Performing intentional stalls at too low an altitude and the flight instructor’s “inadequate supervision” were blamed by the NTSB for the crash on September 20 last year of a Hawker 700 operated by Starflite Management of Houston near Beaumont, Texas. Two pilots, both preparing for a Part 135 competency check, and the instructor were killed.
Boundary Layer Research, the Everett, Wash. company that developed winglets for the Beech Duke 10 years ago, is now designing winglets for King Air 200s and 300s. A prototype has been flying since late last summer and an announcement to King Air operators in December garnered an “overwhelming” response, claimed company president Bob Desroche. He said winglets will improve speed, handling and fuel economy.
Beech King Air A90, Pensacola, Fla., Aug. 17, 2004–After the right engine quit, Eclipse Enterprise King Air N45TT crashed while returning to land at Ferguson Airport, Pensacola. VMC prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The commercial-rated pilot and one passenger received minor injuries, and the airplane incurred substantial damage. The pilot thought the cause was fuel exhaustion, because he knew the airplane was low on fuel.
In the January issue of AIN (page 39), we recounted the origins of the Learjet, complete with references to the well worn tale of the Swiss fighter connection. We then heard from Bill Lear’s eldest son, who suggested that “since you can’t get it straight from the horse’s mouth, here it is from the horse’s offspring, who followed closely in the horse’s hoofsteps!”
Even though noise wasn’t a factor in the accident, February’s Challenger overrun at Teterboro has inevitably resurrected local residents’ complaints about aircraft noise. It doesn’t take much, as we all know, to reinvigorate the anti-noise folks.
Safire Aircraft of Opa-Locka, Fla., announced last month that wind-tunnel testing at the University of Washington Aeronautical Laboratory’s subsonic Kirstin Wind Tunnel had validated the design of the very light twinjet.
The NTSB believes currently required stall-warning systems are not adequate to cover all critically low-airspeed conditions and has recommended that the FAA require the installation of so-called “low-airspeed alert” systems on all airplanes used in FAR Parts 121 and 135 commercial operations.
AvAero of Safety Harbor, Fla., announced that Falconbridge Mining is the first customer for the FuelMizer aerodynamic modification of the Boeing 737-200/300. AvAero, which received FAA approval in April last year, EASA certification in August last year and Transport Canada approval last month, claims the FuelMizer will decrease the twinjet’s fuel burn by an average of 4 percent.
HAWKER 700A, BEAUMONT, TEXAS, SEPT. 20, 2003–An instructor was preparing two pilots for their Part 135 competency and proficiency checks, doing stalls in a practice area near Southeast Texas Regional Airport, when the Hawker went into a spin and crashed. The NTSB blamed the flying pilot’s failure to maintain aircraft control and adequate airspeed.
A Gulfstream IISP (for Special Performance–GIIs equipped with Aviation Partners’ winglets) set a world speed record December 15 on its way from Los Angeles to Kitty Hawk, N.C. The record flight was made to honor the Wright brothers’ first manned powered flight 100 years ago. The GIISP made the cross-country flight in 3 hours 48 minutes at an average groundspeed of 548 knots.