Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) wants to see small-aircraft commercial operators equip their fleets with lightweight data recorders, and the agency is pressing Transport Canada to work with industry to make it happen. The new TSB recommendation was part of a recently released accident report that was unable to pin down the reason a de Havilland Canada Twin Otter broke up in flight over the Yukon in March 2011.
De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter
A de Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otter crashed on takeoff from Sam Neua Airport (VLSN) in Laos on April 17. Five of 16 people aboard the aircraft sustained injuries and the aircraft was destroyed. The aircraft failed to clear trees at the end of the airport’s 3,700-foot runway and crashed in a nearby canal, shearing off the left wing.
Malaysian Airlines has signed a deal with Canada’s Viking Air to take six new 19-seat Twin Otter Series 400s for use in scheduled service by its regional subsidiary MASwings. Viking plans to deliver all the airplanes by the end of next year.
Ikhana is offering a program for the Twin Otter that includes a package of proprietary modifications and enhancements coupled with full maintenance and current inspections. The Twin Otter X2 program uses Ikhana’s RW Martin (RWMI) DHC-6 re-life wing box and re-life fuselage supplemental type certificates as the FAA-approved engineering design basis. Installation of the package authorizes the re-life of time-expired Twin Otters to the new zero-time structural life limits of 66,000 flight hours or 132,000 flight cycles, whichever occurs first.
With a thriving business in extending the life of the venerable DHC-6 Twin Otter, Ikhana Aircraft Services (Booth No. 4827) recently announced another expansion of its production facility at French Valley Airport in Murrieta, Calif. A third hangar with more than 12,000 square feet is expected to be ready for occupancy in the first week of November this year, expanding the total footprint to 55,000 square feet.
“Building the third hangar reflects our commitment to serving our customers’ needs and will create up to twenty new jobs,” said president and CEO John Zubin.
Arguably nowhere on earth is the business case for seaplanes more compelling than in the Indian Ocean archipelago of the Maldives with its 1,190 islands (200 of them inhabited). The scattered nation, situated 250 miles southwest of India, has the world’s largest fleet of de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otters, offering high-end tourists a time-saving alternative to the boat connections between its low-lying islands spread over 35,000 square miles.
Pratt & Whitney Canada has signed a five-year agreement with Calgary-based Kenn Borek Air under which the operator will upgrade the charter company’s fleet of Twin Otters with new PT6A-27 and PT6A-34 engines.
“This agreement provides Kenn Borek Air and [other] operators the opportunity to install new PT6A engines for both upgrade and renewal of their fleets. This agreement also includes a new engine warranty and full access to P&WC engine support at all times,” said Denis Parisien, P&WC vice president, general aviation.
Viking Air (Chalet CD39) revealed here at the show yesterday that it had sold eight of its new $7 million Twin Otter Series 400 turboprops. Two will go to Papua New Guinea’s OK Tedi Development Corp., while the other six will go to Turkey’s Seabird Airlines as the floatplane variant. Viking launched the new DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400 production program in 2007 and now has an order backlog worth $350 million.
You won’t hear John Zublin, CEO of Ikhana Aircraft Services, saying, “You only live once,” at least not when it comes to the Twin Otter. Ikhana has received an FAA supplemental type certificate (STC) for its RWMI DHC-6 Re-Life Fuselage program.
Engine MRO specialist Precision Turbines (Booth No. C12944) recently won several contract renewals as a result of its support of customers’ maintenance operations and reliable performance of aircraft in the field.