Saturday, February 27, 2021

Cessna 150E, N6135T: Accident occurred February 27, 2021 in Marana, Pima County, Arizona

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Scottsdale, Arizona

November Tango LLC 

Location: Marana, AZ
Accident Number: WPR21LA127
Date & Time: February 27, 2021, 11:16 Local
Registration: N6135T
Aircraft: Cessna 150E 
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Positioning

On February 27, 2021, about 1116 mountain standard time, a Cessna 150E airplane, N6135T, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Marana, Arizona. The pilot sustained minor injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 positioning flight.

According to the pilot, after accomplishing a touch and go landing at a nearby airport, he lined up the airplane for a straight in approach at his destination, Marana Regional Airport (AVQ), Marana, Arizona. However, about 1,300 ft above ground level, the airplane’s engine lost power. The pilot was unable to restore power and the engine subsequently quit. Therefore, the pilot initiated a forced landing towards a dirt road, but as he approached it, he realized that it was a ditch filled with water and sidestepped the airplane to an adjacent field. The airplane touched down and during the landing roll, when the nose gear was lowered, the airplane nosed over.

A postaccident examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed substantial damage to the vertical stabilizer and fuselage structure.

The airplane was recovered to a secure facility for future examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna 
Registration: N6135T
Model/Series: 150E
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: RYN,2418 ft msl
Observation Time: 10:45 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 23.3 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 19°C /-12°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots / , 350°
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.94 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Chandler, AZ (CHD)
Destination: Marana, AZ (MZJ)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 32.48843,-111.2924 (est)

Pima County Sheriff's Department

On February 27th, 2021, at approximately 11:19 a.m., deputies responded to a small plane that made an emergency landing in a field north of Trico Road and Hardin Road. The plane was reportedly being ferried from Chandler to Marana.

A citizen reported seeing the plane land in a field.  Upon arrival, the plane was found to be upside down and the pilot self-extricated.  Deputies made contact with the pilot who was alert and conscious.  The pilot was transported to a local area hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Pima County Sheriff’s Department Traffic Unit Detectives responded to the incident to process the scene.  Both the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) were notified of the incident and will continue their aspect of the investigation.

AVRA VALLEY, Arizona (3TV/CBS 5) – The pilots of a small plane out of Chandler Municipal Airport had to make an emergency landing in some Avra Valley farm fields late Saturday morning. It happened shortly before 11:30 a.m.

According to the Avra Valley Fire District, firefighters arrived on the scene near Hardin and Trico roads, which is west of Interstate 10, to find a single-engine plane on its roof. The 40-year-old pilot had already gotten out and was waiting for paramedics. An Avra Valley Fire District spokesperson said the pilot, whose name has not been released, suffered minor injuries and was in stable condition when he was taken to the Banner Main Campus.

The pilot was headed to the Marana Regional Airport when his plane lost power, forcing him to make an emergency landing.

The FAA has been contacted to investigate the incident.

Located in Pima County, Avra Valley is less than 90 minutes south of Phoenix along I-10.

Middleton Municipal Airport - Morey Field (C29): Noise Complaint Form Revised

MIDDLETON – Responding to an increasing number of noise complaints the Middleton Airport Commission last week simplified the noise complaint reporting form aimed at making it more user friendly.

Commission Chair Ald. Robert Burck drafted a revised form that removed a space to insert the aircraft’s tail number, information many said was impractical if not impossible to obtain from a moving plane.

The form requires the street address of where the noise occurred, which has been a sore spot for those who have filed complaints and say they then had planes fly low and loud over their address in retaliation.

The section requiring the filer’s email addresses and phone number has been omitted from the new form.

“What information we do need is to identify the time, date and location of the noise concern,” Burck said, in order to investigate the complaint.

Noise reports are investigated by Airport Manager Richard Morey who has found that most complaints are determined to involve a pilot flying a pattern that is allowable at Middleton Municipal Airport-Morey Field.

It was suggested by a member of the public that someone presumably other than Morey investigate the complaints as he profits from flight activity at the airport.

The remark was made during the public comment period at the beginning of last week’s meeting and not mentioned by the commission.

The new form also includes guidelines as to why it seeks the information it does and prompts that reports be filed in a timely manner and contain all required information. 

In an effort to make noise reduction efforts most effective, the form asks filers to focus on the loudest aircraft so officials can make them a priority.

“We need information at the airport level to try to up our game and figure out way to respond to noise complaints and focus on worst noise offenders to make a net difference in and around the airport,” said Burck.

The noise complaint form currently listed on the city’s website dates from November 2019. No word of when it will be replaced by the form the commission approved Feb. 4.

Ald. and Commission member Luke Fuszard also worked on revising the form and said it could be further revised if necessary.

The Commission learned that environmental impacts of aircraft operation at the airport would be mentioned in the Airport Master Plan currently being drafted by Mead & Hunt, Inc.

While a more exhaustive Environmental Impact Statement wouldn’t be conducted until federal funds are sought for major improvements at the airport, Mead & Hunt is addressing some concerns about lead emissions from aviation fuel that were brought up at a recent Airport Master Plan Advisory Committee meeting, Burck said.

A Department of Natural Resources specialist has noted that Morey Field is Dane County’s second largest source of lead pollution behind only Dane County Regional Airport.

Middleton Municipal Airport - Morey Field (C29): Town Discusses Lead from Airplane Emissions

TOWN OF MIDDLETON, Wisconsin – Middleton Municipal Airport-Morey Field remains Dane County’s second biggest source of lead emissions and the Middleton Town Board last week heard about its harmful effects on people.

“Lead in the air is the motherlode of lead exposure in the human body,” said Dr. Beth Neary, a Clinical Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at UW-Madison.

Neary went on to say that there is no safe level of lead in the blood system; that lead is a neurotoxin that damages the developing brain permanently, leading to lower IQ scores in children; lead is toxic to all cells and that society pays a deep cost for each child who is lead poisoned.

Incidents of lead poisoning in children have decreased since unleaded gasoline became universally available in 1976. Twenty years later, the Clean Air Act banned the use leaded gasoline in new vehicles other than aircraft, racing cars, farm equipment, and marine engines.

About 78,000 gallons of leaded fuel were sold at Morey Field in 2019. Leaded fuel is used by most of the approximately 100 piston-driven aircraft hangered at Morey, and their emissions constitute the 217 pounds of lead annually produced there, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

Town residents annoyed by the repetitious training flights that circle their homes west of the airport now have become concerned about the lead emission from those planes.

Unlike finding lead in drinking water, Neary said there is little that can be done to avoid the harm posed by lead in the air.

“Children in Flint, Michigan, you could give them bottled water, but how do you find them another choice for air,” she said.

Airborne lead emissions descend to the ground and become part of the soil in school playgrounds, gardens and parks. There are two elementary schools, daycares and about 900 homes within three miles west of the airport’s main runway.

Offering unleaded aviation fuel could lower the amount of annual lead emissions around the airport. While unleaded fuel is certified for use in about 67 percent of piston-driven planes, Town Chair Cynthia Richson said that Congress and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) should expedite the process to certify its use in more types of aircraft.

“Unleaded 94 Swift Fuel didn’t exist when the Transportation Research Board began certifying aviation fuels, but it’s a high quality fuel…and efforts should be made to certified it in more than 67 percent of piston-driven planes,” she said in a phone interview last Thursday.

One hundred octane leaded fuel is sold at the Middleton airport as most aircraft are certified to use that type of gas, said Richard Morey, the airport’s manager and fixed-based operator.

“There’s no (Federal Aviation Administration) acceptable substitute for it in high- compression engines. We’re stuck with what we have,” Morey said.

Older planes with lower-compression engines can run on UL94 but most of the planes hangered at Middleton need 100-octane leaded fuel, he said.

When surveyed about switching to unleaded gas, only 12 pilots said they were interested, and just seven said they would change if the fuel was same price.

Morey said he didn’t know the price of the unleaded fuel but it’s available at the Waunakee and Sauk Prairie airports.

Sauk Prairie Airport sells Swift Fuel’s UL 94 for $4.12 per gallon.

Sauk Prairie didn’t sell fuel until 2017 when Lynn Erickson, a hanger owner, put in an approximately $80,000 tank and began selling unleaded. Engine makers say the unleaded causes less spark plug and valve fouling and contributes less contaminates in the oil compared to leaded fuel, he said.

More than half of Sauk Prairie’s 30 pilots use UL94, he said.

“It is more expensive than 100 leaded but pilots like it. Some can’t use it and go elsewhere. Monroe has a good price on leaded 100,” Erickson said.

Swift Fuels seeks to replace 100-octane leaded aviation fuel with the 100-octane unleaded aviation fuel it has developed. The company is working with aircraft manufacturers and the FAA to achieve FAA certification for it in engines and airframes “across the “North American fleet,” it announced last spring.

Swift Fuels set a three-to-five year timetable for the expansive certification process.

“They’ve been at it quite a while,” Erickson said.

Introducing another type of fuel at Middleton would require an $80,000 storage tank for which there is no FAA funding currently available. Morey said the FAA’s priorities rank runway maintenance above replacing fuel tanks. Erickson said the Trump administration “didn’t care about the environment” but there could be FAA money made available under the Biden Administration.

Morey doesn’t see lead emissions from aviation gas to be a significant local source of pollution. 

“We’re talking about 90 aircraft based here, that’s a lot less than cars running down Airport Road and awful lot of harm comes from the tailpipes of cars,” he said.

There’s also a lot of lead left in the ground north east of the airport where the Middleton Gun Club once operated a gun range, he said.

The Town Board is interested in Morey’s suggestion to monitor the air for lead emissions near the airport and elsewhere in the town to compare concentrations.

The Department of Natural Resources could work with the town on lead monitoring, said Chris Bovee, a DNR air management specialist who participated in the board’s virtual meeting last week.

The airport’s lead situation wasn’t initially studied in the proposed Airport Master Plan, but it will briefly addressed in the final draft.

Opinion: On safety, aviation community needs more communication with public

The North Perry Airport existed long before Pembroke Pines and Miramar did.

Of course, it is now surrounded by homes, offices, schools and stores. It has thousands of more flights now than it did during the 1940s. Besides flight schools, it hosts charter companies, television news helicopters and government agencies.

That means many safety concerns.

It speaks to the gravity of the COVID-19 pandemic and other news stories that recent plane crashes in western Broward have been overshadowed.

Since last May, there have been various incidents ranging from emergency landings to crashes in and near North Perry.

Some have had tragic results. Last May, a pilot was killed and an instructor seriously injured when a Piper plane crashed near the Miramar Commons Shopping Center. In November, the pilot of a Lancair Legacy FG was killed when his plane crashed at the airport. A man died on Jan. 15 from injuries he received during a December crash at Cinnamon Place Park in Pembroke Pines.

This isn’t the first time plane crashes around North Perry Airport seem to have occurred in clusters. There was such concern by the early 1990s that a group of residents campaigned for the airport to be closed. At the time, both local and federal studies concluded that closure would put more pressure on Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport and Pompano Beach Airpark.

Of course, area population has grown quite a bit since then. So has the need for light planes.

While Fort Lauderdale and Pompano Beach airports are city-run, North Perry Airport is overseen by Broward County. It is a reliever airport for planes that might otherwise use Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport or Miami International Airport. It’s busy, too, with almost 215,000 uses of its four runways in 2018.

But the Federal Aviation Administration has control over the safety guidelines of light planes and pilots. There are no fewer than four FAA divisions on regional levels to deal with everything from pilot safety to plane safety.

One of the FAA Flight Standards District Offices is located in Miramar. Among its responsibilities are pilot licenses, plane certifications and accident investigations. That office and the county communicate and work closely together, which is good.

But North Perry and the FAA need to improve communication to the general public. A Zoom conference — or a few — in the short term would be a good way to start.

Piper J5A Cub Cruiser, N50674: Incident occurred February 27, 2021 near Miami Executive Airport (KTMB), Miami-Dade County, Florida

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; South Florida 

Aircraft made a forced landing near a cement plant due to a rough running engine.

Date: 27-FEB-21
Time: 20:00:00Z
Regis#: N50674
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: J5A
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: EN ROUTE (ENR)
Operation: 91

SOUTHWEST MIAMI DADE, Florida – A small plane was forced to land on Krome Avenue in Southwest Miami-Dade County.

It happened Saturday afternoon approximately 1.5 miles west of Miami Executive Airport, also known as Tamiami Airport.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration who is investigating the incident, the plane is a Piper J5A Cub Cruiser.

Police blocked off parts of Krome Avenue after the plane ended up in the northbound lanes.

Officers from the Miami-Dade Police Department and Florida State Troopers were at the scene after the plane landed.

There has been no official word on injuries but the pilot was walking around and appeared to be OK.

Missoula man sentenced for aiming laser pointer at airplane

GREAT FALLS — Brian John Loven was sentenced in federal court in Great Falls on Thursday after pleading guilty to aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft in flight. Loven, 42 years old, pleaded guilty on October 28, 2020.

Prosecutors said that at about 9:40 p.m. on March 3, 2020, two pilots operating a SkyWest flight reported that on their descent to the Great Falls airport, the plane was hit with a bright green laser that lit up the cockpit. The pilots reported that the incident occurred on the east end of town in the area of Giant Springs State Park.

Cascade County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the area and found a Jeep driving slowly through the parking lot of Heritage Park, which was closed at the time. Loven was a passenger. The driver told deputies that she was learning how to drive a manual transmission car. While talking with the driver, deputies noticed a small, black pen-like device sticking out of the center cup holder and asked about the item. The driver said the device was a laser pointer and activated it. The laser pointer projected a green light onto the dashboard.

Deputies interviewed Loven, who admitted to shining the laser at an airplane while it was approaching the airport. Loven explained that he was unaware it was a federal offense to shine a laser at a plane and just wanted to “test out the distance of the laser.”

Acting U.S. Attorney Leif Johnson said in a news release that prosecutors recommended a sentence within the federal guideline range of 15 months to 21 months in prison; the actual length has not yet been released. He will also serve three years of probation. Chief U.S. District Judge Brian Morris presided.

Court documents state: "Loven’s lengthy criminal history spans three decades and includes convictions for burglary, theft, and various public nuisance crimes. At 42 years of age, Loven shows no signs of slowing down or aging out of his criminal conduct."

“Mr. Loven’s conduct needlessly threatened the safety of the passengers and crew of a commercial aircraft. It is important for the public to understand that pointing any laser, even a small one, at the cockpit of an aircraft can obscure the pilot’s view and jeopardize the safe operations of the aircraft. Fortunately, the Great Falls incident did not result in any injuries. This office regards such cases as serious matters requiring aggressive prosecution,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Johnson.

With the recent crashes in Alabama, should you be worried about flight safety?

DOTHAN, Alabama (WDHN) — According to flight radar, more than 5,000 planes are in the air at any given time.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, a normal day could track nearly two-hundred thousand flights, per day.

Recently, there were four different crashes in Alabama, but even with these incidents being close together, one professional said the surprising nature of these incidents is because flying is mostly safe.

“Whether it’s commercial aviation, military aviation, or private aviation, we have gotten so good at safety that when you see accidents happen (that) it’s almost alarming because it doesn’t happen very often,” said David Stock, owner of ACOM Aviation Academy.

But there have to be some inherent risks, right?

“Aviation in general is a pretty dangerous business; you’re defying gravity on a regular basis so anytime you’re out there defying gravity, there’s some potential for risk,” Stock said.

That’s why pilots undergo many hours of flight training in the cockpit and in the classroom to make sure everyone involved can make it back to the ground safely.

“We think it is safer to drive these days, with all the distracted drivers that are on the road,” instructor pilot Chuck Byrd said “I feel safer flying to Clemson, South Carolina than I do driving to Clemson, South Carolina.

“Are there any major trends, any major issues? I would say probably not,” Stock said. “These are all isolated incidents, and they will probably try to figure out what they are quickly, and then we will learn from them. That’s what we do.”

Zenith Zodiac CH 601 HD, N2614: Accident occurred February 27, 2021 at Buchan Airport (X36), Englewood, Sarasota County, Florida

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. 

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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Tampa, Florida 

Location: Englewood, FL
Accident Number: ERA21LA145
Date & Time: February 27, 2021, 10:30 Local
Registration: N2614
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal
Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information
Registration: N2614
Model/Series: ZENITH 601 HD 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:
Meteorological Information and Flight Plan
Conditions at Accident Site: 
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation: 
Observation Time:
Distance from Accident Site: 
Temperature/Dew Point:
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling: 
Altimeter Setting:
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: 
Wreckage and Impact Information
Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 26.990081,-82.374018  

SARASOTA, Florida (WWSB) - A small aircraft made a hard-landing this morning at the Buchan Airport in Englewood.

It happened around 10:40 am. ABC7 has learned that the incident involved a Zenair CH 601 Zodiac.

According to Gary Spraggins with the Buchan Airport, emergency crews were called to the scene as a precautionary measure.

Fortunately, no one was hurt during the incident and the aircraft did not sustain major damage during the abrupt landing at the airfield.

Desperate for more planes, cargo airlines are buying up aging passenger jets: Here's how they're converted to fly Amazon packages instead of people

A unique fleet of aircraft is fueling the explosive growth of e-commerce as consumers turn to online shopping during the pandemic and retailers promise faster-than-ever delivery times.

And while air travel remains significantly lower due to COVID-19, some former passenger aircraft are avoiding early retirement by finding a second life moving cargo. Logistics giants, meanwhile, are using the airline industry's downturn to grow their fleets by acquiring aging passenger aircraft for a fraction of what they'd sell for new. 

Amazon, for example, bought 11 Boeing 767-300ER passenger aircraft from Delta Air Lines and Canada's WestJet in January for cargo conversion. While the pandemic had rendered the planes obsolete for flying passengers, they're now prime candidates to fly packages instead. 

But converting a passenger plane into a cargo carrier isn't as easy as just taking out the seats. The aircraft also needs to be extensively retrofitted to handle the inanimate payload. It's months-long process currently can only be done by a handful of firms around the world, and the conversion can often cost as much as the planes themselves. 

Luckily, business is booming. 

Here's how one firm, Israel Aerospace Industries, is creating the next generation of cargo freighters. 

Israel Aerospace Industries has been converting passenger jets to freighters for four decades now, starting with the iconic Boeing 747.

Over the years, the firm has grown to become the go-to for converting some of Boeing's most-popular aircraft including the 737 Classic, and the 767-200.

But the main focus for newer customers like Amazon are the Boeing 737 Next Generation and the Boeing 767-300ER.

It starts with an airplane. The customer first sends the aircraft details, including the serial number and information about the onboard systems to the firm, where a new design is crafted.

And upon arrival, the entire interior is stripped so that engineers can rebuild with a clean slate.

"Actually we are opening the aircraft," Yossi Melamed, general manager of the Aviation Group of Israel Aerospace Industries, told Insider, "taking everything out."

Passengers seats, for example, are no longer needed on these planes and are removed.

The cabin floor is then removed and replaced with a reinforced structure that allows the aircraft to handle the weight of the cargo pallets, and allows for easier loading as rollers help guide and move the pallets.

Another key differentiator between a cargo plane and a passenger plane is the cargo door, located on the side of the fuselage. Engineers start by cutting out a section of the fuselage.

Then a "plug" is installed in its place.

And the cargo door is installed.

The aircraft has to be held in place while the fuselage modifications are made to ensure it doesn't twist.

Without the door, the aircraft would be limited to carrying only small packages and pallets.

Engineers then go to work on the aircraft's systems.

Some cargo carriers are opting to install a modern cockpit for the Boeing 767, for example.

Windows are also covered as there are no passengers.

And a rigid barrier is installed to protect the cockpit from the cargo in the back

Once all the modifications are complete, the aircraft is cleaned and washed while paperwork is completed behind the scenes.

The newly-converted aircraft then takes flight to test its airworthiness in the new configuration, followed by delivery to the customer.

Some newly-converted freighters will have a trace of their former life. This aircraft once flew for American Airlines, for example.

The conversion process takes, on average, around 100 days. But if a customer chooses to have the firm handling extra work like maintenance and painting, it can take as long as 120 days.

Israel Aerospace Industries has completed over 700 of these conversions on a wide range of aircraft from business jets to passenger jets.

Melamed estimates that between 60%-70% of Amazon's Prime Air fleet is comprised of aircraft converted by his firm. "I want to believe that Amazon is trusting us and we are trusting them," Melamed said.

Aircraft are converted at three of the firm's sites around the world in Israel, Mexico, and China. Another location is slated to open this year, though the location remains a secret. The company plans to have seven sites by 2024.

Melamed is confident that the demand for freighters will only grow in the next few years as commercial passenger flights, which also carry cargo, took a big hit during the pandemic.

"[Freighters] kept the world moving when all the commercial passenger business was down," Melamed said.

But even once the pandemic ends and traffic returns to 2019 levels, Melamed believes that freighters will continue to be in demand as the amount of freight that needs to be transported across the globe increases.

Israel Aerospace Industries is also leading the charge on a new freighter plane, the cargo variant of the Boeing 777-300ER, nicknamed the "big twin." It will be the largest twin-engine Boeing cargo plane when it flies.

"I would say that it's the best candidate to be converted after the 747," Melamed said.

So why don't airlines just buy new aircraft? It comes down to how cargo airlines utilize their freighters.

A new aircraft flying for Delta Air Lines or American Airlines might be flying all the time while a Boeing 767 for Amazon might rest longer in between flights, also known as having a low utilization rate.

It makes more economic sense to spend less on aircraft with low utilization rates, just like a commuter wouldn't want to have a Mercedes as a station car.

And of course, boxes don't care if they're flying in a new Boeing 767 or a 30-year-old Boeing 767.

A 767 conversion can cost as much as $13-$14 million, according to Chris Seymour, head of market analysis for Cirium. That's around as much as a used 20-year Boeing 767 in "superb" condition might cost.

And of course, there's the maintenance issues associated with purchasing an older aircraft.

But even if a company spends $30 million in total on acquisition, conversion, and maintenance costs, it's still cheaper than paying the current list cost price of $220.3 million for a new Boeing 767-300F.

Demand is currently sky high. While the process only takes a few months, new 767 conversion customers may have to wait almost two years as Israeli Aerospace Industries is fully booked through 2022.

"If somebody will insist that he wants a slot [for 2022], I would say go to the Western Wall, put in a piece of paper, and ask God for a slot," Melamed said.