Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Gulfstream moves closer to 1st G650 delivery

Gulfstream will deliver the first completed G650s to customers "within the next few weeks" as it moves to address a five-year backlog for the ultra-long-range type.

But despite the large orderbook for the the new twinjet, Gulfstream does not plan to consider increasing the production rate for the G650 until it reaches its production "battle rhythm", says Jay Johnson, chairman and chief executive of parent company General Dynamics.

Speaking to analysts in a third-quarter earnings call on 24 October, Johnson says pilot training classes for the first aircraft have been completed and the company is "marching along smartly" towards the first delivery from its completion centre to a client.
The Savanah, Georgia-based airframer had originally planned to deliver 17 aircraft to customers this year but a delay in achieving certification from the US Federal Aviation Administration - which it eventually obtained on 7 September - will reduce that figure, says Johnson. It is scheduled to hand over a further 33 aircraft in both 2013 and 2014, he says.

"To change that, to wick it up, based on the demand, based on the five-year backlog is certainly something we are desirous of doing, but we're not going to turn the rheostat up until we've hit, as I call it, our battle rhythm, and we're just not there yet."

During the quarter, its aerospace division, which includes the Jet Aviation completions and maintenance business, recorded turnover of $1.8 billion, with earnings of $261 million.

Profitablity was "modestly lower" at Jet, says Johnson, "as the business works aggressively to confront overhead absorption issues exacerbated by the European debt crisis" which have hit aircraft ulitisation and MRO work. The business continues to trim the size of its operations in slower markets, he adds, and is taking "positive steps forward".

At quarter-end Gulfstream's backlog stood at just over $16 billion, including approximately five years of G650 production and around 18 months of G450 and G550 deliveries.

The third quarter was Gulfstream's strongest of the year for orders so far, "driven by several multi-aircraft deals placed by North American companies". Year-to-date, North American customers represent nearly 60% of Gulfstream's order book, it says.

Despite the ongoing weakness in Europe, Johnson expects the company to book several multi-aircraft "international deals" in the coming months.

Gulfstream will display both its newly certificated jets, the G650 and G280 at NBAA in Orlando.

(Flight Global News - Dominic Perry)

NASA DC-9-33F makes another visit to Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB)

 Taxies on "Delta" towards a Rwy 30 departure.
 It was very nice to see this aircraft return home to Long Beach!
 Gathering speed for takeoff on Rwy 30.
NASA DC-9-33F (47476/569) N932NA "Weightless Wonder IV" blasts down Rwy 30 as she departs back to Ellington Field Airport (EFD/KEFD), Houston, Texas at 15:27 pst.
(Photos by Michael Carter)   

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Contract Air Cargo 727-200 makes another visit to Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB)

 Short final to runway 30 as it arrives from Oakland County International Airport (PTK/KPTK) Pontiac, MI at 1149 pst.
 Taxies on "Delta" towards a Rwy 30 departure.
Contract Air Cargo 727-2S2F (22936/1830) N215WE rolls for takeoff on Rwy 30 at 16:14 pst bound for Hamilton/John C. Munro Int'l Airport (Hamilton, Ontario) YHM / CYHM.
(Photos by Michael Carter) 

Gulfstream action at Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) today

 G-III (c/n 348) N357PR taxies on "Delta."
 G-III (c/n 348) N357PR operated by From the Heart Church Ministries Inc., rolls for take-off on Rwy 30 as we enjoy a lovely SoCal afternoon.
Netjets G450 (c/n 4010) N425QS captured on short final to Rwy 30.
(Photos by Michael Carter)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

6th Royal Australian Air Force C-17A flies at Long Beach

The 6th C-17A (F-251/0211) A41-211 destined for the Royal Australian Air Force returns to Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) this afternoon following a successful first flight on October 24, 2012.
(Photo by Michael Carter) 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Blythe, California and its busy (Ha, Ha) Municiple Airport

Back from PHX Slide Fest 2012 where everyone had a fantastic time. It was very nice to see some old friends and make some new ones.
I drove to Phoenix which is a six hour drive from Long Beach but it was a very easy no fuss, no muss drive. Just before I crossed the border leaving California and entering Arizona, I stopped at Blythe Municple Airport to see what I might find. 
As I drove toward the lone hanger at the airport I saw that an Ameriflight Beech 99A was parked on the ramp in gorgeous sun just waiting to be photographed. I checked with a gentleman seated in front of the ops office if it would be okay to walk out on the ramp to take few photos and he mumbled softly that it would be fine. 
I headed out onto the ramp and got my photos and thought to myself how nice it would be if every airport was this accessible to take photos.  
Below are the results of my short stay at Blythe (BLH/KBLH), California Municple Airport.
 The entrance to Blythe Municiple Airport (BLH/KBLH).
 The just slightly under utilized passenger terminal.
 Ameriflight Beech 99A (c/n U-105) N34AK rests in the morning sun.
(Photos by Michael Carter)   

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Heading to Phoenix, AZ for "PHX slide fest 2012" tomorrow

Off to Phoenix tomorrow morning (a six hour drive) to take part in the slide fest being put on by Joe Fernandez and Jarrod Wilkening.

I Will make every effort to make a few updates during the trip and show but if I don't you know I am having a blast and looking at far to many K64 Kodachrome slides!

(APF Editor and Chief Michael Carter)

Honolulu (HNL/PHNL) classic props

 A little air conditioning following a flight from a neighbor island.
 Beech H18 Tri-gear (BA-665) N933T operated by Kamaka Air taxies to the ramp on October 2, 2012.
 Kamaka Air Beech E18S (BA-281) N231H basks in the island morning sun. 
 The last few packages being loaded for a flight to one of the neighbor islands.
 Positive climb, gear up as Kamaka Air C-117D "Super DC-3C" (c/n 43375) N9796N climbs into the Hawaiian skies on October 2, 2012. 
Rhoades Aviation Convair 640(F) (c/n 463) N587CA receives some TLC on the Honolulu ramp on October 2, 2012.
(Photos by Michael Carter)
G550 (c/n 5386) N536GA tbr N5092 taxies to Rwy 30 at Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) as it departs on a customer acceptance flight at 08:44 pst on October 17, 2012.
(Photo by Michael Carter)
G550 (c/n 5380) N506SA, ex N380GA taxies to Rwy 30 at Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) on October 17, 2012 as it readies to depart to Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport (SAV/KSAV) for onward delivery to its new owner.
(Photo by Michael Carter)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Interjet commences service to John Wayne Orange County Airport

Interjet A320-214 (c/n 5163) XA-VCT touches down on Rwy 19R on October 11, 2012 as it arives on the inaugural flight from Mexico City.
(Photo by John Wayne Airport)

Last Thursday October 11, 2012 Interjet inaugurated daily service to Mexico from John Wayne Orange County Airport (SNA/KSNA). The flights to Mexico City (MEX/MMMX) and Guadalajara (GDL/MMGL) represent the company's fourth U.S. gateway as Mexico's second largest air carrier continues to make a strong impact in the popular U.S.-Mexico travel market. Interjet already flies from Miami (MIA/KMIA), New York (JFK/KJFK) and San Antonio (SAT/KSAT) to Mexico City.

Pictured l-r: Alan L. Murphy, Airport Director, John Wayne Airport; Jose Luis Garza, CEO, Interjet; Alejandra Garcia Williams, Consul General to Mexico in Santa Ana; John M. W. Moorlach, Chairman, Orange County Board of Supervisors
Pictured l-r: Alan L. Murphy, Airport Director, John Wayne Airport; Jose Luis Garza, CEO, Interjet; Alejandra Garcia Williams, Consul General to Mexico in Santa Ana; John M. W. Moorlach, Chairman, Orange County Board of Supervisors
"Interjet is very pleased to commence service from Orange County to two Mexican gateways - Mexico City and Guadalajara - which are popular destinations for Southern California business and leisure travelers. In addition, Interjet's Orange County flights to Mexico City provide the most convenient same-day connections to over 23 Mexican gateways served by Interjet which will make travel to Mexico even easier. We look forward to providing our Southern California friends with the quality service and appealing amenities that travelers from other parts of the U.S. already enjoy," said Jose Luis Garza, Interjet's CEO. In addition to its U.S. gateways, Interjet's international route structure currently includes Guatemala, Cuba, and San José, Costa Rica.

"The OC tourism industry is absolutely thrilled with the new service by Interjet to two cities in Mexico. As John Wayne Airport, Orange County continues to expand its air service to new international markets; Mexico is a natural and critical market for the region's success," said Gary Sherwin, Chairman of the Orange County Visitor's Association. “We welcome Interjet to the OC family and look forward to extending our famous OC lifestyle brand to all of its passengers and providing them with an exceptional experience."

Passengers arriving on the first two flights into Orange County today were greeted by Airport employees and representatives from the Orange County tourism industry. Each passenger received goodie bags filled with items representing sites to see and places to visit in Orange County as well as Disney Ears and a one-day pass to Disneyland Resort parks. All items were donated by Anaheim/Orange County Visitor and Convention Bureau, Destination Irvine, Disneyland Resort, Knott's Berry Farm, Laguna Beach Conference & Visitor Bureau, Legoland & SEALife Aquarium, Medieval Times, Mission San Juan Capistrano, OC Parks, Orange County Great Park, Orange County Visitor’s Association, San Diego Zoo, Sea World Parks, South Coast Plaza, The Outlets of Orange and Visit Buena Park.

The new Orange County to Mexico City service departs from John Wayne Airport at 10:30 am Monday through Friday, arriving at the Benito Juarez International Airport at 4:05 pm. On Saturday and Sunday, flights from Orange County depart at 3:15 pm, arriving in Mexico City at 8:50 pm. Flights leave Mexico City at 7:45 am, arriving in Orange County at 9:30 am Monday through Friday, and at 12:30 pm arriving in Orange County at 2:15 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Daily service to Guadalajara's Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla International Airport departs John Wayne Airport at 1:35 pm, arriving at 6:45 pm; flights from Guadalajara depart at 11:15 am and arrive at 12:35 pm.

"We are honored that Interjet has chosen John Wayne Airport as its first destination on the West Coast," stated Alan L. Murphy, Airport Director, John Wayne Airport. "Orange County's strong tourism and business sectors - along with our terrific international arrival facilities - make John Wayne Airport a great choice for convenient, nonstop service from Mexico."

Interjet earned its reputation as one of Mexico's most successful airlines based on numerous passenger-pleasing flight and service features. Interjet is known for its high quality service at competitively affordable prices as well as its excellent safety record. With 35 new A320 aircraft, the airline has put the customer first with such decisions as removing 30 seats to create maximum comfort for 150 guests as well as serving complimentary snacks and premium beverages during flights between Mexico and Orange County. Interjet also offers transferable tickets, an appealing frequent flier loyalty program, in-flight entertainment program, an unrestricted 20 percent discount year-round for seniors, a unique take-off/landing camera and women-only toilets on all airplanes. In contrast with other carriers, there is no extra charge for passengers to select seats or check up to two 55-pound bags per ticket. Interjet does not overbook its flights and has no hidden fees in the ticket purchase prices; the price offered by the airline is what the customer pays, including all taxes.
(JWA Press Release)

The photos below are of Interjet A320-214 (c/n 3286) XA-MXM as it arrives at John Wayne Orange County Airport from Mexico City on October 15, 2012.


 (Photos by Michael Carter)

L.A. County Sheriffs Department add "Super Puma" to Aero Bureau fleet

Eurocopter AS332L1 "Super Puma" (c/n 9007) N950SG returns to Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) following a proving run flight on October 10, 2012. 
(Photo by Michael Carter)
A trio of smaller, faster and more powerful Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department helicopters are poised to take flight over Southern California.
Three previously-owned Eurocopter AS 332L1 Super Puma helicopters have been acquired by Los Angeles County for $31 million to staff the sheriff’s department’s Aero Bureau. The total acquisition, including training and parts, was $47 million, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Nicole Nishida said.
The helicopters are the latest in a long line of aircraft used for the Department’s Air Rescue-5 program, the rescue unit of the Aero Bureau. Since 1955, the Aero Bureau began with a Bell 47, making the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department one of the first law enforcement agencies on the West Coast to use helicopters. Piston-engine Sikorsky H-34 (military S-58) helicopters were acquired in the 1970’s, followed by turbine-powered Sikorsky S-58T’s.
The three new helicopters will replace three former United States Navy Sikorsky SH-3H Sea Kings that the department acquired in 1998 as parts and support for these aircraft became more expensive and difficult to obtain, according to Nishida. “They look fantastic in person,” Nishida said. “They’re very sleek looking and are a little bit smaller than the old ones.”
The Super Puma is in fact about 25% smaller than the helicopters they are replacing, but carry the same number of people, sheriff’s officials said. They will be employed primarily as rescue aircraft, but their duties will also include SWAT insertions and extractions, Homeland Security support, maritime missions and personnel transport after natural disasters.
Once they are delivered, Nishida says these helicopters will be fully equipped the latest law enforcement technology. The choppers will be fitted with external hoists; nose-mounted, forward-looking infrared cameras – a first for a department rescue helicopter; night-vision compatible cockpits and multi-patient medical interiors.
For safety, these helicopters will be equipped with Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System/Terrain Awareness and Warning System (EGPWS/TAWS). The cockpits of these Super Pumas will also be equipped with GPS, instrument flight rules (IFR) capability and weather radar.
“The Super Pumas are equipped with advanced technological enhancements that will enable the Air Rescue 5 personnel to maintain the highest operational capability and the ability to fly in nearly all weather conditions,” Sheriff Lee Baca said in a statement.
(KCBS News - Los Angeles)

New G550 takes to the skies from Long Beach Airport

G550 (c/n 5386) N536GA tbr N5092 taxies onto Rwy 30 at Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) as it prepares to depart on a short pre-delivery test flight on October 16, 2012 at 10:16 pst.
(Photo by Michael Carter)

Pan Am Beech A60 "Duke"

Beech A60 "Duke" (c/n P-170) N710PA "Clipper Caroline" is owned by former Pan Am employee Frank Martin. The aircraft is currently based at Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) where it is captured resting in the afternoon sun on October 16, 2012.
(Photo by Michael Carter)

Antonov Design Bureau AN-124-100M-150 "Ruslan" visits Long Beach Airport

 Rests on taxiway "Bravo" near the old Douglas commercial blast fence.

Antonov Desigh Bureau AN-124-100M-150 (c/n 19530501006) UR-82002 "Ruslan" arrived at Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) from Winnipeg International (YWG/CYWG) at 07:23 pst on October 16, 2012 transporting a satellite destined for Boeings Sea Launch project.
(Photos by Michael Carter) 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Southwest Airlines hires ex FAA head Randy Babbitt

Southwest Airlines proudly welcomes J. Randolph "Randy" Babbitt as Senior Vice President of Labor Relations to direct and oversee the carrier's labor related activities. Babbitt will report directly to Chief Operating Officer Mike Van de Ven and have responsibility for all negotiation, communication, and ongoing relationships between the Company and the eleven organizations that represent 87 percent of Southwest Employees.

"For more than 40 years, Southwest has thrived because of our regard for labor organizations as partners," Van de Ven said. "Randy's unique skills and experience at various levels in our industry can only strengthen those partnerships to ensure our Employees continue to play an important role in Southwest's success."

Mike Ryan, Southwest's Vice President of Labor Relations, and the Labor Relations Team will report to Babbitt.

Babbitt began his aviation career as a pilot, flying 25 years for Eastern Airlines. A skilled negotiator, he served as President and CEO for US ALPA, the world's largest professional organization of airline pilots. While at ALPA, he championed the "One Level of Safety" initiative implemented in 1995 to improve safety standards across the industry. He also promoted the international expansion of ALPA through a merger with the Canadian Air Line Pilots Association in 1997.

Babbitt later served as the FAA's sixteenth administrator from June 2009 through December 2011 after more than eight years on the agency's Management Advisory Council providing guidance to other Administrators on a range of topics ranging from air traffic modernization to regulatory policy and safety oversight within the airline industry and the FAA. He was recognized by Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine with the Laurels Award for outstanding achievement in the Commercial Air Transport category.

(Southwest Airlines Press Release)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Bizjets In Hawaii

While in Hawaii I did keep my eyes open for any Gulfstream movements and I was not disappointed.
In Kaua'i I spotted G450 (c/n 4157) N451BH and G550 (c/n 5097) N806AC at Lihue Airport (LIH/PHLI) on September 30, 2012.
At Honolulu International (HNL/PHNL) on October 3, 2012 I spotted G-IISP (c/n 193) N227LA, G-II (c/n 257) N1159B, and G-IV (c/n 1147) N820MS.
I also photographed the two aircraft below:
 G-V (c/n 578) N410LM
Global Express XRS (c/n 9368) VH-TGG which arrived from Essendon Airport (Essendon North) (MEB/YMEN) Victoria, Australia just a couple hours before I took this photo.
(Photos by Michael Carter)   

Hawaiian Airlines DC-9-51 spends her retirement years at at Honolulu International Airport

I was in Hawaii recently and meet with HNL Rarebirds blog editor Ivan Nishimura who was very kind to show me around the westside of Honolulu International Airport (HNL/PHNL) where there are lots of classic aircraft to be seen and photographed. I can't thank Ivan enough for his kindness.
I will be sharing my photos with you in my future posts and sure hope you enjoy them as much as I did spotting and photographing these lovely classic aircraft. I will of course post photos of my favorite aircraft operating in the Hawaiian Islands the McDonnell Douglas MD-95 better known as the Boeing 717-200.  
One of the biggest surprises for me, was finding this McDonnell Douglas DC-9-51 late of Hawaiian Airlines. I had no idea that the carrier had donated this aircraft to local trade school Pacific Aerospace Training Center in 2003 which is associated with Honolulu Community College and the University of Hawaii. She wears no registration just her old fleet no. "69" on the nose gear door and has been re-named "Keahole" and sports the trade schools name.
McDonnell Douglas DC-9-51 (47763/879) N699HA/69 "Maile" was delivered new to Hawaiian Airlines on July 11, 1978 and spent her entire career with the carrier until her retirement in in January 2002.
(Photo by Michael Carter)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Travis AFB C-17A visits Long Beach

USAF C-17A (P-162) 06-6162 "Spirit of Suisun City" - Travis AFB also made her way into Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) operating as a support aircraft for the damaged C-17A which arrived an prior to this lovely ladies arrival.
(Photo by Michael Carter)

Damaged C-17A arrives home at Long Beach Airport for repairs

 A major patch under the cockpit section appears to be a giant black mustach. 
 One main gear hangs from the bottom of the aircraft as she performs a fly-by just prior to landing.
 Look very closely and you can see that the forward entry door has been patched over and there is no main gear door on the aft set of wheels.
USAF C-17A (P-189) 07-7189 based at Charleston AFB was severely damaged during combat operations this past August in Afghanistan. The aircraft was patched up and made airworthy enough to enable it to limp its way home to Long Beach where she was built, and where she will recieve her major repairs. During the flight home she could fly at only 12,500 at a speed of 250 knots.  
(Photos by Michael Carter)

Some recent Gulfstream action at Long Beach and Orange County Airports

 G-V (c/n 527) N5SA at Long Beach Airport October 12, 2012.
 G-V (c/n 568) N168CE at John Wayne Orange County Airport (SNA/KSNA) on October 13, 2012.
 G550 (c/n 5300) B-90609 at Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) on October 12, 2012.
 G550 (c/n 5380) N380GA tbr N506SA holds short of Rwy 30 at Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) on October 11, 2012.
G550 (c/n 5399) N399GA arrives at Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) from Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport (SAV/KSAV) on October 12, 2012.
(Photos by Michael Carter)