Strange But True General Aviation News Archive

Strange but true general aviation news

Friday, December 27th, 2013

These drugs just fell from the sky!  Officials at Hull Prison near Ottawa, Ontario, are beefing up security after a drone was able to drop a package that allegedly was filled with drugs, reports AvWeb. The package was never recovered.

Speaking of drones… Samy Kamkar, a computer programmer, has released a set of free instructions showing how a toy Parrot drone can be turned into a “skyhacker” drone, reports AvWeb. It can then interfere with WiFi-controlled drones and take control of them.

This spa wasn’t so relaxing. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency raided the offices of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based  charter operator World Jet as part of a drug trafficking case, reports the Durango Herald. The company allegedly used The Springs Resort & Spa in Pagosa Springs, Colo., to launder money for the operation.

Helicopter to the rescue. An 18-year-old cliff jumping the waters off Tasmania’s Blackmans Bay Beach had to be rescued by helicopter after he injured his back after falling 26 feet into the water, reports ABC News.

A safe landing is a good landing. A pilot flying from Maine’s Portland International Jetport to Waterville was forced to make an emergency landing on I295 after allegedly running out of fuel, reports Flying magazine. A Beechcraft BE-200 used by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo made an emergency landing after the landing gear failed to deploy, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Strange but true general aviation news

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Talk about high flying. Two men who landed a private aircraft at Johnson City Municipal Airport are facing drug charges after a Drug Enforcement Administration agent found 75 lbs of marijuana aboard, reports the Times News.

He gets a double penalty. John Walsh, 46, faces trouble times two after he allegedly flew an unregistered LSA-type aircraft and flew with a falsified pilot certificate, reports AvWeb. He was using the vehicle and his fake license to to fly customers near Key Largo, Fla.

And here’s another double penalty. Paul Douglas Tharp, 53, has been charged with lying to the FAA about being a pilot and a mechanic, along with flying aircraft without a license, reports the Charlotte Observer. He is facing up to five years for each count of lying, plus three years for flying without a license.

Survival of the fittest. Juan Hernandez, Honduras’ ruling party presidential candidate, his wife and three members of his campaign team survived after his helicopter crashed on the way to a rally in Juticalpa, reports the Daily Times.  A pilot was forced to make an emergency landing in Trussville, Ala., after losing power, reports WVTM-TV. A small aircraft made an emergency landing at the Fargo Jet Center after experiencing landing gear problems, reports WDAY-TV.

He couldn’t just use an axe? The Gizmodo blog reports (and posts video) of ace helicopter pilot Dan Clark using his rotorcraft to harvest Christmas trees.  “Oregon helicopter pilot ruthlessly owning inertia,” says Redditor coolmandan03.

Strange but true aviation news

Friday, December 13th, 2013

Mice on a plane. The U.S. dropped 2,000 dead mice wearing parachutes onto Guam in a desperate attempt to eradicate the island’s  invasive brown tree snake, reports RT.com. The dead mice are filled with Tylenol, which is deadly to the snakes.

It’s raining parts? Residents in Seattle’s Gatewood claim that as a small aircraft flew over their houses, parts of its window fell on their roofs, reports KOMO-TV. One neighbor showed the parts to an aviation expert who confirmed they came from the aircraft.

Buying a piece of aviation history — on eBay. An AOPA member alerted us to the sale of a Rolls-Royce 593-610 Concorde SST Jet Engine on Ebay. As of Dec. 12 at 4:00 p.m. EST, the engine had 46 bids, and the current price was $20,100.

Waiting for the FAA.  A Mooney that made an emergency landing at Northeast Florida Regional Airport remained on the runway for an hour until FAA gave permission to move it, reports WTEV-TV. The pilot was uninjured after failing to lower the aircraft’s landing gear.

They just walked away. A pilot and his passenger made an emergency water landing on Ireland’s Lough Erne, where they were rescued by the country’s Maritime Rescue, reports the Independent.

We’ll end the week with this video that Flying magazine calls the “Coolest Instrument Approach Ever.” Enjoy!

 

Strange but true general aviation news

Friday, December 6th, 2013

He was just hanging out! A rare black rhino was tied by its ankles and transported by helicopter to its new home under the WWF’s Black Rhino Range Expansion Project, reports the Mirror. Helicopter is deemed the best way to get the beasts from KwaZulu-Natal region of eastern South Africa.

That airport car looks vaguely familiar. Pilots flying into Minnesota’s Milaca Municipal Airport now have access to a new crew car — a retired Dodge Charger police squad car, reports the Mille Lacs County Times.  The car can be used on a first come, first-served basis.

He just walked away. The pilot of a 1988 Laser managed to walk away after the aircraft cartwheeled to a stop near the Swanborough Farm Airstrip in Lewes, U.K., reports the Sussex Express. Investigators found that “the threads of the bolts holding a wheel assembly on had stripped and that the wheel probably came away when the aircraft took off,” the newspaper added.

All’s well that ends well.  A pilot and his passenger were not injured after the Beechcraft T-34C military trainer they were flying slid off the runway at Colorado’s Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport, reports the Broomfield Enterprise. No injuries were reported after a a small, twin engine Beechcraft went off the runway at Tennessee’s Tri-Cities Regional Airport, reports the Times News.

 

Strange but true general aviation news

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

40 years later, the wreckage remains. The Jalopnik blog reports about the 40th anniversary of a U.S. Navy Douglas C-47 that ran out of fuel and crash on a beach in Sólheimasandur in Southern Iceland. The aircraft is still sitting on the beach after the military abandoned plans to remove the wreckage, located two hours away from Reykjavik. It has become a popular tourist stop.

It was the crash that wasn’t.  Local firefighters participated in a mock airplane crash exercise near New York’s Jones Beach, reports Five Towns Patch. The drill served as good practice in case of a real emergency at nearby JFK Airport, according to Lawrence-Cedarhurst Fire Department Deputy Chief Anthony Rivelli.

Do the crime, do the time.  A pilot and his passenger are facing two years in prison after pleading guilty to possession with intent to distribute 50 kilograms or more of marijuana, reports FOX34 News. The drug was discovered after the pilot made a belly landing after a refueling stop at Texas’ Yoakum County Airport.

Happy landings. A pilot and his passenger escaped injury after their Piper aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing right after taking off from Blosser Municipal Airport in Kansas, reports the Salina Journal. A pilot made an emergency landing at Georgia’s Thomaston-Upson Airport as his ultralight’s nose gear collapsed upon impact, reports the Thomaston Times. Two survivors of a crash near Staniel Cay, Bahamas, were rescued by a U.S. Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter, reports the Las Vegas Sun.

 

 

Strange but true general aviation news

Friday, November 15th, 2013

It’s a miracle. NBC News has exclusive video footage of what happened when two skydiving aircraft hit each other mid-air. It’s amazing that there were no fatalities among the nine skydivers and two pilots. One aircraft was destroyed, while the other only had damage to the propeller and wing.

It’s another miracle. Two men from Tasmania say they are lucky to be alive after they crashed their ultralight into the sea near Waterhouse Island, reports Yahoo News. The men clung to air matresses they packed and were eventually rescued by a police boat.

Here – take my private jets. The MLS soccer team the New England Revolution, in the middle of a playoff run, got an assist from team investor Robert and Jonathan Kraft. According to MLSSoccer.com, they loaned their personal jets to the team so it could cut travel times to a playoff game in Columbus, Ohio. Robert Kraft is also the owner of the NFL’s New England Patriots.

No please — take mine! Texas state Sen. John Carona (R-Dallas) loaned his corporate aircraft to  fellow Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston) so the latter could campaign around the state, reports the Texas Tribune. Patrick is one of three candidates vying for the seat of lieutenant governor.

Come on — we all have to eat! The St. Louis Cardinals baseball team was on the way to Boston for the World Series when their charter jet was delayed for nearly seven hours. The passengers, stuck on the aircraft, were hungry and sent the message out via Twitter. Domino’s Pizza ended up dlivering 16 pizzas to the jet, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Let’s go to the video. A 16-year-old girl shot a video of a small aircraft as it did a hard landing at Oklahoma’s Wiley Post Airport, reports NewsOn6.com. The aircraft’s landing gear collapsed after touching the runway.

The last flight. A modified Douglas DC-9 that once flew as Air Force One and Air Force Two made its final flight, from Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport to California’s Castle Air Museum, reports the Arizona Aviation Journal. The U.S. Air Force, which had been maintaining the aircraft, tried to sell it for $50,000 before donating it to the museum.

Emergency landings. A pilot walked away after making an emergency landing along a highway in Raymondville, Texas, reports FOX Rio 2-TV. A couple sustained minor injuries after losing power in their aircraft engine and landing in a park near Amarillo, Texas, reports WREG-TV. A pilot in his 80s managed to land his aircraft in a muddy field outside Robstown, Texas, reports KRIS-TV.

Strange but true general aviation news

Friday, October 25th, 2013

Locking the door is on the checklist.  The door of a Beechcraft King Air taking off from California’s Monterey Regional Airport fell on the El Castell Motel, reports the Californian. No was was injured, but the motel did sustain damage to its roof.

Why didn’t he just go to Home Depot? Timothy Lynch, 50, could get up to  10 years in prison after pleading guilty to theft of public property after stealing 7,200 feet of copper wire from the light tower at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, reports the Seattle Times. Lynch was caught after a Port of Seattle employee found a break in the airport’s fence.

Good landings. A pilot and his passenger made an emergency landing into Maine’s Moosehead Lake but were uninjured, reports WLBZ-TV.  A pilot was uninjured but his aircraft was damaged after making an emergency landing at Colorado’s Telluride Airport, reports KDVR-TV.

Strange but true general aviation news

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Do the crime, do the time! A judge in Florida sentenced Diocenyr Ribamar Barbosa-Santos, an airplane mechanic with no criminal history, to two years in prison, despite the case prosecutor recommending  parole and community service, reports the Sun-Sentinel. Barbosa-Santos was prosecuted for trying to secure financing to smuggle seven civilian jetliners from a Chinese seller to Iran Air for $136.5 million.

It’s a highway, it’s a runway! A single-engine Bellanca Citabria made an emergency landing on San Jose, Calif.’s Capitol Expressway in the middle of Thursday morning traffic, reports the Mercury News. No one was hurt during the incident.

Bad advertising. A banner aircraft advertising for McDonald’s crashed on an unoccupied car in a field at the University of Florida used for tailgating, reports Deadspin. The pilot and passenger were taken to the hospital.

Another side effect of the government shut-down.  The FAA had to delay investigating the crash of an Air Tractor in Robinson, Texas, because it is short handed because of the government shut down, reports the Waco Tribune. The aircraft is owned by Corpora Aerial Service of Hearne.

Things you can learn from video games.  Video game Grand Theft Auto 5 includes instructions on how to steal a private jet, reports International Business Times.

A correction — and an apology

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Regular readers know that I write a weekly post here called “Strange but true general aviation news.” It was created to offer a light-hearted roundup of stories pointing out unusual events that happen under the GA banner, including stories on unique aviation technology and folks doing some interesting things in and around aircraft.

In the May 20 edition of the column, I reported on a story in Record-Journal about a pilot who made an emergency landing at Connecticut’s Meriden-Markham Airport. I inadvertently named the pilot who made the landing as as Jeffrey Standel. While Standel is a pilot, he was was not flying the aircraft. Instead, he was merely a bystander who was quoted in the newspaper article.  I will contact Mr. Standel and offer him an apology for my mistake.

Strange but true general aviation news

Friday, October 11th, 2013

I guess he won’t be buying that aircraft. Pilot Curtis Boulware was forced to make an emergency landing of a 1956 Beechcraft T-34 Mentor Trainer he was contemplating buying, reports the Telegraph. The aircraft lost power as it was preparing to land at Spruce Creek Airport in Port Orange, Fla., so he put the aircraft down in the driveway of a country club instead.

Plane spotters love Tony Blair. Thanks to his  Bombardier Global Express BD-700 in a distinctive black-and-gold livery,  former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair’s jet has become a popular target for plane spotters, reports the Independent. The jet has been spotted in upstate New York,  Bangkok, and Sardinia.

A jet with the Midas touch.  CNBC reports on Eric Roth of International Jet Interiors, who specializes in upgrading private jets. He’s done everything from putting gold on every fixture in a jet to procuring an alligator skin toilet seat.

Jump! Two parachutists dressed in black were seen base-jumping off a building near the the World Trade Center site, reports CNN. They made the jump, got into a car and left without a trace.

We’ll end the week with this YouTube video about James Minton of  Wilkes County, N.C.. H was found safe after a plane crash in Alaska, where he left a the note at the scene and said he was OK.