Just when it looked as if the image of the regional airline industry escaped relatively unscathed from last year’s spate of accidents, the crash of two more regional airliners in Missouri last month thrust it right back into the glare of public scrutiny. The first, involving a Pinnacle Airlines Bombardier CRJ200 on October 14, killed the two pilots flying the airplane on a positioning flight from Little Rock, Ark., to Minneapolis.
Raytheon Aircraft announced a lightweight interior modification for its Premier I that the company says reduces cabin average noise level to 82.2 dBA on takeoff and 73.6 dBA during long-range cruise.
Hawker Beechcraft Super King Air 200, Bogota, Colombia, Oct. 11, 2007–The RioSur King Air air ambulance pilot reported a problem with an engine on takeoff from Bogota. The airplane crashed into buildings, killing the pilot, copilot, two doctors, a nurse and two people on the ground.
Hawker Beechcraft King Air C90A, Pagosa Springs, Colo., Oct. 4, 2007–The Eagle Air Med King Air was destroyed and the three occupants were killed when it crashed in the mountains in night VMC. The flight was en route to San Luis Valley Regional Airport, Alamosa, Colo., to pick up a patient. The wreckage was found just west of the Continental Divide trail at an elevation of 11,900 feet msl.
CommutAir’s flight operations department accelerated preparations last month for a major expansion scheduled to start March 16 in Cleveland, where the Plattsburg, N.Y.-based Continental Connection affiliate plans to nearly double its capacity by year-end with 12 new destinations.
Hawker Beechcraft opened its new sheet metal assembly facility in Chihuahua, Mexico. According to the Wichita-based airframer, the new light metal shop will support the company’s current and projected workforce needs and alleviate space constraints at its U.S. manufacturing facilities. Current plans for the operation call for an initial staff of 250 workers with a growth potential of up to 650 over the next five years.
Wichita-based Hawker Beechcraft reported third-quarter pre-tax profits of $62.1 million and quarterly aircraft sales of $871 million, resulting in a backlog of $5.2 billion. The company delivered 75 business airplanes (10 Hawker 850XPs, eight 900XPs, 12 400XPs, five Premier IAs and 40 King Airs) in the third quarter, up slightly from the 72 business turboprops and jets shipped in the same period last year.
Phoenix-based Mesa Air Group and Raytheon Aircraft have come to terms on an agreement to resolve “outstanding issues” related to the bulk of the airline’s fleet of 19-seat Beech 1900Ds. Mesa, which had defaulted on its loans for 47 of the airplanes, has agreed to resume its payments to Raytheon in exchange for certain monetary concessions from the Wichita-based manufacturer.
Hawker Beechcraft has obtained FAA certification for the King Air 350ER (ER for extended range), which adds nacelle fuel tanks to raise the aircraft’s fuel capacity to 775 gallons and its max range to 2,570 nm, an increase of more than 1,000 nm over a standard King Air 350.
Hawker Beechcraft has certified a longer-range version of the venerable King Air 350 twin-turboprop, an airplane that can stay aloft longer than eight hours and boasts an IFR range of 2,570 nm, some 700 nm farther than the standard model.