Anticipating the end of the U.S. government’s 2013 Fiscal Year on September 30, nearly a dozen aviation organizations sent a joint letter late last week to House and Senate Appropriations Committee leaders asking them to provide continued funding in FY2014 for the 149 contract air traffic control towers at risk of closure under sequestration cuts.
AINalerts » June 4, 2013
Former U.S. Air Force pilot Sean Gillette announced yesterday the launch of a new “personal jet” program, the Saker S-1, a twin-engine two-seater capable of flying 1,600 nm and cruising at Mach 0.95. With twin vertical fins, tandem seating and short fighter-like wings and stabilizer, the S-1 brings to mind the Aviation Technology Group Javelin.
Surf Air, a charter operator offering all-you-can-fly trips between select California cities for a monthly fee, received its FAA operating certificate and plans to begin flying on June 12. Surf Air is flying Pilatus PC-12 single-engine turboprops with two pilots, and the first cities served will be Los Angeles and San Francisco, using airports in Burbank and San Carlos.
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) launched a new brokerage venture yesterday aimed at matching its members who require aircraft financing with lenders. It will also help facilitate member loans for avionics updates, either through straight loans using the aircraft as collateral when it is fully owned, or through refinancing of the aircraft while it is still being paid off.
New details on the still-to-be-certified Eurocopter EC175 medium-twin helicopter program have emerged, including unexpected Chinese influence. Although the EC175/AC352 is a 50-50 joint program with China’s Avicopter, the Marignane, France-based manufacturer had long made it clear the two certification processes were distinct.
Both Los Angeles County and the L.A. City fire departments took the unusual step of flying night helicopter water drops over the weekend on the fast-spreading “Powerhouse” fire, which so far has consumed more than 32,000 acres. As of this morning, the fire, just north of Los Angeles, was classified as 60-percent contained. L.A. County dropped water on the fire from its two specially modified Sikorsky S-70 Firehawks, while L.A. City flew a Bell 412.
Million Air Dallas, which took delivery of a Gulfstream G650 on May 20, is now the first operator to have one of these ultra-long-range jets available for charter. Its wide-cabin jet is configured for up to 13 passengers and has a private crew-rest area to take advantage of the aircraft’s 7,000-nm range. In preparation for delivery of the new aircraft, Million Air Dallas built a new charter passenger terminal at Addison Airport, as well as a new 40,000-sq-ft hangar that houses the G650.
The Eclipse 500 received type certificate validation from the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) this week, and the first very light jet from the Albuquerque, N.M. aircraft manufacturer has been exported to South Africa by National Airways. This marks the 46th country in which the Eclipse is certified. Orlando, Fla.-based SimCom has also been approved as the Eclipse simulator training provider by the SACAA.
The EASA has issued a new emergency AD on the Eurocopter EC225, requiring crews to land or ditch immediately if the main gearbox’s back-up lubrication system activates. “Investigations on the [emergency lubrication] system have revealed an area of the flight envelope in which the [system’s] performance is different from that assumed during certification,” the EASA said. The system was designed to allow for 30 minutes of flight after loss of oil lubrication.
The Banyan Pilot Shop announced a “June is Father’s Day All Month Long” promotion that includes an online aviation-oriented Father’s Day gift guide and a chance to win a $250 Banyan Pilot Shop gift card. The gift guide includes the shop’s most popular items, such as flight bags, watches, iPad kneeboards and aviation apparel. Visitors can enter the drawing for the gift card in person at the shop, which is adjacent to Banyan’s FBO at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, or online. The drawing will be held on July 1.