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Showing posts from January, 2009

FedEx Plane Crashes During Landing

A FedEx cargo plane crashed at Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport in Texas early this morning. It is reported that the aircraft came down at the end of the runway, skidded off and caught on fire. Both pilots supposedly walked away from the crash and are at a local hospital.
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Airplane Engine Pulled from Hudson River

The missing engine from the jet that ditched in the Hudson River last week was pulled from the water Friday afternoon. It will now join the rest of the aircraft as investigators painstakingly examine all the evidence to determine just why the plane came down. The NTSB spokesperson has said it will be next week before any information is released from the initial examination.
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FAA Air Traffic Control Program Dropped from GAO High-Risk List

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a press release earlier this week to promote that its Air Traffic Control modernization program was removed from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) High-Risk List. The ATC modernization program was the only item dropped from the most recently updated list of areas that the GAO identifies as high-risk due to their greater vulnerabilities to fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement. The ATC modernization program was first placed on the list in 1995.
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US Coast Guard to Respond to Digital Distress Calls Only

Jan 22, 2009 — Beginning February 1, 2009, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) will only receive distress alert broadcasts from digital 406-MHz Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs). The USCG will no longer process analog signals transmitting on 121.5 or 243.0 MHz. Mariners and aviators are urged to make the switch before the deadline and register, as required by law, their EPIRBs with the United States 406 MHz Beacon Registration Database System or by calling 1-888-212-SAVE.
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South Africa: Another Arrest Over South African Airways Drug Smuggling

Tuesday the entire crew of a South African Airways flight from Johannesburg to London was arrested at Heathrow Airport after UK customs agents discovered about 110 lbs. of marijuana and 8 lbs. of cocaine in three pieces of luggage. Now a female security guard at Johannesburg's O.R. Tambo Airport has been arrested for her possible involvement in this smuggling operation. The guard was one of 16 security personnel on duty clearing flight personnel for the flight to London.
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Flight Returns Due to Pepper Spray

Jan 20, 2009 — Southwest Airlines flight 295 returned to Sacramento International Airport Sunday night after passengers complained of various forms of irritation and a chemical odor much like that caused by pepper spray. Hazmat teams searched the plane and all the luggage once it landed but did not find the pepper spray source. A small canister of pepper spray was discovered in a passenger's carry-on bag. It was determined that the canister found had not been opened and was not the source of the odor. The passenger did violate security rules by bringing the pepper spray on-board.
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Spain: Spanish Military Jets Crash, Three Pilots Die

Jan 20, 2009 — There is some difference of opinion as to how the accident happened, but what we do know is that three Spanish air force pilots are dead after two military F1 Mirage jets crashed this morning. One official stated the two jets had collided in mid-air, while another was unclear as to whether they had collided or went down separately. The investigation continues.
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Bird Strike Forces Helicopter to Land Early

Jan 19, 2009 — Bird strikes on aircraft are not uncommon occurrences, but with last week's ditching of US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River, everyone is going to hear more about the dangers of bird strikes. So it's no wonder that it's being reported that a hospital helicopter in Arkansas was forced to land after a bird strike Saturday. The chopper was returning to a hospital in Little Rock when a bird hit it and the pilot decided to put the aircraft down early.
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Record Number of Small Planes Expected in D.C.

Jan 19, 2009 — There will be a huge influx of corporate and private jets coming into the Washington DC area for tomorrow's (1/20) Presidential Inauguration. In order to accommodate the number of smaller airplanes at Washington Dulles International, airport officials closed one of the airport's runways so it could be used as an airplane parking lot.
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Record Number of Small Planes Expected in D.C.

Jan 19, 2009 — There will be a huge influx of corporate and private jets coming into the Washington DC area for tomorrow's (1/20) Presidential Inauguration. In order to accommodate the number of smaller airplanes at Washington Dulles International, airport officials closed one of the airport's runways so it could be used as an airplane parking lot.
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TSA Report on Suspicious Behavior, Guns and Closures

Jan 17, 2009 — For the week of January 5-January 11 the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reported the arrest of 11 passengers due to suspicious behavior or fraudulent travel documents, 16 firearms and 2 artfully concealed prohibited items were found at checkpoints and there were 8 incidents that involved a checkpoint closure, terminal evacuation or a sterile area breach.
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Flight Restrictions Before/During U.S. Presidential Inauguration

(FAA) “Modifications to the Washington, DC Special Flight Rules Area (formerly known as the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ)) and the Washington Metropolitan Flight Restriction Zone (FRZ) will be in place for Pre-Inaugural activities on January 18, 2009, and for the Presidential Inauguration on January 20, 2009.”

Boeing Commercial Airplanes Cutting 4,500 Jobs in 2009

Boeing’s Commercial Airplanes business unit will lose about 4,500 jobs in 2009. According to a statement from the airplane manufacturer, the reductions will come via layoffs, normal attrition and a reduction in contract labor. Also, most of the jobs will be lost in Washington State in Q2 2009 and many will be in overhead functions and other areas not directly associated with airplane production.

Greenpeace Purchases Land for Heathrow’s New Runway

The environmental group Greenpeace has purchased a tract of land that is earmarked for London Heathrow Airport’s proposed third runway. Greenpeace is one of several groups trying to block the expansion of Heathrow. Greenpeace has dubbed its effort “Airplot”. Here’s what they have in mind for this piece of land.

Next TSA Meeting on Large Aircraft Security Program Friday

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is holding five meetings around the country in order to gather input from the General Aviation community about the Large Aircraft Security Program (LASP) Proposed Rule. So far two meeting have taken place (White Plains, Atlanta) and the LASP rule as it is written has come under intense criticism. The next meeting will be Friday (1/16) in Chicago. For more information about the location visit the TSA website here.

New U.S. Visa Waiver Program Requirements In Effect Today

Effective today (1/12) all foreign travelers to the United States who are from Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries are now required to obtain approval through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to coming to the United States.
The ESTA website is available at: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/
(U.S. DHS) “DHS will take a reasonable approach to travelers who have not obtained an approved travel authorization via ESTA, and will continue an aggressive advertising and outreach campaign throughout 2009. Travelers without an approved ESTA are advised, however, that they may be denied boarding, experience delayed processing, or be denied admission at a U.S. port of entry.”