The FAA last month amended its certification standards for icing protection on transport-category airplanes. The new rule, which goes into effect September 2, will require new systems to increase pilot situational awareness during icing conditions.
An ATR 72-500 twin turboprop operated by Thailand’s Bangkok Airways crashed into a disused air traffic control tower on August 4, killing the captain and injuring the copilot and six passengers. According to the operator, the airliner had been landing on the resort island of Koh Samui in heavy rain and wind when it skidded off the 4,724-foot runway.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has issued an emergency airworthiness directive (AD) for ATR cockpit windows.
As Franco-Italian turboprop maker ATR readies for the first flight of its new 600 Series this month, the company finds itself in a “comfortable position” by virtue of a backlog of 162 airplanes worth some $3 billion–“pretty much the largest [the company] has achieved in the program,” according to ATR senior vice president John Moore. Still, Moore didn’t deny the difficulty ATR has encountered selling airplanes in North America.
Daher Wins Pair of Major Deals at Paris’09
Franco-Italian regional turboprop maker ATR continued to defy predictions for a tepid sales showing at Le Bourget yesterday when it inked a purchase contract for 10 of its new ATR 72-600s with Spain’s Air Nostrum and another firm order with Royal Air Maroc for four ATR 72-600s and a pair of smaller 42-600s.
ATR landed a firm order yesterday for a pair of new ATR 72-500s from Vietnam Airlines, bringing to 16 the number of the 68-seat turboprops the Asian customer has ordered since 2001. During yesterday’s signing ceremony, the airline also accepted delivery of its fourth ATR 72-500 and the first in its new livery.
Royal Air Maroc is one of the most recent customers to sign up for the new 600 Series of ATR-42s and ATR-72s being developed by Avions de Transport Regional. The new aircraft is due to make its first flight next month as the French-Italian manufacturer heads for projected certification in the second half of 2010.
Romanian flag carrier Tarom took delivery of its first ATR 72-500 last month under the terms of a $37 million contract it signed last year for two of the twin turboprops. The airline currently operates a fleet of seven ATR 42-500s and will take delivery of its second new ATR 72 later this year.
Although heartened by the turnout at last month’s Regional Airline Association Convention, held May 18 to 21 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, the RAA could do nothing to lift the pall that the NTSB hearings on the February 12 crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407 and the generally gloomy economic environment would cast over the annual event.