Accidents in the first quarter involving U.S.-registered turbine business airplanes resulted in 15 fatalities, compared with 22 in the same period last year, even though the corporate jet segment did not reduce its number of fatal and nonfatal accidents. According to data assembled by AIN, five people were killed in two crashes involving N-numbered business jets in the first quarter versus seven in two accidents in the year-ago period–all under Part 91 operations.
AINalerts » April 3, 2014
Boeing received the launch order for the Boeing Business Jet Max yesterday. The order, from an undisclosed existing BBJ operator, is for a BBJ Max 8, a derivative based on the 737 Max 8.
“We are honored that an existing BBJ customer has become the first to select the BBJ Max,” said Boeing Business Jets president Steve Taylor. “The BBJ Max provides more room, longer range and produces fewer emissions than its nearest competition, making it an ideal choice for today’s BBJ customers.”
Responding to concerns raised by NBAA, AOPA and other aviation groups, the FAA announced yesterday that it drafted new guidelines for dealing with pilots at risk of having obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Under the revised draft guidelines, pilots will no longer be disqualified on the basis of body mass index (BMI) alone–a reversal from the FAA’s initial proposal in November–and they will be issued medical certificates even if they are referred for additional evaluation.
A meeting between company officials and the Flight Options pilot union planned for today and tomorrow is intended to address issues arising from the consolidation of fractional-share operations Flexjet and Flight Options. Flight Options parent Directional Aviation Capital purchased Flexjet from Bombardier last December for about $195 million.
Landmark Aviation made its entry into the UK business aviation market in a big way with yesterday’s announcement that it acquired RSS Jet Centre, which operated the former Ocean Sky FBOs at London Luton, Manchester and Glasgow Prestwick International Airports. The Houston-based company, which now operates 57 FBOs (including eight under license) mostly in North America, has had a presence in France since 2006, and currently has bases at 10 airports in Europe. This includes a facility at Paris Le Bourget, where a new $4.1 million terminal is set to open.
Professional audio company AKG broke into the aviation market on Tuesday with the introduction of an active noise-reduction aircraft headset, the AV100, at the Sun ’n’ Fun Fly-In. Its $1,099 headset uses hybrid active noise-cancelling technology and signal processing to attenuate the specific frequencies inside an airplane. Features include built-in LED map lights, as well Bluetooth connectivity and an auxiliary input for interfacing with navigation devices, tablet PCs, phones or other devices, allowing such things as Hi-Fi music streaming.
Argus International implemented several updates to the audit standard that it uses to qualify a charter operator for the Argus Platinum and Gold Plus rating. The additions are intended to create an “even more valuable and informative audit process,” said Argus president and CEO Joe Moeggenberg.
The FAA will begin formal rulemaking to consider whether to allow private pilots to use a driver’s license in lieu of an FAA medical certificate in some circumstances, the agency announced yesterday. The announcement follows a joint petition by AOPA and the Experimental Aircraft Association to the FAA to expand the third-class medical exemption, as well as proposed legislation, the General Aviation Pilot Protection Act (GAPPA), that is currently making its way through both the House and Senate.
Garmin has added European terminal charts–including instrument approach charts, SIDs, Stars and airport diagrams–to its FliteCharts database, which is compatible with select Garmin avionics and portables. When used with these Garmin products, the European FliteCharts provide geo-referenced aircraft position overlays on the approach charts, enhancing pilot situational awareness. European FliteCharts currently includes charts for Austria; Belgium; France; Germany; Italy; Luxembourg; the Netherlands; Switzerland; and the UK.
NetJets has embarked on a U.S. demonstration tour of its new Bombardier Challenger 350 to current and prospective customers in more than 20 cities. The aircraft is a demonstrator model, since NetJets won’t take delivery of its first Challenger 350 until this summer. The private viewing events will provide guests with the opportunity to view the redesigned aircraft, which includes larger passenger windows, onboard Wi-Fi and HD entertainment system.
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