PIPER PA-31T CHEYENNE, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA, JULY 28, 2004–The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is investigating the crash of a Cheyenne that was destroyed when it crashed in rugged terrain approximately 18 nm from Benalla Airport, Victoria. The accident occurred during a GPS approach to the airport in low clouds and rain. All six occupants were killed. The cross-country flight originated from Bankstown Airport, Sydney.
RAYTHEON BEECH KING AIR A90, PENSACOLA, FLA., AUG. 17, 2004–Taking off from Pensacola Regional for a post-maintenance test flight, Eclipse Enterprises’ King Air N45TT suddenly returned to the airport and crashed on the runway. The pilot and passenger were uninjured but the airplane was severely damaged. According to a Pensacola News Journal report, a witness on the airport heard a loud “pop” as the airplane climbed out.
BELL 407, BATTLE MOUNTAIN, NEV., AUG. 21, 2004–At 11:58 p.m., an Access Air Ambulance Bell 407, N2YN, crashed in rugged mountainous terrain about 27 nm southwest of Battle Mountain. The ATP pilot, the two medical crewmembers, an infant patient and the patient’s mother were killed and the helicopter destroyed. The patient was being flown from Battle Mountain Hospital to Washoe Medical Center in Reno.
Previously this column has addressed efforts within the federal government to transform our nation’s air transportation system. Policy leaders believe that the business model of traditional airlines has reached its limit and simply is incapable of meeting the need for efficient travel.
• Even though the Senate and the House of Representatives did not sit in session during August, a multitude of committee and subcommittee meetings convened during this period to look into the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the aftermath and how to avoid such events in the future.
Although members of the House aviation subcommittee commended the FAA for its efforts to address delays at Chicago O’Hare International Airport in the short-term, NBAA expressed frustration over a decision to limit general aviation flights into the facility by reinstituting the airport reservation office.
The National Air Transportation Association and AOPA both took bows after voters in Martin County, Fla., defeated three politicians who wanted to downsize the county’s Witham Field (SUA) in Stuart, Fla.
NATA attributed the victory of the three incumbent county commissioners, who supported keeping the airport open as it is, to its Town Hall meeting with pilots and other interested parties and editorials in the local newspapers.
As we embark on the final and historically most active quarter of the year, buyer activity by most accounts seems to be building steam. While the worldwide inventory of jets is holding relatively steady right now, in May it dipped to 1,810 aircraft, a level not experienced since July 2001.
Stockholm City Airport is set to get its first purpose-built FBO when Grafair Jet Center opens early next month. The facility will consist of a 2,800-sq-ft, two-story terminal building and an 8,600-sq-ft hangar connected by some offices for maintenance staff. The terminal will include a lounge, flight planning offices and a range of FBO services.
“We’re having trouble getting students. Becoming an A&P mechanic doesn’t seem to be as attractive to students coming out of high school as it used to be,” suggested Laura Hopkins, associate dean of aviation at South Seattle Community College, Seattle.