Hanscom Field in Bedford, Mass., has been recognized for outstanding achievement in airport snow removal and ice control. The general aviation facility received the Northeast Chapter of the American Association of Airports’ Balchen/Post Award, which recognizes the dedicated efforts of snow crews in maintaining airports in a safe and operational status during the winter. Hanscom Field recorded more than 69 inches of snow during the 2012 to 2013 winter season, significantly more than the airport’s average of 47 inches, and crews responded to 17 storms during that time.
The Sikorsky S-76D medium-twin helicopter is continuing its envelope expansion and is approaching the first customer delivery. The initial certification received in October was just a baseline, suitable for most operators and most conditions, Sikorsky director of commercial programs Dan Hunter told AIN.
In response to the powerful tornado that ravaged areas of Oklahoma City on Monday, business aviation charity Sky Hope Network has organized a community relief fund to aid several aviation professionals who lost their homes and also the family of an FAA title examiner who was killed in the tornado. In its first day, the campaign raised nearly $10,000, all of which will be distributed directly to the victims. Donations can be made through June 1 via Sky Hope’s website.
The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) began a month-long test last week aimed at better predicting when and where thunderstorms might tear their way across Colorado’s Front Range and adjacent Great Plains region. The research uses high-altitude aircraft to improve storm lead times, especially in the crucial six- to 24-hour window before storm formation.
A Beechcraft 1900 on an April 7 ferry flight from Namibia is missing and assumed lost in the South Atlantic Ocean near Sao Tome off the southwest corner of Africa. Neither the pilot, the sole occupant of the aircraft, nor any portions of the airframe have been recovered. Weather at the time of the accident was reported as heavy rain, with lightning and high winds.
As thunderstorm season approaches in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s worth remembering how weather-radar technology has improved in the past three decades. Southern Airways Flight 242, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9, crashed in Pauling County outside Atlanta on April 4, 1977, after flying directly into a severe thunderstorm, calling attention to the then little understood issue of radar signal attenuation in areas of heavy precipitation.
More than a month after October’s Hurricane Sandy, some airports in the Northeast continued to repair the damage left in the “superstorm’s” wake.
Hawthorne Global Aviation Services in New Orleans completed an extensive restoration of its terminal after Lakefront Airport suffered flooding from Hurricane Isaac in September. The $3.5 million facility opened as an FBO in February and Hawthorne acquired it only a month before the storm. Like other service providers on the field, the Hawthorne FBO was forced to relocate to a trailer while the ground floor of the building was gutted and rebuilt.
Hurricane Sandy closed the major New York City metropolitan area airports and forced the cancellation of more than 20,000 flights as it swept the Northeast region of the U.S. last week, leaving widespread flooding in its wake. The Category 1 hurricane, combined with cold fronts from the north and west, also disrupted operations at airports in Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Other airports nationwide and internationally felt the ripple effect of the cancellations.
For U.S. Gulf Coast residents history repeated itself at the end of August when Hurricane Isaac struck, seven years to the day after Hurricane Katrina roared ashore and nearly drowned New Orleans. The storm caused the temporary closure of several area airports and forced others to declare “ATC-zero” status due to tower shutdowns or other lapses in contact with ATC.