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April 23, 2015  -  No. 079

In This Issue
Unconscious Passengers Prompt Emergency Landing
Delta Jet Diverted To Boston Encounters Turbulence
Japan lifts pilot age limit to 67 amid Asian shortage
Thai Beach Trips Could Be Threatened Amid Air Safety Problems
Carbon nanotubes bring aircraft manufacturing out of the oven
Mokulele airlines flight makes emergency landing after engine problems
Aviation Safety Indonesia: New Law Means Death Small Indonesian Airlines?
Boeing Droops as Dreamliner Jet Fails to Deliver
China's second-hand business jet market starts to take off
Superior Developing Gemini Diesel Aircraft Engines
America's worst airline for customer satisfaction is...
Asia Pacific Airline Training Symposium...15-16 September 2015
The Aeronautics Committee of the New York City Bar Association and Vaughn College host:...Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: The Law, Technology and Social Implications
Society of Air Safety Investigators Pakistan, announce: Aviation Security Management Course at Ramada Plaza Karachi 8th to 12th June, 2015
Upcoming Events
JOBS AVAILABLE (New Positions)
Curt Lewis & Associates, LLC - Services
Unconscious Passengers Prompt Emergency Landing

Jet carrying unconscious passengers makes emergency landing

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (AP) - A SkyWest airlines flight to Connecticut was diverted, descended steeply and made an emergency landing in New York on Wednesday after three passengers lost consciousness.

The flight, carrying 75 passengers, departed from O'Hare International Airport in Chicago and had been bound for Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. It landed at Buffalo Niagara International Airport in Buffalo at about 11:40 a.m.

A SkyWest spokeswoman initially reported that one passenger aboard Flight 5622, operating as United Express, lost consciousness and the pilots rapidly descended "out of an abundance of caution."

But in a later statement, SkyWest spokeswoman Marissa Snow said new information from medical personnel confirmed that "a total of three passengers reported a loss of consciousness while on the flight."

Mary Cunningham, a nurse at Yale-New Haven Hospital in Connecticut was on the flight. She told WTNH-TV she helped provide medical attention after the first woman passed out.

"We got her oxygen and as soon as she got on the oxygen she was alert, she came right back," Cunningham said. "Then I went back to my seat after she was feeling better and they called me right back because the person sitting right behind her passed out."

For nearly eight minutes, the plane descended at a very steep incline, dropping as fast as 7,000 feet per minute, flight tracking service FlightAware said.

"We dropped so fast that I didn't know what was going to happen," Larry Johnson of Danbury, Connecticut told WTNH. "I thought we were going to have to swim in the ocean or do something. All the movie thoughts are running through your head."

SkyWest Inc., which is based in St. George, Utah, earlier had said the jet landed safely and a passenger received medical attention before being released.

An additional 15 adults and two children were evaluated upon landing, but none required treatment outside the airport, airport spokesman C. Douglas Hartmayer said.

"Anyone who said they didn't feel well was treated at the gate," he said.

In an earlier statement, Snow said in an email: "There were no reports before the unconscious passenger prior to the initiated descent, but I can't speak to what may have been the specific cause of their feeling ill."

"The passengers were evaluated by medical responders on the ground in Buffalo and were released; none were transported to the hospital," Snow said.

The airline said it was making plans to transport the passengers to Hartford, Connecticut.

The Federal Aviation Administration said initial information indicated the Embraer E170 jet may have had a pressurization problem, but that turned out to be incorrect.

Snow said the plane's oxygen masks did not release.

"After examination by maintenance personnel and local authorities, there have been no indications of a pressurization problem or other issues with the aircraft," Snow said. "Our investigation is ongoing."


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Delta Jet Diverted To Boston Encounters Turbulence

BOSTON (AP) - Two people on a Delta Air Lines international flight diverted to Boston because of bad weather in the New York area were taken to a hospital after the plane encountered turbulence approaching Logan International Airport.

Delta said Wednesday afternoon that "a small number of customers" on Flight 271 Paris complained of nausea and possible minor injuries and were checked out by emergency medical technicians.
A Boston EMS spokeswoman said two people were taken to Massachusetts General Hospital with what are believed to be minor injuries.

The airline said Flight 271 from Paris left Boston just after 6 p.m. to resume its journey to Newark, New Jersey.

The plane is a Boeing 767-300ER. Delta said 180 passengers and 11 crew members were aboard.


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Japan lifts pilot age limit to 67 amid Asian shortage

Tokyo, Japan - Japan on Thursday raised the age limit for piloting a commercial plane to 67, the latest effort in Asia to get to grips with a drastic pilot shortage.

The move looks set to make pilots working for Japanese airlines among the oldest in the world.

Until now, pilots had to retire their wings at 65. Under Japan's new rules, pilots can carry on flying until their 68th birthday.

"We are aiming to ease a shortage while still ensuring safety," a transport ministry official told AFP.

Japan has 5,900 airline pilots, including 500 aged 60 or over, according to the ministry.

But surging demand from passengers, especially in the booming budget sector, has created a shortage that last year forced airlines to cancel thousands of flights.

image: http://www.mb.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/japans-ANA.jpg

japan's ANADemographics are expected to exacerbate the problem in the 2030s, when a raft of Japan's captains - now in their 40s - hit retirement age.

"The training is so expensive and a lot of (airlines) are paying retirement to pilots as well. If you start flying at 30 years old, you only have them for 35 years," said Ronald Bishop, head of the aviation programme at Australia's Central Queensland University.

"All that money they spent making the pilots really safe and making sure they're up to speed and they get the proper training - extending it by a few years helps them get their money back."

Australian aviation expert Neil Hansford said globally there was a lack of skilled pilots and the use of older workers was "becoming pretty standardised, except for some of the unionised countries".

"Sixty-five is very common now," Hansford added.

- Lack of aviation culture -

Greg Waldron, the Asia managing editor of Singapore-based FlightGlobal, a specialist online news and information website, said the high cost of training to become a pilot put off many potential entrants.

"The industry is in a bit of tough patch now in terms of bringing in qualified, good individuals to become pilots," he said, adding that the shortage is particularly acute in the Asia-Pacific region.

"In countries like the United States and Australia and even Europe, there is... a lot of exposure to aviation," Waldron said.

"It is relatively cheap in countries like Australia or the United States to get a basic pilot's licence. It's just a general aviation culture. (But) in Asia Pacific you don't really have that type of activity going on as much."

In Japan, a country where the over-65s make up a quarter of the population, the government says it will limit flying time for older pilots to 80 percent of the normal maximum, meaning 80 hours per month or 216 hours over three months.

The co-pilot of a 65-plus aircraft commander must be aged 59 or younger, and those who opt to continue beyond their 65th birthday will have to undergo epilepsy tests.

Waldron said older pilots did not pose a safety risk.

"The key thing is you want these guys to be well-trained, you want them to know how to react when there is an emergency. So if you have an older, more experienced pilot, he might be able to react to things differently compared to someone with less experience," he said.

He added it was also important to have consistent, updated training.

"As long as they pass the tests in the simulators, as long as they keep performing and prove that they know what they are doing in the plane, I think the retirement age can be pushed up a bit."

Japan raised the age limit for a pilot in command from 62 to 64 in 2004, a standard set by the International Civil Aviation Organization and followed by many countries. ( Natsuko FUKUE)


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Thai Beach Trips Could Be Threatened Amid Air Safety Problems

A Nok Airlines Co. aircraft, rear, stands near Thai Airways International Pcl aircraft on the tarmac at Don Mueang International Airport in Bangkok. Thailand's air safety has come under scrutiny this year after a United Nations watchdog raised questions about procedures for certifying airlines. Photographer: Dario Pignatelli/Bloomberg

Hong Hyun Jin didn't care what airline she flew as long as it was cheap. A spate of plane crashes across Asia in the past year changed all that.

"I am now scared of flying," said the 42-year-old office worker in Seoul. "Me and my friends are planning a holiday in Phuket, Thailand, but I am picky what airline we should fly."

Nervous flyers like Hong are the latest problem for Thailand, whose pristine beaches and exotic nightclubs helped it jump into the top 10 tourism destinations in the world. That success is at risk because the safety of its skies has been questioned, a growing problem across Asia as air travel soars.

Thailand's air safety has come under scrutiny this year after a United Nations watchdog raised questions about procedures for certifying airlines. That prompted Japan and South Korea to slap restrictions on some flights from the country, which depends on tourism for 10 percent of its gross domestic product. The country has 28 registered airlines, the government says.

Thailand's troubles are symptomatic of the rising challenges throughout Asia, where a surge in the number of planes and airlines is threating to overwhelm the infrastructure designed to keep fliers safe. Four airline crashes in which more than 700 people died made 2014 one of the worst years for Asian aviation, including a mystery crash where no debris was found.

"Due to the rapid expansion of the industry, some countries may not have been able to cope well with the development in terms of catching up with safety," said Shukor Yusof, founder of Singapore-based consultant Endau Analytics. "There are many, many areas that need to be improved."

Tourist Arrivals

Visitors to Thailand increased 19 percent in 2013 to 26.5 million, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization. It's the second-most popular destination in Asia, after China.

In a January audit, the U.N.'s International Civil Aviation Organization raised questions about Thailand's safety procedures that prompted Japan to restrict some Thai airlines' operations. ICAO wouldn't spell out details beyond saying there were concerns, primarily relating to air-operator certification procedures.
So far a major fallout has been averted. South Korea's Transport Ministry banned Thai charter flights, but left scheduled services intact. Japan, which initially barred Thai carriers from adding or changing flights, will allow charters in April and May and will weigh progress after that.

Thailand has shared its action plans with ICAO, the agency's spokesman Anthony Philbin said.


"We need to regain other nations' trust," Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha said in a televised speech April 3. ICAO "is giving Thailand three months to overhaul the system, but I want it fixed within the next 30 days."

Equipment will be upgraded, the number of aviation officials will be quadrupled and Thai carriers' licenses will be reviewed in the new plan.

"The aviation safety risk will not only affect the airlines but also the number of tourist arrivals to Thailand," said Jintana Mekintharanggur, director of equity investment at Manulife Asset Management Co. in Thailand.

Thailand is still in compliance with FAA regulations, according to the agency's website.
Thailand has allowed too many start-ups in recent years while not expanding its resources, said CAPA Centre for Aviation, an independent consultant. There are more than 40 licensed airlines in Thailand and 20 more are in the process of setting up, said Brendan Sobie, a CAPA analyst.

One airline already suffering is budget carrier NokScoot. It planned to begin flights to South Korea this year, but withdrew its application April 7 and halted ticket sales.

About 9,000 of the 20,000 tickets the airline sold need to be refunded, said Chief Executive Patee Sarasin.
"The current problem in the Thai aviation industry is very serious," Patee said.


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Carbon nanotubes bring aircraft manufacturing out of the oven

Image of the aligned CNT array

Baked to perfection: the aligned carbon-nanotube array

A paper-thin carbon-nanotube film that can heat and solidify the composite materials used in aircraft wings and fuselages, without the need for massive industrial ovens, has been developed by a team of researchers in the US. The film can be rolled onto industrial components to deliver uniform, controllable and efficient heating via conduction. When connected to an electrical power source, the heated film stimulates the polymer to solidify. The technique should provide a more direct, energy-saving method for manufacturing virtually any industrial composite, according to the researchers.

Large industrial components such as aircraft wings are often made of composite materials that have layers that must be bonded together. Bonding typically involves curing the composite materials at high temperatures in expensive, immobile ovens known as autoclaves. Heating metre-sized components to temperatures of several hundred degrees in autoclaves - large industrial vessels that treat materials using elevated pressure and temperature - is an energy-inefficient process: the ovens waste significant amounts of energy as they themselves must be heated before the thermal energy is carried to the components by convection.

Beyond the oven

The inspiration to use carbon nanotubes (CNTs) as conductive microheaters was based on previous studies, explains Seth Kessler, president of Metis Design Corporation in Boston, a spin-out company from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Together with researchers at MIT's department of aeronautics and astronautics, the team developed a CNT-based microheater that can effectively be rolled over an arbitrary surface to provide direct heating. "We had been using carbon-nanotube-based resistive heating for de-icing applications and had then considered the possibility of using the same principle for curing," he says.
The team's "out-of-oven" approach avoids the use of autoclaves entirely, thereby allowing composite materials to be efficiently cured regardless of their size or shape, and irrespective of the availability of a nearby autoclave. Similar microheaters are already commercially available, but the researchers caution that "it's not as simple as just buying material and pushing it on the surface". Rather, significant engineering is required for each curing project to determine the appropriate resistivity and current-flow paths.

A thin sandwich

The researchers, led by Brian Wardle of MIT, first created a mesh of aligned CNTs, where each nanotube was approximately 400 microns long. Aligning the nanotubes ensured better electrical stability, which was critical since current needs to pass through the mesh to provide resistive heating. The group then added a copper mesh to create electrical contacts, and a composite surfacing film to ensure electrical insulation. Wardle and his team tested a roughly postage-stamp-sized sample of the film on a commercial, laminated composite commonly used in aerospace manufacturing. They attached a 30 V power supply directly to the two electrodes of the microheater and manually adjusted the input voltage to modulate the film's temperature to yield a complete cure.

"We found about a 1000-fold difference in energy used for curing, resulting in a 50% cost reduction in the final production part," says Kessler. Even though the group only tested a small piece of the mesh, the researchers envision that scaling up the size of the mesh to cover an entire aircraft wing will not present a challenge. "The larger the part, the more opportunity the current has to achieve a uniform front," Kessler notes. "As long as the current flow is intelligently designed, the scale of the part is irrelevant."
Furthermore, the extremely low surface density of the films (5-10 g/m2) means that they can be simply left on the material after curing without worrying about the extra weight. Kessler told physicsworld.com that by leaving the films in situ, other multifunctional capabilities may be realized, such as damage-detection based on resistance changes.

As different composites require different temperatures in order to fuse, the researchers also tested how hot the CNT film could actually get before it failed. The team found that the film's failure point was at more than 537 C. In comparison, some of the highest temperature aerospace polymers require temperatures up to 399 C in order to solidify. "We can process at those temperatures, which means there's no composite we can't process," Wardle says. "This really opens up all polymeric materials to this technology." The researchers are now working with industrial partners to find ways to scale up the technology to manufacture composites large enough to make airplane fuselages and wings.
The research is described in Applied Materials and Interfaces.

About the author
Katherine Kornei is a science writer based in the US



Mokulele airlines flight makes emergency landing after engine problems

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
A Mokulele Airlines flight from Maui to Hawai'i Island was forced to turn around and glide back to the Kahului airport Wednesday morning after reported engine failure.

One of the passengers on-board, John Harding, says he's been flying with Mokulele Airlines along that same route about twice a month for the past four years -- and he could tell as soon as they were in the air that something was wrong.

"We took off and all is normal as usual but all of a sudden the engine started making a few noises and it just didn't sound right. The pilot looked back at us and said that we need to get back to the airport and make a landing and with that the engine cut off entirely, the propellers stopped moving -- and as you know Mokulele only has one propeller -- so with that we started a radical descent and he did a big sweeping turn and luckily we were close enough to the airport still that we were able to make the runway," described Harding.

Harding says emergency personnel were on the ground waiting for them when they landed, but fortunately, no one was hurt.

"We glided back to the airport safely thank God. We were literally gliding. If we'd been another 15 - 20 minutes into the flight and over the ocean we would've ditched into the ocean, there's no doubt about it," Harding said.

An FAA investigation is underway.

"A single-engine Cessna 208 operated by Mokulele Airlines returned to Kahului right after departure due to an engine problem. The captain declared an emergency and the aircraft landed without incident at 9:35 a.m.," said Ian Gregor, the Public Affairs Manager for the FAA Pacific Division.

Harding says he was re-booked on another flight three hours later and was a little apprehensive about getting on-board, but needed to get to his mother.

"This was quite a traumatic experience because if we would've been a little further away from the airport we wouldn't have made it back to the airport. The pilot himself said that and when we hit the ground the pilot and co-pilot shook each other's hands and congratulated each other on how remarkably safe a landing they made, because they were visibly shaken about the incident too. I know mechanical failure happens, but when you drop out of the sky like that and nobody knows about it it's kind of alarming," described Harding, who says he's not sure he'll fly with Mokulele again after "cheating death" but commended his pilots for their professionalism.

Mokulele Airlines' General Manager Darryl Grace confirms there was a precautionary landing at the Kahului Airport Thursday.

"The pilots followed their procedures and landed the aircraft without any incident," Grace said.



Aviation Safety Indonesia: New Law Means Death Small Indonesian Airlines?

Small Indonesian airlines face difficult times ahead of the implementation of a new law (UU No. 1 2009 on Aviation) which stipulates that per 1 July 2015 all Indonesian airlines have to operate at least ten aircraft. Of this ten airplanes, at least five aircraft have to be owned by the airline, while the remainder can be leased. The Indonesian government emphasized that if domestic airlines fail to comply with the new law per July 2015, then their flight permits will be revoked.

Obviously, this new law forms no threat to the country's main airlines including Garuda Indonesia, Lion Mentari Airlines, Sriwijaya Air, Citilink Indonesia, and AirAsia Indonesia, which all own dozens if not more than 100 aircraft. However, there are also about 45 domestic airlines that fail to meet the requirements of the new law. On average these smaller airlines only operate three to five airplanes.

For example, Aviastar Mandiri is one of these smaller Indonesian airlines which currently only operates seven aircraft. The owner of this airline, Sigit Sudarmaji, requested a judicial review of the new law at the country's Constitutional Court as he considers the law as a form of discrimination. Only the larger companies can afford to comply with new rules. The smaller ones, on the contrary, loose the opportunity to establish and expand their business. Being the world's largest archipelago and having many small airports in the more remote regions (where larger aircraft cannot land), Sudarmaji claims that it is vital for inter and intra-connectivity to foster small airlines in the regions. The Court is scheduled to give its ruling on the matter in mid-April.

To make matters worse, the implementation of the new law comes at sluggish economic times. Although the aviation industry in the Asia-Pacific (and especially Indonesia) still has promising perspectives on the longer term, people's weaker purchasing power impacted on the aviation industry. Moreover, Indonesian airlines feel financial turmoil due to the depreciating rupiah against the US dollar (about 70 percent of airlines' operational costs are US dollar-denominated). This means that the timing is far from ideal to invest heavily in new aircraft. A new aircraft will cost about USD $25 million, while a used aircraft can still cost up to USD 5 million.

The Indonesian National Air Carriers Association (INACA) also stated that the new law is harsh for the small Indonesian airlines in the regions that tend to operate local flights only (from city to city) and agrees that the new law should be revised (specifically the minimum aircraft ownership requirement) in order to provide room for these smaller airlines to exist.

From the perspective of the Indonesian government the reason behind the new law is clear: curb the amount of domestic airlines (while at the same time boosting the amount of domestic airplanes) in order to enhance monitoring of the country's aviation industry. Given that smaller airlines that are dependent on limited flights in one particular region are more vulnerable to financial turmoil, safety becomes an issue.

The government advises those airlines that cannot comply with the new minimum aircraft requirement to engage in mergers or change their permits from 'scheduled commercial flights' to 'non-scheduled commercial flights'.

Canada-based International Air Transport Association (IATA) has repeatedly expressed its concern about safety in Indonesia's aviation industry. At least one air crash has occurred in Indonesia every year since 2010. Therefore, the country needs to upgrade its air traffic management system, particularly as Indonesia has to cope with a rising number of aircraft in the skies.

IATA advises that the Indonesian government should put more effort in updating regulations and infrastructure in order to keep pace with expansion of Indonesia's air traffic. The country's air travel market is expected to triple over the next 20 years to 270 million passengers.

The aviation industry in the Asia-Pacific region is one of the world's fastest growing regions in terms of air travel. Indonesia, Southeast Asia's largest economy, contains a burgeoning middle class that is increasingly using airplanes for domestic and international transport. Being the world's largest archipelago that is home to 250 million people, air travel is the easiest option for fast travel across the country.




Boeing Droops as Dreamliner Jet Fails to Deliver

A Boeing 747 at Heathrow Airport in London. Demand for Boeing's 787s has still been strong. 

Boeing's stock fell by 1.4 percent on Wednesday after the company reported that it had generated less cash in the first quarter than most analysts had expected.

Boeing described the drop in its cash flow as temporary, but analysts said the problem showed that the company was still not making money on sales of 787 Dreamliners, the fuel-saving jets it introduced in 2011.

"Boeing has been relentlessly steering investors to look at the cash flow rather than the earnings performance," Robert Stallard, an analyst at the Royal Bank of Canada, wrote in a note to clients.

"Boeing is perhaps learning the hard way that if you tell investors to focus on the cash flow, then you had better deliver it," he added.

The Chicago-based company said that its operating cash flow slid 92 percent in the first quarter, to $88 million from $1.11 billion a year earlier, partly because of the timing of certain receipts and expenditures. Including capital spending, its free cash flow was negative $486 million, compared with $615 million a year earlier, the company said.

Still, Boeing executives reiterated that they expected to start making a profit on each Dreamliner delivery later this year. They also reaffirmed that they expected operating cash flow to top $9 billion for all of 2015, up from $8.86 billion in 2014.

Dreamliners are the first commercial planes made substantially of lightweight carbon composites, and Boeing has invested heavily in them.

Gregory D. Smith, Boeing's chief financial officer, said the deferred production cost for the 787 program rose by $793 million in the first quarter, to $27 billion. He said the total would continue to rise by similar amounts for the next two quarters.

Deferred production cost accounts for the gap between what it costs the company to build each plane and the average cost it has projected for the first 1,300 aircraft.

Under an accounting method that Boeing has long used, it can book profits on aircraft sales now against that average projected cost. But it has to keep a running tally of the additional cost of each plane as the deferred cost total.

Mr. Smith reiterated on Wednesday that after Boeing increases its production rate for the jets to 12 each month in 2016 from 10 now, the deferred cost total should begin to decline fairly rapidly.

He said recent delays in receiving seats for the 787 from a French supplier, Zodiac Aerospace, had added to the costs of the program.

Boeing also has an aggressive stock repurchasing program, spending $2.5 billion to buy back 17 million of its shares in the first quarter.

The company said its core operating earnings, excluding pensions and other costs, increased by nearly 2 percent in the first quarter to $2.13 billion. The core earnings rose 12 percent on a per share basis, to $1.97. That topped the estimates of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, who had expected $1.81 on average.

Boeing's quarterly revenue climbed 8 percent, to $22.15 billion, from a year earlier.

With the demand for new planes remaining strong, Boeing said that it expected core earnings of $8.20 to $8.40 a share for all of 2015 on revenue of $94.5 billion to $96.5 billion.



China's second-hand business jet market starts to take off

In times gone by, mainland billionaires would buy new business jets on impulse. Now those in the market are seeing the advantage of pre-owned aircraft

A Gulfstream private jet. Buying a second-hand aircraft is quicker and cheaper, according to analysts. Photo: SCMP Pictures

A few months ago, Gui Yue, China sales director of jet acquisition specialist Aviatrade Asia, received a call from a Beijing client who hoped to buy a pre-owned business aircraft.

"We rarely received such requests before 2013. In the past, Chinese buyers only wanted new ones," said Gui. "But there are more billionaires saying they are interested in second-hand aircraft in recent years."

The Beijing client, who runs a real estate company in the capital city, finally selected a three-year-old Dassault Falcon 7X owned by an Eastern European seller among the four options offered by Gui's team.

Having engaged in jet deals for years, Gui has detected subtle changes in the attitudes of Chinese buyers.

"In the past, people just wanted to show they were rich enough to afford a private jet like other billionaires," he said. "But now buyers are becoming more mature and practical and are realising the advantages of a pre-owned airplane."

A second-hand private jet market has emerged in China in the past two years.

According to Asian Sky Group, a Hong Kong-based business aviation service firm, the number of business jets rose by 59 last year to 439 in the Greater China region, which includes the mainland, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Pre-owned aircraft represented 27 per cent in the additions to the Greater China fleet during last year.

"For most buyers, pre-owned aircraft are attractive because of their availability and pricing," said Jeff Lowe, Asian Sky Group's managing director.

In today's aviation industry, it can take up to two years to deliver a tailor-made business jet once an order is received. Buyers who order, for example, a popular aircraft such as a Gulfstream G650, would be lucky to take delivery of the before the end of 2017.

Not only is this time-consuming, but also leads to higher costs of capital since the buyers need to prepay tens of millions of dollars to the manufacturer.

But, in most cases, pre-owned jets can be delivered in one or two months, Lowe said.

Getting a bargain is also an important reason for Chinese buyers to consider a pre-owned jet.

"As a very general rule, a business jet depreciates about 5 per cent a year. Of course, that depends on how much it's been used and what the market is like," said Lowe.

Indeed, the market sentiment in the mainland has been sluggish in the past two years due to economic uncertainty and the government's anti-corruption crackdown, which has affected both new and second-hand aircraft deals. The private business jet fleet in the country grew by 41 aircraft in 2014, compared with 55 in 2013 and 60 in 2012.

While there were fewer mainland buyers last year, the number of domestic sellers is rising.

"Some Chinese buyers, who bought their jets four or five years ago, are starting to sell their aircraft while they look for replacements or move them out of China," said Lowe.

The veteran aviation industry consultant said many Chinese billionaires bought business jets "out of impulse" years ago and are now looking for replacements more suited to their needs.

Acquiring a new or used business jet is not as straight forward as say buying a car. A seller of a pre-owned aircraft first needs to provide information and pictures to prospective buyers. If the buyer shows further interest, the two parties sign a letter of intent in which they agree on a price. The buyer then pays a deposit to a third party for an exclusive right of purchase.

However, Gui said, it is not uncommon for mainland clients to sign letters of intent even when they no intention of buying the aircraft.

"They do so just to know much the seller is asking for his plane. But this undermines the buyer's credibility and affects other deals he may undertake in future."

Many Chinese jet owners also do not know how to maximise their plane's value and cannot provide full information including the date of manufacture, flight data, maintenance records or even pictures.

"An entrepreneur once asked us to help sell his jet. When we asked him for a jet picture, he just messaged us a blurred photo taken on his smartphone," Gui said.

In mature markets like the United States, nine out of 10 private jet deals are second-hand deals, Gui said.

"Although demand for private aircrafts in China has been suppressed by the anti-corruption campaign for now, this market is far from saturated and the potential demand is huge. We expect to see a recovery as early as next year ," he said.



Superior Developing Gemini Diesel Aircraft Engines

The 100-hp Gemini 100, intended for light sport aircraft, will be the first in the new Gemini engine family to be fielded by Superior Aviation. FAA certification of the $24,900 powerplant is expected later this year, with initial deliveries slated for early 2016.

Superior Aviation Group acquired the Gemini diesel engine and plans to develop 100- to 600-hp versions of the powerplant, the company announced yesterday at Sun 'n' Fun 2015. The 100-hp Gemini 100, intended for light sport aircraft, will be the first in the new engine family to be fielded by Superior. FAA certification of the $24,900 powerplant is expected later this year, with initial deliveries slated for early 2016.

Superior CEO Tim Archer said that because of its "uniflow" design featuring two opposing pistons per cylinder, the three-cylinder Gemini 100 will be smaller than many current 100LL and diesel piston aircraft engines, giving it a power-to-weight ratio advantage.

The Gemini 100 is currently running in the test cell," Archer said. "It is meeting all of our performance goals and right now we anticipate having pre-production engines within 90 days." The Gemini 100 has a similar profile to the Rotax 912.

Superior's Gemini diesel family engines will be able to burn jet-A and have a mechanically simpler design with fewer moving parts, the company said. The company also projects that the Gemini powerplants will have up to 20-percent lower fuel burn than conventional aircraft engines.



America's worst airline for customer satisfaction is...

Which airline has the lowest customer satisfaction?


Spirit Airlines ranked dead last in the latest travel report from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).

With a score of 54, Spirit dethroned United Airlines as the lowest-ranking carrier on the index.
Spirit was added to the list for the first time this year.

JetBlue Airways claimed the top spot as the most satisfying airline with a score of 81, a 3% increase from 2014, according to the ACSI Travel Report 2015. Southwest ranked just below with a score of 78, holding steady to last year's score.

Spirit Airlines is known for its low-cost price structure that adds fees for things like printing a boarding pass at the airport, a carry-on bag or water. Company spokesperson Paul Berry said the carrier's bare fares are an average 40% lower than other airlines. But if customers aren't familiar or expecting the pricing structure, he said travelers can associate that with lack of customer service.

"Once they fly us once and they get it, they love us; they know how to navigate the Spirit way of flying."
Related: Why flying stinks, and you're still paying more

Customer satisfaction with the airline industry overall increased almost 3% from last year. While passenger satisfaction is at the highest level since 1994, the industry only outperformed three other industries: internet service providers, subscription television and health insurance.

Along with the general ACSI benchmark questions, the travel survey asked 12 questions about customers' flying experience including on-time arrival, boarding and baggage experience, seat comfort and flight schedules. The industry average was 71.

For the entire airline industry, seat comfort received the lowest score from passengers, while the quality of in-flight services like food and entertainment increased 7% from last year, the index showed.

The three major airlines, Delta, American and United, saw no changes in their scores from 2014.
Along with Spirit Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Allegiant Air and Frontier were added to the index this year. Alaska debuted at third with a score of 75 and Frontier ranked just above Spirit with a score of 58.
The airlines on the list have the smaller and regional carriers to thank for the improved satisfaction levels, explain Forrest Morgeson, director of research at ACSI. "For a variety of different reasons ... they are doing a better job and are pushing the entire industry's satisfaction levels up."

The travel report is based on responses from 7,768 customers of the airline, hotel and internet travel industries from Jan. 19-Feb. 9.

How the airlines ranked
Company20142015Percent Change
1JetBlue Airways79813%
2Southwest Airlines78780%
3Alaska Airlines--75N/A
4All Others70734%
5Delta Air Lines71710%
6American Airlines66660%
7Allegiant Air--65N/A
8United Airlines60600%
9Frontier Airlines--58N/A
10Spirit Airlines--54N/A

Source: American Customer Satisfaction Index Travel Report 2015 
CNNMoney (New York) April 21, 2015: 10:11 AM ET





Asia Pacific Airline Training Symposium


15-16 September 2015 * Centara Grand Convention Center, Bangkok, Thailand


Call for Papers 


The Journal for Civil Aviation Training (CAT) is now accepting presentation abstracts for the world's largest  aviation training event in the Asia Pacific region. A limited number of speaker slots are available at the 12th APATS event, to be held 15-16 September, 2015, at the Centara Grand Convention Center in Bangkok, Thailand.


Over many years the challenges in aviation training have evolved, and increasingly detailed research has helped to develop a better understanding of the issues. Many conferences have provided an excellent platform on which to reveal the type and extent of the problems, but frequently the optimum solutions to these have been more difficult to discern.


The challenge for APATS 2015 is to identify and present practical solutions to some of the current headline topics in the aviation training world. The overall theme of APATS 2015 is "Training Solutions".

Presentation abstracts are invited to present best practice in the following areas, and the conference will be shaped by those abstracts.


How do we:

1. Recruit and retain new aviation professionals?
2. Select ab intio pilots, experienced crews and captains?
3. Adapt to cultural issues in the cockpit?
4. Deliver effective CRM?
5. Ensure that ICAO Level 4 Aviation English is properly examined?
6. Train to improve situational awareness?
7. Implement Evidence Based Training?
8. Train for Upset Prevention and Recovery?
9. Train to deal with lithium battery fires?
10. Deliver balanced assertiveness training for cabin crew?


Preference will be given to air carriers and training organisations with real world insights and "Lessons Learned" information. In no case will sales presentations be accepted. Actual presentations must fit into the APATS format which is 20 minutes, followed by a Q&A period. Longer presentations may be accepted if an in-depth explanation is required. In each case we are looking for two or three clear take-away ideas, so that those who deliver training, or who need certain capabilities can leave the conference with some specific plans to improve training. 


To propose a presentation for the APATS conference, please send a maximum 200 word abstract by 30th April, 2015. Abstracts are required to be accompanied by a short biography of the speaker which should include contact information, titles, positions and employers, academic background and any conference presentation experience. Authors of accepted speaker proposals will be notified by 31st May, 2015. Abstracts can be sent to Chris Long, Conference Chair, at chris.long@halldale.com. File a copy to fiona@halldale.com and put "APATS 2015 ABSTRACT" in the subject block.


For more information about APATS 2015, please visit www.halldale.com/apats  


Best regards,

Chris Long
APATS 2015 Conference Chair


The Aeronautics Committee of the New York City Bar Association and Vaughn College host:

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: The Law, Technology and Social Implications


Thursday, April 23 at 6 p.m.

6 to 9 p.m., free


Panelists to include:  Brendan Schulman, Special Counsel, Kramer, Levin, Naftalis and Frankel; Ketih Hagy, Director, Engineering and Air Safety, Airline Pilots Association; Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project; Loretta Alkalay, Former Regional Counsel at Federal Aviation Administration; and Moderator Douglas McQueen, Aviation Attorney, LeClair Ryan.


The House of the New York City Bar Association

42 West 44 Street

New York, NY


RSVP:  Alison Surcouf, asurcouf@condonlaw.com, 212.894.6863

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Society of Air Safety Investigators Pakistan, announce

"Aviation Security Management Course"

To be conducted by IATA at

Ramada Plaza Karachi, Pakistan (8th to 12th June, 2015).



  • Combine security with customer service ,
  • Select AvSec contractors and create RFPs
  • Manage human factors in aviation security
  • Implement quality control measures to improve security
  • Conduct vulnerability assessment of your organization
  • Evaluate screening points and procedures for passenger and cargo

Target Audience

  • Managers from airports, airlines or civil aviation authorities , service providers
  • Ground Handling agencies.
  • Civil organizations who play vital role in responding to major security emergencies
  • Airport and Airlines administration representatives
  • Custom and immigration personnel.

Key Topics

  • Implementing international and national security legislation (EU, TSA)
  • Applying Annex 17, ICAO and IATA security manuals
  • Contract management and Service Level  Agreements (SLA)
  • In-house versus outsourced aviation security
  • Controlling the flow of passenger and baggage
  • Evaluating facilitation and Security Management Systems (SeMS)
  • Ensuring the security of cargo, catering and stores
  • Vulnerability assessments of airport facilities  and  Guaranteeing asset protection
  • Preventing fraud and smuggling  and  Responding to major security emergencies


What you get - Participants will receive a consolidated reference binder of class material with CD and a certificate by IATA.


Course Location   Karachi -A shopper's paradise. The cheapest city of the world has a wide range of activities for visitors; eating out is a fun in Karachi. Shopping malls and traditional bazaars where you can buy carpets, wooden articles and leather products.


Cost - 1,695 US $ per person. It includes course material, snacks during tea and coffee break and lunch during course days. It also includes a welcome breakfast on first day and course dinner with a boat trip at "Port Grand" the land mark of Karachi. Free pick and drop from airport and two guided tours of the Karachi city on weekend


For Registration rashidabhatti@hotmail.com   for details Visit: www.sasi-pakistan.org


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Hello, you are receiving this message as a courtesy to Mr. Hussain Alhallaf, a Ph.D. candidate
at Florida Institute of Technology's doctoral program in Aviation Sciences in the College of
Aeronautics. He is examining the relationship between factors affecting the aviation profession
and the concept of aviation professionalism, specifically understanding aviation
professionalism, and is seeking your assistance to complete an online questionnaire, which
would take 10-15 minutes to complete. Mr. Alhallaf endeavors to understand why the aviation
profession is such an important career and how can we improve ourselves as professionals
within the aviation profession. In addition to taking the survey we also are seeking your
generosity in distributing the survey's link. Your assistance and participation are totally

To participate, you may access the online survey via the following link:

If you have any questions or are unable to distribute the email to your members, please do not hesitate to
contact me via e-mail at halhallaf2014@my.fit.edu or by Cell phone at (386) 847-7671.

Thank you for your cooperation.
Yours faithfully,

Hussain Alhallaf
Ph.D. candidate in Aviation Sciences

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Upcoming Events:


IS-BAO Auditing

April 24, 2015

PCAT Safety Smackdown, San Antonio TX  USA



ERAU Aircraft Accident Investigation Seminar

Daytona Beach, FL

Apr. 27-May 1, 2015



ISASI MARC Meeting/Dinner

April 30, 2015

Herndon, Virginia



GWBAA Safety Standdown
April 30th
NTSB Academy


ERAU Advanced Aircraft Accident Investigation Seminar

Prescott Campus, AZ

May 4-8, 2015



IATA Cabin Operations Safety Conference
May 5-7, 2015
Paris, France


ERAU Aviation SMS Seminar

Daytona Beach, FL

May 12-14, 2015



Aircraft Accident Investigation - Fire and Material Failures

New course offered by BlazeTech Corp.

Woburn MA USA

19-21 May 2015



Fundamentals of IS-BAH

June 15, 2015

St. Hubert, Quebec  Canada



IS-BAH Auditing

June 16, 2015

St. Hubert, Quebec  Canada



6th Pan American Aviation Safety Summit
June 22-26th
Medellin, Colombia



Fundamentals of IS-BAO

April 23, 2015

PCAT Safety Smackdown, San Antonio TX  USA



IS-BAO Auditing

April 24, 2015

PCAT Safety Smackdown, San Antonio TX  USA



Fundamentals of IS-BAO

May 12, 2015

Toluca, Mexico



IS-BAO Auditing

May 13, 2015

Toluca, Mexico







Aviation Technical Writer




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"Flight Safety Information" is a free service of:   

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Curt Lewis & Associates, LLC is an international, multi-discipline technical and scientific consulting firm specializing in aviation and industrial safety. Our specialties are aviation litigation support, aviation/airport safety programs, accident investigation and reconstruction, safety & quality assessments/audits, system safety (PRA), human factors, Safety Management Systems (SMS) assessment/implementation & training, safety/quality training & risk management, aviation manual development, IS-BAO Auditing, airfield/heliport lighting products, patent infringement/invalidity expert testimony and Technical Support.