Briefing: July 2019
Flightseeing Company Suspends Operations
A prominent Alaskan airline and tour company voluntarily ceased operations in late May after two fatal crashes involving its floatplanes in a week. A total of six people, most of them cruise ship passengers, died May 13 when two Taquan aircraft collided while taking the passengers on a flightseeing trip. On May 21, a pilot and passenger died when a Taquan commuter flight from Ketchikan to Metlakatla Harbor cartwheeled on landing and came to rest inverted with the cabin submerged. On May 22, the airline issued a statement saying it had stopped flying “indefinitely” and that the tragedies left the company and staff “reeling.”
Sustainable Fuels Used For EBACE Flights
A total of 23 aircraft taking part in the annual European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) show in Geneva got there using “sustainable alternative jet fuel” (SAJF) which is derived from renewable feedstocks. The industry is trying to reduce its carbon footprint by 50 percent by 2050 and using renewable energy sources is fundamental to reaching that goal. “These flights are intended to demonstrate to everyone in our industry that SAJF is, quite simply, Jet-A in every way: a drop-in fuel that has undergone exhaustive testing and meets all specifications and requirements,” said GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce.
VTOL Bizjet Proposed
A South African company is hoping to offer the best of both urban mobility and city-to-city air travel markets with a VTOL aircraft it believes will usher in “a new era of point-to-point travel.” The Pegasus borrows design features from some eVTOL designs being developed for inner city hops between rooftops in a larger airframe that uses 2300 horsepower turboshaft engines to get up and go. All those ponies will be pushed through four vertical lift fans for vertical operations and two back thrust fans that will enable it to cruise at 430 knots. Range will be determined by the type of operation. If fuel-gobbling vertical flight is used at each end of the flight, the Pegasus will be limited to 1200 NM. Using conventional runways stretches its legs to 2400 NM. Pegasus Universal Aerospace says it will need $400 million for certification and is looking for “forward-thinking investors.”
A total of 17 U.S.-based Douglas DC-3 Dakotas and other variants were expected to participate in a flight commemorating the 75th anniversary of D-Day with an historic reenactment flight. The aircraft were scheduled to leave the Imperial War Museum’s Duxford Airfield in England on June 5 and drop almost 300 parachutists using modern versions of the round canopy chutes used by the commandos, engineers and other specialists who were first on the beaches of Normandy. The goal was to use the original drop zones in Normandy but it was all weather-dependent.
Boeing Finishes MAX Software Fix
Boeing finished the software update targeting the behavior of an anti-stall system linked to two crashes of its new Boeing 737 MAX 8. The aircraft have been grounded worldwide since the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines MAX in early March. Five months earlier, a Lion Air MAX 8 crashed off the coast of Indonesia. A total of 384 people died in the crashes, which were linked to the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), which pivots the horizontal stabilizer to force the nose down when an incipient stall is detected. It’s believed the MCAS got faulty data from an angle of attack sensor and overpowered the pilots of both flights to force the aircraft into an unrecoverable dive. The fix will make the system less powerful and persistent and make it easier for pilots to override it. It will also require agreement from both AOA sensors before activating. The FAA was evaluating the new software.
The Canadian airline business was restructured after Onex bought WestJet and Air Canada bought Air Transat...Honda will increase production of HondaJet by up to 25 percent...Piston aircraft deliveries increased 25 percent to 248 in the first quarter of 2019 according to GAMA...Find breaking news in general aviation at www.avweb.com.