AVweb Flash

  • After many years pushing their own electronic flight bag solution, Jeppesen has reached a deal with ForeFlight to make Jeppesen chart and flight data available on the ForeFlight app. "The number-one question I've gotten from pilots around the world is 'when can I get Jeppesen charts on ForeFlight?'" says Ken Sain, Jeppesen COO.
  • A Cherokee Six that had, according to the local Seattle Times, just departed Paine Field made a forced landing on a nearby street after striking a power line pole then a traffic light Tuesday afternoon. Both the pilot, believed to be the owner of the airplane, Justin Dunaway, and his passenger were uninjured. Two people on the ground were reported to have minor injuries.
  • Virgin Galactic has successfully tested its feather re-entry system in flight for the first time, the company said this week. The system, which is designed to enable VSS Unity to safely return to Earth after carrying tourists to the edge of space, reconfigures the vehicle by folding up its twin tail booms. The structure acts as a brake, allowing supersonic speeds to be safely dissipated so the vehicle can descend to a slow and safe runway landing. The flight test followed extensive testing of the feather system on the ground.
  • Officials from the FAA visited Cirrus Aircraft in Duluth, Minnesota, on Tuesday to award the company with a production certificate for the Cirrus jet. The certification means that FAA staffers no longer need to check each individual jet before delivery, which will help the company to ramp up its production. "We are just reaching one a week production rate," Cirrus operations president Pat Waddick told the local ABC News.
  • Bell Helicopter's new tilt-rotor design, the V-280 Valor, is about 95 percent complete and will likely fly for the first time in September, the company says. Bell displayed a full-size mock-up of the V-280 last week at the Army Aviation Mission Solutions Summit in Nashville, Tennessee. The V-280 is designed to fly at speeds up to 280 knots, carry a crew of four plus up to 14 troops, and cover a range of up to 800 NM. It's under development at the company's facility in Amarillo, Texas.
  • The new BasicMed FAA rule took effect on Monday, and according to AOPA, 1,354 pilots already have completed all the requirements to qualify for the program. Those pilots are now eligible to fly under the BasicMed rules. Another 3,897 pilots have completed the online medical education course quiz, and 2,412 pilots have begun the course, AOPA said. The FAA said it is working on an updated BasicMed Advisory Circular (AC 68-1), which should be posted online on the BasicMed page sometime this week.
  • Flight Design has been the leader in sales of light sport aircraft since the category launched in 2004, but data recently compiled for sales through 2016 shows that CubCrafters has taken over the lead spot, with a total of 382 aircraft delivered, compared to Flight Design's total of 378. Third place goes to the Cessna Skycatcher, which is no longer in production, with 269 in the fleet. For sales in the year 2016, Czech Sport Aircraft took the lead spot, with 30 airplanes delivered.
  • A monument to the helicopter crews of the Vietnam War will be placed at Arlington Cemetery, after a long uphill fight by advocates. It's hard to think of that war without thinking of helicopters, whether your experience of the war was firsthand or from news, documentaries and movies like Apocalypse Now. But when a group of veterans approached Arlington National Cemetery about installing a monument to those crews, they met obstacles.
  • Anchorage Approach: Skylane X, traffic four miles at your one o' clock, type and altitude unknown.  Possibly birds … Skylane: We have the birds in sight … Approach: Say type and altitude … Skylane: They're ducks at 4300 feet, westbound … Don't get to give a PIREP on ducks every day!
  • Lots of strange aircraft have turned up at airports in California's high desert but they usually get identified so there's some intrigue surrounding this image shot at Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville on April 12.
  • Every pilot has the message drummed into him or her that if it suddenly goes quiet, they must "aviate, navigate, communicate" and "fly the airplane." A Taiwanese pilot of a two-seat aircraft epitomized those qualities during a recent off-airport landing that was naturally captured from start to finish by his passenger's cellphone.
  • A Delta Air Lines pilot is back at work after he belted one of two brawling passengers in a jetway after the aircraft landed. A video obtained by TMZ shows the pilot smacking one of the women, who started tussling while disembarking.
  • United Airlines has reached a settlement with Dr. David Dao, the bumped passenger who was dragged off a Republic Airlines regional flight (operating as United) after having his nose broken and losing two teeth in the process. The cellphone video of the incident and subsequent backlash has focused discussion on how everyone behaves in the aluminum tubes and likely made the doctor from Louisville, who was trying to get home from Chicago on April 9, a wealthy man.
  • Evolution Aircraft Company, maker of the high-end Evolution Turbine and Evolution Piston kit planes, is adding two more versions of the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 turboprop to its pressurized single-engine lineup. The Evolution airplanes were previously part of the Lancair brand of experimental aircraft, but Kevin Eldredge, president of Evolution Aircraft Company, sold the Lancair assets to a father-son pair in Texas to focus on the Evolution series aircraft last summer.
  • The Air Force crew of MACHO 11 can now top Sully's two-engine bird ingestion. The Air Force B-52 that crashed when departing from Andersen Air Force Base last May experienced indications consistent with failure of all four starboard engines due to bird ingestion. The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress is an eight-engine, turbojet-powered strategic bomber. The aircraft commander told investigators that he saw birds at wing level, felt or heard "thuds," and "observed engine indications for numbers 5, 6, and 7 'quickly spooling back' from the required takeoff setting" with high oil pressure on engine 8.
  • Uber drew lots of attention this week with their three-day Elevate conference about how to create an urban network of flying taxis by 2020, but as ambitious as their goals are, John Langford, the CEO of Aurora Flight Sciences, says they are "do-able." The vision won't come to pass, though, he told AVweb in an interview from the conference, unless there's a deadline. "It's a little bit like going to Mars -- it's certainly possible, but it's always 20 years away," he said.
  • Four members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee have introduced a bill to prevent foreign air carriers who are operating under a flag of convenience from receiving a U.S. Foreign Carrier Permit to operate in the United States. The bill has strong backing from the Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association (SWAPA): "We look forward to competing in the international marketplace but will not stand by and watch foreign competitors decimate our industry through flags of convenience schemes or unfair government subsidies." Representatives Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Rick Larsen (D-WA), and Drew Ferguson (R-GA) are the bill's initial sponsors.
  • A federal judge in Los Angeles accepted the plea bargain of Arnold ("Arnie") Gerald Leto III on Monday, sentencing him to 10 months in jail for flying paying passengers without a pilot's certificate--at least one flight in a Dassault Falcon 10 and at least one flight in a Cessna Citation II. Leto lost his certificate in early 2016 for flying paying passengers in the Cessna Citation II without possessing the required type rating and without a second pilot--as is required by that aircraft's type certificate.
  • The group of airport tenants who had filed an injunction to stop the Planes of Fame Chino Air Show from taking place in 2017 have withdrawn their request, according to Yanks Air Museum, one of the plaintiffs. The director of Yanks Air Museum, Christen Wright, in a press release said, "We do not want others to be harmed, as we have been every year, by the unfair actions of Planes of Fame. We decided to drop the preliminary injunction for the sake of attendees and vendors." Steve Hinton, well-known air racer and Planes of Fame president, had promised prospective attendees their money would be refunded if an injunction shut down the event.
  • Vivek Saxena has stepped down as CEO of Mooney International Corporation after less than a year in the top job, according to AOPA, citing an email to employees, and confirmed by AVweb. Saxena joined Mooney in August of 2016, replacing Jerry Chen, who had been appointed as interim CEO by Soaring America Corporation, the Chinese-backed investment group that recapitalized Mooney to restart production of the M20. Albert Li, Mooney's CFO, will reportedly serve as executive director until a new CEO can be appointed.

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