At a public hearing last month, the NTSB singled out allegedly less safe Part 91 operations in a special study on helicopter and fixed-wing EMS accidents. EMS aircraft must operate under Part 135 when carrying patients, passengers and organs, but may fly under Part 91 when only authorized crewmembers are on board. Between 1994 and 2004, the number of EMS accidents doubled.
Aviation International News » February 2006
A 27-percent increase in orders to 121 aircraft last year, compared with orders for 95 aircraft in 2004, and a further expected increase in sales is prompting Gulfstream to increase production. The Savannah, Ga.-based OEM expects to deliver a record 111 business jets this year and 127 next year. Gulfstream delivered 78 green aircraft in 2004 versus 89 last year, the most deliveries since the record 101 in 2001.
In the first fatal U.S. business jet accident of the year, a Cessna Citation 560 en route from Hailey, Idaho, to Carlsbad, Calif., crashed during a landing attempt at 6:40 a.m. local time January 24 at McClellan-Palomar Airport in San Diego County, killing the two pilots and two passengers. The aircraft, registered to Goship Air LLC in Ketchum, Idaho, might have been exceeding 200 knots on final approach.
The NTSB last month issued its final report on the Oct. 19, 2004, crash of a Corporate Airlines Jetstream 32 at Kirksville, Mo.
Four reported incidents of in-flight loss of hydraulic fluid led to an emergency AD for 139 Premier Is. None of the incidents led to any mishaps. The problem has been traced to the failure of a hydraulic tube assembly in the left engine. The January 20 directive requires a visual inspection of the affected part before further flight and subsequent inspections at intervals of 50 hours.
A pilot has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter charges following an accident in Hawaii last September that killed three passengers. Glen Lampton, a pilot for air-tour operator Heli USA, was flying a company AStar when it crashed into the sea near Kauai’s Ke’e Beach. Two other passengers and Lampton were uninjured. A trial has been set for July.
More detailed reporting of top executive compensation, including such perquisites as personal use of corporate aircraft, is the aim of new proposals from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). One of the proposals would lower the threshold at which perks must be disclosed. Companies currently must reveal perks if the total aggregate value is more than $50,000, or 10 percent of total annual salary and bonus.
Starting February 1, owners and operators of aircraft with “questionable registrations and/or no TSA required security measures/ waivers” might be denied access to the National Airspace System (NAS).
A plan implemented last year to offset the city and county tax burden on airplane owners at Pitt-Greenville (N.C.) Airport has attracted more aircraft owners to the airport. The Greenville City Council and Pitt County Board of Commissioners each unanimously voted to continue funding this year for a stimulus plan that provides about $150,000 in credits to aircraft owners. The two governments will split the cost equally.
The French engine manufacturer Snecma plans to develop an all-new engine to power new business and regional jets, the company announced last month. The core engine demonstrator, called the SM-X, is expected to yield a powerplant that produces between 8,500 and 10,000 pounds of thrust, if Snecma goes ahead with the full development program. Ground testing of the core is set for the second half of next year.