Aviation International News Monthly

Matt Thurber

The FAA’s requirement that business aircraft operators obtain letters of authorization (LOAs) for flight in reduced vertical separation minimum (RVSM) airspace is causing not only enormous wastes of fuel but safety problems as well, according to feedback from AIN readers. Other operations require LOAs such as PRnav, BRnav, RNP, MNPS, ADS-B and maintenance authorizations such as the MEL, but extended delays by the FAA in approving RVSM LOAs are presenting serious safety and environmental issues, according to operators and NBAA.

David Donald

Brazilian civil aviation agency ANAC issued type certification for Embraer’s Legacy 500 in a ceremony held during the LABACE show in São Paulo on August 13. U.S. FAA certification for the $20 million midsize jet is expected in the coming weeks, with European approval to follow soon after.

ANAC approval, the culmination of a six-year development program for the fly-by-wire jet, paves the way for delivery of the first aircraft (S/N 005) next month to an undisclosed Brazilian industrial customer that will use the aircraft to link the company’s facilities around the country.

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Accidents, Safety, Security and Training
Robert P. Mark, September 4, 2014

Preliminary Report: Hard Landing Damages AStar

Aerospace Industry
Matt Thurber, September 3, 2014

As more aircraft equip with ADS-B out capability, which broadcasts position, velocity, altitude and other information in unencrypted formats on easily received frequencies, business aircraft operators are concerned about whether they can continue blocking their aircraft from display on flight-tracking websites.

Curt Epstein, September 1, 2014

Manufacturers saw a better than 12-percent jump in first-half business jet deliveries year over year, with 318 handed over during the first six months of this year, according to statistics released by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). Much of this increase was fueled by Cessna, which delivered 71 jets in the first half of the year, a 36.5-percent rise over the same period last year. Though the company saw decreases in most of its other models, its totals were buoyed by recent certifications of the Citation M2, Sovereign+ and X+.

Matt Thurber, September 1, 2014

There were few spectacular announcements of radical new aircraft at this year’s EAA AirVenture Oshkosh show, held July 27 through August 3, but the popular event was well attended, the crowds enjoyed the first-ever appearance of a U.S. military jet aerobatic team–the Air Force Thunderbirds–and there were plenty of exciting attractions.

Air Transport and Cargo
Gregory Polek, September 7, 2014

Indianapolis-based Republic Airways plans to consolidate its Chautauqua Airlines operation into its Shuttle America subsidiary in an effort to cut costs through a reduction of its air operator certificates to two from three. Company CEO Bryan Bedford sent a letter to employees in late July announcing the company’s intention to migrate Chautauqua’s 41 fifty-seat Embraer ERJ-145s to Shuttle America by year-end.

Gregory Polek, September 7, 2014

Aurigny Air Services plans to start new service between its base in Guernsey in the Channel Islands and London City Airport on September 8, starting with a wet-leased Fokker 50 turboprop. Plans call for two round trips each week with the Fokker for four to eight weeks, at which time Aurigny expects to start flying a newly sourced ATR on the route.

Gregory Polek, September 7, 2014

Japan’s Amakusa Airlines expects to become the country’s first ATR 42 operator under the terms of a lease deal it signed in late July with Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC). The letter of intent calls for the Kumamoto Prefecture-based regional airline to take the aircraft, a new ATR 42-600, in the fourth quarter of next year. The announcement followed NAC’s firm order at the Farnborough airshow for 25 ATR 42-600s. NAC also took options on 50 of the turboprops, raising the potential value of the deal to more than $1.55 billion.

Gregory Polek, September 7, 2014

Calgary-based WestJet Encore signed a firm order for five Bombardier Q400s in late July, raising its order total for the type to 30. The latest deal, valued at $167 million, involved the conversion of five options booked by parent company WestJet with its original order for the type in July 2012. Plans call for the airplanes to help support WestJet’s expansion into the eastern part of Canada, where it currently operates a base out of Toronto.

Avionics
Matt Thurber, September 6, 2014

SiriusXM’s new SXAR1 receiver simplifies delivery of SiriusXM weather and radio products to iPads. The battery-powered receiver connects wirelessly with one iPad via Bluetooth and can also connect simultaneously to a Bluetooth audio-enabled headset. SiriusXM weather subscriptions range from $34.99 to $99.99 per month and offer access to high-resolution radar with echo tops, satellite imagery, lightning strikes, Metars, TAFs, Pireps, TFRs and other products that vary with the subscription level.

Matt Thurber, September 6, 2014

PS Engineering has added “IntelliAudio” dimensional sound to its new PMA450 audio panel. Based on research conducted by the U.S. Air Force’s Wright Patterson Air Force Laboratory and licensed by PS Engineering, IntelliAudio allows the pilot to select where various audio inputs will sound as though they are coming from in the headset. For example, com 1 and 2 can be set in any of nine separate positions, so each audio source sounds separate and unique.

Avionics and ATC
Thierry Dubois, September 6, 2014

Esterline CMC Electronics’ CMA-9000 flight management system and CMA-5024 GPS/Waas landing system have been selected on the Airbus Helicopters EC225e, an extended-range version of the Super Puma slated for delivery in 2016. Both systems had their latest iterations EASA-certified for the AS332L1e and AS332C1e Super Pumas, which recently entered service. Both are offered as retrofit options, too.

Mark Huber, September 2, 2014

The FAA is moving ahead with a plan to expand the services offered by Houston Center in the Gulf of Mexico by September 2016. As part of the plan, the FAA will install three more ADS-B radios in Mexico to enhance surveillance over the Gulf with a 60- to 80-nm coverage overlap between Houston Flight Information Region and Merida and Monterrey ACC airspace.

Business Aviation
, September 2, 2014

The typical summer slowdown that the used market has become accustomed to seems to have taken a summer vacation. While worldwide inventory has ticked up slightly in response to seasonal variances, the inventory of 2000 and newer jets fell during the past couple of months. As the fleet has aged, the broader number of aircraft for sale has to be looked at closely. Consider that aircraft that are 25 years old or older account for more than one third of the market currently for sale, and these aircraft are often lumped in to the total figure to define the health of the market.

Business Aviation Aircraft
David Donald, September 1, 2014

Brazilian civil aviation agency ANAC issued type certification for Embraer’s Legacy 500 in a ceremony held during the LABACE show in São Paulo on August 13. U.S. FAA certification for the $20 million midsize jet is expected in the coming weeks, with European approval to follow soon after.

ANAC approval, the culmination of a six-year development program for the fly-by-wire jet, paves the way for delivery of the first aircraft (S/N 005) next month to an undisclosed Brazilian industrial customer that will use the aircraft to link the company’s facilities around the country.

Cabin Interior and Electronics
Thierry Dubois, September 2, 2014

An EASA rule that takes effect next month opens the door to offshore oil-and-gas helicopter passengers’ using personal electronic devices (PED), and rotorcraft manufacturers say their designs are compatible with the use of PEDs in flight. However, European operators seem unenthusiastic about implementing the change despite its appeal to passengers.

James Wynbrandt, September 5, 2014

Pats Aircraft Systems of Georgetown, Del., completion specialist for widebodies and BBJs and sole provider of auxiliary fuel-tank installations for BBJs, was acquired from Wayzata Investment Partners by Moelis Capital Partners (MCP) of New York City. Pats plans to continue concentrating on BBJ completions, expanding its business by finding more customers overseas and possibly putting more emphasis on its refurbishment business, according to John Martin, who retains his position as Pats president and CEO.

James Wynbrandt, September 5, 2014

BE Aerospace (BEA) bought Emteq Corporate and its subsidiaries. Emteq provides aircraft interior and exterior lighting, as well as cabin management and power systems. BEA sees Emteq’s lighting, cabin management and power systems as highly complementary to its own product lines.

James Wynbrandt, September 5, 2014

Dassault Aviation has tapped Esoteric, a New York City-based provider of cockpit and cabin USB chargers, to supply its new SkyDock line of USB chargers for Falcons. Installations will begin later this year. The growing use of portable electronic devices and the need to replenish their power has made USB ports a hot commodity in the cabin and cockpit interior worlds.

James Wynbrandt, September 5, 2014

Spokane’s Associated Painters, which was acquired by Leading Edge Aviation Services of Forth Worth, Texas, in March last year, opened a new $6 million narrow-body paint hangar in Spokane, Wash. The one-bay, 32,000-sq-ft facility (its second in Spokane) accommodates aircraft up to a 757-300 and is outfitted with high-lumen, energy-efficient lighting, hybrid cross-draft/down-draft air handling and a rubber membrane roof. Associated Painters has secured a 30-year lease with a 20-year option for the facility, which received its first aircraft this August.

James Wynbrandt, September 5, 2014

The world’s first private airliner incorporating a “bubble wall” is about to begin completion, according to London’s VIP Completions, which will provide the bubble wall for a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner for the undisclosed customer. The bubble wall uses the contrasts of light, water and Swarovski crystal to create a relaxing experience, adding its glow to the cabin lighting. Built into the cabin’s lounge, the bubble wall creates the visual effect of moving water, and the color can be changed through a smartphone app.

FBOs
Curt Epstein, September 4, 2014

South Florida’s Gulf Coast has long been known as a destination for snowbirds, those Northerners who flee winter’s wrath for the balmy climate of places like Fort Myers. At the city’s Page Field, the airport-owned FBO, known officially as Base Operations at Page Field, is the lone services provider. Built and operated by the Lee County Port Authority, the FBO sees seasonal swings in traffic, with the tempo picking up before Thanksgiving and lasting through Easter.

Curt Epstein, September 7, 2014

Authorities at the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority in Indiana have approved a contract to construct a new $4 million FBO facility at Fort Wayne International Airport. Set for completion late next year, the new 12,000-sq-ft facility will eventually supplant the current Atlantic Aviation facility, destined for removal when the service provider’s lease expires in January 2016 to make room for expansion of the airline terminal. The airport has yet to determine whether it will operate the new facility itself or bring in an established service provider to manage it under contract.

Curt Epstein, September 7, 2014

Atlantic Aviation has completed a $1.325 million renovation of its ramp at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport, one of the service provider’s top three busiest bases. The 16-acre project was intended to upgrade its McCarran ramp to recognized standards. It addressed leveling issues and repaired distressed areas with a covering of new asphalt. An existing drainage ditch was filled in to accommodate additional aircraft parking and a new drainage system was installed during the course of the project’s two phases, which took three weeks in total to complete.

Curt Epstein, September 7, 2014

Santiago, Chile-based Aerocardal Limitada is the first service provider in Latin America to be accepted into the Air Elite Network. Aerocardal, an FBO with its own tank farm and fuel trucks, is now World Fuel Services’ preferred ground handler and fuel distributor for business aviation at Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport. Its newly renovated facility, which is open 24/7, has a 7,700-sq-ft terminal, one of the largest in Latin America.

Government
Gordon Gilbert, September 5, 2014

Sept. 26, 2014

Helicopter Ambulance Departure Rules Simplified

Maintenance and Modifications
Thierry Dubois, September 6, 2014

Oceania Aviation’s Airborne Systems subsidiary has received an STC from New Zealand’s CAA for its bike rack on the Airbus Helicopters AS350 Ecureuil. Made of aluminum alloy, the device can hold up to six bicycles (three on each side). The system weighs 120 pounds and trained ground crew can load the bikes in 20 seconds, according to the company. An AS355 STC addition was planned for last month.

David A. Lombardo, September 4, 2014

Stevens Aviation has a long history as a privately held, local business. It began in 1950 as the J.P. Stevens Aviation Department, which operated a small piston-powered aircraft to support the large textile company in Greenville, S.C. The company and its flight department were integral members of the local community, and long-time Greenville residents and employees of Stevens Aviation still talk about the gentle manners and southern hospitality of Ralph Cuthbertson Sr., Stevens’ first pilot and president.

Matt Thurber, September 1, 2014

Cockpit Avionics

Garmin held on to its first-place position in AIN’s 2014 Avionics Product Support Survey, scoring an 8.3 rating from AIN readers, the same number as last year. L-3 Avionics moved up to second place this year, a half-point jump to 7.8 from last year’s fourth-place rating of 7.3 and tied with Universal Avionics, which also held the second-place spot last year. Rockwell Collins moved up a tenth of a point to 7.7 this year for third place, the same spot it held in last year’s survey.

People
Jane Campbell, September 5, 2014

Christopher Hart was appointed NTSB chairman. A licensed pilot with commercial, multi-engine and instrument ratings, Hart previously served on the NTSB as board member. He replaces Deborah Hersman.

Mark Huber, September 3, 2014

Bell Helicopter CEO John Garrison wants more “national investment” to develop advanced rotorcraft to keep U.S. OEMs globally competitive.

Speaking at the Aero Club of Washington on July 29, Garrison noted, “Industry investment, coupled with a regulatory environment that keeps pace with innovation, will go a long way to meeting the growing demands [for helicopters]. But the final component of innovation is national investment and a sustained investment in technology.”

Rotorcraft
Thierry Dubois, September 6, 2014

Esterline CMC Electronics’ CMA-9000 flight management system and CMA-5024 GPS/Waas landing system have been selected on the Airbus Helicopters EC225e, an extended-range version of the Super Puma slated for delivery in 2016. Both systems had their latest iterations EASA-certified for the AS332L1e and AS332C1e Super Pumas, which recently entered service. Both are offered as retrofit options, too.

Thierry Dubois, September 6, 2014

Oceania Aviation’s Airborne Systems subsidiary has received an STC from New Zealand’s CAA for its bike rack on the Airbus Helicopters AS350 Ecureuil. Made of aluminum alloy, the device can hold up to six bicycles (three on each side). The system weighs 120 pounds and trained ground crew can load the bikes in 20 seconds, according to the company. An AS355 STC addition was planned for last month.

Thierry Dubois, September 3, 2014

Is the honeymoon over for Airbus Helicopters and big innovation? Despite the news that the company will build a successor to the X3 compound demonstrator by 2019 (see AIN, August, page 57), Guillaume Faury (who was appointed CEO 16 months ago) seems to have a more cautious approach than his predecessor, Lutz Bertling, and some signs suggest the OEM will scale back its forays into brave new territory.

Mark Huber, September 3, 2014

Bell Helicopter CEO John Garrison wants more “national investment” to develop advanced rotorcraft to keep U.S. OEMs globally competitive.

Speaking at the Aero Club of Washington on July 29, Garrison noted, “Industry investment, coupled with a regulatory environment that keeps pace with innovation, will go a long way to meeting the growing demands [for helicopters]. But the final component of innovation is national investment and a sustained investment in technology.”

Mark Huber, September 2, 2014

The FAA is moving ahead with a plan to expand the services offered by Houston Center in the Gulf of Mexico by September 2016. As part of the plan, the FAA will install three more ADS-B radios in Mexico to enhance surveillance over the Gulf with a 60- to 80-nm coverage overlap between Houston Flight Information Region and Merida and Monterrey ACC airspace.

Safety
Matt Thurber, September 1, 2014

The FAA’s requirement that business aircraft operators obtain letters of authorization (LOAs) for flight in reduced vertical separation minimum (RVSM) airspace is causing not only enormous wastes of fuel but safety problems as well, according to feedback from AIN readers. Other operations require LOAs such as PRnav, BRnav, RNP, MNPS, ADS-B and maintenance authorizations such as the MEL, but extended delays by the FAA in approving RVSM LOAs are presenting serious safety and environmental issues, according to operators and NBAA.

Taxes
Matt Thurber, September 4, 2014

Tax laws that affect business aircraft owners are constantly changing, and a new law this year makes the process of complying with these tax laws even more complex. Dean Sonderegger, director of product management at Bloomberg BNA Software, explained the new law and how his company’s software helps owners keep track of tax implications to ensure that they meet the legal requirements and don’t pay more tax than is necessary.

Training
Thierry Dubois, September 4, 2014

The Thales Training Academy in Albertville, France, has received EASA qualification to operate a flight simulation training device, anointing it as the first European facility to operate a full flight simulator (FFS) for the Airbus Helicopters AS350 Ecureuil. The Reality H simulator holds a dual qualification: FFS level B and flight training device level 3. Located in the Alps next to SAF’s EC135 FFS, the training center caters to aerial work operators.

Curt Epstein, September 7, 2014

When the FAA implemented more rigorous minimum standards (the “1,500-hour ATP” rule) for airline first officers last year, many in the industry expressed concern about a shortage of pilots meeting the requirement. Under the new regulation first officers must hold an ATP certificate, which requires 1,500 hours total time. Previously, first officers were required to have only a commercial pilot certificate, which requires just 250 hours of flight time.

September 2014

This Month's Top Stories

Maintenance and Modifications

Cockpit Avionics

Garmin held on to its first-place position in AIN’s 2014 Avionics Product Support Survey, scoring an 8.3 rating from AIN readers, the same number as last year. L-3 Avionics moved up to second place this year, a half-point jump to 7.8 from last year’s fourth-place rating of 7.3 and tied with Universal Avionics, which also held the second-place spot last year. Rockwell Collins moved up a tenth of a point to 7.7 this year for third place, the same spot it held in last year’s survey.

Aerospace Industry

As more aircraft equip with ADS-B out capability, which broadcasts position, velocity, altitude and other information in unencrypted formats on easily received frequencies, business aircraft operators are concerned about whether they can continue blocking their aircraft from display on flight-tracking websites.

Aerospace Industry

Manufacturers saw a better than 12-percent jump in first-half business jet deliveries year over year, with 318 handed over during the first six months of this year, according to statistics released by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). Much of this increase was fueled by Cessna, which delivered 71 jets in the first half of the year, a 36.5-percent rise over the same period last year. Though the company saw decreases in most of its other models, its totals were buoyed by recent certifications of the Citation M2, Sovereign+ and X+.

Aerospace Industry

There were few spectacular announcements of radical new aircraft at this year’s EAA AirVenture Oshkosh show, held July 27 through August 3, but the popular event was well attended, the crowds enjoyed the first-ever appearance of a U.S. military jet aerobatic team–the Air Force Thunderbirds–and there were plenty of exciting attractions.

This Month's Most Popular

Matt Thurber, September 1, 2014
Thierry Dubois, September 3, 2014
Matt Thurber, September 1, 2014
Gregory Polek, September 7, 2014
James Wynbrandt, September 5, 2014
Jane Campbell, September 5, 2014
James Wynbrandt, September 5, 2014
Mark Huber, September 2, 2014
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