Briefing: July 2021



Breeze Airways got its operating certificate from the Department of Transportation but its staffing model and pay scales prompted controversy before the first revenue flight. The airline, founded by David Neeleman, who also started JetBlue and WestJet, among others, prompted criticism when it announced it will hire flight attendants exclusively from students at a Utah university who will get their education, housing, and $1200 a month for providing “Seriously Nice” service to passengers. It’s also paying pilots less than industry norms. Breeze is using Embraer E195s to start service but will start receiving Airbus A220s in October.


A Massachusetts state senator has prompted debate over private aircraft paying what amounts to an environmental tax through landing fees. Adrian Cyr, who represents Cape Cod, which gets more than average private-aircraft traffic in the summer, proposed a bill, An Act to Mitigate the Climate Impact of Private and Corporate Air Travel, that would assess a $1000 landing fee on every landing in the state by aircraft other than airliners and public-service aircraft. There was immediate backlash from aviation groups and Cyr said he’d exempt light aircraft but wouldn’t abandon the idea entirely. He said his intent was to make corporate and private jet owners pay for the environmental impact of their flights. “We’re really looking at out-of-state-owned private jets and other private aircrafts, particularly large jets owned by a corporation or owned by a company,” said Cyr.


The FAA wants to include Cessna Cardinals in an airworthiness directive that previously covered 210 models. The AD would require eddy current and visual inspections of the carry-through spar. A spar on a heavily modified and high time 210 failed in Australia causing a fatal crash and corrosion has since been found on other aircraft. Compliance will cost at least $1800 per airplane plus any repair costs. It would capture 3421 aircraft on the U.S. registry. Models covered are 210N, 210R, P210N, P210R, T210N, T210R, 177, 177A, 177B, 177RG, and F177RG.


Both the U.S. and Canadian Air Forces are scrambling to fill pilot shortages and are trying to keep them from growing. The USAF is down about 1500 pilots and the Royal Canadian Air Force is short a roughly proportional 130. Both have implemented retention schemes and are trying to lure experienced pilots back. Canada is considering poaching from other air forces through an immigration program. Meanwhile, a couple of active-duty USAF officers said the organization should simply outsource recruitment to professionals because it’s failing so badly. “The Air Force has erred in positioning itself opposite the improving economy, airline hiring, and the pandemic’s end,” said Brian Kruchkow and Tobias Switzer (ranks unknown.) “When Air Force pilots start heading for the exits again soon, the Department of Defense will have problems meeting its commitments.”


ForeFlight keeps adding new information displays and version 13.3 is described as “one of our biggest in years,” with a laundry list of enhancements. Dynamic Winds and Temperatures displays wind forecasts at multiple altitudes and times from all around the world. Color-coded heat maps represent primary forecast values at the selected altitudes and times. Overlaid particle animations show wind direction and speed to more easily interpret large-scale weather patterns. Sliders provide conditions and forecasts for different altitudes and times. The company issued a serious of instructional videos to help subscribers navigate the changes.


Dick Rutan to get the Howard Hughes Memorial Award … Aviation groups are seeking clarification on flight training rules for vintage aircraft … The International Civil Aviation Organization is leading an effort to clean up the NOTAM system worldwide … Dassault unveiled its Falcon 10X business jet … See for breaking news in general aviation.


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