Error caused blimp crash: NTSB
AKRON-The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said that pilot error during a thunderstorm was the probable cause of the June 16 crash in Florida of Goodyear's Stars & Stripes blimp.
In its report, the NTSB said the pilot intended to land as soon as possible when isolated showers became more severe. ``Then he saw lightning in the area and decided he did not want to expose the ground crew to the risk of a lightning strike,'' the report said.
The pilot then decided to fly the blimp out of the area, but the weather ``deteriorated rapidly.'' The airship was unable to climb or make headway. The NTSB report concluded that the pilot's inadequate in-flight planning resulted in the encounter with weather problems and subsequent collision.
A Goodyear spokesman told Tire Business that the tire maker has not yet concluded its own investigation of the incident. He said no decision has yet been made whether to repair the blimp.
The Stars & Stripes is based in Pompano Beach, Fla., and crashed in Coral Springs, Fla. Goodyear's Spirit of America is based in California, and the Spirit of Goodyear is based in Ohio.
TIA elects new slate of officers
BOWIE, Md.-The Tire Industry Association (TIA) has elected a new slate of officers-including its treasurer and board of directors-to take office Nov. 2.
TIA said Joseph ``Bud'' Mullaney of Mullaney Tire Service in Matawan, N.J., was elected to a three-year term as treasurer, and Sean Furrier of Western Tire Centers in Tucson, Ariz., was named to the remaining two years of Mr. Mullaney's term as a member of the board of directors.
The Bowie-based trade association's other new directors are Barbara Briggs, Briggs and Sons Tire, Fayetteville, N.C.; Ken Brown, Alan Brown Tire Center, Newport, Ore.; Ken Burton, OTR Wheel Engineering Inc., Rome, Ga.; Wayne Croswell, ASA Tire Systems, Nashua, N.H.; Harrell Huneycutt, Bandag Inc., Muscatine, Iowa; David Inscoe, University Tire & Auto Center, Charlottesville, Va.; Brett Matschke, Richlonn's Tire & Service Centers, Greendale, Wis.; Larry Mullins, Brandon Tire & Auto Service, Ortonville, Mich.; Anthony Vizyak, Great Lakes Tire, Sandusky, Ohio; and Tom Wright, Wright Tire Service, Anoka, Minn.
Also, TIA has named Steve Akridge, executive director of the Virginia Tire & Automotive Service Dealers Association, as state association executive liaison, the first in TIA history. Mr. Akridge will serve a one-year term on the board, working to promote communication between the national and state dealer associations.
TBC taps Olsen as Carroll Tire prez
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.-TBC Corp. has promoted Erik Olsen to president of its wholly owned subsidiary Carroll Tire.
He also will retain his role as senior vice president and chief marketing officer of TBC, the company said. Mr. Olsen joined TBC last December and has managed the development of the company's proprietary brands, with focus on the retail store brands including Big O, Tire Kingdom, Merchant's and NTB.
Mr. Olsen joined TBC from Michelin North America Inc., where he served in senior-level marketing and sales positions.
Alliance Tire opens warehouse
DENVILLE, N.J.-Alliance Tire USA has opened its first U.S. warehouse in Springfield, Ill., to house inventory for the company's North American customers.
``This is a very exciting development for us and allows Alliance and our customers the opportunity to ensure that we can put Alliance tires on equipment at short notice,'' said Manjri Shah, manager of Alliance Tire USA in Denville.
Alliance's customers will continue working through their normal supply channels to fill container loads. The warehouse is for emergency needs only, she noted.
3 tire makers raising prices
AKRON-Denman Tire Corp. raised tire prices 5-9 percent on Sept. 12, while Yokohama Tire Corp. and Brigestone/Firestone have announced price hikes that take effect Oct. 1 and Nov. 1, respectively.
The firms cited rising raw material, energy and transportation costs as reasons for the increases.
Yokohama is boosting prices 3 percent across the board on its light-truck commercial, medium radial truck and off-the-road tires.
BFS is raising prices in the U.S. and Canada on its Bridgestone, Firestone, Dayton, associate and private brand tire lines in passenger and light truck, truck and bus, agricultural and OTR segments.