Business aviation visionary leader Albert Ueltschi, 95, founder and chairman emeritus of aviation training provider FlightSafety International, died at his home in Vero Beach, Fla., on Thursday evening. After being bitten by the flying bug at an early age, Ueltschi soloed at 16 and later bought an open-cockpit airplane and barnstormed around the country.
The business aviation industry lost a visionary leader yesterday evening, October 18, when Albert Ueltschi, founder and chairman emeritus of industry training provider FlightSafety International, died peacefully at his home in Vero Beach, Fla. at the age of 95. Growing up during the Great Depression in rural Kentucky in a family of modest means, he was bitten by the flying bug early on and decided to become a pilot.
Donated items for the live auction at the NBAA/Corporate Angel Network (CAN) Soiree, to be held on October 31 during the NBAA Convention in Orlando, Fla., have reached spectacular levels. Aircell has donated the biggest-ticket auction item ever–an ATG 5000 high-speed Internet equipment package for business aircraft worth $91,500–to the organization, which coordinates free transportation for cancer patients on corporate aircraft.
Aeronautics engineer Richard Whitcomb–whose research at NASA produced the area rule, supercritical wing and winglets–was posthumously inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame earlier this month. He died in 2008 at the age of 88. During Whitcomb’s almost four decades at NASA his “fundamental insight into aerodynamics and his practical solutions led to three of the most significant and practical contributions to aeronautics in the 20th century,” said NASA Langley Research Center director Lesa Roe.
UK-based aircraft charter operator London Executive Aviation (LEA) was named “best general aviation operator” in the Baltic Air Charter Association (BACA) Excellence Awards. This is the third consecutive time that the company has received this recognition. The award was decided by BACA members, who were asked to nominate organizations that they consider best in class.
NBAA will bestow its highest award, the Meritorious Service to Aviation Award, to members of the Tuskegee Airmen squadron on October 31 during the NBAA Convention in Orlando, Fla. The legendary group of black aviators successfully battled discrimination and adversity as they defended the U.S. in World War II. “We are honored to present this award to these storied aviators, who in a time of great peril defended the U.S. and its principles, even as they faced intolerance at home,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen.
BLR Aerospace has named West Star Aviation an authorized dealer for its Super King Air winglets and associated products, including extended-length de-ice boots and LED lighting upgrades. Under the terms of the agreement West Star will provide and install BLR’s products on the King Air 90, 200 and 300 series at its Grand Junction, Colo.; Dallas; and Columbia, S.C. facilities.
An airworthiness directive has been issued for all Honeywell TFE731-20R, -20AR, -20BR, -40, -40AR, -40R, -50R and -60 turbofan engines. It was prompted by a report of a quality escape of about 8,000 second-stage low-pressure turbine (LPT2) rotor blades manufactured by Honeywell’s Chihuahua, Mexico, manufacturing operation since 2009. This AD requires removing and inspecting certain LPT2 rotor blades. Cost of the fix is $3,480.
American Eurocopter’s blade shop in Grand Prairie, Texas, is a busy place. The 20 craftsmen repair and refurbish 1,000 helicopter main and tail rotor blades every year. That translates into 95 percent of all Eurocopter blade work in the U.S.
Much of the work is done by hand. “It is a slow process,” acknowledges shop manager Jim Tully. “It would be nice if we could find a way to go faster, but it has to be done the same way. With fiberglass, it wouldn’t take long to scrap out a blade completely” if a mistake were made.
Former NBAA director Robert Breiling will receive the association’s John P. “Jack” Doswell Award at the NBAA Convention in late October. “NBAA is proud to recognize Breiling’s outstanding contributions to the business aviation community,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen.