AINalerts
March 7, 2016
View in browser | Subscribe | AINonline.com
image
VistaJet 2015 Flight and Pax Traffic Grows Double Digits

Charter operator VistaJet experienced a more than 21-percent increase in global flight traffic and passenger growth of more than 23 percent in 2015, which the company said was its strongest year to-date. The company’s fastest-growing market was the U.S., with flights to the U.S. up 135 percent and within the U.S. up 165 percent. The VistaJet fleet, which is entirely owned by VistaJet, will reach 60 Bombardier Challenger and Global jets by March 10.

Last year, VistaJet began service within China in partnership with Apex Air, which operates a Challenger 850 for VistaJet charters. Flights to China climbed 25 percent year-over-year; flights to Asia were up 62 percent and the number of passengers climbed 57 percent.

In Africa, VistaJet saw growth of flight traffic of 15 percent; the number for the Middle East was 58 percent. Europe also saw growth, with the number of flights up 13 percent and passengers traveling into Europe up 17 percent.

According to chairman and founder Thomas Flohr, “2015 was a record year for VistaJet. We welcomed more passengers onto our jets than ever before. VistaJet is still increasing its geographic reach in the U.S. and China, and we are taking market share from our main competitors in all of our core markets.”

Facebook Twitter Google+ Linked In
Leap Year Boosts February Flights In Europe

Business aviation departures in Europe increased 2.3 percent in February, a gain that WingX said was helped by the Leap Year. Total flight hours were up as well during the month, by 4 percent, according to the latest WingX Business Aviation Monitor, released today.

“The welcome news of 2 percent growth in flight activity this month belies the underlying stagnation, apparent if the year-over-year record takes account of the Leap Year effect,” said WingX managing director Richard Koe. The company also noted on a daily activity basis, flights in February actually dipped 1 percent. And, year-to-date, business jet activity is down 1 percent.

Regionally, France, the UK and Switzerland each experienced an increase of at least 200 flights in February. But year-to-date, activity is down by 2 percent in France, and Switzerland is flat. Departures in the UK, however, are up 1.6 percent this year.

Activity dipped 3 percent in Germany in February, and for the year, Russia and Turkey each have experienced almost 200 fewer flights.

Flights flown under an air operator’s certificate (AOC) increased in Europe by 1.4 percent, driven by a 36 percent jump in super-midsize AOC activities. The busiest AOC route in February was Geneva-to-Paris Le Bourget.

Facebook Twitter Google+ Linked In
NATA's Hendricks To Leave Association In August

National Air Transportation Association president and CEO Tom Hendricks is planning to resign from his post on August 31, the association announced Friday. Hendricks informed members in a message that he will leave the association “upon the completion of my employment agreement when it expires at the end of August” but that the association’s two senior vice presidents, WilliamDeere and Timothy Obitts, will continue to oversee the association’s daily activities. An interim president will be named following Hendricks’s departure.

“I am extremely grateful to the NATA board, staff and you for the opportunity to lead the association through a period of significant change,” he said. Hendricks joined the association in July 2012 after serving with both Airlines for America and Delta Air Lines. He reorganized the association during his tenure with NATA, bringing in both Deere and Obitts, steered it through a Federal Elections Commission investigation, moved the headquarters downtown, worked with the Transportation Security Administration to expand the Known Crewmember program, set in motion plans to expand the membership and, most recently, finalized a deal with Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty for its workers compensation insurance program. Hendricks did not provide details about his plans beyond NATA, saying only, “Having accomplished these initiatives, I now look forward to new challenges and opportunities.”

Read Expanded Version
Facebook Twitter Google+ Linked In
EASA Approves Embraer's Sorocaba Service Center

Embraer’s business aircraft service center in Sorocaba, Brazil, this week received certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency covering maintenance for the airframer’s entire business jet family. The important approval, which adds to the blessing already conferred by Brazil’s ANAC agency, came just before the second anniversary of the opening of the 21,500-sq-ft facility at Bertram Luiz Leupolz near São Paulo and is expected to be supplemented by FAA certification around haslfway through this year.

The Brazilian airframer also operates a full-service FBO at the airport. Maintenance operations account for around half of the site’s 215,278 sq ft of hangar space. Embraer also has a service center for its Lineage, Legacy and Phenom jets at its São Jose dos Campos headquarters, supporting a Brazil-based fleet of a around 200 aircraft.

Sorocaba has become the prime business aviation hub for São Paulo-bound traffic as space is limited at the city’s main airport, Guarulhos International, and at other local airports such as Congonhas and Campo de Marte. Service centers for Gulfstream and Dassault Falcon are also located at Sorocaba.  

Facebook Twitter Google+ Linked In
Brazil Gears Up for Olympic Business Jet Traffic

Based on past experience, dressage horses and political leaders will likely compete head-to-head with business aviation for ramp space during the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro this August. So predicts Carlos Rodriguez, operations director of the privatized RIOgaleão International Airport (SGGL). AIN spoke with Rodriguez last week at the USTDA-sponsored Air Traffic Modernization Workshop in Rio. Recalling the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament, he said a high-density parking plan operated by Jet Aviation and local partner C>Fly handled the rush of private jets for the final game.

But Rodriguez noted that this year’s Olympics face additional challenges, such as unloading and parking large-footprint cargo planes transporting horses for the equestrian events. And 100 heads of state are expected for the games’ closing ceremony. RIOgaleão has added a ground-control tower and ground radar, which will be operated by the airport. There will also be a temporary business aviation terminal. Slots for the Olympic period will be handled though the Brazilian Air Force's CGNA center for air navigation, which also coordinated traffic for the World Cup. The airport sees business aviation as an important market that it hopes to serve more, Rodriguez said. As an example, he pointed to the large and elegant business aviation hangar recently inaugurated by Lider Aviation. 

Facebook Twitter Google+ Linked In
Aviation Safety Question of the Week
Provided by

A conventional airfoil (greater curvature on top than on bottom) produces lift because of pressure differentials. Which of the follow is true regarding those pressures?
  • A. Upper surface has a higher static pressure, but lower dynamic pressure than bottom.
  • B. Upper surface has a lower static pressure, but higher dynamic pressure than bottom.
  • C. Upper surface has a lower static pressure and lower dynamic pressure than bottom.
  • D. Lower surface has a higher static pressure and higher dynamic pressure than top.
Five-blade Composite Propeller Certified on Piper M500/Meridian

Piper Meridian owners and buyers of the new Piper M500 have a new propeller option, a Hartzell five-blade composite propeller for which Hartzell has just received a supplemental type certificate. In addition to providing reduced noise and a better climb rate, the propeller’s new blades are certified for unlimited life. The swept-airfoil blades are designed with a stainless steel shank, nickel cobalt leading edge and mesh erosion screen for FOD protection, according to Hartzell. The entire propeller assembly is 15 pounds lighter than the current aluminum four-blade propeller. 

The five-blade composite propeller is an option on new M500s and available as a retrofit for the more than 500 Meridians that have been delivered. Piper dealer Muncie Aviation is already starting installations of the five-blade propeller. “These new swept-airfoil props look great and they increase the asset value for this excellent business aircraft through increased performance,” said Muncie Aviation president Martin Ingram. 

Facebook Twitter Google+ Linked In
Embraer 2015 Results As Expected for Bizjet Division

Fourth quarter delivery numbers for Embraer's business jet division were mostly as expected in today's announced financial results, while deliveries of commercial jets (25 light and 20 large jets – 101 deliveries for all of 2015) surpassed its overall annual guidance for 2015. Embraer Executive Jets delivered 82 light jets and 38 large jets throughout 2015, meeting its projections from this time last year.

Overall company revenues for the year ($5.928 billion) also met guidance projections (between $5.8 billion and $6.3 billion). Guidance for the current fiscal year calls for net revenues of between $6 billion and $6.4 billion. The Embraer Executive Jets division expects to deliver between 40-to-50 large jets and 75-to-85 light jets in FY2016. The commercial jet division projects delivering 105-to-110 aircraft.

Addressing a March 3 conference call for financial analysts, Embraer CEO Fred Curado said that fourth quarter profit margins at Embraer Executive Jets were somewhat lower than expected at 0.5 percent. This, he explained, was because the Brazilian airframer had ended up taking in higher than anticipated numbers of pre-owned aircraft as trade-ins on new sales. Many of these aircraft were not Embraer models, but the company has since resold most of them.

Facebook Twitter Google+ Linked In
Keystone Aviation Increases TBM Sales Area

Tac Air subsidiary Keystone Aviation has expanded on its decade-long relationship with Daher as dealer for its TBM series, with the announcement that Keystone has added four Canadian provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia) as well as the state of Alaska to its exclusive distribution area. This is in addition to Keystone’s previously existing sales territory of Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Wyoming and Montana. “We’ve had a fruitful 10-year partnership with Keystone Aviation in promoting and supporting our very fast turboprop aircraft throughout the Northwestern United States,” said Nicholas Chabbert, senior vice president of Daher’s airplane business unit. “The next step is to build on this relationship by expanding into Western Canada and Alaska.”

“With our expanded sales territory, we will be able to introduce the TBM’s benefits of speed, comfort and efficiency to many potential new customers,” noted Brian Jones, Keystone’s TBM sales director. “The TBM family appeals to owners and operators who desire an aircraft built to commercial airline standards with point-to-point performance equivalent to light jets, while having the ability to operate on almost any runway.”

Facebook Twitter Google+ Linked In
Recent Accident Reports
Link to Report
Report Type: Preliminary (incident)
Registration #: JA120N
Make/Model: Cessna Citation V
City: near Osaka International Airport
State:
Country: Japan
Event Date: March 7, 2016
Link to Report
Report Type: Preliminary (fatal)
Registration #: RF-29011
Make/Model: Airbus Helicopters AS 355N Ecureuil 2
City: Krasnoe, Yuryev-Polsky District
State: Vladimir Oblast
Country: Russia
Event Date: March 4, 2016
Link to Report
Report Type: Preliminary (non-fatal)
Registration #: N6351V
Make/Model: Beechcraft Super King Air 350
City: Kawrgosk
State:
Country: Iraq
Event Date: March 5, 2016
Link to Report
Report Type: Preliminary (non-fatal)
Registration #: N568TB
Make/Model: Bell 47G
City: Agua Dulce
State: California
Country: United States
Event Date: March 2, 2016
Link to Report
Report Type: Preliminary (incident)
Registration #: N358QS
Make/Model: Embraer Phenom 300
City: Chicago
State: Illinois
Country: United States
Event Date: March 1, 2016
Link to Report
Report Type: Preliminary (Incident)
Registration #: N766ME
Make/Model: Airbus Helicopters BK117
City: San Bernardino
State: California
Country: United States
Event Date: February 28, 2016
Link to Report
Report Type: Preliminary (fatal)
Registration #: D-HVBB
Make/Model: Airbus Helicopters EC135T2+
City: Bimöhlen
State:
Country: Germany
Event Date: February 25, 2016
Link to Report
Report Type: Preliminary (incident)
Registration #: N747TH
Make/Model: Piper PA-46 JetProp DLX
City: Manassas Regional Airport
State: Virginia
Country: United States
Event Date: February 25, 2016
Link to Report
Report Type: Preliminary (non-fatal)
Registration #: 5N-BQH
Make/Model: Finmeccanica Helicopters AW109
City: Benin
State:
Country: Nigeria
Event Date: February 25, 2016
Link to Report
Report Type: Preliminary (incident)
Registration #: N266RH
Make/Model: Robinson R66
City: Torrance
State: California
Country: United States
Event Date: February 23, 2016
Link to Report
Report Type: Preliminary (incident)
Registration #: N718MD
Make/Model: Airbus Helicopters EC130
City: Bristol
State: Tennessee
Country: United States
Event Date: February 22, 2016
Link to Report
Report Type: Preliminary (incident)
Registration #: N214RT
Make/Model: Cessna Citation M2
City: Orlando International Airport
State: Florida
Country: United States
Event Date: February 20, 2016
Link to Report
Report Type: Preliminary (incident)
Registration #: N442GJ
Make/Model: Beechjet 400A
City: DeKalb-Peachtree Airport/Chamblee
State: Georgia
Country: United States
Event Date: February 22, 2016
Link to Report
Report Type: Preliminary (non-fatal)
Registration #: N80918
Make/Model: Bell 206
City: Pearl Harbor
State: Hawaii
Country: United States
Event Date: February 18, 2016
Link to Report
Report Type: Preliminary (incident)
Registration #: N886G
Make/Model: Gulfstream G200
City: Chantilly
State: Virginia
Country: United States
Event Date: February 15, 2016
AINalerts News Tips/Feedback: News tips may be sent anonymously, but feedback must include name and contact info (we will withhold name on request). We reserve the right to edit correspondence for length, clarity and grammar. Send feedback or news tips to AINalerts editor Chad Trautvetter.
AINalerts is a publication of The Convention News Co., Inc., 214 Franklin Avenue, Midland Park, NJ 07432. Copyright 2016. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission from The Convention News Co., Inc., is strictly prohibited.