Sunday, September 9, 2018

North Carolina: Still a leader in aviation

RALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Transportation’s Division of Aviation has released the 2018 “State of Aviation” report, detailing the assets that support a vibrant and competitive aviation sector.

As described in the report, North Carolina boasts:

• 72 publicly owned airports, 10 offering regular commercial service.

• $31 billion in annual economic impact from airports.

• 56 million passengers and 700,000 tons of cargo moved by aircraft every year.

• 18,000 licensed pilots and 15,000 aircraft mechanics.

• 14,000 jobs in aerospace manufacturing and maintenance.

• 32,000 registered drones.

• 26 universities and community colleges that offer aviation and aerospace programs.

“The aviation sector in North Carolina is already strong and continues to grow by leaps and bounds,” Bobby Walston said in a news release. He’s the DOT’s director of aviation. “This report highlights why our state is an ideal location to start, grow or relocate an aerospace or aviation-related business.”

The State of Aviation Report was produced by the Institute for Transportation Research at N.C. State University, and commissioned by DOT’s Division of Aviation. The full report can be found online.

Original article can be found here ➤

Mike Kaplan: Aspen Skiing Company CEO pitches airport expansion

As Aspen Skiing Company continues to expand its footprint — from mergers and acquisitions to more skiable terrain and a new hotel in Snowmass Village — it also is banking on the proposed expansion of the local airport.

Skico President and CEO Mike Kaplan made no qualms Thursday about the company's support for a bigger airport.

"If you look at what things were like in 1995 — the aircraft technology was very different, airport operations were different, security requirements were very, very different," Kaplan told the crowd at the Sundeck on Aspen Mountain at the annual pre-winter gathering staged by Skico and the Aspen Chamber Resort Association. "All of these standards have changed, but the airport has not."

In 1995, Pitkin County voters, with a boost from the late writer Hunter S. Thompson, shot down a proposal to lengthen the runway at Aspen-Pitkin County Airport to accommodate Boeing 737 jets.

Kaplan acknowledged the expansion is certainly not a done deal and the debate will get louder, but Skico also isn't licking its chops over the possibility of a longer runway and bigger terminal.

"We're not in the background going, 'Yeah, yeah, 737s.' That's not it," he said, adding that he hopes what he called an "important community dialogue" will result in civil discussion and a "fact-based approach" over the proposed expansion.

Kaplan's comments came as debate in the Aspen community once again is intensifying over Pitkin County's plans to relocate and widen the runway and build a new 60,000- to 80,000-square-foot terminal; the existing terminal spans 47,000 square feet. The talk has picked up recently in the wake of the Federal Aviation Administration's approval of its environmental assessment of the project, with an estimated cost of $350 million to $400 million.

The airport currently is served by regional jets, Bombardier CRJ700s, through three carriers: American, Delta and United. Nonstop routes currently include Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver and Salt Lake City. Other markets have included Atlanta, Houston, Minneapolis and San Francisco.

Expansion advocates note the runway must be moved 80 feet to the west and widened from 100 feet to 150 feet to handle the new fleet of regional jets with larger wingspans, which the FAA also has mandated, airport director John Kinney has said. The airport currently can allow up to a 95-foot wingspan; the expansion would allow as wide as 118 feet, which means so-called Class 3 aircraft could serve Sardy Field.

Opponents argue that a larger airport will create the demand for more services that Aspen isn't equipped to handle. Other concerns are the continued expansion of a community that already is stretched by traffic and housing demands.

Yet Kaplan said Aspen's history is tied to the airport, starting in the late 1940s, when the "world's leading luminaries and thought leaders" couldn't get here because there was no airport.

By December 1948, the airport had opened, just in time for the Goethe Bicentennial celebration in July 1949.

"The conversation has been going on a long time," Kaplan said.

Original article can be found here ➤

Missing plane? Volcano? Oregon Civil Air Patrol is ready, test finds

A team of U.S. Air Force officers found Oregon's Civil Air Patrol ready to respond to calamities after a weekend of evaluations.

The tests are done every two years and designed to ensure the state can react in the event of a major problem, such as a missing plane, according to an Oregon Civil Air Patrol press release.

The evaluation team consisted of people from  California, Oregon and Washington. More than 80 Oregon Wing volunteers gathered at the Aurora State Airport, Redmond Municipal Airport, and Rogue Valley International Airport in Medford for the evaluation.

The Oregon Civil Air Patrol was rated "ready," which is the highest rating, according to the release.

The rating system goes from "Ready" to "Ready with exceptions" to "Not Ready."

"This weekend, simulated earthquake, volcanic eruption, ash clouds, flooding and a missing pilot and airplane were part of the scenarios handed to leaders to respond to," the release said. "Photographic teams were dispatched in airplanes to the coast and along rivers in the affected areas.  Some areas were closed due to Temporary Flight Restrictions as the simulated ash cloud minimized visibility, similar to what wildfire smoke has done this summer throughout Oregon."

Original article can be found here ➤

Essentia Health-St. Mary's in Detroit Lakes: Helipad nearly ready to take flight

The first helicopter could be touching down on the new helipad at Essentia Health-St. Mary's in Detroit Lakes by the end of this month.

"They're putting in the sprinklers today, so we're getting really close (to completion)," said Jim Sinclair, chairman of the Essentia Health-St. Mary's Foundation, on Thursday.

"It has to go through an inspection by both the Federal Aviation Administration and MnDOT (Minnesota Department of Transportation) first," added Foundation Director LeAnn Mouw, saying they anticipate the helipad will be cleared for use sometime during the last week in September.

The EHSM Foundation has spearheaded the $616,000 project to build a raised concrete helipad near the hospital's emergency department, which was launched last fall with a fundraising campaign.

"Our foundation board wanted it to be completed this summer," Mouw said, so with financial backing from parent organization Essentia Health, they were able to break ground in June.

"But we still have about $100,000 left to raise," Sinclair said, so the proceeds of the foundation's annual Fire & Ice fundraiser will hopefully help them clear that last hurdle.

Set for Friday, Sept. 28, the benefit will take place at the Detroit Lakes-Becker County Airport, inside the Schultz Family Hangar.

Starting at 6 p.m., there will be a gourmet dinner catered by La Barista, wine and beer tasting, live music from Tim Eggebraaten, a silent auction, games — and a raffle to give away a New York vacation package.

Each person who purchases one of the limited number of $60 tickets to attend Fire & Ice will have a chance to win the New York trip, Mouw said.

"It includes round-trip airfare and a three-night stay at a hotel in Times Square," she added.

A LifeLink III helicopter and its crew will be present at the airport throughout the fundraiser, Sinclair said, so guests can look around inside and ask questions about its use.

"We have three helicopter services that will be making use of the helipad," he added, noting that besides LifeLink, which is based in Alexandria and Brainerd, there will also be helicopters from Fargo-based Sanford AirMed and the Twin Cities-based North Memorial (which also has crews based in Bemidji and Brainerd) flying in as needed.

"We hope to have a ribbon cutting sometime in early October," Mouw said.

"We want a helicopter there, so it has to be approved and ready to roll first — though hopefully, not needed for a while," Sinclair said. "Chances are, however, that it won't be long before the helipad gets used once it's available."

For more information, or to make a direct donation toward the helipad project, please send an email to FoundationSMDL//

Tickets for the Sept. 29 Fire & Ice benefit can be purchased at the hospital gift shop in Detroit Lakes, online at More information about the helipad grand opening will be made available once a date has been set.

Original article can be found here ➤

Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport (KMGY) projects continue despite state denial of $1M funding request

MIAMI TWP. —   A new taxiway at Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport will have to wait, as the state has rejected a request for $1 million to start the project.

But work to improve safety near that aircraft routing path at the 527-acre general aviation facility in Miami Twp. is expected to start this fall, said Terry Slaybaugh, director of aviation for the city of Dayton, which oversees the site.

Airport officials sought about $1 million for the taxiway work — a phased project expected to cost about $3 million — and plan to re-apply next year, he said.

“(Officials handing out state funds) only have $6 million, and there’s a hundred airports,” said Slaybaugh, who noted DWB has received about $1 million in state funds the past several years.

“We haven’t done poorly in it. We do get funded. But we don’t get money every year.”

A new taxiway that runs parallel to the runway is needed because the existing alignment does not conform with FAA standards. Work to bury power lines along Ohio 741, meanwhile, should start in October after Dayton City Commission approval, he said.

Crews will be working with about four companies with power transporters in that area as the project seeks to eliminate aircraft obstructions near the south end of the runway, Slaybaugh said. It is being financed through a state grant of about $500,000, he said.

Both the taxiway and power line projects are part of the airport’s recently approved new layout plan. A key element of the plan green-lighted by the FAA last month is a 500-foot extension of the runway, a project years away that might lead to realigning Austin Boulevard to the north.

The airport at the intersection of Ohio 741 and Austin is responsible for about 320 jobs, an annual payroll of $10.7 million and a yearly economic output of nearly $36 million, according to an Ohio Department of Transportation study.

The new plan is key to maintaining a safe environment as well as “to serve as a guide to future funding requests,” airport records show.

DWB “will need to provide the FAA justification of need before seeking FAA financial participation in” projects including taxiways east and west of the 5,000-foot runway, according to federal records.

The plan approved last month calls for “aviation related development” in that area near the state route, as well as on the runway’s east side near Austin Boulevard. It also outlines “non-aviation development” along the site’s northeast land bordering Washington Twp.

Trees and other vegetation have been eliminated in those areas because of their height and proximity to the runway, Slaybaugh has said.

Studies and discussions on future land use have involved the Miami Twp.-Dayton Joint Economic Development District Board and Washington Twp.

A report by Juniper CRE Solutions examining the “highest and best” use of land east of the runway — potentially as much as 80 acres — recommended flex research and development, plus light industrial use.

Those uses present “an excellent opportunity for the township to capitalize on the strong aviation and defense sectors present in the Dayton market and capture the higher paying wages that come with these types of sectors,” according to the study.

A second study, by LJB Inc., outlines options for that land that all include a light industrial park housing at least 500,000 square feet of building space.

The study suggests three configurations for light industrial park scenarios ranging from 11 to 18 buildings.

Original article ➤

Beverly Regional Airport (KBVY) women make way in aviation, air traffic control

Gloria Bouillon,  Mary Parsons and Mary Wertel

BEVERLY— From a young age, Gloria Bouillon knew she wanted to fly. 

"I had always just dreamed about flying," Bouillon said. "From an early start I knew that was what I was going to be. I was flying before I could drive.”

As a child, Bouillon wanted to be the first woman in space. But as a teenager, the new airport manager at Beverly Regional Airport turned her attention to aviation. She's been in love with all things flying, airplanes, and airports ever since. 

"I can't imagine leaving the aviation field," she added. "It's called 'the bug.' You get it and you don't leave it."

Bouillon is the first female airport manager at Beverly Regional Airport. As manager, Bouillon handles a number of financial and regulatory responsibilities, among others. 

The airport also gained two female air traffic controllers this summer, Mary Wertel and Mary Parsons. Wertel said she got involved as an air traffic controller when she joined the Navy in the 1980s. Parsons was living in Alaska in the 1990s when she took a tour of the Anchorage Air Control Tower and decided to take a test to become a traffic controller. 

The trio are among a small number of women who work in the field of aviation, airports, and air traffic control.

Only seven percent of all United States pilots, including student, recreational, sport, and commercial pilots, as of December 2017 were women, according to a recent report by the Federal Aviation Administration.

That number also includes those with certificates to fly planes, gliders, helicopters, and/or gyroplanes. 

Bouillon said she has often been the only woman in her various roles in airports. 

"You're held to the same standards as everyone else," she said. 

While she has looked up to women in powerful roles in the airport industry, Bouillon said her mentors have been mostly male.

“As far as the aviation community, they really have embraced females," she said. "It's encouraged a lot and I have seen that here. It's a really good, supportive community.” 

On dealing with sexism

Still, Bouillon, Parsons and Wertel have all experienced gender bias in their careers. 

“To be honest, there have been some sexist comments throughout the years, but you just deal with it, brush it off, and keep going,” Bouillon said.

Parsons and Wertel agreed, and said they haven't allowed instances of sexism to impact their careers.

“You don't focus on it,” Parsons said.

“I've heard comments and it's like, whatever, I'm doing my job,” Wertel said. “I'm qualified to do the same things these men are doing.”

Bouillon said she has seen a shift in the industry.

“I don't know what it was like earlier on in aviation in the '50s and '60s," she said. "I don't know what it was really like historically, but I've seen that change. When I was flying in high school, I wouldn't say you had more of those comments, but they said it more to your face. Now if it is happening, I don't hear it." 

While she was a student at Dowling College in Long Island, New York, Bouillon founded a chapter of Women in Aviation, an international organization that fosters growth and opportunities for both women and men in the field. 

"For me, I'm aware of it, but it's not something that stopped me from speaking up," Bouillon said. "I'm not going to be the quiet one in the room because I'm allowing something to happen just because I'm the only female. That was never the case. It was always, well this is my perspective on this, but it has been in the back of my mind especially coming into management."

She said along the way she learned how to handle sexism in the workplace, and that by listening, observing, and getting to know the dynamic of a group of people, she's been able to decide how to move forward.

"I've had to learn ways to confront people who are either trying to talk over you, overstep you, or they'll interrupt you," Bouillon said. "I have noticed that. I had to learn ways of, OK, how do I deal with this stronger personality and is it because I'm female?"

"You do evaluate, well, am I strong enough?" She added. "It's never stopped me from speaking up on whatever it is."

Wertel said she was also among a small percentage of women while in the Navy.

“At a lot of the places I was at there was maybe one or two women and then there was mostly men," Wertel said. "For the most part it was good. You had a couple of the old sailors that first came in Vietnam and they had a little trouble with women in the military, but that changed when they saw that we were just doing the same job, same standards and everything like that. Then in 1992 when women started to be allowed in combat, it's a whole new dynamic now. It's more leveled out.”

“I tended to fit right in because I have a sailor personality,” Wertel added. “Very joking and that type of mindset. There was only one or two instances where you hear just side comments, but for the most part I fit right in with the whole thing. Once you're in it, it's just a big family. Especially the Navy.”

Bouillon, Wertel, and Parsons agreed that young women considering a career in aviation shouldn't hesitate.

“I don't know the percentage of females in aviation,” Bouillon said. “I know it's very small, but I know in America the percentage of people that aren't satisfied with their jobs is pretty high. The way I look at it is, I love coming to work.”

“I'll agree with you on that,” Parsons said. “There has not been a day... I've never been like 'Oh, god, I have to go to work.' Never in my career.”

“Focus on what you want to do," Parsons added. "Don't let things like only a small percent are women controllers or astronauts or something like that, don't let that be a stumbling block."

“If you want to do it, do a little research and then go for it.” Wertel said. “There are times you're going to stumble. You might not get something the first time, but you keep trying.”

Original article can be found here ➤

Broken weather information sites put pilots in 'dangerous position' • 'If the pilots don't get home, nobody else gets home'

Air Cab float plane operator Joel Eilersten says the weather webcams that are not functioning could result in accidents. 

A British Columbia float plane operator claims three out-of-order coastal navigation systems may pose a danger to the lives of pilots and passengers.

Joel Eilertsen operates Air Cab, which flies loggers, fishermen and tourists up and down the coast to remote locations every day. He also picks up people with medical emergencies.

Eilersten says two webcams and an automated weather station that pilots rely on for navigation need to be fixed immediately, particularly with fall weather on the way.

"It's definitely a safety issue," says Eilertsen. "In the case of an emergency we have to know that we can go ahead and complete the whole job for people that may be hurt or otherwise."

Eilertsen says the only aviation webcam between Alert Bay and Bella Bella, on Addenbroke Island, has been out of order for three months.

Other sites not in service

A second webcam at Chatham Point near Campbell River is also out of commission. Webcams are used by coastal pilots to judge current cloud levels and visibility.

An automated weather station run by Environment Canada at Herbert Island, about 34 kilometres north of Port Hardy, is also not in service.

The weather station at Herbert Island is "the only one that gives very accurate wind information," says Eilertsen, who has 49 years of flying experience. "If we don't know about it, we could run into severe downdrafts that could create accidents."

Eilertsen is most concerned about the off-line Addenbroke Island webcam, which he says is used continuously by pilots flying up and down the coast.

"There is the potential of always having an accident," he says. "There's also the potential of having a problem and being forced to use a route that we really don't know what the visibility or the winds are, and then having an accident."

Both webcams are operated by NavCanada, a private organization jointly run by the federal government and the aviation industry.

A screen grab of the NavCanada webcam at Addenbroke Island shows the camera is not functioning.

'We certainly regret the inconvience'

NavCanada spokesperson Jonathan Bagg told CBC News there are "challenges with the infrastructure" at both locations.

He acknowledged construction to the lighthouse-keeper's deck on Addenbroke Island meant the webcam was taken down and needs to be re-installed. Problems with the satellite dish at Chatham Point have interfered with service there.

"We certainly regret the inconvenience" said Bagg. "We are working diligently to fix the cameras."

NavCanada does not have a date for when the cameras will be back in working order.

In the meantime, Bagg said NavCanada encourages pilots to use a 1-800 number to contact its flight service specialists at a centre in Kamloops. The experts there have access to specialized aviation weather information.

'If the pilots don't get home, nobody else gets home'

Environment Canada spokesperson Marilyne Lavoie wrote in an email to CBC News that the Herbert Island weather station "is experiencing problems with [its] telecommunication equipment resulting in data not being transmitted." A maintenance trip is scheduled for mid-October.

As for Eilertsen, he says there is no substitute for seeing in real time what the weather looks like, especially when visibility is poor.

"The two webcams being down definitely puts our pilots into a very unknown position and a dangerous position," he says.

"If the pilots don't get home, nobody else gets home."

Story and video ➤

Piper PA-28-161 Cherokee, N2496X: Incident occurred September 09, 2018 at Beverly Regional Airport (KBVY), Essex County, Massachusetts

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Boston, Massachusetts

Reported loss of main wheel assembly on departure, landed without incident.

West Side Associates LLC

Date: 09-SEP-18
Time: 23:30:00Z
Regis#: N2496X
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA 28 161
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 91

Student pilot Maggie Taraska, 17

BEVERLY — It was the scariest hour of Maggie Taraska's life.

With 60 flight hours under her belt, the 17-year-old student pilot taxied down the runway at Beverly Regional Airport and lifted off just before 5 p.m. on Sunday, embarking on her first solo cross-country trip, up to Portland, Maine. She was eager and ready to go.

But as she lifted off, something felt wrong, and then another pilot noticed something horribly awry — the right wheel had come off from her plane, a single-engine Piper PA28. That pilot quickly alerted air traffic control to the situation.

For the next 35 minutes or so, Maggie circled the airport as tower controllers and her flight instructor talked her through landing the plane back at the runway. They continued to assure her everything would be OK.

In a recording of the radio transmissions between Maggie and one of the tower controllers, the stress is evident in the Gloucester teen's voice as the situation unfolds.

After the call comes in about the missing wheel, the controller informs Maggie of the situation and asks what she intends to do.

"Can I circle back to land?" the teen replies as she confirms she's a student pilot and flying alone.

"Go ahead and circle the airport for now and we're going to get some people out to help you," the air controller responds. The woman continues to try and reassure Maggie.

"OK," Maggie replies in a shaky voice.

"Everything will be OK," the woman says.

Her instructor John Singleton eventually comes on the radio and continues to talk Maggie through landing the plane.

It was OK. It was even a "perfect landing" — according to dad Walt Taraska (who is also a pilot) and Singleton — given that she had one less wheel to work with.

"I was really scared at first," Maggie admitted Monday afternoon during a press conference with her family at Beverly Airport. "I just felt my heart sink."

But as Singleton and others talked her through it, her confidence and poise returned. "I just knew I had to fly the plane," she said. "I panicked a little bit, but you have to have confidence in your ability."

As she finally approached the runway and touched down, around 5:45 p.m., it was about the best approach Walt Taraska had ever seen, he told reporters Monday.

Granted, the plane veered off the runway and into a grassy area, where it finally came to a stop. As she was jostled about, Maggie recalled thinking: "It will stop, it has to stop, I will be fine." She feared the plane might flip, she said, but it didn't — she just hit some signs. She escaped the ordeal shaken but otherwise unharmed.

Police and fire crews had initially rushed to the scene upon learning of the situation from airport officials. As the plane circled overhead, fire crews and other first responders were positioned along Runway 9.

"I realized a lot of people thought it wasn't going to go so well," Maggie said, smiling, on Monday.

Loud cheers can be heard on the radio transmissions as she stuck the landing. Maggie said that after the plane finally stopped, she shut it down as quick as possible and got out — right into the waiting arms of her father.

"She pulled it together to do something really special," Walt Tararaska said Monday. "When I saw her (plane) approach, it was probably a better approach than I could do and I've got more (flight) hours than her."

Mom Christine drove Maggie back home to Gloucester. The two breathed a sigh of relief and just talked about what happened and some of the technical aspects of how she landed the plane. Christine said she made sure to call her mother as well to let her know Maggie was all right.

The Taraskas give high praise to Singleton, and the rest of the support crew, for their efforts.

Walt told reporters that as the plane circled overhead and he could hear Singleton and Maggie talking over the radio, coolly and calmly, he knew things would be OK. Maggie, likewise, said her confidence greatly improved once Singleton got on the radio.

"I've known John for years. He is an instructor that I would put with the best in the Air Force," said Walt, in a separate interview. "I knew that his training would get her through."

Both Walt and Christine are former Air Force intelligence officers who were stationed with fighter wings over Europe. They weren't pilots then, but they experienced a lot of different scenarios.

"A lot of this is compartmentalizing," Walt said, "putting fear to the side...and saying, 'I've done this literally hundreds of times (flying and landing).'"

Singleton, who's also the chief instructor at Beverly Flight School, said that when he heard the call Sunday evening from the other pilot, he taxied back in with his other students and hustled over to the control tower.

He said the traffic controllers did a great job as they got Maggie to circle back and maintain a safe altitude. As they all talked her through the landing, he continued to tell her to just focus on the plane and her training.

"In the recording, you can hear the stress in her voice," Singleton said. "I was telling her to keep calm and fly as normally as possible...remember her training."

In flight school, they train for emergency scenarios, although Maggie admitted there wasn't a section for when a wheel falls off the plane. "With this situation, there was nothing I could do about (that)," she said laughing. "I couldn't get the wheel back."

Maggie first started flying as a freshman in high school. She said she was partly inspired by her parents' stories and a love of flying.

The first time she did a solo flight was last year, and since then she's accumulated several hours of flight time alone in the cockpit, with a little over 60 hours total. She just turned 17 this summer and is working on getting her pilot's license.

Walt said he and Maggie actually just did the run up to the Portland International Jetport together on Labor Day. One of the requirements to get her license is to complete three solo, long-distance trips. 

"I did some of the flying but she flew most of the trip," he said. "She did great and I knew she was ready to go." Sunday was her first trip by herself.

A day later, Maggie was in high spirits as she talked to reporters. She said she even had another flight tentatively scheduled for Tuesday. Her parents noted that would depend on how she's feeling.

"I still have a few butterflies," Maggie said, "we'll see how it goes. I will do my best and try not to stress out."

As for the future, she just started her senior year at Manchester Essex Regional High School and is still figuring out what she wants to do after graduation. She said Monday that flying is a hobby right now, but she's thinking about the Air Force Academy and becoming a fighter pilot. She might be a little short though, she joked. 

As for the plane, the Federal Aviation Administration is conducting an investigation. The aircraft was significantly damaged in the incident.

Singleton said the FAA will determine what caused the problem with the wheel. He's been doing this for four decades, yet Sunday's events were a first for him.

"In 37 years, this is the first time I had anything happen like this," he said.

Original article can be found here ➤

BEVERLY, MASS. (WHDH) - A student pilot made an emergency landing in Beverly on Sunday night after the plane lost a wheel during take-off.

“I heard a pilot immediately calling the tower as a plane was taking off, telling the tower that the warrior in front of him–the wheel fell off,” Joyce Perelli, a witness, said. “At first, I don’t think it really hit her what the tower was telling her, but then she sounded really scared.”

Another witness said the airport staff jumped into action quickly.

“I guess they said they had gone out under the runway and found the part and examined it, so they knew which wheel it was and that it was hers,” Matt Newby, a witness, said. “We were praying for her and just hoping that she got down on the ground safely.”

According to the airport manager, it took less than half an hour to get the pilot safely on the ground.

“She was up there until we were fairly safe and certain she was ready to land,” Gloria Bouillon, manager at the Beverly Regional Airport, said. “This was an accident, it went as well as it could and, fortunately, it was right after we had done some drills, so everyone was very well prepared, the response was excellent.”

Emergency crews were waiting on the ground at the airport.

The student was not hurt, and airport officials said she is recovering with her family.

Story and video ➤

BEVERLY, Massachusetts — A pilot in training made an emergency landing after losing a wheel during take-off. 

The Beverly Airport shut down to all other traffic to give the pilot no distractions.

A flight instructor was in constant contact with the pilot as she made her final approach.

The pilot was able to land the small plane safely.

There were no reported injuries. 

Story and video ➤

BEVERLY – A single-engine plane safety returned to the Beverly Airport Sunday night after losing a wheel during takeoff about almost an hour earlier.

The plane successfully landed and the pilot – described as a young woman – escaped unharmed from the harrowing experience.

Witnesses at the airport said the pilot was 17 years old and on her first solo flight. Officials did not identify the pilot.

Fire crews were positioned along Runway 9 as officials debated options for bring in the aviator and the plane she was piloting. Flight instructors were at the ready to help the novice flier land safely.

Other crews were instructed to follow the plane as soon as it touched down. 

At about 5:45 p.m., the plane set down without incident. 

Initially, police and fire crews rushed to the Beverly Airport Sunday at around 5 p.m., after airport officials reported that the plane lost a wheel on takeoff at the airport.

First responders' radio communications said the pilot had about 5 hours worth of fuel.

Officials made way for all other air traffic scheduled to use the Beverly Airport and said they were in no hurry to have the pilot attempt a one-wheeled landing.

Beverly fire crews along with those from neighboring communities, such as Peabody, Danvers, Wenham and Middleton, were on scene and deployed equipment and personnel. Ambulances from Northeast Ambulance and Hamilton were also dispatched. 

Original article can be found here ➤

Starjammer, N49EW: Fatal accident occurred April 25, 2018 in HeNan Province, China

Elgin Wells, Jr.

NTSB Identification: WPR18WA126
14 CFR Unknown
Accident occurred Wednesday, April 25, 2018 in HeNan Province, China
Aircraft: WELLS ELGIN M STARJAMMER, registration: N49EW
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

The foreign authority was the source of this information.

On April 25, 2018, at 1814 local time, an experimental Wells StarJammar airplane, N49EW, crashed during the rehearsal flight for an aerobatic performance at ShangJie general aviation Airport, HeNan Province, P.R. China. The owner/pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was operated under the pertinent civil regulations of the government of China.

This investigation is under the jurisdiction of the Civil Aviation Administration of China. Any further information pertaining to this accident may be obtained from:

Aircraft Accident Investigation Division, Office of Aviation Safety
155 Dongsi Street West
Beijing 100710
Tel: (86) 10 6409-1908 (business hours)
(86) 10 6401-2907 (24 hours / 7 days)
Fax: (86) 10 6405-2829

Elgin Wells was known as high-flying aerobatic entertainer to some and a showman and teacher who could play more than a dozen instruments, but Eddie Owen knew him first and foremost as a friend.

Owen had known Wells, who lived in Peachtree Corners, since the mid-1970s when they met through a mutual friend. Over the years, Wells became a popular teacher at Eddie Owen Presents at the Red Clay Music Foundry, and he performed during Duluth Mayor Nancy Harris’ last two State of the City addresses at the Foundry.

“He was just a top notch guy,” Owen said. “They didn’t come any better as a teacher, an entertainer, a musician, a composer and as a friend. He was just top notch in all of those areas.”

The longtime friendship made the news that Wells was killed in a plane crash in China while training for an upcoming air show extra hard for Owen to hear. Wells’ wife Lisa called Owen and once they connected, she delivered the news.

XinhuaNet reported Wells’ plane — “Starjammer” — crashed at Shangjie Airport in the city of Zhengzhou in central China on Wednesday. He had been on a training flight for the Zhengzhou Air Show 2018, which is scheduled to open today, according to the news outlet.

Chinese officials are reportedly investigating the crash to determine what caused it.

“It was horrible to hear,” Owen said. “I had the opportunity to speak to Lisa, his wife, about it yesterday and I’m just devastated by it. He had such passion for flying and the acrobatics and he was very good at that. He was so excited for the China trip and for what it could lead to.”

The son of a World War II air squadron pilot turned commercial pilot, Wells told the Daily Post in 2015 that he knew he wanted to be a pilot when he was a kid and learned to fly when he was 18.

“My dad was a real pilot: He was a P-38 squadron commander in the Pacific in World War II and after that he was a career pilot with Delta,” Wells said in a video interview. “When I turned 18, he said, ‘Do you want to learn how to fly?’ And I go, ‘Yeah,’ and so he had a friend of his teach me how to fly.

“Unfortunately, the trainer that be bought for me to fly was an aerobatic trainer and all I did was fly upside down and gauge the gyros, and when he found out I was doing that, he sold it so I didn’t fly from the time that I was 21 until I was 40.”

His “Starjammer” plane — which is covered in 255 LED lights and a 4,000-watt sound system — was flown for the first time in 2010. Over the years, his aerobatic stunts have earned him some notoriety on the air show circuit.

He chose to cover his plane in LEDs because they were a safer alternative to the flashy techniques night airshow pilots had been using.

In 2015, he said not having fireworks on his plane allowed him to do “much more aggressive aerobatics” during air shows.

“In other words, pretty much any maneuver I can do in a daytime air show, I can do in a nighttime air show,” he said. “Everybody just thinks it’s as cool as can be.”

Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 690 Treasurer Randy Epstein said chapter members who gathered at their hangar at Briscoe Field for their usual Thursday night dinner were trying to process the news out of China.

Wells was “a member and good friend” of the chapter, said Epstein, who is also a former president of the chapter. His band sometimes provided entertainment at chapter events and he did several presentations at the chapter’s summer camps.

“He’s been doing aerobatics for I don’t know how long and he’s been in emergency type situations in the past that he handled very well … We’re all kind of in shock about the whole thing and don’t really understand it at this point,” Epstein said.

But Wells’ work as an aerobatic pilot was only one side of him.

Wells was also a jazz musician who released more than a dozen albums. He gave private music and songwriting lessons at Eddie Owen Presents at the Red Clay Music Foundry.

The last time Wells was at Red Clay Music Foundry was a week ago and although he was expected to be gone for an extended period of time, Owen said his students were looking forward to his return.

“Almost every one of his students had decided to just wait until he came back to resume lessons,” Owen said. “They weren’t going to pick up other teachers.”

He led the Be Duluth Band for Harris’ talk-show style 2017 and 2018 State of the City Addresses, playing flute and guitar among other instruments.

“He was probably one of the more talented musicians I’ve ever known,” Owen said. “He plays like 14 instruments, and he’s a composer and a writer, and a good showman on stage.

“(He was also) probably one of our absolute favorite teachers. He taught many things. He taught cello and violin, he taught bass and horns — because he could play both trumpet and trombone — and stage presence. He was just one of our favorite teachers among the students. Both kids and adults liked him. He was just a total consummate professional.”

Harris said Wells was a “brilliant musician” with a charming demeanor that will be missed. She recalled him encouraging her to play piano at her State of the City Address earlier this year.

“He was a true advocate for beginning musicians in that he was insightful and experienced,” she said in an email. “He instilled confidence in many, including me when he encouraged me to play piano with the band.

“Elgin was a class act!”

American Legend AL3C-100, N654PC: Incident occurred September 09, 2018 in New River Maricopa County, Arizona

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Scottsdale, Arizona

Made emergency landing on a road and clipped a tree.

Date: 09-SEP-18
Time: 18:04:00Z
Regis#: N654PC
Aircraft Model: AL3C 100
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: UNKNOWN
Operation: 91

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - A plane had to make an emergency landing in north Phoenix Sunday morning.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the American Legend AL3C-100 lost oil pressure and had to make an emergency landing near Seventh Avenue and Honda Bow Road.

The plane clipped a tree and landed on the road. 

The Daisy Mountain Fire and Medical Department is responding to the incident. 

No Injuries were reported.

Original article can be found here ➤

ANTHEM, ARIZONA - Daisy Mountain officials say a plane made an emergency landing near Anthem on Sunday morning. 

The incident happened before 10 a.m. in the area of 7th Avenue and Honda Bow Road, near a residential area east of Interstate 17. 

Federal Aviation Administration officials say the American Legend AL3C-100 was forced to make the landing due to a loss of oil pressure.

The aircraft reportedly clipped a tree during the incident. 

No injuries were reported, according to fire officials, and Federal Aviation Administration officials say the pilot was the only person on the aircraft. 

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the issue.

Original article can be found here ➤