A US Airways Airbus A320 carrying 150 passengers and five crew on board ditched into New York’s Hudson River late this afternoon and initial reports indicate that all the occupants escaped with their lives. Flight 1549 had taken off moments earlier from New York La Guardia Airport for a flight to Charlotte, N.C., when the A320 descended into the 35-degree F water near Manhattan’s 57th Street.
Airbus has started sending the first aircraft sections to the new A320 assembly line in Tianjin, China, the company announced today. Plans call for assembly of the first aircraft to start in August. Airbus expects launch customer Sichuan Airlines to take delivery of the first airplane by the end of June next year.
Six operators were represented at the first operators conference for the Airbus Corporate Jet (ACJ) held at the manufacturer’s Toulouse, France headquarters on September 14. In total, 15 pilots and managers made the trip, representing Aero Services Executive, DaimlerChrysler Aviation, Twinjet, the Italian and French government flight departments, as well as one other undisclosed operator.
The FAA has amended an earlier Airworthiness Directive for all Airbus A320-series aircraft, requiring operators to modify elevator control systems to prevent vibration problems caused by excessive freeplay. The AD applies to the A319 (which is the basis for the Airbus Corporate Jetliner), the A320 and the A321.
The European Aviation Safety Agency has granted 180-minute extended twin-engine operations (ETOPS) approval to Airbus for its A321, A320 and A319, including the Airbus Corporate Jetliner. The approval permits operators of these twinjets to operate as far as 180 minutes (at single-engine speeds) from a diversion airport. There are currently no U.S. ETOPS rules–only guidelines intended for Part 121 operators.
Thales is to supply the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China with an Airbus A320 Standard 1.5.0 level-D full-flight simulator and an A320-configured Thales formation systems trainer.
Jet Aviation, which recently delivered an executive A320-200 to the Saad Group in Saudi Arabia, is now making room at its Basel, Switzerland, facilities for a much larger airplane–an A340-600–for the same company. The four-engine Airbus (longer than any 747 or 777) is scheduled to arrive in Basel next month, with delivery set for mid-2009. Calling the project “major” would be understating the job.
CAE has opened a new four-simulator expansion of its flight-training center at Burgess Hill in the UK. The facility will provide training for Dassault’s new Falcon 7X, as well as for the 900EX and 2000EX EASy models.
Former Boeing 737 flight department manager and pilot Larry Bond founded Bond Aviation Services in Orlando, Fla., to offer 737 training. The company recently received FAA approval of its FAR 142 training program for the Boeing 737-200 through -900. Simulator training is available in Miami, Dallas and Minneapolis. Bond is planning to introduce Airbus A320 training next month.
Following its success in securing contracts to supply wing and fuselage components for the Airbus A380 from its Emmen, Switzerland plant, Ruag Aerospace has achieved a further success in its aerospace construction. A new order from Airbus makes Ruag the sole supplier of Section 15 fuselage side panels for all aircraft in the A320 family.