Monday, February 19, 2018

Cessna 172N Skyhawk, N7328F, registered to Marianas Air Transfer Inc and operated by Star Marianas Air, Inc: Accident occurred February 19, 2018 at Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport (PGSN), Obyan, Northern Mariana Islands

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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Honolulu, Hawaii

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N7328F


National Transportation Safety Board - Aviation Accident Preliminary Report

Location: Obyan, MP
Accident Number: WPR18LA092
Date & Time: 02/19/2018, 1730 LCL
Registration: N7328F
Aircraft: CESSNA 172
Injuries: 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Aerial Observation - Sightseeing 

On February 19, 2018, about 1730 Chamorro standard time, a Cessna 172N, N7328F, was substantially damaged during a forced landing at the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport (PGSN), Obyan, Northern Mariana Islands. The commercial pilot and passenger received minor injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings and empennage when it exited the runway surface and nosed over. The airplane was registered to Marianas Air Transfer Inc., and operated by Star Marianas Air, Inc. under the provisions of Title14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an aerial observation flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed. The local flight departed from PGSN about 1722.

According to the operator, the pilot reported a rough running engine and a loss of power about five minutes after departure. The airplane was 3 miles east of the airport, and about 2,000 ft mean sea level (msl). He contacted tower controllers at PGSN with the intention to return to the airport and was instructed to enter the left downwind for runway 7. Meanwhile, the pilot pumped the throttle control which successfully restored the engine to normal power. While approaching the left downwind for runway 7, the engine began to run rough and power decreased to 1,000 rpm; pumping the throttle control had no effect on the engine power. Subsequently, the pilot contacted the tower controllers and declared an emergency and was given clearance to land on runway 25, an 8,700 ft long, dry, asphalt runway. Due to the traffic in the area, the pilot opted to perform a straight-in approach. According to tower controllers, the airplane was high as it crossed the threshold of runway 25 and had a high ground speed as it landed with approximately 1,000 ft of runway remaining. The airplane bounced several times, and according to the pilot, he then veered the airplane to the right, off the runway. The airplane collided with a ditch and nosed over.

The airplane came to rest inverted on the north side of the runway near the approach end of runway 7. The vertical stabilizer and rudder were crushed, and the wings were buckled.

The wreckage was relocated to a secure location for further examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N7328F
Model/Series: 172 N
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Star Marianas Air, Inc.
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Certificate of Authorization or Waiver (COA); Commuter Air Carrier (135); On-demand Air Taxi (135)
Operator Does Business As:
Operator Designator Code: 1SMJ 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PGSF, 10 ft msl
Observation Time: 0654 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C / 23°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 2900 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 13 knots, 70°
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.88 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Obyan, MP (GSN)
Destination: Obyan, MP (GSN)

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:  15.114722, 145.716667 (est) 




Star Marianas Air, Inc.
For Immediate Release

At about 5:30 pm a Cessna 172N Skyhawk landed short of the approach end of runway 7 after it departed on a sightseeing flight with one passenger. The pilot reportedly experienced a loss of performance and decided to return to the airport but was unable to complete the landing on the runway. The aircraft landed short of the runway on the airport property. The pilot and passenger were reported to have minor injuries and were transported to CHCC for evaluation.

The cause of the performance loss is being researched by STAR Marianas Air mechanics. The flight was being conducted under FAA flight-seeing rules. NOTE: The flight seeing operation, the aircraft, and the pilot are NOT part of STAR Marianas Air certificated airline operations. No other information is available at this time.


Star Marianas Air, Inc. 

Two people were hurt when a Star Marianas aircraft made an emergency landing at the Saipan airport Monday afternoon.

Variety gathered that the pilot and passenger of a Cessna 172N Skyhawk were transported to the Commonwealth Health Center for treatment.

As of 8:30 p.m., Monday, the Commonwealth Ports Authority and its Aircraft Rescue & Firefighting or ARFF unit were still preparing an official report.

The incident happened at 5:30 p.m. when the aircraft landed short of the approach end of runway 7. Witnesses said they saw the plane “flip over.”

At 8:06 p.m., Monday, Star Marianas administrative manager Alma G. Canlas released the following preliminary statement:

“A Cessna 172 aircraft landed short of the approach end of runway 7 after it departed on a sightseeing flight with one passenger. The pilot reportedly experienced a loss of performance and decided to return to the airport but was unable to complete the landing on the runway.

“The aircraft landed short of the runway on the airport property. The pilot and passenger were reported to have minor injuries and were transported to CHC for evaluation.

“The cause of the performance loss is being researched by STAR Marianas Air mechanics. The flight was being conducted under FAA flight-seeing rules.”

Star Marianas added that the flight-seeing operation, the aircraft and the pilot are not part of Star Marianas Air’s certified airline operations.

Star Marianas said no other information about the incident was available.

As of 8 p.m., Monday, the aircraft was still on the runway.

At 9:28 p.m., Monday, the fire department issued the following statement:

“On Monday, Feb. 19, 2018 at 5:34 p.m., the Department of Fire and EMS received a call from CPA ARFF reporting a plane crash inside the airport. At 5:36 p.m., Rescue-1 and Forestry-1 from the Susupe Fire Station, Engine-2 and Medic-2 from the Garapan Fire Station and Medic-4 from the Koblerville Fire Station were dispatched.

“At 5:58 p.m., DFEMS EMTs were met by ARFF inside the airport who had moved the patients from the crash site. The two individuals were a male and female. Our EMTs conducted an assessment of the two individuals before transporting.

“The first patient is a 25-year-old Caucasian male who was the pilot of the aircraft was complaining of left arm pain.

“The second patient is a 25-year-old Chinese female, who was the passenger, was complaining of facial pain. The patient sustained minor abrasions and redness to the face.

“Both patients were transported to CHC at 6:12 p.m. and arriving at 6:28 p.m.

“No information regarding the patient’s treatment at CHC and current condition will be released by DFEMS.”

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

United States company still seeking pilots for Australian Defence Force surveillance role

An American company awarded a multi-million-dollar Australian Defence Force contract to provide aerial surveillance of the Pacific and which was supposed to start in early December is still trying to hire pilots for the job.

And the contract won by the Maryland-based Technology Service Corporation to conduct the surveillance has no special requirement to employ Australians.

The revelations are the latest issues to be associated with the controversial operation which is yet to fly one mission after the company’s sole surveillance plane, a Cessna 337, was stranded in the Federated States of Micronesia in December.

In an embarrassing incident, the stranding occurred when the plane was flown for a photo op for the Defence Department in December, leading Micronesia authorities to question whether it had the appropriate permits.

Despite the grounding, Defence Minister Marise Payne last month issued a press release touting the surveillance operation as having started.

Last week the Australian ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia, George Fraser, confirmed no surveillance flights had occurred.

The Australian has since found that Technology Service Corporation is still advertising for pilots for the operation.

The advertisement on the company website says TSC has immediate openings for pilots for civil fisheries enforcement maritime surveillance missions at locations in the central and western Pacific.

“Missions are planned and flown in accordance with air tasking orders received. TSC will provide training for the mission and aircraft operations,” it says.

The advertisement, which has also appeared on various US job-seeking internet sites, says the job is based out of Los Angeles. Among qualifications required is the need to hold a US passport.

TSC referred all media queries to the Australian Defence Force.

Defence, however, has repeatedly refused to explain exactly how the situation unfolded or what exactly are the permit issues that need to be sorted to enable the aircraft to depart the tiny island of Yap and fly to Palau to start operations.

A spokesman would only say that the program would be implemented through a phased approach and all “aviation and non-aviation establishment aspects of the program are progressing to schedule”.

He said all tenderers for the contract had been foreign companies or Australian subsidiaries of a foreign-owned parent company.

“The tender responses were rigorously assessed against mandatory Australian industry capability requirements and the Technology Service Corporation proposal offered the most robust and cost effective solution,” he said.

On Monday a spokesman for Senator Payne blamed the “implementation of new processes” for the situation relating to the surveillance.

“This includes regional test flights; assessment of up to 15 national airfields; developing and testing communications with the Forum Fisheries Agency and national patrol boat headquarters; and establishing maintenance and fuel supplies across the region,’’ he said.

“As noted in the release, these arrangements have commenced, with the implementation of the 30-year regional program progressing to schedule.

“This includes engagement with regional nations and the Forum Fisheries Agency, and a program of further flights across the region over the coming months.”

The comments came in response to calls from the opposition for an explanation into the delay, with Labor defence spokesman Richard Marles saying: “The minister needs to step up and tell Australians when these surveillance flights are going to start and how we’re going to get value from money from this contract.”

The program is supposed to work in conjunction with local patrol boats monitoring illegal fishing, smuggling and ship movements across millions of square kilometres of the central and western Pacific.

The aerial surveillance is under the operational control of the Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) via an memorandum of understanding with the Australian Defence Force, which is also funding the service.

The area supposed to be under surveillance encompasses the exclusive economic zones of 15 member nations of the FFA.

The federal government’s official tender records state the Defence Department’s contract with Technology Service Corporation is worth $68,3888,590 and is to provide “security surveillance and detection” for the Pacific maritime security program from December 8, 2017 to December 7, 2023.

Technology Service Corporation website describes itself as “a high-technology company primarily engaged in providing engineering services to the US government”.

Original article ➤ https://www.theaustralian.com.au

Maharashtra signs Memorandum of Understanding with pilot for aircraft unit at Palghar

Under the MoU, the government will help Jet Airways pilot Amol Yadav's company, Thrust Aircraft Pvt Ltd, to manufacture 19-seater planes at Palghar in Dahanu.




More than two months after the aircraft he built was given a registration certificate by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the Maharashtra government on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Jet Airways pilot Amol Yadav at the Magnetic Maharashtra conclave. Under the MoU, the government will help Yadav’s company, Thrust Aircraft Pvt Ltd, to manufacture 19-seater planes at Palghar in Dahanu.

Six years after being built on the terrace of Yadav’s apartment building in Charkop, suburban Mumbai, the six-seater aircraft received DGCA registration certification on November 20, 2017. Named after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, the aircraft VT- NMD is yet to acquire a flying licence from the safety body. The MoU was signed on Monday in presence of Fadnavis and state Industries Minister Subhash Desai. “It is a proud moment for me. My family and I have worked on this project for 17 years. Through co-operation from the government, I am sure to achieve greater heights,” Amol said.

According to the MoU, the government will allot Yadav at least 157 acres of land in Palghar to set up his aircraft manufacturing unit. “The government will help me with other facilities including water and electricity required for aircraft manufacturing. I will be required to build at least one 19-seater aircraft by the end of 2018. After this MoU, I expect the land will be handed over to me sooner. The facility is expected to generate job opportunities for 10,000 people,” Amol added.

Officials said the MoU with Thrust Aircraft is the first step towards an indigenous aircraft manufacturing company in the state. In the coming six years, the company expects an investment of Rs.35,000 crore in the aerospace sector in the state through the aircraft manufacturing unit. This would be invested by small and medium scale operators who would want their aircraft to be manufactured in the state. “We will help Yadav with initial investments but it will be difficult to quote a proper figure right now. We want to make many more Amols from this initiative,” said Kaustubh Dhavase, officer on special duty to Chief Minister Fadnavis.

On November 20, 2017, Fadnavis formally handed over the DGCA certificate to Yadav. At the ‘Make In India’ mega-event in Mumbai in 2016, Yadav had displayed the aircraft for the first time. “I would require an initial investment of Rs 500 crore for setting up the company. We are yet to decide on the way in which we would generate that,” Amol added. The aircraft spanning 31 feet in length was manufactured at a cost of Rs 5 crore. He expects to receive the flying licence from DGCA within a month’s time, he said.

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

Greater Binghamton Airport (KBGM), Johnson City, Broome County, New York

 TOWN OF MAINE (WBNG) -- Broome County Executive Jason Garnar made an announcement about economic development at the Greater Binghamton Airport Monday afternoon.

"Broome County has entered into a contract with Evolution Jets to lease hangar space at the airport. Evolution is a private aviation company that specializes in chartering jets. It will also bring at least twenty jobs to our community and more in the future," Garnar said. "Evolution could have picked any of the hundreds of other airports in the United States, but they chose Broome County."

Garnar was joined by Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, Broome County Commissioner of Aviation David Hickling, President and CEO of the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce Jennifer Conway and Jamie Thomas, the owner of Evolution Jets.

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



TOWN OF MAINE (WBNG) -- The Greater Binghamton Airport has been a constant concern for travelers in the Southern Tier. Airlines have come and gone creating an uncertain future for travelers. With a private charter jet company coming soon to the airport,12 News took a look at the not-so-distant past of the airport. 

It was home to American Airlines, United Airlines, and Delta, offering thousands of flights to major connecting hubs, including Philadelphia, Newark, and Detroit. 

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, in 2006, nearly a quarter million passengers made their way through the airport each year.  

However, fast forward to 2016, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics shows about 140,000 passengers flew through Binghamton. In 2017, only 70,000 passengers traveled through the airport.                     

So why aren't travelers booking return flights at the Binghamton airport? One reason is that they don't have nearly as many options.

Within a span of a few months, two of its three major airlines decided to leave taking key connections with them. 

In November 2016, United Airlines left, cutting off ties with connections in Newark. In February, American Airlines decided it would stop servicing flights to Philadelphia. That left Delta the only remaining airline, with Detroit as its only destination. 

Commissioner of aviation David Hickling said its been tough dealing with the loss of two commercial airlines. 

"It was a huge setback," he said. 

Currently, the airport has either two or three departing flights a day which all head to Detroit. 

Meanwhile, other airports in our area are thriving as many have received millions of dollars in state expansion projects and all regional airports have at least three different airline providers, including Syracuse which boasts 17 domestic non-stop destinations. 

Management in Binghamton said additional options are crucial.

"It's our prime goal to get a flight hub to the south," said Hickling. 

He said, in the meantime, travelers do not have to worry about the Detroit flight disappearing thanks to a new contract. He also said new options could be on the way.

"We meet with airlines regularly and we're getting some positive feedback so we're optimistic that we'll make some changes here soon," he said. 

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

Richard B. Russell Regional Airport (KRMG) manager hoping for additional funding out of DC trip

Mike Mathews, Richard B. Russell Regional Airport manager


The Rome Floyd Chamber of Commerce is reporting an early sell-out for its annual trip to lobby lawmakers and federal agencies in Washington.

Richard B. Russell Regional Airport Manager Mike Mathews said meetings with FAA leadership have been invaluable in the past and he’s hoping discussions this year will result in more money for a couple of big projects.

Among the topics locals hope to discuss is funding for security fencing near an extension of the runway. The engineering has been completed but Mathews is seeking funding of close to $615,000 for the perimeter fencing, most likely in the FY 2020 spending cycle.

“We decided to wait until after the runway extension was completed to do it,” Mathews said.

Mathews is also hoping that local leaders will put a bug in the agency’s ear related to funding for a new paving overlay on the main north-south runway that would coincide with construction of the 1,000-foot runway extension.

The estimated cost for the overlay is $2.5 million.

Chamber Director of Business and Industry Services Ken Wright said that 26 people are signed up for the March 14-16 trip, but there would be some room for others who are willing to make their own flight arrangements.

“We’re going to be meeting with Representative Tom Graves, Senator Johnny Isakson and Senator David Perdue, we’ll meet with all of them individually,” Wright said. “We will also meet with representatives of specific agencies, typically that may be the Appalachian Regional Commission or maybe the Department of Education, the Federal Highway Administration.”

Wright said the visits have paid off in the past. Last year a group of us were in a meeting with Federal Highway Administration and they got GDOT on the phone.

“It was the first time we heard for sure they were going to build the Rome-Cartersville Economic Development Corridor,” Wright said.

Wright said the previous trips have also resulted in Appalachian Regional Commission funding for a number of projects. Some of those ARC funds have been for high-speed broadband internet service and infrastructure work at the airport.

Original article ➤ http://www.northwestgeorgianews.com

Crews working around the clock at Rapid City Regional Airport (KRAP)



RAPID CITY, South Dakota -  Crews have been working around the clock at the Rapid City Regional Airport to keep runways clear and flights on time.

Crews have placed priority on cleaning up the runway and the taxiway. The real cleanup however, will begin once the snow passes over the region.

According to Rapid City Regional Airport Executive Director, Patrick Dame, the airport hosts both passenger flights and emergency services as well.

“Typically we work very hard to keep the airport itself open, keep the runway open for aircraft to be able to land whether it's landing for a medical evacuation airplane or an air carrier,” Dame says.

Dame also says that passengers wishing to know the status of their flights should check online instead of calling in. People wishing to know the status of their flights can check at www.rapairport.com

Those driving to and from the airport on Monday evening are also advised to use caution along Highway 44.  

Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.newscenter1.tv

Augusta Regional (KAGS) sets new record for number of passengers using airport last year



Augusta Regional Airport broke a record for passengers in 2017, surpassing the number it reached in 2015 by nearly 30,000, the airport announced Monday.

More than 580,000 went through the airport last year, an increase of 5.18 percent over 2016, according to numbers provided by the airport. There have been increases nationally in the number of people flying so it is in line with that but it is also from people in the area using it instead of driving to alternatives, said Herbert Judon Jr., the airport’s executive director.

“People are realizing that the airport is a regional asset and instead of driving to other places are using our airport more frequently,” he said. Sometimes people go elsewhere because of a perception that flights out of Augusta are more expensive but often that is not true, Judon said.




“What we have urged people to do is to check,” he said. “Sometimes the flights are more expensive out of this market but sometimes they are not so it is important that people go and check and compare.” The airport Web site has a tool to help comparison shop flights, Judon said. Even if there is a price difference, “people look at the cost/benefit of driving two hours and some of the other challenges they may have and realize that small dollar amount still may be worth using the local airport,” he said.

Part of what is driving the increase is also more capacity among the airport’s two carriers, Delta Airlines and American Airlines, Judon said. The first flight for Delta in the morning is typically a McDonnell Douglas MD-88, which Delta lists with a seat capacity of 149, and those jets may make multiple trips to Augusta throughout the day, he said. American is phasing out its propeller planes “so you’ll see more jets of various sizes, 50, 70 and 90-seat jets that we’ll see from American as well,” Judon said.

The relationship between the airport and its passengers is “reciprocal,” Judon said: the more people use the airport, the more services and destinations it can offer. Increased demand could help the airport in its push to re-establish the direct flights to Washington, D.C. that it lost a couple of years ago during the merger of American and US Airways, he said.

“We’re pushing very hard for that and we are working with the airlines as well as some of the Washington airports to try to get that service back again,” Judon said. The airport is talking not only to its existing carriers but others as well, he said.

“We’re talking to all of them,” Judon said. “It’s an important service for us.The more that we can show demand from this market to that market, the more that the airlines will take heed.”

The move of U.S. Army Cyber Command to Fort Gordon in coming years could aid that as well, he said.

“The Army Cyber Command and other related-type businesses will definitely reflect very positively on us,” Judon said.

While the 2016 numbers had been basically flat compared to 2015, the increase last year is a sign of better things to come, he said.

“Things are definitely trending in the right direction,” Judon said. “We feel like the growth in our region, with cyber and some of the other major industries, is going to just continue to move us in the right direction.”

Original article can be found here ➤ http://chronicle.augusta.com

Iranian Airline, Under Sanctions, Bought U.S. Jet Parts Through Front Firms: Mahan Air used Turkish companies to buy engines, transactions that could complicate Boeing’s Iran contract



The Wall Street Journal
By Ian Talley
February 19, 2018 7:00 a.m. ET


WASHINGTON—An Iranian airline under sanctions by the U.S. for ferrying weapons and fighters into Syria repeatedly bought U.S.-made jet engines and parts through Turkish front companies over the past several years, most recently in December, federal investigators said in a new U.S. government filing.

The U.S. says in the filing that a Turkish woman set up a series of shell companies to buy needed equipment from U.S. suppliers for Iran’s Mahan Air, helping the airline circumvent the longstanding sanctions and fueling suspicions about Iran within the Trump administration.

The revelation could bolster a case by some within the Trump administration against granting Boeing Co. licenses to sell Iran scores of new planes, a multibillion-dollar deal inked after Tehran signed the landmark 2015 nuclear agreement. The filing documents purchases from September 2016 through December 2017.

The Trump administration is considering whether to grant the Boeing licenses to sell planes to another airline, Iran Air, as the White House takes a more aggressive stance on Iran and steps up sanctions. Administration officials are concerned the nuclear accord is inadequate and that Tehran’s growing influence is fueling war and militancy in the region. The U.S. also has accused Iran of violating international bans on ballistic missile development.

Iran has disputed evidence cited by the U.S. and the United Nations that it is violating weapon bans, and said U.S. efforts to change the nuclear deal and escalate sanctions against Tehran undermine the agreement and violate its terms.

Although the Boeing deal would benefit U.S. firms, some in the administration are uneasy about the signal it would send to Tehran.

At the same time, scuttling the Boeing deal could have far-reaching consequences, both for the nuclear accord and the jet makers. Boeing and Airbus, the European firm reliant on U.S. licensing for its own deal with Iran because of the large U.S. content on its aircraft, stand to lose an estimated $40 billion in contracts if the licenses are rejected.

Supporters of the nuclear accord, including those inside the Trump administration, have worried it could fall apart if Iran doesn’t see benefits from a relaxation of sanctions, including the Boeing aircraft deal.

Iran’s need for new aircraft and parts has fueled safety concerns, rekindled by Sunday’s crash of a turboprop plane in a mountainous region of the country. The operator, Aseman Airlines, which isn’t under sanctions, last year signed a purchase agreement for up to 60 Boeing 737 planes.

Outside critics of the Boeing licenses have argued that a Boeing-Iran Air deal could indirectly benefit Mahan Air. As Iran Air updates its fleet with the new Boeing aircraft, those critics argue, some of the old planes and parts would go to Mahan Air.

While sanctions against Iran Air have been eased, Mahan has remained on U.S. sanction lists for a decade because of its alleged collaboration with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and for allegedly ferrying fighters, weapons and cash throughout the region. The U.S. calls the IRGC, Tehran’s elite military group, a terror organization central to Iran’s Middle East involvements.

Mahan is sorely in need of new engines and parts for its aging fleet, analysts say. The airline repeatedly has sought to buy Boeing jet engines and airplane parts, but doing so would violate export controls and sanction laws, U.S. officials say.

So Mahan has used Turkish front companies to purchases its parts, according to a little-noticed filing earlier this month by the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security, or BIS, the small agency tasked with controlling exports of high-technology and other goods important to national security.

The U.S. says in the filing a Turkish woman, Gulnihal Yegane, has been prominent in that effort, setting up a series of Turkish shell companies to buy needed equipment for Mahan from U.S. suppliers. The filing also orders a ban on U.S. exports to Ms. Yegane and entities affiliated with her.

In a cat-and-mouse game between the BIS and Mahan’s Turkish front companies, Ms. Yegane and her corporate cohorts sometimes were successful, while other times, the BIS caught the transactions before the parts made it into Iran, the filing said.

Mahan Air didn’t respond to a request for comment. Boeing and Airbus have said they would comply with U.S. laws and regulations. Boeing declined to comment for this article. Iran Air didn’t respond to requests for comment.

An official at the Iranian mission at the U.N. declined to immediately comment.

Trigron Lojistik Kargo and RA Havacilik are two of the Turkish firms the BIS said Ms. Yegane owned or ran. In December, for example, Havacilik bought and shipped gaskets and other parts for Mahan’s Boeing aircraft to Iran, U.S. officials said. Ms. Yegane, through other firms, also managed to buy and ship to Iran two kinds of jet engines used on Boeing planes, the agency said.

An official reached at Trigron directed questions to Ms. Yegane in Turkey, who told The Wall Street Journal she had “a general understanding of the matter” but was unaware of the export ban.

She said she would review the export ban with a company lawyer but didn’t respond to additional requests for comment.

A Treasury spokesman declined to comment about the BIS filing in particular and about the department’s review of the Boeing licenses.

The spokesman said, “We take into account a variety of factors when evaluating requests and we make determinations consistent with our national security and foreign policy goals.”

He added: “Should the U.S. determine that any licensed aircraft, goods, or services have been used for purposes other than exclusively commercial passenger aviation end-use, or have transferred to sanctioned persons, we reserved the right under the [nuclear deal] to cease issuing—or to revoke—aircraft licenses.”

Matthew Levitt, a former senior official in the U.S. Treasury’s terrorism and financial intelligence office, said the BIS filing could lend weight to those opposing the Boeing sale.

“There’s no question people will be able to point to this as evidence that illicit actors in Iran are seeking Boeing components,” said Mr. Levitt, now at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a think tank that is a critic of Iran. “Therefore, one could make the case that it would be difficult to know where everything was going in a Boeing deal.”

Emanuele Ottolenghi, an Iran expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, which has long criticized the nuclear deal, says U.S. intelligence cited in the Iran sanctions and other publicly available research show there’s a likelihood that planes or parts approved under a new Iran-related license would be used in violation of U.S. law.

He also points to an increase in commercial flights from Iran into Syria since the summer of 2015, when Tehran and Russia coordinated their efforts to boost support for the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad amid the country’s civil war, he said. His suspicion is that “These airlines are not ferrying civilian passengers between Tehran and Damascus,” he said.

—Erdem Aydin contributed to this article.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.wsj.com

Renamed ‘Air Italy’, Meridiana vying for Italy’s top airline slot



Italian airline Meridiana will rename the carrier 'Air Italy' and aims to grow its fleet and passenger numbers fourfold by 2022 in a bid to become the country's national carrier, executives said on Monday.

Meridiana was put under new ownership last year after Qatar Airways bought a 49% stake in AQA Holding, the Sardinia-based carrier's new parent, with previous sole owner Alisarda retaining 51%.

The airline will make Milan's Malpensa airport its new hub.

Air Italy is Italy's second-largest airline behind Alitalia, which was put under administration last year after workers rejected a plan to cut jobs and salaries.

However, with a new restructuring plan - that includes the launch of new domestic and intercontinental routes - Air Italy aims to become Italy's "airline of reference", Reuters reported. 

By 2022, the carrier expects "to transport 10mn passengers a year and have a fleet of 50 aircraft," Chairman Francesco Violante said at the launch of the new brand in Milan.

Over the next three years, 20 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft will be added to Air Italy's fleet, the first of which arrives in April.

Qatar Airways will lease five of its Airbus A330-200 to Air Italy "at market prices", Reuters quoted Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker as having said.

“No details of planned investments were disclosed,” Reuters said.

Air Italy will fly out of Malpensa's main terminal, said Pietro Modiano, chairman of SEA, the company that manages the airport.

Air Italy will benefit from Meridiana’s extensive network, which connects the main Italian airports with Sardinia and provides connectivity with hubs in Europe, as well as in the US and Africa.

It will be powered by AQA Holding, in which Qatar Airways has a 49% stake. 

Qatar Airways, the national carrier of the State of Qatar, is the world’s fastest-growing airline, flying passengers to an extensive network of more than 150 global destinations on board its modern fleet in excess of 200 aircraft.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.gulf-times.com

Piper PA-34-200T Seneca, N14GQ: Fatal accident occurred February 19, 2018 near Minden–Tahoe Airport (KMEV), Douglas County, Nevada

Stephen Santo Filice
April 1, 1953 ~ February 19, 2018


The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Reno, Nevada
Piper Aircraft; Wichita, Kansas
Continental Motors Group; Mexico, Missouri 

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

Stunad LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N14GQ

Location: Minden, NV
Accident Number: WPR18FA091
Date & Time: 02/19/2018, 1130 PST
Registration: N14GQ
Aircraft: PIPER PA34
Injuries:  1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On February 19, 2018, about 1130 Pacific standard time, a Piper PA-34-200T airplane, N14GQ, collided with the ground northwest of the Minden-Tahoe Airport (MEV), Minden, Nevada. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to the Stunad, LLC, and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed. The flight originated from Meadows Field Airport (BFL), Bakersfield, California, about 0900 with an intended destination of MEV.

A witness, who was located outside her residence, about 2 miles north of the accident site, reported that she heard a loud noise that sounded like a sonic boom. She looked up and saw an airplane descending, while trailing smoke. The witness further stated she never saw any flames.

Review of preliminary radar data revealed a primary target, consistent with the accident airplane, was traveling on a northeast heading over the Sierra Mountain range, south of Lake Tahoe at an altitude between 14,100 and 14,500 ft mean sea level (msl). The target continued on a northeast heading until it was northwest of the accident site, where it proceded to make a wide right turn towards MEV. Shortly after, the track continued south and appeared to enter a descending spiraling pattern until the radar contact was lost with the target.

Initial examination of the airplane by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), revealed that the airplane impacted the ground in an inverted, wings level, slightly nose down attitude. There was no debris located within the vicinity of the main wreckage. The nose cone assembly, empennage, right wing outboard full-span-flap assembly, and left outboard wing section were not located with the main wreckage. A debris field was located about .5 miles south of the main wreckage, and contained the separated airplane parts. The debris field was about 800 feet wide by 3,100 feet in length.

The nearest weather reporting station was MEV, about 4 miles south of the accident site. According to recorded information at 1115, the winds were 350o at 15 knots, gusting to 29 knots, visibility 10 statute miles or greater, sky clear, temperature -2° C, dew point -13° C, and an altimeter setting of 29.82 inches of mercury. Satellite imagery 30 minutes prior to the accident revealed extensive cloud coverage over the region but also significant breaks in the cloud cover where the ground can be seen. A pilot reported about 30 minutes after the accident, about 10 miles east of the accident site, clouds between 9,500 and 13,000 ft msl.

The wreckage was relocated to a secure facility for further examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N14GQ
Model/Series: PA34 200T
Aircraft Category: Airplane
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: MEV, 4729 ft msl
Observation Time: 1915 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 4 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: -2°C / -13°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 15 knots/ 29 knots, 350°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.82 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: BAKERSFIELD, CA (BFL)
Destination:  MINDEN, NV (MEV) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:  39.049722, -119.794167 (est)

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

Stephen Santo Filice
April 1, 1953 ~ February 19, 2018

Stephen Santo Filice flew his last flight on February 19, 2018 while travelling home from Bakersfield, CA, after finishing Second Place in the Cal Club Championship at the Buttonwillow raceway at the age of 64.

Steve was born in Morgan Hill, California on April 1, 1953 to Edith and Gennero Filice. His fondest memories were of growing up in Morgan Hill, playing on the streets of Spring Avenue and Monterey Road. He spoke dearly of the time he spent at the family grocery store with his Nana and Nanu (grandparents) before the family settled in Gilroy.

Steve was truly a jack of all trades. He could fix or build just about anything. At every opportunity he would give you a history lesson or recount a wealth of minutiae. His passions were his children, flying, snow skiing, racing, travelling and a good glass of wine or whiskey while relaxing after a long day. Steve lived his life to the fullest, always challenging the status quo.

Steve is preceded in death by his parents, Edith and Gennero Filice.

He is survived by his brothers Frank Filice with his wife Marilyn and Larry Filice with his wife Lauren; along with Steve's children, Stephanie, Marco with his wife Monica, Gennero, and Mario Filice; and his grandchild Enzo Filice .

A beloved father, grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin and friend, Steve will be missed dearly by all those who were blessed to share in his life.

Following Steve's wishes there will be a small private celebration of life with immediate family on March 10th and his ashes will be spread at a later date.


In lieu of flowers his family is requesting donations be sent to AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association) https://www.aopa.org to support their foundation as it is a cause he supported.




DOUGLAS COUNTY, Nev. (KOLO) - The Douglas County Sheriff's Office confirms a body inside the wreckage of a plane that crashed was the only person on board.

About 11:30 AM February 19, 2018, Douglas County deputies and firefighters from the East Fork Fire Protection District responded to reports of a possible plane crash. 

Witnesses had reported seeing the plane go down in the vicinity of Hobo Hot Springs, in the northern portion of Douglas County. 

One witness reported seeing an explosion before the plane crashed, and the plane came down in more than one piece.

About an hour later, deputies and firefighters found the wreckage of a Piper PA-34-200T Seneca in the Hobo Hot Springs area, west of U.S. 395 and south of Plymouth Drive. The site is on Washoe tribal land northwest of Minden-Tahoe Airport.

The pilot has been identified as 64-year-old Stephen Filice of Minden. 

The plane was headed to Minden from Bakersfield, California, and there had been no emergency communication leading to the crash.

When the crash happened, emergency crews say it was cold and windy with some clouds.

The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration are investigating.

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


A 64-year-old Minden man was identified as the victim in a plane crash that occurred near Indian Hills on Monday.

Stephen Filice was killed after the Piper PA-34-200T Seneca he was flying crashed into a field at about 11:30 a.m.

Filice was flying the aircraft from Bakersfield, Calif., to Minden.

Sheriff's Capt. Dan Coverley said Filice called for a local weather report before the aircraft disappeared from radar and radio communications.

According to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, one caller reported seeing smoke coming from the plane as it went down.

Witnesses also reported seeing a piece of the aircraft fall off.

The aircraft may have been circling in preparation for landing at Minden-Tahoe Airport.

East Fork firefighters and sheriff's deputies combed northern Carson Valley, and a Care Flight rescue helicopter flew over the area, in search of the wreckage.

Filice was found with the aircraft, which was located upside down in a field on the Washoe Tribe's Stewart Ranch about 45 minutes after the first report.

The scene was turned over to the Federal Aviation Administration and Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the aircraft involved in the crash was built in 1978 and was not due for recertification until 2019.

The aircraft is registered to Stunad LLC out of Stateline. It is based out of Minden-Tahoe Airport, where Felice is a tenant.

Filice owns a home in Wildhorse that has been in his family since 2015.

It has been more than a year since the last fatal aircraft accident occurred out of Minden.

On Aug. 7, 2016, a motorized glider crashed east of the airport, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

Joseph N. Lowenhardt, 74, of Minden was killed when his glider crashed in the Pine Nut Mountains eight miles east of Minden-Tahoe Airport.

Prior to that, the last aircraft fatality occurred was in February 2013.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.recordcourier.com




MINDEN — The person who died in a plane crash on Monday in Douglas County has been identified.

Stephen Filice, 64 of Minden, died as a result of the crash.

At about 11:30 a.m., the Douglas County Sheriff's Office and East Fork Fire Protection District responded to a report of a plane crash in northern Douglas County.

They located the wreckage of a Piper PA-34-200T Seneca in the vicinity of Hobo Hot Springs, located west of US Highway 395 and south of Plymouth Drive at about 12:20 pm.

The incident is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Original article can be found here ➤  https://www.nevadaappeal.com



The Douglas County Sheriff's Office has identified the pilot killed in Monday's plane crash in Minden.

Authorities say the body of 64-year-old Stephen Filice was found inside the wreckage of a Piper PA-34-200T Seneca.

"They thought they saw a small explosion and part of the aircraft fall from the sky before it crashed," Captain Dan Coverley, DCSO, says after speaking with witnesses.

Authorities say the plane crashed near the area west of Highway 395 and Hobo Hot Springs Road in Minden. Authorities say it took off from Bakersfield and was headed to Minden when it crashed near the airport around 11:30 a.m.

Authorities say the pilot was in communication with flight control as the crash was happening, but were unable to stay in communication with him for long and eventually fell off of the radar.

Crews found the wreckage just after 12:15 p.m. in the northern part of the county.

The crash is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration. 

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



DOUGLAS COUNTY, Nev. (KOLO) - The Douglas County Sheriff's Office confirms a body inside the wreckage of a plane that crashed was the only person on board.

About 11:30AM February 19, 2018, Douglas County deputies and firefighters from the East Fork Fire Protection District responded to reports of a possible plane crash. Witnesses had reported seeing the plane go down in the vicinity of Hobo Hot Springs, in the northern portion of Douglas County. One witness reported seeing an explosion before the plane crashed, and the plane came down in more than one piece.

About an hour later, deputies and firefighters found the wreckage of a Piper PA-34-200T Seneca in the Hobo Hot Springs area, west of U.S. 395 and south of Plymouth Drive. The site is on Washoe tribal land northwest of Minden-Tahoe Airport.

No name is being released yet. The plane was headed to Minden from Bakersfield, California, and there had been no emergency communication leading to the crash.

When the crash happened, emergency crews say it was cold and windy with some clouds.

The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration have crews on the way. 

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




MINDEN, Nevada (News 4 & Fox 11) — 1 person is dead after a small plane crashed east of Jacks Valley Road in Minden late Monday morning, according to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

Captain Terry Taylor with East Fork Fire Protection District says the aircraft was located in the area of Hobo Hot Springs Road, west of US 395 shortly before noon on February 19.

Ian Gregor with the Federal Aviation Administration says the FAA lost radar and radio with a Piper PA-34 Seneca inbound to the Minden-Tahoe Airport from Bakersfield at 11:25 a.m.

A man who identified himself as the pilot's son tells News 4-Fox 11 that his dad, who was from the Minden area, was flying home alone from central California. Authorities have not confirmed whether or not there was anyone else on board.

Witnesses told authorities they reported seeing some kind of explosion before the plane crashed indicating that the aircraft may have experienced some type of technical malfunction.

Dan Coverley with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office says the plane appeared to be missing a portion of a the wing and tail.

The National Transportation Safety Board will take over the remainder of the investigation. 

Original article can be found here ➤ http://mynews4.com



Update 1:45 p.m.: One person is confirmed dead in the crash of a Piper PA-34-200T Seneca off of Hobo Hot Springs Road south of of Carson City.

"The wreckage contains at least one body of a deceased person," Douglas County Undersheriff Paul Howell said in a statement. "The identification of this person is being withheld pending the confirmation of the identity and notification of their next of kin."

Rescue crews found the wreckage of the Piper PA-34-200T Seneca just west of U.S. 395 and south of Plymouth Drive in Jacks Valley about 12:20 p.m.  

Update 12:20 p.m.: Crews have located a downed plane in Jacks Valley in the area of Hobo Hot Springs Road, said Capt. Terry Taylor with the East Fork Fire District.

No details are available on the condition of those aboard the plane.

Original story: Rescuers with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office and East Fork Fire District are searching for a plane that may have crashed in Jacks Valley near the Minden-Tahoe Airport.

Capt. Terry Taylor said crews are searching in the area of Heybourne Road, which runs along the west side of the airport. He said two people reported seeing a plane go down in the area.

"We have Care Flight searching from the air," he said. "Still haven't found anything yet."

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

MINDEN, Nevada (News 4 & Fox 11) —   One person is dead after a small plane crashed east of Jacks Valley Road in Minden late Monday morning, according to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

Captain Terry Taylor with East Fork Fire Protection District says the aircraft was located in the area of Hobo Hot Springs Road, west of US 395 shortly before noon on February 19.

Ian Gregor with the Federal Aviation Administration says the FAA lost radar and radio with a Piper PA-34-200T Seneca inbound to the Minden-Tahoe Airport from Bakersfield at 11:25 a.m. 

A man who identified himself as the pilot's son tells News 4-Fox 11 that his dad, who was from the Minden area, was flying home alone from central California. 

Authorities have not confirmed whether or not there was anyone else on board.

Witnesses told authorities they reported seeing some kind of explosion before the plane crashed indicating that the aircraft may have experienced some type of technical malfunction.

Dan Coverley with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office says the plane appeared to be missing a portion of a the wing and tail.

The National Transportation Safety Board will take over the remainder of the investigation.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://mynews4.com

Authorities have identified the person who died Monday in a plane crash in northern Douglas County.

Stephen Filice, 64, of Minden, was confirmed dead in the crash of the Piper PA-34-200T Seneca, according to a news release from the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

The crash was in the vicinity of Hobo Hot Springs, located west of US Hwy 395 and south of Plymouth Drive, at about 12:20 p.m., according to the release.

Only Filice was on board the plane.

The incident is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration.