In the early stages of investigation, Libyan officials do not suspect terrorism in the crash of an Airbus A330 Wednesday just short of the Tripoli International Airport runway on final approach. At least 96 of the 104 died on board the Afriqiyah Airways flight from Johannesburg, South Africa to the Libyan capital. Flight Global reports the aircraft, confirmed by Airbus as serial number 1024, had completed just 1,600 hours in 420 flights prior to the crash.
Libyan officials reported one Dutch child survivor from the flight. Witnesses said it "exploded on landing."
UPDATE: Reuters reports that the Airbus involved in the crash had passed European spot checks.
Production of the mostly composite Lear 85 (pictured above) is on schedule, according to a report posted by AVWeb. Part assembly will begin in July in Mexico. The jet will be the first made by an American company to include Category 1 and Category 2 aircraft parts manufactured south of the border. Assembly will take place in Wichita, with the earliest deliveries arriving in 2013.
Meanwhile, delivery of the HondaJet again has been delayed until late 2012. An AP report cites a Honda spokesman blaming the second setback of a year or more on supplier delays of getting "unspecified major components" to the manufacturer.
Matt Thurber of AIN reports that Chevron Global Aviation will cease marketing Chevron and Texaco aviation fuel in 27 states, beginning Nov. 15. Chevron's distributor, Hiller/Air Petro, will continue serving operators in Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington.
In the realm of aviation economics and adding to the continued release of first-quarter reports, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association says piston aircraft shipments for the first three months of the year were off by more than 7 percent, while turboprop shipments dropped by 32.6 percent and jet deliveries sunk 14 percent, to 164 total. However, total billings increased by 7.1 percent.
Once-struggling NetJets reported that quarterly revenues increased by 18 percent compared to the
same period in 2009.
As we start the second full week in May, the biggest stories in aviation carry over from the first week.
Optimism is abundant among the industry, at least when judging by tradeshow turnout. EBAA President Brian Humphries said this year’s EBACE was the highest attended in history, with more people coming through the turnstiles in the first day of the 2010 convention than during the entire 2009 show.
Businesses and organizations filled more than 430 booths, alongside more than 60 aircraft featured in static displays.
Staying with Europe this morning where the skies are somewhat the same, bothersome. Rehashing the ash – volcanic ash – Monday again saw airport closures in Spain and elsewhere. Heathrow Airport reported passenger traffic down nearly 21 percent in April compared to the prior year, largely due to the eruption. Cargo traffic at the hub, however, was up 7.8 percent last month in metric tonnage.
In domestic airport news, Million Air celebrated the ‘soft opening’ of its facility at San Bernardino International Airport (SBD). An official grand opening will take place this summer.
From the desk of unfortunate irony this morning: As the media reports on the environmental and ecological damage suffered in the Gulf of Mexico in the wake of a massive BP oilrig spill, the footprint of journalists in the area may be causing its own negative repercussions on regional wildlife.
Audubon Magazine reports that press helicopters have been flying illegally over Breton National Wildlife Refuge, a coastal bird sanctuary, causing disturbances. As oil has washed ashore, the facility has closed, creating a rough situation for those who care for the birds and other species.
From the Audubon blog post linked above:
“We’ve done all this work to try and protect those islands with booms,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokesperson Chuck Underwood. “But in the end, folks flying in low and landing just to get their photographs has been disturbing the birds. In some cases, there has even been nest abandonment.”