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December 12, 2023

Airborne-NextGen 12.12.23: Uncrewed Caravan!, Lilium, Rotor R550X

 Also: OSIRIS-REx Update, Block 5 MQ-9A, Eve Air Mobility-Flynas, Axial Flux Motor

Reliable Robotics completed a test flight using an uncrewed Cessna 208B Caravan, operated entirely by a pilot on the ground 50 miles away. The company wants to corner the market on remotely piloted aircraft before the rest of the industry sees their worth. If successful, the firm believes its tech will further democratize the already legendary Cessna Caravan, serving as an "essential role connecting communities and businesses across the United States and around the globe." Lilium's recent selection of a cooling system shows just how slim performance margins can be in the burgeoning eVTOL game. The use of batteries throughout the modern world h

Updated: Van’s Increases Kit Prices 32%, Streamlines Fulfillment Process

Changes to Fulfillment to Cut Times, Save Costs

Van’s Aircraft has undergone its first series of post-Chapter 11 changes, announcing a few policy updates that aim to streamline the order process, transparently handle customer funds, and make sufficient profit off every kit sold. The big news is a 32% price increase across the board, with very few exceptions. Van’s says the changes are “significant” but “necessary”, adding that “even with these changes Van’s continues to be the value and performance leader in light aircraft manufacturing.”

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Air Force Improves Retention Bonuses Again

2024 Incentives Up the Ante with Preferential Assignments, Bonus Cash

The Air Force is looking to entice its aviators into eschewing the civilian life for a few more years with new FY2024 incentives that will provide an extra $15,000 to $50,000 per year. That money will, as it always does, depend largely on which aircraft they fly. This time around it isn't just the fighter jocks, though - drone operators, combat systems operators and air battle managers can snag some bonuses too. The 2024 Experienced Aviator Retention Incentive, or 'Aviation Bonus' in common speech, will allow eligible active-duty aviators to apply for $15,000 to $50,000 for contracts ranging from 3 to 12 years of additional service.

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EAA Cites Aeromedical Happenings in Recent Update

Improvements to Documentation Review, Updated Treatment Approvals Improve Pilot’s Career Prospects

"This past week saw several significant meetings and announcements", said the EAA regarding recent pilot medical certification issues. Recent interest in the greater cultural zeitgeist has put particular focus on the handling of mental health issues,an issue the group says has been a long-term interest. The recent FAA Aerospace Medical Certification Summit saw the attendance of EAA's Advisory Council chair and co-chairs, Dr. Steve Leonard and Dr. John Owen. The pair were joined by EAA Government Relations Director Tom Charpentier. The summit saw a host of stakeholders, with everything from FAA medical staff, aerospace medical examiners, and rep

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Counterfeit CFM Parts Issue Sees Arrest

AOG Technics Boss Arrested in UK Investigation

The elusive head of a London-based company that falsified paperwork to pass off bum CFM engine bushings has been arrested in the UK, with Venezualan national Jose Alejandro Zamora Yrala taken in by the "Serious Fraud Office". The parts have continued to find their way throughout the industry, even for carriers stateside like American Airlines and Southwest. The issue first gained serious American attention when the FAA began a Suspected Unapproved Parts investigation, becoming suspicious of paperwork tendered by AOG Technics LTD.

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FAA Investigating Regional's Wing Clipping

GoJet and SkyWest Make an Oopsie Taxiing into the Gate at O'Hare

The FAA is investigating an incident at the Chicago O'Hare International Airport, where two regional jets made contact as they were taxiing on their way to the gate. The flights, GoJet Flight 4423 from Richmond, Virginia; and SkyWest Flight 5433 from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania; made wing-to-wing contact as they were maneuvering into their gates on December 5th. The aircraft headed to their appointed terminals and disembarked all their passengers normally, with no injuries reported.

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Polk County Sheriff’s Buy Kodiak ISR Aircraft

$5M Purchase Rankles Residents with “Spy Plane” Accusations

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office got heat from local residents this week when locals decried the addition of a new special mission Kodiak 100 to the County’s fleet of surveillance aircraft. The $5 million dollar price tag didn’t end up being their main sticking point, with most discontented residents taking issue with the aircraft’s payload of ISR gear. Chief Ian Floyd downplayed their concerns to local journos after the County Commission voted unanimously in support of the 10-seater aircraft.

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Drone Defense Gains Extended FAA Support

D-Fend EnforceAir System Deployed, Tested, and Acquired

Israeli firm D-Fend Solutions caught the FAA's eye with their recent test deployment at Syracuse Hancock International Airport, with an additional deployment planned to a second airport site. The EnforceAir system was trialed in an FAA program at Atlantic City International Airport under an effort to evaluate whether the system could mitigate the threat of unauthorized or inappropriate drone activity without adversely impacting the day-to-day operations of the premises. The evaluation so far has yielded positive results, if the program's expansion is any indication.

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Eve Joins Flexjet for Air Traffic Simulation

Real-World Data Collection to Yield Benefits in Route Management

Eve Air Mobility announced a collaboration with Flexjet to "advance urban air mobility through innovative software simulation", having completed an initial test of their traffic management capabilities. London's helicopter market, Flexjet's stomping grounds, will one day be a hive of intense AAM activity in the future, making it a priority for local operators to figure out the traffic tangles far in advance. Flexjet provided its helo fleet to perform flights monitored by Eve's Urban ATM team, providing a wealth of data from real-world use cases.

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NTSB Prelim: Mooney M20C

Witnesses Observed The Airplane’s Left Wing Dip Perpendicular To The Ground And Enter A Near-Vertical Descent

On November 21, 2023, at 1748 central standard time, a Mooney M20C, N1204X was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Plano, Texas. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The airplane departed from Eagle Roost Airpark (27AZ), Aguila, Arizona. According to the pilot’s friend, the purpose of the flight was for the pilot to travel to Plano, Texas, to visit family and friends. Multiple witnesses reported seeing the airplane attempt to land on runway 34 at Air Park – Dallas (F69) and subsequently perform a go-around.

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Classic Aero-TV: Light, Adaptable, Innovative - Clarity Aloft Intro’s the Flex!

From 2018 (YouTube Version): Clarity Aloft Introduces The TSO Certified Flex Headset

The newest addition to the Clarity Aloft headset range is a big departure from previous designs and ushers in a new standard for in-ear headsets. Not only is it the lightest model yet from Clarity Aloft, it is also the most customizable. Pilots using the Flex can set the microphone boom on the right or left, adjust the boom length and headband circumference, and collapse it flat for storage. No other headset will disappear so completely onto your head or into your flight bag.

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ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (12.12.23)

Aero Linx: International Republic Seabee Owner's Club (IRSOC) This site includes links to Specifications, Limits and History of the Republic Seabee. We are always searching for other articles and historical documents. If you can help, send us what you have and we will add it to the list. Your help is greatly appreciated.

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ANN's Daily Aero-Term (12.12.23): Terminal Radar Service Area

Terminal Radar Service Area Airspace surrounding designated airports wherein ATC provides radar vectoring, sequencing, and separation on a full-time basis for all IFR and participating VFR aircraft. The AIM contains an explanation of TRSA. TRSAs are depicted on VFR aeronautical charts. Pilot participation is urged but is not mandatory.

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Aero-News: Quote of the Day (12.12.23)

“Historically, Van’s allowed customers to make numerous additions, deletions, modifications, and customizations to each kit order (whether a standard or quick build kit). This led to a substantial variance in the number of kits that could be picked, crated, and shipped per day, which ultimately impacted our purchasing, planning, costs and revenue.” Source: Yet another detail in the recovery plan put forward by Van's Aircraft as they attempt to recover from Chapter 11.  

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