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Wed, Feb 21, 2024

Set Jet Quietly Shutters Operations

Failed Transition to SPAC IPO Leaves Would-Be Private Jet Firm Penniless

Set Jet, a private jet operator hoping to carve out a niche offering by-the-seat charter flights, has quietly folded up shop and closed down after running out of investor money. For the firm's almost 3,000-strong membership base, the news is bad all around, according to an apologetic but disappointing email. Set Jet's operations are completely closed, with no customer service lines taking calls and all employees retired with immediate effect. Those who had pre-paid for future flights or been billed for memberships? No refunds, but at least there won't be any future billing. In short, the firm simply couldn't continue spending money it no longer had, particularly after missing out on a desired bridge loan that would have provided a couple years of operational funding at 2023 scale.

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Wed, Feb 21, 2024

Delta Announces Eclipse-Chasing Flight

3-Hour A220 Flight Offers Constant Look at Stellar Phenomena

Delta Air Lines will be offering passengers a chance to view the upcoming solar eclipse from the air, using an Airbus A220-300 with "premium viewing, extra-large windows" to follow the path of the eclipse at its peak. Delta Flight DL 1218 will take off from Austin, Texas at 12:15 Central, and land in Detroit, Michigan at 16:20 Eastern, following a track that will provide them with the greatest exposure to the eclipse throughout the flight. That is subject, as always, to ATC routing, weather, and assorted variables.

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Wed, Feb 21, 2024

Air Canada Forced to Honor AI Chatbot's Promises

Canadian Verdict Provides Passenger $1,216 for Trouble

Air Canada found out the hidden costs of entrusting its customer service to a bright-but-maybe-not-too intelligent AI assistant when a court found they remained liable for the virtual employee's promises. A passenger researching the carrier's bereavement travel policies used the Air Canada customer service chatbot, an "artificially intelligent" Large Language Model that's currently in vogue across the IT industry. The 'agent' sent Jake Moffatt to a landing page outlining the carrier's policies, but failed to accurately convey them when he inquired about the ticketing process. Moffatt's grandmother had recently passed, and he wanted to avail himself of Air Canada's special ticket fares extended to those attending the death of an immediate family member. 

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Wed, Feb 21, 2024

United States Parachute Association Issues Clarion Call

Group Aims to Strike "Air Tour and Sport Parachuting Safety Act" from FAA Reauth

The United States Parachute Association is asking members to act on proposed Congressional action on the upcoming FAA Reauthorization, specifically the section titled the "Air Tour and Sport Parachuting Safety Act". They aren't the only ones. Earlier this month a bevy of general aviation manufacturers and interest groups signed a letter opposing a section of the FAA Reauthorization bill, warning of the dangers it poses to small aviation businesses across the country. With the FAA's current Authorization ending on March 8th, the House and Senate will soon convene a Conference Committee to reconcile both their respective drafts of the renewal bill. As such, the Parachute Association, EAA, and others urge aviators as a whole to make their voices heard and draw attention to their “deep concerns” regarding the Air Tour and Sport Parachuting Safety Act.

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Wed, Feb 21, 2024

Bigger, Better, Badder… The 2024 SnF Innovation Preview Is On The Way!

Last Year's SnFIP ROCKED The Industry.... We're Aiming To Do Even More for 2024!

The 50th Annual SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo is proud to present, as the lead-in to the aviation year via its partnership with the Aero-News Network, the upcoming 2024 SUN ‘n FUN Innovation Preview. The aviation world is driven by new developments in technology, design, and innovation… And focusing the entire Aero-Verse at the beginning of the year on all that is cool, interesting, innovative, important, and pivotal is the ultimate aim of the 2024 SUN ‘n FUN Innovation Preview. The SUN ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo, as the aviation world's leadoff event and a history of many decades of service to the aviation industry, is the perfect place to make a stand on focusing the future of news coverage, responsibly and credibly, on the gear and products that will become prominent, even critical, in each coming year.

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Wed, Feb 21, 2024

Van's Extends Deals Through Thursday

Van's Aircraft Sailing Through Reorganization with Aplomb

Van's Aircraft has extended the window to buy up kits, engines, and gear for those who'd put down payments in the past, extending the window through Thursday, February 22nd. Along with the announcement, Dick Van Grusnfen and Greg Hughes noted company progress along the way to filling all outstanding orders. Evidently, the price increases didn't dissuade the majority of aircraft builders, with 81% of orders being fulfilled under the new terms. Broken down further, they indicated that 93% of engine orders, 78% of kit orders, and at least 80% of prop orders have gotten the go-ahead from buyers. 

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Wed, Feb 21, 2024

Airborne 02.20.24: Uncle Sam v Drone Pilot, SnF NOTAM, Able Flight!

Also: Intuitive Machines Moonbound, Ansett Av Scholarships, Airbus 2023 Report, Armchair Airshow 

A US Atty, Jacqueline C. Romero, is hitting the media with the announcement that she has filed a complaint in US District Court against Michael DiCiurcio of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In this complaint, the United States alleges that DiCiurcio operated drones, 'unlawfully and unsafely in the Philadelphia area between at least December 2019 to the present. The FAA has published the notice and preflight info for this year's Sun 'n Fun Aerospace Expo, getting aviators ready for a jaunt down to Lakeland, Florida. The notice establishes arrival and departure procedures from April 8th to the 14th. Able Flight has seen its "greatest number of flight training scholarships for people with a disability in a single year," seeing 10 new recipients enter the training pipeline as the group heads into 2024. The Class of 2024 will now be on their way to o

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Wed, Feb 21, 2024

Airborne 02.16.24: SnF Constellation!, Drone Soccer, VTOL Challenge

Also: Mandatory CVR Upgrades?, Joby Air Taxi, Hartzell in India, Tuskegee NEXT Summer Program

A rare appearance by the Lockheed VC-121A “MacArthur Bataan” is scheduled for this year's Sun 'n Fun 2024, granting attendees a chance to see one of the last 2 survivors of the type. MacArthur Bataan, manufactured in 1948, cuts a familiar Cold War figure as a classic rendition of a 4-engined prop airliner. The quintessentially post-war design language has yet to be seen again, with a distinctive tri-tail design, sloping roofline, rounded wing, and 4 monstrous radial engines. The Academy of Model Aeronautics reiterated a partnership it's held with the US Drone Soccer program, drawing additional attention to the group's STEM-focused educational opportunities. The AMA boosted a statement from USDS announcing preparations for the first District Championships next month, marking off a big milestone in the fledgling activity organization. A new incentive

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Wed, Feb 21, 2024

Airborne Affordable Flyers 02.15.24: Viking Engines, UL Instructors, Rotax FlyIn

Also: Midwest Aviation Expo, Hartzell-RAF, IAC Needs Help, AMA-FAA Reauth

ANN had the pleasure to drop in for a part of the 6th Annual Viking Engine Workshop... which turned out to be crammed with current engine flyers and a number of folks getting ready to do so. Nearly 80 people were hosted by the Viking organization who explained their engine lines and answered a number of questions, providing provided extensive insight into the rationale for their engine line... Another aviation-oriented Change.org petition has surfaced... at least until it offends someone and the Change.Org folks take it down... this time, the petition addresses the serious deficit in our ultralight instruction ranks and seeks the FAA's action in fixing this serious matter. Rotax is taking its Fly-In on the road, moving beyond its historical stomping ground of Wels, Austria. The 2024 Fly-In World Tour will see them touch down in Australia, Argentina, Canada, too, allowi

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Wed, Feb 21, 2024

Breeze Airways Bolsters Airbus Fleet with Order for 10

Carrier Climbs Ranking to 3rd Largest A220 Customer

Breeze Airways has been building out its collection pretty quick since receiving its first A220 in 2021, with 20 planes in service and 90 more on order. Breeze ends up being the 3rd largest customer for the A220 family with its most recent order for 10 more A220-300 aircraft. The carrier is going all-in on the type, hyperfocusing its maintenance and operations departments on one airframe to get down-pat. Airbus figures it's a no-brainer to opt for their Euro-accented narrowbody aircraft, given its 3,600-nm range, reduced fuel burn, and emissions footprint.

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