Thomas McSweeny is delaying his planned departure from the FAA at the request of the agency. McSweeny agreed to continue serving as associate administrator for regulation and certification through at least this month. He is preparing to join Boeing as director of international safety and regulatory affairs (see page 24).
Who’s the best choice when a flight department manager position opens up? For the past 50 or so years, the people who usually got the nod were pilots, whether or not they were the best candidates.
In a major marketing change spurred by the fallout from September 11, Salt Lake City, Utah-based Groen Brothers Aviation (GBA) recently announced it would slow the already lagging FAA certification program on its four-place Hawk 4 gyrocopter, and concentrate on selling the aircraft to government agencies as a noncertified public-use aircraft.
Gulfstream Aerospace reports that the G450, an upgraded G400 with G550 avionics, is on track for FAA certification in the third quarter of this year. Customer deliveries are pegged to begin next spring. Since the model’s first flight on April 30 last year, the four G450 test airplanes have logged more than 1,250 flight hours on about 500 flights.
By next summer, a corporate flight department, probably one based in Europe, will become the first recipient of a certificate confirming that it fully meets the international standards for business aircraft operations (IS-BAO).
Raytheon Aircraft’s fourth Hawker Horizon, which entered flight test last month, represents the final production configuration of the new super-midsize business jet. Outfitted with an interior, the aircraft will conduct FAA function and reliability testing as part of the certification effort.
Europe’s JAA issued type certificate recommendations for the Gulfstream IV and Gulfstream IV-SP, essentially endorsing the business jets for approval by the JAA’s 25 member nations. The letter recommending issuance of type certificates came earlier this month. Meanwhile, Gulfstream continues its long-time effort at obtaining JAA certification of its GV.
Global Aircraft of Ronkonkoma, N.Y,. received JAR 145 certification on September 10, allowing the company to work on JAA-certified aircraft. The company, which opened for business about a year ago, also has its FAR Part 145 certification and has completed six Gulfstream interior refurbishments.
With global shipping giant UPS leading the way, business jet operators may soon be able to take advantage of the latest GPS-based navigation system that allows company aircraft to operate more efficiently and safely in the terminal environment.
Last October, an FAA certification engineer and a flight-test pilot filed a grievance against their managers at the Fort Worth, Texas FAA Aircraft Certification Office, complaining that the certification of the Eclipse 500 very light jet was granted despite “several outstanding safety/regulatory issues.” The two employees, who were not named in the grievance, are represented by the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (natca).