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Scary Go-Around Tail Strike And A Billion-Dollar Search Under Way

Plus, new “GPS” backup system shines; ATP opens 70th flight school and Elon Musk bemoans public information efforts

A British Airways Airbus A321NEO was involved in a scary go-around at London’s Heathrow Airport earlier this week as it attempted to land in extreme gusty wind conditions associated with a powerful storm and struck its tail on the runway as the plane pitched up for the go-around.

Garmin announced a new personal locator beacon/satellite communicator, the inReach Mini 2, that delivers up to 30 days of battery life. The $400 pocket-sized communicator makes use the Iridium satellite system to connect users with help 24/7 anywhere on earth.

Diamond Aircraft announced an engine change in its pretty DART-550 military turboprop trainer from a GE H75 turboprop to a Pratt & Whitney PT-6. The newly reengined plane will now be called the DART-750.

Daher acquired Triumph Aerospace’s 485,000-square-foot facility in Stuart, Florida. Daher, which makes the popular single-engine turboprop, the sleek, pressurized TBM 900-series and the rugged Kodiak high-winger, said the facility would be used to “strengthen [its] industrial business.”

ATP announced that it will open a new flight training facility just outside of Pittsburgh in Western Pennsylvania. The school at West Mifflin County Airport will be ATP’s 70th flight school as it seeks to address a hot market for airline pilots.

The United States Navy F-35C that crashed into the South China Sea while attempting to land aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson is the subject of an intense search operation. The pilot, who ejected, was rescued, and several personal aboard the ship were injured. The United States is reportedly frantically working to recover the frontline fighter before China has the chance to.


European researchers were optimistic about the performance of a backup position, navigation and timing system—which is what GPS and Europe’s GNSS satellite navigation systems are—that is a candidate to provide support to Europe’s primary sat-nav system. The participants characterized the system as more secure than the system it would back up. The United States is conducting similar trials.

A group of concerned citizens of Hartford, Connecticut, many of them pilots, have banded together to fight the Hartford City Council’s plan to close Hartford Brainard Airport, this despite economic studies that show a powerful contribution to the Hartford economy, $17 million per year in wages and more than $50 million in positive economic impact.   

The NTSB is recommending that the FAA issue airworthiness directives that would require owners of Piper PA-12 and PA-14 aircraft replace the original equipment rudder post in their planes, this following a pair of incidents in which the component failed in flight.


Elon Musk made headlines when he entered into negotiations with University of Central Florida student Jack Sweeney over a Twitter bot the college student created that automatically reports on the comings and goings of Musk’s Gulfstream G650. Musk offered Sweeney $5,000 to disable the bot. Musk has not yet replied to Sweeney’s counteroffer of 50K.

Honeywell conducted what it called a successful test of an autonomous see-and-avoid system in trials held near Phoenix. In the tests, Honeywell used a drone equipped with the traffic avoidance system and unleashed other drones that it had to avoid, which it succeeded in doing, the company said, without human intervention.


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