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January 21, 2024

Van’s Aircraft Offers Partial Business Update

The Information Outflow From Van's Crawls Slowly Along... Still Awaiting Engine/Prop/Avionics Plan

The folks at Van's, after weeks of working through a much-discussed bankruptcy process, have published a business update... and as usual, not everyone is happy or has the answers they have been looking for, for quite a while. Van's notes that, "As we work through the Chapter 11 planning requirements and execute our daily operations, the staff at Van’s Aircraft have been hard at work. We’ve processed a large volume of kit reorders and continue to handle related emails and phone calls. We’re shipping kits to customers every day, and we’ve started sending replacement parts to some customers with kits that contained laser cut

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F-35 Sees $4M in Damage Thanks to Flashlight Ingestion

Improper Procedural Adherence, Rushed Equipment Checks, Clunky Interfaces Blamed for Ruined Engine

A team in the 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Unit at Luke AFB slipped up while executing a Time Compliance Technical Directive for an F-35A aircraft, allowing a ground-run engine to ingest a handheld flashlight. The error "damaged the $14,000,000 engine beyond local repair" according to the investigative report, though the replacement parts required should be a comparably cheaper $3,900,000. The maintenance was intended to install a metering plug as required after an F-35B mishap in December of 2022. The "Board President found that F-35 Autonomic Logistics Information System checklist complacency and a disconnect between Department of the Air Force I

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B-1 Crash Site Halts Ops at Ellsworth AFB

Crash Investigation Pauses Flights in South Dakota

A January 4th crash of a B-1B Lancer aircraft has halted flight operations at Ellsworth AFB in South Dakota, waiting for investigators to continue processing and recovering its remains. The pause has lasted the better part of a month, with the runway closed through at least the 19th, if not longer. While initial reports made it sound as if the B-1 crew ejected in mid-air, the aircraft was number two in a 2-ship formation coming in to land. During the landing, the crew ejected, leaving the plane to leave the runway.

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Volato Gains HondaJet Maintenance Base in Florida

Banyan Leases Hangar for 3-year MRO Base

Volato Inc has entered into a strategic agreement with Banyan Air Service in an effort to expand HondaJet maintenance at Volato’s primary operational base. Banyan subleased a hangar to Volato at the Northeast Florida Regional Airport in St. Augustine, Florida, which will serve as a full-scale service suite for the firm's HondaJet fleet. The initial sublease is set to sunset in 3 years. The move is a departure from the norm for Banyan, as the firm highlights its "first venture outside of Fort Lauderdale". The new facility also reinforces the Honda aircraft network in Florida. and marks the establishment of an additional authorized HondaJet service facility in the state of Florida.

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HAMR Drone Gets AFWERX Blessing for Development

Contract to Support USAF Agile Drone Platform

Advanced Aircraft Company snagged a Direct-to-Phase II contract AFWERX for $1.25 million, allowing it to further develop its Hybrid Advanced Multirotor Unmanned Aircraft System (HAMR). The HAMR concept is hoped to fulfill the USAF Agile Combat Employment concept, offering a flexible mission-ready package for a range of common USAF missions. The HAMR can be optimized for a variety of defense applications along the usual ISR profile, as the manufacturer highlights.

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Klyde Morris (01.19.24)

Klyde Puzzles Through Autoland...

FMI: www.klydemorris.com

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Air India to build Largest Training Facility in South Asia

50,000 Students to One Day Graduate from Gurugram Every Year

India's flagship conglomerate Tata Group announced the creation of a 600,000 square foot aviation training academy, aiming to feed its domestic industry more than 50,000 professionals in the coming years. The Tata Group's ownership of Air India spurred on their activity, hoping to move away from the trouble of sending students to outside training facilities to ply their airline trade. The facility in Gurugram, Haryana will train the full roster of airline personnel, including pilots, cabin crew, ground support, and more. They plan to install 20 full flight sim bays in both Boeing and Airbus types, as well as an AMT training facility to cover their logistical bases. While the Boeing

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Airborne 01.12.24: Pivotal Helix Ready, Lunar Delays, MD Heli Loved 2023

Also: Hyundai AAM Prototype, Gaffney G1000 Book, Ryanair Shortage, X-66 Boeing Concept

Pivotal, nee Opener, is accepting orders for its successor to the BlackFly eVTOL, the "Helix". The opening price stands at $190,000 (sans taxes, fees, etc) with a $250 deposit securing place in line. First customer shipments are expected to begin on June 10, 2024. Once known under its prior name Opener, Pivotal made waves with a human-demonstrable, single seat, battery powered VTOL aircraft at AirVenture 2022. NASA updated its schedule for its Artemis campaign, glossing over delays that have been introduced to the original schedule. Claiming that the program will establish

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Airborne-Flight Training 01.11.24: G1000 Book, Whirly Girls, AeroEducate's 40K

Also: Updated FAA Penalty Schedule, New WAI Boss, AMT Prep Book, Enstrom MX Training 

Sentia Publishing has released The Complete G1000: A Pilot's Handbook by Michael G. Gaffney. After years of market saturation, the G1000 has become a standard unto itself, a common, consistent suite of large screen, instrument capable avionics. Whirly-Girls International, a non-profit dedicated to advancing women's roles in the helicopter aviation industry, named recipients of its 2024 scholarship programs. The lucky winners will be awarded at the February 25th HAI Heli-Expo in Anaheim, California, where each will be given a moment of appreciation at the Whirly-Gir

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Airborne 01.12.24: Pivotal Helix Ready, Lunar Delays, MD Heli Loved 2023

Also: Hyundai AAM Prototype, Gaffney G1000 Book, Ryanair Shortage, X-66 Boeing Concept

Pivotal, nee Opener, is accepting orders for its successor to the BlackFly eVTOL, the "Helix". The opening price stands at $190,000 (sans taxes, fees, etc) with a $250 deposit securing place in line. First customer shipments are expected to begin on June 10, 2024. Once known under its prior name Opener, Pivotal made waves with a human-demonstrable, single seat, battery powered VTOL aircraft at AirVenture 2022. NASA updated its schedule for its Artemis campaign, glossing over delays that have been introduced to the original schedule. Claiming that the program will estab

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Airborne-Flight Training 01.11.24: G1000 Book, Whirly Girls, AeroEducate's 40K

Also: Updated FAA Penalty Schedule, New WAI Boss, AMT Prep Book, Enstrom MX Training 

Sentia Publishing has released The Complete G1000: A Pilot's Handbook by Michael G. Gaffney. After years of market saturation, the G1000 has become a standard unto itself, a common, consistent suite of large screen, instrument capable avionics. Whirly-Girls International, a non-profit dedicated to advancing women's roles in the helicopter aviation industry, named recipients of its 2024 scholarship programs. The lucky winners will be awarded at the February 25th HAI Heli-Expo in Anaheim, California, where each will be given a moment of appreciation at the Whi

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Spirit Airlines Downgraded to 'CCC+' by S&P Global

Low Cost Carrier Facing Headwinds on All Fronts After Losing Acquisition Bid

Standard & Poor's Global Ratings is not too impressed with Spirit Airlines' prospects now that their anticipated JetBlue merger has gone to dust. The financial grader dropped Spirit's rating to CCC+, citing a vulnerable capital structure dependent on favorable market conditions. The firm notes that "Spirit's revenue generation in the second half of 2023 was hurt by lower ticket prices", which have "moderated from the highs of 2022". They expect the trend to continue throughout this year "due to excess industry capacity on its key routes amid normalizing domestic leisure travel demand." Spirit Airlines also has "limited exposure to premium products offerings and l

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Classic Aero-TV: Avionics 4 Innovators--Avilution’s Avionics Solution for Samson

From 2019 (YouTube Version): New Type Of Aircraft Needed A New Type Of Panel

When you design a new type of aircraft, for instance one that is intended to be driven on a road as well as flown like an airplane, you need a new type of panel that will work in both configurations. For the Samson Sky Switchblade roadable aircraft, the company turned to Avilution to design just such a panel. Sam Bousfield, CEO of Samson Sky and designer of the Switchblade, told Aero-News at AirVenture 2019 "we're doing a flying sports car, so, it has a dual use ground and air."

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NTSB Preliminary Report on Hawker 400A Gear Collapse Published

The Pilot Used Full Right Rudder Deflection And Aileron To Keep The Airplane Centered On The Runway

The NTSB released a preliminary report about a runway incident involving a Hawker 400 and a busted landing gear. "On November 30, 2023, at 1318 eastern standard time, a Raytheon Aircraft Company 400A, N800SD, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident at Dekalb-Peachtree Airport (PDK), Atlanta, Georgia. The airline transport pilot and a commercial pilot were not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 positioning flight..."

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ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (01.21.24)

Aero Linx: Cardinal Flyers Online The Cardinal Flyers are a group of owners, operators and flyers of the Cessna 177 Cardinal. This is our web home, the Cardinal Flyers Online. Our purpose is to bring Cardinal Flyers together around the world, both virtually and physically, while communicating our member's experiences, wisdom and knowledge in creative and effective ways. We are about technical knowledge exchange, but also about building a community of Cardinal owners.

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ANN's Daily Aero-Term (01.21.24): Taxi

Taxi The movement of an airplane under its own power on the surface of an airport (14 CFR Section 135.100 [Note]). Also, it describes the surface movement of helicopters equipped with wheels.

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Aero-News: Quote of the Day (01.21.24)

"To complete the TCTD, the team removed a panel and inserted a metering plug into an engine fuel line. They prepared the aircraft for an engine run to test the installed metering plug for fuel leaks. The engine run was completed with no visual indications or health reporting codes that would indicate an abnormal engine run. Once the engine was shut down, the MT reported hearing a noise from the decelerating engine. A post-engine run inspection was completed by mishap member 1. The inspection noted significant damage to the engine." Source: From a USAF report detailing how a team in the 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Unit at Luke AFB slipped up while executing a Time Compliance Technical Directive for an F-35A aircraft, allowing a ground-ru

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