Saturday, February 28, 2015

Icelandic Coast Guard Tyr in Valletta Port

The Icelandic Coast Guard Aegir-class offshore-patrol vessel Tyr has sailed into Valletta Port this morning on a courtesy visit. OPV Tyr is currently deployed in the central Mediterranean sea as part of Frontex's Operation Triton.

This is OPV Tyr's third visit in the Grand Harbour this year. Her first visit was between 21st and 25th January, and second between 9th and 12th Febuary

The Icelandic OPV is presently berthing alongside at Pinto-5 wharf, and she's expected to sail from Tuesday, March 3rd (28-Feb-2015)

Russia's Transaero to start Moscow-Malta service

Transaero Airlines will launch scheduled flights between Moscow and Malta on Apr. 26th, Russian media have reported. Flights UN385/386 will be operated on Sundays, departing from Moscow-Domodedovo airport 2.25 pm arriving at Malta IAP at 5.55 pm. Departure from Malta will be at 6.45 pm, arriving in Moscow at 11.45 pm. Transaero will use Boeing 737 aircraft. (Source: timesofmalta.com, 28-Feb-2015)

Northrop Grumman received contract for one E-2D Hawkeye for USN

Northrop Grumman is being awarded a US$148.3 million modification to a previously awarded fixed-price-incentive (firm target) E-2D Advanced Hawkeye multi-year contract (N00019-13-C-9999) for the procurement of one E-2D Full Rate Production Advanced Hawkeye aircraft. Work is expected to be completed in July 2018. U.S. Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. (Source: 27-Feb-2015)

Toll Group signs order for eight AW-139s

AgustaWestland and Australia’s Toll Group are pleased to announce the purchase of eight AW-139 helicopters. The aircrafts will be operated to perform Emergency Medical Service (EMS) missions in the Southern Region of New South Wales from the newly constructed base in Bankstown (Sydney), Orange, Wollongong and from the existing base in Canberra under a contract part of the newly established Helicopter Retrieval Network in New South Wales. The contract was signed today during the Australian International Air Show at Avalon, southwest of Melbourne. (Soruce: AgustaWestland, 27-Feb-2015)

Bombardier's CS300 successfully completes maiden flight

Another major milestone in Bombardier's CSeries aircraft program was reached today with the maiden flight of the CS300 airliner. The CS300 airliner - bearing Canadian registration markings C-FFDK - departed Montreal–Mirabel IAP at 11:00 EST and returned at 15:58 EST. It reached an altitude of 41,000 feet and a speed of 255 knots. Capt. A. Litavniks, who was the co-pilot on the historic maiden flight of the smaller CS100 model on Sep. 16th, 2013, was pilot-in-command on today's milestone flight. Capt. Litavniks was assisted by co-pilot C. Marchand and flight test engineers A. Dunne and M. Metivet. (Source: Bombardier, 27-Feb-2015)

Air Tahiti Nui commits to two 787-9 Dreamliners

Boeing is pleased that Air Tahiti Nui has announced a commitment to purchase two 787-9 Dreamliners. The order, valued at US$514 million at current list prices, will be posted on Boeing's Orders & Deliverieswebsite when finalized. (Source: Boeing, 27-Feb-2015)

Friday, February 27, 2015

Italian AF orders three Hammerhead UAS

The Italian Air Force has confirmed that it will be the launch customer for the Piaggio Aerospace P.1HH HammerHead unmanned air vehicle, as it commits to purchasing three systems. This will consist of six air vehicles and three ground control stations, to be delivered in 2016. The order follows on from the first flight of a representative prototype that took place last December. The medium-altitude, long-endurance UAV is derived from the manned P180 Avanti twin turboprop. It was developed in collaboration with Selex ES, which will provide the mission control system, sensors, data link and ground control station. (Source: flightglobal.com, 26-Feb-2015)

Fincantieri starts construction of eighth FREMM vessels for the Italian Navy

Today, at Fincantieri's shipyard in Riva Trigoso there was the ceremony to mark the cutting of the first sheeting for the eighth FREMM vessel.  This is a further step in the European Multi Mission Frigate construction program. The ship will be 144m long, 19.7m wide with a displacement at full load of approximately 6,500 tons. Capable of reaching speeds of over 27 knots, the vessel will have an availability of 200 berths and a crew of 145. The prime contractor for Italy on the FREMM program is Orizzonte Sistemi Navali. (Source: Fincantieri, 25-Feb-2015)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Austal lays keel for future USS Omaha

Austal and the U.S. Navy held a keel-laying ceremony for the future USS Omaha (LCS 12), the fourth Independence-variant LCS class ship built at Austal on Feb. 18th. The ship’s sponsor, Ms. S. Buffet-Omaha, American philanthropist and daughter of Warren Buffet-Omaha was unable to attend the ceremony so Capt T. Anderson, Littoral Combat Ship Program  Manager, stepped in to authenticate the keel. 

A traditional keel-laying ceremony marks the first significant milestone in the construction of the ship.  Due to Austal’s modular approach to ship manufacturing, all 37 modules used to form this 127m aluminum trimaran are already being fabricated.  For Austal, keel-laying marks the beginning of final assembly.  Thirty-two modules have been moved from Austal’s Module Manufacturing Facility (MMF) and erected in the final assembly bay in their pre-launch position.  The remaining five modules will follow over the coming months. (Source: Austal, 18-Feb-2015) 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Fedex MD11 diverts to St. Louis due to cargo fire indication

A Fedex McDonnell Douglas MD-11 freighter (N584FE), performing flight FX-1407 from Memphis to Minneapolis (USA) with four crew, was enroute at FL360 about 80-nm NNW of St. Louis (USA) when the crew received indication of a cargo fire, the automatic cargo fire suppression system activated. The crew decided to turn around and divert to St. Louis for a safe landing on RWY 12L about 18-mins later. The crew evacuated via slides, one of the crew received injuries in the evacuation and was taken to a hospital. Emergency services did not find any trace of fire, heat or smoke. (Source: avherald.com, 24-Feb-2015)

Two Turkish AF RF-4Es crash in the province of Malatya

Two Turkish Air Force RF-4E reconnaissance aircraft crashed during a training exercise today in the central Turkish province of Malatya, killing all four crew, the military said. Contact was lost with the RF-4Es after they took off from Malatya air base in the evening for planned night training, a statement on the Chief of Staff’s website said.

"Search operations were immediately started. At 2045 the wreckage of our two planes was discovered and unfortunately four pilots have been killed," the statement added. No reason for the crashes was given. The planes came down in Akçadağ district, more than 150-km north of the Syrian border, a military source told Reuters.


National broadcaster NTV reported that an accident might have occured during the formation flight of the two warplanes. Local eyewitnesses, on the other hand, cited bad weather conditions. (Source: hurriyetdailynews.com, 24-Feb-2015)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Russian regulator revokes RusJet Air's AOC

RusJet Air is the latest Russian carrier to have its Air Operators Certificate (AOC) revoked by the country's Federal Air Transport Agency, Rosaviatsia, for safety violations. The regulatory body said it had undertaken a surprise inspection of the airline's crew training and operating procedures following a serious incident in late January involving a RusJet Yak-42 which had attempted a flapless take off from Irkutsk. The investigation revealed the crew had not completed mandatory pre-flight checks. As such, Rosaviatsia condemned RusJet for failing to adequately ensure all its flight operations adhered to legal norms through a system of managerial checks and balances. (Source: ch-aviation-com, 24-Feb-2015)

Royal Thai Army acquires six EC-145 T2s

A further addition to the Royal Thai Army's rotorcraft fleet has been committed with the acquisition of six Airbus Helicopters EC-145 T2, which is the newest and most powerful model in Airbus Helicopters' proven EC-145 light twin-engine helicopter family. The Royal Thai Army signed for six EC-145 T2s with a VIP installation, under the Light Utility Helicopter Type II requirement, to be deployed principally on official passenger transport duties, with deliveries scheduled to begin in 2016. (Source: Airbus Helicopters, 23-Feb-2015)

Monday, February 23, 2015

USMC F/A-18D crashes east of Statenville in a wooded area Echols County

Two U.S. Marine Corps' pilots have been injured after their F/A-18D crashed east of Statenville off Highway 94 in a wooded area Echols County. Both pilots ejected from the plane. They had minor injuries and were taken to the South Georgia Medical Center for treatment. It happened around 1500lt. The Echols County Sheriff's Office has confirmed the crash. Personnel from the 23rd Wing also responded to the scene, according to a release from Moody AFB. The aircraft took off from MCAS Beaufort, SC. The cause of the crash is still under investigation. (Source: walb.com, 22-Feb-2015)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Royal Thai AF F-16 crashes in Lopburi province during a training exercise

A Thai military officer was killed Friday when his F-16A fighter jet crashed during a training exercise in a central province, an official said. The plane crashed at around 1500lt (0800z) in Khok Samrong district of central Lopburi province. Air Vice Marshal M. Suchookorn said the body of the 30-year-old pilot - Flt Lt N. Niwasanon - was found in the wreckage and air force officers were investigating the cause of the crash. The F-16 was taking part in missile firing training in neighbouring Chai Badan district. (Source: aviation-safety.net, 20-Feb-2015)

Boeing receives contract for 35 AH-64Es for U.S. Army

Boeing was awarded a US$591.2 million modification (P00003) to fixed-price-incentive contract W58RGZ-14-C-0018 to acquire 35 AH-64E Apache helicopters under the full rate production of Lot V.  Estimated completion date is Jul. 31st, 2015. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal (Aviation), Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity. (Source: Department of Defence, 19-Feb-2015

Russian regulator revokes KAPO Aviakompania's AOC

KAPO Aviakompania has had its Air Operators Certificate (AOC) revoked by Russia's Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsia) for gross violations of safety, training and maintenance protocols.

The bureau says it conducted a surprise inspection of the company's facilities and personnel following an accident in which one of KAPO Aviakompania's An-26Bs (RA-26082) sustained substantial damage during take-off from Magadan's RWY 10 on Jan. 3rd.

The Russian Interstate Aviation Committee (MAK) faulted the captain for not aborting the take-off roll prior to the crash while blaming the crew for having failed to adequately carry out mandatory pre-departure checks as prescribed in the type's flight manual.

Rosaviatsia said its own detailed investigation showed the airline's day-to-day operations and flight-safety oversight to be inadequate thereby requiring the revocation of KAPO Aviakompania's AOC with immediate effect. (Source: ch-aviation.com, 20-Feb-2015

Friday, February 20, 2015

Swiss AF's PC-7 Team confirms participation at 2015 Malta International Airshow

We are extremely delighted to have as our special guests the Swiss Air Force PC-7 Team for the 2015 Malta International Airshow. The team visited the island twice in 2006 and 2011. In 2014 the Team introduced smoke systems to their aircraft and this will be the first time ever the Team will use smoke during their display in Malta.

The PC-7 Team shows dynamic, elegant and precise formation flying at its best. Flying aerobatics in close formation with propeller-driven aircraft demands the highest level of skill by the team’s military pilots. For this reason all members of the team are chosen from the professional pilots in the Surveillance Wing where they usually fly the F/A-18 Hornet.

The Malta Aviation Society, as organizers of the Malta International Airshow, is delighted with the confirmation of Participation of the Swiss Air Force PC-7 Team. Malta’s skies will once again witness the best of Swiss precision. (Source: maltairshow.com, 20-Feb-2015)

Genex AN-26 collides with a parked Yak-40 at Kiev-Borispol during an engine test

A Genex Antonov 26B (EW-246TG) sustained substantial damage in a ground accident at Kiev-Borispol airport (Ukraine). During an engine test, the throttles were inadvertently opened to full throttle. The aircraft ran forward and collided with a parked BPV Group Yakovlev 40 (UR-MIG). The nr.1 propeller slashed away the nose section of the Yak-40 until the prop separated from the engine. The aircraft came to rest with the nose section of the Yak-40 wedged between the Antonov's nr.1 engine and fuselage. (Source: aviation-safety.net, 18-Feb-2015, Photo: aerovokzal.net)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Bishwo Airways signs LOI for five SSJ-100s

Bishwo Airways signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company for the delivery of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft. It is expected that further consultations will result in a contract for five SSJ-100s. The aircraft shall have a two-class layout for 93 passengers. In accordance with the tentative agreement the first SSJ-100 will be delivered in 2017. (Source: Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company, 19-Feb-2015)

ARKIA commits for up to four A330-900neos

ARKIA Israeli Airlines has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airbus for up to four A330-900neo aircraft. The commitment makes ARKIA the first Airbus widebody customer in Israel and the first customer for the type in the region. (Source: Airbus, 18-Feb-2015)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Air Malta to fly to Oran, Algeria

Air Malta is to operate a twice weekly flight to Oran in Algeria every Monday and Thursday from Jul. 20th till Aug 31st. The city is a major port and the commercial, industrial, and educational centre of western Algeria. The airline already flies to the capital, Algiers. Air Malta has appointed Soleil Voyages as its General Sales Agents for Algeria. Soleil Voyages are backed up by a network of local travel agents that will be selling Air Malta and Malta across the whole country. (Source: timesofmalta.com, 18-Feb-2015)

Air Malta's fight from Paris-CDG diverts to Milan-Linate to refuel

An Air Malta Airbus A320-200 (9H-AEP), performing scheduled flight KM-479 from Paris-Charles De Gaulle (France) to Malta IAP had to divert to Milan-Linate (Italy) this afternoon to refuel the aircraft because of a strike at Paris-Charles De Gaulle airport by workers in the fuel section. The flight was due at Malta IAP at 1305lt, it actually landing at 1505lt. (18-Feb-2015)

Air Malta's flight to London-Gatwick diverts to Lyon due to a medical emergency

An Air Malta Airbus A319-100 (9H-AEH), performing scheduled flight KM-116 from Malta IAP to London-Gatwick (UK) had to divert to Lyon (France) this morning due to a serious medical emergency on board. The aircraft continued with its scheduled flight to London-Gatwick after a brief technical-stop (18-Feb-2015)

Egypt orders FREMM frigate from DCNS

DCNS signed a contract with the Ministry of Defence of the Arab Republic of Egypt for the supply of a FREMM multi-mission frigate on Monday, Feb. 16th. The frigate, the current Normandie, will be delivered mid-2015 after some outfitting work, and the first phase of the training programme. The logistics and support services provided to the Egyptian Navy will then continue over several years. The FREMM delivered to the Egyptian Navy will be taken from the series currently under construction for the French Navy. (Source: navaltoday.com, 17-Feb-2015)