AINalerts » December 20, 2011

December 20, 2011 - 4:30pm

A Daher-Socata TBM700 crashed this morning on a New Jersey highway soon after takeoff from Teterboro Airport (TEB), killing all five on board and closing the roadway for hours. According to the FAA, the turboprop single was headed to Atlanta’s Dekalb-Peachtree Airport on an IFR flight plan when it disappeared from radar after a garbled radio transmission. Witnesses at the scene say the aircraft made a spiral dive, shed a wing and crashed into the wooded median of I-287 in Morris County, approximately 30 miles southwest of TEB.

December 20, 2011 - 4:25pm

Despite some media reports stating that Piper Aircraft was recently sold to the Government of Brunei, the Vero Beach, Fla. airframer told AIN that the transaction of authority for the company from corporate finance and investment management firm Imprimis to Brunei’s Ministry of Finance was merely a formalization of the original 2009 sale of the company by American Capital. In a release the company stated, “Piper Aircraft has been an investment of the Government of Brunei since 2009.

December 20, 2011 - 4:20pm

In a statement released last week, Standard & Poor’s rating services said its ratings and outlook on Wichita-based Hawker Beechcraft (HB) are not affected by the aircraft manufacturer’s retention of Perella Weinberg Partners to help assess its revolving credit agreement, the terms of which were last amended more than two years ago. The HB decision followed an announcement by Standard & Poor’s on December 1 that it would cut its credit rating of HB to Caa3, saying the manufacturer may be facing a distressed debt restructuring.

December 20, 2011 - 4:15pm

After a year-long flight-test program powering the Thrush 510G agricultural airplane, GE Aviation received type certification from the EASA last week for its M601H-80 turboprop, a more powerful and fuel-efficient upgrade of the M601 engine the company inherited in 2008 when it purchased Czech Republic-based Walter Engines. This marks the first occasion of a GE engine receiving its initial certification from the European agency.

December 20, 2011 - 4:10pm
Sikorsky S-434

Sikorsky is now anticipating FAA certification of the S-434 light single for early next year, slightly later than the previous target date, which was this month. An improved Schweizer S-333, the S-434 sports a four-blade rotor, a new tail-rotor blade design, a structurally enhanced landing gear, a new trim system and an improved Kaflex driveshaft. The main rotor and its transmission come from the unmanned Fire Scout. The S-434 and the S-333 use the same Rolls-Royce 205-C20W turboshaft, which provides 320 shp.

December 20, 2011 - 4:05pm

Eurocopter is mulling a third flight-test phase for its X3 compound helicopter demonstrator, in light of the “very good outcome” of the second phase. The third phase would “investigate further potential of the concept.” When the helicopter reached 232 knots last spring, during phase two, it was operating at about 75 to 80 percent power.

December 20, 2011 - 4:00pm

Canadian completion and refurbishment specialist Flying Colours has delivered its fourth aircraft to enter service in The People’s Republic of China. The Challenger 850 delivered to Shenyang-based charter operator Lily Jet “is extremely well equipped,” according to the Canadian company. The completions specialist has three more 850s currently undergoing completion destined for delivery in China in 2012.

December 20, 2011 - 3:55pm

As the calendar turns to winter, Weather Services International (WSI) has issued its forecast for the upcoming season. The information provider expects the period of January to March to average colder than normal temperatures across most of the northern and western U.S., with above-normal temperatures confined to the south-central and southeastern states because of the La Niña weather pattern.

December 20, 2011 - 3:50pm

A 14-year production run came to a close when the last Gulfstream G200 rolled off the final-phase assembly line at the manufacturer’s assembly plant in Dallas last month. That airplane is scheduled for customer delivery before year-end. The G200, initially certified by the FAA in 1998, was originally introduced as the Galaxy by Israel Aircraft Industries subsidiary Galaxy Aerospace, which Gulfstream acquired in 2001.

December 20, 2011 - 3:45pm

French aerospace manufacturer Safran has partnered with a historical archeology association on a mission to rewrite the history books. The group seeks to find incontrovertible proof that a French aircraft (l’Oiseau Blanc) flown by pilots Charles Nungesser and François Coli successfully crossed the Atlantic 12 days before Charles Lindbergh in 1927. The aircraft has never been found, but in some accounts witnesses claim to have heard the sound of a laboring aircraft engine over Maine.

 

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