Airports Work To Minimize Irma’s Issues

Life is slowly returning to normal at Naples Municipal Airport in Florida, which clocked wind speeds of 142 mph at the height of Hurricane Irma’s landfall on Sunday. Power was restored to the airport-owned FBO early this morning, but airport manager Christopher Rozansky noted that lack of sufficient fresh water remains a problem. He said the airport expects to issue a Notam announcing a limited opening tomorrow at 2 p.m. on a prior-permission-required basis for daytime VFR only. But with airport staff still returning to the region, he asked for patience on the part of aircraft operators and owners.
Naples Jet Center, the other provider on the field, is still without power, owner Matthew Hagars told AIN this morning. He plans to send some of his crew to help out at the Naples Airport Authority FBO today.

In Fort Myers, power has been restored to Page Field, which reopened this morning with full fuel service. Nearby, Southwest Florida International Airport did not officially close during the entirety of the hurricane. Vincent Wolanin, owner of PrivateSky Aviation Services, the lone FBO on the field, rode out the storm in the facility’s Category 5-rated concrete structure, along with many of his staffers and their families.


According to Wolanin, the facility lost power early Monday morning, hours after Irma had passed by, but its massive generator immediately fired up, providing ample electricity for the entire location until main power was restored yesterday. Wolanin said the FBO handled 150 flights on Tuesday as homeowners returned to assess the damage. Tomorrow, the facility expects to play host to Air Force One, as two supporting C-17 transports arrived last night carrying a Marine security detail, Marine One and the Presidential limousine.



By |September 14th, 2017|Categories: Aircharter News|0 Comments

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.

The airworthiness directive says: “A quality escape during manufacturing resulted in an understrength part, and these nonconforming parts may have been installed on some of the affected airplanes. This condition, if not corrected, could result in failure of the aft wing spar and lead to wing separation with consequent loss of control.”

Piper says it “voluntarily grounded the fleet” to ensure that “all fielded aircraft met requirements, which they have”.

To allay any concerns, Piper says it has extended the manufacturer’s warranty for all wing-structure components from five to seven years.

The M600 entered service in June 2016 following a 15-month certification campaign. The $3 million aircraft is a development of Piper’s M500 entry-level turboprop, featuring a redesigned wing, a Garmin G3000 flightdeck, digital fuel-management technology and a restyled interior.



By |September 14th, 2017|Categories: Aircharter News|0 Comments

Nextant To Offer Safe Flight Autothrottle on 604XT

Aircraft remanufacturing specialist Nextant Aerospace has announced that the Safe Flight AutoPower automatic throttle system will be available as an option on its Challenger 604XT, which features the Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion touchscreen cockpit.

The system provides “takeoff-to-touchdown power-management capability for the aircraft, which not only improves overall efficiency, reduces pilot workload in critical segments of flight. This helps to further improve the overall safety of the new cockpit solution,” stated Ken Bannon, Safe Flight’s director of commercial and corporate sales. “In addition to precise speed control, the AutoPower system provides flight envelope and speed protection.”

Nextant, through its Constant Aviation subsidiary, is offering the upgrade to 604 customers at a price of $199,950 for a limited time when installed with the Pro Line Fusion suite. “Nextant’s goal has always been to provide the best overall value proposition in the industry, and the announcement by our companies to offer this great feature at a price under $200K shows our commitment to that goal,” said Nextant executive vice president Jay Heublein.


For Challenger 604 owners who already have the Safe Flight autothrottle system modification—approximately 40 percent of the fleet, according to Heublein—Nextant will offer an exclusive integration pathway with the upgrade to the Fusion cockpit.



By |September 11th, 2017|Categories: Aircharter News|0 Comments

Pilatus calls time on PC-6

Pilatus will cease production of its PC-6 multirole trainer in 2019 after a 60-year run. The decision follows poor sales of the single-engined turboprop, also known as the Porter, and limited development opportunities for the platform.

“The PC-6 no longer fits our product portfolio,” says Pilatus chairman Oscar Schwenk. “Due to its age and other certification parameters, it is no longer possible to provide ongoing development in the scope we would wish.”
The company has produced some 500 PC-6s at its Stans headquarters in Switzerland since 1959. In addition about 100 PC-6s were built in the USA under licence.
In recent years the short take-off and landing type has been manufactured in “small numbers,” Pilatus says. Flight Fleets Analyzer records deliveries of nine PC-6s in 2016 and none in the first six months of 2017.
Schwenk says while the PC-6 gave Pilatus “fame and recognition worldwide”, every product has a finite lifespan. “That moment has arrived for the PC-6,” he says.

The PC-6 is well known for its short takeoff and landing capabilities and general versatility. Among its achievements, the Pilatus Porter holds a world record for flying several cargo and passenger trips at maximum useful load to 18,700 feet (5,700 meters).
Pilatus is now switching its focus to the in-development PC-24 superlight business jet which is on track for certification and service entry in the fourth quarter: “The PC-24 requires our full attention,” Schwenk says.
The company will accept orders for the PC-6 until mid-2018 and will continue to provide product support for at least another 20 years.

By |September 11th, 2017|Categories: Aircharter News|0 Comments

It’s all systems go for Gogo’s new 4G service

Internet connectivity specialist Gogo Business Aviation has got government approval for part of its new inflight Wi-Fi system.
The Federal Aviation Administration has granted Supplemental Type Certification and Parts Manufacturer Approval for the dual-directional antennae that will be used with the Gogo AVANCE L5 system (formerly known as the Gogo Biz 4G LRU).

This means that Gogo can start shipping the system and installing it on business aircraft.

Gogo AVANCE L5 connects to the Gogo Biz 4G network, which uses Gogo’s ground network of more than 250 towers across the US to allow activities such as live streaming video and audio, on-demand films, personal smartphone use, real-time data for cockpit apps, and remote diagnostics and support during flight.

It is part of a group of new products that combine Gogo’s hardware and software technology to create an inflight connectivity and entertainment platform. The Smart Cabin systems – SCS Elite and SCE Media – launched in July, followed by the AVANCE L5 hardware – a box incorporating dual-band Wi-Fi and a host of other features.

“Using our proprietary Gogo Biz 4G network, Gogo AVANCE L5 will deliver an inflight Wi-Fi experience unrivalled by anything else in aviation, and demand from customers is strong,” said Gogo senior vice president and general manager Sergio Aguirre.

“I’m so proud of our team. We told the marketplace that we would launch 4G service in mid-2017, and we met that commitment.”

Gogo’s dealer and OEM partners are pursuing their own STCs, to certify the Gogo AVANCE L5 system for installation on more than 40 business aircraft models. Most other models will be able to have the system installed using existing certifications.

A spokesman for Gogo said the company was “very confident” that dealers and OEMs will get the certifications. […]

By |September 11th, 2017|Categories: Aircharter News|0 Comments

Hurricane Irma Wreaks Havoc, But Many Caribbean Airports Rebound

In the aftermath of a direct hit by Hurricane Irma on Wednesday, Signature Flight Support is reporting significant damage to the general aviation terminal at St. Maarten’s Princess Juliana International Airport, which it shares with another FBO. According to a company spokesman, communication with the location is limited to satellite phone, and as of Thursday evening it was still trying to account for all of its employees. With photos showing widespread destruction at the airport, Signature has no timeframe for its reopening there.

For the BBA Aviation subsidiary’s FBO at Puerto Rico’s Isla Grande Airport, the story was much brighter as the monster storm’s path veered northward and spared the island from its most intense fury, causing little if any damage to the facility. Jet Aviation reports a similar situation with its location at San Juan Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport. Antigua’s V.C. Bird International Airport was open on Friday morning as well.

While other islands suffered varying amounts of damage, Bohlke International Airways, the lone FBO at St. Croix’s Henry E. Rohlson Airport, escaped virtually unscathed and is currently being used as a staging hub for relief efforts throughout the Caribbean. Other affected areas include St. Thomas and Tortola. Signature noted its affiliated facility at Turks and Caicos closed on Friday ahead of the storm’s arrivals. The airports at St. Kitts and Nevis are expected to reopen by Saturday. Signature, like most of the FBO chains has added a hurricane information page to its website, alerting customers to the latest operating conditions of its locations in Florida and up the East Coast.



By |September 11th, 2017|Categories: Aircharter News|0 Comments


Gulfstream Aerospace has announced the creation of its Connectivity Service program, a comprehensive, bundled suite of in-flight internet, voice and entertainment offerings customized to meet the needs of each Gulfstream operator. “This new service will simplify and enhance the connectivity experience by seamlessly integrating all aspects of in-flight connectivity with the Gulfstream aircraft ownership experience,” said Derek Zimmerman, president, Gulfstream Product Support. “It will make connectivity more accessible and easier to understand. The integration provides customers everything they need to create and maintain the ultimate experience in nose-to-tail connectivity. Gulfstream will be their single source for equipment, service networks and technical support.” As part of the program, Satcom Direct will be the exclusive provider of cabin and cockpit connectivity service plans on both in-production and in-service aircraft. “Satcom Direct is proud to have been selected to support Gulfstream’s Connectivity Service program,” said Jim Jensen, founder and CEO of Satcom Direct. “Through this program, Gulfstream customers will be able to fly in confidence knowing they can maximize faster, richer data during all phases of flight around the globe.” Bundled cabin connectivity options will feature Inmarsat’s Jet ConneX, the fastest in-flight internet connection in business aviation, as well as other networks, such as Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband and ViaSat’s Ku-band service. Flight-deck options will include a datalink service that enables mandated safety systems, including Future Air Navigation System (FANS) 1/A+.  Gulfstream Technical Operations, with on-site support from Satcom Direct, will be the single source for connectivity questions and troubleshooting.
Gulfstream’s company-owned service centers worldwide will complete connectivity installations in Savannah and Brunswick, Georgia; Westfield, Massachusetts; Appleton, Wisconsin; Las Vegas, Nevada; Long Beach, California; Dallas, Texas; West Palm Beach, Florida; Luton, England; Sorocaba, Brazil; and Beijing, China.



By |September 11th, 2017|Categories: Aircharter News|0 Comments

US flight activity keeps on rising

The first half of 2017 has been “nothing but positive” for US flight activity, according to the latest data from Argus.

Last year was a great year for the US business aviation, says the aviation service and technology firm, with total flights rising by 90,000+ across the country. And 2017 is shaping up to be even better.

Flight activity is up 3.9% year-on-year (YoY) from 2016 and flight hours rose 6.0% from last year, according to Argus’ 2017 midyear business aviation report.

Specifically, activity for part 135 (charter) operations has been very positive, rising an impressive 10.1% YoY for the first half of 2017. This is a substantial gain from the already positive 5.8% growth for the full year of 2016.

Charter activity has risen every month so far this year compared to 2016. April saw the biggest YoY increase, rising 14.9%. Three of the first six months saw double-digit increases in activity.


Part 91 (private) operations saw a slight drop in activity, declining 0.5% YoY. This slight decline is the result of three months of increased activity and three months of less. May was the month with the biggest increase in activity, seeing a 2.1% rise in private flights.

Argus expects the second half of the year to be more positive for Part 91 activity. The rise in overall flight activity for the whole of 2016 looks to be replicated in the second half, it says in its report.

Fractional flight activity (where multiple owners share the costs of purchase, leasing and operating) increased every month YoY as with part 135. April had the biggest rise, with an 8.5% increase.

More hours

Large-cabin jets saw the biggest increase in flight hours from January to June YoY. Total flight hours rose from 430,532 in 2016 to […]

By |August 10th, 2017|Categories: Aircharter News|0 Comments

Piper records second quarter hike in deliveries and revenues

Piper Aircraft has recorded a 30% increase in deliveries of its business and general aviation aircraft family for the second quarter of 2017, thanks to strong performance from the single-engined Archer and M600, and its recent decision to adopt a build-to-order strategy for its nine-strong line-up.

For the three months ended 30 June, the Vero Beach, Florida-based manufacturer delivered 32 single- and twin-engined aircraft, compared with 19 units for the same period last year. Revenues climbed to $52.1 million – up $10.7 million from the second quarter of 2016.

Piper Aircraft

Demand for its two-seat Archer DX/TX from the global training market resulted in a delivery increase for the all-metal piston-single pair of more than 200%, says Piper. Demonstration tours of Europe and Africa in May and June resulted in “better-than-expected sales” of the top-of-the-range M600 single-engined turboprop, it says.

“Our commitment to a commonsense, made-to-order approach, has been a key differentiator and is contributing to Piper’s success in this ‘new normal’ market we are all talking about,” says Piper president Simon Caldecott.

“As we look forward to the second half of the year, we anticipate continued strong performance across our product line with a strategic focus on both Europe and Latin America.”


Source: FlightGlobal.

By |August 8th, 2017|Categories: @en|0 Comments


Gulfstream Aerospace announced that its fourth Gulfstream G600 aircraft completed its debut flight just over six weeks after the third aircraft. The G600 departed Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport at 6:50 p.m. During the 1-hour and 18-minute flight, the aircraft climbed to a maximum altitude of 51,000 feet/15,545 meters and reached a maximum airspeed of Mach .925. The aircraft landed back in Savannah at 8:08 p.m. local time. “To have four first flights and fly more than 570 hours in less than six months is a remarkable achievement,” said Dan Nale, senior vice president, Programs, Engineering and Test, Gulfstream. “The rapid maturity of this program is due to the work we did before the flying even started — the strategic planning, the research, the lab development — combined with the success we’ve had in the similar G500 program.” The fifth G600 test aircraft was recently delivered to the Savannah Completions center, where it will be transformed into a fully outfitted production aircraft. During flight test the aircraft will be used to validate interior elements and ensure the successful integration of aircraft systems with the passenger experience. To date, the G600 program’s four test aircraft have accumulated more than 130 flights.



By |July 27th, 2017|Categories: Aircharter News|0 Comments