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September 25, 2023

Airborne 09.25.23: OSIRIS-REx Returns!, AF Pilot Shortage, NAA Record

 Also: FlexJet Goes Starlink, NASA Astro Heads Home, EAA AeroEducate, De Havilland Project

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification and Security – Regolith Explorer) team has completed a truly historic event... against incredible odds. A well-traveled capsule of rocks and dust collected from asteroid Bennu is now on Earth. It landed at 8:52 a.m. MDT (10:52 a.m. EDT) on Sunday, in a targeted area of DoD’s Utah Test and Training Range near Salt Lake City. The Air Force will fall approximately 120-aviators short of its fiscal-year 2023 pilot recruitment and training goals. The service ascribes the shortfall to “mechanical issues with training aircraft.” As fiscal 2023 draw

Bizarre 911 Call Pertained to Downed USMC F-35B

“We’ve Got a Pilot in Our House … ”

On Sunday, 17 September 2023, amidst the tedium of reports citing treed cats and fender-benders, a Charleston County, South Carolina 911 operator received a call from a private citizen who promptly set forth: “We’ve got a pilot in our house, and he says he got ejected.”

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Air India Official Suspended Over Safety Lapses

The Scars of Pencil-Whipping

India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has suspended Air India chief of flight safety Rajeev Gupta for one-month following the agency’s discovery of serious shortcomings in the airline’s safety culture and risk-management protocols. A subsidiary of India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation, the nodal ministry responsible for the formulation of national policies and programs for the development and regulation of civil aviation throughout India, the DGCA conducts safety audits and inspections of Indian airlines’ operations, maintenance, and record-keeping.

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CFM Sues U.K. Parts Vendor

Counterfeit Components Discovered Worldwide

United and Southwest Airlines were compelled to corrective action after confirming a number of engine parts supplied to the two air-carriers by U.K. vendor AOG Technics were, in fact, counterfeit. AOG Technics is suspected of selling dubious engine parts to aircraft service centers and Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) facilities around the world. The company is presently under the scrutiny of international investigators about the business of determining the source or sources of thousands of aero-engine components sold with forged paperwork.

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Sonex Pilot Sets NAA Speed Record

Flight of the Dreamcicle

Aero-News Network congratulates Sonex builder Lou Toth, who set a National Aeronautics Association (NAA) speed over a recognized course record in Dreamcicle, his AeroVee powered, tricycle gear, orange-and-white-liveried Sonex The record was set in Class R for Microlights per European standards. Mr. Toth set the record along with Ben Poffenberger on 31 March 2023, flying from Pensacola, Florida to Pascagoula, Mississippi.

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Flexjet Launches Starlink Inflight Connectivity

A Different Way to Gogo

Private jet flight provider Flexjet, Inc. has collaborated with broadband satellite internet provider and SpaceX subsidiary Starlink for purpose of providing the former concern’s aircraft owners in-flight Wi-Fi access commensurate in quality to that of the best terrestrial services.

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U.S. Customs & Border Protection Acquires 106 Teal-2 UAS

First Small Unmanned Aerial System (sUAS) Equipped With The Hadron 640R Sensor

Red Cat Holdings subsidiary Teal Drones has signed a $1.8-million contract with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) by which the Salt Lake City, Utah drone-maker will provide Teal 2 Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) to the U.S. Border Patrol. Over the contract’s lifetime, Teal will deliver 106 of its Teal 2 drones, plus spare parts and training germane to such, to the hamstrung agency. The robust, quad-copter drones will afford the U.S. Border Patrol supplemental airborne reconnaissance, surveillance, and tracking capabilities, thereby enhancing the situational awareness of the agency’s field commanders and agents.

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Aero-TV: Hartzell Turns In Impressive AirVenture 2023 Showing

Oshkosh in Piqua’s Long Shadow

Hartzell Propeller—the American manufacturer of composite and aluminum aircraft propellers, propeller spinners, governors, and ice-protection systems, put forth an ambitious and extensive showing at EAA’s AirVenture 2023. The storied, Piqua, Ohio-based aviation marque graced Oshkosh with a lavish array of airplanes, propellers, airshow pilots, special deals for backcountry flyers, and even Warbird tram tours. Hartzell Propeller’s outdoor exhibit at Booth 296-297 showcased numerous forward-thinking props featuring bleeding-edge material and manufacturing technologies. The booth lineup

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32nd Annual Zenith Aircraft Homecoming Sees Record Attendance

The Quality Goes In …

Renowned kit-plane-maker Zenith Aircraft Company thanked the throng of Zenith owners, pilots, and enthusiasts who participated in the 32nd annual Zenith Aircraft Homecoming. The 15-16 September 2023 grass-roots event was held in and around the company’s Mexico, Missouri factory, and comprised an array of leisure and educational activities that included hands-on workshops, seminars, panel discussions, and even a barbecue banquet.

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NTSB Prelim: Liore et Oliver Nieuport 28

He Was Going To Set Up For An Off Airport Landing When The Engine Started Up Again

On September 17, 2023, about 1120 eastern daylight time, a Liore et Oliver, Nieuport 28, Swedish registration SE-BMA, was substantially damaged when it was involved in accident near Hudson, Massachusetts. The pilot was not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. According to the pilot, he was flying the airplane in the airport traffic pattern when on the downwind leg for the runway, the engine lost power briefly. He was going to set up for an off airport landing when the engine started up again and he was able to turn base leg. 

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Record-Setting NASA Astronaut Readies for Return to Earth

Frank Rubio Headed Home after 371 Days In Space

On 11 September, NASA astronaut Frank Rubio, who’s currently serving out a year-long mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS), earned the distinction of logging the longest single spaceflight by an American, surpassing former record-holder NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei’s mark of 355 days in space. Comes now late-September, and Rubio is making ready to depart the orbital outpost he’s called home since 21 September 2022.

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ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (09.25.23)

Aero Linx: Austrian Cockpit Association Together with our umbrella and partner associations, we are facing up to the challenges of our time. The profession of pilot should remain desirable for young people who want to be highly qualified, specially trained and work in a special environment: in the airline cockpit, or in the cockpit of a civil helicopter or business aircraft. We are committed to this – and to aviation safety in general.

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ANN's Daily Aero-Term (09.25.23): SQUAWK (Mode, Code, Function)

SQUAWK (Mode, Code, Function) Used by ATC to instruct a pilot to activate the aircraft transponder and ADS-B Out with altitude reporting enabled, or (military) to activate only specific modes, codes, or functions. Examples: “Squawk five seven zero seven;” “Squawk three/alpha, two one zero five.”

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