The final report by Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) on the April 13, 2013 crash of a Lion Air Boeing 737 in Bali cited the airliner’s pilots and their loss of situational awareness as the primary cause of the accident. Four people were seriously injured when the aircraft crashed into water just short of the runway although no lives were lost.
The NTSB will release the probable cause of the UPS Flight 1354 accident at Birmingham, Ala., on Aug. 14, 2013, tomorrow. The captain and first officer were killed and the airplane was destroyed when an Airbus A300-600 crashed short of Runway 18 during a non-precision approach.
Mountain Air Cargo is the subject of a proposed FAA penalty of $132,425 for allegedly incorrectly repairing one of the company’s ATR 42s. The agency accused the Maiden, N.C.-based operator of failing to accurately follow the FAA-approved aircraft maintenance manual when it repaired a rear cargo door and then operated that same aircraft on 115 flights between Aug. 7 and Oct. 29, 2012. Mountain Air Cargo is scheduled to meet with the FAA later this month to discuss the issue.
The FAA issued an emergency order of revocation against Marpat Aviation of Switzer, W.Va., on August 27 for allegedly violating some conditions of its rotorcraft external-load operator certificate. The FAA believes Marpat failed to use a qualified chief pilot, falsified an application for renewal of its certificate and refused to comply with repeated FAA instructions to amend its flight manual. The agency says the company also operated its aircraft in a careless and reckless manner. Marpat subsequently surrendered its operating certificate.
Boeing finally answered Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary’s call for a higher-capacity 737 Max 8 with last Monday morning’s official launch of the 737 Max 200 and, in the process, won a commitment for as many as 200 airplanes. The commitment calls for a firm order for 100 airplanes and options for another 100, together worth as much as $22 billion.
Santiago, Chile-based Aerocardal Limitada is the first service provider in Latin America to be accepted into the Air Elite Network. Aerocardal, an FBO with its own tank farm and fuel trucks, is now World Fuel Services’ preferred ground handler and fuel distributor for business aviation at Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport. Its newly renovated facility, which is open 24/7, has a 7,700-sq-ft terminal, one of the largest in Latin America.
Calgary-based WestJet Encore signed a firm order for five Bombardier Q400s in late July, raising its order total for the type to 30. The latest deal, valued at $167 million, involved the conversion of five options booked by parent company WestJet with its original order for the type in July 2012. Plans call for the airplanes to help support WestJet’s expansion into the eastern part of Canada, where it currently operates a base out of Toronto.
When the FAA implemented more rigorous minimum standards (the “1,500-hour ATP” rule) for airline first officers last year, many in the industry expressed concern about a shortage of pilots meeting the requirement. Under the new regulation first officers must hold an ATP certificate, which requires 1,500 hours total time. Previously, first officers were required to have only a commercial pilot certificate, which requires just 250 hours of flight time.
Aurigny Air Services plans to start new service between its base in Guernsey in the Channel Islands and London City Airport on September 8, starting with a wet-leased Fokker 50 turboprop. Plans call for two round trips each week with the Fokker for four to eight weeks, at which time Aurigny expects to start flying a newly sourced ATR on the route.
Indianapolis-based Republic Airways plans to consolidate its Chautauqua Airlines operation into its Shuttle America subsidiary in an effort to cut costs through a reduction of its air operator certificates to two from three. Company CEO Bryan Bedford sent a letter to employees in late July announcing the company’s intention to migrate Chautauqua’s 41 fifty-seat Embraer ERJ-145s to Shuttle America by year-end.