Eurocopter has signed the first customer for the AS332C1e Super Puma, the “low cost” version of the medium twin. Starlite Aviation, an operator based in Ireland and South Africa, will be the first to fly the new, shorter-fuselage variant. Starlite provides passenger and cargo flights and heavy sling-load operations for, among others, United Nations agencies.
Many pilots had their first–but thankfully second-hand–exposure to the pitfalls of flight systems automation when they watched a remarkable video of an Airbus A320 performing a gear-down, nose-high flypast demonstration at the small French airport at Habsheim in 1988.
The first flight of the Quest Helicopters AVQ light twin has slipped by half a year, to “August or September” this year. A prototype aircraft is said to be almost ready to fly, even as the company shifts its focus from the four-seater to a larger 10- to 15-passenger version.
If nothing else, China’s Comac has shown considerable persistence in its pursuit of certification for the ARJ21-700 regional jet, now more than a decade into development and at least a year-and-a-half away from entry into service.
Embraer and Boeing have collaborated on a product called the runway situational awareness (RSA) tool to help reduce runway excursions. The announcement comes eight months after the two airframers agreed to look for ways to cooperatively enhance the value of both companies, and a couple of weeks after rival Airbus took a similar initiative.
Pilots who operate ADS-B-equipped aircraft in any of seven U.S. terminal airspace regions can now take advantage of free air traffic advisories and weather information. The areas include Fairbanks (FAI) in Alaska; Lansing (LAN) in Michigan; Moses Lake (MWH), Pasco (PSC) and Yakima (YKM) in Washington state; as well as Waterloo (ALO) in Iowa; and Youngstown (YNG) in Ohio.
Just a week after release of an airworthiness directive to address blockages in the angle-of-attack (AOA) systems installed on Airbus A330/340s, the European Aviation Safety Agency has included other models of the Airbus series in the procedural updates.
A revised FAA Notice 8900.196 has been published to provide inspectors with information on de-icing fluid holdover times, as well as a list of the fluids themselves and recommendations on various other ground deicing/anti-icing issues. While the primary audience is flight standards district office (FSDO) principal operations inspectors responsible for air carrier de-icing programs, it is also of value to FSDO personnel and aircraft operators.
Charter operator Gama Aviation says young children will no longer need to sit on their parents’ laps while traveling aboard any of Gama’s Bombardier Challenger fleet thanks to the company’s new infant safety seats. The UK-based business aviation services group made the seats and claims they are the first child seats certified for taxi, takeoff and landing on numerous business jets. The seats are already in use aboard Virgin Atlantic and Cathay Pacific flights.
Indonesian aviation authorities have found that human factors and a series of small technical problems involving air traffic control led to the crash of Sukhoi Superjet 100 S/N 95004 on May 9 near Jakarta, killing 45 people. Investigators concluded that the cockpit crew of the ill-fated demonstration flight, unaware of the mountainous area surrounding their flight path, disregarded an alert from the airplane’s terrain awareness and warning system (Taws).