Flight Safety Information [November 21, 2018] [No. 236]

 Flight Safety Information
Top Flight Safety Information November 21, 2018  –  No. 236
In This Issue
Incident: Vietjet A320 at Ho Chi Minh City on Nov 19th 2018, fuel system problems
Incident: Singapore B773 near Singapore on Nov 19th 2018, loss of cabin pressure
Incident: Sunwing B38M near Washington on Nov 14th 2018, multiple system failures
Incident: Austrian A321 near Vienna on Nov 15th 2018, cabin pressure problems
Incident: Flybondi B738 enroute on Nov 17th 2018, loss of cabin pressure.
B737 Struck and Killed Man on Runway during Takeoff (Russia)
FAA Issues SAFO on Jet Fuel Contamination
Switzerland grounds Ju-52 aircraft over severe structural damage to wing spars
LIBIK Fire Suppression Kits for the Cabin and Flight Deck
Officials warn against targeting aircraft with lasers
NEW: Coordinating air safety research happening across the EU
Boeing to hold regional meetings with airlines on 737 MAX, while execs try to reassure employees
The Roadmap to Safer Part 91/135 Operations
Indian Airlines Seek Emergency Credit From Oil Firms, Airports
German Dimor Acquires Waco Aircraft
Canadian air force running short of pilots, jets: Watchdog
Cirrus Leaves Bombardier in the Dust: The Smallest Business Jet Is Also the Most Delivered
Boeing’s first 777X test aircraft on track for 2019 flight after Everett workers join major fuselage section
Embry-Riddle Flight Team Wins Regional Competition for 32nd Consecutive Year
Position Available: Business Aviation Audit Programs Manager

Incident: Vietjet A320 at Ho Chi Minh City on Nov 19th 2018, fuel system problems
A VietjetAir Airbus A320-200, registration VN-A680 performing flight VJ-198 from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi (Vietnam), was climbing out of Ho Chi Minh City when the crew stopped the climb at about 11,000 feet due to a problem with the fuel system and decided to return to Ho Chi Minh City. Passengers were instructed to assume the brace position for landing. The aircraft landed safely back in Ho Chi Minh City about 30 minutes after departure.

A replacement Airbus A321-200 registration VN-A645 reached Hanoi with a delay of about 3 hours.

The airline reported the crew received a warning indication and returned to Ho Chi Minh City. The indication was subsequently identified false.

The occurrence aircraft returned to service after about 14 hours on the ground.


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Incident: Singapore B773 near Singapore on Nov 19th 2018, loss of cabin pressure
A Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300, registration 9V-SWL performing flight SQ-336 from Singapore (Singapore) to Paris Charles de Gaulle (France) with 234 passengers and 17 crew, was climbing out of Singapore when the crew stopped the climb at FL240 due to problems with the cabin pressure. The crew subsequently initiated an emergency descent to 6000 feet due to the loss of cabin pressure, the passenger oxygen masks were released. The aircraft dumped fuel and returned to Singapore for a safe landing about 100 minutes after departure.

A replacement Boeing 777-300 registration 9V-SWM reached Paris with a delay of 5:20 hours.


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Incident: Sunwing B38M near Washington on Nov 14th 2018, multiple system failures
A Sunwing Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8, registration C-GMXB performing flight WG-439 from Punta Cana (Dominican Republic) to Toronto,ON (Canada) with 176 passengers and 6 crew, was enroute at FL350 about 50nm northwest of Washington Dulles Airport,DC (USA) when the captain’s instruments began to show erroneous indications. The first officer was handed control of the aircraft as his instruments and the standby instruments remained in agreement. The crew decided to descend out of IMC into VMC as a precaution and descended the aircraft to FL250. Descending through FL280 the weather radar and TCAS failed. The crew declared PAN and worked the related checklists. The left IRS fault light illuminated. The flight continued to Toronto for a safe landing without further incident.

The Canadian TSB reported the left ADIRU was replaced.



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Incident: Austrian A321 near Vienna on Nov 15th 2018, cabin pressure problems
An Austrian Airlines Airbus A321-100, registration OE-LBA performing flight OS-507 from Vienna (Austria) to Milan Malpensa (Italy), had just levelled off at cruise FL340 about 45nm southsoutheast of Salzburg (Austria) over the central Alps (and near Grossglocker (height 3798 meters MSL/12,457 feet MSL), when the crew initiated an emergency descent after being unable to maintain the cabin pressure. The aircraft descended to FL160, subsequently turned around and returned to Vienna for a safe landing on Vienna’s runway 34 about 70 minutes after leaving FL340.

The airline told Austrianwings that the crew received an ECAM message that the cabin pressure could not be maintained, the crew initiated a descent to a lower altitude in accordance with procedures and returned the aircraft to Vienna. The passengers were rebooked onto other flights.

The occurrence aircraft remained on the ground for about 7.5 hours, then returned to service.


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Incident: Flybondi B738 enroute on Nov 17th 2018, loss of cabin pressure
A Flybondi Boeing 737-800, registration LV-HFR performing flight FO-5101 from Iguazu,MI to Buenos Aires El Palomar,BA (Argentina), was enroute at FL360 about 310nm north of Buenos Aires when the crew initiated an emergency descent to FL100 due to the loss of cabin pressure. The aircraft continued to El Palomar Airport for a safe landing about 70 minutes after leaving FL360.

Agentina’s JIAAC dispatched investigators on site.


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B737 Struck and Killed Man on Runway during Takeoff (Russia)

Date: 20-NOV-2018
Time: 08:00 p.m.
Type: Boeing 737
Owner/operator: Aeroflot
C/n / msn:
Fatalities: Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:
Other fatalities: 1
Aircraft damage: Minor
Location: Sheremetyevo airport, Moscow –    Russia
Phase: Take off
Nature: International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport: Sheremetyevo airport, Moscow
Destination airport: Athens, Greece

Upon takeoff, the plane hit a man on the runway of the airport who died from the injuries sustained. Upon landing in Athens, the plane was grounded. Apparently the fuselage of the plane is damaged.


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FAA Issues SAFO on Jet Fuel Contamination

A new FAA Safety Alert for Operators warns operators of continuing instances of aircraft being refueled with jet fuel contaminated with diesel exhaust fluid (DEF). SAFO 18015 reiterates the information included in Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) HQ-18-08 that the agency issued in December 2017 after several instances of such contamination had occurred.

Between August 12 and August 16 of this year, five aircraft were identified as being serviced with jet fuel containing DEF at Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport (OPF). Also during that period, nine other aircraft were identified as being serviced using refueling equipment at OPF that had been exposed to DEF. Investigation revealed that DEF was inadvertently used instead of a fuel system icing inhibitor (FSII) on a refueling truck.

That followed contamination that occurred between November 18 and November 21, 2017. Then seven aircraft were serviced with jet fuel containing DEF at Eppley Air Field Airport (OMA) in Omaha, Nebraska. During the same time period, an additional six aircraft were serviced using refueling equipment that had been exposed to DEF. Similarly, DEF was inadvertently used instead of FSII on two aircraft refueling trucks at OMA.

Although the FAA says a potential safety issue exists and that these incidents are “not isolated events, at this time the concern is not considered an unsafe condition that warrants an airworthiness directive.”


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Switzerland grounds Ju-52 aircraft over severe structural damage to wing spars

The Federal Office of Civil Aviation FOCA has immediately issued a temporary ban on flights for the Ju-52 Ju-Air stationed in Dübendorf. Inspection of the wreck of the Ju-52 crashed on 4 August 2018 by the Swiss Safety Investigation Board (SUST) revealed severe structural damage to the wing spars. These could not be detected during normal maintenance and inspection. According to current knowledge, however, they are not related to the crash on 4 August. The technical investigations at the SUST are not yet completed.
Following the crash of a Ju-Air Junkers Ju-52 three-engined aircraft on August 4, 2018, the airline restarted operations on August 17 with the two remaining aircraft of the same type. Since there were no indications of general technical defects at this time, the FOCA had approved the resumption of flight operations in compliance with precautionary measures. This also included that the FOCA would announce a flight ban on new findings from the ongoing safety investigations.
Meanwhile, the first results of the investigation by the Swiss TSB were published in the form of an interim report. There is still no evidence that a serious technical problem led to the accident with 20 fatalities. The investigation of the wreck, however, revealed severe structural damage in the form of cracks and corrosion on the main spar, the supporting element of the aircraft wing, and other parts of the aircraft. This damage was hidden during normal inspections and maintenance and could only be determined from the debris.
Since the two Ju-52 HB-HOP and HB-HOS stationed in Dübendorf correspond in age as well as in hours of operation to the crashed machine, it must be ensured that both aircraft do not show this damage. Until this proof has been provided or any damage has been remedied, these two Ju-52s may not be flown for the time being.


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Officials warn against targeting aircraft with lasers

DETROIT (AP) — – Federal and state officials are warning of serious consequences for pointing laser devices at helicopters and airplanes, a continuing problem in southeastern Michigan.

U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider says a beam from a hand-held laser can travel more than a mile and illuminate a cockpit, disorienting pilots and even damaging their sight.

Officials say some of the assaults are also coming from high-powered, industrial-quality lasers with potential to cause physical harm. Some Michigan state police pilots have suffered temporary blindness, spotty vision, burns and massive headaches.

As of September, 41 laser strikes at aircraft had been reported in Michigan.

Targeting aircraft with lasers is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Tips about illegal laser pointing can be reported to the FBI at 313-965-2323.


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NEW: Coordinating air safety research happening across the EU

By coordinating the air safety research and innovation happening across Europe, the EU-funded Future Sky Safety project aims to provide the aviation industry with an even stronger focus on safety.

With its FlightPath 2050 Vision, the European Commission aims to achieve the highest level of safety in air transportation ever – both for passengers and for freight. By 2050, Europe will have achieved unprecedented levels of safety, with manned, unmanned, legacy and next generation, autonomous aircraft and all types of rotorcraft operating simultaneously in the same airspace using state-of-the-art technology and training.

To achieve this ambitious vision in just over 30 years, the Future Sky Safety (FSS) programme is bringing together the vast amount of air-transport safety research and innovation happening across the EU. One of the largest EU-funded programmes in aviation safety research ever, FSS is comprised of various sub-projects, each of which is dedicated to making air transport even safer. “By bringing these various projects together, FSS is improving cabin safety, reducing the risk of accidents, achieving near-total control over safety risks and enhancing safety performance under unexpected circumstances,” says FSS Project Researcher Lennaert Speijker.

Already achieving results

Although the project remains a work in progress, important results have already been achieved. According to Speijker, just coordinating the diverse research happening across the EU is an achievement. “We first established a shared view on safety research and then jointly contributed to the EU aviation safety research agenda,” he says. “Now we are creating new cooperative safety research projects in which we work together on a specific challenge with the shared goal of reducing duplication and fragmentation.”

As a result of this coordination, a wide range of new, cooperative safety projects has materialised. For example, a dedicated project on runway excursions developed algorithms and monitoring techniques for reducing the risk of runway veer-offs. Following three successful flight tests, these tools can be used by both airlines and flight data monitoring software developers. Likewise, thanks to a pan-European safety culture survey of 7 239 European pilots and their perceptions on the safety culture in European aviation, FSS-developed guidance on advancing the safety management of organisations was adopted by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

Another important result is the development of the Human Performance Envelope (HPE), a new concept for cockpit operations and design. Through flight simulations, researchers have shown how the HPE approach can contribute to safeguarding human performance in flight upset conditions. In another project, researchers tested the fire resistance of advanced composite materials in an aircraft. “This work has demonstrated the potential of geo-polymers for improving cabin air quality through continuous air quality sensing,” explains Speijker.

Great support from stakeholders

Researchers have now turned their focus towards developing and exploiting the aforementioned results. This includes ensuring their findings have a positive impact in terms of future changes to regulations, standards and guidance for aviation safety – particularly for the braking performance of aircraft on contaminated runways, safety management of service providers and the use of advanced composites in aircraft.

“FSS benefits from the great support of its involved stakeholders,” adds Speijker. “With two airlines, the largest aircraft and aerospace manufacturers, two national authorities and a strong link with EASA, the uptake and use of our project’s main results by both the industry and government regulators is virtually ensured.”


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Boeing to hold regional meetings with airlines on 737 MAX, while execs try to reassure employees

A Boeing 737 MAX-8 airplane being built for Cayman Airways sits on the edge of the runway at the Renton Municipal Airport on November 7, 2018. (Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times)

In place of a conference call with airlines, Boeing will next week hold a series of regional meetings to answer questions about the safety of the 737 MAX. And in a message to employees, CEO Muilenburg denied that a procedure to deal with a new flight control system is not covered in the pilot manual.

Boeing scratched a planned Tuesday conference call with airlines to reassure them about the safety of the 737 MAX, and will replace it with a series of regional meetings and conference calls with airlines “early next week in close proximity to our customers.”

The switch is “to allow for more attendance, more time for Q&A and to accommodate different time zones,” Boeing said. “These meetings will be hosted by Boeing Field Service Representatives who are located regionally with our customers.”

The planned meetings are intended to allow Boeing engineering and maintenance staff to answer technical questions from their airline counterparts. The original teleconference call was arranged in response to queries from airlines after the disclosure of a new automated flight-control system introduced on the MAX that may be implicated in the fatal Oct. 29 crash of Lion Air flight JT610.

A Boeing spokesman said it proved difficult to find a time that worked for all participants around the world.

Separately, Boeing is offering reassurance internally to employees.

Boeing Chairman and Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg sent an email to all employees Monday expressing confidence in the safety of the MAX and disputing some media reports.

Muilenburg’s message begins by saying the loss of the Lion Air jet “is weighing heavily on our collective hearts and minds” and expressing sympathy with the families of the 189 people killed.

He went on to emphasize the central importance of aviation safety to the company.

“I have supreme confidence in all of you and our products, including the 737 MAX, but when it comes to safety our standards can never be too high,” Muilenburg wrote to the employees. “I know you feel the same way.”

He then tried to counter what he called “false assumptions” and speculation.

“First, the 737 MAX is a safe airplane designed, built and supported by skilled men and women,” he wrote. “Customers continue daily global operations of the aircraft with confidence.”

More than 240 of the airplanes are flying passengers around the world today.

Secondly, Muilenburg disputed specific reports in some media related to the MAX’s new automated flight-control system – called MCAS, for Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System.

That system was introduced because the MAX’s new engines, which are larger, heavier and tilted more forward and higher on the wing, make the plane less stable in a potential stall situation than the previous 737 model.

MCAS is designed to kick in without pilot action if a sensor on the fuselage indicates a high angle of attack, meaning the plane’s nose is too high and threatening a potential stall. In such extreme circumstances, MCAS will automatically swivel the horizontal tail in such a way as to push the nose downward and will repeatedly do so as long as the angle of attack measure remains high.

The Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee indicated that the Lion Air flight computer received false angle of attack data on the fatal flight, which may have led MCAS to repeatedly force the nose of the plane down uncommanded by the pilots, according to a service bulletin Boeing sent out to airlines soon after the Lion Air crash.

The 737 pilot manuals don’t mention MCAS, and some pilot unions expressed concern last week that they were not made aware of it before the Lion Air crash. In particular, they said one handling difference with earlier 737 models should have been called out: that pulling back on the control yoke won’t stop the nose-up pitch movement.

A message from Southwest Airlines to its pilots on Nov. 10 indicates that Boeing believed it unnecessary to describe MCAS to pilots because they wouldn’t encounter it in normal flying, while in an emergency approaching a stall it would simply kick in and help the plane recover.

However, though the manual omits mention of MCAS, it does describe exactly how a pilot should deal with uncommanded and unwanted movements of the horizontal tail, whatever the cause may be. An emergency checklist describes a short procedure needed to cut off automated signals to the tail and stop the nose-down movements.

So in Muilenburg’s message, he specifically denied reports in some media outlets that the procedure pilots need to deal with such uncommanded movements was not in the 737 pilot manual and that pilots were not trained on how to handle it.

“That’s simply untrue,” Muilenburg said.

His message ended by saying that Boeing will not debate details in the media so as not to “violate the integrity of the investigation.”

Boeing Commercial Airplanes chief Kevin McAllister also reaffirmed in a video message to employees Monday that the jet maker is actively supporting the Lion Air crash investigation.


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The Roadmap to Safer Part 91/135 Operations

Over the past decade, scheduled passenger airlines in the U.S. have amassed a remarkable safety record. On February 12 next year, Part 121 air carriers will have operated nearly 160 million flights over a ten-year period with only a single passenger fatality. On the other hand, the business aviation community, in particular the Part 135 on-demand operators, by comparison has been less safe.

Using last year’s NTSB accident rates, on-demand 135 operators had an accident rate almost eight times higher than that of the scheduled airlines. Following a series of fatal Part 91 and 135 accidents, the NTSB recently pointed to the need for business aviation operators to adopt the many safety programs employed by the major airlines. According to John DeLisi, director of NTSB’s Office of Aviation Safety, a lot of things have come together to have fatal airliner accidents “completely wiped off the map.” The trick for smaller operators will be to frame these programs to best fit into their organization.

Some of the factors cited in the improvement of airline safety include the implementation of safety management systems (SMS) and other underlying programs such as flight data monitoring (FDM), aviation safety action programs (ASAP) and line operations safety audits (LOSA).

Each of these programs provides a critical source of unique data that make an SMS thrive by supporting safety risk management, assurance, and promotion. Remember the old adage “you can’t manage, what you don’t measure.” Without data, an SMS will simply wither on the vine.

Over the course of the next several months, this blog will explore the attributes and nuances of each program. Additionally, we’ll provide some guidance and resources to adapt these programs to non-scheduled operations.

While these programs are the cornerstone of an individual operator’s comprehensive safety system; the U.S. airline industry overall has begun sharing data and information in earnest through the Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing (ASIAS) program.

ASIAS allows an open exchange of information among participants with the goal of improving safety. Today, nearly 30 airlines share flight data, ASAP reports, and other information to create an extensive warehouse of safety data that can be queried by operators; aggregate data can then be used to benchmark an individual operator’s performance against industry metrics.

One of the most encouraging aspects of ASIAS is the growing number of general aviation participants. This is evident by the growing number of business aviation operators, both Part 91 and 135, participating in the biennial FAA Aviation InfoShare meetings during which ASIAS members openly share the “lessons learned” from their safety programs.

Modern safety systems are largely data driven; an often overlooked aspect are the humans that make this entire enterprise work. These safety professionals with their individual contributions and inherent chronic unease make the airlines safer. Data analyst, safety specialist and SMEs tirelessly cull through and convert reams of data into actionable information. Without the hard work of these individuals all of this data would simply lie dormant in a database.

The safety record of the U.S. airlines is enviable; the business aviation community has some room to become “safer” and should follow this proven path. As NTSB’s DeLisi says, “It’s not going to be easy, but if our goal is to prevent fatal accidents what a great roadmap has been laid out for us.”

Pilot, safety expert, consultant and aviation journalist Kipp Lau writes about flight safety and airmanship for AIN. He can be reached at stuart.lau3@gmail.com


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Indian Airlines Seek Emergency Credit From Oil Firms, Airports

  • Local carriers have reported losses due to fuel prices, rupee
  • Lobby group cites mismatch between costs and revenue

Aircrafts queue on the tarmac at Mumbai airport. Photographer: Punit Paranjpe/AFP via Getty Images

Airlines in India are asking the government to help them obtain unsecured credit from oil companies and airports, as fuel-price increases push them deeper into losses and imperil their survival.

Competition and aggressive pricing are stopping fares from rising to reflect higher input costs, the Federation of Indian Airlines said in a letter sent to the aviation ministry’s top bureaucrat last week and obtained by Bloomberg News. Ujjwal Dey, a spokesman for the group, confirmed the letter and its contents, but couldn’t immediately comment further.

Airlines are “facing challenging times and substantial losses in the domestic environment,” the communication addressed to Aviation Secretary Rajiv Nayan Choubey said.

Two-Cent Fares Are Killing Airlines in India’s Cutthroat Market

The plea is the latest signal of the crisis facing airlines in India, where the world’s fastest-growth in air travel has created a capacity glut that’s keeping fares below cost, while fuel prices and a weaker rupee squeeze them further. Jet Airways India Ltd., the market’s second biggest player, is struggling to stay afloat after delayed payments to staff and lessors, and is in talks with investors to raise funds.

The FIA consists of Jet, InterGlobe Aviation Ltd.’s market leading IndiGo, SpiceJet Ltd. and Go Airlines India Ltd., which together account for almost 80 percent of the domestic market.

Losses at Indian carriers will balloon to as much as $1.9 billion in the year ending March 2019, and they need to raise more than $3 billion in working capital in the near term, according to Sydney-based consultancy CAPA Centre for Aviation. Most of them have cash balances that can cover expenses for only two to three weeks, according to CAPA.

“There is a considerable cash-flow mismatch between costs and revenues earned,” the letter said, urging the aviation ministry to assist airlines in obtaining a penalty-free, one-month unsecured credit line from oil companies, as well as state-run Airports Authority of India and private airports. Carriers already receive credit from both groups on an ad hoc basis.

Base air fares can be as low as 1 rupee (1 cent) in India, while states charge taxes as high as 30 percent on jet fuel. Airlines are unable to pass on those costs to customers without hurting passenger growth, the FIA said. The rupee has weakened almost 11 percent this year against the dollar, driving up financing costs on overseas borrowings.

Indian carriers would need to raise fares by 12 percent to offset the double blow from fuel and currency depreciation, and their eagerness to fill seats and gain market share will prevent ticket prices from going up, according to CRISIL Ltd., the local unit of Standard & Poor’s. They are facing their worst losses in a decade, it said earlier this month.


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German Dimor Acquires Waco Aircraft

Manufacturing will continue in Battle Creek, Michigan.

Vintage aircraft enthusiast Dieter Morszeck is ensuring the future manufacturing of the stunning 1920s Waco biplane.

Waco Aircraft

Yet another legacy airplane manufacturer has been sold – Waco Aircraft Corporation. This time, it wasn’t a Chinese company that swooped up the assets of the company, which was established in Battle Creek, Michigan, in 1983 to revive the classic 1920s open cockpit biplane design. Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based Dimor Group Inc. bought the company this month.

Dimor Group Inc. was established this year as a subsidiary of Cologne, Germany-based Dimor Aero – a company that was established less than a year ago. Behind the company is Dieter Morszeck, the grandson of the founder or Rimowa, who recently sold the majority of the company to luxury brand conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessey Louis Vuitton for a reported sum of $717 million. Morszeck has a demonstrated passion for vintage aircraft. In 2016, he introduced a Rimowa-branded Junkers F13 replica. He flew in the first flight of the Junkers with test pilot Oliver Bachmann, a flight Morszeck described as a “dream come true.”

Waco Aircraft Corporation’s president, Peter Bowers, will continue to lead the company. “We are very pleased with the acquisition of Waco by Dimor Group Inc., and we firmly believe they will be a good steward of the Waco tradition and brand,” said Bowers. “We are looking forward to working together to build a great future for the company.”

Waco produces the three-seat, tailwheel YMF-5 D, the amphibious UMF-5 F, and the Great Lakes 2T-1A-2.

As part of the deal, Dimor acquired a Battle Creek-based Centennial Aircraft Services, an FBO and Part 145 maintenance facility.


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Canadian air force running short of pilots, jets: Watchdog

Repeated delays mean some CF-18s will have to fly until 2032, much later than expected.

OTTAWA (REUTERS) – The Canadian air force is increasingly running short of combat-capable fighter jets and pilots and government attempts to address the problem have only made it worse, the nation’s top watchdog said on Tuesday (Nov 20).

The report by Auditor-General Michael Ferguson is another blow to a decade-long, trouble-plagued attempt by successive administrations to replace Canada’s CF-18 jets, some of which have been flying for almost 40 years.

“National Defence (defence ministry) has not done enough to manage risks related to Canada’s fighter aircraft fleet… until a replacement fleet is in place,” said Mr Ferguson.

Defence officials are set to issue final specifications for a new fleet of 88 jets next May. The contract will be worth between C$15 billion (S$15.5 billion) and C$19 billion.

Repeated delays mean some CF-18s will have to fly until 2032, much later than expected. Mr Ferguson said the planes had not been significantly upgraded for combat since 2008 – in part because officials thought the new jets would be operating by 2020 – and were therefore increasingly vulnerable.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said in a statement that Ottawa would launch new initiatives to recruit and retain pilots, and was also moving to upgrade the CF-18s.

In 2016, at a time when qualified pilots and technicians were leaving in growing numbers, the ruling Liberals ordered the air force to increase the number of fighters available for operations by a quarter.

To help overcome the shortage of planes, the government vowed to buy 18 Boeing Co F-18 Super Hornet jets. Mr Ferguson said it did so even though the defence ministry indicated the move would worsen the personnel shortage by taking pilots away from an already stretched CF-18 fleet.

Ottawa later scrapped the plan after a dispute with Boeing and moved to buy used CF-18s from Australia.

Mr James Bezan, defence spokesman for the opposition Conservatives, accused the government of creating the crisis and urged it not to buy “rusted-out Australian jets”.

Mr Ferguson said the military would have to spend an extra C$3 billion to extend the lifespan of the CF-18s and buy and operate the Australian jets “without a plan to deal with its biggest obstacles to meeting the new operational requirement: a shortage of pilots and declining combat capability”.

He said the defence ministry did not have a plan to boost the number of CF-18 pilots. If they continue to leave at the current rate, there will not be enough left to train the next generation, he added.


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Cirrus Leaves Bombardier in the Dust: The Smallest Business Jet Is Also the Most Delivered

Shipments of the Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet show a distinct market preference for smaller jets.

Cirrus Vision Jet Photo: courtesy Cirrus

Popular as the Gulfstream G650/G650ER may be, and as ballyhooed as the arrival of Bombardier’s Global 7500 has been, another business jet is proving that bigger isn’t necessarily better when it comes to attracting buyers. Through the first three quarters of 2018, the world’s most delivered business jet is none other than the Cirrus SF50-aka the Vision Jet. According to the numbers collected by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and published last week, Cirrus had shipped 41 examples worldwide of the SF50 through the end of September.

The SF50 is the only Federal Aviation Administration-certified single-engine jet. Designed for owner-pilots looking to step up from a turboprop, it’s relatively easy to fly, and at just under 31 feet long, it’s at least 10 feet shorter than any other business jet in service. The number of deliveries jumped from three in 2016, when the aircraft went into service, to 22 last year (including nine through the first three quarters of 2017). This year, the Vision Jet has a slight lead over the defending champion for most deliveries, the Bombardier Challenger 350. Bombardier has shipped 40 examples of its super midsize business jet. By this time last year, only 34 were delivered, but a big fourth quarter pushed the total to 56 for the year.

Bombardier Challenger 350 
Photo: courtesy Bombardier

Overall, worldwide business jet shipments have increased from 433 through the first three quarters of 2017 to 446 through Q3 of this year, according to GAMA, an international trade organization for companies that build general-aviation aircraft. The number of deliveries of piston-engine airplanes, turboprops, and helicopters also have increased compared with last year’s three-quarters figures.

“This is one of those few times since the Great Recession that we have seen all segments up in shipment numbers,” GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce said in a press release. “While there remain some soft spots in a few segments, including business jet deliveries, and impacts being felt from global trade disputes, I’m optimistic about our industry’s performance in 2019 given continuing healthy demand for tax expensing, stabilization of the used market, and the number of new products being introduced to the market place.”

As Bunce suggests, the news isn’t all good. While the number of business jet deliveries overall has increased, the total dollar value for all airplane billings has fallen from $13.1 billion through Q3 of 2017 to $12.7 billion through the first nine months of this year. Furthermore, two of the major business jet manufacturers have seen their shipment totals decline compared with last year. Gulfstream, which shipped a total of 120 business jets in 2017, including 90 through the first three quarters, has delivered only 79 so far this year. Dassault Falcon doesn’t report quarterly deliveries, but it had shipped only 15 through the first six months of this year after delivering 49 aircraft last year, including 17 in the first half of 2017. (Neither manufacturer reports individual model deliveries.) And while the diminutive Vision Jet is flying high, deliveries of two other light jets, the HondaJet and the Cessna Citation M2, have descended. The HondaJet’s three-quarters total is down from 30 in 2017 to 21 this year, and M2 deliveries have fallen from 29 through the first three quarters of 2017 to 22 through September of this year.

Embraer Phenom 300E Business Jet. 
Photo: Courtesy Embraer

The news is better for Cessna’s Citation Latitude and Embraer’s Phenom 300, both of which had 54 deliveries last year to finish second behind the Challenger 350. Embraer has shipped 32 examples of its light jet so far this year, compared with 29 at this time last year. (The Phenom 300 was the most delivered business jet every year from 2013 through 2016.) With 37 deliveries through the first three quarters of this year, the midsize Latitude is one ahead of last year’s pace.

Deliveries of the new Pilatus PC-24 gained steam in the third quarter. The Swiss manufacturer shipped six examples after delivering just three through the first half of the year. The introduction of its first business jet apparently hasn’t hurt sales of its perennially popular PC-12 turboprop. Pilatus had shipped 51 examples through three quarters, which is just two fewer than last year’s three-quarters total.

Icon A5s 
Photo: courtesy Icon

In the recreational aircraft class, any fallout from the high-profile Icon A5 crash a year ago that killed former Major League Baseball star Roy Halladay hasn’t showed up in the California company’s delivery numbers so far. Icon, which earlier this month announced that founder Kirk Hawkins will no longer serve as CEO, shipped 12 examples of the aircraft in the third quarter alone after delivering only 10 all of last year.


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Boeing’s first 777X test aircraft on track for 2019 flight after Everett workers join major fuselage sections

The airplane and its wings are so large that it could not fit in many of the world’s airports. To resolve that challenge, Boeing engineers designed folding wingtips, which are retracted as the plane arrives at the gate and extended after it leaves.

Boeing said Tuesday that workers in its Everett jet factory have joined major fuselage sections for the first 777X airplane that will begin test flights in 2019.

Boeing said it has completed “a major production milestone” called the “final body join” in which workers connect the jet’s nose, mid and aft sections in the factory.

The newly assembled aircraft now measures 252 feet from nose to tail, making this first 777X the longest passenger jet Boeing has ever produced.

“The 777X is a new airplane and a new production system,” Boeing 777X Vice President and General Manager Josh Binder said in a news release. “With the 777X, the production system was integrated into the development program sooner than any other airplane, and the team is doing a great job of hitting our milestones as expected.”

The 777X will gradually replace the current 777 model and join Boeing’s family of 787 Dreamliner jets in the widebody market that Boeing now dominates.

Boeing says it’s aiming to make its first delivery in 2020, though aerospace analysts are concerned that key customers are planning to delay and defer their 777X deliveries.

The first new 777X to be the 777-9 variant. It will seat 400 to 425 passengers in a standard configuration, achieve a range of 7,600 nautical miles and offer bigger passenger windows.

Boeing says its new airplane will consume 12 percent less fuel and enjoy lower operating costs than offerings from its rival Airbus.

The 777X will be powered by new GE9X engines and will have all-new composite wings that include a set of folding, raked wingtips.

The first 777X test airplane for static ground testing only was completed in September 2018. Boeing is now building three more flight test airplanes.

Boeing reports 340 orders and commitments for the 777X from several carriers, including All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines.

Bloomberg reported last month that Lufthansa is reviewing its order for 34 Boeing 777Xs and may “stretch out deliveries” and cut 14 jets from its order altogether.

Bainbridge Island aerospace analyst Scott Hamilton also suggested recently that financially struggling Etihad may also defer its 777X order for 35 jets.

Hamilton said Boeing has what he called “a growing 777X challenge,” noting in a report that 72 percent of 777X orders are from three major Middle Eastern airlines alone.


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Embry-Riddle Flight Team Wins Regional Competition for 32nd Consecutive Year

Prescott, Ariz. – For the 32nd year in a row, Embry-Riddle Prescott’s 12-Time National Champion Golden Eagles Flight Team won the National Intercollegiate Flying Association’s Safety and Flight Elevation Conference (NIFA SAFECON) regional competition with 13 overall first-place victories, including Top Scoring Contestant and a two-way tie for Top Pilot.

The Golden Eagles participated in the Region II competition, which included a total of seven teams from Arizona and California. Eight students won individual first-place awards, and the team finished first overall with 367 total points. San Jose State University finished second with 102 points.

“The team continues to amaze me with their hard work, dedication, and drive for excellence,” said Team Captain Ryan O’Connor. “I couldn’t be more proud of this competition team for the tireless work they put into this Regional Championship. Carrying on the traditions of excellence set forth by the generations of Golden Eagles before us is something that we strive to do at all times, as competitors, as pilots, and as people.”

NIFA was established to develop and advance aviation education; to promote, encourage and foster safety in aviation; to promote and foster communications and cooperation between aviation students, educations, educational institutions and the aviation industry; and to provide an arena for collegiate aviation competition.

“We could not be more proud of this team of young aviators. As a group, they continuously drive one another to great heights and achievement,” said Robert Moser, head coach for the Golden Eagles Flight Team. “We are also proud of the cooperation and effort of the Embry-Riddle family, our Flight Department, the airport management group at Ernest Love Field, the FAA Air Traffic Control team and Legend Aviation. Without their support, hosting an event of this magnitude would not be possible.”

The conference championship grants The Golden Eagles with a spot to compete in May at the national NIFA event in Janesville, Wisc. The team won their 12th national championship, and third consecutive title, at last year’s competition, after induction into the International Air & Space Hall of Fame last November.

“The team is already gearing up for Nationals,” added O’Connor. “The days get longer, the practices get harder, the stakes get higher, and the drive to win a National Championship only gets stronger. By the time we depart for competition in May, I’m confident we will be sending the most capable and confident competitors within our team to represent the University at the National level. A ‘three-peat’ was a tall order, but for a team that thrives off of pushing our limits and constantly raising the bar, we’re coining the term ‘four-peat’ and going after it with all we’ve got.”

Top finishes for individual Embry-Riddle Prescott team members include:

Top Pilot:

T1 – Ryan O’Connor

T1 – Spencer Thomas

Top Scoring Contestant:

1st Place: Ryan O’Connor

Outstanding Team Member:

Kevin Peace

Power-On Landings:

1st Place: Spencer Thomas

Power-Off Landings:

1st Place: Spencer Thomas

Crew Resource Management/Line Oriented Flight Training (CRM/LOFT):

1st Place: Anthony Platt (Pilot Flying) Ryan O’Connor (Pilot Monitoring)


1st Place: Colin Ho-Tseung (Pilot) Anthony Platt (Safety Observer)


1st Place: Anthony Platt

Aircraft Identification:

1st Place: Karl Neserke

Ground Trainer:

1st Place: Kevin Peace

Computer Accuracy:

1st Place: Colin Kennedy

Simulated Comprehensive Aircraft Navigation:

1st Place: Ben Lamer

The 2018-2019 Golden Eagles Flight Team are: Captain Ryan O’Connor, Co-Captain Spencer Thomas, Chief Pilot Ben Klinkman-Sinatra, Kevin Peace, Colin Ho-Tseung, Richard Santi, Matthew Masangcay, Matthew Arnovick, Joseph Bryant, Jason Fung, Ethan Hill, Sabrina Johnson, Joseph Kao, Colin Kennedy, Gurvinder Kochhar, Brian La Fetra, Benjamin Lamer, Ray Lin, Carol Martin, Karl Neserke, Sammy Ngo, Douglas Niemela, Arin Ojehomon, Hayden Owen, Anthony Platt, John Ritter, Emalie Snyder, Erin Teal, Jonathan Van Schooten, Jonathan Van Schooten, Josh Wiese, Head Coach Robert “Bob” Moser, Assistant Coach Shaun Shephard and Coach / Team Mechanic Russell Harris.

For the entire list of results from the 2018 Region II Safecon, visit https://nifa.aero/wp-content/uploads/2018-Region-2-SAFECON-Official-Results.pdf

For more information on the Golden Eagles Flight Team, go to www.flygoldeneagles.com


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ARGUS International, Inc. is Growing
Business Aviation Audit Programs Manager Position Available
ARGUS PROS, A division of ARGUS International,is your one-stop source for creating a superior operation within your air transportation business. We are an experienced quality and safety assurance provider and are accredited by IATA as an IOSA Audit and Training Organization. Ours is a flexible organization, committed to true team auditing for multiple standards at the domestic, regional, and international levels, as well as tailoring all the other resources and services we offer to your specific needs.
ARGUS PROS is currently seeking a Full Time BA Audit Programs Manager to join our team. This position will work at our Denver, CO location. ARGUS is an established company with an unparalleled client list and reputation. The perfect candidate will have the proven ability to work with the listed technologies in a team setting.
Responsibilities for the position will include, but not be limited to, the following:
  • Develops and maintains database of audit report quality issues.
  • Assists in development of BA forms, checklists and manuals.
  • Assists in managing various audit standards.
  • Assists Sales Department with proposals.
  • Coordinates with Audit Production the closure of Business Aviation audits.
  • Ensures current BA forms, checklists and manuals are posted on the proper web-based portal for auditor access.
  • Communicates additional resource needs to the Director Audit Program BA.
  • Supports accounting department through preparation of Reimbursable Expense Reports and training course registration payment processing.
  • Supports document management and control system through development, maintenance, and distribution of manuals, templates and documents used directly in the conduct and support of operations.
  • Monitors Flight Safety Foundation, International Business Aviation Council (IBAC), Air Charter Safety Foundation for audit program related changes.
  • Responsible for maintaining personal Lead Auditor currency.
  • Maintains auditor training and personnel records.
  • Assists with on-boarding process for new auditors.
  • Provides technical support and training to auditors in the use of various methods to include web-based applications used by the company
  • Conduct Historical Safety Reports (HSR) and Desktop Audits when required.
Minimum requirements:
  • 4-year college degree, or equivalent work experience as determined by employer
  • Five years of airline or business aviation operations or related work experience
  • Supervisory experience
  • Aviation Auditing experience
  • Advanced knowledge of MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Proficient in the use databases of Adobe Acrobat program
  • Excellent and professional written and verbal skills
  • Excellent phone and organizational skills
  • Foreign Language proficiency a plus
  • Knowledge of Safety Management Systems a plus
Why Chose ARGUS?  ARGUS is an equal opportunity employer. Full time benefits will include; 401K Match, Medical/Dental/Vision Insurance, Paid Vacation and Holidays, Flexible Schedules, Competitive Salary with casual atmosphere.
Please register to submit your cover letter and resume at:

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A Message From Flight Safety Information Editor Curt Lewis, Associate Editor Roger Rapoport and Captain Shem Malmquist
Flight Safety Information has partnered with Beyond Risk Management to create a  High Altitude Flying Course.
This course, led by Captain Shem Malmquist, an accident investigator, professor and 777 captain who flies international routes, is now underway. A key unit in this class focuses on poorly understood high altitude weather challenges that have led to fatal accidents.
Here is a comment from one of the veteran pilots now taking this course
“I have made it to the Part 121 world with what can be described as zero weather training. I have had a lot of low level weather experience flying floats but when it comes to flight levels the only knowledge is what I’m gaining from this course. The extremely basic weather theory and concept required for our ratings is outdated and barely touched on during orals. The training at my current company barely touched on the subject except that we have weather radar onboard and good luck getting it to work. A captain will show you how it works. Is this the case industry wide?”
With other pilots mirroring this comment, it is apparent to all of us that the kind of aviation meteorology course taught by professors like Debbie Schaum at Embry-Riddle University, are not offered to most pilots. In fact, pilots moving up from domestic to international routes typically have little (one day) or no training on the special challenges presented on transoceanic routes lacking radar coverage found on overland routes.   With many major airports located on oceanic coastlines, these challenges can be significant.
As Captain Malmquist prepares for the upcoming January course we would like to hear from pilots on this critical issue.   A selection of these comments will be published in a future issue of Flight Safety Information. Our long-term goal is to make sure that every pilot receives the critical meteorology training they need to do their job. Here are those questions which you can answer confidentially. Your name will not be used in future reports on this subject.
1. What weather training have you received specific to high altitude flying?
2. Do you feel that this training was all you needed?
3. Where did your training take place?   How long did it take.
4. Was this weather training provided when you began working for your airline?
5. Have you had recurrent training on weather challenges?
6. Were you retrained on a new radar system when you switched to flying a different aircraft type.
7. If you switched from domestic to international routes did you receive any training on special weather
    conditions found on transoceanic routes?
8. What manuals and instructional materials were provided? How much information did you receive? Did it
    answer all of your questions?
9. Did you receive online training? How long did it take to complete this training? Were you tested on your
10. Do you believe this training prepared you adequately for special challenges in places such as the
      intertropical convergence zone?
11. Are you confident that you fully understand weather radar? Does it always do what you want? If not,
      please describe the problems encountered.
12. Have you been in situations where better weather training would have been helpful?
13. Did a lack of training contribute to any difficulties?
14. Do you have any recommendations for better weather training? Do you think it should be provided in
      house, in a classroom setting, online or all three?
15. Are there specific low altitude weather issues that are a concern to you?
Feel free to answer any or all of these questions privately. You are welcome to combine your answers into a narrative summary.
Please let us know if you would like more information about Captain Malmquist’s course as it relates to weather training not provided by your company. You can reach us directly at rogerdrapoport@me.com or 231 720-0930 (EST 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.) For more details visit http://pilot-errormovie/online-course/

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Phone: (231)720-0930 (9-6 EST) 

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Curt Lewis & Associates, LLC is an international, multi-discipline technical, scientific and research consulting firm specializing in aviation and industrial safety. Our specialties are aviation litigation support (Expert Witness), aviation/airport safety programs, accident investigation and reconstruction, safety & quality assessments/audits (ISO-9001/AS-9100), system safety, human factors, Safety Management Systems (SMS) assessment/implementation & training, safety/quality training & risk management, aviation manual development, IS-BAO Auditing, technical writing & editing, airfield/heliport lighting products, patent infringement/invalidity expert testimony and Technical Support.