The Airbus Corporate Jetliner family has just grown bigger, with the introduction of its newest member, the smaller A318 Elite. The Elite offers less range (up to 4,000 nm) and a shorter cabin than the Airbus 320. Airbus said Germany’s Lufthansa Technik will outfit the Elite with a choice of two cabin layouts seating up to 14 and 18 passengers, respectively, with seats clustered in several lounge areas throughout the cabin.
More details have emerged about the November 5 fatal crash of Citation N505K following a loss of control on takeoff at Hobby Airport in Houston. The 55-year-old owner-pilot and his 37-year-old maintenance technician were killed in the accident.
Three serious near collisions on runways in Boston, New York and Las Vegas this year have prompted the NTSB to again press for quicker action by the FAA to reduce such incidents. This issue has been on the Safety Board’s “most wanted” list since its inception in 1990.
The European Commission (EC) yesterday issued a major proposal to extend the tasks of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to rulemaking and control of air operations, pilot qualifications and licenses and oversight of third-country airlines operating in the European Union. The agency, created in 2002, currently certifies the airworthiness and environmental performance of aeronautical products, among other duties.
Boeing Business Jets announced yesterday at the Dubai Air Show that it is now offering the BBJ3, an executive version of its new 737-900ER. With five auxiliary fuel tanks, the BBJ3 will have a range of 4,765 nm. Its 1,120-sq-ft cabin is 35 percent more than that of a BBJ and 11 percent more than that of the BBJ2. The list price is $62.5 million, but it will be a while before deliveries can begin.
An ongoing investigation into the August 10 fatal crash of an S-76C+ in the Baltic Sea has led the NTSB to ask the FAA to take “urgent” action on several recommendations. Flight-data recordings show that the twin-turbine helicopter “pitched up and rolled to the left, followed by a series of rotations to the right before striking the water,” killing all 14 aboard.
Following the crash of a Sikorsky S-76 into the Gulf of Mexico, the two pilots and 10 passengers survived several hours in the water before being rescued, despite their injuries and problems with life-saving equipment. On September 6, at about 4 p.m., the Houston Helicopters S-76 ditched into the Gulf some 24 miles southeast of Sabine Pass, Texas, after a dual engine failure.
A Flight Options Beechjet 400A (N691TA) yesterday afternoon experienced a dual-engine flameout en route from Indianapolis International Airport to Marco Island Airport, Fla., while on a positioning leg. The crew declared an emergency and landed safely at Jacksonville International Airport. This marks the second such Beechjet incident at the Cleveland-based fractional provider.
In its determination of the probable cause of the PenAir Caravan crash, the Safety Board also said that a factor contributing to the accident “was the lack of a preflight inspection requirement to examine at close range the upper surface of the wing for ice contamination when ground icing conditions exist.” Such a requirement is now on the books, the result of an AD issued in March following an FAA investigation into incidents involving Carava
A jury in Anchorage, Alaska, reached a verdict in favor of Cessna in a lawsuit arising from the Oct. 10, 2001 crash of a PenAir Caravan near Dillingham, Alaska. The plaintiffs, relatives of the 10 people killed in the crash, claimed the Caravan had design defects that made it dangerous to fly in icing conditions. The jury found that “no defects” of the Caravan contributed to the accident.