Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Cape Air kicks off service at Decatur Airport (KDEC)

DECATUR — Cape Air kicked off its service at Decatur Airport on Wednesday with a 7 a.m. departure to St. Louis Lambert International Airport.

The airline also provides daily flights to O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, both on a twin-engine Cessna that seats nine.  

The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded Cape Air a two-year contract in December. The federal agency chooses Decatur’s airline because its air service is subsidized through the Essential Air Service program. 

Aimee Coverstone and her 6-year-old granddaughter, Kylie, were on the first flight. The Decatur residents had never flown out of Decatur Airport before Wednesday, and had not been following the Essential Air Service decision closely.

When the plane touched down in St. Louis, Aimee Coverstone said the experience was quick and easy and she complimented the Cape Air staff.

“It was a much smaller aircraft than I thought, but the flight was fine,” Aimee Coverstone said.

With a thumbs up and a smile, Kylie Coverstone agreed.

The Department of Transportation chose Cape Air over SkyWest, the Utah-based airline preferred by the Decatur Park District and several key business leaders — especially Archer Daniels Midland Co. The department had said the jet service would cost $700,000 more to subsidize.

Air Choice One has been the airport's commercial air carrier since late 2009, but the park board did not support its bid to continue.

Story and photo gallery:

Allegiant, Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (KVPS) announce new base, new routes, new jobs

VALPARAISO — The fastest-growing airport in the Southeast is ready to expand again, thanks to another major growth spurt by Allegiant Air.

Okaloosa County officials joined Allegiant employees at Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport on Tuesday to celebrate the airline’s official announcement that it will establish a two-aircraft, year-round base at VPS, add five seasonal routes and provide more than 65 new high-paying jobs.

“More routes mean more visitors, and more visitors mean more economic spending,” Thayne Klingler, Allegiant Air’s director of airport affairs, said at the celebration.

The Las Vegas-based airline’s service at VPS began with six routes in 2016 and jumped to 16 cities last year. The company’s latest growth, which includes some $50 million in investment at VPS, is anticipated to bring $418 million in tourism revenue to the region over the next five years.

During Tuesday’s ceremony, County Commissioner Carolyn Ketchel commended county Airports Director Tracy Stage for bringing more growth to VPS during his tenure than at any other time in the airport’s history. Stage has served as the director since early 2016 and has worked for the county since 2006.

Last October the County Commission approved giving $1 million worth of bed tax-funded incentives to help Allegiant expand its operations. The airline reportedly will also receive up to $475,000 in matching funds from Visit Florida’s Air Team Florida program.

Allegiant’s announcement on its expansion “is a great reminder of how our tourism industry supports Florida business and communities and creates new opportunities for our families,” Gov. Rick Scott said in a video that was aired at Tuesday’s event. 

Ketchel, who serves as the liaison between the commission and the Airports Department, praised the new jobs that Allegiant will provide as well as its low-cost flights to new destinations.

“We continue to grow,” Ketchel said of the county. “We have been discovered.”

Allegiant immediately plans to start hiring pilots, flight attendants, maintenance technicians and ground personnel for its expanded service at VPS. Applications are available at

The new positions “are expected to offer average salaries more than double the area’s average wage,” Allegiant officials said in a press release.

The average annual wage in Okaloosa County in 2016 was $42,156, according to the most recent data available from the county’s Economic Development Council.

Allegiant’s new routes will operate twice weekly. They are:

• Bentonville, Arkansas, via Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA) — begins June 6 with fares starting at $68.

• Concord, North Carolina, via Concord Regional Airport (USA) — begins June 7 with fares starting at $46.

• Lexington, Kentucky, via Blue Grass Airport (LEX) — begins June 7 with fares starting at $62.

• Evansville, Indiana, via Evansville Regional Airport (EVV) — begins June 8 with fares starting at $61.

• Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina, via Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) — begins June 8 with fares starting at $46.

Any flights that bring more visitors to the area will benefit the local economy, county Tourist Development Council Chairman Bruce Craul said before Tuesday’s ceremony. Allegiant officials said their new flights will bring almost 25,000 additional visitors to the area annually.

Allegiant’s rapid growth has helped spur some of its competitors to boost their service, Ketchel said. For example, she noted how American Airlines plans to offer nonstop flights between VPS and Washington D.C.’s Ronald Reagan National Airport in May.

“Competition is a good thing,” Ketchel said. “It’s the American way.”

Story, video and photo gallery ➤

Delta Air Lines Violates International Law On Aircraft Incident, Accident – Accident Investigation Bureau Commissioner

Delta Air Lines Inc, Airbus A330-200, N858NW, Flight DL-55 

Almost 20 hours after the fire incident involving one of the two engines of Delta Air Lines mid-air, the airline has yet to report the serious incident to Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), which is saddled with the responsibility of investigating such magnitude of the incident.

Rather, Delta Air Lines filed in a report to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in United States of America, notifying the board of the incident.

The action of the American carrier did not however go down well with the Commissioner of AIB, Engr. Akin Olateru who insisted that the airline has violated the recommended practices of the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO), which stipulates that the state of occurrence must be carried along in such an incident.

Olateru in an interview with journalists at the Lagos airport, said that as at 3pm today, no official of the airline had contacted the agency on the incident.

He explained that the inability of the airline to inform AIB had prevented it from notifying ICAO as required by the law.

He said: “Everything we do here is in accordance with ICAO Annex 13. Unfortunately, up until 3 pm, this afternoon, Delta Air Lines has refused to notify AIB in accordance with the law of our country. But, they notified the US NTSB but they refused at 3 pm today, there is still no notification from Delta Air Lines as to this serious incident."

“We have an obligation to notify ICAO on this serious incident, but unfortunately, we cannot fulfill that obligation because we are still waiting for Delta to give us information as to this serious incident. This is a serious incident and by law, we are investigating it.

“There is what they call the country of occurrence and Nigeria is a country of occurrence of this incident. Yes, it is a US carrier, US operator, US registered aircraft, but there are certain state protocols, which have to be respected that give right of investigation to the country of occurrence except for the country of occurrence decides to cede that investigation to the country of the operator or any other country.”

He lamented that since the aircraft returned to Nigeria on an emergency, its investigators were still unable to go near the aircraft, saying that information received from NTSB indicated that Delta would arrive Nigeria today with two of its investigators to carry out an investigation on the aircraft.

“But in this case, we are able, equipped to investigate this serious incident and we will investigate it but for the sake of clarity, am disappointed in Delta. It is one of the world’s biggest airlines in the world for not respecting our own nation and laws of the land."

“It is totally unacceptable, and we condemn it in totality and I believe the way I see it, we are being undermined, which is not acceptable. ICAO law governs all the activities of air transport business. They know that we must be notified. Our websites are there; they can download the form, they can download the App. We wrote to Delta Air Lines in October last year notifying them that we have AIB App, which they just need to download on their phone and send us notification."

“It is a very simple process. Nothing can be simpler than this, but unfortunately, as of 3 pm today, they refused to notify the authorized agency by law of the land to investigate this kind of serious incident,” he added.

According to him, rather for the crew to report to AIB as required by the law, they attempted to leave Nigeria without notification until they were prevented from doing so.

Olateru was however silent on the cause of the incident but said this would be revealed by the investigation.

However, Delta Air Lines has flown in another aircraft from its base at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the United States to airlift the passengers who were affected by the Tuesday’s incident.

The aircraft, an Airbus arrived the international wing of the Lagos airport at 3 pm on Wednesday.

The airline said that the passengers would depart on Wednesday night.

Original article can be found here ➤

Delta Airlines engine fire: A serious incident, says Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority

Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on Wednesday classified the fire that engulfed a Delta Airlines Airbus 330 – 200 aircraft as a very serious incident and has handed over its investigation to the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB).

The regulator in a statement by its spokesman, Sam Adurogboye said the classification is in line with the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

According to Adurogboye, the Delta Airlines aircraft with registration number N858NW with 219 passengers on board took off from the Lagos Airport about 9.51 pm Universal Time Coordinated (UTC) on Tuesday February 13, 2018 when the crew noticed abnormal engine conditions in one of the two engines.

He said the pilot in command consequently made an air return after declaring emergency at 9.51 pm UTC .

The statement reads: ”A Delta Air Lines aircraft which departed Lagos for New York has aborted its flight over fire warnings.

The Delta Air Lines Flight DAL55 Airbus A330-200 with registration N858NW took off at 2151 utc on Tuesday- February 13, 2018 when the crew noticed abnormal engine condition in one of its two engines.

“Consequently, the Pilot-in-Command (PIC) made an air return after declaring emergency at 2159 utc. All emergency services were provided to assist in the passengers’ evacuation and to contain the fire.

“Some of the passengers who sustained injuries were rushed down to Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja for prompt medical attention.

“In line with safety standards, the international Runway (18R) was promptly closed to traffic while the domestic Runway (18L/36R) was opened to other flights for emergency operations.

“However, at time 0020UTC (1:20 am Local Time), the international Runway (18R) was reopened to traffic after the aircraft was evacuated from the Runway and a Runway sweeping and inspection conducted.

“This incident was classified as serious incident in line with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) classification, and investigation was handed over to Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB).

“The flight has been rescheduled for Wednesday, February 14, 2018 and affected passengers are already being checked in for departure.

“The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) wishes to commend the prompt response of Airport Safety Services and other stakeholders.

“NCAA wishes to reassure the travelling public, airlines and other aviation stakeholders of her continued commitment to Aviation safety and security.“

Original article can be found here ➤

Higher wages, fuel prices turn up cost pressure on airlines

BERLIN (Reuters) - With inflation paramount in investors' minds at a time of rising wages and oil prices, the line separating winners and losers in the global airline industry this year looks likely to be drawn on how well they manage costs, especially on the labor side.

Industry body IATA in December flagged higher spending on labor and fuel - which make up about half of airlines' operating expenses - as their members' biggest challenge in 2018, especially after several years of record profits.

Labor costs surpassed fuel as global airlines' biggest single expense in 2016, at 22 percent of costs against just under 21 percent for fuel. That is expected to jump this year to 30.9 percent versus 20.5 percent for fuel.

Back in 2013, when oil prices were much higher than now, fuel was 33 percent of expenses against 18 percent for labor.

Staff costs are typically higher in North America and Europe than in Asia, where fuel remains the biggest expense.

The crux of the issue is that amid signs of a global shortage of workers generally, in some regions there's also a scarcity of qualified pilots at a time of expanding fleets.

"As airlines have been making profit, the workforce has got market power, so that is pushing up the cost of labor," IATA Chief Economist Brian Pearce said in an interview.

Overall, unit costs - the measure of how much it costs an airline to operate each kilometer and seat flown - will rise 4.3 percent this year versus 1.7 percent in 2017, IATA forecasts.

In the highest profile example of the pressures, budget carrier Ryanair was compelled last year by pilot shortages to cancel thousands of flights, and in December recognized trade unions for the first time.

The battle that forced Ryanair's hand could put wage pressures on other European budget carriers such as Wizz , industry experts say.

The bigger carriers feel it too.

At Air France , 10 unions representing pilots, cabin and ground staff have called for a strike on Feb. 22 to push a demand for a 6 percent pay rise.

"After three years of strong profitability improvements in the sector, we believe personnel and suppliers are asking for wage/price increases and thus keeping non-fuel costs under control will remain a challenge for the sector," Kepler Cheuvreux analyst Ruxandra Haradau-Doser wrote.

The wage issue has even extended to the United Arab Emirates, the Middle East trade and financial hub where labor disputes are rare and unions and industrial action are banned.

The region's largest airline, Dubai-based Emirates, is facing calls from cabin crew to improve conditions and benefits. Employees say management is considering their requests.

Last week, brokerage Kepler Cheuvreux cut its rating on German flagship carrier Lufthansa - already on its lists of stocks to avoid and least preferred in the sector - to "reduce" from "hold".

In the United States, investors are worried that the three largest carriers - American , Delta and United - are heading for a price war just as higher costs from pay increases agreed last year start to bite.


Lufthansa, British Airways parent IAG and Air France-KLM are all expected to report improved 2017 profits when they publish results over the next few weeks.

All airlines will need to look at areas where they can save, however.

"The most successful airline managements are the ones that have been very cost-focused every day - not just on staff costs but on aircraft costs, airport charges, distribution costs and so on," said aviation consultant John Strickland.

The success of Ryanair, which boasts of having the lowest costs in Europe, is partly down to hard negotiating with manufacturers and airports to get good deals on orders and fees, those in the industry say.

Strickland said that while pilot costs would rise, Ryanair was unique in having much lower overall costs than rivals.

"If they can continue to keep other items such as airport and aircraft costs down, then they will still be in a very strong position."

Lufthansa has been taking a tougher stance lately both with staff and airports.

Unlike in previous negotiations for its main brand in Germany, Lufthansa stayed firm during a series of pilot strikes from 2014 to 2016 and has now struck a deal to cut its cockpit staff costs by 15 percent, while an increase in ground staff's wages will be partly linked to company profits.

Last year, it also put pressure on Frankfurt Airport operator Fraport by moving planes to Munich. It predicts unit costs will fall by 1-2 percent this year.

Analysts at Barclays say while such measures should help Lufthansa, the rate of improvement is not sustainable and progress still needs to be made at budget unit Eurowings, which earns less than half the margin of its nearest peer.

"There is a significant amount more work for the company to do on its cost base," they wrote in a note.

Along with strong travel demand thanks to robust economies and low oil prices last year, European airlines have also benefited from some consolidation following the insolvencies of Air Berlin and Monarch, which helped lead to higher ticket prices.

In addition, many European carriers hedged on jet fuel - unlike their U.S. counterparts who got burned making the wrong bets when the oil price starting tumbling in mid-2014 - meaning the impact of higher fuel prices will come through for European airlines later than U.S. ones.

EasyJet's revenue per seat rose 6.6 percent at constant currencies in the quarter to end-December, the no-frills airline said, citing the struggles of rivals including Air Berlin, Monarch, Ryanair and Alitalia. It forecast a rise of 5-9 percent for the six months to March.

"Airlines need to be careful they don't lock themselves into cost structures that are too high for weaker economic conditions," IATA'S Pearce warned. "At the moment, they're not doing that but it's always a risk."

Original article can be found here ➤

Council discusses plan for Roanoke Municipal Airport (7A5)

The Roanoke City Council held a workshop prior to its regular meeting Monday to discuss the Roanoke Municipal Airport.

Mayor Mike Fisher returned after missing several meetings to deal with health issues.

Jennifer Hunt Harp and Ryan Reed of Garver Engineers gave a presentation along with Frank Farmer and John C. Eagerton IV of the Aeronautics Bureau of the Alabama Department of Transportation. Eagerton is chief of the Aeronautics Bureau and Farmer is aeronautics manager. Harp is project manager.

Garver Engineers works with the city on improvements and updates to the airport.

Reed said a report talks about the current role for small aircraft and how the area can be spruced up and updated--some things are too close to the runway. There is a 10-step approach to development, which will probably take more than ten years. They were there to discuss the first year. The airport is partially federally subsidized and has $600,000 available.

Harp said they are trying to improve safety of the airport and encouraging growth with things such as selling fuel. The airport is constrained on four sides by property. In the future they would like to acquire some of the land and relocate the road so they could extend the runway.

Reed said the small building--a hospitality area for incoming pilots--needs to be moved several yards down the road.

Councilwoman Tammi T. Holley asked if it would take all the accrued $600,000 and was told it would cost an estimated $635,000. Reed said there would be a local match from the city of about $32,000. He added this is the first step in a multi-year project--with a long-term approach. There would continue to be a charge for use of the hangars.

City clerk Pat Truitt said they had gotten estimates for putting a heli-place (formerly called a heli-pad) there. Harp said they would like to incorporate the heli-place into the design.

Councilman Mack Arthur Bell asked if larger airplanes could land and Reed said no because of the adjacent property.

Eagerton said they were there to meet with the council to have a brief discussion about what council members envision the airport to be. He asked if the council ever envisions buying the property at the end of the runways to extend the runway and what does the council see as the airport's role--using it as a help to economic development? He said there are not a lot of airports in the vicinity of Roanoke's airport.

Original article ➤

Airbus names Safran exec as head of helicopter unit

BERLIN, February 14 (Reuters) - Airbus Group said on Wednesday it has appointed Bruno Even as head of its helicopter division, effective from April 1.

Even, 49, was CEO of the helicopter engines business at Safran, and succeeds Guillaume Faury, who is moving to become president of Airbus Commercial Aircraft.

Airbus Helicopters has suffered from a slowdown in orders in recent years due to a downturn in the oil and gas sector, one of its main customers, and expects deliveries in 2018 to be roughly on a par with last year.

Even will also have to redefine the X6 heavy helicopter, which has suffered technological challenges and which Faury said last month would likely turn out differently than originally envisaged.

Airbus Group is due to report its 2017 results on Thursday.

Original article can be found here ➤

WestJet Encore, Bombardier Q400: Incident occurred February 14, 2018 at Prince George Airport (YXS), British Columbia, Canada

MONTREAL, Feb 14 (Reuters) - A WestJet Airlines Ltd plane that was headed to Vancouver early on Wednesday was diverted to the Canadian town of Prince George in the province of British Columbia after a warning from a fire detector, a spokeswoman said.

WestJet Encore Flight 3205, carrying 44 passengers and 4 crew aboard a Bombardier Q400 prop plane, landed safely at Prince George, airline spokeswoman Lauren Stewart said by email.

“All guests, crew and baggage have been offloaded and a preliminary inspection indicates at this time that no fire was present,” she wrote.

The plane had departed from Fort St. John in British Columbia.

Eric Collard, a spokesman for Canada’s Transportation Safety Board, said the agency was “gathering information” about the incident.

Stewart said WestJet was arranging aircraft from Calgary, Alberta to retrieve the passengers and expected that “everyone will be on their way this morning.”

Original article can be found here ➤

PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. — Passengers aboard a scheduled WestJet Encore flight from Fort St. John, B.C., to Vancouver had an unexpected stopover when their plane was diverted to Prince George.

WestJet says in a statement that flight 3205 had taken off from North Peace Regional Airport Wednesday morning for a flight to Vancouver when a fire detection warning light activated.

As a precaution the pilots declared an emergency and the Bombardier Q400 turboprop, carrying 44 passengers and 4 crew, landed without incident in Prince George.

Everyone aboard got out safely and all the luggage was removed from the plane.

WestJet says a preliminary inspection of the aircraft revealed no sign of fire.

The company says another aircraft was brought in from Calgary to take the passengers to their final destination.

Original article can be found here ➤

MountainSky Aerial: Sky’s the limit for drone technology

Mike Nevins, owner of MountainSky Aerial, prepares his UAV for flight. The business is the 12th for Nevins, a serial entrepreneur who also worked for the Grand Junction Police Department.

Mike Nevins has worked on the cutting edge of technology before — he began his career at the beginning of the revolution in personal computing, in fact.

Nonetheless, Nevins admits he has no idea where the growing use of unmanned aerial vehicles will lead or what the future holds for an industry for which the sky is literally the limit. “I don’t have enough imagination to figure how they’re going to use these things.”

For now, Nevins prefers to focus on what he does know, and that’s the varied services his UAV and his business, MountainSky Aerial, offers. That’s plenty — from taking aerial photographs and videos to assessing and monitoring crops and golf courses.

Working with FarmSolutions, an agricultural technology company, Nevins turns data into information and recommendations about irrigation, fertilizer and other management issues that help growers increase yields and decreases costs. “Then it becomes a value proposition,” he says.

MountainSky Aerial is the 12th business for Nevins, a serial entrepreneur who also worked for 10 years for the Grand Junction Police Department. Nevins previously operated a computer forensic investigations firm, computer software security business and outdoor kitchen company, among other ventures.

Nevins says launching MountainSky Aerial offered another chance to put his technical background to work — along with scratching an entreprenurial itch. “I’v always loved starting something from scratch and making it do something.”

His research also revealed a potential business opportunity — particularly for an area with an abundance of agricultural production that ranges from food crops to orchards to vineyards. “The more I dug, the more excited I got,” Nevin says.

MountainSky Aerial serves four markets, Nevins says, in providing photographs and videos to market real estate and monitoring progress on construction sites. Using an infrared camera enables the firm to also serve agricultural producers and golf courses.

Plants reflect infrared light to varying degrees that depend on how vigorously they’re growing, Nevins says. That makes it possible to detect plants that aren’t receiving enough water or fertilizer or experience stress from insects or weeds. The same thing holds true for the turf on golf courses.

Nevins plots a flight for his UAV over a construction site, field or golf course that compiles information in the best way. Since his UAV connects with global positioning system satellites to accurately determine its position, the device completes the flight autonomously. After the flight, computer software stitches together the data to create two-dimensional maps and even render three-dimensional images, he says.

Working with FarmSolutions, Nevins says he can produce reports that assess a field, orchard, vineyard or golf course and recommend actions — usually within a day

Farmers and golf course managers can use that information to address a problem, he says — applying additional fertilizer or repairing a broken sprinkler head, for example. Aerial imagery also can be used to assess crop damage in filing claims for insurance. “We’re providing an end-to-end solution.”

The ultimate goal, he says, is to supply information that helps customers increase earnings and reduce costs. “We make it usable to them so they can make more money.”

Given the increasing use of UAVs — and increasing diversity of what they’re used for — Nevins says the ramifications of the technology could prove profound But like the services his business provides, he believes the technology also will prove beneficial.

For more information about MountainSky Aerial, visit the website at

Original article can be found here ➤

Piper PA-16 Clipper, N5726H: Accident occurred February 13, 2018 in Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Scottsdale

NTSB Identification: GAA18CA130
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, February 13, 2018 in Phoenix, AZ
Aircraft: PIPER PA 16, registration: N5726H

NTSB investigators will use data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator, and will not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Aircraft ground looped after landing.

Date: 13-FEB-18
Time: 21:50:00Z
Regis#: N5726H
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA 16
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

Piper PA-28R-201 Cherokee Arrow III, N97PG: Incidents occurred February 13, 2018 -and- March 13, 2016 at Palm Beach County Glades Airport (KPHK), Pahokee, Florida

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Miami

Aircraft landed gear up.

Date: 13-FEB-18
Time: 16:00:00Z
Regis#: N97PG
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA 28R 201
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

March 13, 2016:  Aircraft landed gear up.

Date: 13-MAR-16
Time: 15:15:00Z
Regis#: N97PG
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA28
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Miami FSDO-19
State: Florida

Cessna 172M Skyhawk, N9562H: Accident occurred February 08, 2018 in Miami, Florida

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Miami

L&W Aircraft Investments LLC:

NTSB Identification: GAA18CA122
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, February 08, 2018 in Miami, FL
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N9562H

NTSB investigators will use data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator, and will not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Aircraft landed in a field.

Date: 08-FEB-18
Time: 05:50:00Z
Regis#: N9562H
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 172M
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: MINOR
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: APPROACH (APR)
Operation: 91

Cessna 177RG, N2043Q: Incident occurred February 13, 2018 at Indianapolis International Airport (KIND), Marion County, Indiana

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Indianapolis

Aircraft landed partial gear up.

Date: 14-FEB-18
Time: 02:41:00Z
Regis#: N2043Q
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 177RG
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

Schweizer 269D, N471RA, registered to C. Aaron LLC and operated by the private pilot: Accident occurred February 13, 2018 in Stockbridge, Ingham County, Michigan

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Belleville, Michigan

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Stockbridge, MI
Accident Number: CEN18LA106
Date & Time: 02/13/2018, 1415 EST
Registration: N471RA
Aircraft: SCHWEIZER 269D
Injuries: 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On February 13, 2018, about 1415 mountain standard time, a Schweizer 269D helicopter, N471RA, collided with snow-covered terrain while maneuvering at a low altitude shortly after takeoff from a private residence located near Stockbridge, Michigan. The pilot and passenger sustained minor injuries, and the helicopter sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to C. Aaron LLC, and operated by the private pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 without a flight plan. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the accident site. The personal flight had the intended destination of Ann Arbor Municipal Airport (ARB), Ann Arbor, Michigan. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: SCHWEIZER
Registration: N471RA
Model/Series: 269D NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: No
Operator: C. Aaron LLC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: TEW, 920 ft msl
Observation Time: 1415 EST
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: -2°C / -12°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots, 150°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 12000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.5 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Stockbridge, MI (PVT)
Destination: Ann Arbor Muni, MI (ARB) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Minor
Latitude, Longitude:  42.450000, -84.263056 (est)

Beechcraft B300 Super King Air 350, N350BS, Standridge Color Corporation: Incident occurred February 13, 2018 at Donaldson Field Airport (KGYH), Greenville County, South Carolina

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; South Carolina

Aircraft landed with landing gear retracted.

Standridge Color Corporation:

Date: 13-FEB-18
Time: 22:15:00Z
Regis#: N350BS
Aircraft Make: BEECH
Aircraft Model: B300
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

Robinson R22 Beta, N843SH: Accident occurred February 13, 2018 in Wadsworth, Matagorda County, Texas

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Houston

NTSB Identification: GAA18CA129
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, February 13, 2018 in Wadsworth, TX
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER R22, registration: N843SH

NTSB investigators will use data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator, and will not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Rotorcraft crashed due to unknown reasons.

Date: 13-FEB-18
Time: 10:20:00Z
Regis#: N843SH
Aircraft Make: ROBINSON
Aircraft Model: R22 BETA
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: MINOR
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
Operation: 91
State: TEXAS

United Airlines, Embraer EMB-145XR: Incident occurred February 13, 2018 at Richmond International Airport (KRIC), Virginia

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Richmond

Flight 4853:  Landed and struck several barricades.

Date: 13-FEB-18
Time: 14:15:00Z
Regis#: UNK
Aircraft Make: EMBRAER
Aircraft Model: E45X
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 121
Aircraft Operator: UNITED EXPRESS
Flight Number: 4853

GE Aviation investment boosts testing for new jet engine

When GE Aviation decided to build a cold weather engine testing facility in Winnipeg at the beginning of this decade, the global leader in the technology did not even imagine it would one day be building an engine with the same diameter as the fuselage of a Boeing 737.

But that’s what GE is doing now and that’s why the Testing, Research and Development Centre (TRDC) at the Richardson International Airport needed a $26-million upgrade.

The expanded 122,000-square-foot facility officially opened earlier this month, making the TRDC that much more crucial to GE’s aviation engine development program.

Designed specifically for Boeing’s new 777X airplane, the GE9X will be the most fuel-efficient jet engine GE has ever produced, as well as its largest commercial aircraft engine with a 134-inch diameter front fan.

It brings GE’s total investment in the TRDC — located past the runways near the north end of the Winnipeg airport — to $75 million.

"The TRDC has played a significant role in the development and certification of GE Aviation’s GEnx and Passport engines, CFM’s LEAP engine and GE Honda’s HF120 engine," said Benito Trevino, general manager, engine testing programs at GE Aviation.

"This additional investment will ensure the facility can handle the GE9X engine."

When the original test facility opened in February 2012, GE needed it to handle cold weather and ice testing on its engines. The Cincinnati-based company has another test site in Ohio, but it could not do the extensive cold weather testing required for newer ice certification standards.

Shortly after it was commissioned, the company realized it wanted to be able to do all-weather testing in Winnipeg as well and another $10-million investment was made in 2013.

In addition to the abundance of nice cold weather, GE also chose Winnipeg because it could partner with StandardAero to manage and operate the facility. StandardAero has a very large engine maintenance, repair and overhaul operation in Winnipeg and a long track record of support for a wide portfolio of GE engines.

Kyle Hultquist, StandardAero’s senior vice-president of marketing and communications, said the connection StandardAero has been able to make with GE at the Winnipeg test site has been "everything we could have hoped for."

Since it opened, StandardAero’s technicians have delivered approximately 120,000 hours of labour to build, which equates to 3,000 40-hour workweeks, or almost 58 years of a single person’s time.

Mike Scott, StandardAero’s’ Winnipeg-based chief financial officer, said, "We are humbled by the opportunity to manage this site, working very closely with GE’s aviation experts. Our amazing partnership with GE Aviation continues to grow stronger as we break new barriers in testing the world’s most advanced aircraft engines while expanding capabilities into the areas of icing, ingestion and endurance testing."

GE has about 700 GE9X engines on order and Boeing’s 777X target service-entry date is late 2019.

Story and photos ➤

Winter Haven's Gilbert Airport (KGIF) hires new manager

WINTER HAVEN — Polk County’s second largest city has found the guy it thinks can help its airport take flight.

Alex Vacha, 28, started his new job as general manager of the Winter Haven Regional Airport on Monday. Vacha had been the manager of the Lake Wales Municipal Airport since April 2016.

“I really loved what I was doing,” Vacha said. “Winter Haven is a much larger airport, but I like the seaplane niche a lot. With the jet traffic and the commercial element, Winter Haven really has a lot going on.”

The first airport manager in Lake Wales since it moved from a fixed-base operator system, Vacha helped bring events including the collegiate skydiving championships to the airport. Lake Wales City Manager Ken Fields said Vacha was efficient in managing projects as well.

“We were very fortunate to have him,” Fields said. “We had a bunch of very experienced people apply. From the first interview, he really impressed with his enthusiasm, his knowledge and he really hit the ground running.”

Merle Bishop, growth-management director in Winter Haven, said similar things. Vacha was one of 58 applicants for the vacancy.

“The thing that really struck us with Alex was his passion and his attitude,” Bishop said. “We liked what he did in Lake Wales, taking it from basically nothing to getting projects approved. He’s really smart, and if he doesn’t know the answer, he works hard to find it out.”

Vacha replaces Leo Treggi, who left to take a job in Fort Lauderdale in September. Treggi spent three years on the job.

“The outside and non-aviation development are some things I really want to work to bring to the city,” Vacha said. “The push for me is going to be to monitor the projects and to work with the (Greater Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce and Winter Haven Economic Development Council) to bring folks to the airport.”

Bishop noted that a hotel was recently built near Lakeland Linder Airport on Drane Field Road and thinks Winter Haven has the potential for development near the airport on U.S. 92.

“People are seeing the possibility of expansion,” Bishop said. “Many other airports have non-aviation components near them. The challenge is finding the funding.”

Vacha holds a bachelor’s degree in aeronautics from Embry-Riddle University in Daytona as well as a master’s from the Florida Institute of Technology. According to a release, Vacha worked with the Polk County Economic Development Council and Polk County Global Trade Alliance to recruit new businesses to the area.

“I want to emphasize that the communication is going to be very open,” Vacha said. “I want to know what the community wants to see happening here at the airport.”

A captain in the U.S. Army Reserve flying Black Hawk helicopters since 2011, Vacha and his wife of nearly four years, Marissa, live in East Pinellas County. After completing his eight years in the reserve, Vacha said he will consider moving into the city.

“The lakes are a really cool part of Winter Haven, and I hope to make moving here a goal,” he said. “It’s been a great experience coming into the city. Everyone with the airport staff and the tenants here at the airport have been real supportive.”

In Lake Wales, Fields said the city is in the process of looking for his replacement.

“I’m disappointed we lost him that quickly, but I’m not surprised Winter Haven hired him,” Fields said. “I wish him the best. I’m sorry to see him go, but I’m always excited to see one of our employees move on to bigger and better things. They’re getting a great airport manager. I’m confident we’ll find someone qualified to fill the position.”

Vacha will be paid $75,000 per year in Winter Haven.

“It’s been a busy first couple of days, but it’s been fun so far,” Vacha said. “I’m really excited and I think everyone should be excited about what’s going on here in Winter Haven.”

Original article can be found here ➤

Etihad Cargo ships 51 horses from Belgium to the show jumping event in Hong Kong

February 14, 2018: Etihad Cargo recently transported 51 elite show jumping horses using Boeing 777 freighters from Belgium to Hong Kong for the annual Hong Kong Longines Masters event.

It’s the second year in a row that Etihad Cargo has transported elite horses from across the globe to the annual show jumping event held in Hong Kong.

Fifty one horses were accompanied by eight professional grooms, and a veterinarian as they made the round-trip journey from Liege Airport to the Hong Kong International Airport.

The cargo included Hong Kong Longines Grand Prix winner Aquila HDC, Paris Longines Grand Prix winner Cornet D’Amour, Pegase du Murier, Silver Deux de Virton HDC and Garfield.

Justin Carr, vice president of Etihad Cargo, said: “Longines Masters is the top show jumping event in the world, and we are proud to have been entrusted to transport these elite animals to this competition.”

“Our equine customers are important to us, and our focus on safe, comfortable and reliable services makes us a preferred partner for these specialist services. Last year, Etihad Cargo’s SkyStables transported over 2,500 horses across the globe,” said Carr.

The Longines Masters horses were transported on a Boeing 777 freighter equipped with a specially designed ventilation structure, temperature-control system, and two vital components.

Boeing 777 freighter is equipped with IATA-approved horse ‘air stalls’, designed with non-slip floors and covered with absorbent materials. The stalls are stocked with hay and water for the horses to remain fed and hydrated throughout the journey.

A team of professional grooms and veterinarians handled the horses while loading and the entire duration of the flight. They regularly visited the horses to keep them comfortable and calm.

Etihad Cargo operates a fleet of five wide-body Boeing 777 freighters, which has the capacity to carry up to 75 horses, and nine grooms at a time.

Original article can be found here ➤