August 17, 2010
In This Issue
FAA Wants $580K Penalty from Hillsboro Aviation
Frank Robinson Retires, Son Kurt Takes Over
Bizav Flight Activity Recovery Hits Turbulence
FAA Policy Would Change Circuit Breaker Practices
Details of Roush Premier Crash Released

Also Noted...

L-3 Avionics received FAA technical standard order (TSO) authorization for its Trilogy ESI-2000 electronic standby instrument with battery backup. The ESI-2000 with battery backup will be available this week, according to L-3, and retails for $15,700. Its features include attitude, altitude, airspeed and optional heading data display and on-screen slip/skid indicator and pop-up metric altitude window. L-3 is also planning to obtain an approved model list covering installation in a large variety of aircraft types for the ESI-2000, as it already does for the ESI-1000.

Honeywell has added new capabilities to its JetMap cabin moving-map display system. The new JetMap III adds 3-D perspective views of terrain, ocean topography, enhanced graphics and polar ice views. Operators with JetMap II can upgrade by replacing the system’s Compact Flash memory card, thus making possible a reasonably priced interim upgrade, according to Honeywell

NBAA announced that the FAA has renewed the association’s small aircraft exemption for another two years. “The exemption allows operators of piston airplanes, small airplanes and all helicopters to use the limited options for cost reimbursement permitted under Part 91, Subpart F,” according to the association. The new expiration date is Sept. 30, 2012.

At the request of Bombardier and Turbomeca, the FAA has extended the comment period for proposed new regulations governing transport-category icing standards. The new standards address “supercooled large drop icing conditions for transport-category airplanes most affected by these icing conditions, mixed phase and ice crystal conditions for all transport-category airplanes and supercooled large drop, mixed phase and ice crystal icing conditions for all turbine engines.” The new due date for comments is September 29.

A TFR will restrict flight operations at Martha's Vineyard, Mass., from August 19 to 29. General aviation flight operations will be prohibited in a 10-nm circle centered on the MVY VOR, but scheduled passenger and cargo air carriers operating under TSA-approved security programs will be able to fly to the Vineyard from 14 Part 139 airports. Other aircraft wishing to fly to Martha's Vineyard may be able do so after screening at a designated gateway airport, after registering for gateway access at least 72 hours before the planned flight.


In a news story, Gippsland Set To Enter GA Turboprop Market, posted Sunday on AINonline and now corrected, the engine given for the proposed GA10 Airvan was incorrect. In fact, the GA10 will be powered by a version of the Rolls-Royce 250-B17F turboprop. AIN apologizes for the error.

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FAA Wants $580K Penalty from Hillsboro Aviation
The FAA is seeking a civil penalty of $580,000 from Hillsboro Aviation of Hillsboro, Ore., “for allegedly performing improper repairs, deliberately falsifying maintenance records and operating a helicopter in a reckless manner.” The proposed penalty amount is lower than it could have been, according to the FAA, because Hillsboro’s general manager “upon learning of the intentional falsifications, immediately terminated all personnel involved with these or any other possible deceptive practices, including the director of maintenance, and ordered a complete conformity inspection of all [Hillsboro] aircraft.” The FAA’s allegations include non-authorized persons performing required maintenance, non-compliance with required inspections, operating without required equipment, falsification of an Airworthiness Directive compliance record, and a pilot flying a Hillsboro helicopter under a bridge. “We acknowledge that there were some isolated events which occurred in 2008,” said a Hillsboro statement. But as soon as he became aware of the problems, company president and owner Max Lyons notified the FAA, suspended all flight operations, did conformity checks on the entire fleet, fired all the employees responsible for the events, instituted new policies and procedures and implemented a safety management system. “The FAA told us the actions we took to address these events went above and beyond its expectations,” he said.

Frank Robinson Retires, Son Kurt Takes Over
Frank Robinson, 80, has retired from the iconic helicopter company he founded in 1973, just weeks before the company expects to receive certification of its R66 turbine single. The company announced on Friday that Robinson’s son Kurt, 53, currently a Robinson vice president, would take the titles of president and chairman. Kurt Robinson has been with the company since 1987 and holds an MBA, a law degree and a commercial helicopter rating. Frank Robinson worked for a variety of helicopter companies and unsuccessfully tried to interest all of them in building an economical piston-powered helicopter before founding Robinson Helicopter at his kitchen table and subsequently building it into the world’s largest producer of civil helicopters. Approximately 65 percent of its sales of R22 and R44 piston engine models are exports. Today, Robinson employs more than 1,000 people at its 480,000-sq-ft Torrance, Calif. plant. Robinson will deliver its 10,000th helicopter late this year or early next. Kurt Robinson said his father had been grooming a succession team of senior company executives for years and that he plans to continue the company’s practices of streamlined management and centralized manufacturing.

Bizav Flight Activity Recovery Hits Turbulence
After months of posting positive trends, the recovery in business aircraft flight activity sputtered last month, falling 0.9 percent from a year ago, according to TraqPak data released yesterday by aviation information services firm Argus. What stings even more is the fact that July 2009 flight activity was down 7.9 percent from July 2008, meaning last month's data is almost 9 percent below mid-2008 levels. Breaking down the numbers by aircraft category, only midsize jets trended in positive territory in July, with flight activity rising 4.6 percent year-over-year. Turboprop activity fell the hardest at -5 percent, followed by large-cabin jets (-3.7 percent) and light jets (-0.4 percent). By operator type, the fractionals saw flight activity climb by 3 percent, despite a 9.7-percent decrease in large-cabin fractional flying. Part 135 charter operations were essentially flat–up by 0.1 percent–while Part 91 flying descended by 2.7 percent. Looking at individual market segments, the Part 135 midsize sector had the greatest increase, logging a 13.4-percent jump over July last year. Argus's TraqPak data “is serial-number-specific aircraft arrival and departure information on all IFR flights in the U.S.”

FAA Policy Would Change Circuit Breaker Practices
The FAA has issued a draft policy memorandum that seeks to change attitudes about circuit breaker use in electrical systems and how pilots deal with popped circuit breakers. The policy would affect aircraft manufacturers and modification providers. Comments are due by September 12. Principal changes would be for manufacturers to group and identify essential and non-essential circuit breakers in Part 23 aircraft and to publish flight manual guidance about when to reset circuit breakers. According to the FAA, it has allowed resetting of circuit breakers or replacement of fuses while in flight, but current Part 25 advisory information “is to recommend that no pilot should reset any circuit breaker more than once. Crewmembers may create a potentially hazardous situation if they reset a C/B without knowing what caused it to trip. A tripped C/B should not be reset in flight unless doing so is consistent with explicit procedures specified in the approved operating manual used by the flight crew or unless, in the judgment of the pilot-in-command, resetting the C/B is necessary for the safe completion of the flight.”

Details of Roush Premier Crash Released
The NTSB has released the preliminary report on the crash of a Hawker Beechcraft Premier IA during the EAA AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wis. According to the NTSB, the Premier, piloted by Jack Roush, was seen on amateur video “in a left base turn to final for Runway 18R. The airplane appeared to overshoot the runway centerline during this turn and then level its wings momentarily before entering a slight right bank simultaneously as the nose of the airplane pitched up. The airplane then turned left toward the runway centerline and began a descent. During this descent the airplane's pitch appeared to increase until the airplane entered a right bank and struck the grass area west of the runway in a nose-down, right-wing-low attitude.” In an interview published on the Roush Fenway Racing Web site, Roush said despite loss of sight in his left eye, a broken jaw and compression fracture of his back, he will fly again. In an August 13 interview on at the Michigan Speedway, Roush said, "The reality of it...on a trip arrival into Oshkosh, I was put in conflict with the flight plan of another airplane close to the ground and I was unable to address the conflict and keep the airplane flying. I ground-looped the airplane."

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NTSB Team Assisting Investigation of Aires Boeing 737 Crash on San AndrÈs Island
The NTSB has dispatched a team of investigators to assist the government of Colombia with its investigation of yesterday's airplane accident on the Caribbean island of San AndrÈs.... More...

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