Tuesday, March 23, 2010

US Airways get ramp contract at LGB

US Airways has won the contract for ground handling Frontier Airlines when they start service to Denver in May.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Blarney! Just how did 'Wrong Way' Corrigan miss Long Beach?

Angelenos marking St. Patrick's Day today can also celebrate the gall of Irish American Douglas `Wrong Way' Corrigan, whose explanation for ending up in Ireland on what should have been a flight to Long Beach may be one of history's most brazen displays of blarney.

Corrigan, a Southland resident, flew from Long Beach to New York in July 1938, then famously claimed he got his bearings crossed on his return trip. He ended up 27 hours later outside Dublin in Ireland -- after having his request to fly there denied by American authorities who said his 1929 Curtiss Robin monoplane was unsafe.

Until he died in 1995, Corrigan claimed his transatlantic flight had been a mistake resulting from cloud cover and a broken compass. But some of his acquaintances told journalists that Corrigan had always wanted to emulate Charles Lindbergh.

Corrigan was born in Texas in 1907, son of a railroad engineer and a school teacher. His parents divorced and his mother brought him to Los Angeles in 1922.

Five years later he was working as an aircraft mechanic at Ryan Airlines in San Diego, where he helped put together Lindbergh's "Spirit of St. Louis."

The mechanic and the pilot became friends, and when Lindbergh made the world's first New York-to-Paris flight in 1927, Corrigan determined to try his own transatlantic first.

Eleven years later came the stunt that made him instantly famous in Ireland and around the world.

"Honest, I meant to go to California," Corrigan said in a radio interview in Ireland.

He sailed back to New York and a tickertape parade. He also was greeted by thousands when he flew back to Long Beach, and a parade in his honor was staged in Los Angeles as well.

A year later, Corrigan starred as himself in the 1939 film "Flying Irishman," but the movie tanked and so did his acting career, according to the Los Angeles Times.

He eventually settled on a 20-acre orange grove in Santa Ana, where he and his wife reared three sons and he kept his old plane "Sunshine" in the garage.

In 1988, an Irish airline flew him back to Ireland to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his "wrong way" flight.

Though he reveled in his Irish-American ancestry, it's open to debate whether Corrigan would approve of alcohol-fueled St. Patrick's Day celebrations. According to The Times, Corrigan was a teetotaler who ran on a Prohibition Party ticket in 1946 with the platform slogan "Soak the Drunks With Higher Taxes."

(Guy McCarthy City News Service)

Monday, March 15, 2010

JetBlue adds flights to LAX and moves flights around at LGB

This summer, just one year after initiating service to Los Angeles International Airport, JetBlue will double service on the route to New York, one of the most competitive markets in the world. The LA - New York market is also served by American, Continental, Delta, United, and Virgin America.

While JetBlue is adding transcon flying at LAX, the overall capacity will remain flat. JetBlue will reduce LGB-East Coast flights and the two roundtrip slots that they've freed up will be redeployed to provide a third daily departure betwen Long Beach and both Seattle and Portland, Oregon, both of which are important for L.A. travelers but that demand increased frequencies.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

New C-17 Delivers

C-17 08-8195 took off on Tuesday morning about 9:40am and did a fly-by on it's delivery flight to McChord AFB.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Sunday 3-7-10

A Navy Boeing T-45 Goshawk departed at 9:02am.

Two Boeing F/A-18D Hornets and one F/A-18C Hornet departed from SIgnature at 4:09pm.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Ramp Construction Starts at LGB

The construction on the airline ramp area has started. The first phase is expected to take 3 months and includes pads 1, 2 and 2A. The next phase will include pads 3, 4 and 5. Below is a map of the current parking locations on the ramp and photos of the construction going on.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

FAA not amused by kid directing air traffic at JFK

NEW YORK - As planes waited to take off from Kennedy Airport, the jargon-packed radio chatter between controllers and pilots was interrupted by a young boy's voice: "JetBlue 171, cleared for takeoff."

An air traffic controller who brought his son to work let the youngster read a few routine messages to pilots - and then brought in another child the next day - in an incident that amused pilots but not the Federal Aviation Administration.

Authorities suspended the controller and a supervisor Wednesday after a recording of the radio calls was posted on the Internet, then reported by a Boston television station.

"This lapse in judgment not only violated FAA's own policies, but common-sense standards for professional conduct. These kinds of distractions are totally unacceptable," FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said in a statement. "This kind of behavior does not reflect the true caliber of our work force."

During his visit, the boy got to squeak out a few more instructions to pilots before signing off, including telling the crew aboard a departing Aero Mexico flight, "Adios, amigos."

On the recording, which lasts about a minute, the elementary-school-age boy appears to repeat instructions fed to him by his father. At no time does the child tell aircraft how to maneuver in flight.

(The Associated Press)

Pilot error blamed for 2009 midair crash off Long Beach breakwater

LONG BEACH - The National Transportation Safety Board on Wednesday released its probable cause report of the fatal collision of two small planes May 18 about five miles south of the breakwater.

The NTSB determined the crash was "the failure of both pilots to see and avoid each other's aircraft," according to the report.

The midair collision killed Gary Gierczak, 54, of Los Alamitos, James C. Choo 32, of Torrance and Thomas Ferrell, 32, of the Netherlands, who was visiting family in Westminster.

Detailed accounts from a pilot who witnessed the fatal crash also was listed in the report.

The eyewitness pilot, who was flying south in the immediate area of the collision, noticed a silhouette of what appeared to be a Cessna 172 at his 10 to ll o'clock position. Choo, a certified flight instructor with 1,881 hours of flying time, and Ferrell, a student pilot, were aboard the plane.

The airplane appeared to be performing maneuvers and making turns in a counterclockwise, followed by a clockwise, direction, according to the report.

The witness altered his course slightly to the right, due to the Cessna's proximity, and continued to monitor the Cessna's location, the report stated.

As the pilot looked to his right while turning, he noticed another airplane, traveling at high speed, entering the area from the west and heading east. He couldn't identify the airplane type because the sun had almost set on the horizon. He identified it as a "black object."

It was a Cessna 310P piloted by Gierczak, who held an airline-transport pilot license, the highest level license, which allows one to fly as a captain for the airlines. He had 3,378 hours of flying time.

The fast moving Cessna 310 remained on an easterly path while the Cessna 172 continued heading south and performing maneuvers. Both planes were at about the same altitudes, the report stated.

Shortly thereafter, around 6 p.m., he saw both airplanes collide and "immediately disintegrated into small pieces." The debris from both airplanes descended into the ocean. The pilot reported the collision to air traffic control and circled the area of floating debris until first responders arrived, the report stated.

On May 20 and 21, divers with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and the Port of Los Angeles police recovered wreckage of both planes and the remains of the three victims on the ocean floor about 80 feet below the surface and five miles south of the breakwater.

Both planes had taken off from Long Beach Airport. The Cessna 310 departed about 5:20 p.m. and the Cessna 172 departed about 5:50 p.m., the report stated.

(Phillip Zonkel - Press Telegram)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tuesday 3-2-10

An ExpressJet ERJ-145XL ferried out at 7:04am from Long Beach Aviation as BTA102 to Charlottesville-Albemarle (KCHO). The plane had brought people back from Tunica Muni (KUTA) as BTA650 the night before. Harrah's has a casino and hotel in Tunica, MS.

Sun Country 737-800 N801SY (c/n 30332/777) arrived from Denver Intl (KDEN) at 2:24pm as SCX8700 and parked Signature Aviation. The plane brought in the Colorado Avalanche hockey team. The plane ferried back to Minneapolis/St Paul Intl (KMSP) as SCX8700 at 3:07pm.

CAF WWII Mitsubishi Zero to arrive into Long Beach

On TUE-02MAR, the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) will be flying their Mitsubishi A6M - one of only three flyable worldwide - into AirFlite. The aircraft is going to be shipped to New Zealand for an airshow. The Zero is expected to arrive between 1230-1300 depending on wx. The CAF will arrange to defuel and prep the aircraft for shipping.

A trucking and crane company will arrive at approx 2200 to load the plane onto a lowbed trailer to be trucked to the port. The plan is to stage the trailer on Globemaster Way around 2200 and to have the Zero towed by AirFlite to TWY B just north of the Wardlow Gate. The crane will pickup the aircraft OVER the fence and place the aircraft onto the trailer. CHP will escort as an oversized load, starting at 0100.

Historic B-17 flies into Long Beach

The B-17G "Liberty Belle" N390TH/297849/O-J (c/n 8643) will be on display at Signature Aviation this coming Saturday and Sunday(March 6/7). For tickets to fly on the plane, call (918) 340-0243. For more information on the Liberty Belle and the Liberty Foundation, check out http://www.libertyfoundation.org/

(Photo: Jeff Gritchen - Press Telegram)