport would be designated by the FAA as a regional general aviation airport without its Part 139 certificate. He said the airport is doing well, with about 160 private aircraft and about eight businesses -- including a flight school -- based there. He said the airport has nearly 140 hangars and all but a few are rented.

The committee meets at 2 p.m. in room 2008 on the second floor of Tenth Street Place, 1010 10th St. The meeting is open to the public.

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Connecticut Airport Authority eyeing private operator for three airports to cut costs

Connecticut Airport Authority Executive Director Kevin Dillon said CAA is considering outsourcing operations at three of its general aviation airports.

The Connecticut Airport Authority is considering outsourcing operations of three of its five general aviation airports in an attempt to save money and narrow multimillion-dollar losses on the facilities.

The CAA's negotiation with Dulles, Va.-based AFCO AvPORTS Management LLC involves Hartford-Brainard, Waterbury-Oxford and Groton-New London airports and could include a phased-in operations contract. Negotiations do not include Danielson or Windham airports, where the CAA has no day-to-day staffing and already outsources basic maintenance, including snow removal, to third-party contractors.

The proposal also does not include Bradley International Airport.

The CAA board is expected to discuss the AvPORTS deal Jan. 8 when it meets at 1 p.m.

"One of the things that we struggle with at our general aviation airports, as do most general aviation airports across the country, they typically don't operate in the black," said Kevin Dillon, the CAA's executive director.

The five general aviation airports reported cumulative operating losses, excluding depreciation, of about $3 million in fiscal 2016 and $2.7 million in fiscal 2017, according to CAA figures.

"Ultimately, the goal of the Airport Authority is to have the airport system here stand on its own," Dillon said.

The main area to achieve savings is labor, which is impacted by the high costs of fringe benefits for state union contracts, Dillon said, projecting more than $1 million in annual savings with a private operator.

There are 16 full-time equivalent employees at the three general aviation airports represented by four labor groups, most of them, 11, by the maintainers union, or NP-2, whose responsibilities include airfield maintenance such as snowplowing and grass mowing.

CAA is talking with the unions on the issue, Dillon said.

"We know the impact to individual employees and we have committed a couple of things," he said.

First, everybody would be guaranteed a job at Bradley because it has openings for all of those classifications, Dillon said.

The CAA also would provide that AvPORTS essentially give current employees first right of refusal so long as they comply with AvPORTS standards, he said.

Carl Chisem, vice president of the union representing the service and maintenance workers, CEUI SEIU Local 511, said he and union president Ron McLellan continue to talk with Dillon. The union is trying to verify the number of affected workers and other details and come to a workable solution, but it's still early, Chisem said, unable to provide details pending further discussions.

"There are a lot of things that we still have to flesh out — what's the best possible solution," he said.

"We understand … the state is in a bind," Chisem said. "Talking with the airport, hopefully you come out to a workable solution. We haven't gone through any numbers yet."

The important part is to try to protect members, Chisem said.

Republican state Sen. Toni Boucher, co-chair of the General Assembly's Transportation Committee, said fringe benefit costs make it hard for Connecticut airports and other agencies to compete, adding it may make sense to privatize the airports' operations.

"I haven't studied it in-depth," Boucher said of the airport proposal, "but the state of Connecticut is in very serious financial condition, so any movement to try to restructure costs could prove helpful in this very difficult time."

Democratic state Sen. Tim Larson (East Hartford), who also is executive director of the Tweed New Haven Regional Airport Authority, knows AvPORTS well: It has managed all aspects of Tweed New Haven since 1998. Larson is the only Airport Authority employee at the airport; all others are AvPORTS workers.

"They're a great operation," Larson said, praising the company's affordability, service and flexibility, including waiting to get paid by the Airport Authority, which, due to state fiscal issues, had not yet received a $1.5 million state subsidy in late December to help pay AvPORTS.

"Those are the kind of things that sort of stand out with regard to the type of company they are," Larson said.
AvPORTS' role

Lindsey Rutka, co-owner of Brainard's fixed-base operator, Hartford Jet Center, whose operations or those of its tenants include jet fuel sales, maintenance, flight lessons, hangars, charter operations and a restaurant on a ground lease with CAA and is not involved in airfield operations, appreciates the work state employees do at the airport.

"They do a phenomenal job, in my eyes," Rutka said, speaking only for Hartford Jet Center. "Whichever way the state or the state agencies decide to go, hopefully it's the best for the community across the board here."

The CAA's Dillon emphasized that the Airport Authority would continue to manage the airports if AvPORTS were hired.

"We would be making the development decisions at the airport, we would continue to be responsible for capital improvements of the infrastructure," he said. "This company would simply be supplying the labor to operate on a day-to-day basis."

AvPORTS manages a number of commercial and general aviation airports in the U.S., according to its website.

At Tweed, the company delivers airport operations, maintenance and janitorial services, administration and accounting services, engineering and planning and parking operations, according to its website.

AFCO AvPORTS' website lists management service roles at commercial airports that include Albany (N.Y.) International, Newark (N.J.) Liberty International, Stewart International (New Windsor, N.Y.) and Westchester County (N.Y.). On the general aviation side, it lists Gary/Chicago International, Republic (Farmingdale, N.Y.), Rhode Island Airport Corp. (for five general aviation airports in the state) and Teterboro (N.J.). It also lists roles at military and special airports Moffett Federal Airfield (Calif.) and Westover Air Reserve Base (Mass.).

An AvPORTS official did not return a call for comment.

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21 Years From Concept to Take-Off: Flagler Executive Airport (KFIN) Opens $17 Million Runway

Roy Sieger sometimes sounds like a kid in a candy shop, a 1,150-acre candy shop: that’s the size of the Flagler County Executive Airport he manages. “This is awesome. I love doing projects at this airport, I love being the airport director,” he told a small group of government, business and airport officials this morning as he stood on the airport’s newest addition: a $17 million, 5,500-foot runway he was officially dedicating in a ribbon-cutting, more than two decades after it was conceptualized, in 1996.

He loves the job so much that this was the fourth time in seven months he’d invited press and public to share his excitement. The first time was last June, for the ground-breaking on the runway, dubbed then and now as the most expensive project undertaken at the airport in its 75-year history. The second time was for a press tour of the entire grounds, including the control tower. The third time, in October, was for the inaugural flight off the new runway, known as Runway 11-29. And the fourth—attended, like the first, by every county commissioner and then some: ex-commissioner George Hanns was also there—was today, hurried though it was because just as Sieger began speaking, gray skies forming what in airport parlance was a very low ceiling began spitting a cold drizzle. It was just as well: the assembled had heard the story of the runway enough times and lunch was beckoning in a hangar not far away.

Roy Sieger, Flagler Executive Airport director.

They heard the required words, stood for the ribbon-cutting, stood for selfies or photographs with others, and walked on the carpet-like asphalt. It wasn’t any old asphalt. It’s lined with quarter-inch deep, quarter-inch wide groves every inch and a half, the better to create traction for landing and departing planes. Some 29,000 tons of asphalt was brought in by 1,450 trucks and spread over the new runway into what would equate to the equivalent of 20 highway miles, with 100,000 square feet of airfield paint striping from 1,000 gallons. The old runway was milled into 1.8 million square feet of asphalt milling and is being recycled elsewhere on county roads. The runway itself was a little over $12 million, with the Federal Aviation Administration assuming $9.33 million of that, the state Department of Transportation paying $2.72 million, and the airport paying $128,000.

On top of that, “we spent $5 million between property acquisition, wetland mitigation, design, administration,” Sieger said.

The very last take-off from the old runway took place last July 27 as Sieger himself and pilot John Rising went up in a T-6—appropriately, a World War II training plane. The airport was built by the military as part of that war’s efforts. The first take-off from the new runway took place on Oct. 24 in an IAI Westwind jet piloted by Tripp Wacker.

Not that it would matter to most but the runway itself was moved 400 feet to the south and got a 500-foot extension to the east, while the old runway was turned into a parallel taxiway.  The airport’s two runways accommodate 500 takeoffs and landings per day on average at the airport, 60 percent of them flight training. The two runways enable pilots to choose the best way to land and take-off into the wind. More than 400 LED airfield and guidance signs were installed as part of the runway project.

Just before the ribbon-cutting on the new runway today at the Flagler County Executive Airport, with Roy Sieger and County Commissioner Greg Hansen in the foreground, to the right.

The new runway isn’t just cosmetics: it widens the margin of error for pilots, who now have more room to maneuver should something go wrong during a landing or take-off. And while the runway is now long enough to accommodate a 737, the more pertinent purpose is to allow corporate jets to fuel up more heavily: heavier jets need longer runways. That helps the jets cut down on refueling stops. “It’s supporting us too because we like to sell more gas,” Sieger said. “We can increase our margin.”

The airport is a so-called government enterprise fund, which means that it runs like a business, independent of tax dollars. “We make a profit of about $600,000 a year. It stays in the airport,” Sieger said during one of those visits with the press. Airport dollars are generated from hangar leases, building leases and fuel sales. It’s public money, but it’s not tax dollars. The airport has a staff of six, Sieger included.

There are further plans ahead, chief among them a planned 12,000 to 14,000 square foot general aviation terminal. The design alone will cost $350, 000 to $400,000. Construction will cost $3.5 million to $4 million. It’s expected to be done “within the next three years,” Sieger said, with funding from the transportation department and, depending on how the grant is structured, 20 percent from the airport fund. “We’re going to build it so we can actually have some businesses in there,” Sieger said. He envisions another car rental business and a flight school. County Administrator Craig Coffee sees perhaps a restaurant overlooking the flight operations.

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Here's why all those fighter jets are flying over Oahu, Hawaii

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -  Did you catch the increase in military aircraft in Oahu skies on Monday?

The fighter jets and other aircraft were arriving from a number of spots across the mainland for an annual exercise, Sentry Aloha.

Lt. Col. Charles Anthony, public affairs officer for the Hawaii Air National Guard, said the exercise runs through late January.

National Guard and active duty squadrons from about six different locations across the mainland participate.

"It's an opportunity to provide realistic, large-scale training that these units can use as a run-up to deployments overseas," Anthony said.

The squadrons typically train about 100 miles north of Hawaii. 

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Bell unveils plans for air taxis, but when will they be zipping around Dallas-Fort Worth?

A mockup of Bell Helicopter’s urban air taxi cabin that will be on display this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. 


Imagine flying from Fort Worth to Frisco in just a matter of minutes.

If all goes according to plan, urban air taxis could be be zipping across the Dallas-Fort Worth area within the next decade.

At this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Bell Helicopter will roll out its air taxi cabin design. The mockup will include four seats.

“I want it to be four passengers like if you jumped into a car, like if you grabbed a taxi,” said Mitch Snyder, president and CEO of Bell Helicopter.

During the Consumer Electronics Show, attendees will be able to take a simulator ride to get a sense of what the experience will be like.

In April, Uber announced it was working with manufacturers including Bell to provide on-demand air transportation. Uber said Dallas-Fort Worth would be a test market, with plans to launch a network by 2020.

Snyder said it will likely take a little longer.

“I would like to have our concept vehicle flying in the early ’20s, but I think it’s more like the mid-’20s by the time we have a certified aircraft that’s flying,” Snyder said. “That’s kind of our timeline.”

Uber develops vertiports

Hillwood Properties, the developer of AllianceTexas, is also a partner with Uber to develop vertical skyports, called vertiports, with plans to develop two to five ports within the year.

The first vertiports will be located at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport and in Frisco, Hillwood said last year. Other vertiports could eventually be built at Victory Park in Dallas, near AT&T Stadium and Globe Life Park in Arlington, and at the old Tandy heliport on the Trinity River in downtown Fort Worth.

While there is momentum to get an urban air taxi into the air, Snyder said Bell won’t skimp on safety.

“We want people to walk up to this and to feel safe getting into it,” Snyder said. “It’s designed initially to have a pilot, called a mission manager. Eventually, we’ll move towards full autonomy.”

With the number of drones and other aircraft expected to multiply, Scott Drennan, Bell’s director of innovation, said there are numerous air space challenges to overcome.

There’s a need for very good “vehicle-to-vehicle communication and a very good ground system” to deal with drones, other autonomous vehicles and even birds, Drennan said.

‘Tremendous user experience’

Ideally, urban air taxis envision a world where passengers be whisked rapidly across the city.

How much will it cost for a ride? In an October 2016 white paper, Uber put the initial cost for a ride from the marina district in San Francisco to downtown San Jose at $129 compared to $111 for a ground-based ride using UberX. The same report said prices would drop over time.

“We really want this to be a tremendous user experience,” Snyder said. “We want them to feel safe when they climb into it. ... It’s probably going to be the shortest ride they’ve ever had because they’re going to be so enthralled with interfacing with the vehicle that about the time they’re taking off, they’re landing.”

Long-term plans call for hundreds of vertiports, changing the way people get around.

“Where they really want to go is where you wouldn’t own a personal car,” Snyder said. “On-demand mobility would move you from place to place. A self-driving car picks you up and drives you to the vertiport.”

Or, for true urban dwellers, it could simply mean walking a few blocks to the nearest vertiport.

While it is partnering with Uber, Bell is also looking at whether it should be an operator of urban air taxis itself.

“When you think about urban air taxi and the need to drive the cost down, to drive the operational hours per year up, you start to talk to yourself if being just an equipment provider is enough,” Drennan said.

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Plane or prankster? Yellow ice on Elk Grove roof a mystery

The large, yellow chunk of ice that crashed onto the roof of her Elk Grove Village home Monday morning must have fallen from a passing plane, Dawn Scarpulla is convinced.

But Federal Aviation Administration officials say they're just as certain the fallen ice didn't come from an aircraft. They first suggested waste from migratory birds, but after learning the size of the ice, wondered whether the homeowner was the victim of a prankster.

The exact moment of the ice's arrival at 10:30 a.m. was unmistakable, Scarpulla said.

"When it landed, it made a terrible clatter," she said.

Her husband thought she caused the noise before realizing it had come from outside.

The couple called Elk Grove Village police. A responding officer characterized the three cracked chunks as "yellow ice," with no further explanation of what that meant, and advised her to call a roofer to make sure her home wasn't damaged, Scarpulla said.

The roofer removed the chunks from the top of the house. Seeing them up close, she described them as fragments of an icicle between 5 and 6 feet long and about 6 inches wide at the end.

Accepting that her unexpected visitor was not "blue ice" from an airplane lavatory, Scarpulla said she can think of no other explanation than that it came from the outside of an aircraft.

There are no higher structures or tall trees in her backyard. And she agrees with the police officer's assessment that no one could have thrown the ice onto her roof from the ground. Even if that were possible, Scarpulla said she's acquired no enemies during her 40 years in the house.

But FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory said airplanes are de-iced and cannot fly with the added weight of ice. An accident is the usual result if they try.

"It doesn't sound very probable that it came from a plane," Cory said.

Scarpulla said her son added his voice to that argument, suggesting ice that heavy falling from a plane would have gone completely through her roof.

However, she said her house on Nebraska Drive is in the flight path of planes landing at O'Hare International Airport, and they're relatively low by the time they're overhead. While there was no obvious damage to the roof, Scarpulla noticed a ceiling crack about 40 inches long near her staircase that wasn't there during a recent repainting.

Cory said analyzing the substances in the ice might be the only way to figure out what is and where it came from.

Scarpulla said she is keeping a sample frozen in hope of such an opportunity.

Elk Grove Village police officials could not be reached for comment Monday.

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Will new flight help stabilize Dayton International Airport (KDAY)? Officials say yes

A new nonstop United Airlines flight added at the Dayton International Airport is among several changes expected in 2018 that could add stabilization to the city’s air terminal.

Last year brought a slew of changes for the Dayton airport — from fluctuating passenger traffic to new, discount flight destinations and a change in air carriers, but aviation director Terry Slaybaugh said 2018 could be a year of steady growth for the city’s commercial travel industry.

On Monday, airport and city officials announced United Airlines will add a nonstop, daily flight to Houston from Dayton starting in early June. The air carrier will also add another flight to Chicago, a city it already serves from Dayton. The new route and added flights are a clear sign that United is invested in Dayton, city officials said.

“United has helped connect Dayton to the world,” said Michael Quiello, United’s vice president of corporate safety. “We are excited to announce another new choice for our customers traveling to Houston and connecting to key destinations in the central and western United States and to business and leisure destinations in Latin America including Mexico City, Cancun, Los Cabos, Leon and Puerto Vallarta.”

The addition of Houston will be the 17th nonstop destination from Dayton airport. Dayton airport is currently served by Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, Allegiant Air and United Airlines. The new flight will give business travelers an easier route out west, where several companies with local connections have headquarters.

Dayton already serves the business community with flights to major hubs like Charlotte, Dallas, Chicago, New York, Detroit and Atlanta.

“(The airport) is an integral part of the future success of the region,” said Jeff Hoagland, president and CEO of the Dayton Development Coalition.

In addition to the new flight, the airport is spending millions of dollars for its terminal renovations. The next phase of the airport’s terminal modernization project began earlier this month, focusing on the airline ticketing end of the terminal and the outside of the parking garage across from baggage claim. The portion of the project is expected to be finish up in August.

The construction will impact the flow of traffic in front of the terminal, airport officials said.

“This phase begins the dramatic improvements to our passenger’s overall experience,” Slaybaugh said.

During the renovations, the airline ticket counter entrance to the terminal will be closed and traffic will be redirected to the main entrance and the baggage claim entrance. A construction fence will begin along the entrance drive directly after the short-term parking lot entrance and continue to the edge of the second terminal entrance doors, according to airport officials.

Airports across the U.S. will need an infusion of nearly $100 billion in the next five years to accommodate passenger and cargo growth, and to rehabilitate aging hubs, according to a 2017 report from the Airports Council International - North America.

The renovations and new flights come after a tumultuous year of changes for the airport. In June 2016, Southwest Airlines halted service at the Dayton airport in favor of adding flights at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. The move impacted the Dayton airport’s traffic numbers and average fare prices.

Allegiant, after its first full year of service in Dayton, continues its growth with new flights down south to Florida and Myrtle Beach. Allegiant officials told this news organization that the low-cost carrier has seen continued success in the Dayton market since its first flight in April 2016.

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Hayward seeks to clear way for high-density airport hotels: Commercial buildings taller than 40 feet may be allowed on Hayward Executive Airport (KHWD) properties on Hesperian Boulevard, Skywest Drive

HAYWARD — Two hotels are tentatively proposed on city property near the airport, and to sweeten the deal, Hayward may allow buildings taller than the current 40-foot height limit.

The Hayward Planning Commission has approved a zoning amendment allowing developers to propose commercial projects on Hayward Executive Airport parcels along Hesperian and Skywest that are taller than 40 feet maximum height for buildings in the area.

The proposed zoning changes do not set a specific height limit for buildings on the outer edge of the airport, but allows for exceptions on a case-by-case basis if the Federal Aviation Administration determines that the project “will not constitute a hazard or result in an unsafe condition,” Hayward Planning Manager Sara Buizer said at the commission’s Dec. 14 meeting.

Along with reviewing any project permits and plans, city staff also must find that a building height exception is needed to “achieve a more beneficial site layout or will result in public benefits or amenities that could not be achieved under current zoning standards,” Buizer said.

The Hayward City Council will consider the building height amendment Jan. 16.

Hayward airport and economic development administrators say current zoning regulations for commercial properties on the airport’s outer rim “constrain the type of amenity-rich and architecturally high-quality development that the city is looking for there,” senior city planner Leigha Schmidt said.

“Once you set aside land for parking, the actual development, (traffic) circulation, landscaping and stormwater control areas, then it makes it difficult to fit a number of uses, such as a hotel with a conference center and high-quality restaurant,” Schmidt said at the meeting.

“To fit them onto one pad with the development standards that we have makes it very difficult. In addition, if a developer wanted to have increased ceiling heights or a prominent entrance, having that lower height limit would basically limit the number of stories that you could have there and the number of hotel rooms that you could fit into the development,” she said.

The proposed zoning change paves the way for San Diego developers Ramesta Hospitality and Mahabal Hospitality to submit plans for potential projects on two sites by the Hayward Executive Airport.

In November, the City Council authorized City Manager Kelly McAdoo to negotiate and execute land leases with Ramesta and Mahabal for three airport parcels.

Lease terms are still being developed, although Ramesta and Mahabal would be required “to maintain a standard of quality in the facility and customer service throughout the life of the lease,” Hayward Executive Airport Manager Doug McNeeley wrote in a Nov. 14 memo to the City Council.

Hayward administrators are seeking a 50-year lease for each of the three airport parcels, with two optional 10-year extensions, McNeeley said. Hotel developers and city administrators also agreed to have about 80 percent of their employees be local hires.

One of the proposed hotel developments would be built on a 163,957-square-foot lot at West A Street and Skywest. The other hotel would be built on two adjacent 80,570- and 79,977-square-foot parcels by the corner of Skywest and Hesperian.

Each of the two hotels, under a nationally franchised brand, would include at least 110 rooms, a swimming pool and a small retail store, according to city records. Each hotel property also would house a nearly 6,000-square-foot standalone restaurant and a banquet facility for at least 150 people that could be divided into smaller rooms.

Ramesta Hospitality and Mahabal Hospitality could submit development applications and building plans by this summer if the city’s building height amendments are approved, city economic development manager Micah Hinkle said.

The two potential hotel projects cap off a multi-year effort by city and airport administrators to find commercial developers for airport parcels, particularly those seeking to build hotels, Hinkle said.

Original article can be found here ➤

Cessna 150L, N10439: Incident occurred January 05, 2018 in Arkansas City, Desha County, Arkansas

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Little Rock, Arkansas

Aircraft experienced engine failure and landed in a field.

Date: 05-JAN-18
Time: 16:21:00Z
Regis#: N10439
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 150L
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: NONE
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
Operation: 91

Piper Comanche PA-24-180, N8085P: Incident occurred January 06, 2018 at Apple Valley Airport (KAPV), San Bernardino County, California

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Riverside, California

Aircraft landed gear up.

Date: 06-JAN-18
Time: 19:28:00Z
Regis#: N8085P
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA 24 180
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

Dassault Falcon 2000, Executive Jet Management: Incident occurred January 07, 2018 at Aspen–Pitkin County Airport (KASE), Colorado

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Denver, Colorado

Aircraft landed on the grass / snow adjacent to the runway.

Date: 07-JAN-18
Time: 17:17:00Z
Regis#: UNK
Aircraft Make: DASSAULT
Aircraft Model: FALCON 2000
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: NONE
Activity: ON DEMAND
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 135
Flight Number: 726

Cessna U206G Stationair, N756HC: Incident occurred January 06, 2018 at Treasure Coast International Airport (KFPR), Fort Pierce, St. Lucie County, Florida

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

Aircraft aborted takeoff due to brake issue. While taxiing to ramp the aircraft lost control and veered into the grass then towed to ramp.

Date: 06-JAN-18
Time: 18:35:00Z
Regis#: N756HC
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: U206G
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 91

S C Aerostar S A Yak-52TW, N752TW: Incident occurred January 06, 2018 at Salina Regional Airport (KSLN), Kansas

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Wichita, Kansas

Aircraft landed gear up.

Date: 06-JAN-18
Time: 21:37:00Z
Regis#: N752TW
Aircraft Model: YAK 52TW
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

Atlas Air, B744: Accident occurred January 07, 2018 at Baltimore–Washington International Airport (KBWI), Maryland

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Baltimore, Maryland

Flight 8088: While taxiing struck stabilizer of a parked Miami Air.

Date: 07-JAN-18
Time: 22:15:00Z
Regis#: UNK
Aircraft Make: BOEING
Aircraft Model: 744
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: CARGO
Flight Phase: TAXI (TXI)
Operation: 121
Aircraft Operator: ATLAS AIR
Flight Number: 8088

Bell 407, N214AM, Air Methods: Accident occurred January 04, 2018 in Norfolk, Madison County, Nebraska

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lincoln, Nebraska

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Air Methods Corporation: 

Location: Norfolk, NE
Accident Number: CEN18CA072
Date & Time: 01/04/2018, 1900 CST
Registration: N214AM
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Part(s) separation from AC
Injuries: 3 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Positioning


The pilot and two medical crewmembers were on a return flight to a hospital helipad. During the approach to the helipad, the crew heard a noise outside the helicopter. The medical crewmembers reported they felt a slight "shudder" on the helicopter but attributed it to the wind as they approached the helipad. The pilot heard the noise, but there was no effect on the controls or flight characteristics, so he continued the landing without further incident. After engine shutdown, the oncoming pilot noticed that the helicopter's tail rotor drive shaft cover was missing. The surrounding area near the helicopter's approach path was searched, and the missing cover was found.

An examination of the helicopter noted substantial damage to the tail rotor drive shaft.

The day before the accident, scheduled maintenance was performed on the helicopter's tail rotor pitch change mechanism, which required removal of the drive shaft cover. The cover was reinstalled, and no problems were reported during a subsequent preflight inspection.

It is likely that maintenance personnel did not properly secure the cover fasteners after the cover was reinstalled. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

Maintenance personnel's failure to properly secure the tail rotor drive shaft cover, which resulted in the cover departing the helicopter in flight.



Maintenance/inspections - Incorrect service/maintenance (Cause)

Personnel issues
Scheduled/routine maintenance - Maintenance personnel (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Prior to flight
Aircraft maintenance event

Part(s) separation from AC (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport
Age: 63
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Helicopter
Second Pilot Present:
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: 
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 04/01/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N214AM
Model/Series: 407 NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 2014
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 54485
Landing Gear Type: Ski;
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 01/03/2018, AAIP
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 5501 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Turbo Shaft
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: ROLLS-ROYCE
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: 250-C47B
Registered Owner: AIR METHODS CORP
Rated Power: hp
Operating Certificate(s) Held: On-demand Air Taxi (135) 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night/Dark
Observation Facility, Elevation:
Observation Time:
Distance from Accident Site:
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: -13°C / -14°C
Lowest Ceiling:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots, 90°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting:
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point:  Omaha, NE
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Company VFR
Destination: Norfolk, NE
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:
Type of Airspace: 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 3 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 None
Latitude, Longitude:  42.022500, -97.413611

China Southern Airlines, Boeing 777-31BER, B-7185 (and) Kuwait Airways, Boeing 777-369ER, 9K-AOC: Incident occurred January 06, 2018 at John F. Kennedy International Airport (KJFK), New York

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; New York, New York

Flight 7185:  While being taxied to taxiway, the right wing struck Kuwait Airways flight 118, which was waiting for departure, resulted in auxiliary power unit (APU) being torn off.

Date: 06-JAN-18
Time: 05:10:00Z
Regis#: UNK
Aircraft Make: BOEING
Aircraft Model: 777
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Flight Phase: TAXI (TXI)
Operation: 121
Aircraft Operator: CHINA SOUTHERN AIR
Flight Number: 7185

Businessman hopes to build hangar homes with space for a plane in the garage

Entrepreneur Peter Day, of Hangar Homes, hopes to mix aviation, business and leisure at Solent Airport. 

He said his idea for a home and aircraft hub at the airfield, in Lee-on-the-Solent, is a ‘visionary’ scheme. 

He has already ploughed £100,000 of his own cash into the project, together with four years of planning. 

Now he has an uphill battle as planners at Fareham Borough Council have criticised the proposal. 

The Hangar Homes scheme would involve five separate hangars, with a ground floor for business use, residential quarters upstairs and space for a four-seater Velocity kit light aircraft.

Mr. Day said the scheme is a great opportunity for the former Daedalus site. 

He said: ‘This scheme is something that we are lagging far behind other parts of the world on – especially America.

‘I want Lee-on-the-Solent to be the first site for these homes, because it is my home airfield. 

‘I have invested a lot of time and money into this already – more than £100,000 and four years of planning have gone into this project.

‘There is certainly support among those in the flying community and local residents, but those who have taken issue to it are the planners at Fareham and Gosport Borough Councils.’ 

He added: ‘None of the planning officers are pilots, so I don’t think they understand how revolutionary this scheme is, and the benefits it would have.’ 

For his plan to go ahead, Mr. Day needs approval from both councils.

In a statement, Fareham Borough Council planners said: ‘The proposal fails to provide significant levels of either aviation related employment or housing and does not represent an efficient use of the site. 

‘It has not been adequately demonstrated that the proposal would not have an adverse impact on the operation of the airport which could prejudice Fareham Borough Council’s vision for Daedalus as a strategic development allocation.’ 

The application has received 46 public responses – including from a college based at the site. 

Paul Brimecome, head of engineering at CEMAST College, said: ‘With the prospect of Velocity UK being housed here this would offer an excellent opportunity for aerospace students to get involved in the building of the aircraft on Daedalus.

‘It has been agreed that part of our aerospace year two students’ project will be building their own Velocity craft.’

Story and photo ➤

Piper PA-28-140, N9814W: Tied on the ramp, as Hurricane Irma passed, wing and tail tie down ropes failed; N9814W was blown into two other aircraft

AIRCRAFT: 1967 Piper PA-28-140 N9814W, s/n: 28-23315

The last Annual Inspection was accomplished on 07/14/2016 at Tach 2505

The airframe total time is reportedly 2505

ENGINE: Lycoming O-320E2A, s/n L 19129-27

The last Annual Inspection was accomplished on 07/14/2016 at Tach 2505

The engine total time is reportedly 2505

PROPELLER:  Sensenich M74DM58, s/n K10801

The last Annual Inspection was accomplished on 07/14/2016 at Tach 2505

The prop total time is reportedly 2505





On 09/10/17, N9814W was tied on the ramp at the Miami Executive Airport (TMB), Miami, Florida.  As Hurricane Irma passed, the wing and tail tie down ropes failed and N9814W was blown into two other aircraft.

Damage includes but may not be limited to the following:
The left wing tip is crushed
The left aileron is torn and bent
The left flap is bent along the outer 6” 
The left navigation light is crushed
The left wing has a 4” x 3” hole in the outboard upper skin.
The stabilator trim tabs on the left side are bent and wrinkled.
The left tip of the stabilator is crushed and split.
The entire rudder is damaged.
The vertical fin is damaged
The right landing gear strut is collapsed.
There was 1" of water in the seat pan of the rear passenger seat.
The avionics do not appear to have any moisture damage - NOT GUARANTEED
The overall aircraft paint is chalked and peeling (not related to the hurricane)

Miami Executive Airport (TMB), Miami, Florida

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