Mooney Airplane Co. announced on Monday that in 2003 the company
delivered 35 airplanes, a whopping 350 percent increase from the
number of aircraft delivered in 2002. Deliveries included 29 Mooney
Ovation2 models and 6 Bravo DX aircraft.
Mooney President J. Nelson Happy remarked: "We are very pleased
with the company's sales and deliveries in 2003. It exceeds our
expectations, and reflects the hard work that all of our employees
put into restarting the company."
Sam Rothman, chairman of Mooney's board, stated: "We
accomplished a great deal in 2003. We went from a production rate
of one airplane per month to about five per month. We are now well
positioned to increase production in 2004. We have proven that the
company is bac
A just-published Air Safety Foundation study on flight training
safety has confirmed that instructional flight is actually safer
than most other types of GA flying, especially personal aviation.
But the study also pinpointed two areas of flight training with
higher fatality rates than others: low-level maneuvering flight and
failure to see and avoid, leading to midair collisions.
The special ASF analysis showed that the rate of instructional
accidents continues to decline along with the overall accident
rate, and also that fatal accidents are a very small percentage of
the overall number of GA accidents. But low-level maneuvering
during training carries additional risk, the study confirmed. One
of every three fatal accidents during
American Autogyro Inc. Signs SparrowHawk Dealer in Russia
Groen Brothers Aviation Inc. announced Tuesday that its wholly
owned subsidiary, American Autogyro Inc. (AAI), is further
expanding its sales network by opening a dealership in Moscow,
Russia. The dealership is owned and operated by Mr. Alex Lameko,
President of the TwistAir Club in Moscow. This is AAI's fifth
international dealership location.
In addition to selling the AAI SparrowHawk, Mr. Lameko's
dealership will provide service, pilot training and builder assist
programs for SparrowHawk customers in the region. "We are very
happy that we could form this relationship with Mr. Lameko and the
TwistAir Club," says Mr. James Mayfield, President of AAI. "Alex is
very well known in the region and is very familiar w
New Mexico may have another personal jet manufacturer setting up
shop in-the-not-too-distant future. Englewood (CO)- based Aviation
Technology Group (ATG) got preliminary approval last week for
$15.25 million in funding from New Mexico's State Investment
Council's Direct Investment Program.
The council's Private Equity Advisory Committee unanimously gave
the go-ahead to consider investing $6.25 million in the
manufacturer, which plans to build a manufacturing plant in
Albuquerque if the funding is approved. The full council voted
Tuesday on whether or not to proceed with the funding but results
of the meeting were not available by ANN's deadline.
ATG is asking the state to provide half of a $12.5 million round
Two adventurers took off from Japan in a hot-air balloon early
Tuesday, attempting to be the first to cross the Pacific Ocean
since British entrepreneur Richard Branson made the trip in
Team leader Michio Kanda, 54, and his partner fired burners
before dawn to lift their red, yellow and blue balloon into the air
from heir launch site north of Tokyo. Called the Amanogawa No. 2,
the 120-foot-tall balloon is about eight times bigger than the
average hot-air balloon with a square, mostly aluminum gondola.
Kanda said the flight would probably take about 50 to 60 hours.
He and his partner, 26-year-old graduate student Naoki Ishikawa,
plan to land somewhere in Canada, or in Washington or Oregon,
depending on wind conditions.
Mesa Air Group is spending big... and has placed a firm order
for a total of 20 Bombardier CRJ700 and CRJ900 regional jets. The
mix of models will be determined at a later date. The order is
valued at an estimated $637 million U.S. ($837 million Cdn.) and
represents the conversion of 20 of the 40 options that Mesa holds
on the Bombardier CRJ700 and CRJ900 aircraft.
Mesa Air Group currently operates 69 Bombardier CRJ aircraft
including 43 CRJ200, 15 CRJ700 and 11 CRJ900 aircraft. In addition
a further 11 CRJ200 from Midway Airlines will soon join its
When the delivery of this recent order is complete Mesa Air Group
will operate some 114 Bombardier CRJ aircraft and will have options
on another 20 regional jets.
ANN Note: We are pleased to be very good
friends with a wonderful little regional publication by the
name of Fly-Low. Published by Ralph McCormick, we're pleased to
note that every now and then he sends us a neat story from Fly-Low
to share with ANN readers all over the world. Here's a good
"Hallelujah!" hollered Bill Ghan as pilot Don Nevels (below,
center) throttled up the Missouri homebuilt Wright Flyer replica
and lifted off the runway.
"I knew it would fly!" Bill Ghan stated proudly as his Wright Flyer
replica made its first sustained flight on Saturday, January 10,
2004. It maintained twenty miles per hour for 290 feet, and
reaching an altitude of about ten feet above the runway. The hand
made aircraft stayed aloft for 9.67 seconds
According to a report in the Seattle Times, Raytheon Aircraft
Co. is close to selling off its Wichita fabrication division to a
British company called GKN.
In the story, which was a next-day follow-up to another article
on the possibility of Boeing selling its on Wichita plant, the
Times says British aerospace supplier GKN Aerospace "is already
close to a deal to buy Raytheon's fabrication division in Wichita."
The newspaper cites an unnamed source identified only as an
executive with a Wichita aerospace supplier with the sale of the
Raytheon Aircraft unit.
If true, this news is not entirely surprising, as Raytheon
Aircraft officials have publicly stated in the past that the
company plans to move to a business model in which i
The FAA has eliminated the “New Technology” label
from GPS and now allows repair stations to install GPS’s
using standard alteration criteria that would be used for any
navigation system. The agency describes the new criteria
via AC 20-138A. The AC also clarifies Flight Manual
supplement issues for GPS installations. A GPS installation
which is a minor alteration may still need a FMS
The Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) says it is extremely
pleased with the publication of this Advisory Circular. After
working with the FAA for years to revise this
“outdated” label, AEA commends the agency for
modernizing their installation criteria for one of the most common
Uniworld LLC (Uniworld), based in the San Francisco Bay Area and
with offices in Beijing, China, announced on Tuesday it is forming
a consortium of General Aviation (GA) related companies and
individuals to take advantage of Uniworld's extensive experience
and position in China's civil aviation market.
Members of the consortium, after being educated about the
potential offered through the historic recent opening of China's
airspace to General Aviation activities, will go to Beijing, China
to meet with their Chinese GA- related counterparts at GA Forum
2004, May 24-27.
The Forum is organized and presented by Uniworld and is
co-hosted by the China Civil Aircraft Development Co., China
Aviation Oil Holding Co., Beijing Capital Airport
LOC Is NOT Required As Part Of The Part 145 Rewrite
The Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) informs us the FAA
has recommended that Part 145 certificate holders review their
Letter of Compliance (LOC) or update it as a means to verify their
compliance posture with respect to the new Part 145 rule.
This FAA recommendation is a request and has been left up to the
discretion of the certificate holder to determine if it is, in
fact, necessary. If they choose not to update or submit an
LOC, it will not affect the accomplishment of the FAA's review of
manuals or other documents submitted to comply with the rule
The Association recommends that repair station’s review
their original LOC for applicability, however, the additional
Calls for Immediate Action To Deal With Congestion
On Tuesday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta
announced plans for a new, next generation air transportation
system with expanded capacity to relieve congestion, prevent
gridlock and secure America’s place as global leader in
aviation’s second century.
In a speech before the Aero Club of Washington, D.C., the
Secretary warned that recent delays at Chicago’s O’Hare
airport marked the return of increased passenger demand for air
travel and potential gridlock in the skies.
Mineta said that the FAA has set in motion several airspace
modernization plans to add capacity and improve efficiency,
including seven new air traffic control towers; five new terminal
air traffic control fac
Like any new arrival grabbing all the attention, NASA engineers
were thrilled to watch, the Opportunity rover sent home its first
color snapshot from Mars. However, engineers reported Monday that
its ailing twin, Spirit, seemed to be suffering from a problem
trying to manage too many files. Sounds like the ANN office.
Spirit has spent 23 Martian days, or "sols," on the red planet, the
last five or so without much activity, while Opportunity has
completed two and will spend a week or two moving cautiously
through the steps required for it to stand up and roll off onto
Mars' terra firma.
The team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory is increasingly
convinced that Spirit's problem has a remedy, possibly related
Sections of a diary belonging to one of the seven astronauts
killed last year when the space shuttle Columbia broke apart over
Texas were found a few months ago and returned to his family,
according to a published report.
The Jerusalem Post reported that sections of Israeli astronaut
Ilan Ramon's diary were found in a Texas field with other
debris.The diary was submitted to the Israel Police for help in
deciphering what was written, since the pages were written in
Hebrew and some of the pages were full of holes, the newspaper
Johnson Space Center spokesman James Hartsfield confirmed on
Friday that any personal items found among the debris were returned
to the astronauts' families.
Just before noon on Sunday, an out-of-gas Cessna 210 with four
aboard made a firm landing...on the top of a GMC Jimmy SUV. The
aircraft then bounced on to Memphis' I-40, where the automobile was
travelling on. There were no injuries. The airplane didn't
have any apparent damage. The airplane came to rest close to the
Austin Peay exit, about two miles west of touchdown.
The pilot was on his way from Albany (GA) to Fayetteville (AR)
and planned to refuel in Memphis. Unfortunately, he fell victim
to bad case of improper fuel management.
Hopefully, this pilot, and everyone one else out there, will
remember to never totally rely on POH fuel figures and certainly
not the fumbling gauges found on most older Cessnas
The Northrop Grumman Corporation-built Fire Scout vertical
takeoff and landing tactical unmanned aerial vehicle system has
officially lifted off as the Class IV unmanned aerial system (UAS)
for the U.S. Army's Future Combat System (FCS).
Northrop Grumman received an eight-year, $115-million contract
for the program's system development and demonstration phase from
The Boeing Company and Science Applications International
Corporation, the Army's FCS lead systems integrators.
During this phase, Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector
will develop the Class IV UAS architecture, produce seven RQ-8B
Fire Scout air vehicles, perform system tests and evaluations and
help develop long-lead future requirements. Northrop
Will Provide Enhanced Vision Systems for Military and
FLIR Systems, Inc. announced Tuesday it has entered into an
agreement with Max-Viz to act as the exclusive distributor of
Max-Viz's Enhanced Vision Systems (EVS) for use in selected rotary
wing aircraft applications worldwide.
Under the terms of the agreement with FLIR, Max-Viz maintains
executive transport, emergency medical services (EMS) and
commercial utility helicopters as its customers.
Max-Viz EVS provides pilots with increased situational awareness
and the ability to react when unaided vision is impaired due to
darkness or visual obscurants. Utilization of the system directly
addresses the three major flight safety concerns today: controlled
flight into terrain (CFIT); approach
Navy Recruiting Command has added a third F/A-18 Super Hornet
full-motion simulator to its arsenal of attractions that support
recruiting around the country.
The simulator, provided by Pulseworks, is one of three aviation
simulators Navy Recruiting uses around the nation. The Navy's
partnership with Pulseworks began in 2000, and since then, Navy
Recruiting has used two 20-seat simulators to showcase naval
aviation as part of the Navy’s “Accelerate your
Life™” recruitment campaign.
The new simulator seats eight and will allow for the attraction
to set up at venues that the larger 20-seat simulators could not
attend due to logistical problems.
The simulator made its first stop Jan. 2
A federal commission investigating the tragic events of
September 11, 2001 claims the FAA failed to adequately prepare for
hijacking prevention and focused too much on a perceived threat
from explosives smuggled aboard planes
The preliminary report by the National Commission on Terrorist
Attacks Upon the United States said that in a presentation to
airline and airport officials in early 2001, the FAA discounted the
threat of a suicide hijacking because there was "no indication that
any group is currently thinking in that direction."
In July 2001, the FAA issued a warning to air carriers but did
not mention suicide hijackings. Instead, it focused on the
possibility that some terrorist groups might conceal explosive
"Without actionable intelligence
information, to uncover and interdict a terrorist plot in the
planning stages ... it was up to the other layers of aviation
security to counter the threat"
Source: An excerpt from a published report by
the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United
States. The 10-member, bipartisan commission was established by
Congress to study the nation's preparedness before September 11 and
its response to the attacks, and to make recommendations for
guarding against similar disasters.