The pilot of an Airbus AS350 helicopter that crashed in July 2015 failed to perform a preflight hover check, the NTSB said in a synopsis of its probable-cause report on Monday. If he had performed the hover check, as required by operational procedures, he could have found that he hadn’t returned the yaw servo hydraulic switch to its “On” position after completing preflight checks on the ground. More
Natilus, a small company with just three employees, based in Richmond, California, is working to launch a transoceanic cargo business with airliner-size drones. They are currently building a 30-foot-long prototype that they plan to test this summer, according to their press kit. They then plan to produce a full-scale, 200-foot-long turboprop drone, built of carbon-fiber composite, by 2020. More
The NTSB should conduct an internal review to determine why several recent reports regarding general aviation accidents included “speculative” conclusions that aren’t supported by factual data, AOPA said on Tuesday. In a letter to the safety board’s acting chairman, Bella Dinh-Zarr, AOPA’s government affairs vice-president Jim Coon objected to reports that cited medical incapacitation of the pilot “contrary to other compelling evidence.” More
The FAA banned jets from Florida’s Lantana/Palm Beach County Airport in 1973, but that ban is now lifted, the Palm Beach Post reported on Tuesday. Errol Forman, a retired Eastern Air Lines pilot, had landed his newly acquired 1983 Cessna Citation I/SP jet there in May, and a neighbor reported the violation to authorities. Forman then challenged the restriction and filed a formal complaint with the FAA, with the argument that the county was violating conditions of its federal grants. More
Continental Motors will build a new plant in Mobile, Alabama, the company announced on Monday. The huge new facility, with 225,000 square feet of space, will house both corporate offices and manufacturing space, replacing 11 buildings currently in use across 44 acres at the Mobile Aeroplex. “The current operation being spread throughout multiple buildings, drives many challenges and inefficiencies,” said Michael Skolnik, executive vice president for Continental. More
Can the market support such aggressive reinvention? Wrong question. The investment was probably unavoidable. More
Spring means getting back in the air in the Northern Hemisphere and Gilbert Benzonana caught the start of gliding season in Montrichet. Lots of fun ahead.