HondaJet Wins Flying Innovation Award

The editors of Flying magazine present the first-ever Innovation prize to Honda Aircraft at Oshkosh.

After months of debate and speculation, we have a winner. Honda Aircraft received the inaugural Flying Innovation Award on Monday night at a party in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, hosted by the magazine on the picturesque shores of Lake Winnebago.

In awarding the prize, Flying Editor-in-Chief Stephen Pope said the HondaJet was selected as the first Flying Innovation Award winner for its long list of ingenious design features. One of the most obvious is the over-the-wing engine mount, which moves the engine noise away from the cabin, allowing passengers to fly in comfort. With the removal of structural engine mount supports from the fuselage, there is also more space for the passengers and luggage inside. A sizable lavatory, complete with skylights, provides additional comfort.

The over-the-wing engine mount also helps reduce drag. This in combination with the light jet’s natural laminar flow wing and nose design, which also significantly reduces drag, help bring the airplane to a top speed of 422 knots. Propulsion is provided by two Fadec-controlled Honda GE HF120 engines, specifically designed for the HondaJet, incorporate the latest technology for efficiency and noise.

The HondaJet makes the pilot’s job as easy as it can be in a business jet, with color-coded systems diagrams incorporated into the Garmin G3000 avionics for quick systems evaluations, simple menus for initialization, and automation galore, reducing the workload in all phases of flight.

“On behalf of the Honda Aircraft Company, I am incredibly honored to receive this prestigious award,” said Honda Aircraft President & CEO Michimasa Fujino. “We are proud that HondaJet has been recognized for its innovative design and advanced technologies by such a prestigious aviation industry publication.”

“It’s fitting that the HondaJet won the first-ever Flying Innovation Award as it embodies innovation in aviation,” said Flying Editor-in-Chief Stephen Pope. “The HondaJet shows what can transpire with hard work. Honda Aircraft did an amazing job not only with the airplane but also the manufacturing facilities in North Carolina and the engine company it created with GE. It’s an incredible story.”

Honda Aircraft competed for the Innovation Award against a tough field that included the Piper M600, CubCrafters XCub, Dynon D10A EFIS, Garmin G5 EFIS and SiriusXM SXAR1 portable satellite weather receiver, each of which received a 2016 Flying Editors’ Choice Award.

Hickory Aviation Museum hands-on with military history

John Bailey – Hickory

From a Fury to a Tomcat to a Phantom, if it flew for the U.S. military, it’s probably represented on the Hickory Aviation Museum’s flight line.

The museum opened in 2007 with the help of the Sabre Society of North Carolina in Hickory, a volunteer aviation historical group focused on restoring and preserving vintage military aircraft. It has more than a dozen aircraft on display at the Hickory Regional Airport.

“These airplanes were defending our freedom for a long time and they deserve something better than being put into a scrap heap,” Jeff Wofford, president and director of the museum, said.

 Wofford is a Navy veteran and said the idea for the museum had its start in 1990 when the group was trying to save a FJ-3 Fury, the Navy’s version of the F-86, which was a Korean War-era jet.

“It was sitting up at a ballpark in Taylorsville and was severely abused. It had been shot at, beat on,” Wofford said.

The society members knew they had to save it if they could. One thing the members of the society wanted from the museum was for it to be a true, immersive, and hands-on experience for visitors.

“These things are more than just chunks of metal. People spent their lives flying these things,” Wofford said. “They flew in defense of our country in these airplanes. They’re a piece of history.”

A good example of being able to touch history at the museum is the F-14 cockpit placed on a trailer and outfitted with all the flight instruments. Visitors can even sit in it. The cockpit has the paint scheme of the squadron it was actually a part off in the early 1970s and is one of the few F-14’s to see action during the war in Vietnam.

“We want kids to come out here and be able to touch stuff,” Wofford said. “It’s one thing to sit here and look at but it’s another thing to walk up and put your hands on it and be able to get in it.”

The museum recently received a SH-3 Sea King Navy helicopter. It was designed for anti-submarine warfare with the Navy and as a transport between carriers and support ships. Visitors are welcome to walk into the aircraft and check out all of its stations.

The Sea King is one of eight-year-old Watts Rogers’ favorites on the flight line. His father Matthew Rogers said his son is always finding something new to learn about every time they visit.

“The passion the volunteers here have is one of the reasons, from a parent’s standpoint, I like bringing him here,” Matthew Rogers said. “It’s because of their passion they have for what they’re doing and the fact they enjoy passing it on to someone else that makes it special.”

Preserve, honor and educate

Along with preserving each aircraft, the museum focuses on preserving the history of each one, recognizing those who flew them and worked on them.

“These are the people, who during a very difficult time in our history were defending us,” Wofford said. “The F-4 we have was part of the Cuban Missile Crisis. It was on one of the carriers that was out there during the blockade.”

The A-7 Corsair on the flight line also has some significant history.

“We dedicated this airplane to Lt. Commander Scotty Greiling several years ago. We hosted Attack Squadron (VA) 82’s reunion,” Wofford said. “The airplane is painted up in their paint scheme. The Lt. Commander was the only combat loss on that cruise. His airplane was shot down in Vietnam.”

It was eventually discovered the museum’s A-7 was one actually from the same squadron, VA-82, so it was decided to name it in his honor.

In 2006, the U.S. Navy approached the society and said they had another F-14 available if the museum was interested. It was the last of its kind to fly for the Navy before the model was retired from service. This also sparked the need for the museum.

The Hickory City Council agreed to let the group take over the old flight service room at the Hickory Regional Airport. It had been closed down for years. The city also gave the society a third of the ramp for their aircraft. The museum first opened to the public on Memorial Day weekend in 2007.

Eric Beckler is the museum board chairman and a U.S. Navy veteran pilot. He first got involved with the museum in 2002. In the Navy, he flew several aircraft including the A-6 Intruder off a carrier. Beckler recently got to lead a tour of a group of local STEM students and got to share his knowledge about the aircraft from a practical point of view.

“There are three airplanes out there that I went through flight school,” Beckler said. “The T-2 Buckeye was the first one I landed on a carrier. I’ve got that personal connection with these airplanes.

“Those airplanes were very good to me. They taught me a lot, and I got to serve with some of the greatest people in our country, and I try to pass that on with these groups we have come through.”

Retired Air Force Brigadier Gen. Larry Huggins served with the F-105F Wild Weasels in Vietnam and said the museum is the place to come to experience U.S. aviation history because of the volunteers.

“There are two purposes for this museum, show respect for the veterans and educate the young kids on what went on,” Huggins said. “The history here is unbelievable. You can’t put a price tag on it, and it’s run by all volunteers.”

Admission to the museum is free and is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4p.m.; and Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

For more information, visit or call 828-323-1963. The Hickory Aviation Museum is at 3101 Ninth Ave. Drive NW, in Hickory.

Dynamic International Airways Files Chapter 11 Petition

Aviation Tribune

High Point based air carrier, Dynamic International Airways has filed a voluntary Chapter 11 petition with the United States Bankruptcy Court in the Middle District of North Carolina, Greensboro Division.

The airline’s decision to file follows upon litigation matters resulting from Hajj flights the airline operated in 2014 for Air India. It also follows the entry of a judgement in the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina affirming an arbitration award against Dynamic Intl. issued by the Canadian Arbitration Association in April 2017, which determined that Dynamic intl. was in breach of contract by failing to pay commissions to BKP Enterprises in connection with the Hajj flights. While Debtor has filed a notice of appeal and intends to challenge the judgment and award, Dynamic Intl. has no immediate recourse to stay the judgment and has determined the commencement of the Chapter 11 case is necessary.

Dynamic Intl. provides charter and contract commercial passenger air travel services to the general public and is a licensed and certificated air carrier authorized by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. Dynamic Intl. fleet of aircraft includes six Boeing 767s which operate international flights between United States cities and territories and foreign countries.

During the Chapter 11 case, Dynamic Intl. intends to continue its normal operations and has arranged for a credit facility to facilitate both its operations while in Chapter 11 and also its ability to reorganize.

“Operating under the protection of the US Bankruptcy Court will enable us to continue to serve our customers, keep our team employed and work with our vendors while we navigate through the challenges presented. Once we have completed the reorganization process, we expect Dynamic Intl. to emerge as a stronger company with a sound financial structure that is appropriate not only for today’s level of business activity, but also for the future,” stated Paul Kraus, CEO.

While Dynamic Intl. experienced the expected growing pains of a new airline, it has focused on continuously improving and expanding its operations. This week Dynamic International Airways will begin carrying Chinese passengers from Nanchang, in China’s Jiangxi province to Ontario, California, USA; the first ever flights from China to land at Ontario International Airport since commercial service began there in 1949.

Birth of the Cobra

By Stephen Joiner Air & Space

Mike Folse proved that a helicopter could fly and shoot at the same time.

Bell Helicopter’s prototype
Bell Helicopter’s prototype for the AH-1G Cobra flies in front of two UH-1 Hueys, the aircraft it was designed to protect. (Bell Helicopter Historical Archives via Ray Wilhite)


First In-service HondaJet Incident: Overrun at MDW

Amy Laboda-AIN

HondaJet HA-420 excursion at MDW
After dodging thunderstorms on the flight from Philadelphia International Airport, the pilot of this HondaJet was unable to stop the aircraft on the asphalt surface of Midway’s 6,500-foot-long Runway 31C, which was wet at the time of the incident. (Photo: Rob

HondaJet N20UQ suffered the type’s first incident logged into the FAA’s Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing (ASIAS) system when it experienced a runway excursion on Wednesday afternoon at Chicago Midway Airport (MDW). The light jet was being operated under Part 135 using the callsign Rockstar 20. The pilot and five passengers were not injured during the mishap.

After dodging thunderstorms on the flight from Philadelphia International Airport, the pilot was unable to stop the aircraft on the asphalt surface of Midway’s 6,500-foot-long Runway 31C, which was wet at the time of the incident. The airplane left the hard surface at the departure end and made deep tracks in the wet grass to the left of the engineered material arrestor system (EMAS) pad at the end of the runway. It twisted further left and then stopped just before the airport fence. The EMAS was installed after a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 overran Runway 31C and broke through the fence, killing a child in a vehicle on the busy highway just on the other side of the airport property, in December 2005.

The Chicago Fire Department responded to the runway excursion immediately, and reported that none of the six individuals on board was injured,” Chicago Department of Aviation media relations director Karen Pride told AIN. Heavy rain wet the runway and gusty winds were reported in the area near the time of the incident.

FlightAware shows that the aircraft was on a stabilized glideslope for most of its approach until the last 1,100 feet, when the aircraft slowed to around 107 knots and its rate of descent increased to around 1,200 feet per minute. According to the FAA preliminary report, the extent of the HondaJet’s damage is still unknown.

The tragedy of Flight 22

July 19, 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the tragedy of Piedmont Flight 22 over Hendersonville.

Disasters in the air

Identified by geologists as being among the oldest ranges on the planet, the Blue Ridge Mountains proffer breathtaking backdrops. Whitewater plunges over mountain cliffs and chasms. Creeks and branches crisscross the vales between their time-eroded slopes. Ice-cold springs course beneath their foundations of granite. And hikers and birders find respite in their wooded, wild-flowered trails.

Nevertheless, these ridges command respect from those venturing upon them — and through their perilous airspace.

Over the years, tragedies have tarnished the splendor of Henderson County’s otherwise idyllic milieu. Catastrophic weather conditions including fog and downdrafts have brought down aircraft. Added to that, pilots’ unfamiliarity with the defiant terrain and the sheer height of the ridges, have resulted in disaster. Pockmarked with crash sites, Henderson County’s mountains have witnessed their share of air disasters.

Tragic anniversary

This July marks the 50th anniversary of the most catastrophic air disaster in North Carolina’s history. The incident involved the collision of a private airliner and a commercial airliner above the Dana area on Wednesday, July 19, 1967.

Piedmont Flight 22, a Boeing 727 jetliner carrying 74 passengers and a crew of five, departed from Asheville Regional Airport’s Runway 16 at 11:58 a.m. En route from Atlanta to Roanoke, the itinerary included a stop at Asheville and a scheduled termination at Washington, D.C.

As it climbed above Hendersonville, a Cessna 310 charter flight, which had originated in Springfield, Mo., tore into the jet’s right underbelly near its front landing gear. The impact and explosion welded the Cessna into the jetliner’s underbelly.

The accident claimed the lives of all 82 people aboard the two crafts.

Before the impact, the Cessna had been traveling at 205 miles per hour and the jetliner was climbing at a ground speed of about 275 miles per hour.

Local resident Charles Geffrey “Geff” Hoots recalled, “I was playing alone in the yard, underneath my grandfather’s parked aluminum boat, when the two planes popped loudly in the sky above me. Just seconds later I heard a booming explosion, and the ground under my feet shook so strong that I fell down on my face.”

The Cessna

The red Cessna, piloted by John David “Dave” Addison (1919–1967) of Lebanon, Mo., had taken off from Charlotte and was inbound to the Asheville airport. Some sources faulted Addison, a pilot of 22 years and a World War II U.S. Army private, for not having radioed the tower at Asheville for landing clearance.

Other sources blamed a confusing transmission message by the ATC and minimal control procedures utilized by the FAA in its handling of the Cessna. The Asheville tower did not have radar in those days but relied on VHF Omni-directional Range (VOR) employing radio signals. Addison’s deviation from his IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) clearance — approximately nine miles south and east of the glide pattern into Asheville — put him in a flight path allocated to the 727.

According to the FAA, Addison’s two-engine Cessna swept out of the pallor and flew directly into the 727. Weather conditions indicated a “2,500-foot ceiling with broken cloud cover and four miles of visibility in hazy conditions.”

Addison’s passengers were Ralph Reynolds (1919–1967), vice-president of Lanseair, Inc. (an aviation insurance and development company) and owner of the craft; and Robert Eugene Anderson (1930–1967) — both of Springfield, Mo.

The Manhattan Pacemaker

Flight 22, the first jet in Piedmont’s fleet, was nicknamed the “Manhattan Pacemaker.” The craft was built in Seattle and had been leased by Iran National Airlines as part of the fleet of the Shah before Piedmont bought the jet.

Because fog had delayed flights that morning, Flight 22 was running 30 minutes behind schedule.

Passengers on Flight 22 included vacationing families and children returning home from camps. Thirty-six food brokers from around the country also counted among the passengers. The brokers were headed to a Stokely-Van Camp convention in West Virginia.

Additional passengers were Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs/Secretary-Designate of the U.S. Navy John T. McNaughton (1921–1967) and his wife and son. Still others were Georgiana (“Jeorgina”) Lopez Basurto (1945–1967), Grant E. Bubb (1905–1967) and Herbert Kiessling (1890–1967), each of Hendersonville. Basurto’s boyfriend, Kirby P. Rector (1943–1967) of Clyde, N.C., was also onboard.

Officials believed the pilot of the commercial jet, Capt. Raymond Frank Schulte (1918–1967) of Norfolk, Va., had attempted to avoid the collision. Losing power quickly after the impact, Schulte made a right turn in what seemed to have been a maneuver to make it to nearby Interstate 26. Theoretically, Schulte believed an emergency landing on the freeway might have been possible.

Thomas Calvin Conrad (1936–1967) was first officer on the flight and Lawrence Cary Wilson (1930–1967) was second officer.


Investigations suggested that the Cessna’s pilot had likely been distracted while making dial changes to his radio settings.

Witnesses on the ground told news reporters that the smaller craft pulled up sharply and then exploded upon impact. The 727 briefly continued its progress forward at an altitude of 6,132 feet before suddenly nosing over, exploding into flames and breaking into two sections.

Passengers, luggage and fuselage debris rained from the sky, and one human corpse crashed through the roof of a home. The body of a boy dangled from the branches of a tree. Luggage, clothing and cocktail napkins drifted from above, snagging in treetops.

The calamity transpired above the airspace of the Holiday Inn motel and Martin Levine’s Camp Pinewood (at one time called Orr’s Camp). At the time of the collision, 145 children between the ages of 6 and 14 and the counselors took cover indoors and under canoes as wreckage and bodies plummeted to the ground.

A profusion of the debris landed in and around the camp’s dumpsite. Henderson County sheriff James F. Kilpatrick (1920–1976) dispatched every available piece of rescue equipment and each off-duty and reserve officer to the scene. The State Highway Patrol ordered its entire area force to report for duty.


Aviation investigators reassembled sections of the jet’s fuselage in a field, which is now the site of McDonald’s on Four Seasons Boulevard. In those days, before fast-food restaurants, a muddle of signs and the Blue Ridge Mall cluttered the scenery, the area enfolding the crash site was mostly farms and rural greenways. The Blue Ridge Academy for Boys stood on the present site of the mall.

In the aftermath of the tragedy — the first major accident investigated by the newly formed National Transportation Safety Board — officials worked to keep curiosity seekers and the media from the crash site as investigations proceeded. Hendersonville residents described the general atmosphere as solemn — for many days — as they attempted to persevere with their daily lives. Victims’ families filed 16 lawsuits seeking nearly $11 million in damages against Piedmont, Lanseair and others.

In memoriam

Paul D. Houle of Chesnee, S.C., author of “The Crash of Piedmont Airlines Flight 22,” spearheaded efforts to erect a Flight 22 memorial. Mounted on a 12½-ton boulder, the bronze plaque documents the names of the victims. Houle is a former traffic-accident investigator with the United States Army.

Officials dedicated the monument in July 2004 on the 37th anniversary of the crash. The monument to the eighty-two victims stands one-quarter mile from the crash site at the intersection of Jack Street, Orr’s Camp Road and Mitchelle Drive off Four Seasons Boulevard.


Webinar – Beyond the Weather Brief – Quick Steps to Improving Weather Certainty –

FAA Safety Team | Safer Skies Through Education
“Beyond the Weather Brief – Quick Steps to Improving Weather Certainty”

Topic: Using weather detection tools to improve certainty and safety in your briefing.
On Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at 19:30 EDT
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In this 60 minute webinar followed by a Q&A, Delia Colvin, aviation weather expert, will show you effective ways to gain certainty and safety while evaluating the information. You’ll also become familiar with some fantastic new tools.

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