Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Malindo Air, ATR-72-212A, 9M-LMF: Incident occurred February 27, 2018 at Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: A Malindo Air flight from Langkawi to Subang experienced a burst tire upon landing at the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport this afternoon.

Several flights were delayed as a result of the incident.

Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB), on their official Facebook page, said all 33 passengers on board the aircraft had been ferried to the terminal building at 5.05pm.

“The aircraft is stranded on the runway which necessitated the closure of the runway at Subang airport for take-off and landing.

“We regret to inform that there were some impact to flights whereby five Firefly and three Malindo flights were diverted during this period,” MAHB said.

Efforts to remove the aircraft from the runway were undertaken immediately to enable the runway to be operational as soon as possible.

MAHB later updated a second post saying that the runway has been re-opened and normal operations resumed at 6.30pm.

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

Eurocopter AS 350 BA, VH-PHU: Accident occurred July 04, 2017 in Bellarine, Victoria, Australia

A helicopter pilot's unintended topiary on touchdown at a Victorian winery sparked a safety investigation.

The pilot took a chunk out of a bush in July while landing on a tennis court at the Jack Rabbit Vineyard, with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau on Wednesday reporting he was too focused on a nearby wall to notice it.

The helicopter's main blades slashed the bush, sending offcuts flying onto nearby diners, but no one was injured.

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

Main rotor tip strike involving Eurocopter AS350-BA, VH-PHU, 9 km WNW St. Leonards (ALA), Victoria, on July 04, 2017

Investigation number: AO-2017-074

Final report:  https://www.atsb.gov.au

What happened

On 4 July 2017, a Eurocopter AS350-BA helicopter, registered VH-PHU and operated by Professional Helicopter Services, was chartered to conduct a flight between Moorabbin Airport and the Jack Rabbit Vineyard helicopter landing site (HLS) on the Bellarine Peninsula, Victoria. At about 1415 Eastern Standard Time, while landing at the HLS, the tips of the helicopter’s main rotor blades struck an encroaching bush.

History of the flight

At about 1310, the pilot volunteered at short notice to conduct the charter flight to the Jack Rabbit Vineyard. As the pilot had not previously flown to this HLS (a tennis court), he discussed the landing site with another experienced company pilot. Their discussions included consulting Google earth and ascertaining the safest way in and out of the landing site. The pilot also spoke with staff at the vineyard to inform them of his planned arrival and, at their request, confirmed that he would make his approach from the north, so as not to overfly the vines.

At about 1340, the flight departed Moorabbin Airport about 40 minutes later than originally planned. With two passengers on board, the pilot flew south for a scenic coastal flight via Port Phillip Heads, to the Bellarine Peninsula. The reported weather for the flight was for visibility greater than 10 km and a northerly wind at 10-15 kt.

On arrival, the pilot recognised the features of the HLS from his pre-flight planning and conducted a north-to-south, downwind approach, which was appropriate for the conditions on the day.

During the approach, the pilot identified the key boundaries of the landing site, which included a brick wall at the southern end of the site, but he did not see a large bush that encroached into the HLS. When established in the HLS, and believing that he had to make way for another helicopter, the pilot slowly hover-taxied the helicopter forward towards the south‑west corner of the landing site. During this, the pilot reported that he remained focused on the brick wall ahead.

At about 1415, the tips of the helicopter’s main rotor blades struck the encroaching bush (now on the helicopter’s right side). The pilot initially landed the helicopter, then soon after repositioned clear of the bush.

The helicopter was subsequently shut down and secured without further incident. There were no injuries. All three of the helicopter’s main rotor blade tip caps were found damaged. The sequence of the incident was captured on a smartphone and subsequently reviewed by the ATSB.

Pilot comments

Aware of the operator’s mantra to ‘not let commercial pressures influence the way you fly’, the pilot was content to fly the charter and felt adequately prepared for the flight. However, the pilot reported that, as the HLS was easily recognisable from his pre-flight planning and due to over‑confidence, he elected to abbreviate the usual 360° reconnaissance of the site. Instead, he conducted a sweeping 270° turn about the HLS, prior to his downwind approach into the landing site. The approach to the centre of the HLS was as anticipated.

Before manoeuvring within the HLS, the pilot ensured that the area around the helicopter was free of obstacles, but acknowledged that he did not notice the bush and how far it encroached into the landing site. The pilot commented that he was focusing on the brick wall as he moved forward and had discounted the right side of the helicopter.

Final report:  https://www.atsb.gov.au

Dick Trail: McCook Ben Nelson Regional Airport (KMCK)

By Dick Trail
The Way I Saw It

Our airport

Is it a virus? Maybe an itch that just needs to be scratched ever so often. Whichever your columnist was infected, badly infected, a long time ago and the itch continues every nice day even now.

Dick Trail
This old guy learned to fly the summer of 1953. Then as now, one has to be sixteen years old to go out in an airplane alone, “solo”, in the vernacular. I’d been infected long before that riding in my Uncle Willard’s war surplus PT-19 trainer and then again in his brand new 1946 Aeronca Chief. Mom’s brother had a hangar and grass airstrip on his farm south of Culbertson which rather neglected, still exists. Then too during WWII with the active McCook Army Airbase, this six-year-old kid could identify every B-17, B-24 and the giant brand new B-29’s flown low over our farm by flight crews training for war. Our farm a little southwest of McCook was aligned with the main runway at the base and on hot summer days, the crews flew low at reduced power to cool their engines after takeoff.

In my day the McCook airport, built after the war, consisted of three intersecting grass runways. There were two hangars and a small flight shack for pilots to gather. No airline terminal and not a bit of concrete to be found. Ben Frank ran the business, fixing airplanes, pumping gas, $0.37 per gallon, plus spraying crops with his fleet of J-3 Cubs. Ben also farmed producing crops on all the arable land that wasn’t dedicated to runways. He employed a couple other mechanics who doubled as spray pilots and helped him to teach others to fly.

The airport was a friendly place, especially for kids to hang out, touch airplanes, ask a million questions and beg rides. My dad owned a 1939, 50 horsepower, J-3 that he usually kept tied down under a big elm tree on our farm. For me to learn he moved our airplane to the airport where it was hangared tipped up on its nose back to belly with Ben’s other Cubs in the big hangar. Best I remember he paid my instructors $3.00 per hour to teach me the basics.

Oh, how things have changed! Now our runways and taxiways are all paved in concrete. We have a nice airline terminal. There are 43 individual city-owned hangars rented to various airplane owners plus a thriving Fixed Base Operation, FBO in aviation talk meaning maintenance and overhaul plus fuel sales, Av Gas $4.75/gal and large hangars for transient aircraft. Even a couple of us private individuals possess our own hangars. Taken as an economic entity our airport was estimated to produce for our community some $8.91 million worth of positive economic impact including a total annual payroll of $1.28 million at a last study done by the State of Nebraska in 2002. Probably way more today.

There are many airports across the nation where people live in homes with personal hangars attached or close by with access to a runway. For instance, the Leeward Air Ranch where my cousin and her husband lives in Florida. The code is that if the hangar door is open visitors are welcome. Friends, neighbors and even outsiders stop by to chat, look at the airplanes, especially homebuilt aircraft in progress of building and kibitz with the owners. . People gather to barbeque, eat together and maybe even nip an adult beverage after flying is finished for the day. Aviation is the attraction much like what happens every morning as friends gather to visit and swap “knowledge” at our local coffee shops. I have been privileged to visit the Stearman Airport in Wichita a flying community that boasts a really nice restaurant always busy with local residents and people from town who obviously savor the ambiance. I’d love to have something like that here.

Sadly though, in my opinion, our own local airport has lost its reputation as a friendly place to visit. For one the entire perimeter has been enclosed with a chain-link “wildlife” fence. For sure the occasional deer and coyote are kept out but foxes burrow under and enjoy their safe haven as do geese that somehow seem oblivious to the fence. People, however, are kept controlled; only allowed to come and go through locked gates. TSA is present and zealously controls access to the flight line in accordance with their charter to keep air travelers safe. Maybe that is the way it has to be but no more young kids, aspiring pilots, riding their bicycles out from town to watch, rub shoulders with pilots and beg rides to contract the aviation virus. No wonder that this country is currently facing a dire airline pilot shortage—kids don’t get a chance to satisfy their curiosity about learning to fly.

How to make our airport more visitor friendly? I’d love to make modifications to the inside of my hangar and simply move in full time. Grannie Annie says that isn’t going to happen and that is final! How about allowing people to build homes with attached hangars inside or outside the wire so that they could simply taxi to existing taxiways and use the airport as is? In fact there is a platted addition just outside the fence on the east side of our airport designed to do just that. Only one home built there and no access to a runway.

All those ideas are non-starters because some bureaucrat in Washington has decreed that if an airport accepts federal aid to build and maintain an airport there can be no access for residents who want to live on that airport. No full-time residents allowed. No matter that that federal aid comes from taxes levied on the sale of aviation fuel. A dumb rule in my opinion but it is what it is.

That is how I saw it.

Dick Trail

Original article ➤  https://www.mccookgazette.com

Ford Airport (KIMT) to start work on runway resurfacing April 30th

IRON MOUNTAIN — A runway resurfacing will tentatively close Ford Airport in Kingsford to commercial flights from April 30 through May 14, Dickinson County Controller Brian Bousley said Monday.

The main runway, which hasn’t had a major resurfacing since 1999, will be shut down during the project, which is expected to take about 15 days with crews working around the clock.

During construction, the county airport should still be able to accommodate Fed-Ex freight deliveries as well as air ambulance flights.

The start date of April 30 isn’t final, Bousley said, but that’s the target. SkyWest Airlines may provide updates as schedules are confirmed.

About $4.85 million in federal funding for the resurfacing and related improvements was confirmed in August. The runway is about 6,500 feet in length and 150 feet wide.

Both the county and the Michigan Department of Transportation will pay 5 percent, or $269,000, of the $5.4 million project. Bacco Construction Co. of Iron Mountain is the main contractor om the project.

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

Jetstar Airways, Airbus A320, VH-VGY: Incident occurred October 27, 2017 at Auckland International Airport, New Zealand

A clipboard left in an engine cowling during pre-flight checks was "ingested" into a Jetstar Airbus A320 before it took off from Auckland bound for Sydney, with the plane later forced to return to New Zealand.

An Australian Transport Safety Bureau report into the October incident states Jetstar has updated its aircraft dispatch procedures after a leading hand placed his clipboard into the engine cowling to protect paperwork from wind and rain.

"While preparing the aircraft for departure the leading hand placed a clipboard in the right engine which was subsequently ingested during start-up," the ATSB report released on Tuesday found.

"During the walk-around, the dispatcher noticed the clipboard in the right engine but, believing it would be retrieved prior to the aircraft departing, the dispatcher did not notify the leading hand or supervisor of the foreign object debris as per company procedures."

Tuesday's report reveals the leading hand realized he was missing his clipboard as the Airbus was taxiing but thought the dispatcher had it.

When he asked her about it the pair quickly realised it was missing.

"The ground crew returned to where they were preparing the aircraft and noticed paper debris on the ground," the ATSB report states, adding ground crew then organized for their operations area to contact the flight crew.

But 12 minutes after the leading hand first realized his mistake the plane took off.

A short time later the pilot was told the paperwork may have been sucked into the right-hand engine. The captain asked if there was also a clipboard involved and was advised by a company engineer on the ground that a piece of sheared metal had been found.

At that point, the flight crew decided to return to Auckland, landing an hour after the Airbus had taken off.

"The engine was inspected by engineers and paper was found throughout the engine. They also found minor damage to an engine fan blade and attrition liner," Tuesday's report states.

The ATSB found at the time there was no procedure in place for the ground crew to contact the flight crew in the event of a "non-normal or emergency situation" prior to or after departure.

There were no rules on how paperwork should be prepared and managed during adverse weather.

Jetstar workers are now given a specific warning about not placing items in the engine cowling and greater detail on checks and responsibilities.

Ground crew staff are told how to re-establish communication with the cockpit "such as visually gaining the attention of the flight or contacting them via radio".

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

Foreign object debris on the ground behind the aircraft (circled)

Investigation number: AO-2017-108

Final Report:  https://www.atsb.gov.au

Foreign object damage involving Airbus A320, VH-VGY, Auckland International Airport, New Zealand, on October 27, 2017

What happened

On 27 October 2017, at about 1900 Coordinated Universal Time, a Jetstar Airways Airbus A320 aircraft, registered VH-VGY, was being prepared for a scheduled passenger service from Auckland International Airport, New Zealand to Sydney, Australia. The captain was designated as the pilot flying and the first officer was the pilot monitoring.

At about 1909, the leading hand had finished loading the last container into the aircraft hold and was organising his paperwork. As it was raining, he decided to put the clipboard in the right engine (No. 2) cowling to stop his paperwork from becoming wet and blown by the wind, with the intention to retrieve it later. The leading hand went to the flight deck, gave some paperwork to the flight crew, and returned to the ground to organise the aircraft’s push back.

At about 1919, the dispatcher cleared the ground and servicing equipment from the aircraft and conducted the ‘duty of care’ walk-around. During the walk-around, she noticed the clipboard in the right engine and thought that the leading hand would return for it, so she continued with the walk-around. Soon after, the engines reportedly started normally.

At about 1925, when the aircraft was taxiing, the leading hand realised his clipboard with the paperwork was missing and thought the dispatcher had the paperwork. The leading hand asked the dispatcher about the clipboard and she mentioned she saw it in the right engine during the walk-around. The ground crew returned to where they were preparing the aircraft and noticed paper debris on the ground. The ground crew organised for their operations area to contact the flight crew.

At about 1937, the aircraft departed. Shortly after, when on climb through flight level 150, the flight crew received a radio call from the Auckland Approach air traffic controller to contact the surface movement controller. The captain handed control of the aircraft to the first officer and contacted the surface movement controller who advised that the ground crew had lost their paperwork and it may have been placed on the engine. The captain requested further information about the paperwork, specifically whether the paper was on top of the engine or inside the inlet. The flight crew checked the engine instruments and there were no abnormal indications. The surface movement controller confirmed that the paperwork was placed within the inlet and paper debris was found on the tarmac. The captain then contacted the company engineer at the airport and asked whether it was just paperwork or a clipboard with a metal clip. The engineer advised that a piece of sheared metal had been found. The flight crew decided to return to Auckland.

After landing at about 2048, the engine was inspected by engineers and paper was found throughout the engine. They also found minor damage to an engine fan blade and attrition liner.

Additional comments

The leading hand stated that, due to the wind and rain, he felt the need to shelter the paperwork. Normally, staff use the pushback tractor for shelter during adverse weather and to prepare paperwork for the flight. There is a metal box on the loader to store the folder. However, as the pushback tractor was not yet present at the bay, he used the engine cowling. He recalled that he did not feel pressured to rush the departure.

The dispatcher stated that she did not view the clipboard as a foreign object as it belonged to the leading hand and had the paperwork for the flight. She assumed that the leading hand would retrieve it later, prior to engine start-up.

The captain stated that, to obtain more information about the incident, numerous calls were made to other agencies, which took considerable time. Further, due to poor communications, he was unable to contact the operator’s maintenance controller to discuss the engine’s status.

Final Report:  https://www.atsb.gov.au

United upgrades jet service from University Park Airport (KUNV) to Chicago O'Hare International Airport (KORD)

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Beginning this spring, GoJet Airlines will provide service on behalf of United Airlines from University Park Airport to Chicago O’Hare using a larger, 70-seat aircraft that features multiple cabin classes.

United is the first carrier to operate this type of aircraft, the CRJ 700, on a scheduled basis at University Park Airport. Since United’s twice daily nonstop service to Chicago O’Hare began in January 2014, the flights have been with 50-seat regional jet aircraft. The CRJ 700 features six first-class seats, 16 economy plus seats, and 48 economy seats.

“The O’Hare service has performed very well year after year, and it’s been a win-win for both United and the travelers in the region,” said Bryan Rodgers, director of University Park Airport. “The scheduling of larger aircraft on that route is evidence of its success, and we’re looking forward to this aircraft joining our fleet at University Park Airport.”

The CRJ 700 offers a 40 percent increase in seating, along with additional comfort and choices for travelers. According to Jim Meyer, executive director of the Centre County Airport Authority, the upgraded service is a result of significant growth in the area and the popularity of the direct route. Meyer also indicated that continued schedule expansion could result in a third daily flight to Chicago.

“This announcement of a service enhancement by United — upgrading its Chicago service with larger jets and multi-class service — is yet another testimonial to Penn State’s tireless efforts to improve and expand commercial offerings to the University Park Airport,” said David Gray, senior vice president for Finance and Business/Treasurer. “The airport and the Centre County Airport Authority are undoubtedly committed to continually improving the flying experience for Centre County and beyond.”

University Park Airport offers daily flights to several major hubs in addition to Chicago, including Detroit, Philadelphia and Washington-Dulles.

For more information and reservations, visit www.UniversityParkAirport.com or follow the airport on Facebook.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://news.psu.edu

Has jet noise from Hawthorne Municipal Airport (KHHR) increased in the last 6 months?

Roxanne Ferebee has lived in North Redondo Beach with her husband Nick in the same home they've owned off Manhattan Beach Boulevard for the past 18 years. Six months ago, she began to notice airplanes flying overhead, something she had never paid much attention to before.

The noise, she said, is unbearable at times. One plane after another 20 minutes apart, mostly from the Hawthorne Municipal Airport, but sometimes from Jetblue flights coming out of Long Beach, continually pass overhead in what appear to be new flight patterns.

“It's a very piercing, whining sound,” said Ferebee of the jets.

She said the noise is so bad she hasn't slept well in months. She doesn't go outside in the yard as much anymore, and it's having an effect on her well-being. 

“I'm very disturbed by it. I'm stressed out. I'm anxious,” Ferebee said. “I hear them in the shower, washing the dishes. I can't watch TV because I can hear it over the TV.”

While complaints among her neighbors have not been widespread, enough residents have caught the attention of Councilmember Laura Emdee who asked City Attorney Mike Webb to look into whether something could be done.

"We are trying to figure out our viable option, but it's just too early to say,” Webb said.

In addition to potential legal action, Emdee said she was also speaking with Congressman Ted Lieu's office about remedies. 

The Federal Aviaition Administration sets flight path guidelines, such as not flying below 1,000 feet over residential areas. If pilots are violating those guidelines, then based on case law, the city might have a case, Webb explained. But if not, potential actions could be limited.

“The federal government limits what cities can do when it comes to airports. We're trying to review all of that,” Webb said.

In 2015, the city of Manhattan Beach examined a similar issue with flights passing low overhead after taking off at LAX. 

The changes to the flight pattern observed by Ferebee appear to coincide with the adoption of what’s known as FAA Nextgen radar with SoCal Metroplex, which is essentially a GPS-guided system for directing airplanes in crowded airspace.

The automated system may be directing planes on a turnaround after taking off at Hawthorne Airport then heading northbound. That turnaround happens to be just over Ferebee’s house.

"I'm going to hear it come over my house at about 1600 feet altitude. That's very low and very noisy,” said Ferebee, who’s become an expert on tracking flight path data on apps such as Flight Radar.

Flipping through her phone, she revealed photos of dozens of flights overhead.

“Sometimes the loop is large and I can watch the plane make its turn from every window of the house,” she said.

According to airport administrative analyst Guideo Fernandez, air traffic at Hawthorne Airport has actually decreased in recent years after a high of 104,000 flights in 2015. In 2016, there were 92,000 flights and in 2017 there were even fewer, Fernandez said.

The airport, opened in 1942 and owned by the city of Hawthorne and leased to a private company to operate, has instituted noise abatement methods such as altered recommended flight patterns. But once aircraft are off the ground, the airport has no control, Fernandez explained.

“Here and there we have a resident that might call, sometimes repeatedly," Guido said. "They are under the impression we can control the pilot and the aircraft, but we can't. It's like being out on the street to say you can't drive down this lane. It's a public right of way."

With Santa Monica airport reducing its runway length to disallow larger aircraft and other regional airports experiencing overcrowding, Ferebee fears that Hawthorne Airport only stands to get busier. It's already become a preferred take-off for private jets, he said. In addition, CalAir flight school, which relocated from Torrance Airport to Hawthorne two years ago, recently said it was expanding.

“At some point they are going to fly over someone's home, but do we just turn into an 18-lane 405 freeway over the house all of a sudden?” Ferebee asked. “I would like for them to stick with a flight path that's not disruptive to the community.”

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

Judge finds issues with Port’s airport contract claims: A civil engineering firm claims it was stiffed $70,000 by a paving contractor for work at the Astoria Regional Airport (KAST)

A Multnomah County Circuit Court judge has denied the Port of Astoria’s attempts to end before trial a case the agency brought against Astoria Regional Airport paver Corpac Construction Co.

Civil engineering firm Harper Houf Peterson, a subcontractor for Corpac, claims it provided $129,000 worth of services but were stiffed $70,000 by the construction company. The Port, overseeing the federal grant financing the airport work, took the case on behalf of the engineers.

The Contractors Bonding & Insurance Co., the entity responsible for ensuring payment through a surety bond, was named as a co-defendant. The Port’s lawyers claim the insurer is responsible for the bill.

The judge agreed with the defendants that there are factual issues in the case, such as the defendants claims that Harper Houf Peterson overbilled and did not perform parts of the contract properly. Corpac also claims the contract between the parties is ambiguous.

Trisha Cauthorn, president of Corpac, submitted testimony claiming Harper Houf Peterson billed for services such as clerical work for which her company is not responsible.

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

President Trump strikes deal with Boeing for new Air Force One planes

EXCLUSIVE: President Trump has struck an “informal” deal with Boeing for new Air Force One planes, according to the White House -- resulting from negotiations that started before he took office.

“President Trump has reached an informal deal with Boeing on a fixed price contract for the new Air Force One Program. Thanks to the president’s negotiations, the contract will save the taxpayers more than $1.4 billion,” Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley said Tuesday.

The deal is worth $3.9 billion. Officials say it represents $1.4 billion in savings from estimates of over $5 billion for two airplanes and related costs.

A Boeing official said the agreement covers two aircraft, “including things unique to Air Force One such as a communications suite, internal and external stairs, large galleys and other equipment.”

The company said in a statement: “Boeing is proud to build the next generation of Air Force One, providing American Presidents with a flying White House at outstanding value to taxpayers. President Trump negotiated a good deal on behalf of the American people.”

The president has been working to negotiate a new Air Force One deal ever since the presidential transition period in late 2016, when he complained on Twitter about the cost of the Boeing project and threatened to cancel the order.

He said at the time the costs were “out of control.” 

The original projected price of the contract was $3 billion, but costs kept rising. When Trump objected in late 2016, he complained that costs were creeping past $4 billion.

Now, the White House says the costs would have been over $5 billion. According to an official with knowledge of the program, though, the total cost estimate was always over $5 billion -- the official explained that Trump simply “was given bad information in 2016” when he tweeted that the cost was $4 billion.

The planes are meant to replace the aging Reagan-era aircraft currently in use. 

“I think Boeing is doing a little bit of a number. We want Boeing to make a lot of money, but not that much money,” Trump said in December 2016.  

Defense One reported last week that Trump was in the final stages of negotiating the deal for two new airplanes, and met with Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg at the White House.

The negotiations covered the overhaul of two 747 airliners.

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

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has reached an informal deal with Boeing to provide the next generation of presidential aircraft, the White House announced Tuesday. 

Deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said Tuesday that the president negotiated a $3.9 billion "fixed price contract" for the new planes, known as Air Force One when the president is on board.

It follows years of negotiations between Boeing and the U.S. Air Force — and Trump's personal intervention since his election.

In December 2016, Trump tweeted that costs for the program were "out of control, more than $4 billion," he added. "Cancel order!"

The White House now says the original cost estimate was actually over $5 billion for the two airplanes and development program.

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg met multiple times with Trump to discuss the Air Force One contract, most recently last week.

Gidley said the agreement would save the taxpayers more than $1.4 billion.

Boeing, in a statement, said it is "proud to build the next generation of Air Force One, providing American Presidents with a flying White House at outstanding value to taxpayers."

"President Trump negotiated a good deal on behalf of the American people," they said.

The agreement includes the two 747-800 aircraft, and the cost of modifying the commercial planes with the equipment needed to support the president, including external stair, large galleys and a secure communications suite.

As an example of the unusually high costs associated with Air Force One, the Pentagon announced in December that Boeing was given a $23.7 million contract to design, make and install refrigerators for the president's planes.

The White House said the deal would put Boeing on the hook for cost overruns. In 2011, Boeing agreed to a $4.9 billion fixed-price contract with the Air Force for a refueling tanker, the KC-46. Through late last year, cost overruns had reached about $2.9 billion in pretax costs.

Boeing is one of the largest employers in the Charleston region, where it assembles the 787 Dreamliner passenger jet. 

Original article  ➤  https://www.postandcourier.com

The U.S. deal with Boeing that lowered the cost of Air Force One by more than $1.4 billion isn’t the first one involving the manufacturer and President Donald Trump.

Over the course of the president’s first year in office, Boeing has sometimes signed agreements at the White House with Trump looking on.

Most recently, Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg announced in January during a joint press conference with Trump at the White House. that the country would purchase five P-8A Poseidon aircraft from Boeing, A derivative of Boeing’s Next Generation 737-800, the aircraft is used for long-range anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

Singapore Airlines inked a deal worth $13.8 billion with Boeing last November for 20 of the company’s 777-9 aircraft and 19 of its 787-10 Dreamliner jets. The airline had already placed an order for 30 of the Dreamliners, serving as the initial customer for the long-haul jet. The airline’s CEO, Goh Choon Phong, signed the deal at the White House, joined by Kevin McCalister, the president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, and Trump, who said the agreement would employ 70,000 people in the U.S.

Boeing signed a memorandum of understanding in September with Malaysia Airlines for 16 airplanes at a ceremony at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, D.C. During a meeting with Trump, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said the country intended to have the flag-carrying airline purchase more Boeing aircraft in future to help strengthen the American economy.

“We have committed to 25 planes of the 737 MAX 10, plus eight 787 Dreamliners, and a very strong probability—not possibility—that we will add 24 to 25 more 737 MAX 10 in the near future,” Razak said during the meeting. “So within five years, the deal will be worth beyond $10 billion.”

Trump also owns a Boeing 757, which he used to travel to various stops during his presidential campaign.

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

The Trump administration said it has reached an initial deal with Boeing Co. to buy and convert two jumbo jets to replace the aging planes that fly as Air Force One.

The informal agreement for the heavily modified 747s would save $1.4 billion from the original estimate, according to administration officials, and the total cost would be capped at $3.9 billion. The Air Force One deal would take the planned spending on new presidential aircraft and helicopters to $9 billion over the next five years, based on Tuesday’s announcement and Pentagon budget documents.

President Donald Trump had criticized the cost of the Air Force One replacement program before taking office, threatening in December 2016 to cancel it unless the price fell from a total estimated $4 billion at the time. Talks on replacing the existing jumbo jets that serve as Air Force One have dragged on for months, with the two sides agreeing on a fixed-price structure that would leave Boeing on the hook for any cost overruns, unless these are driven by changes to the jets’ capabilities.

“Thanks to the president’s negotiations, the contract will save the taxpayers more than $1.4 billion,” White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said Tuesday.

The White House didn’t comment on why it believed costs had inflated to more than $5 billion. Budget documents and officials previously pegged the price tag at around $4 billion.

Boeing said the $3.9 billion included the cost of the two planes, some design contracts already awarded and conversion work including “a communications suite, internal and external stairs, large galleys and other equipment.” Boeing has yet to be awarded the largest part of the proposed deal, for engineering and conversion work on the planes. The Air Force is also spending more than $300 million on new hangars for the jets.

The U.S. Navy also is buying a new fleet of helicopters to transport the president and officials. The Sikorsky unit of Lockheed Martin Corp. secured the contract in 2014 to provide 23 helicopters at an estimated cost of $4.8 billion.

The U.S. Air Force—which oversees the Air Force One program—last year agreed to buy two jumbo jets from Boeing previously ordered by a bankrupt Russian airline in an effort to trim costs. The two planes were once destined for sale to Transaero, a Russian carrier that collapsed in 2015. Most of that company has been absorbed into Aeroflot Russian International Airlines , the country’s state-owned flag carrier.

Boeing offered the Air Force a substantial undisclosed discount on the $387 million list price of each plane, according to a person familiar with the negotiations. The White House and the Secret Service changed the specifications for the new Air Force One fleet last year as part of the cost-cutting effort.

Work is due to start in 2019, with the planes entering service in the fall of 2023, but buying the two undelivered 747s would allow this timetable to be accelerated, said a person familiar with the new agreement.

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

Beech 76 Duchess, N6712P, registered to Ave Marina Aviation Company: Incident occurred February 26, 2018 at Long Beach Airport (KLGB), Los Angeles County, California

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Long Beach

Aircraft landed gear up.


Date: 27-FEB-18
Time: 00:30:00Z
Regis#: N6712P
Aircraft Make: BEECH
Aircraft Model: 76
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

Air Tractor AT-802A, N581LA, registered to Ag Concepts Inc: Fatal accident occurred February 26, 2018 in Greenwood, Leflore County, Mississippi

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Jackson, Mississippi
Air Tractor, Inc.; Olney, Texas 
Hartzell Propeller, Inc.; Piqua, Ohio

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


Location: Greenwood, MS
Accident Number: ERA18FA088
Date & Time: 02/26/2018, 1718 CST
Registration: N581LA
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR INC AT-802
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural 

On February 26, 2018, about 1718 central standard time, an Air Tractor, Inc., AT-802A, N581LA, collided with trees and an open field near Greenwood, Mississippi. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was being operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 as an aerial application flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the flight that originated about 1645, from the operators airstrip located in Morgan City, Mississippi.

A witness, who was located about 1 nautical mile east-southeast of the accident site, reported looking to the west through an opening in trees and seeing the airplane making passes from the east to the west. He then heard what he described as two nearly simultaneous "loud/hard" sounds similar to dynamite, with the second being louder than the first.

Damage to a tree located east of the accident site was noted consistent with the airplane being in a left bank less than 30°. Located on the ground west of the tree were three sections of the right spray boom and the right wingtip. An impact crater with sections of the overhead turn windows, light bar, hopper lid, and windshield frame was located about 515 feet nearly due west of the contacted tree, while a continuous ground scar measuring 176 feet in length oriented on a magnetic heading of 290° was noted between the impact crater and the inverted airplane, which came to rest heading 332° magnetic. The airplane was recovered for further examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: AIR TRACTOR INC
Registration: N581LA
Model/Series: AT-802 A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Agricultural Aircraft (137) 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation: GWO, 162 ft msl
Observation Time: 1653 CST
Distance from Accident Site: 9 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 19°C / 6°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots, 20°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.24 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Morgan City, MS
Destination: Morgan City, MS 

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:  33.506667, -90.270000

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.

Jim Risher

Greenwood - Jimmy (Jim) Earl Risher, Jr, 36, of Greenwood, MS, went to be with the Lord on Monday, February 26, 2018. His homegoing celebration will be at First Baptist Church of Raymond on Saturday, March 3, 2018. Visitation will begin at 9 a.m. with ceremony to be held at 12 p.m. Graveside burial to follow at Raymond Cemetery. 

With the heaviest of hearts, we share that our son, brother, and friend was taken from us in a plane crash. He was admired and respected by all that knew him. Never without a smile and always quick witted, Jim enjoyed life to the fullest and lived with Christian integrity. We have been blessed and honored to do life with this man.

Jim was an extraordinary and highly experienced pilot, commanding many different types of aircraft and has attained almost every pilot rating that the FAA allows. He has taught numerous people to fly, many that now have flying careers. Jim has amassed thousands of hours as an Agricultural Pilot. He was a high-energy and charismatic aerobatic performer, a master of showmanship. 

Jim had a great love of hunting, fishing and anything outdoors, ever willing to assist, teach and lend a helping hand. He was always eager to put noses to the ground and sniff out the latest track with The Blood Trailing Dogs. 

Jim is survived by daughter, Shelby Risher of Montrose, CO, father, Jimmy (Wanda) Risher of Terry, mother, Cindy Risher Seal of Raymond, sister, Anna (Christopher) Kimmons of Clinton, grandparents, Wally and Gloria Fields of Crystal Springs.

He was preceded in death by grandparents, Sidney, Sr and Ollie Rhea Risher of Terry, and cousin, Brian Risher of Flora.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to: USA Advanced Aerobatic Team, PO Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3096, www.iac.org/TeamUSA ; or The Super Hunt - for disabled youth, In memory of Jim Risher, Foundation MWFP, PO Box 14194, Jackson, MS 39236, www.foundationMWFP.com (Jim Risher).

GREENWOOD, Miss. (AP) — A crop duster has died after a crash between Greenwood and Itta Bena.

The Greenwood Commonwealth reports 37-year-old Jimmy E. Risher died about 5:15 p.m. Monday after his 2015 AT-802 plane went down in a field.

Leflore County Coroner Debra Sanders says Risher lived in Sidon and worked for Ag Concepts out of Morgan City, Mississippi, for five years.

Sanders says Risher was spraying a field for farmer Ray Makamson when the plane went down.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.

Mooney M20C, N9360V: Incident occurred February 26, 2018 at Rockwall Municipal Airport (F46), Texas

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; North Texas

Aircraft landed gear up.


Date: 26-FEB-18
Time: 23:00:00Z
Regis#: N9360V
Aircraft Make: MOONEY
Aircraft Model: M20C
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
State: TEXAS

Cessna 172S Skyhawk SP, N9520Z, registered to Edwin Jones Aviation LLC: Accident occurred January 24, 2018 at McKinney National Airport (KTKI), Collin County, Texas


The student pilot reported that, during the approach to land, the airplane was high, and as she descended, the airspeed increased. She added that, during the touchdown, the airplane bounced three times, and the nose landing gear collapsed.

The student pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The student pilot's improper approach and landing flare, which resulted in a porpoised landing.


Landing flare - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Student pilot (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Abnormal runway contact (Defining event)
Landing gear collapse

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Irving, Texas

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

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms


Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Location: McKinney, TX
Accident Number: GAA18CA143
Date & Time: 01/24/2018, 1100 CST
Registration: N9520Z
Aircraft: CESSNA 172
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Abnormal runway contact
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

The student pilot reported that during the approach to land, the airplane was high, and as she descended the airspeed increased. She added that, during the touchdown, the airplane bounced three times and the nose landing gear collapsed.

The student pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. 

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: Student
Age: 24, Female
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 11/29/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 30 hours (Total, all aircraft), 24 hours (Total, this make and model), 1 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 16 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 6 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N9520Z
Model/Series: 172 S
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2013
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal; Utility
Serial Number: 172S11278
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 01/10/2018, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2558 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2128.1 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-360-L2A
Rated Power: 180 hp
Operator: Menagerie Enterprises, Inc.
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Pilot School (141); Commuter Air Carrier (135); On-demand Air Taxi (135)
Operator Does Business As: MNGS
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KTKI, 586 ft msl
Observation Time: 1653 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 348°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 12°C / -6°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.49 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: McKinney, TX (TKI)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: McKinney, TX (TKI)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 1045 CST
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Concrete
Airport Elevation: 588 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 18
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 7002 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Traffic Pattern 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 33.180278, -96.588611 (est)