For all those who have struggled to locate the Mercury Air Centers FBO at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)–both airside and streetside–relief is at hand. Mercury has moved its operation at LAX to a new, larger site that encompasses more than 15 acres at the midfield point on the south side of the airport. According to Mercury, the new location is much more easily accessible from both the I-105 Freeway and Sepulveda Boulevard.
When Charles Lindbergh began planning one of the first truly long cross-country solo flights in 1927 everyone understood the risks inherent in a 3,000-mile journey in an airplane powered by a single 223-hp Wright J5 engine. Failure meant he’d probably end up as a shark snack. Luckily, he didn’t have the boss on board.
The recently EASA-certified Eurocopter EC 225 Super Puma has a new anti-vibration system that brings more performance, simplicity and lightness to the helicopter. Othertechnological innovations on themedium-twin helicopter include a new autopilot–with an engine-failure mode–and a new cockpit, which the company describes as providing a more intuitive man-machine interface.
As all of aviation faces a new reality, FBOs are among the most profoundly affected by upgraded security measures. Though the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon used FAR Part 121 airliners, business aviation service providers have already taken decisive steps to shore up their own security.
The police helicopter in Edmonton, Alberta, spends 75 percent of its time on the ground, according to a criminologist, and the city council should decide what role it wants it to play. “If it’s on the tarmac, it’s of absolutely no use,” said Bill Pitt, a professor at the University of Alberta.
Robinson Helicopters sales increased to nearly 80 percent of all commercial piston and turbine rotorcraft produced in North America during the first half of this year. According to production figures, during the period Robinson produced 343 helicopters, a 54-percent increase over the same period last year. Of those, 115 were R22s and 228 were R44s.
No one believed for a moment that any hijacked airline pilot would fly a fuel-laden Boeing into the World Trade Center or the Pentagon, even with a gun to his or her head. So it was assumed from the beginning that hijackers had to fly them, and the hijackers had to be trained pilots.
The chaos that erupted on the morning of September 11 brought a flood of questions. Where were these airplanes coming from? Who was flying them? Why were they crashing into skyscrapers? In short, what on earth was happening?
Tuesday, September 11
• DOT Secretary Norman Mineta, via the FAA, ordered the grounding of all aircraft in the National Airspace System effective at 9:25 a.m. EDT. At 2:07 p.m. the final civilian flight landed. Oceanic flights inbound to the continental U.S. diverted to Canada. Canada soon closed its airspace.
At 9:25 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, September 11, the Department of Transportation, via the FAA, ordered the U.S. National Airspace System (NAS) closed to all civil flights at its 460 controlled and 15,000+ nontower airports. Canada’s Ministry of Transport followed suit within one hour.