When you buy a seat on a commercial flight, the choice of airline can matter less than the departure and arrival times. But when you book a charter flight, picking the operator is the most important decision you can make. The wrong choice can cost you lots of time and money, or even create safety risks.
Maintained properly, upgraded to comply with changing regulations, modified with more capable avionics in the cockpit, repainted outside, refurbished inside, and sometimes even equipped with newer, more powerful, energy-efficient engines, a business aircraft can fly safely and effectively for 30 or 40 years or more.
You’ve decided to buy a jet. Maybe it was your most recent airline trip from hell that convinced you. Perhaps a growing business commitment increased the need for easy access to locations where even Emirates Airlines doesn’t go. Or maybe you just want the freedom and excitement of private flying and would like to be able to keep your golf clubs on the airplane.
Some say that once you’ve tried business or private aviation you will never want to go back to the airlines. That may well be true, but this very special mode of transportation can still seem quite a strange and confusing choice, especially in parts of the world like here in the Middle East where, until fairly recently, it has been restricted to very small groups of top VVIPs.
Bombardier CRJ CL-600-2B19, Lake Michigan, Mich., April 7, 2007–At 16,000 feet over Lake Michigan, the Mesa Airlines CRJ thrust reverser translating cowling separated from the left engine and struck the horizontal and vertical stabilizers, substantially damaging the airplane.
The summer doldrums in the pre-owned aircraft market have more often than not been followed by an upbeat seasonal period for aircraft sales, but that is not the case this year. The collective inventory continued its unabated, year-long climb, while prices have been experiencing a corresponding downward trek, accelerated by an historic unwinding of the financial markets.
The Citation S550-based Sierra Super S-II completed a 36-minute maiden flight September 26 at Sierra’s Uvalde, Texas modification center. The flight demonstrated the “dramatic” improvements of the dual fadec-controlled Williams FJ44-3A engines, the company said.
The first two prototypes of the Bell/Agusta BA609 civil tiltrotor had covered around 60 percent of the certification flight-test program in more than 350 flight hours and 225 hours of ground running by the middle of last month, in the process reaching the type’s maximum operating altitude of 25,000 feet, its certification speed of 310 ktas and G loadings of +3.1 and -1.0.
On Sunday, Diamond Aircraft flew its D-Jet for the first time with the new Williams International FJ33-5A engine (formerly designated FJ33-19), the production powerplant for the single-engine personal jet. D-Jet S/N 003–the first production-conforming copy of the airplane now that the -5A has been installed–was flown by chief test pilot Daniel Ribeiro and flight test engineer Gerard Struthers.
Despite a softening U.S. economy and soaring fuel prices, demand for business jets and turboprops is still surging, according to the first-half delivery report from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA).