Friday, December 28, 2018

Robinson R22 Beta, N8319T: Incident occurred December 28, 2018 near Hayward Executive Airport (KHWD), Alameda County, California

Spitzer Helicopter LLC

https://registry.faa.gov/N8319T



HAYWARD, California  (KGO) -- A student pilot and his flight instructor were able to walk away from their helicopter after making an emergency landing. It all happened after they were hit by a bird.

"It was pretty crazy!" says Randy Acosta.

Acosta and his friends were playing a round of golf at Skywest Golf Course in Hayward. The pilots, who launched from the Hayward Executive airport, made their emergency landing near the 10th hole of the course.

Acosta says they were one hole behind from where the chopper came down.

"You could see the helicopter pilot kind of had it (turn) strongly to the right, regain control and then it went down and he maintained control," says Acosta.

Airport officials say a large turkey vulture, which can have a wingspan of up to six feet wide, hit the windshield shortly after the pilots took off.

A student pilot was flying, but then his flight instructor immediately took over after being hit.

"It was a miraculous landing when you think about it. The tail rotor which maintains directional flight for the helicopter was impaired and the instructor was able to still land the helicopter safely," explains airport manager, Doug McNeeley.

McNeeley says the pilots flew about half a mile when they were hit.

Victor Toy and his group came to see what happened after the chopper landed and were amazed that no one was injured in the crash.

"I thought, aww man, that doesn't look good at all," says Toy. "Then I look at it now, (and think) that's an incredible pilot. The way that it was out of control. To land it the way it is. That's pretty amazing. That's awesome skill."

The two pilots were able to walk away uninjured but shaken up.

Airport officials say it is rare to have problems with birds at this airport. The NTSB will also be investigating.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://abc7news.com

Federal appeals court upholds plan to expand runway at Ravalli County Airport for bigger planes



HAMILTON — On the heels of a favorable ruling in a federal appeals court, Ravalli County is working to expedite the purchase of land needed to build a 5,200-foot runway at the Ravalli County Airport in Hamilton.

Earlier this month, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a petition asking for a review of the Federal Aviation Administration’s decision to approve a runway expansion project. 

The appellate court said the FAA was reasonable when it articulated the project’s purpose and need while considering an appropriate range of alternatives. The agency’s decision that the airport required a 5,200-foot runway was based on the fact that it already sees use by some larger airplanes, including Forest Service air tankers used for firefighting.

In 2011, two aircraft were forced to release fire retardant just prior to takeoff in order to clear a hill at the end of the runway. In both cases, the airplanes were already taking off with about 20 percent less retardant than their full capacity of 800 gallons.

“The FAA has a statutory mandate to promote ‘the safe operation of the airport and airway system’ and efficient transportation,” the appellate court’s ruling read. “Providing adequate runway length furthers both of those goals by giving pilots higher safety margins and allowing aircraft to fly at full capacity.”

The group Informing Citizens Against Airport Runway Expansion filed the appeal in 2017 after the FAA released its final environmental analysis and record of decision on the longer runway.

The group was concerned over potential impacts to property values of nearby neighborhoods and overall costs of the project.

Ravalli County Commission Chair Jeff Burrows said the county is currently in negotiations with the Mildenberger family to acquire about 120 acres east and north of the current airport that would allow for construction of the new, longer runway.

Burrows said the county is hoping to expedite that process in order to potentially secure additional federal funding for the project.

Under the current proposal, Burrows said the county is expected to pay 10 percent of the costs of a project that could run as high as $20 million. Some of those matching funds could come from a Montana Aeronautics Grant and from a private foundation.

The FAA was recently allotted several billion dollars that could be used to pay those matching costs for airport projects, Burrows said.

Jack Tuholske, a Missoula attorney representing ICAARE, said a decision on the group’s next move following the appellate court’s decision won’t happen until after the first of the year. The group could ask for another hearing before the appeals court or take the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“I am very disappointed in the 9th Circuit Court opinion,” Tuholske said. “I believe they glossed over the fundamental issues … We will sit down and talk about how to proceed.”

ICAARE has a number of concerns about the proposal, including the potential impacts to property values from noise and air pollution by making the runway long enough to accommodate small jets.

“They are creating a small jetport,” Tuholske said. “They will be able to fly jets into the airport in close proximity to nearby neighborhoods. That will impact property values.”

Tuholske said the FAA used fuel logs to determine the amount of traffic the airport handles and to make projections for air traffic in the future.

“The fuel logs that were provided were confusing,” he said. “We can’t make any sense out of them.”

The 9th Circuit ruled the FAA acted within its discretion and used its technical expertise in using fuel sales to estimate annual operations at the airport.

Burrows said a negotiator has been hired to work toward the purchase of the land needed for the expansion project. The first formal negotiation occurred about six weeks ago. The landowner was presented with an appraisal of the property.

“That’s basically the first step,” Burrows said. “From there, it will go back and forth … The only time frame that we’re working under at this point is the sooner we can acquire the land, the better our chances in getting the supplemental funding.”

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

Man removed from Boise Airport plane, arrested on theft charges

Yousef Ramadan
Ada County Sheriff's Office 

Boise police arrested a Portland man on an airplane at the Boise Airport after they say he stole a wallet from a bin in the airport’s security line.

Yousef Ramadan, 27, was arrested on suspicion of grand theft Thursday morning, according to Haley Williams, spokeswoman for the Boise Police Department. 

Surveillance camera footage from the airport shows Ramadan taking another man’s wallet from a bin as it moved through security, Williams said. 

The man reported the missing wallet to police, and another person later found it, empty and discarded, in an airport bathroom.

Officers were able to identify the Ramadan with the help of the surveillance camera footage. They then tracked him to his plane, which he had already boarded. They arrested him there. He was booked into the Ada County Jail and is scheduled to appear in court Monday, according to the jail’s website.

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

Family members of 2016 plane crash victims sue United States government: Cessna 182H Skylane, N1839X, fatal accident occurred December 26, 2016 near Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge Airport (KGKT), Sevier County, Tennessee

Joseph David Starling, his 8-year-old son Hunter, and Kim Smith.




Family members of a local 8-year-old boy and a mother who died in a plane crash are now suing the United States government.

The plane took off from Keystone Heights on December 26th, 2016, and crashed into the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee.

The crash killed all three people on board: Bradford County father David Starling; his son, Hunter Starling; and his girlfriend Kim Smith.

David Starling was piloting the plane.

The plane crashed into a mountain peak while flying through a cloud layer where the pilot had low visibility.

The lawsuits filed by Hunter’s mother, Tabitha Starling, and Kim Smith’s son, Joshua Garrett Smith, claim the Federal Aviation Administration “approach controller never warned the pilot that he was at an obvious risk of colliding with the mountain.”

The federal government filed a response blaming the “negligent acts and omissions of the pilot.”

Action News Jax reported in 2016 that Starling did not have the proper license for a low-visibility cross-country flight.

“When you are searching for an airport and you don’t have an instrument rating … you have a tendency to... get lower and lower trying to see the airport and maintain visual contact with the ground. And, unfortunately, the clouds sometimes hide the terrain,” said Jacksonville University assistant professor of aeronautics Wayne Ziskal in 2016.

The National Transportation Safety Board Aviation Accident Final Report said, “The pilot had a history of disregard for established rules and regulations.”

The report said Starling had a history of operating his plane in conditions he was not licensed to fly in.

The NTSB also said he “used the potentially-impairing stimulant phentermine at some time before the flight, but the samples available for testing were inadequate to quantify impairment.”

Phentermine is an amphetamine-like prescription appetite suppressant.


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



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

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office: Nashville, Tennessee
Continental Motors, Inc.; Mobile, Alabama

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


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

http://registry.faa.gov/N1839X

Location: Gatlinburg, TN
Accident Number: ERA17FA073
Date & Time: 12/26/2016, 1602 EST
Registration: N1839X
Aircraft: CESSNA 182
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event:  Controlled flight into terr/obj (CFIT)
Injuries: 3 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

Analysis 

The non-instrument-rated private pilot elected to conduct the cross-country flight over mountainous terrain without obtaining a weather briefing or filing a flight plan. As he approached his destination, the pilot requested a descent from his cruising altitude of 9,500 ft mean sea level (msl), which was approved by air traffic control. The controller instructed the pilot to maintain visual flight rules flight throughout his descent. Instead, the pilot descended the airplane into a cloud layer between 7,000 ft msl to 5,000 ft msl despite his instructions from air traffic control. Radar data and satellite weather imagery depicted the airplane in a steady-state descent inside a solid cloud layer which tracked north, directly toward the destination airport. The radar track ended at 5,400 ft. msl abeam a mountain peak at 6,500 feet elevation. The accident site was located at 5,400 ft in steep, mountainous terrain about 15 miles south of the destination airport at the same position as the last radar target.

Examination of the wreckage revealed no pre-impact mechanical anomalies and signatures consistent with controlled flight into terrain.

The pilot had a history of disregard for established rules and regulations. The pilot's medical certificate was expired, and his airplane was about 2 months overdue for an annual inspection. He was counseled numerous times by an experienced flight instructor about his unsafe practice of operating the airplane in instrument meteorological conditions without an instrument rating, but he continued to do so over a period of 2 years and again on the accident flight. His contempt for rules and regulations was consistent with an anti-authority attitude, which is hazardous to safe operation of aircraft.

The pilot had used the potentially-impairing stimulant phentermine at some time before the flight, but the samples available for testing were inadequate to quantify impairment. Therefore, it could not be determined if the pilot's use of phentermine contributed to this accident. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The non-instrument-rated pilot's intentional visual flight rules flight into instrument meteorological conditions, which resulted in controlled flight into terrain. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's established anti-authority attitude. 

Findings

Aircraft
Altitude - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Decision making/judgment - Pilot (Cause)
Qualification/certification - Pilot (Cause)
Total instrument experience - Pilot (Cause)
Personality - Pilot (Factor)
Self confidence - Pilot (Factor)
Prescription medication - Pilot

Environmental issues
Low visibility - Effect on operation (Cause)
Low visibility - Decision related to condition (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Enroute-descent

Controlled flight into terr/obj (CFIT) (Defining event)

On December 26, 2016, about 1602 eastern standard time, a Cessna 182H, N1839X, collided with mountainous terrain during descent for landing to Gatlinburg Pigeon Forge Airport (GKT), Sevierville, Tennessee. The private pilot and two passengers were fatally injured; the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal cross-country flight. The airplane departed Keystone Airpark (42J), Keystone Heights, Florida, about 1300.

Information from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed that the airplane was receiving visual flight rules (VFR) flight-following services and was at 9,500 ft mean sea level (msl) when the pilot requested a descent into GKT. At 1554, the controller approved the descent, issued an altimeter setting, and directed the pilot to "maintain VFR." Radar data depicted a descent on a ground track of about 340° directly toward GKT at a groundspeed between 130 and 150 knots.

At 1558, about 20 miles from GKT, the airplane descended below the minimum vectoring altitude of 8,000 ft msl. The airplane continued its descent on the same ground track and about the same speed. At 1602, the radar target was at 5,400 ft msl abeam the peak of Mt. LeConte, elevation 6,500 ft, when the radar track ended.

At that time, the controller issued the airplane a radio frequency change to the GKT frequency and terminated radar services. No reply was received from the airplane, and no further attempts to contact the airplane were made.

Local law enforcement was notified of the overdue airplane by concerned family members. A search was initiated, and the wreckage was located later that evening by helicopter at 5,400 ft in steep, mountainous terrain at the same position as the last radar target. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 41, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 12/03/2013
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  272 hours (Total, all aircraft), 219 hours (Total, this make and model) 

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. He was issued a third-class medical certificate on December 3, 2013, and he reported 12 total hours of flight experience on that date. That certificate expired on the pilot's 40th birthday in September 2015. A search of FAA records revealed that the pilot had not applied for a medical certificate in any class after December 3, 2013.

The pilot was issued his private pilot certificate on April 1, 2014 at 45.3 total hours of flight experience. His pilot logbook was not recovered. On April 27, 2016, the pilot reported to his insurance carrier that he had accrued 272 total hours of flight experience, 219 hours of which were in the accident airplane. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N1839X
Model/Series: 182 H
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture:
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 18255939
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 10/03/2015, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2348 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2595 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer:  CONT MOTOR
ELT:
Engine Model/Series:  O-470 SERIES
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 230 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held:  None 

The four-seat, single-engine, high-wing, fixed-gear airplane was manufactured in 1965 and equipped with a Continental O-470-R-series, 230-horsepower, reciprocating engine. According to the airplane's maintenance records, the most recent annual inspection was completed on October 3, 2015, at 2,595 total aircraft hours. 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Instrument Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: GKT, 1013 ft msl
Observation Time: 1615 EST
Distance from Accident Site: 13 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 344°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 4600 ft agl
Temperature/Dew Point: 18°C / 13°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.3 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Precipitation
Departure Point: KEYSTONE HEIGHTS, FL (42J)
Type of Flight Plan Filed:  None
Destination: Gatlinburg, TN (GKT)
Type of Clearance: VFR Flight Following
Departure Time: 1300 EST
Type of Airspace: Class E

At 1615, the weather reported at GKT, located 15 miles north of the accident site, included few clouds at 4,600 ft and calm wind. The temperature was 18°C; the dew point was 13°C; and the altimeter setting was 30.30 inches of mercury.

Airmen's Meteorological Information (AIRMET) Sierra for mountain obscuration was in effect along the airplane's flight route. Satellite imagery showed instrument flight rules (IFR) conditions with cloud tops between 6,000 and 7,000 ft msl in the area surrounding the accident site. Conditions north of the ridgeline that the airplane struck and at the destination airport were VFR.

At 1545, about the time the airplane passed overhead, the weather reported at Macon County Airport (2,034 feet elevation), Franklin, North Carolina, about 25 miles south of the accident site included scattered clouds at 700 ft, a broken ceiling at 1,200 ft, and an overcast cloud layer at 2,400 ft. The visibility was 4 statute miles in fog.

A pilot who transitioned through the area of the accident site around the time of the accident captured images and weather information near the site. He said that during the climb, his airplane entered a flat, stratus cloud layer at 5,000 ft and that the cloud tops were at 7,000 ft msl. According to this pilot, the cloud layer remained consistent throughout the en route and descent portions of his flight.

A search of official weather briefing sources, such as Lockheed Martin Flight Service and the Direct User Access Terminal Service, revealed that no official weather briefing was received by the pilot from those sources. A search of ForeFlight weather information revealed that the pilot did not request a weather briefing, nor did he file a flight plan using ForeFlight mobile. However, at 1449, the pilot did enter route information from 42J to GKT in ForeFlight, but he did not view any weather imagery. It could not be determined if the pilot viewed weather observations or terminal area forecast information en route as Foreflight did not archive that information.

Airport Information

Airport: GATLINBURG-PIGEON FORGE (GKT)
Runway Surface Type:  N/A
Airport Elevation: 1013 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: Straight-in 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 2 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:  N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:  35.651944, -83.458333 (est) 

The wreckage was examined at the accident site by an FAA inspector. There was an odor of fuel, and all major components were accounted for at the scene. Because of the hazardous conditions at the site, a brief photo-documentation of the wreckage was performed before it was recovered by helicopter for further examination. During the subsequent examination, it was determined that two landing gear and a propeller blade were not recovered from the accident site.

The airframe was segmented by both impact and cutting performed by the aircraft recovery technicians. Control continuity was established from the cockpit area, through several breaks and cuts, to the flight control surfaces. All breaks were consistent with overload failure or mechanical cutting during recovery.

The leading edges of both wings were uniformly crushed. Examination of the instrument panel revealed that the instruments were destroyed by impact, and no useful data was recovered. The mixture, throttle, and propeller controls were all found in the full-forward positions. The fuel selector valve was in the "Right" tank position.

The propeller, propeller governor, engine case, No. 6 cylinder, and the crankshaft forward of the No. 4 main bearing were separated by impact forces. The engine could not be rotated by hand due to impact damage. The oil sump was also separated, which allowed for visual inspection of the power section. Visual inspection and borescope examination revealed normal wear and lubrication signatures. The engine accessories were also separated from the engine due to impact. The magnetos could not be tested due to impact damage. Disassembly revealed normal wear and no pre-impact mechanical anomalies.

Aids To Navigation

GKT was depicted on the Atlanta VFR Sectional Chart at 1,014 ft msl. The Maximum Elevation Figure (MEF) for the quadrant that contained both GKT and Mt. LeConte was 7,000 ft msl. Instrument approach procedure charts for GKT depicted the minimum sector altitude as 7,900 ft msl, which provided a minimum clearance of 1,000 ft above all obstacles within a 25nm radius of GKT.

These charts were available to ForeFlight subscribers. 

Medical And Pathological Information

The Regional Forensic Center, Knox County, Tennessee, performed the autopsy on the pilot. The cause of death was listed as multiple blunt force injuries.

The FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicological testing for the pilot. Phentermine was detected in the liver at 0.167 ug/ml, in the spleen at 0.125 ug/ml, and in the kidney at 0.116 ug/ml.

Phentermine is a prescription stimulant/appetite suppressant medication marked under various names including Adipex. It is a central nervous system stimulant, and side effects include overstimulation, restlessness, and dizziness. It carries the warning, "phentermine may impair the ability of the patient to engage in potentially hazardous activities such as operating machinery or driving a motor vehicle; the patient should therefore be cautioned accordingly." The pilot had not disclosed use of this medication to the FAA. There is no known relationship between tissue levels and impairment for this drug. 

Additional Information

The owner/operator of the flight school at 42J where the pilot received his primary flight instruction was interviewed. According to the flight school owner, who was a flight instructor, the pilot "pushed his training as hard as he could and cut corners wherever he could." According to school records, the pilot scored a 73 on his FAA private pilot written exam. The pilot purchased the airplane as soon as he passed his practical exam.

The pilot later built a hangar on his property and kept the airplane there, but he continued to fly in and out of 42J. The flight school owner said that he watched the pilot depart 42J with his family on multiple occasions in weather that was "below VFR minimums." He said that he counseled the pilot numerous times about operating the airplane VFR in instrument conditions. Most recently, he counseled the pilot 2 weeks before the accident.

The flight school owner stated, "I've been flying for more than 40 years, and I tried to explain to him the history of pilots with an anti-authority attitude. It's an attitude that catches up with you. He was a low-time, flat-land pilot with no mountain experience. There was an AIRMET for mountain obscuration that day… there was plenty of information out there."

When asked why he thought the pilot departed on the accident flight with those conditions along his route of flight, the instructor said, "I counseled him numerous times about taking instrument training and getting an instrument rating. Lots of us around here did. He couldn't be bothered. He would just draw… [the flight route] on his iPad and go."

He blew the whistle on Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport scandal — and says it could cost him his business

Tom McDermott, who owns Crabtown Raw Bar and Grill in Hampton, also ran restaurant and food services at the Newport News airport from 2003 to 2017.


Tom McDermott lost his restaurant at the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport in late 2016, kicking off more than two years of legal wrangling.

Now he’s on the verge of losing his other restaurant, too — and he blames the hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees he’s spent fighting the airport.

McDermott has owned Crabtown Raw Bar & Grill, on East Pembroke Avenue in Hampton, since 2015.

But the city shut Crabtown down on October 30th — changing the locks on the doors — because of the restaurant’s failure to pay meal taxes going back more than six months, Hampton Commissioner of the Revenue Ross Mugler said.

He declined to say how much was owed, saying he’s precluded from doing so by law. “But we don’t close doors for nothing,” Mugler said.

McDermott says he couldn’t make ends meet with huge legal bills stemming from his dispute with the airport, on top of several lines of credit he had for his two restaurants — only one of which was still bringing in money.

“This is the result of two years of this nonsense,” McDermott said. “We tried as best we could to continue to make payments, but I couldn’t do it.”

McDermott, 55, of Hampton, said he’s since paid back much of the overdue meal tax, and will soon pay the rest. But he’s now planning to sell Crabtown, saying his treatment from the airport’s board has left a sour taste in his mouth.

“I had a relationship with the airport for almost 30 years,” he said. “The board allowing me to get screwed like this — it’s inconceivable. This stupid thing has destroyed me.”

McDermott’s company, New Dominion Clubs, began providing food and beverage services at the airport in 2003, when it renovated a dilapidated Burger King and turned it into the Blue Sky Cafe. The company later added bar and kiosk areas on the concourses, and McDermott said airport officials always pushed those expansions.

McDermott said he regularly charged reduced rates for airport and city events, and local charitable functions, saying he regularly sold the food at cost for airport events and covered the labor.

But in late 2016, the Peninsula Airport Commission voted to unilaterally end his long-term lease and kick him out. The airport filed for a court judgement, saying it needed the space “for an airport purpose” — running its own restaurant.

As the lease dispute was heating up, McDermott exposed a $5 million loan guarantee that the Airport Commission had secretly given to a startup airline, People Express Airlines, in 2014.

McDermott, who believes his knowledge of that loan is the real reason he was forced out, filed an open records request for loan documents in late 2016.

That led the Daily Press to press for answers about the loan guarantee in early 2017, leading to the revelation that the airport spent $4.5 million in public money to pay off the loan when People Express collapsed only months later.

A judge ruled in early 2017 that the airport was within its rights to terminate McDermott’s lease. But the judge also said the 2010 lease requires the airport to reimburse the company for its capital investments, minus depreciation.

Two years on, that amount is still a matter of hot dispute.

McDermott says he pumped more than $1.5 million into the airport over the years, including on restaurant fixtures, kiosks, and water and electrical lines. He says the airport owes him $815,000.

But the airport’s attorney, James S. McNider III, has said in court hearings that New Dominion is owed little or nothing at all.

McNider says the company hasn’t provided adequate justification — such as tax returns, invoices and canceled checks — to back his $815,000 claim. The attorney also contends the company didn’t follow accounting rules on depreciation.

McDermott, for his part, said the airport threw away “boxes and boxes” of his business files — including documents needed for his claim — in September 2016.

A trial is scheduled for February.

McDermott said he was willing to settle, but that McNider has deliberately dragged out the case with “frivolous” motions, and that the Airport Commission has not tried to push for a resolution.

McNider declined to comment on McDermott’s statements. The airport’s executive director, Mike Giardino, declined to comment, with spokeswoman Jessica Wharton saying the airport “will not discuss pending litigation.”

Airport Commission chairwoman Sharon Scott said the board has encouraged McNider to settle the case. But Scott said McNider has blamed McDermott and his attorney for the delays.

Mugler, Hampton’s commissioner of the revenue, said Crabtown owed meal taxes for April through September, with October later being added to the bill.

Restaurant diners in Hampton pay a 13 percent tax on every meal, with 7.5 percent going to the city and the rest to the state.

Mugler said the city treasurer, Molly Ward, is working with McDermott to collect the rest of the taxes he owes.

“He did a nice job renovating the restaurant,” Mugler said. “The food was good, and he had a great menu. It’s very disappointing to see the turn it has taken, because we don’t like to shut down a business.”

But Mugler said meal taxes — which are supposed to be turned over to the city monthly — don’t belong to a restaurant owner.

“You can’t use taxpayer money for your legal bills,” he said.

McDermott said the balance will be paid off in a matter of days. Still, he’s strongly considering moving out of Hampton Roads because of everything that’s happened.

“I am going to need to recharge my batteries,” he said. “This has just been brutal.”

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

Yampa Valley Airport (KHDN), Hayden, Routt County, Colorado

Thursday, December 27, 2018
12:17 p.m. 

Deputies responded to a report of a disturbance at Yampa Valley Regional Airport in Hayden.

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

Pilot shortage forces California Pacific Airlines to pause service in January



Nearly two months after the first commercial flight, California Pacific Airlines announced on December 28th it is pausing service out of Carlsbad in January, according to a press release.

The release cites a nationwide shortage of pilots and the company’s recent launch has left the carrier with insufficient crews to handle its schedule. Currently, CP Air, which is based at McClellan-Palomar Airport, services San Jose, Reno, Las Vegas and Phoenix. The company announced several weeks ago it had plans to expand to Sacramento and Denver.

CP Air’s contracted operations from Denver to South Dakota are not affected.

Founder and CEO Ted Vallas said that he is hopeful that service can be restored in “as little as two weeks,” but much depends on the pilot shortage.

 “All air carriers are feeling the impact of the shortage in some fashion,” Chief Operating Officer Fernando Pineda said in a statement. “We have been fighting this new reality and managed to reduce the impact on our customers until recently. Steps have been identified and activated to address the shortage and restore the pilot levels at California Pacific.”

CP Air said it expects only a temporary suspension in flights for the West Coast. As for customers, those who have already purchased tickets will automatically receive a refund. For additional questions, customers may call 855-505-9394.

Additionally, the statement said, “there is full intent to resume flights from Carlsbad as soon as pilot levels are adequate to support the daily scheduled flights.”

The company recently canceled all flights on Dec. 10 and 11 after one of its planes suffered a cracked windshield, along with icing problems, and a backup plane sustained a damaged wing when it clipped a backhoe inadvertently left on a runway in Pierre, South Dakota.

The airline, meanwhile, is the passion project of Vallas, who has been trying for the past 10 years to get the company in the air. Last year, Vallas and his investors purchased Aerodynamics, Inc., a regional airline that carried the necessary Federal Aviation Administration certifications.

The merger allowed CP Air to piggyback on those certifications and the company received approval from San Diego County in late summer to begin service from Carlsbad.

On Nov. 1, the CP Air took to the skies with its first flight. The airline’s initial service offerings were to San Jose and Reno, then added Las Vegas and Phoenix on Nov. 15.

Earlier this year, CP Air executives were excited to announce the launch of the long-awaited airline. They championed competitive prices, noting the easy access to and from the airport compared to San Diego International Airport.

CP Air recently ordered three additional airplanes, Vallas said.

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

Marblehead, Essex County, Massachusetts: Low-flying Aircraft Complaint

A caller reported a low-flying plane that was dipping its wings near Washington and Mugford streets at 11:26 a.m. on Wednesday. She stated it was only 400 feet above the street and she felt it was a threat to public safety. Responding officers found no low-flying aircraft in the area endangering any citizens. 

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

Embraer EMB-145XR, United Airlines - CommutAir: Incident occurred December 28, 2018 at University Park Airport (KUNV), State College, Centre County, Pennsylvania



BENNER TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania - Multiple fire companies and ambulance services were called to the University Park Airport on Friday afternoon after receiving a report of a possible fire on board a plane, but the plane landed without incident.

According to Lt. Michael Nelson, of Penn State police, the plane landed safely, and there were no injuries.

According to flightaware.com, United Airlines Flight 4958 — CommutAir operating as United Express — left Ithaca, New York, at about 2:50 p.m. and landed at University Park at about 3:40 p.m. It was diverted to University Park en route to Washington, D.C.

The pilot had a fire warning light that indicated in the tail section of the aircraft, and University Park Airport was the closest that the pilot could divert to, said James Meyer, executive director of the Centre County Airport Authority.

Emergency responders inspected the outside of the plane, and it “looked OK,” Meyer said. The plane was then escorted into the ramp where the passengers were unloaded.

It was “very calm,” he said.

There were 47 passengers and three crew members on board, Meyer said.

There’s another plane headed to University Park Airport to pick up the passengers, he said, and it’s scheduled to depart by about 6 p.m.

No other flights were impacted by the incident.

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



University Park, Centre County, Pennsylvania - More than 10 crews are responding to a Level 3 alert at the University Park Airport.

We spoke to the Executive Manager of the Airport and we were told that a United Airline plane was traveling from Ithaca, New York to Washington Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C. The plane had to make an emergency landing at the University Park Airport.

The plane has been evacuated and officials are trying to figure out the problem. Police are investigating.

Multiple fire crews are on the scene and the Medical Center has been notified. Officials have confirmed that police are on the scene.

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

STATE COLLEGE, Pennsylvania (WJAC) —  A passenger flight from Ithaca, New York headed to Dulles airport in Washington D.C. has been diverted to University Park Airport in State College.

Executive Director James Meyer told 6 News there was a fire warning in the tail of the aircraft, but no flames were found when the plane landed.

According to the United Airlines automated flight tracking system, the flight left Ithaca just before 3 p.m. Friday, and made the unexpected landing just after 3:50 p.m.

The flight was originally delayed leaving Ithaca due to aircraft maintenance, according to the tracking system.

Meyer said the plane landed safely and United Airlines has sent another aircraft to the airport to be boarded by 6 p.m.

He said the plane carried 47 passengers and three crew members.

Officials did not report any injuries.

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

Northrop T-38A Talon, United States Air Force: Incident occurred December 28, 2018 at Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport (KPHF), Virginia



UPDATE: Dec 28, 2018, 4:30 p.m.

The T-38 Talon has been removed from the runway at Newport News Airport. Thank you to our Airman, mission partners and community partners for your support and hard work today. Joint Base Langley-Eustis 

Dec 28, 2018, 11:30 a.m.

A United States Air Force T-38 Talon from Langley Air Force Base, Virginia was involved in a landing incident at 11 a.m., at the Newport News Airport with one person on board.

There were no fatalities or injuries. Emergency officials from Langley AFB are on scene, working to safely clear the aircraft from the runway as soon as possible.

“Today we are fortunate that our pilots have the training they need to react in emergency situations, such as the incident that occurred today,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Jason Hinds, 1st Fighter Wing commander. “I am thankful that everyone is safe, and thank you to the Newport News Airport for your support and understanding.”

A board of officers has been appointed to investigate the incident.  Joint Base Langley-Eustis 



NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) -- The Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport was closed for approximately four hours on Friday following an incident involving a military aircraft.

Jessica Wharton, a spokesperson for the airport, tells WAVY.com an aircraft from Joint Base Langley-Eustis was performing a training exercise when the plane began to have issues with its nose gear.

This caused the aircraft to slide off the runway.

Officials with Langley-Eustis said in a Facebook post the aircraft involved was a United States Air Force T-38 Talon. There were no injuries or fatalities in the incident, the post said.

A board of officers has been appointed to investigate the crash.

Initially, Wharton said the airport would be closed for one to two hours, but clearing the runway took longer than expected. 

The airport and airfield reopened around 5 p.m., according to their Twitter. 

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

Mahoning County Career and Technical Center aviation students receive donated airplane




MAHONING COUNTY, Ohio (WKBN) - The students in the aviation maintenance program at the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center received a big gift from a museum in Tennessee. 

The Beechcraft Heritage Museum in Tullahoma Tennessee donated a Beech A23 airplane.

The airplane was donated as a training tool for the students enrolled in the program who are working toward their Airframe and Powerplant Certificate.

“Part of the mission of the museum is to continue education in aviation maintenance and what better way to do that than by donating to a school with a growing aviation program,” said MCCTC school board member, Mike Stanko. “MCCTC holds a special place in my heart as I was fortunate enough to be in the first graduating class of the aviation program in 1974.”

Stanko also serves on the Beechcraft Heritage Museum board and spoke to them about donating the aircraft to the school.

The aviation program at MCCTC is a two-year program where students have the opportunity to receive their Airframe and Powerplant Certificate after completing the program. MCCTC is the only high school that offers this program in the state of Ohio east of Columbus.

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

Waterloo Regional Airport (KALO) facing critical pilot shortage

Keith Kaspari, MPA, C.M. 
 Waterloo Regional Airport (KALO) director of aviation.


WATERLOO, IOWA -  The number of commercial airline pilots has nosedived across the U.S., and local airport officials are preparing for the effects to land in Waterloo.

A 2016 Boeing report shows almost half of commercial airline pilots will retire in the next decade, and new pilots face huge obstacles to licensure.

It all points to a bumpy landing for regional airports.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, there were about 827,000 pilots in the U.S. in 1987. Over the last three decades, that number has decreased by 30 percent. Meanwhile, there’s been a tremendous increase in the demand for air travel. The International Air Transport Association predicts over the next 20 years air travel will double.

Regional airports are reeling from the shortage. Many have been forced into cutbacks, bankruptcies and closures.

“If this continues, there will be negative impacts to small communities all over the country,” said Keith Kaspari, Waterloo Regional Airport’s director of aviation. “This is a real concern and should be to everybody in Iowa and other small communities that have regional service for their connectivity to the national air transportation system.”



Financial burden

Analysts say regional air service is a direct link to a community’s overall economic development.

“And if you can’t get scheduled air service to your community, then you’re going to take your travel dollar somewhere else where you can,” Kaspari said.

The air industry supports thousands of jobs in Iowa, including manufacturers that support aviation industries. That equals more than 30,000 jobs, an annual payroll of $2.1 billion and an economic output of $3.9 billion, according to the Iowa Department of Transportation-Office of Aviation.

By 2026, Iowa’s annual economic loss due to the pilot shortage will top $741 million and 7,000 jobs, according to “A Man-Made Disaster” by Flightpath Economics, which also noted the 10-year cumulative loss to Iowa’s economy will be $3.9 billion.

Kaspari and other members of Iowa Public Airports Association are calling for a grassroots effort to encourage anyone with any interest in becoming a pilot to begin the training process. But the cost of obtaining the degree and hours for Airline Transport Pilot certification is sending would-be pilots into a tailspin.

Airlines are hiring less experienced pilots, leaving training schools — like Livingston Aviation in Waterloo — in a lurch for instructors.

“They’ve been talking about a pilot shortage for 15 years, but I’d say within the last two years it’s become really noticeable,” said Tim Newton, general manager, part-owner and flight instructor at Livingston. “Traditionally, you build time and flight experience being a flight instructor before you move on to the airlines.”




Barriers to flight school

Regulation adjustments and student loan access are steep barriers for would-be pilots.

A deadly crash in Buffalo, N.Y., in 2009 pushed Congress to adjust the pilot requirements for commercial airlines. After a pilot mishandled a landing near Buffalo-Niagara International Airport, the plane crashed into a residence, killing all 49 passengers and crew as well as a person in the house.

Since 2013, commercial air pilots are required to have 1,500 training hours, a significant increase from the previously required 250 hours.

And the price of pilot certification, which can exceed $100,000, far outweighs the price of a typical four-year degree.

“Routine, historical student loan programs do not fit today’s model of trying to get a student from the point that they start in school to the point that they graduate and beyond,” Kaspari said. “It’s a vicious circle.”

Students who attend aviation schools like Livingston are not eligible for financial aid or student loans because the school is not an accredited university. Instead, students must pay out of pocket.

To combat the issue, the Federal Aviation Administration in 2009 extended the mandatory retirement age for commercial pilots from 60 to 65. But a 2016 report by Boeing shows 42 percent of pilots currently flying for major U.S. airlines will reach their mandatory retirement age of 65 in the next 10 years.

“Even with the increase in student pilots, it’s probably not enough to cover the amount retiring, so I don’t think this problem is going to resolve itself in the next couple of years. It’s a long-term problem,” Newton said.

Waterloo Regional Airport (KALO)

The Waterloo Regional Airport maintains 13 flights a week to and from Chicago through American Airlines’ regional network carrier, Envoy Airlines. Waterloo needs to stay plugged into this extensive route map, which has destinations across the globe.

“As a community we have to maintain this service,” Kaspari said.

The city-owned airport operates with help from a federal grant through Essential Air Service program with the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Kaspari said he eventually would like to ease the airport into a more self-sustaining commercial air service. To do that, airlines need more commercial pilots.

Waterloo is among four Iowa airports that receive EAS funding. Others are Burlington, Mason City and Fort Dodge. Dubuque, Sioux City, Cedar Rapids and Des Moines airports do not receive the assistance.

Across the U.S.

Recently, major businesses across the U.S. have relocated near larger airports with more flight options.

“After nearly a century, Caterpillar moved their corporate headquarters from Peoria, Ill., to Chicago, citing reliable air service as the top issue affecting the decision. Archer Daniels Midland moved from Decatur, Ill., to Chicago. Chiquita left Cincinnati for Charlotte. Krystal left Chattanooga for Atlanta,” according to the Iowa Public Airports Association.

“The only way we’re going to get more service is if we support the service we have today. And then with a high enough load factor with passengers on each flight that can then justify expanded service,” Kaspari said.

“That is why it is critical that community officials, state and federal legislators, work towards a streamlined and defined pathway for men and women to work towards a career as a pilot — whether it be via the U.S. airline industry (passenger and cargo), corporate or business aviation, but also to serve our nation by joining the ranks of the military services.”

Air service decline

Airline reductions between 2013-2016:

309 U.S. airports experienced schedule reductions of 10 percent or more, and 208 airports experienced 20 percent or more.
52 U.S. airports lost passenger air service completely.

Source: Regional Airline Association

Financial impact

In 2012, civil aviation generated $1.5 trillion in economic activity and supported 11.8 million jobs.
Civil aviation accounted for 5.4 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product in 2012.
Commercial airline visitor expenditures contributed $671 billion to the U.S. economy and supported nearly 6 million jobs.

Source: Regional Airline Association

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