FlightSafety International began customer pilot training for the Gulfstream G650 yesterday at its Savannah Gulfstream Learning Center, just three days after the aircraft received FAA type certification. There are 16 pilots enrolled in the first class, which is expected to last 3.5 weeks and will be supported by two FAA-approved full-motion simulators, four graphical flight simulators (GFS) and 14 pilot instructors.
Russian Helicopters has received an order for 18 Ka-226TG light twins from NefteGazAeroCosmos, a “research and production center” linked to Russian oil and gas giant Gazprom. Six helicopters are scheduled for delivery next year and the remaining dozen in 2014.
The second greatest shock to pilot Jim Huddleston and his co-captain after their Learjet 45 struck some trees during a night approach at Saratoga Springs (5B2) in July 2008 was that an almost obscure gray arrow symbol on the GPS Runway 5 approach plate apparently did not live up to expectations.
The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 directed the agency to study the impact of cellphone operation on aircraft operations during scheduled airline flights. It is specifically seeking comments from aircraft operators, including flight attendants, pilots and passengers who have experience with cellphone use through onboard base stations. The 60-day comment period ends November 5.
HungaroControl’s new 107,000-sq-ft ATC Center in Budapest, funded by the EU and slated to be equipped with certified radar and communications equipment by the end of this year, represents the next step in bringing modern en route ATC to the region. En route ATC operations are scheduled to begin from the new facility in February. HungaroControl employs 156 air traffic controllers.
The FAA issued an AD–Docket FAA-2012-0222– on September 6 for some versions of the Eurocopter AS350. The directive, which is effective from October 11 this year, was issued after an in-flight fire caused by the ignition of hydraulic fluid leaking from a damaged forward servo-control hydraulic hose. The AD is intended to prevent the forward servo-control hydraulic hoses from becoming damaged and leaking hydraulic fluid that could ignite in flight.
A busy fortnight for the Boeing 787 program climaxed with the arrival of Air India’s first Dreamliner in Delhi last Saturday, just a week after the first of the new widebodies destined to enter service in the Americas went to Chile’s LAN.
Cargo carrier FedEx Express will become the first U.S. airline to begin operational trials of data communications between pilots and air traffic controllers in continental airspace under the FAA’s Data Comm program, a key component of the Next Generation Air Transportation System. The carrier expects to start operations using data communications on November 12 at its Memphis International Airport hub.
Talks between US Airways and AMR over a possible merger involving bankrupt AMR subsidiary American Airlines have reached a formal stage, with the two companies beginning to exchange “certain confidential information” under the terms of a nondisclosure agreement signed August 31.
Dynamic growth in emerging economies will be the principal factor driving commercial aircraft requirements in the coming 20 years, according to Airbus. Other major contributions will come from increased global urbanization and a doubling of middle-class populations. “By 2031 the number of ‘mega-cities’ will more than double to 92, and 90 percent of the world’s traffic will be between (or through) these points,” concluded the European airframer in its new 2012-31 market forecast, released in London on September 4.