Although corporate aviation in the nation is limited, New Zealand boasts one of the highest per capita ratios of aircraft operation, with 9,040 pilots in a population of 4 million flying 3,830 aircraft on the CAA registry. Most of those are general aviation piston airplanes, while Eurocopters dominate the more than 500 turbine-powered aircraft.
Aviation International News » March 2006
According to Qwilton Biel, chairman of the helicopter division of the New Zealand Aviation Industry Association, “If you walk into our industry forum and talk about fractionals, the attendees will think you’re talking about math. It’s just not a concept that’s caught on in New Zealand. You can drive the whole country north to south in one day.”
Bombardier’s Skyjet block-charter program has recruited its first French operator with the arrival of a new Learjet 45 at the Paris Le Bourget headquarters of Aero Services. During a February 1 ceremony at the airport, the Canadian airframer also announced that it is negotiating to appoint Aero Services’ Portuguese parent company, Omni, its exclusive Learjet sales representative for both France and Portugal.
When European private-equity firm Permira acquired Jet Aviation from the Hirschmann family five months ago, some industry observers speculated that the new money people would spin off some of the Swiss-based company’s varied business components, the better to help digest their substantial bite into the business-aviation apple.
Exterior paint has always been a statement. In ancient times, sailors painted eyes on the bows of ships so they might find their way easily. Even today, it is a custom Chinese boat builders still follow. During World War II, “nose art” was common on military aircraft. Perhaps the best known was the Memphis Belle, a B-17 that bore the name and a scantily clad image of the belle herself.
Honeywell’s business aviation segment recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of the TPE331 turboprop at its Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport facility. Since the first of the line entered service in 1965 on the military OV-10 Bronco, the TPE331, along with the TFE731 turbofan, has been a mainstay of the Garrett/AlliedSignal/ Honeywell engine business.
Transportation Department Inspector General Kenneth Mead, a tireless ally of disgruntled airline passengers and often a thorn in the side of the nation’s airlines, resigned last month after nearly nine years to join a Washington law firm. The DOT has not yet named his successor.
The FAA is not planning to ground the Mitsubishi MU-2, despite a plea from Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) to FAA Administrator Marion Blakey in a letter sent June 23 last year. Nor does Mitsubishi Heavy Industries plan to issue a “voluntary recall,” as Tancredo requested in a subsequent letter dated September 29.
AIN’s annual product support report (scheduled this year for the August issue) can usually be counted on to generate an article or two downstream about how the low-ranking players say they are going about improving the way they take care of their customers after the sale.
A Beech King Air 200 carrying members of the Hendrick Motorsports Nascar race team crashed near Martinsville, Va., on Oct. 24, 2004, because the pilots lost situational awareness while attempting to land at Martinsville/Blue Ridge Airport (MTV) in IMC, according to the NTSB.