Wreckage of an Era Aviation Sikorsky S-76 was found late last month, two days after it crashed into the Gulf of Mexico about 60 miles south of Galveston, Texas. Several bodies were also recovered. The twin-turbine helicopter, carrying two crew and eight passengers, was en route from Galveston to an oil platform when it went down.
The FAA has determined that a proposed privately funded business aviation airport west of Houston is “objectionable” because it would create overlapping traffic patterns with existing airports, including some private strips and the Class B airspace surrounding George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH). Still, developer Ron Henriksen of Houston vowed last month to realign the 7,000-foot single runway to assuage the FAA’s concerns.
Dallas Airmotive’s Carpenter Freeway production facility in Dallas has added overhaul-level authorization to its existing Honeywell 36-series authorized service center agreement. The new authorization covers all Honeywell 36-6, 36-100 and 36-150 APUs used in business and general aviation applications.
Aeros Aviation of McKinney, Texas, purchased McKinney Aerospace, a modification and service center also based in McKinney. Aeros Aviation is a new company that has developed in-flight entertainment, airborne communications and high-technology biometric airport security products. Aeros Aviation president Andrew Eros and executive v-p Randy Haler replaced McKinney Aerospace’s former owners, Oscar Smith and David Kitchings.
Bell plans to add about 200 jobs at its Amarillo assembly plant this year, as it gears up to meet expected demand for the V-22 Osprey. Some of the positions will be for engineers and other technical personnel now based at Fort Worth plants, confirmed a Bell spokesman, but “most of those positions [in Amarillo] will be new hires,” he said.
Our series on America’s best golf courses continues with a look at the three best modern courses in the South Central U.S., as determined by Golfweek magazine’s handpicked panel of 385 course raters. The raters, who are students of architecture, attend national workshops and each evaluate 15 to 20 courses per year.
Developers converting the former Air Rice Airport (78TX) near Katy, Texas, on Houston’s west side, to a business aviation facility now plan to call the airport Houston Executive instead of South Waller County, as announced last year. The new name “more accurately describes the location and purpose of the airport,” said Ron Henricksen of airport developer WCF.
Sikorsky Aircraft plans to open a new engineering center in Fort Worth, Texas, next year to support the company’s growing U.S. government, commercial and aftermarket business. The 25,000-sq-ft facility at First Command Plaza will employ about 100 aerospace professionals drawn mostly from the Fort Worth-Dallas area. Job fairs are set to begin next month.
Helicopter pilots Jennifer Murray, 66, and Colin Bodill, 55, intend to take off on December 5 for a second attempt to fly round the world via the South and North Poles. They will fly their Bell 407 from Fort Worth Alliance Airport in Dallas. They expect
to travel for 169 days, visit 34 countries and cover 36,206 nm.
Aftermarket supply chain specialist Aviall (Hall 4, Stand G19) is to double the size of its central warehouse facility and headquarters staff building in Dallas, Texas. The existing facilities, covering 325,000 sq ft, were opened in 2001. By next January a new 75,000-square foot building and an additional 250,000 sq ft of warehouse space should be complete.