Friday, September 16, 2022

Navy will recover wreckage of aircraft that crashed in Mutiny Bay

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the U.S. Navy will recover the wreckage of the DHC-3 Turbine Otter that crashed on Sept. 4 off Whidbey Island, Washington, the NTSB said Friday.

The main recovery effort to raise the wreckage is expected to begin on Sept. 26.

The U.S. Navy will use the Deep Drone 8000 remotely operated vehicle (ROV), a barge and a crane to recover the wreckage from the seafloor. Once the barge is outfitted and in place, it will be a 24/7 operation. The crane will lift the aircraft wreckage pieces. The ROV will work on the seafloor collecting smaller pieces of wreckage into baskets and connecting the wreckage to the crane to be lifted.

NTSB also released a preliminary report for the investigation. The report contains facts only; the NTSB will determine the probable cause of the crash at the end of the investigation.

According to the preliminary report, the aircraft departed from Friday Harbor, Washington, around 2:50 p.m. Pacific time, with a destination of Renton Municipal Airport. At 3:09 p.m., the aircraft impacted the water and sank. The pilot and nine passengers were fatally injured.

The airplane was operating as a business charter flight. The accident occurred during the pilot’s second trip of the day. Each trip involved multiple flight legs.

Witnesses near the accident site reported the airplane was in level flight before it entered a slight climb, then pitched down in a near-vertical descent. Several witnesses described the airplane “spinning,” “rotating” or “spiraling” during portions of the descent.

NTSB coordinated with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Navigation Response Team and the University of Washington’s Applied Physics Laboratory to locate the wreckage in Mutiny Bay. A sonar survey located the main wreckage and debris field at a depth of approximately 190 feet.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

FBI awards contract to Pilatus Business Aircraft

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has awarded Pilatus Business Aircraft LLC, Broomfield, Colo., an indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract with a maximum dollar amount of $140 million.

Under this new contract, Pilatus Business Aircraft is responsible for providing single engine turbine pressurized aircraft to the U.S. Department of Justice, FBI Critical Incident Response Group.

The ordering period for the contract is from Sept. 30 through Sept. 29, 2027.

The FBI announced the contract award on Friday.

New Broomfield paint facility

In response to the growing demand for the company's PC-24 and PC-12 NGX aircraft, Pilatus opened a new state-of-the-art paint facility at their U.S. Completions Centre in Broomfield, Colo.

Pilatus executives, employees, industry partners and invited guests gathered to celebrate the official grand opening of the facility at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport.

The $15 million investment is the latest building expansion for the US Completions Centre, which has been located at the airport for more than 26 years. The new facility opens 25 job opportunities with projected growth as the fleet and production continue to increase.

“This investment allows Pilatus Business Aircraft Ltd to manage and maintain the high quality standards and procedures set by our Swiss parent company.” said Thomas Bosshard, president and CEO of Pilatus US subsidiary, Pilatus Business Aircraft Ltd.

Reduce cost and production time

Pilatus Business Aircraft Ltd is responsible for more than 60 percent of annual business aircraft sales and deliveries for the Swiss manufacturer. Their recent expansion will not only reduce logistical complexities and costs related to painting aircraft, but also decrease production time.

The 28,445 square foot (2,643 square meter) custom-designed facility features three separate booths, all equipped to efficiently prep and paint the PC-24 and PC-12 NGX from base to finish. The Preparation and Detail Booth will primarily be used to prepare aircraft for paint, while also facilitating detailing, touch ups and silk screen printing of placards.

The Crossdraft Booth will serve as the primary booth for base to finish aircraft painting. The Downdraft Booth is uniquely designed for green to finish painting as well as an intricate base to finish paint schemes of the PC-24 and PC-12 NGX.

With production and personnel at capacity, the paint facility is forecasted to complete up to 100 aircraft on an annual basis – the first aircraft was scheduled to deliver as early as July.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

New non-stop flight service to Fort Lauderdale and Punta Cana by Swoop

Canada's leading ultra-low-cost airline, Swoop, expanded its winter sun-flying offering from John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport with new non-stop service to Fort Lauderdale and Punta Cana.

Swoop will begin the nonstop service to Fort Lauderdale on Dec. 16, and to Punta Cana on Jan. 11.

"As summer comes to an end, residents of southern Ontario are turning their attention towards winter travel planning with their sights set on a sunny getaway,” said Meghan Miller, Hamilton-based Regional Sales Lead.

Swoop has increased frequencies on existing sun-flying routes from Hamilton, with more weekly flights to Cancun, Las Vegas, Orlando, and St. Pete-Clearwater. Swoop will continue to operate non-stop flights from Hamilton to Moncton, NB and St. John's, NL through the winter.

"Hamilton is thrilled to have Swoop expand flight destinations and service from our city, which offers people from the entire region greater convenience and supports jobs, growth, and tourism in our community as well,” Mayor Fred Eisenberger said.

Swoop was established in 2018 as an independent subsidiary of the WestJet.

Swoop's fleet, comprised of ten Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft and three Boeing MAX-8 aircraft, will grow to 16 with the addition of three Boeing MAX-8 this year.

Defense Department ask for 115 F-35 jets in lot 18 order

The F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office (JPO) intends to solicit and negotiate multiple contract actions with Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in Fort Worth, Texas, for the development of additional F-35 Lightning II jets in their lot 18 order.

The proposed contract actions will provide for a total of 115 aircraft in lot 18 (75 F-35As, 25 F-35Bs and 15 F-35Cs).

The Naval Air Systems Command Headquarters at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland announced the lot 18 contract on Tuesday in a presolicitation document.

“This notice is not a commitment by the government to issue a solicitation or make an award (or awards),” the Navy said in the presolicitation. “The data associated with the F-35 JPO is export controlled and is not available to foreign sources or representatives.”

According to POLITICO, the Pentagon temporarily halted delivery of F-35 fighter jets to the military recently after Lockheed Martin discovered a metal component used in the jet's engine had come from China.

The Defense Contract Management Agency notified the F-35 Joint Program Office at the Pentagon on Aug. 19 that an alloy used in magnets contained in the F-35’s turbomachine pumps came from China, according to the POLITICO article. An alternative source for the alloy was found and will be used in future turbomachines.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Airbus A330-200 delivers supplies to Jackson, Mississippi water crisis

As Mississippi's capital city, Jackson, faces an unprecedented water shortage crisis, National Airlines donated and airlifted hundreds of cases of drinking water to the city. Over 150,000 people in the city are left without safe running water after the city's main water treatment facility failed due to the recent flooding.

The National Airlines' Airbus A330-200 flight from Fort Lauderdale to Jackson was transporting a prominent school band along with their specialized equipment in the cargo belly. The crew and operations team used the remaining luggage space as an opportunity to load the water cases, making sure the needed supplies reached Jackson on time for distribution.

"National has always been in the forefront of transporting immediate relief supplies to crisis-hit regions,” said Christopher Alf, chairman, National Air Cargo Holdings, Inc., in a company press release. “Be it COVID-19 medical supplies or essential supplies during natural calamities, National Airlines aircraft airlifts supplies to the most affected areas for timely distribution. The recent efforts to bring drinking water to Jackson, is yet another opportunity for us to serve people when in dire need", 

The recent flooding of the Pearl River led to the failure of pumps at the Jackson water treatment plant. This decreased the water supply to households this week. Currently, state officials and voluntary organizations are coordinating efforts to distribute safe drinking water to each household as the situation gets better in the region. People are also advised to boil water before using it for essential purposes.

Hard Rock Sportsbook app launch in Indiana and Tennessee

Hard Rock Sportsbook continued its multi-state expansion by launching its mobile app Tuesday in Indiana and Tennessee.

Indiana is home to the Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana, where a retail Hard Rock Sportsbook location opened in May, while Tennessee has three Hard Rock Cafes (Nashville, Memphis, and Pigeon Forge) and the Bristol Casino located just across the Virginia state line.

The Hard Rock Sportsbook app offers innovative promotions, fast deposits and withdrawals, and hundreds of games and props to bet each day along with same game parlays and prop parlays. Hard Rock Sportsbook has also introduced in-app streaming and the Mystery Wheel, a new interactive rewards experience where players can earn up to $5,000 in free bets.

“The successful debut of the Mystery Wheel is the latest example of the unique interactive experiences that can only be found at Hard Rock Sportsbook as well as our commitment to building the most entertaining app in the market,” said Marlon Goldstein, executive managing director & CEO for Hard Rock Digital, in a news release.

The Hard Rock Sportsbook mobile app is available for download through the App Store (iOS users) or the Google PlayStore (Android users) and can be utilized by fans located in Arizona, Indiana, Tennessee, and Virginia with plans to expand to additional states soon. Hard Rock Sportsbook also serves fans online in New Jersey and Iowa through the Hard Rock Sports & Casino NJ and the Hard Rock Sportsbook Iowa apps, respectively.

Monday, September 5, 2022

Seaplane crash near Whidbey Island, one dead, nine missing

The U.S. Coast Guard was called to respond to the report of a plane crash Sunday afternoon in Mutiny Bay west of Whidbey Island, Wash.

Crews at the Coast Guard Puget Sound Command Center received a report at 3:11 p.m. PDT that a float plane crashed with nine adults and one child aboard. The plane was en route to Renton Municipal Airport after departing from Friday Harbor.

The following assets were involved in the search:

  • Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter crew
  • 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Osprey and crew
  • 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Blue Shark and crew
  • Coast Guard Station Seattle 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew
  • Coast Guard Station Port Angeles 45-foot RB-M crew
  • Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento C-27 aircraft and crew

Additionally, first responders from South Whidbey Fire, Island County Sheriff’s Office and Snohomish County Sheriff’s office were on the scene.

One deceased individual was recovered by crews on the scene. Nine individuals remain unaccounted for, and a safety zone has been put into effect to help facilitate search efforts.

Data provided by FlightRadar24.com shows the last signal received on the aircraft's position was at 3:08 p.m. PDT. At that point the aircraft was at 100 feet altitude.

FlightRadar24.com identified the aircraft as a 1967 de Havilland DHC-3 single-engine plane with 11 seats. The plane (tail number N725TH) is registered to Northwest Seaplanes Inc. of Renton, Wash., according to Federal Aviation Administration records.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the accident.

Sunday, September 4, 2022

When is the NASA Artemis 1 mission launching to the moon?

NASA engineers could not overcome a hydrogen leak between a fuel feed line and their new Space Launch System (SLS) rocket on Saturday and decided to scrub the launch attempt and review their options for the coming weeks.

Over the next several days, teams will gain access to the area of the leak on Launch Pad 39B at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., and in parallel conduct a schedule assessment and make a decision on whether to perform repairs on the rocket at the launch pad or roll it back inside the Vehicle Assembly Building.

During Saturday's launch attempt, engineers saw a leak in a cavity between the ground side and rocket side plates surrounding an eight-inch line used to fill and drain liquid hydrogen from the SLS rocket. Three attempts at reseating the seal were unsuccessful, NASA officials said Saturday.

The space mission, known as Artemis I, is a flight test to launch NASA’s new SLS rocket and an uncrewed Orion spacecraft around the moon before the Artemis II mission is launched carry astronauts.

A new launch date has not been announced yet.

Saturday, September 3, 2022

NASA GDC spacecraft draft RFP release moved to September

NASA’s Geospace Dynamics Constellation (GDC) project intends to publish a draft spacecraft Request for Proposal (RFP) this month and the final spacecraft RFP approximately three months later. In June, the space agency said they would release the RFP in August.

Proposals for the GDC spacecraft are expected to be due 30 calendar days after the release of the final RFP, NASA said in contract documents released this week.

GDC will be composed of six observatories designed to study the local and global effects of the Sun’s activity on the high- and mid- latitude regions with a launch in the late 2020’s.

GDC is a mission concept to study the coupling between the magnetosphere and the ionosphere/thermosphere system, and how that coupled system responds to external energy input.

GDC will address crucial scientific questions pertaining to the dynamic processes active in Earth’s upper atmosphere; their local, regional, and global structure; and their role in driving and modifying magnetospheric activity, according to the project's website. GDC will be the first mission to address these questions on a global scale due to its use of a constellation of spacecraft that permit simultaneous multi-point observations. This investigation is central to understanding the basic physics and chemistry of the upper atmosphere and its interaction with Earth’s magnetosphere, but also will produce insights into space weather processes.

In April, NASA selected three investigation teams to join the GDC mission science team as well as five additional investigations that will be under consideration for inclusion in the mission.

The three GDC investigations selected for flight have a combined budget of $149 million to design and deliver their instruments to the mission.

“GDC will greatly increase our understanding of and ability to mitigate the effects of space weather,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for science at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. “What we learn from GDC is both critical for missions in low-Earth orbit, and a critical ingredient for understanding orbital debris in that domain.”

Planned for launch no earlier than September 2027, GDC will orbit in the same altitude range as the International Space Station, approximately 215 to 250 miles above Earth.

Friday, September 2, 2022

NASA seeks to overhaul engines on former Army spy plane

A NASA contract to perform the overhaul of four PT6-50 engines on a former Army spy plane is up for bid, according to contract documents released Friday.

The NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center (AFRC) in California owns a de Havilland Dash-7 aircraft for parts located at Davis-Monthan Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) in Tucson, Ariz.

This aircraft is a Dash 7 (tail number N566CC) serial number 76. The aircraft has been stored since 2017 at AMARG and will be moved to the Pima Air and Space Museum for engine removal. NASA AFRC is soliciting information from potential sources for engine maintenance and test cell run.

The agency “is seeking capability statements from all interested parties for the purposes of determining the appropriate level of competition and/or small business subcontracting goals for de Havilland Dash-7 engine repair,” NASA said in the contract documents. “The government will be seeking the most highly qualified firm(s) to perform the required services. Vendors having the capabilities necessary to meet or exceed the stated requirements are invited to submit appropriate documentation, literature, brochures, and references.”

All responses shall be submitted to NASA no later than Sept. 7.

An article by Joseph Trevithick on TheDrive website provides a detailed look into N566CC's past as a secretive spy plane.

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Progress made to reduce traveler wait times and delays across Canadian airports

The Government of Canada and industry partners released an update Thursday on the continued action and progress being made to reduce traveler wait times and delays across Canadian airports.

Flight completions

  • For the week of Aug. 22-28, 97.5% of flights planned for Canada's top four airports were completed (i.e., not canceled), an improvement from 95% for the first week of July.

On-time performance

  • From August 22-28, over 86% of flights from the top four airports left on time, or within one hour of their scheduled departure.

  • This is a significant improvement from under 75% for the first week of July and is approaching the pre-pandemic levels in August 2019 where 95% of flights were on time, or within an hour of scheduled departure.

Holding of aircraft at Toronto Pearson International Airport 

  • The number of arriving international flights being held on the tarmac at Toronto-Pearson International Airport has decreased dramatically since May.

    • For the week of August 22-28, 5%, or 109 international flight arrivals, were held on the tarmac, as compared to the peak of 373 during the first week of May.

Passenger security screening wait times 

  • From August 22-28, 87% of passengers at the four largest airports were screened within 15 minutes by CATSA, an improvement from 79% during the first week of July 2022.

    • Toronto-Pearson International Airport: 87% (98% in 2019)

    • Vancouver International Airport: 82% (approaching pre-pandemic levels of 88% in 2019)

    • Montréal-Trudeau International Airport: 93% (above pre-pandemic levels of 88% in 2019)

    • Calgary International Airport: 87% (same as pre-pandemic levels in 2019)

Increasing staffing for security screening

  • Since April,1,837 CATSA screening officers have been hired across Canada.

Streamlining customs processing at Toronto Pearson International Airport

  • To further facilitate entry and expedite traveler processing, there are now 12 eGates, four dedicated NEXUS eGates and 30 new primary inspection kiosks at Toronto-Pearson International Airport.

  • The Greater Toronto Airports Authority and the Canada Border Services Agency have opened a new dedicated International Student Processing area in Terminal 1. This will help further streamline international student study permit issuance and will minimize impacts on the general traveler flow.

In Canada, airlines must follow the requirements of the Air Passenger Protection Regulations, which outline compensation requirements for passengers for flight disruptions due to incidents within an airline's control.

Starting next week on Sept. 8, new regulations will come into effect that will ensure that passengers are offered the option of a refund for flights that are canceled, or where there is a lengthy delay, due to reasons outside of an air carrier's control (such as major weather events, or a pandemic) where it is not possible for the air carrier to complete the passenger's itinerary within a reasonable time frame.

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Avelo Airlines starts serving Binghamton, New York this fall

Avelo Airlines announced Wednesday it will begin serving Binghamton, New York this fall with exclusive nonstop service to Orlando and Fort Myers, Fla. When service begins Nov. 16, Avelo will be the only airline offering nonstop flights from New York's Southern Tier to The Sunshine State.

Introductory one-way fares between Greater Binghamton Airport (BGM) and Orlando International Airport and Fort Myers' Southwest Florida International Airport start at $79. Customers can make reservations at AveloAir.com.

Avelo Airlines Chairman and CEO Andrew Levy said, "We're excited to add Binghamton as our first New York destination to Avelo's U.S. network. Say hello to convenient and cost-friendly hometown airport access to The Sunshine State and say goodbye to long and expensive gas-guzzling drives to those other distant New York airports."

Greater Binghamton Airport's Commissioner of Aviation Mark Heefner, C.M. said, "Service to Florida is something our community has requested for over 20 years.”

New York Senator Charles Schumer said, "I have relentlessly fought to deliver millions in funding to accelerate the Greater Binghamton Airport's modernization– and with this new service the fruits of that labor are taking flight."

Broome County Executive Jason Garnar said, "Bringing new passenger air service to BGM has been a goal of my administration from day one. With low fares, convenience, and destinations our residents have wanted for a long time, it's a great time to Fly BGM!"

The new routes will operate twice weekly on Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft.

Since taking flight April 28, 2021, Avelo has flown more than one million customers on more than 8,500 flights.

With the addition of BGM, Avelo now serves 31 destinations across the U.S.

Operating a fleet of Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft, Avelo serves popular destinations across the U.S., including its three bases at Los Angeles' Hollywood Burbank Airport, Southern Connecticut's Tweed-New Haven Airport and Orlando International Airport.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

First Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner for Lufthansa

The Boeing Company celebrated the delivery of the first 787-9 Dreamliner to Lufthansa Group at Paine Field, Everett, Wash., on Monday.

The Lufthansa Group has 32 firm orders for the 787 and joins nearly 50 customers worldwide in operating the airplane. Boeing designed the 787 family with superior efficiency, which allows airlines to profitably open new routes and fly people directly where they want to go in exceptional comfort.

Using 25% less fuel and creating 25% fewer emissions than the airplanes they replace, the 787 family has avoided more than 125 billion pounds of carbon emissions since entering service in 2011.

"With the Boeing 787, we are introducing another modern aircraft type that is one of the most fuel-efficient long-haul aircraft in our fleet," said Jens Ritter, CEO of Lufthansa Airlines. "This will allow us to significantly further improve the average CO2 balance.”

Since revenue service began in 2011, the 787 family has launched more than 325 new nonstop routes around the world, including approximately 50 routes opened since 2020. The 787-9 version can fly 296 passengers up to 7,565 nautical miles (14,010 kilometers) in a typical two-class configuration.

"Today's delivery to the Lufthansa Group is a significant milestone for both companies as we resume European 787 deliveries,” said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

In addition to 32 787 Dreamliners on order, the Lufthansa Group has firm orders for 20 777-9 passenger airplanes and recently placed a firm order for seven of the new 777-8 Freighter.

Monday, August 29, 2022

Air Europa, first spanish operator of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft

AerCap Holdings N.V. announced Monday it has signed lease agreements with Air Europa Líneas Aéreas S.A.U. for the long-term lease of five Boeing 787-9 aircraft and ten Boeing 737-8 MAX aircraft. The aircraft are scheduled to deliver beginning in 2024 through 2026.

Air Europa will become the first Spanish operator of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.

"The future is bright for the Boeing 787 and MAX programs,” said Peter Anderson, chief commercial officer, AerCap. “For Air Europa these new technology fuel-efficient aircraft will provide improved cost efficiencies and help them to meet their sustainability commitments.”

Richard Clark, managing director of Air Europa, said, "We are very pleased to reach this agreement with AerCap, with whom we have a long and successful relationship. It reinforces our strategy of unifying the fleet around the most modern, efficient, and sustainable models in the industry. Once again, we are pioneers. Just as we were the first Spanish company to incorporate the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, we are now doing the same by adding the new Boeing 737 MAX to our fleet."

AerCap serves approximately 300 customers around the world with comprehensive fleet solutions. AerCap is based in Dublin with offices in Shannon, Miami, Singapore, Memphis, Amsterdam, Shanghai, Abu Dhabi, Seattle, Toulouse and other locations around the world.

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Air Force plans for Radio Frequency Facility to test new B-21 bomber

The Air Force is moving forward with plans to construct a Radio Frequency Facility at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., that will test their new B-21 bombers' stealth capabilities prior to missions. The military announced plans in a Pre-Solicitation Notice contract document released Friday.

The B-21 Raider is a new high-tech stealth bomber being developed to replace the Air Force’s aging bomber fleet.

Designed to be long-range, highly survivable and capable of carrying a mix of conventional and nuclear ordnance, the B-21 bomber will join the nuclear triad as a visible and flexible nuclear deterrent; supporting national security objectives. The Air Force anticipates a swift test and evaluation program for the new aircraft.

On May 25, ground was broken for the first facility that will house the B-21 Raider, a 95,000-square-foot Low Observable Restoration Facility for maintenance. It’s the first of more than 30 projects planned to support the B-21 mission at Ellsworth.

In the Pre-Solicitation Notice released Friday the Air Force said, “On or about 23 September 2022, this office will issue Request for Proposal (RFP) to construct a B-21 Radio Frequency Facility (RF Hangar), Ellsworth Air Force Base (AFB), South Dakota.  The solicitation will close on or about 25 October 2022.” The solicitation will include photographic attachments and drawings.

A site visit is scheduled for Oct. 13, the Air Force said.

The contract details plans to construct a high bay special maintenance hangar with one aircraft position and all associated back shops, unique climatically controlled material storage with uninterrupted power supply system, and administrative and facility support spaces.

“This project includes clearing and grading site, storm drainage, aircraft parking and movement area, utility infrastructure systems and all other supporting facilities,” the document says. “Facility functional areas include one hangar bay sized to fit B-2A “Spirit” aircraft with space and configuration to accommodate radio frequency testing on the aircraft. Administrative and support functions are located to the side and behind the hangar bay. The facility contains multiple secure spaces to be designed and constructed to ICD/ICS 705 criteria.”

The contractor will be required to commence work within 10 days after Notice to Proceed (NTP) and complete the work in the proposed number of calendar days (Not to Exceed 900 calendar days) after receipt of NTP.

The magnitude of construction cost for this project is between $25 million and $100 million.

New Alaska Airlines flights between Everett and Anchorage nonstop

Alaska Airlines announced Friday new daily nonstop service between Everett and Anchorage, Alaska, will begin Nov. 30. The flights will connect the newest commercial airport in the Seattle area with another one of the airline's main hubs. Tickets for flights between Paine Field-Snohomish County Airport and the state of Alaska's largest city are available for purchase now on alaskaair.com.

"We listened to our guests who live and work from north of Seattle to the Canadian border. They told us one of their top requests is a nonstop flight between Everett and Anchorage," said Brett Catlin, vice president of network and alliances for Alaska Airlines. "There's a significant need and demand to connect workers and businesses in the two regions – from the fishing industry to aviation – in addition to the desire for leisure travel."

With the new nonstop from Everett, operated by Alaska Airlines sister airline Horizon Air, Anchorage becomes the farthest destination and longest flight the airline serves from that airport. On the operations side, Horizon began operating a new 74,000-square-foot hangar and maintenance facility on the Paine Field property this year that can accommodate up to four E175 aircraft at a time.

Our guests flying to and from Everett – about 20 miles north of Seattle and 70 miles south of Bellingham, Washington – have enjoyed a convenient, stress-free, upscale alternative airport experience with a lounge atmosphere. Propeller Airports operates the terminal as part of a public-private partnership with Snohomish County. Since our regularly scheduled service launched there in March 2019, we've flown roughly 1.3 million guests to and from Paine Field-Snohomish County Airport.

From Everett this fall and winter, we'll fly to nine destinations: Anchorage, Boise, Las Vegas, Orange County, Palm Springs, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco and Spokane.

Our sister carrier Horizon Air provides most of our service at Paine Field with the Embraer 175 jet. The E175 features First Class and Premium Class, and only window and aisle seating – there are no middle seats.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Video: Wizard Games takes slot players on adventure in Alice Mega Riches

Embark on a spellbinding adventure where iconic characters from Lewis Carroll’s classic novel Alice in Wonderland fill the reels in Wizard Games slot game.

Wizard Games, a subsidiary of NeoGames S.A., is journeying down the rabbit hole into Wonderland in their latest launch Alice Mega Riches.

The 5x5, 50-payline title is packed full of features as Alice embarks on a spellbinding adventure.

Alice herself acts as a wild, and can appear as a 1x1 symbol right up to a reel-filling 5x5, for significantly increased win potential (see YouTube video).

If three heart scatters land on the reels on a single spin, the Free Spins feature is triggered, awarding five spins. During this mode, a roaming wild is always present, starting at 1x1 in size, moving to a new position with every spin.

The left-hand side of the reels is home to a collect bar, as players look to gather three scatters to improve a level. Each time three are collected, more spins are awarded and the wild grows in size. If players complete all levels, the wild will be 5x5 in size, covering the entire board for wondrous wins.

Players can also double the chances of activating the Free Spins with the boost feature, which increases their stake by 20x.

In certain regions, players can progress straight to the Free Spins with the Buy Bonus, for 150x their stake.

Alice Mega Riches becomes the newest addition to Wizard Games’ growing portfolio, following Amun Ra – King of the Gods and Dwarf Riches in the burgeoning games offering.

Wizard Games portfolio currently includes over 120 titles certified for more than 20 regulated jurisdictions in Europe, North America and Latin America.

Joey Hurtado, Managing Director at Wizard Games, said: “Alice Mega Riches has long been a very strong performer in the Wizard Games portfolio so it seemed natural to bring this highly popular theme back to our players with a whole new exciting mechanic, features and bonuses.”

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Professional boxer Jake Paul unveils 'micro-betting' sports venture

Social media personality and professional boxer Jake Paul, along with founder and CEO Joey Levy, have joined together to create a new media venture and sports wagering app geared toward micro-betting.

Based in Miami, Fla., the new venture, called Betr, will be the first direct-to-consumer micro-betting focused sports betting company.

Micro-betting provides instant gratification for sports bettors that place a wager on a certain pitch or at-bats in a baseball game, or plays and drives in football. It's basically betting on an individual moment in a game rather than the final score.

“Betr is setting out to disrupt legacy gambling and legacy media, with a mission of making sports and betting betr,” the company said in a press release.

CEO Joey Levy is the co-founder of Simplebet, the B2B technology company that has pioneered micro-betting on U.S. sports by building the machine learning and automation infrastructure to enable this new form of betting to exist at scale.

Betr will be leveraging Simplebet's technology and is releasing its app in the coming weeks, initially as a free-to-play experience available in all 50 states, with a state-by-state rollout of its licensed real money betting experiences to follow later this year, the company said.

Betr has secured market access in multiple U.S. states through strategic partnerships that the company will be announcing in the near future.

Paul kicked off the launch of Betr's media company with a preview of 'BS w/ Jake Paul,' the first of many Betr will release as it aims to become the primary media platform for the next generation of sports fans.

The Betr media show will feature Jake along with his celebrity friends taking fans on a journey across the landscape of sports and sports betting through the eyes of an A-list athlete.

“We believe micro-betting will ultimately emerge as the predominant way consumers bet on U.S. sports,” the company said in their press release.

Alex Ursa, from FanDuel, has joined Betr as Head of Product. At FanDuel he helped build their sports betting & casino businesses into the clear market leader. Mike Denevi has joined Betr as Head of Media from Bleacher Report, where he helped build BR Betting into the top sports betting media brand on social media.

"I wasn't into sports betting until I was introduced to micro-betting," Paul said. “I am excited to bring it to the masses. We are getting licensed state-by-state, adhering to each state's regulatory framework while advocating for important consumer protections and responsible gambling.”

Over 30 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have some form of legal sports wagering today.

Betr has raised $50 million in funding from renowned institutional and strategic investors and some of the most influential athletes, celebrities, and sports team owners including Florida Funders, 8vc, Aliya Capital Partners, Fuel Venture Capital, FinSight Ventures, Co-Owners of San Francisco 49ers, Boston Celtics, and Miami Marlins, Travis Scott, Ezekiel Elliott, Richard Sherman, Dez Bryant, DeSean Jackson, Braxton Berrios, Palm Tree Crew, Roger Ehrenberg, Mark Wan, Russell Galbut, David Grutman, Deirdre Bigley, Gary Barber, Simplebet, Stronach Group, Magic City Casino, Anti Fund, 305 Ventures, Elizabeth Street Ventures, Riverside Ventures, Gaingels, Moving Capital, Elysium Venture Capital, FJ Labs, Tampa Bay Ventures, Trog Hawley, and many others.

Monday, June 27, 2022

NASA airborne instrument measures snowfall quantities on Earth

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is seeking flight operation support from an operator of a Twin Otter to conduct two science aircraft flight campaigns in Alaska that will measure snow and water quantities over the Earth in an effort to understand changes in snowfall amounts.

Snow, being so white, reflects up to 80% of the sun’s energy, acting to cool the planet. Loss of snow will result in Earth absorbing more sunlight, accelerating the warming that is already underway.

Since 1967, a million square miles of spring snow cover has disappeared from the Northern Hemisphere, an area the size of Argentina. Changes in global snow cover are altering global food production patterns, reducing hydropower generation, and forcing the closure of ski areas.

In an effort to understand snow fall quantities, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., developed a Snow Water Equivalent Synthetic Aperture Radar and Radiometer (SWESARR), a new instrument designed to measure the water content in a snowpack. The instrument uses active and passive microwave sensors to map the radio frequency emissions of the snowpack, which can then be turned into a measurement of snow water equivalent.

NASA plans to mount the SWESARR instrument on a Twin Otter DHC-6-300 aircraft.

The flights will occur in and around Fairbanks, Alaska, and be part of the larger NASA Snow Experiment (SnowEx) mission.

“SnowEx observation periods are not exactly known at the time of this writing,” NASA officials said in contract documents released on Friday. “The two SWESARR flight campaigns are planned to take place for two different snow conditions, pre- and post-snow fall. We are targeting pre-snow fall flights to take place in late October 2022 and post-snow fall campaign to take place in early March 2023. The instrument has flown in a similar SnowEx campaign in 2019/20 over the Grand Mesa, Colo., as well as earlier test flights.”

Installation of the instrument is expected to occur at the operator’s facility referred to as base camp. Base camp activity is expected to take no longer than seven workdays including installation flight certification and testing. Length of the test flights will depend on issues uncovered but are expected to take under a total of three hours.

Up to 15 hours of science flights are to be conducted. “These science flights can take up to 10 days depending on weather conditions, issues with the instrument, coordination of flights with other instruments or crew emergencies,” NASA said.

Pre-snow fall flights are planned to begin around Oct. 18, but may change depending on weather and aircraft readiness. A second post-snow fall flight campaign is planned to be conducted before March 30.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Swoop airline re-starts high demand service between Hamilton and Las Vegas

Swoop flight WO 802 took off from Hamilton, Canada, on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. EDT to re-start what the company says are high demand non-stop flights between Las Vegas' Harry Reid International Airport and Hamilton's John C. Munro International Airport.

Officials from the leading Canadian ultra-low-cost airline were thrilled to be resuming the service.

"Today's celebration reinforces our commitment to Canadian travelers and the Hamilton community, providing more convenient options for residents to enjoy weekend getaways and long-awaited vacations,” said Bert van der Stege, Head of Commercial and Finance, Swoop.

The airline has been busy this summer with a significant network expansion, connecting southwestern Ontario with top-tier American cities. This service restart will be a welcome addition to the 11 other destinations served from Hamilton.

Established in 2018, the airline celebrated four years of air travel this week with two inaugural flights departing from Toronto's Pearson International Airport. Swoop flight WO370 arrived in Deer Lake, Newfoundlandand Swoop flight WO750 landed for the very first time in the Big Apple, at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.

"Canadians are excited to travel again this summer, and after two years of restrictions, we've seen record demand for getaways across the border," continued van der Stege. “This restart reinforces the incredible growth trajectory we're experiencing, as ultra-low fares continue to unlock new opportunities for Canadians to explore America's largest cities."

"Vegas has long been enjoyed as a one-stop-shop destination for world-class events, unrivaled entertainment, and unique experiences and with Swoop's ultra-not-expensive fares, travelers are able to spend the savings on themselves and indulge in all that the fabulous city has to offer," says Cole Horncastle, Executive Managing Director of John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport.

"International travel continues to be a key component of Las Vegas' recovery, and we look forward to welcoming more flights from Canada, our top international market for visitation prior to the pandemic,” said H. Fletch Brunelle, vice president of marketing and sales for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Swoop is an independent subsidiary of the WestJet Group of Companies. The airline's fleet of ten Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft will grow to 16 with the addition of six Boeing MAX-8 in 2022.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Navy seeks to replace T-38C Talon trainer

The U.S. Navy is following in the footsteps of the Air Force in an effort to find a replacement for their T-38C Talon aircraft trainers.

In September 2018, the U.S. Air Force awarded Boeing a $9.2 billion contract to supply T-7A Red Hawk aircraft and training simulators to replace the aging T-38C Talon trainer. The T-7A Red Hawk is an all-new advanced pilot training system designed for the U.S. Air Force that will train the next generation of fighter and bomber pilots for decades to come.

On Thursday, the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Specialized and Proven Aircraft Program Office, released a Request For Information (RFI) document seeking information regarding industry’s ability to provide a replacement for their T-38C Talon aircraft.

The first T-38 was produced in 1961 and the last rolled off the Northrop assembly line in 1972.

The Navy is looking for full spectrum logistical support (i.e. maintenance, training, publications, etc.) for a new aircraft on site at government provided facilities to be used as a key tool for future test pilot and flight test engineer training at the United States Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS).

The T-38C replacement at USNTPS is unofficially being called the Test Advanced Jet (TAJ), the Navy said in the RFI. “The purpose of this RFI is to determine the feasibility and estimated cost for the TAJ and full spectrum logistical support for a contractor-owned, government operated service-based contract. The TAJ is considered a graduate-level trainer and should be able to fulfill the requirements set forth in the USNTPS fixed-wing syllabus, to include on-deck and airborne handling/flying qualities, performance, and mission systems testing.”

In general, a minimum of five, fully mission capable aircraft will be required daily to support a total of approximately 1,000 hours per fiscal year, the Navy said in the document.

Companies interested in responding to the RFI are invited to submit a capability statement to the Navy by July 22.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Swoop airline celebrates four-year anniversary with first landing in New York

Canada's leading ultra-low-cost airline, Swoop, continues to make strides in its mission to make travel more affordable and accessible for all Canadians. Established in 2018, the airline celebrated four years of air travel recently with two inaugural flights departing from Toronto's Pearson International Airport.

Swoop flight WO370 arrived in Deer Lake, Newfoundland, and Swoop flight WO750 landed for the very first time in the Big Apple, at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Swoop has proudly served over four million travelers, connected Canadians to 33 destinations in five different countries with a total of 52 routes currently operating, and over 28,000 flights operated since its first flight on June 20, 2018.

President of Swoop, Bob Cummings, celebrating the anniversary stated, "Swoop has expanded rapidly this year to meet the unprecedented demand for air travel that Canadians have missed out on for two long years. We are so thrilled to celebrate our fourth birthday across our newly expanded network with travelers and airport partners, and with a special celebration in America's largest metropolis, New York City. With a young fleet of 16 Boeing 737 aircraft in service by the end of the summer, there is much more ultra-affordable travel to come.

"With thousands of Canadians boarding Swoop aircraft each day on their way to reconnect with friends and family, we're proud to know that we're enabling more travel than ever before, through ultra-convenient and ultra-affordable fares," continued Cummings. "Swoop's success would not be possible without the support of Canadian travelers, airport partners, and of course our people, our Swoopsters, who share in our mission of making air travel more accessible and affordable."

Swoop is an independent subsidiary of the WestJet Group. The airline's fleet of ten Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft will grow to 16 with the addition of six Boeing MAX-8 this year.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Second Beechcraft Denali first flight

The second Beechcraft Denali flight test article performed its first flight recently as momentum builds for the aircraft’s certification program. The milestone flight follows the Denali prototype, which completed its first flight in November.

The Beechcraft Denali is designed and manufactured by Textron Aviation Inc.

The aircraft’s flight lasted two hours and one minute, reaching a max altitude of 15,500 feet with a max speed of 240 knots true airspeed. To date, the program has accumulated more than 250 flight hours.

“The aircraft will be used primarily for testing aircraft systems like avionics, cabin environmental control and ice protection,” said Chris Hearne, senior vice president, Engineering & Programs.

The Denali flight test certification program is expected to eventually include a third flight test article and three full airframe ground test articles as it expands operational goals focusing on testing aircraft systems, engine, avionics and overall performance.

Engineered to achieve cruise speeds of 285 knots and full fuel payload of 1,100 pounds, the Denali is designed to have a range of 1,600 nautical miles at high-speed cruise with one pilot and four passengers and to be able to fly from Los Angeles to Chicago, New York to Miami or London to Athens.

The Denali is the first aircraft powered with GE’s Catalyst engine.

The cockpit features the Garmin G3000 intuitive avionics suite with high-resolution and touchscreen controllers.

The Beechcraft Denali’s flat-floor cabin is designed to be the largest in its segment and offers the versatility to easily convert between passenger and cargo configurations.

Monday, June 13, 2022

NASA ready to design spacecraft for Geospace Dynamics Constellation

NASA is moving forward with plans to develop six observatories designed to study the local and global effects of the Sun’s activity on Earth's high- and mid- latitude regions with a launch in the late 2020’s.

The Geospace Dynamics Constellation (GDC) project intends to publish the draft spacecraft Request for Proposal (RFP) in August and the final spacecraft RFP approximately three months later, NASA said in contract documents released Monday. Proposals are expected to be due 30 calendar days after the release of the final RFP.

GDC is a mission concept to study the coupling between the magnetosphere and the ionosphere/thermosphere system, and how that coupled system responds to external energy input.

GDC will address crucial scientific questions pertaining to the dynamic processes active in Earth’s upper atmosphere; their local, regional, and global structure; and their role in driving and modifying magnetospheric activity, according to the project's website. GDC will be the first mission to address these questions on a global scale due to its use of a constellation of spacecraft that permit simultaneous multi-point observations. This investigation is central to understanding the basic physics and chemistry of the upper atmosphere and its interaction with Earth’s magnetosphere, but also will produce insights into space weather processes.

In April, NASA selected three investigation teams to join the GDC mission science team as well as five additional investigations that will be under consideration for inclusion in the mission.

The three GDC investigations selected for flight have a combined budget of $149 million to design and deliver their instruments to the mission.

“GDC will greatly increase our understanding of and ability to mitigate the effects of space weather,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for science at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. “What we learn from GDC is both critical for missions in low-Earth orbit, and a critical ingredient for understanding orbital debris in that domain.”

Planned for launch no earlier than September 2027, GDC will orbit in the same altitude range as the International Space Station, approximately 215 to 250 miles above Earth.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Aha! airline begins nonstop service between Reno and Idaho Falls in August

Travelers can replace a lengthy nine-hour drive or painful layover with a quick 95-minute nonstop flight between Reno and Idaho Falls once aha! starts service on Aug. 11.

Aha!, powered by Express Jet Airlines, announced the added nonstop service on Thursday.

Aha! will fly to Idaho Falls Regional Airport two times a week with 50-seat Embraer ERJ145 regional jets. With the addition of Idaho Falls, aha! will now serve 11 cities nonstop from its home base at Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

Flights will operate each Thursday and Sunday departing Reno-Tahoe International Airport at 7:40 a.m. arriving at Idaho Falls Regional Airport at 10:15 a.m. Return flights will depart Idaho Falls at 10:55 a.m. and arrive in Reno-Tahoe at 11:30 a.m.

"We are thrilled to offer eastern Idaho residents with the opportunity to explore the incredible gaming, dining, shows, and indoor/outdoor fun of Reno and Lake Tahoe without lengthy drives or layovers," said Tim Sieber, head of ExpressJet's aha! business unit, in a press release. "The easy access to Yellowstone, the Greenbelt, museums and other treasures will surely attract a lot of Reno residents to Idaho Falls."

Currently, aha! connects ten markets to its home base in Reno-Tahoe: Fresno, Ontario, Palm Springs and Santa Rosa Calif.; Eugene/Springfield, Medford/Ashland and Redmond/Bend, Ore.; and Pasco/Tri Cities and Spokane, Wash.

Friday, March 11, 2022

ATF reviewing unmanned aircraft systems for the future

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is presently conducting a review of the agency's Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and planning for future requirements. The review was announced in a Request For Information (RFI) contract document released Thursday.

The RFI was issued solely for market research, compiling information of available UAS sources and planning purposes. “It does not constitute an Invitation for Bids, Request for Proposal, or Request for Quotes,” the ATF said in the RFI.

The ATF is a law enforcement agency within the United States Department of Justice whose headquarters is located in Washington, D.C. The mission of ATF is to protect communities from violent criminals, criminal organizations, the illegal use and trafficking of firearms, the illegal use and storage of explosives, acts of arson and bombings, acts of terrorism, and the illegal diversion of alcohol and tobacco products.

Information provided in response to the RFI must be submitted to ATF contract officers no later than March 28.

In 2015, the ATF spent “approximately $600,000” on drones it never flew operationally, according to an audit conducted by a Justice Department watchdog.

The Department of Justice’s five law enforcement operational components conducted 248 UAS deployments during fiscal year 2020. All totaled, the components recorded approximately 172 hours and 59 minutes of flight time.

The general types or categories of missions flown include the following: authorized investigations, fugitive apprehension, communications support, search and rescue, site survey, counter-UAS testing and training, crime scene examination, mapping, reconnaissance of remote geographical areas, force protection and officer safety during service of warrants, demonstration flights, UAS and Counter-UAS testing and training, and production of component training videos.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Engine overhauls ordered for Navy C-40A aircraft fleet

The Naval Air Systems Command, Tactical Airlift Program Office, Patuxent River, Md., is conducting market research to identify potential business sources with the resources, capabilities, and experience to successfully perform multiple C-40A engine overhauls beginning as early as 2025 and occurring over a three to five year period.

The C-40A aircraft is a Boeing 737-700C commercial-derivative cargo/transport/Extended Range Twin Engine Operations aircraft that is operated by the U.S. Navy and soon to be operated by the U.S. Marine Corps. The aircraft are equipped with CFM56-7B24 engines and have been modified with government unique items with supplement type certifications.

“At this time, the government anticipates 10 – 20 engine overhauls will be required over a three to five year period,” Navy officials said in contract documents. “Overhaul turn-around-time shall be 120 days between shipping to and shipping from the vendor.”

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Radian Aerospace secures $27.5 million in funding to develop spaceplane

Radian Aerospace, developer of a fully reusable horizontal takeoff and landing, single-stage to orbit spaceplane, announced Wednesday that the company recently closed $27.5 million in seed funding. The recent round was led by Fine Structure Ventures, a venture capital fund.

The Radian spaceplane will “fill the efficiency and capability gaps that exist with traditional vertical rockets,” the company said in a press release. The vehicle will be capable of a wide range of space operations including the delivery of people and light cargo to low earth orbit with aircraft-like operations.

"To date, a low cost space transport solution has been lacking that can get humans and cargo to and from space at a highly responsive rate," said Brett Rome, venture partner at Fine Structure Ventures. "Radian is well positioned to fill that gap with disruptive technology that helps enable the emerging space economy."

The ability to fly to space, perform a mission, return, refuel, and fly again almost immediately enables in-space and terrestrial missions that are simply not possible with traditional vehicles, the company said.

"Wings offer capabilities and mission types that are simply not possible with traditional vertical takeoff right circular cylinder rockets," said Livingston Holder, Radian's co-founder and former head of the Future Space Transportation and X-33 program at Boeing. "What we are doing is hard, but it's no longer impossible thanks to significant advancements in materials science, miniaturization, and manufacturing technologies.”

“We are not focused on tourism, we are dedicated to missions that make life better on our own planet, like research, in-space manufacturing, and terrestrial observation, as well as critical new missions like rapid global delivery right here on Earth," said Richard Humphrey, CEO and co-founder of Radian.

The company already has launch service agreements with commercial space stations, in-space manufacturers, satellite, and cargo companies, as well as agreements with the U.S. government and selected foreign governments.

"We're talking about materially enabling an industry that's expected to grow to $1.4 trillion in less than a decade,” said Doug Greenlaw, a former chief executive of Lockheed Martin and one of Radian's investors and strategic advisors.

The addressable commercial market opportunity for Radian's disruptive launch vehicle is estimated to be $200 billion, the company said.