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November 13, 2023

Airborne 11.13.23: B29 Replica Flies!!!, Cleaveland Tool, Aerolite 120 Woes

 Also: First T-38 Replacement, Aviation Discovery Fest, Spacewalkers Lose Tools, Rocket Lab

The long-awaited first flight of the Tom Hodgson B29 Replica took place last week... in style. A one-hour first flight featured a number of fly-bys and low passes before the builder/pilot decided that he had all the data he needed and brought it back to its home drone in Kokomo, Indiana. Hodgson reported that the aircraft was pretty much in trim and that there were no significant issues during the test flight. A heartfelt request from the family owners of Cleaveland Aircraft Tool began making the rounds this week, an unfortunate reminder of just how fragile the light aircraft industry remains. Cleaveland Aircraft Tool is a good old fashioned co

Embraer E195-E2 Gets Steep Approach Certification for London City

Boasts "The Largest and Most Sustainable Aircraft" at the Demanding Airport

Embraer’s newest jet, the E195-E2, has received certification for Steep Approach into London City Airport from EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency). It's a nice 'get' for the brand, making their E2 just about the biggest aircraft approved for the approach. London City has become home to a particular brand of bragging rights in the small jet industry, as manufacturers treat it like the aeronautical equivalent of the Nürburgring. The airport's challenging 5.5º approach angle, urban surroundings, and stumpy 4,947-foot runway make for a fine but achievable challenge.

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German U/L Builder To Cease Production of Aerolite 120

Well-Regarded 120KG 'Ultralight' Another Casualty of Tough Times

The sport aviation community has not had a lot of good news of late, with the despicable situation involving Rotor X (and the many customers that have been cheated), the far more upfront but nonetheless troubling issues surrounding Van's Aircraft, as well as other bad news or problems we've observed coming from companies like Progressive AeroDyne, Glasair, SeaMax, TL Ultralight, and others. Another low-blow was struck with the announcement that the German Aerolite 120 will shortly cease production. The Aerolite 120 is a slick little U/L... with Dacron sailcloth wings, a Polini pusher engine, electric starter, and electric flaps. 

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ALPA Testifies on Close Calls Before Congress

“More Work Must Be Done”

The Air Line Pilots Association urged Congress to stay the course and continue to improve aviation safety on all fronts, building on the public outcry from recent issues in the public eye. The FAA has been engaged in a flurry of activity, looking to improve the safety of ATC and the terminal environment following a couple high-profile near-hits between large aircraft. In supporting the wider industry effort, ALPA president Jason Ambrosi made an appearance at a recent hearing before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation.

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FAA Continues War on Close Calls in the Terminal Environment

Series of Runway Safety Action Meetings Aim to Close Out 2023 Safer Than it Started

The Federal Aviation Administration has announced a series of safety meetings as it continues the campaign against runway incursions, with 16 locations announced through the end of 2023. The meetings will, like the previous 90 conventions of the Runway Safety Action Team, attempt to get everyone involved in the airport ecosystem to hit the goal of "zero serious close calls".

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Helijet Inks Deal for 4 Beta eVTOLs

Canadian Heliport Operator Goes in on Alia 250 Electric Aircraft

Helijet International placed a firm order for 4 Beta Technologies Alia 250 eVTOL aircraft with the intention of running them along its fleet of almost 20 aircraft already in service. The deal is a bit of a first for Canada, marking off the initial firm sale of a next-gen sustainable AAM platform to a domestic operator. Helijet was so excited about the purchase CEO Danny Sitnam held a press conference at the tail end of October to announce the deal alongside reps from Beta Technologies and the Canadian Advanced Air Mobility group.

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Aero-TV: Sesame Technologies to Debut Diamond Shield Engine Cover System

Protecting Engines, Protecting People

Sesame Technologies is a North Carolina-based designer and manufacturer of aviation ground-support equipment. The company specializes in safety equipment germane to ground operations supporting executive, commercial, and military aircraft. While Sesame Technologies’s extant products—which include covers for aircraft pitot probes and static ports, angle of attack vanes, ice detectors, total air temperature sensors, and drain masts—are eminently popular and in wide use, the company’s customers expressed need for an aero-engine-cover solution by which air-crews, ramp personnel, and main

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Euro Cockpit Association Renews Campaign against “Bogus Self-Employment”

Belgian Documentary Shows “Atypical Employment” in Continental Industry

The European Cockpit Association published an urgent sounding press release regarding the recent Dutch documentary “Omerta Above the Clouds”, saying it paints a “disturbing picture of the EASA.” Their chief concern remains, as it has been for years, the “atypical employment” phenomenon of many Euro pilots. The ECA says that more than 1 in 5 aviators are not directly employed by the airline they fly for, a condition which has “spread rapidly and widely within all segments of the industry from low cost to legacy carriers.” 

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NTSB Final Report: Smith Miniplane DSA-1

While In Cruise Flight About 1,000 Ft Above Ground Level, The Engine Began Running Rough

Analysis: The pilot reported that, while in cruise flight about 1,000 ft above ground level, the engine began running rough. The pilot subsequently made a forced landing into a wooded area, which resulted in substantial damage to the airplane. Postaccident examination revealed that no fuel was present in the fuel line from the engine-driven pump to the carburetor. The carburetor bowl was completely dry, and the fuel tank was empty when viewed with a borescope.

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Another Ugly Flying Car Design Arises

Subaru Hopes Model A Concept Shows the Way of the Future

Subaru showed off a new concept for a “flying car” in the form of their Model A at the Japan Mobility Show held in late October. The design is, as seems to increasingly be the norm these days, ungainly. The design requirements for an electric or sustainable, vertical takeoff aircraft only leave so much styling to be done, of course, but the homely assortment of rotors, ports, and blade guards are hard to assemble in a way that carries the grace of a well-sorted automobile or fixed-wing aircraft.

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ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (11.13.23)

Aero Linx: Volunteer Pilot Group Inc. Volunteer Pilot Group Inc. is a Florida-based 501(c)(3) non-profit volunteer pilot organization with member pilots operating charitable flights for public benefit throughout North America. As a member of the Air Care Alliance, we serve volunteer organizations in the fields of education, healthcare, and disaster relief. VPG provides this service at no cost to those being served.

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ANN's Daily Aero-Term (11.13.23): Basic Radar Service

Basic Radar Service These services are provided for VFR aircraft by all commissioned terminal radar facilities. Basic radar service includes safety alerts, traffic advisories, limited radar vectoring when requested by the pilot, and sequencing at locations where procedures have been established for this purpose and/or when covered by a letter of agreement. The purpose of this service is to adjust the flow of arriving IFR and VFR aircraft into the traffic pattern in a safe and orderly manner and to provide traffic advisories to departing VFR aircraft.

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Aero-News: Quote of the Day (11.13.23)

“More work can and must be done to prevent near misses and other incidents. ALPA strongly supports doing more to advance NextGen to enhance pilots’ and air traffic controllers’ ability to pinpoint the position of aircraft while in flight and on the ground. Moving NextGen forward will not only help prevent near misses and enhance safety, but it will also improve traffic management and aircraft utilization, reduce flight delays, cut aviation emissions, and contribute to airline profitability.” Source: From the ALPA statements made by the Air Line Pilots Association, urging Congress to stay

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