This Week in Aviation

senne Senne Vandenputte   /   Sep 16, 2017   /   0   /   6 min read  /  140   /

This Week in Aviation

At the end of every week, we publish a summary of what happened in aviation the past week.

Here's this week's roundup!

Airline traffic continues record highs

Air traffic continued its 8th year of uninterrupted growth says Department of Transportation data for the first half of 2017. U.S. airlines carried 414 million travelers in the first six months of 2017—361 million on domestic flights and 54 million on international flights—growth of 14.7% from a post-recession low in 2008. Load factor—the proportion of seats filled on the average flight—remained essentially unchanged at 84% for domestic flights and 80% for international flights. Revenue passenger miles for U.S. airlines reached a staggering all-time high of 469 billion for the first half of the year.

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Area 51 crash kills pilot

The mysterious fatal crash of an Air Force aircraft at the Nevada Test and Training Range on Sept. 5 is raising speculation a new aircraft is under development at the fabled Area 51, the famous super-secret test center on the dry bed of Groom Lake in the Nevada desert. The Air Force announced that Lt. Col. Eric Schultz was killed in the crash and when reporters asked what type of aircraft he was flying they were told it was classified. They were told that “additional information concerning the accident will be released as it becomes available.”

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Tree saves Cessna pilot

Landing in the trees is hardly ever a first choice, but it worked out for one pilot on Monday morning. Around 11:30 a.m. local time, a pilot flying a rental Cessna 172 from Robertson Airport crashed into a tree in the parking lot of an industrial equipment company adjacent to the airport. Security camera footage of the Carling Technologies parking lot shows the 1981 Skyhawk appearing to enter a spin, when it collides with a tree. As the top of the tree snaps, the aircraft is spun around and strikes the ground mostly upright.

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GA hides from Irma

As Hurricane Irma raged up the west coast of Florida, images of the storm were pouring from news sites and it’s inevitable that aircraft and airports will have suffered from the onslaught. For instance, there was a report Sunday that the roof was torn off the fire station at Naples Airport. There will be coverage of that in coming days. But in advance of the storm, the story was about how aircraft owners and operators were preparing and some were pretty creative. The packed hangar award has to go to SunState Aviation in Kissimmee, which wedged dozens of its training aircraft into a single hangar with some creative arrangement as the photo shows.

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Piper returns grounded M600 fleet to service

Piper says all 39 of its M600 single-engined turboprops that were grounded in July while the company investigated the extent of a supplier production error have now returned to service having successfully passed inspections.

The US airframer issued a mandatory service bulletin to the owners and dealerships in possession of M600s after it discovered cracking of the aft wing spar during final assembly.

An airworthiness directive was issued on 9 August by the Federal Aviation Administration, requiring inspection of the structure and repairs as necessary before the next flight.

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Piper M600

Lilium raises $90M in new funding round

Another investment in the future of aviation continued this week when Lilium Aviation announced a successful round of funding, led by Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings and at least four other groups. When added to the initial funding the German company Lilium has already received, the company’s investment kitty now tops the $100M mark. The company expects the fresh investment money will spur additional research and development efforts for the company’s five-seat, electrically powered jet taxi.

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Lilium funding

Air Canada’s Lockheed L-10A takes off to celebrate 80 years

In honor of the airline’s 80th anniversary, Air Canada‘s Lockheed 10A vintage aircraft is taking to the skies across Canada.

After taking off Sept. 9, 2017, from Vancouver, BC, the L-10A will be making overnight stops, as well as fuel stops, at airports across Canada. The vintage aircraft will then be on public display at the Royal Aviation Museum in Winnipeg on Sept. 13 and 14.

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Stemme Twin Voyager gets FAA nod

The FAA has awarded a Type Certificate to the Stemme Twin Voyager S12 powered glider.

The Stemme S12 had already been certified to the requirements of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

Having passed the FAA validation process, the glider can now be sold in the U.S. market, officials with the German company said.

“The US has always been the market with the greatest sales potential for us,” said Paul Masschelein, a Stemme AG board member. “Our subsidiary Stemme USA will now be able to further expand its sales efforts.”

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Stemme S12

First new Dornier Seastar rolls out

Dornier Seawings has rolled out its first new-production $7.21 million Seastar amphibian twin turboprop. The event took place last month at Dornier’s hangar in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, which is near Munich. The new-generation Seastar features new propellers; Honeywell Primus Epic avionics; a stern hydrothruster for improved water maneuvering; corrosion-resistant landing gear with nosewheel steering; and a revised 12-passenger cabin layout with air conditioning. First flight is scheduled for the first half of 2019, followed by type certification in 2020.

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Privatization remains a front burner issue

Despite the lack of any discussion this week about the inevitable march toward an FAA reauthorization extension, six of the nation’s major aviation associations today voiced their continued collective concerns over the move to “hand over control of the nation’s air traffic control system to the airlines and other special interest groups.”

The AOPA, NBAA, GAMA, HAI, EAA and NATA co-signed two letters, one delivered to John Thune (R-SD), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, the other to Bill Shuster (R-PA), chairman of the House’s Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

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Disclaimer: The news excerpts above belong to the respectful owners and websites. We publish them as a summary of the aviation news and include a link to the original article but do not own the rights of any of them.

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About the author


Senne Vandenputte

As a 22-year-old Belgian Business Management student, web designer, glider pilot, aviation blogger and founder of Hangar.Flights, Senne is passionate about aviation. He started gliding at age 14 and flew his first solo at 15. Now, he spends his time writing about aviation, creating and designing things, traveling, studying and of course, flying.

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