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August 16, 2023

Airborne 08.16.23: MiG-23 Airshow Crash, USCG Rescue, Wheels Up Bailout

 Also: Hartzell Engine Tech Alternator, Super Petrel Accident, WV College, VX4 eVTOL Mishap 

 
 
For more than twenty-years, crowds have thrilled to Thunder Over Michigan, a gala event counted among the U.S.’s premier air-shows. Regrettably, the event’s 25th anniversary was marred by the loss of a Soviet-Era MiG-23 (NATO designation Flogger). The Sunday mishap saw the MiG-23’s two occupants eject from the aircraft as it traversed the airspace over Ypsilanti, Michigan’s Willow Run Airport (YIP). This week, the United States Coast Guard and Navy rescued four divers—Ben Wiggins, 64; Luke Lodge, 26; Daniel Williams, 46; and Evan Williams, 16 who had gone missing some forty-nautical-miles southeast of North C

Delta Air Lines Spearheads $500-Million Wheels Up Bailout

… Nor a Borrower Be

On 14 August 2023, Wheels Up, the New York City-based provider of on-demand aircraft services, reported additional losses, declining revenues, and dwindling cash reserves. The disclosure occasioned renewed whisperings of bankruptcy’s imminence and the dissolution of the world’s third-largest private aviation concern. The morning of 15 August brought an announcement of a wholly-different tenor from Delta Air Lines, which set forth its intention to lead a major investment initiative by which Wheels Up, of which Delta presently holds a significant stake, may yet manage a worryingly-overdue course-correction. 

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German Warbird Collection Remains Intact After Volker Schülke’s Passing

Hangar 10 to Remain in One Piece in Transfer to Karl F. Grimminger

A well known collection of vintage warbirds in Germany has secured a new home, thankfully in one piece after its sale to Munich entrepreneur Karl Grimminger. The Hangar 10 collection was curated by owner Volker Schülke over the years, growing to include a handful of BF-109’s (and a couple Spanish derivatives, of course) and a Focke-Wulf 190. Schülke’s tragic passing in a 2020 accident had left the collection in limbo, but his widow Arite did the needful to ensure his cherished aircraft would be taken on as a continuing group of thematically consistent aircraft. 

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Canadian AeroVenture Announced for September 1-4

Fly-in Not to be Confused with Recent American Shindig

Canadian fly-in AeroVenture (Aer-O-Venture, mind you) has set a date, taking place in Casey’s CSQ4 aerodrome near Lake Wet, Canada from September 1-4, 2023. The fly-in will bring all kinds of Canadian aircraft together to celebrate the “spellbinding world of aviation” with other enthusiasts from across the country. Last year, Camp de Base Casey, a former Cold War installation abandoned by time, saw the first AeroVenture to impressive turnout. In 2022 the location saw “241 aircraft, 28 seaplanes, 22 helicopters, 260 RVs, and 92 camping planes”, accompanied by 2600 visitors in all. 

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NTSB Discloses Details of YIP MiG-23 Mishap

Initial Reports Only Partially Accurate

On 13 August 2023, a MiG-23 went down while taking part in the Thunder Over Michigan air-show. The accident aircraft, a MiG-23UB built in 1981 and imported from the Czech Republic, had been largely restored by, belonged to, and was flown by Dan “Files” Filer, a U.S. Navy combat veteran who flew A-6 Intruders in the Gulf War. Following the mishap, Michigan’s Wayne County Airport Authority set forth: “While it did not appear they [the Mig-23’s occupants] sustained any significant injuries, first-responders transported the pair to a nearby hospital as a precaution.” The Airport Authority’s statement proved inaccurate, however. Filer and his backseater, after being fishe

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Airborne-NextGen 08.08.23: USAF AI, UAV Safety Chute, Skydio Ukraine

Also: SkyDrive-Avidyne, Hydrogen Propulsion, Ampaire, General Atomics STOL UAS

Utilizing complex Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms and sophisticated automation technologies, Air Force researchers have successfully performed the first unmanned, wholly autonomous flight of an aircraft. The three-hour sortie was flown by an XQ-58A Valkyrie, an experimental, stealthy, Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) designed and built by Kratos Defense & Security Solutions for USAF’s Low Cost Attritable Strike Demonstrator (LCASD) program. ParaZero Technologies recently inked a deal to supply their SafeAir system to an “air taxi and cargo drone solutio

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Resurgent Enstrom Wants Fresh Faces

Helo Manufacturer Searching for Engineers, Managers, Mechanics

Enstrom Helicopter Corporation is bouncing back under the “passionate ownership” (their words, not ours) of Chuck Surack and now looking for an infusion of fresh talent as it makes the most of its upswing. The firm has continued plugging away on “exciting new rotorcraft models and features” as it addresses an “unprecedented level of product demand” from the helicopter market. Under Surack’s leadership, the company has more than 125 employees, but is ripe for expansion. Right now, Enstrom particularly wants “ skilled engineers, managers, mechanics, and more.”

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Airborne-NextGen 08.08.23: USAF AI, UAV Safety Chute, Skydio Ukraine

Also: SkyDrive-Avidyne, Hydrogen Propulsion, Ampaire, General Atomics STOL UAS

Utilizing complex Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms and sophisticated automation technologies, Air Force researchers have successfully performed the first unmanned, wholly autonomous flight of an aircraft. The three-hour sortie was flown by an XQ-58A Valkyrie, an experimental, stealthy, Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) designed and built by Kratos Defense & Security Solutions for USAF’s Low Cost Attritable Strike Demonstrator (LCASD) program. ParaZero Technologies recently inked a deal to supply their SafeAir system to an “air taxi and cargo drone solutio

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2023 A. Scott Crossfield Aerospace Educator of the Year Named

Virginia Teacher to be Honored

The National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF)—a Dayton, Ohio-based institution founded to inspire appreciation of the United States’ extraordinary aviation heritage—has announced Megan Tucker, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) Specialist and Dean of Curriculum at Hillsboro Charter Academy in Hillsboro, Virginia, has been named the NAHF’s 2023 A. Scott Crossfield Educator of the Year.

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GAMA Addresses FAA’s Powered-Lift SFAR NPRM

Opinions and Suggestions

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) has formally submitted comments to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s proposed Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) for Integration of Powered-Lift: Pilot Certification and Operations; Miscellaneous Amendments Related to Rotorcraft and Airplanes. GAMA methodically worked with its membership to review subject proposal and put forward comments that reflect the SFAR’s role in facilitating initial powered-lift operations. Moreover, the SFAR will provide the regulatory environment requisite the collection of necessary operational data by which future permanent rulemaking will be informed.

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MITRE Opens New Small UAS Test Range

New Gadgets, Old Dominion

Founded in 1958, the Mitre Corporation (stylized MITRE) is an American non-profit organization managing federally-funded research and development centers (FFRDC) supporting various U.S. government agencies in the aviation, defense, healthcare, homeland security, and cybersecurity sectors. On 15 August 2023, MITRE announced the opening of a new, Orange, Virginia test-range dedicated to the development, testing, and evaluation of small Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), commercial robotics, autonomous systems, and drone and counter-drone systems.

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Classic Aero-TV: Best Seat in The House -- 'Inside' The AeroShell Aerobatic Team

From 2010 (YouTube Version): Yeah.... This IS A Really Cool Job

When ANN's Nathan Cremisino took over the lead of our Aero-TV teams, he knew he was in for some extra work and a lot of extra responsibility. Still... with all that, there ARE times when its good to be the top guy.... like when our friends at Aspen Avionics call over and ask if we want to put one of our Aero-TV videographers aboard a formation aerobatic flight with the world famous Aero-Shell Aerobatic Team. At such times, its good to be in a position to say... "Hey, I want to go..." and go. Its an amazing experience... paired up wi

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ParaZero Receives Repeat Order from Major Automotive Manufacturer

Encore Performance

ParaZero has announced a leading automotive manufacturer had placed its second order for ParaZero’s SafeAir UAS safety system. The repeat order follows a previous agreement entered into by the automotive OEM and ParaZero for the development of a bespoke safety solution for the carmaker’s proprietary UAS program. Moreover, the new agreement calls for the design-stage integration of ParaZero’s SafeAir drone safety system into a proprietary aircraft being developed by the automotive manufacturer.

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ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (08.16.23)

Aero Linx: No Dog Left Behind

NDLB Mission Statement: "To save the lives of animals while enriching the lives of people." Each year thousands of animals are rescued by our air and land teams. Along with our rescue efforts, giving grants for equipment purchases and education helps our mission to save the lives of animals in danger while enriching the lives of people. 

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ANN's Daily Aero-Term (08.16.23): Offshore/Control Airspace Area

Offshore/Control Airspace Area

That portion of airspace between the U.S. 12 NM limit and the oceanic CTA/FIR boundary within which air traffic control is exercised. These areas are established to provide air traffic control services. Offshore/Control Airspace Areas may be classified as either Class A airspace or Class E airspace.

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Aero-News: Quote of the Day (08.16.23)

"The airplane had made one pass down the runway. ... There were going to be three passes total, culminating in a landing. They were circling around for the second pass when they experienced the difficulty. Right now, all the information is preliminary and we can't draw any conclusions. The fact that both pilots survived and there were no ground injuries is a very good outcome." Source: NTSB Senior Air Safety Investigator John Brannen, discussing the loss of a civilian MiG-23 and the bailout of its two pilots.

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