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NTSB FAULTS CAPTAIN IN 2008 DENVER EXCURSION

The US National Transportation Safety Board has determined the captain of Continental Airlines flight 1404 that ran off the runway at Denver International airport on 20 December 2008 did not properly control the Boeing 737-500 for crosswind gusts of up to 45kt (83km/h) during the take-off run. According to investigators, the pilots were not aware of the intensity of the wind but could have kept the aircraft centred on the runway had they maintained right rudder to counteract the weathervane effect of the wind.


RIVALS JOINS FORCES FOR SEARCH-RESCUE BID

Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin have teamed up to offer the former's UH-60M Black Hawk to replace the US Air Force combat search and rescue (CSAR) fleet, which is now an older version of the same helicopter. The two companies have spent years competing against each other for the CSAR-X and VXX presidential helicopter contracts, neither of which reached production.


ISRAEL GROUNDS T-6 FLEET AFTER BAIL-OUT DRAMA

The Israeli air force grounded all its Beechcraft T-6 "Efroni" basic trainers pending investigation of a 15 June incident in which a cadet sensed a problem with the aircraft, lost control and bailed out on approach to landing, receiving slight injuries. The Efroni entered service last year, replacing the Fouga Magister "Zukit".


PUMP FAILURE DOOMED INDIAN LAUNCH

The Indian Space Research Organisation has pinpointed the cause of the 15 April launch failure of its three-stage geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV) as a broken fuel booster pump that starved the Indian-made cryogenic engine of liquid hydrogen. Five previous successful GSLV flights were powered by Russian-supplied cryogenic engines.


ATK TAKES ON RAYTHEON OVER MISSILES

Alliant Techsystems (ATK) is seeking to break into the Raytheon-dominated market for US Air Force anti-radar missiles with a bid to upgrade a control unit on the AGM-88 high-speed anti-radiation missile (HARM), which can cause the missile to lock on to friendly radars. The weapon's designer, Raytheon, has also bid for the air force's $51 million contract to upgrade 500 missiles.


NORTHWEST BIOFUEL STUDY EYES LOCAL BIOMASS

International airports in Portland, Seattle and Spokane are partnering Alaska Air, Boeing and Washington State University to study options for developing jet fuel from biomass available in their region, including algae, wood by-products and oilseed.


CHINA FIRMS UP VENEZUELA AIRCRAFT DEAL

China's AVIC International has firmed up a deal to sell to Venezuela commercial aircraft including 25 Harbin Y12s and two helicopters, according to the state-run China Daily. A second deal for another six aircraft may follow.


BA CITYFLYER COMPLETES AVRO PHASE-OUT

British Airways' CityFlyer division has completed its regional fleet renewal by phasing out its last BAE Systems Avro RJ. The carrier had nine Avro RJ100s and two RJ85s stationed at London City airport but these have been replaced by 11 Embraer regional jets, the last of which, an E-190SR, will be delivered in November.