AIN Alerts
FOCUS ON MRO - March 6, 2019
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Boeing Buys EFB App-maker ForeFlight

In a surprise announcement, Boeing today revealed that it has “completed the acquisition of ForeFlight,” the developer of the popular ForeFlight electronic flight bag app.

Two years ago, Boeing and ForeFlight announced that they would partner to make Boeing unit Jeppesen’s aeronautical data and charts available in ForeFlight. The two companies will now work together “to bring innovative, expanded digital solutions to all segments of the aviation industry.”

The ForeFlight app has gained significant traction in business aviation, offering more functionality and advanced features compared to Jeppesen’s own Mobile FliteDeck and FliteDeck Pro tablet applications. But Jeppesen has enjoyed strong penetration of the air transport and business aviation segments. According to a survey conducted by AIN early last year, Jeppesen’s apps were the most popular for business aviation pilots who responded to the survey. ForeFlight came in a strong second.

FliteDeck is also unique because it is available, for large fleet users, on Microsoft Windows devices such as the Surface series tablets. ForeFlight is designed to run on Apple iOS devices.

Boeing’s purchase of ForeFlight “aligns with Boeing's growth strategy of complementing organic investments with targeted, strategic investments that position the company for long-term growth,” the company said.

Boeing did not disclose terms of the acquisition.

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NetJets Donates $1.2 Million to OSU Airport Improvement

Fractional-ownership pioneer NetJets continues its financial support of the Ohio State University Airport in Columbus, donating $1.2 million toward an airport-modernization project. NetJets focused its support on the new Austin E. Knowlton Executive Terminal and Aviation Learning Center. NetJets branding will be prominent in the main lobby and the observation deck, which features a Piper J3 Cub hanging from the ceiling.

Beginning operation during World War II, the airport has filled the role of “learning lab for future professionals, a hub of research, and a highly regarded facility for civilian and small-business aircraft,” according to the airport authority. NetJets executive v-p of operations Alan Bobo said, “The new observation deck and lobby will welcome passengers to the city of Columbus, where NetJets’ headquarters has been based for more than 50 years.”

The two-story, 29,500-sq-ft terminal and education center houses flight school classrooms and simulators, a student flight hub, private aviation services, administrative offices, and meeting rooms. The observation deck’s large windows overlooking the airport have proven popular among children throughout the Columbus community, the airport reports.

Looking back, NetJets donated $2 million in 2011 to establish Ohio State University’s Center for Aviation Studies. In 2015, NetJets added a $1 million donation to support faculty leadership positions, NextGen research, and internship opportunities. And last year, NetJets donated seven Cessna 172 Skyhawks to the OSU flight training program.


Grand Rapids Airport To Get a Second FBO

Avflight, the brick-and-mortar FBO division of fuel supplier Avfuel, has won the approval to establish a second FBO at Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan (KGRR). Signature Flight Support operates the existing facility there. The airport is also served by six airlines flying more than 120 flights per day from the main passenger terminal.

At KGRR, Avflight will offer fuel sales, hangar storage, ground-handling, de-icing, and concierge services. Avflight will start construction on a 30,000-sq-ft hangar later this year with a pilots’ lounge, a spacious passenger lobby, conference room, kitchenette, catering kitchen, office space, and a maintenance area. It will be located at the airport’s Site 4, a five-acre parcel on the east side with “easy access” to the main terminal, taxiways and runways, according to the airport authority, which pegged the budget for developing the facility at “$6 million to $7 million.”

Michigan-based Avfuel’s Avflight division operates facilities at 21 other airports in North America and Europe, six of them in Michigan. KGRR’s interim president and CEO Brian Picardat said, “The new FBO will anchor and stimulate additional aeronautical and non-aeronautical development at the site.” The authority further reported that the airport has some 900 acres of land available, subdivided into 16 sites of varying sizes. Proposed uses include a business park, industrial development, office space, distribution facilities, hospitality, and R&D.


Air Methods Signs Analysis Program with Spectro Jet-Care

Medical transport services company Air Methods, which operates from 300 locations in the U.S., has signed a contract with Spectro Jet-Care to provide oil and engine analysis services for Air Methods' fleet of 450 helicopters and airplanes.

Forty-year-old Spectro Jet-Care provides a range of services to clients in 140 countries, including aircraft oil, hydraulic fluid, fuel, debris, and filter analysis, as well as engine trend monitoring by gas path analysis. These tests are designed to identify operational issues at the earliest possible stage. The company has laboratories in the U.S., UK, and Switzerland and holds approvals and preferred supplier status from companies that include Safran Helicopter Engines, Pratt & Whitney Canada, Honeywell Aerospace, Leonardo Helicopters, Airbus Helicopters, and ZF Gearboxes.

“We understand the challenging environments in which the Air Methods teams work and the critical nature of the operation of their fleet," said Alan Baker, international sales and marketing manager at Spectro Jet-Care. “Our fast sample turnaround, experienced technical teams, and 24/7 availability for AOG samples allows us to provide a first-class analysis service."


AeroEx Webinars Outline New EU EFB Regulations

A July 9, 2019 deadline has been set by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for compliance with new electronic flight bag (EFB) regulations by European operators. Aviation regulatory compliance consultancy AeroEx is holding three free webinars to help explain the effect of the new EFB regulations, on March 8 and 21 and April 11. More information is available on the AeroEx website (click on the EU EFB/Learn More button).

The new EFB regulations will affect commercial and non-commercial operators and, according to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), they “are expected to maintain the current level of safety while ensuring compliance with the ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and limiting the regulatory burden linked with the introduction of the operational approval for the use of some EFB applications by commercial air transport (CAT) operators.” Non-compliance with the regulations means that affected operators won't be able to use their EFBs after July 9, according to AeroEx. 

AeroEx has developed two versions of a toolkit to help operators comply with the new EFB regulations. The EFB Toolkits “include manual and risk assessment templates, checklists, and regulatory guidance material that flight departments and compliance managers can tailor to their own operations without the hassle of collecting necessary rules and information,” according to AeroEx.

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Trilogy Aviation Providing CAN Flights for Cancer Patients

Charter broker Trilogy Aviation Group and Corporate Angel Network (CAN) are partnering to help cancer patients fly for free when they need to travel for treatment.

Under the partnership, Trilogy Aviation will give cancer patients via CAN access to empty-leg flights that Trilogy sells for its charter operator clients. Customers who fly on Trilogy-sourced flights will have the option to bring cancer patients on their flights, and Trilogy will “incorporate [CAN’s] mission in various client offerings allowing for a variety of ways to give back and make a difference.”

“We are excited about joining many other companies in supporting Corporate Angel Network,” said Trilogy Aviation CEO Thomas Nelson. “By partnering with Corporate Angel Network, we are utilizing the inventory of private jet empty legs to help patients in need. Cancer has directly affected many people close to me, so when the opportunity came up to make a difference, the decision to partner was easy.”

CAN arranges free travel on private and corporate business jets to help cancer patients travel to locations where the best treatment is available. “Private jet travel makes it possible for patients, especially those in remote locations, to access medical centers and reduces the physical, emotional, and financial stress of the patients and their families,” according to CAN.


Safran Helicopter Engines, CHC Sign MRO Contract

Safran Helicopter Engines inked a maintenance contract this week at Heli-Expo with CHC Helicopter for maintenance support of Turbomeca Arriel turboshaft engines for CHC’s Sikorsky S-76 and Airbus Helicopters AS365 fleets and, separately, CAAC validation of type certification (VTC) for the Arriel 2H turboshaft engine that powers the Avicopter AC312E.

The four-year maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) contract covers some 70 engines, including support for Arriel 1S, 2S1 and 2S2 engines on CHC's S-76s and Arriel 2C on its Dauphins. “Our partnership will allow us to best support the global overhaul, repair, and support needs of our operation with on-site support,” said CHC senior v-p of engineering and operations Dave Balevic. “The contract builds on our existing relationship with Safran and the extension of our license for the Makila engine from our Heli-One branch in Stavanger, Norway.”

The contract will be managed by the corporate support department of Safran Helicopter Engines’ worldwide support model. CHC engines will be repaired at centers in Tarnos, France; Grand Prairie, Texas; and Xerem, Brazil.

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European Operator ASL Adds FBO Services

ASL Private Jet Services, a Europe-based aircraft manager/operator has made FBO services available to outside operators at Antwerp Airport (EBAW/ANR) in Belgium and Groningen Airport (EHGG/GRQ) in the Netherlands. Together with sister company JetNetherlands, ASL operates more than 30 aircraft.

Previously, it had supplied ground-handling services exclusively for its own fleet. But as of yesterday, it opened its doors in Antwerp and Groningen to all private and corporate jets using the airports. Services include: short- and long-term parking (outdoors, with limited hangar space available); refueling; line service (cleaning, dishwashing, laundry, lav service, etc.); line maintenance; customs and immigration (in coordination with airport police and customs); catering; flight planning facilities; crew lounge; and car rentals.

While ASL already has its own hangar and lounge facilities, it plans to add further FBO infrastructure within the new General Aviation Terminal at Antwerp. Located adjacent to the parking ramp, the facility has a VIP lounge, crew lounge with rest area, and will soon feature a large reception/meeting/event area available by prearrangement with ASL.

ASL was founded in 1997 by Philippe Bodson. With sister company JetNetherlands, it operates from nine regional and national airports, including, in addition to Antwerp and Groningen, Brussels-Zaventem, Brussels-Charleroi, Kortrijk-Wevelgem, Maastricht, Eindoven, Amsterdam-Schiphol, and Rotterdam.

ASL said—after opening its doors at Antwerp and Groningen—it plans to further expand its FBO offerings at other airports where it operates.

Airworthiness Directives Sponsored by MRO Insider
AD Number: FAA 2019-03-13
Mftr: Gulfstream Aerospace
Model(s): G150
Published: March 4, 2019
Effective: April 8, 2019

Requires replacement of the existing upper and lower front relay boxes with modified boxes. Prompted by reports of corrosion in the solder joints of the upper and lower front relay box connectors to the printed circuit board.

AD Number: FAA 2019-03-14
Mftr: Dassault Aviation
Model(s): Fan Jet Falcon Series C, D, E, F, and G
Published: March 4, 2019
Effective: April 8, 2019

Requires revising the existing maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate new or more restrictive airworthiness limitations and maintenance requirements.

AD Number: FAA 2019-03-27
Mftr: Dassault Aviation
Model(s): Falcon 10
Published: March 5, 2019
Effective: March 8, 2019

Requires repetitive detailed inspections of certain wing anti-ice outboard flexible hoses and replacement of certain wing anti-ice outboard flexible hoses. Prompted by a report indicating that certain wing anti-ice outboard flexible hoses were found damaged, likely from the installation process.

AD Number: Transport Canada CF-2019-08-E (Emergency)
Mftr: Bell
Model(s): 505
Published: March 6, 2019
Effective: March 6, 2019

Requires modification of flight manual to reflect the correct operating altitude limitations when jet-B and JP-4 wide-cut fuel is used. According to Transport Canada, the manual permits the operation of the helicopter at higher altitudes, but the performance of the engine has not been demonstrated to be satisfactory at those combinations of altitude and wide-cut fuel types.

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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