Friday, March 16, 2018

American Eagle, Canadair Regional Jet CRJ-900: Incident occurred March 16, 2018 at San Antonio International Airport (KSAT), Texas

 


A plane that prompted an emergency call for an 'aircraft in trouble' landed safely at the San Antonio International Airport Friday afternoon.

The San Antonio International Airport released the following statement concerning the incident:

At approximately 4:00pm today at San Antonio International Airport, an American Airlines plane made a precautionary landing due to a possible aircraft system malfunction. Emergency response personnel were on the scene when the plane landed safely with 82 passengers on board. 

Original article can be found here ➤  http://news4sanantonio.com



An airplane that reported a potential brake malfunction Friday afternoon has landed safely. That same aircraft is back in use after inspection.

More than a dozen fire units were standing by at San Antonio International Airport to assist the American Eagle plane returning to San Antonio after a distress call.

Aircraft officials reported a potential malfunction with the airplane's braking equipment. The plane headed for Phoenix landed back in San Antonio shortly after 4 p.m.

According to American Airlines public relations officials, the flight was going from San Antonio to Phoenix, In mid-air, there was an indicator in the cockpit that there was a potential mechanical issue.

As a precaution, the flight returned to San Antonio mid-flight. There were no injuries on board nor any official emergencies declared. The team on the ground inspected the aircraft and cleared it to carry on.

A spokesperson for the San Antonio Fire Department says that 82 passengers were onboard the plane, American Airlines flight 5803. The passengers re-departed for Arizona at 5:45 p.m. Officials say there is no further cause for concern.

Original article can be found here ➤  http://www.kens5.com

Cirrus SR22, N816CD and Cirrus SR20, N486DA: Accident occurred March 16, 2018 at Palatka Municipal Airport (28J), Putnam County, Florida
























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

Additional Participating Entity: 

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Orlando

N486DA  Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Aerosim Academy Inc: http://registry.faa.gov/N486DA

National Transportation Safety Board - Aviation Accident Preliminary Report 

Location: Palatka, FL
Accident Number: ERA18LA109A
Date & Time: 03/16/2018, 1038 EDT
Registration: N486DA
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR20
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

On March 16, 2018, about 1038 eastern daylight time, a Cirrus Design Corp SR22, N816CD, collided with a Cirrus Design Corp SR20, N486DA, while both airplanes were on approach to land at Palatka Municipal – Lt. Kay Larkin Field (28J), Palatka, Florida. There were no injuries to the pilot of the SR22, or to the flight instructor and pilot undergoing instruction in the SR20. Both airplanes were substantially damaged. Both airplanes were being operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91; the SR20 was conducting an instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for either flight. The SR22 flight originated from Craig Municipal Airport (CRG), Jacksonville, Florida, while the SR20 flight originated about 0930 from the Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB), Orlando, Florida.

The pilot of the SR22 stated that after takeoff he proceeded to 28J, but because of difficulty in hearing one pilot, he elected to fly to Northeast Florida Regional Airport, St. Augustine, where he performed several landings. He then proceeded to 28J where he overflew the airport at 2,000 ft. He entered the airport traffic pattern and performed two landings, then remained in the airport traffic pattern for another. He announced his position for crosswind, midfield downwind, base, and final for runway 27. He noticed one pilot could not be heard well on the radio, one airplane was rolling out on the runway, and another airplane was on a 6-mile final. During the landing flare, he saw his propeller strike something, but could not see the airplane that was directly beneath him.

The operator of the SR20 reported that neither the pilot nor the flight instructor were wearing vision restricting devices. The flight instructor stated that the flight proceeded to 28J were they announced their intention to enter the left downwind for runway 27. In response to their call, a pilot advised that he could not hear them well, so he switched the transceiver to Comm 2 and called again. A pilot who was holding short of runway 27 advised he could hear them loud and clear. They remained in the airport traffic pattern announcing every leg of the airport traffic pattern and executed two touch-and-go landings to runway 27. They remained in the airport traffic pattern for their last touch-and-go landing, again announcing every leg of the airport traffic pattern. Due to traffic on final approach to runway 27 they extended the downwind leg of the airport traffic pattern, then turned onto the base and final legs of the airport traffic pattern. While on final approach about to land, they felt a big explosion then came to rest in grass adjacent to the runway. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP
Registration: N486DA
Model/Series: SR20 NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: AEROSIM ACADEMY INC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Pilot School (141) 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: SGJ, 10 ft msl
Observation Time: 1056 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 25 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 17°C / 9°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 12 knots, 310°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.16 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Sanford, FL (SFB)
Destination:  Palatka, FL (28J)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None

Latitude, Longitude:  29.658333, -81.683611 (est)

N816CD Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf


B & S Aviation Enterprises LLC

http://registry.faa.gov/N816CD

National Transportation Safety Board - Aviation Accident Preliminary Report

Location: Palatka, FL
Accident Number: ERA18LA109B
Date & Time: 03/16/2018, 1038 EDT
Registration: N816CD
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR22
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On March 16, 2018, about 1038 eastern daylight time, a Cirrus Design Corp SR22, N816CD, collided with a Cirrus Design Corp SR20, N486DA, while both airplanes were on approach to land at Palatka Municipal – Lt. Kay Larkin Field (28J), Palatka, Florida. There were no injuries to the pilot of the SR22, or to the flight instructor and pilot undergoing instruction in the SR20. Both airplanes were substantially damaged. Both airplanes were being operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91; the SR20 was conducting an instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for either flight. The SR22 flight originated from Craig Municipal Airport (CRG), Jacksonville, Florida, while the SR20 flight originated about 0930 from the Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB), Orlando, Florida.

The pilot of the SR22 stated that after takeoff he proceeded to 28J, but because of difficulty in hearing one pilot, he elected to fly to Northeast Florida Regional Airport, St. Augustine, where he performed several landings. He then proceeded to 28J where he overflew the airport at 2,000 ft. He entered the airport traffic pattern and performed two landings, then remained in the airport traffic pattern for another. He announced his position for crosswind, midfield downwind, base, and final for runway 27. He noticed one pilot could not be heard well on the radio, one airplane was rolling out on the runway, and another airplane was on a 6-mile final. During the landing flare, he saw his propeller strike something, but could not see the airplane that was directly beneath him.

The operator of the SR20 reported that neither the pilot nor the flight instructor were wearing vision restricting devices. The flight instructor stated that the flight proceeded to 28J were they announced their intention to enter the left downwind for runway 27. In response to their call, a pilot advised that he could not hear them well, so he switched the transceiver to Comm 2 and called again. A pilot who was holding short of runway 27 advised he could hear them loud and clear. They remained in the airport traffic pattern announcing every leg of the airport traffic pattern and executed two touch-and-go landings to runway 27. They remained in the airport traffic pattern for their last touch-and-go landing, again announcing every leg of the airport traffic pattern. Due to traffic on final approach to runway 27 they extended the downwind leg of the airport traffic pattern, then turned onto the base and final legs of the airport traffic pattern. While on final approach about to land, they felt a big explosion then came to rest in grass adjacent to the runway.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP
Registration: N816CD
Model/Series: SR22 UNDESIGNATED
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: SGJ, 10 ft msl
Observation Time: 1056 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 25 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 17°C / 9°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 12 knots, 310°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.16 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Jacksonville, FL (CRG)
Destination: Palatka, FL (28J)

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:  29.658333, -81.683611 (est)

AIRCRAFT: 
2007 Cirrus SR20 N486DA, s/n: 1831
At the time of the incident, TTAF was 8170.9
The last Annual Inspection was accomplished on 11/11/17 at TTAF 7850.6. 

ENGINE: 
Continental IO-360-ES27B, Serial Number: 1031573                                  
The last Annual Inspection was accomplished on 11/11/17 at TTE 1606.7. 
At the time of the incident, TTE was 1927.0

PROPELLER: 
Hartzell PHC-J3YF-1RF, serial number FP5884B
The last Annual Inspection was accomplished on 11/11/17 at TTP 8810.2, PTSO 1606.7. 
At the time of the incident, TTP was 9130.5, PTSO 1927.

EQUIPMENT:                    
S-TEC Fifty Five X Auto Pilot
Garmin GTX 327 Transponder
ACK A-30 Altitude Encoder

The following items were retained for testing by the NTSB.  
They will be provided to the buyer when they are returned from the NTSB:
Garmin GMA 340 Audio Panel
Garmin GNS 430 NAV/COMM 1
Garmin GNS 430 NAV/COMM 2
           
DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT:
Just prior to landing, a Cirrus SR22 landed on top of N486DA, slicing through the fuselage with the propeller and forcing N486DA into the runway.

DESCRIPTION OF DAMAGES: 
The aircraft was substantially damaged.      

LOCATION OF AIRCRAFT:  
Flagler County Airport, Florida

REMARKS:   
Salvage is sold as is/where is.  
The three items in the possession of the NTSB will be provided to the buyer as soon as they are released.

Read more here:  http://www.avclaims.com/N486DA.html                                                                                                   


PALATKA — A single-engine plane ended up atop another Friday morning at Palatka Municipal Airport, but no one was injured, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The Federal Aviation Administration said a Cirrus SR22 aircraft landed on top of a Cirrus SR20 at 10:30 a.m. on Runway 27 at the small airport at 4015 Reid St.

“The SR20 landed on Runway 27 first and the SR22 then landed on top of the other aircraft,” the FAA statement said.

The SR22 was piloted by 40-year-old Robert Jack Daniel Meier of Jacksonville, according to the Highway Patrol report. No one else was in that plane. The other was piloted by 29-year-old Luis Andres Salvador Zamb of Deland with passenger Xiao Wang, 28, of Sanford.

Times-Union news partner First Coast News learned that former Jaguars tight end Kyle Brady is an owner of a business linked to one of the planes involved, but it was unclear which one.

This was the third aircraft incident in Putnam County in the past three weeks, and the second connected to the airport.

Two people suffered minor injuries March 6 after a single-engine plane apparently lost power and crashed into a backyard while approaching the airport, just a mile west of the crash site, according to the Highway Patrol.

Two men were killed Feb. 27 when their single-engine plane crashed in the St. Johns River near Fort Gates Ferry.


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






JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - No one was hurt when two planes collided on the tarmac Friday morning at the Palatka Municipal Airport, authorities said.

The collision occurred shortly before 11 a.m. at the airport on Reid Street.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol report, both planes were descending at the same time when the plane piloted by former Jaguar Robert Meier hit the top rear of the second aircraft. 

Putnam County Sheriff Homer "Gator" DeLoach said there were no injuries reported at the scene, but the collision did result in a fuel leak.

Former Jaguars tight end Kyle Brady, who owns a stake in one of the planes involved, said the Palatka airport does not have a control tower, meaning pilots communicate with one another over the radio and use their own senses to avoid crashes.

Cary Green, a pilot who frequently flies out of the airport, said it's always up to the pilots to know when it's safe to land or take off.

"We are talking to one another, but there isn't even a requirement at non-towered airports to have a radio," he said. "You can come in here and there are aircraft that don't have electrical systems, but operate in and out of this place. So you just have to watch for other aircraft."

Green did not wish to speculate about what happened, but said it can be difficult to see other aircraft when piloting a low-wing plane. "You just have to be aware of what you can't see," he said.

One of the planes involved is registered to a B & S Aviation Enterprises, an Atlantic Beach-based firm. It belongs to Brady and two co-owners, one of whom was piloting the aircraft at the time of the incident.

The other plane is registered to Aerosim Academy, a flight school in Sanford. Troopers identified the pilot of that plane as a 29-year-old Deland man and the passenger as a 28-year-old Sanford man.

Green said there tend to be a lot of training flights through the Palatka airport because access is easier without a tower.

"Traffic can vary quite a bit," he said. "On a typical day, it can be very quiet, but within an hour we can get quite a few training aircraft."

The collision is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration. The agency will determine who, if anyone was at fault, and what penalties might be meted out as a result.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.news4jax.com




According to the Florida Highway Patrol, two planes collided while on the ground at the Key Larkin Airport in Palatka.


Officials report no one was injured in the small collision.


First Coast News has discovered former Jaguars tight end Kyle Brady is an owner of a business linked to one of the planes. It is unknown who was piloting the planes at the time of the crash.


Crews are working to clean up a small fuel leak where several gallons of fuel was leaked onto the roadway. We're told the spill is considered contained.


Three total occupants were among the two planes. It is unknown what the two planes were doing at the time of the collision.


FAA Statement:


"An SR22 aircraft landed on top of an SR20 aircraft on Runway 27 at the Palatka Municipal Airport, Palatka, FL today


at 10:30 a.m. The SR20 landed on Runway 27 first and the SR22 then landed on top of the other aircraft. Local authorities report that there were no injuries. The FAA will investigate. The registration numbers for the SR22 aircraft is N816CD and the registration number for the SR20 aircraft is N486DA."


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



A single-engine plane ended up atop another Friday morning at Palatka Municipal Airport, but no one was injured, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The Federal Aviation Administration said a Cirrus SR22 aircraft landed on top of a Cirrus SR20 at 10:30 a.m. on Runway 27 at the small airport at 4015 Reid St.

“The SR20 landed on Runway 27 first and the SR22 then landed on top of the other aircraft,” the FAA statement said.

The SR22 was piloted by 40-year-old Robert Jack Daniel Meier of Jacksonville, according to the Highway Patrol report. No one else was in that plane. The other was piloted by 29-year-old Luis Andres Salvador Zamb of Deland with passenger Xiao Wang, 28, of Sanford.

Times-Union news partner First Coast News learned that former Jaguars tight end Kyle Brady is an owner of a business linked to one of the planes involved, but it was unclear which one.

This was the third aircraft incident in Putnam County in the past three weeks, and the second connected to the airport.

Two people suffered minor injuries March 6 after a single-engine plane apparently lost power and crashed into a backyard while approaching the airport, just a mile west of the crash site, according to the Highway Patrol.

Two men were killed Feb. 27 when their single-engine plane crashed in the St. Johns River near Fort Gates Ferry.

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

Cessna 310K, N7033L: Incident occurred March 16, 2018 at Vernal Regional Airport (KVEL), Uintah County, Utah



Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Salt Lake City

Aircraft nose gear collapsed on takeoff. Aircraft returned and landed gear up.

Campbell Plumbing Inc: http://registry.faa.gov/N7033L

Date: 16-MAR-18
Time: 22:40:00Z
Regis#: N7033L
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 310K
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 91
City: VERNAL
State: UTAH

Cessna 210M Centurion, N761DV, registered to and operated by GV Air: Accident occurred March 16, 2018 in Shelburne, Chittenden County, Vermont

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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Portland, Maine

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N761DV


Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Location: Shelburne, VT
Accident Number: ERA18LA111
Date & Time: 03/16/2018, 1445 EDT
Registration: N761DV
Aircraft: CESSNA 210M
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Aerial Observation

On March 16, 2018, about 1440 eastern daylight time, N761DV, a Cessna 210M, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing after a total loss of engine power near Shelburne, Vermont. The commercial pilot was not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by GV Air, Medford, Oregon, as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 aerial observation flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight that originated at the Burlington International Airport (BTV), Burlington, Vermont, about 1140.

The pilot stated that he conducted a preflight inspection of the airplane but did not visually check either fuel tank because he had observed the airplane being fueled the day before and he assumed the tanks were full (44.5 gallons usable per tank, 89 gallons total). The pilot stated that the airplane burned about 13.5 gallons per hour and had a total fuel endurance of 6.5-hours, which was sufficient for his planned aerial survey flight of five hours. The pilot said his normal routine was to switch the fuel tanks every hour for the first four hours of flight, which he said he did on the accident flight. At 1435, almost three hours into the flight, the engine began to run rough and stopped producing power. The pilot tried to re-start the engine, but to no avail, and he then made a forced landing.

A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that it landed with the gear extended on a snow-covered field. The airplane came to rest upright and the nose wheel had separated, which resulted in substantial damage to the fuselage, an engine mount, and the firewall. The outboard section of the right wing was also damaged. The left and right-wing fuel tanks were undamaged and both fuel caps were secure. The left-wing fuel tank was empty, and the right fuel tank was about 2/3-full. Further examination of the fuel system revealed no evidence of leaks and there was no staining on the airplane or area surrounding the airplane.

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane. He reported a total of 521 hours of flight experience, of which, 65 hours were in the same make/model as the accident airplane. His last Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) second-class medical was issued on November 18, 2017.

Weather reported at BTV at 1454 was wind from 290 degrees at 11 knots, visibility 10 miles, scattered clouds at 3,600 ft, overcast clouds at 7,000 ft, temperature -3° C, dewpoint -12° C, and a barometric pressure setting of 29.69 inches Hg. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N761DV
Model/Series: 210M M
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:  BTV, 337 ft msl
Observation Time: 1454 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 9 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: -3°C / -12°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 3600 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 11 knots, 290°
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 7000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.69 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Burlington, VT (BTV)
Destination: Burlington, VT (BTV) 

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:  44.380556, -73.227500 (est)





SHELBURNE, Vt. — A small plane crashed Friday in Shelburne.

Police said it happened about 2:40 p.m. on Dorset Street.

Investigators said the plane crashed in a homeowner's yard.

The pilot was the only person on the Cessna and was not injured.

Police said he was doing routine land survey work in the area when the plane's engine stopped at about 2,600 feet.

The plane's nose and wing were damaged but it did not strike the house.

The owners were not home when the plane crashed.

Police said the Florida-based company that owns the plane will have to work with the homeowners to get it removed and fix any damage to their yard.

According to FAA records, the 41-year-old is registered to GV Air in Medford, Oregon.

It's certificate was renewed in May 2017.

Multiple crews responded to the scene.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.mynbc5.com






SHELBURNE, Vt. - Shelburne Police say a small single engine Cessna plane went down in a residential area Friday afternoon.

Police say they got the 911 call around 2:40 Friday afternoon that a plane had gone down in the 5200 area of Dorset Street.

Shelburne Police say the pilot, Ryan Carraway, 24, was the sole occupant, and uninjured.

According to police, Carraway works for GV AIR INC out of Florida, and was performing surveying.

Carraway was flying the Cessna 210 when he says he experienced engine failure.

Police say he was able to land in a field to avoid injuring himself or others, but the plane experienced extensive damage.

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

Republic escapes turbulence, but still combats pilot shortage



In many respects, Indianapolis-based Republic Airline Inc. is on surer footing now than when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February 2016.

Yet the airline continues to grapple with one of the key concerns that drove it into bankruptcy two years ago: an industry-wide shortage of pilots caused by a variety of factors.

First, the good news: The regional carrier, which emerged from bankruptcy in April 2017, now has a more efficient fleet of aircraft—a smaller number of planes that are all the same size. A key measure of operational performance hit an all-time high this year. The airline turned a profit, and it recently increased its pilot pay.

Koscal
“The airline’s been thriving,” said Matt Koscal, Republic’s chief administrative officer.

One metric the airline is especially proud of: Nearly every single one of its schedule departures—99.95 percent—actually took off in 2017, not including cancellations for weather, airport closures or other factors outside the airline’s control.

In other words, only 0.05 percent of scheduled Republic flights last year were canceled due to controllable factors like maintenance and staffing problems. It was a new record for the company, exceeding its goal of 99.6 percent.

On this metric, Koscal said, small changes are significant, and a change of even half a point up or down is “a big deal.”

In comparison, in 2015—as Republic was struggling with pilot staffing and resulting cancellations—its so-called “controllable completion factor” fell as low as 98.4 percent.

Kaplan
Seth Kaplan, managing partner of the aviation industry publication Airline Weekly, said Republic’s performance on the metric is admirable.

“Anything above 99 percent for a regional carrier is quite good,” Kaplan said.

Republic’s passenger counts and departures both grew last year and, according to U.S. Department of Transportation data, the privately held Republic earned profit of $332 million for the 12-month period ending in the third quarter of 2017.

Still, Koscal said, Republic’s top threat is a top threat industry-wide: the struggle to find enough pilots to fill cockpits.

According to a report issued last year by aircraft maker Boeing, 637,000 new commercial airline pilots will be needed worldwide by 2036 to meet demand, because of factors like pilot retirements and worldwide aviation growth.

Student recruiters

Republic is tackling the challenge by deploying a variety of tactics, some tried-and-true and others more innovative. They include a brand-new approach to connecting with college aviation students and some big-picture strategizing about reducing training costs for students.

Just this year, Republic launched an on-campus ambassador program in which the airline pays aviation students to promote the company among their peers.

The first class of 50 ambassadors—students from aviation schools around the country—came to Indianapolis in January for two days of training. They learned about the company, got training in social media and public speaking, and joined Republic’s payroll.

Rottler
Republic routinely visits aviation schools to recruit students—but with a schedule of 75 schools to visit, employees are able to make it to each campus only once or twice a year.

Having a network of trained advocates—students who aspire to become Republic pilots themselves—helps the airline maintain more frequent contact with each college. “If we’ve got updates about the company, we can tell our ambassadors, who can share that news on campus,” said Lauren McNamara, a talent brand strategist within Republic’s human resources department.

The concept of having on-campus student representatives focused on pilot recruitment is “incredibly new,” said Martin Rottler, a faculty member at the Ohio State University Center for Aviation Studies in Columbus.

 The Ohio State program has about 250 students, about half of whom are training to become pilots. Two of those students are official Republic ambassadors.

Republic is the only airline to date that uses college ambassadors at Ohio State, Rottler said.

Students were already very aware of Republic because the airline has crew and maintenance bases in Columbus, Rottler said. And other airlines send pilots and recruiters to talk with students on campus. But using college students as brand ambassadors takes things to another level.

“Carriers are starting to get more and more aware of the fact that they need to have a larger presence and a more regular presence in these students’ lives. That helps build a relationship,” Rottler said.

To date, he said, Ohio State’s Republic ambassadors have helped plan an on-campus recruiting event, an off-campus networking dinner and a tour of Republic’s local maintenance base.

Louis Smith, president of Nevada-based pilot advisory firm FAPA.aero, said he expects to see more regional airlines start college ambassador programs. “It’s a recent development and innovative, so others will copy it. All competitive advantages are short-lived in the regional airline sector,” Smith said in an e-mail to IBJ.

Pilot crunch

Such advantages are important because, over the next several years, a wave of commercial pilots will hit the mandatory retirement age of 65, leaving the mainline carriers with thousands of vacancies. Those carriers usually hire from the regional carriers, which puts airlines like Republic in a squeeze.

“You have more people retiring over the next 10 years from the mainline airlines than are in the regional airlines altogether,” Republic’s Koscal said.

And worldwide growth in aviation means many U.S. aviation schools enroll a sizable number of foreign students, Koscal said, which reduces the system’s capacity to train U.S. pilots.

Smith
Making matters worse, Federal Aviation Administration rules instituted in 2013 dramatically increased the training requirements for commercial pilots, making the path from classroom to cockpit lengthier and more costly.

Republic and other airlines have taken steps to ease this burden by raising pilot pay and subsidizing some training costs for qualified students.

In February, Republic inked a contract extension with its more than 2,000 pilots. The new contract includes pay increases retroactive to Jan. 1, with increases that range from 14 percent to 28 percent, depending on a pilot’s length of service.

First-year hires now earn $45 per flight hour, up from $40.40 under the previous contract terms that took effect in October 2015. That contract represented a huge improvement over the airline’s previous starting hourly rate of $22.95.

Affordable education

Republic is also looking at how it might make an aviation career more financially accessible. Students can learn to fly through either a college aviation program or a commercial flight school. Because of flight-instruction fees, aviation programs tend to be significantly more costly than other fields of study. Then, after graduation, students must typically log hundreds of additional flight hours to meet the 1,500 hours required to qualify for airline jobs.

The high cost can discourage students from even entering the field, Koscal said. “There’s a lot of bright young individuals out there … but the door—not only is it not open, but they don’t even know where the door is.”

One tack Republic is trying is to advocate for changes in how flight training is credited.

Republic recently invested in state-of-the-art cockpit-training equipment that gives student pilots the ability to train in a variety of simulated dangerous conditions. Training to fly in simulated storms, heavy fog or equipment failure, Koscal said, provides a higher level of training than pilots could otherwise receive.

So Republic plans to advocate for premium credit for high-quality flight training, similar to existing rules that allow pilots with a college degree in aviation or who received military flight training to qualify for commercial-pilot credentials with fewer than 1,500 flight hours.

That change could pay big dividends, Aviation Weekly’s Kaplan said. “That would probably be the biggest help, if they could do something about that,” he said of the 1,500 rule. “That’s what has vastly raised the cost of getting pilots.”

Republic is also exploring whether it can help change rules about the types of funding that can be used for flight training.

Currently, federal financial aid and savings in 529 college plans can’t be used for commercial flight school or to pay for post-graduate flight hours. Republic would like that to change, though its chance of success may be a long shot, one industry insider says.

“I think it’s always in the realm of possibility—just maybe not a strong likelihood of it happening,” said Troy Montigney, executive director of the Indiana Education Savings Authority, which administrates the state’s CollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan.

Under federal tax reforms passed in December, Montigney said, parents can now use up to $10,000 of their 529 plan savings to pay for K-12 education expenses. But lawmakers did not add vocational training as a qualified expense, he said.

Because 529 plan rules are based on federal tax law, he said, changes tend to come from the federal level. It’s possible but “highly unlikely” that states with 529 plans would institute state-level rules different from federal law, he said.

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

Captain Maher Sayegh: Air Asia pilot dies on his way to airport in Kolkata

Captain Maher Sayegh


KOLKATA: An Air Asia pilot, Captain Maher Sayegh died on his way to the airport in a cab from a hotel on VIP Road on Friday afternoon. Police said, Sayegh, a resident of Syria had reached the city early on Friday and had checked into the hotel. He was reporting for his duty on Friday afternoon and had headed from hotel to the airport in a cab when the driver found him unconscious in the backseat.

He was immediately taken to the nearest private hospital where the doctor declared him dead on arrival. The doctor suspected him to have underwent a massive cardiac arrest that led to his death. Police have started a case of unnatural death and have sent the body for post mortem examination at RG Kar Medical College and Hospital. 

Original article  ➤ https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com