Thursday, August 17, 2017

Former Bahamasair Pilot Admits Hitting Friend With Bottle After Argument At Bar

A former Bahamasair pilot was given an absolute discharge by the chief magistrate despite pleading guilty to striking his friend over the head with a Bud Light beer bottle and damaging his eyeglasses following a heated bar argument and scuffle last month.

Richard Marshall, 65, stood before Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt facing one charge of assault with a dangerous weapon and one charge of causing damage concerning his July 1 argument with his friend, Godfrey Fernander, at a liquor store on Meadow Street.

During the argument, Marshall struck Mr. Fernander over the head with a Bud Light beer bottle, and also damaged his eyeglasses worth $639.63, according to a summary of facts presented by the prosecution.

According to the prosecution, both Marshall and Mr. Fernander were at the bar/liquor store in question around 3.30pm on July 1 when Mr. Fernander, the virtual complainant in the matter, spoke to Marshall about getting a bag of ice for him.

Marshall sharply retorted by telling Mr. Fernander to suck his ___, according to the prosecution.

A physical altercation followed, and at some point, Marshall approached Mr. Fernander brandishing a beer bottle. Mr. Fernander extended an arm to keep Marshall at bay. Nonetheless, Mr. Fernander was struck on his head with the bottle.

A struggle followed, resulting in Marshall falling down. Mr. Fernander consequently held his friend down, adamantly telling him to stop doing what he was doing.

Mr. Fernander eventually released Marshall, who then attempted to secure another bottle to attack him, according to the prosecutor. It was at this time that Mr. Fernander left to notify the authorities.

The matter was reported and Marshall was subsequently arrested and interviewed, and ultimately charged.

While in police custody, Marshall admitted he was involved in an argument with Mr. Fernander and that they were all drinking and being loud. Marshall agreed with the summary of facts read by the prosecutor yesterday.

As the summary of the facts were read to Chief Magistrate Ferguson-Pratt, however, she mentioned that the entire situation was "very disappointing" and that she did not expect such actions from "a senior man."

Marshall's attorney, Jomo Campbell, in pleading to the chief magistrate to exercise her lenience, said the scuffle was the result of a heated discussion about certain sensitive topics between the two, compounded by both men being "merry" at the time of the incident.

Mr. Campbell noted that his client, a resident of Seabreeze Drive, is a father of two and a grandfather with a clean police record and zero pending matters in any jurisdiction.

Mr. Campbell said his client is "extremely embarrassed" by the situation, and requested that the court be as lenient as possible considering the circumstances.

Nonetheless, Chief Magistrate Ferguson-Pratt said she was "lost for words" in trying to understand how, at "this age and stage," a man who has been both a "model" citizen and Bahamasair pilot could have been involved in such a matter. She also stated her view that Marshall should not drink unadvisedly.

Marshall would has been ordered to pay for the full repair of Mr. Fernander's glasses, however, the court was informed that he had already submitted a payment to Palmdale Optical for Mr. Fernander to have his glasses repaired.

The chief magistrate ultimately stated that it would not be "expedient" to inflict any punishment on Marshall in view of the circumstances, and discharged the former pilot "absolutely".

Marshall consequently thanked the chief magistrate for her lenience and promised her that he would never do it again before leaving the court with family and friends in tow.

Original article can be found here:

Central Flying Service Marks Milestone

Central Flying Service CEO Dick Holbert watches Chief Flight Instructor Mike Jones and student Kristine Beard finish a historic 475,000 hours of training on Wednesday.  

Central Flying Service of Little Rock on Wednesday marked a key milestone, with its Chief Flight Instructor Mike Jones and student Kristine Beard completing 475,000 hours of flight training at Arkansas' oldest continually operated flight school.

CFS is also the nation's largest fixed base operator, measured by square footage. It is engaged in aircraft sales, charter flying services and aircraft maintenance too.

Its flight school is also one of the nation's longest continually operated flight schools.

CEO Dick Holbert, son of CFS founder Claud Holbert, received an award from the FAA and a National Air Transportation Association Aviation Milestone Award commemorating the hours and 78 years of continuous service to the industry. CFS was one of NATA's earliest members.

NATA Executive Vice President Tim Obitts and FAA Safety Team Program Manager Heather Metzler attended the event. 

Original article  ➤

National Transportation Safety Board Conducting Sweeping Probe Of Alaska’s Plane Crashes

Today, Thursday, August 17, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is looking into the safety of Alaska skies. 

Ravn Air's crash outside of Togiak last October is at the center of the hearing being held in Anchorage. But the NTSB’s investigation goes much further than the accident on the flight from Quinhagak to Togiak, which crashed into Caribou Ridge on October 2, killing all three on board. The NTSB is also looking into the wider issues surrounding the continued persistence of high numbers of accidents involving small planes and air taxis in Alaska.

The Federal Aviation Administration has chosen to back the voluntary "Medallion" program as a solution instead of tighter regulations and requirements, but the stats are stacking up, indicating that voluntary programs may not be enough to make Alaska skies safe.

The hearing will take all day. Typically the NTSB does not look at a single reason for an accident, but at a range of factors that may be involved. The board may take a year to release its findings and their recommendations could change the shape of air travel in rural Alaska.

Story and audio:

Investigative Hearing - Crash of Ravn Connect Flight 3153