A push to entice corporate operators into considering pre-owned, non-airline derivatives of the Saab 340A and 340B, which are no longer in production, has been launched jointly by Sweden’s Saab Aircraft Leasing and FBO chain Piedmont Hawthorne of Winston-Salem, N.C.
Pan Am International Flight Academy (PAIFA) and Saab Aircraft of America signed an agreement to jointly develop maintenance training courses for North and South American operators of the Saab 340 twin turboprop. Courses, available on demand, will be held at the customer’s location or at PAIFA’s regional airline training centers located in Dulles, Va., and Minneapolis.
Piedmont Hawthorne has entered an agreement with Saab Aircraft Leasing (SAL) to market twin-turboprop Saab 340s for corporate shuttle use. The Winston-Salem, N.C.-based business aviation services group will seek corporate buyers and lessors for the Swedish-built regional airliners and will also refurbish the interiors and provide maintenance.
While most startup airlines enjoy at least a short honeymoon with local press and industry pundits, Michael Jones spent some of his first moments on the job last month as boss of Australia’s newest regional carrier deflecting criticism about his business plan.
With the opening of its new northern Virginia regional airline training center last fall, Pan Am International Flight Academy served notice of its commitment as “a dependable, credible and trustworthy training partner,” said Ralph Leach, director of regional aircraft training.
Vee Neal Aviation will expand its charter and management business into corporate shuttle operations using a leased Saab 340A. The Latrobe, Pa. company is the first Part 135 operator to order the 30-passenger twin turboprop for corporate transportation, according to Saab Aircraft Leasing in Washington. A Saab official said the aircraft should be delivered to Vee Neal by mid-month.
The FAA has proposed fining American Eagle $363,000 for alleged violations of maintenance FARs. The agency claims the Fort Worth, Texas-based airline operated a Saab 340B with an inoperative windshield defogger. According to the FAA, the airplane’s maintenance log indicated a problem with the defogger, but mechanics on duty failed to inspect or repair the system.
The 255 pilots flying for Mexican regional airline Aerolitoral ended a two-day strike on December 2 after agreeing to a 5.5-percent salary increase. Although the settlement appeared to differ little from a rejected offer that included a 0.3-percent benefits improvement, government intervention and promises of further unidentified perks helped parent company Cintra convince the striking pilots to return to work.
The global scope of the airline pilot shortage became all too clear to Australia’s Regional Express (Rex) last month, when the Sydney-based Saab 340 operator found itself forced temporarily to suspend service between the Queensland capital and the Snowy Mountains (Cooma). The suspension began November 19 and will last until next May 18, said the airline.
Emergency AD 2003-08-52 was issued last month for the GE CT7-9B turboprop in response to 12 compressor-stall events in Saab 340Bs over a six-month period. The stalls occurred when pilots throttled back from takeoff power to climb power. Nine of the events involved engines that had the compressor variable geometry (VG) rigged to N1, one of two allowable rigging options that affords slightly higher performance at the expense of stall margin.