Boeing won a $9.36 million contract modification from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) to refine its concept for a radically improved vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft to the preliminary design review stage. Three other contractors have proposed concepts for the program.
An EASA rule that takes effect in October opens the door to offshore oil-and-gas helicopter passengers’ using personal electronic devices (PED), but operators seem unlikely to go ahead with the much-desired change. The Annex 4 of Part-CAT grants exceptions to the general principle–no PED use in flight–and makes it clear that implementation is at the discretion of the operator. A company can thus allow the use of PEDs during all phases of flight, though transmitting PEDs such as cellphones are not allowed to be used during taxi, takeoff and landing.
On the ground roll for a touch-and-go landing during a training flight at Prestwick, Scotland, a takeoff configuration warning sounded on an Airbus A320, prompting the captain to abort the takeoff. The UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch said that although the aircraft stopped on the runway remaining, the crew did not realize the aircraft had suffered nosewheel damage during the maneuver and hence began another takeoff, with the first officer acting as the pilot flying.
Safe Flight invented the stall warning horn in 1946, and refined the concept with its “lift transducer” beginning in 1953. Now the company is at EAA AirVenture 2014 with a new product–the SCx Leading Edge AoA (angle of attack) indicator. It’s priced to be competitive with other AoA indicators, especially considering its $200 show discount. AirVenture buyers will pay $1,295 when they buy a system at the Safe Flight booth (No. 18). The regular price is still-attractive at $1,495.
Airbus is working hard to complete A350 flight testing, which it hopes to close by the end of next month in preparation for formal European Aviation Safety Agency airworthiness approval in September. Principal remaining work involves long-range flights now under way following a maximum-energy rejected take-off (MERTO) demonstration at Istres Air Force Base in France on July 19. By July 22, the five A350 test aircraft had logged more than 2,250 hours during about 540 flights involving more than 1,380 takeoff/landing cycles.
Textron Aviation’s flagship Cessna Citation X+ landed Saturday at TAG Farnborough Airport after a short flight from Paris Le Bourget. On Friday, the X+ crossed the Atlantic for the first time, flying 2,788 nm from Presque Isle, Maine, to Paris in five hours 33 minutes, averaging 502 knots groundspeed and burning 10,600 pounds of fuel.
Unwritten rules of professionalism demand that pilots and responsible media do not launch into publicly discussing suspected but unproven factors in an aircraft accident until the NTSB has issued its verdict on the probable cause.
The NTSB’s preliminary report into the crash of a Gulfstream IV during takeoff roll at Bedford Hanscom Field near Boston on May 31 revealed a number of inconsistencies. On June 13, investigators reported that while the flap handle on the jet was set to the “flaps 10” position, the flight data recorder indicated the flaps were set to the “flaps 20” position.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada’s final report on the 2012 crash of a Cessna 208B Caravan concluded the stall-induced accident was the result of the pilot’s decision to depart Snow Lake, Manitoba, with the aircraft weighing 600 pounds more than its maximum allowable gross weight and with ice clinging to the wing and tail surfaces. The Cessna Caravan, operated by Gogal Air Services, left Snow Lake on Nov.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada last week published a final report on the January 2012 crash of an Airbus Helicopters AS350B3 operated by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The pilot was killed after the engine failed while the helicopter was hovering at an altitude of 80 feet above the ground.
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