AIN Alerts
February 4, 2019
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Piper M600

M600 Utilization Prompts Piper To Up Warranty Hours

Citing higher-than-anticipated utilization for its M600, Piper Aircraft is boosting the warranty of the turboprop single from five years/1,000 flight hours to five years/1,500 flight hours for those delivered since 2016. The Vero Beach, Florida OEM unveiled the six-seat, 1,300-nm M600 in April 2015 originally with the five-year/1,000-flight hour warranty. Since that time, Piper has delivered nearly 100 of the model and the fleet has accumulated more than 21,000 hours. This fleet has shown that both utilization and stage lengths are greater than expected, Piper said.

The extended warranty, which is effective immediately, is based on both owner feedback and aircraft performance, said Piper v-p of sales, marketing, and customer support Ron Gunnarson. “When the M600 was introduced, we offered a warranty program that reflected our commitment to our customers and confidence in the aircraft. That commitment and confidence continue today as we identified an opportunity to increase our standard factory warranty,” said Gunnarson. “The M600 is delivering on its core value proposition."


Jet Edge Awarded Millions in Client Theft Lawsuit

Global aircraft charter, management, and maintenance provider Jet Edge International has been awarded an $11.9 million verdict against a former employee on breach of contract charges, following a week-long trial in U.S. District Court. The jury in the Central District of California, Eastern Division courthouse ruled against Paul Schembari, currently CEO of Guam-based Phenix Jet, finding him liable for $4.6 million in compensatory damages and $7.3 million in punitive damages.

According to Jet Edge, in 2016 it entered into a joint-venture agreement with Tokyo-based Sojitz Corp., which specified that Schembari be hired as the JV’s assistant director of operations. Jet Edge, which is based in Van Nuys, California, alleged that position enabled Sojitz to “steal Jet Edge’s confidential information and customers.”

Sojitz launched Phenix Jet International the following year, with Schembari listed as representative director, and several of Jet Edge’s Asia-based clients soon moved to the new company. The jury ruled unanimously that Schembari intentionally interfered with aircraft management agreements between Jet Edge and third parties, breached a duty of loyalty to the company, and acted with malice, oppression, or fraud while causing harm.

A $75 million lawsuit against Sojitz is pending in the courts.


ACSF Adds Members, Audit Standard Renewals

The Air Charter Safety Foundation has continued to expand its membership and reinforced its safety programs, including the Industry Audit Standard (IAS) and Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP), with new charters and other organizations coming on board or renewing their programs.

In January alone, the ACSF announced three new members and as many renewing their IAS. The new members joining in January were Tacoma, Washington-based safety training specialist Aircare International; Denver-based charter company Precision Aircraft Management; and PrivateFly Aviation, a charter operator with bases in Fort Worth, Texas, and Sellersburg, Indiana. The new members boost total membership to nearly 190 operators.

In addition to joining the association, PrivateFly and Precision Aircraft Management enrolled in the ACSF-administered ASAP. Participants in the ACSF ASAP had reached 115 by the fall.

Along with administering a tailored ASAP, the ACSF has further developed and maintained the registry for the IAS, one of the most stringent audit standards developed specifically for Part 135. Seventeen operators are now registered. The latest renewals include Hawthorne, California-based Advanced Air, Worldwide Jet Charter in Phoenix and Priester Aviation of Wheeling, Illinois.

Along with its safety programs, the ACSF gathers industry leaders annually for its Safety Symposium. This year’s event will be held from March 12 to 13 at the NTSB Training Center in Ashburn, Virginia.

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Whelen Engineering Acquires LoPresti Aviation

Chester, Connecticut-based Whelen Engineering acquired LoPresti Aviation and spun off its aviation division to combine the companies into a single organization called Whelen Aerospace Technologies (WAT), the companies announced on Friday. “Whelen’s aviation division and LoPresti together create a major competitor within the aviation lighting market,” they said.

Sebastian, Florida-based LoPresti Aviation offers aviation lighting, in addition to aircraft speed modifications, and holds more than 500 STCs, many for its BoomBeam high-intensity discharge (HID) light kits for general and business aviation aircraft. Meanwhile, Whelen Engineering designs and manufactures warning lights, white illumination lighting, sirens, controllers, and high-powered warning systems for automotive, aviation, and mass-notification industries.

“WAT enables both companies to combine resources and deliver distinct technologies to the aviation market,” said Whelen president and CEO George Whelen. “This transaction allows us to harness our collective resources, capabilities, and market positions to even better serve the industry globally.”

LoPresti CEO Tyler Wheeler is now the CEO of Sebastian-based Whelen Aerospace Technologies.


SmartSky Signs JetSuiteX for Air-to-ground Service

JetSuiteX has selected SmartSky Networks to provide airborne connectivity services for its fleet of Embraer ERJ-135s that fly to seven destinations in California and Nevada, using private terminals. JetSuiteX currently is equipped with Gogo connectivity; its JetSuite business jet charter fleet is also Gogo equipped, but will remain with the Gogo setup.

SmartSky’s network, which will cover the contiguous U.S., will be available for the launch of service with JetSuiteX in late summer, according to SmartSky. The onboard connectivity service will be rolled out in phases until the entire fleet is SmartSky-equipped.

JetSuiteX co-founder and CEO Alex Wilcox evaluated the SmartSky service in flight as part of the selection process. “We chose SmartSky’s high-speed technology because it delivers the most compelling user experience,” he said.

The SmartSky service deploys “a mix of 4G LTE and emerging 5G technologies,” according to the company, allowing users to stream video, send and receive emails with attachments, and transmit large data files.

SmartSky is in discussions with companies to develop the supplemental type certificate (STC) for the ERJ-135 installation but hasn’t yet announced which company has been selected. The STC will be available for other ERJ-135 operators, according to SmartSky.


Canada Issues Recommendations Following Incursion Study

A Transportation Safety Board of Canada investigation into 27 runway incursions that occurred between June 2012 and November 2017 at the two closely spaced parallel runways at Toronto Pearson International Airport has led the agency to issue four recommendations. All of the incidents happened on the inner runway (06L/24R), after the aircraft had landed on the outer runway (06R/24L), had been instructed by ATC to hold short of Runway 06L/24R. Despite intending to stop, the pilots had missed the visual cues depicting the runway holding positions.

The study acknowledged that the taxiway layout between the runways has characteristics that are “uncommon compared to those at other airports, both within North America and internationally.” Additionally, the runways are spaced a “relatively short distance [1,000 feet] apart,” and the rapid exit taxiways (RETs) provide direct access to the adjacent runway “without first progressing to another transitional surface.”

As a result of its investigation the TSB recommended that: the airport make physical changes to the taxiway layout to address the risk of incursions; increase the conspicuity of holding positions in the meantime; the FAA and the Canadian DOT work with operators to amend procedures so that post-landing checks are sequenced only after landing aircraft are clear of “both parallel runways;” and that Nav Canada amend its phraseology so safety-critical transmissions “are sufficiently compelling to attract the flight crew’s attention.”

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AviationManuals Sees Double-digit Revenue Gains

AviationManuals closed out 2018 with a 35 percent increase in revenue, bolstered in part by 25 percent increases in its International Operations and Procedures update service and ARC SMS safety management system digital platform subscriptions, the company annouced. The Washington, D.C.-based provider of operations manuals and SMS software to aircraft and drone operators, technicians, and FBOs said recipients of its update service now top 1,400 while its ARC SMS platform subscribers total nearly 6,000 active users.

It also said there was higher demand in 2018 for manual development services, including a 130 percent increase for its emergency response plans and a 57 percent increase for minimum equipment lists. AviationManuals' digital offerings expanded with the spring 2018 release of the ARC iPad App—with the number of users increasing by an average of 48 percent a week through last year—as well as additions to the ARC SMS platform. 

Those additions were a metrics module that AviationManuals said eases analyzing collected information to identify potential risks; a multi-purpose risk assessment tool; a change management form; and an ASAP tool for charter and business aviation operators to submit aviation safety action program reports. AviationManuals will be exhibiting at the NBAA Regional Forum on Wednesday in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Aviation Safety Question of the Week
Provided by

A helicopter moving forward at 100 knots has a relative wind speed on the advancing and retreating blade sides of 400 knots and 200 knots, respectively. This difference in speed causes a dissymmetry of lift. What feature counteracts dissymmetry of lift?

  • A. Blade lead and lag.
  • B. Blade flapping.
  • C. Blade twist.
  • D. None of the above.

Honda Aircraft Settles with DOJ over Hiring Error

Under a settlement announced by the U.S. Department of Justice on Friday, Honda Aircraft will pay a civil penalty of $44,626 for requiring job applicants to have a specific citizenship status to be considered for vacancies due to a “misunderstanding” of the requirements under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). ITAR regulates specific exports of defense articles and services and limits access to certain sensitive information to “U.S. persons,” which are defined as U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, lawful permanent residents, asylees, and refugees.

Because of a misinterpretation of “U.S. persons” as meaning only “U.S. citizens,” Honda Aircraft inadvertently “refused to consider or hire certain work-authorized non-U.S. citizens because of their citizenship status, in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act’s (INA) anti-discrimination provision,” according to the DOJ.

The DOJ’s investigation determined that Honda Aircraft published at least 25 job postings that unlawfully required applicants to have a specific citizenship status to be considered for the vacancies between August 2015 and December 2016.

“Honda Aircraft fully cooperated with the DOJ investigation and, on its own initiative, proactively changed policies and procedures to ensure job postings complied with both trade compliance laws and the INA’s anti-discrimination provision,” it said in a statement.

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Closing Soon: Make Your Voice Heard in the 2019 FBO Survey

AIN’s FBO survey is open for year-round feedback, but the deadline to vote in the 2019 survey is Friday, February 8. The results will be published in the April issue. The survey takes only a minute, and you can do it while waiting for passengers, on the shuttle bus to/from the hotel or any other time that is convenient for you. Participants will be entered to win a $500 Amazon gift card. Log on to to rate your experiences at the FBOs you visit. 

Report Type: Preliminary
Severity: Fatal Accident
Registration #: N191SF
Make/Model: Bell 407
City: Zaleski
State: Ohio
Country: United States
Event Date: January 29, 2019
Report Type: Preliminary
Severity: Fatal Accident
Registration #: Unknown
Make/Model: Beechcraft King Air 200
City: 30 km from Whatì
State: Northwest Territories
Country: Canada
Event Date: January 30, 2019
Report Type: Preliminary
Severity: Incident
Registration #: N47HA
Make/Model: Hawker 800XP
City: Raleigh-Durham Airport
State: North Carolina
Country: United States
Event Date: January 30, 2019
Report Type: Preliminary
Severity: Incident
Registration #: N407P
Make/Model: Bell 407
City: Church Hill
State: Tennessee
Country: United States
Event Date: January 31, 2019
Report Type: Preliminary
Severity: Incident
Registration #: 5N-CML
Make/Model: Leonardo AW139
City: Near Kabba
Country: Nigeria
Event Date: February 2, 2019
Report Type: Preliminary
Severity: Nonfatal Accident
Registration #: VH-NXW
Make/Model: Bell 206B
City: Marcoola
State: Queensland
Country: Australia
Event Date: February 4, 2019
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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