Briefing October 2017


New Ownership At Flight Design

Flight Design, based in Germany, has long held a top spot in deliveries of light sport airplanes in the U.S., but it has been in receivership in Germany since February 2016. The company announced in July it now has new owners, Lift Air, from Eisenach, Germany. “I am glad that we are able to maintain the know-how of one of the world’s market leaders in the light aircraft sector and to secure it with a well-funded investor,” said Knut Rebholz, insolvency administrator. The company will now be called Flight Design General Aviation GmbH. Tom Peghiny, president of Flight Design USA, told AVweb he’s “thrilled” with the news.

NTSB Completes Icon Accident Report

The May 8 crash that took the lives of two Icon employees was caused by “the pilot’s failure to maintain clearance from terrain while maneuvering at a low altitude,” the NTSB said in August in its final report on the crash. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s mistaken entry into a canyon surrounded by steep rising terrain while at a low altitude, for reasons that could not be determined. The investigators didn’t find any mechanical problem or failure with the Icon A5 light sport aircraft. Pilot Jon Karkow and passenger Cagri Sever died in the crash.

Lycoming AD Requires Engine Inspections

The FAA issued an emergency airworthiness directive in August that requires owners of some Lycoming engines that were overhauled in 2015 and 2016 to inspect and potentially replace off-spec connecting-rod small-end bushings. Lycoming estimated that at least 1300 engines are affected by the AD. The FAA estimates the cost of compliance at about $1425 per engine, if no replacements are required. If replacements are required, the cost ranges from $2170 for four-cylinder engines to $6680 for six cylinders. The inspections must be completed within 10 operating hours.

AirVenture 2017, One For The Record Books

Aided by a stretch of fine weather and a jam-packed schedule, EAA set a record this year for AirVenture attendance, at 590,000, an increase of five percent over last year. In his closing news conference, EAA Chairman Jack Pelton said, “It was an incredible week.” Parking and camping spots were filled to capacity for five days, a first for the show, Pelton said. Extra parking and camping areas were opened in the middle of the week. Hangars A, B, C, D and the Main Aircraft Display were all completely full with exhibitors. Pelton said highlights of the show that helped to boost attendance were the Apollo gathering at the Theater in the Woods, Stan Lee’s visit and the Blue Angels performance. “We’re already talking to people about the possibilities for 2018 in all areas, from aircraft anniversaries to new technology and innovations,” he said.

NTSB Investigates Air Canada Go-Around

Air Canada flight 759, an Airbus A320, was cleared to land on Runway 28R at San Francisco International Airport on July 7, but the airplane lined up on parallel taxiway C, which had four airplanes on it awaiting takeoff, the NTSB reported in an analysis released in August. The incident pilots advanced the thrust levers when the airplane was about 85 feet above the ground, the NTSB said, and the A320 descended as low as 59 feet above the ground. The NTSB is continuing its investigation, but it won’t have access to the cockpit voice recorder, which was overwritten by later flights. In post-incident interviews, both Air Canada pilots told investigators they did not recall seeing aircraft on taxiway C but something did not look right to them. The FAA says it will no longer allow visual approaches at night at SFO with an adjacent parallel runway closed.


Robert Sumwalt has been confirmed as the 14th chair of the NTSB…About 15,000 pilots now use BasicMed for medical certification, the FAA says…The Williams International FJ44-4A-QPM engine, which will power the new Pilatus PC-24 jet, is now type-certified by both the FAA and EASA…The Stratos 714 very light jet made its Oshkosh debut…Breaking news in general aviation can be found at AVweb.


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