The FAA is amending maintenance regulations, removing the task of updating some databases from the preventive maintenance category effective Jan. 28, 2013. Previously, because database updating was listed as preventive maintenance in FAR Part 43 Appendix A, pilots were allowed to perform the updates only on aircraft that they own or operate, but not on commercially operated aircraft. This is because Part 43.3, paragraph (g) allows only pilots who own or operate aircraft not flown under Parts 121, 129 or 135 to conduct preventive maintenance.
AINalerts » December 18, 2012
JP Morgan is stirring the Hawker Beechcraft bankruptcy pot, suggesting in its December Aerospace and Defense: Balance of Power report that “acquisition of the company is still possible.” The financial services company named Embraer, Textron (parent of Cessna and Bell Helicopter) and General Dynamics (Gulfstream and Jet Aviation) as entities that might benefit from such a deal.
The analyst added, “We anticipate that other companies may be interested in acquiring Beechcraft if the price is right as we see a good strategic fit in several cases.”
The FAA published an Airworthiness Directive December 12 on the Gulfstream G350/450 after what is described as routine maintenance testing by the manufacturer uncovered a fault in one of the aircraft test systems used during normal checks by pilots before the first flight of the day. The test that failed normally confirms the operational readiness of the hydraulic brake used to stop the pitch trim motor in the event of a runaway of that system.
Eurocopter has postponed its expectation for certification of the EC175 medium twin to this summer, citing longer-than-expected development of the Helionix avionics system. Deliveries will start in September instead of “late in 2012,” as initially planned.
Dassault Aviation has named Eric Trappier its new chairman and CEO. The 52-year-old Frenchman, who is currently the group’s international executive vice president, is set to succeed Charles Edelstenne when he retires on January 8.
Brunswick Executive Airport (BXM) in Maine is receiving a $25 million upgrade via the FAA’s Military Airport Program. Improvements include energy-efficient lighting systems for the single active runway (1R/19L), freshly painted markers and new signs to improve taxiing guidance for pilots. Construction has begun on 20 T hangars, and a segmented circle is also in the works. The airport has also acquired new snow removal equipment. Instrument approaches (ILS and GPS) and AWOS are now up and running. Meanwhile, some taxiways have been renamed to comply with current FAA standards.
The African Business Aviation Association (AfBAA) is close to rounding out its roster of founding members with the announcement that Hadid International Services has been selected as its penultimate charter member. According to the organization, the UAE-based flight support services provider was invited to join as a result of its strong reputation for delivering exceptional services, its existing presence in Africa and its ongoing commitment to developing business aviation in the region. AfBAA expects to announce its 20th and final founding member soon.
Asset Insight has released a new tool that it says will enable aircraft buyers, sellers and lenders to accurately assess the maintenance condition of an aircraft in order to assign a more accurate value to it. The Amissville, Va.-based company’s asset grading process is based on algorithms analyzing the current age, hours and cycles on major areas such as airframe, engines, paint and interior for virtually any aircraft flying today, as well as the cost to repair or replace those items.
John (Rick) Haskins, one of the founding partners and former president and CEO of Jet Support Services (JSSI), died last week in Chicago at the age of 67 after a battle with cancer. He led the company, the first independent engine hourly-cost maintenance program provider, from its inception in 1989 until its 2008 sale to private equity firms R.H. Book and 1848 Capital Partners. Haskins then went on to found an investment firm that provides growth capital to aviation-related companies, and to lead a short-lived helicopter airport shuttle service.
In the wake of recent revisions to the FAA’s 2012-2013 deicing holdover tables, NBAA is encouraging aircraft operators and service providers to review the changes, which could affect their procedures as winter weather arrives. The new guidance includes small changes to rated holdover times and the length of time an aircraft may wait to depart following application of an approved de-icing fluid.