The Louisiana Airport Passport Program is designed to encourage pilots and aviation enthusiasts to visit airports throughout the state. Participants that complete certain incentives have the opportunity to win prizes such as patches, flight bags, shirts and even a flight jacket.
You can get all of the details by reading the following documents:
HOW TO ENROLL
Now that you have all of the info you need on the program, it’s time to enroll and you can find out how to do that by clicking HERE.
Participation in the program is steadily rising. Just wanted to give you some figures and some additions to the Passport Program:
If you have questions on the program contact: Ryan Landry (DOTD) at Ryan.Landry3@la.gov
Skydweller Aero Inc. is bringing its flight test and aircraft modification operations to Hancock County.
The project represents a corporate investment of $15 million, as well as $40 million in advanced solar-powered aircraft inventory. The project will create at least 36 new jobs.
Skydweller Aero is a transatlantic cutting-edge aerospace company developing solar-powered aircraft solutions capable of achieving perpetual flight with heavy and powerful payload capacity.
Utilizing technology based upon the longest continuous renewably powered flight program in history, this fast-growing startup is developing a new class of unmanned aircraft, providing the persistence of geosynchronous satellites with the powerful sensing capabilities and the flexibility of a large, airborne platform.
To read more click HERE
- NTSB issues the preliminary report into the fatal accident involving a Cessna 414 airplane, N880A, that occurred on October 12, 2023, near Harry P Williams Memorial Airport (PTN/KPTN), Patterson, Louisiana:
On October 12, 2023, about 1521 central daylight time, a Cessna 414 airplane, N880A, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Patterson, Louisiana. The commercial pilot and the pilot-rated passenger sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 cross-country flight.
According to the passenger’s family, the purpose of the flight was for the passenger to travel to Houston, Texas, for a medical appointment. The pilot, who was also the airplane owner, was a flight instructor for both single and multi-engine airplanes. The passenger held a private pilot certificate, for single engine airplanes.
A review of Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast (ADS-B) data showed that the airplane departed from the Gonzales Regional Airport (REG), Gonzales, Louisiana, at 1456. Prior to the departure at REG, that pilot added 64.57 gallons of fuel to the airplane The airplane landed at 1511, at the Harry P. Williams Memorial Airport (PTN), Patterson, Louisiana. According to the PTN airport manager, the airplane taxied over to the fixed-base operator, the airplane remained at idle, and the passenger boarded the airplane. The passenger pulled a rolling suitcase out to the airplane. Once the passenger boarded, the pilot then got out of the airplane and walked over to the left side of the airplane where he appeared to look at the something on the airplane. The pilot then boarded then airplane and taxied to runway 24 for departure. The pilot announced on the airport common traffic advisory frequency that the airplane was departing runway 24, and no further radio transmissions were heard from the airplane. The ADS-B data did not capture the airplane taking off.
A witness, who was driving in her vehicle near an intersection just to the west of PTN, observed the airplane shortly after it departed from runway 24. She observed the airplane was “tilted to the left,” it turned on its side, and then entered a nosedive. She observed the airplane impact a sugarcane field, where upon impact, an explosion occurred, and the wreckage and surrounding area was on fire. She could not tell if the airplane’s engines were emitting any abnormal noises prior to impact as she was driving at the time, nor did she observe any smoke or flames emit from the airplane prior to impacting the sugarcane field. She additionally reported, that from her position, it did not appear that the airplane was trying to turn around back to the airport.
The airplane came to rest about 0.32 miles southwest from the departure end of runway 24. The accident site was located on private property, that consisted of sugarcane, about 12 ft tall. The wreckage was destroyed from the post impact fire. All major structural components of the airplane were located at the accident site. The wreckage was recovered from the accident site, and it was transported to a secure location for further examination.
To Read the full report click: HERE
My son Zachary Holt just completed his mission. He has been working for 3 years to get his PPL. He worked through life's adversity of challenges. He lost 3 instructors due to them moving on in their careers to the airlines or private commercial aviation. With each step he required backtracking with new instructors to prove his skills. In the middle of all this came a tough divorce. He managed through adversity to continue to follow his dream. He has flown with me since he was born, and has the bug. He purchased his own plane N8387W, a 1967 Cherokee 180. He spent the entire summer alongside friends and a Louisiana A&P doing mechanical and electrical restoration. Lastly, when he had the greenlight to do a checkride, he and his current instructor found a 2 month wait for DPE for La, Miss, East Texas. Time finally came. Wednesday October 11th at Hattiesburg. Wouldn't you know it, it had been good flying weather for months and in rolls the weather. Canceled. Maybe Thursday, Nope, front stalled. Weather canceled again. Friday 13th. Well maybe. Narrow chance so DPE agreed to start oral. Passed. Weather marginal. DPE said it’s up to you, I will not allow any deviation from standards for weather, up to you. He said let's do this. With calculated 500 ft or less clouds margins from limits on class E space and gusty winds they’re off. Well, enough said. Welcome Zachary Holt new PPL.
Picture Left Zachary, Right DPE Stan with N8387W in the back drop
Jay Holt, DVM
To read the October Newsletter of the Aviation Academy of Louisiana click:
To read the October Newsletter of the Big Easy Wing of the Commemorative Air Force click:
Congratulations to Ashley and Joey Calandra on the 16th birthday of their company, Avionics Solutions of Lafayette. It’s been fun watching the company grow in so many ways over the years. They do it all….
You can learn all about their company and what they do by clicking:
Here’s what they had to say about this big milestone:
“Happy Sweet 16 to us! Today marks our 16th year in business. Ashley and I have been truly blessed with some of the most talented, team oriented, and driven employees in the business. Avionics Solutions is, and will forever be a team effort. Thank you all for the business, support, and patience as we’ve organically grown over the years. Our vision remains the same. Be better than we were yesterday.
Forever grateful. Forever forward.
Cheers to 116 more.”
We wish the folks at Avionics Solutions many years of continued success!
Very sad to report that longtime Louisiana aviator Robert Allen has gone west. For so many years, if there was a fly-in somewhere in Louisiana, you knew that Robert would be there in his very familiar cream and red RV-6A (that he had built). Our deepest sympathy and prayers for his family and friends. His services are Saturday.
On Saturday, September 16, 2023, Robert Lee Allen embarked on his last flight, destination the landing strip eternal. Robert was born on April 18, 1927, in El Dorado, AR to Aden Burton (A.B.) and Clara Bell (Johnson) Allen. He is survived by his children: Michael Allen (Deanna), Mark Allen, Audrey Easley (Kelley); grandchildren: Jared Allen, Carly Easley, Jeremy Allen, Caroline Allen, and Erin Easley; and his sister, Cherry Smith. Robert was preceded in death by his wife, Maria Gabriela Pacheco Allen; his parents; and his siblings: Dorothy Sublett Seifert, A.B. Allen, Jr., and Donald Allen. At 18, Robert joined the Marine Corps. During his 20-year military career, Robert served in Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Thailand and other parts of Southeast Asia, and South America. During his postings as an Embassy Guard in Argentina and Bolivia, he met and married Gabriela. Robert eventually attained the rank of Gunnery Sergeant. After his military career, Robert spent several years working as an electronics technician in the oil and gas industry. This work took him all over the country and the world. Although Robert retired from working, he certainly did not retire from living life. His passion for distance running expanded to triathlons. In his sixties, Robert decided to build and fly his own ultra-light airplane. As the years went on, and Robert's triathlon activities narrowed down to just swimming, he took on another physical pursuit - tango. Obviously, his love of South American culture never faded. He will be missed by his friends from the New Orleans area tango community, the Korean American Association of Greater New Orleans (Louisiana Korean War Veterans Association), Ama airport, Elmwood Fitness Center, the Maple Leaf, and countless others. The family would like to thank all of you for your friendship with Robert over the years. Funeral Services will be held on Saturday, September 30, 2023 at Garden of Memories Funeral Home, 4900 Airline Drive, Metairie, LA 70001. Visitation will be held from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM, with the service following at 1:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital at www.stjude.org.
To read more click….HERE
With almost 15 years of fundraising under their wings & 70++ charitable STEM education & Wounded Warrior Weekend events, the Blackhawk Flight Foundation is still flying high. Incorporated Oct. 11th, 2006, they received their IRS tax exempt status as a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit in Feb. 2008. And, although still relatively new in the world of nonprofits, they’ve made a considerable positive impact on the lives of approximately 1,200++ young Americans, across the S.E. United States Gulf Coast & Alaska.
On Saturday, September 16th, 10am – 2pm, Blackhawk kept the tradition rolling with their 2023 STEM Education & Aviation Career Day event at the Port of South Louisiana Executive Regional Airport, Reserve, LA, in the Auric Avionics, Inc. hangar facilities. The event was designed to promote the importance of STEM education & careers in the aviation / aeronautical sciences / aerospace industry. It highlighted the basic mathematical, science, & language arts skills required to become a success in today’s global economy, via the presentations of 6, well-respected, very successful, highly qualified aviation professionals. Speakers and supporting staff consisted of a group of professional pilots, aircrew, technicians, support personnel. The speakers included;
Included in the presentation were static displays of 2 of the most beautiful, professionally maintained, A.V. L-39 Albatros jet fighters / WARSAW Pact jet trainers, in the world today, to discuss aviation as a sport & business, & the role that it plays in America’s future. US Naval Sea Cadet Corps units from Lafayette, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, JROTC units from De La Salle High School & Mandeville High School were in attendance to explore the incredible opportunities available in the aeronautical sciences industry today.
The event provided positive examples of what young Americans can accomplish when they direct their talents, intelligence, & perseverance at a positive goal, regardless of their social or financial circumstances.
Some of the sponsors that made the event possible were;
The event was a huge success and the next one is already on the drawing board for Spring 2024, location TBA. Hope to see you all there.
To see the entire press release click: HERE
For more information you can contact BJ Perrett, Executive Director of the Blackhawk Flight Foundation, Inc., at 985.789.2746 or Et12@charter.net.
Lafayette Regiona Airport(LFT) is proud to announce a groundbreaking collaboration with Basin Arts and BARE Walls, introducing an innovative art display program that showcases the talents of local Acadiana artists starting in October. The partnership aims to infuse the newly designed terminal with local artistic essence, allowing travelers to immerse themselves in the rich culture of Acadiana.
Steven Picou, Executive Director of LFT, expressed his excitement about this unique initiative. “It significantly contributes to the terminal's ambiance adding more charm through the exhibition of local artists' works. This partnership is helping propel LFT, exemplifying our commitment to investing in our local region,” said Picou.
The exhibition will feature over 40 local art pieces and showcase them on a three-month rotating basis on the secure and non-secure sides of the terminal. Passengers and visitors will have the opportunity to purchase art via QR code and arrange to have it delivered to their chosen destination at the end of the three-month rotation with an additional shipping cost.
Clare Cook, Founder of Basin Arts, shared her enthusiasm for curating artwork at LFT and highlighted the importance of this partnership in offering travelers a memorable and visually exciting experience at the terminal. “This program underscores LFT's dedication to providing a culturally rich experience for travelers passing through LFT,” Cook added.
Basin Arts and BARE Walls collaborate to nurture local artists and showcase Acadiana’s talent in public spaces. BARE Walls received a $2,200 grant from the 24 Hour Citizen Project in 2018 and has since paid over $40,000 to local artists for their contributions. “We are thrilled that both residents and visitors will have the opportunity to savor local artistry as they arrive and depart from our stunning new airport,” stated Cook.
DENHAM SPRINGS - A vehicle towing a $30 million helicopter got stuck on Range Avenue after the top of the aircraft inadvertently rammed an I-12 overpass Friday morning.
Photographs showed the helicopter on top of a towing trailer wedged under the overpass. It appeared the craft's rotor collided with a support beam on the underside of the bridge.
The bridge passes 15 feet above the roadway, according to signage north and south of the span. Technical specifications for the helicopter indicate its body is 15.5 feet tall.
Range Avenue was fully reopened shortly after 10:30 a.m. after the helicopter was removed. DOTD says there is no indication the bridge sustained any structural damage at that the interstate would not be impacted.
The Denham Springs Police Department said the driver, 56-year-old Miguel Rodriguez, worked for Texas-based trucking company International Machine Transport. He was ticketed for careless operation.
Police added that the cargo was being transported from Georgia to Lafayette.
While officials have not released details on the aircraft involved, it appeared to resemble a Sikorsky S-92. Fresh from the production line, the helicopter goes for nearly $30 million.
Baton Rouge, La. (Sept. 21) – In August, three Louisiana Wing Civil Air Patrol (CAP) cadets returned home after spending a little over two weeks at the CAP National Blue Beret (NBB) activity in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Capital City Composite Squadron cadets Cadet Maj. Giselle El Bechir and Cadet Capt. Thomas Watkins were there for their first year at NBB. Cadet 2nd Lt. Aimee Calvert of the St. Tammany Composite Squadron returned for her second year as a flight leader for this year’s event and was responsible for training the 9 cadets in her flight.
Cadets and senior members must go through a competitive national selection process to attend as CAP volunteers at the largest airshow of its kind in the world, the Experimental Aviation Association (EAA) AirVenture. In 2023 there were a record-setting 677,000 people in attendance, with over 10,000 aircraft arriving at nearby airports in east-central Wisconsin. Cadets help conduct the event operations including flightline marshaling, crowd control, and emergency services. CAP cadets from across the United States, from Hawaii to Puerto Rico were included in this years’ NBB activity.
Cadets experience Training Week during their first week of NBB. Training Week includes an introduction to the flightline and runway environment including all the necessary training required for cadets to fulfill their duties during the following week. The training includes flightline marshaling, mission radio operator qualifications, and extensive training on techniques for locating Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) signals from aircraft in emergency situations.
To read the entire press release click….. HERE
The International Forest of Friendship (IFOF) represents WORLD FRIENDSHIP THROUGH FLIGHT and is a living, growing tribute to those who have made significant contributions to the advancement of aviation. The Forest was established as a bicentennial project by the City of Atchison, KS (the birthplace of Amelia Earhart) and the Ninety-Nines Inc., The International Organization of Women Pilots. On September 16, 2023 five new honorees from the NOLA 99s were inducted into the Forest with plaques embedded in the walkway that winds through trees representing all 50 states and over 35 countries.
Twenty-Two members and spouses of the of the NOLA 99s attended the ceremonies in Atchison, KS on September 15-16. Each of those attending wore a t-shirt with the emblem as shown below so we were readily identified while traveling. The five honorees from the NOLA 99s were Mary Donahue, "Baby" Alice Furr, Jaime Gonzales, Melissa Holley, and Julie Jones whose IFOF biographies and pictures are attached below. Others attending, pictured in two attached group photos, were Merileigh and Theron Furr, Lisa Cotham, Carol Knight, Cheryl Kraemer, Janet Gonzales, Lois Horne (from Memphis), JoAnn Dawson, Mae and Ed Marquette, Marla Partimbene, Lizzie Domingue, Liz Waguespack, Margaret Jones, Jan Oreck, Karen Weldon, Alice Fanto, and Jess Twiddy. Also shown is our new 99s friend "Amelia Earhart".
Click the Honoree’s name below to read their IFOF Induction Bio:
By Emily Burleigh of the American Press
The E-8A Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System aircraft has been brought to its new home, Sowela Technical Community College. The aircraft’s retirement from the U.S. Air Force was celebrated Tuesday with a Fly-In Ceremony at Chennault International Airport. It will be integrated into Sowela’s aviation maintenance program. Chancellor Neil Aspinwall said that the moment the aircraft landed was momentous but sad, as its flight from Fort Moore, Ga. to Chennault Tuesday morning was its last. “It’s not everyday that you get a $35 million J-STARS Boeing 707 donated to a college aviation program. … It’s good to have some history, some memories of the last flight, seeing the plane touchdown. The students will be able to work on one of the last, great surveillance jets.”
To honor the jet’s service and history, Chennault held a water cannon salute, in which two large arcs of water were shot into the air to recognize the decommission of the plane. The $35 million modified Boeing 707-300 series jet was donated to Sowela –the largest donation in the school’s history – following the dissolvement of the E-8 Joint Stars fleet. The fleet was developed over 30 years ago as an “airborne middle management amongst ground targets” that emulated other aircrafts across the world, said USAF Lt. Col. Aaron W. Quinn, chief, Joint STARS Branch.
The donated aircraft was deployed in 1991 for Operation Desert Storm while the E-8 Joint STARS program was still in development. It also was deployed in 1995 for Operation Joint Endeavor. It was used for command control, intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance to “monitor, target and attack adversary surface forces.” Following its time in action, it was modified to be a pilot trainer aircraft, used especially for takeoffs and landings, he said. “I know it will continue to find great value in a new, different training mission, and continue to build on its already impressive legacy.”
Acquiring the aircraft took approximately a year and a half, Aspinwall said. Since many Sowela aviation maintenance students go on to work for major aircraft industries like Boeing, Delta and United, a large aircraft like the Boeing 707 is vital to flesh out the students’ experience. The aircraft includes engines and systems that are commonly used in commercial airlines. Isabel Gonzales, a Sowela student in her last year in the aviation maintenance program, said that she was drawn to the career path because of the globe-trotting nature of aircrafts. “We are taking care of something that goes up in the air and takes people places around the world.” Another student in the program, Jack Iguess, said he just watched Top Gun one too many times. His love for aircrafts was nurtured in him at a young age. That passion has carried him through life. Before Sowela, he worked on flight decks in the Navy. “I’ll never not be in aviation in some capacity.” The E-8A Joint STARS aircraft will aid them in gaining tactile experience with a jet of its caliber and allow them to earn necessary industry certifications, in addition to being “a lot of fun to work on,” Gonzales explained. “The best thing about it is that it is really going to benefit us after we are done with the program, because we are going to get certifications for working on it in school that are going to be carried over when we go in the job market,” said Iguess. The inventory of aircrafts at Sowela is extensive, they said, including a Skymaster 337, Boeing 727, Cessna Citation Jet and Piper Arrow. Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter, said he is constantly inspired by the growth exhibited by Sowela and Chennault. The attainment of the aircraft is yet “another tangible example” of their growth, he said. “The moment you get stagnant, the moment you start resting on your laurels, the moment you’re OK with the status quo is the moment you start to sign your death certificate, and for me, Sowela and Chennault and this relationship between the two is the antithesis of stagnation and status quo.” E-8A will remain a live aircraft at Sowela, and will be painted and refinished with the Sowela logo in the coming months.
To read more from American Press click:: HERE
To see a video report on the donation ceremony from KPLC-TV click: HERE
To see additional video coverage of the donation ceremony click:
September 20, 2023 – Charitable Aviation Foundation, a 501c3 public charity based in New Orleans, announces funding support for volunteer pilot organizations engaged in compassionate airlift and public benefit flights for people, patients, animals and communities.
According to the Foundation, there are around 100 volunteer pilot organizations (VPOs) around the country that operate 50,000+ compassionate airlift and public benefit flights each year towards patient transport, animal rescue, disaster airlift, community support and conservation monitoring.
The Foundation raises money from aviation and non-aviation companies and individuals to provide funding for these VPOs towards hiring the staff to facilitate service expansion and volunteer pilot recruitment, as well as purchase the software and administrative systems required to optimize community coordination and mission management.
“There are thousands of pilots around the country that volunteer their time and aircraft towards compassionate airlift and public benefit flights, and the organizations that match these volunteer pilots and humanitarian missions are indispensable to the wider nonprofit community. Unfortunately, there is very little funding visibility for these VPOs and, thus, a shortage of funds to expand their mission and impact. We started the Foundation to change that,” says Jay Taffet, founder of the Charitable Aviation Foundation.
The Charitable Aviation Foundation funds the volunteer pilot organizations by issuing grants based on stated need and detailed funding applications, and the Foundation only supports nonprofit volunteer pilot groups that meet or exceed the organizational standards established by the Air Care Alliance, the industry leading advocate for public benefit flying.
“We are passionate about the charitable aviation space and are committed to recruiting both aviation and non-aviation financial partners to help fund these organizations towards long-term sustainability and impact. We actively solicit grant applications from the volunteer pilot organizations throughout the year towards quick-turn funding in support of their mission and services,” according to Taffet.
Prospective Foundation financial partners can learn more about the charitable aviation space and donation opportunity at https://www.charitableaviation.org/
Volunteer pilot organizations can contact the Foundation directly through the website to explore funding opportunities.
To read the September Chennault Aviation & Military Museum Newsletter click…. HERE
To read the September Newsletter of the Big Easy Wing of the Commemorative Air Force click…. HERE
To view the latest Newsletter from the Aviation Academy of Louisiana click….HERE
Sep. 1, 2023
ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Additional aircraft have joined military helicopters in missions to the wildfires still active in West Louisiana.
The U.S. Forest Service arranged for aerial firefighters, or air tankers, to arrive at Alexandria International Airport (AEX) on Wednesday. AEX, the former England Airforce base, is operating as a staging site. Its large ramp space allows any size plane to set up shop, which is necessary for large air tankers.
“We were very excited whenever they said they were going to utilize us, not only because of our airbase but because they could come in and take care of our citizens to the West of us fighting those incredible horrible fires in Louisiana that we’re not accustomed to,” said Scott Gammel, AEX’s director of aviation.
There are currently four tankers at AEX. Captain David Mauldin’s tanker is referred to as ‘Big Juicy,’ for its size and ability to hold an incredible amount of repellant. Attached to the bottom of his plane are three tanks, holding a total of 9,400 gallons of flame retardant. There are only four tankers like Mauldin’s in the U.S. Forest Service’s entire arsenal. Three of those tankers are out in the Western U.S. fighting wildfires in California.
“Retardents are not used to put out the fire, but it’s used to give the ground firefighters time to get line, either hand line or bulldozer line, put in,” said Mauldin. “So, it’s more of a delaying type of product for the fire’s progression and suppression.”
Not only are the planes on-site at AEX but the retardant mixing operation is as well. Water and a bright pink powder are combined in a 6,000 lb. tank, which is then pumped into the tanks beneath the planes.
The tankers then release the retardent in flyovers, dipping low to the ground for drops. It can be surprising to some people to see the once-commercial aircraft flying low to the ground, but the tanker is retrofitted to fly low and quickly rise back up.
“Don’t be alarmed because we drop from usually 300 to 350 feet. So, they’re probably not used to seeing a large airplane like this at 300 feet unless it was about to land on their house. So minimize your alarm and don’t call the federal authorities.”
In the past few days, the tankers have been used to suppress flames in the Highway 113 fire near Pitkin. The tankers used half of the on-site supply of retardant in that effort.
“We have another big day or two of retardent on hand, but we have already requested six more 18-wheeler loads of retardent to come here,” said Keith Hackbarth, regional aviation officer for the U.S. Forest Service.
The retardant missions will continue for as long as they are needed to keep combatting Louisiana’s unprecedented wildfires.
To see a video about the large Fire FIghting Aerial Tankers operating out of the Alexandria International Airport click HERE
Lafayette Regional Airport (LFT) will offer two more direct flights to Houston (IAH) beginning Wednesday, September 6. That increases the number of daily flights from LFT to IAH to six a day. The first new departure time is 5:20 a.m. and the second departure is 2:00 p.m. Booking for these new flights is already available at www.united.com or by calling toll-free at 800-525-0280.
LFT Executive Director Steven Picou said, “These new additions give travelers more options to connect to the world from LFT.”
In addition to the six Houston flights, American Airlines offers daily connections to Dallas and Charlotte and Delta Airlines offers daily flights through Atlanta. Effective September 6, LFT will offer 14 daily flights.
Tuesday, August 22, 2023
Louisiana airports that will hold meetings are Chennault International. Houma-Terrebonne, Shreveport Regional and Lake Charles Regional.
WASHINGTON — The Federal Aviation Administration will hold runway safety meetings at approximately 90 airports between now and the end of September.
“Sharing information is critical to improving safety,” said Tim Arel, chief operating officer of the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization. “These meetings, along with other efforts, will help us achieve our goal of zero close calls.”
During a Runway Safety Action Team meeting, airport stakeholders come together to identify unique risks to surface safety at that airport and develop plans to mitigate or eliminate those risks. Representatives from the FAA’s air traffic organization, airlines, pilots, airport vehicle drivers and others participate.
Major airports with upcoming runway safety meetings include Ronald Reagan Washington National, La Guardia New York, Dallas-Fort Worth International, Cleveland Hopkins International, Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall, Reno/Tahoe International and Birmingham Shuttlesworth International. A full list is below.
The meetings, held annually at each airport with a control tower, are the primary forum for pinpointing and addressing airport-specific risk in the surface environment. The product of the meeting is a Runway Safety Action Plan where stakeholders document and agree to pursue specific actions to improve surface safety.
The FAA issued a Safety Call to Action in February following a string of incidents. Following the Safety Summit in March, the agency has undertaken a series of safety initiatives. The summit resulted in a commitment from the FAA and aviation community to pursue a goal of zero serious close calls. The same approach virtually eliminated the risk of fatalities aboard U.S. commercial airlines.
To read more including the list of all 90 airports that plan to hold meetings click: HERE
Covington, La. (August 20) – On the 22nd of July Cadet Colonel Sebastian Miskimmin of the St. Tammany Composite Squadron was presented the highest honor any CAP cadet can earn, the Gen. Carl A. Spaatz Award, which is awarded to less than 1% of all CAP cadets nationwide.
The ceremony was held at his parents’ home during a farewell party as he prepared to leave a few days later to Lackland Air Force Base Basic Training in San Antonio, Texas. His parents, Kimberly and John Miskimmin of Covington, both U.S. Navy veterans, pinned his new rank on his uniform as friends and loved ones looked on.
Since the award’s inception in 1964, Civil Air Patrol has presented the Spaatz Award to only 28 cadets in the Louisiana Wing. The St. Tammany Composite Squadron has produced two Spaatz cadets in the last two years. Spaatz cadets serve as positive role models for the junior cadets and become community leaders as they go into their future careers.
The General Carl A. Spaatz Award is presented to cadets after devoting an average of four years to progress through sixteen achievements in the CAP Cadet Program. Upon passing the Spaatz Award exams, the cadet is promoted to the grade of cadet colonel. The program is designed to help cadets develop self-discipline, personal responsibility, leadership skills, and a strong foundation to build a future career in aviation, space, or technology.
Miskimmin was unsure of his plans for the future when he joined CAP in 2017. He soon became an achiever, earning numerous awards including the 2019 Veterans of Foreign Wars NCO of the Year and the 2020 Air Force Association Cadet of the Year. In 2021 he was awarded St. Tammany Composite Squadron Cadet of the Year and the following year he was awarded Louisiana Wing Cadet of the Year.
In the words of St. Tammany Composite Squadron Commander Lt. Col. Don DuCote, “He was passionate about Civil Air Patrol and always looked forward to serving our nation in the Armed Forces”.
Miskimmin completed many hours of training during his time in CAP including Louisiana Wing (LAWG) Spring Cadet Training and Education Program (CTEP), Non-Commissioned Officer Academy (NCOA), LAWG Encampment Alpha Flight Honor Graduate, Southwest Region Cadet Leadership School, Cadet Officer School, and National Blue Beret.
Miskimmin’s mother, Kimberley Garcia Miskimmin, has been his biggest supporter. She spoke enthusiastically of her son’s numerous achievements, “Civil Air Patrol was everything to him, it gave him direction.’
Assistant Deputy Commander of Cadets Art Davies spoke of his achievement at some length, “Cadet Col. Miskimmin is an excellent example of perseverance and an attitude of not giving up.” He related his experiences watching through the years as Miskimmin pushed through many challenging tasks including his work as squadron cadet commander, “He constantly encouraged his cadet subordinates to study and promote and when they did he was ecstatic for their success.”
Miskimmin is a 2022 graduate of Fontainebleau High School in Mandeville, Louisiana, where he excelled in the JROTC program, earning several awards including Knights of Columbus 4th Degree Award, MOAA Cadet Officer of the Year, and twice earned the Senior Army Instructor Leadership Award.
In his spare time, he enjoys playing guitar and spending time with friends and family.
Rockin’ On the Runway in Sunset, LA, has become the largest private airport, public airshow in the country. The year 4 numbers are in & thanks to Y O U we were able to present St. Mary's Residential Training School with a check for $180,000! That is a $25,000 increase from our donation the previous year. We are absolutely blown away!
Our fundraising efforts would not be possible without the continued support, dedication, & selflessness of our amazing sponsors, volunteers, & local community. THANK YOU!
Each year we will continue to learn & grow from our experiences. This was our biggest year yet & we are S O proud of what we all accomplished together!
We are already busy planning our 2024 event. Be on the lookout for more information coming soon!
To read the August Newsletter of the Big Easy Wing of the Commemorative Air Force click…..
To see the August Newsletter of the Aviation Academy of Louisiana click… HERE.
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Jake Tirado, an 18-year-old Mandeville High School alum, completed an intensive eight-week U.S. Navy Summer Flight Academy aviation training program at Delaware State University in Dover.
Tirado received his FAA private pilot’s License and five college credits. The program took place from June 12-Aug. 3.
“Aviation is something that always had interested me and I knew this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Tirado said.
Tirado visited the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans on Thursday (Aug. 10) to meet pilots and watch F-5 fighter jets take off.
“It was crazy,” he said. “I flew Piper Warriors, and getting to see F-5s take off was just wild.”
Tirado picked up five college credits during the program. He also earned a little over 45 flying hours. He got to spend time in a F-5 fighter jet while at the Joint Reserve Base.
Cmdr. Mitch Newton said he was impressed by the skills Tirado developed during the summer program.
“He went through this program, has built the basic building blocks upon which he can pursue a career in aviation in much higher-performance airplanes, if he decides to do that,” Newton said.
Tirado was just one of 28 high-performing 11th- and 12th-graders from throughout the United States and its territories selected for the elite program.
Cmdr. Newton said Tirado’s achievements demonstrate that there is no limit when it comes to chasing your dreams.
“To have Jake successfully complete the program, the message to gain from that is that other individuals that are interested in pursuing a career in the military and interested in aviation know that these opportunities exist for them,” he said.
Tirado said he’ll keep those dreams alive as gets ready to attend Duke University in the fall.
Brian and Parker Still participated in the AirRunners Fly-In at the Minden Airport last Spring. The event is tentatively set for April of 2024, with funds raised going to “Pilots For Patients,” a 501 (3) (c) non-profit flying service headquartered in Monroe. (Photo by Marilyn Miller)
By Marilyn Miller
When a child tells a parent, “It was my goal to follow my dad,” does Dad’s throat suddenly close up and tears just as hurriedly appear?
Dad’s chin was in his chest, so there was no way to discern that, but Brian Still had to have felt like he was flying in the clouds…Oh, wait a minute! Brian Still does fly in the clouds. And so does his 20-year-old son, Parker Still, who spoke those endearing words.
Today, the father and son team own three Cessna four-place (seats) airplanes, single engine, three combined (in airplane speak), two of which are housed in a hangar at the Minden Airport. A third is located off a grass runway on the Still’s cattle ranch in Taylor, LA. “It’s a hobby we are REALLY into,” Brian quipped, his son nodding his head in agreement.
Brian spent his summers in high school working on a cotton farm in Greenville, MS. The farmer who owned the place was also a crop duster. Imagine a boy of 15 getting into the middle of that. “I fell in love with it and on my 16th birthday I flew my first solo flight. On my 17th birthday, I got my license.”
Fast-forward 30 years, and Brian has logged 2,500 hours in the air, licensed on commercial, multi-engine instrument-rated planes.
Back when he and his wife, Barbara, started their family, the kids started flying “aboard” small airplanes while still in diapers. So Parker was hooked early. He was only 15 when he began putting flying hours into a log book. Then he followed his dad with the solo and license coming on his 16th and 17th birthdays, respectively. But he went a step further and earned his instructor’s license on a single engine airplane. Today he has 900 hours in the air, and he has trained 10 students for their solo flights and three more are now private pilots. But by the end of the year, that number will double, Parker believes.
Some students are just looking to fly solo, he explained, not to become licensed. Why? Because flying is not cheap. Parker recommends that someone “thinking about” flying check out the costs that are involved both short and long-term first.
Ever the entrepreneur, Parker also rents two planes at Minden Airport for instruction. All this and he is still a full-time student at Louisiana Tech University majoring in Aviation Management, with a minor in Business Administration. He is owner/operator of “Still Flying” (instructor), is a member of the Cook Baptist Church in Ruston, and is affiliated with “Pilots for Patients.”
Brian is the fulltime owner/operator of Timberland Services in Taylor and a cattle rancher. Their family, which includes daughter, Landrie, 18, and younger son, Nolan, 15, are members of the First Baptist Church in Minden, where Brian serves on the Missions Committee. He helps performing mission work both in the U.S. and abroad. He is active with the Webster Men of Courage. A 1999 graduate of Louisiana Tech University with a degree in Agricultural Business, he is also affiliated with “Pilots for Patients.”
Baton Rouge, LA - Hancock Aviation, a leading provider of aircraft maintenance, modifications, and management, is excited to announce its strategic partnership with Innovative Solutions & Support (IS&S) as an authorized dealer and installation center for ThrustSense® Autothrottle in King Air, PC-12, CJ2, CJ3, CJ4, and M2 aircraft. This collaboration marks a significant milestone for Hancock Aviation, combining the expertise of Hancock Aviaiton and IS&S to enhance safety, performance, and convenience for aircraft operators.
The IS&S ThrustSense® Autothrottle system is a cutting-edge technology that revolutionizes aircraft control, providing pilots with advanced automation capabilities. By integrating state-of-the-art digital engine controls and intelligent autothrottle functionality, the ThrustSense® system optimizes aircraft performance and reduces pilot workload, ensuring a smoother and more efficient flying experience.
As an authorized dealer and installation center, Hancock Aviation will offer comprehensive sales, installation, and support services for the IS&S ThrustSense® Autothrottle system. With their deep knowledge and extensive experience in aircraft maintenance, Hancock Aviation is well-positioned to deliver seamless integration and exceptional customer satisfaction to King Air, PC-12, CJ2, CJ3, CJ4, and M2 aircraft operators.
"Partnering with IS&S as an authorized dealer and installation center for ThrustSense® Autothrottle reflects Hancock Aviation's commitment to providing our customers with industry-leading solutions that enhance safety and optimize aircraft performance," said Holton Hancock, President of Hancock Aviation. "We are thrilled to bring this cutting-edge technology to our clients, empowering them to fly with increased confidence and efficiency."
The ThrustSense® Autothrottle system offers a range of key benefits to aircraft operators, including:
To learn more about the IS&S ThrustSense® Autothrottle system and its availability through Hancock Aviation, click here.
On July 22, 2023, a United Express Embraer E145XR — operating flight UA4293 for CommutAir — was operating a short regional flight when it overran the runway at Lake Charles airport in Louisiana (LCH, KLCH).
The flight was a regularly scheduled commercial service from Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH, KIAH) to Lake Charles, typically lasting about 30 minutes.
After a few minutes at a low cruise altitude, the regional jet began its descent for an arrival towards the northeast into Lake Charles. Winds were out of the Northeast, so Runway 5 was in use.
The flight proceeded normally until the landing, where the crew had an available distance of 5,200 feet to land. 5,200 feet is normally plenty for an Embraer E145XR, so runway length was likely not a contributing factor in the incident.
Although not yet confirmed, the most probable cause of the incident is simply a long landing. AeroXplorer is currently awaiting a statement from the airline about the cause.
The aircraft came to a stop outside the available runway on the grass and emergency personnel were on scene to assist. Currently, no injuries have been reported though this remains unknown. The status of the aircraft, a 17-year-old Embraer ERJ-145XR registered N21197, is also unknown at this time.
By Javier Vera, General Aviation News
Talk about a win-win: Rockin’ on the Runway combines the fun and excitement of an air show with a very good cause.
The event was held June 10, 2023, at Red Oak Landing Airport (51LS), a private 3,600-foot grass runway in Sunset, Louisiana.
It was the fourth edition of the event, which was started in 2019 to raise funds, as well as awareness, for children and young adults with developmental disabilities who live at St. Mary’s Residential Training School in Boyce, Louisiana.
“My brother-in-law, Cole Elliott, is a long-time resident of St. Mary’s,” explained Taylor Elliott, event director. “The school is home to approximately 200 residents. Four years ago my in-laws and some friends hosted a private party and brought out a donation bucket in hopes of giving St. Mary’s a small check. They raised a few thousand dollars that night with little to no effort, so they decided to dream big.”
The event has grown each year, so that in 2023, it featured some of the biggest names in the air show industry, including the AeroShell Aerobatic Team, Matt Younkin, Kevin Coleman, Stephen Covington of SRC Airshows, and Robby Grice.
According to organizers, 100% of the proceeds from Rockin’ on the Runway are donated to the school.
“Over the past two years we have donated $300,000 to go towards our immediate goal of building a state-of-the-art, multi-use facility for all of the residents to enjoy that will include a splash pad, movie theater room, trampolines, and more,” Taylor says. “Our long-term goal is to continue to improve and maintain the facilities at St. Mary’s. We do this not only for Cole, but for all current and future residents of the school. We hope to do our small part in making the future of St. Mary’s the best it can possibly be.”
And while the cause is wonderful, so was the event.
To read more from General Aviation News click…. HERE
To read the July Escadrille Nouvelle, the newsletter of the Bayou State Escadrille of the Commemorative Air Force, click…. HERE.
To read the July Newsletter of the Big Easy Wing of the Commemorative Air Force click…..
To read the July Newsletter from the Chennault Aviation & Military Museum click…. HERE
Dear Pilots and Potential Glider Pilots in S. LA.
I know many of you want to get a glider rating, but don’t want to drive 3 hrs. to Brandon, MS or 4.5 hrs. to Shreveport/Gilliam Airport. I’ve heard from 20 plus of you that expressed interest. Who would be interested in committing to take an orientation flight in a SGS-2-32 glider if I can make arrangements to fly out of an airport near the Lafayette/BTR area? There are two options to give you that orientation ride:
The costs for an aero tow orientation ride would be $120 per person . The costs for a winch tow would be $60.00 per person.
We would do this on a Saturday or Sunday in July or August.
I just need to know how many to plan for so I would appreciate it if you let me know that you or another potential glider pilot would be interested.
All of you are always welcome at Gilliam Airport but I want to get S. LA pilots the soaring experience without the long drive.
If it goes well we may have enough pilots for a S. LA branch of Shreveport Soaring Club so you can get your glider ratings.
Please email me to let me know if you are interested.
Secretary of Shreveport Soaring Club, Inc
Cell 504 908-1404
Dispatch Aviation is excited to announce its first acquisition of local FBO-fixed based operations company Phillips Aviation, Inc., in Picayune, Mississippi. Dispatch is expanding and adding to its location in Baton Rouge, LA. This addition aligns perfectly with its goal of creating a top-notch FBO network that offers exceptional customer service throughout the Southern Gulf Coast.
"We're really excited to have Phillips Aviation join our expanding network," said Smith Thomas of Dispatch Aviation. "It allows us to enhance our services and better meet the needs of our growing customer base. We look forward to building on Phillips Aviation's reputation for maintaining aircraft with the highest quality, safety, and customer satisfaction standards."
Phillips Aviation has been a trusted name in the aviation industry for over 50 years. They started by taking over operations at Diamondhead Airport in 1984 before moving to Stennis International Airport in 1988. In 2004, the business relocated to its current location at Picayune Airport. Phillips Aviation will keep its current name and remain in Picayune. Wayne Phillips, the previous owner, will also work closely with management to ensure a smooth transition, with the support of Dispatch Aviation's resources and expertise.
Wayne Phillips and Smith Thomas
"We're confident that this acquisition will benefit both our customers," said Wayne Phillips of Phillips Aviation. "By combining our experience and resources, we can expand our capabilities further. We're thrilled about this new chapter and the opportunities it brings."Smith Thomas, owner of Dispatch Aviation, added, "Phillips Aviation is an excellent FBO, and we're looking forward to serving the City of Picayune and the Mississippi aviation community. Please stop by, preferably by plane, fuel up, and say hello!" Dispatch Aviation specializes in fixed base operation (FBO) management, aircraft maintenance and inspections, consulting, and other related private aviation services.
Dispatch Aviation dba Phillips Aviation, Inc.148 Runway Rd., Picayune, MS | (601) 749-9595
We are delighted to announce that our very own Director of Aviation, Mike Edwards, and Commission Chairman, Johnny Fife, have been selected as esteemed honorees in the Capital Region 500, presented by Baton Rouge Business Report.
This prestigious publication serves as a tribute to the exceptional community leaders who make significant contributions to shaping our vibrant Capital Region. Through a rigorous selection process that values merit and accomplishment, the guide showcases influential figures from various sectors, including business, government, and nonprofits.
We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Mr. Edwards and Mr. Fife for this well-deserved recognition of their exceptional contributions and outstanding leadership. Their dedication and impact have been instrumental in advancing our community and our airport, and we are proud to have them as part of our team.
That's a wrap for Rockin' On The Runway 2023! Year 4 was our BIGGEST year yet. The energy was exciting, the entertainment was incredible, & both days ran SO smoothly.
I am blown away by the number of attendees we welcomed throughout the weekend. Whether you came for the car show, airshow, to support St. Mary's, our family, or a little bit of everything, YOU showed up! Just by showing up, you made an impact on the lives of the residents & families of St. Mary's Residential Training School.
To our amazing sponsors & volunteers, THANK YOU. This would be IMPOSSIBLE without you. Your selflessness & dedication to our mission is why we are able to come back bigger & better each year. There are no words to express the gratitude we have for you.
THANK YOU to each & every person who played a role in the success of our event this year & the years prior. We are excitedly looking toward the future of this event & the future impact it will have at St. Mary's.
Until next year!
Event Director | Sister-in-law of St. Mary's Resident, Cole Elliott
Commentary in the American Press:
"Chennault International Airport serves the needs of business, civilian and military aircraft from around the world with world-class infrastructure, state-of-the-art facilities and an array of accomplished, industry-leading tenant partners. It’s a major component of our economy."
The viewpoint appears in the Chamber SWLA & Economic Development Alliance's twice-monthly economic report, "It's Everybody's Business."
The column appears below in full.
It's right in Lake Charles, you probably pass by it regularly ... and it’s a local economic powerhouse that’s a local job creator with a national reputation.
It’s Chennault International Airport.
Chennault is an emerging national aerospace hub that has kept military, corporate and personal aircraft in tip-top condition for more than three decades.
More than 1,000 people work at the firms at Chennault.
Much of the industry is already familiar with Chennault and the Lake Charles region, given its first-class aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) businesses that operate there — including Northrop Grumman, LandLocked Aviation Services and Citadel Completions.
In addition to the world-class MRO work done for years by its tenant partners, Chennault is also home to non-aerospace manufacturing and service businesses.
Chennault has a 10,701-foot-long runway, the longest at any airport between Houston and Cape Canaveral, Florida. It is capable of handling all aircraft flying today and has ample adjacent concrete for parking.
Chennault is served by an accredited, contracted air traffic control tower. FBO services are provided by Million Air.
With all of the development at Chennault, there’s still room to grow. There are more than a dozen tracts of land totaling nearly 1,000 acres available for development.
“The willingness to change and look for opportunities outside of the norm is critical to remaining relevant in our dynamic world today,” says Chennault Executive Director Kevin Melton. “Chennault remains a game-changer — we continue to work toward new tenant partners, more development and more jobs.”
The proof of Chennault’s power is best seen by its tenant partners, ranging from on-site furniture manufacturing to military aircraft arriving for fuel or overhaul.
Projects under way at Chennault International Airport are expanding the complex’s profile in serving aerospace and other needs.
One effort is the $4 million, 10,000-square-foot facility that represents Chennault’s entry into the air cargo sector.
“Chennault offers relief to airlines and freight forwarders who need space and attention — as a low-cost alternative to larger markets where expense, ground delays, and airspace delays slow delivery,” said David Whitaker, an advisor to Chennault's air cargo initiative.
Also at Chennault is the new facility for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. On the horizon is a $24 million, 60,000-square foot training and readiness committee for the Louisiana National Guard.
In short, Chennault International Airport serves the needs of business, civilian and military aircraft from around the world with world-class infrastructure, state-of-the-art facilities and an array of accomplished, industry-leading tenant partners. It’s a major component of our economy.
To read the June Newsletter of the Big Easy Wing of the Commemorative Air Force click…… HERE
The University of New Orleans is taking a big step to start their new Professional Pilot Program. Their College of Engineering is seeking an experienced professional to be the Program Director. To get all of the details on the position and how to apply click….HERE
One of our guest writers, John Peterson, has written another essay for our reading pleasure. The title of his essay is Hypolite Theophile Landry. If you recognize the name of this Louisiana aviation legend, you can’t wait to read it. If you don’t, then you definitely need to read it to get to know more about him. Thank you, John, for taking the time to share your personal memories of Hypolite. To read the essay click….. HERE.
BELLE CHASSE, La. ( WGNO ) — It is official, the Naval Air Station in Belle Chasse is bringing back the New Orleans air show!
Fans of the event will have the chance to see the Navy’s premier flight squadron, the Blue Angels take flight once again. In 2022, the air show brought out more than 160,000 spectators and in 2024 everyone can expect to see some of America’s top aviators.
“They can expect an exciting show. They’ll hear and see the sound of freedom. They’ll see an amazing demonstration of the capabilities of our fighter jets and they’ll get to see the Stem Field in action,” said Captain Lena Kaman, Commanding Officer at the Naval Air Station Joint Base New Orleans.
The New Orleans Air Show is set to take flight on March 23, 2024. For more information and to purchase tickets, you can visit the air show website .
To read more from WGNO click….HERE
Shreveport Soaring Club, Inc. had a fun event on May 20 when it brought out its redone winch and let members experience winch launches. Some members were instructed on operating the winch and qualified to be winch operators. On June 20, 2023, another winch event will be held to qualify its member glider pilots to fly solo off a Chevrolet 350c.i./350 horsepower powered winch. It is unique with a rapid pull up at 70 degrees after a few feet up to altitude of 800-1200 ft. AGL where the parachute automatically releases the glider hook and the glider pilot is released. It was a fun event by all and several new members signed up after the experience. The costs of winch launches is about $15 versus and aero tow launch of about $45-$55 dollars. Members all agreed the winch is a lot more exciting and fun. The Club plans to visit S. LA. Airports in the hope of getting other pilots to join the Club and experience soaring. The winch is roadworthy so this is now possible to do. Soaring safaris are also planned to take the winch to other great soaring spots and launch members.
Every year during the third week in October, Dave and Marcia Mason welcome hundreds of airplanes to the Reklaw Fly-In, known to be one of the largest grass field fly-ins in the country.
They’ve been holding the annual fly-in for 37 years at Flying M Ranch Airport (7TA7) in Reklaw, Texas, which is about 130 miles southeast of Dallas, Texas.
During the weekend of the fly-in, only aircraft owners, pilots and other aviation enthusiasts are welcome at the ranch.
“We don’t raise cattle anymore,” the couple note on their website, “we just have a good time once a year with our annual weekend fly-in and campout.”
Why open your property to hundreds of aircraft every year?
“We love welcoming children and families, as well as the incredible camaraderie of the pilots,” Marcia said during the 2022 fly-in.
The yearly event gives pilots a chance to “fly in to our unique grass runway, park the plane, pitch your tent, kick back, kick tires, whatever, and just enjoy the show rain or shine.”
The couple appreciate that their private airstrip is not what most pilots are used to.
“Some people find this stretch of grass challenging,” Marcia acknowledged. “It offers a new experience for novice pilots who have only used paved runways. Flight schools often use our facility to train students in grass strip procedures.”
The grass runway, lined on either side with towering pine trees and stretching 3,500 feet long and 50 feet wide, allows for a wide variety of aircraft to land and take off, from homebuilts up to a Pilatus PC-12 turboprop.
To read more and see more photos click: HERE
Acadian Air Med Names Brook Rozas as Flight RN of the Year
May 17, 2023—At the Acadian Companies annual meeting and awards ceremony on May 2, Brook Rozas CFRN was recognized as Acadian Air Med’s 2023 Flight Nurse of the Year. She was presented with her award by Vice President of Air Services Michael Sonnier.
A native of Lake Charles, Rozas earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from McNeese State University. She began her nursing career in 2016 at Lake Charles Memorial ER and joined Acadian Air Med in March 2020, where she has proven to be an invaluable asset ever since. Her role was especially critical during the COVID-19 pandemic, and she has continuously demonstrated her willingness to assist with ground operations and in-flight emergencies.
Rozas recently obtained advanced certification as a Certified Flight Registered Nurse, the highest certification attainable for a flight nurse.
Rozas has taken on the responsibility of training new Acadian Air Med nurses, where she is imparting the Acadian way of flight nursing and shaping the next generation of healthcare professionals.
“Brooke’s hard work and dedication to the job have been exceptional,” Sonnier stated. “Brooke's modest and selfless attitude and her unwavering commitment to serving others are the qualities that make her a role model. Brooke, you are a remarkable individual whose contributions to our organization are immeasurable.”
Acadian Air Med was founded in 1981 and currently operates a fleet of 12 medically configured helicopters and four fixed-wing aircraft from bases strategically located throughout Louisiana. It is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems, the gold standard for air ambulance services in the United States.
Acadian Air Med names Matthew Massoni as Air Service Employee of the Year
May 17, 2023—At the Acadian Companies annual meeting and awards ceremony on May 2, Aircraft Mechanic Matthew Massoni was recognized as Acadian Air Med’s 2023 Air Services Employee of the Year.
Massoni has been employed by Acadian Air Med and Executive Aircraft Charter Service for 16 years as a licensed aircraft mechanic and is responsible for working on all of the division’s fixed-wing aircraft. His experience and expertise have helped keep aircraft downtime to a minimum.
“Matt’s willingness to help others, dedication to his job, and dependability make him an invaluable asset to our team,” Vice President of Air Services Michael Sonnier stated. “We look forward to his continuing contributions when he becomes the Director of Maintenance later this year. There is no doubt that Matt will continue to exceed expectations and keep our fleet well-maintained and ready to fulfill future missions.”
Acadian Air Med was founded in 1981 and currently operates a fleet of 12 medically configured helicopters and three fixed-wing aircraft from bases strategically located throughout Louisiana. It is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems, the gold standard for air ambulance services in the United States.
To read the May Newsletter of the Big Easy Wing of the Commemorative Air Force click….HERE
Like many parents, after the last of their four grown children left home, Betsy and Shane Miller went house shopping. What they ended up with, however, is a home away from home for other aviators located in a Diamondhead, Mississippi, aviation community.
“When we looked at this house, it was way more than we needed,” said Betsy Miller. “But we loved it because there is a taxiway right in the backyard, and it’s close to the water, since we like to fish.”
Miller said she immediately realized the house’s upstairs area could be closed off and turned into an Airbnb.
“We call it ‘The Shangar,’ because my husband’s name is Shane and it’s in front of our hangar,” she said of the home located in the Diamondhead Aviation Community on the Diamondhead Airport (66Y).
“It screams aviation,” she said. “As soon as you enter, you are greeted with all of these aviation metal wall signs. Then you go up our taxiway (stairs), which I painted to look like the taxiway outside. Instead of a typical guestbook, we let our guests sign the wall there. And everyone gets really creative with that.
Even the carpet was chosen for pilots, she said.
“It’s hotel carpet, that way pilots feel at home,” she said. “We also have lots of aviation decor, pictures, and even have a flap off of a CitationJet that was made into a bar in the kitchen. There’s lots of models around and aviation books here. Anything that we could think of, we have it here in the space.”
Fly-in rentals are a rarity on the popular short-term rental sharing website, Miller said.
“Airbnb doesn’t have a specific category for airport home rentals, although I wish they would. They have unique spaces shown but nothing specific to fly-in properties.” she said. That’s been our only challenge in getting the word out about this space. Our airport manager asked me to make a flyer, and he has it posted for anybody who’s come in for fuel to see. I’ve also posted it everywhere on all these Facebook groups and not sure how to get it out there any better than that.”
READ MORE From Flying Magazine
This afternoon we have officially flown 7,000 total air missions since our inception in 2008. On this momentous flight, Pilot Jimmy flew patients Ray and B Jo back home to Monroe from Houston. Houston Ground Angel Sandra also drove both patients around while they were in Houston. Once they landed in Monroe, they were met by PFP President Philip Thomas, PFP Board Member Sharon Thomas, Stacey, Lead Mission Coordinator, and Kari, PFP Marketing and Event Coordinator.
It is so amazing that we have come this far and we can’t wait to see how far we go. Thank you Jimmy for all that you do and for having such a generous heart.
Hammond, Louisiana (April 24, 2023) - The Bayou State Escadrille of the Commemorative Air Force held a ceremony to acknowledge the arrival of their first assigned aircraft, an OH-13 Bell 47 helicopter. The group based at the Hammond Northshore Regional Airport was established in 2021. This is their first assigned aircraft, which they have named “Bayou Belle.”
The Bayou State Escadrille is the only Unit in the Commemorative Air Force assigned a flying helicopter. The Bell H-13 Sioux was a military training helicopter based on the popular civilian Bell 47, also a single-rotor, single-engine design. The Bell 47 had many designations depending on the branch of service; U.S. Army Air Forces called it a YR-13, the U.S. Army called it an H-13 Sioux, the U.S. Navy called it an HTL-1, and the U.S. Coast Guard called it an HUL-1G.
Attendees of the event included CAF President/CEO Hank Coates, the Mayor of Hammond Pete Panepinto, and the Head of the local Chamber of Commerce. Also, several members of other CAF Units were there to show support, including the Big Easy Wing, Mississippi Wing, and Floribama Wing.
About the Bayou State Escadrille
The Bayou State Escadrille is a Commemorative Air Force (CAF) unit established in 2021 to expand the mission to educate, inspire, and honor through flight and living history experiences in the Bayou State region. Based at Hammond Northshore Regional Airport, the group consists of volunteer members passionate about historic military aviation. Membership to the Bayou State Escadrille is open to anyone interested. No flying or military background is required to join. To learn more about Bayou State Escadrille, visit https://www.bayoustateescadrille.org/. https://www.facebook.com/bayoustateescadrille
An F-15EX flies over the Gulf of Mexico during testing near Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, on June 14, 2022. The Air Force said Tuesday, April 18, 2023, it plans to assign 18 of the new fighter jets to Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans, near Belle Chasse, to replace the base's older F-15Cs and F-15Ds.
AIR FORCE PHOTO BY TECH. SGT. JOHN McRELL
The Air Force signaled a vote of confidence in the Belle Chasse military base this week, announcing plans to replace 18 aging fighter jets there with newer, more advanced models.
Pending an environmental impact analysis, the Louisiana Air National Guard’s 159th Fighter Wing will receive a new F-15EX fleet at Naval Air Station Joint Base New Orleans sometime after the spring of 2024. The unit’s F-15C and F-15D jets, many of them close to 40 years old, will be mothballed near Tucson, Arizona, at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, known as The Boneyard, an Air Force spokesperson said.
While not an expansion at Belle Chasse, the plan to replace aircraft developed near the end of the Vietnam War with a model that started flying just two years ago represents an endorsement of the Belle Chasse base, said Ronnie Slone of Kenner, a business consultant and governor-appointed member of the Louisiana Military Advisory Council.
“It positions us to avoid a cut” if the Defense Department starts moving to close or consolidate bases around the world, Slone said. “It increases the profile of our base.”
The Pentagon last launched a comprehensive program to close bases in 2005, shuttering or significantly altering 182 sites to save $4.2 billion a year. In southeast Louisiana, it moved the Navy Reserve’s headquarters and more than 1,000 jobs from Algiers to Norfolk, Virginia, and it closed Naval Support Activity in Bywater and the Defense Information Systems Agency office in Slidell.
The Belle Chasse base survived that round of cuts, although it was ranked 24th out of 36 naval air bases for military value. Thus, its future has always been a worry point for local economic development boosters.
“The fact that Belle Chasse is going to get the new model aircraft indicates that the Air Force is investing in its future, and that Belle Chasse is at much less risk of being closed the next time,” said Michael Hecht, president and CEO of Greater New Orleans Inc. “It also demonstrates the commitment to the base and the National Guard’s mission of protecting the Gulf.”
The five-year lobbying effort involved the governor and his Department of Economic Development, Louisiana's congressional delegation and National Guard leadership, the National Guard Association of the United States, GNO Inc. and other local boosters and F-15 units in Massachusetts, California, Florida and Oregon.
The Belle Chasse base employs about 2,000 civilians at an annual payroll of $171 million, and at any given time is home to 5,000 to 6,000 military personnel, spokesperson Andrew Thomas said. Many of its F-15s are older than their pilots and ground crew members, said Col. Jonathan "Cash" Mumme, the 159th Fighter Wing's commander.
The new F-15EX costs about $100 million. The two-seat, twin-engine jet packs modern avionics, electronic warfare technology, a six-barrel cannon and the capacity to carry 12 air-to-air missiles, four more than the jets it is replacing.
It can fly 2½ times the speed of sound, or about 1,918 mph, making it the world’s fastest fighter jet, according to Airforce-technology.com. It has a range of 2,762 miles — and can be refueled while in flight — and a ceiling of 60,000 feet, according to Air & Space Forces magazine.
The Air Force awarded Boeing Co. the contract to build the fighter in 2020. It's now being tested at Eglin Air Force Base near Fort Walton Beach, Florida.
Gene “Bever” Borne from Reserve, LA, was actually inducted in the EAA Ultralight Hall of Fame in early November of 2022 and I totally missed it. So here is a sincere, although a bit late, congratulations on this outstanding achievement. Here is what the EAA had to say about him at the induction ceremony in Oshkosh….
Gene "Bever" Borne's ultralight journey started in late 1976 in a foot-launched Quicksilver with an 8-hp engine. The motorized hang glider was love at first flight. He soon became a premiere dealer for the Eipper-Formance Company, which is when ultralight aviation truly became his passion. After acquiring most of the U.S. Hang Gliding Association pilot and instructor ratings, Bever focused on teaching, eventually developing a solo training system. He was active in the formation of Part 103 and the light-sport aircraft process.
To date he has logged more than 5,000 hours as an instructor in ultralight-type aircraft and is a current GA pilot rated for single engine land and sea. He's active on numerous aviation boards and committees promoting aviation safety and ultralight sport preservation. In 2008 the FAA named him a designated airworthiness representative, and in 2015, he purchased the assets of Quicksilver Aircraft. Bever is grateful for the help and support of his wife and
partner of 46 years, Kim. Together they operate Air-Tech Inc., an ultralight and light plane manufacturing company dedicated to supporting ultralight aviation.
Their facility is located on the Port of South Louisiana Executive Regional Airport in Reserve, Louisiana.
GRAND ISLE, La. — A pilot who died in a plane crash in Grand Isle last week has been identified. The Jefferson Parish coroner identified the man as Johnathan George, a Mississippi man.
The post said that the crash happened near Lake Washington and Barataria Bay. The pilot was believed to be operating a Cessna as a fish spotter at the time of the crash. The body of the pilot was found north of Grand Isle, according to the post. The post said that the pilot was flying alone at the time of the crash.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash. The NTSB said the Cessna 182 airplane was operated by a company called Westbank Fishing. The company lost contact with the plane last Wednesday, according to an NTSB email.
The FAA said the plane is believed to have gone down east of Grand Isle. The body was recovered just off the coast of the island community.
The 47th annual Gulf South Aviation Maintenance Seminar, held in 2023, concluded with resounding success. This esteemed event brought together manufacturers, service providers, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to foster growth and professional development within the aviation industry. The seminar featured informative presentations from each of these groups, aiming to benefit the Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) mechanics holding an Inspection Authorization (IA). Attendees had the opportunity to earn continuing education credits required to retain their IA certification.
For nearly five decades, the Gulf South Aviation Maintenance Seminar has played a pivotal role in advancing the knowledge and skills of A&P mechanics with an IA. The seminar has long been regarded as a premier gathering within the Gulf South region, attracting professionals from across the aviation maintenance industry. The 47th edition proved to be no exception, building upon the event's legacy and surpassing expectations.
Manufacturers, service providers, and the FAA joined forces to ensure the seminar delivered a comprehensive program that covered a wide range of topics relevant to aviation maintenance. Presentations focused on cutting-edge technologies, emerging industry trends, regulatory updates, and best practices. This diverse lineup of speakers ensured that attendees gained valuable insights and remained up-to-date with the latest advancements in their field.
The presence of manufacturers at the seminar was particularly noteworthy. Their involvement allowed A&P mechanics to engage directly with industry leaders, learn about new aircraft models, and explore advancements in aircraft systems and components. Manufacturers showcased their latest products and services, providing attendees with an opportunity for hands-on experience and valuable networking.
Service providers also played a crucial role in the seminar, sharing their expertise in areas such as maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services.
These presentations shed light on innovative techniques and processes that enhance aircraft reliability, safety, and performance. A&P mechanics attending the seminar gained valuable insights into efficient maintenance practices and industry-leading service providers, which can positively impact their day-to-day work.
The presence of the FAA at the seminar further emphasized the commitment to safety and regulatory compliance within the aviation industry. Representatives from the FAA addressed the audience, highlighting key updates, regulations, and safety initiatives. This direct interaction with regulatory authorities allowed A&P mechanics to clarify any concerns and gain a better understanding of their responsibilities in maintaining the highest standards of safety and airworthiness.
Beyond the educational aspect, the seminar provided a platform for professionals to connect, collaborate, and foster a sense of community within the aviation maintenance industry. Attendees had ample opportunities to network with peers, industry leaders, and potential employers, forging valuable relationships that can lead to career growth and opportunities.
In conclusion, the 47th annual Gulf South Aviation Maintenance Seminar showcased the industry's commitment to growth and professional development. With the participation of manufacturers, service providers, and the FAA, the seminar delivered a robust program that empowered A&P mechanics with an IA to stay at the forefront of the industry. Through informative presentations, networking opportunities, and the opportunity to earn continuing education credits, the seminar provided a comprehensive and rewarding experience for all participants. As the seminar concluded, attendees left with renewed knowledge, expanded networks, and a strengthened commitment to excellence in aviation maintenance.
Be safe, Be strong and Stay Professional,
Jeffery N. Howard
Hello prospective South LA glider pilots!
I am Glenn McGovern, a glider pilot and Secretary of Shreveport Soaring Club, Inc. based in Gilliam, LA. I am also a new SSA Governor in LA and my job is to promote soaring in LA. Shreveport Soaring Club is the only glider club in LA. It is over 50 years old. Shreveport Soaring Club presently has only about 9 members which is not enough to sustain an active glider club. I have a list of S. LA. prospective pilots who are interested in soaring and getting a glider rating. A couple of you are already CFI’s and expressed interest in adding a CFIG glider instructor rating to your license. We have a lot of soaring interest in S. LA but no nearby glider facilities. Shreveport Soaring Club Inc. has a N. LA facility in Gilliam but insufficient members. The officers of Shreveport Soaring Club, Inc. are considering starting another additional location of glider operations near the Baton Rouge area.
We need a suitable grass strip or airport no further than 1-1.5 hr. from Baton Rouge or the New Orleans area where most of the interests seem to be centered. Right now the 5.5 hr. drive from NEW to Gilliam and 3.5 hrs from NEW to Brandon, MS (the closest MS glider club in Brandon, MS.) is a long drive for all of you I have been told. We need to find a close location within a 1.5 hr drive or less for our prospective S. LA members.
You can soar and get soaring badges in LA.-
While we don’t have wave or ridge flying, we do have heat and thermals in warm weather. Open dirt fields, chicken farms, asphalt, concrete, factories all help generate thermals that can sustain a glider for hours in LA. It is a challenge. Most of the World Soaring Champions come from the East Coast and not the West Coast because the East Coast pilots have more challenging soaring conditions and flying on bad days is what wins soaring contests. You can earn your A,B,C and Bronze (two 2.5 hr. Flights required) badges in LA easily. A Silver badge 50km.cross country is possible.
I think if we put our heads together we can come up with a plan for a S. LA location and assets to make this work. Hence the need for a Zoom meeting.
Please contact Glenn McGovern for more information at 504-908-1404 or email at email@example.com
Glenn C. McGovern, Secretary of Shreveport Soaring Club, Inc.
By JAVIER VERA, General Aviation News
Cold light rain, experienced pilots, a variety of planes, and a lot of crawfish marked the first stop for the 2023 National STOL Series.
The new season kicked off March 17 at the third annual Swamp STOL Competition & Fly-In held at Jennings Airport (3R7) in Louisiana.
Even though it was cold and rainy, many people flew in or drove in to watch the STOL pilots compete.
The first competition of the 2023 season marked the beginning of a series of changes to the series.
To begin with, organizers added three new locations to the series:
Also new for the 2023 series was the addition of two new categories: Rookie Class and Unlimited Class.
The goal of the Rookie class is to educate newcomers to the series and to encourage them to grow as pilots, according to organizers.
While pilots should be experienced aviators in their aircraft type, this will help them learn the National STOL competition format and standards in a fun, low-stress environment, they explained.
On the other end of the spectrum is the new Unlimited Class, where pilots compete with higher performing STOL aircraft and are eligible to win the prizes.
Also new this year was a new airplane for legendary STOL pilot Steve Henry. Based at Nampa Municipal Airport (KMAN) in Idaho, Steve competed in his new WildWest Highlander XL, which served him well. He won first place in the Unlimited category, managing to combine both takeoff and landing in just 35 feet.
“I have a lot of time, effort, and money invested in building this plane, so it was very rewarding for it to work so well,” Steve said. “I guess the highlight for me was having Dan Reynolds here to compete with because he is very tough to beat.”
Dan, based in Dawson City, Canada, took second place in the category flying an experimental Chinook.
First place winners in the other categories include:
To read more click: HERE
The first two participants have achieved the bronze award level in the Louisana Airport Passport Program. Congratulations to Danny R. of Bossier City and Ferdara H. of Carencro who have both reached at least 22 airports, 2 museums, and 1 safety seminar. They will receive a fly Louisiana polo, a fly Louisiana patch, two Louisiana Airport Passport Program stickers, and a Louisiana DOTD pen as shown in the photo below. There are a number of participants that are also well on their way to receiving their bronze level prizes.
Three men have been arrested and charged with illegal use of a firearm after a Thursday night incident at the South Lafourche Airport.
Port Fourchon Harbor Police Chief Mike Kinley announced that Ernest Richoux, 44, of Galliano, Bryant Guidry, 40, of Houma and Warren Bourque, 48, of Kaplan were charged in the incident – all facing charges of illegal use of weapons.
No one was injured in the incident.
At around 6:30 p.m. on April 6, Harbor Police officers responded to a 911 call from a man who said he was being shot at while standing in a parking area at the airport.
Harbor Police officers arrived within a minute of the call and as they exiting their vehicles, several rounds passed over and around their vehicles.
The officers believed they were being targeted so they called for backup and additional officers and deputies from the LPSO responded to the area.
They established a perimeter and in an effort to confine and locate any potential suspects.
At that time, the rounds had ceased and there was no longer an active threat. After several hours of searching, no one was able to be located and officers found no evidence of an apparent motive or that officers were being targeted at the time of the shooting.
On Friday, officers received a tip identifying Richoux as a possible suspect in the incident. Through investigation, officers learned that Richoux, Guidry and Bourque were shooting a .223 rifle and four handguns at targets in the direction of the airport with no backstop behind the targets to prevent projectiles from traveling long distances.
All 3 men were located and they cooperated with investigators. Based on interviews with the suspects and evidence found at the scene, authorities were able to determine that the men had no intention of firing upon anyone or any vehicles, but they were negligent in their actions.
Richoux, Guidry, and Bourque were all arrested and booked into the Lafourche Parish Correctional Complex. They were charged with one count each of illegal use of a firearm. Bail has not yet been set.
To read the April Newsletter of the Big Easy Wing of the Commemorative Air Force click…HERE.
The year 2022 was a milestone for Lafayette Regional Airport (LFT) and the Lafayette Airport Commission (LAC). The new, state-of-the-art LFT terminal facility opened in January. Completion of the Terminal Loop Road project made access to the terminal and parking areas more accessible. Passenger numbers increased and formally marked the end of the slowdown in travel caused by the pandemic. Additionally, LFT was named the 2022 Louisiana Commercial Service Airport of the Year by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.
We are pleased to present Lafayette Regional Airport's 2022 Annual Report. Click this link to view the report: http://bit.ly/3Ko00Ho
PFP President and Co-Founder Philip Thomas and PFP Board Member and Co-Founder Sharon Thomas were surprised, honored, and blessed yesterday evening when Mayor Friday Ellis presented them with the Key to the City of Monroe. This is an amazing accomplishment and award for everything they have done for our community and organization.
We arranged for some of our great pilots, patients, and friends to also be there for the surprise announcement. Thank Philip and Sharon for making this dream come true and for making a difference in lives of others every day. Thank you Mayor Ellis for recognizing their efforts and showing our community’s appreciation for their hard work and dedication.
The New LFT Terminal has received The 2023 Current In Design Editor’s Choice Award! The selection was one of 12 awards handed out by The Current at the Acadiana Center for the Arts featuring a celebration of the best in Acadiana’s built environment.
“Clean, contemporary, uplifting, the new terminal makes an impactful introduction to Lafayette for the half a million travelers who use it each year, and its funding provides a guide for how we can invest in ourselves,” are the Editors' Comments.
Pictured from left to right are The Current publisher Christiaan Mader, architect Jason Simoneaux with MBSB Group, LFT Executive Director Steven Picou and architect Mark Stielper, MBSB Group.
To see it click https://pftlatech.org/home
A group of Live Oak High School students took a Field Trip to New Orleans International Airport last Thursday, March 30th. LADOTD and the Media & Marketing Team from MSY came together to give 27 students from Live Oak High School a tour of New Orleans International Airport and the various jobs that one could have at an airport. Several speakers from Air Traffic Control, MSY Operations, Breeze Airways, and the Transportation Security Administration came to meet with the students and discuss their positions. Those speakers included the Operations Manager for ATC in New Orleans, Media & Marketing Coordinator for MSY, Assistant Federal Security Director from TSA, Operations Supervisor at MSY, Station Operations and Guest Services Leader from Breeze Airways, and Mechanic Supervisor from Breeze Airways. The students were able to experience the TSA checkpoint process, board a Breeze Airways Embraer E-190, go on the ramp and look at the engines and different compartments of the E-190, and observe the operations offices. The field trip was a success and we hope to facilitate more of them in the future.
Here are the results of the SwampSTOL contest that took place on March 18 at the Jennings Airport. It was the first stop on the 2023 National STOL Series. Thanks to Matthew Peterson for being the driving force for bringing this event to Louisiana.
First, here is the summary of the results for all of the classes. Their score in the farthest right column is the distance in feet of their shortest take-off added to their shortest landing.
Now here are the photos of the first three finishers in each class:
The Touring Class:
Dr. Hypolite Landry receiving his FAA Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award in September of 2015.
Very sad to report that we have lost another Louisiana aviation legend. Our deepest sympathy and prayers go out to the family and friends of Dr. Hypolite Landry. I had the privilege of spending some time with him and listening to his aviation stories. He was a remarkable man.
BATON ROUGE - Former East Baton Rouge coroner and record-setting pilot Dr. Hypolite Landry died Saturday morning. He was 96.
Family members tell WBRZ that Landry, who had been sick, passed away in his sleep.
Landry served as coroner for 26 years, from 1972 to 1998. He spearheaded the creation of new services for people with drug and alcohol addiction, rape victims and children who had been abused. He also started the planning that led to the coroner's office having its own morgue.
The Baton Rouge native found his way to medicine down a winding path.
He attended Catholic High and started at LSU before taking a job at Exxon, where he worked as a pipefitter and boilermaker. He then joined the Army and eventually served as a captain in the medical administrative corps during the Korean War.
After his military service, Landry went back to Exxon and then to LSU as a medical student.
Long before he entered politics, Landry enjoyed aviation as a serious hobby. In 1969, he set several world records during a 23-day solo trip around the world in a single engine plane, using only a compass for navigation. Some of those records still stand.
Landry was elected coroner in 1971 and served unopposed in subsequent elections for decades. He easily defeated his only opponent in 1995 before retiring in 1998.
Cadet Major Josiah May
Photo Credit; Captain Sara Reine
Kentwood, La. (March 3, 2023) – On February 1, Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Cadet Major Josiah S. May was awarded a Cadet Wings Scholarship, which is part of a merit-based program for cadets pursuing a Private Pilot Certificate (PPC). This prestigious scholarship will pay for him to attend a CAP In-Residence Advanced Flight Academy in the summer of 2023.
Cadet Major May, a former cadet commander and current member of the Tangipahoa Cadet Squadron, is the first CAP cadet in Louisiana to be awarded a scholarship of this kind.
As one of four paths available to aspiring pilots through the CAP Cadet Wings Program, the CAP In-Residence Advanced Flight Academy scholarship winners will attend a commercial 60-day residential flight school. The scholarship covers transportation, lodging, meals, and certified flight instructors, and is valued at approximately $30,000. Graduates of the school earn their private pilot’s license.
Since joining CAP in 2019, May has earned numerous awards and decorations. In July 2022 he was presented the Outstanding Performing Cadet Award at CAP National Blue Beret in 2022. This is a cadet special activity in which cadets travel to Oshkosh, Wisconsin to work as volunteers at the annual Experimental Aircraft Association’s Air Venture, the largest air show of its kind in the world. CAP cadets provide air marshaling, crowd control, and emergency services for the event. May was also awarded the prestigious St. Alban’s Cross upon completion of the event.
In 2021 May was awarded Tangipahoa Cadet Squadron Cadet of the Year Award. In 2022 he led the Tangipahoa Cadet Squadron Color Guard team to represent the Louisiana Wing at state and regional level competitions. He was the team captain for the Tangipahoa Cadet Squadron as they competed in the National Cadet Competition in Dayton, Ohio, also in 2022.
May was awarded the Rush Limbaugh Foundation Proud American Scholarship in 2022. He is currently a freshman at Southwest Mississippi Community College in Summit, MS where he is on the Dean’s List.
Cadet Major May credits the Civil Air Patrol for instilling in him a love for flying and aviation that led to his desire to become a pilot. May is looking forward to a career in aviation, either as a civilian or military member.
Cadet May learns flight basics during a Civil Air Patrol cadet orientation flight.
Photo Credit; Captain Josiah May
Cadet May participates in an emergency services exercise.
Photo Credit: Captain Joy May
Lafayette Regional Airport Opens New Gate, Nearing Completion of Terminal Project
Lafayette Regional Airport’s terminal now has a 5th gate open and available for the first time in its 41-year history, providing more space to accommodate planes and passengers departing from and arriving at the airport.
“American Airlines will be the main users of Gate 5,” said airport Executive Director Steven Picou. “The gate will allow more flexibility for American to service the six daily flights that come from Dallas and Charlotte.”
The 5th gate has been a part of the new terminal project since the Lafayette Airport Commission created plans for the New LFT Terminal, which included five departure and arrival gates with new jet bridges. The new gate entering service marks the project is near completion.
“When we first proposed the new terminal project in 2014, we promised the community there would be five gates with the ability to expand to two more in the future,” said Lafayette Airport Commission Chair John Hebert. “The opening of the fifth gate today means we delivered on that promise.”
To make room for the 5th gate, the former terminal building was decommissioned and removed before the gateway platform was created. Additional work remains underway for the airport’s expansion such as the addition of 966 parking spots expected to be completed in Fall 2023 and green space for visitors to enjoy.
Lafayette Regional Airport offers passengers over 15 departures or arrivals daily to Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C., Dallas and Houston through airline partners American, Delta and United.
ERWINVILLE - Two pilots were killed when a police helicopter crashed into a cane field in rural West Baton Rouge Parish.
Authorities say the BRPD helicopter crashed into a cane field off North Winterville Road, just off U.S. 190.
According to flight data, the helicopter took off from Baton Rouge Metro airport at 2:26 a.m. and crashed in a field nearly three miles away from the Omni airport 12 minutes later. Sources told WBRZ the helicopter was found around 11:30 a.m. after the pilots did not come home from work.
Sources said the helicopter was pursuing a vehicle that was running from police when the crash happened.
Two pilots, who are also BRPD officers, died at the scene. It is unclear if anyone else was on board.
During a press conference Sunday afternoon, Chief Murphy Paul said the names of the officers will not be released Sunday. He refused to take any questions about the accident.
New Orleans Airport Secures $8M for New Road to Connect North, South Terminals
March 8, 2023
The award, which came from the Biden administration's $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, is a fraction of the estimated $97 million that will ultimately be needed to complete the project.
By Stephanie Riegel
Source The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La.(TNS)
Mar. 7—Louis Armstrong International Airport has secured $8 million in federal funding to begin work on a much-needed roadway that will connect the new passenger terminal on the north side of the airport to the economy parking garage, employee parking area and rental car lots on the south side of the campus.
The award, which came from the Biden administration's $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, is a fraction of the estimated $97 million that will ultimately be needed to complete the project. But airport officials said it is enough to begin design and prep work on the site.
No groundbreaking date has been set but the target completion date is fall of 2025, airport spokesperson Erin Burns said.
Part of the timeline depends on funding. Burns could not say where the additional $89 million will come from, but she said airport officials are pursuing several federal infrastructure grants.
To read more click….. HERE.
For more than four decades, Metro Aviation has been at the forefront of the helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) industry, leading the way on several key innovations that have now become common practice in the sector today.
With its founder Mike Stanberry progressively handing over the family-owned operation to the next generation, Vertical connected with son Todd Stanberry to discuss the future of the company, as well as the HEMS industry at large.
To read the interview from Vertical Magazine click…..HERE
Supreme Court Justice presents Civil Air Patrol’s Spaatz Award to local cadet
Washington D.C. (February 24, 2023) – On Tuesday, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett presented the Civil Air Patrol’s General Carl A. Spaatz Award to Capt. Andrew Aceves.
Aceves is a longtime resident of Mandeville, Louisiana, and is now an adult member of Civil Air Patrol. He has joined the exclusive membership in The Spaatz Association as Spaatz recipient number 2381.
The Spaatz award is CAP’s highest cadet honor. Cadets qualify for this prestigious award after an average of four years progressing through the 16 achievements in the CAP cadet program. The Spaatz award goes to cadets who have demonstrated excellence in leadership, character, fitness, and aerospace education.
Since joining CAP’s St. Tammany Composite Squadron in 2017, Aceves has held various positions from flight sergeant to the squadron cadet commander. He has actively participated in the squadron color guard, has sung the national anthem at many public events, and started a small choir in the squadron.
In 2019, Aceves was selected to attend Cadet Officer School, where he learned to work with a team of other cadet officers to lead at the executive and strategic levels. He was also selected to attend CAP’s National Blue Beret in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. This takes place at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Air Venture, the largest airshow of its kind, where CAP cadets help conduct event operations, including flight marshaling, crowd control, and emergency services.
In addition to working with cadets in the local squadron, he served as an instructor, training cadets at many Louisiana Wing academies. He was selected to serve as cadet commander at the Louisiana Wing Encampment in 2021 and awarded a Louisiana Wing Commander’s Commendation for his service.
Aceves served as flight commander at National Blue Beret, was an instructor at two Southwest Region Cadet Leadership Schools, was elected to serve as the Louisiana Wing Cadet Advisory Council (CAC) chair, Southwest Region CAC chair, and Southwest Region primary representative to the National CAC.
In addition to the Spaatz award, Civil Air Patrol awards conferred on Aceves include a Region Commander's Commendation (twice), Louisiana Wing Commander’s Commendation, Louisiana Wing Cadet of the Year 2020, and the 2020 Veterans of Foreign Wars Squadron Cadet Officer of the Year Award.
Aceves credits his success to early goal setting, careful time management, and project planning. He was first drawn to CAP’s leadership training, character development, and service to the nation.
Aceves expects to graduate from Louisiana State University in August, where he is enrolled on a full ride music scholarship pursuing a double major — a bachelor’s degree in music in vocal performance and Bachelor of Arts in church music.
Aceves has performed with the New Orleans Opera Association, Bass-U.S. Army Field Band Soldiers' Volunteer Chorus, New Orleans Junior Philharmonic Society, Music Club of Baton Rouge A Cappella Choir, and twice with the Carnegie Hall Performance Series International Honor Choir in New York, NY.
He performed as a soloist, singing the national anthem at the World War II Museum in New Orleans and the Armed Forces Salute with the New Orleans Concert Band in July 2017.
He has had multiple solo performances at the NOLA Gold Professional Rugby Games, New Orleans Pelicans Basketball Games, New Orleans Zephyrs Baseball Games, St. Aloysius Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana Boys’ State Convention, and at the Turner-Fischer Center for Opera at Louisiana State University.
Aceves has received many notable awards at singing competitions locally and nationally. He was a semifinalist at the Classical Singer National Vocal Competition and the Orpheus Vocal Competition. He earned 5 Superior Gold Medals for Low Voice at the Louisiana State University State Literary Rally, and has won the Earl Redding Memorial Scholarship Award, the Flanagan Freshman Award, the Junior Philharmonic Society of New Orleans Scholarship Award, the Platzer Award for Artistic Excellence in Music, the Donald Wood Vocal Competition 2nd Place Award for male voice, and many others including several with the National Association of Teachers of Singing.
As a child, Aceves performed for several years with the St. Louis Cathedral Boys Choir in Jackson Square, New Orleans. He is currently serving as Choral Scholar and Cantor at St. Aloysius Church in Baton Rouge and has sung in many community church choirs as cantor and bass section leader.
Aceves graduated from St. Paul’s High School in Covington, Louisiana, in May 2019 with an Honors Diploma.
In consideration of his many achievements and involvement in community events, on April 20, 2018, the mayor of Mandeville, Donald J Villere, honored Aceves with a proclamation that the community would observe that day as “Andrew Aceves Day.”
Since the inception of the Spaatz Award in 1964, Civil Air Patrol has presented it to only 2,443 cadets nationwide (as of February 2022). Spaatz cadets are expected to serve as role models for junior cadets and become leaders in their communities as they enter adulthood.
Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- B-29 bombardier and World War II veteran David Oreck grins after having a ride on a B-29 at a commemorative event in 2016.
We have lost another Louisiana aviation legend. Our deepest sympathy and prayers for his wife Jan and their family and friends…..
By Stephanie Riegel, NOLA.Com Staff Writer
David Oreck, the New Orleans entrepreneur who after serving on a B-29 bomber during World War II founded the vacuum cleaner company that bore his name, died Wednesday at his Mississippi home.
His death came after a brief illness, according to his wife, Jan Oreck. He was 99.
A veteran of World War II, Oreck was the creator of the Oreck Corporation, which he founded in 1963 after taking over the New Orleans distributorship of appliance and electronics company RCA. The New Orleans-based company grew into an international manufacturer and distributor of lightweight yet powerful upright vacuums cleaners.
Oreck became the public face of the vacuum company, appearing in its television commercials and other advertisements.
“He was all about business,” said retired journalist Jim Henderson, a close personal friend and neighbor. “Business drove him, and he never saw any reason to retire.”
Oreck, who would have turned 100 on September 17, was one of the dwindling members of America’s "Greatest Generation," and his life bore many hallmarks of the self-made narrative idealized by so many of his era.
Born in 1923 in Duluth, Minnesota, Oreck spent much of his childhood experiencing the hardships of the Great Depression. It left a lasting impression on him, said journalist Dennis Woltering, who is completing a documentary on Oreck’s life for WYES-TV.
“He remembered it as a very tense time with a lot of concern over the war in Europe and what would happen,” Woltering said.
When he was just 18, Oreck learned to fly so he could participate in a civilian air operation moving supplies and equipment to the Allies in England. The U.S. had not yet joined the war, but that changed months later when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor.
Oreck enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps, signing up to serve as a navigator on a B-29 because it was the quickest way he could get on a mission.
“He was that gung-ho to join the war,” Woltering said.
He served on a B-29 bomber flying missions in the Pacific Theater. His patriotism, his wife Jan Oreck said, was one of the defining traits of his character.
“He was a very proud American, a flag-waving, tearing up at the national anthem kind of American,” Jan Oreck said. “He was very proud of his service in World War II.”
Oreck was also an avid recreational pilot and a philanthropist, with a fierce work ethic that stayed with him throughout his life.
After World War II, Oreck moved to New York, where he went to work for RCA as a salesman under Gen. David Sarnoff, who had founded the company and grown it to be the leading electronics dealer in the world at the time.
Oreck rose through the company's ranks over 17 years to become its top salesperson. In the early 1960s, he was asked to take over a failing RCA distributor in New Orleans.
The distributorship came with the abandoned design for an upright vacuum cleaner, which Oreck redesigned to make more powerful. In 1963, he and his brother, Marshall Oreck, decided to go out on their own and created the Oreck Corp. While Marshall focused on logistics, David concentrated on marketing. He correctly sensed that if Oreck Corp. could sell its vacuum cleaners to large hotel brands, it could sell them across America.
“He was a marketer,” his wife said. “That was his genius. He knew if he could sell it to quality hotels, he could sell it to anyone.”
For the next 40 years, the Orecks would operate and grow the company into an internationally renowned brand. In 2003, they sold it to a private equity firm that, a decade later, filed for bankruptcy. The company was later acquired by a Hong Kong conglomerate.
Oreck remained active in other companies after the sale of Oreck Corp. He invested in real estate and owned and operated the Security Center on Carondelet Street downtown.
He also founded and operated the North Carolina-based Oreck Candle Company.
He supported several philanthropic organizations, including the Jewish Federation, the National World War II Museum and an animal rescue shelter in Alexandria, BARK.
“David was a longtime and devoted supporter of the New Orleans Jewish community. His philanthropic impact was far-reaching,” the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans said in a statement.
He was preceded in death by his eldest son, Dr. Steven Oreck, who died in 2019; and his brothers, Robert Oreck, who died in 2012, and Marshall Oreck, who died in 2021.
He is succeeded by his wife; his sons, Thomas Oreck and Bruce Oreck; seven grandchildren; and a great granddaughter.
From Flying Magazine
On Monday, The Boeing Company announced that it would invest $1 million in the New Orleans-based educational program STEM NOLA, “to support the construction of the organization’s state-of-the-art STEM Innovation Hub.”
The investment will help fund a 40,000-square-foot building that will become the STEM NOLA organization’s Innovation Hub, and will include classrooms, meeting spaces and laboratories to give kids hands-on exposure to science and technology-based career paths. Boeing employs approximately 1,100 people in the state of Louisiana.
STEM NOLA, opened in 2013 by former Tulane University engineering professor Dr. Calvin Mackie, is a nonprofit organization focused on providing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education and resources to K-12 kids in New Orleans. Among its initiatives are STEM-based summer camps throughout Louisiana, many of them free for participants.
“We appreciate the support from Boeing and others helping to make this exciting STEM laboratory a reality,” said Mackie. “Our goal is to create a destination for STEM innovation, entrepreneurship and workforce development.”
Well, schedules finally aligned and Daniel Statter, the winner of the Flying Wings of Louisiana 2022 Raffle second place Cessna 150, and his buddy John came to pick up his beautiful plane today. What a pleasure it was meeting these two super nice guys and handing the keys over to Daniel. You are forever a part of the Flying Wings family and we couldn’t be happier for you. We wish you many years of fun flying and living your General Aviation Weekend Warrior dream. Safe travels to you both and we’ll be keeping up with you, Daniel.
To read the February Newsletter of the Big Easy Wing of the Commemorative Air Force click…. HERE.
Chennault International Airport’s new $4 million air cargo pass-through facility is the newest component in the airport's emergence as an aerospace center. A tenant partner has a unique opportunity to move cargo quickly and efficiently The facility includes a 1,000-square-foot finished office area and a 9,000-square foot-warehouse, expandable to 30,000 square feet. The associated aircraft parking apron is 127,000 square feet, able to accommodate both small and large cargo aircraft.
Theriot Consulting Group announces its first acquisition of local 20-year FBO-fixed based operations company Vector Aviation LLC based in Abbeville, LA. Principal of Theriot Consulting group Troy Theriot shares, “As a helicopter student pilot and entrepreneur, I’m excited about our first acquisition. From start to finish, we could not have procured this investment without our partners Bryn Mosing, Vohn Mosing, and Sr. Financial Advisor Kenny Cefalu, along with previous owner Joey LeRouge and his team.” “As a career pilot born into a family of aviators, I’m excited to be a part of Vector Aviation. Joey and his team have built a great company and I look forward to serving the aviation community of South Louisiana.” states Bryn Mosing.
Vector Aviation provides aviation services, hangar space rentals and aircraft fuel sales. Operations will continue at Abbeville Chris Crusta Memorial Airport (KIYA) located in Abbeville, LA.
Joey LeRouge comments “My business partner and I, along with our dedicated team have taken 20 years to build this great company. We were not concerned about the money, as much as we were concerned about who would carry the torch forward. Troy Theriot, Bryn Mosing, and Vohn Mosing are the right people to do so, they will do what’s best for the Abbeville community and Vector’s clients”.
Please stop by, preferably by plane or helicopter, say hello to Mike Mouton-Director of Operations, our experienced employees, check out the new rental cars on site and grab a cup of coffee! Don’t forget about the amazing Louisiana Military Museum next door! Stay tuned, our new website is coming soon!
Vector Aviation LLC
Address: Industrial Park Loop, Abbeville, LA 70510
Phone: (337) 893-7128
Chennault has put a state-of-the-art aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) vehicle into service.
The new fire truck, “C-1,” is an Oshkosh Striker 6x6.
“We are focused on re-investing in our workforce to ensure access to the tools and training to excel in emergency response across the airport,” said Chennault Executive Director Kevin Melton.
Chennault Fire Chief Joshua Arnold said trucks used at airports are different from municipal rescue and firefighting trucks.
“Aircraft emergencies require ARFF apparatus to apply a large amount of agent quickly — to give passengers and crew a safe path from the aircraft and to fight the fires caused by the large amounts of fuel,” he said. “Having an apparatus with the capabilities this truck offers enables us to provide high levels of fire protection that allows large aircraft to utilize the airport. It ensures that we have the tools and equipment needed to provide life-saving services for pilots and passengers — as well as all Chennault tenant partners and visitors.”
The new Chennault ARFF apparatus has:
• An onboard water capacity of 3,000 gallons.
• 420 gallons of AFFF foam used for fighting fuel fires.
• 550 pounds of PKP — a dry chemical used to fight three-dimensional fuel fires.
• Turrets capable of discharging 1,325 gallons of water per minute
• A Hurst EDraulic combination tool – Jaws of Life – and other rescue tools.
Melton said his focus is to prepare the airport for more initiatives, more opportunity and more growth. “This state-of-the-art fire truck is but one part of ensuring that vision is achieved,” he said.
The National Transportation Safety Board has released a preliminary report on the Dec. 29 helicopter crash that killed four people in the Gulf of Mexico.
The pilot and three offshore workers were killed in the crash, which took place on an oil rig about 10 miles offshore from Southwest Pass, a shipping channel at the mouth of the Mississippi River southeast of New Orleans
According to the report, the Bell 407 helicopter arrived at West Delta 106 platform about 8:25 a.m. with four passengers on board.
“The 4 passengers exited the helicopter and proceeded below the helipad where they had a short discussion with the platform workers that were scheduled to return to the mainland on the helicopter. Then 3 platform workers boarded the helicopter before it departed,” the report said.
There were no eyewitnesses or surveillance video of the helicopter’s departure from the helipad, according to the report. However, several individuals reported hearing the aircraft's motor running while it was on the helipad.
"These individuals noted that the helicopter’s engine continued to run after it landed on the helipad, and that they heard the engine noise increase for takeoff and then the sound of items hitting the platform," according to the report.
The individuals immediately went outside and saw the helicopter fuselage floating inverted in the water. The tail boom was separated but adjacent to the fuselage. The landing skids were separated from the fuselage and the emergency skid floats were inflated.
Debris from the helicopter was scattered throughout multiple decks below the helipad, including a six-foot-long portion of a main rotor blade, which came to rest on a metal handrail on the deck below the helipad.
Several individuals on the platform immediately boarded and launched the platform’s emergency escape capsule, according to the report, but the helicopter fuselage sank before they could reach the four occupants who remained inside.
Petty Officer Jose Hernandez, a spokesperson for the Coast Guard’s 8th District, said the oil platform is operated by Houston-based Walter Oil and Gas. Weather didn’t appear to be a factor in the crash, Hernandez said.
To read the rest of the article from The Advocate click…..HERE
To read the Preliminary NTSB Report on the accident click….. HERE
To read the January Newsletter of the Big Easy Wing of the Commemorative Air Force click HERE.
BY ADAM BAILEY -SB Online Magazine
SAFETY, QUALITY, AND CUSTOMER SERVICE.
Did you know that Shreveport has an international leader in helicopter completions, operations, and maintenance? From the smallest details to the highest pursuits—Metro Aviation is dedicated to redefining helicopter aviation.
Shreveport, LA. Incorporated in 1982 by Mike Stanberry, Metro Aviation is a ‘family-owned, Louisiana-born’ helicopter charter, flight training, and maintenance operation. Their entry into the air medical service business came in November 1983 when Metro purchased two used Hughes 500-D model helicopters and entered into a long-term agreement to provide helicopter ambulance service for Schumpert Medical Center here in Shreveport.
The rest, they say, is history—40 years in the making.
The bodies of David Scarborough and three others were recovered Tuesday, five days after the helicopter they were riding back to shore went down in the Gulf of Mexico, family of one of the oil platform workers confirmed. “My DAVE-O is coming home! All of them! We are rejoicing! I love you David, times all the waves in the sea,” David Scarborough’s wife, Lacy, posted on Facebook. Three private companies involved in the recovery efforts also confirmed the bodies had been recovered. David Scarborough, 36, of the Lizana community in Harrison County, was one of three oil rig workers and the pilot who died in the crash.
The helicopter and four bodies are on shore at Port Fourchon, WLOX-TV reported. The Coast Guard searched for eight hours by plane and boat after the chopper went down shortly after taking off from an oil platform about 10 miles off Southern Pass, Louisiana Thursday, Dec. 29.
Read more from the Sun Herald by clicking: HERE
Coast Guard Photo
NEW ORLEANS — Update: The search was suspended for the four people that went missing after a helicopter crashed in the Gulf of Mexico.
According to the Coast Guard, the search was suspended around 6:15 p.m.
According to the US Coast Guard, four people were aboard the helicopter when it crashed.
Lacy Scarborough tells our partners at The Times-Picayune | New Orleans Advocate that her husband, David Scarborough, was on the helicopter. He works offshore and was returning home at the time of the crash.
According to the report, the Scarboroughs live in the Lizana community in Mississippi and are expecting a baby boy soon.
The Coast Guard was first notified of the crash around 8:40 a.m. Officials say it was departing from an oil platform 10 miles offshore from Southwest Pass when it crashed.
The Coast Guard dispatched an MH 60 Jayhawk helicopter from New Orleans and a boat from its Venice station to aid in the search.
The oil platform is owned by Walter Oil & Gas Co., according to a Coast Guard spokesperson. WWL-TV has reached out to the company for, but has not heard back as of this afternoon.
To see more from WWL-TV Click….. HERE
Additional Coverage from NOLA.COM….
A Mississippi Gulf Coast man is one of four people missing from a helicopter that crashed Thursday in the Gulf of Mexico, his wife said.
The helicopter was leaving an oil platform when it went down about 10 miles off Southwest Pass, one of the main shipping channels at the mouth of the Mississippi River, the Coast Guard said.
Lacy Scarborough said her husband, David Scarborough, was on the chopper. He worked offshore and was returning home at the time of the crash. The Scarboroughs live in the Lizana community and are expecting a baby boy soon, she said.
The Coast Guard was notified of the crash at 8:40 a.m., said Petty Officer Jose Hernandez. He identified the owner of the platform as Walter Oil & Gas Co., which has its corporate offices in Houston. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Hernandez said the helicopter was being operated by Rotorcraft Leasing Co., based in Broussard.
The Coast Guard has dispatched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from New Orleans and a small boat from its Venice station to search for the helicopter and missing people, Hernandez said.
On Dec. 15, another of Rotorcraft's helicopters crashed about 30 miles offshore of Terrebonne Bay, and all three people aboard were rescued by the Coast Guard.
Rotorcraft did not immediately respond to requests for more information about Thursday's accident.
To read more from NOLA.com click…. HERE
Collin Jacks, a senior in the Louisiana Tech Professional Aviation program, flew a mission to draw this Louisiana Tech Logo on Tuesday, December 27. His Grandfather, Randy Turner, was the navigator. It was a 5 hour, 12 minute non-stop flight that started and ended at St. Landry Parish Airport, Ahart Field, in Opelousas.
Collin has been flying with his grandfather since was a babe in arms, has flown to Oshkosh four times, earned his Private License his senior year of high school with his grandfather as his instructor, is a member of the EAA Chapter 697 in Slidell, member of Alpha Eta Rho (national aviation fraternity), member of Eta Mu Sigma (national aviation honor society) and is an Eagle Scout. He will be finishing up his Commercial Rating soon.
This picture of Collin next to the mission airplane was taken at the termination of the Tech Logo flight at the St Landry Parish Airport - Ahart Field in Opelousas.
ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - On Monday, Dec. 19, England Airpark officially brought on board Ralph Hennessy as its new executive director. The position was previously filled by interim Executive Director Gen. Glenn Curtis, following the departure of former Executive Director Sandra McQuain in June.
Hennessy is a native of St. Francisville, Louisiana. He received his degree in Aviation Management from Louisiana Tech and has since spent more than 20 years in various roles across Louisiana’s aviation landscape. He was the head of airport operations in New Orleans for several years before leaving for Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport, where he was there for 16 years as both assistant director and then director of aviation. Before making his way to Alexandria International Airport (AEX), Hennessy worked with an aviation consulting firm, Michael Baker International.
“He’s been one of our peers at this airport, as well as all the other airports in Louisiana. So, we’re very excited,” said Scott Gammel, Deputy Director at AEX. “He’s very knowledgeable of what he’s doing. He’s coming in to help with economic development and with the airport. So, the board did a tremendous job of selecting him to be the next leader at the airpark.”
Economic development is one of the main objectives of an executive director, aiming to foster growth at the airpark in more than just new airlines or travel routes. That is exactly what Hennessy intends to do in what he said is an area with “great potential.”
To read the latest newsletter from the Baton Rouge Metro Airport click HERE
The University of Louisiana Monroe signed a memorandum of understanding with The Chennault Aviation & Military Museum on December 9. ULM Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Mark Arant and Chennault Museum President Nell Calloway spoke at the ceremony announcing the agreement.
“This collaboration provides ULM students with vital service-learning experiences in which they can increase their knowledge while advancing a local legacy,” said Arant. “Our employers are looking for students that have practical experience and community engagement. This opportunity combines those expectations into one great experience,” he added.
Continue reading by clicking HERE.
TERREBONNE BAY - Three people were stranded on a life raft off the Louisiana coast Thursday morning after their helicopter crashed into the Gulf of Mexico.
According to the United States Coast Guard, the personal helicopter crashed about 30 miles off Terrebonne Bay, leaving three passengers adrift on a raft.
The Coast Guard said all passengers were airlifted from the life raft and taken to Houma-Terrebonne Airport for emergency medical treatment.
One passenger sustained back injuries, and all three are reportedly in stable condition as of Thursday evening.
New Orleans Airport Executive Erin Burns Featured in
Airport Business Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40
NEW ORLEANS –Airport Business Magazine announced today that Erin Burns, Director of Communications for Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY), was selected as one of the top 40 aviation professionals under 40. This award, established by the magazine in 2012, features leading young individuals who have shown initiative in their field and have made an impact on the aviation industry.
“I’m proud to see New Orleans Airport’s own Erin Burns recognized for this top honor,” said Kevin Dolliole, Director of Aviation. “Erin has proven to be a dedicated leader who brings a lot of creativity and passion to her work. I am confident that she has a bright future ahead of her in the aviation industry.”
“The 2022 Top 40 Under 40 represent the incredible young leaders building a strong future for the aviation industry in North America,” said Joe Petrie, Editorial Director of the Endeavor Aviation Group. “The winners come from across North America and highlight the amazing contributions winners are making to airport improvement, operations and building the transportation system of tomorrow.”
This is the eleventh year of the Top 40 program. Many past honorees are now leading major institutions and projects of the aviation industry due to their dedication and recognition for their valuable skills.
The Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport is proud to announce our very own, Mike Edwards, Director of Aviation, has been named Airport Business's 2022 Top 40 Under 40.The Airport Business annual 40 Under 40 showcases the best and the brightest aviation professionals from around the country that are influential in shaping the industry. These are distinguished innovators, passionate leaders, and aviation professionals with the enthusiasm and knowledge to ensure growth and success not only for themselves but for those they lead in the industry.Mike, it is a true honor and privilege to have you leading this airport and to witness all that you are accomplishing daily. Thank you for all that you do for our team, our community, and our profession! Congratulations!
Firm Plans 53-Acre Development at Baton Rouge Metro Airport, Could Total $183 Million
By Timothy Boone
Source The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La. (TNS)
Dec. 14—A Colorado-based firm has started work on a 53-acre development at Baton Rouge Metro Airport that could represent an investment of up to $183 million and make the airport a hub for air cargo and aviation-related activities.
Burrell Aviation signed a long-term lease for the land in the airport's Aviation Business Park and has started pre-development work on the site, said CEO John Carver.
While engineering and entitlement work is being done, a "very concentrated business development effort" is underway to attract companies that would be interested in build-to-suit space at the airport, Carver said.
A number of groups are being targeted as potential tenants at the airport, including air freight firms, aerospace and defense companies, cold storage businesses, logistics and aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul.
Groundbreaking Held for Burrell Aviation Development in Baton Rouge Metro Airport Aviation Business Park
Governor John Bell Edwards, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, the Baton Rouge Metro Airport (BTR) and Burrell Aviation, a division of The Burrell Group, held a groundbreaking ceremony on December 12 in recognition of its lease and development plans for 53 acres of runway-accessible land in the BTR Aviation Business Park. The lease has a primary term of 30 years, with two 10-year options to renew. Burrell Aviation will invest and develop the site's facilities and secure anchor tenants interested in making Baton Rouge Airport a critical hub for air cargo and other aviation-related activities.
The event was attended by members of the Baton Rouge Metro City Council, and Dan Burrell, founder and executive chairman of The Burrell Group, as well as leading executives from Burrell Aviation's national partnership groups, which include:
The project represents an estimated investment of $113,850,000 by Burrell Aviation into the Baton Rouge airport and its surrounding communities, which is projected to create between 893 and 1487 permanent quality jobs.
To read the December edition of the Big Easy Wing Newsletter of the Commemorative Air Force click HERE.
Aircraft paint specialist Aviation Exteriors Louisiana is adding maintenance and conversions through an expansion project of its facilities at Acadiana Regional Airport New Iberia. (Photo: Aviation Exteriors Louisiana)
Aircraft paint specialist Aviation Exteriors Louisiana is adding maintenance and conversion services through an expansion of its facility at Acadiana Regional Airport New Iberia. The company estimates the $2.5 million project, which will involve upgrading a 60-year-old maintenance hangar, will add 100 jobs in addition to the 83 existing positions. The state of Louisiana is offering a $2 million grant and other services for the work, in addition to tax incentives.
The move into maintenance and conversions marks a shift for the 32-year-old company, which spent its first decade focused on the painting of airliners and then added corporate jets and military aircraft in the later years. It also comes after the company was acquired by its new CEO, Jerry Hernandez.
“I’m excited to have chosen New Iberia, Louisiana, and AvEx to fill a void in today’s market to provide world-class service to our loyal aviation customers and the industry,” Hernandez said. “After a thorough search of the Southeast U.S., I was impressed with both the local and state enthusiasm for our company’s mission and the AvEx 32-year history of operations.”
Iberia Parish president Larry Richard added: “The expansion of Aviation Exteriors at Acadiana Regional Airport speaks highly of the need for this type of business in Iberia Parish.”
Brian Still has been named our PFP Pilot Of The Year for 2022! Brian was presented with a plaque Friday night at the Warehouse Restaurant by Philip Thomas, President and Sharon Thomas, Director of Pilots For Patients along with his wife, Barbara, son, Parker and Parker‘s friend Madison. Parker is also a PFP Pilot with 4 missions this year, taught to fly by his father along with CFI II Daniel Blell and recruited by his father.
Brian joined PFP on 5/22/18, flew his first flight on 6/3/18, and has flown 90 different patients. He has flown 49 missions thus far in 2022, and since joining PFP, has flown a total of 174 missions.
Being named Pilot Of The Year is quite an honor for many reasons. In Brian‘s case, he has helped recruit several pilots for PFP. He has spoken at several different hospitals, churches, and organizations promoting Pilots For Patients, and how we can help patients in their communities. He sponsored a fly-in in Minden to help recruit other pilots to help fly our Louisiana patients. Brian has been our “go to” pilot whenever another pilot could not fulfill the flight they signed up for, due to weather or aircraft issues. Brian was also our 2021 Pilot Of The Year! Please help us congratulate Brian on a Job Well Done!
NEW ORLEANS — The U.S. Coast Guard found the missing passenger who was overboard from the Carnival Valor, and he was responsive, according to a spokesperson.
A spokesperson for Carnival tells Eyewitness News that a guest was reported missing around noon Thanksgiving while the ship was on its way to Cozumel. They say the man and his sister were at a bar Wednesday evening when he left around 11 P.M. to use the restroom and never returned.
The ship had reportedly made announcements in its search for the missing man, calling this a “search and rescue operation,” and was working with the Coast Guard.
The ship departed from New Orleans on November 23, bound for stops in Cozumel and Progreso on its five-day cruise. The ship is set to return to Port NOLA on November 28.
The missing man’s name has not been released. He is responsive and was transferred to awaiting emergency medical personnel at New Orleans Lakefront Airport. The U.S. Coast Guard is expected to release more information on Friday.
Chennault International Airport Executive Director Kevin Melton talked about Chennault's $410 million annual economic impact during his recent presentation to the Chamber SWLA board of directors at the SEED Center. Citing the most recent study by economist Dr. Loren Scott, Melton noted that Chennault annually creates $177 million in sales at Calcasieu Parish businesses and $136 million in total household earnings, puts $7.2 million back into local government (and $11.4 million back to the state) and has tenant partners who employ more than 1,000 people.
1st Place WINNER OF THE Flying Wings of Louisiana Raffle CESSNA 150...TREVOR WHITE flew in from Washington to claim his airplane. What a surreal moment! Rusty and I were so honored to hand the keys over to such a nice guy and fellow Army Aviator. We pray Trevor will enjoy many years of owning this beautiful airplane and we know it will be in good hands. It was such a pleasure getting to know him and we are so happy for him! Thank you for your service Trevor and ENJOY!
To read the November newsletter of the Big Easy Wing of the Commemorative Air Force click HERE
The pilot of a small airplane was injured in a crash near the Slidell Municipal Airport Sunday night, authorities said.
A Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson said the twin-turboprop Beechcraft E90 crashed into a wooded area on its approach to the airport around 9:45 p.m. The pilot was the lone person on board, the FAA said.
The agency said the airplane had taken off from John C. Tune Airport in Nashville, Tennessee.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash, the spokesperson said.
Numerous messages to officials at the airport and Slidell police were not returned.
The FAA did not release the pilot's identity or specify any injuries. WWL-TV, however, reported the pilot suffered serious injuries.
A spokesperson for St. Tammany Parish Fire District No. 1 said firefighters were called to the scene but were not able to locate the aircraft.
GONZALES, La. (WAFB) - A pilot was forced to make an emergency landing in a pond in Gonzales Thursday morning, Nov. 10.
The pilot, who was the only person on board, was not injured, Gonzales Police said.
Witnesses on the scene said the pilot deployed a parachute, and the plane made a gentle touchdown in the water.
The pond where the plane touched down is next to River Parishes Community College on West Edenborne Parkway. That location is near the Lamar Dixon Expo Center.
Gonzales Police spokesperson Ami Clouatre said the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is enroute to investigate.
Photography by Chris Rose
AOPA Pilot article By Julie Summers Walker
In the town of Belle Chasse, Louisiana, there is a little boy who is obsessed with fish. Obsessed as only a 4-year-old can be—let’s go fishing! I want to fish! I caught a fish!—his joyful young voice in harmony with the hum of seaplanes along the waterway that is home to his family’s business, Southern Seaplane, Inc.
Emile “Buddy” Charvet was born into the best family for a boy who only wants to talk about fish—a seaplane operation that has been the largest and most influential on the Gulf Coast since 1954.
Of the several ventures that make up the business of Southern Seaplane, it is the fishing expeditions to the bayou, coastal marshes, swamps, and barrier islands that attract clientele to this Deep South family-run company throughout the year—and that keep Buddy happy with catch that includes redfish, speckled trout, and largemouth bass. Groups charter the seaplanes to fly out into the Gulf of Mexico to the wet wilderness of the Chandeleur Islands, a chain of barrier islands in the Breton National Wildlife Refuge 50 miles off the easternmost coast of Louisiana. For up to five hours, the group will wade-fish in the water—there is no dock—knee to waist deep and bring home 25 to 30 fish each, depending on the species. At the seaplane base Buddy’s dad, Emile Sr., will quickly clean the fish and pack them in ice to take home or, in a recent case, to a local New Orleans restaurant to be prepared by the chef for a family-style meal.
“That’s the first time I’ve taken an airplane to go fishing,” laughed Matthew Smith of Richmond, Virginia, as he hosed off the sand from his feet and put lotion on his sunburned neck. “The trip was so much fun; and being able to see the bayous, islands, and the gulf from the air made it extra special. There was no down time: in the air for 25 minutes or so, landing, and right into fishing. I’m certainly going to remember this for the rest of my life. And we’ll be eating good tonight.”
To see the rest of the AOPA article about Southern Seaplanes’ business and the Panepinto family that owns and operate it click: HERE
Lacey Panepinto Charvet and her husband Emile.
Lyle Panepinto by their Nomad seaplane and his wife Rhonda briefing the passengers of an air tour.
Thursday, October 27, 2022 at 1:29:44 PM
Baton Rouge – The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) announces the winners of the Louisiana Airport of the Year, David Slayter Memorial Louisiana Aviation Professional of the Year, and the Allen R. Taylor Legacy Award awards. The awards were presented at the 2022 Louisiana Airport Managers and Associates Annual Conference held at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Lafayette.
“On behalf of the entire department, I would like to congratulate the award winners,” said DOTD Secretary Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D. “DOTD encompasses much more than roads and bridges, we are in the business of mobility and their work is a testament. The multimodal aspect of our business, in the case of aviation, is a major component that impacts communities across Louisiana. For our citizens, businesses, and visitors, air travel is obviously an important part of our economy.”
The award winners are as follows:
Commercial Service Airport of the Year - Lafayette Regional Airport
General Aviation Airport of the Year - Natchitoches Regional Airport
David Slayter Memorial LA Aviation Professional of the Year - Steven Picou, LFT Regional
David Slayter Memorial LA Aviation Professional of the Year Award - Tonjia Summerell, LADOTD
Yvonne Chenevert - Allen R. Taylor Legacy Award recipient
“Congratulations to Steven Picou and Tonjia Summerell on their selection as Aviation Professionals of the Year, the Lafayette Regional Airport and Natchitoches Regional Airport, for being selected for the airport of the year awards, and Yvonne Chenevert, for being selected for the Allen R. Taylor Legacy Award,” said DOTD Commissioner of Multimodal Commerce Renee A. Lapeyrolerie. “We’re thrilled to recognize excellence in aviation, and we’re proud to have these winners represent that mode of transportation in our state.”
The awards recognize the hardworking airport sponsors and aviation professionals in Louisiana, and the inaugural Louisiana Airport of the Year and Aviation Professional of the Year awards recognize superior achievement and leadership in the state’s aviation field. These awards honor excellence and professionalism at all levels of airport operations.
To be considered eligible for the Airport of the Year award, an airport must have managed all maintenance inspection issues, managed all significant safety-related features and made a significant impact on aviation through safety improvements/practices, construction, development or management of aviation resources.
To see the press release click: HERE
Friday, October 28, 2022
The Louisiana Airport Managers & Associates (LAMA) announces the recipients of the 2022 President’s and Corporate Awards, and the special Award of Distinction. LAMA President Scott Gammel presented the awards at the organization's 51st annual conference held in Lafayette and hosted by the Lafayette Regional Airport.
The President’s Award was presented to Larry Cooper, Airport Manager, Natchitoches Regional Airport, for his support, dedication, and loyal service to aviation in Louisiana.
President's Award - Larry Cooper, Natchitoches Regional Airport
Corporate Award was presented to Meyer Meyer LaCroix and Hixson for their professional and dedicated service to Louisiana airports and aviation.
Corporate Award - Meyer Meyer Lacroix & Hixson
The special Award of Distinction was presented to Yvonne Chenevert, Airport Director, False River Regional Airport, in recognition of her tireless and unwavering support of the Louisiana Airport Managers & Associates.
Award of Distinction - Yvonne Chenevert
Mattilla Wiley, LSU-A, received her Scholarship Award during the awards presentation held Tuesday, October 25. Mrs. Wiley is majoring in Airport Management. The two other recipients of a LAMA scholarship are Molly Fowler and Jacob Barnes, both of Louisiana Tech University.
Scholarship Recipient - Mattilla Wiley
The awards recognize these devoted and hardworking Louisiana aviation professionals, and LAMA wishes to extend a sincere congratulations to each recipient.
Lafayette Regional Airport (LFT) was recognized by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development as Commercial Service Airport of the Year and Executive Director Steven Picou received honors as the David Slayter Memorial Louisiana Aviation Professional of the Year. The award is named for Slayter, who most recently served as Longmont (Colorado) Vance Brand Airport Manager and Executive Director for the Houma-Terrebonne Airport in Louisiana. The awards were presented at the 2022 Louisiana Airport Managers and Associates (LAMA) Annual Conference held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Lafayette. “It’s such an honor to receive this statewide recognition for LFT the same year we opened our new terminal,” said Lafayette Airport Commission Chairman John Hebert. “A lot of people worked hard to make our airport the outstanding facility it is today. This award reinforces that others in the aviation industry have taken notice of their work and rewarded them for it.”
Picou said he was honored to be recognized by his peers for his leadership and achievement. “While this award recognizes my leadership, it also honors the airport staff and commissioners who provided the support needed for LFT to receive these honors,” Picou added.
The annual awards ceremony also recognizes the hardworking airport sponsors and aviation professionals in Louisiana, as well as superior achievement and leadership in the state’s aviation field. These awards honor excellence and professionalism at all levels of airport operations.
“On behalf of the entire department, I would like to congratulate the award winners,” said Louisiana Department Of Transportation and Development (DOTD) Secretary Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D. “DOTD encompasses much more than roads and bridges, we are in the business of mobility and their work is a testament. The multimodal aspect of our business, in the case of aviation, is [a] major component that impacts communities across Louisiana. For our citizens, businesses, and visitors, air travel is obviously an important part of our economy.”
To be considered eligible for the Airport of the Year award, an airport must have managed all maintenance inspection issues, managed all significant safety-related features and made a significant impact on aviation through safety improvements/practices, construction, development or management of aviation resources.
One person died and two other crew members are in critical condition after a helicopter crashed in the Gulf of Mexico about 46 miles offshore from Morgan City, U.S. Coast Guard officials said.
The Coast Guard rescued two crewmembers from the Gulf Wednesday night. They were airlifted to University Medical Center New Orleans in critical condition.
The body of the third crew member was found inside the submerged helicopter.
Officials from Westwind Helicopter Inc. informed the Coast Guard around 6:35 p.m. Wednesday that one of their company helicopters, with three people on board, had crashed.
The two rescued crewmembers were able to hang on to a life raft until the Coast Guard arrived.
No information about what may have caused the crash was immediately available and the incident is still under investigation.
"We're grateful we were able to save two crewmembers but saddened from the loss of the third," Lt. Cmdr. Sean DiGeorge, a US Coast Guard District Eight search and rescue mission coordinator said. "We'd like to extend our deepest sympathies to the crewmembers' family and friends during this difficult time."
Westwind Helicopters, which has its headquarters in Santa Fe, Texas, provides offshore transportation services for the energy industry.
I attended the annual Chilhowee Octoberfest glider flying and dinners at Sarah and Jason Arnold’s Gliderport near Benton, TN. The event is from Oct. 21-24 with gliding the whole week after also. Pilots from all over attended to enjoy the ridge flying, thermal flying and after soaring is over the nightly Oktoberfest meals with special beer brought in from a microbrewery in FLA.
Here are the winners of the 2022 Flying Wings of Louisiana Raffle
Chennault International Airport (CWF) in Louisiana is paving the way for air cargo after signing a memorandum of understanding with US Customs and Border Protection to enable regular clearance of select international aircraft.
Following the airport’s completion of a $4m air cargo facility in September, the agreement allows for the clearance into the US of foreign crews and air cargo utilizing the existing CBP staff based in Lake Charles.
The agreement also allows foreign maintenance-bound aircraft and crews to enter at Chennault — a potential benefit to existing and prospective MRO activity on the field.
Chennault staff will interface with US customs on behalf of industry partners to secure international clearances at Chennault and front the corresponding costs for the service.
US Customs has agreed to respond accordingly to permit applicable international arrivals using its existing local resources.
“Formalizing this relationship with US Customs ensures these foreign clearance capabilities,” said Chennault executive director Kevin Melton. “Our Gulf Coast location makes us an ideal airport for these foreign aircraft to enter the United States.”
Already established for its commercial and military MRO work, Chennault said establishing foreign clearance capabilities is among the steps it is taking to enable commercial flight activity.
Melton said Chennault is committed to working closely with the industry to enable certification of its air cargo facility efficiently.
“We appreciate the responsiveness of U.S. Customs in facilitating these important components of our air cargo initiative,” he said.
PHI Aviation and BP will make a multi-million-dollar investment in the helicopter company's base at the Houma-Terrebonne Airport.
PHI Aviation announced the plans Thursday, saying they are part of a 10-year contract extension that will enhance both companies' work in the Gulf of Mexico oilfield.
The multi-aircraft agreement, which began in September, provides full-time Sikorsky S-92 helicopter support from PHI’s Houma base, the aviation company said in a news release.
The investment will expand PHI’s Houma base facilities and hangars to "deliver synergies for BP and increased efficiencies for other customers over the next 25-plus years," the release says.
“This investment will help make critical enhancements to our Gulf of Mexico support facilities, a significant piece of our operational footprint,” said Jamie Hinch, chief operating officer for PHI Aviation-Americas. “We’re committed to the south Louisiana community and our employees in the area and are excited to continue working with BP.”]
The companies do not specify details on exact spending or specific expansion plans. The Courier and Daily Comet have asked PHI for details.
This marks the second 10-year contract for PHI since February 2021, when the company added four Airbus H160 helicopters to the Houma fleet to serve Shell Exploration & Production Company's operations in the Gulf.
PHI has provided helicopter services to BP for 40 years.
“We’re delighted to continue building on our longstanding relationship with BP,” said Keith Mullett, managing director for PHI. “This 10-year contract is not only a reflection of our mutually beneficial relationship but another testament to PHI’s ability to provide enduring value for our customers.”
PHI, based in Lafayette, transports more than 300,000 passengers in the Gulf and more than 400,000 passengers around the world annually.
To read the October Newsletter of the Big Easy Wing of the Commemorative Air Force click HERE
The 41st Annual Stearman Fly in Jennings was very successful. They were blessed with perfect weather! Hundreds of folks came through the gates to get an up close look at these amazing planes. And thanks to the wonderful pilots that came to participate in this years’ event. Until next year!
Photos Courtesy of Jeff Davis Parish Tourism
Pictured, l to r, Commission President Derek Necaise, Airport Director Chanse Watson and Airport Operations Director Jerry Island.
Stennis International Airport recently earned an ANTN Digicast Excellence in Airport Training award.
The award, presented by the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), signifies that airport employees and others working at each facility have completed a specified amount of federally-mandated, airport-specific training and continuing education using ANTN Digicast's web-based training system.
“We are pleased to receive national recognition for our continued efforts to improve operations and safety at Hancock County’s community airport,” said Hancock County Port & Harbor CEO Bill Cotter. “It is a testament to the dedicated staff and their commitment to service.”
The award levels are based on total training programs completed and total number of employees trained at each airport. Levels vary based on the airport's hub size. Each winning airport is presented with a plaque marking the achievement.
Located in Kiln, Stennis International is Hancock County’s community airport. It features an 8,500-foot runway rated to carry the world’s largest cargo planes. It is home to 15 aerospace companies serving both general aviation and military aircraft.
At approximately 6:14pm on Saturday September 24, 2022 the Houma Fire Department was dispatched to a emergency standby for a aircraft inbound to the Houma-Terrebonne Airport with mechanical issues and smoke in the cockpit. Crews were standing by onscene and waiting when the aircraft was on approach.
A full alarm assignment responded which included two engines, one ladder and a Chief. The aircraft had 6 people onboard for this flight. The helicopter then crashed on the airport runway. After contacting the ground the aircraft slid into a grass area but did remain upright. Emergency units were onscene to the crash site within moments. Rescue crews evacuated all passengers and pilots from the aircraft. Some of those on board did report injuries and were transported to the hospital by Acadian Ambulance.
The aircraft had significant damage and was secured, airport officials, Air traffic control, company officials, and emergency personnel worked together to make sure the scene was safe. The crash is under investigation by the proper authorities. This area of the airport is still closed to aircraft operations. This entire incident occurred inside the property of the Houma-Terrebonne Airport.
Photo credit: B. Pennison - Houma Fire Department and S. Fonseca - Houma Fire Department
The Captain Fletcher E. Adams 357th Fighter Group Museum has been moved to a new location and it will be reopened to the public on October 8, 2022, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. After that day, we will be open by reservation only until an opening hours schedule can be worked out.
The Museum is physically located at: 18876 Alabama Avenue, Ida, Louisiana (Northwest Caddo Parish)
To schedule a visit and for any comments or questions contact:
Clyde H. "Smokie" Maddox
P.O. Box 268
Ida, Louisiana 71044
(318) 469-1060 cell
Sep 23, 2022
Louisiana Tech University and United Aviate Thursday announced a partnership designed to benefit Louisiana Tech students in the Professional Aviation and Aviation Management programs.
Aviate is United’s pilot career development program, offering aspiring and established pilots a path to the United flight deck.
“We are proud to offer our students the opportunity to engage with an industry leader like United Airlines,” said Col. Tom Garza, Aviation Professor. “Thanks to United Aviate, our students have a clear path to pursuing their dream careers.”
“We’re excited to welcome Louisiana Tech University as a United Aviate university partner, benefiting former, current and future Louisiana Tech students in their journeys to becoming professional pilots,” said Michael Bonner, Managing Director of Aviate & Pilot Strategy at United. “Louisiana Tech’s national reputation for a high-quality aviation education aligns with our pilot recruitment strategy.”
Former and current Louisiana Tech Aviation students and instructors who apply and are successful in the Aviate selection process will join the program, receive a conditional job offer from United, and enjoy thebenefits from the defined path to a lifelong career at United.
“This program will help our students gain a leg up in the competitive airline industry,” said Dean Karl Puljak of the College of Liberal Arts. “We know that the demand for qualified and motivated pilots is high, and it will continue to grow.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of airline and commercial pilots is projected to grow 6 percent from 2021 to 2031. About 18,100 openings for airline and commercial pilots are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.
“Louisiana Tech is proud to be only one of a handful of universities United has chosen to partner with,” said Dr. Les Guice, Tech President. “Our students have the very qualities United searches for, and our campus culture – including our Tech Tenets – aligns with the core service behaviors and commitment to excellence United expects from all members of their flight and ground operations.”
The numbers are in and thanks to Y O U we were able to present St. Mary's Residential Training School with a check for $155,000! That exceeds our donation from the previous year. We are truly blown away!
Our fundraising event would not be possible without the continued support, dedication, & selflessness of our amazing sponsors, volunteers, & local community. THANK YOU!
Each year we will continue to learn & grow from our experiences. We are SO very proud of what we have all accomplished together & are already busy planning our 2023 event. Be on the lookout for more information coming soon!
The Avionics Solutions team is proud to announce the opening of our new helicopter completions facility! We have worked tirelessly to position our company to best serve you, our customer. All fixed wing avionics, structures, and paint work will remain at our Lafayette Regional Airport facility. Our new facility, located at 3313 W. Pinhook Rd, Lafayette, La, will be home to our main office, helicopter avionics, structures, and paint work, as well as our wire harness shop. This facility is fly in / fly out. Our helicopter completions work includes avionics design and integration, mission system design and integration, structural repair, and modifications, to include, composite and fiber glass repair, full aircraft painting and paint touch up. We can’t thank our loyal customers enough for the relentless support as we strategically and organically grow our company. Our team is looking forward to serving you throughout the fixed and rotor wing sectors.
Members of the Bayou State Escadrille and their Bell 47 Helicopter in Hammond, LA.
HAMMOND, LA (September 7, 2022) - Members of the Bayou State Escadrille, a young Commemorative Air Force Unit located north of New Orleans, traveled to San Marcos, Texas, to pick up their recently assigned Bell 47G4A helicopter. This Bell 47 is a single-rotor single-engine light helicopter and has the livery of a MASH (Mobile Army Surgical Hospital) helicopter.
Bayou State Escadrille members are thrilled with the assignment of the aircraft which will be based at Hammond Northshore Regional Airport in Hammond, Louisiana. Several Unit members are helicopter pilots and mechanics, so this is a great fit for their location. The addition of the aircraft means they will have a project to rally around and will likely draw in new members from the community.
The CAF’s Bell 47 was donated to the organization in 2017. It’s unique to the fleet in that it is the CAF’s only flying helicopter and unlike most aircraft in the CAF’s fleet, is not a World War II-era aircraft. Including the Bell 47 in the fleet gives the CAF an opportunity to broaden the story of American military aviation, even extend into the Vietnam War era, because many of that generation’s helicopter pilots were trained in the type.
The CAF’s example is a Bell 47G-4A featuring a 310 horsepower Lycoming VO-540 was constructed in 1969 for the civilian market. It was operated extensively by a flight school until it was generously donated by a CAF Colonel. Due to its bubble canopy, the Bell 47 offers great all-around visibility, making it an ideal aircraft for sightseeing and living history flights.
Bayou State Escadrille Website: https://www.bayoustateescadrille.org/
Louisiana's First Family of Float Flying, the Panepintos of Southern Seaplane, have been featured in the AOPA news a lot lately. They were featured in a wonderful eight page article in the October issue of AOPA Pilot Magazine. I hope that many of you have access to it and get a chance to read it. That is Lyle Panepinto and his daughter Lacy Charvet on the cover above. Southern Seaplane, Inc. is located in Belle Chasse and is the Largest Seaplane Operation in the Gulf South. They offer air tours, charters, seaplane instruction, fishing trips and maintenance services.
Facebook: Click HERE
They were featured in an AOPA Live video as well.
AOPA Live Video
Southern Seaplane in Belle Chasse, Louisiana offers seaplane flight instruction, fishing charters and sightseeing flights over New Orleans. Meet the family that keeps this small general aviation business growing and thriving.
To watch the video click HERE.
A year in review: The Lafayette Regional Airport 2021 Annual Report is available online at the link below.
To read the September Newsletter of the Big Easy Wing of the Commemorative Air Force click….HERE.
Airway Lighting & NAVAIDS Specialist
Allen served our country proudly in the United States Air Force on active duty from 1966-1970 in the Photo Mapping Division at Turner AFB. He was HONORABLY discharged from the USAF in 1972 where he continued to serve in the Air Force Reserve Unit on active duty from 1974-1979 at Eglin AFB and the Naval Air Station in New Orleans.
From 1970-1993, Allen worked at Pabst Brewing, Rust Engineering, Tayco Services, Associated Engineering, and Spectrum Engineering providing critical aviation consulting services to states and firms for engineering and aeronautical projects.
Allen began his DOTD aviation career in 1994 where he was responsible for airport obstruction analysis, instrument approaches, navigational aids, lighting, R & D, developing standards, inspections, and final acceptance for Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and State funded projects for all public-use airports in Louisiana. He is a recipient of the 2010 DOTD “Secretary’s Award of Excellence” and the DOTD Bi‐Annual Conference “2011 Transportation Excellence Award” for “Use of Innovative Product or Technology ‐ False River Regional Airport LED Lighting Test Program”. Allen received the Charles Dunbar Career Civil Service Award in 2016, which is the highest honor a state employee is awarded. Allen Taylor has been a dedicated employee with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development since January 1994. During his 28 years of distinguished service to the Department and the aviation community in Louisiana, Allen has served in the capacity as the Airway Systems Manager.
Chennault has completed a $4 million air cargo facility that is now available for lease.
Air cargo facility development, incentives, and specialized ground equipment purchases — in addition to land acquisition and remediation, and taxiway improvements — have produced a first-rate, cargo-ready airport.
“We have worked tirelessly to remove entry barriers for the air cargo industry,” said Chennault Executive Director Kevin Melton. “We have made investments in facilities, established a rich incentive program, and we will invest in ground equipment to support the industry. We are committed to share the risk associated with new markets.”
“Chennault is deeply committed to attract commercial air cargo,” said David Whitaker of DVW Aviation Advisor, who is consulting for the initiative. “In addition to the new facility and strong incentives, the novel ground support equipment program alleviating a significant capital burden for the industry is most impressive.”
ABOUT THE FACILITY
The facility includes a 1,000-square-foot office area and an expandable 9,000-square foot-warehouse. The adjacent aircraft parking apron is 127,000 square feet, able to accommodate all sizes of cargo aircraft. The facility was built to attract international cargo, in addition to domestic, and the airport will work with industry partners to help certify the building for international cargo clearance.
Chennault is offering a package of air cargo incentives with a potential value of $300,000-plus, including two years of free rent on the new air cargo facility with a five-year commitment. The airport will also waive landing fees for all commercial air cargo landings for two years, reflecting its strong commitment to collaboration.
The airport also has approved the acquisition of more than $500,000 for specialized air cargo ground equipment to mitigate a capital expense that otherwise can be a barrier to start-up activity.
“The airport will work closely with industry partners regarding specific equipment needs for their operation and then help secure that equipment,” said Melton. “We are leaving no stone unturned.”
NATIONAL SITE OF CHOICE
Chennault International Airport is a former U.S. Air Force base that is now a complex for aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services; high-end aircraft refinishing; and non-aerospace manufacturing. The major businesses at Chennault include Northrop Grumman, Citadel Completions, LandLocked Aviation Services, Louisiana Millwork/Masonite and Million Air. Chennault’s other advantages include its two-mile-long runway, its uncongested air and ground space, ongoing infrastructure improvements, and land available to expand.
IN PRINT: They were already showcased in Air Cargo Week about the completion of their air cargo facility, which is ready for a tenant.
See it on the page by clicking: HERE
Airport Sponsors, Managers, and Industry Stakeholders,
I am excited and honored to announce that Joshua Duplantis has been selected as Assistant Aviation Director for the Office of Multimodal Commerce within the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.
Joshua is a graduate of Louisiana Tech University with a bachelor’s degree in Aviation Management and a minor in Business Administration. He began his career as an intern for our office in 2012. Since then, Joshua has been promoted and risen through the ranks of aviation leadership through his initiatives and professional management of airport projects, inspections, and assigned programs.
Joshua will lead the Aviation Safety Program and the Aviation Development Program within our office. Joshua’s primary responsibilities include administration of the 5010 Airport Safety Inspection and Registration Program, administration of the Airport Construction and Development Priority Program, and the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Program. Joshua’s experience and education allow for the Department to continue to build upon relationships and establish enhanced best practices in developing the aviation program of the future for our state airport system. Joshua will provide planning expertise and bring a national perspective to ensure that Louisiana airport development gains early airport sponsor and community involvement to produce infrastructure and facilities that are in high-demand, right-sized, fit-for-purpose, and cost effective to develop, operate, and maintain for the overall system.
Considering the challenges facing the aviation industry and state in terms of recruiting and retaining talent, Joshua serves on an industry recognized board through his affiliation with his alma mater Louisiana Tech University. Joshua will assume the chairmanship this fiscal year of the Louisiana Tech University Aviation Advisory Board. Through his role, Joshua will lead industry leading representatives from Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, United Airlines, Lockheed Martin, Davis Aircraft, Louisiana Aircraft, and Excel Aviation, to name a few, in stakeholder engagements on national issues such as pilot shortages, UAM, AAM, aircraft mechanic shortages, pilot education, aviation training, and electric aircraft issues, impacting aviation throughout the United States and Louisiana.
Please help me in congratulating Joshua on his new role.
Bradley R. Brandt
Office of Multimodal Commerce
Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development
Pictured Left to right, Director Hollie Boudreaux, Curator Roy Bullock, Kevin Melton, and COO Judge Stout.
Chennault International Airport Executive Director Kevin Melton was hosted by Chennault Aviation and Military Museum’s, COO Judge Stout; Director Hollie Boudreaux; and Curator Roy Bullock. The purpose was to develop relationships and find opportunities to tie the rich aviation histories of Lake Charles and Monroe together with stronger relationships. If you have not been to the Chennault Aviation and Military Museum, it is a MUST ATTEND. Led by a knowledgeable and caring staff, this gem of North Louisiana is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the history of Maj Gen Claire Chennault and how his patriotic leadership and his Flying Tigers turned the tide on the Asian front during WWII. The museum offers a large variety of military and aviation artifacts ranging from the Civil War to modern day. It is a great place for all ages to spend the day to learn about Chennault and the Monroe, Louisiana’s aviation and military history that had world-wide impact. Missed and unable to attend is the Museum’s CEO/President Nell Calloway who is the grand-daughter of Maj Gen Claire and wife, Anna Chennault.
NTSB issue the preliminary report into an accident involving a Beechcraft F33A Bonanza, N17747, that occurred on August 18, 2022, near Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport (BTR/KBTR), Baton Rouge, Louisiana:
On August 18, 2022, about 0852 central daylight time, a Beech F33A airplane, N17747, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident at the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport (BTR), Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The pilot and the pilot-rated passenger were not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.
The pilot reported that the purpose of the intended flight was to remain in the airport traffic pattern and practice landings; however, shortly after takeoff the pilot determined instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and requested an instrument flight rules clearance to return to the airport for a full stop landing. The pilot was given radar vectors to join the instrument landing system (ILS) runway 22R approach. After aligning with the localizer inbound to the runway, the pilot extended the landing gear and selected 15° of wing flaps.
The pilot reported that the airplane was high on the glideslope when it descended below the clouds about 1,500 ft mean sea level (msl). He reduced engine power and decreased airplane pitch to increase the airplane’s descent rate. When the airplane was about 1,100 ft msl he further reduced engine power, but after a “small bump” the airplane had a total loss of engine power that was confirmed by referencing the engine intake manifold pressure gauge. The pilot was unable to restore engine power after he increased the throttle and mixture controls, checked both magnetos, and engaged the starter motor.
The pilot declared an emergency with the air traffic controller and made a forced landing in a grass area short of runway 22R. The airplane clipped trees and bounced during the forced landing, during which the fuselage and both wings were substantially damaged.
The pilot reported that the airplane departed with 34 gallons of fuel and that the duration of the flight was about 12 minutes.
The airplane wreckage was recovered to a secured location where an examination will be completed.
Monday, August 29, 2022
Baton Rouge- The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development’s Aviation Section is releasing a new program aimed toward driving tourism to Louisiana airports. The Louisiana Airport Passport Program, formerly known as Fly Louisiana, is designed to encourage pilots and aviation enthusiasts to visit airports throughout the state.
The Louisiana Airport Passport Program supports general aviation, local businesses and tourism in the state of Louisiana by promoting safety and education by encouraging recreational flights to all participating public use airports in the state. Participants who sign up for the app and complete certain incentives have the opportunity to win prizes such as aviation patches, flight bags, shirts and even a flight jacket.
“Other state DOT’s across the country have similar programs and have seen much success over the years,” said Renee Lapeyrolerie, DOTD Commissioner of Multimodal Commerce. “Everyone can participate in this program, not just pilots. It is our hope to encourage aviation throughout the state and even open the door for others to learn about this exciting industry.”
Any licensed pilot from any state, their passengers and aviation enthusiast can register. Participants can create an account by downloading the AOPA app from all devices and then select the Louisiana Airport Passport Program. Participants will get credit by checking-in to any of the participating public use airports throughout the state, as well as visiting aviation attractions, attending safety seminars and bonus activities that include flying to seaplane bases and visiting out of state airports, to name a few.
“This is an exciting opportunity to connect with pilots and passengers of Louisiana and surrounding states,” said DOTD Assistant Aviation Director Josh Duplantis. “At DOTD Aviation, our focus is on airport infrastructure, and rightly so, but the Louisiana Airport Passport Program offers anyone and everyone the opportunity to engage with Louisiana’s airports and other aviation attractions and collect some pretty sweet rewards while doing it. I encourage everyone to participate; you never know what you might find or learn out there!”
Additionally, the Southern Air Heritage Foundation in Tallulah and the Commemorative Air Force- Big Easy Wing in New Orleans have both donated a ride in one of their aircraft to participants that have signed up for the Fly Louisiana app. Two winners will be randomly selected in May 2023 and the first 100 participants are eligible for the drawing.
The Louisiana Airport Passport Program app is scheduled to be available September 15.
To see the announcement on the DOTD Website Click…..HERE
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Erin Williams has always been into flying and his love of aviation is landing him in the history books. He is the first African-American to become a pilot with Louisiana State Police. “I always wanted to fly,” said Williams. “So, I kinda did it in the latter part of my life. I got my first lesson in 1990.”
He’s been a state trooper for nearly 18 years. Now he’s joining an elite group of only eight pilots statewide. In his new position, he will help patrol the state from the skies instead of the roads. LSP pilots are also called on to assist in searches for prison escapees and possible missing persons cases.
Williams hopes to inspire the pilots of tomorrow. He hosted a STEM summer camp in Hammond for five years. As his career takes him to new heights, Williams hopes others will land on a career in aviation.
“You can go places and that’s one of the things I try to instill in the youth. Hey, you can do it. There’s nothing, not too many things you can’t do if you put your mind on it,” said Williams.
Chad Hebert loves watching people’s faces as they fly in a hot air balloon for the first time.
“That moment when you first break over the tree line while climbing to altitude and see fear leave their face and excitement set in—there’s nothing like it,” he says.
Ballooning is a long-held tradition in Hebert’s family. Every weekend at Really Hot Air Balloon Adventures, three generations of the family and their friends take riders into the air. In bright yellow balloons, they lift off into clear, golden skies over Zachary.
To read the August edition of the Bayou State Escadrille Nouvelles click
To read the August Newsletter of the Big Easy Wing of the Commemorative Air Force click…HERE
Louisiana aviation legend Charlie Hammonds is featured on the last page of the September AOPA PILOT magazine. I’ve been very fortunate to spend some time chatting with Charlie over the years and visiting his wonderful museum in Houma. If you haven’t done that yet you need to. To read the article click…
Photo taken by 1st Lt Anne Calvert
Aircrews and ground teams with Civil Air Patrol’s Louisiana Wing are conducting an exercise to demonstrate the wing’s readiness for the 2022 Hurricane Season.
Their mission is to gather aerial and ground-level photos and data which can be used by FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Louisiana Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP).
The exercise includes extensive ground and aerial sorties, photographing simulated areas of severe wind damage and flooding in the Greater Baton Rouge Metropolitan Area. The flights were launched from the Louisiana Wing Headquarters at the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport.
“These exercises are vital to our wing’s mission readiness, especially during the peak of hurricane season.” Said Colonel Mike Dubois – Emergency Services Training Officer, Louisiana Wing.
Acting as a Total Force partner and as the United States Air Force auxiliary, Civil Air Patrol helps the First Air Force rapidly respond to nonmilitary threats domestically in a Defense Support of Civil Authorities capacity to save lives, relieve suffering, prevent property damage and provide humanitarian assistance.
The Louisiana Wing operates nine single-engine aircraft, some equipped with special camera and navigation systems for generating precise, high-definition photos. When called into service, these aircraft are flown by a crew of three — a pilot, an observer and a scanner/photographer.
The collected imagery and its embedded data are immediately processed and converted into both 2D and 3D images that can be used by FEMA and GOHSEP emergency managers for planning and expediting recovery efforts.
"The Louisiana Wing has a long and distinguished history of responding to requests for assistance following disastrous hurricanes.” said, Maj. Tracy Breithaupt, Incident Commander for the exercise. “We are here to apply our unique capabilities in support of post recovery efforts.”
We would like to take a moment to thank everyone for coming out and celebrating our 20th anniversary. We had one of our charter members, Paul Jackson in attendance, and 3 of The City of Leesville - Municipal Government city council members, Chris Robertson, Willie Kennedy, and Phillip Hunt, in attendance. We enjoyed seeing every one of you. We had a surprise guest, Wilson J. Brown fly into the meeting in the Cirrus that’s pictured. Big congrats to him and his wife on their new baby! Our scholarship recipient was also in attendance Mr. Wesley Felice and his mother Carolyn. We look forward to many more years with this club, and if you weren’t able to make this meeting, our next one is September 3rd at Jasper Airport aka Outlaw Country. Flyers beware, should be lots of fun, and if you’re not there, Mike Lout is definitely going to be telling lies about you. Mike also promised he wouldn’t make chili. And Ralph said he would go since there’s not going to be any chili. A huge thank you is owed to Becca's Bakery for the catering and the cake. And thank you to Kevin Mock for asking your wife Tammy take our big group photo.
WC-130J from the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron at Keesler AFB. Photo: Alex H
Civil Air Patrol has been a long-time ally to the U.S. Armed Forces dating back to 1941. From assisting in coastal patrol to performing life saving missions, this U.S. Airforce Auxiliary has saved many lives and continues to save lives today. Another part of their mission is cadet programs in which they train and develop "tomorrow's leaders".
Part of this program is a week-long event known as encampment in which cadets have the opportunity to face a challenge larger than themselves, which includes physical fitness, aerospace education, learning how to lead, and becoming a more disciplined individual. During the week they will also get to explore military career options such as piloting, security forces, and many more. Amidst the training, these youth will have the chance to make friends that will last a lifetime and come out with a confidence and level of dignity knowing they accomplished their goal.
The volunteer organization recently took on another adventure in their Louisiana Wing (LAWG) where cadets attended the week long LAWG 2022 Summer Encampment at Keesler Airforce Base in Biloxi, Mississippi. From July 16-24, 2022, these cadets had the opportunity to see many career options in the USAF, one of which was the 53rd WRS "Hurricane Hunters" which operates a fleet 10 specially modified Lockheed Martin C-130Js which are known as WC-130Js.
Stemming from 1944 when Joseph P. Duckworth flew a T-6 Texan into a hurricane "just to prove it could be done", the Hurricane Hunters have saved thousands of lives with their integrative skills and technology. The Airforce Reserve Squadron wanted to share their history and passion with the Civil Air Patrol by taking the cadets of Louisiana Wing Encampment on the flight of a lifetime on board the very unique WC-130Js. Cadets were able to sit in the very seats of the Hurricane Hunters and climb aboard for a flight along the Gulf of Mexico where they were able to enter the cockpit, talk with the crew, and enjoy the views from this fantastic aircraft. From the smallest of cadets to the largest of cadets, there were smiles all around, even the aircrew were smiling.
This part of aviation is what drives the aviation community, sharing this wonderful world with others big and small, and hoping that one day they become the next aviators of this world. The best part about aviation is sharing the passion that we all possess and seeing smiles from everyone around you. There truly is no world like the world of aviation.
RAPIDES PARISH, La. (KALB) - New information has been released from the NTSB about a cropduster that crashed Tuesday afternoon near Cheneyville, which killed the pilot.
The Rapides Parish Coroner’s Office has confirmed that the pilot’s name was Gill Pias.
According to the NTSB, the cropduster was an Air Tractor AT-502. An NTSB investigator was at the scene Wednesday to survey the site. We’re told the investigator will begin the process of documenting the scene and examining the aircraft. Part of the investigation will be to request radar data, weather information, maintenance records and the pilot’s medical records. NTSB investigators will look at the pilot, machine and environment as the outline of the investigation.
The preliminary report, which includes all the factual information learned to date, is expected to publish 15 days after the accident. We’re told at this early stage that NTSB does not state a cause, but will provide that information when available.
Jim Riviere receiving the 2022 Award of Merit from 99’s Award Chairman Kathy Fox and 99’s International President Corbi Bulluck.
(Photo courtesy of the 99’s)
Oklahoma City, OK
July 21, 2022
James “Jim” Riviere, Jr received the 2022 Award of Merit from the International Organization of Women Pilots, The Ninety-Nines, Inc. The Award recognizes individuals making significant contributions to any facet of aviation.
Riviere, along with Louisiana aviation leaders, chartered the Aviation Association of Louisiana. The group introduced a constitutional amendment dedicating aviation fuel taxes for aviation purposes, instead of going to general state budget areas. The results are hundreds of millions of tax dollars being dedicated to airport improvements.
He developed an information webpage, LaAviator.com to keep the entire Louisiana Aviation community informed about news, events and classifieds. He also added a Facebook page and sends two news emails a week to 1700 subscribers.
Riviere is a Lifetime member in the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). He chartered and became the first President of the Louisiana State EAA Chapter in the early 80’s. For 18 years he organized the Louisiana Fly-in Series, consisting of 10-12 fly-ins held at several airports. He received the EAA President’s Award from Paul Poberezny in 1986.
He received the Award of Merit at the Ninety-Nines International Conference, July 9, 2022, in Charleston, SC.
Each year, the Ninety-Nines, Inc. recognizes members and non-members for their contributions to aviation as well as the Ninety-Nine organization. A 501c3 corporation, the Ninety-Nines were founded in 1929 with 99 charter members. Amelia Earhart was the first president. Today, the Ninety-Nines have over 6700 members worldwide. Each year they award over $200,000 in scholarships.
Reflections From Jim:
I was very surprised and honored when I got the call from the 99’s that I had been picked to receive this award. The plaque says that the award was presented for, “his long-term dedication and leadership in promoting, supporting, connecting and communicating with the Louisiana aviation community “. The plaque has my name on it but none of the things that I have done for Louisiana aviation have been done alone. There are just too many folks who I have worked with over the years to be mentioned here. But you know who you are and I thank you all for your hard work. I appreciate your support and treasure your friendship.
If you would like to read my bio that was read at the award presentation click
I also need to thank my wife and daughters for all their sacrifice and support to allow me to do all of the things I’ve done in aviation through the years. It was great that they traveled to Charleston for the awards banquet. Their presence made the ceremony extra special. Here I am with daughters Mimi Hymel and Wendy Earon, and wife Linda.
I also need to thank that great group of NOLA 99’s who were responsible for nominating me for this award. Pictured at the banquet are NOLA 99’s Lisa Cotham, Joann Dawson and Karen Weldon.
When I reflected on receiving this reward, I realized that my aviation heritage was connected to the 99’s from the very beginning. My Dad learned to fly in Patterson, LA, in 1944. His flight instructor was pioneer woman aviator and early 99 member Edna Gardner*. So the Riviere aviation legacy started 78 years ago when a very early 99 member shared her love of aviation with my Dad…. and I’m proud to say that it’s continuing as Grandson Joshua Earon is currently pursuing an Aviation Degree at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Thanks again to the 99’s for honoring me with this wonderful award.
*If you would like to read more about Edna Gardner Whyte click HERE.
The Shreveport Soaring Club has received a proclamation from Governor Edwards recognizing their 50 Anniversary…..
1st Lt. Ron Naquin pilots the drone while Cadet Technical Sergeant Alexis Jones acts as technician. Photo Credit- 2Lt Casie Jones CAP
By 1st Lt. Anne Calvert, CAP
July 18, 2022 – Abita Springs, Louisiana – Early in the morning of June 18 members of the Louisiana Wing Civil Air Patrol, St. Tammany Composite Squadron gathered at the St. Tammany Regional Airport to conduct Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) flight training. Starting at approximately 9:00 am cadets and senior members prepared to launch their drones.
Temperatures were in the low-mid 90’s with clear skies. Hurricane season began June 1, and local CAP volunteers prepared with hands-on training to assist local and state agencies in disaster recovery. The drone program will add an additional dimension to the disaster recovery resources of the CAP.
First Lieutenant Ronald Naquin launched his drone with Cadet Technical Sgt. Alexis Jones acting as technician. Naquin successfully completed two maneuvering trials and captured a total of 37 photos. He flew a DJI Mavic Air 2 drone and a DJI Mavic 2 Pro machine. Naquin completed the necessary tasks required by CAP requirements obtaining his qualification as an sUAS Instructor and Check Pilot.
Lieutenant Colonel Don DuCote, a resident of Covington, led a flight class using the St. Tammany Composite Squadron’s DJI Phantom 4 Pro drone. Drone pilots were able to log over two hours of flight time. The flight course used was the NIST Standard open lane course, which consists of a takeoff/landing pad and four ‘omni stands’ spaced at approximately a 15 foot interval. “Drones are now an essential part of today’s economy” said Col. DuCote, “They have helped fight fires, locate missing people, and deliver vital supplies like medicine and medical equipment. Our cadets are preparing to use this technology to serve our communities in the future.”
CAP conducts flights photographing hurricane and other disaster affected lands and waterways. Hundreds of hours are spent in the air and thousands of images are captured. They are then delivered to customer agencies such as the FEMA and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) as well as other state and local agencies, which will use them in assessing damage after a storm.
NEW ORLEANS – Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) announced today that Henrietta Brown, A.A.E., Deputy Director of Aviation – Finance and Administration, has been elected to Board of Directors of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE). Founded in 1928, AAAE is the world’s largest professional organization representing 7,000 airport professionals across the world.
“As the aviation industry moves beyond pandemic to a brighter future ahead, AAAE is fortunate to have another group of exceptional airport executives who have pledged their time, energy, and talent to help guide the Association forward,” said AAAE President and CEO Todd Hauptli. “On behalf of the AAAE team, I congratulate these leaders for the recognition they have earned from their peers across the country and thank them for their commitment to our organization and the airport industry.”
The 26-member AAAE Board of Directors hold direct responsibility for establishing the policy and direction of the association. The AAAE Board of Directors is elected by the membership to represent their interests, and the individuals who hold these key leadership roles reflect the strength of AAAE as an organization with service at airports of all sizes and in all parts of the country.
“We are extremely proud that Henrietta Brown will take on this key national role with AAAE,” said Kevin Dolliole, Director of Aviation for MSY. “This is a critical time for the aviation industry with airports across the country facing major challenges due to the impact of COVID-19. We are fortunate to have her helping the industry navigate this crisis while also advocating for the needs of the New Orleans region.”
In December, Brown earned the distinction of Accredited Airport Executive (A.A.E.) by AAAE after successfully completing a three-phase accreditation process. Before joining the Board of Directors, Brown served as chair of AAAE’s Finance and Administration Committee from 2020-2022.
As MSY’s Deputy Director of Finance and Administration, Brown is responsible for the finance, accounting, concessions and other administrative divisions of the Airport. She participated on the bond transaction teams for the one of the new parking garages as well as two cost-savings bond refunding transactions. Brown has more than twenty years of finance and administration experience, with 13 of those years at mid-size airports in progressively responsible management roles.
Brown said, “I am grateful for this opportunity to offer my time and expertise to AAAE’s Board of Directors to help the organization make advancements in this dynamic industry. Thank you to my peers across the nation for electing me to this esteemed position.”
Shreveport Soaring Club celebrated 50 years of soaring in Louisiana since it started in 1972 near Shreveport. At its home base, Gilliam Airport, it awarded three awards to its only surviving founding members shown below, (from left to right), Wayne Crank, Jr., Hugh Hunton, and Ralph Forrester. Over 20 people attended and 4 new members signed up. The Club offers glider ratings for members and two place and single seat gliders and a Cessna 182 and winch flying.
For more information contact Glenn C. McGovern Secretary 504 908 1404 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Baton Rouge Metro Airport has been awarded a $5.2 million Federal Aviation Administration grant to replace passenger boarding bridges, making them more accessible and reliable.
The airport was one of two in Louisiana to be included in the first round of FAA grants announced Thursday, which total $1 billion. Lake Charles Regional Airport is set to get $2.5 million, which will also be used for bridge improvements.
“Those bridges are over 20 years old and we’ve been looking for the last four years for sources to fund a replacement,” said Mike Edwards, director of aviation at Baton Rouge Metro.
Along with the FAA funds, the airport is set to get a matching grant of about $300,000 from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development’s Aviation Trust Fund. That will allow Baton Rouge Metro to replace at least five of the six airport bridges, Edwards said.
The plan is to put the work out for bid in the fourth quarter and hopefully start construction by summer 2023, he said. The bridges need to be custom-made.
To read the July Newsletter of the Big Easy Wing of the Commemorative Air Force click…..HERE
CEO Bill Cotter to retire after 23 years with HCPHC
KILN, MISS. – Hancock County Port and Harbor CEO William “Bill” Cotter recently announced he plans to retire at the end of year after 23 years of service.
Cotter has served with Port and Harbor for over two decades in various roles, including Stennis International Airport Director, agency chief operations officer and, since 2021, CEO.
“After a lifelong career in aviation and economic development, I’ve decided it’s time to take break and refocus my energy,” Cotter said. “My wife and I plan to enjoy retirement and spend more time with our children and grandchildren.”
During his tenure as airport director, Cotter helped guide Stennis Airport’s recovery from Hurricane Katrina and coordinated the airfield activities during the BP Deepwater Horizon response. Since 2005, he has overseen nearly $40 million in capital improvements at the airport including the construction of the air traffic control tower, aircraft hangars and the terminal building. As COO, Port Bienville Industrial Park’s existing docks were refurbished and improved, and construction began on a new 600-foot dock, which is expected to be completed later this year.
Among other accomplishments, Cotter was instrumental in attracting a line of companies that resulted in Tyonek Service Group’s operation to Hancock County. The Department of Defense contractor performs maintenance, repair and overhaul operations for military aircraft. It is one of 30 companies at the port and airport that together employ nearly 1,000 people. Cotter is also credited with bringing the United States military operations support to Hancock County.
“Economic development is really about creating opportunities for our neighbors to grow. When I look at the hangars and buildings, I’m impressed by the work we’ve done at Port and Harbor. But when I think about the hundreds of employees and the families they support, when I see them around town at shops and restaurants, I’m proud of the impact we have had to make Hancock County one of the best places to live,” Cotter said. “I thank the Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission and County Board of Supervisors, past and present, for the support over the years. It has allowed us to grow the airport and port into the economic engines they are today.”
The Port and Harbor Commission accepted Cotter’s retirement and recommended current COO Blaine LaFontaine as the next CEO beginning January 1, 2023. The Hancock County Board of Supervisors voted July 5 to accept the recommendation.
“Hancock County and entire region benefited from Bill’s dedicated service,” LaFontaine said. “Over the next six months we will continue working together to ensure a seamless transition. We have exciting opportunities ahead and will continue to build on the success that Bill’s leadership has brought.”
LaFontaine joined HCPHC as Chief Operations Officer/Port Director in March 2021. In his current role, LaFontaine is responsible for overseeing the organization's ongoing operations and procedures along with development at Port Bienville Industrial Park.
Pictured Left to Right: Cadet Airman Izaiah Pellerin, Cadet Airman Malachi Pellerin, Cadet Senior Airman Samantha Jordan, Cadet Airman 1st Class Daniel Escobar
Picture by Lawrence Pellerin
By: 2nd Lt Tracy Jordan, CAP
Lake Charles, La., July 3 – Cadets from Civil Air Patrol’s Lake Charles Composite Squadron served as color guard at Trinity Baptist Church’s annual I Love America celebration on July 3.
The squadron’s cadets learn and practice color guard procedures at their regular Tuesday meetings and have been honored to serve at several local events. The practice brings a feeling of pride and stability to a group that has worked hard to get back to normal after the events of the past few years.
This event was Cadet Airman 1st Class Daniel Escobar’s first time to serve as rifle guard. He said that he wanted to serve on the color guard because he enjoys working with a smaller unit and likes the idea of defending his country’s flag.
Cadet Airmen Malachi and Izaiah Pellerin frequently join the squadron’s color guard with their brother, Cadet Airman Eli Pellerin. For the brothers, serving their country and honoring their flag is simply a daily way of life.
Cadet Senior Airman Samantha Jordan has served several times now and said that veterans frequently approach her to say thank you.
After the service, the cadets and their families joined in the festivities and enjoyed a beautiful fireworks display.
World Atlantic Airlines MD-83 Main Landing Gear Failure | 04.20.18
3,597 views Jun 29, 2022
On April 20, 2018, at about 1420 central daylight time, a Caribbean Sun Airlines Inc., dba World Atlantic Airlines, MD83, N807WA, experienced a right main landing gear failure during its landing roll at Alexandria International Airport (KAEX), Alexandria, Louisiana. Due to the gear failure, the aircraft's right wing dragged on the runway, creating a friction fire which was quickly extinguished by airport rescue and firefighting personnel. The airplane was substantially damaged and there were no injuries to the 101 passengers and crew aboard. The L1 emergency slide was activated but did not deploy during the evacuation. The flight was operating under 14 CFR Part 121 as a domestic passenger flight from Chicago-O'Hare International Airport (KORD), Chicago, Illinois, to KAEX.
The takeoff, climb, cruise, and descent portions of the flight were uneventful. The first officer was the pilot flying for the visual approach and landing on runway 14 at KAEX. Examination of the flight data recorder (FDR) data showed that the airspeed, attitude, and descent rate for the landing were similar to previous landings. After landing, the right main landing gear (RMLG) cylinder fractured and collapsed aft and the airplane settled onto the right wing and flaps. The crew was able to stop the airplane on the runway about 7,000 feet from the approach end and called for an emergency evacuation due to a suspected fire on the right wing.
The flight attendants opened the two forward and two aft doors for the evacuation. The escape slide at the left forward door (L1) did not deploy or inflate for the evacuation due to the depletion of the gas charge in the reservoir. The reservoir depleted due to a leak in the valve assembly and was not caught during multiple inspections since installation of the slide assembly in the airplane. The landing gear cylinder fractured under normal landing loads due to the presence of a fatigue crack on the forward side of the cylinder in an area subject to an AD inspection for cracks. The most recent AD inspection of the cylinder was performed 218 landings prior when the fatigue crack was large enough to be detectable. A previous AD inspection performed 497 landings prior to the accident also did not detect the crack that would have been marginally detectable at the time.
The passengers and crew evacuated the airplane using the three doors with inflated slides. There were no injuries reported by the passengers or crew during the evacuation.
To watch the video click….HERE
A color guard from the St. Tammany Composite Squadron includes, from left, Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Edward Braithwaite (behind the flag); Cadet Maj. Sebastian Miskimmin; Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Lillian Pittman; and Cadet Master Sgt. Aimee Calvert
PHOTO PROVIDED BY ANNE CALVERT
Family and friends gathered at the Metairie Cemetery on Memorial Day to remember Civil Air Patrol’s 1st Lt. Frederick S. “Freddy” Englert, a pilot during World War II who lost his life while on a simulated bombing mission for the U.S. Army during the war. At the ceremony, CAP’s Louisiana Wing was honored to posthumously award Englert a Congressional Gold Medal.
Members and cadets of CAP’s St. Tammany Composite Squadron presented the colors, while retired Air Force Master Sgt. James LaChute presided. The invocation was offered by CAP Maj. Frontis Ergle; retired Air Force Col. Gordon Greaney described Englert’s heroic actions as a CAP pilot; and a memorial plaque was unveiled that will be permanently attached to the headstone.
Englert was stationed at Coastal Patrol Base 9 on Grand Isle in the 1940s where he flew missions with the Civil Air Patrol searching for German U-boats and locating the survivors of U-boat attacks. Members of this coastal base were called the "Fighting Nine," and they were experienced at spotting injured crews and passengers of torpedoed ships clinging for life in the unpredictable waters of the Gulf.
More than 2,000 volunteers made up the CAP during World War II, including pilots, mechanics, doctors, homemakers and clerks who gave freely of their time and resources. They used their own planes, tools, and radios and donated spare parts to keep everything running.
In total, CAP Coastal Patrol aircrews spotted U-boats 173 times and made 57 attacks on them. They reported 91 ships in distress and 363 survivors of U-boat attacks. Twenty-six CAP volunteers lost their lives and ninety Coastal Patrol aircraft were lost.
The medal awarded Englert was designed and struck by the U.S. Mint and has been awarded collectively to members of Civil Air Patrol who served in World War II. It recognizes the humanitarian, combat, and national services CAP members gave during a critical time in the nation's history.
Englert was born in Mississippi City, moved to New Orleans at the age of 10 and was a member of CAP when it began operations at Coastal Patrol Base 9.
The Red, White & Blue Airshow took place on June 17-18 at the Monroe Regional Airport. The attendance was very good considering the record heat that was taking place that weekend. There was a wide variety of outstanding performers as you can see from the photos below. Hopefully a lot of money was raised for the Chennault Aviation and Military Museum and the Southern Heritage Air Foundation.
All of these beautiful photos were done by Nick Butler.
The U.S. Army Parachute Team - The Golden Knights.
Sam Graves in the P-40, Dan Fordice in the P-51, Frank Kimmel in the Corsair.
Robby Grice in his Stearman.
USAF F-16 Viper Demo Team
Stephen Covington in his Raptor Pitts
Kevin Coleman in his Red Bull Extra.
Ken Pietsch in his Interstate Cadet
The Aeroshell Aerobatic Team
To read an Flying Magazine interview with Louisiana Aviation Legend Corkey Fornof click….HERE.
C/Airman Ayden Martin assists with marshalling planes at Rockin’ on the Runway.
Photo by: C/Senior Master Sgt. Brantsen Gill, CAP.
By: 2nd Lt. Tracy Jordan, CAP
Lake Charles, La., June 15 – Cadets from Civil Air Patrol’s Lake Charles Composite Squadron recently served at the “Rockin’ on the Runway” charity airshow in Sunset, La.
Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Abby Rougeau, Cadet Senior Airman Allyssa Rougeau, Cadet Airman Izaiah Pellerin, and Cadet Airman Malachi Pellerin served as color guard. Cadet Senior Master Sergeant Brantsen Gill, Cadet Airman Eli Pellerin, and Cadet Airman Ayden Martin performed marshalling duties using visual cues to lead aircraft to their parking locations. The cadets also assisted with crowd control.
“Rockin' on the Runway” was created to raise funds and awareness for special needs children and young adults residing at St. Mary's Residential Training School in Alexandria, La. Over 200 Louisiana children and young adults with developmental disabilities live and attend classes at that School.
In addition to the air show, the event included a car show, food vendors, and live music.
Established in 1941, Civil Air Patrol is the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force and as such is a member of its Total Force. In its auxiliary role, CAP operates a fleet of 555 single-engine aircraft and 2,250 small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) and performs about 90% of all search and rescue operations within the contiguous United States as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center. Often using innovative cellphone forensics and radar analysis software, CAP was credited by the AFRCC with saving 108 lives last year. CAP’s 56,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. As a nonprofit organization, CAP plays a leading role in aerospace education using national academic standards-based STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education resources. Members also serve as mentors to over 23,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs.
The Big Easy Wing of the Commemorative Air Force held a hot, busy, fun Father's Day Weekend Open House this past weekend at the Lakefront Airport. Pilot Mike Scott gave a number of folks a beautiful open cockpit experience over the Crescent City in the wing’s Stearman. Passengers included some dads, military guys and even a 91 year old man and an adventurous 93 year old lady. She loved it!!! There were several other activities and displays in the hangar for the young and old to enjoy as you can see in the photos.
Thanks to all of the wing members who worked so hard on a very hot weekend to share aviation with the folks who came out to the event.
For more info on joining the Big Easy Wing and to book a ride in their Stearman click:
In the second round of the 2022 Airport Improvement Program (AIP) awards, the FAA awarded $518?million to build safer, more accessible airports across the country. This includes 416 grants to airports across the U.S. to fund a variety of projects such as the construction of new and improved airport facilities, repairs to runways and taxiways, maintenance of airfield elements like lighting or signage, and purchasing equipment needed to operate and maintain airports.
The FAA has awarded a total of $1.1 billion of the $3.2 billion total funding available in Fiscal Year 2022. A complete listing of grants is on the FAA website. You can also view an interactive map here with all the awards.
Here are the grants that were announced for Louisiana Airports:
Congratulations to Pat Donahue for receiving the FAA Wright Brother’s “Master Pilot” Award on June 10, at the Bogalusa AIrport. It was presented by BTR FSDO Manager Rick Ebert. Also in attendance was FAASTeam Manager MIchael Hall as well as family and friends. Pat is the 76th pilot to receive this award in Louisiana.
The Wright Brother’s “Master Pilot” Award is the most prestigious award the FAA issues to pilots certified under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 61. This award is named after the Wright brothers, the first US pilots, to recognize individuals who have exhibited professionalism, skill, and aviation expertise for at least 50 years while piloting aircraft as “Master Pilots”. A distinctive certificate and lapel pin, and the airman’s Blue Ribbon package is issued after application review and eligibility requirements have been met. Upon request, a stickpin similar in design to the lapel pin is also provided to the award recipient’s spouse in recognition of his or her support to the recipient’s aviation career. Once the award has been issued, the recipient’s name, city and state will be added to a published “Roll of Honor” which you can see by clicking HERE .
Photo By Ferdara Mark Broussard- Hubbard
Another Rockin' On The Runway is in the books! This year ran even smoother than I could have imagined. That is in no small part due to the AMAZING volunteers we had supporting us during our planning throughout the year, 4 day set up, & two day event. Each year we will continue to learn & grow from our experiences. I am so very proud of what we all accomplished together!
Also, shout out to our INCREDIBLE sponsors. We had many repeat supporters & so many new! Thanks to you, we exceeded our sponsorship numbers from last year. Our event would NOT be possible without your selflessness & continued support.
I am so humbled, grateful, & excited to be a part of the growth & success of Rockin' On The Runway. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!
Want to learn more about Rockin' On The Runway & why we do what we do? I'd love to chat with you! You can also find us @rotrla or www.rotr-la.com
Taylor Chauvin Elliott
To see more photos from Photographer Ferdara Mark Broussard-Hubbard on Facebook click….HERE
To see more photos by Photographer Joe Richard on Facebook click….
To read the June Newsletter of the Big Easy WIng of the Commemorative Air Force click….HERE.
Lafayette Regional Airport Executive Lafayette Regional Airport Executive Director Elected to the South Central Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives
Lafayette Regional Airport (LFT) Executive Director Steven Picou, A.A.E., was recently elected as Secretary/Treasurer of the South Central Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives (SCCAAAE). The chapter election was held at its annual meeting, which took place in Corpus Christi, Texas, at this year’s conference. Twelve officers and board members were elected to the SCCAAAE for 2022-2023.
Picou has served as the Executive Director of Aviation for LFT since 2015. He holds a degree in Professional Aviation from Louisiana Tech University and is a commercial/instrument rated pilot. He is an accredited member of the American Association of Airport Executives.
In a career spanning over 25 years, Picou has held key leadership positions in the aviation industry that include oversight of airport facilities and operations, management of construction projects and more. He also supervised the construction of the landmark new LFT Terminal Project, which began in November 2018 and was completed in January of this year.
The South Central Chapter of AAAE is a professional association comprised of individuals and businesses involved in the management of airports in the midwest, southwest, southern regions of the United States and Central America.
June 1, 2022 - Each year, Acadian Ambulance recognizes its exceptional paramedics and EMTs for their tireless work ethic and dedication. From across the company’s four-state service area, 32 paramedic and EMT finalists were nominated by their peers for displaying exemplary attitudes and providing excellent patient care. The top winners are selected by a company-wide committee.
Acadian Ambulance is honoring the medics at a celebration held in Lafayette on Thursday, June 2.
Paramedic Jacob Musumeche represents Acadian Air Med and was a finalist for the top honors.
Musumeche is a native of New Iberia. He has been with Acadian since 2001, starting as an EMT with Acadian Ambulance. He earned his paramedic certification in 2003 and joined Acadian Air Med in 2014. He currently works out of Lafayette.
Musumeche has been a huge asset to the Air Med team, taking pride in both his work and in striving to make the program better. He helps precept new employees and is involved with the Air Med Safety Committee.
“While those are accomplishments unto themselves, Jacob’s actions during the pandemic is what helps set him apart from his peers,” says Program Director Marc Creswell. Musumeche has assisted with both Acadian and Safety Management Systems COVID response assignments over the past two years.
Musumeche’s flight partner says, “Jacob always shows up to work with a positive attitude and treats all his patients with care and compassion. He makes us laugh often.”
Acadian Air Med was founded in 1981 and currently operates a fleet of 12 medically configured helicopters and four fixed-wing aircraft from bases strategically located throughout Louisiana. It is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems, the gold standard for air ambulance services in the United States.
To view all of Acadian’s regional paramedics and EMTs of the year click: HERE
Lafayette Regional Airport and Executive Director Recognized at SCCAAAE Conference
Lafayette Regional Airport (LFT) and Executive Director Steven Picou, A.A.E., were recently recognized at the South Central Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives (SCCAAAE) conference in Corpus Christi, Texas. Picou received the Airport Project Award for the New LFT Terminal and the Commercial Service Airport Award on behalf of LFT.
Picou has served as the Executive Director of Aviation for LFT since 2015. He holds a degree in Professional Aviation from Louisiana Tech University and is a commercial/instrument rated pilot. He is also an accredited member of the American Association of Airport Executives.
In a career spanning over 25 years, he has held key leadership positions in the aviation industry that include oversight of airport facilities and operations, management of construction projects and more. Picou also supervised the construction of the landmark new LFT Terminal Project, which began in November 2018 and was completed in January of this year.
The South Central Chapter of AAAE is a professional association comprised of individuals and businesses involved in the management of airports in the midwest, southwest, southern regions of the United States and Central America.
The pilot of a plane that crashed in Lafayette and killed five of the six people aboard in December 2019 became spatially disoriented and lost control of the plane, the National Transportation Safety Board concluded in its final report.
The small passenger plane was bound for Atlanta to watch the Louisiana State University football team play a semifinal game in the Peach Bowl when it crashed on Dec. 28, 2019, shortly after taking off from Lafayette Regional Airport.
To read the full NTSB Report click: HERE
To read the full article from The Daily Advertiser click: HERE
I competed in the 1-26 Glider Championships in Chilhowee, TN. The weather was a challenge. Lots of blue sky days so it is hard to find the thermals with no clouds. I had a battery failure and backup battery for the vario died. My handheld was near dead and I had to return to base. I landed and got the brand new battery that failed out the case. Then I took an old K2 lithium battery and hooked to to an extension chord and put a car charger on it for hours. The former dead battery took the charge and did not blow up. I put it in and it got me to 15 th place and I got a task and some points. I had a relight when I went to the ridge and that did not work. Landed and took off again asap. I got off. Got to a thermal and soared like a homesick angel to 3500 ft. I was racing and knew I could follow a line of invisible thermals. I hit a boomer and got to 5000 ft. Then it went from 3 knots to 1 knot and I got impatient. Mistake. I left and should have had another 1000 ft but I hoped to dolphin to the first and second task. Almost made it. Went over an area with all tall trees and no farmland or pasture. Held on and I landed out in Cleveland, TN. Hit my SPOT device and called retrieve center. I was told no one was available for a tow out or to drive my RoadTrek and trailer. I waited for Judith's grandson and girlfriend, who she graciously loaned to me, to get me back. The roads were so steep going back to Chilhowee Google sent me on, we almost did not make it up a huge steep hill! I had the pedal to the metal and just made it! It was like a rollercoaster up and down that hill. Then the turns were 270 degrees and we had to pass on some but made one of them with no room to spare. I learned a lot and finally got the technique to thermal in weak thermals in a 1-26 and how to work blue skies. I did more relights than anyone there . I can say I tried my best every day and one day did 6 relights. Can't wait until next year at Ceasar's Creek! I do need a crew though. Doing this all by yourself is too much and getting back may take all day for a ride back. - Glenn McGovern
To read the May Newsletter of the Big Easy Wing of the Commemorative Air Force click….HERE
Yesterday marks a historic day for U.S. Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans as they received their first of three MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters, the other two expected by July of this year.
The arrival included an overflight of downtown New Orleans by Cmdr. Keith Blair, Air Station New Orleans commanding officer to mark the historic occasion.
The addition of the MH-60s are a part of a Coast Guard rotary wing service life extension program and initiative to expand the capabilities of the Coast Guard Eighth District. The MH-60 Jayhawk is a multi-mission, medium-range helicopter used for search and rescue, law enforcement, military readiness and marine environmental protection missions.
Chennault International Airport was at the MRO Americas conference this week, keeping Chennault front-of-mind for the nation’s maintenance, repair and overhaul enterprises. Chennault is an emerging U.S. hub for world-class MRO work.
While making rounds at the MRO Americas trade show, Executive Director Kevin Melton visits with the Liberty University aircraft maintenance training program (below), which is competing in the maintenance competition here. He offered Chennault’s support and willingness to connect them with major airlines and other maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) organizations, such as Citadel Completions.
Pictured left to right: Kailyn Viney; Col. James Viney, new commander of CAP’s Louisiana Wing; and Regina Viney.
Photo by 2nd Lt. Tracy Jordan
By: 2nd Lt. Tracy Jordan, CAP
Alexandria, La., April 13 – Lake Charles native James Viney was officially promoted to Colonel and sworn in as Commander of Civil Air Patrol’s Louisiana Wing at that organization’s annual banquet on Saturday, April 9, 2022.
Col. Viney retired from the Lake Charles Police Department after serving for that organization for 30 years. Currently, he is an instructor at the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office Regional Training Academy.
Col. Viney joined Civil Air Patrol as a cadet in the 70’s, later becoming a senior member. He served in multiple positions, including Commander of the Lake Charles Composite Squadron and Vice Commander of the Louisiana Wing.
He was sworn in by Colonel David Roberts, Vice Commander of CAP’s Southwest Region.
Col. Viney’s wife, Regina Viney, and granddaughter, Kailyn Viney, pinned on his new rank epaulets. Cadet Senior Airman Samantha Jordan, a member of the Lake Charles Composite Squadron, served as flag bearer for the ceremony.
Col. Viney says that he will call upon his past experiences in CAP and his professional career to do this job to the best of his ability, making Louisiana Wing the gold standard to which all other wings can aspire.
Pictured left to right: Col. David Roberts, Vice Commander of CAP’s Southwest Region; C/SrA Samantha Jordan; and Col. James Viney, new commander of CAP’s Louisiana Wing.
Photo by 2nd Lt. Tracy Jordan
By: 2nd Lt. Tracy Jordan, CAP
Alexandria, La. - Cadets from Civil Air Patrol’s Lake Charles Composite Squadron attended the Louisiana Wing Conference in Alexandria on Saturday, April 9, 2022. They attended various instructional sessions and participated in several social events.
The conference culminated in a formal banquet where the cadets received several awards for their squadron. They also witnessed the swearing in of Lake Charles native Colonel James Viney as the new Louisiana Wing commander. Cadet Senior Airman Samantha Jordan was honored by being selected to serve as flag bearer for the Change of Command ceremony.
Awards received by Lake Charles Composite Squadron included the Quality Cadet Unit Award for years 2020 and 2021 and the Aerospace Education Achievement Award for 2021.
Squadron senior members 1st Lt. Ryan Nelson and 2nd Lt. Tracy Jordan received honors for completing professional development levels. Jordan also received the Louisiana Wing Public Affairs Officer of the Year award for 2021 and a Commander’s Commendation. Another Commander’s Commendation was awarded to 2nd Lt. Robert Lequeux.
Nelson was honored during a Commander’s Call on Sunday for outstanding assistance and support as a qualified inspector for the wing’s Subordinate Unit Inspection Program.
To read the Spring Pilots For Patients Newsletter click….HERE
April 7, 2022-- Acadian Air Med has promoted Sherri Wells to its Operations Manager position. She was most recently the division’s operations supervisor.
As the Operations Manager, Wells will work closely with Vice President of Air Services Michael Sonnier and Program Director Marc Creswell. She is responsible for coordinating the efforts of the command team of Acadian Air Med, Air Med Operational Control, and Metro Aviation operations and maintenance to ensure that Air Med is ready to respond when needed. She also coordinates all accreditation activities, customer relations and tactical growth of the division.
Wells joined Acadian Ambulance in 1997 as an EMT in Hammond, LA. She became a paramedic in 2001 and joined Acadian Air Med in 2005. She has been involved in many aspects of the company, including ground operations, education, public relations and air operations.
“Sherri is an integral asset to our Air Med operations. She has a deep understanding of the program and is committed to connecting with our crew members and staff who are located statewide. I look forward to seeing the program grow under her leadership,” said Michael Sonnier.
Wells attended LSU-Eunice and received her Associate Degree in Emergency Medical Services with a Certificate of Technical Studies in Safety. She has been recognized as Acadian Air Med’s Paramedic of the Year in 2013 and 2018.
Acadian Air Med was founded in 1981 and currently operates a fleet of 12 medically configured helicopters and four fixed-wing aircraft from bases strategically located throughout Louisiana. It is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems, the gold standard for air ambulance services in the United States.
To read the April Newsletter of the BIg Easy Wing of the Commemorative Air Force click HERE.
To read the April Newsletter of the Chennault Aviation and Military Museum click HERE.
Metro Aviation and Piasecki Aircraft were pleased to announce today their signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to work together to further develop Piasecki’s upcoming PA-890 Pathfinder Electric helicopter, with its revolutionary Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric propulsion system. The Pathfinder will be a seven-passenger, two hundred nautical mile compound helicopter. The Hydrogen Electric system, developed by Piasecki with its partner HyPoint, has a projected energy density that is five times that of today’s Lithium batteries. It will provide carbon-free vertical flight suitable to a wide range of applications, particularly Emergency Medical Services. In addition to the fuel cell, the Pathfinder will feature a unique Piasecki-patented compound configuration, featuring an articulating wing and swiveling tail rotor, to maximize the helicopter’s efficiency in cruise flight, offering quantifiable reductions in noise and vibration. The result will be a helicopter ideally suited for various mission profiles including EMS, law enforcement, corporate, airline, and cargo carriage, with direct operating costs 40% to 60% lower than today’s gas turbine-powered helicopters, all with no carbon emissions.
John Piasecki, CEO of Piasecki Aircraft, was enthusiastic about the new partnership: “Piasecki Aircraft is thrilled to be working with Metro Aviation to bring the voice of the customer to our design as it matures. Metro offers us huge breadth and expertise in the technological advances of improving safe helicopter operations. They have also helped us understand the viewpoint of a very successful completion, repair, and overhaul facility, as well as one of the world’s most advanced helicopter flight training centers. The background and depth Metro offers us during Pathfinder development – in all facets of the helicopter community – will be invaluable to us and our customers.”
Mike Stanberry, CEO of Metro Aviation, added, “Piasecki Aircraft’s legacy of innovation speaks for itself, and we are excited to work with them as they develop and commercialize this exciting new technology. The Pathfinder is a transformative and credible step forward for vertical lift aviation. We look forward to a long-term partnership with Piasecki, sharing our expertise in helicopter completions, flight operations, maintenance, training, and support to help make the Pathfinder a truly transformational product for our industry and customers. Metro has always been a leader in bringing new technology and innovation to the industry. This step to bring affordable, carbon-free, quieter technology to the world of helicopters is timely and exciting. We’re glad to be a part of it.”
A small plane crashed Tuesday afternoon at Slidell Municipal Airport, but the two people aboard, an instructor and student, suffered only minor injuries, officials said.
The plane, a twin-engine Piper Seneca, is owned by Air Reldan Inc., a pilot training school and charter flight business that operates in New Orleans and Slidell. Owner Neil Nadler said the company has been operating from Slidell Airport for about three years.
Neil said the crash occurred on an instructional flight, and both the instructor and the student are commercially rated pilots. While it's not completely clear what happened, Nadler said it appears that the plane was landing.
"The instructional pilot did what he needed to do to keep everyone safe," he said.
Flight records show the twin-engine plane took off at 1:19 p.m. and crashed about an hour later.
Metro Aviation began in 1982 as a helicopter charter, flight training, and maintenance operation. Today, it is the largest traditional air medical operator and largest air medical completion center in the world, operating 155 aircraft for 39 programs across the United States. This year, the company commemorates its 40th anniversary by celebrating its rich history and tradition, focusing on bringing that tradition into the future.
“It’s unbelievable to be celebrating such a milestone this year, and I attribute our success to our employees,” said Metro Aviation President and CEO Mike Stanberry. “As a family-owned and family-oriented company who puts its employees and customers FIRST, we’ve been able to make great strides in safety and innovative technologies, unbound by constraints of shareholders or board members.”
Echoing his father’s sentiments, Metro co-owner and Director of Business Integration, Todd Stanberry added, “Metro is truly an industry disruptor. We are not afraid to challenge the status quo, and we are really proud to have such an amazing family of employees and customers who not only share that vision, but partner with us to continually fulfill it.”
Metro Aviation’s tradition is lined with stories of quality, customer service, and an uncompromising commitment to safety, a standard that radiates throughout the company and is evidenced by many of Metro’s industry-first achievements. Metro was the first air medical operator to equip its entire fleet with Night Vision Goggles (NVGs). In 2014, it was one of only three organizations to achieve Level IV of the FAA’s voluntary Safety Management System Pilot Project for Part 135 operators. Metro also may have been the first to utilize video recording in the cockpit, first rigged up in the 90s by Managing Director Milton Geltz with a camera from the local audiovisual store.
“I was just a kid when I came to work at Metro, and I have been blessed to be a part of this incredible journey,” said Metro COO Kenny Morrow. “I have received an invaluable education from Mike, Milton, and our CFO since 1986, Jerry Segura. As we look forward to the next forty years, we are committed to maintaining the traditional values that got us here – innovation, dedication to employees and customers, and an unrelenting drive to do the right thing all the time.”
Aside from its completions and operations business, Metro is also the parent company to PAC International and the Helicopter Flight Training Center. Metro first acquired Pennsylvania-based PAC ten years ago, realizing the company’s rich tradition dating back to 1976. PAC completes numerous aircraft for organizations across the country and serves as a completion center for Metro customers in the Northeast. In 2012, Metro opened the Helicopter Flight Training Center, catering to pilots, mechanics, and communication specialists. Together, the Metro Companies create a well-rounded brand to meet the needs of the helicopter community
Looking forward to the future, Metro Aviation is continuing to invest in safety initiatives and completion capabilities. The company welcomed three new operations customers in 2021, and its completion center is on track to complete nearly 35 aircraft in 2022.
Some members of KAPS community gather for a picture at the recent Wings and Wheels Fly-in with outgoing Airport Director Lisa Braud. She retires at the end of the month after having worked 30 years with the Port.
They hate to see Lisa go but also wish her a long and happy retirement. She has worked very hard to support and grow the airport community and she will definitely be missed.
It was a fun day at the Port of South Louisiana Airport on Saturday for the Wings and Wheels Fly-in. Thirteen planes and 18 classic vehicles participated in the event. People’s Choice Awards went to Tom Van Waardenburg with his 1948 North American Navion and to Rance and Karen Rayes with his 1957 Chevy Belair. Thanks to all who came out to enjoy the day.
To see more photos on Facebook click… HERE
Aeronca 7CCM Champion, N555EK: Accident occurred March 04, 2022 at Winnsboro Municipal Airport (F89), Franklin Parish, Louisiana
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Aircraft departed, veered right and struck a tree.
Franklin Parish Sheriff's Office -
Sheriff Kevin Cobb reports that at approximately 1012 hrs the Franklin Parish Sheriff's Office received a 911 call reporting an airplane crash at the Winnsboro Municipal Airport.
Two male occupants were transported to the Franklin Medical Center for medical treatment.
At this time the crash is under investigation by the Franklin Parish Sheriff's Office and has been reported to the National Transportation Safety Board for further investigation.
Sheriff Cobb stated, "I am thankful both occupants were communicating to us after the accident and that those in the residential area were not impacted."
To read the March Newsletter of the Big Easy Wing of the Commemorative Air Force click HERE.
The Kopter SH09 single-engine helicopter that was to be built in Lafayette.
The company that had planned to employ 125 at the building that once housed Bell Helicopter in Lafayette has changed plans and terminated its lease on the building.
In a letter last year to members of the Lafayette Airport Commission, officials with Kopter AG Group offered to buy out the remainder of the lease that was set to end late next year on the 84,700-square-foot building near the Lafayette Regional Airport and not move forward on its plans to manufacture a new prototype at the building.
The company cited the COVID-19 pandemic and the collapse of the oil and gas industry in the Gulf of Mexico as reasons for the change in plans.
“Despite all these obstacles, Kopter (and Leonardo) made a careful examination of how we could potentially draw from other ongoing business endeavors and integrate them into the benefits and advantages offered by the facility at the Lafayette airport,” the letter read.
“We found ourselves having the keys to an excellent new specialized facility that we would not be able to integrate into any of our business plans for better part of the next five years.”
A statement Friday from a Kopter spokesperson indicated the move was “primarily driven by Kopter’s integration strategy within Leonardo.” The company will move operations to Leonardo’s operations in Philadelphia, “which already benefits from full commercial, training, support and engineering capabilities for other Leonardo products."
Kopter offered a payment of $687,686.04 to buy out the remainder of the lease, the letter stated. Termination documents filed in late September show the company was to pay $760,000 that was owed for the remainder of the primary term along with $15,672 for cost of repairs, documents show.The Swiss helicopter manufacturer moved into the building with lots of fanfare in 2019, announcing it would “conquer the market here in the United States from right here in Lafayette.” It selected the Lafayette site over 38 other cities for its production and product support center and planned to employ about 120 people at an average salary of about $55,000.
Lafayette was going to be the site where Kopter would build the SH09 single-engine helicopter along with a site in Switzerland, according to one industry magazine. By March of last year the Lafayette site was already in question because of Leonardo’s substantial U.S. headquarters in Philadelphia.The company planned to make a $4.2 million capital investment in new equipment and building additions at the Lafayette site.The company’s incentive package from the state of Louisiana included performance-based grants: one of $1.2 million for facility modifications, payable at $200,000 in 2019 and $1 million in 2020; and one of $1.3 million for lease support, payable in five annual installments from 2020 through 2024.Both the state and the Lafayette Economic Development Authority has since marketed the facility to potential clients, LEDA president and CEO Mandi Mitchell said. The site has been toured by prospective tenants, and Mitchell and LEDA’s director of business attraction have met with site selectors at the annual Site Selectors Guild Conference this week in San Diego.LEDA will also reach out to an annual helicopter trade show next week in Dallas.“Aviation has a long history in the region,” Mitchell said. “We are committed to growing aviation manufacturing and the MRO (maintenance, repair and operations) sector in Lafayette Parish with the LFT facility as a nexus point.”
Tuckahoe Farms subdivision in Pass Christian, MS, is now selling homesites. It is located on a 3500’-100’ grass strip called Addison-Henley Field (0MS7), There are 14 lots available on the runway and 12 lots available on the water ski lake. Contact Jay Knowles 228-669-3244.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/tuckahoefarms/
From Flying Magazine
McCutcheon Field Airport hasn’t had an aircraft associated with it in 30 years, but 20-something Ryan McCutcheon is trying to change that.
Toler and Mary Jo McCutcheon on the airstrip, either right after completion or when it was in the final stages, with a PA-12 Super Cruiser behind them. [Courtesy: McCutcheon family]
To look at this grass airstrip in East Central Louisiana, you wouldn’t know it was much at all, but Ryan McCutcheon is trying to change that.
This piece of property has been passed down through generations of the McCutcheon family Several members of the family have learned to fly there. The runway, notated on sectionals as LA83, was the vision of Sidney McCutcheon, a Louisiana native farmer, rancher, and businessman.
Ryan, Sidney’s great grandson, who plans to soon begin flight training, has recently taken an increased interest in the legacy flying field known as McCutcheon Field Airport.
“My great grandfather built this 2,300-foot airstrip in the late ’40s for my grandpa and great aunt,” Ryan said. “Over the years, many people, including my dad, have flown from this airstrip, and hopefully I myself will one day soon as well.
“We’ve spent the last few months getting it back in shape and have plans for some bigger projects this spring.”
WE WELCOME BEACON AVIATION TO THE FIELD!!
Beacon Aviation Maintenance is pleased to announce that we are now offering aircraft maintenance services at the Port of South Louisiana Executive Airport (KAPS). Beacon Aviation Maintenance is a full-service workshop that provides quality and reliable maintenance support for a wide variety of piston and turbine engine aircraft. Additionally, our FAA-licensed technicians are Factory Certified to service the King Air 350/350, Citation 525, and Williams FJ33/44 turbofan jet engines.
Beacon Aviation Maintenance can handle all of your aircraft maintenance and repair needs. Typical services that we provide include;
• Scheduled and Unscheduled Maintenance
• FAA Certified Annual/100 Hour Inspection
• Structural Repair and/or Replacement
• Pre-buy Inspection
• Parts Support
For any questions and/or to receive a quote for services, please reach out to our Chief Mechanic, Jaime Hollis, at 985-981-0808 or email us at email@example.com.
Port of South Louisiana Executive Airport (KAPS)
355 Airport Road
Winnsboro Municipal Airport (F89)
1004 Airport Drive
What a year 2021 was for our team! After a brief break, we started to prepare for an even crazier 2022. First item of business was to start the New Year with all planes fully Red Bull branded.
Our team's first trip of the year was in Fayetteville, Arkansas to assemble the newly branded Extra 300L. Which is ready just in time for our upcoming Paper Wings activation with Red Bull.
The Extra 300SHP is currently undergoing paint and will be ready for our first Air Show in March.
To read the January, 2022 Newsletter of the Bayou State Escadrille of the Commemorative Air Force click HERE.
Team Announcement - Coleman Aerosports will join the AeroGP1 Category with pilot Kevin Coleman in the first season of the World Championship Air Race in 2022.
Kevin is an American airshow and advanced aerobatic pilot who joined the Red Bull Air Race as the first American Challenger pilot in 2016, taking four consecutive race podiums and finishing third in his debut season. Kevin started performing at airshows aged 17 with a goal to join the Air Racing circuit from a very young age.
Air Race World Championship has started announcing race locations to the public and will continue announcing locations in the next few weeks. The first race that has been announced is Indonesia.
In preparation for the upcoming season, our team has been diligently working on the race plane to ensure we are well equipped for round one. In the past month, we have continued testing with new mods while running data to help strategize on how to maximize the performance.
Our shipping date is quickly approaching so we will have a few more test days on the calendar before the plane crosses the pond for our first race.
AOPA visited Gerald Herbert at his hangar last month at the Port of South Louisiana Executive Regional Airport, and did a little Southern Louisiana travel piece. It starts around 17:45 into this edition of AOPA Live. To watch click….. HERE
La. Guard’s Air Traffic Control Squadron continues excellence
PINEVILLE, La. – The Louisiana Air National Guard’s 259th Air Traffic Control Squadron (ATCS) located at England Airpark, Alexandria, Louisiana, provides rapid deployment, operation and maintenance of air traffic control and landing systems to ensure safe, efficient flying operations in both deployed and non-deployed environments.
Since being commissioned by the Air Force on June 12, 1997, the 259th ATCS provides 24-hour air traffic control services and has proven to be an experienced asset to the Alexandria International Airport (AEX). The 259th stays ready to deploy stateside to protect the life and property of citizens of Louisiana during natural disasters and globally to provide tactical air traffic control services in support of U.S. national interests.
“It’s a great partnership with the England authority. They get skilled air traffic controllers 24/7, and this partnership provides our squadron a live airport, with good air traffic to train our air traffic controllers,” said Baton Rouge, La. Native, retired Lt. Col. Raymond C. Schindler II, 259th ATCS civilian air traffic control manager. “It keeps our air traffic controllers and our maintainers go-to-war ready.”
Bearing in mind that the 259th is subject to deployment at any time, the 259th ATCS has a built-in cadre of Department of Defense civilian controllers that are non-deployable but work for the Louisiana Air National Guard. Therefore, when the entire 259th ATCS is deployed, the Department of Defense Civilian controllers operate and run AEX.
To read the February, 2022 Big Easy Wing Newsletter click….HERE
The genesis of Lafayette Regional Airport came in 1929 when Lafayette city leaders began searching for land to place the city's new airstrip. Several prominent landowners offered to sell their property to the city for the airport.
City officials eventually chose land owned by J. A. Roy and Hugh Wallis located along the then-new Lafayette-Broussard Highway. At the time, the plot was located one mile away from Lafayette city limits. City officials purchased the 150-acre plot on December 27, 1929, for a price of $22,500 ($366,844.74 in 2021 dollars), with an option to purchase 50 additional acres for $150 per acre.
Read More: The History of Lafayette Regional Airport
Congratulations to Colonel Shirley Colomb. Shirley was nominated by her unit for her dedication and service to their wing for the past 5 years (2017). Colonel Colomb was nationally recognized for consistently displaying outstanding skills in her service to the Commemortavie Air Force. Thus, Colonel Shirley Colomb received the CAF Unit Service Award for 2021.
KILN, MISS. – U.S. Congressman Steven Palazzo and Gov. Tate Reeves joined local officials and industry representatives today at Stennis International Airport for a ribbon cutting ceremony at a new 24,000-square-foot hangar.
Known as the RESTORE Hangar, the state-of-the-art facility is adjacent to the main terminal and opens directly to the main ramp. It features a hangar door that is 154 feet wide and 28 feet high. The premier location includes utility rooms, restrooms and a foam fire suppression system.
“The new hangar at Stennis International Airport is an embodiment of the great investments that the RESTORE Act has brought to south Mississippi since it was passed by Congress in 2012. This bill was intended to revitalize our Gulf Coast communities, and through projects like this state-of-the-art hangar, it is doing just that. I’m proud to see a piece of legislation that I championed bringing so many new jobs to our home and that this community airport remains a premiere destination for aviation, military, and industry partners,” said Congressman Steven Palazzo.
“When it comes to RESTORE Act funds, my top priority will always be ensuring every penny meant for Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, goes to Mississippi’s Gulf Coast,” said Governor Tate Reeves. “The RESTORE Hangar will be an important part of our multilayered strategy to propel Mississippi’s economy to new heights. It highlights what we can achieve with effective partnerships at the federal, state, and local levels. I look forward to working with all of our partners to make sure Mississippi’s Gulf Coast remains a premier destination for the aviation and aerospace industries.”
The $5.24 million project was awarded to Drace Construction Corp., of Long Beach, in November 2019. It was funded in part by a $1.85 million RESTORE grant.
“Port and Harbor Commission is committed to being the cornerstone of Mississippi’s aviation industry,” CEO Bill Cotter. “Thanks to the support of federal, state and local partners, we invested over $5 million in this project to support business operations and continued growth.”
The new hangar is already leased by Tyonek Services Group, Inc., an aviation maintenance service provider with numerous public and private clients including the Department of Defense and Boeing.
The opening of the new terminal at Lafayette Regional Airport is finally just around the corner as officials announced today that the first flights will take off on Thursday, January 20.
The new terminal will be a significant improvement from the old one as it's twice the size and has nearly double the gates.
Officials say the old terminal will get decommissioned once the new one opens. Eventually, it will get demolished to make room for future expansion
Lafayette's new 120,000-square-foot terminal will officially open Thursday, but local and state officials celebrated the project's completion with a ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday.
The Lafayette Regional Airport terminal project, which cost around $150 million, has been about five years in the making. The terminal replaces the old terminal, which opened in 1930 and will be demolished for future expansion.
"What you're looking at...is a significant undertaking," Gov. John Bel Edwards said. "That's an investment in infrastructure that's going to improve quality of life, economic development opportunities, you name it."
Two people are presumed dead after a helicopter crashed Friday in a south Lafourche marsh, according to authorities.
Local authorities were notified of the crash before noon by a citizen who reported seeing the aircraft lose altitude and then saw a "big splash of mud," Lafourche Parish President Archie Chaisson said during a news conference Friday evening.
"It appears at this time that there are no survivors," Chaisson said.
The helicopter was occupied by a pilot and a passenger, he said.
Most of the helicopter is submerged in the marsh, just off the Pointe-aux-Chenes Reserve, he said.
RLC, the helicopter's owner, is working with local and federal agencies to recover the wreckage and find the bodies of the two presumed dead. Their bodies are assumed to be underneath the waterline, Chaisson said.
To read the January, 2022, newsletter of the Big Easy Wing of the Commemorative Air Force just click…..HERE
The Preliminary Accident Report for the December 14, 2021, Helicopter Accident near Laplace in which Pilot Joshua Hawley was killed has been issued by the NTSB. To read it click…..HERE
Paramedic John Fortner
People In Business: Acadian Ambulance honors Air Med flight paramedic of the year
December 22, 2021 — Each year, Acadian Ambulance recognizes its exceptional medics for their tireless work ethic and dedication. All finalists are known as outstanding paramedics and EMTs who display exemplary attitudes and provide excellent patient care, and are nominated by their peers. The top winners are selected by a company-wide committee.
Acadian Ambulance honored the medics and celebrated its 50th anniversary in a virtual event in November. The keynote address was presented by Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards.
Paramedic John Fortner represents Acadian Air Med and was a finalist for the top honors.
Fortner joined Acadian in 2011 as an EMT and has earned his paramedic, CCT paramedic and flight paramedic certifications over the years. He works on AM6 out of Hammond and recently accepted a role as an Associate Quality Supervisor. He is also enrolled in a Registered Nurse program with a goal of working as a flight RN with Air Med. Fortner is a great patient advocate, an excellent clinician and an outstanding field training officer.
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The Blue Angels made a landing in Belle Chasse ahead of the anticipated return of the New Orleans Air Show in March 2022.
It was foggy early Friday at Naval Air Station/Joint Reserve Base New Orleans, but it cleared just in time for Lieutenant Katlin Forster to make a landing.
“To me, it’s just like riding a crazy rollercoaster every day,” Forster said. “We all love coming to New Orleans.”
The show will take place in March 2022. Forster is a pilot and the event coordinator for the Blue Angels, so she came into town for preparation.
The Blue Angels will be the star of the show, but other exhibition teams include the Louisiana National Guard and local Navy squadron VFA 204.
“We show off the slow speed handling capabilities of the F18, some of those sneak passes are definitely still in the show, and really just showing off that precision flying that we at the Blue Angels are known for,” Forster said.
When the show last took place in 2017, NAS JRB New Orleans Spokesperson Andrew Thomas said there was an attendance of over 130,000 over two days.
Next year, Thomas said he’s expecting a big turnout.
“It’s just so amazing to be flying overhead, getting to tour the country, showing off the aircraft that I got to fly within the fleet,” Forster said. “Most of our team flew the F-18 Super Hornet, getting to show it off to the American public.”
The New Orleans Air Show will take place March 19-20, 2022. You can find out more here.
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) today announced Louisiana’s airports will receive $35,689,010 million in funding this year from his bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). This amount is in addition to Louisiana’s annual funding under the Airport Improvement Program because of the IIJA.
“This is just the beginning of the billions in resources coming to Louisiana and would not have happened without passing the bipartisan infrastructure bill,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Improving our airports is essential for our state to catch up, attract investment, and create opportunity.”
This additional funding only accounts for fiscal year 2022. Louisiana can expect to receive similar sums of funding for airport infrastructure from Cassidy’s infrastructure bill each year for the next four years. Local leaders and airports will decide which projects they ultimately fund with this additional funding.
To see Cassidy’s full video statement and how much your local airport will receive click…HERE
There wasn't much that Joshua Hawley couldn't do once he set his mind to it, according to his relatives.
The 13-year U.S. Marine Corps veteran was an Eagle Scout, a paramedic, a boat mechanic, an airplane mechanic, the family IT guy, an electrician, a husband and a devoted father to his three boys, ages 3, 4 and 7.
"He was about the smartest guy I've ever met," brother David Hawley, 40, said Wednesday.
Joshua Hawley, 42 of Denham Springs, also had a passion for flying. A helicopter pilot and instructor, his brother described him as a conscientious aviator who took safety very seriously.
That's why family members and colleagues were left stunned by the news that Hawley had been killed in a helicopter crash on the Bonnet Carre Spillway in St. Charles Parish Tuesday afternoon.
"He was well respected and a huge advocate of safety. They're all just flabbergasted," Hawley's cousin, Tiffany Patrick, 43, said after speaking with some of his fellow pilots.
The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration opened an investigation into the cause of Hawley's crash, which occurred about 12:30 p.m. on the Interstate 10 bridge over the Spillway.
Hawley was the only person aboard the Bell 407 helicopter, which was en route from Gonzales to the Lakefront Airport in New Orleans to pick up three passengers, according to authorities.
December 9, 2021-- Acadian Air Med, a division of Acadian Ambulance Service, is marking 40 years in operation in 2021. From its early days, Acadian Ambulance’s ground operations worked in tandem with air ambulances. In 1976, Acadian partnered with the U.S.’ Military Assistance to Safety and Traffic (MAST) helicopter ambulance program. The success of MAST led to the launch of Acadian Air Med, in 1981. The program’s first base was established in Lafayette, Louisiana. Today, Air Med operates bases across Louisiana and services much of the state and the Gulf of Mexico.
Establishing Acadian Air Med allowed Acadian to greatly reduce the response time to remote locations and to provide emergency medical response to injured workers offshore. Acadian Air Med is unique in the use of helicopters as a primary response vehicle, launching a helicopter to remote locations or to more serious injuries when specific criteria are met. As a result, they fly more first response medical air missions than any other ambulance service in the country.
In 1983, Acadian Air Med added fixed-wing aircraft to their fleet, allowing for long-distance transport of patients to the most appropriate facility for advanced care. The addition of that aircraft led to the founding of Executive Aircraft Charter Service in 1991.
“We've logged millions of miles in the sky and expanded our service area over the past 40 years, but our commitment to our patients and our communities has never changed,” said Acadian Vice President of Air Services Michael Sonnier.
Acadian Air Med received the Igor Sikorsky Humanitarian Award in 2006, presented by Helicopter Association International, in recognition of our response following Hurricane Katrina.
In 2019, Air Med earned accreditation from the prestigious Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS). The CAMTS accreditation standards address issues of patient care and safety in rotor wing services providing critical care transports. They are periodically revised to reflect the dynamic, changing environment of medical transport with considerable input from all disciplines of the medical profession and serve as a marker of excellence for federal, state and local governmental agencies, as well as private agencies and to the general public.
Acadian Ambulance Service is also accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS). That accreditation is achieved through maintaining the absolute highest standards in training, equipment, protocols and patient care.
Acadian is one of the few services in the nation to receive accreditation from both CAMTS and CAAS, the ambulance industry’s leading accreditation agencies.
Acadian Air Med was founded in 1981 and currently operates a fleet of 12 medically configured helicopters and four fixed-wing aircraft from bases strategically located throughout Louisiana. They are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems, the gold standard for air ambulance services in the United States.
Purdue University Global expands professional flight degree program with New Orleans Aerial Tours & Flight Training partnership
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University Global continues to make its popular professional flight program more easily accessible to students by partnering with regional flight schools. The latest joint venture is with New Orleans Aerial Tours & Flight Training (NOAT&FT).
“As we continue to grow our popular professional flight program, we aspire to find qualified partners throughout the country in order to better serve our students and keep their costs in check,” said Sara Sander, Purdue Global vice president and dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the School of Education. “New Orleans Aerial Tours & Flight Training provides another attractive option and comes with an impressive track record. We are pleased to join forces with them.”
Purdue Global also has regional flight training partnerships with Sterling Flight Training in Jacksonville, Florida, and Cincinnati-based Lunken Flight Training Center.
“New Orleans Aerial Tours & Flight Training has been working hard to find the right partner for a degree program, and we are thrilled to be affiliated with Purdue Global,” owner Krystal Hukmani said. “With the diverse airspace in New Orleans and the great weather that allows us to fly almost every day of the year, NOAT&FT and Purdue Global are perfect partners for a career in aviation to take off.”
Purdue Global’s professional flight degree program is a collaboration between Purdue Global and Purdue University’s School of Aviation and Transportation Technology – announced in 2019. It combines the quality of Purdue’s legendary aviation program spanning more than six decades with the flexibility and affordability that Purdue Global offers.
Students accepted into the program, with a private pilot certificate, will complete their Bachelor of Science degree courses online through Purdue Global, which includes aviation and general education classes, while completing professional flight training at one of the Purdue Global affiliate training centers across the country. During flight training, students will working to earn certificates and ratings in instrument, commercial, multi-engine and certified flight instructor.
Congressman Steve Scalise had the honor of presenting the Earhart Award to Cadet Captain Jackson Fogelman of Ponchatoula for his exceptional leadership skills and commitment to serving his community through the Civil Air Patrol! He plans to join the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve after graduating this year. Join me in applauding him for his dedication to our community, state, and country!
To read the December Newsletter of the Big Easy Wing of the Commemorative Air Force click HERE
To read the December edition of the Chennault Aviation and Military Museum click HERE
Two Louisiana aviation museums have been honored by voters in their area. First, the Chennault Aviation and Military Museum located on the Monroe Regional Airport has received these honors:
Second, the Southern Heritage Air Foundation located on the Vicksburg - Tallulah Regional received these accolades.
Congratulations to both of them on a job well done.
Kent Sibille Named as Acadian Companies Air Services Employee of the Year
December 2, 2021—At the Acadian Companies virtual annual meeting in November, Executive Aircraft Charter Service Director of Maintenance Kent Sibille was recognized as the Air Services 2021 employee of the year. He was presented with his award by Vice President of Air Services Michael Sonnier.
Sibille has been with Acadian since 2007 and has provided exceptional leadership to Executive Aircraft Charter Service. He brought 21 years of experience when he joined the company, and he provides a level of expertise that is unrivaled in the industry. Sibille comes to work every day with a can-do attitude and is always looking to make the maintenance processes better.
Sibille goes the extra mile to make sure the company’s aircraft are as safe and efficient as possible. He is known to go above and beyond his duties. It’s not uncommon for him to come in post-flight and troubleshoot a problem to keep the aircraft ready for its next flight, or answer his phone in the middle of night and come in to facilitate a medical flight request.
“Working with Kent for as long as I have, he makes you want to work harder,” Sonnier said. “Everyone who has been around Kent knows that there isn’t a more deserving candidate.”
Acadian Air Med was founded in 1981 and currently operates a fleet of 12 medically configured helicopters and four fixed-wing aircraft from bases strategically located throughout Louisiana. They are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems, the gold standard for air ambulance services in the United States.
Flight Team soars to Nationals after qualifying at Regionals
Nov 29, 2021
Louisiana Tech’s Precision Flight Team, a student organization that competes in National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) events, participated in its regional event in late October and performed well enough to qualify for the national competition at Ohio State University in May 2022.
The date is undetermined at this time; last year, the competition was not held.
The team either won or placed in the top three spots in several individual events and finished second and third in team events at the Regional held at Delta State in Cleveland, Mississippi.
“The Flight Team’s accomplishments are a result of student initiative and performance,” said Jon Pearson, an Assistant Professor in Tech’s Department of Aviation. “Students sign up, schedule, coordinate, and practice for competition. Credit for their performance belongs to them. As faculty advisor, I merely communicate with NIFA and the other schools.”
There are 22 members on the team. Because of limitations on how many can compete and expenses, 12 students made the trip to Regionals.
NIFA’s motto is “Safety through Education, Excellence through Competition.” The organization breaks its annual events into Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference (SAFECON) Regionals and the SAFECON National Championship. Louisiana Tech is part of Region IV, which consists of flight departments, colleges, and universities in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
At the regionals and nationals, students compete individually or in pairs, depending on the event. There are ground and flight events.
If you would like to make a contribution to help the team go to the nationals you can do so by clicking HERE
A B-25 in on site to be repainted at Chennault. Staff Photo from The Advocate
Big plans with a big runway: Historic Louisiana airport seeks to transform itself
LAKE CHARLES - It’s been a Cold War air base, a deserted strip used for drag races and driving lessons, and more recently a site for training flights and plane maintenance, including for Donald Trump’s jet.
Now there are hopes to turn it into a money-maker, or at least more of one.
Officials want to transform Chennault International Airport and its two-mile runway on the eastern edge of Lake Charles into an economic engine for the region. Jobs and revenue from the site would be a needed shot in the arm as southwest Louisiana rebuilds from last year’s hurricanes, though much work remains to allow the historic airport, itself damaged in the storms, to fulfill what its management team see as its potential.
“We focus everything that we do on, not what works for us today, but: What do we think is going to work five years, 10 years, 30 years down the road?” said airport director Kevin Melton, a retired Air Force colonel who has run Chennault since 2018. “That's what I care about, and that's what I focus on.”
Over 70 folks were spotted wobbling down the runway at the Port of South Louisiana Executive Regional Airport on Saturday, November 20. And it was all for the benefit of Pilots For Patients. Here are some pictures to tell the story of a wonderful day at the airport that raised over $10,000 for Pilots for Patients.
Thanks to all the sponsors (LaAviator.com was proud to be one of them) that helped make the event so successful as well as all of the volunteers tha cooked and worked that day. A special thanks goes out to Airport Director Lisa Braud who had the idea and was the key person to make the event a reality.
Here is the presentation of the “big check” by Lisa Braud to Pilots For Patients Founder Phillip Thomas.
You can find more pictures of the event on our Facebook page -