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  • Bell Helicopter responded this week to the NTSB’s recent report on the crash of a Bell 525 during a test flight in 2016. “In the time since the accident, a small team of Bell flight technology engineers, pilots and flight-test specialists have worked with the NTSB through the course of the investigation,” company spokesperson Blakeley Thress told AVweb in an email. “Several changes to the aircraft have been implemented and a carefully planned test approach is in place to complete the envelope expansion and certification testing.”

  • The glass cockpit retrofit market for King Airs has a new player as BendixKing announces the certification of its AeroVue flight deck for B200 aircraft.

  • Gulfstream Aerospace delivered its last G450 business jet last week, ending a 12-year production run. More than 360 of the jets have been delivered, collectively logging more than 964,000 hours and 461,000 flights. “The G450 made its mark in aviation history,” said Gulfstream President Mark Burns, in a news release. The company will continue to provide technical and engineering support and engineering for G450 customers, he added.

  • The FAA on Tuesday issued an Airworthiness Directive that affects nearly 19,000 Piper PA-128 airplanes, but compliance is fairly simple and cheap. The AD requires aircraft owners to inspect the fuel-tank selector cover to verify the fuel-tank selector placards are located at the proper positions. If not, the placards must be replaced. Piper told the FAA a “quality control issue” led to some of the placards being reversed. If the error goes unchecked, it could result in fuel-management errors, leading to fuel starvation and loss of power in flight, the FAA says.

  • Peter Maurer is retiring as CEO of Diamond Canada and moving to a new role in “senior global strategy and business development” according to a news release from the newly reunited Diamond Aircraft Industries.

  • The new federal tax law that took effect this month includes several provisions that will impact the various segments of general aviation, from private owners with small airplanes to corporations with their own fleet of jets. Buyers of business aircraft now can immediately write off the entire cost of their new or pre-owned aircraft. That’s good news for GA, says AOPA President Mark Baker.

  • The deadline to submit nominations for this year’s Robert J. Collier trophy is coming up Jan. 31, the National Aeronautic Association announced this week. The prestigious award is given annually to recognize "the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America, with respect to improving the performance, efficiency, and safety of air or space vehicles, the value of which has been thoroughly demonstrated by actual use during the preceding year."

  • On Aug 22nd, 2017 while flying near Myrtle Beach, to Triple Tree Aerodrome, SC to watch the total solar eclipse, there was the following exchange … Experimental: Florence Approach, Experimental NXXXX Request … Florence Approach: NXXXX go ahead … Experimental: N7XXXX requests vectors to where the sun doesn't shine … Florence Approach: Now that's funny … Martin Heller

  • Pilots tuning into the ATIS at Raleigh-Durham International Airport on Saturday got a laundry list of closed taxiways, a bird advisory, and an apology … ATIS: We apologize for any delay you might have today. Due to our elected leaders’ inability to for effectively run (the) government, staffing is short. So sorry. Dilly Dilly … Todd Huvard

  • Thanks to a big kick from the jet stream, Norwegian Airlines is laying claim to the fastest non-Concorde airline flight between New York and London (Gatwick).

  • Searchers will return to a remote area of the Rocky Mountains near Revelstoke, British Columbia, after relatives of two people missing in a suspected plane crash found a fuzzy drone photo in which the words "help" or "here" appear to be written in the snow.

  • While the National Airspace System remains open and accessible to all aircraft, the government shutdown, which began Saturday morning, could affect thousands of owners, operators and pilots if it persists.

  • The FAA says it's satisfied by measures undertaken by Transport Canada and Air Canada to address a couple of serious errors by Air Canada crews at San Francisco International Airport in 2017.

  • Former Major League pitcher Roy Halladay had three drugs in his system when his Icon A5 crashed off the coast of Florida in November.

  • Emirates Airlines has extended the production life of the A380 with a firm order for 20 aircraft and an option for 16 more.

  • Australian lifeguards used a drone to drop a flotation device to some swimmers in trouble and are claiming a world first for the resulting rescue.

  • Students of all ages who are working toward a career in aviation can find scholarships available from a wide range of sources. GAMA said last week it is now accepting applications from high school students for its Edward W. Stimpson “Aviation Excellence” Award, named for the organization’s founder. The $2,000 award will go to a graduating high school senior who has been accepted into an aviation degree program.

  • Pilots may think that talking to ATC or using ADS-B protects them from midair collisions, but mistakes still can happen, and they can be fatal. AOPA’s Air Safety Institute is taking on the midair threat in a big way, offering in-person seminars at 48 sites across the U.S. this year. “What we hope pilots take away from this seminar is that even if you are doing everything right, you can find yourself in a situation where you are closer in proximity to other airplanes than you realize,” said Richard McSpadden, executive director of the AOPA Air Safety Institute.

  • Pilots may think that talking to ATC or using ADS-B protects them from midair collisions, but mistakes still can happen, and they can be fatal. AOPA’s Air Safety Institute is taking on the midair threat in a big way, offering in-person seminars at 48 sites across the U.S. this year. “What we hope pilots take away from this seminar is that even if you are doing everything right, you can find yourself in a situation where you are closer in proximity to other airplanes than you realize,” said Richard McSpadden, executive director of the AOPA Air Safety Institute.

  • Virgin Galactic is ramping up its test-flight program in Mojave, with a goal to bring tourists to space later this year. Late last week, VSS Unity, the passenger-carrying part of Virgin’s space vehicle, completed its seventh glide flight, after a break of several months. During that downtime, Virgin’s engineers worked on testing and analysis, and made some small modifications to the vehicle, to ensure its “readiness for the higher loads and forces of powered test flight,” according to the company blog.

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