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Global Aviation News - March 2015


Pilot buys plane to fly for Angel Flight
Charlie Gould was hooked on flying after a flight with a friend and got his pilot's license in 1976. But for a long time, the opportunities to fly were few and far between. Then in 2005, he was introduced to Angel Flight. "I called up the Angel Flight people, got signed up for it, went out and bought an airplane, and started flying planes for them," he said. Pensacola News Journal (Fla.) (tiered subscription model)


Russia drops out of European top 10 bizav markets
According to data from WingX Advance, business aviation activity in Europe was down 4.4% in February on a year-over-year basis. In February, there were 1,400 fewer flights in Ukraine and Russia combined compared to the same month last year. WingX Advance no longer ranks Russia as one of Europe's top 10 business markets. ARKA News Agency


Honeywell, OneWeb could bring satellite Internet to your airplane
Honeywell and OneWeb, a startup satellite company, aim to deploy 650 low-Earth-orbit satellites that will bring high-speed Internet to anywhere in the world, including to commercial, military, business and possibly general aviation aircraft. The Honeywell system will transmit weather and navigation data to aircraft, and could also include cockpit audio and video. Flying online


Fly Arkansas is set to expand with facility at Little Rock airport
Fly Arkansas is set to become the second fixed-base operator at Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport/Adams Field in Little Rock, Ark. The company is growing rapidly, according to managing member Taylor Scott. "We're doing some development in the charter world, and that's kind of why we picked Little Rock," Scott said. Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Little Rock) (free registration)


NASA's 6 objectives for the future of flight
NASA recently released six objectives for the future of flight. Albion Bowers, chief scientist at NASA Neil Armstrong Flight Research Center in California, offers some insight into NASA's goals. "One of the technologies we are working on is to try and develop a quiet supersonic aircraft," Bowers says. Techly (Australia)


Airplane propeller designer talks design parameters and mathematics
Anthony Falzone, developer of PROP_DESIGN software, joins the Airplane Geeks podcast to discuss design parameters and mathematics for aircraft propellers. Also on the show, the search for MH370, LaGuardia's perimeter rule and more. Airplane Geeks Podcast


Field Aviation expands footprint with ARINC Aerospace purchase
Field Aviation announced it bought ARINC Aerospace Systems Engineering and Support from Rockwell Collins as part of a strategy to expand its footprint and services. "The combined capability will allow Field to expand its product offerings from a small turboprop all the way up to the largest of jet aircraft," said John Mactaggart, CEO of Field Aviation. The Oklahoman (Oklahoma City)


Hawaiian still flies its first aircraft from 1929
The first aircraft in Hawaiian Airlines' fleet was a 1929 Bellanca Pacemaker, which it still uses to take airline employees and special guests for sightseeing trips over Oahu, Hawaii. The airline says the Bellanca is a way to make employees feel connected to the company's history. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)


Ga. college announces new ground school course
Southwest Georgia Technical College in Thomasville, Ga., announced a new private pilot ground school course will be added this summer. The 12-week course is designed to prepare students to take the Federal Aviation Administration's written exam. Thomasville Times Enterprise (Ga.)


Piper to launch next generation M-class ahead of German GA trade show
Piper Aircraft recently announced that it will unveil the newest turboprop in its M-class line of aircraft just ahead of the AERO Friedrichshafen general aviation trade show in Germany scheduled for April. Last month, the company registered the trademark M600. AustralianFlying.com.au (Australia)


Garmin adds electronic stability and protection to G3X
Garmin's G3X autopilot system now has electronic stability and protection capabilities. The ESP-X runs independently of the autopilot system to assist the pilot in maintaining the aircraft's stability during flight. General Aviation News


Pilot blogs about flying the Carbon Cub
Pilot and blogger Swayne Martin presents images and video about recently flying a Carbon Cub airplane. "We climbed the CC up to an altitude near 15,000 feet for a few minutes to try to find stiff winds so we could 'fly backwards' with a negative groundspeed. The winds weren’t as strong as forecasted, so we could only get the plane to a 7 mph groundspeed," he writes. SwayneMartin.com


Boeing donates Helio Courier to aviation maintenance program
Boeing recently donated a Helio Courier to the aviation maintenance technology program at Big Bend Community College in Washington. Boeing used the airplane for flight testing, but the single-engine aircraft is now grounded under the company's rules for airplane donation. The Columbia Basin Herald (Moses Lake, Wash.)


First female fixed-wing pilot in Afghan Air Force honored for courage
Capt. Niloofar Rahmani says she followed her father's passion to become the first female fixed-wing pilot in the Afghan Air Force. The 23-year-old says her profession is a secret that has to be kept even from her family because of societal pressures and a lack of women's rights in Afghanistan. Rahmani was recently named as one of the U.S. secretary of state's International Women of Courage for 2015. KNSD-TV (San Diego)


Solar Impulse 2 takes off from Abu Dhabi on round-the-world flight
Solar Impulse 2 took off from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, this morning in a bid to circumnavigate the globe without using a drop of fuel. Project founders Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard will trade off during the 21,700-mile journey at stops in Oman, India, Myanmar, China and the U.S. The flight is expected to take five months to complete. Chicago Tribune (tiered subscription model)/The Associated Press (3/9), National Geographic News (free registration)


Solar plane lands in Oman in first leg of round-the-world flight
Pilot Andre Borschberg touched Solar Impulse 2 down in Muscat, Oman, after the 13-hour flight from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The flight was the first leg in a bid to fly the solar-powered plane around the world. Sky News


North Carolina airport gets new flight school
Elon Aviation is a new flight school and aircraft rental company at Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport in North Carolina. Owner Chris Whittle says his school will train pilots for private, instrument, commercial, multi-engine and flight instructor certifications, as well as rent aircraft and offer brokering services. WFMY-TV (Greensboro, N.C.)


Retired naval officer starts Catholic Aviation Association to make flying less expensive
Thomas Beckenbauer is a retired naval officer who worked several years as the flight operations manager for Federal Express. Beckenbauer and his wife have started the Catholic Aviation Association to teach people about life's lessons through aviation and to make aviation less expensive. The organization's structure is Catholic, but membership is open to all. Catholic Sentinel (Portland, Ore.)


Ariz. commercial space tourism company set for manned flight
World View Enterprises, a commercial balloon spaceflight company based in Tucson, Ariz., is nearing manned flight. Last month, the company completed a successful flight of a parafoil at 102,200 feet above Earth's surface, approximately the height it hopes to fly passengers. Testing will continue with science payload flights, and the company hopes to begin manned flight-testing toward the end of next year. Arizona Daily Star (Tucson)


Lawmakers say there's a shortage of pay, not pilots
Three members of the House of Representatives took issue with a comment by Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, who said in a budget hearing that tighter training, rest and experience requirements have led to a shortage of qualified pilots. The lawmakers pointed to a report from the Government Accountability Office, which last year found that there is not a pilot shortage but that fewer pilots are willing to work for the low pay offered by regional airlines. The Buffalo News (N.Y.)


ndia's only female Muslim commercial pilot seeks funds for additional training
Capt. Syeda Salva Fatima is the only Muslim woman in India to hold a commercial pilot's license. Fatima grew up in poverty, but always dreamed of flying. Her early flight training was paid for Zahid Ali Khan, editor of the Siasat Daily, after a chance meeting. She is now seeking funding to earn her Type rating. The Hindu (India)


Garmin Pilot app equipped with helicopter route charts
Garmin recently announced the addition of helicopter route maps for the Gulf of Mexico and eight U.S. cities to its Pilot application for iOS platforms. The route maps include helicopter airways and routes and frequencies and lighting capabilities for heliports, as well as roads and geographical features in urban areas. The new maps are free for current subscribers. Flying online


Fly-in and airplane show set to take off today at Ariz. airport
The 57th annual Cactus Fly-In and aircraft show at is set for today and Saturday at the Casa Grande Municipal Airport in Arizona. The show aims to inspire young people to consider careers in aviation and draws enthusiasts and collectors together to show off and discuss their vintage airplanes. Admission costs $10 for adults and is free for children under 18. Casa Grande Valley Newspapers (Ariz.)


Aviation Week announces this year's Laureate Award winners
Aviation Week announced the winners of its 58th annual Laureate Awards for extraordinary achievements in aviation at a gala event in Washington, D.C., this week. This year's winners include Nextant Aerospace, for making the latest technology available to business aviation at a lower cost through refurbishing aircraft. Aviation Week & Space Technology


Textron flight-tests Hawker 4000 with winglets
Textron Aviation has been flight-testing a Beechcraft Hawker 4000 equipped with winglets. The aircraft is currently out of production; the company would not confirm if the flight tests were aimed at aftermarket applications or potential new products. AIN Online (3/5), American City Business Journals/Wichita, Kan.


Pilatus delivers 100th PC-21 trainer to Saudi Arabia
Pilatus delivered its 100th PC-21 training aircraft to the Royal Saudi Air Force. The PC-21 is being used by the air forces of Switzerland, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates, and could replace the Royal Australian Air Force's fleet of PC-9As. AIN Online


Trig Avionics upgrades TT31 transponder for easier ADS-B installs
A software upgrade makes Trig Avionics' TT31 transponder faster to install for ADS-B compliance. Current owners can also get the software upgrade courtesy of their Trig dealer. General Aviation News


Australian International Airshow showcases aviation technologies
There were a number of new technologies unveiled at the Australian International Airshow last week. Metallurgist Thomas Dorin of Deakin University in Victoria announced a process that would make it possible to recycle aluminum alloys used in aircraft. Other technologies include sensors that alert maintenance crews when an aircraft needs to be repainted, electronic flight bag software and a carbon fiber manufacturing process. The Australian (tiered subscription model)


First female pilot at Piedmont Airlines gives talk at N.C. Transportation Museum
Cheryl Peters was Piedmont Airlines' first female pilot. She recently gave a talk on her experience during Piedmont Airlines Day at the North Carolina Transportation Museum. "I was a pilot. I was female. But I never wanted to be considered a 'female pilot' … just a pilot," Peters said. The museum is restoring a DC-3 aircraft once used by the airline. Salisbury Post (N.C.)


N.H. pilots land on the country's only FAA-certified ice runway
The only Federal Aviation Administration-certified ice runway is on the frozen waters of Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. Pilots say plowing the snow leaves a tooth on the thick ice that provides traction. On busy days, more than 100 general aviation airplanes will use the runway. Wired.com


Australia all-female relay raises money for cancer research
The Woman Pilot's Relay of Flight 2015 will cover more than 11,000 miles around Australia over a six-week period as a fundraiser for cancer research. "It is great to promote awareness that women can fly and also raise awareness for cancer," said pilot Yvette Gulliver. Clarence Valley Daily Examiner (Yamba, Australia)


Paralyzed woman uses only her mind to fly fighter jet simulator
Jan Scheuermann was paralyzed in 2003 due to a neurodegenerative condition. For the past two years, she has been the subject of groundbreaking neurosignaling research at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. After learning to control right- and left-hand prosthetic arms, Scheuermann wanted a new challenge -- flying a Joint Strike Fighter simulator. "She's not a pilot in real life -- she's in there flying a simulator directly from neurosignaling," said DARPA Director Arati Prabhakar. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model)


Europe's first spaceport could land in U.K. by 2018
The U.K. Space Agency hopes that Europe's first spaceport will be operational in the U.K. by 2018. The agency has a shortlist of possible locations but is still accepting applications. "I want Britain to lead the way in commercial spaceflight. Establishing a spaceport will ensure we are at the forefront of this exciting new technology," said Aviation Minister Robert Goodwill. Market Business News (U.K.)


FlightSafety to add simulators to helicopter fleet
FlightSafety International says it hopes to increase the number of helicopter simulators in its fleet by 40%. The company plans install new simulators at its training centers in Dallas, Denver and Singapore. AIN Online


Weather modification company VP on what it takes to be a cloud seeding pilotNew pilot regs could be boost GA, says EAA chairman
New aviation legislation dubbed the Pilot's Bill of Rights II would remove the requirement for third-class medical certificates for general aviation pilots in airplanes up to 6,000 pounds, and further streamline the regulatory process, a move that could encourage people to become and remain pilots. "This will be another spark that energizes the aviation industry," said Experimental Aircraft Association Chairman Jack Pelton. American City Business Journals/Wichita, Kan./BizTalk blog


Top female collegiate pilot inspired by mother to learn to fly
Rohaise Firth-Butterfield is a student in the Central Texas College Aviation Science Program and also attends Texas A&M University-Central. She is the captain of Central Texas College Flight Team and earned top female pilot honors at the Region IV Intercollegiate Flying Association Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference championship in October. She says she was inspired to become a pilot after listening to her mother talk about the joy of flying. Killeen Daily Herald (Texas)


Australian university unveils first 3D-printed jet engine at airshow
Researchers at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and Amaero Engineering partnered to develop the first 3D-printed jet engine to show how modern technology can create a complex machine in less time than traditional manufacturing. The engine was unveiled at the Avalon Airshow in Australia last week. AVweb

Hans Ahlness has worked at Weather Modification Inc. based in Fargo, N.D., since 1985, as a cloud seeding pilot, and now as vice president of operations. In this Q&A, Ahlness discusses what it takes to be this kind of a pilot. "It's not just training someone to fly that kind of airplane, but the kind of operations we do because nobody learns that anywhere else," he said. The Forum (Fargo, N.D.-Moorhead, Minn.) (free registration)



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