The number of fatalities from business jet accidents worldwide in this year’s first half has already exceeded the total number for all of last year, according to statistics gathered by AIN. In the first six months of this year, 29 people died in seven crashes of U.S.- and non-U.S.-registered business jets compared with 23 people killed in eight mishaps in all of 2013.
Aircraft Structures International (ASIC) plans to install the P&WC PT6A-140 turboprop in the Cessna Grand Caravan and the original Caravan with STCs in place by year-end. Branded the Ultimate Caravan, it will provide owners of older Caravans performance similar to that of the Cessna Grand Caravan EX, according to ASIC.
Bacau, Romania-based Aerostar is nearing the end of a program to bring eight Mozambique Air Force MiG-21 fighters back to life after some 20 years in storage. The company is best known today for its commercial MRO and aerostructures business. But the latest MiG work follows Aerostar’s previous contract to upgrade 110 Romanian air force MiG-21s to the Lancer standard, with new avionics designed by Elbit Systems.
Rockwell Collins received EASA certification of its Pro Line 4 to Pro Line 21 avionics retrofit for the Falcon 2000 and Falcon 2000EX. The Pro Line 21 retrofit features four 10- by 8-inch LCD panels and Waas/Egnos capability, as well as support for electronic charts and graphical weather. The upgrade is also available for the Falcon 50EX. The first installation is scheduled for this summer at a Ruag maintenance facility in Germany. An upgrade for Fans-1/A will be available next year for these Falcons.
MRO specialist Jets is to further expand into Dassault Falcon maintenance at its London Biggin Hill airport base. The facility, which 328 Group acquired at the end of 2012, is an authorized service center for Falcon 2000s and Falcon 900s. “In the next 12 months we hope to further expand our remit with Dassault,” said managing director Alan Barnes. Separately, at the same site, Jets (Booth 5546) has recently appointed more engineers dedicated to the Bombardier Challenger 300.
The problem with most aircraft towbars and tugs is that the operator can’t see what’s happening with the wingtips and tail, so extra personnel are always needed when moving an aircraft into a tight spot. Krefeld, Germany-based Mototok International (Booth 5539) has solved this by using a wireless remote-controlled tug system for helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, which can be operated by one person standing at any spot while moving the aircraft.
The total combined number of accidents, incidents and fatalities declined for the worldwide U.S. and non-U.S. turbine business-aircraft fleet in the first three months of this year versus the same period last year, according to data compiled by AIN. However, some individual segments were inconsistent with the overall results.
Dassault’s series of regional Falcon maintenance & operations (M&O) seminars will take in nine cities on three continents this year. The events offer Falcon operators an opportunity to talk directly with Dassault specialists, engineering teams, pilots and supplier representatives about any topic relating to their aircraft.
Bombardier delivered the first Global 6000 to be operated from Mexico to owner Aero Angeles during a ceremony at its facility in Montreal. “We are delighted to see the first Global 6000 enter service in Mexico,” said Bombardier Business Aircraft regional vice president of sales for Latin America Stephane Leroy. “Mexico and Latin America are key markets for Bombardier.” Bombardier expects to deliver more than 2,300 business jets in Latin America over the next 20 years.
Troubled by an increase in the number of helicopter accidents in the last several years, the FAA has launched the Rotorcraft Safety Initiative (RSI), an effort to curb helicopter fatal accidents.
From Oct. 1, 2012 to Sept. 30, 2013, the U.S. helicopter industry experienced 38 fatal helicopter crashes, a 100-percent increase over the same period in 2011-2012. These accidents resulted in 76 fatalities, 95 percent more than the same period the year before and the highest number of fatal accidents since 1994.
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