Two Bell Helicopter employees were killed Wednesday when the twin-engine rotorcraft they were test flying crashed near the company’s facility in eastern Texas. Debris from the 525 model helicopter was concentrated at the crash site in Ellis County, but pieces of the aircraft were discovered farther away, including a part of the boom found about 1,500 feet away, according to an NBC report.
Bombardier has delivered the first CS100 to launch operate Swiss in a ceremony at its Montreal manufacturing facilities.
Air Lease Corporation has placed its first Boeing 787-9 with Hainan Airlines.
The Wichita Aero Club has awarded two Edward W. Stimpson Scholarship for 2016 and, for the second year in a row, has increased the amount of the award, this time to $5,000 each.
“We are very pleased to announce that Zavier Luciano, an Aviation Maintenance Technology student at Wichita Area Technical College and Talon Michelle Wanless, an electrical engineering student at Wichita State University have been chosen to receive scholarships from the Wichita Aero Club this year,” said John O’Leary, Vice President of Airbus Americas Engineering and Chairman of the WAC Education Committee. “Zavier and Talon were selected from among 10 applicants who qualified for consideration for the Aero Club’s Edward W. Stimpson scholarship. No applicants met the qualifications for the H. Dean Humphrey Scholarship this year, so the committee chose to award two Stimpson scholarships.”
“Both Wichita Aero Club Scholarships are designed to encourage and support students who have already demonstrated success in a major course of study at a post high institution and have established a clear aviation-related career path. That means the applicants must be able to provide transcripts with at least 50% of the required course work towards their degree or certificate completed and satisfy the industry career intentions, as well,” O’Leary continued. “While these requirements are admittedly somewhat rigorous, they have allowed us to provide financial encouragement to several students who are carrying on Kansas’s aerospace tradition.
“And, the differences in the specific focus of each scholarship — the reasons that make them unique — are also the reasons the Committee decided to award two Stimpson scholarships this year. We obviously had a number of candidates who met the guidelines for the Stimpson award, which targets students pursuing engineering, flying, service or maintenance and technical careers but that wasn’t the case with the Humphrey scholarship, which is aimed at public relations, marketing, communications and human resources or similar administrative areas. It didn’t generate any which met the required prerequisites and disciplines. We expect more applicants for the Humphrey as students become more familiar with its requirements. In the meantime, we congratulate this year’s recipients,” O’Leary added.
Luciano enrolled in the Airframe and Powerplant program at Wichita Area Technical College in February of 2016. He has spent much of the past decade as a mechanic at Spirit AeroSystems, Boeing, BE Aerospace, Cessna and United Technologies working on interiors, electrical and structural components. A graduate of Maize High School, he is pursuing an Associate degree in Aviation Maintenance and an Airframe & Powerplant license. He is a sport pilot and hopes to continue flight training and obtain his private pilot’s license, as well.
Wanless is pursuing her goal of being a third generation aviation professional. Currently a junior electrical engineering major at Wichita State University, she is also serving as an Avionics and Electrical intern at Textron Aviation and following in the footsteps of both her father and grandfather. A graduate of Wichita Northwest High School, she participated in both the BEETS (Bridge for Engineering and Engineering Technology and BEST Robotics programs and was a member of the National Honors Society while in High School and earned the distinction of being a Presidential Scholar at Wichita State in 2014, as well.
Non-commercial operators of more than 6,000 business jets and turboprop twins based in Europe soon will be affected by EASA’s new Part-NCC (non-commercial complex) rules that require higher safety standards, attendees were told at a conference run by Aeropodium late last week at London Heathrow Airport. Beginning August 26, these operators will have to comply with a similar safety framework to that for commercial air operating certificate holders, but on the basis of a “declaration” by an “accountable manager” that they are compliant. The move will affect business aircraft registered in an EASA state or those registered in a non-EASA state by an operator that is established or resides in an EASA state.
Preparation for Part-NCC will include having a safety management system (SMS) in place, as well as compliance monitoring, an operations manual, minimum equipment list, record-keeping and various training requirements. Performance and operating limitations and equipment all have to be covered in detail for all aircraft. It all comes under the provisions of EU Regulation 965/2012, but although it concerns EASA, it is the national authorities that will administer Part-NCC.
Joel Henks of AeroEx, who chaired the conference, warned, “After [the deadline] you must comply or be grounded.” The rules will affect operators in all 28 EU member states and the four European Free Trade Association states (Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein). But it will also affect “third country” operators from the rest of the world that fly their aircraft to destinations in Europe. “This affects those of you who have aircraft registered in so-called third countries,” said Henks.
The definition of “complex motor-powered aircraft” is an mtow greater than 5,700 kg (12,566 pounds), more than 19 seats or a certified minimum crew of at least two, as well as any aircraft equipped with one or more turbojet engines or two or more turboprop engines. Thus it is wide-ranging and is expected to catch many small operators, said Philippe Renz, a lawyer with Renz & Partners.
Given the broad definition of complex aircraft, Part-NCC could cover “an aero club, a state authority, private owner, a registered owner or a special purpose company,” said Renz. He noted that the risks are huge given the potential aftermath of any accident, “so the question of who should sign the declaration and admit to being in control is difficult.”
Renz pointed to another gray area, where the operator has its “principal place of business.” He said, “This raises lots of complex questions. For example, is it possible to delegate operational control to an organization in Dubai, Russia or Isle of Man?”
Aeropodium is holding another seminar focusing only on this issue on March 14 in London. This will be of interest in particular to operators with “aircraft registered in third countries and used ‘into, within and out of the community by an operator established or residing in the community,’” said Renz. This will be covered by Part-TCO (third-country operators), he said, admitting that “the EU wants to impose its system on third-country aircraft.”
Simon Williams, director of Civil Aviation of the Isle of Man, expressed concerns about duplication of oversight. “It looks like there is an additional inspection that the state of the operator has to do. EASA has perhaps trespassed on ICAO here, saying the state of operator [the relevant competent authority] has to approve something we do anyway. There is potential for a conflict of oversight through duplication, so it’s going to quite challenging come August 26.”
Hamburg, Germany-based WingX Advance managing director Richard Koe said that the number of aircraft that appeared to be with operators that had their principal place of business in an EASA state numbered around 2,428 jets, of the 21,450 business aircraft worldwide. Of those, around 495 were with non-commercial operators, which he called “the candidate fleet.” There are 1,200 aircraft with N-registrations that are active in the EU, according to his review of various registers. The U.S. and Isle of Man together (N and M registers) account for 12 percent of aircraft.
Also counting turboprops twins, WingX’s records indicate that there are 6,131 aircraft that will be affected by Part-NCC. Koe noted that 75 percent of aircraft in Europe “belong to single-tail operators,” and many of these will fall into the NCC bracket, suggesting that there is a business opportunity here for service providers.
February 1, 2016, 10:48 AM
The diplomatic breakthrough between the West and Iran has resulted in nearly immediate windfalls for Airbus and Franco-Italian turboprop maker ATR, the beneficiary of a new firm order announced Monday from Iran Air covering 20 ATR 72-600s. The €1 billion deal, which includes options on another 20 of the turboprops, followed talks in Rome and Paris during the official visit to Europe of Iranian president Hassan Rohani. The Iranian contingent sealed a deal covering 118 Airbus widebodies while meeting with French President François Hollande at the Élysée Palace in Paris last Thursday.
Iran Air’s contract with Airbus includes orders for 21 airplanes from the current A320 family, 24 A320neo-family airplanes, 27 of the current A330 family, 18 A330-900s, 16 A350-1000s and 12 A380s. The deal for the A380s comes as a particularly welcome boost for Airbus, which has struggled to sell the superjumbo in recent years.
Following Monday’s announcement, ATR praised the Italian and French states for their role in the deal through the participation of their export credit agencies, respectively, Sace and Coface. The contract marks the long-awaited arrival of modern ATRs in Iran, where the first generation of the turboprops have operated since 1992.
The agreements took place as part of the implementation of the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action) on January 16. Under that deal, Iran has agreed to significantly curb its nuclear ambitions and allow the International Atomic Energy Agency regular access to its facilities for inspection.
Economic sanctions imposed on Iran by the West for many years have hindered the development of its air transport industry, leaving the likes of Iran Air with decrepit fleets of maintenance-intensive aircraft, many acquired before the 1979 Islamic Revolution. A lack of availability of spare parts kept many airplanes grounded or flying in questionable condition, making Iran’s airlines some of the world’s most accident-prone.
February 1, 2016, 11:11 AM
A witness reported that the pilot made a radio transmission announcing his intention to perform a rolling maneuver in the RANS S10.
He and another witness stated that they then saw the airplane roll through an inverted position and then transition into a steep, high-speed dive.
The left wing separated from the fuselage and the airplane continued in a near-vertical descent until hitting the ground near the airport in Shepherd, Texas.
Post-accident examination revealed that the left front wing spar had fractured near the left wing root due to overload.
No records were found indicating that the non-certificated pilot had received dual flight instruction for aerobatics, and the pilot’s friend reported that he did not think that the pilot had ever received any aerobatic flight training.
A review of the pilot’s journal revealed that he had recently attempted solo aerobatics in the RANS S10, which resulted in high-speed spiral dives at airspeeds higher than the never exceed speed for the airplane. The pilot likely attempted an aerobatic maneuver that exceeded the airplane’s design limitations, which resulted in the subsequent in-flight breakup of the airplane.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as the pilot’s improper decision to attempt aerobatic maneuvers that exceeded the airplane’s design limitations, which resulted in the subsequent in-flight breakup of the airplane. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s lack of aerobatic flight instruction.
NTSB Identification: CEN14FA140
This February 2014 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.
While taking off from Runway 32 at the airport in Fredericksburg, Texas, the Cessna 185 encountered a crosswind. As soon as the tailwheel came off the runway, the plane veered to the left.
The pilot attempted to correct with the application of right rudder and brake, however the plane continued off the runway. The right wing dragged on the ground and the right main landing gear separated, resulting in substantial damage.
Wind at the time of the accident was recorded as 240° at 10 knots, gusting to 14 knots.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as the pilot not maintaining directional control of the airplane during the takeoff with a gusting crosswind.
NTSB Identification: CEN14CA177
This February 2014 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.
While flying from Chicago to Bismarck, North Dakota on New Year’s Day, my co-pilot and I were monitoring 121.5 when someone asked if anybody had any New Year’s resolutions. … Without skipping a beat, my co-pilot keyed the mic and responded: “Yeah, NOT talking on Guard!” … To which someone else responded: “Yeah, me too.” — Jim Burns
A Delta Airlines flight from LAX to MSP last week diverted to Salt Lake City after what is reported to have been a fist fight–involving at least two flight attendants. The Aviation Herald is reporting the captain of Flight 2598 headed the Boeing 757 for Salt Lake Jan. 22 after two flight attendants were in a dispute that got physical.
Avfuel’s AVTRIP Scholarship recipient from 2013, Kelly Hicks, is soaring to new heights after completing training to obtain her multi-engine rating.
“It’s been the best experience,” said Hicks. “Receiving my multi-engine rating means I’ve accomplished my dream— I can now fly the King Air, my favorite aircraft since childhood. This just solidifies that I have achieved my goals.”
Kelly Hicks with her beloved King Air.
With her qualifications, Hicks serves as a contract pilot for an oil field company, flying its King Air and TBM aircraft. Wearing many hats, she switches between her flight attendant and pilot roles, making each day unique.
Though it wasn’t an easy journey, Hicks said she kept her nose in her books and obtained multiple ratings over the past three years.
The process started by obtaining her private pilot license in 2014 in her hometown of Stephenville, Texas. From there, she used the AVTRIP Scholarship toward her instrument rating in the spring of 2015 through American Flyers in Addison, Texas, where she also obtained her commercial rating in the summer of 2015.
“Though everyone said the commercial rating would be the easiest part, I actually found it the most challenging,” said Hicks. “Practicing chandelles and lazy eights in the midst of a hot July in Texas makes for an uncomfortably bumpy experience, but I wouldn’t have traded it for the world!”
Kelly with her uncle’s J3 Cub.
Following her commercial training, in the fall of 2015 Hicks received a tailwheel endorsement flying her uncle’s J3 Cub, as well as her multi-engine rating from Tom Brady at Traverse Air in Traverse City, Michigan, allowing her to finally fly her beloved King Air.
“The AVTRIP Scholarship from Avfuel really did help me achieve my goals by helping finance my instrument rating,” said Hicks.
Hicks is now looking forward to her next adventure. One of the companies for which she serves as a flight attendant has approached her about becoming its first officer in a Beechjet once she obtains enough flying hours.
“They’re dangling a carrot in front of me,” said Hicks. “I’m excited for what’s to come and enjoying living my dream.”
The first Boeing 737 Max 8 flight-test airplane took to the air for the first time Friday, taking off at 9:47 a.m. local time from rainy Renton Municipal Airport and landing at Seattle’s Boeing Field some two and half hours later. The event marked the start of a four-airplane, nine-month flight test campaign expected to culminate in FAA certification and delivery to launch customer Southwest Airlines in the third quarter of 2017.
Powered by a pair of CFM Leap-1B turbofans, the 737 Max took off on a northward track, circled and headed west-northwest over Puget Sound and Olympic National Park until it turned east toward Port Angeles and the Straight of Juan de Fuca. At the time cruising at 14,800 feet, it turned south-southwest after flying to the east of Port Angeles and crossed its original northwesterly path until it reached the southern end of the Olympic Peninsula. From there it turned around and flew north-northeast toward Canada before flying a pair of oval patterns west of Puget Sound, heading back toward the northernmost reaches of Washington state, turning east and then south, taking it past Boeing’s Everett widebody plant and into the Seattle area for landing at Boeing Field. The airplane reached a top speed of 250 knots and an altitude of 20,000 feet.
“In places it was a little tough up there,” said 737 chief test pilot Ed Wilson. “The weather wasn’t real kind to us over eastern Washington but it was great over in the west, so we stayed over there on the west side and got everything we needed to get done today.”
Featuring newly designed engines, major avionics upgrades and several aerodynamic changes including the addition of a pair of “split scimitar” winglets expected to deliver up to a 1.8-percent fuel efficiency improvement over the current “in line” design, the 737 Max promises to burn on average 14 percent less fuel than the 737-800NG consumes.
Having now collected orders for more than 3,000 Max jets, Boeing will build the first airplanes exclusively on a new production line in its Renton, Washington factory. The new line will allow the team to isolate assembly of the first 737 Max from the rest of production to help it learn and perfect the new build process while the Renton factory continues to turn out airplanes at rate of 42 a month. Once mechanics validate the production process, the company will extend Max production to the other two final assembly lines in Renton.
Since last year Boeing has restructured the factory floor in Renton yet again and installed the wing-to-body join tool that the two current production lines use, ensuring its production readiness by the time the company loads the Max. Meanwhile, the company has consolidated fuselage systems installation from two parts, each serving one assembly line, into a single new three-level, moving design tool, allowing the company to more efficiently use the available space in Renton.
January 29, 2016, 4:20 PM
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