U.S.-registered turbine business airplanes were involved in fewer total accidents in the first half of this year, but corporate jets recorded more fatalities over the first half of this year than in the same period last year. According to preliminary data tabulated by AIN, there were 21 total accidents involving business turboprops and jets in the first six months, compared with 27 in the same period last year.
AINalerts » July 8, 2014
Three Chinese general aviation operators signed orders and commitments with Airbus Helicopters yesterday for 123 light singles and twins, including AS350s, EC130s and EC135s. Fujian Xinmei General Aviation (GAC) will be acquiring five AS350B3es, to be delivered this year. The company, which focuses on agricultural and utility work, has committed to another 50 light singles and twins over the next six years.
NBAA, AOPA, airport businesses, local aircraft owners and a corporate operator have filed a Part 16 complaint with the FAA about California’s Santa Monica Airport. The complaint seeks to settle the issue of when the city, which owns and operates the airport, is no longer subject to grant assurance obligations that require it to keep the airport open. While the city believes that its obligations expire on July 1 next year, the complainants claim that a 2003 request by the city to amend the last grant agreement extended the period of time that the airport must remain open to August 2023.
There were 67,311 business aviation flights in Europe last month, and while this was a “seasonal leap” of 9 percent over May, it was still down 0.9 percent from a year ago, according to data released today by business aviation research and consulting firm WingX Advance. “June’s decline completed a negative second quarter and means year-to-date flight activity [in Europe] is 0.4 percent lower than in 2013,” it noted.
Kevin Boardman, who was the aviation director/chief pilot for Elmer’s Glue parent company Berwind Corp. from 1998 until earlier this year, was formally indicted by a grand jury of defrauding his former employer to the tune of at least $2.7 million. According to a release issued yesterday by the Eastern Pennsylvania U.S. Attorney’s Office, Boardman allegedly “devised numerous methods to embezzle money from his employer” between 2006 and last year.
Donald Lowe, 82, a former vice chairman and director of Bombardier Aerospace, died on June 26 in Toronto, following a series of illnesses. His aerospace career began in 1975 when he was brought in to run United Aircraft (later Pratt & Whitney Canada) following a long labor strike. During his tenure, P&WC launched the long-running PW100 series of turboprop engines. In 1986 he joined a financially troubled Canadair as president and CEO, as it was sold by the Canadian government to Bombardier, and oversaw the launch of the CRJ series of regional airliners.
The Air Charter Association of North America (Acana) and Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) have teamed to raise standards for the air charter industry, to include Part 135 and 121 operators and air charter brokers. The two associations are collaborating on the development and implementation of best practices “that will lead the air charter industry,” said Acana chairman and co-founder Scott Bickford.
NBAA released a new publication, “NBAA Aircraft Transactions Guide,” to assist those considering buying or selling a business airplane. Developed by the NBAA Tax Committee, the guide provides background on the most relevant FAA and DOT regulations, federal and state tax issues and aircraft ownership structures. It also maps the various steps of the aircraft transaction process, from the letter of intent to the closing.
Aircraft financing company AirFleet Capital, which is marking its 20th year in business, closed its 5,000th aircraft loan last month. AirFleet Capital has focused solely on the general aviation marketplace, transacting an average of 250 loans per year for customers purchasing aircraft, from warbirds to turbine business aircraft. The company also noted “that an increase in retail demand is well matched with bank appetites that continue to rebound.”
Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) has found that the fatally injured pilot and sole occupant of a Gemini Helicopters Robinson R44 that crashed on Jan. 27, 2013, near Fox Creek, Alberta, after an in-flight break-up “was under the influence of alcohol” and made “inappropriate control inputs that caused the main rotor blade to make contact with the fuselage.” The TSB also noted the failure of the R44’s emergency locator transmitter in the final report.