While filming a stunt for the Asian version of the popular TV show “Top Gear” in which a Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 races a Bell AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter across a racecourse finish line, the pilot of the Cobra lost control of the aircraft and struck the ground. The pilot escaped with minor injuries but the Cobra was destroyed in the crash. The stunt was planned to duplicate one that ran on the original BBC show in 2008.
The Transportation Trades Dept. of the AFL-CIO union group says the clock is ticking toward a March 1 federal “sequestration” deadline the organization says will imperil the U.S. National Airspace System, with $483 million in cuts to the FAA’s operations budget. Sequestration will entail mandatory furloughs among agency employees, including air traffic controllers, aviation safety inspectors and systems specialists.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s inspector general will begin a congressionally mandated audit of the FAA’s air traffic management modernization effort next month. “While the FAA has committed to improve the management of NextGen and its other major modernization programs, key programs continue to experience schedule delays and cost overruns that could compromise the expected benefits from NextGen initiatives,” said DOT assistant inspector general Jeffrey Guzzetti in a February 14 letter.
The U.S. military cleared the F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (Stovl) variant of the Joint Strike Fighter to resume flight operations last week, ending a grounding of more than three weeks that was ordered after a fuel line failed in a test aircraft at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.
The Indian government has begun the process to cancel its contract with AgustaWestland (AW) for 12 AW101 VIP transport helicopters.
“LABACE 2013 will take place once again at Congonhas Airport [in São Paulo, Brazil], on the announced dates of August 14, 15 and 16,” Ricardo Nogueira, executive director of organizer ABAG, told AIN late last week, just before Carnaval began in Brazil. “Infraero, which manages the airport, gave the green light” just last Wednesday, he said. Concerns about possible contamination from fuel tanks abandoned by bankrupt airline VASP prompted extensive testing and the delay.
Bristow officials are confident an “interim way to safely fly” Eurocopter EC225s will be found late this spring or early this summer. In a recent fiscal third-quarter earnings conference call, top executives at the helicopter operator said such an interim fix could be tighter oversight of Hums parameters, thus confirming what Eurocopter’s CEO hinted late last month. A shaft redesign, if needed, would take about a year-and-a-half, Bristow officials estimate.
Edward Burns, 93, the president of Beech Aircraft from 1981 to 1982 and a 40-year employee at the company, died Friday. Burns, also the nephew of company co-founders Walter and Olive Ann Beech, was the fourth president at the Wichita-based aircraft manufacturer, succeeding Frank Hedrick. Burns retired in 1982, reportedly after clashing with executives at Raytheon, which acquired Beechcraft that year.
Aircraft detailing firm The Allen Groupe reappointed company founder David Allen as its CEO today. “He returns to this role after a brief time away to successfully address health issues,” the Orlando, Fla.-based company said. The Allen Groupe provides aircraft cleaning, luxury amenity stocking, de-icing and facilities maintenance services in the U.S. and Europe at more than 30 locations. It also provides these services for static display aircraft at business aircraft conventions and international airshows.
The boards of AMR Corporation and US Airways Group have unanimously agreed to move forward with the long-anticipated merger of their American Airlines and US Airways subsidiaries, the companies announced Thursday morning.