Iranian Tu-154M crashes

Accident A Tupolev Tu-154M operated by Iran Air Tours caught fire on landing at Mashad on 1 September after a flight from Bandar Abbas. The 18-year-old trijet was one of a dozen operated by the holiday flights division of flag carrier Iran Air. As Flight International closed for press there were indications that up to 50 of the around 150 people on board may have survived. Iran Air Tours lost another Tu-154 four years ago after the aircraft came down in a mountainous area near Khorramabad, killing all on board.

Wing cracks prompt Beech 1900 EAD

Safety The US Federal Aviation Administration has issued an emergency airworthiness directive (EAD) affecting all Raytheon Beech 1900 series aircraft as a result of "significant" wing spar cracks being found in two 1900Ds. The EAD requires a detailed inspection at 17,000h time in service and again after every 3,000h.

Aero Vodochody signs C-27J deal

Agreement Aero Vodochody of the Czech Republic is to participate in the production of Alenia Aeronautica's C-27J Spartan tactical transport, with a preliminary agreement due to have been signed with the Italian manufacturer late last week in the Czech city Brno. Expected to lead to a formal contract signature next May, the agreement will see Aero manufacture the centre sections for the C-27J's wings. The company will initially produce parts for 12 aircraft a year, but the arrangement could eventually cover the production of 230 aircraft, say industry sources.

Saab completes Ericsson acquisition

Takeover The European Commission has approved Saab's proposed acquisition of Ericsson Microwave Systems and the purchase of Ericsson's 40% stake in Saab Ericsson Space for a proposed SKr3.8 billion ($525 million). "The Commission's examination of the proposed transaction showed that it would not lead to any horizontal overlaps among the parties' activities," it says. The Swedish companies began trading as Saab Microwave Systems and Saab Space on 1 September.

Boeing to open MRO base in central India

Maintenance Boeing is to set up a regional maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility in Nagpur in central India. The repair station is part of a maintenance and training provision agreed as part of Air India's December 2005 order for 27 787s, 23 777s and 18 737-800s. "Boeing is committed to helping strengthen India's air transport infrastructure by investing up to $100 million in this MRO facility," says Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice-president of sales Dinesh Keskar.

No sign of normal Beirut services

Routes There was still no indication late last week of a return to normal international services at Beirut Rafic Hariri International airport, despite early suggestions that air links would be restored shortly after the cessation of recent hostilities in Lebanon. German flag carrier Lufthansa had been among the airlines eager to resume flights to Beirut, but has been forced to concede that a tentative end-of-August date was also too optimistic.

Mike Farge

Obituary Executive jet company Club328's chief executive Mike Farge died last week following a battle with leukaemia. A popular figure throughout his 40-year career in the industry, Farge joined Westland Group - Normalair Garrett in 1968, and rose to become executive director-customer support by 1990. He then joined British Aerospace and served in many senior roles, before joining FLS Aerospace as managing director and playing a key role in turning around the business, having brought together Dan Air Engineering and FFV Aerotech to form FLS Aerospace Engineering.

Source: Flight International