The Feb. 13, 2008, incident in which both pilots fell asleep at the controls of a Go! Bombardier regional jet en route to Hilo, Hawaii, was caused by “the captain and first officer inadvertently falling asleep during the cruise phase of flight,” the Board noted. Luckily, the RJ carried extra fuel for a return trip to Honolulu, and the pilots woke up after flying 26 miles past Hilo.
Mesa Air Group
The first Project Phoenix CRJ is about to enter service, having made its first flight on June 12 from the Flying Colours facility in Canada, where the former Bombardier Canadair Regional Jet was converted into a 15-passenger business jet. The customer for the CRJ is Hong Kong-based aircraft sales group Ritz Pacific.
The DOT has awarded Portland, Ore.-based SeaPort Airlines Essential Air Service subsidies for routes from Memphis to four Arkansas communities starting October 1. Harrison, Hot Springs, El Dorado and Jonesboro, Ark., have gone without scheduled service since June 1 of last year, when Mesa Air Group dissolved Air Midwest, ending its Beech 1900 service to the four cities from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
A U.S. Court of Appeals last month affirmed the preliminary injunction that barred Delta Air Lines from ending Mesa Air Group’s Delta Connection agreement covering 22 Embraer ERJ 145s. A U.S. District Court issued the injunction in May of last year after Delta alleged that Mesa subsidiary Freedom Airlines failed to meet completion rate guarantees.
Republic Airlines injected another $2.5 million into its partnership with Hawaii’s Mokulele Airlines on May 1 and this month plans to send a fourth Embraer E170 to the islands as it stages a more serious effort to raise its profile in the market. This past March Republic demoted former Mokulele CEO Bill Boyer to head of sales and marketing and installed its own vice president for strategic alliances, Scott Durgin, as interim CEO.
Dubai-based Project Phoenix is the latest company to bring a corporate Bombardier CRJ variant to market, with its first example due to be accepted by owner Ritz Pacific before the end of next month. Completion of the modified regional jet was contracted to Peterborough, Ontario-based Flying Colours, which also has produced its own ExecLiner and Jetcorp Renaissance Series CRJ executive conversions.
Hawaii’s Island Air will fly de Havilland Dash 8s between Kahului, Maui, Lihue, Kauai and Hilo as Go!Express under the terms of a tentative code-share deal it signed with Mesa Air Group in late February.
While Cessna Aircraft is closing its Toledo, Ohio Citation service center at the end of next month, the company celebrated the opening of its new Mesa Citation service center at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport last week. The new center replaces the company’s former Long Beach service center in Southern California, which was half the size and had one-tenth the ramp space and no room for expansion.
Bombardier CL600-2B19 CRJ, Hilo, Hawaii, Feb. 13, 2008–The 53-year-old captain and the 23-year-old copilot fell asleep on the Go! Airlines (a subsidiary of Mesa Airlines) flight from Honolulu to Hilo and flew 26 nm beyond General Lyman Field, the flight’s destination.
Bombardier CL600-2B19 CRJ, Philadelphia, Dec. 14, 2008–The Air Wisconsin CRJ landed at Philadelphia International Airport with the left main landing gear retracted. En route, the crew had noted problems with the left gear and could not get it to lower. They landed with the nosegear and the right gear down and locked. Maintenance had been performed on the landing-gear systems before the flight.