Engine failure is the initial focus in the crash of a Bell 206B Friday morning, shortly after takeoff from Coffs Harbour, on the east coast of Australia. The helicopter struck the ground with enough force to rip the rear rotor from the aircraft. The pilot and single passenger received only minor injuries. There was no post-crash fire.
The debt crisis in Italy has certainly taken its toll on a wide cross section of the country’s economy, and Verona-based regional airline Air Dolomiti hasn’t enjoyed special immunity from the effects. What CEO Michael Kraus called a brilliant period of expansion from 2005 to 2010 has not only ended, but passenger counts have actually fallen over the past two years in the Italian air transport market.
China’s great need for airline pilots is well documented, not least by Boeing, which last year estimated that the country’s fast-expanding air transport industry will need some 77,400 pilots through 2032 (plus 93,900 mechanics). According to the airframer, that represents around 40 percent of the overall requirement across the Asia Pacific region over the same period.
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II will make its first appearance outside the U.S. this summer, flying at both the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) and the Farnborough International airshow in England in mid-July, the UK Ministry of Defense (MOD) announced. The decision followed discussions between U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and his UK counterpart, Philip Hammond.
The FAA announced on Tuesday that the ADS-B network in the U.S. has been completed, with all 634 ground stations now online. “This upgrade is an important step in laying the foundation for the NextGen system, which provides air traffic controllers a much more precise view of the airspace, gives pilots much more awareness and information, and as a result strengthens the safety and efficiency of our system,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This state-of-the-art satellite system is already providing controllers with visibility in places not previously covered by radar.”
Deer Jet, China’s largest fleet operator, has launched its “General Aviation Equity Fund,” with the goal of increasing investment in general aviation services, such as FBOs and MROs, in China. The fund is anticipated to generate 2 billion RMB in investment capital in the first round, towards a total of 5 billion RMB. Deer Jet announced the fund here at ABACE 2014
Selex ES announced it recently carried out successful end-to-end trials of its BriteCloud expendable decoy program, launched last November in conjunction with partner Saab, which is pitching BriteCloud as an electronic warfare option for the Gripen fighter. The announcement comes days after Saab revealed it had begun flight-tests with Selex ES’s Skyward G infrared search and track (IRST) system. The Finmeccanica group company is also supplying the ES-05 Raven AESA radar for the new-generation Gripen E.
Lufthansa Technik will establish a new aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul facility in Puerto Rico for servicing short-haul and medium-haul aircraft. Agreements have now been signed with the government of Puerto Rico and the responsible port authority.
Lufthansa Technik plans to break ground on the new facility within the next three months.
Boca Raton, Fla.-based VAS Aero Services has named Tommy Hughes as chief commercial officer. Hughes, formerly senior vice president for sales and marketing for the company, is responsible for global assets and repair services, in addition to worldwide sales. During a 20-plus-year career in engine MRO services and sales, and before VAS, Hughes worked with Delta Air Lines tech ops, where he led engine maintenance and test cell operations for that airline and its third-party customers.
NetJets is preparing to launch its NetJets China business this summer, by which time it expects to receive Chinese government approval for an air operator certificate. It has also hired “key people” over the past few months in the run-up to the launch of NetJets’ Chinese joint-venture operation, NetJets Business Aviation, which initially will provide aircraft management services.