Robinson Helicopters sales increased to nearly 80 percent of all commercial piston and turbine rotorcraft produced in North America during the first half of this year. According to production figures, during the period Robinson produced 343 helicopters, a 54-percent increase over the same period last year. Of those, 115 were R22s and 228 were R44s.
The FAA presented Elliott Aviation’s Moline, Ill., and Omaha, Neb. service facilities with the Diamond Award of Excellence for aviation maintenance training for the fifth consecutive year. The honor, which is part of the Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) awards program and is the highest achievement of its kind, recognizes technicians and maintenance facilities for excellence in maintenance training.
“Despite the economy there are still companies looking for pilots and OEMs looking to fill all sorts of positions, from pilots to sales reps to maintenance personnel,” Jodie Brown, president of Summit Solutions, told AIN. “And I can tell you that we really need leadership and management abilities in this industry, but the jobs are going to those who are qualified, do their homework before an interview and present themselves properly.”
MD Helicopters has to slash its work force by a quarter. The troubled company has been further damaged by a slowdown in orders for its helicopters, which are primarily aimed at the law enforcement and air ambulance markets.
The company is “permanently eliminating” 23 jobs, according to a spokeswoman, while another 33 people are being laid off until business improves. About 200 employees will remain at the plant in Mesa, Ariz.
FlightSafety International’s Teterboro, N.J., learning center is now qualified to conduct FAA-approved Part 91 and 135 training for flight attendants. The initial course is five days. Flight attendant training is also offered by FlightSafety in Atlanta and Savannah, Ga.
In 1981 President Reagan fired virtually all aircraft traffic controllers and banned them from reapplying for controller jobs after their union, the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Association (Patco), convinced them to strike. While nearly 800 Patco controllers have been re-hired since President Clinton lifted the ban in 1993, “thousands” of others have not been hired because of their age, Patco said.
All airport workers with access to airplanes and secure areas have been ordered to submit to new criminal background checks. Employers will also be asked to assist authorities in new criminal background checks of “flight-safety sensitive” personnel. The FAA is requiring the revalidation of all airport IDs to make sure they are current, genuine and correspond to the person carrying them.
According to aviation career specialist AIR Inc., six fractional operators this year hired 447 pilots through April. Frax companies hired a total of 1,038 pilots last year, putting this year’s numbers on track for a better outlook. According to AIR Inc., no fractional pilots are on furlough, but 4,515 major airline pilots and 2,451 “national” airline pilots are.
Four pilots suing their former employer, Flight Options, for allegedly firing them for their union-organizing activities following the merger with Raytheon Travel Air last year (AIN, October 2002, page 74) filed a motion on September 22 in the Federal District Court in Cleveland for summary judgment against the fractional operator.
Brazil’s Embraer said it will lay off 1,800 workers, reduce deliveries this year from 185 to 160 and lower its forecast delivery rate from 205 to 135 next year as part of a plan to stem losses expected to result from September 11. Although the company said all firm orders remain in effect, it expects a number of customers to defer option conversions until the global economic outlook improves.