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January 27, 2024

Mars Helicopter Ends Mission

NASA Mourns Broken Wings of 'The Little Helo That Could'

The surprisingly long-lived Mars Helicopter has finished its mission after incurring damage to its rotors during its final landing. The program was wildly successful, going far beyond the lifespan expected of the flyweight aircraft. Ingenuity was originally assigned to only 5 test flights over the first 30 days of its tenure on Mars, but ultimately it spent 3 years there as it flew 72 missions. Overall, Ingenuity flew more than 14 times farther than ever expected, logging more than 2 full hours of flight time. It's a respectable end to a scrappy little aircraft that flight 72 broke its wings for good.

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Osprey Flights Won't Resume in Japan Without Approval

V-22's Japanese Time-Out to Continue Until Locals Say So

Japan's defense minister said that US forces stationed there won't resume V-22 operations without their approval. The Air Force suspended operations after losing a crew in an unexplained crash on December 6th, a move that was quickly mirrored by the Japanese Self Defense Forces that operate the type, too. The US extended the localized Japanese grounding to the entire fleet around the world, pausing operations as it once again investigates the cause of a fatal crash.

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Electra Order Book Swells to 2,000

New Letters of Intent Bring Total Value to $8 Billion

Electra announced a total pre-order sales book with more than 2,000 electric short takeoff and landing aircraft, adding up to an $8 billion value at list price. The firm was pushed over the 2,000-mark with Letters of Intent from JetSetGo Aviation Services Private Ltd, LYGG of Finland, and Charm Aviation. The geographically diverse roster of buyers "underscores strong interest from a broad array of flight operators" eager to "offer a more convenient and sustainable air travel experience for their customers", according to Electra.

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Frontier Elects New Chair for MEC

Union News Continues Unabated This Week

The voting members of the Frontier Airlines branch of the Air Line Pilots Association, International have elected a new chair to head up their Master Executive Council. The team will represent the carrier's 2,000-plus pilot base after the previous MEC chair, Tracy Smith, steps down. The newly elected Captain Michael Maynard will act as the new chair to fulfill the rest of Smith's term apart from February 1st. Captains Dan Reitzig and Dosh Hirao will remain in place in their roles as the Master Executive Council's vice chair and secretary-treasurer, respectively.

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US Navy Completes UAV Testing in Arctic Circle

9-Year Campaign Comes to a Close

A nearly decade-long project involving the Naval Postgraduate School and Naval Research Laboratory has come to a close, bearing out the utility of the Platform Vanilla UAV and its own flight planning software in the Arctic North. The collaborators integrated the NPS' flight path planning software named POTION (Path Optimization) with Platform Aerospace's Vanilla UAV, putting the combination to the test in the "daunting North Slope of Alaska, making the best of a narrow weather window."

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Western Nevada College Expands Piloting Courses

Commercial Ratings Now Offered, Building on PPL, IFR Courses

Western Nevada College has embarked on offering a commercial pilot class for its spring semester, building on a history of offering students their Private and Instrument ratings. The school brought on a pair of new instructors to kickstart the new professional-pilot program, Russell Smith and Frank Monack, who recently held their first classes under the program. All pilot courses at Western Nevada College are an ‘open entry’ offering, allowing students to enroll until the "9th week of the semester" and "work at their own pace".

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Alaska Airlines Pilots Elected Four New Officers to Board

Some New Faces, Some Old for Alaska’s Busy Master Executive Council

The officers will represent the carrier's 3,400 strong pilot base and "lead pilot efforts during this critical time for the airline as it continues to work through the logistical challenges of the Boeing 737 MAX 9 return to service". That's not the only headache on the docket at the moment, with a potential Hawaiian Airlines merger in the cards, too. The new brass will serve 2-year terms expiring on March 1, 2026.

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NTSB Preliminary Report: Hughes Helicopters Inc 369E

When The Helicopter Was About 2 Miles West Of TMB, It Yawed To The Right And Then Began Spinning Out Of Control

On December 27, 2023, about 1300 eastern standard time, a Hughes Helicopters Inc. 369E, N757TB, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Miami, Florida. The pilot was fatally injured, and the passenger was not injured. The helicopter was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. According to the passenger, who was the pilot’s daughter, the purpose of the flight was to drop off her brother at Page Field Airport (FMY), Fort Myers, Florida. They departed Miami Executive Airport (TMB), Miami, Florida, about 1030.

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Classic Aero-TV: Zenith Builder Intro Program--Rudder Building Workshop Inspires

From 2017 (YouTube Version): Zenith Offers Workshop For Beginners At Sebring Sport Expo…

The concept of building your own airplane can be daunting for a lot of people. Most wouldn't consider building their own car, much less an airplane. In an effort to demystify the process, Zenith Aircraft held a four-day workshop at the Sebring Sport Aircraft Expo in January to introduce beginners to the process of building their own airplanes. Zenith Aircraft owner Sebastian Heintz told ANN news editor Tom Patton that there were 17 rudder

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ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (01.27.24)

Aero Linx: New Zealand Society of Air Safety Investigators The Australian Society of Air Safety Investigators (ASASI) was formed to better serve and represent the views of Air Safety Investigators in Australia.

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ANN's Daily Aero-Term (01.27.24): Weather Advisory

Weather Advisory In aviation weather forecast practice, an expression of hazardous weather conditions not predicted in the Aviation Surface Forecast, Aviation Cloud Forecast, or area forecast, as they affect the operation of air traffic and as prepared by the NWS.

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Aero-News: Quote of the Day (01.27.24)

“The historic journey of Ingenuity, the first aircraft on another planet, has come to end. That remarkable helicopter flew higher and farther than we ever imagined and helped NASA do what we do best – make the impossible, possible. Through missions like Ingenuity, NASA is paving the way for future flight in our solar system and smarter, safer human exploration to Mars and beyond.” Source: From an official NASA statement confirming the end of the mission capability for the amazing Mar Helicopter, Ingenuity.

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