On The Fly

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Martin County, Fla., commissioners are vowing to fight the FAA for control of Witham Field. Commissioners voted to stop accepting federal grants from the agency and launch a lawsuit over the continued use of 460 feet of runway they want to shut down. The FAA has reminded the county that a golf course and YMCA are on airport land that was never approved for dispersal by the agency…

As AVweb reported, a nose baggage door was open on a Cessna Citation that crashed in Van Nuys, Calif., Jan. 12. The NTSB’s preliminary report said witnesses saw the door open and a check of the latch showed it unlocked…

The first flight of a next-generation Marine One helicopter to the White House took place last week with little fanfare. For some reason, the "effects of a new helicopter going on the South Lawn" need to be examined. The new helicopter is a derivative of the Agusta Westland EH-101 and goes into service in 2009…

FAA employees are generally satisfied with their jobs but management still needs to work on communication and recognition of accomplishments. About 72 percent of employees surveyed were very or somewhat satisfied with their jobs, their pay and the knowledge that they are doing something important…

A belt buckle in the shape of a grenade halted flights in Comox, British Columbia, on Saturday after it showed up on a luggage scan. Security officials located the passenger who owned the bag, who assured them it was not about to explode. The buckle was confiscated and the passenger was allowed to board the flight after a stern talking to from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police…

Pilot error has been blamed for the crash of a Predator unmanned aerial vehicle at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada last Aug. 3. An Air Force report quoted in the Air Force Times said the civilian contractor pilot thought he was pushing a button to raise the landing gear but, instead, cut off fuel to the engine…

Pilots test flying a Piper Aztec were forced to put it down on the median of I-75 near Sun City Center, Fla., on Friday after a double engine failure. The engines had just been installed…

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association will honor its finest tonight in Washington with the Archie League Medal of Safety awards. The medals will go to nine controllers (one from each region) who’ve prevented accidents in the line of duty.