The U.S. General Aviation Manufacturers Association has voiced its support for reforms to the aircraft certification processes as proposed by the FAA in a report submitted to Congress last week. “This report is an important first step in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the FAA, which is necessary to support growing industry activity in the development of new aircraft and safety-enhancing technologies,” said GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce.
Astronics acquired Portland, Ore.-based Max-Viz, a developer and designer of enhanced vision systems for fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, for $10 million in cash last week. The ultimate price could rise to $18 million, if certain revenue targets are met over the next three years. Max-Viz enhanced vision systems are certified for installation on more than 20 business aircraft types, as well as more than a dozen turbine helicopters. The company also holds similar certifications for multiple piston aircraft.
Russian Helicopters, which is redeveloping the Ansat with conventional (as opposed to the original fly-by-wire) flight controls, expects to achieve Russian certification in the fourth quarter, with serial production to start in January. The next step will be EASA certification, expected next year or in 2014. Russian Helicopters is developing a new fuel system to comply with European requirements.
The FAA has extended the comment period for a proposed exemption to the third-class medical certification requirement for recreational pilots to September 14. The agency received more than 14,000 comments during the initial 20-day comment period, and the vast majority of the comments supported the proposal.
Embraer’s Phenom 300 received Transport Canada type certification earlier this week. The Phenom 300, which received its initial certification by U.S. and Brazilian aviation authorities in late 2009, is now approved in more than 40 countries.
The FAA has just released a greatly expanded version of the original Pilot Record Improvement Act advisory circular (AC 120-68F) to address more operational situations employers might encounter related to a new-hire pilot’s professional certifications, safety record and possible law-enforcement actions.
Kevin Bang has joined Dallas Airmotive as manager of its Phoenix Regional Turbine Center (RTC). Bang will be responsible for day-to-day operations, which focus on the PT6A, JT15D, R-R 250 and HTF7000. He holds an FAA A&P license and numerous engine and inspection certifications. He joined Dallas Airmotive from Consolidated Turbine Support in Mesa, where he was quality control manager for Part 145 programs. Bang holds degrees in applied management and aviation maintenance.
The Daher-Socata TBM 850 turboprop single gained type certification from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), which includes Russia, the French aircraft manufacturer said yesterday. “This recognizes…the work of Daher-Socata’s team in conjunction with the CIS aviation authorities, who are known to be demanding in their certification process, especially for operations in extreme weather conditions,” Socata senior vice president Nicolas Chabbert said. With the approval, the company can market its turboprop to the growing CIS market.
The FAA is seeking comments on its proposal to upgrade Part 121 pilot certification experience requirements. The new standards would require airline first officers to hold an ATP certificate with a type rating, and airline captain applicants to have at least 1,000 hours of flight time in air carrier operations.