The latest edition of the Handbook of Brazilian General Aviation published here at LABACE this week by industry group ABAG shows that private use of aircraft by individuals and companies still dominates fleet utilization in Brazil. The number of aircraft available for air taxi use has only risen slowly over the past three years.
AAR has signed an agreement with the Chennault International Airport Authority to open its sixth North American aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility in Lake Charles, La., at Chennault International Airport. AAR will occupy approximately 520,000 sq ft of MRO service and administrative space at the facility and will be capable of supporting maintenance operations for all widebodies.
Bombardier’s annual Safety Standdown here in São Paulo on Monday and Tuesday drew a record number of participants, confirming the event’s status as a key part of the build up to the LABACE show. According to the event’s manager, Janet Schiebelhut, the fourth Safety Standdown Latin America drew 325 registered attendees, with 285 present on the first day for six workshops.
Helibras is displaying the first example of the EC130T2 to arrive in Brazil this week at LABACE. This latest version of the helicopter introduces new features that the company hopes will maintain the EC130’s position as the dominant type in the large single-engine helicopter marketplace. Having arrived just a few weeks ago from the Eurocopter factory, the EC130T2 was reassembled at the Helibras facility at Itajubá, where it was also painted with a new type of ecologically friendly water-based paint.
Jet Aviation Flight Services has signed a strategic alliance agreement with C-Fly Aviation, a São Paulo-based aircraft management and charter provider. As Jet Aviation, the company founded in Switzerland but now part of U.S. company General Dynamics, continues to expand its global services to meet customer demand, C-Fly (Stand 5105) will exclusively provide the Teterboro, New Jersey-based company with referrals on charter and aircraft management in Brazil.
Raisbeck Engineering has come to LABACE to show off its new swept-blade turbofan propellers for the Beechcraft King Air 200 family. The new propellers received certification from the Brazilian civil aviation authorities in June and last month the European Aviation Safety Agency granted its approval as well.
The Robinson Helicopter fleet in service in Brazil is the largest of any country in Latin America, according to the manufacturer’s Brazilian distributor, Audi Helicópteros. Audi is at LABACE 2013 (Chalet 6102) well positioned to take advantage of the growing popularity of rotorcraft in this part of the world.
With a chalet immediately adjacent to the main entrance, Audi has one of each of Robinson’s most popular aircraft on prominent display: the five-seat, turbine-powered R66; the four-seat piston-powered R44; and the two-seat piston-powered R22.
In response to fleet growth and an uptick in its business, fractional provider Bombardier Flexjet has resumed hiring pilots after ceasing such activity, and then subsequently furloughing pilots, during the Great Recession. It recalled all of its furloughed pilots earlier this year. “We are thrilled to be expanding our dedicated pilot team…and anticipate hiring in the double digits this year and beyond,” said Flexjet vice president of operations Jason Weiss.
Raisbeck Engineering’s swept-blade propellers for 200-series King Airs have been certified by the EASA, adding to a previous FAA approval. Thanks to a higher blade sweep and increased propeller diameter, the new propellers provide for quieter operation and increased thrust, according to Raisbeck. They provide more than 1,090-feet improvement in published FAA takeoff performance compared with the OEM propellers, Raisbeck said. Deliveries of production swept-blade propellers began in the U.S. in March.
Bristow Academy, a division of Bristow Group, has introduced into service its first four Robinson R44 training helicopters with Garmin 500H glass cockpits with dual 6.5-inch LCDs.