In late October Air Seychelles announced its purchase of three 19-seat Viking Air DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400s as part of a plan to renew its domestic fleet for services between Mahé and Praslin, as well as other islands in the archipelago, including Bird, Denis and Frégate. The airline expects to take all three turboprops by mid-2015 but holds an option for earlier delivery if aircraft become available. It now operates one Viking Twin Otter Series 400 and three aging de Havilland Canada-built Series 300s, all of which it plans to replace with the newly ordered airplanes.
Exeter, UK-based Flybe plans to slash another 500 jobs as part of a continuing cost-cutting exercise centered on removing excess capacity and improving worker productivity. The announcement follows an earlier round of cuts that saw Flybe shed 590 jobs this year. The company employed some 2,700 people at the end of September.
The FAA awarded a supplemental type certificate to Century Flight Systems for installation of its Century C4000 autopilot in the Piper PA-30 and PA-39 Twin Comanche. Prices start at $19,995 (plus installation). The autopilot’s features, according to Century, include “GPS/VOR/LOC/LOC REV coupling, fully automatic glideslope coupling from above or below, selected angle intercept capability when using an HSI (45-degree intercepts using a DG), altitude hold, voice prompter, attitude hold command, auto-trim or trim prompting.”
Even as researchers study ways to improve detection of in-flight icing and make airframes and engines more resistant to icing conditions, they continue to struggle to understand the icing phenomenon–especially the formation of ice crystals–according to speakers at a conference on the subject organized by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in Cologne, Germany recently. Ice-prevention techniques present their own challenges, which aircraft makers, airports and ground handlers are endeavoring to solve.
In an article in the October issue (“ADS-B Coming Soon to Asian Airspace”), AIN provided details about the upcoming ADS-B out mandates in Australia, some Asian countries, Europe and the U.S. An alert reader pointed out that there is a wrinkle that operators should be aware of: some of the mandates in Asia require equipment that meets DO-260 or -260A standards, which are less stringent than the DO-260B standards required in the U.S. and Europe.
As government mandates for equipage with ADS-B out avionics begin this month (generally above 29,000 feet in some countries’ airspace), FlightSafety International has launched an ADS-B online training program. The FAA-approved 45-minute course costs $165 per person and is available at FlightSafety’s eLearning website. Subjects covered include operating principles and procedures, flight planning, MEL issues, phraseology, emergency codes, incident reporting and more.
AOPA, GAMA and NBAA hailed the signing of the Small Aircraft Revitalization Act of 2013 by President Obama on Wednesday. His signature formally enacts legislation to enhance–and, the industry hopes, to reduce the cost of–the certification process for new general aviation aircraft weighing less than 12,500 pounds, their avionics and other equipment.
NetJets expects to operate approximately 200 flights in and out of Florida’s Miami-Dade area this week for Art Basel in Miami Beach, a modern and contemporary art show. For the 12th year in a row, NetJets has partnered with the international show, allowing the fractional aircraft company to provide its customers with access to the entire event, including the preview opening. This year, NetJets plans to host more than 800 of its customers and their guests in an expanded, exclusive and private NetJets lounge in the collectors’ area of the show.
According to NBAA, the FAA will publish a notice to airmen on December 12 detailing plans for the rollout of Phase 2 of the North Atlantic datalink mandate. Implementation will begin with Phase 2a on Feb. 5, 2015, at which time flights within the North Atlantic Tracks (NAT) between FL350 and FL390 must be equipped with Fans 1/A controller-pilot datalink communications and ADS-C systems. The program expands to these altitudes in the entire ICAO NAT region on Dec.
Independent cabin completion centers approved by Boeing to outfit the business aviation version of the Dreamliner are gearing up for delivery of their first aircraft, expected before year-end. Gore Design Completions of San Antonio and Jet Aviation Basel in Switzerland have been preparing to meet the unique challenge of building and installing highly customized interiors in the all-composite fuselage of the 787 for a year or more, sending teams of engineers to receive training at Boeing’s Seattle facilities.