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Edited by James E. Swickard

Edited by James E. Swickard
FAA Oversight Scores High with ICAO; U.S. Airlines Score High with FAA in AD-Compliance 

The FAA has found 98-percent compliance with Airworthiness Directives by the 117 carriers in the agency's Air Transportation Oversight System, according to Acting Administrator Robert Sturgell, who was detailing final results of an unprecedented AD-compliance audit launched earlier this year. "That's a remarkable score for a system as complex and extensive as ours," he said. In addition, the U.S. civil aviation system earned a score of 91 -- compared to a world average 56 -- in an ICAO safety oversight review. The U.S.

SEI and Aerolite to Team for EMS Completions 

SEI of America and Aerolite America are teaming to promote and market turnkey completions to EMS operators of AgustaWestland A109 and AW139 helicopters in the United States. SEI of America is an FAR Part 145 Repair Station.

IATA Signs Flight Efficiency Plan 

The International Air Transport Association signed a three-party commitment to a Flight Efficiency Plan with Eurocontrol and Europe's Civil Air Navigation Services Organization. The plan's objective is to expedite efficiency improvements in European air traffic management to achieve annualized savings of 470,000 metric tons of fuel per year in a six-month work program. If successful, this will save 390 million and reduce CO2 emissions by over 1.5 million tons. "The air transport industry is in a perfect storm of high fuel costs and falling demand.

Bombardier Severs Ties with Grob on Learjet 85 

Bombardier officials severed Learjet's partnership with Grob Aerospace Sept. 17 regarding development of Learjet 85. As a result, Bombardier is taking over all responsibilities for design and manufacturing of the 3,000 nm-range midsize jet, the first clean-sheet Learjet since the Model 45 program was launched in 1992. The Learjet 85 is intended to be a virtually all-composite aircraft, a first for Bombardier. That goal remains unchanged following the severing of ties with Grob, which was renowned for its composite expertise.

Europe's JetBird Gets Additional Financing on the Road to a 2009 Launch 

At the very apex (or nadir) of last month's credit crisis, JetBird, the European, private jet operator, secured two financing packages and detailed its progress toward its planned 2009 launch with a fleet that will eventually total 100 Embraer Phenom jets in a Sept. 19 announcement. One package was a "strategic" investment of about $14.4 million of equity capital by a so-far unnamed family-owned Middle East trading group, which will now become JetBird's second largest shareholder with a 9.3-percent holding. The group will have a seat on the JetBird board.

Rockwell Collins and King Schools Team for Training 

Rockwell Collins and King Schools announced a teaming agreement Sept. 10 that offers the former's OEM avionics training modules online via the latter's computer-based training (CBT). The program will kick off with aircraft-specific Pro Line 21 air crew training for King Airs and the Hawker 800.

TSA Criticized for Tardy GA Airports Threat/ Vulnerability Assessment Program 

The House Homeland Security and Foreign Affairs Committees took the TSA to task for failing to meet an Aug. 3 deadline for developing a standardized threat and vulnerability assessment program for general aviation airports. The missed deadline was one of several highlighted in a report prepared by the majority staffs of the two committees: "Wasted Lessons of 9/11: How the Bush Administration Has Ignored the Law and Squandered Its Opportunities to Make our Country Safer."

Signature Parent Reports U.S. FBO Sales Down 

BBA Aviation reported that the U.S. economic slowdown affected its Signature Flight Support FBO business in the first half of 2008, resulting in "an organic reduction in sales of 4 percent for the first half of the year." And in yet another indicator of the shifting of business aviation's center of gravity from the United States, the U.K.

Gulfstream G250 to be Announced at NBAA 

Gulfstream will unveil the G250 at this month's NBAA Convention. The aircraft is to be a clean-sheet super-midsize to large-cabin design, powered by Honeywell HTF7500-series turbofans and fitted with a downsized variant of the G550 wing. It will be capable of carrying eight passengers 3,600 nm at 0.80 Mach, according to prospective customers. The reported wing design also suggests it will able to fly 3,000-plus nm at 0.85 Mach. The wing will have no leading-edge high-lift devices and will be heated by engine bleed air for anti-ice protection.

ARG/US Prevails in Court Challenge to Its Rating System 

DayJet the Florida-Based VLJ air taxi operator suspended air taxi operations and parked 27 of its 28-aircraft fleet of Eclipse 500s on Sept. 19. DayJet was Eclipse Aviation's largest customer. A single EA500 will fly corporate missions for DayJet. The company had been struggling for months to obtain financing that would enable it to operate at a scale that would allow it to be profitable.

Embry-Riddle Worldwide Offers Online Aircraft Ground Schools for Flight Crews 

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has launched a series of new, online aircraft-specific flight crew ground schools that cover most airliners manufactured by Boeing and Airbus. "We believe professional pilots, particularly our thousands of alumni, require superior options for continuing education. . . . These new online courses will allow pilots to better prepare for an employer's ground school, expand their overall knowledge and [aid them] in interviews," said Dr. Thorsten Hisam, Embry-Riddle's director of Professional Education.

Embry-Riddle Wants to Offer Aviation Ph.D. 

Embry-Riddle began to accept online applications for a new Ph.D. in aviation program on Aug. 15. The university is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award degrees at the associate, bachelor and master levels. It applied to the Commission in July to begin awarding degrees at the doctoral level and should have a preliminary decision this December.

Lycoming Loses Crankshaft Recall Lawsuit Appeal 

The Texas Supreme Court denied an appeal by Lycoming Sept. 2, effectively ending a six-year legal battle in favor of Navasota, Texas-based Interstate Southwest, Ltd., a metal forging and fabricating company that had manufactured crankshafts for the engine manufacturer. "This Supreme Court decision means Interstate Southwest wins and Lycoming loses -- it's as simple as that," said attorney Marty Rose of Rose Walker, the Dallas law firm representing Interstate.

Castle & Cooke Wants FBO at Van Nuys 

Castle & Cooke Aviation wants to lease the former Jet Center property at Van Nuys, Calif., Airport and redevelop the site into a world-class FBO. Castle intends to demolish everything on the site on the east side of VNY and build all-new facilities that will include over 100,000 square feet of hangar space and over 50,000 square feet of FBO, office and shop space. Castle's negotiations with Los Angeles World Airports started this July. Castle & Cooke Aviation is a part of the David H.

DayJet, Starved for Cash, Ceases Air Taxi Ops 

Aviation Research Group/U.S. was successful in convincing the Lehigh County Court in Pennsylvania that it acted properly in changing its rating of East Coast Jets. ARG/US had previously given East Coast Jets a "Platinum" rating, but changed the operator's classification to "Unrated/Not Rated" after a Hawker 800 operated by East Coast Jets crashed July 31 attempting to land at Owatonna, Minn., Airport. East Coast Jets, based at Lehigh Valley International Airport in Allentown, Pa., secured a preliminary injunction to restore the Platinum rating Sept.

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