As plans move ahead for certification of the Eclipse 500 in early 2006, Eclipse Aviation unveiled details of its six-phase pilot training program. The Eclipse Jet Basics Self-Paced Study Course is a five-part series of CD-based modules that provide an overview of jet aircraft and the operating environment to assist pilots in the transition from propeller-driven airplanes to jets.
Fractional ownership operator CitationShares has officially launched its Vector JetCard program, allowing individuals and companies to pre-pay for 25 hours of private flight time on CitationShares-operated aircraft.
The Carlyle Group, a Washington, D.C.-based global private equity firm with extensive aerospace and defense holdings, has “signed a definitive agreement to acquire Garrett Aviation Services from General Electric Company.” According to industry sources, the agreement calls for a cash acquisition valued at about $160 million.
The Teal Group released its annual 10-year forecast of the helicopter market on July 19. Despite its overall optimism, however, there was no good news for the civil segment. The Fairfax, Va.-based market analysis firm predicted the manufacture of 8,979 rotorcraft with a value of $80.1 billion from 2004 to 2013. The forecast represents strong growth over the previous decade, when production totaled 7,793 helicopters valued at $51.1 billion.
The FlightSafety Academy in Vero Beach, Fla., has a reputation for highly trained graduates with the skills and knowledge to move into the right seat of turbine aircraft. Historically the emphasis has been on the regional airline market, but the post-9/11 environment had a devastating effect on the Academy’s enrollment.
Business aircraft continue to assume roles in the airline industry. EADS Sogerma Services of Toulouse, France, has begun converting the first of two Airbus A319s for new careers as “premium class” aircraft operated by Saudi Arabia’s National Air Services on scheduled and charter flights. The conversion includes heavy maintenance, a reconfiguration and refurbishment of the cabins and new exterior paint.
NavAirWx has added live temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) to its moving-map and real-time weather display systems. The Mt. Kisco, N.Y., company uses satellite broadcast technology to provide “instantaneous access to current TFRs, with updates every 12 minutes.” Along with weather information updated on a five-minute cycle, “pilots now have complete and current conditions for every point along the route of flight,” according to NavAirWx.
Eurocopter’s EC 135 helicopter continues to find a welcome among emergency operators. At the Farnborough Air Show, the manufacturer reported orders for better than one EC 135 helicopter per week on average as operators bought the light twin-engine helicopter in record numbers. Last month alone, operators bought 14 EC 135s, and total deliveries to date exceed 340.
Health and security assistance provider MedAire of Tempe, Ariz., and UK medical kit manufacturer Aeromedic Innovations have formed an alliance that would allow Aeromedic to assemble MedAire medical kits and distribute them to MedAire’s European clients. Under the agreement, Aeromedic will also provide kit repair and refurbishment services by replacing expired medications and providing real-time inventory management.
In a statement issued July 17, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) called for tighter controls of New York City airspace that would sharply restrict flights below 2,000 feet.