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June 20, 2022

Airborne 06.20.22: SMARTWING King Air 350, 'Rise Above' Returns!, 2nd Denali!

Also: ALPA/Delta Letter, Hydrogen-Powered Airship, NJ Airport Improvements, Bahamas Nixes COVID Tests

Inflight testing of a Beechcraft King Air 350 fitted with Tamarack Aerospace Group‘s Performance SMARTWING  has confirmed predicted increases in endurance and payload, high/hot take-off abilities, extended loiter time, and inflight stability. Early comparative analysis of the flight-testing suggests a five-percent improvement in fuel economy during loiter-mission cruise; a ten-percent increase in climb-gradient; and a five-hundred-pound, “High/Hot” weight, altitude, temperature (WAT) improvement that correlates to almost two hours of added aircraft endurance. The CAF RISE ABOVE Squadron is honored to have Tuskegee Airmen Lt. Col. Georg

A True Air Force Legend, BGen Charles McGee, Interred At Arlington

McGee’s Career Spanned 30 Years And Three Different Wars

Brig. Gen. Charles E. McGee, one of the original Tuskegee Airmen and Air Force legend, was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington June 17. Along with his family and distinguished guests, many senior military leaders attended the service to bid a final farewell to the historic figure. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall, and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr. all participated in the service.

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Radar-Altimeter Concerns Linger as 5G Roll-Out Looms

FAA Boss Urges Hustle

In a bid to avoid potential disruptions in air-travel, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has urged the chief executives of major U.S. airlines to expediently address risks posed by the imminent roll-out of nationwide, 5G wireless networks. Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen said in a letter that AT&T and Verizon—after previously delaying plans to do so—are looking to boost C-Band 5G services around some airports by July. Concerns that the 5G service could interfere with radio-altimeters led to disruptions at some U.S. airports earlier this year.

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Second Beechcraft Denali Test-Aircraft Flies

Development of Single-Engine Turboprop Proceeding Apace

Textron Aviation—the general aviation subsidiary of technology conglomerate Textron and parent company of both Beechcraft and Cessna—has announced the successful first flight of its second, Beechcraft Denali flight-test aircraft. The second test aircraft joins the first (prototype) Denali which has accumulated upward of two-hundred flight-test hours since its first flight in November 2021.

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AeroTV at SNF22: The Secret Lives of U.S.N. F-18 Instructors

A 'Plattle' Tale

Airshow goers curious about the day-jobs of the pilots performing overhead will be intrigued by the account of Lieutenant Commander Zach “Plattles” Drum, a U.S. Naval Aviator and instructor pilot at Naval Air Station Oceana. Monday through Friday, LCDR Drum can be found at Virginia’s NAS Oceana, where—through the high-art of Naval flight instruction in the VFA-106 Super Hornet—he converts fledgling F-18 drivers into effective strike-fighter aircrews. On select weekends, however, “Plattles” takes his skills on the road, performing in airshows as a member of the VFA-106 Rhin

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The Bahamas Removes COVID-19 Testing Requirement for Fully Vaccinated Travellers

A Favorite GA Destination Is Now Easier to Access

In addition to eliminating the mandatory Bahamas Travel Health Visa, the Government of The Bahamas announced that fully vaccinated travellers will no longer be required to submit to pre-travel COVID-19 testing to enter the country. All unvaccinated travellers ages 2 and older will be required to obtain a negative COVID-19 test — either a negative RT-PCR test or a Rapid Antigen test — taken no more than three days (72 hours) prior to travel and present the negative test results at check-in before travel to The Bahamas.

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Sierra Space to Open Astronaut Training Center

Three Flavors of Spacefarer On Tap

Sierra Space—the American, privately held aerospace and national security contractor specializing in aircraft modification and integration, space components and systems—is creating an astronaut training program comprising a commercial human spaceflight training center and astronaut training academy at its offices at the Kennedy Space Center. The program, which will be headed-up by former NASA astronaut and Sierra Space president Janet Kavandi (pictured), will recruit, train and prepare an astronaut corps requisite the commercialization of space.

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Fire Boss Gets to Brag About Major Fleet Order

AFF EU 2022 Leads to An Eight Ship Order

At this year’s Aerial Fire Fighting conference in Nimes, France, Fire Boss LLC signed a historic fleet order with Air Tractor Europe. The order consists of eight Fire Bosses with an option for an additional eight. The first delivery is scheduled for late 2022. Rafael Selma, General Director, of Air Tractor Europe said “We at Air Tractor Europe were the early adopters of the Fire Boss. Since 2003 we have delivered over 75 across Europe. With this order, we are positioned to further expand into markets that recognize the advantage of initial attack and want lower operating costs than other scooper tankers in the market.”

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NTSB Prelim: Air Tractor Inc AT-602

The Pilot Heard A “Loud Pop” Noise Emit From The Turboprop Engine And He Observed Flames

On June 1, 2022, about 1700 central daylight time, an Air Tractor AT-602 airplane, N5007R, sustained substantial damage when it was involved in an accident near Allport, Arkansas. The pilot sustained minor injury. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 aerial application flight. The pilot reported he was on the 35th flight of the day and the airplane had been performing all day with no issues noted. The airplane was refueled two flights prior, and at the time of the accident, each wing fuel tank was about half full of fuel.

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AD: Robinson Helicopter Company Helicopters

AD 2022-12-08 Prompted By Reports Of Intermittent Or Abnormal Operation Of The Engine RPM Governor

The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Robinson Helicopter Company Model R22 BETA, R44, and R44 II helicopters. This AD was prompted by reports of intermittent or abnormal operation of the engine revolutions per minute (RPM) governor (governor). This AD requires inspecting the engine RPM sensor wiring and installing a wiring kit. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. This AD is effective June 29, 2022.

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ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (06.20.22)

Aero Linx: Airport Services Association The ground handling industry is the foundation of air transport. Ground handlers support passengers throughout every step of the airport journey and are indeed the hidden champions of the sky. Everything we do, below and above wing – from check-in and boarding to aircraft fueling, towing and de-icing makes air travel possible! No plane can take off without us. Airport Services Association (ASA) is the globally recognized trade association for the independent ground and air cargo handling industry and is the voice of the 1.6 million men and women who service the aircraft on the ground.

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ANN's Daily Aero-Term (06.20.22): Minimum Vectoring Altitude (MVA)

Minimum Vectoring Altitude (MVA) The lowest MSL altitude at which an IFR aircraft will be vectored by a radar controller, except as otherwise authorized for radar approaches, departures, and missed approaches. The altitude meets IFR obstacle clearance criteria. It may be lower than the published MEA along an airway or J-route segment. It may be utilized for radar vectoring only upon the controller’s determination that an adequate radar return is being received from the aircraft being controlled. Charts depicting minimum vectoring altitudes are normally available only to the controllers and not to pilots.

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Aero-News: Quote of the Day (06.20.22)

“This flight is another vitally important step for the Beechcraft Denali program as the aircraft will be used primarily for testing aircraft systems like avionics, cabin environmental control and ice protection. The team has made great progress, accomplishing key goals in the flight test program, and the Denali team heads into the second half of 2022 with a great deal of momentum.” Source: Chris Hearne, senior vice president, Engineering & Programs, folowing the test flight of the second Beechcraft Denali prototype to fly.

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