Saturday, November 21, 2020

Incident occurred November 21, 2020 in Bodega, Sonoma County, California

A low-flying pilot took out some power lines near Bodega Saturday afternoon, and though one resident briefly lost power, fire officials were relieved a crash was not part of the outcome. 

“I’ve been doing this 24 years and never been through a plane going through power lines,” said Lou Stoerzinger, captain with the Bodega Bay Fire District.

The resident whose power was affected by the downed power lines made the initial report, Stoerzinger said, and had anticipated a crash. The plane, which as of Saturday evening remained unidentified, evidently flew off and did not return.

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office did not take a report of the incident, said Lt. Jason Lucas. A request for any additional information on the type of plane went unanswered Saturday.

A crew with Pacific Gas and Electric Co. responded to the address on Salmon Creek Road to repair the lines, Stoerzinger said. He said only one residence was affected by the damaged lines and no fire was started.

“It sounded pretty serious, but it ended up being a whole lot of nothing,” he said. “Which is good.”

The Federal Aviation Administration enforces regulations about flight altitude. An FAA spokesperson could not immediately say Saturday whether a report was made to the FAA about the incident.

The FAA’s Oakland field standards district office serves an area that includes Sonoma County. It can be reached at 510-864-2930.

New concrete surround around Pride of the Adirondacks

PLATTSBURGH Clinton County, New York -- R. Deso Inc. Ready-Mixed Concrete churned out between 50-55 cubic yards around the "Pride of the Adirondacks" in the Clyde Lewis Air Park in the City.

Friday was the second-day of a two-day installation donated by Luck Bros. Inc.

“If you're looking down from the top of the plane, we've outlined the entire plane with concrete and giving people great access to be able to walk underneath the whole system on hard surfaces including ADA,” Jeff Luck, President of the Luck Group of Companies, said.

“The rest of it's going to be just grass with the ability to do some really nice landscaping. If somebody wants to plant something and keep it up.

“It gives it a nicer option than a big solid black slab under that thing. And the concrete will last better than the asphalt anyways.”

Luck was approached by members of the Plattsburgh Aircraft Restoration Group to donate work and materials totally $25,000 to enhance the bomber as well as the nearby FB-111 A fighter-bomber, once part of the Strategic Air Command arsenal.

Luck recruited Doug Henry, area manager of Upstone Materials, to donate hot-mix asphalt to shadow the FB-111 A.

RMS did survey work for the project, and Pier Works did site prep.

“It's kind of close to my heart,” Luck said.

“I had a father-in-law (Frank DeCosta, FB-111 Crew Chief) who served here. A lot of our kids today don't know we ever had an Air Force base here.

“A little bit more attention is good, I think.”

Thursday, Luck Bros. employees smoothed the concrete under the B-47's wings.

“Today, they did the entrance and they did under the tail guns and the back,” Col. Joseph B. McNichols Jr. (USAF Retired) said.

“We fluted it out. We put the airplane on the ground. We have a guy that's going to come in with a drone and we're going to get a shot from above, which will be a really interesting perspective.

“But everything now is handicapped accessible. We want people to go right up and basically touch the airplane. It's looking good.”

The insets around the B-47 will be filled with dirt.

“And we think maybe even some of these areas get perennial type flowers,” McNichols said.

“We're prettying up the Air Park for the City and the community.”

Runway Excursion: Cirrus SR22T, N1133T; accident occurred August 19, 2018 at Granbury Regional Airport (KGDJ), Hood County, Texas


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

Additional Participating Entities: 

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; North Texas, Texas
Cirrus; Duluth, Minnesota 
Cirrus Owners & Pilots Association; Las Vegas, Nevada 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Granbury, Texas
Accident Number: CEN18LA341
Date & Time: August 18, 2018, 20:19 Local
Registration: N1133T
Aircraft: Cirrus SR22 Aircraft
Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Runway excursion 
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot was practicing instrument flight rules approaches and was returning for a landing with a light crosswind during dusk visual meteorological conditions. He disengaged the autopilot using the panel autopilot button. All flight controls seemed to perform normally. The right turn to base and right turn to final were made normally. On final approach, the pilot made minimal rudder inputs. As the pilot started to flare the airplane, he started putting in more rudder inputs. However, he could not depress the left rudder pedal fully. The airplane touched down about 80 knots on the main landing gear while the pilot was holding all the left rudder he could. The airplane started to veer to the right and continued off the runway, where it impacted a ditch, fence, and tree; the airplane sustained substantial damage to a wing and the fuselage.

The pilot indicated that the yaw damper was on when he landed. However, the airplane was equipped with a recoverable data module that recorded the flight's configuration and navigation data, which indicated that the yaw damper was off about 1/4 mile before the landing runway threshold.

Given the available information, the pilot likely did not maintain directional control of the airplane during the crosswind landing.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to maintain directional control during a crosswind landing, which resulted in the airplane exiting the runway and impacting a ditch, tree, and fence.


Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Environmental issues Tree(s) - Contributed to outcome
Environmental issues Fence/fence post - Contributed to outcome
Environmental issues Rough terrain - Contributed to outcome

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing-landing roll 
Runway excursion (Defining event)

Landing-landing roll
Collision during takeoff/land

On August 19, 2018, about 2019 central daylight time, a Cirrus SR22 T airplane, N1133T, impacted obstructions when the airplane exited runway 14 during a landing at the Granbury Regional Airport (GDJ), near Granbury, Texas. The private pilot sustained minor injuries. The airplane sustained substantial wing and fuselage damage during the runway excursion. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Dusk visual meteorological conditions prevailed in the area about the time of the accident, and the flight was not operated on a flight plan. The local flight originated from GDJ about 1949.

The purpose of the flight was to practice an instrument flight rules approach. The pilot checked all flight controls for full movement and then departed from runway 14 to the North. He set the autopilot to intercept the area navigation approach to runway 14 at its initial approach fix. The autopilot intercepted the approach normally and the airplane made a procedure turn to intercept the approaches' glidepath. The glidepath was flown down to minimums and a go around was established. The go around button was used which suspended the landing sequence on the computer.

During the climb to 2,700 ft, a waypoint was set manually to reestablish computer sequencing. Upon arrival at the waypoint, the autopilot was disengaged using the panel autopilot button. The pilot subsequently proceeded into the downwind leg of the pattern for runway 14. All flight controls seemed to perform normally. The right-hand turn to base and right-hand turn to final were made normally. On final minimal rudder inputs were made. As the pilot started to flare, he started putting in more rudder inputs. However, he could not depress the left rudder pedal fully. The airplane touched down about 80 kts on the main landing gear while the pilot was holding all the left rudder he could. The airplane started to veer to the right and continued off the runway until impacting a ditch, fence, and tree.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private 
Age: 60,Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land 
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: May 3, 2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: May 26, 2018
Flight Time: 580 hours (Total, all aircraft), 20 hours (Total, this make and model)

The pilot held a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) private pilot certificate with airplane single-engine land, glider, and instrument ratings. He held a FAA third-class medical certificate, dated May 3, 2018, with a limitation for corrective lenses. The pilot reported that he had accumulated 580 hours of total flight time and 20 hours of flight time in the same make and model airplane as the accident airplane.

The pilot attended a Cirrus Airframe/Powerplant Differences Course and satisfactorily completed the training on May 26, 2018. The pilot also received both a high performance and flight review endorsement as part of this course.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cirrus
Registration: N1133T
Model/Series: SR22 T 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2015
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 1030
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle 
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: May 1, 2018
Annual Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3600 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 250 Hrs at time of accident 
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: TSIO550K
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 315 Horsepower
Operator: On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

N1133T, a 2015 model Cirrus Aircraft Corporation SR22 T, serial number 1030, was a four-place, single-engine, low-wing, airplane powered by a six-cylinder, 315-horsepower, Teledyne Continental Motors model TSIO-550-K engine, with serial number 1011841. The airplane had a demonstrated crosswind of 21 kts.

The pilot, in part, posted, "There is no doubt in my mind that the yaw damper is to blame and believe me you cannot overpower it! Apparently the [autopilot] AP button turns the autopilot on including the [yaw damper] YD. For some stupid reason when pressed again it does NOT turn the yaw damper off. The AP disconnect on the yoke does turn the yaw damper off however. Why on earth would it be set up differently? 

I also did transition training in May and no mention of this potential problem. I have over 900 landings in a Cirrus with no problem and humbly I say that I could have made that landing under normal conditions in my sleep. I normally disconnect the Autopilot with the yoke control but did not this evening because I wanted to maintain the flight director as I have done numerous times in my SR20. 

On touchdown the plane started veering right and I couldn't stop it. So anyway, I know that the yaw damper was on when I landed because of the quirky way it is set up, but I don't know why I couldn't overpower the rudder and land normally."

The pilot reported that the last annual inspection was completed in May of 2018. He also advised that punch list items listed in paperwork related to that annual inspection as well as another airframe logbook entry that refers to replacement of the rudder bellcrank rod bearing may have had an effect of the yaw of the airplane.

A representative from the maintenance facility that conducted that annual inspection, in part, reported that, "During the Annual, the yaw servo bridle cable tension was found to be low ... and was adjusted as needed. The Autopilot Servo Clutch Torque Check ... was also addressed during the Annual. The torque test is completed through the onboard avionics and does not require servo removal. The torque readings of all three servos were found to be within limits. No further action was taken. The aft rudder control rod end was inspected at the Annual. There is nothing in our notes of any defects." The airplane was equipped with a Garmin GFC 700 digital Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS) Autopilot system, which was a fully digital, dual channel, fail-passive digital flight control system composed of dual GIA 63W Integrated Avionics Computers, other line-replaceable units, and servos.

The airplane was equipped with an optional yaw damper. The airplane maintenance manual, in part, stated:

The yaw damper reduces dutch roll tendencies and coordinates turns. It can operate independently of the autopilot and may be used during normal hand-flight maneuvers. A GSA 80 servo provides the control surface interface and the mode selection occurs via the GMC 705 controller. Yaw Damper operation is provided by the yaw servo and supplies:

- Yaw Damper engagement and annunciation
- Yaw axis airplane control ...

The yaw servo is an electromechanical unit that provides automatic control of the yaw flight axis. The yaw servo receives data from dual GIA 63W integrated avionics computers. ... The yaw servo consists of a GSA 80 Servo Actuator and GSM 85A/86 Servo Mount.

The servo actuator contains a motor-control circuit board, monitor circuit board, solenoid, and motor. The motor-control board processes data and drives the motor as required for axis control. The monitor board monitors servo speed, monitors output torque, and controls engagement of the drive-clutch solenoid.

The servo mount contains a capstan and slip-clutch. The capstan transfers the output torque of the servo actuator to the mechanical flight control surface linkage for yaw axis. The slip-clutch allows the pilot to override operation of the servo actuator. Sufficient force applied to the capstan overcomes the slipclutch setting, allowing the capstan to rotate independently of the servo actuator.

The airplane was equipped with an aircraft data logger, which included a Recoverable Data Module (RDM). The RDM, located in the shear web of the aft vertical spar in front of the rudder, receives airplane data from the primary GIA 63W integrated avionics unit. The RDM was designed to record airplane performance, configuration data, and navigation data to include the flight's groundspeed and global positioning system track.

The approved airplane flight manual supplement for the GFC 700 AFCS, in part, indicated an airplane limitation which stated, "Yaw Damper must be turned off for takeoff and landing." In addition, the supplement indicated, "Before Taxiing ... Autopilot Override TEST Move flight controls fore, aft, left and right to verify that the Autopilot can be overpowered."

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC) 
Condition of Light: Dusk
Observation Facility, Elevation: KGDJ,778 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 19:35 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 186°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Visibility 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 5 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction: 120° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 29.84 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 34°C / 21°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Granbury, TX (KGDJ)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Granbury, TX (KGDJ)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 19:49 Local 
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 777 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 14 IFR 
Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3603 ft / 60 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full stop

GDJ was a public, non-towered airport, owned by the City of Granbury, located 2 miles west of Granbury, Texas, at a surveyed elevation of 777.5 ft above mean sea level. The airport featured runway 14/32 which had a 3,603 ft by 60 ft asphalt surface. Runway 14 had a two-light precision approach path indicator (PAPI) on located on the left side of the runway and that PAPI provided a 3.00 deg; glide path. Runway 14 obstruction remarks listed a 15 ft trees, located 200 ft from the runway, and 160 ft right of centerline.

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 32.444442,-97.816947(est)

Additional Information

Federal Aviation Regulation 23.143, in part, stated:
(a) The airplane must be safely controllable and maneuverable during all flight phases including-

(6) Landing (power on and power off) with the wing flaps extended and retracted.

(b) It must be possible to make a smooth transition from one flight condition to another (including turns and slips) without danger of exceeding the limit load factor, under any probable operating condition (including, for multiengine airplanes, those conditions normally encountered in the sudden failure of any engine).

(c) If marginal conditions exist with regard to required pilot strength, the control forces necessary must be determined by quantitative tests. In no case may the control forces under the conditions specified in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section exceed those prescribed in the following table:

Values in pounds force applied to the relevant control ...

(a) For temporary application: ...Rudder Pedal ... 150

(b) For prolonged application ... [Yaw] 20

A review of FAA certification paperwork revealed that the SR22 type airplane did not exceed the maximum prescribed control forces for the temporary application of the rudder pedal while the yaw damper was engaged.

Subsequent to the accident, Cirrus supplied a factory flight instructor who gave the pilot dual instruction and also see if the yaw damper met certification parameters. The instructor, in part, reported that he supplied 6.3 hours of training to the pilot on two consecutive days in a Cirrus airplane that was similarly equipped with a yaw damper. A task he noticed was that the pilot was not using checklists properly. In his ground check he did not include overriding the yaw damper on the autopilot to insure that he could
properly operate the rudder pedals if there was a failure in the system.

During several approaches he noticed that the pilot was not disengaging the autopilot with the autopilot disengage (red) button. Instead, he was using the autopilot (AP) button on the autopilot control panel. 

This led to the yaw damper remaining engaged after the master autopilot control had been toggled off. He improved on his checklist usage and began to use the autopilot disengage button.

The instructor was specifically asked if he provided training on how to override the yaw damper and he replied that he taught the pilot to incorporate it into his before takeoff checklist autopilot override test.

The instructor was asked to verify if the pilot was able to override the yaw damper and he indicated that he could, and he was able to achieve full deflection.

The instructor was asked if the pilot was confident in overriding the yaw damper during the ground tests and indicated that he was able to do it and admitted to it when asked. However, the pilot said something to the effect of "mine was harder when I had my accident."

The instructor confirmed that the yaw damper override forces were consistent with other yaw damper equipped Cirrus aircraft that he had flown.

Flight recorders

The airplane's RDM was downloaded by a safety representative from the airplane manufacturer under the supervision of an FAA inspector. A copy was retained by the NTSB for review. The safety representative parsed the downloaded flight data and plotted configuration data to include the yaw damper. The plotted route of flight data was consistent with the pilot's reported route of flight. The data showed that the yaw damper was not on about .25 miles before the landing runway threshold.

Cirrus SR22, N675N: Accident occurred November 21, 2020 near Mayaguana Airport (MYMM), Great Inagua, Bahamas

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; South Florida 

Aircraft experienced engine issues, deployed the chute and landed in the water short of the runway.

Date: 21-NOV-20
Time: 17:31:00Z
Regis#: N675N
Aircraft Make: CIRRUS
Aircraft Model: SR22
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: EN ROUTE (ENR)
Operation: 91
Country: BAHAMAS  

THE BAHAMAS (WSVN) – A United States Coast Guard crew has rescued a pilot after he was forced to perform an emergency landing in the Bahamas.

Photos from the scene show the plane in a wooded area connected to a parachute, Saturday.

A helicopter crew hoisted the pilot from the aircraft and transferred him to Providenciales International Airport in the Turks and Caicos with no reported injuries.

There were no other passengers on the plane, officials said.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — An aircraft that crashed in Mayaguana on Saturday reportedly experienced an engine malfunction, according to the Air Accident Investigation Authority (AAIA).

The sole pilot on board the Cirrus 22 aircraft was rescued.

The AAIA said it was advised of the incident around 1pm.

The US-registered plane was en route to Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera from Jose Aponte de la Torre Airport, Puerto Rico.

The AAIA said reports indicate the aircraft experienced an engine malfunction in the vicinity of Mayaguana, and the pilot initiated emergency protocols.

“The aircraft came to rest in an area that is inaccessible; subsequently a request was made to the United States Coast Guard for assistance,” the AAIA said in a report.

“The Coast Guard responded via the dispatch of OPBAT helicopter and the pilot was rescued with no reported injuries.

“The AAIA has opened an investigation into this occurrence as per the Aircraft Accident Investigation Authority Act 2019 and accompanying regulations and official notification has been transmitted to all local and international agencies as per the Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).”

According to authorities, the pilot was airlifted to seek medical attention.

Boutique Air looking to secure third contract as Massena’s Essential Air Service provider

MASSENA, St. Lawrence County, New York — Boutique Air has been serving as the Essential Air Service provider at the Massena International Airport since mid-2017, and it’s hoping to continue beyond March 2021 when its contract expires.

Boutique Air will be one of three airlines making a presentation to the Massena Town Council on Monday. The meeting was originally scheduled for 4 p.m., but has been pushed back to 5 p.m. It will be streamed on the town of Massena’s Facebook page.

Tom Warren, Boutique Air’s vice president of business development, said there’s been a strong relationship between the airline and the town of Massena since the airline was selected twice to serve as the town’s Essential Air Service provider. He said Massena was fortunate to have leadership that made sure the needs of travelers are met.

“They do a great job with the Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C. They ensure Massena continues to get Essential Air Service funding for the town. They make sure the town’s needs are met. They work with whoever is the selected airline partner to ensure quality service. We plan to continue to work with the town to continue providing safe, fast service” that’s also economical for passengers, he said.

One of the latest requests that the town has made to the Department of Transportation is to allow Boutique Air to change their schedule to provide two round-trip flights to Boston Logan International Airport and one round-trip flight to Baltimore-Washington International Airport. They currently provide three round-trip flights to Boston daily.

“The idea behind switching to Baltimore is that Southwest and Spirit can connect Massena residents all over the country,” Mr. Warren said.

Passengers connecting from Massena International Airport to Boston now have direct flight options to and from Florida, specifically Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Fort Myers and Tampa on United Airlines. Boutique Air has an interline agreement with United, which allows travelers to get off a Boutique plane in Boston and go directly to United for their connecting flights to Florida.

Boutique Air also offers flights to the Norfolk, Va. and Virginia Beach area.

Boutique Air currently flies Massena passengers on their Pilatus PC-12 aircraft. Mr. Warren, who has more than 40 years of experience as a commercial pilot, started with Boutique Air in 2018 as a Pilatus captain before joining the leadership team. So he’s familiar with the plane.

“I’ve had the privilege of flying in and out of Massena on a variety of occasions. From my perspective, the aircraft we fly are fast, pressurized and all-weather aircraft,” Mr. Warren said.

He said the Pilatus’s features include “nice, comfortable executive seats and fully enclosed bathrooms.” They provide passengers with water and snacks during the flight.

“It’s a pretty comfortable flight over a short distance,” Mr. Warren said. “Right now Boutique is the largest operator of the Pilatus PC-12. That experience is important to the town and travelers. It means we have provided safe, reliable transport. That is what our job is for the town of Massena.”

If they’re selected for the third time as the town’s Essential Air Service provider, Mr. Warren said they plan to continue setting aside funds to support marketing efforts in the community. They recently sponsored the town’s Big Bass Blowout at the Massena Intake.

“We realize it’s important to support the community. We realize it’s important to promote it,” he said.

New air service from San Luis Valley Regional Airport (KALS) began November 1st

SAN LUIS VALLEY, Colorado - San Luis Valley Regional Airport manager Will Hickman gave a presentation on the airport during the Upper Rio Grande Economic Development (URGED) meeting November 10th, and announced the arrival of a new airline that started services at the airport November 1st.

United Airlines will be flying a CRJ-200 Jet with 50 seating capacity. One of the main benefits of this airplane is that there are no baggage restrictions and will allow for freight deliveries. At this time, the airport is offering flights several times a day to DIA out of Denver that cost anywhere between $100 to $150 roundtrip.

Hickman began his presentation with a brief history about himself and the airport stating that the location of San Luis Valley Regional Airport was chosen in 1939. According to Hickman, Carl Bergman and Lloyd Jones were the first people to build a hangar at the airport which still stands today, including a building that may have been Bergman’s personal home.

The San Luis Valley Regional Airport began commercial flights in 1947 with Monarch Airlines which then changed to Frontier who employed Convair 580s until Great Lakes Airline took over with BE1900s. For the past several years, Boutique Airlines offered commercial services at the airport. “Boutique Airlines did great things for the airport while they offered services here. We had a great relationship with them but needed to expand our services to heighten tourism and commercial services here in the Valley. So, on November 1st we welcomed United Airlines Services through Sky West,” said Hickman.

In addition to no baggage restrictions, the airline also offers inflight services, private restroom, wheelchair access, overhead bin space and the CRJ-200 jet is quieter than the previously used PC-12s from Boutique Airline. “This not only helps bring people to the Valley but it has given us global recognition. It is putting us on the map. We have real airline service now,” said Hickman.

Hickman also talked about funding opportunities that come with the change in airline services stating the airport will be eligible for more funding to start capital improvement projects in the future. “We have to record 10,000 enplanements or passengers in order to qualify for a $1 million grant which can be used to improve capital projects around the airport. It will be a huge benefit for Alamosa and the surrounding southwest region.”

The airport is looking to improve rental car services, offer shuttle service for individuals who need to travel to and from the airport, increase Uber and Lyft opportunities for the Valley, increase parking locations, have more direct connections to other locations outside of DIA and to complete more capital improvements in the airport.

In 2019, the Regional Airline Association did a study that found that small airports generate a significant amount of economic activity throughout the U.S. It stated, “The main finding is that small community air service generates a significant amount of economic activity in the U.S. There are 570 small community airports in the U.S. and air service to these airports generates $134 billions of economic activity in the respective communities according to the study. Communities of all sizes seek access to air service as a driver for attracting investment, generating employment and providing mobility for citizens.” Which is the hope for San Luis Valley Regional Airport as they continue to improve services and work to qualify for capital improvement funding.

Erie County, New York: Did a plane crash at the Buffalo Yacht Club? Here’s what happened

A false alarm brought police, firefighters and the Coast Guard to Buffalo's Waterfront on Saturday, November 21st.

A small amphibious aircraft was caught on video flying low over the water Saturday afternoon at the Buffalo Yacht Club on Porter Avenue.

The Coast Guard says first responders initially received reports around 1:30 p.m. saying the plane might have crashed.

The Coast Guard says the plane actually landed multiple times in the water between Buffalo and Tonawanda.

It then took off flying west. 

The Coast Guard says they were unable to contact the pilot.

Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee, N98101: Incident occurred November 21, 2020 at Warsaw Municipal Airport (KASW), Indiana

N98101 Flyers LLC

Few details are known in an apparent plane crash at the Warsaw Municipal Airport, 3000 Airport Road, Saturday morning.

First responders were called to the airport around 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

The Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee appeared to have some damage to the nose. 

According to FAA Aviation Database, the aircraft is registered to N98101 Flyers LLC, out of Warsaw, Indiana.

An airport official would not comment on the matter, and no other information is currently available, including who was piloting the plane.

Warsaw-Wayne Fire Territory, Warsaw Police Department and Lutheran EMS responded.

WARSAW — A small plane incurred some damage at Warsaw Municipal Airport Saturday morning, November 21st.

At about 11:30 a.m. emergency responders were called out to an apparent crash at the airport.

On the scene, InkFreeNews observed a small aircraft with apparent minor damage to its nose.

Initial calls to first responders said the pilot made it out of the plane and that there were no other passengers. It was seen sitting in a grassy area somewhere along the east-west runway.

The exact circumstances of what happened were unclear. It’s not known if the pilot suffered any injuries.

Responding to the scene were Warsaw-Wayne Fire Territory, Warsaw police and Lutheran EMS.

Interjet Founders In Talks to Avoid Potential Tax Fraud Charges

The founders of troubled Mexican airline Interjet are negotiating a settlement with tax authorities in an effort to avoid potential criminal fraud charges that could be filed as soon as next month, said an official familiar with the matter.

Miguel Aleman Magnani, Interjet’s chief executive officer, and his father, Chairman Miguel Aleman Velasco, could face fraud charges, as could the company itself, said the tax official, who asked not to be named because tax cases are protected by privacy laws. Negotiations may still lead to a settlement, the person said.

The potential charges against the company and its top executives, which could be filed by the end of the year or early next year without a deal, stem from whether the company collected taxes from customers and employees but failed to forward the money to the government, said the official.

Interjet’s alleged tax debts have complicated an effort to draw in $150 million pledged by a group of outside investors as a lifeline to the carrier, which is struggling with the coronavirus pandemic and financial woes that predate Covid-19. Bloomberg News previously reported that the investors have yet to provide the funds out of fear that the government would grab some of the money to cover unpaid taxes.

Government Claims

The allegedly unpaid taxes are part of 6.2 billion pesos ($310 million) in government claims, the official said.

The tax bill amounts to 2.9 billion pesos, including retained income tax from employees and value added taxes charged to customers, according to an internal government document seen by Bloomberg News. Interjet owes another 3.3 billion pesos in other government fees and fuel costs from a state-owned company, while other creditors are seeking another 7.5 billion pesos, according to the document.

Interjet said in response to questions that the numbers were incorrect but declined to provide other amounts. The airline didn’t respond to questions about the tax negotiations.

If the company doesn’t come up with a plan to start covering its tax debts in the coming weeks, tax officials are prepared to file criminal charges by early next year in order to meet statutes of limitations, the tax official said.

Mexico’s tax prosecutor has discretion on whether to file criminal complaints with the attorney general’s office and can move to dismiss if taxpayers reach settlements even after the charges are brought. Criminal enforcement of the tax laws has been key to a tax crackdown under President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

As the coronavirus pandemic hit Mexico, Lopez Obrador refused to provide major fiscal aid to companies and instead insisted that they pay up after allegedly avoiding tax debts under corrupt previous governments. Under the threat of criminal fraud charges, the Mexican unit of Walmart Inc. and other companies paid a combined total of more than $1 billion this year.

The Alemans, who are descendants of a Mexican president, have seen Interjet collapse as most of its Airbus SE planes were repossessed by lessors earlier this year. The carrier’s fleet is down to just four active Russian-made Sukhoi Superjets, according to Flightradar24. Unionized employees protested earlier this month after they said they weren’t paid.

Bank of America Corp. repossessed the family’s Gulfstream private jet this summer after they fell behind on payments, according to a person familiar with the lease. Interjet declined to comment on that, or on the worker protests.

Loss of Control in Flight: AgustaWestland AW109S Grand, N11NM; fatal accident occurred June 28, 2019 at Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport (KBRD), Crow Wing County, Minnesota

Timothy Alan McDonald

Deb Schott

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Minneapolis, Minnesota
Federal Aviation Administration Rotorcraft Directorate; Fort Worth, Texas
North Memorial Health; Crystal, Minnesota
Transportation Safety Board of Canada; Ottawa, Ontario
Italian Civil Aviation Authority; San Marino, FN

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Brainerd, Minnesota
Accident Number: CEN19FA185
Date & Time: June 28, 2019, 00:40 Local
Registration: N11NM
Aircraft: Agusta A109 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight 
Injuries: 2 Fatal, 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under:


The crew of the helicopter air ambulance flight was approaching the airport for landing in dark night instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) after delivering a patient to the hospital. The reported weather conditions about the time the pilot initiated the instrument landing system (ILS) approach included 1/2-mile visibility with haze, which then deteriorated to 1/4 mile, which was within the operator's approved visibility approach minimums. The paramedic onboard reported that he saw the runway environment through a thin layer of fog as the helicopter descended toward the decision height (DH) of 200 ft above ground level during the approach.

After descending below the DH, with a power setting below 30% torque, the helicopter's pitch attitude increased from -3° (nose-down) to +20° (nose-up), its airspeed decreased from 100 to 50 knots, and the pilot declared a missed approach, likely due to a loss of visual contact with the runway environment. The pilot's increased collective input and the helicopter's decreasing airspeed resulted in an increase in torque, and the helicopter entered a right rotational yaw that accelerated into a spin. The helicopter subsequently impacted terrain near the runway.

The dark night conditions at the rural airport resulted in little to no visual references during the pilot's transition to landing and the attempted missed approach. It is likely that the pilot became spatially disoriented, which led to the excessive pitch attitude, slow airspeed, his failure to recognize and arrest the right yaw, and the subsequent loss of control.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's spatial disorientation during an instrument approach in dark night instrument meteorological conditions, which resulted in a loss of control and subsequent impact with terrain.


Personnel issues Spatial disorientation - Pilot
Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Environmental issues Dark - Effect on operation
Environmental issues Fog - Effect on operation
Aircraft Airspeed - Not attained/maintained

Factual Information

History of Flight

Approach-IFR missed approach Loss of control in flight (Defining event)

On June 28, 2019, about 0040 central daylight time, an Agusta Spa A109S helicopter, N11NM, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident at Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport (BRD), near Brainerd Lakes, Minnesota. The pilot and flight nurse were fatally injured, and the flight paramedic was seriously injured. The helicopter was operated by North Memorial Healthcare as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 helicopter air ambulance flight.

The flight was returning to BRD after delivering a patient to North Memorial Heliport (MY77), Robbinsdale, Minnesota. An onboard Appareo Vision 1000 device recorded flight data, cockpit imagery, and audio of the flight. The helicopter departed MY77 at 2348, and the pilot received an instrument flight rules clearance from air traffic control (ATC) to climb to 6,000 ft mean sea level (msl) and fly direct to BRD.

At 2356, while holding an iPad, the pilot stated on intercom to the paramedic and/or flight nurse that visibility at BRD was "1 mile, looks good." The pilot requested the instrument landing system runway 23 (ILS RWY 23) approach and informed the controller that he had obtained the current weather at BRD.

At 0028, the pilot selected the BRD automated surface observing system (ASOS) frequency. The ASOS transmission included a ceiling of 200 ft above ground level (agl) and 1/4-mile visibility with fog. The controller cleared the helicopter for the ILS RWY 23 approach. Shortly thereafter, the ASOS transmitted weather included 1/2-mile visibility with haze, and the pilot stated "awesome, 1/2 we're
legal" on the intercom. The pilot subsequently activated the runway lights.

At 0034:35, the helicopter began a descent on the ILS glideslope with the autopilot coupled. About 5 seconds later, the pilot appeared to turn on the helicopter's landing light and/or search light.

At 0036:30, the helicopter passed the final approach fix (5.3 miles from Runway 23) at 93 knots.

At 0036:37, the ASOS-transmitted weather included 1/4-mile visibility with haze and a sky condition of 200 ft vertical visibility.

After arriving at the ILS decision height, the pilot selected the altitude hold mode on the flight director and about 1 second later, decoupled the autopilot (pitch and roll steering modes). The radar altimeter read 130 ft agl. Over the next 14 seconds, with a power setting below 30% torque, the helicopter's pitch increased from -3° (nose-down) to +20° (nose-up) and the radar altimeter increased to 230 ft agl. As airspeed decreased below 50 knots, the pilot selected vertical speed, and heading modes on the flight director. The helicopter's power increased rapidly through 40% torque and the airspeed decreased through 25 knots. Based on a GPS groundspeed of 40 knots, the airborne tailwind was about 15 knots.

At 0039:38, the pilot announced a go-around. The helicopter's power increased past 80% torque, and the airspeed was 0 knots. The flight instruments indicated that the helicopter had entered a right rotational yaw and the radar altimeter read 300 ft agl. The helicopter's right yaw continued to increase; the power setting rose above 110% torque and the airspeed remained near 0 knots.

The last recorded information, at 0039:57, indicated that the helicopter was about 100 ft agl. The power setting was below 30% torque and the pilot had selected the "ALT" (altitude hold) button on the flight director.

Recorded images of the approach and attempted go-around did not provide a view of the runway environment or weather conditions.

Following the accident, the flight paramedic (seated in the left forward seat) recalled that the runway lights and surface were visible below a thin fog layer during the approach. As the helicopter approached the runway, he noticed clouds to the side and recalled the pilot stating that the weather conditions were foggy and that a go-around was needed. The helicopter subsequently spun to the right and impacted the ground.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial 
Age: 44,Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Helicopter
Second Pilot Present:
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: January 10, 2019
Occupational Pilot: Yes 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: March 12, 2019
Flight Time: 3376 hours (Total, all aircraft), 533 hours (Total, this make and model), 2294 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 38 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 11 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Passenger Information

Certificate: None
Age: 58,Female
Airplane Rating(s): None 
Seat Occupied: Rear
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present:
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: None
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:

Passenger Information
Certificate: None 
Age: 42,Male
Airplane Rating(s): None 
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present:
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: None 
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:

The pilot's most recent Part 135 competency/proficiency check occurred on March 12, 2019.

During the 90 days before the accident, the pilot logged 27 landings at night, 16 instrument approaches, 1 flight hour of actual instrument time, and 57 hours of simulated instrument time. The pilot's total actual instrument time flown was 41 hours.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Agusta
Registration: N11NM
Model/Series: A109 S
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 2008 
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 22075
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 5
Date/Type of Last Inspection: June 18, 2019 AAIP 
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 7000 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 2 Turbo shaft
Airframe Total Time: 2723 Hrs at time of accident 
Engine Manufacturer: Pratt & Whitney Canada
ELT: Not installed 
Engine Model/Series: PW207C
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 750 Horsepower
Operating Certificate(s) Held: On-demand air taxi (135)

The helicopter was equipped with a 2-axis autopilot for lateral (roll) and longitudinal (pitch) control. The autopilot provided for limited yaw dampening, but no yaw control. Minimum airspeed to comply with IFR handling quality requirements for the helicopter was 55 knots.

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Instrument (IMC) 
Condition of Light: Night/dark
Observation Facility, Elevation: KBRD,1221 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 00:18 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 312°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Unknown 
Visibility: 0.25 miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 200 ft AGL
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 50° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / Light
Altimeter Setting: 30.07 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 19°C / 16°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: Moderate - None - Haze
Departure Point: Robbinsdale, MN (MY77)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Destination: Brainerd, MN (BRD ) 
Type of Clearance: IFR
Departure Time: 23:48 Local
Type of Airspace: Class E

BRD was located in a rural area with few ground lights, and there was no moon illumination at the time of the accident. Airport personnel stated that several lakes near BRD would often generate patchy fog and visibility could vary significantly at different locations on the airport.

The BRD ASOS was located about 600 ft left of runway 23 and about 1,200 ft from the runway threshold. BRD did not have equipment to measure runway visual range (RVR) for the touchdown zone.

At the time of the accident, the ASOS reported wind from 040° at 5 knots, 1/4 statute mile visibility, haze, vertical visibility of 200 ft agl, temperature of 19°C and a dew point temperature of 17°C.

The terminal aerodrome forecast (TAF) valid for BRD about the accident time included wind from 020° at 4 knots, 1 1/2 statute miles visibility, haze, and a clear sky. An AIRMET advisory for instrument flight rules (IFR) conditions was valid at the accident time.

Airport Information

Airport: Brainerd Lakes Rgnl BRD 
Runway Surface Type: Concrete
Airport Elevation: 1232 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 23 
IFR Approach: ILS
Runway Length/Width: 6512 ft / 150 ft 
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Fatal, 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal, 1
Serious Latitude, Longitude: 46.403331,-94.128334

The helicopter impacted a grassy area south of runway 23 and came to rest upright and nearly intact on a heading of 074°. The main fuselage and tail boom exhibited crushing consistent with a high-velocity vertical descent and impact. The helicopter was upright and nearly intact, with no movement from the initial impact point. There was no evidence of a postcrash fire. The ground adjacent
to the wreckage was soaked with fuel and the smell of fuel was present at the accident site.

Examination of the helicopter and review of recorded flight information revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

Additional Information

Spatial Disorientation

The FAA's Airplane Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-3B) describes some hazards associated with flying when the ground or horizon are obscured. The handbook states, in part, the following:

The vestibular sense (motion sensing by the inner ear) in particular can and will confuse the pilot. Because of inertia, the sensory areas of the inner ear cannot detect slight changes in airplane attitude, nor can they accurately sense attitude changes that occur at a uniform rate over a period of time. On the other hand, false sensations are often generated, leading the pilot to believe the attitude of the airplane has changed when, in fact, it has not. These false sensations result in the pilot experiencing spatial

FAA Instrument Approach Guidance

FAA guidance for helicopter instrument approaches allows a reduction of the Category A visibility by half, but in no case less than 1⁄4 statute mile or 1,200 ft runway visual range (RVR). The approach can be initiated at any speed up to the highest approach category authorized; however, the speed on the final approach segment must be reduced to the Category A speed of less than 90 knots before the missed approach point in order to apply the visibility reduction.

Operator Training and Guidance

The operator's flight training and currency programs were all conducted inflight, as the only A109 simulator was based in Italy. Following a September 2016 accident that involved a loss of control during a missed approach in night IMC conditions, the operator started construction of a flight training device (FTD) for instrument procedures using an actual A109S cockpit. The FTD was not yet certified or in use at the time of the accident.

Following the accident, the operator increased the minimum weather conditions required for their pilots to conduct an instrument approach to a cloud ceiling of 400 ft agl and 1 mile visibility.

Medical and Pathological Information

An autopsy was performed on the pilot and flight nurse by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner, St. Paul, Minnesota. The cause of death was multiple traumatic injuries. 

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Forensic Sciences Laboratory performed toxicological testing on the pilot. The tests were negative for all screened-for drugs, carbon monoxide, and alcohol.

Survival Aspects

The FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) reviewed the helicopter's seats, restraints, and helmet specifications and the effects of the impact with terrain at a high vertical velocity. No anomalies were noted.

The operator's communication center first attempted radio contact with the helicopter crew about 15 minutes after the accident and the paramedic made a mayday radio transmission about 22 minutes after the accident. Emergency response personnel located the helicopter about 41 minutes after the accident. The low-visibility weather conditions contributed to the delayed arrival of first responders.

The FAA did not require that the operator have an operational control center (OCC). Following the accident, the operator made communication center training and process improvements, including timely identification of an aircraft potentially in distress.

BRAINERD, Minnesota — The pilot’s spatial disorientation on a dark and foggy night was the probable cause of the fatal 2019 North Memorial Health helicopter crash at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport.

The National Transportation Safety Board issued its final report last month on the June 2019 crash that killed the pilot and a flight nurse while seriously injuring a flight paramedic. There was no mechanical failure reported.

It was just past 12:30 a.m. June 28 when pilot Tim McDonald initiated the instrument landing system in the Agusta medical helicopter. The three-person crew was returning from delivering a patient to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale and as they approached the airport, visibility was about a half-mile, deteriorating to a quarter-mile, according to the report. A quarter-mile visibility was the minimum distance approved by North Memorial Health for approaches at the time.

Following the accident, Josh Duda of Pillager, Minn., the flight paramedic seated in the left front seat, recalled the runway lights and surface were visible below a thin fog layer during the approach. As the helicopter approached the runway, he noticed clouds to the side and recalled McDonald stating the weather conditions were foggy and that a go-around was needed, the report stated.

Just before the helicopter lost control, McDonald declared a missed approach, likely due to the loss of visual contact with the runway. But a combination of factors caused an increase in torque and the helicopter accelerated into a spin before crashing near the runway.

“The dark night conditions at the rural airport resulted in little to no visual references during the pilot’s transition to landing and the attempted missed approach,” the report stated. “It is likely that the pilot became spatially disoriented, which led to the excessive pitch attitude, slow airspeed, his failure to recognize and arrest the right yaw, and the subsequent loss of control.”

Following the crash, North Memorial Health increased the minimum weather conditions required for pilots to conduct an instrument approach to a cloud ceiling of 400 feet above ground level and 1 mile visibility, the NTSB reported.

Although investigators state the helicopter was upright and nearly intact after the crash, they also report parts of it — including the main body and tail — “exhibited crushing consistent with a high velocity vertical descent.”

There was no evidence of a post-crash fire, but a portion of the ground was soaked in fuel.

An arc-shaped ground scar, consistent with a main rotor blade strike, was found to the left of the helicopter’s body. The outboard section of one tail rotor blade was found about 200 feet southwest of the helicopter. A 7-inch deep ground scar was located underneath the tail rotor and exhibited evidence of multiple tail rotor blade strikes.

McDonald and flight nurse Debra Schott died at the scene of the June 28 crash. Duda was taken to Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd after the crash, and then to North Memorial in Robbinsdale.

McDonald, 44, a resident of Bloomington, was based at North Memorial Air Care’s facility in Siren, Wis., and is survived by his wife, Crystal and four children, according to a GoFundMe page set up in his honor. His obituary states he was a graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College and served as a helicopter pilot in the Army, completing two combat tours in Iraq before leaving to fulfill his dream of being a medevac pilot. He also earned his Master of Business Administration degree from Oklahoma State University.

Schott, 58, of Lester Prairie, Minn., graduated nursing school from Ridgewater College in Willmar, Minn., and earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Crow College, according to her obituary. She was first licensed as a practical nurse in 1980 at the age of 19 and received a license to work as a registered nurse in 1994. At the time of her death, she worked as a registered nurse at the Ridgeview Emergency Department, along with North Memorial Air Care.

Schott is survived by her husband, Gary, along with two children, two grandchildren, two stepchildren and seven step-grandchildren.

North Memorial Air Care has bases in Brainerd, Bemidji, Princeton, Redwood Falls and Lakeville.

“Hop-On” jet service begins flights from Houston to Dallas, Texas


HOUSTON (CW39) – For most of us, having a private jet is a bit over budget. JSX, a company that specializes in “Hop-On” jet service is making the jet experience more attainable.

JSX already has several routes on the west coast, but Friday begins their first intra-Texas route. They will be making daily round trips from private terminals at Hobby airport up to Dallas Love Field.

CEO of JSX, Alex Wilcox, says the idea of this company is to bring convenience back to air travel.

When you fly commercial, getting to the airport well before your flight takes off is necessary to check in and get through security. Wilcox says with JSX, you will only have to arrive about twenty minutes before the flight leaves.

“We’re going to bring something new to the market and that is a much more convenient service, one that operates from small, private terminals as opposed to big airports. One in which you can show up twenty minutes before the flight. You just roll up in front of the FBO, get out of your car and you are less than thirty feet from the airplane. So you can walk through the terminal, go through our touchless security and check in process, get on the airplane, the door closes and you’re on your way. It’s literally no slower than if you had your own private jet,” explained Wilcox.

As for the cost of this type of service, flights between Houston & Dallas start at $99 one way.

Each flight holds thirty passengers. There is only one seat on each side of the plane and there’s also no overhead bins. JSX says this makes it much easier to social distance up in the air.

NetJets sees boost in 2021 from nervous wealthy fliers


(Reuters) - NetJets, a private jet firm owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, expects aircraft deliveries to rise by a third next year, as wealthy travelers looking to avoid commercial flights due to the COVID-19 pandemic fuel a recovery in demand.

The world’s largest private jet operator, which had earlier halved its delivery target for this year to 30, said it now expects to take delivery of 40 new airplanes in 2021.

“We are ramping our deliveries ... we expect deliveries to remain at that level (40 airplanes a year) for the next couple of years,” said Patrick Gallagher, the company’s president of sales, marketing and service.

Operators of private jets, which can carry up to 19 people, have fared better than commercial airlines as they promise less risk of exposure to the coronavirus because their passengers can avoid crowded airport counters and packed planes.

U.S. private aviation traffic has sharply rebounded from an about 75% fall in April, and was down only about 20% for the two weeks ended Nov. 8, according to data from FlightAware traffic.

In comparison, the U.S. commercial airline traffic has seen a slower recovery, with traffic down about 47% for the two weeks ended Nov. 8 from April when air traffic collapsed as the virus started spreading around the world.

“We have signed on three times as many new customers year to date this year as we did last year. That trend continues for November and December,” Gallagher.

NetJets specializes in selling “fractional” ownership in private jets, allowing individuals and companies to travel on short notice and at much cheaper rates than owning a whole jet. It has a fleet of 511 planes.

Nearly half of NetJets' fleet comprises aircraft manufactured by Textron Inc, and the rest by Bombardier Inc, General Dynamics, Dassault and Embraer.

Textron, the maker of Cessna and Beechcraft planes, has also been benefiting from the trend. Rob Scholl, a senior VP at Textron Aviation, told Reuters earlier this month that the company is seeing higher demand from first-time owners.