Aviation International News Monthly

Charles Alcock, August 2, 2014

The 2014 Farnborough International Airshow (July 14-20) was a dynamic and captivating edition of the long-running biennial event–packed with high-octane sales activity, novelty and a touch of controversy. As of press time, the show was on track to surpass all the main metrics for the 2012 event, with more than twice the volume of announced sales; more than 100,000 visitors on the five trade days; and approximately 1,500 exhibitors (of which 26 percent were newcomers and 15 percent had expanded their presence).

Robert P. Mark

If a visitor listened only to the first hour of the June 24 NTSB hearing into the Asiana Airlines 777 accident at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) on July 6 last year, no one could fault him for assuming the pilots bore the lion’s share of responsibility for the crash. That’s all the Board spoke of, at least initially. The two Asiana pilots were, after all, two high-time captains in command as the Boeing 777 slipped lower and lower on a PAPI-generated glideslope during a visual approach in severe-clear weather.

Matt Thurber

An acquisitive Textron has assembled a new flight simulator manufacturing and training company–TRU Simulation + Training–that its leaders believe will offer strong competition to entrenched players FlightSafety International and CAE. TRU’s president and CEO is James Takats, one of the founders of Florida-based simulator manufacturer Opinicus, which became a Textron property in November last year.

Matt Thurber

The results of this year’s AIN Product Support Survey are in, and some big changes have upended last year’s rankings.

Click a heading below to see the stories in that channel.

Accidents, Safety, Security and Training
Robert P. Mark, August 5, 2014

Preliminary Report: Four Die in Kenyan Freighter Crash

Fokker 50, Nairobi, Kenya, July 2, 2014–A Fokker 50 freighter headed to Mogadishu, Somalia, crashed shortly after takeoff at 4 a.m. from Runway 06 at Nairobi-Jomo Kenyatta Airport. All four crewmembers on board were killed in the accident and the aircraft was destroyed when it came down in a residential area a mile northeast of the airport.

Preliminary Report: Learjet and Typhoon Collide in Mid Air

Amy Laboda, August 4, 2014

Safety, service and success framed nearly every session of this year’s NBAA Flight Attendants and Flight Technicians conference, held in late June in West Palm Beach, Fla. Speakers included Howie Franklin, retired U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. and former head steward on Air Force One; Dr. Melissa Mallis, chief scientist, and Leigh White, president, of Alertness Solutions; Elaine Lapotosky, Jet Professionals; Debbie Pederson-Nunez, Qualcomm; Greg Ripple, Miller Johnson Law; John Isbell, trainer, FlightSafety International; Kendra St.

Robert P. Mark, August 1, 2004

If a visitor listened only to the first hour of the June 24 NTSB hearing into the Asiana Airlines 777 accident at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) on July 6 last year, no one could fault him for assuming the pilots bore the lion’s share of responsibility for the crash. That’s all the Board spoke of, at least initially. The two Asiana pilots were, after all, two high-time captains in command as the Boeing 777 slipped lower and lower on a PAPI-generated glideslope during a visual approach in severe-clear weather.

Gordon Gilbert, August 1, 2014

This year’s accident picture is looking worse than last year’s. The number of fatalities from business jet accidents worldwide in just the first half of this year exceeds the number for all of last year, according to statistics gathered by AIN. In the first six months of this year, 29 people died in seven fatal crashes involving U.S.- and non-U.S.-registered business jets, compared with 23 people killed in eight fatal mishaps in all of last year.

Matt Thurber, August 3, 2014

In an effort to help corporate jet operators save money on anti-icing fluid treatment and cut down on wasted fluid application, Walter Randa, founder of Leading Edge Deicing Specialists, has developed a new Type IV anti-ice spray system.

Matt Thurber, August 1, 2014

An acquisitive Textron has assembled a new flight simulator manufacturing and training company–TRU Simulation + Training–that its leaders believe will offer strong competition to entrenched players FlightSafety International and CAE. TRU’s president and CEO is James Takats, one of the founders of Florida-based simulator manufacturer Opinicus, which became a Textron property in November last year.

Thierry Dubois, August 4, 2014

North Sea helicopter operators expect to deploy improved emergency breathing systems (EBS) progressively, beginning in the middle of this month, to comply with CAA rules issued to improve the safety of offshore helicopter operations in the North Sea. The Helicopter Safety Steering Group (HSSG) expected the first batch of approved equipment to arrive soon after the UK CAA approved the system, which had not taken place as of early last month. Training will be based on a classroom session lasting a maximum of 90 minutes.

Curt Epstein, August 2, 2014

After eight years of litigation, a legal battle between ExxonMobil and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) over mandatory pilot retirement age has concluded with a ruling by the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. The appeals panel upheld the previous ruling that the energy company’s policy on mandatory retirement for its corporate pilots at age 60 (later 65) does not violate the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).

Mark Huber, August 7, 2014

Making synthetic training affordable by allowing customers to tailor programs to their specific needs is the idea behind Metro Aviation’s Shreveport, La.-based Helicopter Flight Training Center (HFTC).

Aerospace Industry
Charles Alcock, August 2, 2014

The 2014 Farnborough International Airshow (July 14-20) was a dynamic and captivating edition of the long-running biennial event–packed with high-octane sales activity, novelty and a touch of controversy. As of press time, the show was on track to surpass all the main metrics for the 2012 event, with more than twice the volume of announced sales; more than 100,000 visitors on the five trade days; and approximately 1,500 exhibitors (of which 26 percent were newcomers and 15 percent had expanded their presence).

Curt Epstein, August 4, 2014

For most companies, reputation is the most important possession, and that is particularly true in private aviation. No one is more aware of that than Dana Carr, co-owner, vice president and director of operations with Florida-based charter provider Air Trek. He has been working to restore his family-owned company’s image for the past six years, ever since the FAA revoked its air operator certificate, a move the NTSB later ruled was erroneous. “I was in shock,” Carr recalled before the audience at the National Air Transportation Association’s annual Air Charter Summit.

Thierry Dubois, August 3, 2014

The European Commission (EC) on July 9 officially launched the Clean Sky 2 joint technology initiative, a €4 billion ($5.44 billion) follow-on to the ongoing Clean Sky research program. It includes a number of projects for business aircraft–both turboprops and jets–as well as regional turboprops and rotorcraft.

Air Transport and Cargo
Ian Sheppard, August 3, 2014

Aurigny, the airline of Guernsey in the Channel Islands, took delivery of its first jet–a 122-seat Embraer E195–early last month. The airline ordered one aircraft to help protect the air services the island lost when low-cost carrier Flybe announced it would pull out of the lifeline Gatwick-Guernsey route. The new aircraft operates four round trips a day, every day of the week.

The Embraer jet cuts flight time to 35 minutes from the 45 minutes it took the ATR 72s that previously operated on the route.

Airports, Heliports and FBOs
Curt Epstein, August 6, 2014

Sonoma Jet Center at California’s Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport is the latest facility to go live as a member of Signature Flight Support’s Signature Select affiliate program, which allows FBOs to retain their independent brand while receiving support from Signature’s sales and marketing programs. Located in the heart of California’s wine country, the FBO features a well appointed passenger terminal and a newly built 22,000-sq-ft hangar capable of sheltering aircraft the size of a G650.

Curt Epstein, August 6, 2014

Deer Jet, China’s largest private aviation services provider, opened its newest base at Changsha Huanghua International Airport in Hunan Province. Funded jointly by the company and Hunan Airport Economic Development, the facility occupies nearly 108,000 sq ft and includes a lounge and a customer parking lot. The FBO handled its first flight on May 31, but it will service only Deer Jet flights until its official opening next May, according to a company spokesperson.

Curt Epstein, August 6, 2014

After more than two decades with Gulf Aviation as the lone FBO, Valley International Airport in Harlingen, Texas, received a second service provider when Sun Valley Aviation opened its doors at the end of June. The newly built facility has a 4,000-sq-ft terminal with two passenger seating areas, an eight-seat A/V-equipped conference room, a business center, pilots’ lounge, quiet room, shower, crew cars, complimentary Wi-Fi, onsite car rental and a canteen area. The building’s second floor has 4,000 sq ft of office space available.

Curt Epstein, August 7, 2014

Port Columbus International Airport is slated to receive a new $1 million U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facility dedicated for general aviation. The 2,740-sq-ft facility will be funded by Lane Aviation, one of two FBOs at the airport, which is also the home base for NetJets. Lane expects to break ground on the building this month, according to company president Brad Primm, who expects it to be completed by year-end. Currently international arrivals at the airport must first stop at the Port Columbus terminal before heading to one of the FBOs.

Curt Epstein, August 7, 2014

Landmark Aviation has opened its new FBO terminal at Paris Le Bourget Airport. Constructed over the past year on its leasehold adjacent to the company’s current hangar, the 8,500-sq-ft facility includes a lounge, bistro, pilot lounge, passenger lobby, prayer room, flight-planning center and two conference rooms. “Our new facility is much more spacious and offers additional amenities that will allow us to provide a better experience for our customers,” said Denis Bourgois, the location’s general manager. Landmark also plans to add a covered parking structure for customers.

Curt Epstein, August 7, 2014

Vision Aviation, the lone services provider at Louisiana’s Lake Charles Regional Airport for more than a decade, has sold its FBO business to Freeman Holdings Group, owner of 11 Million Air locations, three of them in the Bayou State, including one at nearby Chennault International Airport. At the company’s request, the airport authority terminated its agreement with Vision Aviation and approved the sale of its assets, before granting a new 50-year lease to Freeman Holdings. Vision Aviation will continue to operate several hangars at the airport.

Curt Epstein, August 7, 2014

Known primarily for its pilot-centric product sales business, AviatMall has opened its first FBO at Wilmington International Airport in North Carolina, where it will be one of two service providers on the field. The company was awarded a five-year lease through an RFP process to occupy the 13-acre former Aero Services facility, which includes a 3,000-sq-ft terminal and 21,000 sq ft of hangar space that can accommodate aircraft up to a Challenger 605.

Matt Thurber, August 1, 2014

A Part 16 complaint about Santa Monica Airport (SMO) was filed on July 2 with the FAA by AOPA, NBAA, airport businesses, local aircraft owners and a corporate operator that often flies into the Southern California airport. The complaint seeks to settle the issue of when the city, which owns and operates the 227-acre airport, is no longer subject to grant assurance obligations that require it to keep the airport open.

Avionics and ATC
Matt Thurber, August 3, 2014

JetTech founder Rob Irwin reports that one of his customers received funding for a large installation via the NextGen GA Fund. The fund was designed to help aircraft owners and operators obtain low-interest loans to help pay for avionics upgrades to meet upcoming NextGen mandates such as the Jan. 1, 2020 ADS-B out deadline. “The customer said it was a very quick process,” he said, “and there weren’t any constraints.

Matt Thurber, August 3, 2014

Trig Avionics has partnered with the NextGen GA Fund, which will help provide loans for avionics upgrades. Trig’s TT31 mode-S transponder is an easy and cost-effective tray-compatible retrofit for the ubiquitous King KT76A found in many GA aircraft, and this upgrade provides a 1090ES-compliant ADS-B out installation. Trig also manufactures the “world’s smallest” mode-S transponder, the TT22, which features 1090ES ADS-B out and an integral altitude encoder.

John Sheridan, August 2, 2014

The list of FAA GPS procedures using Waas, known by ICAO as space-based augmentation system (SBAS) procedures, continues to grow steadily. These include ILS-equivalent localizer precision with vertical guidance (LPV) approaches, providing centerline and glideslope guidance down to 200 feet at more than 800 Part 139 runways in the NAS, plus another 2,600 at various heights above 200 feet at other NAS Part 139 and non-Part 139 runways. At most of the non-Part 139 runways, of course, there’s no ILS, and probably never will be. SBAS is filling that need.

Thierry Dubois, August 6, 2014

Elbit last month launched Skylens, a wearable head-up display for an enhanced flight vision system. The ski goggle-shaped device offers a greater field of view than night-vision goggles (NVG), according to the company. Developed specifically for helicopters, the system also fuses infrared (EVS) and synthetic (SVS) images with flight parameter symbology for improved safety in poor visibility. The symbology will present flight and critical engine parameters.

Business Aviation
Matt Thurber, August 6, 2014

Evektor

EV-55 Outback

Malaysian company Aspirasi Pertiwi signed an agreement to invest in Kunovice, Czech Republic-based Evektor, which will help fund final development and production of the twin-engine EV-55 Outback utility airplane. The companies expect the June 26 agreement will eventually reach a total investment of $200 million.

Charles Alcock, August 2, 2014

The 2014 Farnborough International Airshow (July 14-20) was a dynamic and captivating edition of the long-running biennial event–packed with high-octane sales activity, novelty and a touch of controversy. As of press time, the show was on track to surpass all the main metrics for the 2012 event, with more than twice the volume of announced sales; more than 100,000 visitors on the five trade days; and approximately 1,500 exhibitors (of which 26 percent were newcomers and 15 percent had expanded their presence).

Ian Sheppard, August 6, 2014

The Isle of Man Aircraft Registry, launched with modest expectations by the island’s government in May 2007, is seeing no letting up in activity as business aircraft owners seize on the advantages of using the M-register. Various factors are driving the registry’s popularity, including banks’ advising owners to distance themselves from Russia; VAT rules; impending ratification by the UK of the Cape Town Convention; intensified scrutiny of U.S.

Mark Huber, August 6, 2014

Embraer announced an upgraded version of the Phenom 100 entry-level light jet last year and customers are beginning to take delivery of the new 100E. The aircraft introduces multifunction spoilers and upgraded interior options. Base price is $4.161 million, but options such as premium seats, a solid lavatory door and an extra passenger seat/kibitzer that faces sideways across from the cabin entry door can quickly take the price past $4.4 million, putting it in line with Cessna’s new M2 with a few options.

Charles Alcock, August 5, 2014

Charter hub Returnjet.com is extending free access to aircraft availability data to brokers in a bid to challenge the market dominance of rival portal Avinode. The change, which took effect July 14, will also allow operators who have registered their fleets with the site to have complimentary access to the real-time data.

Operators will continue to pay a 3-percent “introduction fee” for any flight conducted as a result of customer contact from the site. Returnjet plans to introduce reduced introduction fees for flights booked by brokers.

Matt Thurber, August 1, 2014

The results of this year’s AIN Product Support Survey are in, and some big changes have upended last year’s rankings.

Charles Alcock, August 5, 2014

Former flight attendant Kimberley Mason is seeking to bring an extra level of comfort to private jet passengers with the launch of a new flight bag developed by her UK-based company, Urma Textiles. Each flight bag contains a blanket, socks and eye mask made from exceptionally soft and luxurious baby alpaca wool and can be customized for each client with individual colors, stitching and logos.

Charter
Matt Thurber, July 5, 2014

For new customers who might enjoy the benefits of flying from quieter airports, with fewer security hassles and on a more convenient schedule, the charter market can appear somewhat incomprehensible, especially when using smaller aircraft. William Herp, CEO of Concord, Mass.-based charter operator Linear Air, has what he sees as a solution to help bring lower-cost charter flying to a much larger audience: a nationwide charter market called the Linear Connect Digital Marketplace.

Charter and Fractional
Matt Thurber, August 6, 2014

Fifteen years after inventing the jet card, which simplifies the purchase of a block of charter hours, Sentient Jet sees no slowdown in demand for the product it pioneered. “We’re having a great year,” said Sentient president Andrew Collins. “In many respects it feels a lot like stuff we’ve been talking about is coming to fruition.”

Charles Alcock, August 5, 2014

Charter hub Returnjet.com is extending free access to aircraft availability data to brokers in a bid to challenge the market dominance of rival portal Avinode. The change, which took effect July 14, will also allow operators who have registered their fleets with the site to have complimentary access to the real-time data.

Operators will continue to pay a 3-percent “introduction fee” for any flight conducted as a result of customer contact from the site. Returnjet plans to introduce reduced introduction fees for flights booked by brokers.

FBOs
Curt Epstein, August 4, 2014

For many corporate aircraft heading west from Europe, their first glimpse of the U.S. isn’t the spires of New York City but the shores of Maine. Bangor Aviation Services, the municipally owned and operated FBO at Bangor International Airport, the closest U.S. airport to Europe, sees more than 400 private flights each month by business jets crossing the Atlantic. While Maine is lacking in neither scenic beauty nor New England charm, that isn’t what draws the flocks of private travelers. “We’re a tech stop,” said Kevin Tipler, the airport’s ramp service manager.

General Aviation
Matt Thurber, August 6, 2014

The AirPooler general aviation ride-sharing system has advised pilot-members not to list any flights, pending a discussion with the FAA to clarify AirPooler’s regulatory standing.

Maintenance and Modifications
David A. Lombardo, August 4, 2014

In 1978, Cessna Aircraft opened a Citation service center in Palm Beach, Fla., and five years later relocated it to a facility on the south side of Orlando International Airport to meet demand for its services. Demand continued to grow, to the point that it exceeded the capacity of the 45,000-sq-ft facility and the MRO relocated for a second time.

Mark Huber, August 4, 2014

Aircraft maintenance plan provider JSSI is pushing harder into the red-hot helicopter market. The company recently hired Ray Weiser as its new helicopter program specialist and will soon unveil several programs aimed at the helicopter market, according to CEO Neil Book.

People
Jane Campbell, August 4, 2014

Michael King joined SimCom as COO. He was most recently director of business development for FlightSafety International.

Rick Wielebski joined Landmark Aviation as general manager of the Boeing Field/King County International Airport location.

Michael Caflisch was named CEO of Aircraft Performance Group. He was most recently director of aerospace programs for commercial aviation services at Boeing.

Regional Airlines
Gregory Polek, August 4, 2014

Trans States Holdings subsidiary Compass Airlines has won the right to fly 20 new 76-seat Embraer E175s owned by American Airlines, the first of which the regional airline expects to add to its fleet in the first quarter of next year. Under the terms of a new code-share deal with American, Trans States will fly the airplanes as American Eagle from a hub yet to be announced.

“We are currently evaluating where the new E175s that will be operated by Compass will be deployed and will share that information at a later date,” said American Airlines in a written statement.

Gregory Polek, August 4, 2014

Russia’s Aviation Register of Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC AR) issued a supplemental type certificate in late June that allows the Sukhoi Superjet 100 to execute Cat IIIa automatic landings.

This STC allows the SSJ100 to land at Cat IIIa-certified runways when visibility does not exceed 175 meters and when the crosswind component does not exceed 10 meters per second (19 knots).

Gregory Polek, August 4, 2014

Embraer has signed Tianjin Airlines, the first E190 Chinese operator and the largest E-Jet carrier in Asia, as the launch user in China for the manufacturer’s Ahead-Pro (Aircraft Health Analysis and Diagnosis-Prognosis) system. The contract calls for Embraer to install the system in all 50 of Tianjin Airlines’ E-Jets.

Regulations and Government
Gordon Gilbert, August 5, 2014

Within Six Months

Nov. 25, 2014

Charter Ops Included in European Rules

Curt Epstein, August 3, 2014

The Colgan Air crash near Buffalo in 2009 continues to cast a shadow over the FAA’s rulemaking, with several legislative measures affecting the industry, according to Leslie Smith, division manager for the agency’s air transportation division, speaking at the National Air Transportation Association’s annual Air Charter Summit in Washington, D.C.

Curt Epstein, August 4, 2014

For most companies, reputation is the most important possession, and that is particularly true in private aviation. No one is more aware of that than Dana Carr, co-owner, vice president and director of operations with Florida-based charter provider Air Trek. He has been working to restore his family-owned company’s image for the past six years, ever since the FAA revoked its air operator certificate, a move the NTSB later ruled was erroneous. “I was in shock,” Carr recalled before the audience at the National Air Transportation Association’s annual Air Charter Summit.

Ian Sheppard, August 6, 2014

The Isle of Man Aircraft Registry, launched with modest expectations by the island’s government in May 2007, is seeing no letting up in activity as business aircraft owners seize on the advantages of using the M-register. Various factors are driving the registry’s popularity, including banks’ advising owners to distance themselves from Russia; VAT rules; impending ratification by the UK of the Cape Town Convention; intensified scrutiny of U.S.

Curt Epstein, August 2, 2014

After eight years of litigation, a legal battle between ExxonMobil and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) over mandatory pilot retirement age has concluded with a ruling by the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. The appeals panel upheld the previous ruling that the energy company’s policy on mandatory retirement for its corporate pilots at age 60 (later 65) does not violate the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).

Rotorcraft
Thierry Dubois, August 4, 2014

North Sea helicopter operators expect to deploy improved emergency breathing systems (EBS) progressively, beginning in the middle of this month, to comply with CAA rules issued to improve the safety of offshore helicopter operations in the North Sea. The Helicopter Safety Steering Group (HSSG) expected the first batch of approved equipment to arrive soon after the UK CAA approved the system, which had not taken place as of early last month. Training will be based on a classroom session lasting a maximum of 90 minutes.

Thierry Dubois, August 6, 2014

Elbit last month launched Skylens, a wearable head-up display for an enhanced flight vision system. The ski goggle-shaped device offers a greater field of view than night-vision goggles (NVG), according to the company. Developed specifically for helicopters, the system also fuses infrared (EVS) and synthetic (SVS) images with flight parameter symbology for improved safety in poor visibility. The symbology will present flight and critical engine parameters.

Mark Huber, August 4, 2014

Aircraft maintenance plan provider JSSI is pushing harder into the red-hot helicopter market. The company recently hired Ray Weiser as its new helicopter program specialist and will soon unveil several programs aimed at the helicopter market, according to CEO Neil Book.

Mark Huber, August 3, 2014

Bell Helicopter is applying systems designed for its 525 Relentless commercial medium twin to the V-280 Valor third-generation tiltrotor technology demonstrator it is developing for the U.S. Army as part of its Joint Multi-Role (JMR) Program for Future Vertical Lift (FVL).

August 2014

This Month's Top Stories

Accidents, Safety, Security and Training

This year’s accident picture is looking worse than last year’s. The number of fatalities from business jet accidents worldwide in just the first half of this year exceeds the number for all of last year, according to statistics gathered by AIN. In the first six months of this year, 29 people died in seven fatal crashes involving U.S.- and non-U.S.-registered business jets, compared with 23 people killed in eight fatal mishaps in all of last year.

Accidents, Safety, Security and Training

After eight years of litigation, a legal battle between ExxonMobil and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) over mandatory pilot retirement age has concluded with a ruling by the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. The appeals panel upheld the previous ruling that the energy company’s policy on mandatory retirement for its corporate pilots at age 60 (later 65) does not violate the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).

This Month's Most Popular

Charles Alcock, August 2, 2014
Mark Huber, August 3, 2014
Ian Sheppard, August 3, 2014
Jane Campbell, August 4, 2014
Curt Epstein, August 3, 2014
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