Eurocopter continues to search for the root cause of the main gearbox failure that resulted in forced but controlled ditchings by two EC225s last year. Early last month, the manufacturer was still hoping it would be able to recommend a return to flight in February. In a written statement sent to AIN late last week, however, it refers only to an “update on the situation” at the end of February.
Piper Aircraft appointed James Funk as vice president of operations today, a position where he will be responsible for aircraft manufacturing operations, production engineering, logistics and quality. He brings nearly 30 years of operations management, manufacturing engineering and program leadership experience to Piper. Before joining Piper, Funk was Bombardier Learjet’s general manager of operations for the Learjet 85 program. Before that, he was vice president of operations for Hawker Beechcraft and its predecessor, Raytheon Aircraft.
The pilots of Pinnacle Airlines ratified a bankruptcy restructuring contract on Tuesday, thereby avoiding what could have proved a messy court battle with management and potentially saving the Memphis-based regional from liquidation. Eight-five percent of the pilots who cast ballots voted in favor of the agreement.
The FAA is proposing a $275,000 civil penalty against Pinnacle Airlines of Memphis for allegedly operating a Bombardier CRJ900 on 11 flights without all required parts fitted. According to the FAA, Pinnacle mechanics failed to replace a part required in the approved aircraft maintenance manual when they replaced the aircraft’s right engine.
In a new safety alert for operators (SAFO), the FAA reminds pilots not to depend upon cockpit technology as the primary means to control the aircraft in all situations.
“A recent analysis of flight operations data (including normal flight operations, incidents and accidents) identified an increase in manual handling errors,” said the SAFO, issued on January 4.
The new Rnav SIDs for Chicago O’ Hare (ORD) and Midway (MDW) airports scheduled for release last week were declared “technically unusable” until further notice after a potential problem was identified at the last minute.
In December, the FAA officially withdrew its legal interpretation of maintenance duty time limitations prescribed in FAR 121.377. The change comes more than two years after the Aeronautical Repair Station Association and other organizations such as Airlines for America and the Transport Workers Union filed a complaint against an agency interpretation of how Part 121 maintenance technician work schedules–including the rest periods–could be compiled.
Boeing continues to assert full confidence in the design and airworthiness of the 787, notwithstanding U.S. aviation authorities’ move last Friday to launch “a comprehensive review” of all “critical” systems following reports of a string of incidents involving the Dreamliner, most notably Monday’s fire within the aft electronics bay of a Japan Airlines airplane parked at Boston Logan Airport.
In a widely unexpected move, Embraer has switched partnership alliances from GE to Pratt & Whitney with its choice of the Geared Turbofan to power the next generation of E-Jets. The decision, announced last Tuesday, gives Pratt & Whitney its fifth application for the engine line also known as the PurePower PW1000G, and leaves Boeing as the last of the four major Western airframe manufacturers not to have adopted the design.
Despite realignment, increased government investment and the appearance of political resolve, the Russian airliner industry has achieved little success in expanding its civil production over the past four years. Although it has nearly doubled its delivery total, from 11 jetliners in 2009, to 10 in 2010, 18 in 2011 and 19 in 2012, the industry’s hopes to launch a challenge to the Western world’s manufacturing powers remain unfulfilled and distant.