ASTEROID ALTERNATIVES: The chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology is criticizing the Obama administration for continuing to “push” its proposed Asteroid Retrieval Mission, “without any connection to a larger exploration road map and absent support from the scientific community or NASA’s own advisory bodies.” Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) points instead to a “promising” proposal for a flyby mission to Mars and Venus in 2021 that his committee recently heard testimony on.
A bipartisan group of 30 House lawmakers is urging President Barack Obama to “chart and clearly state a vision and timeline for the nation in deep-space exploration,” based on the heavy-lift Space Launch System and Orion crew capsule spelled out in authorization and funding legislation for NASA.
Inmarsat leveraged a “groundbreaking but traditional mathematics-based process” to analyze data from other flights that use its satellite network and establish a pattern that helped investigators nail down Malaysia Airlines Flight 370’s (MH370) final flight path as traveling south over the Indian Ocean, an Inmarsat executive explains.
BRIAN ANDREWS has joined Duncan Aviation’s airframe service sales team, focusing on providing technical sales support for Embraer clients. He joined Duncan Aviation’s Battle Creek, Mich., facility in 1998 as an airframe technician and in 2007 became a project manager, working with customers and service areas to ensure aircraft projects remained on time and on budget.
Dassault Falcon rolled out a revamped Regional Maintenance & Operations (M&O) Seminars program that will encompass nine cities on three continents. The seminar series has grown over the years as the Falcon fleet has surpassed the 2,000 aircraft mark with more than 1,200 operators. The format was expanded to a two-day event that will provide access to Dassault specialists, engineering teams, pilots, authorized service center representatives and suppliers. The seminars will cover both operational and technical issues. The series begins in Paris April 1-2.
The market for business and general aviation avionics grew by single digits in 2013, with sales topping $2.4 billion, according to the Aircraft Electronics Association’s (AEA) year-end avionics market report. Sales for the year reached $2.429 billion, compared with $2.229 billion in 2012. In addition to a slight improvement in the market, the 9% increase reflects more companies participating in the AEA survey, which was first reported for 2012. Comparing the same participating companies, sales grew 6.9% from 2012 to 2013.
AIRBUS HELICOPTERS Model AS332C, AS332L, AS332L1, AS332L2, EC225LP, and SA330J helicopters [Docket No. FAA-2013-0872; Directorate Identifier 2013-SW-012-AD; Amendment 39-17784; AD 2014-05-11] – requires inspecting the turnbuckles for corrosion or a crack, and depending on the results, either replacing the turnbuckle or treating the turnbuckle for corrosion. This AD was prompted by a report that a turnbuckle had failed because of corrosion.
KEITH BENNETT has rejoined PAS Technologies as director of business development. Based in Kansas City, Mo., Bennett will steer business development strategies in the commercial aerospace and oil and gas segments. He first joined PAS Technologies in 1995, holding sales and operational management positions. He later served with Firth Rixson and most recently oversaw business development for OEM aviation and energy markets for Southwest United Industries. He began his career in 1987 as a senior design engineer for Pratt & Whitney.
BRIAN MOORE was promoted to assistant manager of FlightSafety International’s Cessna learning center in Wichita. Moore has 24 years of experience with FlightSafety, joining the company in 1990 as an instructor at the Hawker Beechcraft Learning Center. He has since held positions of increasing responsibility and most recently was FlightSafety’s relationship manager with Beechcraft.
Aircell has developed a new inflight communications system for business aircraft that combines voice, narrowband data and cockpit data link services into a single unit. The ST 4300, which provides global coverage, is available with one, two or three Iridium voice/narrowband data channels, plus one dedicated Iridium data channel. It enables business aircraft to tailor the cabin and flight deck communications to their specific needs. Aircell expects the ST 4300 will be eligible for Future Air Navigation System (FANS) certification. Shipments are slated to begin in June.
Satcom Direct received European Aviation Safety Agency approval, along with FAA and Transport Canada validation for its Satcom Direct Router (SDR) aboard Global 5000 and Global XRS aircraft. The SDR is part of a package that upgrades the Rockwell Collins SAT-6100/-2100 single-channel Satcom Swift64 to single channel Swift Broadband with the Satcom Direct SDR Wi-Fi Router. The SDR is Satcom Direct’s first certified hardware and enables multiple systems to operate on aircraft without additional wireless access points. The company is shipping the units to dealers in the U.S.
EUROCOPTER DEUTSCHLAND Model EC135P1, EC135P2, EC135P2+, EC135T1, EC135T2, and EC135T2+ helicopters [Docket No. FAA-2013-0554; Directorate Identifier 2012-SW-009-AD; Amendment 39-17774; AD 2014-05-01] – requires analyzing the main gearbox (MGB) oil for indications of metal chips or pieces, reviewing the MGB log or equivalent record, and inspecting certain teeth in the MGB after two chip indications. This AD was prompted by a partial tooth rupture found in an MGB that was returned to the manufacturer for repairs.
AIRBUS HELICOPTERS Model AS332C, AS332L, AS332L1, AS332L2, and SA330J helicopters [Docket No. FAA-2013-0826; Directorate Identifier 2011-SW-046-AD; Amendment 39-17788; AD 2014-05-15] – prohibits use of the hydraulic hoist in helicopters equipped with certain parts and configurations until a hoist beam lower fitting protector is installed. This AD was prompted by a report that the hoist cable jammed during a rescue at sea.