A UK inquest has convened to investigate the death of Steve Mills, chief fire officer at Cotswold Airport (EGBP) in western England. The jury heard testimony last week that confirmed the officer died when a five-foot cylinder of compressed gas exploded as he tried to remove it from an airport structure he was involved in rehabbing. According to testimony, other firefighters previously expressed concerns about safety precautions being taken during removal of the cylinders, but were later put at ease about the process by Mills. The chief was working alone when the cylinder exploded.
Donne Trotter, a member of the Illinois State Senate, was arrested and jailed overnight on felony charges on December 5 after TSA screeners at Chicago O’Hare International Airport found a loaded .25 caliber gun in his carry-on luggage. Trotter, charged with attempting to board a flight to Washington Reagan Airport, possessed a valid Illinois gun permit. However, the weapon was not registered within the City of Chicago. Trotter, who moonlights as a security guard, said he simply forgot he was carrying the weapon. Trotter was considered a prime candidate to replace U.S.
Some Brazilian industry experts are convinced that criminalization will never improve aviation safety and they have been trying to persuade some the country’s judges and prosecutors to accept this premise in the wake of contentious accidents such as the 2006 midair between an Embraer Legacy and an a Gol Airlines Boeing 737. A week-long course beginning on November 26 in the capital Brasilia focused on the pros and cons of criminalization before an audience of federal judges, prosecutors, aviation safety investigators and assorted military officers and lawyers.
The International Civil Aviation Organization’s safety information protection task force (SIP TF) will hold a public listening session on 5 December 2012 in Washington, D.C. at the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel. ICAO has invited industry stakeholders, aviation accident victims’ family groups, law enforcement, the judiciary and members of the public to present their views on topics currently under review.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) graduate student Jared Wingo is looking for input for his master’s degree thesis entitled, “Benefits and Drawbacks of Electronic Flight Bags on Pilot Performance.” He’s looking for licensed pilots with EFB experience to take a five-minute survey looking at the differences between EFBs and paper charts. Direct questions can be sent to Wingo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two Bush Intercontinental Airport employees were arrested October 19 for attempting to smuggle heroin at the airport. The men, one an Express Jet employee and the other a DAL Global Services worker, are accused of using both their airport knowledge and their security credentials to bring nearly 15 kilos of the narcotic (13 of which was a sham heroin substance) onto the field and attempt to sell it to an undercover DHS special agent. The pair is also accused of smuggling $100,000 in U.S. currency and numerous fraudulent documents. Each man faces up to 10 years in prison.
A U.S. District court in Rome, Ga., on October 11 sentenced Andrew Anderson to 37 months in prison after finding him guilty of conspiracy to forge a supplemental type certificate (STC). Anderson was initially contracted by SIA Engineering Company to obtain STCs for interior modifications on Boeing aircraft owned by a branch of the Dubai government. He subsequently forged the necessary documents. The court demanded Anderson also pay $1.1 million in restitution to his victims.
Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Bank (SMBC) beat more than 30 other bidders to complete the acquisition of RBS Aviation Capital on October 15, demonstrating the growing importance of leasing in new-airliner acquisitions. The bank’s new SMBC Aviation division intends to merge two other leasing companies owned by its shareholders to challenge for the number-three position in the leasing sector, controlling some 331 aircraft.
The arrest of 11 members of an alleged Russian military procurement ring in Houston earlier this month was an exceptional but not isolated example of foreign interests attempting to acquire advanced technologies by skirting U.S. export control laws. “This is exceptional in the sense of the scale and scope. But these types of procurement networks are very common,” said Douglas Jacobson, an international trade attorney who specializes in export controls. “Efforts to procure a variety of U.S.[products] are common from Iran, from China, from other countries,” he added.
U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner announced a federal grand jury has returned a superseding indictment charging William Hugh Weygandt, 63, of Granite Bay, Calif., for conspiracy to commit fraud involving aircraft parts. Weygandt is the former owner and president of Weco Aerospace Systems, an FAA-certified repair station based in Lincoln, Calif., that was purchased in 2007 by Gulfstream Aerospace.