Although excessive rainfall and mudslides have hit Southern California hard this winter, near-record lows in rain and snowfall elsewhere in the west are increasing the risk of forest fires. A Columbia Helicopters spokesman said, “There have already been several fast-moving grass fires in the area. If these conditions continue–and forecasts say they will–we will have tinder-dry forests that are ripe for fires.
Aviation International News » April 2005
The owner of London Battersea Heliport is seeking planning permission to build a hotel alongside it on the southern bank of the River Thames. Weston Aviation commercial manager James Ford told AIN that the new building, to the west of the pad, will incorporate new reception and ATC facilities for the heliport.
The government of the Netherlands has canceled a contract for eight high-gross-weight MD 902 Explorers. The March decision comes in spite of MDHI’s pleas that the company needed more time to complete certification test flights because unsuitable weather conditions precluded some testing.
AvCraft Aerospace GmbH, the German subsidiary of AvCraft Aviation of Leesburg, Va., has declared insolvency at a German court at Weilsheim, near the company’s plant at Oberpfaffenhofen airport. The declaration was officially filed in late February, and on March 10 the court appointed attorney Dr. Martin Prager as preliminary insolvency administrator. He will submit a report on AvCraft’s financial and economic situation by April 10.
It had been a somewhat quiet year since the RAA staged its annual convention in St. Louis last May. Seemingly immune to the ills that have crippled their mainline counterparts for the past four years, the regional airlines finished last year with close to 30-percent traffic gains and average yields of 10 percent, leaving many wondering how long the major airlines would allow such an imbalance to continue.
Republic Airways became the second regional airline to claim a stake in US Airways last month when it inked a conditional deal to commit $125 million in equity and up to $110 million in asset-related financing.
Bombardier has answered the call for a series of improvements to its line of 70- to 86-seat RJs, ranging from new engines on the CRJ700 to wing modifications on the CRJ900. Bombardier also plans to certify its CRJ700 and CRJ900 for higher mtows, giving each significantly more range.
Comair pilots have agreed to forego salary increases for the next 2.5 years in return for a promise by the airline to add 20 fifty-seat and 15 seventy-seat regional jets, contingent on similar concessions from mechanics and flight attendants. Sixty-one percent of the pilots voted to accept the agreement, which amends the rest of the current contract with the Air Line Pilots Association and extends it by a year into 2007.
Transcripts released by the FAA early last month reveal that the pilots of the Pinnacle Airlines CRJ200 that crashed in Jefferson City, Mo., on October 18 purposely climbed to 41,000 feet to “have a little fun” before the jet, its 50 passenger seats empty, lost power and began a rapid descent. “We don’t have any passengers on board so we decided to have a little fun and come on up here,” said one of the pilots.
Embraer commercial vice president Fred Curado told AIN last month that he expected an order from China Eastern Airlines for 10 Harbin-Embraer ERJ 145s “sooner rather than later.” The contract would come as a blow to Bombardier, which has already delivered eight CRJ200s to China Eastern, one of which crashed into a frozen lake outside Baotou, Mongolia, on November 23, killing 53.