Strange But True General Aviation News Archive

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, 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 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.

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.

Strange but true general aviation news

Friday, October 4th, 2013

The student learned a real lesson. A student pilot and instructor were forced to make an emergency belly landing at Buffalo Niagara International Airport after the landing gear on the Cessna Cutlass 172 they were flying locked, reports the Buffalo News.

What are those F-16 fighter jets doing there? a Diamond DA40 was one of three aircraft that were intercepted by F-16 fighter jets after enter a no-fly zone over the United Nations in New York City, reports the Asbury Park Press. The aircraft eventually landed at New Jersey’s  Monmouth Executive Airport.

Is it a ghost aircraft if you can see it? Officials in North Carolina are investigating how an aircraft ended up in the bottom of Lake Norman, reports the New York Daily News.

It did say “No Parking.” Business Insider  reports on a Boulder, Colo., police officer and jokester who issued a parking ticket to an Army National Guard Blackhawk helicopter parked on the street in between work rescuing stranded victims of the Colorado flood. The pilot of the helicopter was cited for “facing the wrong way” and “parking in a no parking zone.”

Captain Kirk afraid to fly? Sir Richard Branson, the man behind Virgin Galactic, says that actor William Shatner, who portrayed Capt. James Kirk in the iconic television series “Star Trek,” declined an offer to fly into space on Virgin Galactic because of his fear of flying, reports the Daily Mail.

Now taking off — Air Turtle.  A juvenile loggerhead turtle was flown on a Cessna Citation II from Brigantine, N.J., y to the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program in Charleston, reports the French Tribune. The turtle was missing the major part of its right rear flipper and will be in physical therapy.

Now landing — on Lake Shore Drive. Pilot John Pedersen was forced to make an emergency landing on Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. He told investigators that his aircraft developed mechanical problems.


Strange but true general aviation news

Friday, September 27th, 2013

Amazing rescue! 85 fifth-grade students and their 14 adult chaperons from Fireside Elementary School in  Louisville, Colo., were rescued by seven Colorado National Guard helicopters from flooding after being stranded during a trip to the Cal-Wood Education Center, reports Flying magazine.

Drugs and airplanes don’t mix. A Falcon 50 jet based in France was stopped in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, after local police found 1,500 pounds of cocaine, valued at approximately $26 million packed in 26 suitcases, reports Aviation International News. The jet’s three pilots and one passenger were arrested and jailed.

Step away from the tower. Four teens were arrested by the FBI after allegedly damaging the VOR tower in Flagstaff, Ariz., reports KPHO-TV. Charges against the youths are pending.

The airplane crash that wasn’t. North Dakota’s Williams County Emergency Services recently did a training exercise based on an aircraft crash at Minot International Airport, reports KMOT-TV. was practicing what they would do if a plane crashed at the airport.

Do the crime, do the time. Steven French was sentenced to 30 days in jail after pleading guilty to pointing a laser into the cockpit of a Lexington Police helicopter because he was “bored,” reports WKYT-TV. He will also be on probation for a year.

Good landings. A pilot with three passengers onboard made an emergency landing in a cornfield shortly after taking off from Michigan’s Tiny Zehnder Airport in Frankenmuth Township, reports The pilot said the engine malfunctioned. A pilot walked away after landing his Piper PA-24 into a corn field after taking off from Canada’s Woodstock Airport, reports the Norwich Bulletin.

A commercial flight was just fine with him. U.S. Open Tennis champion Rafael Nadal declined an offer by the Spanish government to fly him by private jet to a Davis Cup match, reports He said he didn’t feel right making the state pay for private travel.

We’ll end the week with this video from the Alaska Dispatch that shows how to land your private plane in a gorge, in a blizzard.

Strange but true general aviation news

Friday, September 20th, 2013

A series of interesting uses for drones. The clerk for Colorado’s Deer Trail Town has received a flood of more than 1,000 applications for hunting licenses to shoot down unmanned aircraft flying over the twonafter a measure allowing the practice will be on the ballot next month, reports AvWeb. On the other side of the world, Shenzhen, China-based SF Express is testing drones to help the company deliver packages to remote locations where trucks can’t, reports Gizmodo.

How did this miss sequestration? The government is shelling out nearly $7,000 a month on the lease for Aero Marti, an old Gulfstream G-1 used by the Office of Cuba Broadcasting to beam in uncensored Spanish news into the country, reports AvWeb.

Pentagon cuts Google fuel discount. The Pentagon has ended a deal it signed with Google in 2007 that allowed the company to buy fuel for its seven jets and two helicopters at a discount, reports Cnet. The Pentagon allegedly found out the company was using the fuel for non-government flights.

What is it with gliders? A teen member of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets spent a brief time in the hospital with minor injuries after an emergency landing of his Schweizer SGS 2-33A glider on the roof of a convenience store near Vancouver, reports AvWeb.

Good landings. William Booth made an emergency landing of his vintage Lake Renegade aircraft in a field near Saratoga County Airport, reports the Saratogian. The FAA and NTSB are investigating how a Piper PA-18 Super Cub was found upside down on a beach in California’s Ranchos Palos Verdes, reports the LA Times.


Old? Who’s old? Tom Lackey, 93, has broken his own Guinness World Records feat of being the world’s oldest wing walker, reports the Guardian. he was tied to the  top of a 1943 Boeing Stearman during the one hour, 21-minute flight from Scotland’s Castle Kennedy to the City of Derry Airport

How much for the vase, the beanbag chair and the vintage 1946 Cessna 140? Robbie and Pam Love decided to have a garage sale — and included their vintage 1946 Cessna 140 among the items available for purchase, reports WJFA. The couple got $17,500 for the aircraft.

We’ll end the week with this YouTube video of two men making an emergency landing in the Alaksa wilderness.


Strange but true general aviation news

Friday, September 13th, 2013

Helicopter salvages airplane. A Sikorsky helicopter was used to pull a sunken Cessna 172 out of New York’s Marion Lake, located in the Adiroindacks, reports the Albany Democrat-Herald. All four of the aircraft’s passengers made it out uninjured.

Emergency landing. A Beechcraft 1900D with 10 people aboard made a belly landing at Telluride Regional Airport after the left landing gear collapsed, reports the LA Times. Among those aboard were people coming to the ski town to screen the new documentary “Salinger.”

For safety’s sake. Pilots for Australia’s Ambulance Victoria are refusing to land at the local hospital until the facility cuts down some trees, reports the Herald Sun. Instead, pilots are dropping patients off  at Dela­combe Park, where they are transferred by road ambulance.

Now landing: Blair Force One. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was recently seen at New York’s Adirondack Regional Airport, reports the Adiroindack Daily Enterprise.

Emergency helicopter landing. A helicopter operated by California’s Fresno County Sherrif’s Office was forced to make an emergency landing  on a baseball field at Washington Union High School, reports FOX 26. The pilot said he felt a vibration in the helicopter’s tail rotor.

NOT an emergency helicopter landing. The police chief of Salisbury, Mass., was called to the parking lot of the Kitten’s Gentlemen’s Club. Why? Residents saw a helicopter parked in the lot and wondered if there was an emergency, reports the Newburyport News. It turns out the helicopter had flown in a well-known dancer who performs under the stage name of “Bridget the Midget.”

Don’t ask what meal they had on the flight. More than 1,000 chickens rescued from an egg-laying farm were airlifted to new homes to live a cage-free life, reports the Today show. The animals were rescued by California-based shelter and sanctuary Animal Place.

Strange but true general aviation news

Friday, September 6th, 2013

Caught on video tape. A 17-year-old student pilot flying in the mountains near Meeteetse, Wyo., was forced to make an emergency landing after becoming disoriented, reports Flying magazine. The teen, fearing the worst, videotapped the flight, which is being used in the investigation.

Interesting drone stories. First, a drone fell from the sky and crashed into onlookers at a running of the bulls event at the Virginia Motorsports Park, reports the Verge. Five spectators had minor injuries. The whole thing was videotaped.  Second,  the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District has begun testing drones to battle an infestation of black salt marsh mosquito, reports the Miami Herald. An attached camera will survey hard-to-reach mangroves to track the mosquitos.

Emergency landings. A pilot trying to land at made an emergency landing at Vernon Airport in Vernon, British Columbia, Canada, instead ended up in a pasture near the Allan Brooks Nature Centre in the Commonage, reports the Vernon Morning Star. A 60-year-old pilot flying a homebuilt aircraft made an emergency landing in a field near Green Bay, Wisc., after taking off from a private airstrip, reports the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

The end of an era. British stunt pilot Doug Gregory has reluctantly decided to end his aerobatics career now that he’s turned 90 years old, reports the Daily Mail. The World War II pilot says he will continue to fly.