Revenue at Berkshire Hathaway’s “other services” business, which includes NetJets and FlightSafety International, grew by 9.4 percent in the third quarter, to $2.235 billion, thanks in large part to higher sales of fractional aircraft shares at NetJets. In the first nine months, revenue was up by 10.5 percent, to $6.649 billion.
GAMA’s board of directors elected Steve Taylor, president of Boeing Business Jets, the association’s chairman for 2014. Taylor previously served as GAMA’s vice chairman of the board and as chairman of the flight operations policy committee. Joe Brown, president of Hartzell Propeller, was selected as GAMA’s vice chairman. He will also continue to serve as chairman of GAMA’s policy and legal issues committee. Meanwhile, GAMA’s board of directors approved Stevens Aviation as a member company.
Flexjet and Abercrombie & Kent introduced “Passport to the World,” the first completely private jet experience circumnavigating the globe. For $1.5 million, guests will travel for two weeks aboard a Challenger 605 operated by Jet Solutions to seven landmark destinations and get “exclusive access to hidden wonders that are out of reach to the rest of the world,” ranging from the Forbidden City to the Taj Mahal. It includes a Japanese tea ceremony in Kyoto and a private opening of Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia, off limits to the public.
Boeing will consider other locations to assemble its new 777X after its machinists union voted down a proposed contract extension that was described as critical to basing work on the new widebody in the Puget Sound region of Washington state.
Avia Solutions Group acquired a controlling interest in the Lithuania-based helicopter maintenance organization Helisota. Until recently the group focused on the aircraft maintenance sector through the development of its FL Technics subsidiary, involved in engine repair, parts sales and the expansion of line maintenance stations.
FL Technics Jets has become the first authorized service center for Tronair’s ground support equipment in Eastern Europe, Russia and the CIS. FL Technics Jets was also appointed an official distributor of Tronair’s GSE products for the entire region. Under the new partnership, FL Technics Jets will be providing maintenance, repair and overhaul services for various lifting, air conditioning, de-icing, hydraulic power, fueling and landing gear equipment as well as other ground handling inventory.
The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive for the Embraer Phenom 300. The Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil, Brazil’s civil aviation authority, has issued an emergency AD stating cracks in the stator pressure plate of the brake assembly have been found that could lead to loss of brake parts on the runway, reduced braking capability and possible runway excursion. Corrective action requires an inspection for cracks, with repair or replacement as necessary.
SR Technics (Stand 1906) has redelivered its 100th aircraft, an Airbus A319 belonging to easyJet, from its Malta MRO facility. The aircraft departed from Malta International Airport last week for London Gatwick after undergoing an immediate layover check (heavy maintenance). SR Technics started operations in Malta in 2010, and easyJet has been the facility’s main customer, along with Finnair, Portugal’s Orbest and France’s Aigle Azur.
The FAA issued a rule on November 5 specifically aimed at improving advanced pilot training for Part 121 pilots. The regulation is a direct result of a U.S. Congressional mandate following the 2009 crash of Colgan Flight 3407 near Buffalo, N.Y., in which the pilots first stalled and then lost control of the aircraft on approach.
Both the December 2012 crash of a Dornier Do-228 on takeoff from the Nepalese capital Kathmandu and the recent crash of an Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia at Lagos in Nigeria have called attention to the need to train pilots in the importance of both attaining and maintaining V2 (takeoff safety speed) before liftoff from the runway. In both accidents, the aircraft stalled and crashed shortly after liftoff.