Thursday, September 11, 2014

Unresponsive Aircraft Plane Crashes After F-15 Chase Over Atlantic

Unresponsive Aircraft Plane Crashes After F-15 Chase Over Atlantic

A Turboprop plane headed from New York to Florida stopped responding to radio calls and veered hundreds of miles off courseprompting a chase by two F-15 fighter Jets before crashing off the coast of Jamaica Friday afternoon, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The pilot had been spotted unconscious and slumped over in the cockpit, U.S. officials told NBC News. NORAD, the joint American and Canadian air command, said on Twitter that the people on board might be suffering from oxygen deprivation.

The plane was REGISTERED to Rochester, New York, real estate developer Larry Glazer. He and his wife Jane were the only people on board, their son, Ken, said.
Jamaican Defence Force dive teams have found a wreckage field in the water near where the plane went down, about 14 miles off the coast of Port Antonio, the military said; the U.S. Coast Guard has also launched a mission to the area.
The plane, a six-seater Socata model TBM-700, took off just before 8:30 a.m. ET from Rochester and was headed for Naples, Florida.

The Pilot radioed air traffic control while at 28,000 feet saying he had some type of problem and wanted permission to get down to 18,000 feet.
We need to descend, the Pilot told controllers, according to audio collected by We have an indication that is not correct on the plane.

The controller gave permission to fly at 25,000 feet but the Pilot said that wasn't enough. We need to get lower, the Pilot said.

Subsequently, the controller gave permission for the plane to descend to 20,000 feet but the pilot didn't respond, U.S. officials told NBC News. The aircraft didn't answer further calls.

Fighter jets were dispatched and chased the plane but broke off the trail after it entered Cuban airspace. The F-15s then circled around with plans to resume the chase as the small plane exited Cuba's territorial waters, officials said.

The military jets had to return to base because they were running out of fuel, and in that time, the plane crashed.
Larry Glazer, founder of Buckingham Properties, is a veteran pilot who is president of the TBM Owners and Pilots Association.
In the spring edition of the association newsletter, he wrote about buying his first TBM in 1993 and just taking delivery of a new one, with the blessing of his wife.

"I asked her if she would like a new winter home down south or a new TBM. Without hesitation she said, 'What the heck, just buy the plane he wrote. That is all it took. Jane has been flying my TBM for the last 15 years, and she is so excited about the prospect of flying a new plane. She never hesitated or blinked. Now that is a keeper of a wife. Sorry trade-ins not accepted.

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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Pilots, Flight Crews Faces Higher Risk Of skin Cancer

Pilots, Flight Crews Faces Higher Risk Of skin Cancer

Airline Pilots and Flight crews may face as much as twice the risk of the type of skin cancer known as melanoma compared with the general population, according to a new analysis of existing research.

However, it's not clear whether exposure to the sun during flight time is responsible for the increased risk.

The lead author of the new analysis, Dr. Susana Ortiz-Urda, co director of the UCSF Melanoma Center at the University of California, San Francisco, said the findings are "very worrisome.She called on Airlines to make their windows more protective against the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. In addition, she said, more measurements should be performed by the Federal Aviation Administration in regards to cumulative UV exposure for Pilots and cabin crew.

But not everyone agrees that UV exposure during Flights is to blame for the increased risk. And, due to the design of the study, the researchers were only able to show an association between working on an airliner and an increased risk of melanoma. They were not able to prove that extra flying time caused these cancers.

Eero Pukkala, a Finnish researcher who studies the risks facing people who work in airplanes, said other factors may be the cause. He noted that airline windows provide extensive protection against the sun's skin damaging rays. Pukkala suggested that more frequent travel to sunny climates and sun tanning by Pilots and cabin crew members could explain the higher risk.

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer. It can often be successfully treated, especially when found early. However, it can also be deadly. The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that almost 10,000 people will die of melanoma in 2014, and more than 76,000 people will be diagnosed with the illness.

Exposure to the sun's UV rays is a major risk factor for developing melanoma and other types of skin cancer, according to the ACS. And, because of the altitudes planes reach, there's a greater potential for UV exposure if the windows don't offer adequate UV protection, according to background information in the study.

For every additional 900 meters [2,952 feet] of altitude above sea level, there is a 15 percent increase in intensity of UV radiation. At 9,000 meters [29,527 feet], where most commercial aircraft fly, the UV level is approximately twice that of the ground, the analysis authors wrote.

In the new analysis, Ortiz-Urda and colleagues combined the results of 19 studies that tracked pilots, flight crews or both over various time periods from the 1940s through 2008. Only five studies looked at crews in the United States; most examined European countries, especially those in Scandinavian countries.

The researchers found that pilots and cabin crews were twice as likely to develop melanoma as the general population. It's not clear why the higher risk exists, and it could be a statistical glitch.

Pukkala, who is director for research with the Finnish Cancer Registry at the Institute for Statistical and Epidemiological Cancer Research, said, "Aircraft pilots, cabin crew or passengers are virtually unexposed to solar UV radiation because the shielding effect of the windows."

Pukkala did acknowledge that past research has shown an increased risk for skin cancer among Scandinavian airline pilots and flight crews. But, he reiterated that this might be because crews flew to sunny climates and developed sunburns while trying to become tanned.

What should airlines do about the increased melanoma risk? Nothing, Pukkala said. There's "no need to do anything."

But Ortiz-Urda disagreed. She said there is risk in planes with glass windows instead of plastic windows. Glass lets in more of a certain type of UV light -- UV-A -- than plastic does, and UV-A has been implicated in the development of melanoma, according to the study authors.

And, Ortiz Urda and her co-authors also don't believe the increased risk of melanoma comes from leisure activities, such as sunbathing. The study authors noted that previous research has looked at leisure activities of pilots and flight crews and compared them to the general population, and didn't find significant differences in the number of sunburns, sunscreen use or other tanning behaviors.

The new analysis was published in the Sept. 3 online edition of the journal JAMA Dermatology.

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