Sunday, March 11, 2018

Roswell officials seek increased input on Air Force plans

Roswell officials are seeking for the Air Force to include area residents in discussions on its proposal to expand airspace use in southeast New Mexico.

The Roswell Daily Record reports area leaders met with Air Force officials this week, looking for the military branch to increase its dialogue with the public.
The Air Force announced last year that it was examining plans to possibly alter three Military Operations Areas in the state.
Some residents of southeast New Mexico have voiced concerns that altering the military's airspace could disrupt commercial flights, private aviation enterprises and air ambulance services.
The Air Force held public scoping meetings last year in Carlsbad, Truth or Consequences and Las Cruces, and it plans to hold additional hearings after the Environmental Impact Statement is drafted.

Original article can be found here ➤

Accident occurred March 10, 2018 in Batchelor, Northern Territory, Australia

Two survivors of an aircraft crash were airlifted by CareFlight’s Top End Rescue Helicopter yesterday afternoon.

It is believed the male pilot and his female passenger, both in their early 50s, ran into engine problems in their small light aircraft on a flight from Crab Claw Island to Batchelor. 

In an attempted emergency landing the aircraft overturned on boggy ground about 20 nautical miles northwest of Batchelor. 

Tasked by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), the Top End Rescue Helicopter with a flight doctor and flight nurse on board arrived at the crash scene at around 4.45pm.

The couple who sustained minor injuries were airlifted to Batchelor.

Operating the Top End Medical Retrieval Service on behalf of the NT Government, CareFlight crews praised the efforts of all first responders and Batchelor clinic staff. 

Original article ➤

Eurocopter AS 350B2 Ecureuil, N350LH: Fatal accident occurred March 11, 2018 in New York, New York

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

Rotorcraft reported engine failure and crashed into river and inverted in the water. 

Liberty Helicopters 

Meridian Consulting I Corporation Inc

Date: 11-MAR-18

Time: 23:07:00Z
Regis#: N350LH
Aircraft Model: AS350B2
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
Operation: 135

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

The Wall Street Journal
By Paul Berger and Andy Pasztor 
Updated March 16, 2018 6:18 p.m. ET

The Federal Aviation Administration has ordered helicopter operators to suspend “doors off” flights that require passengers to wear difficult-to-release harnesses.

The order comes days after a crash in New York City when a helicopter on such a flight made an emergency landing on the East River and rolled over. The five passengers who were wearing harnesses drowned. Only the pilot escaped.

“Operators, pilots, and consumers should be aware of the hazard presented by supplemental restraint devices in the event of an emergency evacuation during ‘doors off’ flights,” the FAA said in a statement Friday.

The FAA said that helicopter operators must suspend the use of such harnesses until ways can be found to mitigate risks posed by restraints that can’t be released quickly in an emergency. The agency also said it would review its policies on such flights to see if there are other “safety gaps” for passengers.

Doors-off flights, which have gained in popularity, offer unencumbered views and are popular for photography, but they require the complicated safety harnesses.

The parents of one of the victims of the crash, 26-year-old Trevor Cadigan, have filed a lawsuit against Liberty Helicopters, of Kearny, N.J., saying it was “grossly negligent and reckless” for placing him in a harness from which it was difficult to escape.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the harnesses. It is also probing why the helicopter was forced to land on the river and why its inflatable pontoons didn’t keep it from rolling over.

So far, investigators found nothing wrong with the helicopter’s engine or flight controls before the crash.

Despite high-profile government and industry safety initiatives, both the total number and frequency of serious U.S. helicopter crashes have remained stubbornly high in recent years. Last year, the overall fatal-accident rate in the U.S. for all helicopters inched higher, compared with the two previous years, according to preliminary data from the industry and the FAA.

Possible dangers of sightseeing flights also came under scrutiny last month, when a helicopter crashed and burned on a tour of the Grand Canyon, killing five British tourists and severely injuring the pilot and a passenger.

Stretching back several years, the FAA has taken action to improve the survival rate in helicopter crashes by requiring sturdier seats and more fire-resistant fuel systems.

Original article can be found here ➤

​NEW YORK (March 15, 2018)—The National Transportation Safety Board continued its investigation Thursday into the March 11, 2018, accident in which an Airbus Helicopters AS350B2 (N350LH) impacted New York’s East River.

The helicopter was substantially damaged when it hit the water and subsequently rolled inverted during an autorotation, killing five passengers and injuring the pilot.

Significant activities of the investigation include:

Interviewed Liberty Helicopters personnel, including the accident pilot

Conducted a teardown of the helicopter’s engine; no evidence of abnormalities was found

Examined structure of helicopter; no evidence of pre-impact breakup

Examined flight controls and found no pre-impact failure or malfunctions

Interviewed witnesses to crash; interviews continue

Obtained air traffic control voice and weather data, which is being reviewed in Washington

Examined float system on helicopter, and this examination continues

NTSB investigators are seeking videos that show different angles or aspects of the accident sequence. Broadcasters or witnesses with video are asked to contact the NTSB at

The tourist helicopter that plunged into the East River on Sunday, killing five passengers, suffered no engine problems or flight control malfunctions in the moments before the crash, the National Transportation Safety Board said Thursday.

In a short statement, the NTSB also said it interviewed the pilot of the downed aircraft, Richard Vance, as well as other personnel of Liberty Helicopters, the firm that was operating the helicopter on a sunset tour of Manhattan at the time. The agency did not disclose what was said in any of those interviews.

After experts tore apart the helicopter’s engine, “no evidence of abnormalities was found” and the helicopter itself had no evidence of pre-impact breakup, the NTSB said. It noted, however, that it suffered substantial damage when it hit the water around 90th Street and the East River.

Vance was the only survivor of the accident. He told police on Sunday that he believed a strap of some sort got entangled with a fuel shut-off lever, severing the fuel supply to the engine.

On Wednesday, the NTSB said its examination so far of engine flight controls found “no pre-impact failure of malfunctions.” An NTSB spokesman said that the fuel control levers were still undergoing examination.

The NTSB said it was also continuing to examine the float system on the helicopter. The floats on the aircraft deployed when it hit the water, but didn’t prevent the helicopter from turning upside down.

The NTSB didn’t disclose if its review had discovered anything about the passenger harnesses, items which have come under some criticism for their difficulty in being disengaged and possibly trapping the passengers after the helicopter crashed. FDNY personnel said they had to cut the restraints to free the passengers.

Original article can be found here ➤

The pilot of the helicopter, Richard Vance, after emerging from the frigid waters of New York City's East River. 

From top left, Brian McDaniel, Trevor Cadigan, Daniel Thompson, Tristan Hill and Carla Vallejos Blanco


The leading trade group for helicopter operators has, for at least two years, urged a halt to open-door tours such as the one March 11 that ended in the death of five people in the East River off Manhattan.

The Helicopter Association International, which also represents pilots and others in the industry, has been warning against the growing practice of allowing people to photograph from copters without doors and has refused to certify those operations, Dan Sweet, the group’s spokesman, said in an interview.

“We just believe that helicopter tours should be flown with doors closed,” Sweet said. “HAI wants to create the safest possible flight for the public.”

The five people who died when their helicopter lost power and had to put down in the East River were tethered to the craft by ropes attached to harnesses so they wouldn’t fall out through the open doors. They drowned after the helicopter rolled over and sank. Divers had to cut out the bodies, according to the New York Fire Department.

Investigators haven’t found evidence of mechanical problems with the engine, flight controls or other systems, the National Transportation Safety Board said in an email Thursday.

The pilot radioed “mayday” and said he had lost power shortly before the impact. NTSB investigators have interviewed the pilot, but the agency didn’t release any information about what he said.

The passenger harnesses, which differ from traditional aviation seat belts, attached people from the rear and would have been difficult to remove in an emergency, said Eric Adams, a professional photographer who took a flight by the same company on the same night as the accident. The passengers were given knives to cut the ropes in an emergency, though training on how to use them was limited, Adams wrote in an account for an online publication called The Drive.

The pilot of the flight was the only person who escaped after the Airbus SE AS350B2 hit the water and sank.

Tickets on the flight were sold by FlyNYON and the helicopter was operated by Liberty Helicopters. Attempts to reach the companies for comment have been unsuccessful. A statement on Liberty’s website said it was "fully cooperating” with investigations into the crash.

Earlier: Fatal Copter Tour Flew Under Looser Rules of Crop-Dusters

Doors-off photography flights have grown in popularity as the air-tour industry continually tries to come up with new ways to market itself. Companies in Las Vegas, Hawaii and elsewhere advertise such flights.

The government standards governing their operations can be less stringent than for traditional tour flights, according to a person familiar with the practice. U.S. aviation regulations exempt operations including crop dusting, fire fighting and “aerial photography or survey.”

The helicopter association’s Sweet declined to comment on what may have caused the helicopter to apparently lose power.

The group’s president, Matthew Zuccaro, has made his opposition to doorless flights known in conferences and in industry meetings, Sweet said. He reiterated the position as recently as earlier this month at the group’s Heli-Expo trade show in Las Vegas.

The association certifies the safety of helicopter operators and refuses to give its accreditation to companies that conduct tours with open doors.

The Federal Aviation Administration, which oversees the industry, is “giving urgent attention to the use of harnesses specifically for aerial photography flights,” it said in a statement on Wednesday.

“As a matter of overall safety awareness, we are preparing further communications and educational outreach to aerial photography operators and consumers on the use of these harnesses,” the agency said.

Original article can be found here ➤

Liberty Helicopters CEO Drew Schaefer

The chief pilot for the company whose helicopter crashed Sunday in the East River — killing all five passengers — spent more than eight years behind bars for repeatedly stabbing a woman during a Long Island robbery, The Post has learned.

Paul Tramontana admitted covering his victim’s face with a pillow and plunging a knife through it during the bloody, 1982 assault in Brentwood — which was spurred by his cocaine habit, court records show.

“Whether I penetrated the pillow or not I can’t say, but I did try to stab her through the pillow,” Tramontana admitted while pleading guilty to second-degree attempted murder.

The chairman and CEO of Liberty Helicopters, Drew Schaefer, 56, has his own skeletons in his closet: alleged stock scams that got him barred from the securities industry, records show.

While CEO of since-shuttered Americorp Securities, Schaefer solicited aftermarket orders ahead of a 1994 initial public offering and delayed purchase orders so he could sell shares to his customers at higher prices, the Securities and Exchange Commission alleged.

He agreed to fork over $200,000 of his ill-gotten gains in a 1997 deal with the SEC that ended his Wall Street career.

New Jersey court records show that Schaefer also was accused in 2003 by partner Alvin Trenk of diverting corporate assets of Liberty’s parent company, Sightseeing Tours of America, for his own use. The case was settled.

Trenk currently sits on Liberty’s board of directors, according to the company’s website.

Liberty has come under fire since Sunday night’s tragedy, in which the passengers drowned while tethered into the cabin of the chopper chartered by ­FlyNYON for a “doors-off” photography flight.

Only pilot Richard Vance survived.

The accident followed at least four others involving Liberty helicopters, including a midair collision with a private plane that killed nine people in 2009.

Tramontana, 56, who was paroled in 1990, was at the controls when a charter flight crashed in New Jersey in heavy fog in 2001. Everyone survived.

Tramontana’s criminal record didn’t keep him from obtaining a pilot’s license because the FAA disqualifies only ex-cons whose convictions involve drugs or alcohol.

But during Tramontana’s sentencing, his defense lawyer said the motive for his vicious robbery of the late Helen Ettl was “monetary problems” that arose while he was “involved with cocaine use and abuse.”

Tramontana and accomplice Michael Basile scammed their way into Ettl’s home believing “there was a sum of $40,000 in there at the time,” Legal Aid lawyer Robert Kenny said.

Ettl’s husband, the late Albert Ettl, told the judge that his wife suffered horribly during and after the April 14, 1982, attack that left her hospitalized for six weeks.

“She will never forget these men who dragged her from room to room, screaming at her to hand over her money, and repeatedly stabbing her,” Albert wrote in a letter opposing any leniency.

A spokesman with Liberty Helicopters said in a statement: “The SEC matter was a civil administrative matter that was resolved in 1998, twenty years ago.  The internal civil corporate matter was resolved ten years ago and resulted in Mr. Schaefer being named Chairman and CEO of Liberty Helicopters, and Mr. Trenk remains on the board.”

Original article can be found here ➤

Chief pilot Paul Tramontana, 56 (pictured), covered a woman's face with a pillow and stabbed through it with a knife during an April 1982 Long Island robbery,

The first lawsuit in the East River helicopter crash has been filed on behalf of the family of one of the five passengers killed.

In a complaint filed in Manhattan State Supreme Court, Kansas City aviation lawyer Gary Robb sued Liberty Helicopters and its pilot Richard Vance, as well as helicopter tour company FlyNYON for negligence in Sunday’s crash, on behalf of Nancy and Jerry Cadigan — parents of passenger Trevor Cadigan, 26, of Manhattan.

Robb, a noted aviation attorney, said in a statement the Cadigan family was “simply shocked and outraged that their son drowned in this manner in what was supposed to be a pleasurable sightseeing helicopter tour.” Robb added there was “no reasonable prospect” that Trevor could have extricated himself from the helicopter safety harness when the aircraft ditched in the river.

In a statement, Robb called the helicopter a “death trap,” adding that Cadigan “would have to be a Houdini to escape the situation.”

The harness system used in the American Eurocopter Corp. aircraft has come under scrutiny as firefighters said they had to cut the belt system to extract the passengers from the helicopter after it overturned in the river. All five passengers drowned.

A spokesman for FlyNYON said, “We are deeply saddened by the loss suffered by the family of Trevor Cadigan and will continue to work closely with the government authorities in their investigation of the accident.”

Officials at Liberty Helicopters didn’t return calls and email messages for comment Wednesday.

The AS350B2 model aircraft took off from Kearny, New Jersey, for a sunset tourist photography flight at 6:56 p.m., according to flight data information provided by Flightradar24, a company that provides live flight information about aircraft all over the world.

A partial flight path shown on the company’s website depicted the helicopter at about 375 feet and tracked it up the East River as it climbed to about 1,350 feet at a point just south of Roosevelt Island.

The flight path ends at that point because, according to Ian Petchenik, a spokesman for Flightradar24, receiving stations that normally triangulate the aircraft’s transponder were likely blocked from receiving data by buildings in the area. 

Despite there not being enough receivers getting a signal from the helicopter, it was still able to be tracked for altitude changes, Petchenik explained. The helicopter continued to climb to about 1,800 feet, apparently still over the East River, when it started to descend. The flight is shown to have ended at 7:06 p.m., according to Flightradar24. Newsday was referred to the radar tracking company by the Federal Aviation Administration.

It is unclear from the flight line imagery when the helicopter suddenly experienced trouble. Near the end of the flight, Vance was heard radioing, “Mayday, Mayday, Mayday!” to air traffic controllers at LaGuardia Airport. Vance then said he had engine trouble. Amateur video showed the helicopter turning in an easterly direction as it crashed into the East River.

After Vance was rescued by a passing tugboat, he told police that a passenger strap had become intertwined with either the emergency fuel shut-off lever or the main fuel supply lever, cutting off the flow of fuel, a law enforcement official said.

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Administration have been going over the heavily damaged helicopter at special facility at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn.

On Tuesday, the NTSB said it had recovered the flight data recording system from the helicopter, as well as its GoPro camera and other devices.

As part of the investigation, the NTSB was taking apart the helicopter’s engine and having “survival factors investigators” examine the passenger restraint system.

Original article can be found here ➤

Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub, N4511Y: Fatal accident occurred March 11, 2018 near Daybreak Airport (WA46), La Center, Clark County, Washington

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Portland

Aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances. 

Date: 11-MAR-18
Time: 13:00:00Z
Regis#: N4511Y
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA 18 150
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
Operation: 91

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

Mary Rosenblum

A Canby, Ore., woman piloting a Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub was killed when the plane crashed near an airfield south of La Center Sunday afternoon.

Fire, medical and police personnel were called to Daybreak Field, 4403 N.E. 290th St., shortly after 1 p.m., for a call about a crashed plane.

Clark County Fire & Rescue spokesman Tim Dawdy said firefighters arrived to find the Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub had crashed into some trees. The Clark County Sheriff’s Office identified the pilot as Mary H. Rosenblum, 65.

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office said the Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub crashed south of the grass airfield, and firefighters removed the victim from the wreckage.

Dawdy said firefighters sprayed firefighting foam around the wreckage to prevent any fires from sparking.

Rosenblum was traveling with another pilot, who was in a separate aircraft. The two friends are from Oregon and intended to stop at the airfield. The two had flown to other locations that day, the sheriff’s office said, and the other pilot did not see the crash.

The sheriff’s office said the FAA was investigating.

Original article can be found here ➤

CLARK COUNTY, WA (KPTV) -  A Canby woman died after the Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub she was piloting crashed in Clark County Sunday. 

According to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, at about 1 p.m. Sunday, someone reported a Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub crash at Daybreak Field, which is in the 4100 block of Northeast J.A. Moore Road, between La Center and Battle Ground. 

Deputies and fire personnel responded to the location and found the crashed aircraft south of the grass field in a treed area. They found a Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub on the ground with significant damage.  

The pilot, who was the only occupant of the aircraft, was found dead in the wreckage. The sheriff's office identified the pilot as 65-year-old Mary H. Rosenbloom, a resident of Canby. 

The sheriff's office said Rosenbloom was traveling with another aircraft piloted by a friend. Both pilots are from Oregon and had intended to stop at the grass field. 

The other pilot did not witness the crash.

Before the incident, they had flown to other locations earlier in the day, according to the sheriff's office. 

The cause of the crash is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration. 

Original article can be found here ➤

LA CENTER, Wash. — A woman died in a Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub crash in Clark County on Sunday afternoon.

The Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub crashed into a wooded area at about 1 p.m., south of Daybreak Field, a grassy field located in the 4100 block of J.A. Moore Road between La Center and Battleground.

The plane sustained significant damage, and the pilot, 65-year-old Mary H. Rosenbloom of Canby, was found dead inside the wreckage.

Rosenblum was traveling with a friend, who was piloting a different aircraft. The two pilots, both from Oregon, intended to stop at Daybreak Field. The other pilot did not witness the crash.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the cause of the crash.

U.S. Pares Back Use of Turkish Base Amid Strains With Ankara: Military reduces presence at site key to fighting Islamic State in Syria

The Wall Street Journal
By Gordon Lubold,  Felicia Schwartz and  Nancy A. Youssef
Updated March 11, 2018 9:58 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON—The U.S. military has sharply reduced combat operations at Turkey’s Incirlik air base and is considering permanent cutbacks there, according to U.S. officials, a shift they said was driven by tensions between Washington and Ankara.

The base was the centerpiece of the U.S.-led fight against Islamic State for several years, but conflicting aims in Syria have driven a wedge between the U.S. and Turkey. The drawdown is among the strongest consequences yet of those fraying ties.

A squadron of American A-10 ground attack jets was moved from Incirlik to Afghanistan in January, leaving only refueling aircraft currently at the Turkish base. At the time, the Pentagon said it was stepping up operations in Afghanistan.

At the same time, the U.S. military has gradually reduced the number of military family members living on the base, shrinking its footprint in Turkey.

U.S. officials maintain that the U.S. remains committed to Turkey, a North Atlantic Treaty Organization ally, and that there are no immediate plans for a further drawdown of forces and aircraft. The A-10s, officials said, could return to the base at any time.

An American drawdown at the base could rattle the NATO alliance amid tensions between the U.S.-led coalition and Russia over the war in Syria, where Moscow backs the regime of President Bashar al-Assad while the U.S. has supported his opponents.

Turkey hasn’t imposed any formal new restrictions on use of the base, U.S. officials said. But U.S. military officials said it has become challenging to operate at Incirlik, whose use Ankara has long used as leverage against the U.S. The officials said they view internal deliberations about the continued use of the base as necessary to mitigate any impact from the potential loss of their ability to conduct operations from the base.

“We’ve been looking at that possibility for a while,” a U.S. military official said of reducing use of the base.

A Turkish official acknowledged the downturn in the pace of U.S. airstrikes but said officials there didn’t believe it stemmed from new restrictions by Ankara.

The Turkish official said the decline reflects a shift in American priorities from Syria to Afghanistan, rather than a downturn in U.S.-Turkish relations.

Turkey and the U.S. have had a rocky relationship for many years. The most recent tensions have been over the war against Islamic State in Syria, where the U.S. has supported local Kurdish forces that are seen by Ankara as a threat.

In recent weeks, Turkey has pressed an assault on the Kurdish-dominated Afrin region of Syria, seeking to keep Kurdish-controlled territory away from its border. On Wednesday, the Turkish government demanded the U.S. prevent Kurdish fighters from moving toward Afrin.

The Incirlik base plays an important role for the U.S. military and reflects the commitment between the two countries, said Capt. Wendy Snyder, a spokeswoman for the U.S. European Command.

“We have a strong mil-to-mil relationship with Turkey, and they are an important stakeholder,” she said.

The base was built with U.S. help in the 1950s to assist NATO in countering the Soviet Union.

There are no permanently assigned aircraft at Incirlik, according to U.S. officials. In addition to the refueling planes, the U.S. has F-22 Raptor and F-15 Eagle jet fighters there.

American officials said the reduction in combat operations began last summer, as the U.S. prepared its assault on Islamic State’s self-proclaimed capital, the Syrian city of Raqqa.

U.S. military officials pointed to one episode involving a key ally as a wake-up call. In June, Germany withdrew its forces from Incirlik after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he no longer would commit to allowing German lawmakers access to their forces there. Berlin transferred its troops, aircraft and other equipment to a base in Jordan.

Turkey has hosted U.S. jet-fighter and logistics-flight operations on and off at Incirlik since the first Gulf War. In 2003, in the run up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Turkey unexpectedly refused to allow combat flights to take off from the base, forcing last-minute changes to that war plan.

Since 2015, the U.S. has operated out of Incirlik by agreement with Ankara to conduct airstrikes against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Security concerns stemming from an attempted coup in Turkey prompted the Pentagon in 2016 to order the evacuation of military families; about 700 people departed.

The U.S. shift also stems from an overall decline in the tempo of U.S. military operations against Islamic State. The decline reduces the need to base U.S. jet fighters and logistics aircraft at Incirlik, officials said.

But the challenge of the U.S.-Turkish relationship has spurred the pointed discussion about the American military’s posture at Incirlik, according to U.S. military officials.

Two U.S. officials said Turkey has been making it harder to conduct air operations at the base, such as requesting the U.S. suspend operations to allow high-ranking Turkish officials to use the runway. Officials said this sometimes halts U.S. air operations for more than a day.

Such restrictions, along with the U.S.-Turkish strains, contributed to the recent decision to remove the A-10 fighters from the base to ensure uninterrupted flight operations, officials said.

—Julian E. Barnes in Brussels contributed to this article.

Original article can be found here ➤

Southwest Airlines Launches Nonstop Flights from Indianapolis to Cancun

INDIANAPOLIS -- Still need to plan a spring break vacation or just need to get away? Southwest Airlines launched its first nonstop flight to Cancun, Mexico, from the Indianapolis International Airport on Saturday.

The airline's first international flight from Indianapolis will depart on Saturdays through the summer.

Southwest says it chose Cancun because it is the number one international destination for travelers leaving Indy.

On April 8, Southwest will begin seasonal, nonstop flights to Austin, Texas, from Indianapolis.

And on July 15, the airline will launch daily, year-round service to Oakland, California

In 2017, the airline added new flights between New York and Indianapolis seasonal nonstop flights to San Diego.

Southwest accounts for 34 percent of the airport's traffic annually and has the most nonstop destinations of any airline at the airport, according to Southwest.

Original article can be found here ➤

American Airlines will offer new direct flights between Mexico and Philadelphia

Philadelphia travelers with their sights set on Mexico’s capital will have a new way to get there starting this summer when American Airlines introduces direct service between Philadelphia and Mexico City.

The Philadelphia International Airport is one of the country’s biggest American Airlines hubs, currently servicing travel to more than 100 different destinations and 20 countries from Philadelphia. These new flights offer service to Benito Juárez International Airport on an Airbus 319.

The new flights will begin officially on July 5, though tickets will begin selling Monday, March 12.

This is just the latest of new flights offered by American Airlines at the Philadelphia airport. Last month the airline announced added service to the Quebec City Jean Lesage International Airport, and in January three nonstop domestic destinations, on top of four new U.S. direct flights last fall.

Later this month, on March 25, American Airlines will begin nonstop flights from PHL to Zurich in the first of three added European destinations from Philly this year. Beginning May 4, there will begin nonstop seasonal summer service to Budapest and Prague from Philadelphia, also serviced by American Airlines.

In addition to flights to Mexico City, American Airlines also services flights from Philadelphia to Cancun. The new flights will be offered daily.

Original article can be found here ➤

Canadair CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604, TC-TRB, MNG Jet Havacilik: Fatal accident occurred March 11, 2018 in Shahr-e Kord, Iran

A wealthy Turkish socialite and her friends were among the 11 people killed on Sunday when a private plane bringing them home from a Dubai bachelorette party crashed into an Iranian mountainside.

The plane was owned by the private holding company of Turkish businessman Huseyin Basaran, and carried eight passengers and three crew, an official for Turkey’s transport ministry said. Those on board included Basaran’s daughter Mina and seven of her friends, all flying back from a party ahead of her planned wedding next month.

Mina Basaran, at 28 years old, was in line to run the business. She posted photographs of what appeared to be her hen night in Dubai on Instagram. Among the photographs was an image of the crashed plane posted three days ago.

Mojtaba Khaledi, the spokesman of the country’s emergency management organisation, said that the plane hit a mountain near Shahr-e Kord and burst into flames.

Local residents who had reached the crash site in the Zagros Mountains said there were no survivors and victims’ bodies were burnt. DNA tests would be needed to identify the dead.

Khaledi said the plane hit a mountain near Shahr-e Kord and burst into flames.

“The wreck of the jet and the bodies are found. They will be carried down from the mountain when sun comes up. My condolences to those who lost their loved ones,” the head of the Turkish Red Crescent, Kerem Kinik, said on Twitter, citing his Iranian sister organisation.

Kinik had earlier told Reuters there was “no chance” of any survivors, given the aircraft was a jet and it was flying in snowy weather.

An Iranian emergency services spokesman was quoted by ISNA news agency as saying the wreckage was burning and was clearly visible.

Shahr-e Kord is some 230 miles (370 kilometres) south of the capital, Tehran. Emergency crews were attempting to reach the crash site but the terrain was mountainous, making their approach difficult, he said.

The plane took off around 4.41pm on Sunday and reached a cruising altitude of just over 35,000 feet, according to FlightRadar24, a flight-tracking website. At around 6.01pm, something appears to have gone wrong with the flight as it rapidly gained altitude and then dropped drastically within minutes, data published by the website showed.

Turkey’s private Dogan News Agency identified the plane as a Bombardier CL604, tail number TC-TRB.

Basaran, a former deputy chairman of Trabzonspor football club, owns businesses that span yachts to energy. One of his companies is the top shareholder in Bahrain Middle East Bank BSC, a small investment bank. His construction projects include a series of luxury apartment blocks on Istanbul’s Asian side called “Mina Towers”, named after his daughter.

Calls to Basaran Holding’s office in Istanbul went unanswered.

Wreckage is found from Iran plane crash that killed 65 people

Sunday’s crash comes after an Iranian ATR-72, a twin-engined turboprop used for short-distance regional flying, crashed in southern Iran, killing all 65 people on board in February.

A Turkish private plane carrying 11 people has crashed in Iran while flying the daughter of a prominent businessman back from her hen party, Turkish media report.

Turkish officials said eight passengers and three crew were on board.

All are feared dead after the jet burst into flames on a mountainside near the city of Shahr-e Kord, in western Iran.

Turkey's Hurriyet news outlet said the passengers were 28-year-old heiress Mina Basaran and seven of her friends.

The group had been celebrating in Dubai ahead of her wedding, scheduled for next month.

The head of Turkey's Red Crescent organisation wrote on Twitter: "According to the last information we obtained from the Iranian Red Crescent, the wreck of the jet and the bodies have been found. They will be carried down from the mountain when the sun comes up. My condolences to those who lost their loved ones."

The Bombardier Challenger 604 plane reportedly belonged to a firm owned by Turkish business tycoon Huseyin Basaran - the bride-to-be's father.

Mr Basaran is a former deputy chairman of Trabzonspor football club, which plays in Turkey's top football league. He has business interests in the energy, finance, construction, food and tourism sectors, among others.

His building projects include a cluster of luxury apartment blocks in Istanbul, named Mina Towers after his daughter.

Ms Basaran had become a board member of her father's company in 2013, Turkish reports said.

The young woman posted a picture on Instagram a day ago, which shows her surrounded by smiling friends in sunglasses and dressing gowns.

The plane is believed to have been en route from the UAE to Istanbul when it came down.

Original article can be found here ➤

A private Turkish plane traveling from Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates to Istanbul has crashed, in southwestern Iran, killing 11 on board, Iranian state television and the Tasnim news agency reported Sunday, citing aviation officials and the Red Crescent.

News website is quoting the country's Civil Aviation Organization spokesman, Reza Jafarizadeh, as saying it was a private jet that crashed some 370 kilometers (230 miles) south of the capital Tehran.

"We can confirm that a Turkish private jet ... while passing through our airspace disappeared from the radar and crashed near Shahr-e Kord," Jafarzadeh told state television.

An emergency services spokesman was quoted by state TV as saying the plane crashed in a mountainous area and caught fire.

Villagers near the crash say they saw flames coming from the plane's engine before the crash, according to a report by Iran's state-run judiciary news agency Mizan.

The semi-official Fars news agency said the plane took off from Sharjah International Airport on its way to Istanbul. Officials at the airport did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The plane was reportedly owned by Başaran Holding.

Earlier in February, an Iranian ATR-72, a twin-engine turboprop used for short-distance regional flying, crashed in southern Iran, killing all 65 people on board.

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TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A Turkish private jet flying from the United Arab Emirates to Istanbul with at least 11 people on board crashed Sunday night in a mountainous region of Iran, authorities said. 

Iranian state television quoted Mojtaba Khaledi, the spokesman of the country's emergency management organization, as saying the plane hit a mountain in Shahr-e Kord and burst into flames.

Shahr-e Kord is some 370 kilometres (230 miles) south of the capital, Tehran. The state-run IRNA news agency and state television said rescuers were trying to reach the scene.

Villagers near the crash say they saw flames coming from the plane's engine before the crash, according to a report by Iran's state-run judiciary news agency Mizan.

The semi-official Fars news agency said the plane took off from Sharjah International Airport on its way to Istanbul. Officials at the airport did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Sunday's crash comes after an Iranian ATR-72, a twin-engine turboprop used for short-distance regional flying, crashed in southern Iran, killing all 65 people on board in February.

Disinvestment-bound Air India completes Boeing deal, takes delivery of 23rd Boeing 777 plane

MUMBAI: Disinvestment-bound flag carrier Air India has taken delivery of its 23rd and the last Boeing 777 plane which can be used in ultra-long haul routes, and thus also completing its 68 aircraft orders placed with the US plane-maker more than a decade ago.

The last B777-300 ER, which can carry almost 300 passengers and bearing registration number VT-ALX, landed at the Indira Gandhi international airport in the Capital yesterday, an airline source said.

Air India took the delivery of the last 777 aircraft from the Seattle facility of Boeing on Thursday and it was scheduled to arrive in New Delhi on Friday, the source added.

"But as the pilot who was to ferry the aircraft suffered a cardiac attack on board Air India's New Delhi-San Francisco flight (on which he was the co-pilot), the aircraft arrived with a one-day delay," the source said.

An Air India spokesperson confirmed the induction of the last and the 23rd 777s from the 68 orders it had placed with Boeing in 2006.

On March 5, Air India flight AI 173 from New Delhi to San Francisco carrying 215 passengers was diverted to the airport in Sapporo, which is the capital city of the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, due to a medical emergency.

As part of its fleet upgradation and expansion plans, Air India had in 2006 placed orders with Boeing for 68 aircraft --27 Dreamliners, 15 B777-300ERs, eight B777-200 LRs and 18 B-737-800s.

Of these 50 planes were for Air India and remaining 18 (B737s) for its international budget arm Air India Express.

The national carrier had earlier inducted all but three 777-300 ERs.

Following the downturn in the global aviation sector, the delivery of three B777-300 ERs was postponed in 2010 as there was no "cancellation" clause in the original purchase agreement with Boeing.

Then, in September 2015, the carrier decided to take delivery of the remaining three planes as per the 2006 purchase agreement.

The national carrier also decided to retain only one of these three planes with it and replace its two year-old jumbo jets B747-400s, which are currently used to ferry VVIPs (the president, vice-president and the prime minister,) with the remaining new B777s, which have already been delivered to the carrier in the past two months.

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