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FAA Flight Check Is Planned for Aug. 22

August 13, 2012
By SHELLEY HANSON Staff Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING - Federal Aviation Administration officials pointed out just a few ''punch list'' items during their inspection last week of the Wheeling-Ohio County Airport's new runway lighting system, said airport Manager Tom Tominack.

''The inspection has been completed. ... The FAA has scheduled its flight check for Aug. 22,'' he added.

The flight test will allow the FAA to make sure everything is in working order. As part of the new lighting system, a bridge of sorts also containing lights that is 196 feet tall and 400 feet long was erected at the end of the runway's new safety area, which was extended to 1,000 feet because of a new mandate from the FAA.

Article Photos

File Photo by Shelley Hanson
Tom Tominack, Wheeling-Ohio County Airport manager, walks on the new approach lighting system bridge at the end of the runway safety area at the airport. The Federal Aviation Administration has scheduled its flight check of the system on Aug. 22.

The entire project, which involved filling in a large ravine with thousands of tons of dirt, cost about $6.6 million and began about four years ago. The light bridge and runway lights allow aircraft to safely land in inclement weather and at night.

Tominack noted the punch list items from the FAA called for checking electrical components to make sure they are grounded. During the project, aircraft have been using the airport's secondary runway. Once the system is deemed OK, the FAA will take over maintenance. Cast & Baker of Canonsburg was the main contractor for the work.

Meanwhile last week, Tominack was alerted to an incident at the airport involving a late-model jet fighter. Its occupants told the airport it had lost its canopy, which is the glass that covers the cockpit. Tominack said the plane landed safely and no one was injured.

''The canopy landed in an undeveloped area,'' he said, noting no structures or people were struck by the glass.

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