By all accounts, the 1996 genesis of Bombardier’s Safety Standdown, an event that now regularly draws nearly 500 aviators to Wichita annually, was rather humble. Bob Agostino, director of Bombardier’s Flight Operations at the time and a trained accident investigator, asked his pilots for their thoughts after a particularly difficult accident investigation. One of them, Air Force veteran Dave Sullivan, explained how the military dealt with similar issues.
China’s new stealth fighter has made its first flight. The J-31 was airborne for 10 minutes from Shenyang, accompanied by two J-11 (Su-27) chaseplanes.
As has become normal practice in the unveiling of new aircraft designs in China, the event was made public via unofficial websites, and re-broadcast by official media, but without the benefit of any government statement.
Aerobridge is initiating a limited activation in response to Hurricane Sandy. The organization is coordinating donated aircraft to bring first-response donations to Farmingdale, N.Y., where they will be picked up and transported via truck to Staten Island and Lower Manhattan to assist 5,000 children and disadvantaged families. Aerobridge is looking for pilots with aircraft who can acquire food, water, winter jackets, batteries and flashlights and fly them to Farmingdale.
As pounding rain and wind exceeding 90 mph heralded the arrival of Hurricane Sandy along the Eastern seaboard earlier this week, companies and operators participating in NBAA’s Humanitarian Emergency Response Operator (Hero) database were already working with national emergency agencies and personnel to assist with post-storm relief efforts using business aircraft.
Cessna Aircraft brought a fuselage mockup of what it describes as the basis for a new series of light jets to the NBAA Convention this week in Orlando, Fla. The airframer is seeking customer input on the design as it begins to narrow down specifications for an eventual product launch. New this year at its NBAA booth, Cessna is also offering a virtual-reality simulation of several of its aircraft, which allows guests to immerse themselves in the cabins and instantly change various features.
There are milestones and there are milestones in aviation. For Pilatus delivery pilot Roger Engel, Oct. 16, 2012, the completion day of his last delivery flight for Pilatus Business Aircraft will always be remembered as a happy milestone. Pilatus vice president of marketing Tom Aniello made sure that Engel received a traditional waterjet salute from the Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport rire and rescue department at the completion of his final, and coincidentally, 200th unremarkable delivery to the company.
For a market that company president and CEO Scott Ernest describes as remaining soft, Cessna is continuing its product development schedule. During the company’s press conference here yesterday he announced that the Wichita airframer has launched a new version of its midsize Citation Sovereign, and invited show attendees to visit the new aircraft, which has been under development for the past year-and-a-half, at the static display. Three of the upgraded Sovereigns are currently flying and have thus far accumulated approximately 800 flight-test hours.
The National Business Aviation Association presents the Pilot Flying Safety Awards each year to member company pilots who have exemplary safety records. To be eligible for an award, a pilot must have flown corporate aircraft 1,500 hours without an accident. The actual number of safe hours flown by many of the 2011 top pilots is, in fact, above 20,000 hours.
Steve Warner, pilot
As a non-pilot I have rarely found myself in the cockpit of a jet airplane in flight. In fact, I have been afforded this distinct privilege exactly twice in two distinctly different aircraft.
Retired Cessna Aircraft chairman, president and CEO Jack Pelton was elected chairman of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) yesterday after the association’s board of directors accepted the resignation of president and CEO Rod Hightower. In his role as EAA chairman, Pelton will guide the organization through the leadership transition.
Hightower joined EAA in 2010. According to EAA, he is leaving to spend more time with his family in St. Louis, since they didn’t make the move to Oshkosh as originally planned.