New Goodyear Blimps Coming. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has begun construction of the first of a new generation of airships to replace its aging fleet of blimps with the new Zeppelin LZ N07-101 airship being manufactured by Germany’s ZLT Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik and then assembled at Goodyear’s Wingfoot Lake Hangar near Akron, Ohio. Goodyear has built and operated more than 300 lighter-than-air vehicles since 1917.
Using Aircraft to Conquer Alaska’s Mount McKinley. One hundred years ago this month, the Alaska Dispatch noted an expedition successfully made a full ascent of Mount McKinley, the highest peak in North America. However, a later 1930 flight over the summit in an Alaska Airways Fairchild Model 71 monoplane by Matt Nieminen and his mechanic Cecil Higgins generated interest in how aircraft could be used in planning and then executing an expedition to the remote mountain. The Alaska Dispatch’s article provides a good overview about the history of such efforts.
Flying Tourists in Kenya. The odd ball pilot behind the Odd Ball Pilot blog delivered a Cessna Caravan to Safarilink, an airline based in Nairobi, Kenya, and has posted an interesting podcast interview with a local pilot about how he got his start as a flight instructor, the type of flying pilots for his airline do, what his company looks for in pilots and his best advice for someone wanting to learn to fly in Kenya.
NTSB Releases Five Safety Alerts. On a safety note, the NTSB has released five Safety Alerts targeting the leading causes of accidents and is also developing supporting materials for each safety alert, including a series of five videos. The safety alerts are well worth reviewing because as Air Facts noted: “We aren’t inventing new ways to kill pilots.” Moreover, the NTSB Chairman has stated stated: “We see the same types of accidents over and over again.”
Norfolk to Become the Home for F-35 Squadrons. The UK Ministry of Defence has confirmed that its future fleet of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters will be operated from the Royal Air Force’s Marham base in Norfolk. Apparently, Marham had been tipped openly, publicly and repeatedly by defence officials to become the home for the RAF and Royal Navy F-35 squadrons.
The CAA Grants a Gyroplane Exemption. The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has announced an exemption for type approved gyroplanes which will allow their use for self-fly hire (including instruction and testing), provided certain conditions are met. The conditions include the aircraft being owned or operated under arrangements with a flying club and where the owner and the pilot hiring the gyroplane are both club members
Citation CJ3 Hits a Milestone. Cessna Aircraft Co. recently rolled out the 400th production unit of the company’s Citation CJ3 business jet from its Wichita production facility. The CJ3 can fly non-stop from New York to Miami, Los Angeles to Chicago, London to Moscow or Beijing to Manila with a flight ceiling of 45,000 feet and up to eight passengers.
Can a Citation Do Belly Rolls in the Dark? Apparently no as Sylvia, the blogger behind the Fear of Landing blog, mentioned a story where cockpit voice recorders recorded a Citation flight crew discussing whether the other had ever done a barrel roll in the dark. They agreed to try one, swiftly lost control of the aircraft and plunged over 20,000 feet to crash into a German forest.