ICE CRASH AN-26 'HAD ENGINE PROBLEM'
An Antonov An-26 that crashed on 18 March on to the 30cm (12in)-thick ice of a frozen lake on the Runway 08 extended approach centreline at Tallinn airport may have had trouble with one of its two engines. One approach on its flight from Helsinki had already been aborted, say Estonian investigators. Early concerns were to stabilise the aircraft, registered SP-FDO and operated by Polish carrier Exin, and offload 1.5t of fuel. All six occupants survived.
IAI, ELBIT TO JOIN FORCES ON TRAINER DEAL
Israel Aerospace Industries and Elbit Systems are in advanced negotiations on a proposed joint venture that could deliver a new advanced jet trainer service to the Israeli air force. The companies are also talking to Alenia Aermacchi and Korea Aerospace Industries, whose respective M-346 and T-50 designs are leading candidates to replace the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk.
PERU SNAPS UP DUTCH PATROL AIRCRAFT
The Peruvian navy is to acquire two surplus Fokker 60 maritime patrol aircraft from the Netherlands defence ministry. Modified with surveillance radars and additional fuel capacity, the aircraft provided coastguard cover for the Dutch Antilles between 2005 and their retirement 2007.
LUFTHANSA CARGO LOOKS AT MD-11F REVIVAL
Lufthansa Cargo is preparing two of its four parked Boeing MD-11Fs for return to service, but will not take a final decision on whether to re-introduce as many as 19 of the freighters until it has evaluated recent traffic data. The carrier lost €171 million ($234 million) last year as revenues fell nearly a third to €1.95 billion.
SWEDEN MOVES ON SAAB GRIPEN UPGRADE
Saab has received a four-year contract worth SKr2 billion ($280 million) to improve the Swedish air force's Gripen C/D fighters. The aircraft will get upgraded communication and countermeasures equipment, plus Boeing Small Diameter Bombs and a range enhancement for their Ericsson PS-05/A fire control radars.
AIRBUS RECEIVES FIRST CHINA-MADE A320 WINGS
The Airbus A320 final assembly line in Tianjin has taken delivery of and installed the first pair of Chinese-produced wings for the narrowbody, from Xian Aircraft.
AIR BERLIN CANCELS ORDER FOR 15 787S
German carrier Air Berlin is cancelling 10 of the 25 Boeing 787-8s it has on order and is pushing back the delivery of nine 737s, originally due to arrive in 2010-11, to 2015.
787 AND 747-8F MAY MAKE FARNBOROUGH DEBUT
Boeing is tentatively planning to debut the 787 and 747-8F alongside one another at the Farnborough air show in July, subject to both aircraft's flight-test programmes remaining on track.
MAJOR GENERAL ROBERT WHITE: X-15 STAR
US Air Force Maj Gen (retired) Robert White, the first pilot to fly hypersonically, at Mach 5 and at M6, and holder of the world's absolute altitude record since a 1962 X-15 flight to 314,688ft (95,900m) died on 17 March. He was born in 1924.