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March 14, 2024

Airborne-Flight Training 03.14.24: UAL Hiring Pause, APA Wants 65, Piper 100i

 Also: TRU Simulation, FedEx Strike?, Women Of Aviation Worldwide, Ansett Av Training A320 FFS

United Airlines will pause pilot hiring like its Boeing-family companion Southwest. United won't be expanding its fleet as planned, leaving it with a large pilot base following its hiring bonanza in 2021 and beyond. Carriers feel they have enough personnel to weather through the rest of the year, even accounting for attrition. United Airlines' VP of flight operations Mar Champion said that new hire classes would be paused in May and June, possibly to resume sometime in July. The Allied Pilots Association says it believes the pilot supply is "sufficient to meet forecast demand", so the mandatory Part 121 retirement age of 65 should

The FAA Clears Starship's Third Test Flight

Forget About Sleeping In... SpaceX Is Scheduling The Launch For 0800CT, 03.14.24

It's official... the FAA has given SpaceX a go for the next test of the Starship rocket program. At this time (late Wednesday night), SpaceX is scheduling the launch for 0800CT, via a 110-minute launch window, while numerous live webcast options (some are OK... some not so much) are available, starting with SpaceX itself. SpaceX's own live coverage will be available at 0700CT. The FAA intoned that, "The FAA has granted license authorization for the third launch of the @SpaceX Starship Super Heavy vehicle. The FAA determined SpaceX met all safety, environmental, policy and financial responsibility requirements."

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Hartzell Propeller Acquires WhirlWind Propellers

Hartzell Propeller Plans To Retain The Whirlwind Brand And Product Offerings

A prominent member of the sport aviation community has found a new home... Hartzell Propeller has acquired 'substantially all the assets' of WhirlWind Propellers Corporation, expanding Hartzell’s product portfolio into light-sport aircraft. Founded in 1995, WhirlWind Propellers manufactures composite constant-speed and ground-adjustable propellers for the light-sport, experimental and unmanned aircraft markets. The Company also designs proof-of-concept propellers for emerging applications. Hartzell Propeller plans to retain the WhirlWind brand and product offerings.

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GAMA Chimes in On Biden Budget, Too

Fuel Tax Increases Prove Quite Unpopular With Industry

General Aviation Manufacturers Association President Pete Bunce weighed in on the Biden administration's plans for Fiscal Year 2025, finding issue in the same elements that similar bodies in the aerospace industry have. “While the President’s Budget is an outline of the Administration’s priorities, we encourage Congress to have a more constructive approach as it works to set and pass the budget for the federal government in the coming fiscal year.

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Air New Zealand Halts Chicago Flights Citing Engine Support

Rolls-Royce Doesn't Have Replacement Units to Swap for Engines in Overhaul

The Rolls-Royce Trent engines powering Air New Zealand aircraft are now hampering their continued operation, with the carrier pausing all flights to Chicago, Illinois citing engine upkeep issues. The non-stop flights are one of the longer routes flown by the marque, heading deep into the 'enemy territory' of General Electric and Boeing. Their Boeing 787s are powered by the euro engine maker in place of the more American option, the GE GEnx. That's usually a solid choice given the worldwide support network enjoyed by Rolls-Royce throughout Air New Zealand stomping grounds..but it seemed to bite them this time around.

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Boeing Whistleblower Found Dead

Former Boeing Quality Inspector Found Dead In Between Depositions

A Boeing whistleblower was found dead in the midst of a case with Boeing, rousing no shortage of suspicion for the embattled manufacturer. The man, John Barnett, was 62 at the time of death, and died of an apparently self-inflicted wound. He was found in his truck, parked in the lot of the hotel he was staying at. It piqued eyebrows, given the circumstances surrounding his recent whistleblower case. Rumor states that Barnett was at the hotel as part of his testimony against the company, in Charleston, South Carolina.

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Japanese eVTOL Skydrive Begins Production

SD-05 eVTOL Aircraft Now Built by Sky Works

Japan's most high-profile eVTOL candidate, SkyDrive, has said that it has already begun working on building out the first handful of prototype aircraft. The line is expected to one day produce up to 100 aircraft per year. The team behind it has been working with Suzuki subsidiary Sky Works to begin rolling out all their new SD-05s, paving the way to hold some public flight demonstrations at the 2025 Osaka World Expo. They’re on track to cut it pretty close, since the SD-05 is the larger, higher-capacity version of the already airworthy SD-03 that's already seen full-scaled operation.

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Airborne 03.06.24: Piper M700 Cert!, Spitir/JetBlue NoGo, SWA Pauses Hires

Also: Airbus Helicopters at HAI, USPA Summit, TRU Simulation, Scalewings Debuts 2

Piper Aircraft’s new M700 Fury achieved type certification by the FAA on February 29, 2024. The swift bird has a maximum cruise speed of 301 knots and a maximum range of 1,424 nautical miles. It is equipped with Pratt & Whitney’s PT6A-52 engine generating 700 shaft horsepower and the latest G3000 cockpit. The would-be merger between JetBlue Airways and Spirit Airlines is done for good, since the carriers fail to see a way where it could be completed within the shareholders' agreed-upon July 24th deadline. Despite their attempt to expediently handle th

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NAA Names James Schenck as 2024 Whitman Recipient

PenFed CEO Honored for Work With Veterans Groups, Students

The National Aeronautic Association has announced that James Schenck of PenFed Credit Union will be the 2024 recipient of the Bruce Whitman Memorial Trophy. Schenck is recognized for his "selfless humanitarian and dedication to commemorating, celebrating, and advocating for the impact and heritage of America's military veterans", according to the NAA citation. His selection follows the pattern of the Whitman Memorial Trophy, established in 2019 when the award was first given posthumously to its namesake. Since then, the NAA has sought to find those who shine brightest in the field of aeronautical volunteering and philanthropy, whether that comes by helping up downtrodden aviators or b

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Classic Aero-TV: The Lancair Barracuda - BuildingĀ On Their Legacy

From 2018 (YouTube Version): Two Seats, 200 Knot Cruise, Starting At $200K

The latest innovation from Lancair is a new 2-seat “little brother” to the groundbreaking Mako — the Barracuda. Establishing a new standard for value, Barracuda offers high performance, operational economy and Lancair’s trademark aerodynamic style in a cost-effective package. Barracuda’s design is similar to the classic Lancair Legacy. It incorporates numerous airframe improvements, notably a new 1-piece wing with greater span. The new wing makes a

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NTSB Final Report: Beech F33

Internal Failure Of The Autopilot Pitch Servo Actuator That Caused The Autopilot To Command A Nose Down Movement

Analysis: The pilot reported an uncommanded nose down pitch trim movement. The nose down pitch trim occurred immediately following the pilot’s engagement of the autopilot. The uncommanded nose down trim was repeated when the pilot engaged the autopilot later in the occurrence flight as well as during postflight troubleshooting. During the NTSB’s autopilot examination on the airplane, the uncommanded nose down pitch trim movement occurred repeatedly upon autopilot engagement. When the Garmin GSA 28 pitch servo actuator was removed and replaced with another GSA 28 servo, the uncommanded nose down pitch tr

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Joby Aviation Acquires More Floor Space

Expansions to Dayton Facility Presage Increased Production

Joby Aviation announced the acquisition of a new facility on the premises of the Dayton International Airport in Ohio, with plans to use it as a primary production line. The facility was "underutilized" by its previous tenants, according to Joby. They have found the local Ohio economy quite accommodating to their plans of building more of the eVTOL tester, so they will be moving full speed ahead to finish their Dayton line. Once at full tilt with an accompanying facility in the plans, they believe it will be able to put out more than 500 aircraft per year.

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ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (03.14.24)

Aero Linx: International Business Aviation Council IBAC promotes the growth of business aviation, benefiting all sectors of the industry and all regions of the world. As a non-profit, international trade association, IBAC proudly represents the interests of business aviation -- for the industry, by the industry -- through its official observer status at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), worldwide advocacy, and globally recognized, voluntary safety standards programmes: the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO™), and the International Standard for Business Aviation Handlers (IS-BAH™). Founded in 1981, the IBAC organization is ma

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ANN's Daily Aero-Term (03.14.24): Decision Altitude/Decision Height

Decision Altitude/Decision Height [ICAO Annex 6] A specified altitude or height (A/H) in the precision approach at which a missed approach must be initiated if the required visual reference to continue the approach has not been established. Decision altitude (DA) is referenced to mean sea level and decision height (DH) is referenced to the threshold elevation. Category II and III minima are expressed as a DH and not a DA. Minima is assessed by reference to a radio altimeter and not a barometric altimeter, which makes the minima a DH. The required visual reference means that section of the visual aids or of the approach area which should h

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Aero-News: Quote of the Day (03.14.24)

“The political soundbites of closing the so-called corporate jet loophole and drastically increasing the jet fuel tax, by nearly five times, does nothing more than harm demand for state-of-the-art aircraft that are called ‘business jets’ or ‘corporate jets’ for a specific reason. These vehicles facilitate efficient mobility for businesses to create jobs throughout our nation, particularly in communities underserved by commercial service. Why would the Administration want to hurt workers who make these aircraft or those communities that benefit from the jobs and/or mobility these vehicles enable? It is important to note that general and business aviation supports $247 billion in total economic output and 1.2 million total jobs in the United Stat

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