Category Archives: News

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L3 Commercial Aviation Announces Massive Piper Order


Worldwide training operation signs order for up to 240 airplanes.

Piper aircraft is having a terrific week at Sun ‘n Fun in Lakeland, Florida. After yesterday’s announcement about the development of a pair of two-seat trainers, the Piper Pilot 100 and 100i, the company also won a huge order from L3 Commercial Aviation – a flight training operation with facilities around the world. The school announced it is purchasing as many as 240 new airplanes from the Vero Beach, Florida-based company.

A hard commitment has been made for 26 airplanes to be delivered this year. They comprise 19 Piper Archers and seven twin-engine Seminoles. The airplanes will be spread between the company’s training facilities in Florida, the United Kingdom, and the recently added facility in Ponte de Sor, Portugal. The company also runs a flight training facility in New Zealand.

“This significant investment in expanding and modernizing our fleet with these brand-new aircraft will help us in our aspiration to provide the highest-quality training while meeting the increasing international demand for new pilots from our airline customers,” said Geoff van Klaveren, vice president of Airline Academy, a subsidiary of L3 Commercial Aviation.

Source: Flying

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Piaggio Aerospace Aims To Find Buyer by April 2020


Troubled Italian aircraft manufacturer Piaggio Aerospace is trying to chalk up orders for its P.180 Avanti Evo turboprop twin while it simultaneously searches for potential buyers of the entire company by April 2020. Piaggio went into insolvency after its UAE-based owner Mubadala cancelled its order for the P.1HH Hammerhead, an unmanned maritime patrol version of the Avanti. The Italian government appointed lawyer Vincenzo Nicastro on December 3 as an “extraordinary receiver” to temporarily manage Piaggio.

Nicastro told AIN this week at the LIMA airshow in Malaysia that the Italian government has pledged €250 million to complete the final stage of the P.1HH program, of which €180 million is for the procurement of eight Hammerheads and four ground stations. It has also informally agreed to promote the sales of the aircraft to Italian government agencies such as the Italian Air Force, coast guard, and police. There are some 37 government-owned Avantis, some of which need replacement.

On Tuesday, Piaggio also secured a €45 million maintenance contract to service Italian air force’s National Acrobatic Air Patrol Team “Frecce Tricolori” Aermacchi MB.339 for 12 months, as well as P.180 logistics support for the state police (three-year contract), Italian Army (12-month agreement), and national coast guard (two-year contract).

“We want everyone to know that we are still in operation,” he said. “And we want to present the new Piaggio to the world.”

Next month, the company is aiming to receive non-binding letters of intent from potential buyers to get a better sense of market interest. By June, Piaggio will present a proposal and officially invite the market to buy the company. Nicastro said it hopes to complete the process, including approval by the government, by next April.

“We are confident that that will happen,” he added. “Potential buyers could include companies with aeronautical background or equity funds.”

Piaggio plans to participate at EBACE, Paris Airshow, MAKS (Moscow), and NBAA BACE to further promote the aircraft to potential buyers.

Source: AIN

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Update: AirAsia informed the Stock Exchange of Thailand on March 6 that it has withdrawn its offer to purchase Nok Air shares.

BANGKOK — A trade official warned Thursday that aviation giant AirAsia’s proposed acquisition of rival Nok Air may violate antitrust laws.

Though both firms have yet to confirm the deal, Trade Competition Commissioner Santichai Saratawanpad said any merger would require the permission of his office first. An unauthorized merger could be considered a monopoly and subjected to an initial fine of 200,000 baht plus additional fines of 10,000 baht per day, he said.

“The Trade Competition Commission has instructed its agency office to monitor the business merger of these two airlines closely,” Santichai said in a statement. “If we detect any violation of trade competition, we will punish them strictly and immediately in accordance with the laws.”

Santichai said AirAsia’s potential buyout of Nok falls under antitrust regulations because it involves a company with revenues of over 1 billion baht. Monopolies are illegal in Thailand under a 20-year-old law, but not one case has ever been successfully blocked.

In recent days the trade floor at Stock Exchange of Thailand has been awash with speculation about AirAsia’s plans to buy a majority stake in Nok from the Jurangkool family. Nok shares have increased in value by 42 percent since word of the takeover came out last week, up from 2.28 baht to 3.24 baht per share on the Thai exchange.

The Jurangkools own 53 percent of the airline’s shares, while national carrier Thai Airways is its second largest investor with a roughly 16 percent stake.

Operating out of Don Mueang Airport, low-cost carrier Nok Air has reported financial losses for the past several years as it has been beset by chronic delays and pilot strikes. The company released a statement earlier this week denying a takeover was imminent.

“The company would like to clarify that the company has not received any information about the aforementioned investment as reported in the news,” the airline said Monday.

But a statement from Asia Aviation, the owner of AirAsia, confirms it has put an offer on the table.

“The company is deliberating on the viability of the aforementioned investment, but no written agreement has been made, and there has been no action binding the company into buying or selling shares of Nok Air,” the Asia Aviation statement said.

Nok Air reported a loss of 970 million baht in 2018. Asia Aviation said it had net profits of 340 million baht in that year.


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Signature Flight Support and Citation Jet Pilots Ink Flight Support Agreement


CJP members will benefit from reduced fuel prices and fees at all Signature locations in North America.

Signature Flight Support has signed a flight support and fueling agreement with the Citation Jet Pilots Association (CJP) that cover 1,000 members operating more than 600 Citation jets.

The agreement calls for custom fuel pricing for CJP member aircraft at Signature’s 140 FBOs in North America. Pilots will also be automatically enrolled in the Signature TailWins rewards program, allowing them to earn points on fuel purchases and redeem them for cash or gift cards. As part of the agreement, CJP members who enroll in the TailWins program will earn five times the points on all fuel purchases in the Signature North America network for one month and are eligible for future promotions, Signature said.

“We could not be more excited to partner with CJP and welcome its 1,000-plus members to the Signature network,” said Shawn Hall, chief commercial officer for Signature Flight Support. “This agreement represents a great option for aircraft owner/operators to benefit from the Signature network and to experience our differentiated service offerings. Signature will continue to offer similar programs to industry partners as we extend our brand offerings to the business and general aviation industry.”

CJP members aren’t required to visit a Signature FBO if there is one at the airport, but the price breaks will make it worth it for them, the association said.

”CJP is committed to bringing additional value to CJP members through operational discounts,” said CJP CEO Andrew Broom. “This agreement with Signature Flight Support allows our members to enjoy reduced fuel and fee costs at Signature’s facilities. We look forward to expanding our member benefits with the addition of the stellar team at Signature and a vast network of FBOs throughout the U.S.”

Source: Flying

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Countries Ban Boeing 737 Max 8 from their Airspace after Ethiopian Airlines Crash


Dozens of airlines have voluntarily grounded the jetliner as investigators scramble to determine the cause of the second deadly crash of the type in less than five months.

More than two dozen airlines around the world have grounded their fleets of Boeing 737 Max 8 jetliners after the second deadly crash of the type in less than five months. A number of countries have also banned the airplane from operating in their airspace as crash investigators work to determine what may have caused the nearly brand new Ethiopian Airlines jet to crash minutes after takeoff from Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa Airport on Sunday, killing all 157 people on board.

It was an eerie repeat of a similar crash involving a brand new Lion Air 737 Max 8 in Indonesia on October 29, which claimed the lives of 189 passengers and crew. So far there is no indication that the causes of the crashes are related, but the circumstances are similar enough that many of the jetliners are being grounded even as Boeing stands behind the model.

The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority was the latest to ban the jetliner from operating in or over its airspace “as a precautionary measure.” The move follows bans in the past two days of the 737 Max 8 by China, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Oman as 25 airlines have also opted to voluntarily ground the airplanes. U.S. airlines that operate the 737 Max 8, including American and Southwest Airlines, say they will continue to operate the model as they monitor developments.

A focus of investigators in the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 will almost certainly include the 737 Max 8’s maneuvering characteristics augmentation system (MCAS), an anti-stall protection technology that reportedly issued faulty angle-of-attack readings in the October crash of Lion Air Flight 610. Boeing yesterday announced that it has been working on a flight control software upgrade for the system, partly in response to the Lion Air crash, that includes updates to the MCAS flight control law, pilot displays, operation manuals and crew training. The upgrade is expected to be deployed in the next few weeks and likely will be the subject of an FAA airworthiness directive. For now, the FAA says it lacks sufficient evidence to ground the 737 8 Max.

In the Lion Air crash, the crew experienced an unexpected nose pitch down shortly after takeoff as the aircraft was passing through 5,000 feet. MCAS and angle of attack error messages were discovered by investigators, prompting the FAA in November to issue an emergency airworthiness directive for the 737 Max 8 noting “erroneously high single angle of attack (AOA) sensor input could result in repeated nose-down trim commands of the horizontal stabilizer, which could be from the MCAS.” The remedy for the problem requires the crew to disable the MCAS and apply appropriate pitch trim inputs.

The flight data recorders from the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 have been recovered, but investigators have yet to review the information they contain. What is known about the crash is that the pilots of the jetliner reported difficulties and asked to return to Addis Ababa minutes after takeoff. Radar data shows an unstable flight path as the jetliner appears to have had difficulty climbing shortly after takeoff. The data shows its vertical speed fluctuating from a shallow climb to a sharper climb and then to a dive followed by a sharp climb before the airplane apparently went out of control and crashed.

Another focus of the inquiry into the crash will focus on the pilots’ qualifications and training, as well as maintenance practices at the airline. The investigation is being led by Ethiopian authorities in coordination with teams of experts from Boeing and the NTSB, which have arrived on scene in Ethiopia.

Source: Flying 

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Goodyear Unveils Concept for a Tire that Doubles as a Propeller


Tilting tire is designed for flying cars of the perhaps not-so-distant future.

A tire that can morph into an aircraft propeller? Goodyear thinks it’s the perfect solution for autonomous flying cars of the future that would ride on the thin, airless tires, which could then pivot like a tiltrotor to provide propulsion as the wheel’s spokes double as fan blades.

The Goodyear Aero concept introduced this week at the Geneva Auto Show would use frictionless magnetic propulsion to function both as a tire for driving on the road and a “propeller” for flying through the sky. Promotional videos on YouTube show the tires tilting upward as a vehicle rises from the surface of a roadway.

“This unique airless tire uses a non-pneumatic structure that is flexible enough to dampen shocks when driving on the road and strong enough to rotate at the high speeds necessary for the rotors to create vertical lift,” the company said in a news release.

Goodyear says the design would include fiber-optic sensors to monitor road conditions, tire wear and structural integrity along with an embedded A.I. processor that would analyze vehicle data to allow for adaptions to flying or driving modes and identify and resolve potential tire-related issues.

The potentially deflating news for technophiles eagerly dreaming of a future in which flying cars become the preferred mode of urban transportation is that Goodyear admits the idea is purely conceptual and is intended merely to jumpstart a debate on the future of tire and transport technologies.

Source: Flying

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IATA Releases 2018 Airline Safety Performance


U.S. operations safer than some other regions of the world.

Each year the safety data for airline travel aboard commercial aircraft weighing more than 12,500 pounds just keeps getting better in the United States according to the International Air Transport Association. There hasn’t been a major U.S. airline accident in years. Worth noting is that last weekend’s AtlasAir Boeing 767 crash near Houston that claimed the lives of the three crewmembers aboard would not be counted in these IATA statistics because Atlas does not carry passengers.

IATA said, “Last year some 4.3 billion passengers flew safely on 46.1 million flights,” according to Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO. Safety organizations like to express operations using rates, making 2018’s 1.35 per one million flights. For the rest of us, that translates into the equivalent of one accident every 740,000 flights. This was an improvement over the average accident rate of 1.79 for the previous 5-year period (2013-2017). But since it was a decline compared to 2017’s record number of 1.11. de Juniac admitted, “2018 was not the extraordinary year that 2017 was.” Data showed an increase in total air carrier accidents to 11 from just one in 2017. Fatalities last year also climbed significantly to 523.

Because IATA is an international organization, passengers can learn quite a bit from paying close attention to the specifics and the data collection labels of these safety numbers. For a third consecutive year, airlines in Sub-Saharan Africa experienced zero jet hull losses and zero fatalities in jet operations. The accident rate there was 2.71, a significant improvement over the rate of 6.80 for the previous five years. Africa was the only region to see a decline in the all-accident rate compared to 2017. However, neither of the two fatal turboprop accidents there involved a scheduled passenger flight.

The world turboprop hull loss rate was 0.60 per million flights, an improvement over 1.23 in 2017 and also over the 5-year rate (2013-2017) of 1.83. All regions except for Middle East-North Africa saw their turboprop safety performance improve in 2018 when compared to their respective 5-year rates. Accidents involving turboprop aircraft represented 24 percent of all accidents in 2018 and 45 percent of fatal accidents.

Part of IATA’s mandate is the search for additional risks in commercial aviation with one well-known hazard being inflight turbulence. In response, IATA has launched Turbulence Aware, a global platform for sharing automated turbulence reports in real time. Operational trials with a number of airlines are being conducted this year, with a full launch planned for 2020.

IATA’s de Juniac said, “Flying is safe, and the data tell us that it is getting safer. For example, if safety in 2018 had remained at the same level as 2013, there would have been 109 accidents instead of 62; and there would have been 18 fatal accidents, instead of the 11 that actually occurred.”

Source: Flying

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Jet Aviation acquires full ownership of San Juan FBO


Jet Aviation has acquired full ownership of the San Juan FBO at Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport in Puerto Rico, a provider of premium business aviation services at one of the most convenient U.S. points of entry for international flights.

Jet Aviation has been operating the San Juan FBO under a management agreement with the previous owner, Pazos, since March 2017, when the FBO was rebranded as Jet Aviation.

“Bringing the San Juan FBO completely under Jet Aviation management reinforces our commitment to our customers, our employees and the region,” said David Paddock, senior vice president and general manager, Jet Aviation Regional Operations USA. “Our goal is to deliver business aviation services as close to demand as possible, while ensuring consistency across our growing global network. Jet Aviation operates 10 FBOs in the U.S. and Caribbean. San Juan is a

performing FBO with excellent long-term growth prospects and we are delighted to fully bring it into our fold.”

Paddock said a new, larger hangar will open in the first quarter of 2019 to replace the one destroyed by the Hurricane Maria in 2017. The hangar – 20,000 square feet of hangar space and 2,500 square feet of office space – will offer customers parking facilities, refueling, third-party aircraft maintenance, meeting space, an executive passenger lounge, flight-planning workstations, and a pilots’ suite. The San Juan FBO also includes a full-service, onsite U. S. Customs and Border Protection terminal to facilitate convenient customs, immigration and agriculture processing of international flights.

Hector Vasquez will continue in his role as FBO director and serve as general manager at San Juan. He has worked in FBO services for 34 years and was at Jet Aviation Teterboro for 26 years before moving to San Juan in 2018.

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Delta Adds Flight to Continue GTR Growth


Delta Air Lines announced Sthe addition of a fourth round-trip flight between Atlanta and the Golden Triangle Regional Airport in Mississippi starting in June.

Delta Air Lines announced Sthe addition of a fourth round-trip flight between Atlanta and the Golden Triangle Regional Airport (GTR) in Mississippi starting in June.

The airport recently announced a record number of passengers in 2018. GTR Airport Executive Director Mike Hainsey explained that the additional flight with Delta Air Lines is part of a long-term plan for growth to meet the community’s needs.

“We appreciate the efforts by Delta to help our growth and support the people in the Golden Triangle,” Hainsey said.  “As the industry continues to grow and bring people to our area, we will strive to provide them the service they deserve.”

The additional flight will be in the early afternoon, giving GTR passengers choices for their travel throughout the day.  Airline consultant Mike Boyd of Boyd Group International commented on the new service.

“The opportunities at GTR are unlimited,” said Boyd.  “This is just the beginning as the airlines recognize the growth potential for service at GTR.”

Departures from GTR on Delta Air Lines to Atlanta offer connections worldwide. For further information contact Executive Director Mike Hainsey at (662) 327-4422 x201 or To make a reservation for a flight in June or after, log on to

Source: AVP

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CFIs Get Well-Deserved Funds from WINGS Sweepstakes


$10,000 is distributed to dedicated flight instructors.

Members of the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE) and the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) got some well-deserved funding to help further their endeavors in making pilots safer. Ten flight instructors received anywhere from $500 to $1,500 as part of the Paul and Fran Burger $10,000 WINGS Sweepstakes.

The sweepstakes was conceived to encourage instructors to get their students to use the FAASTeam WINGS Pilot Proficiency Program as a way to increase flight safety. Four groups, NAFI, SAFE, the AOPA Safety Institute (ASI) and the FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam), came together to bring the concept to life and 40 organizations and individuals have endorsed the campaign.

“More than 20 years ago I personally witnessed a tragedy where the pilot, his nephew and niece and a family friend were killed. Since then I have donated a substantial amount of energy, time and money for GA safety so that fewer friends and family have to have this same experience,” said Paul Burger, the founder of the WINGS Industry Advisory Committee (WIAC), which announced the winners of the sweepstakes.

Members of the two flight instructor organizations receive entries for the sweepstakes when they validate WINGS flight credits that bring a student pilot or pilot to a phase. The WINGS program has three phases and each phase requires six credits. Credits can be achieved by attending WINGS-qualified clinics live or online.

This year, four instructors received $1,500, four received $750 and two instructors won $500.

Source: Flying

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