Wednesday, June 29, 2016

USN lays keel for future littoral combat ship USS Charleston

The U.S. Navy laid the keel for the nation’s 18th littoral combat ship, the USS Charleston (LCS 18), at Austal’s shipyard in Alabama, USA. Congressman B. Byrne, a member of the House Committee on Armed Services, welded his initials onto a steel plate during a ceremony held on Jun. 28th. (Source: navaltoday.com, 29-Jun-2016)

Air Canada finalizes order for up to 75 C Series aircraft

Bombardier Commercial Aircraft and Air Canada announced today that they have finalized a firm purchase agreement consistent with the Letter of Intent announced in February 2016. The purchase agreement includes a firm order for 45 CS300 aircraft and options for an additional 30 CS300 aircraft. (Source: Bombardier, 28-Jun-2016)

Istanbul-Ataturk airport attacked by suicide bombers

Istanbul-Ataturk airport (IST) was hit by explosions today and, according to Turkish state television, at least 28 people were killed and at least 60 were wounded.

Citing the Turkish government, Turkish state television network TRT World reported that explosions inside the airport were set off around 2130lt by suicide bombers. The initial death toll reported by Turkish officials was ten people, but that count was later revised. Images broadcast on TRT World showed a chaotic scene at Turkey’s largest international airport, with multiple ambulances speeding away from IST with sirens blaring.

IST is on lockdown. High-ranking Turkish government officials held an emergency security meeting late Tuesday night. (Source: atwonline.com, 28-Jun-2016) 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

EASA certificates Dassault Falcon 8X

The European Aviation Safety Agency has certificated Dassault’s Falcon 8X business jet. The French manufacturer says it will begin deliveries of the new $58 million tri-jet on schedule in the fourth quarter of 2016. 

Launched in early 2014, the Falcon 8X is a one meter stretch of the selling Falcon 7X. As well as a stretched fuselage, the Falcon 8X has strengthened wings that allow it to carry more fuel than the 7X, upping the aircraft range to 6,450-nm. (Source: corporatejetinvestor.com, 27-Jun-2016)

Singapore B773 right-hand engine catches fire after emergency landing due to oil leak

A Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300 (9V-SWB), performing flight SQ-368 from Singapore (Singapore) to Milan-Malpensa (Italy) with 222 passengers and 19 crew, was enroute at FL300 over the Andaman Sea about two-hours into the flight when the crew decided to descend the aircraft to FL170 and return to Singapore due to an oil leak at the right-hand engine (GE90). The aircraft landed safely on Singapore's runway 20C about 2:20 hours later and slowed down. 

While passengers broke into clapping and cheering and the aircraft turned off the runway, a spark was seen at the right hand side causing the right-hand engine and wing to catch fire, the aircraft stopped on the taxiway, emergency services sprung into action and extinguished the fire, the crew kept the passengers on board while firefighters doused the fire. The passengers subsequently disembarked via stairs. There were no injuries, the aircraft sustained substantial damage to right engine and right wing. (Source: avherald.com, 27-Jun-2016)

Hellenic AF CL-215 destroyed by the ensuing fire after a forced landing accident near Dervenochoria.

A Hellenic Air Force Canadair CL-215 firefighting aircraft (1111) was destroyed by the ensuing fire after a forced landing accident near Dervenochoria. Engine #1 caught fire while the plane was on a firefighting mission in the area of Dervenochoria. Both pilots were not injured (Source: aviation-safety.net, 26-Jun-2016)

Saturday, June 25, 2016

USN accepts delivery of future USS Montgomery

The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of future USS Montgomery (LCS 8) during a ceremony at the Austal USA shipyard, Jun 23rd. Delivery marks the official transfer of Montgomery from the shipbuilder to the Navy. It is the final milestone prior to commissioning, which is planned for September 2016 in Mobile, Alabama. LCS 8 is the seventh littoral combat ship to be delivered to the Navy and the fourth of the Independence variant, which is noted for its trimaran hull. (Source: U.S. Navy, 24-Jun-2016)

France orders two King Air 350s for surveillance and reconnaissance

France's Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) awarded Sabena Technics and Thales on Jun. 22nd a contract for the supply of light aircraft equipped for surveillance and reconnaissance missions. The order calls for the delivery of two operating systems, each consisting of a Beechcraft King Air 350 airframe equipped with various payloads intended to gather signals intelligence (SIGINT) and original intelligence imagery (IMINT) as well as ground stations for mission preparation and the collection and processing of information. (Source: DGA, 23-Jun-2016)

Friday, June 24, 2016

Lufthansa flight bound to Malta IAP diverts to Tunis due to bad weather

A Lufthansa Airbus A321-200 (D-AISJ), operating scheduled flight LH-1310 from Frankfurt (Germany) to Malta IAP, had to divert to Tunis-Carthage (Tunisia) this afternoon due to bad weather over Malta IAP. The flight then continued to Malta IAP, reaching destination with a delay of 2-hrs 50-mins. (24-Jun-2016)

Air Malta flight bound to Malta IAP diverts to Catania due to bad weather

An Air Malta Airbus A320-200 (9H-AEP), operating scheduled flight KM-117 from London-Gatwick (U.K.) to Malta IAP, had to divert to Catania-Fontanarossa (Sicily, Italy) this afternoon due to bad weather over Malta IAP. The flight then continued to Malta IAP, reaching destination with a delay of 2-hrs 40-mins. (24-Jun-2016)

Hellenic Navy commissions final two Type 214 submarines

The Hellenic Navy has officially commissioned HS Matrozos (S 122) and HS Katsonis (S 123), the last two of four Type 214 submarines. The ceremony was held at Hellenic Shipyards S.A. in Skaramagas on Jun 23th and was attended by government and navy officials.

The air independent propulsion submarines were developed by Germany's Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft GmbH (HDW) which also built the first unit, HS Papanikolis. The other three boats were built in Greece. 

HS Matrozos was launched in February, 2014 while HS Katsonis was launched in June 2015. With the latest additions to its fleet, the Hellenic Navy now operates a total of eleven submarines, three type 209/1200 boats, three 209/1100, one Type 209/1400AIP and four Type 214 submarines. (Source: navaltoday.com, 24-Jun-2016)

Lessing company AWAS orders 15 A320 Family aircraft

AWAS, the Dublin-based leading global aircraft leasing company has announced an order for an additional 15 A320 Family aircraft, comprising 12 A320ceo and three A321ceo aircraft. Including this latest purchase agreement, AWAS’ cumulative orders to date for A320 Family aircraft have reached a total of 95, comprising 89 A320 and six A321 aircraft. (Source: Airbus, 23-Jun-2016)

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Irish Naval Service LE Roisin recalls at Valletta Port

The Irish Naval Service Roisin-class offshore-patrol vessel LE Roisin (P 51) has sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit. This is her second visit in Valletta Port this year.

The Irish OPV is currently deployed in the Mediterranean and assigned to E.U. Naval Force Mediterranean (Operation Sofia).

LE Roisin is presently berthing alongside at Wine wharf and she's expected to sail from Malta in the coming days. (23-Jun-2016)

Turkey launches third Milgem corvette

Turkish Navy's third Milgem class corvette, the TCG Burgazada (F 513), was launched Jun. 18th during a ceremony attended by president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım.

TCG Burgazada is the third ship of the series built at Istanbul Naval Shipyard Command as part of the Milgem project that was launched in 2004. The construction of the Burgazada corvette began on Dec. 17th, 2014. The 29 blocks of the corvette were built in 18 months and assembled on the slipway. (Source: navaltoday.com, 23-Jun-2016)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Armed Forces of Malta to receive a new offshore patrol vessel

The Parliamentary Secretary for E.U. Presidency 2017 and E.U. Funds, I. Borg, announced today that the Armed Forces of Malta and the Malta Police Force will be benefiting from almost €45 million of which €33 million are financed from EU funding.

The responsible authority has approved three projects for the Armed Forces of Malta valued over €43 million – under the Internal Security Funds (ISF) program 2014-2020 – aimed at strengthening police in fighting criminality and managing risk.

Two of these projects include the procurement of a new offshore patrol vessel (worth almost €34 million) and the improvement of the reaction capability of the current OPV P61 (worth almost €7.5 million).

Another project will see the supply of an EOD/IEDD low emission response vehicle complete with robot and ancillary equipment – under the Internal Security Funds (Police Cooperation) 2014-2020 and worth almost €1.8 million. (Source: Government of Malta/DOI, 22-Jun-2016)

SR Technics, easyJet sign contract to extend agreement for five years

A contract has been signed between SR Technics and easyJet airline to extend a maintenance agreement for another five years, creating 35 new jobs in the process. 

The two entities originally entered into an agreement in 2010, where SR Technics was tasked with carrying out maintenance works on easyJet’s aircraft fleet. Currently, SR Technics employs roughly 180 people. Head of Engineering and Maintenance for easyJet I. Davis said that there would be four aircraft in Malta undergoing maintenance work at any given time.

Currently, easyJet’s fleet consists of 253 aircraft, has 23 different bases and carries some 70 million passengers each year. The representative said that with growth comes the need for increased maintenance requirements, and that one maintenance entity was not enough to carry out all the required works. It was therefore announced that another contract will be signed between easyJet and Lufthansa Technics, based in Malta. (Source: independent.com.mt, 22-Jun-2016)

VLM suspends operations following a formal filing for bankruptcy

VLM has suspended operations following a formal filing for bankruptcy with an Antwerp commercial court today. Justifying the move, the carrier said in a statement that the court allotted six-month period of creditor protection would prove insufficient for it to both restructure its operations and to raise extra capital going forward. 

Additionally, VLM CEO H. Davidson said the two-week waiting period between the application for creditor protection and its acceptance had also seen a number of passengers cancelling their bookings for VLM's scheduled operations. Charter and ACMI contracts were also severely affected he said.

The carrier reportedly owes EUR3 million to KBC bank as well as an additional EUR3 million owed to various suppliers which include Antwerp Airport. (Source: ch-aviation.com, 22-Jun-2016)

Italian Coast Guard Giulio Inganni calls at Marsamxett Harbour

The Italian Coast Guard patrol vessel Giulio Ingianni (CP 409) has sailed in Marsamxett Harbour this morning. This is her second visit in Malta this year. The coast guard patrol vessel is presently deployed in the Mediterranean on fishery patrol duties. 

The Italian Coast Guard is presently berthing alongside at Hay Wharf (the Armed Forces of Malta's Maritime base), and she's expected in to sail from port in the coming days. (22-Jun-2016)

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Italian-registered light aircraft ditches off Xlendi, Gozo

Two men were rescued this evening when a light aircraft ditched in the sea off Xlendi, Gozo, after apparently suffering engine failure.The incident happened at about 1830lt The two, a 55-year-old pilot and a 61-year-old passenger, both Italian, were picked up by a private boat which happened to be close by. 

An AFM helicopter was quickly on the scene. A patrol boat was also deployed.
The plane, equipped with floats, is understood to have taken off from Sicily. It overturned on ditching. The police are investigating whether local air traffic control was informed of the plane's presence. (Source: timesofmalta.com, 21-Jun-2016)

Ethiopian Airlines to start using Malta IAP for refueling on its Addis Ababa to Madrid route

Ethiopian Airlines starting Jun 30th, 2016, is adjusting intermediate re-fuel stop for its 4 weekly Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) - Madrid-Barajad (Spain) route, served by Boeing B737-800 aircraft. From this date, the airline will be operating via Malta, replacing Cairo on westbound flight. Ethiopian Airlines does not have local traffic rights for Malta, despite the change. Ethiopian Airlines will continue to operate nonstop sector from Madrid. (Source: routesonline.com, 21-Jun-2016)

Undisclosed customer orders ten CRJ9s

Bombardier Commercial Aircraft announced today that a customer, who has requested to remain unidentified at this time, has signed a firm purchase agreement for ten CRJ900 aircraft. Based on the list price of the CRJ900 aircraft, the firm agreement is valued at approximately US$472 million. (Source: Bombardier, 20-Jun-2016)

RAF Hawk crashes through a barrier after aborting take-off from RAF Valley

A pilot crashed a Hawk T1 jet through a barrier at RAF Valley after being spooked by a flock of birds.The pilot was just about to take-off when he spotted the birds and aborted the manoeuvre. But the plane wasn’t able to slow down in time and it crashed through the barrier at the bottom of the south east runway, near Cymyran beach, Anglesey. No one was injured in the incident although two of the bases fire engines were called out as a precaution. (Source: dailypost.co.uk, 20-Jun-2016)

Monday, June 20, 2016

Mahan Air B463 overruns runways after landing at Kharg, Iran

A Mahan Air British Aerospace BAe-146-300 (EP-MOF), performing W5-4525 from Ahwaz to Kharg (Iran) with 88 people on board, landed on Khark's runway 13 at about 1300lt (0830z) but overran the end of the runway and came to stop on the unpaved surface about 60m past the runway end with the nose gear collapsed. There were no injuries, the aircraft received substantial damage. (Source: avherald.com, 19-Jun-2016)

Syrian AF MiG-21 crashes after the take-off from an airport in the western province of Hama

A Syrian Air Force's fighter jet crashed Sunday after the take-off from an airport in the western province of Hama leaving its pilot dead and killing two people on a runway, a military source told Sputnik. The pilot of the MiG-21 reported a technical fault during take-off, and the plane crashed while attempting to land." the source said. According to the source, two more people on a runway were injured. (Souce: sputniknews.com, 19-Jun-2016)

TM/DCA: Malta Aircraft Register update

Transport Malta/Directorate of Civil Aviation published today the latest update of the Maltese Aircraft Register.

New addition/s: 
  • 9H-SSG - Dassault Falcon 10 (c/n. 209), registered to Hyperion Aviation Ltd. (ex EC-KPP)
Cancellation/s: none

(Source: Transport Malta, 16-Jun-2016)