FAA Approves High-Speed Internet System for Jets

Aircell Inc. received certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for a high-speed Internet system designed for business-aviation jets.  The Broomfield-based company announced Thursday the FAA gave full approval to the system, which lets passengers use their own Wi-Fi-enabled devices such as laptops, smartphones and PDAs to surf the Internet, and to send and receive e-mail with attachments at full mobile speeds.  The system is the first that provides “a true high-speed Internet experience that equals what passengers are accustomed to on the ground, while being small and light enough to fit on virtually any business aircraft,” according to a news release. The company said it finished a testing program for the new system three months ahead of schedule.  The first installation was completed by Midcoast Aviation aboard a Bombardier Challenger 6005 aircraft.  Airlines representing more than half of the North American market —including American Airlines, Virgin America, Delta Air Lines and AirTran Airways — are using the commercial airline version of the service, called Gogo Inflight Internet. Northwest Airlines, Air Canada and United Airlines plan to add the service.  In June 2006, Aircell agreed to pay $31.7 million for a 3MHz air-to-ground spectrum in a Federal Communications Commission auction in June. In November 2006, the FCC gave AirCell approval to provide broadband service to U.S. airlines.

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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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Lagging? Here’s the 411

Travelers flyingacross time zones should expect to experience jet lag. The fatigue, upsetstomach and disorientation that occurs is normal, says Dr. Andrea Meredith,assistant professor of physiology at the University of Maryland School ofMedicine.

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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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The Legacy’s 400 and 500 Progression Continues

Embraer has announced that the Legacy 450 and 500 mid-jet programs are on pace and have completed all phases on schedule, including the joint definition phase that began last July.  This phase involves Embraer engineers and their suppliers, finalizing the product definition and defining methods for meeting certification requirements.  The man-machine interface advisory board validated the planes’ designs and the cockpit design.  The detail and certification phase is next and Embraer begins working with suppliers to detail the systems architecture and aircraft components before releasing drawings for the first cut and prototypes for ground and flight tests.  The test pilots are currently validating the control laws for these jet’s fly-by-wire system via flight simulations.

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The Hungry Plane

It’s about time that airlines came up with an excuse for all the luggage that is lost on flights in this country.  This time, the plane ate it.  A Japanese 747 with just under 250 passengers on board sucked up a big metal baggage cart during taxi yesterday.  This accident forced the plane to stay grounded and the passengers to return to the terminal.  The plane had barely left the gate.  It was towed away for repairs.  Luckily, the pilot noticed a slight malfunction in the engine because there was something more severe then geese flying into the engine this time.

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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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Magellan Jets Partners with CharityBuzz

Magellan jets is proud to announce its newest partnership with CharityBuzz, an online charity marketplace that works with the world’s top charities and celebrities.  Charity Buzz believes that nothing is more important than the work non-profits undertake.  Magellan Jets also feels that giving back is important and will continue to work with CharityBuzz.  CharityBuzz ensures successful results through a focus on providing a unique experience to their community of global bidders, effective collaborative marketing and unsurpassed white-glove service.  CharityBuzz events will feature Magellan Jets items including gift certificates with membership benefits!  To learn more about CharityBuzz and view their ongoing auctions, visit their website.  To bid on a Magellan Jets gift certificate, simply enter “Magellan Jets” in the search box on their website.

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Join us Monday at the Liberty National Golf Course for the First Annual Freedom Classic

On Monday May 4th, Magellan Jets will be sponsoring a number of holes at the First Annual Freedom Classic on New Jersey’s new course, Liberty National Golf Course.  The course recently opened, it contains 18 glorious holes with a beautiful view of the New York skyline and the Statue of Liberty.  Magellan Jets will be sponsoring the 2nd hole and if any of the 80 amateurs playing should hit a hole in one on this 196 yard par 3 hole, they will win a 95,000 dollar Voyager Card towards future trips with Magellan Jets.  On the other three par threes Magellan Jets will be offering prizes from plasma screen televisions to a new set of golf clubs for hole in one winners.  Come out and collect great Magellan Jets merchandise and enjoy the event!

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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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Business Aviation Hops on the Twitter Bandwagon

Business aviation companies have increasingly begun using Twitter microblogging which allows a new way of networking and reaching out with new customers and promoting the industry.  The NBAA has two accounts on Twitter currently saying that they want to provide real time information on the No Plane, No Gain campaign and a way of congregating with followers to amplify their messages.

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Heliflite Becomes Wyvern Approved

Wyvern Consulting recently performed an on sight audit of Heliflite Shares, LLC.  Heliflite is based at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey and has 5 aircraft, one Sikorsky S-76 and four Bell 430’s.  This puts Heliflite in the few elite helicopter charter services recommended by Wyvern.  For more information visit their website or speak with Magellan Jets about your summer helicopter needs provided by Heliflite.  

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Cessna Continues with Layoffs

Cessna Aircraft continues to lower its production through 2009 into 2010.  This results in another round of layoffs scheduled to occur in July.  Their credit market, Textron, says that the much of the companies market continues to soften in the current economic state.  Textron did not release details about the next layoff round but full details are expected to be released at the end of the month.  The company has eliminated twenty-five plus percent of its employees in the last three months.  President and CEO of Cessna Jack Pelton has said that he has never seen an economic situation to this dynamic, but hopes recent news points to improvement.  Cessna remains hopeful, but knows that private aviation may be one of the latter points of the economy to be restored to those who have ceased use of it.

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Segrave Adds Lear 60 to Family

National operator Segrave Aviation has added a new aircraft to its fleet.  It is a 1994 Lear 60 and has become a part of Segrave’s charter fleet family.  Segrave now has 16 aircraft in their Charter X D085.  Tail numbered N206HY, the eight passenger executive jet is arranged with three forward facing seats, and the rest club seats.  The interior is Royal blue leather with cherry veneer cabinetry.  The aircraft was refurbished in 2001 and recarpeted in 2007.

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Worcester Telegram features Magellan Jets CEO Hebert and President Tivnan

Magellan Jets was mentioned in the featured business people section of the Worcester Telegram.  Joshua Hebert, Magellan Jets Founder and Chief Executive Officer and partner Anthony Tivnan, President of Magellan Jets were featured in Sunday’s paper.  Tivnan being a native of Worcester grabbed the paper’s attention as a good subject for a small blurb.  Magellan Jets has been featured in a number of press releases online lately as well as last month’s Boston Business Journal which featured an expose on the company.

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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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Air Vehicle: Does Citation X’s speed really make a difference?

“Does the speedof the Citation X really make a material difference? Yes! The Citation X was first delivered in the end of1996 and quickly became NetJet’s best selling aircraft. This is true due to thecombination of cabin comfort, speed, ease or maintenance, operating economicsand dispatch reliability.

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Private Aviation Flight Activity Picking Up

According to ARG/US, business flight activity increased 28.55 percent last month from January.  These numbers could be early indicators that the private aviation sector is starting to recover.  The data includes all turbine business aircraft on IFR flight plans.  The company also indicates that total flight activity has declined 18.51 percent over the last 12 months.  In the fractional market, flight activity was down 28.1 percent, while FAR Part 135 flight activity dropped 46.7 percent.

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