Magellan Jets COVID-19 Updates And Procedures

Magellan Jets COVID-19 Updates And Procedures

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The Magellan Jets blog is your go-to resource for all things related to private jet travel, the aviation industry, and even more. 

Cessna CEO Jack Pelton: Business jet market is stabilizing

After a monthslong free fall, it feels like the business jet market is starting to stabilize, said Jack Pelton, head of Cessna Aircraft.  “At some point there, we’ll be able to call the bottom,” Pelton, the company’s chairman, president and CEO, said of the drop in the market. “The negatives, like (order) cancellations are slowing down; we’re starting to see orders start to rise again.”  Aircraft deliveries are expected to hit their low next year, which will be followed by a steady climb, he said. “The slope of that rise will be dependent on what the economy does,” he said. Pelton’s boss, meanwhile, said Cessna’s parent company is not interested in selling the Wichita company. “I don’t know where all the rumors come from,” said Scott Donnelly, president and chief operating officer of Textron. “I think I can be clear that no one is interested in any way, shape or form in divesting Cessna out of Textron. It’s a central asset of what Textron is.”

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Aviation industry told to brace for 8-pound birds

With environmental protection measures giving rise to the number of birds, federal safety officials in the US have called for the construction of planes that can withstand attacks by 8-pound creatures.  According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), current airframe design standards were devised in the 1970s and need to be strengthened to meet the demands of skies shared by birds and aircraft.  A Tuesday NTSB vote recommends that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ensure that the airframes of tomorrow be able to withstand a collision with a 4-pound bird and that the plane tails be able to withstand the impact of 8-pounders.  The recommendation comes in response to five people losing their lives in Oklahoma on March 4, 2008 when a business jet collided with a flock of white pelicans, which can weigh up to 30 pounds.  According to investigators, striking the pelicans caused severe damage to one wing of the Cessna Citation 500 and knocked out the power in one engine. They further pointed out that the plane could have continued to fly using its other engine, but not with the wing damage.  In another incident last January, US Airways Flight 1549 ditched into the Hudson River after it struck a flock of Canadian geese following takeoff from New York’s LaGuardia Airport. It was dubbed the “Miracle on the Hudson” when all 155 people aboard survived.  The risk of bird-aircraft collision is on the increase. On one hand, populations of most large avian species in North America have been increasing due to environmental protection. The species now have average weights double or triple current airframe impact standards. On the other hand, air traffic has increased dramatically which means more planes and more large birds sharing the skies and increasing the crashing risk. 
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Embraer Sees Bizjet Growth Returning in 2012

“Only in 2012 will [business jet] deliveries start growing again,” Embraer executive vice president Luis Carlos Affonso said Tuesday in a pre-LABACE press briefing. He recognized 2010 and 2011 as “difficult years” for the business aviation industry, but noted that there are already signs of an upturn and said the company will meet Phenom delivery goals if it can only make them fast enough. The Phenom 100 is Embraer’s first dedicated business jet, and the “natural challenges of the start of production” could impede the ambitious goal of manufacturing 110 of the light jets in its first full year of production this year. If the company can deliver 55 to 60 Phenoms by the end of the third quarter, then Affonso believes this year’s goal can be met. The Phenom 300 is on schedule for certification and deliveries by year-end. Affonso sees year-to-year U.S. charter numbers finally making an uptick after dropping 35 percent, while the less affected European charter market shows stabilization. Additionally, net ownership of fractional jet shares is up, he said. Meanwhile, Affonso said the drop in inventory of younger used jets, which compete with new aircraft sales, is even more accentuated than that in the pre-owned market as a whole.

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Mobile Phone Use Remains Banned on Most Flights, CAA Says

A ban on using mobile phones on aircraft remains in place for safety reasons, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said last week, despite tests on cell phone systems on some aircraft.  An increasing minority of passengers appear to be ignoring instructions to turn off phones on aircraft, but mobile use is forbidden unless cabin crew say otherwise.  The CAA said: “Use of mobiles can adversely affect navigation and communication functions, producing significant errors on instrument displays and background noise on pilot radios.”  Pilots complain that interference from phones has led to false notification of unsafe conditions, the malfunction of aircraft systems and interrupts flight crew communications.  CAA head of flight operations Bob Jones said: “The safety risks of using a mobile on board an aircraft are well established. Some airlines are testing various systems, but this does not weaken in any way the ban on phones being used on board the vast majority of UK aircraft.  “Unless told otherwise, people must not text or phone while the cabin doors of an aircraft are closedA ban on using mobile phones on aircraft remains in place for safety reasons, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said last week, despite tests on cell phone systems on some aircraft.  An increasing minority of passengers appear to be ignoring instructions to turn off phones on aircraft, but mobile use is forbidden unless cabin crew say otherwise.  The CAA said: “Use of mobiles can adversely affect navigation and communication functions, producing significant errors on instrument displays and background noise on pilot radios.”  Pilots complain that interference from phones has led to false notification of unsafe conditions, the malfunction of aircraft systems and interrupts flight crew communications.  CAA head of flight operations Bob Jones said: “The safety risks of using a mobile on board an aircraft are well established. Some airlines are testing various systems, but this does not weaken in any way the ban on phones being used on board the vast majority of UK aircraft.  “Unless told otherwise, people must not text or phone while the cabin doors of an aircraft are closed.”

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New FAA Chief Counsel

WASHINGTON — Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Randy Babbitt has announced the appointment of David Grizzle as the new FAA chief counsel.  “David Grizzle has top-level experience and I’m looking forward to having him on the team,” Babbitt said. “He understands the challenges of leading a diverse, international organization, as well as the complex interaction between governmental processes and our ultimate stakeholders, the American people.”  Grizzle comes to the FAA following a 22-year career with Continental Airlines, Inc. From 2005 to 2008 he served as senior vice president of customer experience, where he was charged with developing and implementing new operating strategies and improving product deficiencies and services. From 1986 to 2004 Grizzle served in many other leadership positions at the airline, including senior vice president of marketing strategy and corporate development, where he headed up a group of 150 finance, planning, operations and marketing professionals.  From 2004 to 2005, Grizzle was tapped by the U.S. Department of State and took leave from Continental to serve as the transportation and infrastructure coordinator and attaché for the Afghanistan Reconstruction Group, Kabul, Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, he worked with the FAA and other government organizations to accelerate reconstruction efforts for air and surface transportation projects as well as power, and telecommunications.  Prior to his career at Continental, Grizzle served as vice president of administration and general counsel for New York Air, Inc. from 1984 to 1986. From 1978 to 1984 he practiced law at several New York-based law firms, including as a partner at Kellner, Chehebar, Deveney&Grizzle from 1983 to 1984.

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Supersonic Business Jet Inching Closer to Reality

Richard Tracy, founder and chief technology officer of Aerion Corporation, said he “feels pretty good” that the firm will enter into a joint venture to develop a Mach 1.6 supersonic business jet (SSBJ) by the end of 2009, as a result of confidential discussions with potential business aircraft manufacturers.  Most technical issues have been resolved, he said, including validation of full-chord laminar flow over most of the aircraft’s wing at speeds up to Mach 2.0 at full-scale Reynolds numbers in the European Transonic Wind Tunnel (ETW) in Cologne in August 2008. The ETW tests support Aerion’s range, speed and fuel consumption predictions, thereby providing reference data to support a second round of scaled wing tests aboard a NASA F-15 at supersonic speeds later this year or early next year.  Tracy also is more confident about prospects for the program because of potential consensus between US and European regulatory authorities regarding supersonic flight over land. He said that last year FAA’s Office of Environment and Energy moved towards creating a policy that would permit supersonic flight over land if “it can be deemed to be acceptable” with respect to mitigating sonic boom. Tracy said ICAO already has a policy that allows supersonic flight over land “if there is no unacceptable situation at the surface”. Tracy believes the Aerion SSBJ can meet this requirement by flying its SSBJ at up to Mach 1.1 over land.  With a 4,000 nm range at Mach 1.6, the Aerion SSBJ can fly from New York to Paris in 4 hrs 14 min, saving 2 hrs 47 min off the trip time in a G650 cruising at Mach .90, Tracy asserts. He also claims the Aerion SSBJ can fly from New York to Tokyo in 9 hrs 33 min, including a one hour stopover in Anchorage for refueling. That would be 2.5 hours faster than a G650 flying non-stop at Mach .87 between New York and Tokyo, according to Tracy.  Speed isn’t the Aerion SSBJ’s only asset. Tracy also said his design has the smallest size, lightest weight and lowest drag of any competing SSBJ concept, thus it has the lowest environment footprint. That, too, should be appealing to a potential joint-venture partner.

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Air France A330 Missing Due to Electrical Issue

An Air France A330-200 flying from Rio de Janeiro to Paris overnight suffered an electric circuit fault while flying in a storm just before air traffic control lost all contact with the aircraft.  Air France says AF447 flew into stormy conditions and heavy turbulence around 4 a.m. Paris time, or around four hours into the 11-hour flight. An automatic message about an electric fault was received around 4:14 a.m. Paris time.  Air traffic control from Brazil, Africa, and France failed in efforts to contact the aircraft, which was flying far off the coast of Brazil at the time.  The aircraft was carrying 216 passengers: 126 men, 82 women, seven children and a baby. Additionally, three pilots and nine cabin attendants were onboard.  The pilot in command, who has not been named, had 11,000 flight hours and 1,700 on Airbus A330/A340s under his belt. The copilots had logged 3,000 and 6,600 flight hours each, with 800 and 2,600, respectively, on the Airbus type model. The aircraft, registered F-GZCP, was powered by General Electric CF6-80E1 engines. The A330 had logged 18,870 flight hours and entered service April 18, 2005, Air France says. The last hangar visit came April 16.  The aircraft had taken off at 7:03 p.m. local time, or 12:03 a.m. Paris time (6:03 p.m. EDT). Air France says it has notified the French accident investigation office, the BEA. Airbus, meanwhile, says it is ready to assist.  The crash in only the latest in a number of accidents Air France has suffered this decade, including the high profile July 2000 crash of a Concorde after takeoff from Charles de Gaulle killing 100 passengers and nine crew. In August 2005, the airline also suffered the loss of an A340-300, which overran the runway in poor weather conditions. All onboard survived.

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United Jumps on the Twitter Wagon

United Airlines is the latest airline to become a part of the Twitter trend and is introducing special fares through Tweets.  United calls these new promotions “Twares” or Twitter only fares.  The formal launch of such rates began on May 21st.  Today United announced 20% off fares to Switzerland for the companies followers with a promotional code for the discount.  Twitter is slowly but surely taking over the world!

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And the Chosen One is…..Randy Babitt!

Randy Babitt was confirmed by the senate for a five-year term as Administrator of the FAA.  The Air Transport Association’s PResident and CEO James May said he is looking forward to working with Randy and cannot wait to start implementing the new air traffic control system set to go into effect of the next few years.  They could use a guy like him in Indonesia….

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Airline Mechanics Who Can’t Read English

It has recently been revealed that there are serious flaws in the way FAA licenses mechanics who fix planes.  There is evidence that there has been problems testing mechanics for years and that questionable licenses have been given out.  Now there is evidence that there have been low-wage mechanics hired who cannot even read English.  Twenty-one people died when the U.S. Airways Express crashed in Charlotte in 2003.  The plane went out of control at takeoff.  One reason for the crash was that the cables were incorrectly connected to the plane’s control surfaces.  Repairing and maintaining airplanes is complicated and have many manuals.  Its hard to stick to those manuals when you can’t read them.  FAA has some serious explaining to do.

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Hawker Beechcraft Continues Growth Despite Economy

Hawker Beechcraft has added a Germany based airport to its network of authorized service centers.  In addition to performing maintenance, Aerodata can provide turnkey, special-mission aircraft worldwide.  Aerodata is a source of flight inspection systems.  They have also added Jeddah, a Saudi Arabia-based aircraft service to the Hawker 800 authorized service center network.  They intend to add the 900XP in the near future.  

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Honda Aircraft Delays HondaJet Deliveries

Honda Aircraft Company of the new HondaJet by a year.  The company announced last week that the aircraft now plans to receive certification by late 2011.  Global aerospace business challenges have slowed the delivery of key components for conforming aircraft production.  Honda continues its flight-test program on the jet which has reached speeds of 420 knots and a max altitude of 43,000 feet/  The company continues to expand its Greensboro, NC facilities where the jet is being built.  This is also the company delivery center.  

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Falcon 2000LX Approved, Good News for All Except Fuel Companies

Dassault Falcon Jet announced that the Falcon 2000LX has been EASA and FAA approved.  The officials claim that the Falcon 2000LX is the most fuel efficient aircraft in the large cabin class.  This unique aircraft burns up to 60 percent less fuel than some competitive aircraft with a corresponding reduction in carbon footprint.  The energy efficient plane has improved climbing time and better range performance at high speeds.  The LX is said to burn about 800 pounds less fuel then the EX before it.  Truly bad news for the fuel companies, but great news for brokers and charter customers!

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Cessna Cutting Back in More Ways Than One

Cessna began issuing layoff notices to 1,600 of the 2,300 employees that will lose their jobs by the end of June.  On top of the layoffs, Cessna has decided to shelve what was to be their new top of the line aircraft, the Columbus.  Cessna is also closing The Bend, Ore, plant it inherited through the acquisition of Columbia Aircraft.  CEO, Jack Pelton said that suspending work on the Columbus was difficult, but they need to be realistic in current economic times.  They expect to refund around 50 million in deposits on the columbus.

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People Upset by FAA’s Sly Move to Conceal “Bird” Accident Records

The FAA has proposed to the government to restrict access to bird strike accident reports.  They plan to block all public access for bird collisions like the one that brought down the plane in the Hudson in January.  The proposal went virtually unnoticed and is essentially approved.  The FAA claims that the goal of this move was to prevent the public from being “mislead” by the data.

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NBAA Applauds Senator Brownback’s Supporting Statements

NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen commended Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) for taking to the floor of the Senate late last month to remind his colleagues of the value of business aviation for citizens, communities and companies across the U.S. “The people of the business aviation community applaud Senator Brownback for explaining what business aviation is all about, and correcting some of the misstatements and mischaracterizations about business aviation that have recently been made,” Bolen said.  In his remarks, Brownback told his colleagues: “Some federal officials have recently been making use of business aviation a matter of derision. Well, there is a lot of good that this business–a U.S.-dominated business–does, and we ought to support it, not hurt it.” To illustrate his point, Brownback noted the following, among other facts:

  • Business aviation employs more than one million people in manufacturing and support services.
  • Many companies rely on an airplane to conduct business across a number of different locations, which are often located in areas without robust airline airline service.
  • Of the nation’s 5,000 public-use airports, only 500 are served by the commercial airlines, making business aviation the only option for accessing most airports.
  • Eighty-six percent of people aboard business aircraft are not a company’s senior officials, but are mid-level employees, including salespeople, engineers, or other technical specialists.

“Whether its a piston or a jet, it [a business jet] is often what ends up connecting a lot of people on a rapid basis throughout the country,” Brownback said. “Without the use of business aircraft, you’re going to have a lot more inefficiencies in companies; you’re going to have a lot more difficulty getting people from point A to point B.” Bolen agreed, adding: “Business aviation is an essential tool for many companies to be productive and efficient, which is especially critical in this economic climate. But as the senator also pointed out, business aviation means jobs for more than a million people. It provides a critical lifeline for communities across the country, many of which have lost some or all of their airline service in the past year. And, it supports humanitarian initiatives, including medical transport for people in need and delivery of relief and supplies for victims of natural disasters. We thank Senator Brownback for recognizing these facts in highlighting the essential role of business aviation in America today.”

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NBAA Launches “No Plane No Gain” Campaign to Promote Aviation

The National Business Aviation Association in parternership with the General Aviation Manufacturers Association has launched a multimedia campaign designed “to educate the public on the importance of business aviation to our country and its communities, companies, and citizens.  In the United States, business aviation generates well over a million jobs, provides a lifeline to communities with little or no commercial airline service, helps thousands of businesses of all sizes to be more productive and efficient, and provides emergency and humanitatrian services to people in need.”  In recent months, business aviation has come under scrutiny by both the government and media.  Although business aviation is a necessary tool for many, the negative attention has caused some businesses to rethink their aircraft use.

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