ExecuJet Europe is launching helicopter charter and management services from its London Cambridge FBO, having received a helicopter AOC from the UK CAA. The company’s managed and charter fleet includes two Airbus EC155s based at Cambridge Airport, and negotiations for two more contracts have been under way since September. ExecuJet is telling managed helicopter customers they will benefit from its buying power for items such as fuel and insurance. Operations director John Brutnell said he expects charter demand for both business and leisure travel.
The ATC phrases “climb via” and “descend via” were officially added to the pilot/controller glossary on April 3, indicating the FAA now expects pilots to understand and comply with the new abbreviated IFR clearances. Pilots can expect to hear these instructions when operating on standard instrument departures (SIDs) and standard terminal arrival routes (Stars) when ATC changes a procedure’s altitude restriction for some reason.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a number of recommendations to the FAA on April 2 related to flare cueing issues on the Boeing MD-11. The Board said the airliner made 13 hard landings between 1994 and 2010. It wants the FAA and Boeing to determine the effectiveness of new systems to assist MD-11 pilots in making timely and appropriate inputs during the landing flare. The NTSB expects to see a formal report to help determine how useful a new system might be.
Last week the NTSB released a letter it received in mid-March from South Korea’s Aviation and Railway Accident Investigation Board (KARAIB) claiming that the pilots of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 were not totally responsible for the accident last July at San Francisco International Airport that killed three people and destroyed a Boeing 777.
A Finnish-registered Bombardier Challenger 300 climbing toward St. Petersburg, Russia, experienced an uncommanded pitch-up that injured two of the six people on board. The aircraft had just departed Moscow Sheremetyevo (UUEE) Airport for a charter flight on Dec. 23, 2010 and quickly returned to Moscow, where the injured were taken to hospital.
The FAA issued a special ATC procedure Notam last week for the upcoming Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Ga. The Notam becomes effective April 7 and requires slot reservations for any of the Augusta-area airports: Bush Field, Daniel Field, Aiken Municipal and Thomson-McDuffie County.
The UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch reported last week that the cause of the March 16 accident in which an Airbus Helicopters EC135T2i crashed into a busy pub in Glasgow is still unknown. “[The] investigation to date has not identified any technical malfunction that might account for the accident.
Hartwig Baier, 73, died early last month unexpectedly of a heart attack while on vacation in the Bahamas, depriving the button-down world of business aviation of one of its more colorful and highly regarded characters.
Embraer expects to sell 295 business jets worth $13.5 billion over the next 10 years in the Middle East. According to the Brazilian manufacturer, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates now account for 61 percent of the active fleet in the region.
“The Middle East fleet is younger than the world average and accounts for 2 percent of the world’s total business jet fleet, equivalent to 360 aircraft,” said Marco Túlio Pellegrini, president and CEO of Embraer Executive Jets. “If including commercial jets, an Embraer airplane takes off every five minutes in the Middle East.”
The cloud over general aviation may not yet have a silver lining, but there are rays of sunshine from the increasing business use of all types of GA aircraft, which the FAA expects to expand at a faster pace than for purely personal and recreational transportation.
After growing rapidly for most of the past decade, and then slowing over the past few years, the overall general aviation aircraft market has recorded modest growth, according to the most recent shipment activity.