Failure to go-around bends airplane

This May 2008 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

Aircraft: Cessna 172. Injuries: None. Location: Rose Bud, Ark. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The private pilot was attempting to land on a private, 2,250-foot-long grass strip. He landed long. He did not have enough runway to bring the airplane to a stop but did not initiate a go-around. The airplane went off the runway and hit a fence. The left wing and horizontal stabilizer and left main gear were substantially damaged.

Probable cause: The pilot’s long landing.

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Third time’s the charm?

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Transportation Security Administration has been without an administrator since 2007 and the minority leader of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is calling for a reorganization of TSA, saying it is “a bloated, ineffective bureaucracy.”

Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) recently released a review of a TSA program known as SPOT (Screening Passengers by Observation Techniques) conducted by the Government Accountability Office at Mica’s request. The Congressman said TSA spends hundreds of millions of dollars on SPOT, but has never scientifically validated the list of behaviors underpinning the program and never determined whether the techniques could be applied to counterterrorism or in an airport environment. In fact, the program has failed to identify known terrorists. Since the program’s inception in 2003, 17 known terrorists have traveled through SPOT airports on 23 different occasions. Although 1,100 people have been arrested, none were arrested for terrorism.

“TSA is a bureaucratic nightmare,” Mica declared, noting it has more than 60,000 employees and is top heavy with supervisory and administrative staff. In fact, at the Washington, D.C., headquarters, nearly one out of three employees is a supervisor. Mica has written to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano expressing the need for an immediate reorganization of TSA.

It is into this quagmire that the next TSA administrator will step — if and when confirmed by the Senate. John Pistole is the third person to be nominated by President Obama for the post. [Read more…]

8,200+ miles in an LSA

A view of South Central Kansas from 7,000 feet

A view of South Central Kansas from 7,000 feet

Michael Combs, who is flying around the country in a Light Sport Aircraft, recently returned to Kansas one final time after landing safely in Wichita, only 80 miles from where his journey began on April 8. The Flight for the Human Spirit has covered 30 states and has now exceeded nearly 8,300 miles flown in a Remos GX. The flight is designed to inspire people to reach for their dreams, according to Combs, who reports that he’s now at the half-way mark.

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Cessna awards suppliers

Cessna Aircraft Co. as given its 2009 STARS award to 21 suppliers, including two – Aerospace Optics, Inc., in Fort Worth, Texas, and O2 Corporation, in Wichita, Kan. – that obtained the gold level for outstanding performance excellence.

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AOPA to merge two foundations

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) plans to merge its two 501(c)3 charitable organizations, the AOPA Foundation and the AOPA Air Safety Foundation, into a single entity known as the AOPA Foundation. Bruce Landsberg, currently president of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation, will lead the combined organization.

“All of the work currently done by the Air Safety Foundation – the online courses, the in-person safety seminars, the flight instructor refresher courses, all of it – will continue,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller. “Our AOPA trustees, the Air Safety Foundation’s Board of Visitors, and AOPA’s senior management all agree that air safety remains a top priority.

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Angel MedFlight wins business ethics award

PHOENIX, Ariz. — Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance was presented with the 2010 Business Ethics Award by the Better Business Bureau of Central, Northern and Western Arizona. During the ceremony, held earlier this month at the Arizona Biltmore, Angel MedFlight was recognized by the Better Business Bureau for its ethical business practices, including the company’s customer service, internal policies and community involvement.

“We are delighted to have received this award and to be recognized by the Better Business Bureau for our ethical standards,” stated Kelly LoCascio, Angel MedFlight’s CEO. “Most consumers are unfamiliar with air ambulance service until they need it. We provide medical transportation for patients across the country and around the world. When a family selects Angel MedFlight, they are entrusting us with the life of a loved one. Our BBB Business Ethics Award assures our patients and their families that we are an honest, dependable company that is dedicated to exceptional patient care. We greatly appreciate this honor.”

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Ship it AOG expands

Ship it AOG, a worldwide distributor of spare parts for the business aviation market, has added a new 7,000-square-feet warehouse adjacent to its existing facility in Addison, Texas, bringing the total warehouse space to 14,000 square feet.

“We have experienced a period of incredibly rapid growth in our business,” said George Miller, president of Ship it AOG. “We increased our warehouse space fivefold when we moved to our Addison facility in 2006. Now we’ve doubled it again. Since 2006, we have tripled our customer base, and we now have an inventory of more than 11,000 individual components or accessory products from hundreds of manufacturers. At the same time, we have diversified our product lines, signing distributorship agreements with companies like Unitron, Lektro, Custom Comfort Solutions and Jetcraft Avionics.”

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GNV FBO joins Phillips 66 network

P66 lineman ready to to fuel 2

University Air Center, the sole FBO at Florida’s Gainesville Regional Airport (GNV), is now a member of the Phillips 66 Aviation branded dealer network.

University Air Center offers aircraft charters flying a fleet of five Citation series jets; maintenance with factory warranty repair for Cirrus and Cessna; Eclipse 500 maintenance and modification; FAA-approved avionics repair and installation; aircraft rental; flight school; and 24-hour, seven-day-a-week service. In addition, 24-hour, on-call organ and patient transport is available.

“University Air Center touts a perfect safety record with 25 years of experience,” says Rod Palmer, General Manager Aviation, ConocoPhillips. “The FBO fits well with Phillips 66’s commitment to safety and professional line training, something we consider paramount to helping general aviation thrive in this country.”

University Air Center now accepts the WingPoints Reward Card from Phillips 66 Aviation. For more information: or

AIA names Sigler assistant VP for Civil Aviation

The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) has appointed Todd Sigler assistant vice president of Civil Aviation. Sigler joins AIA after working for Cirrus Aircraft in a variety of positions, most recently as vice president of manufacturing support and process engineering.

In his new role with AIA, Sigler will focus on topics related to civil aviation issues and policy, including the environment, research and development, aviation infrastructure and safety and security.

At Cirrus, Sigler also was vice president of manufacturing operations, vice president of product assurance and director of air safety. He was responsible for production system strategy and product quality, daily manufacturing operations, strategic production planning, product integration, quality system elements and aircraft accident investigation. Prior to working at Cirrus Aircraft, Sigler spent eight years with Cessna Aircraft Co. as a customer solution manager, a senior air safety investigator and a production support engineer. He was also previously with Raytheon Aircraft (now Hawker Beechcraft) as a liaison engineer.

Sigler holds a bachelor’s degree in Aviation Technology and a master’s degree in Aviation Safety. He has also holds a private pilot’s license and an A&P license.

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