Bell Helicopter responded this week to the NTSB’s recent report on the crash of a Bell 525 during a test flight in 2016. “In the time since the accident, a small team of Bell flight technology engineers, pilots and flight-test specialists have worked with the NTSB through the course of the investigation,” company spokesperson Blakeley Thress told AVweb in an email. “Several changes to the aircraft have been implemented and a carefully planned test approach is in place to complete the envelope expansion and certification testing.”
The FAA on Tuesday issued an Airworthiness Directive that affects nearly 19,000 Piper PA-128 airplanes, but compliance is fairly simple and cheap. The AD requires aircraft owners to inspect the fuel-tank selector cover to verify the fuel-tank selector placards are located at the proper positions. If not, the placards must be replaced. Piper told the FAA a “quality control issue” led to some of the placards being reversed. If the error goes unchecked, it could result in fuel-management errors, leading to fuel starvation and loss of power in flight, the FAA says.
Gulfstream Aerospace delivered its last G450 business jet last week, ending a 12-year production run. More than 360 of the jets have been delivered, collectively logging more than 964,000 hours and 461,000 flights. “The G450 made its mark in aviation history,” said Gulfstream President Mark Burns, in a news release. The company will continue to provide technical and engineering support and engineering for G450 customers, he added.