The FAA has issued an Airworthiness Directive (AD) for Twin Commander 690s, 690As and 690Bs requiring inspection for cracking of the outer fuselage attachments, the lower wing main spar, the vertical channels, the upper picture window channels, aft cabin pressure web, external wing to fuselage fillets and fasteners. It requires modification of the structure with reinforced parts. According to the AD, the condition, if not corrected, could result in structural failure of the airplane.
For the first time since the end of 2006, quarterly deliveries of business jets, turboprops and piston-powered aircraft all finished in the positive, according to first-quarter 2013 statistics released last month by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA).
Basic manual and cognitive flying skills decline because of a lack of practice actually flying the aircraft, according to 80 percent of 151 respondents to a European Aviation Safety Agency survey about cockpit automation. That same number also believe pilots’ feel for the airplane can deteriorate significantly when they don’t hand fly the aircraft often enough.
Leading Edge Composites of Oxford, Pa., has expanded its aircraft cabinetry capabilities, “combining the industry experience and success of our formidable composite parts production with innovative cabinet design and finishing,” according to Paul Norris, director of new product development.
Switzerland-based Solar Impulse is planning “Across America” flights this spring to showcase its sun-powered aircraft to the U.S. public and demonstrate and develop the possibilities of solar energy. Meanwhile, in Switzerland, the company is developing a second, larger aircraft that it hopes to fly around the world in 2015.
Parker Aerospace enjoys a wide reach in aviation manufacturing. It is likely that anyone who flew to Shanghai for this year’s ABACE show was on an aircraft that depends on a Parker system, whether flight controls, hydraulics, fuel, fluid conveyance, thermal management or engine components. In fact, the company is a key supplier for Comac’s ARJ21 regional jet and in-development C919 airliner.
Three regional Diamond aircraft dealers in the Eastern U.S. launched a DA 40 XLS/XLT shared-ownership program today at the Sun ’n Fun Fly-in in Lakeland, Fla. Dubbed DiamondShare, the program offsets the cost of aircraft ownership by providing two or three “members” who pay a fixed monthly fee to the aircraft owner for access to the airplane. The participating dealers are Great Lakes Diamond Aircraft Sales, Premier Aircraft Sales and Dominion Aircraft Sales.
If you’re looking for an elegantly simple personal computer-based flight simulator and you just want to practice some fun flying, Ikarus USA’s aeroflyFS might fit the bill. Released last year, aeroflyFS draws from Ikarus USA’s background in developing flight sims for radio control modelers.
Learning to fly model airplanes often involves a lot of crashing and rebuilding, but by using a flight sim like aerofly5, newbie RC pilots can avoid all the distress and damage before launching a model into the sky.
A proposed Learjet 60 airworthiness directive
Last week, the FAA issued a two-year renewal for Exemption 7897, more commonly known as “NBAA’s small aircraft exemption,” which permits NBAA members operating small aircraft “to take advantage of flexibility usually available only to operators of larger, turbine-powered airplanes,” the association said.