A Daher-Socata TBM700 crashed this morning on a New Jersey highway soon after takeoff from Teterboro Airport (TEB), killing all five on board and closing the roadway for hours. According to the FAA, the turboprop single was headed to Atlanta’s Dekalb-Peachtree Airport on an IFR flight plan when it disappeared from radar after a garbled radio transmission. Witnesses at the scene say the aircraft made a spiral dive, shed a wing and crashed into the wooded median of I-287 in Morris County, approximately 30 miles southwest of TEB.
After a year-long flight-test program powering the Thrush 510G agricultural airplane, GE Aviation received type certification from the EASA last week for its M601H-80 turboprop, a more powerful and fuel-efficient upgrade of the M601 engine the company inherited in 2008 when it purchased Czech Republic-based Walter Engines. This marks the first occasion of a GE engine receiving its initial certification from the European agency.
French aerospace manufacturer Safran has partnered with a historical archeology association on a mission to rewrite the history books. The group seeks to find incontrovertible proof that a French aircraft (l’Oiseau Blanc) flown by pilots Charles Nungesser and François Coli successfully crossed the Atlantic 12 days before Charles Lindbergh in 1927. The aircraft has never been found, but in some accounts witnesses claim to have heard the sound of a laboring aircraft engine over Maine.
Bedeviled by political gamesmanship and misfortune, it’s a wonder the FAA gets anything done—never mind accomplishing the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). With the latest transition in FAA leadership, we’ve come full circle to the situation that prevailed when President George W. Bush left office three years ago, with an interim administrator and no reauthorization.
The scramble for precious slots at London Heathrow Airport has spurred a bidding war for struggling UK carrier BMI. Virgin Atlantic Airways has told Lufthansa, BMI’s owner, that it will be able to close the deal more quickly than the International Airlines Group (IAG), which launched a bid for BMI in November.
EADS Cassidian and Alenia Aeronautica signed an MoU to explore cooperation on the next generation of unmanned aerial systems (UAS). This is the latest maneuver within a European aerospace industry that is united in the desire to develop UAS capabilities, but divided by national and programmatic considerations. (Photo: EADS)
American Airlines pilots said the airline received approval from the FAA last week to use Apple iPad tablet computers for digital charts and manuals in all phases of flight, including takeoff and landing, making American the first carrier to use iPads in the cockpit for expanded capability.
Oh, Alec! You’ve gone and done it now. When you got kicked off that American Airlines flight on December 6 because you didn’t want to turn off your phone and stop playing Words With Friends and got mad at the flight attendant and slammed the bathroom door, well, you exposed the airlines’ dirty little secret, didn’t you?
Burt Rutan, who retired in April from Scaled Composites, the company he founded in Mojave, Calif., has joined with Paul Allen in a plan to build the largest aircraft in the world. Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates, funded the SpaceShipOne effort that successfully boosted the first privately funded manned rocket outside the Earth’s atmosphere.
Following a meeting Tuesday with stakeholders to garner ideas and suggestions on the FAA’s plans to start charging for digital charts, the agency intends to formulate a proposal to be released sometime next year. At the meeting the FAA said it must recover $5 million in operating costs in the first year of digital charges.