An ATR-72 operated by Lao Airlines crashed into the Mekong River on October 16 while on approach to the Pakse Airport in southern Laos. All 49 people aboard–including five crewmembers–died in the accident. Early reports said local Pakse weather was poor with the passing of a typhoon. The twin-turboprop’s fuselage broke up on impact and sank in the river.
A Lao Airlines ATR 72-600 crashed in southern Laos near the Champasak provincial capital of Pakse on Wednesday. According to a statement issued by ATR, the airplane took off from the capital city Vientiane and crashed into the Mekong river. Reports from the official Laos news agency indicate the airplane hit the water some five miles short of its destination, Pakse International Airport.
The European Parliament’s transport committee today blocked the European Commission’s proposals on flight and duty time limitations for commercial pilots flying within the European Union.
The business jet fleet will continue to expand in mainland China, just not at the breakneck levels seen last year, according to a First-half 2013 Greater China Fleet Report from Hong Kong-based business aviation consulting firm Asian Sky Group (ASG). It now predicts that the Chinese fleet of new and used business jets will grow by 18 percent this year, versus 40 percent last year.
Bell Helicopter held two maintainers and operators conferences in China at the end of April, in Beijing and Shanghai. The conferences helped Chinese operators learn more about Bell customer support and service enhancements and safety improvements and enabled discussion of technical issues. “We were pleased with the turnout at both locations,” said Chris Jaran, managing director, China. “It was apparent that our Chinese customers are focused on maintaining their Bell Helicopter products at the highest level.”
VistaJet is working hard to get its new Chinese joint venture up and running by the end of 2013. In January, the operator established an office in Hong Kong and it has now staffed this with a sales team. The next step will be to establish a representative office in Beijing with its joint venture partner and it has begun the licensing process to establish a Chinese air operators’ certificate (AOC) and register some of its aircraft in the country.
China broke into the ranks of the five largest arms exporting countries for the first time since the end of the Cold War, displacing the UK in the volume of arms deliveries, according to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri). The UK dropped from the list for the first time since at least 1950, the Swedish institute said.
The FAA has approved the Shanghai Hawker Pacific FBO as a foreign repair station, allowing it to support U.S.-registered aircraft in China. The company applied for the approval just a few days before the FAA stopped taking applications on Aug. 3, 2008, due to the U.S. Transportation Security Administration’s failure to introduce security rules for such facilities.
“An increasingly prosperous population, an influx of multinational companies, relaxation of the low-altitude airspace rule and a string of growth stimulus expected from [new leaders] means there will be an unprecedented demand for business air travel in China,” Jackie Wu, president of Hong Kong-based business aviation consultancy Jetsolution, said last week at a luxury goods show in Xian, China.
China’s Ministry of National Defense has formally acknowledged development of the Y-20 military airlifter, four days after images of a prototype appeared on a Chinese Internet forum devoted to military matters. The aircraft was shown undergoing taxi tests at an airfield in Northwestern China, supposedly affiliated with the developer, Xian Aircraft Industry Group of the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (Avic), according to Chinese reports. Also at the site was a J-20 fighter jet prototype.