Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Two Russian Federation naval vessels call at Valletta Port

Two Russian Federation naval vessels have sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit. These are the Admiral Grigorovich-class frigate RFS Admiral Grigorovich (745) and rescue tug RFS Viktor Konetsky.

The Russian frigate and tug are presently berthing alongside each other at Deep Water Quay, and they are expected to sail from Valletta Port in the coming days. (24-May-2016)

First E190-E2 Jet completes maiden flight

The E-Jets E2 program reached another important milestone today with the completion of the maiden flight of the E190-E2. The flight was originally scheduled to take place during the second half of this year. 

The aircraft took off at 1306lt from Embraer’s facility in São José dos Campos and flew for three hours and 20 minutes. The flight occurred just three months after the E190-E2 made its public debut at a rollout ceremony at the factory in late February. 


The inaugural flight marks the beginning of the certification campaign for the E190-E2, the first of three new second-generation E-Jet models. The E190-E2 is scheduled to enter commercial service in 2018. (Source: Embraer, 23-May-2016)

Mexico’s Across signs order for 23 Embraer bizjets

Embraer Executive Jets announced during a press conference today that Across, Mexico’s premium business aviation services provider, signed a firm order for 23 business jets. The contract comprises the purchase of eight Legacy 500, eight Phenom 300 and seven Phenom 100E jets, with an estimated value of over USD 260 million at current list price. (Source: Embraer, 23-May-2016)

Indian Navy commissions fast attack craft INS Tarmugli

The Indian Navy has officially commissioned the recently delivered fast attack craft INS Tarmugli at a formal ceremony held at Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam. Built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE), INS Tarmugli is the first follow-on water jet fast attack craft (WJFAC). INS Tarmugli is being based in Visakhapatnam under the Naval Officer-in-Charge (Andhra Pradesh) and would be deployed for coastal patrol and surveillance operations along the East Coast of India. (Source: navaltoday.com, 23-May-2016)

Bombardier confirms Flexjet as previously undisclosed buyer of 20 Challenger 350s

Bombardier confirmed today that Flexjet is the previously undisclosed customer that purchased 20 Challenger 350 jets. Bombardier and Flexjet celebrated the news with a special ceremony at the European Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva. The order, announced on April 1, 2016, is valued at approximately $534 million US, based on the 2016 list prices for standard-equipped aircraft. (Source: Bombardier, 23-May-2016)

VietJet Aviation finalizes an order for 100 Boeing 737 MAX 200s

VietJet Aviation JSC finalized an order with Boeing for 100 737 MAX 200 airplanes valued at approximately $11.3 billion at current list prices. The signing ceremony, conducted by Vietjet President and CEO Nguyễn Thị Phương Thảo and Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO R. Conner, took place at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, at approximately 11:40 a.m. local time. (Source: Boeing, 23-May-2016)

Monday, May 23, 2016

easyJet A320 returns to Malta IAP due to medical emengency

An easyJet Airbus A320-200 (G-EZUC), performing flight U2-1998 from Malta IAP (Malta) to Manchester (U.K.), had to return to Malta International Airport this afternoon due to a medical emergency on board. The aircraft departed again to Manchester after one-hour technical stop. (23-May-2016)

Greek F-16s dispatched as pilots fail to respond

Greece had to scramble fighter jets to intercept a passenger plane that entered the Athens Flight Information Region (FIR) without identifying itself, according to reports in local media. The plane, reportedly a Delta airliner flying from France to Kuwait, entered the Athens FIR at 1910lt on Thursday.


Reports said the pilots failed to respond to repeated calls from Greek civil aviation authorities. At 1938lt two F-16 fighter jets were dispatched, intercepting the plane seven miles east of the Aegean island of Santorini. Radio communications were reportedly re-established at 1955lt and the aircraft left the Athens FIR a few minutes later. (Source: ekathimerini.com, 21-May-2016)

USN accepts delivery of future USS Zumwalt

The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of future USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000), the lead ship of the Navy's next-generation of multimission surface combatants, May 20TH. DDG 1000 is tailored for sustained operations in the littorals and land attack, and will provide independent forward presence and deterrence, support special operations forces, and operate as an integral part of joint and combined expeditionary forces.

Ship delivery follows extensive tests, trials and demonstrations of the ship's hull, mechanical, and electrical systems including the ship's boat handling, anchor and mooring systems as well as major demonstrations of the damage control, ballasting, navigation and communications systems. (Source: U.S. Navy, 20-May-2016)

French Navy FS Malabar calls at Valletta Port

The French Navy seagoing tug FS Malabar (A 664) sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit.

The French tug is presently berthing alongside at Wine wharf and she's expected to sail from Valletta Port in the coming days. (23-May-2016)

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Turkish Airlines B739 diverts to Malta IAP due to a medical emergency

Turkish Airlines Boeing B737-900 (TC-JYD), performing flight TK-561 from Abidjan (Ivory Coast) to Istantbul-Ataturk IAP (Turkey), had to divert to Malta International Airport this morning due to a medical emergency on board. The aircraft continued with its flight to Istanbul after a 1.5-hour technical stop. (21-May-2016)

Egyptian Navy finds EgyptAir A320 wreck

The Egyptian Armed Forces have informed EgyptAir that they have found first debris from the missing aircraft operating flight MS-804 around 295-km from the Egyptian coastline. MS-804 lost contact with radar above the Mediterranean Sea about 295-km from the Egyptian sea coast at 02:30 am CLT on May 19th. It was due to arrive Cairo Airport at 03:15 am CLT. The search in the area continues. (Source: EgyptAir, 20-May-2016)

Friday, May 20, 2016

Airbus Helicopters selected for U.K.’s Military Flying Training

Airbus Helicopters in the U.K. has been selected by Ascent as the Aircraft Service Provider for the UK’s Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS). The contract, worth £500 million over 17 years, will see Airbus Helicopters deliver aircraft and an integrated support solution over the course of 18 months, ready to start training in April 2018. This will involve the manufacture of aircraft (H135 and H145) in addition to developing the support infrastructure and training initial crews and maintenance personnel. (Source: Airbus Helicopters, 20-May-2016)

Two Turkish naval auxiliary vessels call at Valletta Port

Two Turkish naval auxiliary vessels have sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit. These are the training ship TCG Sokullu Mehmet Pasa (A 577) and the troop-transport ship TCG Iskenderun (A 1600).

The Turkish naval auxiliary vessels are presently berthing alongside at Pinto-4/5 wharf, and they are expected to sail from Valletta Port in the coming days. (20-May-2016)

Thursday, May 19, 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-MCS - Airbus A319-100 (c/n. 1753), registered to Hyperion Aviation Ltd. (ex EI-ETP)
Cancellation/s: none

(Source: Transport Malta, 18-May-2016)

EgyptAir A320 is reported missing over the Mediterranean Sea

EgyptAir flight MS804 is reported missing over the Mediterranean Sea during a flight from Paris, France to Cairo, Egypt. The aircraft, an Airbus A320 (SU-GCC), departed Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport, France, at 2321lt on May 18th. Scheduled departure time was 2245lt.

Last contact with the flight was at FL370, about 0229lt. Flight tracking data from Flightradar24 suggests the aircraft had just entered the Cairo FIR via the KUMBI waypoint and was about 10-miles inside Egyptian airspace when contact was lost. (Source: aviation-safety.net, 19-May-2016)

Sikorsky receives contract for eight UH-60Ms for U.S. Army

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. was awarded an $88.1 million modification (P00350) to contract W58RGZ-12-C-0008 to exercise an option for eight UH-60M aircraft.  Work has an estimated completion date of Jun. 30th, 2017.  U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity. (Source: U.S. Department of Defense, 18-May-2016)

USAF B-52 crashes in Guam

A U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress crashed around 0830lt on Andersen Air Force Base's flight line, the base's public affairs office has confirmed. All seven aircrew members safely exited the aircraft. No injuries have been reported.

The B-52 was deployed to Andersen from Minot, North Dakota, as part of the military's continuous bomber presence mission in the Pacific. The aircrew are members from the 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron and were performing a routine training mission. 

The incident is under investigation and measures to mitigate possible environmental impacts are being taken. (Source: militarytimes.com, 18-May-2016)

Libyan AF MiG-21 crash lands at Tobruk

A Libyan Air Force MiG-21 crash landed at Tobruk's Gamal Abdul El Nasser Air Base killing one of the two people on board, Col. M. Rabie. According to an official the crash was caused by technical problems. The aircraft was being used on a training flight. The trainee, Captain Abdulgader Ali, survived with minor injuries. (Source: libyaherald.com, 18-May-2016)

Silk Way AN12 crashes shortly after departure from Camp Dwyer, Afghanistan

A Silk Way Airlines Antonov AN-12, performing a cargo flight from Camp Dwyer to an unspecified location (Afghanistan) with nine crew, lost height after an engine had failed on departure from Camp Dwyer before 1900lt (1430z). Seven occupants perished in the resulting impact with terrain. Two Ukrainian crew members survived with serious injuries and have been taken to a hospital in critical condition. (Source: avherald.com, 18-May-2016)

Wednesday, May 18, 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-AMW - Boeing B737-400 (c/n. 26281/2380), registered to Aerotron Ireland Ltd. Ireland (ex PK-CKN)
  • 9H-VJU - Bombardier Global 6000 (c/n. 9724), registered to VistaJet Ltd. (ex C-FJWX)
  • 9H-YOU - Bombardier Challenger 850 (c/n. 8085), registered to Air X Charter Ltd. (ex EI-EEZ)
Cancellation/s: none
  • 9H-STM - Bombardier Global Express (c/n. 9086), registered to Hyperion Aviation Ltd. (rrg 'N288ZJ')
(Source: Transport Malta, 16-May-2016)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

RMAF MB-339 crashes in Pahang, pilots eject to safety

A Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) training aircraft crash in a paddy field in Nenasi this afternoon. The Aermacchi MB-339CM aircraft was in the midst of a training flight when it encountered technical difficulties. The two crewmen ejected to safety prior to the crash. 

RMAF, in a brief statement, said the aircraft, based in the Kuantan airbase, had experienced technical difficulties mid-flight at 1254lt. "Both the crew members are reported to be safe after they deployed the ejection seats," it said. It said an investigations board will be formed to determine the cause of the incident. (Source: nst.com.my, 17-May-2016)

Monday, May 16, 2016

Belgium's VLM files for bankruptcy protection

VLM has filed for bankruptcy protection in an Antwerp commercial court CEO H. Davidson has confirmed. The move, if approved, will be valid for a period of six months and will allow the Belgian carrier to restructure its operations. KBC Bank's decision to freeze VLM's accounts on Wednesday last week triggered the filing, equivalent to Chapter 11 in the United States. The airline's debts reportedly include EUR3 million owed to the bank as well as an additional EUR3 million owed to various suppliers which include Antwerp airport. (Source: ch-aviation.com, 16-May-2016)

German Navy FGS Karlsruhe calls at Valletta Port

The German Navy Bremen-class frigate FGS Karlsruhe (F 212) has sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit. 

The German frigate is presently berthing alongside at Boiler wharf, and she's expected to sail from Valletta Port in the coming days. (16-May-2016)

USN takes delivery for future USS John P. Murtha

Huntington Ingalls Industries delivered the company’s 10th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock, John P. Murtha (LPD 26), to the U.S. Navy today. The ship, built at HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division, was delivered during an afternoon ceremony with shipbuilders and ship’s force together in attendance.The signing of the DD 250 document officially transfers custody of the ship from HII to the U.S. Navy. (Source: 13-May-2016)