NBAA presented its 2013 Gold Wing Award for Journalism Excellence yesterday to Wichita Eagle reporter Molly McMillin yesterday at the NBAA Convention. She won the award for her story, “Corporate Planes Give Business Owners an Edge,” published on Dec. 13, 2012. McMillin’s story “helped put forward the true face of business aviation,” NBAA said. It also described the stress that the recession and Washington rhetoric has put on the companies using business aviation to survive and compete in an “unforgiving” economy and global marketplace.
Geography of the United States
This week in Las Vegas, Trade-A-Plane–the “shoestring operation” that Cosby Harrison and his wife, Margaret, began in Crossville, Tenn., 76 years ago–continues as general aviation’s popular shopping guide. Born on the Harrison kitchen table, Trade-A-Plane is now a multimedia operation employing 150 people.
The 50th anniversary yesterday of the maiden flight of the first Learjet–the Model 23, on Oct. 7, 1963–begged to be celebrated, and Bombardier obliged with gusto, holding two events at its main assembly facility in Wichita over the weekend. Invited were current and former employees and their families, several special guests and owners and operators who brought examples of almost every Learjet ever produced.
Bombardier apparently held a private “production rollout” of the all-composite Learjet 85 on September 7 at its Wichita facility, according to a YouTube video posted about a week after the event but removed yesterday shortly after AIN’s inquiry. A Bombardier Business Aircraft spokesman said he could not authenticate the video, even though it appears to have been professionally produced and includes titles with logos and typefaces, as well as music, consistent with other Bombardier-produced videos.
Beechcraft is nearing the sale of its Hawker 4000 and Premier I/IA assets, a step agreed to earlier this year as part of the Wichita OEM’s emergence from bankruptcy. The sale includes items such as type certificates, parts and tooling, as well as the composite manufacturing facility in Wichita known as Plant III. A Beechcraft spokeswoman said potential buyers are currently performing due diligence, and CEO Bill Boisture told AIN that he is “confident” the deal will happen by year-end.
Boeing will expand the capacity of its factory in Helena, Montana, by nearly 50 percent to support increased demand for commercial airplanes and new work for the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner, company CEO Jim McNerney announced Tuesday during the Montana Jobs Summit in Butte. McNerney appeared at the event with Montana Senator Max Baucus and Governor Steve Bullock.
Now embarking on its second year of existence, the UVair FBO network has added its 20th member. Great Circle Flight Services at Alaska’s Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is a primary fuel stop for corporate aircraft transiting between the Far East and North America. “We are pleased to align Great Circle with a dynamic partner who understands the importance of Anchorage as a global crossroads,” said Great Circle president Justin Charon. The FBO opened in 2005 and provides 24/7 service.
In the late 1950s, the Lynch brothers established their aviation company in Billings, Mont. Over the years Lynch Flying Service thrived in the emerging private and business aviation industry.
On April Fool’s Day 2001, Cliff Edwards purchased Lynch Flying Service. Edwards, one of Lynch’s long-time charter customers, admired the family nature of the business and its dedicated employees. It was a natural fit for Edwards, who had the same business philosophy.
NBAA announced that its 2014 Business Aviation Regional Forums will be held at airports in Florida, California and Texas. On Jan. 30, 2014, Signature Flight Support will host a regional forum at Boca Raton (Fla.) Airport. A second regional forum at Van Nuys (Calif.) Airport will be co-hosted by Maguire Aviation (to be acquired by Signature, pending antitrust approvals) and TWC Aviation on June 26. Business Jet Center at Dallas Love Field will host the third forum next September 18.
This year’s EAA AirVenture started out cloudy, cool and gloomy, but the weather soon matched the crowd’s upbeat outlook and the entire week was marked by comfortable low humidity and moderate temperatures.