An ongoing “supplier problem” is casting a shadow over Eclipse Aviation’s receipt of its first FAA type inspection authorization earlier last month for the Eclipse 500 very light twinjet. The supplier problem–which outside sources say is related to the avionics system–could delay the March certification target for Eclipse’s very light jet. Eclipse at press time was meeting with the unidentified vendor in hopes of quickly resolving the issue.
Aviation International News » January 2006
Raytheon issued a new safety communiqué to advise Beech 1900 operators of another misleading illustration in the type’s maintenance manuals. The notice represents the latest in a series of manual revisions prompted by the crash of two Beech 1900D airliners that killed 23 people in 2003.
The wing that separated from the Chalk’s Ocean Airways Grumman Turbo Mallard that crashed off Miami Beach last month showed signs of cracking in the main support beam that connected it to the fuselage, according to the NTSB.
The European Parliament has confirmed a 20-percent increase in the annual budget for the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The Cologne, Germany-based organization will have a budget of about $57 million this year–up from about $48 million last year.
Ibis Aerospace’s Ae270 turboprop single completed EASA certification, and FAA certification is expected shortly. However, the current version of the Ae270 has not met performance targets and the Czech manufacturer intends to develop an improved Ae270 to go into production. Ibis said it will receive additional financing this year to fund development through to the point that series production can begin.
With some air traffic controllers already earning more than $200,000 annually, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey is digging in her heels during the agency’s current round of negotiations with the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA).
Transportation Department Inspector General Kenneth Mead last month called for renewed emphasis to reduce the general aviation accident rate, noting that the number of fatalities and accidents has remained fairly constant over the past few years.
Congress may have approved FAA funding for Fiscal Year 2006 before it adjourned for the Thanksgiving holiday, but the drumbeat for user fees in future years continues. Within days of the passing of the $13.8 billion budget, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey was telling the Washington Aero Club that her agency needed a revenue stream that is tied to the actual cost of services.
EADS Socata last month introduced the TBM 850 turboprop single, a more powerful, faster derivative of the TBM 700. During a press conference on December 14 in Paris, company executives insisted the already certified aircraft’s performance will be competitive with that of very light jets (VLJs). Last month, the first production TBM 850 was undergoing final assembly in Tarbes, France.
It’s no secret that the NetJets pilot contract ratified in late November raised the bar for fractional pilot pay. Within hours of the tentative agreement’s release in early October, speculation began about when pilots at the other major fractionals would get an equivalent raise.
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