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Fake Jet Engine Parts Supplied To Repair Shops.....

From Zero Hedge


Fake Jet Engine Parts Supplied To Repair Shops For Older Airbus And Boeing Planes

By Tyler Durden

European aviation authorities have flagged a London-based firm for supplying "unapproved parts" for jet engines on older Airbus SE A320s and Boeing Co. 737s. 

"Numerous Authorised Release Certificates for parts supplied via AOG Technics have been forged," the European Union Aviation Safety Agency wrote in a statement to Bloomberg

London-based AOG Technics sold CFM56 jet engine parts to third-party repair shops servicing older A320s and 737s. EASA said the parts had certificates the manufacturer could not authenticate or confirm "they were not the originator of the part." 

"Manufacturers and regulators sounded the alarm weeks ago, triggering a global scramble to trace parts supplied by AOG Technics and identify affected aircraft," Bloomberg said. 

EASA said the parts with "falsified Authorized Release Certificate" were for CFM56 engines installed on older narrow-body planes. The regulator has told airlines to quarantine parts that potentially could have fake documentation. 

"The documentation of parts is a very critical issue," said Klaus Mueller, a senior adviser at AeroDynamic Advisory and a former senior executive at MTU Aero Engines AG and Deutsche Lufthansa AG's maintenance arm.

Mueller said, "The industry is taking this topic very, very seriously."

This development is a significant headache for European airlines because how many parts with fake documentation AOG Technics flooded airlines with is still being determined. 

Bloomberg said CFM International, the GE-Safran manufacturing venture of the engine, has alerted customers and shops about the fake certification documents and unapproved parts for the CFM56s. 

EASA said if a part has falsified documentation, "then it is recommended that the part be replaced with an approved part." 

Yet more headaches for airlines operating older A320s and 737s because finding fake parts on their aircraft will take time. It also comes as aircraft parts are in short supply. 

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Pilots Suspected of Being Unfit to Fly

From Sputnik International


Hundreds of US Airline Pilots Suspected of Being Unfit to Fly

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - About 600 US pilots licensed to operate passenger flights are under investigation for lying about their medical records, US press reported Sunday, citing officials and internal records.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been looking into 4,800 former military veterans turned airline and commercial pilots who might have submitted "incorrect or false information" as part of their medical applications, FAA spokesman Matthew Lehner admitted in a comment to the daily.

The pilots were red-flagged after investigators at the Department of Veterans Affairs cross-checked federal databases to discover aviators who were receiving veteran benefits for mental health disorders and other serious conditions, while hiding their true medical history from the FAA in order to continue flying.

While the FAA relies on screening to identify safety risks, the tests are often cursory and pilots are expected to self-report conditions that can otherwise be difficult to detect, such as depression or post-traumatic stress, The Washington Post cited physicians who conduct the exams as saying.

Officials told the newspaper they suspected many of the pilots under investigation of being either too sick to fly or defrauding taxpayers by exaggerating their disabilities to claim bigger benefits. The FAA disbursed $3.6 million starting last year to run additional tests on thousands of pilots deemed "potential risks."

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The Most Flown Private Jet In The US Is...

From Zero Hedge


The Most Flown Private Jet In The US Is...

By Tyler Durden

In a rapid shift in private aviation among millionaires, cent-millionaires, and billionaires, Textron Inc.'s Cessna Citation, the most popular and most flown private jet in the US, which held that record for 15 years, has just been dethroned. 

Bloomberg reports new monthly flight data from the Federal Aviation Administration shows Brazil's Embraer Phenom 300, a medium-sized jet that seats around nine passengers, had 360,000 takeoffs and landings at US airports in the 12 months through August, 1,200 more than the Citation Excel family of jets. 




Brian Foley, a private aviation consultant, said the biggest reason behind the surge in popularity of the Phenom 300 is fuel efficiency, which burns one-third less than the Citation Excel. He said cheaper fuel costs offset the Phenom 300's smaller cabin space.

For some context, at cruising speed, the two Pratt & Whitney turbofans of the Citation Excel burn around 225 gallons per hour of Jet A fuel. 


Citation Excel


Meanwhile, the Phenom 300 is around 158 gallons of Jet A fuel per hour. 




Even though Phenom 300s are being flown more, Cessna still dominates private jet deliveries. 




Textron told Bloomberg, "One of every three business jets worldwide is a Cessna Citation, and product upgrades like these continue to give customers new reasons to choose us for our proven performance, leading technology and unmatched cabin experience." 

Despite the 'climate change' cheerleading, private jet demand soared to new heights in recent years, though mounting macro uncertainty and the highest interest rates in two decades led to a cooling in private jet flights earlier this year.




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The World’s Ten Busiest Airports

From Statista


The World’s Ten Busiest Airports - By Anna Fleck

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, U.S., was the world's busiest airport in 2022, with an annual footfall of some 93.7 million passengers. The figure is 24 percent higher than in 2021, but 15 percent lower than in 2019, the year before the pandemic. It is followed by Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, with 73.4 million travelers, and Denver Airport, with 69.3 million, according to data released by Airports Council International (ACI).

After 22 years leading the charge as the number one airport for passenger volume, Atlanta's airport was pushed to second place in 2020 by Canton Baiyun International Airport, China. However, the Chinese airport fell to eighth place a year later and the U.S. airport once again topped the list.

As the following infographic shows, five of the top ten airports with the highest passenger traffic last year were in the United States. ACI highlights that all ten, representing 10 percent of global traffic, have a significant share of domestic traffic - the segment that has led the global recovery.

The total number of passengers worldwide in 2022 was estimated to hit nearly 7 billion, representing an increase of nearly 54 percent over 2021.



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US Pilot Shortage Might Not Be Resolved Until 2032

From Zero Hedge


Air travel demand soared back to pre-Covid times during the Fourth of July holiday weekend. But with rising demand for air travel comes persistent flight delays and cancellations due to a pilot shortage. Some of the reasons for a pilot shortage have been a surge in early retirements during the pandemic, a mandatory retirement age of 65, a shrinking pool of potential pilots from the military, and a challenging value proposition for civilians to pursue a career as a pilot. 

We have told readers there's "no quick fix" to the severe pilot shortage. Airlines like American Airlines have seen flight disruptions this summer due to a lack of pilots. 

Current figures from the Federal Aviation Administration show the aviation industry is short 32,000 commercial pilots, mechanics, and air traffic controllers -- and the gap continues to expand by the year.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told CBS News his office is investigating several airlines that book "unrealistic" scheduling by selling seats ahead of scheduling personnel to fly planes.  

"If you look at the delays, for example, that America experienced through last year in the summer 2022, a lot of that was driven by these companies not having the staff that they needed," Buttigieg said.

"This is not something that's going to be worked out overnight. It took years to get this way," he warned.

Wichita State University emeritus associate professor Dean Headley said, "The pilot shortage won't be resolved until 2032 or something like that." 

Headley said airlines can train 1,500 to 1,800 pilots a year but noted with a deficit of 17,000 pilots, "we can't catch up that quick." 

The current pilot shortage has forced commercial airlines to "cut back flights to smaller regional airports. So, people [who] are not at a major airport will find that their flight schedules have been reduced simply because they don't have enough people to put in an airplane to fly it somewhere," Headley explained

Besides a pilot shortage, the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Transportation revealed in early July there was also a severe shortage of air-traffic controllers. And just like pilots, it takes years to train air-traffic controllers. 

One airline lobbying group has asked Congress to allow just one pilot in the cockpit to alleviate the shortage. 

The shortages in pilots and air-traffic controllers won't be resolved anytime soon. No longer can airlines blame the "weather." 


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Legislation Increase.... Pilot Retirement Age to 67

From FlightGlobal


US House committee approves bill to hike pilot retirement age to 67

By Jon Hemmerdinger

A US lawmaking committee has approved a measure that would increase the USA’s mandatory airline-pilot retirement age, spurring criticism from pilot unions and earning praise from regional airlines.

The US House of Representatives’ transportation committee on 14 June approved the change, which would bump up the mandated retirement age of airline pilots in the USA from 65 to 67, according to reports.

Whether the measure, which passed by a narrow margin, will ultimately become law remains unclear.

It is part of a broader House bill to fund the Federal Aviation Administration after the agency’s current funding expires in October. The full US House is expected to vote on that broader bill in July, the committee says.

Meanwhile, a US Senate committee is expected today to vote on its own version of the funding bill. The chambers must then negotiate to finalise a single law.

But increasing the retirement age has strong support from the Regional Airline Association, a group whose members say they have been particularly hurt by an industry-wide pilot shortage.

A two-year bump in the required retirement age “will have an immediate, positive effect for small community air service”, the RAA says.

“Raising the pilot retirement age is the one solution that will have a near-immediate effect on the pilot shortage, allowing time for more long-term solutions to mature,” says the RAA. “It’s also the right thing to do for pilots who are today being pushed out of flight decks while they still have much to offer.”

US regional airlines have said too few pilots have forced them to ground hundreds of regional aircraft and cut air service to smaller communities. In the USA, airlines have about 490 regional jets (including Bombardier CRJs and Embraer E-Jets) in storage, and 1,340 in service, according to Cirium fleets data.

Airlines for America, the trade group representing large US airlines, declines to comment.

But US pilot unions are raising alarm. The unions have also denied the existence of a pilot shortage, saying airline mismanagement and low pay are keeping carriers from filling their ranks.

In a 14 June letter to lawmakers, Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) president Jason Ambrosi calls the retirement-age change “anti-union” and “politically driven”. ALPA says the measure will worsen a pilot-training backlog, put the USA out of step with international standards and erode aviation safety.

“There is an increased risk of cardiovascular issues, diabetes and cognitive decline with increasing age. It is imprudent for Congress to impose its own view on safety,” Ambrosi says.

The union, which represents pilots at numerous airlines, notes that existing ICAO standards call for retirements at age 65.

It says US pilots older than 65 years would be unable to fly some international flights, which are typically operated by widebody aircraft. As a result, such pilots would likely need to be retrained to fly narrowbody jets, which would “displace junior pilots” and create “a cascading training backlog”.

The Allied Pilot Association (APA), which represents pilots at American Airlines, likewise opposes increasing the required pilot retirement age.

“Safety considerations drove the establishment of the current international standard of age 65 mandatory retirement, and raising the pilot retirement age would introduce additional risk into commercial aviation,” says APA president Ed Sicher.

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China Jet to Rival Airbus, Boeing.....

From Bloomberg



By Danny Lee

China Jet to Rival Airbus, Boeing Makes First Commercial Flight

A made-in-China aircraft to rival Boeing Co. and Airbus SE underwent its maiden commercial flight on Sunday, almost six months after being delivered to China Eastern Airlines Corp.

Flight MU9191 took off from Shanghai at 10:32 a.m. local time, China Eastern said on its Weibo account. The plane carried 128 passengers and landed safely at Beijing, People’s Daily said in a tweet.

The commercial debut marks a long journey for Commercial Aircraft Corp of China Ltd., or Comac as it is better known. The manufacturer first starting developing the narrow-body airliner in 2008 and production began in late 2011. But it wasn’t until September 2022 when the C919 received official certification to fly, marking the long end of flight testing and paving the way for Comac to start deliveries.

Read more: China Delivers First Homegrown Plane to Take On Boeing, Airbus

China Eastern is the C919’s launch customer, with an order for five. After the first jet’s delivery in December, the aircraft undertook a period of flight activities almost daily in order to satisfy a requirement for 100 hours of proving flights. But from Feb. 7 to May 17, China Eastern’s C919 hadn’t flown regularly for 104 days, FlightRadar24 data show.

China is angling to disrupt the dominance of Boeing and Airbus in commercial jetliner manufacturing. Both Airbus’s A320neo family and Boeing’s 737 Max jets have a full order book through to the end of the decade, meaning any carrier wanting narrow-body jets sooner may need to find an alternative.

Read more: China’s Rival Aircraft to Boeing, Airbus Jets Wins Certification

Comac has garnered more than 1,000 orders for the C919, though the majority aren’t confirmed and many are from Chinese aircraft lessors yet to place the jet with an airline.

Doubts remain over Comac’s ability to fulfill those orders. The Chinese manufacturer is also reliant upon foreign suppliers including General Electric Co., Honeywell International Inc. and, for the engines, CFM International Inc. — a venture between GE and France’s Safran SA.

Shanghai-based China Eastern, one of the country’s biggest carriers, said on its earnings call last week that it plans to bring all five C919s into its fleet in 2023.

The C919 remains certified only to fly within China, however, while European certification remains ongoing. Each C919 costs around $99 million, before customary discounts to airlines.


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Site Upgrade

From Mark


This weekend..... if all goes well, Rotate.Aero will be upgrading to Joomla 4.

Joomla is a CMS or Content Management System that is similar to Word Press.

Both have site interaction which utilizes databases for storage.

Upgrading to Joomla 4 will be quite a task, so for the next couple of days, no Forum or Blog entries will be made.



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FAA Issues Rare "Call To Action" After Near Miss Incidents

From Zero Hedge


By Tyler Durden

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is assembling a team of experts to review a series of near-miss incidents and mishaps that could have sparked air disasters.

On Tuesday, FAA Administrator Billy Nolen penned a "call to action" memo that specified a team of safety experts will "examine the US aerospace system's structure, culture, processes, systems, and integration of safety efforts."

"We are experiencing the safest period in aviation history, but we cannot take this for granted," Nolen wrote. He added, "Recent events remind us that we must not become complacent."

His memo comes after a series of alarming incidents, including a United Airlines Boeing 777-200 that came within 800 feet of impacting the Pacific Ocean off Maui on Dec. 18, a computer 'glitch' that grounded all US flights on Jan. 11, a FedEx cargo jet that almost landed on a Southwest Airlines commercial plane at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Texas on Feb. 4, and a close call at York's John F. Kennedy International Airport on Jan. 16 when American Airlines plane crossed a runway when a Delta Air Lines flight was taking off.

Link to full memo:

All this is happening as passengers had just overcome their fear of flying on Boeing 737 Max planes. These near misses and computer problems are very concerning.

The US has not had a major fatal air disaster since February 2009.


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Covid Vaccine - Southwest Pilots

From Steve Kirsch Newsletter


Pilots are dying at Southwest Airlines at over 6X the normal rate after the COVID vaccines rolled out.

And disabilities are up 10X normal. I thought the vaccines were supposed to reduce death not increase it! I just asked the FAA for their comment, but no answer.

Please read more at link below:

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Should you be concerned? Yes.

By Steve Kirsch


The FAA has very quietly tacitly admitted that the EKGs of pilots are no longer normal. We should be concerned. Very concerned.

Long and informed article which is linked here. Please take the time to read it.

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Airlines Lobbying Congress To Allow Just One Pilot In The Cockpit

From Zero Hedge


Airlines, in their infinite mission to balance costs, profits, and keeping planes full of passengers alive between two points, might be going a little too far in their latest attempt to cut back.

According to CBS Newsthe industry has been quietly lobbing Congress to allow them to use just one pilot in the cockpit instead of two, as is currently required by part 121 of the Federal Aviation Regulations.

The airlines claim it would quickly solve staffing issues caused by the ongoing pilot shortage, and say that technology has improved to the point where it would be perfectly safe to do so.

There's language in a new bill now introduced in Congress — the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill — asking the Federal Aviation Administration to reconsider part 121 and to allow the use of a single pilot operation, first in cargo aircraft. 

Not surprisingly, airline pilots are loudly protesting this idea, claiming that it would diminish a safety discipline and culture that has been responsible for the safest 25 years in commercial aviation in the history of aviation. Pilots unions argue it's all about the airlines saving money and could compromise safety. -CBS News

 Unions have pointed to several examples of emergency situations in which two pilots were necessary - such as the "Miracle on the Hudson," when pilots Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger and Jeffrey Skiles worked together to glide a US Airways flight down to New York's Hudson river after it hit a flock of Canadian geese on takeoff, saving all 150 passengers and crew.

Meanwhile, 10 days ago an American Eagle flight from Chicago to Columbus had an emergency when one of the two pilots became incapacitated. The co-pilot was able to gain control of the plane, declare an emergency, and safely land back in O'Hare.

The pilot later died at the hospital. 

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From Airline Ratings



By Geoffrey Thomas

The last Boeing 747 will be delivered in October to Atlas Air bringing the curtain down on the production of the world’s most iconic commercial jet.

The last 747, a -8F is the 1574th built of a production run that has spanned 55 years.

Atlas Air, the world’s largest operator of the 747 has 57 of the giant jets in both freighter (52) and passenger configurations (5).

It is just over 50 years since the 747 entered service with Pan American on a flight from New York to London.

But the first passenger service got off to a rocky start with engine problems and was delayed by six hours and a substitute 747 was used.

The birth of the 747 was also rocky and was to bring dark clouds to the leaders in commercial aviation at the time and almost bankrupted all three.

Ironically, the 747 wasn’t supposed to carry passengers for very many years as the world looked to supersonic travel with the Boeing SST and the Concorde.


Giving life to the aircraft that changed the world was a challenge that brought the world’s largest aerospace company, Boeing, the then biggest engine builder Pratt, and Whitney and the legendary Pan Am to their knees.....

Please visit Airline Ratings for the complete article.


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FedEx Asks FAA Permission To Add Missile-Defense System .....

From Aerotime.Aero


FedEx Asks FAA Permission To Add Missile-Defense System To A321 Freighter.

By Gabriele Petrauskaite

American cargo airline FedEx is seeking permission from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to install a laser-based missile-defense system on its cargo aircraft.

In the filing dated January 7, 2022, the Department of Transportation of the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed that FedEx had asked permission to modify the Airbus A321-200 aircraft by installing the system.

In the document, the FAA stated that FedEx applied for a specific type certificate, which would allow the company to modify the commercial transport-category plane in October 2019. At the time, FedEx asked permission to install “a system that emits infrared laser energy outside the aircraft,” the FAA filing reads.

There have been a number of incidents in recent years where civilian planes have been targeted by man-portable air defense systems. As a result, laser-based missile defense systems began to be installed on aircraft in order to protect them against heat-seeking missiles.

However, the FAA shared safety concerns about the implementation of such a system.

“The FedEx missile-defense system directs infrared laser energy toward an incoming missile, to interrupt the missile’s tracking of the aircraft’s heat. Infrared laser energy can pose a hazard to persons on the aircraft, on the ground, and on other aircraft. The risk is heightened because infrared light is invisible to the human eye. Human exposure to infrared laser energy can result in eye and skin damage, and affect a flight crew’s ability to control the aircraft,” the American aviation body explained.

It continued: “Infrared laser energy also can affect other aircraft, whether airborne or on the ground, and property, such as fuel trucks and airport equipment, in a manner that adversely affects aviation safety.”

The FAA, which is the largest transportation agency in the US, also outlined that it could approve design features on the Airbus A321-200 jet and allow FedEx to install the modifications if the system is equipped with “means that prevent the inadvertent activation of the system on the ground”. The company will also need to ensure that the operating the system during the flight does not pose a risk to other aircraft or people.

In the meantime, the FAA is also required to place the laser system safety-related information at the location of the laser installation as well as to provide necessary instructions and warn over hazards associated with exposure to laser radiation.

“The airplane flight manual supplement (AFMS) must describe the intended functions of the installed laser systems, to include identifying the intended operations and phases of flight. The AFMS must state: CAUTION: The operation of the installed laser system could pose a significant risk of injury to others while in proximity to other aircraft, airports, and populated areas,” the FAA determined.

However, FedEx does not currently operate any Airbus A321-200 jets. The recent FAA filing could imply that the airline is planning to purchase aircraft of this type.



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Former Boeing Pilot Involved in Max Testing Indicted

From The Associated Press


DALLAS (AP) — A former Boeing pilot was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury on charges of deceiving safety regulators about the 737 Max jetliner, which was later involved in two deadly crashes.

The indictment charges Mark A. Forkner with giving the Federal Aviation Administration false and incomplete information about an automated flight-control system that played a role in the crashes, which killed 346 people.

Prosecutors said that because of Forkner's alleged deception, the system was not mentioned in pilot manuals or training materials.

An attorney for Forkner did not immediately respond for comment. Boeing and the FAA declined to comment.

Forkner, 49, was charged with two counts of fraud involving aircraft parts in interstate commerce and four counts of wire fraud. Federal prosecutors said he is expected to make his first appearance in court on Friday in Fort Worth, Texas. If convicted on all counts, he could face a sentence of up to 100 years in prison.

The indictment charges that he hid information about a flight-control system that activated erroneously and pushed down the noses of Max jets that crashed in 2018 in Indonesia, and 2019 in Ethiopia. The pilots tried unsuccessfully to regain control, but both planes went into nosedives minutes after taking off.

Forkner was Boeing's chief technical pilot on the Max program. Prosecutors said that Forkner learned about an important change to the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System flight-control system in 2016, but withheld the information from the FAA. That led the agency to delete reference to MCAS from a technical report and, in turn, it didn’t appear in pilot manuals. Most pilots didn’t know about MCAS until after the first crash.

Prosecutors suggested that Forkner downplayed the power of the system to avoid a requirement that pilots undergo extensive and expensive retraining, which would increase training costs for airlines. Congressional investigators suggested additional training would have added $1 million to the price of each plane.

“In an attempt to save Boeing money, Forkner allegedly withheld critical information from regulators,” said Chad Meacham, acting U.S. attorney for the northern district of Texas. “His callous choice to mislead the FAA hampered the agency’s ability to protect the flying public and left pilots in the lurch, lacking information about certain 737 MAX flight controls."

Forkner told another Boeing employee in 2016 that MCAS was “egregious” and “running rampant” when he tested it in a flight simulator, but he didn't tell that to the FAA.

“So I basically lied to the regulators (unknowingly),” Forkner wrote in a message that became public in 2019.

Forkner, who lives in a Fort Worth suburb, joined Southwest Airlines after leaving Boeing, but left the airline about a year ago.

Chicago-based Boeing agreed to a $2.5 billion settlement to end a Justice Department investigation into the company's actions. The government agreed to drop a criminal charge of conspiracy against Boeing after three years if the company carries out terms of the January 2020 settlement. The settlement included a $243.6 million fine, nearly $1.8 billion for airlines that bought the plane and $500 million for a fund to compensate families of the passengers who were killed.

Dozens of families of passengers are suing Boeing in federal court in Chicago.

Crash investigations highlighted the role of MCAS but also pointed to mistakes by the airlines and pilots. Max jets were grounded worldwide for more than a year and a half. The FAA approved the plane for flying again late last year after Boeing made changes to MCAS.


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FAA Launches New Safety Probe Into Boeing......

From Zero Hedge


FAA Launches New Safety Probe Into Boeing As Employees Complain About Pressure To Cut Corners

By Tyler Durden

The FAA isn't done punishing Boeing for the oversights (later revealed to be systemic) that led to the devastating crashes of two Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets, killing roughly 350 passengers and crew.

According to a WSJ report, the FAA is launching a "broad review of how Boeing employees handle safety matters" after several company engineers told the agency they had faced "undue pressure" to skirt over them.

The FAA survey, conducted this year, revealed that 35% of a small sample of certain Boeing employees reported problems including pressure and hurdles to transparency, according to an Aug. 19 agency letter to Boeing that was obtained by WSJ. Some surveyed employees, who are part of a group empowered by the agency to assist with its work, said they encountered difficulties in being transparent with regulators.

As WSJ explained, aviation regulators have long relied on engineers to act on the agency's behalf when performing certain tasks, especially when it comes to signing off on safety assessments. Any lapses in Boeing's safety overviews should have been anonymously reported to the agency. Yet, as we learned more than 18 months ago, engineers working on the 737 MAX 8 resented their managers, and privately complained to one another about the shortcomings of their oversight - without ever saying a word to the FAA.

According to the letter seen by WSJ, the survey indicated that some 35% of the small sample of Boeing employees surveyed complained to the agency that their work environment "does not support independence" of those who are empowered to act on the agency’s behalf, according to the letter, which was signed by Ian Won, acting manager of the FAA’s Boeing oversight office in the Seattle area.

In the aftermath of the 737 MAX 8 crashes (which famously led to the plane being grounded for more than a year) WSJ's reporting revealed that the FAA had effectively let Boeing regulate itself following an unprecedented incidence of "regulatory capture."

Yet, now we're learning that the "problems cited by Boeing employees in the survey 'indicate the environment does not support independence' of those who are empowered to act on the agency’s behalf, according to the letter, which was signed by Ian Won, acting manager of the FAA’s Boeing oversight office in the Seattle area."

In the survey, the employees complained about pressure that sometimes came from management, and sometimes came from fellow engineers.

The two-page letter came with excerpts from interviews with Boeing employees. The employees, who were quoted anonymously, told the FAA that the pressure they felt wasn’t necessarily overt and could also come from the engineering ranks pushing to stay on schedule.

"I feel undue pressure but I stand up to it," one Boeing employee was quoted by the letter as saying.

The FAA letter said that "Boeing’s company culture appears to hamper" its FAA-empowered employees "from communicating openly with the FAA." The letter cited one Boeing employee who told the agency: "I am very aware that my bringing up issues is not appreciated."

A Boeing spokesperson said the company "takes these matters with the utmost seriousness" and is working to bolster the independence of its employees who work on the FAA's behalf.

"We have consistently reinforced with our team that delegated authority is a privilege and that we must work every day to be trusted with the responsibility," she said. Boeing has directed that its FAA delegates "must be accorded the same respect and deference that is shown to our regulator."

Unfortunately, the problems cited by the August letter are all too familiar: they're the same issues that were identified by an internal company report that was obtained by Congress during its investigation into the two deadly crashes, which took place in October 2018 and March 2019.

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Airbus Announces A350 Cargo Jet

From The Seattle Times


By Charlotte Ryan

Airbus said its decades-old competition with Boeing is back on in earnest as the removal of coronavirus curbs revives international travel and unleashes a spate of jetliner order contests.

The European firm said Thursday that the traditionally fierce rivalry has resumed as Boeing emerges from a two-year slump triggered by the grounding of its best-selling 737 Max. At the same time, it signaled a new challenge with the launch of a freighter designed to erode the U.S. group’s lead in air cargo.

“We see our competitor very willing to win campaigns, to ramp up production again,” CEO Guillaume Faury told Bloomberg Television. “At Airbus we enjoy that competition and we always try to bring the right products and services to our customers.”

Airbus lifted its guidance for full-year earnings, cash flow and aircraft deliveries, a day after Boeing posted its first profit in almost two years. The figures confirm a strengthening aerospace recovery that’s set to gather further momentum with sales campaigns at Air France-KLM’s Dutch arm and U.K. discounter Jet2, both of them usually loyal Boeing customers.

The new freighter, a version of the A350 passenger jet, is expected to enter service in 2025, Faury said on a media call, after the board granted approval for the project. The plane will be based mostly on the largest -1000 variant, and will have a payload of more than 90 metric tons.

The company gets “closer every day” to lining up launch customers, the CEO said. Boeing is meanwhile also eyeing a freighter launch, with CEO Dave Calhoun saying Wednesday his company hopes to launch a cargo version of the coming 777X “in the relatively near term.”

The improving outlook comes amid a travel reopening that’s gathering pace in some key markets.

Domestic Chinese and U.S. demand has led the comeback, the European Union has removed barriers to internal flights, and the U.K. this week announced that it will allow American and EU visitors who have been fully vaccinated to enter without self-isolating.

While other holdouts including Canada and Singapore are easing restrictions, long-distance routes that join continents are still restricted, holding back demand for bigger, more expensive wide-body aircraft.

Airbus expects to hand over 600 jets this year, up from as few as 566, helping to lift adjusted operating profit to 4 billion euros ($4.7 billion) — double the previous target — and generating 2.7 billion euros in free cash flow.




Boeing is also emerging strongly from the pandemic after it beat earnings and cash-burn estimates and Calhoun halted job cuts well short of the 20% originally planned.

Airbus announced a deal from German airline Condor for seven A330neos while detailing first-half earnings that beat estimates. Boeing last month scooped the lion’s share of a mammoth 270-jet order from United Airlines.

The KLM requirement for 160 aircraft will be a key battleground since sister carrier Air France is one of Airbus’s biggest customers.

Faury said Thursday that the company is having “very dynamic discussions” on potential orders and sees activity picking up toward the end of the year.

Still, both plane-makers will be dependent on key equipment manufacturers keeping pace with ramp-up plans, which at Airbus could reach 64 narrow-body jets a month by early 2023 and 75 by 2025.

Engine-maker Safran said Wednesday it expects a “small step up” in deliveries this year and questioned whether demand will support build rates above 60 a month.


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Boeing Warns 16 Customers About "Electrical Issues" On Certain 737 MAX Jets

From ZubuBrothers


Since returning the MAX 8 to service early this year, it seems barely a week has gone by without some new issue involving Boeing.

On Friday, Bloomberg reported that Boeing had notified airlines that it has discovered a new electrical issue with "a specific group" of Boeing 737 MAX jets.

Boeing has recommended 16 customers address a potential electrical issue in a specific group of 737 MAX jets before further operations.

The company recommended that its customers inspect the jets and verify that "a sufficient ground path exists for a component of te electrical power system."

The company is working with the FAA to address the issue and inform customers of specific tail numbers that will give them more direction to identify the problematic jets and fix the issue."

Boeing shares showed a slight reaction on the news, declining slightly on the news.

Which is puzzling because this isn't the first issue Boeing has had with its jets since returning the 737 MAX 8 to service.

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FAA Orders Boeing To Inspect 737 Cabin Air Sensors That May Pose Safety Risk

From Zero Hedge


By Tyler Durden

On Thursday evening, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said Boeing must inspect cabin pressure switches for thousands of its 737 jets worldwide that could lead to pilots becoming incapacitated, according to Reuters

FAA's directive requires Boeing to conduct tests on all 737 series aircraft. There are more than 9,300 worldwide and 2,500 in the US. Inspecting cabin pressure switches will further ensure there's enough air to breathe as planes climb altitude. 

The directive comes as three 737, all different series, last September, failed pressure switch tests. Defective switches could result in cabin altitude warning systems not activating above 10,000 feet, which would pose a safety risk to pilots and passengers. Dangerously low oxygen levels result in asphyxiation, then death. 

The failure rate of the switches is "much higher than initially estimated" and poses a safety risk, the FAA said. 

On all 737 series, tests must be completed within 2,000 flight hours since the last test of the switch. 

The FAA is concerned the switches have a "higher than initially estimated" failure risk and poses safety issues. 

On a worldwide basis, the FAA has no legal authority over airline carriers in different countries to enforce checks of the switches. 

The words of the FAA are not encouraging for travelers who flood airports this summer after being cooped up in their homes during 2020 virus lockdowns. 

The directive covers all versions of the 737, even the MAX, which has just recently been cleared to return to the skies in much of the world after being grounded for two years. In April, a new electrical issue developed on certain MAX jets. 

Boeing shares premarket are slightly higher, though we should point out that the daily chart has yet to make a new high since March. 




... and it has only been three days since Boeing revealed a new issue with the 787 Dreamliner widebody jet. 

Boeing's quality control of its passenger jets has been lacking over for the last couple of years as the company focused on stock buybacks. 

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FAA Denies Boeing Permission To Move Forward In Certifying 777X Due To Serious Flight Test Incident

From Zero Hedge


If it's not one Boeing jet malfunctioning, it's another.

With Boeing facing an uphill climb in restoring the public's confidence in its crash-prone 737MAX, the aerospace giant is facing fresh troubles, this time involving the updated version of the long-haul 777X jet which is facing additional testing because of what U.S. regulators called a serious test-flight incident and multiple other issues with software and inadequate data.

In a sternly worded letter dated May 13, which was reviewed by The Seattle Timesthe FAA warned Boeing it may have to increase the number of test flights planned and that certification realistically is now more than two years out, probably in late 2023.

According to the report, the FAA cited a long list of concerns, including a serious flight control incident during a test flight on Dec. 8, 2020, when the plane experienced an "uncommanded pitch event" meaning the nose of the aircraft pitched abruptly up or down without input from the pilots. During the incident, flight-control software triggered the plane to move without pilots’ input, similar to the malfunction responsible for the two 737MAX crashes.

Boeing has yet to satisfy the FAA that it has fully understood and corrected what went wrong that day.

An FAA official said the drag on 777X certification is now “the subject of a lot of attention” at high levels both within the agency and at Boeing.

“The FAA anticipates a significant impact to the level of regression testing, change impact analysis, and the potential to increase the number of certification flight tests that will need to take place,” the letter said according to Bloomberg. It was written by Ian Won, the acting head of FAA’s division overseeing Boeing.

The FAA said in the letter it now expected the certification wouldn’t occur until mid to late 2023 and the work would take “additional resources” that could hamper other projects with the company. While the FAA doesn’t set the timing of certification work, relying on companies for that, the letter suggests the program could face delays.

The latest delay will push the jet’s entry into commercial service into early 2024, four years later than originally planned.

Separately, the FAA also issued a statement Sunday saying it “will not approve any aircraft unless it meets our safety and certification standards.”

“Boeing remains fully focused on safety as our highest priority throughout 777X development,” a spokesperson at the U.S. planemaker said in a statement in response to the letter. “We are working through a rigorous development process to ensure we meet all applicable requirements.”

The harshly-worded letter by the FAA is the latest in what has been a deteriorating relationship between the giant planemaker and its U.S. regulator prompted by issues that arose during the grounding of Boeing’s 737 Max after two fatal accidents. The FAA had previously begun using its own inspectors to approve newly built single-aisle planes and has taken multiple steps to increase oversight of the company.

The FAA highlighted several concerns on the 777X, including a flight-control incident during a test flight on Dec. 8, 2020, when the plane experienced an “uncommanded pitch event.” That meant the nose of the aircraft rose or fell as a result of the control system.

A similar issue triggered by a malfunction on the 737 Max pushed down that jet’s nose repeatedly during the two crashes that killed 346 people, prompting a sweeping review of how pilots interact with increasingly computerized flight-control systems. The Max was grounded for 18 months while it was redesigned.

Bloomberg adds that the agency also told Boeing that a critical avionics system proposed for the airplane doesn’t meet requirements and expressed concern about proposed modifications involving late changes to both software and hardware in the electronics of the jet’s flight controls.

Worse, in a hint of broader troubles for the 777X, the FAA said that European regulators are uneasy over parts of the plane’s design. “The European Union Aviation Safety Agency has not yet agreed on a way forward on the Model 777-9,” the FAA said in the letter. ​Which, of course, is understandable for a European regulator that would be delighted with pushing out its own competitor Airbus planes.

​Boeing announcement in January that it was postponing the 777X’s planned market entry to late 2023 was the latest in a string of delays for a jet originally slated to begin commercial service last year. Executives also disclosed that they were redesigning the jet’s actuator-control electronics at the behest of European regulators.

"That’s still the plan", Boeing’s Chief Executive Officer Dave Calhoun indicated in a June 3 presentation, weeks after the FAA letter.

“That airplane, we are still confident will be certified in the fourth quarter of 2023,” Calhoun told a virtual Bernstein conference. The planemaker reset its timeline based on the 20-month review of the 737 Max and “architectural preferences” of both the FAA and EASA, he said.

“So those are the important things with respect to how we do this,” Calhoun said. “We’ve given ourselves time to learn as we go through this.”

Emirates President Tim Clark has repeatedly slammed Boeing for delaying the 777X program and has raised concerns over the model’s performance in desert conditions. Bloomberg reported in February that Clark’s airline could swap as many as a third of its 115 commitments for the 777-9 to the smaller Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

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