Thursday, May 20, 2021

Rutland Southern Vermont Regional Airport (KRUT) bidders dangle New York City flight

The Rutland airport appears likely to have flights to New York soon, but with whom remains to be determined.

The contract for carrier service out of the Rutland Southern Vermont Regional Airport is up for renewal, and Cape Air made a pitch for local support to the Board of Aldermen Monday saying they would look at replacing one of the three daily flights to Boston with a daily flight to John F. Kennedy International Airport if they got the contract again.

Mayor David Allaire said this week that the other two bidders have similarly offered service to airports in the greater New York City area — Newark and White Plains. Allaire said he met this week with both Chamber and Economic Development of the Rutland Region (CEDRR) executive director Lyle Jepson and airport manager Chris Beitzel on the bids and would express his office’s preference to federal officials in the next few days.

The U.S. Department of Transportation selects the passenger carrier to operate out of the airport. In theory, this is done with input from state and local officials, but in 2019 Cape Air’s contract was renewed despite Allaire and the Vermont Agency of Transportation endorsing a competing bid from Boutique Air.

Materials supplied by USDOT indicated that the selection will be announced in September.

Cape Air’s representatives told aldermen on Monday that they were the only carrier proposing to fly a multi-engine plane out of Rutland, and if their contract was renewed they would deploy a brand-new model of plane. Their proposal also included a $50,000 marketing budget for the service.

“That money goes a long way up in Rutland,” Cape Air CEO Dan Wolf told the board.

The airline’s bid materials put airfare at $69 to Boston and $99 to JFK.

Southern Airways Chief Commercial Officer Mark Cestari said Thursday his company would provide service with Cessna Caravans, which he said were roomy planes with large windows, significant personal space and high cargo capacity. Similarly to Cape Air, they propose two flights a day to Boston and one to Newark. Fares would range from $39 to $89 depending on how far in advance passengers booked.

Boutique Air did not immediately respond to inquiries Thursday, but bid materials provided by USDOT showed the airline promising a $20,000 marketing budget and average fares of $69. In addition to redirecting a Boston flight to White Plains, it held out the possibility of flights to Hartford, Connecticut, depending on demand.

Allaire noted that he backed Boutique’s bids in both 2019 and 2017 despite the fact that he was “not unhappy” with Cape Air’s service.

“They’ve been a partner here in the community for a long time,” he said of Cape Air. “They continue to be.”

Boutique, however, proposed to bring in a newer and faster aircraft than what Cape Air sends to Rutland and the service looked like it would be a “step up.” Allaire said proposing to bring in a newer plane and service to JFK made for Cape Air’s strongest presentation yet.

Cessna 182T Skylane: Incident occurred May 21, 2021 at Raleigh Executive Jetport at Sanford-Lee County Airport (KTTA), North Carolina

 Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Greensboro, North Carolina

Aircraft taxied into the tail of Piper PA-28-181, N94WA.   

Date: 21-MAY-21
Time: 16:30:00Z
Regis#: N505CP
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: R182
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: TAXI (TXI)
Operation: 91

Stoddard-Hamilton Glasair III, N54CB: Accident occurred May 20, 2021 near Mahlon Sweet Field Airport (KEUG), Eugene, Lane County, Oregon

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; Portland, Oregon 

Location: Eugene, OR 
Accident Number: WPR21LA204
Date & Time: May 20, 2021, 10:30 Local 
Registration: N54CB
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On May 20, 2021, about 1030 Pacific daylight time, an experimental McClure Glasair III, N54CB, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Eugene, Oregon. The pilot was seriously injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations
Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot had departed Aurora State Airport (UAO), Aurora, Oregon, about 1000 with a destination of Mahlon Sweet Field Airport (EUG), Eugene, Oregon.

The pilot was cleared to land runway 16R at EUG and an air traffic controller cautioned him for wake turbulence. During the approach, the pilot reported, “going down, going down.” The airplane crashed in an open field about 1.5 miles north of the EUG airport.

The wreckage debris field was in tall grass. The first identified point of contact was with the left-wing tip. The wreckage debris field continued for about 50 yards to where the engine was located. All major components of the airplane were identified.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: MCCLURE B J 
Registration: N54CB
Model/Series: GLASAIR III 
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: KEUG,353 ft msl
Observation Time: 09:54 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 2 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 11°C /4°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 2500 ft AGL
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots / , 240°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 3400 ft AGL
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.19 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 44.158721,-123.20972 (est)

EUGENE, Oregon -- Friends are sharing memories they have of 51-year-old Bob Cross, the pilot who suffered life-threatening injuries when his airplane crashed on Thursday.

Cross was taken to River Bend Hospital after the crash, which happened near the Eugene Airport.

Ginevra Ralph, director at The Shedd Institute, said Cross is a talented singer and performer.

"He is my go-to singer. He has this amazing voice," Ralph said. "But it's so much more than that. It's everything that comes with that voice."

Ralph said Cross has been with The Shedd Institute for nearly 30 years and has never missed performing at a Christmas show. She said he is known in the community to have talents for many things.

"He's a business man, a golfer, a family man, a church man. You ask him to do a favor for you and he's right there to do it for you," Ralph said.

Ralph said she didn't know much about his hobby of flying but realized it is a big passion of his when she contacted some of his other friends who are also pilots.

The plane that Cross was operating in the crash was a Glasair III. Aviation experts said that it's unique in that it can fly at high speeds.

"I would say because of the speed that that plane is capable of doing, it would take a better than average pilot to be able to fly it well," said I Fly Aviation LLC owner and flight instructor Steve Boulton.

As of now, Ralph and some of Cross' other friends at The Shedd Institute are hoping for his speedy recovery.

"We love you, Bob," Ralph said. "We need you back. You're supposed to be singing on stage for Christmas."

EUGENE, Oregon — NTSB and FAA investigators are at the scene of a small plane crash that happened in north Eugene, continuing their investigation Friday morning.

The crash happened Thursday in a field north of the Eugene Airport near Meadow View and Greenhill roads.

The crash seriously injured the pilot.

Investigators are combing through the wreckage in an effort to piece together what caused the crash.

First responders on Thursday found the pilot seriously injured and they also said he was unresponsive.

Police searched the area to make sure he was the only person on the plane.

Eugene Police used a drone to get a view from the sky and an infrared camera to detect body heat.

The name of the pilot has not been released.


A small airplane crashed Thursday morning into a field north of the Eugene Airport, leaving one person in critical condition, according to law enforcement at the scene.

The crash, reported a little after 10:30 a.m., occurred in a field west of Green Hill Road and north of Meadowview Road.

The Lane County Sheriff's Office responded along with emergency responders, after which they found the victim among the debris, according to Sgt. Marvin Combs. 

"We arrived with fire responders, located the debris field, and an adult male victim in the debris field," Combs said. 

Wreckage of an airplane is barely visible in the tall grass of a field off Greenhill Road north of the Eugene Airport where an aircraft crashed Thursday morning.

The man was transported to PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend in Springfield in "serious to critical condition," according to Combs. 

The plane was in pieces after the crash, Combs said, adding that the Sheriff's Office would stay on the scene until the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board arrive.

There is no indication of what caused the crash so far, Combs said. 

Katy Earls, 38, lives across the field from where the crash happened, and said she didn't see anything but heard the sounds when the plane crashed.

"I thought it might have been crop dusting, because I heard it go by twice, I thought, and then I heard a sputter," Earls said. "I saw some people, fire trucks and ambulances drive by, and then I saw people looking in the field."

Assistant Airport Director Andrew Martz said the Eugene Airport was not investigating the issue because it's not on the airport's grounds.

"It's not on airport grounds, so it's not an airport matter," Martz said, noting that he did not know if the plane was heading for the Eugene Airport. 

EUGENE, Oregon – Firefighters are responding to a plane crash north of the Eugene Airport.

One person has been hospitalized for possibly life-threatening injuries.

Lane Fire Authority says the plane went down in a field near Greenhill Road and Meadowview Road around 10:30 Thursday morning.

First responders located one man with serious to critical injuries.

Eugene Police deployed a drone to further canvass the crash scene in search of an other victims.

"Because the pilot was non-responsive to us, we didn't know if he was by himself so EPD came out to help assure they were no more victims out in that grass field, which is hard to see through," Sgt. Marvin Combs from the Lane County Sheriff's Office said. "We don't believe there is one."

First responders said there is a debris field and that the FAA will handle the investigation into the crash.

The FAA offered this statement during the noon hour:

A single-engine Stoddard-Hamilton Glasair III crashed into a field approximately 1.5 miles north of the Mahlon Sweet Field Airport in Eugene, Ore., around 10:30 a.m. local time today. Preliminary reports indicate that only the pilot was on board. The FAA and NSTB will investigate.

Drones Flying Near Airports, Infrastructure Prompt U.S. Action: Regulators, law enforcement and intelligence agencies try to figure out who is flying for fun and who might have malicious intent

The Wall Street Journal
By Brett Forrest and Brian McGill
Updated May 20, 2021 4:16 pm ET

Federal agencies are scrambling to address a surge in the use of consumer drones as the unmanned aircraft crowd the airspace above critical sites, posing a threat to public safety and national security.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration are developing a joint national air-traffic-control system for low-flying drones. The Department of Homeland Security is testing technologies to detect small drones favored by consumers, and the Pentagon is researching methods to knock them out of the sky.

Reports of drone sightings around airports are pouring into the FAA at a rate of more than 100 a month. Commercial pilots flying into and out of Los Angeles International Airport have reported increased sightings of drones near their flight path, with 23 sightings reported to the control tower so far this year, according to an airport official.

Drone incursions into the Los Angeles airport’s restricted airspace nearly tripled from 2019 to 2020, with a high of roughly 1,200 flights last June, according to WhiteFox Defense Technologies Inc., a California developer of drone-tracking technology.

With prices having dropped on small consumer models, drones are everywhere, used for fun and for business like land-surveying. Restricting their use creates a conundrum for regulatory, law-enforcement and intelligence agencies as they race to identify what is in the sky and to separate hobbyists from users with malicious intent.

Some amateur fliers have taken to challenging their piloting skills amid industrial sites and alongside borders where smuggling of people and drugs is common.

“There’s been a realization that these things can be everywhere,” said Maj. Gen. Sean A. Gainey, the head of the Pentagon office for countering small unmanned aircraft. “And we’re seeing them everywhere. The market is essentially flooded with this capability.”

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission recorded at least 57 sightings of drone flights above two dozen domestic nuclear sites from 2014 to 2019, a commission spokesman said. In September 2019, he said, a swarm of drones overflew the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station outside of Phoenix, an event a commission official described as a “drone-a-palooza” in an internal communication.

Smaller, slow-moving drones are difficult to track, said Gen. Gainey and other officials. Identifying who is controlling a drone from the ground is an added problem, since some can be piloted from roughly 4 miles away. Traditional radar systems have difficulty picking up small, slow-moving objects, requiring the development of new means to track them

Sales of consumer drones in the U.S. reached more than $1 billion last year, according to Statista, a German consumer-data company.

More than 800,000 drones are registered in the U.S. and more than 225,000 remote pilots are FAA-certificated, according to the agency. Researchers at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, in Daytona Beach, Fla., identified a nearly 40% increase in the number of domestic drone flights from 2019 to 2020.

Risks are already evident overseas. In late 2019, drones operating near London Gatwick Airport forced the 36-hour suspension of commercial flights at a loss of more than $60 million. Similar events have beleaguered airports in Dubai, Dublin and Frankfurt.

Last month, attackers used commercially available drones to drop explosives on a U.S. military installation at Erbil International Airport in Iraqi Kurdistan. The same was done to police in Mexico’s Michoacán state.

“There is the potential for a threat because the capability has been demonstrated overseas,” said Ryan Wallace, an assistant professor of aeronautical science at Embry-Riddle.

After a drone flown by a recreational user who had lost sight of it crashed on the White House grounds in 2015, the federal government began looking to toughen what had been a light-handed regulatory approach.

The air-traffic control system the FAA and NASA are currently developing is designed to track drones that weigh less than 55 pounds—typical of smaller, consumer drones—and fly below 400 feet. The intent is to promote legitimate activities, making them safe and predictable, while weeding out those with ill-intent, FAA and NASA officials said.

As part of that effort, the FAA last month liberalized rules banning night-flying and flights over people and moving vehicles provided that pilots met several criteria, including passing a test and putting approved lighting on their drones.

Some users will now be allowed to fly drones beyond the line of sight, until now a prohibited practice. That change also smooths the path for fledgling drone-delivery services by Inc. and United Parcel Service Inc., which use smaller drones.

Rule changes also require pilots of small, low-flying drones to broadcast by radio frequency their identity, location and altitude, as well as the location of their control stations or take-off points. The FAA will phase in the regulation, allotting time for manufacturers to include such capabilities in upcoming models.

“Remote identification will help law enforcement determine if a drone poses an actual threat that needs to be mitigated,” an FAA spokeswoman said in a statement.

Last month in North Dakota, the Department of Homeland Security tested several dozen private-sector technologies designed to detect drone flights. The department plans to use a variety of such sensors customized to various topographical settings, with radar working best in open areas, for example, and acoustical detection suited to urban environments.

Federal officials are concerned that drones are being used along the Canadian and Mexican borders for nefarious purposes and to collect images and other data about critical infrastructure throughout the country.

“People are doing surveillance,” said Tim Bennett, the manager of the DHS air domain awareness program. “It’s how far out, how low, and how fast we can detect them.”

WhiteFox, the company that tracked the drones around LAX, was included in last month’s DHS trials. The company plans to offer its technology, which tracks a drone’s radio-frequency emission, to clients beyond the federal government and heavy industry. Few police forces and private companies, for example, possess the capability to identify drone flights.

“The asymmetric threat of drones—easy to buy, easy to fly, traditionally expensive to stop—makes U.S. critical infrastructure, such as airports, a huge risk,” said Luke Fox, chief executive of WhiteFox.

Beyond detection, the Pentagon is looking into intercepting and bringing down drones. Last year, it assigned Gen. Gainey to invigorate an office charged with creating defenses against drone strikes and surveillance on the battlefield and at military sites in the U.S.

His office worked with Boeing Co. and other companies last month, testing drone interceptors at the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona. The interceptors fire various types of netting to arrest the rotation of a drone’s propellers and limit collateral damage once the drone falls from the sky.

The office plans to conduct tests every six months and is experimenting with directed-energy and high-powered microwave systems to disable drones.

Granbury Regional Airport (KGDJ), Hood County, Texas

Mistaken signal may have prompted search for downed aircraft 

An inactive airplane that was being worked on in a hangar at the Granbury Regional Airport late Wednesday afternoon was found to have its emergency locating beacon inadvertently switched on, which apparently led to a search for a possible downed aircraft.

Fire Marshal Jeff Young told the Hood County News Thursday morning that investigators now suspect that a metal panel from part of the airplane may have fallen and accidentally set off the locator beacon.

That beacon signal led to a search that turned up no evidence of any crash, and no pilots have been reported missing.

Young said that he thinks that maybe what was originally considered to have been “mayday” calls reported by three separate pilots in the area were actually not verbal distress calls, but were merely prompted by hearing the emergency beacon.

“It was reported to us as ‘pilots heard a mayday.’” Young said.

The search by Hood County firefighters, deputies and other local officials began shortly after 5 p.m. Wednesday (May 19). Young said shortly before 7 p.m. Wednesday that most of the search had been focused on an area about 5 miles northeast of the Granbury Regional Airport, but was suspended "pending more information." Hood County radio dispatch called the National Weather Service in Fort Worth, which may have given an approximate area to search through radar images, according to Young.

Piper PA-24-260, N9258P: Incident occurred May 19, 2021 at Hayward Executive Airport (KHWD), Alameda County, California

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Oakland, California

Aircraft landed and gear collapsed. 

Date: 19-MAY-21
Time: 16:38:00Z
Regis#: N9258P
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA24
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

Bombardier Challenger 350, N571FX: Incident occurred May 18, 2021 at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport (KPDK), Chamblee, DeKalb County, Georgia

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Atlanta, Georgia

Aircraft experienced damage to right nose gear and wing possibly due to a missing piece of tire. 

Flexjet LLC

Date: 18-MAY-21
Time: 15:52:00Z
Regis#: N571FX
Aircraft Make: BOMBARDIER
Aircraft Model: BD-100-1A10
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: ON DEMAND
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 135
Aircraft Operator: FLEXJET
Flight Number: LXJ571

SIAI-Marchetti F-260, N260MT: Incident occurred May 19, 2021 at Carson City Airport (KCXP), Nevada

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Reno, Nevada

Aircraft on landing caught wind gust and right main gear collapsed. 

ShadeTree Aviation Inc

Date: 19-MAY-21
Time: 15:30:00Z
Regis#: N260MT
Aircraft Model: F-260
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

Cessna T210N Turbo Centurion, N7568N: Accident occurred May 19, 2021 at Bloomsburg Municipal Airport (N13), Columbia County, Pennsylvania

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; Rochester, New York

Keystone Aerial Surveys Inc

Location: Bloomsburg, PA
Accident Number: ERA21LA268
Date & Time: May 19, 2021, 10:56 Local
Registration: N7568N
Aircraft: Cessna T210
Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Flight Conducted
Under: Part 91: General aviation - Aerial observation

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N7568N
Model/Series: T210 N 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
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: KIPT,520 ft msl
Observation Time: 10:54 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 27 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C /10°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots / , 250°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.37 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 40.998202,-76.430878 (est)

Boeing 767-300, N1049A: Incident occurred May 18, 2021 at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (KSEA), Washington

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Seattle, Washington

Aircraft was struck by a tug after pushback damaging main gear and gear doors. 

Air Transport International

Date: 18-MAY-21
Time: 10:41:00Z
Regis#: N1049A
Aircraft Make: BOEING
Aircraft Model: 767
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: CARGO
Operation: 121
Flight Number: ATN3478