General DeWitt Spain Airport (M01) in Memphis, Tenn., has been closed since May 4 by the epic flooding of the Mississippi River. Home to more than 70 aircraft (including several turboprops), the general aviation airport was under as much as 12 feet of water, according to a Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority spokesman. In 1987 the authority built a levee to protect the airport from the nearby river.
Zenith Jet created a stir in the industry last year when it debuted its first “bottom up” business aviation forecast. And it didn’t pull any punches in its second annual bizjet forecast, a detailed 40-page report released last Wednesday that predicts 11,103 business jets worth $240 billion will be delivered over the next 10 years, with a peak in 2016 and trough in 2018.
Three helicopters being used to warm crops against cold temperatures and frost overnight in Western Palm Beach County, Fla., crashed in the early morning hours of December 8 in separate accidents between 2:10 and 7:40 a.m. The accidents involved two Robinson R44s and one Bell 206L-3. Only the pilot of the 206, the most extensively damaged of the three aircraft, sustained serious injuries.
Bell 206-L4, Sabine Pass, Texas, Dec. 11, 2008–The LongRanger crashed into the Gulf of Mexico, killing the pilot and four passengers, as a result of the commercial pilot’s failure to maintain clearance from the water, according to the NTSB. A contributing factor was the Part 135 flight’s inadvertent encounter with IMC conditions.
Bell 206L-4, Sabine Pass, Texas, Dec. 11, 2008–The Rotorcraft Leasing Company LongRanger was destroyed and the commercial pilot and four passengers were killed when it crashed into the Gulf of Mexico soon after takeoff while on its way to an offshore drilling platform. The pilot had filed a flight plan for the 20-minute Part 135 flight from Sabine Pass to the platform.
Honeywell won a $49 million contract to upgrade the National Weather Service’s ground-radar, wind-profiler network that will predict severe storms earlier and provide more accurate warnings of upcoming storms. Honeywell’s work on the production phase of the next-generation NOAA wind-profiler network includes upgrading the NOAA network of wind profilers that provide upper air wind data for crucial weather forecasting tasks.