The prospect of marginally qualified pilots hurtling through the rarefied atmosphere of the flight levels in very light jets and promoting fear and loathing in the heavy-metal professionals–which is how some people view the imminent advent of the “Volksjet” era–has been a topic of lively debate of late, and no surprise to Eclipse Aviation founder, president and CEO Vern Raburn.
Aviation International News » September 2004
Beyond the merriment that the very light jet is coming to market, the insurance industry is preparing to drop the curtain in the final act.
It’s an unusual fact that, unlike just about any other marketable items, very light jets (VLJs), alcohol and tobacco share one unique characteristic. Even if you have the money, the seller can refuse to sell them to you if you’re not qualified. What’s more, those qualifications are all based on time, measured in years for would-be drinkers and smokers, and in left-seat hours for would-be VLJ pilots. Of course, this is as it should be.
John and Martha King, co-chairmen and owners of San Diego, Calif.-based King Schools, are best known among owner-pilots for their folksy flight-training videos. But with more than 4,000 hours total flying time each, the husband-and-wife team has operated as a jet crew since 1987, when they bought a Cessna Citation after first receiving type ratings.
It was 25 years ago last month that New York Yankees team captain Thurman Munson was killed in the crash of his Cessna Citation I. The accident remains one of the most significant in general aviation, especially among those who fly their own turbine-powered aircraft for business, pleasure or both.
The board of directors of General Dynamics elected Raynor Reavis, Gulfstream Aerospace senior v-p of marketing and sales, a vice president of the airframer’s parent corporation, which has 23 other v-ps. Reavis, 63, joins four other top executives at Gulfstream Aerospace who are vice presidents at General Dynamics.
Proving that insolvency isn’t always the end of the road for an aircraft manufacturer, Lancaster, Pa.-headquartered Extra Aircraft received European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification for its all-composite EA-500 turboprop single on July 19. When Extra emerged from insolvency under new ownership last September, it estimated German LBA certification by April.
Turbine engines are extremely reliable and many business jet pilots go through their entire careers experiencing engine failures only during simulator training. But in mid-July, two Beechjet 400A pilots found out what it’s like to lose not just one engine in flight, but both of them. Fortunately for them and their seven passengers they were able to get one of the light jet’s engines restarted during the descent.
Private Canadian operators of turbine-powered aircraft are experiencing a reduction in individual certification delays, the result of a Transport Canada agreement with the Canadian Business Aviation Association (CBAA), announced association president and CEO Rich Gage at the 42nd annual CBAA convention in Toronto. Gage described the association’s private operator certificate (POC) program as an “exceptional success.”
As the presidential election heated up last month, the blood pressures of many general aviation pilots rose faster than the campaign rhetoric as they attempted to stay abreast of changing temporary flight restrictions (TFRs).