AIN Alerts
April 30, 2019
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Piaggio Avanti

Piaggio Given Green Light To Restart Production

Italy’s ministry of economic development agreed at a meeting on April 24 to facilitate the return to production of the Piaggio Avanti Evo and P.1HH Hammerhead, an unmanned maritime reconnaissance version of the Avanti. Vincenzo Nicastro, government-appointed administrator for the company, which went into insolvency late last year, said the announcement “represents a first concrete step for the relaunch of the company and will allow it to present itself as an attractive opportunity for potential buyers.”

The meeting was chaired by the Italian government and included representatives of local authorities and trade unions. Indications were given on the timing and steps to ensure safeguarding employees' jobs, according to a statement issued by the government.

The statement also said that in the short term, the company will restart P.180 production, as well as work on finalizing certification of the P.1HH Hammerhead. The government added that the long-term objective is to have capabilities in the company for developing further technology linked to the guidelines of the Ministry of Defense. This will allow the company to re-enter systems-design activity at a European level, in particular, the European medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAV project.

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Textron Aviation Looks To Hire 1,000 Workers This Year

Textron Aviation hired 1,000 workers last year and will do the same this year as the market has improved for the manufacturer of Cessna and Beechcraft airplanes, Ron Draper told an audience of 600 customers and suppliers at the opening of the airframer’s annual customer conference today in Wichita.

“We hired 1,000 people last year and we’re probably going to have to hire another 1,000 this year,” Draper said. “Some of that is replacing retirements, but most of that is growth.” The company currently employs 9,500 people in Kansas.

In keeping with what Textron Inc. CEO Scott Donnelly said two weeks ago, the company’s goal is to finish up the type certification process on the super-midsize Citation Longitude for third-quarter deliveries. “We’ve been wrestling with all the paperwork and some of the FAA’s new design assurance processes that have been put on the airplane,” Draper said. “Our goal is to get that all done in the second quarter.”

Draper also noted some changes to the executive team, including Chris Hearne who has been appointed senior v-p of engineering, replacing Brad Thress, who is now senior v-p of global parts and programs. “Parts and programs, and customer service are becoming more and more critical to our company, everything we do,” Draper explained. The three-day conference ends Thursday.

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AviationManuals Eases EFVS Approvals Process

AviationManuals today launched a new enhanced flight vision system (EFVS) package that streamlines materials required by business aviation operators to conduct low-visibility approaches and landings using EFVS. The package includes a comprehensive manual with touchdown and rollout procedures, and letter of authorization (LOA) application support services.

The company’s EFVS Operations Manual focuses on procedures that will allow pilots to descend below 100 feet above touchdown zone elevation and then land and roll out. Meanwhile, its LOA application support services cover preparation of the associated FAA documentation, including a cover letter and all required supporting documents in accordance with agency guidance, and organization of the documentation into a streamlined package.

“For a pilot, [EFVS approval] means they can land in a greater variety of weather conditions, minimizing delays or risks of being rerouted,” said AviationManuals CEO Mark Baier. “Our EFVS package can be delivered in as little as a week and quickly and efficiently provides pilots the manual and supporting equipment documents needed for approval of their LOA application.”


Pilatus PC-24 Will Help Keep U-Haul on the Move

Moving truck and trailer rental company U-Haul International took delivery of the first of two Pilatus PC-24s yesterday at Pilatus Business Aircraft’s facility in Broomfield, Colorado. The Pilatus jet’s paint scheme features the distinctive U-Haul orange livery and joins the Phoenix-based flight department's fleet that includes two PC-12 turboprop singles.

“We are delighted to start flying this great new aircraft. When Pilatus announced the new jet, we were confident that it would be a real workhorse that, alongside our two PC-12s, would help us manage our growing operations throughout North America,” said Joe Shoen, chairman of U-Haul International parent company Amerco. “We have been eagerly looking forward to this day.”

This delivery marks the 27th PC-24 now in operation, with the global fleet accumulating more than 4,000 flight hours. According to Pilatus, the fleet leader has logged more than 1,100 flight hours.

Meanwhile, Swiss-based Pilatus Aircraft said it will have a PC-24 on static display at the upcoming EBACE show in Geneva, Switzerland.


Geneva Hangar Provider To Celebrate First Decade

Geneva Air Park, the private aviation hangar complex at Geneva International Airport, will celebrate its 10th anniversary next month when the airport hosts the annual EBACE show. While FBOs there can have their own hangars, that space is largely reserved for maintenance activities, leaving the Air Park as the only viable option for customers seeking transient or based aircraft shelter. With 107,639 sq ft (10,000-sq m) of hangar space, the facility, located near Terminal C3 at Geneva Airport (adjacent to Palexpo), is large enough to fit a pair of Boeing 747s, and usually operates at more than 90 percent capacity. 

Open from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m., it is home to more than 20 business jets on annual contracts guaranteeing them space, with the remainder left for transient aircraft. The location has recently seen an uptick in larger transient aircraft, which has cut down on the total number of aircraft it can shelter.

The company offers a comprehensive range of services for private and business aviation, including towing via its fleet of five Lektro tugs and water and lavatory service. It also recently added in-house dishwashing and linen service, as well as aircraft cleaning.

Earlier this year, the facility earned its Stage I registration under the International Business Aviation Council’s International Standard for Business Aviation Handling (IS-BAH).


Pilots Reported ‘AC Voltage’ Issue before Fatal Crash

Eight minutes after taking off from Univesity-Oxford Airport and seconds before the April 13 crash of a Rockwell Sabreliner near New Albany, Mississippi, the crew reported an electrical malfunction, according to a preliminary NTSB report. The two pilots and passenger were killed in the crash.

After the jet took off and was climbing through 1,300 feet at 3:06 p.m., controllers advised of moderate to severe precipitation in the area and provided a clearance to 11,000 feet. At 3:08 p.m., ATC informed the crew of moderate to heavy precipitation along their route. The crew acknowledged the radio call and told ATC they were climbing through 9,000 feet for 11,000 feet.

The airplane maintained an approximate heading of 080 degrees from 3:06 p.m. until about 3:10 p.m., when it turned right to about 120 degrees. Two minutes later, the airplane made a left turn to about 040 degrees and ATC asked the crew if they were having navigation issues or if they were deviating. The crew responded they were deviating but that they were also having “AC voltage problems.”

The last radio call received from the aircraft was an acknowledgment of a heading assignment to 095 degrees at 3:13 p.m. However, the airplane began a right turn to about 270 degrees when radar and radio contact was lost.

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ASL-JetNetherlands’ Managed Fleet Continues To Expand

Belgium-based ASL Private Jet Services and its Dutch sister company JetNetherlands will be adding four aircraft to its fleet in the coming months. This furthers the group’s fast growth track, which also saw it recently expand in third-party ground-handling services. All four aircraft will be managed and operated on behalf of their respective owners and will be also offered for charter.

The four new additions comprise three Cessna Citations and a Hawker 4000, which will be based in Antwerp, Belgium and will be operated starting next month. A nine-seat Citation X, the second of the type to join the ASL-JetNetherlands fleet, will also be based in Belgium, at the regional airport of Kortrijk-Wevelgem. Meanwhile, a Citation XLS+ and CitationJet will be based at Rotterdam-The Hague Airport in The Netherlands and will be available for charter over the next month or so.

The Hawker 4000, Citation XLS+, and CitationJet will be registered on ASL’s Belgian air operator certificate (AOC) while the Citation X will be joining JetNetherlands’ AOC.

ASL-JetNetherlands was founded in 1997 by Philippe Bodson and operates more than 30 aircraft from Amsterdam-Schiphol, Antwerp, Brussels-Zaventem, Brussels-Charleroi, Eindhoven, Groningen, Maastricht, Kortrijk-Wevelgem, and Rotterdam Airports.


Deadline Approaching for NATA Salary Survey

The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) is collecting data through May 15 for its 2019 Compensation Survey. It decided to revive the survey this year after opting to forgo the 2018 survey when it did not receive enough responses from FBOs to make it statistically accurate but said it has taken steps to obtain meaningful results for this year’s survey.

To encourage participation, NATA explained that the survey can help make aviation businesses more competitive by having access to benchmarks for aviation business salaries, compensation, and benefits. “Completed survey results will help you stay competitive in your region, assess your current benefit and salary offerings, [and] take an in-depth look at your operation from every position,” it said.

NATA retained Aviation Management Consulting Group to manage the survey data, which will be presented in aggregate. Individual responses will be kept confidential, it said.

The survey breaks down categories by region, metropolitan population, annual sales, payroll, fuel volume, and employee number. It tracks both part-time and full-time compensation for a number of positions involving mechanics, technicians, line personnel, dispatchers, customer service representatives, flight instructors, and administrative staff, among many others. For more information, email NATA's Jake Legere.


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People in Aviation
Renee Spann, manager of Teterboro Airport, retired after 30 years of service with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Spann, who joined the Port Authority in 1983 as a summer intern, has worked at four of the five airports under the jurisdiction of the authority—Teterboro, LaGuardia, Newark, and JFK International—and became manager at Teterboro in 2011. Scott Marsh is stepping in as interim manager. He has 30 years of aviation experience and has held numerous roles with the Port Authority since joining in 2004, including his most recent position of manager of operations and security at Teterboro.
Aerion appointed Matthew Cram deputy general counsel. Cram previously was a shareholder at the Aero Law Group and also has held a variety of contractual and finance positions with Boeing.
Terrell Ford has become general manager of TAC Air’s Little Rock, Arkansas base. He succeeds Kip Simanek, who earlier this year moved over to lead the company’s new FBO at Dallas Love Field. Ford, who is a 10-year military veteran, has spent 19 years with TAC Air, most recently as general manager in Shreveport, Louisiana. Succeeding Ford in Shreveport is Steven Ryberg, who has served with TAC Air since 2005 as a line manager in Omaha, Nebraska.
Duncan Aviation has named lifelong Calgary, Alberta resident Trevor Yuschyshyn as its regional manager representative for Canada. Previously a director of maintenance at an aircraft management company and a member of Duncan’s customer advisory board, Yuschyshyn brings more than 23 years of aviation experience and knowledge to his new role. The company also promoted Jeff Schipper, most recently a project manager at its Provo, Utah facility, to manager of modifications at the full-service location. In this position, he will provide leadership for the interior, avionics install, and avionics line departments.
Uniflight Global has named Raymond Weiser v-p of sales. Weiser brings 42 years of experience in rotary- and fixed-wing operations to his new role, serving with companies such as Turbomeca, Rolls-Royce, Vector Aerospace, and Jet Support Services Inc. (JSSI).
AINalerts News Tips/Feedback: News tips may be sent anonymously, but feedback must include name and contact info (we will withhold name on request). We reserve the right to edit correspondence for length, clarity and grammar. Send feedback or news tips to AINalerts editor Chad Trautvetter.
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