Viking Air’s updated Series 400 Twin Otter made its first flight on October 1, and the program remains on schedule for first delivery in the middle of next year. The Twin Otter Series 400 is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34s, flat-rated to the same takeoff power as the Series 300’s PT6A-27s. Avionics are Honeywell’s Primus Apex system.
Dornier Seaplane brought its all-composite twin-turboprop Seastar to the static display at last month’s NBAA Convention. The Seastar is already FAA and EASA certified, but Dornier will need another $150 million of funding to start production, now planned for late 2010. Two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6-135A engines are mounted fore-and-aft (“push-me-pull-you”) on top of the wing.
Cessna Caravan 208B, Bethel, Alaska, Jan. 15, 2008–The Grant Aviation Caravan touched down between the runway and the taxiway in the snow removed from the active surfaces; the Safety Board blamed “the pilot’s selection of unsuitable terrain for landing.” Contributing factors were snow-covered terrain, blowing snow and flat lighting conditions.
Cessna Caravan 208B, La Junta, Chile, June 7, 2008–The commercial pilot was killed when the Patagonia Airlines Caravan crashed in the mountains west of La Junta in instrument conditions; the nine passengers received only minor injuries. Chile’s Direccion General de Aeronautica Civil is conducting the investigation.
German seaplane manufacturer Dornier Aircraft on Sunday announced plans to manufacture and sell the Seastar flying boat in the U.S. Former Adam Aircraft president Joe Walker will head the program as CEO of the recently formed Dornier Seaplane Company.
Three popular unpressurized twin turboprops from the past have or will soon re-enter production.
British Columbia-based Viking Air Ltd. acquired the type certificate and production rights to the DHC-6 Twin Otter from Bombardier in 2006 and could start customer deliveries by next year. Viking already owns the type certificates for seven other deHavilland aircraft, including the DHC-3 Otter and the four-engine DHC-7 Dash 7.
A growing order book for the 52-seat Antonov An-140 turboprop has stimulated engineers at Ukraine’s Antonov design house and the Kharkov manufacturing plant (KhGAPP) to accelerate work on the An-148, a new 70- to 80-seat regional jet scheduled for first deliveries in early 2005.
Cessna Caravan 208B, Greensburg, Ind., June 1, 2008–The Skydive Greensburg Caravan was at 7,000 feet msl, with 14 skydivers aboard, when the pilot heard an explosion followed by a metal grinding noise coming from the engine. The airplane vibrated and smoke filled the cabin. The engine quit and the pilot shut off
Horizon Air will ground all 12 of its remaining Bombardier Q200 turboprops by October 28 and begin retiring its CRJ700 regional jets next month under a plan to accelerate its transition to a uniform fleet of Q400 turboprops. Horizon now expects to remove all its 70-seat CRJ700s and add 14 more 76-seat Q400s by the end of next year in an effort to ease the sting of soaring fuel prices.
Cessna 208B Caravan, Ada, Mich., May 9, 2008–The CSA Air commercial pilot had to make a forced landing after the Caravan lost power on a visual approach to Gerald R. Ford International Airport at Grand Rapids. The airplane was substantially damaged but the pilot was unhurt.