HeliFlite Shares, which has its operations center at Alliance Airport in Texas, obtained its Part 135 charter certificate in February and last month added a pre-owned Sikorsky S-76 it bought from Jet Aviation to its fractional fleet of two Bell 430s that it operates in the New York City area.
Aviation International News » April 2004
Rolls-Royce and Honeywell both aired their market forecasts for the helicopter industry at last month’s Heli-Expo show in Las Vegas. Rolls-Royce’s 10-year outlook (2004 to 2014) calls for deliveries of 5,165 turbine civil rotorcraft with airframe values totaling $13.9 billion and engines totaling $1.9 billion. Of those airframes, 57 percent are expected to be single-engine and 22 percent will be light twins.
Last month, fractional provider Bombardier Flexjet announced a program for substituting a finance lease for the acquisition payment of a fractional share. Under the “Jet Rich Quick” program, customers pay no money down and a fixed monthly payment for the lease, which could involve a term of two or four years. They also pay the regular monthly management fee and the hourly occupied fee for time flown.
To inaugurate its newest aircraft type, fractional provider Flight Options is offering a reduced hourly occupied rate for customers who sign up for shares in the Embraer Legacy. For the first 24 months of the 60-month contract, the share owner will pay an hourly rate of $1,990, comparable to that of a Hawker 800XP. At the 25th month, the rate reverts to the regular $2,485 per hour.
On April 6, 1994, the Rwandan government’s Falcon 50 was shot down over Africa, killing all aboard, including the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi. The incident sparked a year of genocide in Rwanda. It was never reported if the aircraft’s cockpit voice recorder was ever recovered–not until last month, that is.
Swiss police have in custody a man accused of stabbing to death an air traffic controller. The man reportedly lost his wife and children in the midair collision of a DHL Boeing 757 and a Bashkirian Airlines Tupolev Tu-154 on the night of July 1, 2002. The controller had been handling traffic in the airspace where the collision occurred.
The flagship of the Gulfstream fleet has flown proudly in the past couple of months.
Profits soared last year at Warren Buffett’s holding company, Berkshire Hathaway, though not all of the company’s divisions did well. In his annual letter to shareholders released last month, the investment mogul summarized the reduced performance of FlightSafety International and NetJets– the two largest companies in their respective fields of simulator training and fractional ownership.
Wreckage of an Era Aviation Sikorsky S-76 was found late last month, two days after it crashed into the Gulf of Mexico about 60 miles south of Galveston, Texas. Several bodies were also recovered. The twin-turbine helicopter, carrying two crew and eight passengers, was en route from Galveston to an oil platform when it went down.
The average price of jet fuel in the U.S. is edging upward, according to two independent surveys. Within the lower 48 states, Fillup Flyer Fuel Finder (www.fillupflyer.com) reported that the average price in late March was $2.63 a gallon, up about 15 cents since January. The highest price found by Fuel Finder was $4.15 a gallon in the Southeast region.