Bombardier Learjet 36, San Diego, Dec. 1, 2006–While maneuvering off the coast near San Diego, Learjet N26FN lost its right elevator. The public-use flight, with two pilots and one passenger aboard, had departed North Island Naval Air Station, San Diego. According to the NTSB, it had joined up with another airplane and the pilot lost contact with the second airplane because of sun glare.
The momentum that began to build in the used jet market late last summer is rolling into this year. Overall inventory is about where it was a year ago, but after a significant month-over-month build-up through July, sales activity heightened and just as quickly reversed direction. Between August and the middle of last month, roughly 100 more aircraft departed the market than arrived.
Haggan Aviation on Denver’s Centennial Airport has become an authorized installation facility for the Raisbeck ZR light performance system for 30-series Learjets. The ZR light (batwing) performance system modifies the flap contours and installs the batwing at the wing junction with the tiptank.
Since the sale of its Midcoast Aviation subsidiary last year, Sabreliner has returned to its roots by refocusing on providing resources and a continuing commitment to supporting the Sabreliner fleet.
New avionics and an upgraded cabin interior distinguish the Learjet 60XR from the Learjet 60, which will be replaced when the newer version of the midsize jet enters service in the first quarter of 2007. The Learjet 60XR will feature Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics, as well as an integrated flight information system that allows the pilots to call up approach plates and airport diagrams on the flight displays.
Two fatal business jet accidents in the first two weeks of this year claimed the lives of four pilots. A Cessna 525 operated by Sun Quest Executive Air Charter of Van Nuys, Calif., crashed on January 12 shortly after takeoff from Van Nuys Airport, and a cargo-carrying Learjet 24 operated by Ameristar Jet Charter of Dallas crashed on January 9 on approach to Miguel Hidalgo Airport in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Bombardier Flexjet, the U.S.-based fractional business jet arm of Canadian manufacturer Bombardier, last month announced it would begin operations in--where else--Canada. Flexjet Canada has started operations with three Canadian-registered aircraft–two Learjet 45s and a Challenger 604–formerly in the Bombardier corporate fleet and 10 Montreal-based pilots.
Beginning June 1, buyers of any new Bombardier business jet can opt for a new cost-per-flight-hour maintenance support program. Under “Smart Maintenance Plus,” unscheduled and scheduled maintenance and certain unscheduled labor costs are covered for five years or 2,500 flight hours for Challengers and Global Expresses and five years or 2,250 flight hours for Learjets.
Although a strike last summer at Learjet facilities in Wichita held down aircraft deliveries in the third quarter of this year, Bombardier reported that it delivered 143 business jets in the first nine months of its fiscal year ending October 31, compared with 132 in the corresponding nine months in 2005.
On December 1 a Learjet 36 with two pilots and one passenger aboard lost its right elevator while maneuvering off the coast of San Diego. According to the NTSB the jet “joined up with another airplane and was doing a cross-under maneuver. The pilot lost sight of the other airplane due to sun glare and turned away. When the pilot reacquired his visual acuity, the airplane was in a 70-degree angle of bank and 50 degrees nose low.