Engine Start For
"That's All Brother"
By Russ Niles
A piece of aviation history roared to life for the first time in a decade last week in an important milestone toward first flight. Crews at Basler Turbo Conversions in Oshkosh started the No. 1 engine in That’s All Brother, the C-47 that led 800 other aircraft in the invasion of Normandy on D-Day. The plan is to fly the thoroughly restored warhorse to France for a flyby on the 75th anniversary of the epic battle in 2019. “That’s kind of why the rush is on and why we’re doing all of this in the dead of winter in Wisconsin,” Keegan Chetwynd, curator of the Commemorative Air Force, told The Associated Press. The engine start revealed a hydraulic leak that will be fixed before another prop is turned.
The aircraft was discovered by an Air Force researcher in Basler’s boneyard, where it was destined to be converted to a BT-67, a turboprop version of the DC-3 that Basler sells worldwide. After he positively identified the aircraft as the one that led the invasion and dropped the first paratroopers on the beaches, the CAF launched a fundraising campaign that earned $380,000 in a month. To date, about 22,000 man-hours have been spent bringing the aircraft back from the scrap heap. First flight is planned for early in 2018 and the aircraft is expected to be used by the CAF in airshows and other outreach throughout the year. In 2019 it will retrace its flight path over the beach. The aircraft finished out the war in a combat role and went through 16 civilian owners before Basler bought it.
Dollars Not Enough to Fill Cockpits For The Holidays at
By Christine Negroni
When American Airlines chief executive Robert Isom sat down with the president of the Allied Pilots Association, Daniel F. Carey last week, it took mere minutes to come to an agreement, according to APA spokesman Dennis Tajer. “They had this,” Tajer said of the close-call American had with cancelling ten thousand or more flights during the busy holiday travel season. American agreed to pay pilots double time if they would return to the cockpit, filling flight decks left vacant after a software problem allowed too many pilots to opt out of holiday flying.
But as I reported for Forbes, not all pilots are taking the bait. For pilots who have worked a decade or more without sufficient seniority to enjoy the holiday at home, the off time is more valuable than money. “Many of our pilots say I don’t want the overtime I just want to be home for Christmas,” Tajer said, admitting that he’s among them. “I actually have Christmas off for the first time in 10 years,” he told me. In Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Miami, Philadelphia, Dallas and Washington, hundreds of pilots are still needed for international and domestic flights especially during the three critical days beginning December 23 and ending on the 25th. They have not been incentivized by the doubling of their hourly salary and reluctance to undo holiday plans is not the only reason.
mentioned in the agreement between American and the APA is that not all pilots
who fly on the holidays will earn twice their hourly rate. That’s because the
crew staffing error was detected as access to the schedule moved west across
the country. By the time pilots in Phoenix and Los Angeles logged on, their
assignments were fixed. “They
weren’t able to take advantage and get any time off,” one west coast pilot told
me. Rather than negotiate for just those pilots who were needed to fly, some
APA members suggest the union should have used this leverage with management to
get all pilots a holiday pay agreement. “We’ve never had holiday pay, so maybe
we should and that might stop people from calling in sick,” this pilot said,
adding that at American, pilots are known for not feeling well on that other
big holiday, Superbowl Sunday.
Tajer agreed members in the western U.S. had a valid point though some might be able to pick up flights in addition to those for which they are earning regular time, and perhaps make some extra money. If the pilot shortage remains unaddressed into next week, pilots flying may have another worry. Under the contract, the airline can unilaterally reassign them once they begin working, turning a 2 day trip into a longer, unscheduled one. In that case, American’s pilots would be getting a dose of what American’s passengers might be in store for over the holidays; a little dose of uncertainty.
Vintage Fliers: Lufthansa Restores Historic Aircraft
Miquel Ros, For CNN • Updated 17th November 2017
(CNN) — While flying is still considered a quintessentially modern way to travel, many airlines have now clocked up decades of history. And one is taking its heritage very seriously. German airline Lufthansa has been busy restoring classic examples of its former fleet for displays and experience flights. It's just brought back into service the oldest aircraft in its fleet, a Junkers Ju-52, and is set to recommission a Lockheed L-1649A Starliner from 1957. Lufthansa has also been actively involved in the recovery of a 1970s Boeing 737 -- known as Landshut -- with an infamous past as the target for a hijacking. So what are the stories behind these illustrious old flying machines?
Photo Here:P 'Auntie Ju' Ju-52 (D-AQUI): German airline Lufthansa is preserving its aviation heritage. It has restored an example of the Junkers Ju-52 (also known as "Tante Ju" or "Auntie Ju"), which was the workhorse of many airlines and air forces around the world. This one, D-AQUI, started its operational life in 1936 and has been back in Lufthansa's fleet since 1984.
Before and after World War II,
the Junkers Ju-52 (also known as "Tante Ju" or "Auntie Ju")
was the workhorse of many airlines and air forces around the world. While
thousands were built, only a handful are still operational and in flying
condition. One of them is D-AQUI, which has been in Lufthansa's fleet since
1984. This particular aircraft has come full circle. It started its operational
life in 1936 with Luft Hansa, the pre-war German airline that preceded the
modern Lufthansa (although there is no legal continuity between the two
entities). It was then transferred to a Norwegian airline and, after the German
invasion of Norway, spent the war in Scandinavia fulfilling transport duties.
In 1955 it was retired from commercial service in Norway, disassembled and
transported by sea to Ecuador.
After several years of service in the Amazon basin, it was discovered and purchased by an American citizen, who took it to the United States and subsequently sold it to "The Six Million Dollar Man" writer Martin Caidin. In 1984 it was bought by Lufthansa to mark its 60th anniversary. The Ju-52 was flown back to Europe, making 16 stops along the way. Once in Germany it was thoroughly restored and put back into service on panoramic flights. The aircraft, which sports the Luft Hansa 1936 historical livery, has a packed schedule during summer months. Between May and October it's usually booked up, attending air shows and carrying passengers on a unique flying experience around Germany and Austria. "It is not unusual to have elderly people, who flew on Ju-52 when they were very young, take their grandchildren on board," explains Wolfgang Weber, a Lufthansa spokesperson. The Ju-52 spends winters at Lufthansa Technik facilities in Hamburg, where it's subject to intense maintenance work. Taking care of such an old aircraft represents a challenge for the maintenance crews. Parts and spares are hard to come by and very often have to be manufactured from scratch. For flight information, visit the Deutsche Lufthansa Berlin-Stiftung website. See More....http://www.cnn.com/travel/article/lufthansa-vintage-aircraft/?iid=ob_lockedrail_topeditorial
Newly Released FBI Documents Pertaining To The D.B. Cooper Hijacking
FBI closes DB Cooper investigation after 45 years
13, 2016 - 2:31 By Adam Housley, Fox News, LA
Newly released FBI documents pertaining to the D.B. Cooper hijacking case include a letter that may only deepen the mystery surrounding the notorious unsolved crime which marks its 46th anniversary this week.
“I knew from the start that I wouldn’t be caught,” says the undated, typewritten letter from a person claiming to be the man who said he had a bomb and commandeered a Northwest Airlines flight from Portland to Seattle on Nov. 24, 1971. After releasing passengers and crew members, the man then ordered the pilots to fly to Mexico, only to parachute out the back door somewhere over Washington's rugged wooded terrain with $200,000.
“I didn’t rob Northwest Orient because I thought it would be romantic, heroic or any of the other euphemisms that seem to attach themselves to situations of high risk,” he said. “I’m no modern-day Robin Hood. Unfortunately (I) do have only 14 months to live.”
The carbon-copy letter was turned over to the FBI three weeks after the hijacking by The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and the Seattle Times, which were each mailed a copy and published stories about its contents. The letter was in an envelope with a greater Seattle area postmark.
Last month, the FBI released a copy of the letter that was sent to The Post in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by acclaimed D.B. Cooper sleuth, Tom Colbert, a Los Angeles TV and film producer. He believes the letter is real. “We have no doubt it’s from Cooper and the reason is that he cites he left no fingerprints on the plane,” he said. “The reason that’s critical is because it’s absolutely true. There were no prints found in the back of plane,” Colbert said. “They found 11 partial prints that’s all; sides, fingers, tips and palm. But no prints of value were found.”
The FBI wrapped up its D.B. Cooper investigation last year without identifying the hijacker or ruling out the possibility that he could have been killed in the treacherous jump. The FBI says it considered 800 people as suspects. The FBI also never established the authenticity of the letter to the four newspapers, or, for that matter, four other letters that also purported to be from the hijacker. Those letters were sent a few days after the hijacking. The FBI got its biggest lead in the case in 1980 when a young boy walking along the Columbia River in Washington found a bundle of rotting $20 bills whose serial numbers matched the ransom money serial numbers.
“My life has been one of hate, turmoil, hunger and more hate; this seemed to be the fastest and most profitable way to gain a few fast grains of peace of mind,” the letter said. “I don’t blame people for hating me for what I’ve done nor do I blame anybody for wanting me to be caught and punished, though this can never happen.”
The person wrote that he wouldn’t get caught because he wasn’t a “boasting” man, left no fingerprints, wore a toupee and “wore putty make-up.” They could add or subtract from the composite a hundred times and not come up with an accurate description,” the letter said, adding, “and we both know it.”
The person also wrote that he was “not holed up in some obsure (sic) backwoods town” and was not a “psycho-pathic killer. As a matter of fact I’ve never even received a speeding ticket,” the person wrote. FBI agents in the field apprised FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover of their investigation into the letter, according to other documents the FBI turned over to Colbert along with the letter. “Efforts were made by (Washington Field Office) to preserve the letter and envelope for latent fingerprints,” read one of the documents, an FBI memo. “However, both were handled by an unknown number of individuals at ‘The Washington Post’ prior to being obtained by WFO.”
“As a matter of
fact I’ve never even received a speeding ticket.”
- Letter related to D.B. Cooper hijacking case
The memo also said that agents couldn’t figure out the significance of the typed number “717171684” opposite the name “Wash Post” in the bottom left corner of the letter. In another memo, agents in Seattle requested that the FBI lab determine if the paper on which the letter was written could conceivably be from government stock, “noting that it resembles the carbon copy of the airtel material used by the Field Offices.”
Since January, the FBI has released more than 3,000 documents to Colbert, who formed a volunteer team of 40 former law enforcement officials to investigate the hijacking. The FBI said in court papers that it has more than 71,000 documents that may be responsive to Colbert’s lawsuit. Colbert and his team believe D.B. Cooper is an individual named Robert Rackstraw who flew helicopters in the Vietnam War and is now 73 and living in the San Diego area. In March, Rackstraw sent the judge presiding over Colbert’s FOIA lawsuit a rambling 9-page letter that the judge took to be a motion to intervene in the case. In his letter Rackstraw said that he was not D. B. Cooper and accused Colbert of ruining his life. The judge responded to the letter by issuing a ruling that rejected Rackstraw's motion. In July, Rackstraw sent another letter to the court in which he again said he was not the hijacker.
“They could add or subtract from the composite a hundred times and not come up with an accurate description,” the letter said, adding, “and we both know it.”
The person also wrote that he was “not holed up in some obsure (sic) backwoods town” and was not a “psycho-pathic killer.”
See Video: FBI closes DB Cooper investigation after 45 years
92nd Anniversary of the Eastern Air Transport 1929 Ford Tri-Motor Owned by EAA
10, 1925 -November 10, 2017
92nd Anniversary of the Eastern Air Transport 1929 Ford Tri-Motor Owned by EAA
November 10, 1925 -November 10, 2017
92nd Anniversary EAA 1929 Ford Tri-Motor November 10, 1925
In 1923 Colonial Airlines was first conceived when a charter service known as the B-Line came into being at Naugatuck, CT. On November 10, 2017 is the 92nd Anniversary of Ford unveiling the Tri-Motor airplane. November 10, 1925. Colonial in 1925 a small operation had established a scheduled service between Boston and New York, acquiring the first domestic Air Mail Contract when the Post Office Department transferred Air Mail service to private operation under the Kelly Act of 1925.
During this period the name of the company was changed first to Colonial Airlines, then to Colonial Air Transport. Chairman of the Board of Directors was John Trumbull, a former governor of Connecticut. Irving Ballard, a Vice-President of the Boston Chamber of Commerce was made a Director, as were Juan Trippe, T.Q. Freeman, William Rockefeller, Harris Whittimore and Sherman Fairchild. All of these men were well known and prominent citizens.
One of Eastern’s Ford Tri-Motors is still flying; it belongs to EAA today. The EAA1929 Ford Tri-Motor visited the Miami Executive Airport back 8 months ago (2017). The Video of that Event is on the website. An EAA TriMotor Captain, Check Captain and the KTMb Tower-Chief Louis spoke together in this video (the pilots and support crew and up-close video of ground operations) during the EAA 1929 Ford Tri-Motor's visit to Miami Executive Airport. Music is "Dixie ... Flight of 8 flew and you can see on the video the 7 passengers boarding and their flight in Miami. Clck here for Video of that Event.
By David Zapata,
Provided by 777 Partners Investment
MIAMI, Nov. 8, 2017 /PRNewswire/-- 777 Partners, a US based investment firm, announced today that it has acquired the intellectual property of World Airways, Inc., the iconic US airline known for its worldwide operational capabilities, and is planning to re-launch World Airways ("World") as a low cost, long haul airline flying state of the art Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. Initial funding for certification and aircraft acquisitions is being provided by 777 Partners. Discussions are underway with Boeing for an initial order for up to ten (10) 787-aircraft.
Ed Wegel, Founding CEO of World commented, "World has a rich and storied history dating back to 1947. It was once the world's largest independent charter airline, and served the US military and other clients with great distinction for many years. "Today, we are proud to begin preparations to launch scheduled operations from the US to Asia and Latin America. We will be partnering with low cost, short haul carriers in the US and in the regions we serve to provide connecting traffic to and from our initial planned gateways. We plan to announce our new brand look and feel within the next few weeks, under the direction of our Founding CMO, Freddie Laker."
Managing Partner of 777 Partners, Josh Wander, said, "777 Partners is humbled by the opportunity to participate in the relaunch of World, a seminal brand in the history of US commercial aviation. We are determined to pay proper homage to World's rich heritage by delivering a transformative flying experience rooted in safety, technology and service to the large segment of the traveling public historically priced out of international travel." For more information about World Airways, visit worldairways.com or follow on twitter @worldairways and like on Facebook at facebook.com/flyworldairways.
About World Airways
World Airways will be the first long haul wide body low cost carrier based in the US. It will operate the Boeing 787 on routes from the US to Asia and Latin America, and plans to be based at Miami International Airport with planned initial operating hubs at MIA and LAX.
About 777 Partners
777 Partners is a Miami based investment firm focused on a broad spectrum of specialty finance businesses, asset originators and financial technology and services providers. Our overarching thesis is to incubate new ventures and to make control investments in businesses with scalable profiles and ambitious management teams operating in attractive markets. 777's senior management team is composed of industry veterans with backgrounds in private equity, venture capital, investment banking, financial technology, insurance, actuarial science, asset management, structured-credit, ABS, risk, analytics, complex commercial litigation and computer science. For more info, please see www.777part.com.
“World has a rich and storied history dating back to 1947,” Chief Executive Officer Ed Wegel said in a statement. “It was once the world’s largest independent charter airline, and served the U.S. military and other clients with great distinction.” His investment group says it’s in discussions with Boeing to buy 10 787s.
had a long career in the airline business and some history in the brand
resuscitation game. Most recently, he co-founded a charter carrier using the
old Eastern moniker with a focus on flights to Cuba—in 2014, he placed orders
for 10 Boeing 737-800s, plus options on 10 737 Max jets. Wegel was also
involved with a 1990s relaunch of the People Express brand. A decade
before, that carrier had managed to combine low fares with quality service
and for many became a valued carrier before things went south; People
was sold to the parent of Continental Airlines in 1986. This newest endeavor aims to offer “a
transformative flying experience rooted in safety, technology and service to
the large segment of the traveling public historically priced out of
international travel,” said Josh Wander, a managing partner at Miami-based 777.
Whether there is goodwill associated with an old brand is up for debate, especially since so many other revival attempts failed. Miami-based Eastern struggled with the restoration of commercial air service to Cuba last year, especially in the largest Cuban travel market of Florida. In June, Phoenix-based charter airline Swift Air LLC acquired Eastern’s name, assets, a few Boeing 737s, and some customer accounts, including flights for the National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers
People Express attempted another reboot as a low-cost carrier in the summer of 2014, basing flights in Newark, N.J., the original airline’s home. That People Express was led by Jeffrey Erickson, who founded Reno Air in 1990 and later served as chief executive of TWA. The carrier suspended service in less than three months. And finally, the iconic Pan Am brand—created in the 1920s and perhaps the most famous airline name in the history of commercial flight—has been employed for multiple revival efforts. They all failed, too.
747 "The Queen of The Skies: Flies Final U.S. Passenger
By Mary Grady
Boeing’s 747, the iconic humped two-decker jet, flew its last flight for United Airlines on Tuesday. The four-engine widebody has lost ground to more-efficient modern aircraft. A United Airlines crew flew the final trip, from San Francisco to Honolulu, tracing the same route as the first United 747 flight in 1970. “From a 1970s-inspired menu to retro uniforms for flight attendants to inflight entertainment befitting of that first flight, passengers will help send "The Queen of the Skies" off in true style,” United said in a news release.
The 747 will remain in
Honolulu, United said, and passengers on the final flight were booked to go
home on a different airplane. British Airways, Korean Air and a few other international
airlines still fly the jets on passenger trips. Boeing will continue to produce
the 747-8F, exclusively for freight operators. The freighter can carry up to
224,900 pounds, with a range of 4,120 NM, and the ability to open up the whole
nose of the airplane is a key feature when loading large items. See Videos
Uber Signs With NASA to Develop Air Taxi
By Paul Bertorelli
United Airlines Waves Goodbye to Boeing 747 from Heathrow
By Breaking Travel News
As United Airlines celebrates the retirement of the Boeing 747 from its fleet, crowds of well-wishers have gathered at the Queen’s Terminal on to bid a fond farewell to the ‘Queen of the Skies’ and witness the very last United Boeing 747 flight to depart from London Heathrow.
Marking this historic occasion, customers, guests, United employees as well as the flight captain and crew of the last Boeing 747 flight, joined United managing director sales, United Kingdom and Ireland, Bob Schumacher, before the departure of United flight 900 to San Francisco for a special gate celebration with entertainment from retro girl band, The Tootsie Rollers.
“On January 22, 1970, the Boeing 747 made its very first commercial flight from New York to London for Pan American World Airways, which later became United Airlines at Heathrow, and so what better way to mark the end of an era spanning almost four decades by saying farewell to the ‘Queen of the Skies’ here in London,” said Schumacher.
“Our customers in the UK can now enjoy a significantly enhanced onboard experience as the state-of-the-art Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner replaces the 747 on one of our two daily services from London Heathrow to San Francisco.”
to MD-80s in 2019
by Flight Dashboard
American Airlines has set 2019 as
the year it will retire its Boeing MD-80 fleet, replacing the venerable
rear-engined aircraft with modern Boeing models. While the MD-80 lacks the
storied history and iconic shape of the likes of the retiring Boeing 747, it
was a workhorse of American and other US carriers' domestic fleets from the
1980s through the early 2000s making it an everyday sight at airports around
the country. The US fleet of in-service MD-80s and MD-90s peaked at 683 in
2000, Flight Fleets Analyzer shows. At the time, it was second only to the
1,077 Boeing 737 family aircraft - not including the DC-9 competitors the
737-100 and -200 - in US airline fleets. American has said before that the
MD-80 would exit its fleet by the end of the decade, but had not publicly
stated a firm date until the announcement on 30 October that it will close its
St Louis pilot’s base in September 2018 due to retirements of the aircraft.
The St Louis base, which the airline acquired with Trans World Airlines (TWA) in 2001, only includes the MD-80. Fort Worth-based American plans to finish 2017 with 45 MD-80s in its fleet, shrinking to 26 by the fall of 2018, a spokesman told FlightGlobal on 30 October. All of the carrier's MD-80s will be based at its Dallas/Fort Worth hub once the St Louis pilot base closes. The 140-seat aircraft is being replaced by 160-seat Boeing 737-800s.
American was the first major US carrier to commit to the MD-80 – if only tentatively at first – when it agreed to "rent" 20 from McDonnell Douglas in 1982, the Flight International archive shows. The airframer essentially leased the aircraft to the airline under a deal that allowed it to return the aircraft after five years with no penalty, or earlier with a cancellation charge.
Prior to American's rental agreement, AirCal, the first Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and Muse Air were the only US carriers operating the MD-80, Fleets Analyzer shows. TWA followed American with an order for 15 of the type later in 1982. Initially, American planned to primarily use the MD-80 to replace Boeing 727-100s in its fleet, citing 37% better fuel efficiency for the former compared to the latter, the archive shows. However, it instead opted to use the aircraft for growth when it placed what at the time was its largest order ever for 167 MD-80s, including 67 firm and 100 options, in 1984.With the 1984 deal, American had "firmly pinned its future" on the MD-80, Flight wrote in March 1984.
American's MD-80 fleet grew to 260 by 1993, the database shows. The count remained unchanged until 1999 when it increased to 279 following the acquisition of Reno Air, and then jumped to an all-time high of 362 in 2001 following American's merger with TWA.American operated more than 300 MD-80s through 2007. The fleet has shrunk every year since as aircraft have been retired.
777 Damaged, In Hong Kong Fire
By Russ Niles
An American Airlines Boeing 777 was damaged Monday evening at Hong Kong Airport when either luggage or cargo being loaded on the aircraft caught fire. The fire occurred just as a container was being put in the aft cargo hold. Video from the scene shows a ramp worker falling from the hold and being helped away by coworkers. No passengers or flight crew were on the aircraft, which was to have left for Los Angeles in the early evening.
Early reports suggest an oil leak on the loading apparatus might be to blame for the fire. Passengers are being put on other flights to L.A. as the aircraft was clearly damaged by the fire, which was put out quickly by firefighters.
Photo: Florida governor Rick Scott talks about the volunteers who are assisting
with the relief effort for Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria, during a
visit to the Osceola County Services warehouse, in Kissimmee, Fla.,
"These airlines must do the right thing and look out for all victims of this disaster," Bondi said in a statement. Hurricane Maria crippled the San Juan airport, but by mid-week the Federal Aviation Administration reported flights in and out “increased dramatically” to more than 400 arrivals and departures. The 17 complaints to Bondi’s office criticize multiple major airlines and were made from Sept. 22 to Sept. 27. Some shared a quick slice of their personal stories. Like a man trying to help his wife get back home. Or a Floridian shopping for airline tickets so two families who had medical issues or small children could reach the mainland. A Tallahassee man noticed a flight costing up to $10,141 to travel on a roundtrip, non-direct flight from Orlando to Aguadilla, Puerto Rico departing Oct. 6. “I have screen shots to prove it,” he wrote Monday in his complaint to the attorney general’s office.
Sebring, Lakeland Airports
By Russ Niles
Airports throughout Florida are reporting varying degrees of damage from Hurricane Irma and the two most familiar to pilots outside the state are cleaning up. Reports out of Sebring Airport are sketchy but it appears the site of the Sport Aviation Expo took a big hit. In email communications with AVweb, officials for the Expo say the airport suffered “devastation” and that airport officials were unable to take time to speak with us directly. The big need on Wednesday was fuel and there were reports that aircraft could not get into Sebring. We’ll have more details as they become available. At Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, Sun ’n Fun officials report damage but nothing they can’t fix.
The storm toppled trees and tipped over Duffy’s Tower, a portable tower on wheels. There were some buildings damaged but the airport is on the mend and being used in the relief effort. “On the bright side, power was restored Wednesday, and we are incredibly proud of our team, especially an amazing group of 35-plus Central Florida Aerospace Academy students that are tirelessly working to get our campus in working order,” SNF said in a statement. “On top of our cleanup effort, we are also serving as hosts to FEMA, the 82nd Airborne Division and several aviation organizations who are coordinating supply drop off and delivery to many parts of Florida.”
By Russ Niles
The CEO of Naples Jet Center at Naples Airport in Florida told AVweb he and everyone else involved in the cleanup after Hurricane Irma are writing a new playbook. “None of us have ever been through anything like this before,” Matt Hagans told AVweb after meeting with airport and FAA officials at the airport on Tuesday.
He said it could be 10 days before power is restored at one of Florida’s busiest business airports and in the meantime, the whole community is dealing with devastation it likely never envisioned. “The level of damage to infrastructure is incredible,” he said. “There are millions of trees down.”
Hagans, whose official title is CEO of Eagle Creek Aviation Services, the company that owns the FBO, said his business was damaged but will recover.
Hangar doors at the FBO were damaged or
ripped off in winds that hit 142 MPH as the eye of Irma passed directly over
the popular resort town on the west coast of southern Florida. All the aircraft
had been evacuated and there was no staff on site when the hurricane hit and
Hagans said he’s grateful there were no injuries.
“We are obviously disappointed that our hangar was damaged, but we are fully aware that the damage could have been much, much worse – and we’re particularly grateful that our employees heeded the warnings and evacuated the area before the storm hit,” he said. The runways at the airport were cleared to allow National Guard operations but the airport has been NOTAM'd closed.
By Geoff Rapoport
Princess Juliana Airport, on the Island of St. Martin, has
been severely damaged by Hurricane Irma’s Category 5 winds. Maho Beach, where
tourists take photos under jets landing on the island’s 7,500-foot runway, is
entirely underwater in recent photos.
The same photographs show a thick layer of sand covering 30 feet of the runway overrun area. Winds reported at 185 miles per hour knocked down fences, destroyed jetways and threw heavy objects through windows in the terminal. The terminal area forecast from the airport immediately prior to the storm advised pilots they could expect winds from a heading 300 at 140 knots, gusting to 160 knots.
Princess Juliana Airport is the island’s only airport capable of supporting heavy jets, which is limiting efforts to aid the beleaguered island. One government official said 95% of the island has been destroyed by Irma. The runway at Saint Martin Grand Case Airport, on the island's north shore, is only 3,900 feet long. At least two people have been killed on the island by the storm, one of the most powerful Atlantic storms in decades.
By Nicholas Nehamas
Hurricane Irma mercifully weakened before it swept much of Florida with hurricane-force gusts. But the gridlocked madhouse caused by the largest evacuation in Florida’s history shows just how vulnerable runaway development has made one of the nation’s fastest-growing states, emergency planners say.
“We have to stop and take a deep breath and ask, ‘What are we doing?’ ” said David Paulison, a former Miami-Dade County fire chief brought in to run the Federal Emergency Management Agency by President George W. Bush after the agency’s response to Hurricane Katrina was harshly criticized. “The more people we put here, the worse it’s going to be for evacuation.”
Irma could have been Florida’s worst nightmare: A massive Category 5 hurricane wide enough to hit both of the state’s densely populated coasts, where growth has boomed despite the obvious risks of living on the water in an area regularly walloped by storms. The push for more development — one of Gov. Rick Scott’s central policies in his successful effort to revive Florida’s economy — is elevating the risks to both people and property, said Craig Fugate, FEMA chief under President Barack Obama and the state’s emergency management director under Gov. Jeb Bush. “We’re trying to evacuate more people over the same infrastructure,” Fugate said. “It’s something Florida has to revisit.” Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/weather/hurricane/article173494726.html?#emlnl=Afternoon_Newsletter#storylink=cpy
Famous WWII Bomber Factory Will Now Be Used to Test Driverless-Car Tech
Where Rosie Once Riveted, Cars Will Now Drive Themselves
By Keith Naughton
Automakers, suppliers and technology companies will share the $110 million facility to accelerate the arrival of autonomous cars. Eventually, the 500-acre center will feature fake suburban neighborhoods, rural country roads and urban streets with robot pedestrians darting into traffic. The test track will include a full-size freeway interchange with looping on and off ramps. “Here’s the reality: These vehicles are going to happen and it is going to transform mobility in the world,” Debbie Dingell, a Democratic congresswoman from Michigan, said during a tour of the facility Tuesday. “And it’s either going to happen in America or it’s going to happen in China or India or western Europe. And we are not going to let that happen.”
Earth movers and front loaders are now building bridges and overpasses on the vast site where the factory was leveled a few years ago. The test track spills out onto the adjoining U.S. 12 highway, where autonomous test cars will take over two eastbound lanes as regular traffic is rerouted to the westbound lanes on a 1.5-mile section of the lightly traveled roadway. Dingell was accompanied by Bob Latta, the Ohio Republican who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection panel. In a rare show of bipartisanship, Latta’s panel last month unanimously approved legislation that allows manufacturers to test thousands of self-driving vehicles on public roads while safety regulators come up with rules for driverless rides. The bill would also prohibit states from regulating the mechanical, software and safety systems of autonomous cars. “We’re looking five and 10 years out,” Latta said. “We don’t want to have legislation out there or regulations that are going to stymie development” of autonomous vehicles.
Latta said developing self-driving cars is imperative because U.S. roadway deaths jumped 14 percent over the last two years, with more than 40,000 people dying in crashes in 2016. Federal statistics show that 94 percent of highway fatalities are the result of human error. “I’d like to think right now that the United States is on the forefront” of developing self-driving cars, Latta said. “We want to stay at the front, so we don’t want to put roadblocks up.”
Detroit and Silicon Valley, vying for supremacy over autonomous autos, each have official test sites in their backyards. GoMentum Station, a decommissioned Naval base in Concord, California, also was named an official test site. There, 20 miles of roads weave around empty barracks, a mess hall, gymnasium and bowling alley. “I’m tired of this California versus the Midwest” competition, Dingell said. “We need to give a whole hell of a lot more credit to what is happening here and what is being built in Michigan, Ohio and the Midwest. We are at the forefront of that innovation.”
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