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  • United Airlines has created a new program with Metropolitan State University of Denver to identify talented student pilots and place them on a path to flying for United, the airline announced on Tuesday. Regional carriers have offered similar programs in recent years, but this will be the first time a major U.S. airline has established a partnership with a university aviation department, according to United. The partnership doesn’t guarantee students a future job, but if they meet a checklist of requirements over several years, they will be in line for an opportunity.

  • The latest effort to find the crash site of Malaysian Airlines MH370 continues, after a three-day “blackout” from the survey ship conducting the search set the Internet on fire with theories about what might be going on. Ocean Infinity Ltd. is conducting the search on a contingency basis, with a payday of up to $70 million from the Malaysian government if they find the wreck, but nothing will be paid if they come up empty. The Ocean Infinity website offers no response to the uproar, but does note, in a report dated Feb. 6: “Please be assured that work is continuing and is aimed at finding MH370.”

  • The National Aeronautic Association has named its candidates for the 2017 Robert J. Collier trophy, which is awarded annually for the “greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America.” The nominees are: Boeing’s 737 Max; the Cirrus Aircraft Vision SF50 single-engine jet; the autonomous helicopter system developed by the U.S. Marine Corps Office of Naval Research and Aurora Flight Sciences; the high-altitude glider Perlan Project; the Zee Aero Division of Kitty Hawk Corporation; the Vanilla Aircraft VA001 drone; the Edwards Air Force Base F-35 Integrated Test Force; the NASA/JPL Cassini Project Team; and the TSA, ALPA, and A4A Known Crewmember® and TSA Pre?® Programs.

  • The newest version of Boeing’s 737, the Max 7, rolled out of the hangar in Renton, Washington, on Monday, Boeing has announced. The jet is the third member of the Max family, and has the longest range, up to 3,850 NM, a boost of 1,000 NM over its predecessor, the 737-700. The Max 7 single-aisle cabin holds 172 passengers, and lowers fuel costs by 18 percent per seat, compared to the 700, says Boeing.

  • Plans for a contingent of vintage C-47 aircraft to fly across the Atlantic and then cross the English Channel on June 6, 2019, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, are now officially underway, the Tunison Foundation announced on Monday. The Foundation also announced the launch of the D-Day Squadron, which will organize the event, to honor the citizen soldiers who helped liberate Europe and end World War II. The Squadron’s website is now live online.

  • The FAA is investigating a near-miss incident between a drone and a Frontier Airlines Airbus dramatically captured in a 27-second video that went viral late last week. The Airbus was inbound to Las Vegas’ McCarran Airport, but it’s unclear when it occurred and the authenticity of the video has yet to be confirmed. “We became aware of this incident this afternoon and we are investigating,” the FAA’s Ian Gregor told Las Vegas Now on Friday.

  • Flying back from St. Augustine Fl (SGJ) to Stennis International (KHSA) just before Christmas, my destination was very low IFR. The whole region and surrounding airports were either very low IFR or Zero Zero. Planes were going missed at Gulfport (KGPT) and surrounding airports and tensions were high with the controllers. I was cleared for the ILS 18 into Stennis … Tower: “…and I can’t see you” … Comanche XXX “I can’t see you either!” … We both laughed and it changed his stressed tone, and I did make the landing … Charlie Horton

  • Airbus has flown its A3 Vahana autonomous electric VTOL aircraft, completing two short test flights in Oregon last Wednesday and Thursday.

  • Boeing is reportedly considering creating a new company with Embraer to produce small airliners. The proposed deal would exclude Embraer’s defense business, which Brazil considers an essential element of its national sovereignty.

  • The U.S. Air Force has narrowed the field in the competition for its new light attack aircraft to just two, the AT-6 Wolverine and A-29 Super Tucano, eliminating the Textron Scorpion and L-3 Longsword, a militarized Air Tractor 802 aerial application aircraft.

  • U.S. Red Bull race pilot Mike Goulian won his first event in nine years winning the season opener in Abu Dhabi in convincing fashion.

  • Call it the AAA of the skies, or at least signs of a more competitive aircraft insurance market. Aircraft insurer Global Aerospace is offering the Savvy Aircraft Maintenance Breakdown Assistance program as a standard benefit for the majority of its general aviation aircraft policies.

  • For the first time in aviation history, in 2017, not a single person died anywhere in the world because of a jet airliner accident. One man died in the crash of a Canadian ATR42 turboprop in December. The chance of dying in an airline crash now is about 1 in 50 million, according to a recent analysis in The Wall Street Journal. “It’s just stunning,” safety consultant William Voss told the Journal. “I hope that we can sustain it, but that’s hard to do.” The flawless safety record can be attributed to a lot of hard work by many people over many years, but luck also played a role.

  • The FAA has issued an AD involving 14,653 U.S. Cessna 172, 182, 206 and 210 models after cracks were found in the lower area of the forward cabin doorpost bulkhead.

  • The FAA has proposed an AD involving 14,653 U.S. Cessna 172, 182, 206 and 210 models after cracks were found in the lower area of the forward cabin doorpost bulkhead.

  • Airbus has successfully flown its new long-range single-aisle jet, the A321LR, for the first time, the company announced on Wednesday. The first flight launched from the Hamburg-Finkenwerder airport in Germany, and lasted 2 hours and 36 minutes. During the flight, the crew tested the aircraft’s flight controls, engines and main systems, including flight envelope protections, at both high and low speed. The new model includes extra fuel tanks to stretch the range. Certification is expected by this summer.

  • A Robinson R44 helicopter crashed into a house in a gated community in Newport Beach, California, about 2 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, killing three of the four people on board. A person on the ground nearby also was injured by debris from the crash. A witness who spoke to CBS Los Angeles said he saw the chopper "drop like a rock." Another witness told The Associated Press it looked as if the pilot was trying to land in the street, “but clipped the roof across the street and didn't make it." The pilot and two passengers died, and the third passenger was seriously hurt.

  • A new technology that enables aircraft to fold their wings to different angles while in flight was successful in recent flight tests, NASA has reported. The tests took place at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California, as part of the Spanwise Adaptive Wing project. Folding wings have been tried in the past, NASA said, notably with the North American XB-70 Valkyrie in the 1960s. However, the ability to bend wings in flight was dependent on heavy and bulky motors and hydraulics. The new technology uses a cutting-edge, lightweight shape-memory alloy.

  • HorizonX, Boeing’s innovation team, announced this week it has invested in Cuberg, a Berkeley-based startup developing next-generation battery technology for aerospace applications. "Cuberg's battery technology has some of the highest energy density we've seen in the marketplace, and its unique chemistries could prove to be a safe, stable solution for future electric air transportation," said Steve Nordlund, vice president of HorizonX.

  • An internal defect caused an uncontained engine failure, leading to a fire, during the takeoff roll of a Boeing 767 in October 2016, the NTSB said in its probable-cause hearing on Tuesday. The subsurface defect led to cracking in a turbine disk. The cracks were undetectable using current inspection methods, the investigators found. “Even though there have been significant advances in the safety performance of passenger airplanes over the last few decades, this accident shows there are still improvements that can be made,” said NTSB chairman Robert Sumwalt.

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