As Lawrence Brooks reached 111 years of age Saturday, birthday wishes poured in through the mail, from the sidewalk and even from the heavens: A squadron of World War II-era aircraft buzzed low, in formation, over his home in New Orleans Central City to celebrate the United States’ oldest known World War II veteran.
Brooks stood on his front porch, tipped back his head and watched the planes leaving four streams of exhaust behind them. He danced a little two-step to the Victory Belles, a trio of singers standing on his front sidewalk and performing the 1940s classic, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” sometimes called the Black national anthem.
Photo by Nola.com
It was an awesome gesture by the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team to come to New Orleans help celebrate Mr. Brooke’s birthday with the flyover. They not only did the flight but also drove to his house to present an autographed team photo as a birthday gift.
I also need to thank the Tom Gibbs of the National World War II Museum and the Gary Sinise Foundation for their major part in making this flyover and the entire Birthday Celebration happen.
The Aeroshell Team staged their flight at the Big Easy Wing hangar at the Lakefront Airport. Thanks to Wing Leader David Capo and all of the hardworking BEW members for their efforts to coordinate with the team and make everything work smoothly. The Big Easy Wing Stearman was also supposed to do a flyover but had to cancel due to the weather.
They also presented a Team Photo to the Big Easy Wing.
I was very fortunate to be able to go on the flyover in the back seat of the No. 4 slot aircraft. I’ve never flown that close to another aircraft much less been surrounded by three of them. Thanks so much to Aeroshell Pilot Jimmy Fordham for the invitation. It was an experience I will never forget.
For a few more photos of the flyover click HERE.
I also took a video during the flight and you can view it in the Lagniappe section later in this edition of the Louisiana Aviation News.
So Happy Birthday Mr. Brooks…… and thank you so much for your service! I hope you enjoyed your celebration.
BATON ROUGE, La. (Sept. 8, 2020) – The Louisiana Wing of Civil Air Patrol set out Monday on a new and unusual mission -- to help the coroner of storm-devastated Cameron Parish find caskets washed out of their above-ground vaults by Hurricane Laura’s surging floodwaters.
A wing aircrew took photographs showing the extent of damage to 26 cemeteries, then turned the images over to parish officials.
Patrick Hebert, a volunteer working under the direct supervision of the parish coroner, said airboats and marsh buggies will be used to retrieve the displaced caskets. “Most of the terrain is very difficult and dangerous to get through, and I think an aerial view makes the most sense,” said Hebert, who first contacted the Louisiana Wing for assistance.
“Although a little unusual, this mission is just the sort of thing we’re ready to take on,” said Lt. Col. Mickey Marchand, the wing’s Hurricane Laura incident commander.
The wing has been providing aerial images of the hurricane’s impact for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and local officials since Aug. 30.
Acting as a Total Force partner and the U.S. Air Force auxiliary, CAP is aligned with First Air Force to rapidly respond to nonmilitary threats domestically when tasked in a Defense Support of Civil Authorities capacity to save lives, relieve suffering, prevent property damage and provide humanitarian assistance.
Hurricane damage to this small church cemetery in Cameron Parish is visible in a Louisiana Wing damage assessment photo.
Hurricane Laura damaged several cemeteries in Cameron Parish, including this one shown in a Louisiana Wing damage assessment photo.
Lt. Col. Brian Capone, pilot, and Capt. Francis Guillory, system operator, run through a checklist before takeoff from Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport for a photo mission.
BATON ROUGE, La. (Sept. 6, 2020) – Civil Air Patrol’s ongoing mission to fly over and photograph the damage Hurricane Laura inflicted on Southwest Louisiana continues through the Labor Day weekend.
Four photography missions were launched Saturday and two on Sunday. Four involved the use of high-tech photo and navigation systems. The other two used conventional camera equipment.
Using the advanced systems mounted on their Cessna aircraft, Louisiana Wing aircrews flew specific patterns over areas defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Their photos will be used by FEMA analysts for that agency’s hurricane recovery activities.
Flying these patterns requires a two-member crew, a pilot and a system operator. The pilot controls direction and altitude while the operator focuses on managing navigation and the camera system. The flights frequently last several hours and require landing to refuel.
An incident management team of professionally trained Louisiana Wing members provides support for the photography flights. They are drawn from all corners of the state. Their actions are directed by an incident commander, whose staff consists of operations coordinators, planners, flight briefers, communicators, logisticians, administrators and general staff assistants.
Lt. Col. Mickey Marchand, an experienced Louisiana Wing incident commander, was in charge over the Labor Day weekend. “Our aircrews and staff have quickly assimilated the new photo technology and adjusted to the new flying techniques it demands,” Marchand said. “We’ve also handled the conventional aerial photography flights with ease. I’m proud of how well our staff and aircrews have performed.”
Acting as a Total Force partner and the U.S. Air Force auxiliary, CAP is aligned with First Air Force to rapidly respond to nonmilitary threats domestically when tasked in a Defense Support of Civil Authorities capacity to save lives, relieve suffering, prevent property damage and provide humanitarian assistance.
(From left) Second Lt. Susan Cox, Maj. Jimmy Cox and Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Jeremy Stevens operate the radios in the incident command post’s communications room.
(From left) Lt. Col. Brian Capone, Maj. John McCrory and Capt. Francis Guillory reposition a CAP airplane before a photo flight while Lt. Col. Mickey Marchand looks on. All Photos by: Lt. Col. Amos Plante, CAP
To read the September Big Easy Wing Newsletter click….HERE
LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The devastation left behind from Hurricane Laura feels endless.
You can see it in your neighborhood, your favorite business and at school.
Right now, recovery efforts are taking place at Chennault International Airport who also took a big hit from Laura.
“We’ve seen 100% of our buildings across Chennault destroyed in some sort of fashion,” said Chennault Executive Director Kevin Melton.
Day after day, the remnants of Hurricane Laura and the long road to recovery becomes a bit more clear.
“What this storm has done though is come in and desolate some of our hangar space.”
The storm left its mark on buildings and aircraft. Winds from Laura tossed a Centauri aircraft that was donated just three months ago nearly 200 yards from its post.
“If I go back and give you just a very basic estimate of cost of repair, we’re looking at the tens of millions. There’s no question about that.”
Although not fully operational, one thing Laura didn’t take away was the airports ability to assist in recovery efforts.
“We put a lot of miles on foot and in vehicle covering every angle of the community that’s been affected. The spirit that we’re seeing amongst southwest Louisiana has been remarkable.”
Beyond the damage, Melton says it’s the response from the community and various agencies that holds more weight than Laura’s high winds.
“We’re going to recover, not as quick as I would like to be but we’re going to recover and do good for our community and our tenants.”
FEMA is staging their team at the Chennault air base also with Jefferson Davis co-op and Louisiana DOTD.
As for tenants at Chennault, all are non-operational at this time.
However, Melton says one tenant may be back up and running within the next two weeks.
A pilot flying into the New Orleans area was rescued after his plane crashed in a St. John the Baptist Parish swamp Thursday night, authorities said.
The 52-year-old, whose plane is based in Mobile, Alabama, suffered a broken arm and other minor injuries in the crash, the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff's Office said. The pilot, Calvin King, was the only person aboard the plane.
The crash occurred about 8 p.m. in a swampy area just north of the Port of South Louisiana Executive Regional Airport in Reserve, according to the U.S. Coast Guard, which participated in the rescue along with the Sheriff's Office.
The pilot was able to dial 911 from his downed plane, a single-engine Piper Tomahawk, according to authorities. He told a Sheriff's Office call taker that his engine stopped.
Private pilot Gerald Herbert was at the Reserve airport when Sheriff's Office deputies arrived to search for plane. Herbert went up in his own plane to see if he could help locate the downed aircraft.
"It was pretty dark when I went up," Herbert said Friday. "It was hard to see the ground."
The darkness actually aided his search, allowing Herbert to spot the lights of what he believed to be the crashed plane through the trees. Herbert circled the area until a rescue crew aboard a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter arrived.
Using search lights, the crew located the plane and retrieved the injured pilot. He was taken to the hospital where he was treated and released, the Sheriff's Office said.
Herbert commended the Coast Guard crew, the Sheriff's Office deputies and the air traffic controllers who worked together to find the plane.
"I don't know what role I played," Herbert said of his search and circling. "I hope what it did was give that pilot some comfort in knowing that we had him and help was on the way."
Kathryn’s Report Coverage: Click HERE
Lt. Col. Larry Anderson (left) and Maj. John McCrory check the camera pod on a Louisiana Wing Cessna in preparation for an aerial photo flight as their fellow aircrew member, Lt. Col. Mickey Marchand, waits in the cockpit.
BATON ROUGE, La. (Sept. 3, 2020) – Civil Air Patrol’s Louisiana Wing continues to fly over areas hit particularly hard by Hurricane Laura, gathering photographs of hurricane damage for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The wing is using new, advanced photo and navigation equipment on three of its planes, allowing aircrews to fly very precise courses and gather thousands of high-resolution images for FEMA’s use. Joining them Thursday was another specially equipped plane from CAP’s Texas Wing.
All are flying over designated areas around affected cities and over the coastal areas of Southwest Louisiana.
Weather conditions are a factor in the aerial photo missions. With clear weather prevailing over target areas, the wing has launched more than 12 missions using the new, high-tech equipment.
Other, normally configured aircraft have conducted conventional photography flights for Alexandria, producing images that were delivered to the city’s damage analysts.
The wing has also provided flights for observers from other government agencies, such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Agriculture.
“The members of this wing have reacted to the crisis swiftly and with a new technology,” said Col. Patrick Yglesias, Louisiana Wing commander. “I’m very proud of the things they’ve accomplished these past several days.”
Acting as a Total Force partner and the U.S. Air Force auxiliary, CAP is aligned with First Air Force to rapidly respond to nonmilitary threats domestically when tasked in a Defense Support of Civil Authorities capacity to save lives, relieve suffering, prevent property damage and provide humanitarian assistance.
A pair of the Louisiana Wing’s Cessna 172s equipped with new technology camera and navigation equipment for aerial photography await takeoff in Baton Rouge.
Photos by Lt. Col. Amos Plante, CAP
Cessna R182 Skylane RG, N639RR: Accident occurred August 24, 2020 in Crowley, Acadia Parish, Louisiana
The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.
Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: Click For Report
Location: Crowley, LA
Accident Number: CEN20LA361
Date & Time: 08/24/2020, 0930 CDT
Aircraft: Cessna R182
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Aerial Observation
On August 24, 2020, about 0930 central daylight time, a Cessna R182 airplane, N639RR, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Crowley, Louisiana. The pilot was not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 aerial observation flight.
According to the pilot, the preflight engine run-up and takeoff were normal. About 30 minutes into the aerial observation flight, the engine began "popping" and running rough. The pilot was unable to maintain sufficient engine RPMs and elected to return to the departure airport for a precautionary landing. Based on the airplane's location relative to the runway orientation, the pilot performed a downwind landing. During the approach, the airplane was "a little high and fast;" however, the pilot was committed to the landing due to the reduced engine performance. The airplane touched down, overran the end of the turf runway, impacted a ditch and came to rest upright.
The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings and the fuselage. Visual examination of the engine revealed the No. 4 engine cylinder exhaust valve push rod and housing were bent.
There are several groups of aviators that are planning to help those folks that were impacted by Hurricane Laura. Here are three that I know about. You can track their activities on their Facebook pages and websites. Maybe you would like to join in. It's a great way to use aviation to help folks in need. These organizations are looking for your help and you won't regret it.
The new Aerial Relief Network based in the New Orleans area can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/supportbyair
If you are in one or our neighboring states then Operation Airdrop says they hope to be launching relief flights out of Hattiesburg, MS and Conroe, TX. They can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/opairdrop and their website is https://www.operation-airdrop.com/
I’m very sad to report that several of the airports in Southwest Louisiana were seriously damaged from Hurricane Laura. I got this report on Facebook from False River Regional Airport Manager Yvonne Chenevert:
Lake Charles Regional is totaled....all hangars lost, many aircraft totaled, FBO heavily damaged, terminal functional. Chennault is decimated. Alexandria terminal roof heavily damaged. DeQuincy lost hangars and the pilots lounge is laying on its side. Jennings is ok.
Here are a couple of pictures from Lake Charles…..
The three aircraft in this hangar were unfortunately a beautifully restored, yellow Gullwing Stinson, red Tiger Moth and a blue Chipmunk. Three very rare antique aircraft.
I know that loss of life in storms like this is much worse but it still hurts to see destruction at airports like this. I know that the facilities will be rebuilt but most of these aircraft will never fly again.
Southland Field in Sulphur was also essentially destroyed…..
By Lt. Col. Amos A. Plante, CAP
Baton Rouge, La., August 26, 2020 – The Louisiana Wing of Civil Air Patrol (CAP) has made ready its fleets of aircraft and vehicles and its cadre of trained personnel to support state and local emergency managers in preparing for Hurricane Laura and in dealing with its after effects.
As the hurricane approaches the gulf coast, the U.S. Air Force may task non-combat missions to CAP in its role as the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary. Such taskings could include airborne and ground reconnaissance, aerial imagery, disaster and damage assessment, 24-7 communications support, and airborne and ground transportation of essential personnel, equipment, and critical supplies.
Louisiana Wing has over 600 members assigned to 16 squadrons. These squadrons are located in Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Bossier City, Covington, Gonzales, Hammond, Kentwood, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Leesville, Monroe, Greater New Orleans, Patterson, and Shreveport.
The wing maintains and operates ten single-engine Cessna aircraft, most of which are equipped with state-of-the-art navigation equipment. When called into service, these aircraft are flown by a crew of three consisting of a pilot, observer, and scanner/photographer.
The wing also has a fleet of 18 mission-ready vehicles which support both transportation and communications needs but are usually used to deploy ground teams for search and rescue and damage assessment missions.
Louisiana Wing Commander, Colonel Patrick Yglesias, said, “I am confident Louisiana Wing is ready to meet the challenge of Hurricane Laura. Our volunteers are dedicated to emergency services support and are trained to a professional level.”
To read the latest edition of the Pilots For Patients newsletter click….
The family of a New Orleans TV newscaster who was killed in a stunt plane crash a year ago has filed a $23 million lawsuit against the Federal Aviation Administration claiming the agency cleared the aircraft to fly despite allegedly knowing of its history of mechanical problems.
The husband of Nancy Parker, a veteran anchor for Fox affiliate station WVUE-TV, filed the wrongful death lawsuit in U.S. District Court in New Orleans on behalf of himself and their three children.
Parker, 53, and pilot Franklin J.P. Augustus, 69, were killed on August 16th, 2019, when the Aerotek Pitts S-2B aircraft, registered to Drug Fighter LLC, crashed shortly after taking off from New Orleans' Lakefront Airport. Parker and Augustus were the only two people aboard the biplane, which was scheduled to do skywriting stunts, officials said.
Parker's husband, Glen Boyd, claims in the lawsuit that FAA workers were aware of airplane's "lengthy and well-known history of substandard maintenance, mechanical problems and scant flight time" when they cleared the flight for takeoff, according to the lawsuit that was filed on August 6th, 2020.
To read more click…..HERE
Bristow is to close facilities in Galliano and New Iberia, Louisiana, as it begins to make cuts following its recently-completed merger with Era.
The impacted facilities are Bristow’s flight and maintenance operations at Galliano heliport and the New Iberia maintenance/hangar complex at the Acadiana Regional Airport. Both facilities belonged to the pre-merger Bristow company.
Bristow’s administration and training facilities in New Iberia will remain open to support continuing operations in the Gulf of Mexico and around the world, while its search-and-rescue operation in Galliano is also unaffected by the closures.
“These decisions were necessitated by market conditions and aligned with the strategic purpose of the recently completed merger between Bristow Group and Era Helicopters,” a Bristow spokesperson told Vertical in an emailed statement. “They were also made after extensive and careful consideration and were ultimately made with the long-term viability and success of our business in the Gulf of Mexico region in mind.”
The company notified staff on Aug. 5, with an employees’ union claiming the closures would result in the loss of 350 jobs. A Bristow spokesperson said it was “too early” to say the precise number of staff impacted by the move, but that it “will likely be significantly less” than 350.
HAI Director of Maintenance and Technology Zac Noble (right) and Pilot Lester Cambre of Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office complete a successful reconnaissance flight at the site of HAI HELI-EXPO 2021 in New Orleans. The flight, conducted on Aug. 3, was performed to check out proposed flight routes from Lakefront Airport (KNEW) into the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.
This week HAI staff members returned to New Orleans, our host city for HAI HELI-EXPO 2021, to continue long-range planning for the event, which is scheduled for Mar. 22–25, with exhibits open Mar. 23–25.
Chris Martino, VP of operations; Charlotte Zilke, director of conventions; Zac Noble, director of maintenance; and Chris Hill, director of safety, met with key officials from the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, the FAA, and several other groups to review and coordinate logistics, health, safety, and security requirements for the event.
In addition, HAI is conducted an exhibitor site visit Aug. 5–6, both in person and virtually, for exhibitors working on logistics planning for their company’s participation in the show. HAI staff and exhibitor representatives will tour hotels, the convention center, and event venues.
Keep up-to-date with HAI HELI-EXPO 2021 plans as we continue to update our website, heliexpo.rotor.org, with more information. Don’t forget: Housing opens Aug. 17!
IT'S A FLYING LAUNCH PAD: Chennault continues to be a proud partner with Citadel Completions, which provides benchmark services across multiple spectrums of the aerospace industry. We at Chennault are proud to provide service and support to Virgin Orbit, a leader in the aerospace industry.
Virgin Orbit will offer flexible, routine, and low-cost launch services for small satellites via the LauncherOne system. Its vehicles include the LauncherOne rocket and the 747-400 "flying launch pad," nicknamed Cosmic Girl, here at Chennault.
LauncherOne service already has a substantial order book of both commercial and government customers. Virgin Orbit's systems are in an advanced stage of testing with initial orbital launches expected soon. To learn more, visit https://virginorbit.com/
We’re just 500 feet off the ground, cruising at a few hundred miles per hour in a C-130J Super Hercules. In the back cargo hold is a lumbering, 8,000-pound Humvee strapped down with heavy link chains. We are transporting the vehicle to Geronimo Landing Zone, in Louisiana, as part of a joint U.S. Air Force/Army field exercise called Swamp Devil.
Our pilot, Capt. Nathan Roberts just in front of me in the cockpit, spies some nasty thunderstorms ahead and decides to turn back to Chennault Air Base, from which we had embarked earlier. The turnaround is disappointing, for sure, as our transport flight is part of the training exercise.
As in any makeshift field operation, event schedules ebb and flow due to elements beyond one’s control. Earlier in the day, a series of cargo drops and parachute jumps by Army paratroopers was also scrapped - due to COVID-19 concerns - and an Army reconnaissance Blackhawk helicopter flight was canceled because of bad weather.
But such challenges can also be good, says Lt. Col. Joshua Johnson, 37, a 15-year USAF veteran and C-17 Globemaster III pilot who is overseeing a good chunk of the operation. “We’re trying to find new tactics, techniques and procedures during a pandemic, so a lot of the stuff that comes up - the cancellations, the weather, etc. - you can’t predict,” he says. “But when they do happen, that’s where we get the valuable training, going through that thought process and still being able to operate effectively.”
Gunnar Peterson is a junior at Louisiana Tech University majoring in Aviation Management. He gained his love for aviation by traveling with his mother, a Delta Airlines flight attendant. Gunnar is using his internship at LA DOTD to learn and gain experience in the aviation industry.
Maggie Grace Loper
Raised in Shreveport, Louisiana, Maggie Grace Loper grew up in the aviation community. In her spare time Maggie would go on corporate flights with her step-father or go out to the local skydiving hangar where she even got a few jumps under her belt. After receiving her private pilot certification just a few months before her 18 birthday, Maggie began pursuing her Aviation Management degree from Louisiana Tech University. An upcoming senior, Maggie is on track to graduate from the University March 6, 2021. Upon graduation Maggie plans to immerse herself into an Aviation Management and Planning position.
Andrew Hennessy is a junior at Louisiana Tech and is majoring in aviation management. Andrew has grown up in this environment and hopes to gain useful experience and industry connections from his internship.
A Redbird TD2 simulator is now available at Southland Aviation in Sulphur as a Basic Aviation Training Device.
Real buttons. Knobs unlike other virtual touchscreen simulators, steam gauge and g1000, fixed, complex, and HP configurations available when you start the simulation!
Since instrument rated pilots can log currency needed without an instructor or safety pilot it makes it a real convenient option and time saver!
Website: Southland Aviation
LaToya Joseph was recently promoted to Aviation Project Manager for the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) Aviation Division. She currently manages the Division’s safety, human resources, education, training, and internship program, in addition to assisting with the Divisions’ daily operations, internal compliance, state consultant contracts and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program. She also oversees the Office of Multimodal Commerce (OMC) Social Media communication outreach and is the OMC liaison with DOTD Public Relations.
She has a Business Manager Certification from Louisiana State University (LSU) in additional to earning a Bachelor of Science in Management from the University of Phoenix. She is currently working on an Airport Certified Employee (ACE) Certificate in Airport Finance through the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) as well as her Part 107 Remote Pilot Certification. LaToya is a member of Women in Aviation International (WAI), and served as an events and organizational volunteer at this year’s annual conference. She is also the past president for DOTD’s “Highway to Success Toastmasters” organization.
LaToya took a discovery flight with LAMA past President Janet Gonzales in 2016, which sparked her passion in aviation. She has a desire for helping the Louisiana Airport System grow and ensuring public awareness and education of the importance of the aviation industry as well as promoting the industry to upcoming young professionals.
Northrop Grumman at Chennault has been hired to repair nose cowls for B-52 bombers.
"Chennault remains a committed partner with Northrop Grumman and we are extremely pleased to see our relationship with this standout corporation grow," said Kevin Melton, Chennault's executive director. "We consider the Northrop Grumman team our family — and as such, we are excited to see this growth opportunity for them, and our region, as it relates to increased jobs."
The Louisiana Airport Managers and Associates (LAMA) Executive Board is pleased to announce the launch of our new website. You may access the site at
Congratulations to Robert "Bob" Johnson for receiving the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award from the United States Federal Aviation Administration in a small ceremony with family, friends and community leaders today out at the Slidell Municipal Airport.
The award is presented by the FAA to recognize pilots who have practiced safe flight operations continuously for 50 or more years during the course of their aviation careers. Since 2012, over 2,000 certified pilots have been honored with the award.
Johnson’s aviation career began when he was 17 years old, flying an Aeronca Champ for his first solo flight in 1961. In 1964, he earned his Commercial Pilots License and began flying charter flights for Naples Airline. Then in 1966, he flew for Eastern Airlines for 24 years, starting out as one of the youngest pilots in his class.
During his extensive career, Johnson flew for Viscount Airlines, was hired by McDonnel-Douglas as a test pilot and flight instructor on MD-80 and MD-90 airplanes, and he flew the first Chinese model of the MD-90. Working for Boeing, he lived in China for 13 years, helping to develop a western-style safety culture for Chinese airlines and conducting simulator training and evaluation, facilitating human factor classes for flight crews, and supervised airplane flight inspections throughout the country.
Johnson retired from Boeing in 2012 and repatriated to Louisiana with his wife Jeanie to spend time with their family. Even in retirement, he can’t stay out of the sky. Today he flies a Cessna 182 and through his love for aviation, he and Jeanie have met many wonderful friends in the Louisiana aviation community.
Bob and Jeannie Johnson
Bob Johnson with Terry Morrison, FAA Representative
L-R: Councilman Bill Borchert; Michael Noto, Deputy Chief of Staff; Bob Johnson; Councilman Val Vanney; Richard Artigue, Slidell Airport Manager
Bob and Jeannie Johnson with family
We welcome Rise Above Aviation, a Part 61 flight school, to the diverse group of Chennault-based businesses.
"Our lessons are taught by enthusiastic instructors who love teaching," says Jade Guidry of Rise Above. "We go at your speed and we work with you to get you comfortable and where you need to be."
Instruction can be scheduled from 6:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. seven days a week, weather permitting.
"Everything we do is geared towards making your lessons as enjoyable as possible, while keeping safety a top priority," Guidry says.
The phone number is (337) 240-6187.
"We are honored to have Rise Above Aviation join the Chennault team as our newest tenant," says Kevin Melton, Chennault's executive director. "As we work to serve all types of aviation operations and businesses, it has been a focused effort to grow a flight school at Chennault. This is one pillar of many that support the overarching goal of aerospace excellence. Manned flight starts with flight instruction. I'm proud we host that capability."
Melton adds: "So what's next on the list? A more robust aviation maintenance and avionics repair program. Contact us if interested in helping us improve access for general and corporate aviation communities across the region."
(Note: Photos taken prior to current Covid-19 mask guidelines.)
Do you have a child that might be interested in an aviation career? Did you know there is an Aviation Academy opening up in Baton Rouge in the Fall of 2021? Well now you do....
Helix Aviation Academy will open with a 6th grade class in the 2021-22 school year. The following year, the aviation academy will add a 7th grade and an 8th grade in 2023-24 school year. In the 2024-25 school year, an elementary program will open with grades K-2. Thereafter, Helix Aviation Academy will continue to expand until the 2027-28 school year, reaching full capacity and providing students with a full K-12 experience.
They are located on the Baton Rouge Metro Airport at 4400 Airpark Blvd.
You can contact them at (225) 427-8004 or email@example.com
For their Facebook page click HERE
To read the July Edition of the Pilot’s for Patients Prop Blast Newsletter click….
It’s been in the works for months, and now prospective pilots can receive flight instruction right here in the River Parishes.
Let’s Go Fly Academy recently opened up inside a 6500 square foot hangar at the Port of the South Louisiana Executive Regional Airport, located at 355 Airport Road in Reserve.
“The purpose of the school is to instruct people how to fly airplanes,” Owner Mufid Jabour said. “Whether it’s for leisure activities or career aspirations and prerequisites, you can attain the education and proficiency required of a pilot here at Let’s Go Fly Academy. The field of aviation is expanding and awaiting pilots with various career opportunities and fun.”
The Big Easy Wing of the Commemorative Air Force conducted three flights in their Stearman over the Fourth of July weekend to honor frontline responders. But these flights were different from all of the others. Instead of flying over the healthcare workers, they flew the healthcare workers. Their flights were part of the nationwide initiative of the Commemorative Air Force, United We Fly - 4th of July.
The pilot for the flights was BEW member Ben “Evil” Cook, who was also the lead Eagle pilot in the earlier B-52 Flights/F-15 formations flights over the city which also honored frontline responders.
Ben “Evil” Cook
To see a video report on one of the flights click HERE
The St. Landry Parish Airport held a very successful fly-in and vintage aircraft expo last weekend. You can see from the photos below that the AeroShell Aerobatic Team, and the CAF Gulf Coast and Big Easy Wings all participated. The Big Easy Wing needs some extra congratulations as this was their first flying event with their Stearman.
I’ll just let the pictures tell the story about this tremendous event….
The above 6 photos are by Mark Broussard-Hubbard. For his whole album on Facebook click... HERE
The above 3 photos are by Joe Richard. For his whole album on Facebook click… HERE
Photo by Big Easy Wing
And finally, thanks to Airport Manager David Allen and all of the above sponsors for making it possible to bring these beautiful and historic aircraft to southwest Louisiana.
Members of the Louisiana Army National Guard performed a helicopter flyover Wednesday, July 1, 2020, at Slidell Memorial Hospital in Slidell to honor emergency and healthcare workers who have been responding to the coronavirus pandemic. 'It was so beautiful, so wonderful for the flyover to recognize all the hard work our staff does,' said Dr. Janine Parker, director of intensive care at Slidell Memorial Hospital. 'I fell in love with the Black Hawks during Hurricane Katrina when they evacuated patients from the roof of Methodist Hospital in New Orleans East, where I worked at the time.' Four Black Hawk helicopters flew over hospitals in Slidell, Hammond, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Alexandria, Shreveport and Monroe.
For more coverage click HERE
A potentially tragic situation ended without injury on Thursday after the pilot of a small plane cautionary landed on the side of the road on La. Highway 3235.
The Gazette has received dozens of social media messages this morning about reports of a plane that landed on the side of the road off La. 3235.
The family of local businessman and pilot Howie Guidry have since confirmed on social media that the plane belonged to Guidry and that the landing was an emergency landing that thwarted a possible bad situation.
Guidry went up this morning to do an annual check on his plane.
With a mechanic on board, something went wrong while in the sky, which forced an immediate emergency landing.
Without an engine, Guidry was able to safely pilot the plane out of the sky and safely onto the side of the road without crashing into anyone, nor without injury in the plane, a feat that requires precision and skilled piloting efforts.
To see a video of the landing click from a dashcam click HERE
It’s official! The Let's Go Fly Academy held their ribbon cutting at the Port of South Louisiana Executive Regional Airport last Friday. The new company is owned by Mufid Jabour and will provide Flight Instruction, Aircraft Rental, Pipeline Patrol, Maintenance Services and Banner Towing.
For more info call (504) 957-8509
Facebook Page: Click Here
Port of South Louisiana Commissioner Joey Murray
Let’s Go Fly Academy owner Mufid Jabour
Chennault Executive Director (and Air Force veteran) Kevin Melton was back in a flight suit today — for a promotional flight to kick off the one-year countdown to the 2021 Chennault International Airshow. The biennial event takes place next June 4-6 and will feature the U.S. Navy Blue Angels. Melton joined Airshow Executive Director Mary Jo Bayles at the microphone after landing in a restored 1941 World War II Meyers training plane. The Airshow is one of Chennault's highest-profile community engagements; Melton himself is president of the Airshow's all-volunteer board of directors.
Kopter, the Swiss helicopter company planning to house its North America headquarters in Lafayette, has received approval for test flights of the latest prototype of the SH09 helicopter.
The Lafayette facility will produce the SH09 for the North American market. The test flights, done in Italy, were halted due to COVID-19 but are scheduled to resume.
During the three-month period without flying, Kopter maintained some operations. It has done much of the work digitally to use work-from-home solutions.
To read more click HERE
Finally…… yes, finally, we are back to having aviation events again! Hundreds of folks came to the Southern Heritage Air Foundation's "Summer is in the Air" event at their museum in Tallulah last Saturday. They had a huge rummage sale, a catfish lunch and sold airplane rides in their AT-6, Waco Biplane and L-5 Stinson. The museum definitely reopened in style. Here are some pictures to help tell the story.
To read an article by the Vicksburg Post click HERE
Have you been thinking about taking a trip to New Orleans to see the World War II Museum? It is something that must be seen and has recently reopened. They are now offering a special rate to all aviators for the rest of the summer of just $99 per night at The Higgins Hotel New Orleans, Curio Collection by Hilton right next door. This rate is good for aviators everywhere so please share this with your aviation friends from all over.
You can book your room and get this special rate one of three ways:
Please note, if the link doesn’t work the entire URL must be copied and pasted for it to work properly.
Reservations are limited to four at a time, so this may not be used for group bookings. If you have more, please call the hotel directly.
To see a great video tour of the hotel, please click the link below.
See it all as though you were strolling through this Art Deco Masterpiece!
By Chet Landry | May 4, 2020 at 6:11 PM CDT - Updated May 4 at 10:27 PM
CARRIERE, Miss. (WLOX) - People across South Mississippi are lending a hand to help each other through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the last few weeks, smiley faces have been in the skies of Pearl River County. Troy Ellis is the private pilot and flight enthusiast who is the artist behind the smiles. With a few gallons of smoke oil and his RV-8, he takes to the sky to give hope to those down below.
“It’s something that I enjoy doing. I seen a picture of a smiley face one day and thought that’d be something neat to try. I started practicing and trying to see if I could make it come out," said Ellis.
So Ellis fills up his RV-8— one of four different planes and one glider in his hangar— with smoke oil and taxis off to the runway, which is actually in his own back yard.
Once he gets his final clearance from flight control, he pulls back on the throttle, and off he goes.
According to Ellis, the art of making a smiley face isn’t an exact science.
(Source: Photo WLOX)
“Usually when I make the complete circle, I can’t see my starting point. From there I’ll turn over and draw the mouth for the smiley face and, again, it’s just kind of guessing at where I’m putting it. After that, I’ll come around and draw the eyes, so to speak," Ellis said.
Checking his work is not as easy in the air as it is for the spectators that see from the ground.
“So, you really can’t see it until you climb up two or three hundred feet or descend down two or three hundred feet. Then, you can kind of see what you have done," Ellis told WLOX.
The smiley faces help him get through the chaos amid the coronavirus pandemic, as Ellis said, it’s all part of his love of flying.
“It’s something I enjoy doing so if they’re enjoying it and getting something out of it, it’s a win-win," said Ellis.
To read the June Newsletter of the Big Easy Wing of the Commemorative Air Force click HERE
To read the latest PFP Blast newsletter just click HERE.
To read the May Newsletter of the Big Easy Wing of the Commemorative Air Force click….HERE
RAPIDES PARISH, La (RPSO) - Two prominent members of the Alexandria community have died following a plane crash near the Pineville Municipal Airport at Lake Buhlow.
According to Pineville officials, brothers Ben and Blake Cooper died after the small plane being flown by Ben, an accomplished pilot, crashed shortly after takeoff around 1:20 Sunday afternoon. Confirmation of the men’s identities was made Sunday evening.
Officials also said Blake Cooper’s son was thrown from the wreckage, underwent surgery and is expected to live.
Ben Cooper was the owner and administrator of Oceans Behavioral Hospital in Alexandria, while Blake Cooper was the Executive Director of the Central Louisiana Regional Port. Both men lived in Alexandria and were graduates of Tioga High School.
NTSB officials will release more information after their investigation.
Both Ben and Blake Cooper were members of Calvary Baptist Church.
A Centauri prototype aircraft was installed in midair this week at the entranceway to Chennault International Airport, the aviation/aerospace hub in Lake Charles.
“As people come into this airport and into this complex — which also supports Sowela Technical Community College — they see that we are a center of excellence," said Chennault Executive Director Kevin Melton. “They see that we focus on engineering, that we focus on aerospace — and that’s what we aspire to do.”
The new display is also “a message of hope for future pilots or maybe just an aviation enthusiast,” Melton said.
The aircraft was donated by longtime Southwest Louisiana restaurateur, philanthropist, and aviation enthusiast Doug Gehrig. It's a four-seater that features sleek 21st-century design and speedy rear propulsion. It was built by Centauri of San Francisco.
“This plane happens to be a prototype that had been retired, and the owner was just going to put it in a shed," Gehrig said. "I told him I wanted it. He said, ‘For what? I said, ‘I don’t know, but I’m going to find a place.
Randy Liprie, owner of Liprie Engineering and consultant for Chennault, and engineer Beau Pleasant also assisted with the permanent display of the plane.
“It’s a dream and foresight to enhance the threshold of this airport. Aviation is the premise of Chennault,” Liprie said.
Melton told KPLC-TV that the plane serves as a symbol of Chennault’s place in the community.
“It speaks of excellence. It speaks to the future," Melton said. "For anybody that comes through this area...whether out of state or from right here, some people may have never driven out to Chennault or driven through the Sowela complex — so this airplane will be simply a marker and an optic to show that we are a center of excellence and education excellence as well.”
The False River Regional Airport (KHZR) is OPEN on its 5003' x 75' Runway and parallel Taxiway.
(NOTAM #DRI 04/315 has been cancelled)
100LL avgas is $3.15 per gallon
Note: Upgrading the fuel terminal
Tuesday, April 28 a new M4000 fuel terminal will be installed which will place the fuel pump out of service for most of the day.
Thank you for your patience, thank you for your courtesy, and thank you for being a supporter of False River Regional. It is sincerely appreciated.
Yvonne Chenevert, Director
False River Regional Airport
The FAA has reduced the hours for Control Towers at airports that have seen a significant reduction in flights, especially during the evening and nighttime hours, since the pandemic began. The airports in Louisiana and their new hours are:
If you would like to see the whole U.S. list click….HERE
"Dear Louisiana Aviation Stakeholders,
We hope this finds you all safe and healthy.
We are honored to announce that Ms. Heidi Higginbotham in our office has been selected to lead the Division's new Aviation Operations Program. Ms. Higginbotham will manage and oversee a staff of three that manage the Aviation Grant Program, State Aviation Program Update, Pavement Condition Index studies, Aviation Compliance Program, and Education, Training and Outreach Programs, and our upcoming Wildlife Hazard Mitigation Program.
Subsequently, this will lead to some of the airports in our system working with new personnel from our office on project planning and construction management. Our Planning Office will be in touch with those airports impacted to begin an efficient and seamless transition to meet your needs.
Please help me in congratulating Ms. Higginbotham on her new position.
Bradley R. Brandt
Office of Multimodal Commerce
Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development
Tonjia Summerell of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Department has announced the winners of the 2020 Louisiana Aviation Art Contest that they sponsor. So here they are:
She will be sharing some images of the winning art with us as soon they are available.
For additional background on the contest you can click….HERE
Should you have any questions regarding the contest, please feel free to contact Tonjia at (225) 379-3053/via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special FAR 118 has been published to give relief for:
PIC proficiency checks
A&P practicals with expired tests
IA annual training/activity requirements
Part 141 school certificate renewals.
Some have additional caveats that are explained in the rule. To read the rule click: HERE
Last Friday, May 1st, several general aviation pilots conducted a flyover of St. Landry Parish to honor healthcare workers and victims of Covid-19.
Special thanks to the following people for helping make St. Landry Salutes happen. Greg Hollier & Steve Broussard with Access ATM, LLC and ASAP ATM, LLc provided our smoke oil today. Also big thank you to Bridget Beniest who provided our graphics/artwork for getting the word out. Ryan Elliott for being the lead pilot and heading up our formation flyover. Also thanks to these pilots:
Ferdara Mark Broussard-Hubbard
On Saturday, May 2, 14 pilots from the surrounding area saluted the healthcare and frontline workers of COVID-19 and honored the victims of the coronavirus in Pointe Coupee Parish and West Feliciana Parish by a flyover of the Pointe Coupee Sheriff’s 911 Center, Pointe Coupee General Hospital, City of New Roads, West Feliciana Parish Sheriff Department, West Feliciana Parish Hospital, and St. Francisville.
False River Regional Airport manager Yvonne Chenevert stated “Individuals of the aviation community of Pointe Coupee in addition to pilots from surrounding areas volunteered to participate. It was an opportunity for all to show their appreciation to the doctors, nurses, hospital workers, healthcare workers, frontline workers, and all essential workers of COVID-19 and also to honor the victims of the coronavirus."
You can see some videos of the flyby on the airport Facebook page.
One of our PFP pilots from Baton Rouge James “Jim” Stratton was added to a slate of director candidates for the Air Care Alliance (ACA) Board.
Last Friday, April 17 during ACA’s annual conference that was held by video /zoom, election of new officers were considered and James Stratton along with two others were voted on and elected to this nationwide board.
Congratulations, Jim, on your new position with ACA and your continued support as a Pilots for Patients member. I know you will represent us well and keep us informed on any of the latest developments associated with Public Benefit Flying.
The Air Care Alliance Group was founded in 1990 to act as an umbrella organization for the volunteer pilot based Public Benefit Flying (PBF) Organization members that use their aircraft to transport needy patients, to assist in disaster relief, to fly environmental support missions, to relocate wild or domestic animals, to provide educational flights for youth and for many other missions of community and humanitarian support. Such flights are generically referred to as Compassion Flights.
Pilots for Patients has been a member of ACA since 2008 after we completed our first flights.
What a great group of caring individuals from across the nation that we also link with on missions up to 1000 nautical miles.
Pilots For Patients
For the third time this year, a tornado does some significant damage to a Louisiana airport. First it was Pineville, then Monroe and now Bunkie. A tornado struck the Bunkie Municipal Airport (2R6) Wednesday night damaging several hangars and aircraft. Thanks to Amy Juneau, Drew Dufour and Rick Ferguson Flowers for the photos.
The Pilots For Patients newsletter is now mobile! Click the link to read great pilot stories, patient testimonies, PFP insights, upcoming events and MORE! If you would like to have our newsletter sent directly to you, click the "subscribe" button at the top. Thanks!
Opelousas, LA - Today, St. Landry Parish Airport is announcing that our 2nd Annual Summer Fly In & Vintage Warbird Expo is still on schedule. We’re adding more aircraft to the vintage warbird expo.
"When we first announced the event, we said we would have additional aircraft to announce and now we're ready." Airport Manager David Allen said.
This year the event will feature the famous B-17 Bomber, the twin Beech C-45, a Stearman and the only flying SB2C Helldiver.
"This year's Fly In is shaping up to be a fantastic event. Now we have a premiere lineup of vintage aircraft with our main attraction being the B-17 bomber. Although our country and state is facing a tough battle right now with COVID-19, our hope is that we're coming through this shortly and we're preparing to make this event a big success for our community." David Allen said following the announcement of additional vintage aircraft.
The 2nd Annual Summer Fly In & Vintage Warbird Expo will be a 3 day event, Friday, June 26th - Sunday, June 28th.
The airport has partnered with the Commemorative Air Force Gulf Coast Wing to bring the aircraft in. Other aircraft will be on display and further details announced soon.
The event will feature vintage aircraft, airplane rides, airplane tours, food trucks, classic cars, RC airplanes, live music and activities for the kids.
Location: 299 Hanger Rd, Opelousas, LA 70580
For more information or media inquiries please contact David Allen (337) 351 - 0025 or you can visit the St. Landry’s Parish Airport Facebook page.
The Port of South Louisiana Executive Regional Airport (KAPS) runway project has been completed. The airport is now open for all traffic. Self Service 100LL ($3.40/gallon) and self service Jet-A are available 24/7.
If full service Jet-A is required during this time please call (985) 212-1712 to schedule.
ALSO COMING SOON to KAPS!!
Let's Go Fly Academy
Flight instruction, aircraft rental, banner towing, touring or scenic flights, aerial photography flights, and more!
Call 225-255-1172 for more info.
Thanks and we look forward to seeing you again.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao Announces $83.75 Million to Louisiana Airports in Response to COVID-19
WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao announced today the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will award $83,752,300 in airport aid to 55 airports in Louisiana to help respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency. This historic grant funding is part of the Trump Administration’s newly created Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Airport Grant Program, an effort to provide unprecedented and immediate relief to American families, workers, and businesses.
“This $10 billion in emergency resources will help fund the continued operations of our nation’s airports during this crisis and save workers’ jobs,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
This funding will support continuing operations and replace lost revenue resulting from the sharp decline in passenger traffic and other airport business due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. The funds are available for airport capital expenditures, airport operating expenses including payroll and utilities, and airport debt payments.
“Thank you to the dedicated men and women from the FAA’s Office of Airports for creating an entirely new program in record time to assist airport sponsors in desperate need of these funds,” said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson.
View a list of Louisiana airports receiving funding on an interactive map, along with funding for all U.S. airports on FAA’s website.
The FAA encourages airport sponsors to spend the grant funds immediately to help minimize any adverse impact from the current public health emergency. Airport sponsors should work with their local FAA Office of Airports field office on the application and grant-agreement process.
Here is the total list of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) dollars that were made available to Louisiana airports.
MONROE, LA (04/15/20) It started as an idea that quickly took flight, one that would bring joy across the twin cities.
“Well, I was kind of watching tv and I saw the Thunderbirds do a flyover in Las Vegas. And the next day, the tornado was coming through” Jimmy Fordham, Slot Pilot with the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team said.
He gathered his crew together for a flyover to honor those serving on the front lines.
“And I thought you know, we could do something here in Monroe, I’m from Monroe, it’s my hometown and, and maybe thank the first responders, thank the people in the hospital and all the people that are involved with the corona virus and maybe put a little hope in their lives” he said.
Once they took to the skies of West Monroe and Monroe, they held a diamond formation, with smoke effects to create vibrant trails. They piloted north American AT-6 Advanced Trainer Aircraft used to train those fighting in World War II.
MONROE, La. (KTVE/KTAL) – Congressman Ralph Abraham toured some of the damage caused by storms in Monroe Sunday, including a stop at the Monroe Regional Airport.
Flights have been suspended for now after strong winds and possible tornado heavily damaged hangars and aircraft at the airport. Damage there and across Ouachita Parish is expected to be in the millions.
“We know the damage elsewhere around Ouachita Parish is extensive. South of 165, Sterlington, a lot of homes, a lot of businesses have been hit,” Abraham said.
Photos courtesy of Madison Perry and Philip Thomas
The NTSB has issued a Factual Report for a Piper Cherokee Cruiser accident that occurred near the Shreveport Downtown Airport in July of 2018. To read it click.. HERE
The NTSB has issued a Factual Report for a Louisiana Piper Seneca III accident occurred in July of 2018 near Gulf Shores, Alabama. To read it click...HERE
New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond rides in a World War II era Stearman PT-17 biplane over the city of New Orleans, Friday, April 10, 2020. He took with him holy water from the Jordan River, where Christ was baptized, to sprinkle over the city, and the Eucharist, to bless those sick or deceased from the new coronavirus, as well as the front line responders.(Photo by David Grunfeld, NOLA.com, The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate)
STAFF PHOTO BY DAVID GRUNFELD
Seventy-year-old New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond climbed into the open-air cockpit of a World War II-era biplane on Good Friday morning and roared off on a 25-minute mission.
As a pilot steered a course from the Lakefront airport to Kenner to Gretna, to the French Quarter and back, Aymond blessed the population, which has been afflicted and isolated by the coronavirus, from a safe distance — 1000 feet up.As he flew, Aymond prayed for protection and healing for the people below, sprinkling holy water that came from the Jordan River as he went. As it turns out, sprinkling holy water in the slipstream of an airplane can be a challenge.
“When I first did it, the water came back on me,” Aymond said, “but then I got situated.”
Aymond said he was a touch apprehensive when first asked to fly in the 77-year old airplane that was used to train WWII fighter pilots.
“I asked some questions about the plane,” he said. How many pilots would be aboard? One. How many engines were there? One. Was the engine new? Newly reconditioned.
“Eventually my questions became trust,” he said.
The flight was a sort of metaphor, the Archbishop said: The plane was used in war and right now we’re in a war with the coronavirus. He said he particularly asked God to offer grace to the health care workers, the first responders and city leaders who are on the front lines of the battle.
Archbishop Aymond’s Flight Track
To see him blessing the city click HERE
Aymond wasn’t alone in taking to the skies on Friday morning. Rabbi Lexi Erdheim, 29, of the Congregation Gates of Prayer Synagogue in Metairie, also ventured into the sky aboard the 1943 vintage aircraft to offer a blessing during Passover.
Rabbi Lexi Erdheim, 29, of the Congregation Gates of Prayer Synagogue
Erdheim, who took off at noon, said the traditional blessing asks God for healing and wholeness. Customarily, she said, a rabbi would read the names of those in the community who were ill, but under the circumstances of the coronavirus crisis, she planned to make it a blanket prayer for the whole city.
Rabbi Erdheim’s Flight Track
To see her blessing the city click HERE
Watch an excellent video of the Spirit Flights over the city in the Big Easy Wings’ Stearman...
Kopter Manufacturing Facility Dedication (Photo: Andre Broussard/Special to The Advertiser)
Kopter, the Swiss-based helicopter company set to build its production center in Lafayette for the North American sales of its new SH09 copter, has completed its sale to the Leonardo Company, an Italian company specializing in aerospace, defense and security.
Kopter, which has been operating since 2009, will remain an autonomous legal entity under the helicopter division of Leonardo.
The acquisition allows Leonardo to strengthen its footing in the helicopter sector, and the company said when the sale was announced in January that Kopter's new SH09 single-engine helicopter — which the Lafayette facility is slated to produce — is a perfect fit for the company.
The price of the sale was $185 million plus an earn-out mechanism over the life of the program starting in 2022.
Barksdale honors Women's history month flight by having a sortie flown by an all-female team. Loaded and prepped by an all female-crew.
An all-woman aircrew from the 96th BS, 11th Bomb Squadron, 20th Bomb Squadron and the 2nd Bomb Wing is flying for Women’s History Month March 26, 2020:
To watch a YouTube video click HERE
Chennault Park, which offers ready-to-develop properties adjacent to what’s already a thriving complex of aviation businesses, is primed and ready for the future.
Kevin Melton, executive director of Chennault International Airport Authority, said over the last year, the facility has been building up its infrastructure and identifying ways to bring in additional clients.
To read the April Newsletter of the Big Easy Wing of the Commemorative Air Force click HERE
Reverend Rusty Vincent, Pastor of St. Paul Catholic Church, flew over Vicksburg in the Southern Heritage Air Foundation Waco on Thursday. The purpose of the flight was to sprinkle Holy Water and ask for God’s blessing on the city. Pictured in the photo is pilot Dan Fordice and Father Vincent.
Metro Aviation has announced the delivery of a new Airbus EC135 aircraft for the UT Health East Texas Air 1 air medical program. This aircraft, added to the existing fleet of three recently rebranded aircraft, has also been upgraded with SPIFR certification. Headquartered in Tyler, Texas, the program will soon boast six precision GPS procedures for its fleet of four helicopters at various hospitals and bases
Low Altitude Operation/Event: Air Tractor AT-502, N1509E; accident occurred July 24, 2019 in Welsh, Jefferson Davis Parish, Louisiana
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf
Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms
Location: Welsh, LA
Accident Number: GAA19CA452
Date & Time: 07/24/2019, 0820 CDT
Aircraft: Air Tractor AT 502
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Low altitude operation/event
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural
The pilot of the tailwheel equipped airplane reported that, during an aerial application low pass, he descended below the height of the wires adjacent to the field. Shortly after, he saw a telephone pole and maneuvered the airplane to avoid the pole, but the airplane's left wing struck the top of the pole. The airplane rolled left through a tree and impacted the ground inverted.
The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings and fuselage.
The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
Metro Aviation of Shreveport has completed another beautiful helicopter for Duke Life Flight.
To read the March Big Easy Wing Newsletter of the Commemorative Air Force click HERE.
The St. Landry Parish Airport held a very successful Crawfish Fly-in on March 14. If you want to see more of Mark Broussard-Hubbard’s excellent photos they are on our Facebook page.
Chennault International Airport’s Andrea LaFleur, director of executive and airport affairs, and Kevin Melton, executive director, display the 2020 Transportation Excellence Award their team received at the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development's annual conference.
Chennault International Airport was honored to receive the 2020 Transportation Excellence Award at the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development's annual conference in Baton Rouge.
DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson presented the award, which recognizes Chennault's multimillion-dollar runway rehabilitation construction project — an effort that was planned and executed by the airport, its consultants, the FAA, and DOT Aviation.
The award criteria included innovation, quality, economic approach, cooperative input from stakeholders, on-time completion and cost-savings initiatives.
As part of the two-day conference, Executive Director Kevin Melton also led a panel discussion on economic development initiatives at the airport — providing perspective on Chennault developments as well as economic development from an airport leadership perspective.
Bill Pratt standing next to his Spitfire replica at the Hammond Airport.
How much does Bill Pratt love airplanes? Enough to spend nine years building one knowing only others would get to fly it. Now, everyone can enjoy it without leaving the ground.
Pratt’s replica of the famous British World War II fighter plane, the Spitfire, is on display at the Southern Heritage Air Foundation Museum in Tallulah, which features airplanes from that era.
This Spitfire is a little more than half the size of the fighter plane credited with saving Great Britain before the U.S. entered the war. The single-seat fighter aircraft helped fight off the German air force, discouraging Adolf Hitler from invading.
Erroll Babineaux, left, and Richard Zuschlag, right, following the dedication of the Air Med 1 base in Erroll's honor.
March 4, 2020—In a ceremony on Monday, March 2, 2020, Acadian Companies leadership, employees, associates and Babineaux family members gathered at Acadian Air Med’s base in Lafayette to honor Vice President of Air Services Erroll Babineaux and his invaluable contributions to the company. The base has been dedicated to Babineaux and will be known as the Erroll C. Babineaux Air Med 1 Base.
A plaque was unveiled during the ceremony, which reads, “In recognition of Erroll Babineaux’s tireless effort and contribution to creating, developing and fostering Acadian’s air ambulance program. His foresight and dedication to Acadian Air Med has saved, and continues to save, countless lives.”
“Erroll’s long hours and hardworking, can-do attitude have helped make this company what it is today,” said Acadian Companies Chairman & CEO Richard Zuschlag. “Of all the things he has done, his legacy will be his contributions to the air ambulance industry in Louisiana. Anytime an air ambulance saves someone’s life, I credit Erroll for getting the program started."
Babineaux recently retired after more than 45 years of service with the company. He has worked as an ambulance driver, paramedic, supervisor, communications specialist and district manager of Iberia, St. Martin, Vermilion and St. Mary Parishes. He became Acadian’s first commercial pilot in 1979 and worked with Petroleum Helicopters, Inc. to design and assist in building the first air ambulance helicopter used in Louisiana, which became FAA-certified. Acadian Air Med began service in 1981.
Students in the Lake Charles area learned about aviation and related career opportunities—and got a close-up look at them—during a visit to Chennault International Airport. Executive Director Kevin Melton, standing at right, conducted a boardroom-style overview for the students, then joined his team in leading tours of on-site aviation enterprises, the air traffic control tower, and the Million Air FBO facility.
More and more people who fly for business or pleasure are beginning to discover Ahart Field, the St. Landry Parish airport, and are liking what they find. That’s leading toward the possibility of fiscal independence for the once-struggling airfield, and fueling an ambitious vision for David Allen, who is closing in on one year as the facility’s manager.
During that year the airport has cut in half operational funding needed from the parish general fund, moved to claim federal grants for capital improvements that were available but unclaimed, and begun to see the possibility of sustaining itself on its own revenue in the not too distant future.
One measure of that growth is at the fuel pump where, Allen says, sales were double what was projected for January and midway through the month were on track for a “very good February.” The growth in fuel sales is a reflection of a steady increase in landings over the last year.
CHATHAM, La. – Ice may be to blame for a Feb. 6 plane crash that claimed three lives in Jackson Parish, according to a preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board.
Chris Mudd and Wade Williams, both of Shreveport-Bossier, and pilot Robert Gilliam of Minden, died in the crash. They were traveling from Jackson, Miss., to Shreveport when the plane went down into the side of a logging business on Highway 34.
The NTSB report said the pilot of the four-seat single-engine Cessna 182 reported to Monroe Air Traffic that he was encountering ice at about 6,000 feet and requested a lower altitude. He was given permission to descend to 4,000 feet but denied a request to go to 2,000 feet. ATC said 3,000 feet was the lowest he could be cleared to.
About 5 minutes later, after the descent, the pilot asked to divert to Ruston Regional Airport to remove ice off the airplane. Radar lost contact with the airplane before it reached the approach, the report states.
Preliminary data shows the airplane’s ground speed slowing and a rapid descent. Other than the report of ice, no distress calls were received from the pilot, according to the report.
The plane grazed the top of a logging company owned by David Greer. Employees said they heard an engine getting close and a loud crash. None of the employees were injured.
The NTSB report states the airplane hit the ground almost nose down. It caught on fire upon impact.
A preliminary weather study showed several other aircraft that were operating in the area reported ice at various altitudes near the accident site. The Ruston airport, located about 14 miles northeast, reported a cloud ceiling at 1,100 feet.
To read more click...HERE
To read the NTSB report…. Click Here
WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao announced today that the U.S. Department of Transportation will award $11.36 million in airport safety and infrastructure grants to 19 airports in Louisiana. This investment in Louisiana’s airports is part of a $520.5 million national investment in America’s airports that was announced today by Secretary Chao.
“This $520.5 million in federal support to airports across the country will help to keep our nation’s airports in good shape and make air travel a better experience for passengers,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao.
With this announcement, the Trump Administration has invested a historic $11.42 billion in more than two thousand American airports across the United States for safety and infrastructure improvements since January 2017.
The grants to airports in Louisiana include the following awards:
BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. --
NBA Hall of Famer and Louisiana native, Karl Malone, toured Barksdale during a visit to the base Feb. 5-6, 2020.
A two time NBA MVP, 14-time NBA all-star and second ranked all time point score
r, Malone spent time with Airmen, toured facilities and even took a ride in a B-52H Stratofortress.
“To be able to spend time with our men and women in uniform and see how they perform when it’s go time, it’s unreal,” Malone said. “Just to get a chance to say thank you, it’s amazing.”
Growing up in Summerfield, Louisiana, Malone has developed extensive ties with Barksdale throughout the years .
To read the February edition of the Big Easy Wing of the Confederate Air Force click…..HERE
Two Shreveport-Bossier men and a pilot from Minden were killed in a fiery plane crash Thursday afternoon in rural Jackson Parish in Louisiana.
Chris Mudd and Wade Williams, both of Shreveport-Bossier, and airplane pilot Robert Gilliam of Minden all died in the crash, Jackson Parish Sheriff Andy Brown said.
The plane was owned by Matthew St. Amant of Shreveport-Bossier, who wasn't on board.
Mudd was the chief executive of St. Amant's Rehabilitation Services company and Williams was an employee of the company, said state Sen. Jay Luneau, the brother-in-law of St. Amant.
"He's incredibly broken up right now as you can imagine," Luneau said.
The crash happened just off of Louisiana 34 north of Chatham. The plane was a four-passenger, single-engine Cessna.
Brown said the cause of the crash is undetermined.
The plane left Jackson, Mississippi, Thursday afternoon and was returning to Shreveport when it crashed about 2:11 p.m.
Additional Coverage - The single-engine plane crashed shortly after the pilot reported encountering icy conditions, FAA communications manager Lynn Lunsford told The Advocate.….
On November 24, 2019, about 1050 central daylight time, a Cessna 150H airplane, N22931, impacted water following a loss of engine power near Shreveport, Louisiana. The flight instructor and student pilot were not injured, and the airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight which was in the traffic pattern at Shreveport Downtown Airport (DTN), Shreveport, Louisiana.
According to information provided by the flight instructor, while conducting touch and go landings at DTN and on the crosswind leg, the engine "bumped" twice, and the propeller stopped. The instructor verified carburetor heat, throttle, and mixture controls. The pilot energized the starter and the propeller moved; however, it did not restore engine power. They performed a forced landing to water.
LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Citadel Completions, a luxury aircraft interior company, said they’ll be expanding their footprint by 35 acres within the business community known as Chennault Park.
“They’re growing. They gotta have more room, their business is - the number of their clients is increasing," Kevin Melton, executive director at Chennault International Airport, said. “So, as a result they need to have more facility, more space more workforce to be able to do that job."
Melton said this expansion is the first of many projects to come at the airport this year.
“We’ve got some big things happening in 2020 from building out roads to bringing in an air cargo facility that we’re going to build out," Melton said. “Wildlife and fisheries is coming. In the next year and two we’re going to have the Louisiana National Guard build a readiness center right here in Lake Charles, Louisiana.”
Ultimately, Melton said every project within Chennault Park will create job opportunities for those in Southwest Louisiana.
“Today we have roughly 1,500 employees who work out here in Chennault. Within the next several years, the next five years we hope to have another 5,000 people working out here,” Melton said.
Offshore helicopter specialists Bristow and Era have entered into a definitive merger agreement.
In a joint statement on Friday, Bristow and Era said the combination in an all-stock transaction would create "a financially stronger company with enhanced size and diversification."
According to the statement, the merged company will have a combined fleet of more than 300 of the "industry’s most modern aircraft with the latest generation of technology and safety features". It will become the world’s largest operator of S92, AW189, and AW139 model helicopters.
The combined company will retain the Bristow name and will provide offshore aviation transportation and search and rescue solutions in the Americas, Nigeria, Norway, the United Kingdom and Australia.
Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins is looking forward to the potential job growth that will stem from the launch of a local aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul facility announced Thursday in the presence of local and state elected officials.
Perkins and Advanced Aero Services President Mike Anderson were on hand for the launch of the program held at the Shreveport Regional Airport.
The maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility in Shreveport will provide aviation maintenance and other services to airlines in North America and internationally.
Advanced Aero Services (AAS) is projected to create more than 60 direct jobs with a $49,600, average annual salary, plus benefits by 2021, with projections near 500 by year four and more than 1,000 by year six.
The passenger volume at Baton Rouge Metro Airport increased by 2.6% in 2019, a slightly smaller increase than what had recently been seen at the facility.
The airport had 822,425 passengers during 2019, said Jim Caldwell, airport spokesman. Passenger numbers rose by 8% for 2017 and 2018 combined.
The load factor at the airport, which accounts for the percentage of seats filled, rose from 75.7% in 2018 to 78.3%. Caldwell has said the airlines could add more flights or bring in larger planes to call on Baton Rouge if the load factor gets above 80%.
On December 7, 2019, at 0917 central standard time, a Bell 407 helicopter, N79LP, went missing in the Gulf of Mexico about 25 nautical miles southeast of Grand Isle, Louisiana. The commercial rated pilot is still missing and the passenger was fatally injured. The helicopter was registered to and operated by Panther Helicopters Inc., under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 as a business flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed in the area and the flight operated on a company visual flight rules (VFR) fight plan. The flight had departed from oil platform WD109 and was en route to oil platform WD73.
To read more click HERE.
The Port of South of South Louisiana Executive Regional Airport (KAPS) will be completely shut down beginning Monday, January 13, 2020 at 6:30 a.m. This also includes the fuel system. We will be re-doing the runway lights and repaving the entire runway. The project is expected to last 75 days. The terminal office will remain open with normal business hours. If you have any questions please contact me.
Thanks and have a great day!
355 Airport Road, Reserve, LA 70084 | P.O. Box 909, LaPlace, LA 70069-0909|
Office: (985) 652-9278 |Cell: 985-817-1004
To read the January Newsletter of the Big Easy Wing of the Commemorative Air Force click…. HERE
This accident happened almost a year ago on January 20, 2019. The final NTSB Report has now been issued. As amazing as it seems, this Navion flew all the way from Patterson to Louisiana Regional and landed in this condition. The pilot did a remarkable job. Here is the accident summary….
The pilot reported that, while on a 3-mile base leg, he encountered a flock of large birds. He aborted the base leg and rapidly descended the airplane to avoid the birds, but the birds followed. The pilot continued the dive and saw power lines nearby. He made an "evasive maneuver (dive down)" to avoid the power lines, but the vertical stabilizer struck the power lines, shearing off the vertical stabilizer and rudder.
The pilot maintained airplane control, climbed the airplane, declared "mayday," and requested flight following to an airport without a crosswind for landing. He approached at a higher airspeed to reduce the airplane's left turning tendencies, and during the landing roll, the airplane veered left off the runway into an adjacent field.
The airplane sustained substantial damage to the vertical stabilizer and rudder.
The pilot reported that there were no pre-accident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
To read more click….HERE
Auric Avionics at New Orleans Lakefront Airport is pleased to announce that we are now the official Avionics provider of the AeroShell Aerobatic Team! We look forward to keeping them going in 2020 and beyond! Check them out here - www.naat.net
A single-engine Cessna 210 crashed Wednesday afternoon at the Pontotoc County Agri-Plex. The aircraft was occupied by two individuals, initially reported to be the pilot and his daughter. Both walked away from the crash, but were transported to Mercy Hospital Ada as a precaution.
The aircraft, which sat upright in a ditch just east of the outdoor rodeo arena at the Agri-Plex, was severely damaged.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Alan said, "I have a witness who said he was at the traffic light facing north at Lonnie Abbott and Broadway who saw them flying from west to east." Fortner said the witness saw the wings of the aircraft rocking.
Fortner said the occupants were from the Shreveport, Louisiana area.
"He said, 'I knew it was going to crash,'" Fortner said. "He witnessed the crash, then went to the aircraft and help them out of the plane."
"It's my understanding," Forner said, "they were trying to land at Ada and get fuel."
Today NTSB held their final press conference here in Lafayette after receiving new evidence.
NTSB started investigating the accident around 9 pm Saturday night trying to piece together what exactly caused this tragic accident.
The plane left the Lafayette airport at 9:20 and went down after a little more than a minute.
Two witnesses told NTSB investigators the plane was in a steep turn, it rolled at about wing’s level before it hit the trees and power lines near an apartment complex on Verot School Road. The plane then continued, hitting a U.S. Post Office’s parking lot and crashing into a field at 9:22 a.m.
The crash debris field stretched about one-quarter of a mile. NTSB investigators have combed the crash site, taking photos of the wreckage and collecting any material that can be taken to a lab for further assessment.
Monday they received surveillance video that is giving them a better idea of what it looked like in the sky.
Officials said the plane was on course until it reached 900 feet in the air. That’s when it took a sharp left turn and started to spiral. There was no distress call from the aircraft that NTSB knows of at this time.
During the official update, officials had stressed that nothing is being ruled out at this point.
To Read More Click Here
For Kathryn’s Report Coverage…..
The Hammond City Council voted 4-0 to approve an ordinance to purchase land for the Hammond Northshore Regional Airport.
The land purchase has been a priority for Mayor Pete Panepinto who knew the land was needed to enhance the safety of runway 13-31 and to provide for the airport's future.
Earlier this year, the City Council denied the purchase because they believed the cost was too high.
Currently, the airport has a displaced threshold on runway 13-31 of 690 feet, meaning planes must take off earlier or land shorter rather than using the entire runway length. The displaced threshold is caused by the height of the trees on the land that the City is seeking to buy.
Louisiana DOTD-Aviation believes in the project and has authorized a $1 million grant for the land purchase. The City of Hammond needed to provide an additional $300,000 to secure the land purchase from its owner since it appraised for $1.3 million. Mayor Panepinto didn't let the price tag deter him. Instead, he raised $230,000 from private and public entities to match the grant. Much of the funds have come from pilots and plane owners who recognize the critical safety aspect of the project. Additional funds have come from economic development entities that realize the value of business owners landing their jets in Hammond and seeing first-hand the opportunities that are here for their business expansions or relocations.
PINEVILLE, La. (KALB) - KALB has learned that a small plane crashed Monday afternoon at the Pineville Airport near Buhlow Lake.
Rich Dupree, with the City of Pineville, confirmed the crash and said two people suffered injuries. We’ve been told the injuries are not life-threatening. First responders, including Acadian Ambulance, are at the scene.
Davis Aircraft, the oldest commercial enterprise at the Baton Rouge Metro Airport, is celebrating 40 years in business with some great specials:
Come browse around the showroom, we have a large selection of books, pilot supplies, oil, filters (oil, intake and instrument), tires, spark plugs, etc.
We are open on weekdays from 0830 to 1630, sometimes on weekends (if I am not flying).
Question? Call us at (225)356-3565 or email at: email@example.com
Merry Christmas and a safe New Years from all of us at Davis Aircraft.
LAKE CHARLES, Louisiana — The U.S. Navy’s fabled Blue Angels will headline the Chennault International Airshow in 2021.
The jet team will be the centerpiece of the event, which will take place June 4-6, 2021, at Chennault International Airport in Lake Charles.
Airshow Executive Director Mary Jo Bayles of DeQuincy made the announcement upon returning from the annual International Council of Air Shows convention in Las Vegas.
“We’re thrilled for our next show in 2021,” Bayles said. “Mark your calendars early for it.”
It’s a return visit to Lake Charles for the Blue Angels after being away for decades — and they’ll be flying in new aircraft for their appearance.
Speaking from Chennault International Airport, where he is executive director, Kevin Melton said, “We are extremely excited and honored to have the Navy’s aerial demonstration team, the Blue Angels, perform. The efforts to bring this team of aviation professionals back to Southwest Louisiana has been in the works for years — and that effort has finally paid off.”
Melton added: “We hope that with the Blue Angels’ performance, we’ll also be able to attract other aerial demonstrations that have not come to Chennault in the past.”
Bayles said the Blue Angels will do more than fly their breathtaking precision routines.
“When they visit, they go out in the public and they visit schools,” she said. “”The first thing they asked about was what they can do in the community. They’ve heard so much about the hospitality in Southwest Louisiana. They’re excited to be coming — and so are we.”
The Airshow has been held biennially — in odd-numbered years — since the longtime local traditional was revived in 2013. There is no show in 2020.
“June 2021 will come fast, as preparation for that airshow began July 2019,” Melton said. “These airshows are a great community event and well worth the time and energy by a great team of volunteers who help plan and execute this dynamic event.”
Entries are now being taken for the 2020 Louisiana Aviation Art Contest by LaDOTD. All interested youth/schools/art centers/ etc may enter. The deadline to enter is January 17, 2020.
For all the details click HERE
To read the December Newsletter of the Big Easy Wing of the Commemorative Air Force click…. HERE
False River Regional Airport - Aircraft Hangar Waiting List Survey
Are you interested in basing your aircraft in a new hangar at False River Regional Airport in New Roads, Louisiana? If so, please complete the following survey to help support continued development efforts at False River Regional Airport.
To go to the survey click HERE.
Have you ever had someone tell you that they didn’t see any reason to have a local airport? All they are is a place for rich people to store their airplanes. Obviously we don’t agree. The Louisiana DOTD Aviation Division recently updated the Louisiana Airports Economic Impact Study. It found that Louisiana airports employ 84,400 people with a total payroll of $2.6 Billion. The total economic output of all of the Louisiana airports is $9.3 Billion.
This article shows the benefits our airports really provide.
If you would like to know the Economic impact your local airport makes just Click Here to see the whole study.
A Tornado struck the Pineville Airport yesterday. There was some hangar damage and a few airplanes were damaged. I didn’t see any photos of airplanes that looked to be totally destroyed. David Lewis of Cubs Floats and Fun reports that their Super Cub floatplane was not damaged. However, the Cessna 310 used for multi-engine training has been damaged and will be out of service for awhile.
The Coast Guard has suspended its search for the two people aboard an overdue helicopter that crashed in the Gulf of Mexico.
Coast Guard says their crews searched over 4,117 square-nautical miles for approximately 68 hours but were unable to find the passengers.
“It is never easy to suspend a search,” said Lt. Cmdr. Michelle Ferguson from Coast Guard Sector New Orleans. “We searched diligently with our pilots, boat crews and cutter crews but were unable to find the two men aboard the helicopter. Our condolences go out to the friends and family of the two men.”
The search continued Monday morning for that helicopter that was reported overdue on Saturday. During that search, debris matching the helicopter's description was found
A U.S. Coast Guard spokesman said the agency does believe the copter crashed in the Gulf of Mexico, based on the debris found.
On Saturday, officials told KATC that they were contacted about the missing helicopter at around 10:37 am Saturday. Panther Marine, the owner of the helicopter stated that the crew did not reach their destination. The passengers were transiting from one offshore platform to another but Panther Marine lost communications when they were 10 minutes from landing, according to a release.
SHREVEPORT, La. - Law enforcement from both sides of the Red River responded to a plane crash in the river Sunday.
According to Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office, the two men inside the Cessna airplane, were practicing touch-and-go landings at the Shreveport Downtown Airport when their engine failed just before 11 a.m.. The plane went into the Red River near the end of the south runway.
Both men were able to get out and swim to the Bossier side of the river. They did not appear to be injured but were taken to Ochsner LSU Health as a precaution.
According to deputies another pilot said he saw the plane take off, heard the engine stop, saw the plane drop below the tree line and called 911.
Stacy Kuba, interim director of airports for the Shreveport Airport Authority, said the airport has returned to normal operations. The plane is expected to be removed at a later date.
No names of those involved have been released pending contact with their families.
The following survey is being conducted for the proposed Livingston Executive Airport in Livingston Parish, Louisiana. The intended audience for this survey is individuals or businesses that own or operate aircraft within Livingston Parish and the surrounding areas. All survey responses are optional, but your answers will be used to assist with the justification efforts for the proposed airport and to obtain required approvals from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Please complete as many questions as you can that apply to your individual circumstances. Your participation in the survey is important to the outcome of the proposed airport. If you have any questions, please email LivingstonExecAirport@gmail.com. Thank you in advance for your assistance. Feel free to send this survey to anyone who might be interested in operating at the Livingston Executive Airport in the future.
To take the survey click…...HERE
A new fixed-based operator, Williams Jet Center, has announced plans to develop a facility at Baton Rouge Metro Airport that will include 32 private hangars, including 12 that will be owned and 20 others offered for lease, as well as a pilot’s lounge and self-serve fuel pumps.
The FBO, which is being developed by local father-and-son real estate developers Lanny and Luke Lewis, will break ground on a five-acre site at the airport in early 2020 and should be up and running by mid-year. Already, most of the 12 hangar sites offered for sale have been pre-sold, Luke Lewis says.
“We’re creating a model where members can lease their hangars long-term and have 24-hour, private access to them from Veterans Boulevard,” he says. “This will be an association, with all lease terms, grounds keeping and associates fees managed by Williams Jet Center.
Williams is the latest of several FBOs to announce expansion plans at BTR. Just last week, a New Orleans-based group announced it wants to develop a “master planned hangar community” called Regency Hangars. Like Williams, Regency Hangars will be privately owned and offered for sale or lease.
To read more click HERE
Two weeks ahead of the Thanksgiving travel season, it is possible to get in and out of the new $1 billion terminal at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport smoothly and without incident.
It's also possible to arrive at your destination without your luggage, miss your flight because of long security lines, or face taxi and ride-share queues bursting out of their curbside confines.
After one week of operation, the new airport has gotten decidedly mixed reviews: raves for its appearance and amenities, and torrents of negative social media posts about its operation during peak travel times.
Questions about what’s being done to improve things and whether they will happen in time for the Thanksgiving rush remain mostly unanswered by the airport’s unwavering response: Be patient as we work out the kinks.
“We’re still less than a week into operations,” airport spokeswoman Erin Burns said Monday. “We continue to ask the public to be patient. This is still very new to a lot of people.”
To read more click…...HERE
The article above stated that they had not received a response from MSY Airport Management on the opening. A public response has now been issued. To hear how Kevin Dolliole, Director of Aviation, views the terminal opening to this point and how the problems are being addressed just…. Click Here
Kopter has been building flight hours with the third prototype of its SH09 in Sicily, Italy. Kopter Photo
Swiss manufacturer Kopter may not be exhibiting at this year’s edition of the Air Medical Transport Conference, running Nov. 4 to 6 in Atlanta, Georgia, but it believes its upcoming light single SH09 has the potential to change the helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) sector in the U.S.
The company has been working with a customer advisory committee focusing on the U.S. HEMS market, with representatives from about 10 different operators that fly a combined total of around 40 aircraft.
“We’re working with them, trying to get their expectations, understand what their needs are, and we’re trying to funnel all that information back to our engineering folks to do as much as they can to integrate those needs into the aircraft for certification,” said Larry Roberts, the company’s senior vice president, U.S. business development.
Kopter pitches the SH09 as providing the cabin size of a twin-engine aircraft, but with the acquisition and operating costs of a single-engine helicopter. And Roberts said it was the aircraft’s cabin size that proves particularly appealing to the EMS market.
As part of the company’s commitment to the region, in March this year it announced it would be basing its U.S. subsidiary, Kopter North America, in Lafayette, Louisiana. The 84,000-square-foot facility, located at Lafayette Regional Airport, will house a final assembly and customization line for the SH09, as well as be the base for customer support in the region.
The facility’s previous tenants, Bell, had originally planned to use the facility to produce its 505 Jet Ranger X, but ultimately ended up using it for cabin assembly of the 525. According to Roberts, Kopter has held meetings with the same engineering firm that designed the original facility, and they have provided plans for modifying it to make it “SH09 friendly.”
However, the company is still months away from beginning operations in Lafayette, with the facility likely to see activity in the second half of 2020, and the first fully U.S.-assembled SH09 scheduled for delivery from Lafayette in 2021.
“We made no secret when we announced the rental of the facility that there won’t really be a start of operations before next year,” said Roberts. “We need the program to move forward a bit in Switzerland before we actually start our operations in Lafayette.”
Recruitment of staff to work in the facility will begin in 2020, with 120 staff ultimately expected to work there by 2025, when production should reach around 100 SH09s per year.
What am I talking about when I say…. The Grass Roots Fly-ins? To be specific, I‘m talking about fly-ins that private airstrip owners hold at their homes. Events like Todd Nesom’s 18th Annual WC Field Fly-in that is being held this weekend, Paul Juneau’s event last weekend, Shade Tree and the Smith Fly-in in Mississippi, Roy Ray in Alabama, and of course the biggest of them all - the 34th Annual Reklaw event in Texas which will be held next weekend. These are events where folks hold fly-ins at their private airstrips for other aviation folks to enjoy. Why do they do it? The simple answer is because they really like airplanes and the folks that fly them.
Some of the hosts pay all of the expenses out of their pockets. Some charge a nominal fee for food, etc. to recover expenses or to give to a charitable cause. Some are one day events while others last the entire weekend with camping, etc. Some draw a dozen aircraft and others get over 400 in attendance. What they all have in common is that laid-back, family atmosphere where you can enjoy visiting with aviation folks and watching planes fly all day. They are one of my favorite types of aviation events. I like what is printed on the Shade Tree t-shirts… “Aviation like it used to be.”
The next question is are they public or private? It’s a fine line between the two. I mean after all, these events are generally at their homes so that seems pretty private. Some of the hosts want me to put the event on the calendar. Some don’t because they are afraid it might get too big for their facilities or they will run out of food, etc. I totally understand that. I think Reklaw says it best on their advertising….. Aircraft Owners, Pilots and other Aviation enthusiasts welcome. NOT OPEN TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC! I think you can figure out what that means. If you are part of the aviation community and you find out about the event you are more than welcome to attend. And don’t forget to thank your host for doing it.
The main thing is that if you decide to attend make sure you get a thorough briefing on how to fly in and out of these places from the host or at least someone who has been there before. And don’t fly like a jerk. An accident can shut down these events faster than a Blue Angel’s F-18 on a sneak pass. And of course be respectful of their property. After all, you are visiting their homes.
Oh, and most of all have fun. You are enjoying grass roots aviation at its finest.
To see some photos from Paul Juneau’s event last weekend click HERE
He has a beautiful place.
To read the November Newsletter of the Big Easy Wing of the Commemorative Air Force click HERE.
Welcome Lt. Col. Samuel K. Joplin as the new commander of the 122nd Fighter Squadron at NAS JRB New Orleans. Lt. Col. Joplin is responsible for all aspects of F-15C squadron operations, including the training and proficiency of 27 F-15C pilots and the administration of a state of the art flying program. Congratulations to outgoing commander Lt. Col. Benjamin D. Cook on a job well done.
The rain-date Young Eagles event on Saturday was another outstanding success! One of our largest groups ever - 25 Boy Scouts,St. Charles Parish Homeschoolers and others, reveled in the aerial city tour (most flying for the very first time). They also inspected the highly proficient working of the Lakefront Control Tower, and dined on juicy hamburgers and hotdogs and cookies – oh my! A hearty thank you to pilots, Mike Harris, Tim Walsh and Dean Scott, expert aviators of their aircraft; grill master, John Raymer; Toby Burroughs, COO, who brought the whole thing together; and Don Ortego, who dutifully shepherded the students to and from the control tower with nary a boo-boo.
Also, special appreciation to the dedicated professionals at the Lakefront Control Tower, and the unique accommodations by the Airport Operations personnel. Once again, all went smoothly without a glitch.
Our next Young Eagles event will be spring of 2020. Will be sure to let you know - hope to see you then.
EAA Chapter 261 President
P.S. Photographs of the event taken by Vincent Simmons, superb visual chronicler, can be viewed/downloaded by clicking: HERE
If opening stays on schedule, the next step for the airport comes Nov. 6
Author: Thanh Truong / Eyewitness News
KENNER, La. — When it opens, the new terminal at Louis Armstrong International will be the latest chapter in the airport's evolution.
Before the new terminal and well before it was Louis Armstrong International, our airport was Moisant Field.
"Our airport has served us very well, it was designed in the ‘40's and built in the ‘50's," Vincent Caire said.
Caire is an aviation historian and author of the book “Louisiana Aviation.” Given the size of the metro area and the routes flown through New Orleans, he says the evolution of the city's airport is remarkable.
“It did have humble beginnings it started in an old U.S. Army Corps hangar,” Caire said. “I personally think the facility we're going to have there shortly is going to be one of the most remarkable facilities in the United States if not the globe.”
Multiple problems have pushed back the debut of the new terminal by more than a year. Former New Orleans city council member Jackie Clarkson says, while she's pleased that the city will have a new airport, more work should've been done to sooner to update the facility.
"I thought it was going to be the best airport in America, and we had so many opportunities that were passed up." Clarkson said.
Clarkson says those opportunities have to do with making Armstrong International a hub for a major airline, like Atlanta is to Delta. To Clarkson, New Orleans should be a prime candidate to become a hub.
"Why aren't we a hub? With all the tourism that we have and the way that our city is admired around the world?" Clarkson asked.
Caire says airlines factor in many elements in deciding where to be based, and the number of flights flown is just one. Caire says considering where this airport started, success can be measured in different ways.
"It's served us in every Super Bowl, every Sugar Bowl, every convention. There's nothing really bad to say about the facility, but it's certainly time to move to the next step,” Caire said.
If opening stays on schedule, the next step for the airport comes Nov. 6.
By Chandler Watkins | October 24, 2019 at 10:07 PM CDT - Updated October 24 at 10:34 PM
LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - If you have seen new aircraft in the skies above Southwest Louisiana, it’s because the United States Air Force has landed in Lake Charles at Chennault. The airport says they are hosting the aircrews and 2 C-130 aircraft this week as a part of a Green Flag Little Rock exercise.
“We’ve been out here since Sunday and we are participants in the Green Flag Little Rock exercise which is run by the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana," Major Lance Peak, an instructor pilot for the C-130J said. "It allows us to create a cohesive and interoperate with our joint sister service and international partners.”
Green Flag exercises, according to Peak, focus on combat airlift and airdrops, as well as challenging the aircrews in survival, evasion, resistance, and escape-type scenarios.
“It’s a joint live training exercise which allows us to implement and hone our tactical airlift prowess if you will," Peak said. "We run that out of Fort Polk so we take off every day out of here and we get into that area and we practice air-land missions into dirt landing zones with our Army partners and International partners and trust our ability to train with partners in joint services that we don’t operate with on a daily basis.”
Steven Schumacher is the pilot of a Piper Aztec plane with tail number N778PA, believed to have crashed in the Gulf of Mexico. (Source: FlightAware)
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Authorities suspended a search for the pilot of a small aircraft they believed crashed in the Gulf of Mexico.
The United States Coast Guard and the Mexican Navy searched for Steven Schumacher of Missouri, the pilot of a Piper Aztec twin-engine plane. Officials say there were no passengers on the plane with him.
The search began when family members contacted the Coast Guard in New Orleans to report Schumacher had not reached his destination in Gonzales, La. Schumacher left Missouri Wednesday, Oct. 16 and was scheduled to land in Gonzales at 8:30 Wednesday night.
Schumacher’s last known location was 380 nautical miles south of Louisiana and 300 nautical miles east of Corpus Christi, Texas. An online flight tracker’s last contact for the plane indicated it was about 50 feet above the water.
Coast Guard crews searched over 6,265 square-nautical miles for approximately 21 hours but were unable to find the aircraft or pilot.
"After the utmost consideration and review of all factors involved in this search and rescue case, the Coast Guard has made the difficult decision to suspend its active search efforts,” said Cmdr. Drew Casey, search and rescue mission coordinator from the Eighth Coast Guard District. “We extend our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Steven Schumacher.”
Walford: Citizens deserve better than Shreveport Airport Authority
By Monty Walford
I’ve been involved in various oversight committee, boards, and council for most of my working life. I’ve served on community boards, corporate boards, church vestry, almost seven years service on the Metropolitan Zoning Board of Appeals, and eight years representing the citizens of District B on the Shreveport City Council.
In my role on the council I had to vote to confirm many mayoral appointees to various city boards and commissions.
The one thing that membership on a committee, board, or commission has in common was the requirement to remember that the very reason that we existed as an oversight committee was to answer to a higher loyalty, be it an oath, our concern for those we represented, or a duty to the citizens that are served.
Never have I seen this balanced art of representation and governance go more wrong than the current Shreveport Airport Authority (SAA). The SAA is comprised of five members appointed to five-year terms by the mayor and confirmed by the City Council.
The current five members were appointed by the previous mayor Ollie Tyler. Before she left office she reappointed several of the members.
One could quickly see that there was a serious problem with the SAA when the past chairwoman stated that the airport director, recommended to the mayor by the SAA board members and hired by Mayor Tyler, was “her boss.''
This airport director caused serious harm for both the Shreveport Regional and Downtown Airports.
The SAA has consistently violated the Louisiana Open Meetings Law, failing to provide proper meeting notice or agenda as required by Louisiana law. When attention was called to their failure to follow the law, instead of simply correcting the errors for the future, someone attempted to add notices to past meetings to cover up the violations.
It is simply hard to believe a group of Shreveport citizens charged with oversight of a budget approaching $20 million dollars annually would be so lax. SAA members now face the possibilities of fines for the open meetings violations.
Equally disturbing is the sham “marketing expense” of the SAA. As has recently been disclosed by John Settle, this so-called marketing expense is paid to organizations in which SAA members are involved.
On some, the SAA receives free tickets to functions, but failed to provide information on who received the tickets when requested on a public records request. Those disclosed included Shreveport Symphony tickets to past chairwoman Margaret Shehee. There were free tickets to Mudbug Madness and Christmas in the Sky. There were cash payments to Crawfest and Derby Day.
To the SAA board members I say, "Shame on you.'' The citizens of Shreveport deserve much better. To Mayor Adrian Perkins and the members of the Shreveport City Council, I ask why you allow this board to treat a position of trust and responsibility with so little regard for what is right and for the law enacted to provide notice of public meetings for those citizens that they supposedly serve.
If there is any honor among the members of the Shreveport Airport Authority they will immediately tender their resignation to Mayor Perkins and open the positions for appointees who will serve with honor, integrity, and respect for the law.
I don’t remember this accident but it would definitely get your heart rate up. The pilot did a great job…...
On June 8, 2018, about 1605 central daylight time, a Beech 58 airplane, N190RS, sustained substantial damage when the right wing caught on fire during initial climb from the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport (BTR), Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The pilot was not injured. The airplane was registered to Bonanza Partners LLC and operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and the flight had an activated instrument flight plan. The flight had departed BTR and was en route to the Jonesboro Municipal Airport (JBR), Jonesboro, Louisiana.
Our first field trip to the airport was a great success! We had 60 4th graders from Leonville Elementary visit us today for 4 hours!
They got to see and hear airplanes taxi up, a conquest (turbo prop) depart and takeoff. They saw our fuel farm and learned all about that process, they toured Airplanes, learned about airplane mechanics and saw an airplane shop, toured air evac’s helicopter and even learned the basics of aerodynamics. Went well, teachers were happy, students seemed engaged. We even got
Some press out of it. KATC was here and Lft cbs affiliate.
OPL is moving forward!
To read the October Newsletter of the Big Easy Wing of the Commemorative Air Force click HERE.
The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport's new, quarterly 30-minute television show titled Inside MSY is now available on YouTube.
This episode of Inside MSY shows viewers the route to the new terminal, provides updates on the project, and brings you inside the new $1 billion terminal set to open in fall 2019.
View this episode of Inside MSY on the Airport's YouTube channel by clicking the link below. Subscribe to our channel to be notified when we post future episodes of Inside MSY by searching for "Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport".
For more information about the new terminal, visit www.thenewmsy.com.
The C.E. “Rusty” Williams Airport (3F3) has a new fuel farm and it’s ready for use. It’s a 24hr self-service station with both Avgas and Jet A.
For more info contact:
DeSoto Parish Police Jury
C.E. “Rusty” Williams Airport
Grand Cane, LA 71032
318-871-8900 office or 318-871-7889 cell
Congratulations to Pilots for Patients for recently flying their 5,000 mission. To tag along on that historic flight just click HERE.
Avionics Solutions held a very successful Aviation Expo at their offices in Lafayette last Wednesday evening. All the big avionics manufacturers were there to demonstrate their latest and greatest equipment. It just keeps getting better and better and it was a great opportunity to see in demonstrated in person. Here are some photos from the event.
Acadiana Aircraft Interiors was also there to showcase their beautiful work. They are also based in Lafayette. http://www.acadianaaircraftinteriors.com/
By Rob Masson | September 26, 2019 at 2:09 PM CDT - Updated September 26 at 3:39 PM
NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - More than a month after a plane went down killing one of the most popular charter boat captains in the region this morning, a team of local recovery experts say that plane was located.
A portion of the wreckage was brought in to Slidell this morning by a team with extensive recovery experience.
Mark Michaud and Tommy Williams arrived about an hour and a half ago after spotting the wreckage of the plane which belong to Lafitte charter boat Captain Theophile Bourgeois earlier this morning.
The team says they spotted the wreckage and brought back a piece of the tail of Bourgeois's plane as they were just beginning a wide sonar search of an area called Bay Boudreaux in St Bernard parrish. This wasn't the first effort to recover the plane and the team used sonar from earlier searches to help decide where they would look today. The search team believes the plane became exposed due to heavy seas changing its position. On board the recovery boat was Mark Michaud a former Slidell police officer who has been involved in many recovery missions.
'What I'm thinking it didn't bury up in the mud enough so much of the fuselage is still intact. But it looks like it's balled up pretty good," said Michaud, with Southeast Louisiana Search and Recovery.
Michaud was part of a team that recovered the body of a missing New Orleans school teacher several years ago in Bayou St John as well as a missing UNO student out in New Orleans East.
He is now retired from the Slidell police department and works exclusively in recovery and training.
By Dave McNamara | September 24, 2019 at 7:51 PM CDT - Updated September 24 at 10:43 PM
MONROE, La. (WVUE) - The Flying Tigers were a symbol of U.S. air combat in the Pacific in WWII. But, they got their start as a group of volunteer American pilots, flying for the Chinese to fight against a Japanese invasion. Their commander was Claire Chennault, who grew up in north Louisiana.
Nell Calloway is the director of a museum in Monroe that tells the story of Chennault and the Flying Tigers.
“The war broke out a little more than five weeks after he arrived. And in 1937, you have a Louisiana farm boy who was put in charge as chief air adviser of the Chinese air force,” Calloway said.
Calloway is also Lieutenant General Claire Chennault’s granddaughter, who now runs the Chennault Military Museum in Monroe
“The actual American volunteer group Flying Tigers saw their very first action December 20th, 1941 when they shot down nine of 10 Japanese bombers over Kunming, China," Calloway explained.
Chennault was a strong proponent of fighter aircraft, believing that they were vital for escorting the larger bombers. And, his Flying Tigers set an all-time combat record.
“They’re credited was shooting down 299 Japanese airplanes confirmed, about that many unconfirmed, and they only lost 12 with their own,” Calloway said.
GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - It is a museum being built entirely with volunteer effort, and they are getting ready to take off.
The Mississippi Aviation Museum in Gulfport is making huge strides towards their scheduled opening date of October 1 with the help of people like sailors from the USS Tripoli, which is being built at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula.
Tuesday, they helped maneuver two of the airplanes that will be part of the exhibit inside a former furniture store on Pass Road.
Petty Officer Thomas Brickner was one of the members of the ship’s pre-commission unit helping to get the Cessna 310 and a Cessna 175 moved inside.
“We’ve been doing this for several months,” he said. “It’s hard to put into words. I’ve been coming here donating my time along with many other sailors since almost the beginning, and to see where this space has come in that period of time is astounding."
"And it’s all with community help,” he added with pride.
Local filmmaker Francisco Gonzalez is heading the effort to get the museum opened on behalf of the John C. Robinson Brown Condor Association, and he couldn’t thank his volunteers enough.
Here is the Preliminary Accident Report from last week’s ditching in the Gulf of Mexico near the mouth of the river…..
On September 15, 2019, at 1146 central daylight time, a Piper PA-46-350P, N218MW, lost engine power while maneuvering over the Gulf of Mexico, and the pilot was forced to ditch. The private pilot was not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Mailworks, Inc., Spring Valley, California, under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions existed near the accident site at the time of the accident, and the flight was operated on a visual flight rules flight plan. The flight originated from Space Coast Regional Airport (TIX), Titusville, Florida, and was en route to Mathis Field (SJT), San Angelo, Texas.
Preliminary information indicates the pilot had been cruising at 16,000 ft when he decided to descend and take some photographs. While maneuvering at 2,500 ft, the engine lost all power. The pilot ditched near an oil platform and was rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter. The airplane sank and has not been recovered.
To read more click...HERE
LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Neither of the two occupants of a plane that crashed deep in the woods near the state line Saturday afternoon were injured, authorities said.
The crash happened in a marshy area between Vinton and the state line, according to Calcasieu Sheriff Tony Mancuso.
The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office plane was already in the air for the McNeese football game and was able to fly over and find the crashed plane, Mancuso said. The Sheriff’s Office Marine Division was then able to rescue both occupants.
“They were unharmed, really not a scratch on them,” Mancuso said.
SOUTHWEST PASS, La. (WVUE) - A man was rescued from a small plane crash in the Gulf of Mexico Sunday afternoon (Sept. 15), according to the United States Coast Guard.
The plane went down shortly before noon, the Coast Guard said, roughly eight miles southeast of Southwest Pass.
A helicopter crew arrived on the scene just after 1 p.m. and found the man in the water, wearing a life jacket. The man was lifted out of the water and brought to West Jefferson Medical Center in stable condition, the Coast Guard said.
No one else was on the plane at the time of the crash, according to the Coast Guard.
Lt. Cmdr. Brian Ward, an aircraft commander at Air Station New Orleans said this best-case scenario crash is a “great example” of how being prepared can save your life.
“Wearing a life jacket and having an emergency locator device on board, including an emergency position indicating radio beacon on board a vessel, greatly increases your chances of survival and being rescued," Ward said.
Sept 9, 2019 at the Civil Air Patrol, Capitol City Composite Squadron’s Open House, Brian Capone, as a representative of the local FAA, presented the FAA’s Wright Brothers’ Master Pilot Award to Michael Baker. Mr. Baker was hooked with the flying bug when Mr. Al Spain gave him a ride in 1966. Shortly thereafter, he became a student of the infamous ‘Eddie Duffard’. Over his career of personal, business, and commercial flying, Mike has flow several aircraft to include a L-19, Luscombe, Ercoupe, several Pipers, and obtained multi engine training in an Aero Commander 500. He flew some corporate in CE-500 and BE-200 aircraft. He obtained his Flight Engineer certificate and flew with such on the Boeing 727 and Airbus A300. He also holds glider and seaplane ratings. He has owned and flown a Beechcraft Bonanza and Baron. Mike spent many years supporting the US Coast Guard Auxiliary’s Aviation Section. He has the best of both worlds today, back into a Baron and when he desires to go low and slow, takes out his J-3 Cub! His wife Carol received a certificate and stick pin for her support over the years. Congratulations to Mr. Baker!
People might expect to find the longest runway in the state in a place like New Orleans or Baton Rouge. But actually the airport with the longest runway—2-miles long—is not in either of these cities, and it’s not your traditional airport.
Located in the midsized market of Lake Charles, Chennault International Airport got its start as a WWII-era Air Force base with a runway built to handle our nation’s largest aircraft. After reopening in the 1980s, Chennault helped lead Lake Charles out of the oil bust by carving out a unique role for itself.
Where other airports focus on commercial flights, Chennault is known as a great spot to support maintenance repair organizations and other service-oriented companies, charter flights, general aviation and many of our DoD and other government agencies to include Air Force One.
(Continued Next Column)
It’s also home to Chennault Park—a business community comprised of towering hangars and hundreds of acres of available land, lending to the airport’s dramatic skyline. Having already attracted such big names in aviation as Northrop Grumman, Landlocked Aviation Services and Citadel Completions, Chennault Park is expected to expand drastically over the next decade, with the potential to create thousands of new jobs. In fact, Chennault has the potential to attract 11,000+ jobs and provide over $1B in sales tax revenue to the state (Economic Impact of Chennault Infrastructure Master Plan Development, July 28, 2019)
Studies show Chennault is uniquely equipped to handle air cargo—a growing industry in an economy dominated by companies like Amazon. Chennault’s uncongested airspace allows for short wait times, and its location makes for easy access to Interstate highways, the Union Pacific railway and a deep water seaport.
Chennault is also quickly becoming a center for aerospace education. The airport regularly puts on Federal Aviation Association fly-ins and recently hosted a 2-day safety training course for airport personnel from across the state, along with regular tours and school visits. It’s also located next to Sowela Technical Community College, which offers degrees in aviation maintenance technology.
But for pilots, the real draw is the airport's fixed-based operator, Million Air, which features a luxury home-theatre and dining lounge, where they can enjoy Southern-inspired fare. Plus, the new self-serve gas station makes Chennault one of the cheapest stops in the state.
(Continued Next Column)
Lake Charles has been the fastest growing market in the state for three year’s running, as multibillion-dollar industries flock to the region for its resources, business incentives and strategic location. In this time of growth, Chennault is poised to serve the area’s expanding population and business environment.
The airport’s Executive Director Kevin Melton sums up the Chennault vision: “We aim to honor our rich history of aviation support while building a future for aerospace. Our goal is to maintain our customer-focused airport services founded on safety and compliance while providing benchmark services to every tenant (we like to call them partners) and every aircrew member that transits our airspace or lands at Chennault. We strive for excellence in every aspect of our operation and we look to apply that ideology to our aggressive growth initiatives.”
If you’re an aviator and haven’t been to Chennault, come check it out and let Million Air FBO serve you, get some cheap self-serve gas, or just shoot some approaches and/or touch-and-goes to its 10,701 foot runway.
To read the September newsletter of the Big Easy Wing of the Commemorative Air Force click HERE
Auric Avionics & Instruments has signed an exclusive agreement with Robotic Skies, LLC to be the sole maintenance provider and flight test facility of commercially operated Unmanned Aerial Systems and Optionally Manned Aerial Systems in the Gulf South area. Robotic Skies, LLC has investment partners such as Boeing, Jeppesen and Aviall to name a few. We are excited to venture on this new path in addition to what we already do.
How can you help?
You can do all that via our website http://www.cajunairlift.org.
Donations will go towards purchasing the needed supplies for the Hurricane Dorian recovery.
Please share with your friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors.
By Katherine Mozzone | August 31, 2019 at 10:22 PM CDT - Updated August 31 at 10:36 PM
NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - He was one of the first African American civilian airshow aerobatic pilots in the country, but Franklin Augustus will be remembered for much more than his impact on aviation.
His loved ones say his legacy lies most in his passion and personality.
By the time Taps echoed through the Lakefront Airport Terminal Saturday afternoon (Aug. 31), honoring Augustus’ inspiring life, there was barely a place to stand as crowds packed in to say a final goodbye.
Wilma Heaton, the chairwoman for the Lakefront Management Authority, was among those who spoke at the services.
“[This is] a tribute and a celebration of Franklin,” Heaton said. “This is hard for us to do, but it would be even harder not to.”
Augustus died in a plane crash on Aug. 16, along with FOX 8′s cherished anchor, Nancy Parker, who was working on a story about Augustus. The two were taking a ride in his plane when it started having engine trouble and crashed, fatally injuring them both.
Heaton said the large attendance at Saturday’s last minute tribute speaks volumes about who Augustus was and the impact he had others.
To read more and see a video click….HERE
Franklin Augustus Obituary
MISSION COMPLETE! Volunteer pilot Glenn Northcott and his crew have touched down safe in Monroe, completing their mission of flying to all 69 airports in Louisiana within 24 hours. Glenn's hope is to raise awareness of Pilots for Patients and to recruit more pilots throughout the state. If you or someone you know is a pilot, please share this along. Congratulations Glenn on this incredible accomplishment!
To watch a video summary of their flight click HERE
Some news coverage from Lafayette: Click HERE
Propell Air in Deridder is excited to announce that two more airplanes have been added to our training fleet. The Stinson Voyager allows students to earn their tailwheel endorsement, and the Beechcraft Sierra will be for complex training.
Here is the crew before they departed…..
Well they did it! They landed at all 69 public airports in Louisiana in one day…...
They dropped off lots of posters and signs for Pilot for Patients….
And they even made it back to Monroe a little more than 2 hours ahead of schedule.
I would like to say “Mission Accomplished” but I can’t just yet. Remember the real purpose of the mission was to recruit more pilots for Pilots for Patients so that still needs to happen to call the mission truly successful. But congratulations to Glenn, Austin and Donnie for doing something that no one else has ever done. I bet they slept well last night.
The new Lafayette Regional Airport Terminal is taking shape alongside the current small, aging airport. The steel framework is up and construction crews are working fast to hit the 24 month completion deadline.
With recent major improvements to the Lake Charles and Alexandria Airports and New Orleans' $1 billion new terminal opening soon (major problems have delayed it's opening), it was time for Lafayette to get in the game. The new Lafayette Regional Airport solidifies Lafayette as a real city.
Lafayette's new terminal will cost $90 million and is expected to be completed in just 24 months. It has provided, in addition to current airport employees, 300 construction jobs.
Left to right, Assistant Principal Erin Holly, Mrs. Becky Fritchie, Lt Col Kathy Beauford, and Principal Laura Gilbert as Mrs. Becky Fritchie receives the Southwest Region Aerospace Education Teacher of the Year Award.
Geismar, La – Ascension Parish teacher Mrs. Becky Fritchie has won the prestigious Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Educator or the Year Award for its Southwest Region, naming her as one of the top 8 aerospace educators in the country. The Southwest Region of the Civil Air Patrol includes Arkansas, Arizona, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Mrs. Becky Fritchie has distinguished herself as an educator and won the
Louisiana CAP Aerospace Education Member (AEM) Award in 2017. In 2018 she won the Louisiana Aerospace Educator of the Year Award. Ms. Fritchie was also chosen to participate in STEM research at NASA’s Johnson Space Center with 10 other teachers from around the country for 2019.
Ms. Becky Fritchie attends and presents at educator conferences and shares her enthusiasm, techniques and knowledge with other teachers. She says, “My professional aspiration is to empower teachers to have the courage and confidence to try new ideas so that they may grow in their professional abilities and inspire their students to grow as well.”
Ms. Fritchie teaches 5th grade math and science at Spanish Lake Primary School. Ms. Laura Gilbert, Ms. Fritchie’s principal, noted that “We are fortunate to have Becky Fritchie as a teacher. Her passion for teaching and learning is contagious. The experiences that our students gain from being in her classroom are priceless as she includes innovative ideas and challenges them on a daily basis.” She adds, “Her way of inspiring students to have the same passion she has for exploration and learning is impressive. She has an excitement that is rare. I would definitely consider her a lifelong learner as she is constantly striving to do more and learn as many new innovative ideas as she can to bring back to her classroom to prepare our students for the future.”
Vicksburg/Tallulah- The Southern Heritage Air Foundation and Museum announced today that it is the recipient of a major donation in the form of a WWII aircraft, a Russian Yakolev Yak-9U. The plane will join, in SHAF’s hangar, the museum’s 1945 P-51 D Charlotte’s Chariot II, 1944 AT-6 Texan, 1995 (1939 Model) WACO Classic Bi-Plane, 1945 L-5 Stinson, and the late Mississippi Governor Kirk Fordice’s last plane, a 2001 Amphibious Aviat Husky. “Denny Hickman, of Gordo, Alabama, has honored us as the recipient of one of his prized aircraft. This Russian Yak – 9U is in flying condition and will be the perfect addition to the WWII and Vintage aircraft that the museum currently has. It will lend to our ‘living history’ section and be used for educational purposes, as well as, flying air shows to support its expenses,” said Dan Fordice, Chairman of the Southern Heritage Air Foundation.
“The Yakovlev Yak-9 fighters became the most important element of the Soviet air arm in the final two years of World War II. The Yak-9 was the last of the series that began with the Yak-1 in 1942, and saw production totals in excess of 30,000,” says Patty Mekus, President of the Southern Heritage Air Foundation.
SHAF’s new Yak arrived on Thursday, August 29th at approximately 1:00 pm. It was flown into the Vicksburg-Tallulah Regional Airport by Mark Henley of the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team.
The Southern Heritage Air Foundation and Museum was founded by the late MS Governor Kirk Fordice and his son Dan Fordice. For more information about the Foundation and the Museum visit: https://southernheritageair.org/
The Southern Heritage Air Foundation is located at the Vicksburg-Tallulah Regional Airport off of I-20, Exit 182, Mound, LA.
CIvil Air Patrol's National Radar Analysis Team used a brand-new tool to quickly guide searchers to a crashed seaplane near New Orleans in bad weather, resulting in the rescue of two people – two of four saves credited Sunday to CAP.
The Air Force Rescue Coordination center activated the radar team to help find the missing plane, a Cessna 206, after a local fishing charter service reported the aircraft missing with three people aboard Sunday afternoon. Meanwhile, the U.S. Coast Guard had deployed a MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew to search for the plane in the Chandeleur Sound amid heavy rain and choppy seas.
The CAP radar team quickly responded by using a newly developed tool -- still considered to be in the beta testing stage — that makes innovative use of ADS-B (automatic dependent surveillance — broadcast) technology to quickly locate a target.
The team was able to provide the Coast Guard with the downed plane’s latitude and longitude “within a couple of minutes” after obtaining the ADS-B data “in 15-30 seconds,” said Lt. Col. Mark Young, team commander. “It all went fast and perfectly.”
The team “had brought (the tool) online about three weeks ago” and was using it for only about the third time, he added. “We’re just thrilled that this new product would work so quickly and so accurately.”
ST. BERNARD PARISH- Popular Louisiana charter-fisherman Theophile Bourgeois was killed in a plane crash on Sunday.
The Coast Guard recovered three people in the water in Chandeleur Sound.
Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a report at 2:56 P.M. that a local fishing charter service, Bourgeois Fishing Charters, had lost communications with one of its seaplanes that had three passengers aboard.
A helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans searched the last known position of the seaplane in the Chandeleur Sound.
The aircrew recovered two people from the water and transported them to University Medical Center in New Orleans.
One of those passengers, later identified as Theophile Bourgeois, was declared deceased upon arrival.
The third passenger was found a short time later, and was transported to University Medical Center.
The cause of the incident is under investigation.
Theophile was a bit of a living legend as a popular fisherman, fish guide and all around sportsman.
He appeared weekly on Don Dubuc’s radio show, and often chartered his seaplane and boat to the islands.
More Coverage…..Read More
Thirty years ago, Franklin J.P. Augustus described himself as the "world's only black civilian air-show acrobatic pilot."
Augustus, 69, died Friday afternoon in a plane crash near Lakefront Airport, an accident that also took the life of Nancy Parker, a fixture of local television broadcasts for more than two decades.
Along with performing aerial stunts in air shows, Augustus was president of the Lake Charles Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen Inc., according to a website for the organization. The group aims to honor the accomplishments and history of the famous African-American pilots and other members of the Army Air Corps group formed during World War II.
Read More from NOLA.com
Coverage from WWL-TV…. Read More
More coverage from WWL-TV…. Plane had engine problems…… Read More
Kathryn’s Report on the accident….. Click Here
HOUMA -- It can appear as a faint iridescent sheen, silvery like a mirror, black, brown or bright orange. It can be in long streamers, a uniform patch or a flat circle.
Whatever an oil spill’s form and shape, one Houma pilot says protecting the environment against it is a job he’s passionate about.
“To earn an honest living doing something for the environment: I enjoy that,” said Brad Barker, 39, vice-president at Airborne Support Inc., which does cleanup work on behalf of Clean Gulf Associates, a nonprofit co-op that keeps watch over oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico. “It’s hard to say there’s not a rush when you’re going 200 mph 50 feet above the water. It’s a lot of fun.“
But Barker will soon be piloting a new weapon in the arsenal against contamination, thanks to a new Clean Gulf aircraft. The $6.5 million, 19,000-pound Basler BT-67 can drop up to 2,000 gallons of dispersant, an amber-colored chemical that helps scuttle the oil and reduce the risk to plant and animal life in the ocean.
The plane’s general model was created in 1945 as a cargo plane and troop carrier that was used extensively during World War II.
There are only about 50 of today’s version in the world.
“The new plane is one of the major acquisitions in the spill-response community,” said Frank Paskewich, Clean Gulf Associate’s executive director. “It can treat over 40,000 gallons of oil. It’s really one of the primary tools that’s used in spill response up to 200 miles offshore.”
“It’s very much like a crop duster,” said Barker, of the plane that was delivered in early July. Operations like theirs play a key role by virtue of their location, Paskewich said.
Houma is ideal because it’s centrally located in the Gulf, Pakewich said, allowing loading and deployment to take place within half a day.
This scholarship was established honoring the memory of Richard "Dicky" Toups, an outstanding seaplane pilot that passed in 2018. The scholarship is intended to introduce an aspiring pilot to the world of seaplane flying. It is being administered by the Seaplane Pilots Foundation (a 501-C3 non-profit organization), and is sponsored by Southern Seaplane. This scholarship will fund a complete seaplane training program for a single-engine sea rating.
For more information click…..HERE
Some of you may remember that when Bill Adams went west that his friends at the Louisiana Regional Airport raised a significant amount of money to build a memorial to remember him. I was there the other day and noticed that the monument had been constructed and installed. It ‘s a beautiful and fitting tribute to a wonderful aviator. Be sure and take a look at it the next time you’re at KREG.
To read the August Newsletter of the Big Easy Wing of the Commemorative Air Force click...HERE
SLIDELL, La. (WVUE) - In 2016, two pilots from the St. Tammany Mosquito Abatement died when their plane hit transmission lines on the north end of the Slidell Municipal Airport. While investigators ruled the accident pilot error, Slidell Councilman Val Vanney and Slidell Airport manager Richard Artigue led efforts to have the lines moved.
Three years after Wayne Fisher and Donald Pechon’s deaths, Vanney and Artigue got it done.
“Moving the power lines not only addresses a public safety issue, but it allows for expansion of the Slidell Airport,” Vanney said. “More runway means that we can accommodate larger aircraft, which is important for anyone who uses the Slidell Airport.”
In July, the Louisiana Public Service Commission voted to allow Slidell, Cleco and Entergy to move the power lines almost 3 miles out of the path of air traffic. The move puts almost 1,000 feet of runway back into use that went dormant when the transmission lines were installed, and allows for a possible runway expansion by another 1,000 feet.
Moving the power lines cost approximately $20 million, shared between Cleco and Entergy. But, Slidell Mayor Greg Cromer said it’s worth the price to keep people safe.
“This will save lives. It will also have a large economic impact, not just for the city of Slidell, but for St. Tammany Parish, the State of Louisiana and the Gulf Coast region,” Cromer said.
Cromer went on to thank Vanney and Artigue, as well as Senator Sharon Hewitt, the public safety commission and it’s commissioner, Eric Skrmetta, Cleco and Entergy.
“Without this team we wouldn’t have gotten any of this done," Artigue said. "This has been an effort that [Vanney] and I started right after that accident. I’ve been here for 20 years, and I tried to get these power lines moved 20 years ago and couldn’t get it done. We finally got it done. Thank you very much.”
Congratulations to Mike Lewis, retired captain for Continental Airlines with 27 years of flying, for receiving the FAA Master Pilot Award. The Wright Brothers 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".
To learn more about the Wright Brothers Award click HERE.
Lisa Cotham from the FAA Baton Rouge FSDO presented the award. Mike is still flying his Super Legend Cub and sharing his passion for flying by mentoring pilots. Attending were his closest friends and family. Mike is the 48th Louisiana Pilot to receive this prestigious award.
I wish that all of the events were more public because we don’t hear much if anything about them. Obviously the number of folks receiving the award has been increasing.
To see the entire list of Louisiana award recipients click Here and then put Louisiana in the State Search Field.
August 1, 2019—Beginning August 1, 2019, Acadian Air Med is partnering with Metro Aviation to operate the Life Air Rescue program in Shreveport, Louisiana. Acadian will provide certified flight paramedics, certified flight RNs and dispatch personnel, as well as operational and managerial staff. Metro Aviation will provide air transportation pilots and maintenance staff. The majority of Life Air Rescue’s current employees will join Acadian Air Med.
Acadian Air Med Program Director Michael Sonnier said, “As we build our statewide air medical network, we are excited to add Life Air Rescue’s Shreveport-based operations. We are dedicated to providing the same high level of service that residents and the medical community have come to expect from Life Air Rescue.”
The Life Air Rescue helicopter is a medically configured EC-135, twin-engine, IFR-rated aircraft. It will join Acadian Air Med’s fleet of 10 helicopters based across Louisiana and Southeast Texas. All FAA Part 135 aviation services are provided by Metro Aviation, Inc., which maintains exclusive operational control over all aircraft.
“Expanding our air medical network into the Shreveport area has been a goal of Acadian’s for quite a while. Earlier this year, we added an Air Med helicopter in Ouachita Parish and we have been very well received by the medical community in that area. We look forward to serving the residents of the greater Shreveport area,” said Acadian Chairman & CEO Richard Zuschlag.
Life Air Rescue was formed in 1993 to provide service for the Ark-La-Tex region. Since then, Life Air Rescue has transported approximately 600 patients per year and strives to uphold the highest standards in emergency and critical care transport. Their service radius covers north Louisiana, east Texas, south Arkansas and west Mississippi.
NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - After multiple delayed openings, more problems arose for New Orleans’ new billion-dollar airport after a contractor recently discovered multiple breaks in the sanitary drain line that runs underneath the terminal.
An airport representative said the new terminal is still on track to open its doors in the fall. But, repairs are now underway to fix those breaks in the drainage system that runs underneath and crews had to open up the first floor in order to fix the lines.
To put that in perspective, the representative said there are 15,000 linear feet of drain line under the terminal, and as a result of the recent breaks, the contractor will have to replace about 300 of those feet.
Before the most recent delay in May, the airport’s opening date was also postponed in September, due to a sinking sewerage pipe. The airport representative said the most recent issue is not related to that issue.
As of Tuesday (July 30), representative said repairs are almost finished and right now the contractor is covering the cost. But, crews are still trying to figure out what caused the recent drain line breaks.
The airport representative said once the problem was discovered, a full investigation was done to find the locations of the breaks. And as far as they know, all of the breaks have been found, the representative said.
Metro Aviation and Kopter signed an MOA (Memorandum of Agreement) formally recording Metro Aviation's intent to purchase and take delivery of five (5) SH09 helicopters following FAA certification.
Metro Aviation has evaluated and selected the SH09 due to its twin-engine cabin volume for a single-engine price tag and low operating costs while offering best-in-class speed, range, payload and other desirable features and benefits.
The cooperation between Metro Aviation and Kopter started in 2018, when the two companies worked on the design and completion of several interiors for the SH09, which were successfully presented at several helicopter exhibitions in North America and emphasized the SH09’s versatility and attributes.
“We have become more familiar with the SH09 concept and we've worked in conjunction with Kopter to develop interiors for EMS, Airborne Law Enforcement and Tour Operations, which Metro has rolled out to the industry in the last two years,” said Metro Aviation President Mike Stanberry.
“Those interiors were very well received by the industry. The benefits of a twin-engine cabin with the purchase price and operation cost of a single-engine aircraft, along with exceptional performance, make the SH09 a very attractive option. It made sense for us to move forward with the MOA expressing our intent to purchase at this time.”
July 23, 2019—At Acadian Companies’ annual company meeting, Erroll Babineaux was recognized for 45 years of service. Chairman & CEO Richard Zuschlag presented him with the award, along with sharing a few personal anecdotes.
“45 years of service truly speaks to his loyalty to the company,” said Zuschlag. “Erroll has been assigned almost every task and worked in every department of Acadian.”
Babineaux was born and raised in New Iberia, LA, where he attended Catholic High School. He attended the University of Southwestern Louisiana beginning in 1973. Babineaux joined Acadian as a part-time employee in August 1974.
Babineaux progressed through the company as an ambulance driver, paramedic, supervisor, communications specialist and district manager of Iberia, St. Martin, Vermilion and St. Mary Parishes.
He is currently the vice president of Acadian’s Air Services division, overseeing Acadian Air Med and Executive Aircraft Charter Service, a position he has held since 1992. He served as Acadian’s first commercial pilot in 1979.
Additionally, Babineaux provides marketing, public relations and governmental relations in many of our rural parishes. He maintains relationships with police jury associations and municipal associations, along with members of state legislature, state police and fire departments.
In the early 1980s, Babineaux worked with Petroleum Helicopters, Inc. to design and assist in building the first air ambulance helicopter used in Louisiana, which became FAA-certified.
JEFFERSON DAVIS PARISH - Authorities in Jefferson Davis Parish are investigating after a crop duster crashed Wednesday morning.
Around 8:20 a.m. a 911 call came in that a plane had crashed on LA 382 and David Road south of Roanoke. Authorities say the crop duster struck a pole, lost a wing, then crashed into a tree before it came to a stop in a field.
The unidentified pilot walked away from the crash and was taken to a hospital with only minor injuries.
The cause of the crash hasn't been determined at this time.
To read the July edition of the Big Easy Wing Newsletter click HERE.
RANKIN COUNTY, Miss. (WLBT) - One person has died after an airplane glider crashed in Rankin County.
It happened Saturday afternoon near Kitty Hawk Circle in northern Rankin County.
According to Sheriff Bryan Bailey initial reports said that plane had gone down behind houses and that the pilot inside was entrapped.
When deputies arrived on scene they found that the pilot was deceased.
He has been identified as 65-year-old James Gately from Covington, Louisiana.
The NTSB is taking over the investigation.
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WASHINGTON U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao today announced that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will award $495 million in airport infrastructure grants, the second allotment of the total $3.18 billion in Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funding for airports across the United States.
This significant investment in airport improvements in Louisiana will fund construction and rehabilitation projects that will help maintain high levels of safety in U.S. aviation, said U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
The grants include:
For a complete listing of grants click HERE.
Janet Gonzales and that great group of ladies in the NOLA 99’s have done it again. They conducted another Louisiana Aviation Career Education (ACE) Camp at the Louisiana Regional Airport the week of June 10-14.
Because of their efforts, another group of young folks have been introduced to all kinds of aviation careers. Hopefully, one day they will be out there working in the aviation industry.
Thanks, ladies, for introducing these campers to aviation and for your ongoing aviation advocacy in so many different ways.
For a video of the highlights click...
The state has reached a settlement with Bell Helicopter, closing the books on an economic development project that never took flight in Lafayette.
Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson confirmed the general details of the statement when contacted by the USA Today Network, which has requested a copy of the settlement from the department.
Pierson said the settlement requires Bell Helicopter to pay the state about $9.5 million in cash. The state also will retain a helicopter that has been placed in the State Police fleet. It is valued at about $4 million.
Louisiana also continues to own the $26 million aviation facility that the Lafayette Airport Commission has now agreed to lease to Kopter Group AG.
Kopter Group AG's deal with the state will require it to eventually create 120 new jobs at the facility, where the company will assemble its new helicopters.
Great article from AOPA on Louisiana pilot Mason Andrews…..
TEEN AVIATOR CIRCLES WORLD SOLO IN PIPER LANCE
MASON ANDREWS EXPERIENCED WEATHER, MILITARY INTERCEPT, AND EMERGENCY DURING 76-DAY JOURNEY
January 9, 2019 By David Tulis
Eighteen-year-old Mason Andrews circumnavigated the Earth in his family’s PA–32 Piper Lance during a 76-day solo flight for charity from July 22 to Oct. 6, 2018. He named the green-and-white N7278C the Spirit of Louisiane in a modern-day nod to Charles Lindbergh’s history-making Atlantic Ocean-crossing flight in the Spirit of St. Louis.
“I’ve always been inspired by Charles Lindbergh and read most of his books,” said the Louisiana Tech University professional aviation program student and instrument-rated pilot. His plan was to fly the 3,500-mile transoceanic flight to bring awareness for MedCamps of Louisiana, an outreach that provides free summer camps to those who have Down Syndrome; Spina Bifida; developmental disabilities; or hearing, speech, or visual impairments. The trip raised over $33,000 for the charity, “and since then, even more has rolled in.”
To read more click….HERE