COVID-19 Live Blog: April 14


Coronavirus Disease 2019 Rotator Graphic for (U.S. Air Force Graphic by Rosario "Charo" Gutierrez)


Our third Town Hall Meeting takes place tomorrow. If you are interested in aircraft values and transactions you can sign up for free here.

Textron takes 2020 AGM virtual

Textron will hold its 2020 Annual Meeting of Shareholders virtually. It will take place on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 at 11 a.m. Eastern Time

Embry-Riddle students making masks

Amy Vaughn Deahl, director of student union operations and events, models a face shield manufactured by students on Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach Campus. (Photo: Embry-Riddle/Bob Doxie)


Teams at both of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., are fabricating high-quality masks and face shields to help protect healthcare workers amid the novel 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

In true Embry-Riddle fashion, 50 students on the Daytona Beach Campus are fabricating 5,000 face shields using mylar, adhesive foam and elastic ribbon for distribution to local hospitals Halifax Health and AdventHealth. Many of the students doing the work have lost their regular employment because of the global pandemic.

“This is an opportunity for them to earn some needed cash, as a number of students are struggling financially after the loss of jobs,” said Embry-Riddle’s Student Engagement & Student Union Executive Director Karin Gollin. “It’s also an opportunity for them to make a contribution to the local community, which is also a powerful motivator for them.”

Some of the students whose resources have remained unaffected by the crisis have chosen to volunteer, and all materials for the masks are being provided by Embry-Riddle.

While making the shields, the students are distanced from each other, with a mass-production plan that keeps both the students and the products safe, said Gollin, who added that the effort is mostly student-run. “I have enormous confidence in our students to problem-solve and adapt as things get going,” she said.

Embry-Riddle Print Shop Manager Bob Doxie sourced all of the materials, not an easy task with some of the components in short supply, and figured out the process for assembling the masks.

Matthew Glass, a fourth-year Aeronautical Science major, said making the masks gives him “a mission and a sense of purpose” amid the pandemic. “With a project like this, you don’t get to necessarily see the effects of your actions, but you know that you are saving lives.”

Prescott Campus Pitches In

On Embry-Riddle’s Prescott Campus, the manager of the university’s Rapid Prototyping Lab, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Mehran Andalibi, is 3D printing face shield headpieces and Jared Vanatta, the manager of the Machine Shop, is finishing the fabrication by adding the plastic shields themselves.

According to College of Engineering Dean Ron Madler, 130 shields will go to Yavapai Regional Medical Center, and more will be fabricated as more material for the clear shield, which is in high demand, becomes available.

Vanatta has come up with an idea to make the internet-sourced design easier to assemble, and that design change may be incorporated, said Madler.

Eagles Serving Society

Across Embry-Riddle, faculty, many different students and staff are pitching in to help during the pandemic. Tanner Freeze, a freshman in Aerospace Engineering, and Alan Newingham, a desktop technician in Embry-Riddle’s IT department, are only two examples of Eagles serving society.

Freeze started 3D printing headpieces for clear plastic face shields at home in North Carolina after his aunt, who is a nurse, said they were needed. Researching online, he discovered that 3D printers had started to mobilize to make the headpieces, which hold the sheet of protective plastic in place.

“I’m currently working on printing as many as I can,” said Freeze, who used his own money to buy himself a second 3D printer and to purchase the clear plastic to make the shields themselves so he can provide a finished product. “Since I started, I’ve gotten requests to send them to several different healthcare locations in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.”

Producing about 24 of the headpieces per day, Freeze said he has contacted friends who are also 3D printers “and we started to coordinate and organize to mass-produce these and get them out to the people who need them.”

Meanwhile, Newingham is producing headpieces for face shields and face masks made of an antimicrobial material that contains nanoparticles of copper. Newingham is the owner of a 3D printing company known as 3D Dad.

Newingham first made a specific model of face mask that was requested of him by Sinai and Mercy hospitals in New York. He then contacted a hospital in Kirkland, Washington, after hearing that on March 10, they had only seven days’ worth of masks remaining and had begun rationing them and reusing them.

Bearing the entire cost himself, Newingham sent 433 masks to Kirkland and 111 each to Sinai and Mercy, plus distributing about 30 to Emergency Medical Technicians and elderly people.

Newingham has so far printed 200 pounds of filament, at about $10 per pound.

“I just feel if I don’t help, who will,” he said. “Maybe if I do it with limited funds and resources, it will get others to do it as well.”

At the beginning of this month, Newingham switched to making the headpieces for face shields and shipped 1,000 of them. He also entered into a partnership with a company called Copper3d, Newingham said, which produces the antimicrobial material Newingham is using to produce a a newly designed face mask.

“The hospitals knew what they wanted before getting with us,” said Newingham.


Zenith Jet helping with grounded aircraft


If your aircraft is grounded due to the COVID-19 outbreak, this downtime could allow time for major maintenance inspections and / or significant upgrades on your aircraft. However, customers whose aircraft undergo a major inspection/upgrade can find the process of choosing the right facility, negotiating the price, reading the fine print related to payment terms, extra charges, understanding engineering issues, signing off on repair versus replace decisions, and overseeing the job, and then reviewing a final invoice that can easily run to hundreds a very daunting task . ZenithJet can manage the entire process and take care of all the headaches so you don’t have to.In addition to on-site project oversight during the work, ZenithJet will also manage upfront bids and negotiate the price with the different service facilities, and ensure the final invoice is correct. We work to ensure that your aircraft is getting the best technical support, best pricing terms, and shortest downtime.

We can help you avoid the major pitfalls of the inspection process:

– Management of facility bid process and recommendations

– Schedule and budget compliance to meet your deadline

– Ensuring owner’s interests represented

– Expert on-site representation

– Regular reporting to owner/operator

– Final invoice review


NBAA confirms smaller charter operators can benefit from the CARES Act

Release: The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) applauded guidance from the Department of the Treasury, ensuring that qualifying passenger air carriers – including many small charter operators in NBAA’s membership – have more flexbile access to the Payroll Support Program contained in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Through this program, air carriers can apply for support to continue paying employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the debate on the CARES Act, NBAA led a significant effort to ensure that general aviation air carriers, such as FAR Part 135 operators, were eligible for this relief. NBAA’s effort led to the inclusion of general aviation in crucial provisions of the CARES Act.

The new guidance provided by the Treasury Department recognizes the critical role general aviation air carriers play in the nation’s transportation system, and states that operators receiving less than $100 million of payroll assistance are not required to provide financial instruments to the government.

Air carriers receiving payroll support must meet minimum service requirements, limit any share buybacks, follow executive compensation limitsand refrain from involuntary furloughs; however, the provision of financial instruments to the government as appropriate compensation is no longer required.

In a March 31 letter to Secretary Mnuchin, NBAA explained that initial guidance on the payroll support program presented challenges for general aviation businesses, as specific requirements were structured for the major scheduled airlines.

Review the letter to Secretary Mnuchin.

The additional guidance issued today responds directly to these concerns, and provides essential flexibility for general aviation air carriers seeking payroll support.

The Treasury Department noted that the majority of payroll support requests received from small air carriers are for less than $10 million, and that funds will be available promptly upon approval of their applications.

“We appreciate the significant efforts of Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and Transportation Secretary Chao to understand the unique financial challenges of general aviation air carriers and provide additional flexibility while ensuring that taxpayers are properly compensated,” said NBAA President & CEO Ed Bolen. “These companies are often small and mid-sized businesses, which support jobs and economic investment in their local communities.”


Aero Asset says helicopter market waits to see affects

Aero Asset, the helicopter brokerage, has released its First Quarter 2020 Preowned Helicopter Market Trends showing that the quarter’s market dynamic was generally positive heading into a slowdown brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and oil price crash.

“Preowned sales dollar volume was up 37 percent to $152 million in the first quarter on only an eight percent increase in unit transactions, compared to the 2019 quarterly average,” said Sales Director Emmanuel Dupuy. “Preowned supply increased four percent to $909 million on 240 units, an increase of five percent. The industry absorption rate remained stabilized at 21 months, while deals in the pipeline fell 30 percent to 18 units,” he added.

“Aero Asset will closely monitor the 2020 second quarter and beyond for any signs of a recovery, as we are already seeing the immediate effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic and the double whammy of a worldwide crash in oil prices. Beyond the human scope of the pandemic, both events are wreaking havoc on economies around the world,” Dupuy said.


Echo Aviation Leasing buys cargo 767s

Echo Aviation Leasing Corporation, the Montreal business aircraft financier, has bought four Boeing 767-300 cargo aircraft. The aircraft, which are on lease, were bought by Echo Capital Fund II. Echo is now servicing agent of the existing leasing facility on behalf of the other participants. 

“We are delighted to now own these very sought-after leased assets, and we are extremely grateful for the trust placed in us by our investment partners and all the parties involved in this transaction,” said Tony Bergeron, Managing Partner of Echo. 

Echo was founded in 2016 by Bergeron and Frederic Larue. It typically focuses on business aviation and has offices in Montreal, Vancouver and Miami.