Monday, August 18, 2014

Cessna aircraft down near Bahamas, Coast Guard responds

U.S. Coast Guard seach-and-rescue crews are responding to a reported downed Cessna aircraft with four people aboard in the vicinity of Freeport Bahamas Airport, Bahamas, Monday morning.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reported the crash to the Coast Guard 7th District at approximately 11 a.m. The aircraft reportedly left Ormond Beach Municipal Airport, Fla,. and was en route to Bahamas Airport.

A MH-60 helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater is currently on scene responding alongside the Bahamas Air Sea Rescue Association and the Royal Bahamian Police Force.

The plane is a 1978 Cessna 340A (tail number N340MM) registered to Aqua Sun Investments Inc. of Ormond Beach, Fla., according to FAA records.

Video: Joint manned/unmanned flight trials aboard aircraft carrier

Northrop Grumman Corp. and the U.S. Navy offered a glimpse of the future of carrier aviation on Sunday by conducting a series of cooperative flights from the aircraft carrier, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), using an X-47B Unmanned Air System (UCAS) and an F/A-18 Hornet.

The flights - the first time manned and unmanned carrier aircraft have operated together in the same carrier controlled landing pattern at the same at the same time - took place in the Eastern Atlantic. They offered Northrop Grumman and the Navy an opportunity to collect data that will help reduce risks associated with integrating unmanned aircraft with conventional manned carrier operations.

"The X-47B has again pushed the boundaries of the UCAS program by demonstrating that it can operate seamlessly with conventional carrier assets in one of the most demanding environments in the world," said Capt. Beau Duarte, the Navy's UCAS program manager.

During the flights, the X-47B flew in the landing pattern with the F/18-Hornet at approach speeds of 120 miles per hour, at a pattern altitude of 1,200 feet. Mission operators aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt had full control of the X-47B during flight maneuvers that involved several planned precision approaches to the carrier.

At the completion of the manned/unmanned flight trials, the X-47B landed safely aboard CVN 71, catching and quickly releasing the arresting cable before folding its wings and taxiing clear of the landing area.

Northrop Grumman, the Navy's UCAS prime contractor, designed and produced the program's two X-47B air vehicles.

Northrop Grumman's UCAS industry team includes Pratt & Whitney, GKN Aerospace, Eaton, General Electric, UTC Aerospace Systems, Dell, Honeywell, Moog, Wind River, Parker Aerospace, Sargent Aerospace & Defense, Rockwell Collins and Lockheed Martin.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Military C-130 'hard landing' reported, no injuries

A Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System (MAFFS) aircraft under the control of U.S. Northern Command experienced a hard landing at 4:53 p.m. EDT on Sunday at Hill Air Force Base in Utah.
The aircraft was on a fire-fighting mission when the aircrew became aware of a potential malfunction of the nose landing gear. The crew executed an emergency landing at Hill AFB and the aircraft sustained damage upon landing which included a small fire. No one was injured.
The aircraft belongs to the Wyoming Air National Guard’s 153rd Airlift Wing located in Cheyenne, Wyo.
Since July 20, Department of Defense aircraft have conducted 131 air drops and discharged more than 244,000 gallons of retardant.
Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard C-130 aircraft assigned to units in California, Colorado, North Carolina and Wyoming are capable of dropping fire retardant using C-130 aircraft and U.S. Forest Service supplied MAFFS units. Aircrews, maintenance crews and support personnel undergo special training and certification to perform these missions each year.