Home Briefing Page 11


Briefing: March 2013

Jack Pelton, former Cessna CEO and interim EAA president, now is leading a new general aviation business consortium that aims to promote and sell remanufactured aircraft. The Aviation Alliances first product is called the Excalibur, which combines the fuselage of a Cessna 421 with two Pratt & Whitney PT6A-135A turboprop engines, an all-new interior, and Garmin avionics, for about $2.5 million. Weve assembled a whos-who of aviation leaders and resources on this team to ensure…

Briefing: February 2013

Some aviation advocates who are convinced that a pilot shortage is looming, with implications for costs and safety, have asked a government agency to conduct a study to confirm their concerns. About 16 groups, including FAA, AOPA, Boeing, and regional airline operators, told the Government Accountability Office, The aviation industry is entering an era of unprecedented pilot staffing challenges as a result of a struggling economy, bankruptcies, mergers, increasing flight training costs, manufacturing declines and…

Briefing: January 2013

For the second year in a row, the National Transportation Safety Board cited general aviation safety as one of its 10 Most Wanted improvements. Too many pilots and passengers are dying due to human error and inadequate training, the NTSB said. The GA accident rate is six times higher than for Part 135 operations and the GA fatal accident rate has increased 25 percent over 10 years. The board said better training is needed for…

Briefing: December 2012

Trying to avoid bankruptcy liquidation, Hawker Beechcraft has been trying to sell itself. It thought it had a buyer in Superior Aviation Beijing Co, but talks broke down. With no other buyer, Hawker is going to tighten its belt and try to stay afloat on its own. They hope to sell off their line of jets but, again, nobodys buying and the line might just be closed. Hawker will focus its efforts on what it sees as high growth potential markets of turboprops, piston, special mission and trainer/attack aircraft while also relying on parts, maintenance, repairs and refurbs.

Briefing: November 2012

The IMC Club International has announced creation of a Special Membership Group within the IMC Club called the Inner Marker Circle. IMC Club International president Radek Wyrzykowski says he hopes the group will become an aviation safety cult. Members will be granted a special membership card and automatically enrolled into a drawing for an annual subscription to IFR Magazine, an IMC Club BrightLine Flight Bag, and a $1000 Proficiency Scholarship to be awarded annually at AirVenture Oshkosh.

Briefing: October 2012

The FAA told air traffic controllers to stop using a procedure that allows airplanes to land and take off in the opposite direction from normal, after a mix-up with three commuter jets in Washington on July 31. The FAA didnt blame the incident on the procedure, however, saying it was due to a communication lapse between Reagan Tower and Potomac Approach. Acting FAA administrator Michael Huerta emphasized that, At no time were the aircraft on a head-to-head course and the aircraft remained at different altitudes.

Briefing: September 2012

An FAA program for non-punitive reporting of safety concerns among air traffic controllers needs significant improvements before it can become effective, according to the Transportation Department Office of Inspector General (OIG). The safety reports are meant to reveal safety issues while protecting the controllers who submit them, but the OIG says reports have been accepted that address air traffic controller conduct issues, rather than performance concerns. These include controllers falling asleep, viewing videos while on…

Briefing: August 2012

Under the Unleaded Avgas Transition-Advanced Rulemaking Committee (ARC)s recommendations, it will be at least 11 years before a suitable replacement (or replacements) for 100LL is approved. Total cost could reach $73 million with $60 million having to be approved by Congress. Despite the many pitfalls outlined in the report, the authors try to strike a hopeful tone: We are in fact very encouraged that a satisfactory solution will be deployed in a timely manner and…

Briefing: October 2013

EAA hosted its annual AirVenture event at the end of July, highlighted by the first public flight of the Terrafugia Transition flying car, the first U.S. demo by Swiss Jetman Yves Rossy with his one-of-a-kind jet-powered wingsuit, and the debut of the ready-for-production HondaJet. Great weather helped draw big crowds on the grounds and in the air, adding to a sense the economic doldrums may be lifting at last. Diesels were popular, with Redbird, Glasair, and Cessna all reporting on programs. Icon announced the FAA okayed their weight exemption, clearing the way for the long-anticipated amphibian to proceed to market, and raising hopes for other LSA manufacturers seeking FAA flexibility. The air show was popular despite the lack of military displays due to the sequester, with new JumboTrons adding to audience engagement. EAA also hosted its first-ever Job Fair, drawing big crowds and an expectation of a return next year.

Briefing: September 2013

Anyone looking for a career in an airline cockpit will be affected by the FAAs new ruling on first officer requirements. The 2009 Colgan Air crash prompted Congress to demand the new rules. All first officers who fly for passenger and cargo airlines now will be required to hold an aircraft type rating, plus an ATP certificate, which requires a minimum 1,500 hours total time and a minimum age of 23, with several available exemptions. Pilots may be able to qualify for restricted privileges if they are at least 21 years old and have a military background or a bachelors degree from an aviation program. The rule also requires all ATP applicants to have logged at least 50 hours of multi-engine time and to complete a new FAA-approved training program.

Briefing: August 2013

For years, the general-aviation community has worried over how to replace 100LL. Finally, in June the FAA announced that it wants to see proposals for new fuels and will start a process to test them. The traditional leaded fuel is under attack from the Environmental Protection Agency and others worried about the toxins released into the atmosphere when it combusts. Plus, the sources for the fuel are considered uncertain, especially as the demand falls year…

Briefing: July 2013

Pilatus, the Swiss company best known for their versatile PC-12 turboprop, announced in May they are working on their first jet aircraft. The PC-24 is powered by two Williams turbine engines and will be able to use short and even unpaved runways. The cabin can be fitted with six to ten seats. A big cargo door will be standard. The company has designed its own Advanced Cockpit Environment system, which aims to reduce workloads for…