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December 29, 2023

Airborne 12.29.23: Shoreham Pilot, Curious Icon TC, Ice v Remos

 Also: Butterfly Prototype, New Airbus Toulouse Facility, New Haven Airport, Red Hawk Testing

he aviator whose airshow accident led to 11 deaths at a 2015 air show, has applied to the UK Civil Aviation Authority in the hopes of getting his license reinstated. The incident left a bad taste in many a British mouth, when Andrew Hill's Hawker Hunter jet crashed into a nearby highway during a failed loop maneuver. British media made quite a sensation of their over-hyped, breathless, coverage. Overpriced, offering meager performance, and burdened with a history of disappointment, have made it hard for those who inherited the Icon program to get ahead. The company has turned to a certification program that has been all but abandoned by other

Shoreham Airshow Pilot Wants License Reinstated

Despite 11 Deaths, Andrew Hill Wants Back in the Game

The aviator whose airshow accident led to 11 deaths at a 2015 air show, has applied to the UK Civil Aviation Authority in the hopes of getting his license reinstated. The incident left a bad taste in many a British mouth, when Andrew Hill's Hawker Hunter jet crashed into a nearby highway during a failed loop maneuver. The impact destroyed 8 cars, with 11 victims spread across the travelers and audience. Those injured tallied up to 16. Hill survived the crash without ejecting, allowing him to be charged with negligent manslaughter at a criminal trial in 2019. He defended himself blaming it on the G-force affecting his brain.

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D'oh! SpaceX Booster Goes for a Swim

Improved Versions of Falcon to Sport Improved Balancing Gear

SpaceX lost one of its Falcon 9 boosters, a 19-time launch veteran, off the side of its recovery ship among rough seas on Christmas Day 2023. The booster had soldiered on through 19 space launches, capping off its last one on December 23rd for a well-earned retirement. During the recovery process, the 135-foot tall fuselage, standing on its tail just as it does for launch, toppled over amid rising waves and increasing winds. The recovery barge returned to port missing a few feet of booster fuselage, but thankfully enough of the Falcon remained to provide some use to the company postmortem. The team will use everything left, which appears to largely be the most expensive, heaviest ge

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Busy, Busy, Busy... EAA Young Eagles Activity Increased Over 2023

Unlike Many Other Things, Free Introductory Flight Program Returns To Pre-Pandemic Levels

EAA’s much-lauded Young Eagles program continued its post-pandemic recovery in 2023, as more than 57,000 young people received flight experiences from volunteer EAA-member pilots as of December 17, 2023. The total number of youth receiving a free Young Eagles introductory flight this year is the highest yearly total since 60,142 were flown in 2019. These flights were all made possible by 4,493 pilots from 616 different EAA chapters who volunteered their time to help.

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FAA 'Closely Monitoring' 737 MAX Production

Loose Rudder Bolt Sends Maintainers on Hunt for Issues in Assembly

Targeted inspections for the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft's rudder control system are the order of the day, searching for loose or missing parts. Boeing issued a Multi-Operator Message urging operators of newer MAX aircraft to inspect specific tie rods and control rudder movement for possible loose hardware. The problem was investigated when a foreign MAX operator encountered a bolt with a missing nut during a routine maintenance inspection. Looking into the matter and giving some aircraft a once-over to see if similar cases happened elsewhere, Boeing found an "additional undelivered aircraft with a nut that was not properly tightened."

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AMA Gains Altitude for Future Events

Class Golf to see 700 to 1,200 Feet for Model Events

The Academy of Model Aeronautics has gotten approval from the FAA to hold some sanctioned events higher up in Class G airspace in 2024, meaning 700 to 1,200 feet will be up for grabs. Exactly how much altitude is apportioned to each event will remain a case-by-case basis, unless the FAA reauthorization does away with the event waiver process for cases where the event can be held safely without one. The AMA is "working with Congress to include a process to fly at higher altitudes in Class G airspace for day-to-day operations as well." Should it come into practice, it could help defray the bureaucratic overhead required for small-time modeling events, which could translate to increased activi

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Ingenuity Copter Makes Longest Flight Yet

2,315-Foot Hop Breaks Records for Mars Helo

Flight number 69 broke all previous records for the NASA Mars Helicopter program, soaring above Airfield Chi for 2,315 feet. While in flight, Ingenuity got about 52 feet above the Martian terrain, with an average groundspeed of 22.4 mph. The Short flight took 135.4 seconds in all, adding another journey to its logbook on the precipice of hitting flight number 70. Ingenuity has been given a pretty steady series of goals, with each flight rounding out to about 700 meters. In mission 68, the little helo that could made it 2,304 feet in one hop, a goal that held true for mission 68, too. Mission 70 will aim for almost 130 seconds of flight time, at 6.5 mph, around 40 feet AGL, which will net about half

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Airbus Ships 1st Toulouse Built A321neo

Targets 75 Aircraft per Month by 2026

Airbus rolled out the very first A321neo aircraft completed entirely at its new A320 Family Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Toulouse, France. The A321neo will head to its new home with Pegasus Airlines, "the leading low-cost carrier" in its home market of Turkey. It makes for an important milestone for the Toulouse line, having been built in the remains of the former A380 roost named after Jean-Luc Lagardère. Airbus says that the new aircraft marks "the start of the ramp-up of the new Toulouse FAL, which presages increased output at similar A320 lines in Hamburg Germany, Mobile, Alabama, and Tianjin China. Eventually, the firm plans to pump out 75 A320 family aircraft every month in 2026 and beyond.

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NTSB Prelim: Diamond Aircraft Ind Inc DA 40 NG

Loss Of Power Was Accompanied By A Loss Of Oil Pressure And Dual Engine Control Unit (ECU) Failure

On December 14, 2023, at 2015 eastern standard time, a Diamond Aircraft Ind. Inc. DA-40 NG airplane, N907L, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Asheville, North Carolina. The flight instructor sustained minor injuries and the private pilot was seriously injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight. The flight instructor and private pilot were conducting a cross-country flight at night when they felt a “shudder” followed by a loss of engine power. The loss of power was accompanied by a loss of oil pressure and dual engine control unit (ECU) failure.

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Classic Aero-TV: Upgrading The Future - Profiling the Stratos 716X

From 2018 (YouTube Version): Stratos Jets Will Initially Be Offered As Kits

Stratos Aircraft presented an update on its VLJ program and introduced the Stratos 716 model at AirVenture this summer. The Stratos 716X is an evolution of the 714 Proof of Concept (PoC) aircraft. The all carbon fiber 716X features trailing link gear, is powered by a Pratt & Whitney JT15D-5 and is configured with dual G3X screens, GTN 750 MFD, integrated Garmin Autopilot, dual standby attitude indicators, custom switch panels, fully automated pressurization system and air c

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ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (12.29.23)

Aero Linx: Alaska Aviation Advisory Board The purpose and function of the Aviation Advisory Board is to advise and provide recommendations to the Commissioner of the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities and Deputy Commissioner of Aviation on public policy related to the department’s exercise of its aviation functions assigned by law.

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ANN's Daily Aero-Term (12.29.23): Glideslope

Glideslope Provides vertical guidance for aircraft during approach and landing. The glideslope/glidepath is based on the following: Electronic components emitting signals which provide vertical guidance by reference to airborne instruments during instrument approaches such as ILS; or, Visual ground aids, such as VASI, which provide vertical guidance for a VFR approach or for the visual portion of an instrument approach and landing. PAR. Used by ATC to inform an aircraft making a PAR approach of its vertical position (elevation) relative to the descent profile.

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Aero-News: Quote of the Day (12.29.23)

“We are planning to salvage the engines and do life leader inspections on the remaining hardware. There is still quite a bit of value in this booster. We will not let it go to waste.” Source: SpaceX’s Jon Edwards, vice president for Falcon Launch Vehicles, discussing the current plans after SpaceX lost one of its Falcon 9 boosters, a 19-time launch veteran, off the side of its recovery ship among rough seas on Christmas Day 2023.

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