When a China Airlines 737NG caught fire soon after landing at Okinawa’s Naha Airport on August 20, initial suspicions centered on maintenance issues, but new developments show the problem might be more widespread than first considered. Investigators discovered that a loose bolt in the leading-edge slat track assembly–believed to have been missing a washer–pierced the wing fuel tank, allowing fuel to escape.
Flight Options pilots are only marginally closer to having a negotiated contract nearly a year-and-a-half after voting in a union. The fractional provider’s more than 600 line pilots are represented by Local 1108, the same group that represents NetJets’ pilots.
The NTSB has released initial factual information about the Flight Options Beechjet 400A that suffered a dual engine flameout on Nov. 28, 2005. The investigation is ongoing and the Safety Board has not yet determined a probable cause of the accident.
The fate of Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport is in the hands of local voters, who on October 17 can cast ballots in favor of keeping the historic downtown gateway open. No fewer than 170,000 pro-Tempelhof votes will be needed to force a full public referendum on the issue next year, with the outcome to be determined by majority (provided at least 25 percent of registered voters cast a ballot).
In a study titled “The Market for General Aviation/Utility Aircraft 2007-2016,” Forecast International said it anticipates a decline in corporate demand for twin turboprops in favor of the fractional ownership of turbofan-powered aircraft. Further, it expects this trend to accelerate as more sub-$4 million very light jets are delivered.
For those who gaze into crystal balls and analyze the business jet market, there are heady days in store, according to recent industry prognostications. Honeywell Aerospace’s 21st annual business aviation market forecast predicts the industry can expect short-term record growth and delivery of more than 14,000 new business jets by 2017–numbers that reflect even more optimism than those the company released last year.
Delegates from Europe’s regional airlines are “delighted” to be returning to the Greek capital Athens for their annual general assembly (October 17-19) because of the city’s great success as a previous venue, according to Mike Ambrose, director-general of the European Regions Airline Association (ERA).
The U.S. Air Force’s T-6 program office has suspended deliveries of the Hawker Beechcraft T-6A Texan II single-engine turboprop trainer “pending investigation of contract delivery issues,” according to a spokesman at the Air Force Air Education & Training Command (AETC). The AETC currently operates 320 T-6As for Air Force specialized undergraduate pilot training, and the U.S.
For years, Dassault’s marketing executives maintained the position that Falcon business jets flew perfectly well without the aerodynamic benefits of winglets. But then something strange happened. People started seeing winglet-equipped Falcons being test flown in the skies above Seattle, and rumors began swirling that Dassault might be about to change its stance on winglets.
The Dassault Falcon 2000 series is getting a facelift, with increased range for the Falcon 2000LX (which replaces the 2000EX) and slightly less range for the Falcon 2000DX (which supersedes the Falcon 2000). Flight tests are under way and both airplanes are expected to be certified late this year. Deliveries should follow early next year.