Less than two months after two possible weather-related fatal crashes of EMS helicopters in Illinois and Iowa, the FAA has issued a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin covering recommendations for rotorcraft flying into snowy or icy conditions. The SAIB describes procedures to reduce the probability of an uncommanded in-flight engine shutdown due to snow and/or ice ingestion and reminds operators that most helicopters are neither equipped nor approved for flight into icing conditions.
Bombardier Aerospace received full certification for its Global 6000 today from the Agencia Nacional de Aviacao Civil in Brazil. The Global 6000 is an updated version of the Global Express XRS that includes Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics and an enhanced-vision system. With this approval, Bombardier’s full line of Learjet, Challenger and Global jets now has Brazilian certification.
The UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch has begun its work to discover the causes of an accident in which an AgustaWestland AW109 Power helicopter crashed in central London on January 16, killing its pilot and the driver of a car. But British Prime Minister David Cameron has already ordered a wider review of the regulation of helicopter flights over the UK capital in the wake of the incident, in which the aircraft crashed just before 8 a.m.
The number of aviation accidents in Brazil in 2012 rose by 5.6 percent to 168 from the previous year’s 159, as reported by the country’s Center for Investigation and Prevention of Aeronautical Accidents (Cenipa). Last year’s figures–designated as preliminary at this point by the agency–represent the highest accident totals since record keeping began in 2000.
Total accident numbers have been rising over the past decade. In 2002, for example, there were 61 accidents.
In a report released Thursday, the NTSB reported that no lives were lost in U.S. airline accidents in 2011. The total number of deaths in aviation did rise, however, with most of those occurring in general aviation, where the number grew to 491 in 2011 from 476 the year before.
Airbus has raised its sales target for 2013 to 700 airliners after surpassing its target of 650 for last year with gross orders for 914 airplanes and a net order count of 833 after cancellations. But the European airframer has acknowledged that it is especially eager to get sales of its A380 widebody back on track after logging orders for only nine of the superjumbos in 2012.
A new Reason Foundation study argues that U.S. passenger airports could support themselves and fund capacity improvements with user fees and long-term financing, eliminating the need for government grants from the Airport Improvement Program (AIP). The study by the libertarian research organization also proposes spinning off the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization (ATO) into a separate federal entity that charges users for ATC services.
General Dynamics and Italy’s Alenia Aermacchi signed a letter of intent to jointly offer a pilot training system built around Alenia Aermacchi’s M-346 advanced jet trainer for the U.S. Air Force’s T-X jet trainer replacement program. The partnership is the second industrial team to announce its pursuit of the T-X program after the team of BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman, which is offering the Hawk AJT (advanced jet trainer).
The U.S. Army selected five companies to compete for future small unmanned aircraft systems (SUAS) requirements under an indefinite-quantity, indefinite-delivery (IDIQ) contract valued at up to $248 million. Contracts were awarded to AeroVironment of Monrovia, Calif.; Elbit Systems of America in Fort Worth; Lockheed Martin in Owego, N.Y., and two small Gainesville, Fla., companies–Altavian and Innovative Automation Technologies.
Boeing didn’t get much of a chance to savor its near-record year-end sales figures and 2012 rate-increase successes.