Arizona Aviation Journal


Cabri-G2_2_FINALeditGuidance Aviation has confirmed the purchase of the company's first Guimbal Cabri G2 helicopter, Serial No. 1099.  The original purchase agreement was forged between Bruno Guimbal and John Stonecipher, CEO, Guidance Aviation at HELI-EXPO 2014 pending the FAA's issuance of the U.S. Standard Category Airworthiness Certificate. The confirmation comes the same week the Cabri G2 received FAA certification.

"The G2 with its composite fuselage and rotor blades and fully articulated main rotor system bring unique developments to the helicopter flight training market. We are excited to add the Guimbal Cabri G2 to our growing fleet of 23 aircraft," states John Stonecipher, CEO, Guidance Aviation.

Bruno Guimbal stated, "We are very much looking forward to success in the US market in the wake of our growing success in 23 other countries. It is a great satisfaction and proud moment for us to have gained the trust and business of Guidance Aviation, a leader in the U.S. helicopter flight training market. We need the experience and professionalism of leading institutions like Guidance Aviation to help build our reputation of safety and profitability in the helicopter industry."

Bruno Guimbal, a former Eurocopter engineer, designed the G2 as a two seat light helicopter with a three blade fully articulated main rotor and a Fenestron-type tail rotor. The G2 is powered by a Lycoming 0-360 and first flew in March 2005.

In 2007, the Cabri G2 was awarded the EASA Type Certificate and the first production rotorcraft was delivered in France.  With the 100th G2 in its final production stages in France, the G2 is now flying in Australia, China, Europe, Hong Kong, New Zealand, South Africa, Vietnam, and the United States. The worldwide fleet has logged over 50,000 flight hours with no injury.

Guidance Aviation is an FAA approved Part 141 helicopter flight training institution with flight operations in Prescott, Arizona and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Through their collegiate partner programs, graduates earn both their Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree, Aviation Technology - Helicopters, and the necessary FAA certificates and ratings (CFI-I) to become working, professional helicopter pilots. The institution was recognized as the nation's top business by the United States Small Business Administration in 2013, Washington, D.C. for its financial strength and philanthropy.  Guidance Aviation is a military friendly organization. The majority of both its employees and students are U.S. Military Veterans.



The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) applauded new legislation that would give general aviation pilots relief from the third-class medical process and protect them from liability on charitable flights, extend legal protections to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) representatives and require FAA contractors to provide information under Freedom of Information Act requests.

The Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 (PBR2) was introduced Feb. 25 in both the House (H.R. 1062) and the Senate (S.571).

“The introduction of the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 is great news for the general aviation community and we are grateful to Sens. Inhofe and Manchin, and Reps. Graves and Lipinski, and all their bipartisan colleagues for putting forward this legislation that would do so much to help grow and support GA activity,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “Pilots have already waited too long for medical reform, so we’re particularly pleased to see it included in this important measure. We will actively work with Congress to build support for this legislation that is so vital to the future of general aviation.”

Under PBR2, pilots flying recreationally in a wide range of aircraft would no longer need to obtain a third-class medical certificate. The new bill would allow private pilots to make noncommercial VFR and IFR flights in aircraft weighing up to 6,000 pounds with up to six seats. Pilots also would be allowed to carry up to five passengers, fly at altitudes below 14,000 feet msl and fly no faster than 250 knots. PRB2 also includes a provision to ensure that pilots can fly under the new rules even if the FAA fails to comply with the bill’s provisions 180 days after enactment.

"Pilot's Bill of Rights being signed into law in 2012 was a major victory for the aviation community, but I promised we would not stop there,” said Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma). “Today, I am taking the next step in keeping that promise by introducing the Pilot's Bill of Rights 2, which expands upon necessary reforms and continues to cut red tape hampering the general aviation community. Among many things, the legislation most importantly expands the FAA's existing third-class medical exemption for light sport aircraft to cover most recreational airmen. This will protect the rights of thousands of qualified airmen who would otherwise be grounded due to excessive medical regulation technicalities; this reform is of great need. It is an honor to have the strong bipartisan support of my colleagues in Congress and of those in the general aviation community, and I am committed to shepherding this legislation through the 114th Congress.”

In addition to Inhofe, the Senate legislation was introduced by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), John Boozman (R-Arkansas), Steve Daines (R-Montana), Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania), Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire), Angus King (I-Maine), John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota), Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), Pat Roberts (R-Kansas), Jon Tester (D-Montana), and Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi).  Both Inhofe and Manchin are AOPA members and Senate GA Caucus members, while Boozman serves as the Senate GA Caucus co-chair. Heitkamp, Moran, Roberts, Shaheen, Tester, and Wicker are also Senate GA Caucus members.


New Hangar/Office Project Headed to Chandler Municipal Airport

Wingspan FronteditA new-to-market concept is on its way to Chandler Municipal Airport, introducing new businesses to Chandler’s growing aviation industry.  Chandler City Council Thursday night approved a 50-year ground lease agreement for the WingSpan Aviation Center at Chandler Municipal Airport (CHD).

The first phase of the project will include 80,000SF of hangar/office space. Each hangar building may be equipped with offices, meeting space and/or an Aviation Business Lobby (ABL).

"This is an excellent project with direct freeway access and limited airspace delays that creates a really attractive opportunity for those who cater to the aviation business sector,”said Mayor Jay Tibshraeny. “WingSpan Aviation Center will be a unique addition to the development activity we’re seeing throughout the Airpark Area."

Chandler Municipal Airport anchors the city’s Airpark area, one of Chandler’s largest employment corridors, second only to the nearby Price Corridor.   The Airpark is dubbed Chandler’s ‘final frontier’ for growth as the city moves towards build-out, and fewer large tracts of commercial land are available.


Guidance Aviation Launches LZ Network

unnamed (3)Guidance Aviation has officially announced the launch of its "LZ Network", emphasizing off-airport operations and real world training. The off-airport network of helipads and landing zones includes a floating helipad atop the organization's 75'ft houseboat. Students practice pinnacle landings, confined areas, off-airport operations, and water landings. In addition to the over-water helipad on Lake Powell, Guidance has established off-airport LZ's throughout the Prescott region, providing unique flight environments and real world challenges for students enrolled in the collegiate helicopter pilot program. Development of the LZ Network was launched in the summer of 2013 and is now fully integrated into the helicopter flight training program at Guidance Aviation.

The primary helicopter flight training institution is also developing an off-airport LZ Network for students enrolled in the collegiate helicopter pilot program at Baton Rouge Community College, including landing on oil rig platforms.

"Flying helicopters airport to airport just doesn't cut it in the commercial helicopter flight training world..Guidance Aviation provides real world experience and training... It takes a unique skill set, a unique perspective, and a unique kinesthetic sense. This is what Guidance Aviation is all about. Real World Training. Real World Skills," states John Stonecipher, CEO, Guidance Aviation.



The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s (AOPA) Air Safety Institute has released a new accident case study that focuses on handling aircraft in-flight instrument failures, pilot spatial disorientation and air traffic control communications during an emergency -- lessons that pilots of all skill levels will benefit from.

In the latest episode in the Air Safety Institute’s (ASI) accident case study series, this 13-minute video uses air traffic control tapes and radar tracks to examine events that resulted in the failure of the Piper Cherokee 160’s vacuum system and heading and attitude indicators during an instrument flight from Summerville, S.C. (KDYB) to Fayetteville, N.C. (KFAY).

The National Transportation Safety Board found that the probable cause of the Dec. 16, 2012 accident was spatial disorientation, but the ASI case study shows that many other factors and failures were also at work during that afternoon flight.

The video highlights the nature of a vacuum pump failure, and examines the confusion among the pilot and air traffic controllers during two instrument approaches in conditions that included minimal ceilings and visibility.


Helicopter Pilot School Named Prescott’s Most Philanthropic

guidance aviation logoGuidance Aviation of Prescott, Arizona was named the City’s Most Philanthropic Business for organizations with more than 50 employees during the Healthy Prescott Business Awards, hosted by the Prescott Chamber of Commerce.

Since 2007, the helicopter pilot school has donated in excess of $580,000.00. These philanthropic efforts include cash, aircraft, equipment, and in-kind flight donations, including the donation of an Robinson R44 helicopter to the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office (YCSO) to support the YCSO Search and Rescue (SAR) program. To date, the SAR program and helicopter have saved dozens of lives. Guidance Aviation has also donated nearly $30,000 to date to the Yavapai College Foundation.

In 2013, Guidance Aviation’s CEO John Stonecipher was named the Business Person of the Year by the United States Small Business Administration in Washington, D.C. Criteria for the prestigious national award included financial strength, sustained hiring, sustained growth, and philanthropic efforts.

Later this year, Stonecipher and Guidance Aviation will be announcing a significant multi-year sponsorship package providing both cash and in-kind donations to support women in helicopter aviation.

Guidance Aviation is an FAA approved helicopter flight training institution with flight operations in Prescott, Arizona and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Through its collegiate partner programs, graduates earn both their Associate of Applied Science Degrees (AAS) as well as their FAA certificates and ratings (CFI-I) necessary to become working, professional helicopter pilots. Guidance Aviation is a military friendly institution. The majority of its staff and nearly 80% of its student population are U.S. Military Veterans.


New Program Collects Change to Benefit USO Arizona

Group photo uso phx

From left to right: City of Phoenix Assistant Aviation Director Chad Makovsky, Phoenix City Councilwoman Kate Gallego, USO Arizona Center Director Tara Mogan, and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton

On Wednesday, January 28, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton launched a program that makes it easy for passengers at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport to provide support to USO Arizona.

Change receptacles located in front of each security checkpoint in the terminals are now available for travelers to contribute loose monies to help make a difference to service members. “I was honored to drop in the first donation and officially kick off this program,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton.  “Phoenix Sky Harbor is one of the busiest airports in the United States. It is important to provide a home away from home for our traveling military members at America’s Friendliest Airport®.” Every year, about 23,000 troops and their families visit the USO in Phoenix Sky Harbor’s busiest terminal, Terminal 4.  


Guidance Produces Touching Video of Veteran Reunited with Last B-26

WWII_POW_B26_Wasowicz_Guidance_Aviation_10-1024x683Guidance Aviation of Prescott, Arizona has produced a must-see video of WWII Veteran, Barney Wasowicz as he was reunited with the last B-26 Marauder at the Fantasy of Flight Museum in Florida. Wasowicz, on his 18th mission piloting the Marauder, became a POW after being shot down over occupied France.

Watch Video: Guidance


Phoenix Sky Harbor to Welcome Record Number of Super Bowl XLIX Visitors

a Glamour shot 0413mediaAmerica's Friendliest Airport® is looking forward to welcoming travelers to the Valley of the Sun for Super Bowl XLIX. Various events across the Valley including the 2015 Pro Bowl presented by McDonalds, Waste Management Phoenix Open and the Super Bowl will mean Phoenix Sky Harbor will be very busy. February 2, the day after Super Bowl XLIX, will be Phoenix Sky Harbor's busiest day on record with a 60 percent increase in traffic. An average day at Sky Harbor sees about 110,000 passengers while February 2, could see 180,000 passengers. Additionally, an average day sees about 1,200 takeoffs and landings at Phoenix Sky Harbor, while February 2, the Airport expects approximately 1,600 takeoffs and landings.

"Our staff has been preparing for more than a year," said Acting Aviation Director Tamie Fisher. "We have been working with the airlines, TSA, car rental companies, law enforcement, the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, the NFL, our restaurant operators and other organizations to develop special operational and staffing plans to give our visitors a world class airport experience."

What can you do to make your travel experience to smoother? Here are some important travel tips before your arrival:

If you are planning to rent a car, make sure to reserve your car in advance. Phoenix Sky Harbor is anticipating a 50 percent increase in car rentals around the Super Bowl and vehicles may be limited for walk-up customers. 


Vertical Flight Award to Papillon Founder Halvorson

Matt Hasik and Elling Halvorson

Matt Hasik, Bell Helicopter’s Executive Vice President of Commercial Business, presented Elling with the Vertical Flight Hall of Fame Award statuette.

Bell Helicopter honored Papillon Helicopters founder Elling Halvorson with the Bell Helicopter Vertical Flight Hall of Fame Award at the 12th annual Living Legends of Aviation Awards in Beverly Hills on January 16. The award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the rotorcraft industry. “I’m truly honored to be awarded with the Bell Helicopter Vertical Flight Hall of Fame award,” said Elling Halvorson. “I’ve been presented many opportunities throughout my life to witness the inspiring work aviation yields and every day I’m humbled by the wonderful experiences we see in the aviation industry.” Elling is the founder of Papillon Helicopters, the world’s oldest and largest sightseeing company flying an estimated 600,000 passengers a year on its daily tours to the Grand Canyon. He began his story in 1963 when he won a bid to build a water pipeline that stretched 13.5 miles across the Grand Canyon on some of the most difficult terrain in the world. The project turned out to be the single largest helicopter supported construction job ever completed, using more than 25,000 hours of helicopter flight time and six different models of helicopters, including a Bell 204. Elling has demonstrated superior vertical lift capability through his proven success on projects benefitting construction, utility, travel and tourism. Matt Hasik, Bell Helicopter’s Executive Vice President of Commercial Business, presented Elling with the Vertical Flight Hall of Fame Award statuette. “A visionary, an innovator and a leader in the helicopter industry, Elling is a true pioneer for aviation,” said Hasik. “He continues to share his expertise and passion around the world, and we admire and appreciate his tireless efforts and infectious enthusiasm for the industry.”