“Humans are not naturally good at monitoring highly reliable automated cockpit systems for extended periods of time,” said NTSB member Robert Sumwalt. “And what do we have in our airplanes today…highly reliable, highly automated systems.”
The NTSB has scheduled a May 13 meeting with agricultural industry leaders and federal regulators to discuss its special investigation report on the safety of agricultural aircraft operations. The Board will announce several new safety recommendations being issued to the FAA and the National Agricultural Aviation Research & Education Foundation. The meeting begins at 2 p.m. EST at NTSB headquarters inWashington, D.C.
The FAA notified the industry last month that a number of unapproved parts may have found their way into the maintenance and repair system when they were advertised on the Internet under the caption “65,000 military and commercial aircraft parts for sale.” An FAA investigation said Western Metal Products originally manufactured the parts under a licensing agreement with Boeing. The agreement between the two companies, however, ended in 2007.
Space Florida hosted a tightly controlled unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) flight demonstration on Sunday amid concern the FAA would pull the plug on the event, which served as a prelude to the Unmanned Systems 2014 conference this week in Orlando. With the exception of the media and participating UAS organizations, spectators were kept far removed from the launch area in a field at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
Statistics released this week by Airbus showed that commercial aircraft bookings for 78 airplanes in April increased its net order total for the year to 142, while Boeing’s order total for the month stood at 70, raising its 2014 net total as of May 6 to 291.
Northrop Grumman and Yamaha Motor USA have partnered to develop and market an unmanned “autonomous” rotorcraft system based on Yamaha’s RMax agricultural helicopter. The Rotary Bat (R-Bat) is targeted for search and rescue, power line inspection and forest fire observation missions.
A new European Commission regulation that takes effect on May 26 requires commercial air transport (CAT) operators from outside the European Union to obtain a single EU-wide safety authorization to fly to, from or within the EU. CAT operators comprise all non-EU airlines and charter operators, including U.S. Part 135 operations.
According to data released today by business aviation research and consulting firm WingX Advance, there were 52,931 business aviation flights in Europe in March, a 22-percent month-over-month increase and and 2.1-percent year-over-year rise. After three consecutive monthly increases, business aviation flight activity in Europe was up by 1.6 percent from the same period last year.
SriLankan Airlines appears poised to expand its reach into the neighboring Indian air transport market after becoming the 14th member of One World alliance late last month. The move is a boost to a country trying to bounce back after a 25-year civil war and also makes SriLankan the first carrier from the Indian subcontinent to gain admission into a global airline alliance—ahead of rival operators in the far larger Indian market.
First-quarter revenues at NetJets and FlightSafety International soared by 12 percent and 14 percent, respectively, according to parent company Berkshire Hathaway. Higher revenues at NetJets reflected increased sales of fractional aircraft and flight services revenues due to increased flight hours, while FlightSafety’s increase was the result of increased simulator training activity. Quarterly revenues at its services businesses, which include NetJets and FSI, increased by $284 million, to $2.4 billion, while profits climbed by $34 million, to $243 million.