Kitty Hawk, Garmin Supply Chain Issues And A 200-Jet Milestone

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Photo by Mike Fizer Courtesy of AOPA

Today marks the 118th anniversary of the first controlled powered flight of a heavier-than-air aircraft by Orville Wright in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The plane that he and his brother Wilbur designed and constructed, along with engine maker Charlie Taylor, flew for 12 seconds and covered a distance of 120 feet.

A record tornado ripped through parts of four states earlier this week, leaving a swath of destruction and heavily damaging several general aviation airports, including Boyle County, where more than a dozen airplanes were destroyed. The tornado stayed on the ground for more than 200 miles, a greater distance than any other recorded tornado.

Garmin announced last month to its dealers and customers that it was experiencing delays in delivering navigators and radios, including the GTN 750Xi, one of its bestsellers. The company said in an email to its dealer network that it had suffered several supplier “decommitments,” and as a result would tentatively schedule deliveries of orders placed after September 1, 2021, to the second quarter of 2022.

Garmin told Plane & Pilot that the impact on customers was hoped to be minimal. A Garmin spokesperson wrote in an email, “Many install shops have a 3 to 6 month (or more) backlog, based on their own capacity or labor constraints, so a number of these supply chain constraints will have no impact at all to someone’s ability to get their aircraft upgrade scheduled.”

Dynon, too, announced that it was experiencing supply chain woes causing the company to stop production of its displays for Experimental Amateur-Built Aircraft until it can create workarounds for the parts subject to the global shortages.

CubCrafters announced that its NXCub had earned FAA certification. A development of the company’s popular XCub, the NXCub sports a nosewheel. Previously, the aircraft had been offered as an amateur-built model.

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The pilot of an ultralight aircraft was uninjured in the crash of his small craft in South Bend, Indiana, and failed a field sobriety test, according to local news reports. He was, however, not arrested, and it is not clear what if any statutes the pilot violated in the incident, as ultralight aircraft are generally not subject to FAA regulations and there are few local, county or state ordinances against operating an ultralight under the influence of alcohol.

Congratulations to Honda Aircraft, which delivered its 200th HondaJet, a milestone it accomplished in six years—we’ll do the math; that’s around 33 jets rolling out the doors every year.

Ameriflight announced a partnership with Merlin Labs in developing automated piloting capabilities for its existing aircraft. The freight carrier said that it would explore both total and supplement automation for cargo flights. Merlin has already gotten an outline of certification requirements from the FAA, though there’s no timetable for certification.

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Congrats to AOPA’s brilliant photographer Mike Fizer, who announced his retirement from the organization earlier this week. Inspired and mentored by aviation photographer extraordinaire, Fizer soon crafted his own distinctive style that included powerful in-your-face close-up covers and dreamy landscapes with airplanes. Fizer worked for AOPA for more than 30 years.

The University of North Dakota held a gathering of aviation professionals to discuss the subject of mental health in the pilot population, this following the death in an aircraft accident of UND student John Hauser, who suffered from mental health challenges, according to his family. As we previously reported, UND paused flying activities and held support sessions for its students in the wake of Hauser’s death.

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