Business aviation interests have been victorious in their battles over the years to prevent the creation of general aviation user fees to replace the current fuel tax to pay for their share of ATC services. But at last month’s NBAA Convention business aviation trade group leaders warned that this time the battle is different and could be the toughest yet.
Aviation International News » October 2005
While the business aviation industry remains healthy and forecasts predict continued growth, the established OEMs announced only incremental product upgrades at the NBAA Convention last month. In all, manufacturers unveiled six derivative business airplanes: the Airbus A318 Elite; Bombardier Challenger 605 and Learjet 60XR; Cessna Encore+; Dassault Falcon 2000DX; and Raytheon Hawker 850XP.
In an unusual public airing of a disagreement between a customer and supplier, Dassault Aviation has filed a lawsuit seeking more than $60 million from Honeywell over delays with the integrated avionics systems in the Falcon 900EX and 2000EX.
Start-up Spectrum Aeronautical of Encinitas, Calif., joined the crowded very light jet segment last month when it unveiled a nine-seat, $3.65 million all-composite VLJ at the NBAA Convention. Managing director Linden Blue (known to many as the father of the Beech Starship) bills the 7,300-pound-mtow Spectrum 33–powered by a pair of Williams International FJ33 engines–as a “full-size airplane at half the weight.”
John Hall is the new president of Indianapolis-based Premier Jet Aviation. He was previously senior v-p of sales and marketing for CitationShares and was a founding member of the Cessna CitationJet division.
Eric Bachelet was named president and CEO of CFM International, the joint Snecma and General Electric company. Bachelet joined Snecma in 1971 and has held various positions with the Safran Group.
Bombardier Challenger 600, Tupelo, Miss., March 9, 2005–The pilots of Romeo Mike Aviation’s Challenger 600 aborted the takeoff from Runway 36 of Tupelo Regional Airport and the nosegear collapsed. The airplane went off the departure end of the runway and was substantially damaged. The ATP-rated pilot and copilot and five passengers were not injured.
Rockwell International NA-265-80 Sabreliner, Brownwood, Texas, May 9, 2005–Debris, possibly from a bird, was found on the combustion chamber mating flange and throughout the second-stage turbine nozzle of the left GE CF700 of the Sabreliner that crashed on takeoff from Brownwood Regional Airport.
Learjet 25B, Feb. 20, 2004, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.–The NTSB determined the probable cause was the pilot’s misjudged distance/speed while landing and the flight crew’s failure to follow prescribed emergency procedures. Factors were the flight crew’s inadequate in-flight planning/decision making, which resulted in a low-fuel condition; an open hydraulic relief valve; and inadequate maintenance.
Raytheon Beech 1900D, Rockland, Maine, Aug. 2, 2005–As Colgan Air Flight 4972, dba US Airways Express, was taking off from Knox County Regional Airport, the yoke did not move when the commercial-rated first officer called, “V1 rotate.” The ATP-rated captain pulled harder and the yoke came back abruptly and the airplane “jumped” into the air. The captain said he was able to maintain controlled flight.
Bell 206B LongRanger, Gulf of Mexico, Aug. 18, 2005–While attempting to land on the West Cameron 560 offshore oil platform, the Bell 206 hit the platform and crashed into the water. The commercial pilot and a mechanic were killed. Operated by Air Logistics of New Iberia, La., the helicopter was flying from another offshore platform in the Gulf of Mexico.