UPS MD-11 pilots and controllers at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey started communicating by text messages in May under the Federal Aviation Administration’s data communications (data comm) departure clearance (DCL) trials program. The FAA expects United Airlines, British Airways and other carriers will begin participating this summer.
With airliner order backlogs at Airbus and Boeing running to five or six years, the problem of keeping the complex global supply chain on track and in sequence is, some might say, a nice problem to have. But a problem it is, nonetheless, because while it suits the world’s dominant airframers to keep cash-yielding deliveries flowing quickly, it doesn’t necessarily follow that it suits suppliers equally well to ramp up output rates with the investment spikes this requires.
A switch from composite to titanium for the inner walls of the thrust reversers on the Boeing 737 Max has allowed designers to increase the fan diameter in the airplane’s CFM International Leap-1B turbofans without a proportional increase in the size of the nacelle. The relatively minimal growth of the nacelle means Boeing could keep its original plans for coping with the small amount of ground clearance margin available while optimizing thrust levels, explained 737 Max program vice president and general manager Keith Leverkuhn.
A recent Australian Senate investigation report was highly critical of both the Australian Transport Safety Board (ATSB) and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). Senators questioned the investigation into the Nov. 18, 2009 crash of a Pel-Air Westwind into the ocean near Norfolk Island.
The UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch’s preliminary report on the May 24 incident involving a British Airways Airbus A319 at London Heathrow (LHR) appears to point to inadequate ground maintenance and pre-flight checking. In a special bulletin issued on May 31, the AAIB confirmed that the fan cowl doors on both engines had been left unlatched after maintenance. Just after liftoff, both engine cowlings separated from the aircraft, causing damage that eventually led to one engine fire and shutdown.
A 23-year-old male passenger aboard a May 27 Alaska Airlines flight from Anchorage to Portland attempted to open a mid-cabin emergency exit hatch on a Boeing 737 while the aircraft was beginning its initial descent to Portland. Passengers wrestled the man to the floor and subdued him until he could be handed over to police after landing. No one aboard the aircraft was injured. The Boeing’s hatch is designed so that cabin air pressure makes it unopenable in flight.
Months before the FAA began its short-lived policy of furloughing air traffic controllers and making plans to close 149 low-activity ATC towers, the agency was making dire forecasts about how the plan would affect various facets of the
The FAA issued a supplemental type certificate (STC) to Avidyne covering installation of the company’s DFC90 autopilot in 25 Beechcraft Bonanza models. The STC requires interfacing with the Aspen Avionics EVD1000 Evolution Pro PFD. The DFC90 autopilot is a plug-and-play replacement of the S-Tec 55X autopilot and uses the 55X’s servos. The DFC90 can also replace S-Tec 30/50/60-2/65-series autopilots in the 25 Bonanza models covered by this STC.
The FAA has issued an Airworthiness Directive (AD) for Twin Commander 690s, 690As and 690Bs requiring inspection for cracking of the outer fuselage attachments, the lower wing main spar, the vertical channels, the upper picture window channels, aft cabin pressure web, external wing to fuselage fillets and fasteners. It requires modification of the structure with reinforced parts. According to the AD, the condition, if not corrected, could result in structural failure of the airplane.
Landmark Aviation has made several additions to its executive staff. Ben Murray, former president of XOJet, has joined the company as president of its aircraft management and charter division. The service provider also named Skip Madsen, previously Jet Aviation’s v-p for MRO operations, to its newly created v-p of MRO. Tyson Goetz was selected as company v-p. Most recently he was a senior regional manager for Atlantic Aviation.