Monthly Archives: May 2019

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FAA Grounds Citation 525s With Tamarack Winglets


AD allows a ferry permit with flight restrictions.

The FAA today issued an airworthiness directive effective immediately that grounds all Cessna Citation CJ 525, 525A and 525B models operating with Tamarack active load alleviation system (ATLAS) winglets installed in accordance with STCSA03842NY. The agency said malfunctioning of the ATLAS could lead to loss of control of the entire aircraft.

The European Aviation Safety Agency issued a similar AD against Tamarack-equipped CJs last month explaining, “the active load alleviation system, when operational, deflects the Tamarack active control surfaces on the outboard wings. Recently, occurrences have been reported in which ATLAS appears to have malfunctioned causing upset events where, in some cases, the pilots had difficulty recovering the aircraft.” EASA required operators to deactivate ATLAS and fix those control surfaces in place within 10 hours of flight. The European agency also added a number of operational limitations and repetitive pre-flight inspections to these aircraft. The NTSB is investigating whether Tamarack winglets played a role in the earlier loss of a Citation 525.

The FAA, however, does not allow Tamarack CJs to operate with the ATLAS disabled. The agency did not agree with the disabling solution provided by the STC holder, Cranfield Aerospace Solutions, for the use of speed tape around the Tamarack active camber surface to prevent movement. The agency said further flight would be unsafe because an operational ATLAS may reduce the pilot’s ability to control the airplane and hence should be grounded pending incorporation of an FAA-approved modification estimated to cost $175.

Until repairs have been made, the FAA is allowing a ferry permit on individual aircraft as long as no passengers are aboard. Until repairs are completed, the aircraft is also restricted to flight at FL250 or below and airspeeds not to exceed 140 knots on the 525 and 161 knots on the 525A & B models.

Source: Flying

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Senate Grills FAA Nominee on Boeing 737 Max Issues


Former Delta executive Steve Dickson’s path to confirmation as the next FAA Administrator is expected to be a smooth one despite pointed questions from senators.

Former Delta Air Lines executive Steve Dickson faced heated questions in the Senate on Wednesday about whether regulators could have done more to prevent two fatal crashes of Boeing 737 Max jets.

Dickson, who was senior vice president of flight operations at Delta until his retirement last October and a former F-15 fighter pilot, is President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the FAA. Under questioning from senators, he pledged to look into issues ranging from the FAA’s “delegation” of some of its oversight to the companies it regulates to pilots’ manual flying skills when automation fails.

The hearing in the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation came after President Donald Trump in March announced the nomination of Dickson to a five-year term as FAA Administrator.

Senators praised Dickson’s extensive experience in aviation, but also asked pointed questions about how he will handle the challenges the FAA faces.

“Bureaucratic inertia is powerful,” said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) during the hearing. “What I’m asking you to do, if confirmed, is be pissed off that 346 people died.”

Dickson asked Cruz not to mistake his calm demeanor for satisfaction “or saying that any accident is acceptable — it is not.”

Despite the pointed questioning during the hearings, Dickson is widely expected to be confirmed as the next FAA Administrator as aviation groups strongly supported his appointment.

General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) president and CEO Pete Bunce praised Dickson for his strong leadership abilities, particularly with regard to advancing the FAA’s NextGen programs.

“I have known Steve for more than 40 years and am deeply familiar with his demonstrative leadership in aviation, both as an Air Force fighter pilot and as a senior executive at Delta Air Lines,” Bunce said. “GAMA members also deeply value the contributions Steve has made to advancing air traffic modernization through his roles as chairman of the NextGen Implementation Task Force and as industry co-chair of the RTCA NextGen Advisory Committee Working Subcommittee.”


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Van Nuys Airport Holds Another Successful Aviation Career Day


1,200 students heard from dozens of exhibitors.

Van Nuys Airport, one of the busiest general aviation facilities in the U.S., last week held its 14th annual, “The Sky’s the Limit: Aviation Career Day.” This year more than 1,200 students got a first-hand look at dozens of job opportunities possibly awaiting them in the aviation industry. Since the first VNY Aviation Career Day in 2006, nearly 20,000 Los Angeles area kids have taken part in the event.

One of the highlights of Aviation Career Day was the panel discussion, “How to Enter a Career in Aviation,” which included industry professionals offering insider tips based on their own career experiences. Personnel from the Los Angeles Airport Police and Los Angeles Fire Department also were on hand to talk about their careers. In addition to the speakers, industry experts and informational booths, there were numerous aircraft available with which students took photos and selfies. Display aircraft included a U.S. Navy F-18, a NASA Armstrong Research Center C-12, a drone display from Helinet Aviation, Los Angeles Fire Department air rescue helicopters, and two WWII-era Condor Squadron AT-6’s. Participants were treated to a behind-the-scenes look at the history and daily operations of VNY.

Flora Margheritis, Airport Manager, VNY said, “Aviation Career Day allows us to share our passion for airports and open kids’ eyes to the wide variety of careers available in our profession. Whether they’re into art, science, math or writing, there is a career path for these students in the aviation industry, and we want them to know that we want them to be part of our team.”

“As I always say, you can’t be what you can’t see,” said Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nury Martinez. “Aviation Career Day exposes our children to achievable high paying career paths. In a time when the aviation industry is experiencing a shortage of pilots, air traffic controllers, and other aviation fields, it is now more important than ever to introduce aviation to our students.”

“Twenty years ago, Van Nuys-based Western Jet Aviation started with one employee, today we have 75, many of which have been hired right out of our local schools. We look to hire local workers for all areas of our business, and we’re always seeking out new talent,” said Jim Hansen, Western Jet Aviation owner and founder. “Our hope is that someday soon, one or more of these students will come back and knock on our door, ready to join our team.”

Source: Flying

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Pilatus Delivers PC-24 to U-Haul


The 27th Super Versatile Jet joins other Pilatus airplanes in corporate fleet.

When you think about U-Haul, you probably envision a small or medium sized truck used for personal moving. But this week, the company took delivery of one of the most advanced business jets on the market – the Pilatus PC-24. Featuring an orange paint scheme reminiscent of the design on the easily identifiable trucks, the Super Versatile Jet will be based in Phoenix, Arizona. U-Haul is already operating two PC-12 turboprops and will soon add a second PC-24 to the fleet

“When Pilatus announced the new jet, we were confident that it would be a real workhorse that, alongside our two PC-12s, would help us manage our growing operations throughout North America,” Joe Shoen, chairman of Amerco, U-Haul’s parent company said as he took delivery of the airplane at the Pilatus facility in Broomfield, Colorado..

“Joe Shoen and his flight department have been on board with Pilatus and the PC-24 since we first introduced the concept to them more than five years ago,” said Thomas Bosshard, CEO of Pilatus Business Aircraft Ltd, the U.S. subsidiary of Pilatus. “Throughout the development and certification of the aircraft they’ve been looking forward to this day, and we are thrilled to celebrate it with them.”

The Pilatus PC-24 is the first business jet designed to land on unpaved airstrips. It has an impressive climb performance of more than 4,000 fpm and can cruise as fast as 440 knots, yet its stall speed can be as low as 82 kias.

U-Haul’s PC-24 is the 27th production version of the Swiss business jet, and the fleet has accumulated more than 4,000 hours to date. That’s an impressive number of deliveries for this clean-sheet design, which first entered the market a little more than one year ago. The PC-24 was one of Flying’s Editor’s Choice Awards winners.

Source: Flying