Dee Howard, the San Antonio-based heavy maintenance, repair and aircraft modification company in business since 1947, is being auctioned. According to CEO Jim Malone, Dee Howard filed for Chapter 11 protection in mid-February and the due diligence phase is now in progress, with all bids due by April 15. The winning bid is expected to be announced on April 18 and subsequently sent to a Federal Bankrupcy Court for approval.
Aviation International News » April 2002
The CanPass general aviation border-crossing program resumes on April 2 at 176 airports in Canada. The program, which allows pre-screened travelers to clear customs quickly, was suspended immediately after September 11. The restored program will be available only for flights from the U.S. For more information, visit the Canada Customs Web site at www.ccra-adrc.gc.ca/.
Wichita-based Raytheon Travel Air and Cleveland-based Flight Options on March 20 completed their planned merger, first announced December 20, creating the second-largest fractional aircraft provider. Under the joint venture, Flight Options holds a 50.1-percent stake in the new company, while Raytheon Co. retains a 49.9-percent share.
Under a provision of President Bush’s economic stimulus package, purchasers of new aircraft can take a first-year depreciation deduction of 30 percent for the taxable year in which it is placed in service. H.R.3090, “The Job Creation and Worker Assistance Bill of 2002,” included a 30-percent bonus depreciation provision on the value of certain capital assets for 36 months.
Stating that “the V-22 must lead tiltrotor technology into the marketplace,” Bell Helicopter has opted to shelve its BA609 civil tiltrotor following first flight of a prototype later this year, indefinitely delaying introduction of the world’s first production-oriented civil tiltrotor until problems with the U.S. Marines’ V-22 Osprey tiltrotor transport can be ironed out.
The Citation Sovereign, Cessna’s newest aircraft, had completed 15 test flights at press time since its first flight on February 27. Cessna said all flights have gone “very well” and testing to date includes stall characteristics, stability and control, autopilot development, thrust reversers and airspeed calibration.
In early February the Nimbus Group of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., announced it had received a “commitment” for $1.2 billion to finance its previously disclosed order for 1,000 Eclipse 500s for its proposed air-taxi fleet. In the announcement, Nimbus said the financing commitment came from Dafin Asset Finance Ltd., “an affiliate of the Royal Bank of Scotland International [RBSI].”
A virtually stagnant market for new commercial airplanes and a rapidly eroding capital base have convinced German airframe builder Fairchild Dornier to pursue a new “strategic” partnership with another large aerospace concern. “We are cash negative,” said company chairman Charles Pieper during a press briefing on the morning of Fairchild’s March 21 rollout of the 70- to 85-seat 728.
Little more than a week after halting efforts to find outside investors for a majority share in its Avolar business aviation venture, United Airlines parent UAL Corp. pulled the plug entirely on March 22 and announced it is closing down the Chicago-based subsidiary.