November 29, 2016
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Poland Orders Pair of Gulfstream G550s for VIP Transport
The Polish Ministry of National Defense recently signed an agreement with Gulfstream Aerospace to purchase a pair of G550s for VIP transport. The ultra-long-range twinjets will be delivered next year, according to the Savannah, Georgia-based aircraft manufacturer. At list prices, the deal is worth approximately $108 million.
“With its reliability, efficiency and durability, the G550 is a valuable tool for the Polish government,” said Gulfstream president Mark Burns.
The G550 is the most widely used in-production Gulfstream model for special missions and government applications. The aircraft’s ability to fly long-range missions at altitudes higher than commercial traffic makes the G550 ideal for government use, Gulfstream said.
The OEM has produced special-mission aircraft since 1967, beginning with a GI turboprop used by the U.S. Navy for navigator training. Today, aircraft are configured for head-of-state and VIP transport, airborne early warning, medical evacuation, high-altitude atmospheric research, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. Nearly 200 Gulfstreams are supporting governments in more than 35 countries, including the U.S. military, according to Gulfstream.
UBS: North America Softens Global Bizjet Malaise
The North American and Western European markets helped buffer plunging business jet deliveries in other global regions, keeping the third-quarter decline to 5 percent globally, according to the latest UBS business jet delivery report.
Shipments to North America were up by 9 percent, while the market in Western Europe rebounded to a 13-percent improvement, the market analyst said. Deliveries to China plummeted 83 percent in the third quarter. The Latin America market suffered similar contraction, with deliveries falling 50 percent, while the emerging Europe, Middle East and Asia (EMEA) market was off 13 percent.
On a rolling 12-month basis, global business jet deliveries are down 4 percent, reflecting growth of 5 percent in North America and 12 percent in the emerging EMEA. Over the past year, though, Western Europe had been down 12 percent and Latin America fell by 44 percent. In China and India, which took no large-cabin business jets in the last quarter, deliveries have been down by 44 percent over the past year. Gulfstream has had the largest percentage of total deliveries to China and India in the past 12 months at 6 percent, followed by Embraer at 4 percent.
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Paris Police Investigate Robbery of Le Bourget Pax
French police are continuing their investigation of the November 21 robbery of two private jet passengers en route to the center of Paris from Le Bourget Airport. Two women from Qatar and the driver of their limousine were attacked with tear gas after their car was forced to stop on the A1 highway at around 9:30 p.m. Property worth an estimated $5.3 million was stolen.
The victims’ aircraft was handled by the Jetex FBO at Le Bourget. A spokesperson for the Dubai-based flight support group told AIN that the company was not asked to arrange ground transportation and was not informed about the passengers’ destination after leaving the FBO. The public prosecutor’s office confirmed that police have interviewed Jetex employees in Paris.
According to a source close to Paris’s BRB serious crime squad, investigators are trying to discover if the robbers could have had inside information about the travel plans of the victims. A manager with another Le Bourget FBO, speaking to AIN on condition of anonymity, said that multiple service providers—including hotels and limousine companies—commonly have access to passengers’ travel plans. He stated that FBOs at the Paris airport have implemented a security measure that requires limousine drivers to produce paperwork confirming that they are booked to transport passengers associated with a specific aircraft and flight.
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NBAA Recognizes Six Members for 50 Years of Safe Flying
NBAA recently honored six member companies with its 50 Year Safe Flying Achievement Award and acknowledged hundreds of others for safe flying achievements. The flying achievement awards were presented during NBAA 2016 as part of the association’s Flying Safety Award program.
The most recent 50 Year Safe Flying Achievement Award recipients are Cargill, Caterpillar, Hess Corp., Eli Lilly & Co., Red Wing Shoe and Corning. NBAA noted that Corning has marked more than 60 years of safe flying. The awards recognized milestones reached by the end of 2015.
NBAA also presented a number of other awards to companies and individuals for safety achievements. These included the Corporate Business Flying Safety Award, which were given to 230 companies that had collectively accrued 9,548,085 safe hours. NBAA also presented the Commercial Business Flying Safety Award to 35 companies that have compiled 1,199,723 safe hours.
In addition, 426 pilots who have flown 3,196,566 safe hours received either the ATP or Commercial Pilot Safety Award; 98 companies qualified for the Aviation Maintenance Department Safety Award; 261 technicians received the Maintenance/Avionics Technician Safety Award; 215 support personnel were recipients of the Aviation Support Services Safety Award; and 111 schedulers and licensed dispatchers were honored with the Schedulers & Licensed Dispatchers Award.
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Stevens Aviation To Expand Nashville Bizav MRO
Stevens Aviation signed a letter of intent last week with Atlantic Aviation to build a new business aircraft MRO facility at Tennessee’s Nashville International Airport. Plans for the new facility include a 40,000-sq-ft hangar with a door opening height of 28 feet, which will be able will accommodate the “full line of Gulfstream, Challenger and Embraer Legacy airframes,” as well as have enough floor space to support Stevens’ anticipated growth in the Nashville area.
According to Stevens Mobile Services vice president Randy Smith, “Stevens will soon outgrow its current facility in Nashville, so we are partnering with Atlantic Aviation to construct a new hangar specifically designed for our future needs. The larger hangar footprint and door height will allow us to welcome customers who fly larger airframes than we can accommodate today and to meet peak demand of our current customers, which has grown significantly.”
The company also has business aircraft MROs in Greenville, South Carolina, and Dayton, Ohio.
Caribbean’s Nevis Island Now Has Helicopter Service
The tourism authority of Nevis, one of the Leeward Islands of the West Indies (and the birthplace of Alexander Hamilton), has formed an alliance with Caribbean Helicopters to make it easy for visitors to find their way to and from the resort island. Part of the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis, the island is known for its tropical climate and Nevis Peak, a volcanic formation at its center.
Antigua-based Caribbean Helicopters has been operating for 18 years and is also a licensed maintenance provider. It will now operate direct flights between Antigua and Nevis on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays using Bell 206-series LongRangers. The 20-minute flights between Antigua and Nevis can carry as many as six passengers, it said.
According to the Nevis Tourism Authority, travelers from North America can arrive on commercial flights landing at nearby St. Kitts, hop a seven-minute water taxi to Nevis and then take one of Caribbean Helicopters’ flights to Antigua. Greg Phillips, CEO of the tourist authority, said, “This is good for international and Caribbean travelers seeking the convenient routes to get to and from Nevis.”
Bolivian BAe 146 Crashes in Colombia, At Least 75 Dead
Rescue crews found six survivors of the Monday night crash of a BAe 146 aircraft operated by Bolivian charter company LaMia on a flight between Santa Cruz, Bolivia, and Medellin, Colombia. Carrying 81 passengers and crewmembers, including members of Brazil’s Chapecoense soccer team, Flight LMI-2966 circled José María Córdova International Airport outside Medellin several times before descending into an area some 50 miles southeast of its intended destination, near the municipality of La Union. Before losing contact with radar at around 10 p.m., the pilots asked for priority landing and reported an electrical problem, according to local reports out of Medellin.
Apart from the team members, three of which authorities said were among the survivors, the passengers included at least 21 journalists, all but one of which died.
Chapecoense flew to Medellin to play that city’s Atletico Nacional in the finals of the Copa Sudamericana on Wednesday.
TRU Tapped for Bell 407, 412 Avionics Bench Trainers
Textron’s TRU Simulation + Training will provide avionics bench training systems for the Bell 407GX and Bell 412EPI at Bell Helicopter’s Training Academy. These two training systems will be delivered to Bell, which is also a Textron subsidiary, in the summer of next year.
The maintenance training devices will provide students with hands-on training for the helicopters’ complex avionics systems. Training will extend beyond general theory and allow greater knowledge retention without additional hours on operational aircraft, TRU said.
For the Bell 407GX, the avionics training system will ensure technicians understand how a Garmin G1000H system operates and what messages the equipment provides, as well as allow students to practice maintenance techniques with line replaceable units. The Bell 412EPI avionics training system will provide technicians experience with Rogerson Kratos system avionics operation and maintenance practices.
“This order represents the first of what we expect to be many maintenance training devices TRU will build for Bell Helicopter and potentially their worldwide customer base,” stated John Hayward, senior vice president and general manager of TRU’s military and business simulation division.
Bell Helicopter’s Training Academy has trained more than 140,000 Bell customers from every market segment in more than 135 countries.
PEOPLE IN AVIATION
Kenneth Parzygnat has joined JetLease Capital as director of aircraft finance. Parzygnat has more than 20 years of finance experience focusing on private equity, hedge funds and family offices.
Professional Aircraft Accessories hired Jack Turnbill to serve as senior v-p of business development. Turnbill has a 20-year background in aviation, most recently as a consultant to Lockheed Martin Commercial Engine Solutions and before that in various positions with Delta Air Lines.
Pentastar Aviation named Barry Tilson as director of maintenance. Tilson previously was an MRO maintenance sales representative and service manager at TechnicAir and Landmark Aviation in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and also has served as director of maintenance at Northern Air in Grand Rapids.
Ken McKenzie, senior v-p for strategy and corporate development for Airbus Group, has joined the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) board of directors. McKenzie, an EAA lifetime member who has been involved in aviation for 35 years beginning as a pilot for the Royal Canadian Air Force, is a recreational aviation enthusiast who flies a homebuilt Lancair IV-P.
Columbia Helicopters hired Mark Johnson as v-p human resources. He previously held a series of positions of increasing responsibilities in human resources with Wacom, Standard Insurance, Tektronix, SRSM, Serena Software and WebTrends.
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