“The pilot’s failure to obtain the proper touchdown point on the runway at Cuyahoga County Airport [CGF], Cleveland, Ohio, and the PIC’s failure to initiate a go-around,” were cited by the NTSB in its recently published final report as the probable cause of the Feb. 10, 2002, overrun accident of a Flight Options Mitsubishi MU-300 Diamond, N541CW.
Charter and Fractional » Fractional
News and issues concerning the fractional-ownership industry and markets, including company announcements, regulations, new developments and labor issues.
A scheduled mediation session failed to settle a lawsuit in which former Raytheon Travel Air pilots allege they were fired because of their union-organizing activities when the company merged with Flight Options. The case is now set to go to trial on May 11. The pilots filed the lawsuit in late 2002. Court records show that the four pilots suing Flight Options are Thomas Bowden, William Brunet, Thomas Jeter and William Tumlin.
HeliFlite Shares, which has its operations center at Alliance Airport in Texas, obtained its Part 135 charter certificate in February and last month added a pre-owned Sikorsky S-76 it bought from Jet Aviation to its fractional fleet of two Bell 430s that it operates in the New York City area.
Last month, fractional provider Bombardier Flexjet announced a program for substituting a finance lease for the acquisition payment of a fractional share. Under the “Jet Rich Quick” program, customers pay no money down and a fixed monthly payment for the lease, which could involve a term of two or four years. They also pay the regular monthly management fee and the hourly occupied fee for time flown.
To inaugurate its newest aircraft type, fractional provider Flight Options is offering a reduced hourly occupied rate for customers who sign up for shares in the Embraer Legacy. For the first 24 months of the 60-month contract, the share owner will pay an hourly rate of $1,990, comparable to that of a Hawker 800XP. At the 25th month, the rate reverts to the regular $2,485 per hour.
Profits soared last year at Warren Buffett’s holding company, Berkshire Hathaway, though not all of the company’s divisions did well. In his annual letter to shareholders released last month, the investment mogul summarized the reduced performance of FlightSafety International and NetJets– the two largest companies in their respective fields of simulator training and fractional ownership.
Avantair, the Clearwater, Fla.-based fractional that operates Piaggio Avantis exclusively, reported an 85-percent increase in Q2 revenue over the same period a year earlier. Sluggish deliveries from Piaggio contributed to an overall loss, though the company does expect to break even upon reaching 40 aircraft in service. If current estimates hold, that will happen by the end of this year.
A “much improved situation is emerging at NetJets,” according to Warren Buffett, chairman of parent company Berkshire Hathaway. In his annual letter to stockholders, published February 28, Buffett said NetJets has “never had a problem growing. But profits had been erratic.”
NetJets has presented its annual trophy for Best Heavy Maintenance Provider during 2006 to Hawker Aircraft Services. It’s the third time the company has won
the annual maintenance honor; it has also previously received NetJets’ Supplier of the Year Award. The Hawker Aircraft Services facility performs heavy maintenance on NetJets’ domestic fleet of 71 Hawker 400XPs and Hawker 800XPs.
The four largest fractional operators–NetJets, Flight Options, Flexjet and CitationShares–hired 11 pilots in March, compared with none during the same month last year, according to figures compiled by AIR Inc. of Atlanta. The March figure brings to 56 the number of fractional pilots hired in the first quarter, versus 47 in the same period last year.