AVweb Flash

  • Santa Monica Airport has reopened after a 10-day closure, with its sole runway shortened to 3,500 feet, a loss of 1,500 feet. The change is the latest effort by the city to reduce traffic at the urban airport, an effort that has long been opposed by the aviation community. “This is a great day for the City of Santa Monica and our residents,” said Ted Winterer, the city’s mayor. NBAA says the shorter runway will make it harder for pilots to comply with the city’s noise ordinances.

  • Workhorse Group, whose concept for a “manned drone” attracted lots of attention last summer at EAA AirVenture, announced this week the SureFly aircraft will fly for the first time on Jan. 8, at the CES consumer technology show in Las Vegas. SureFly says its two-seat vehicle will be safer, easier to fly and more affordable than a conventional helicopter.

  • A Cessna CJ2 jet was badly damaged when it ran off a runway at Michigan City Municipal Airport, in Indiana, about 6:45 Wednesday morning. The jet hit a 10-foot-high metal fence, crossed a four-lane highway and slid more than 100 yards across a snowy field before coming to rest, with one wing and its landing gear shorn off. The pilot and passenger exited the airplane on their own. About 300 gallons of fuel leaked from the aircraft, but there was no fire, the local WNDU News reported.

  • Vulcanair, based in Italy, brought their V1.0 four-seat trainer to EAA AirVenture this summer for its U.S. debut, and said it would be FAA certified by the end of the year — and this week, they made good on that forecast. The airplane, certified in the Utility category, features an all-metal airframe, three doors, and a 180hp Lycoming IO-360 engine paired with a Hartzell constant-speed prop. It sells for about $260,000, while four-seat trainers from Cessna and Piper run in the $350,000 range.

  • The restored B-29 ‘Doc,’ which made its debut at Oshkosh this summer, will be back at the show in 2019, Doc’s Friends have announced. The partial tour schedule, released last week, also includes stops in Pennsylvania, Kansas and Missouri. Meanwhile, volunteers are about 60 percent through the planned winter maintenance program that began in early October, and no major issues have been reported.

  • A JetBlue Airbus A320 slid off a taxiway shortly after landing on Runway 27 at Boston’s Logan Airport, at about 7:20 p.m. on Monday night, the FAA has reported. No one was hurt, and all the passengers were evacuated via airstairs. The flight had originated in Savannah, Georgia. Passengers who spoke to the media said the airplane had landed straight but then started to slide and spin while taxiing, and ended up in a snowbank.

  • After more than a decade of poverty-level wages for regional airline pilots, rising demand for air travel coupled with a shortage of military trained pilots is slowly making for a sellers’ market.

  • The pilot who flew the last combat mission of the Second World War died in Florida last week of lung cancer at the age of 93.

  • An unidentified banner pilot starred in what could become an instructional video on how to ditch an airplane when his Piper Pawnee had engine trouble in the Biscayne Bay near Miami last Friday.

  • Heard at ILG (Wilmington, DE)on a Sunday. ILG is a training site for ATC, and also has very, very patient controllers … Tower: Cherokee XYZ, let me explain how we do things. When I give you a clearance, you need to read it back so I know you understood … Cherokee XYZ: OK, I understand … Tower: OK, but you haven't read back the clearance … Cherokee XYZ: Oh, I'm sorry … Tower: No need to apologize, but I need you to read back Cherokee XYZ cleared touch and go, Runway niner … Cherokee XYZ: Oh, I understand. I'm cleared … Tower: I don't think you're understanding. When I clear you, I need you to read this back: "Cherokee XYZ is cleared touch and go, Runway niner.” … Cherokee XYZ: OK, got it … Tower: You haven't read it back, though!! … Please read back … Cherokee XYZ: Cherokee XYZ cleared to land, Runway niner … Tower: If you want to do a full stop, I can clear that instead of a touch and go … Cherokee XYZ: I'd prefer to do a touch and go, though … Tower: OK, then you need to read back clearance for a touch and go. Let's try this one more time: Cherokee XYZ cleared touch and go, Runway niner … Cherokee XYZ: Cherokee XYZ, cleared touch and go, Runway niner … Tower: Excellent! That was perfect … I had to stop laughing before reporting in.

  • China flew the world’s largest amphibious flying boat Sunday in a move that might intensify tensions in the disputed South China Sea.

  • Five people died in the crash of a Cessna 340 at Bartow Airport in Florida after the aircraft took off in dense fog early Sunday.

  • The president of Brazil says his government will exercise its veto power to block the transfer of control of Embraer to Boeing.

  • Austrian-based Diamond Aircraft Group has been acquired by the Chinese company that purchased Diamond’s North American operations last year.

  • The Canadian government has suspended the operating certificate of West Wind Airlines after the crash of one of its ATR 42 airliners near a remote Saskatchewan airport that injured 25 people.

  • Lt. Col. Kevin Walsh, the Thunderbirds operations officer for the 2016 and 2017 show seasons, will command the squadron as Thunderbird No. 1 for the 2018 season. Brig. Gen. Jeannie Leavitt, Commander of the 57th Wing at Nellis Air Force Base, removed Walsh’s predecessor, Lt. Col. Jason Heard, in November after losing confidence in Heard’s “risk management style.”

  • The FAA has approved Levil Aviation’s Broadcasting Outer Module (BOM) avionics pod for installation on certified aircraft as a secondary source of flight data under the Non-Required Safety Enhancing Equipment program. The BOM is a fully wireless avionics system; its battery is charged by a slipstream-powered generator and it transmits flight data to the pilot’s tablet via Wi-Fi connection.

  • Boeing and Embraer confirmed on Thursday they are “engaged in discussions regarding a potential combination, the basis of which remains under discussion.” The brief statement was released after the Wall Street Journal reported that Boeing was in takeover talks with the Brazilian company. A merger would expand Boeing’s presence in the regional jet market and help it compete with a recent effort by Airbus to take over Bombardier, according to the Journal.

  • Bipartisan bills introduced in the House and Senate this week aim to promote aviation education and careers for women and girls. Senators Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, sponsored a bill that would promote expanding the role of women in the aviation workforce. Also, in the House, Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn., and Rep. Steve Knight, R-Calif., introduced the Women in Aerospace Education Act.

  • The development of the CityAirbus VTOL demonstrator is moving forward, Airbus said in a news release this week. The first structural parts are complete and will soon be assembled. The ground-test facility in Germany is also complete, which will enable Airbus engineers to verify the electric propulsion system. The facility can test the system’s components, from flight controls to the dynamic loads of the propellers. The program is on track for a first flight next year.

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