After successfully developing the market for airbag inflatable seatbelts in new and existing light aircraft, Phoenix Ariz.-based AmSafe Aviation is targeting growth in the airline market and also trying to persuade business jet owners of the safety benefits offered by airbag seatbelts.
Los Angeles-based private aircraft charter services company Air Royale International is offering a best-price guarantee on its air charter flights. Air Royale, a Wyvern-authorized charter broker, said it will pay $500 to customers if it can’t beat a lower-priced competing quote. While it vows to offer the lowest charter quote, the firm also promises “stringent air safety” by using only Wyvern-qualified crews and aircraft.
While business aircraft flight hours are down from last year, the level of industry safety has increased disproportionately, according to statistics released by Boca Raton, Fla.-based business aviation safety analyst Robert E. Breiling Associates. In the first half of the year, the U.S. business airplane fleet experienced 13 accidents versus 34 during the same period last year, equaling a nearly 62-percent decline in the number of accidents.
Honda Aircraft, which announced last month a one-year delay in certification of its HondaJet as a result of supplier issues, remains confident, buoyed by an order book for “well over 100 aircraft.” According to Stephen Keeney, senior manager for corporate affairs, “the vast majority of our customers are sticking with us.”
Marshall Aerospace (Booth No. 1449) is designing and building nacelles for the new HondaJet aircraft under a contract placed in August, but not announced until late last year. The Cambridge, UK-based company is due to deliver the first five sets of nacelles to HondaJet’s headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina, next month.
In the first quarter of this year, business aviation experienced fewer accidents, including those resulting in fatalities, than in the same period the previous year, but the overall number of deaths increased, according to statistics compiled by Boca Raton, Fla.-based industry safety analyst Robert E. Breiling Associates.
Later this year, San Luis Jet Center will begin construction on a new FBO at San Luis County Regional Airport on the Central California coast. The design work is nearly finished for the facility, which includes a 24,734-sq-ft FBO and two hangars enclosing 55,200 sq ft. Aviation Consultants’ five Citation Excels and two Citation Xs will be based in the hangars, which will also house the company’s ACI Jet Solutions maintenance facility.
Two new online icing education courses were released this winter, one from King Schools and the other by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s Air Safety Foundation (ASF). Both offer a useful introduction and refresher on preparing for icing conditions and dealing with ice-related problems.
As airports across the U.S. wage their annual struggle against winter weather, business aviation operators may soon find themselves familiar with a new de-icing method. Forced-air de-icers, which use high-volume, low-pressure air to help strip contamination from flying surfaces, have been used to augment the effect of glycol on airliners at major airports for years, but the business aircraft community has been slow to embrace them.
Pilots should “activate boots as soon as the airplane enters icing conditions,” according to a safety alert released in December by the NTSB. The alert (SA-014) is yet another attempt by the Board to persuade pilots that there is no such thing as ice bridging and that pilots should not wait for ice to build to one-quarter to one-half-inch thickness before inflating boots in icing conditions.