The FAA issued an emergency airworthiness directive–2013-14-51–relating to the GE90-110B1 and -115B, which power aircraft such as the Boeing 777-200LR and 777 freighter. The July 12 AD was prompted by a report of the additional failure of a transfer gearbox assembly (TGB) radial gearshaft, outside the suspect population identified in AD 2013-10-52, which resulted in an in-flight shutdown.
The American Chemistry Council says the Asiana Airlines 214 crash in San Francisco on July 6 is not the first time that flame-retardant materials inside the cabin have been credited with saving lives by giving passengers valuable extra time to escape the aircraft. The group’s North American Flame Retardant Alliance said materials the alliance helped create also saved the lives of 309 people during a 2005 Air France accident in Toronto.
As Airbus handed over the 1,000th A330 to Cathay Pacific Airways last Friday, it confirmed plans to accelerate introduction of the 242-metric-ton maximum takeoff weight model and to offer a new, lower operating weight, shorter-range “regional” variant.
Northrop Grumman delivered the first MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter to the U.S. Navy earlier this month in preparation for ground and flight testing. The first MQ-8C arrived at the Naval Base Ventura County, Calif., Point Mugu sea test range, where it is assigned to the VX-30 air test and evaluation squadron.
The German defense ministry ordered 15 Eurocopter EC645T2 light utility helicopters worth €194 million. They will be used by the Kommando Spezialkraefte, Germany’s Special Forces Command. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in late 2015 and run through mid-2017.
The U.S. Air Force reinstated flight training at combat squadrons that saw their operations curtailed in April by “sequestration” budget cuts. The service announced the resumption of flight training on July 15; it stays in effect until the new fiscal year begins on October 1.
As prospects dim for Avantair, the Clearwater, Fla.-based Piaggio Avanti turboprop fractional ownership program, concerns about its future are taking a back seat to questions about how owners will recover their aircraft. Among recent developments:
The House of Representatives passed the Small Airplane Revitalization Act of 2013 on July 16. A companion bill has already been introduced in the Senate.
The FAA’s NextGen ATC modernization program could be stalled by substantially reduced funding. In June, the House appropriations committee released transportation funding legislation for Fiscal Year 2014 that would reduce the FAA’s capital funding account, which supports NextGen programs, to its lowest level since 2000.
At a House aviation subcommittee hearing yesterday, it was revealed that the $2.1 billion allocated for the FAA’s facilities and equipment account is 22 percent below the agency’s request and less than Congress provided in the current fiscal year.
Runway 16R/34L, the primary runway at Van Nuys Airport in southern California, is closed until July 26 at 11:59 p.m. The closure is part of a $20.5 million improvement program, which includes asphalt milling and paving of more than 4,000 feet of the center section of the runway. Runway 16L/34R (4,000 feet long) remains open as normal (closing at night from 10:45 p.m. to 6 a.m.). Pilots are urged to check notams before flying to Van Nuys. The runway improvement project will be completed in August.