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February 29, 2024

Airborne-Flight Training 02.29.24: ABS Training, SWA-Flyhouse, UTI-Miramar

 Also: GAMA 3.6% Rise, Daher Internships, JetBlue Pilots, Set Jet Kaput

The American Bonanza Society has announced it will wind back on in-person educational events, ending its direct participation in real-life flight training. The group said that it decided to pivot away from flight training after a year of member study, looking directly at what educational resources saw the most demand in the group. As it happens, flight training wasn't nearly as popular as internet-based offerings. FlyHouse has partnered with the Southwest Airlines Destination 225° Pilot Pathways Program. Destination 225° is a springboard at Southwest for those seeking an aviation career. Budding pilots who aspire to fly in the right seat at Southwest Airli

Helicopter Association International now Vertical Aviation International

Branding Switch Incorporates Changes in Vertical Flight

The helicopter industry is calling dibs on the upcoming boom in eVTOL aircraft, with the longstanding stakeholder group Helicopter Association International - HAI, usually - changing its name to the more broadly incorporative Vertical Aviation International, or VAI. The change keeps them on the cutting edge of the rapidly evolving vertical flight ecosystem, guarding valuable market share before eVTOL operators have a chance to head off on their own to build an entirely new clubhouse.

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Elixir Aircraft Raises Money to Secure 5-Year Nest Egg

€40 Million Will Establish New Factory, Expedited Production

French LSA-alike manufacturer Elixir Aircraft has snagged €40 million in additional financing over the next five years, bolstering their expansion plans. The team is palpably hurried, with 200 aircraft orders awaiting fulfillment and only 19 completed aircraft. Elixir has had very impressive luck making the sales rounds all across western Europe, but they have to actually build the aircraft in order to keep selling them. The upstart company simply doesn't have the production throughput to pump out hundreds of aircraft at scale right now, requiring an expansion to its facilities in La Rochelle, France and a much larger employee family. 

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Odysseus Lander Lying Prone, Failing After Bungled Landing

Safety Switches Left On, Laser Rangefinders Left Off

The Odysseus Lunar Lander didn't stick the landing when touching down on the Moon's surface, starting off mankind's return to Luna in an inauspicious manner. The IM-1 Intuitive Machine lander couldn't accurately gauge the distance to the surface since it was missing some of its rangefinding lasers, though some panicked, last-minute software sought to make use of a LiDAR test bed equipped on the ship in their place. In the end, the software was moderately successful, allowing Odysseus to determine altitude above the surface on its way down, but an unexpected and unfortunate amount of sideloading resulted in the lander toppling over on its side.

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Sad Note For HAI... Ingenuity Helicopter's Resting Place Caught on Film

Littlest Bird's Broken Wings Show Result of Last Flight

Ingenuity, the Mars Helicopter, flew its last earlier this year, terminating a flight with an uncommanded and premature landing with telemetry cutting off soon after. It was unknown exactly what happened to Ingenuity, or what state it was in following its last attempted flight, but a distant drive-by from its orbital companion, the Perseverance rover, provided a coda to the little helo's mission. Using the rover's SuperCam Remote Micro-Imager, NASA was able to get a good enough image of the helicopter from 1,500 feet away, creating a series of images of Neretva Vallis.

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Cool! Enstrom Adds AC to 280FX, F28F Helicopters

Kelly Aerospace Thermal Systems to Supply Climate Control Add-On

Enstrom Helicopters are shaking up their portfolio with the addition of air conditioning as standard equipment on their 280FX and F28F helicopters. The units will come courtesy of Kelly Aerospace Thermal Systems, using their all-electric air conditioner suite. The firm holds an STC for the Enstrom line of lightweight helicopters, and will be available as a factory-installed option off the floor, or a post-sale retrofit for those who want them.

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Airborne-NextGen 02.21.24: Pyka, Drone Racers @ World Games, US v Drone Pilot

Also: Intuitive Machines, Another UAV-Related NPRM, Drone Soccer Tourney, UltraViolet EXplorer Mission

Flight operations personnel from Pyka and AFWERX gathered on the tarmac at New Braunfels National Airport to witness the arrival of Pyka's Pelican Cargo, a large-scale autonomous electric cargo aircraft with a 400-pound payload capacity and 200-mile range, built for remote off-airport operations. The FAI has confirmed that Drone Racing is to be a feature at The World Games 2025 in Chengdu, China. Following the successful debut of the drone racing competition at the 2022 Games in Birmingham, USA, this novel air sport is set to captivate audiences once ag

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Aero-TV: Scion Helicopter’s Vixen SH-410

The Composite, Carbon Fiber Helicopter Kit

Aero-News Network correspondent Rex Alexander saw a new addition to the light helicopter market at the Scion Helicopters tent at AirVenture 2024 - and what he saw was pretty interesting. Scion’s Vixen SH-410 is an all-composite, carbon fiber aircraft kit built to Part 27 standards. CEO and Founder Jim Sampson says the end result will give operators the best of small, lightweight GA helicopters and larger commercial aircraft: The safety of a larger certificated helo with the affordable acquisition and operating costs of a piston-equipped experimental.

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SmartSky Installs first King Air 350 System

Competition Heating Up in ‘Connectivity’ Industry as Clients Jump Between Services

Davinci Jets Services has snagged another 'first' with SmartSky gear, this inaugurating service of the SmartSky LITE system on a Beechcraft King Air 350. The inflight air-to-ground (ATG) connectivity suite empowers the King Air with considerable internet performance for constant, around the clock access for Davinci clients. The SmartSky system is expected to see its STC add another 18 different King Air models to the list, too, providing those turboprop twin operators reliant upon the workhorse with internet that feels pretty close to terrestrial for a change.

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NTSB Prelim: Bombardier Inc CL-600-2B16

The Crew Announced, “…Lost Both Engines… Emergency… Making An Emergency Landing”

History of Flight: On February 9, 2024, about 1517 eastern standard time, a Bombardier Inc CL-600-2B16, N823KD, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Naples, Florida. The two airline transport pilots were fatally injured. The cabin attendant and the two passengers sustained minor injuries, and one person on the ground suffered minor injury. The airplane was operated by Ace Aviation Services (doing business as Hop-A-Jet) as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 on-demand passenger flight. The airplane was returning to Naples Municipal Airport (APF), Naples, Florida, from Ohio State University

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ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (02.29.24)

Aero Linx: Youth Aviation Adventure In 1997, Steve Wathen and Dan Kiser founded the Youth Aviation Adventure Program (YAA) in Columbus, Ohio as a way to help Steve’s son and other scouts from their troop earn their Boy Scout Aviation Merit Badges. The two men enjoyed sharing their love of aviation with the boys so much they began recruiting scouts from other nearby troops and offering their Aviation Merit Badge program twice a year. As the program became more popular, Dan and Steve enlisted other pilots and aviation enthusiasts as volunteers to expand and upgrade the content of the program, and it has since expanded to include Girl Scouts, youth from other organizations, and anyone from th

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ANN's Daily Aero-Term (02.29.24): Blind Spot

Blind Spot An area from which radio transmissions and/or radar echoes cannot be received. The term is also used to describe portions of the airport not visible from the control tower.

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Aero-News: Quote of the Day (02.29.24)

"Vertical aviation is an essential part of modern life, providing communities with security, connection, and prosperity. Our aircraft fly places others cannot go and accomplish missions that others cannot do. VAI’s purpose is to fuel the growth of the vertical aviation industry by providing connection, advocacy, safety, education, and support for our members’ success.” Source: James Viola, VAI president and CEO, discussing HAI's rebranding... which is sure to set off some interesting com[petition among those laying claim to various aspects of the vertical aviation game. 

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