Piper Aircraft named Piper Summit Aircraft China Beijing as its authorized dealer in China for sales of new Meridian turboprop singles. According to Piper Summit CEO Jack Chan, the annual growth rate for piston and turboprop aircraft operating in China is nearly 40 percent, with this fleet expected to expand from 1,700 aircraft earlier this year to about 7,700 by 2015. The new Piper dealer conducted Meridian demonstrations for potential customers as the airplane flew en route to Airshow China 2012 earlier this month in Zhuhai.
VistaJet announced a deal today worth up to $7.8 billion for 56 Bombardier Globals, with options for up to another 86. Deliveries of this latest batch of Bombardier jets under firm order are due to begin in January 2014 and run through the end of 2017.
Tough economic times are resulting in innovations by carriers in the Asia Pacific region looking beyond traditional business models through strategic realignments and new product offerings. Recent ground-breaking deals include Virgin Australia selling a 10-percent stake to Singapore Airlines (SIA) and buying 60 percent of Tiger Airways; the new partnership between Emirates Airline and Qantas; and Etihad Airways purchasing a 10-percent stake in Virgin Australia.
The FAA has extended for a second year an operational evaluation of pilot initiated climbs and descents using in-trail procedures (ITP) in Pacific Ocean airspace. The trial involves 12 United Airlines Boeing 747-400s flying between the U.S. West Coast and Australia and New Zealand. Having extended the evaluation to Aug. 15, 2013, the agency said that it is also holding “exploratory conversations” with ANA and Japan Airlines to include some of their aircraft in the process.
Beyond an admission by China’s Comac that the development timetable for its new C919 narrowbody will be pushed back by a further delay of one or two years in the certification of its ARJ21 regional airliner, precise details on the program is progressing remain hard to pin down.
More evidence of capacity constraint among U.S. airlines appeared in a recent quarterly earnings report from one of the fastest-growing carriers in the country. Virgin America, which has seen annual available seat mile (ASM) growth average 28 percent for the past three years, has reconsidered its fleet expansion strategy and said it would move to cut the number of airplanes it plans to add over the rest of the decade.
A pair of police helicopters was destroyed late in the afternoon of November 17 during an apparent helipad accident in Pasadena, Calif. The main rotor blades of the Vietnam-era Bell OH-58s collided as one was landing and the other was preparing to take off. One helicopter rolled onto its side. All six aboard both helicopters were treated for minor injuries at a nearby hospital and released.
The FAA is adopting a new Airworthiness Directive (FAA-2011-0518) for Airbus A300/310 airliners to prevent high loading of the vertical stabilizer caused by excessive rudder pedal inputs, which could cause failure of the vertical stabilizer and consequent loss of control. The AD, effective Dec. 14, 2012, applies to A300 B4-600, B4-600R, F4-600R and C4-605R Variant F airplanes (collectively called the A300-600 series), as well as to the A310 series.
The FAA updated instructions for taxi and ground movement operations effective Dec. 17, 2012. The new version of Order JO 7110.65, Paragraph 3-7-2 instructs both pilots and controllers that the entrance at the end of the runway need not be included in [ATC-issued] taxi instructions. For example, if the specific taxi route ends at a connecting taxiway with the same identifier (for example, Taxiway “A” connects with Taxiway “A1”) at the approach end of the runway, the connecting taxiway may be omitted from the clearance.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) graduate student Jared Wingo is looking for input for his master’s degree thesis entitled, “Benefits and Drawbacks of Electronic Flight Bags on Pilot Performance.” He’s looking for licensed pilots with EFB experience to take a five-minute survey looking at the differences between EFBs and paper charts. Direct questions can be sent to Wingo at firstname.lastname@example.org.