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OWNER EYES 2013 JET ROLLOUT
The chairman of the Chinese
company that bought Cirrus Aircraft says the next version of the
company's SF-50 Vision Jet will be rolled out before the end of this
year and certification flight testing will begin in 2014, Meng Xiangkai
told the South China Morning Post. Meng also said
China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (CAIGA) plans further
acquisitions and expansion to become a world force in GA. "We have more
acquisition plans but our globalization push isn't just limited to
mergers and acquisitions," he said. "We also aim to set up overseas
centers for research and development, marketing and client services."
Cash-rich CAIGA bought struggling Cirrus in 2011 and soon after
announced a $100 million investment in reviving the largely dormant jet
LIGHT JET PRODUCTION STALLS
Cessna has again cut back
production of its light jets including the Mustang, CJ2, CJ3 and CJ4,
potentially by up to 30 percent, citing a first-quarter loss and weak
sales. In June of 2010, the company briefly stalled production of the
Citation Mustang, largely as a result of issues in the supply chain. At
the time the company also said sales had been softer than expected. This
time, the company is entering the second quarter fresh off an $8 million
loss suffered in the first quarter. The Wichita Eagle reported that
during a conference call with analysts, Wednesday, Textron CEO Scott
Donnelly speculated that small business owners were putting off
purchases due to concerns over higher taxes and uncertainty about the
direction of the economy. But there were additional complications in the
small business jet market. More...
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THE NEW SOP?
The U.S.'s largest pilots union is warning its
members that "irregular operations" (IROPS) could become the new normal
as the FAA pushes ahead with its plan to furlough employees, including
air traffic controllers, for a day every other week. The Airline Pilots
Association International (ALPA), which filed
suit against the FAA Friday, along with industry trade groups, to
try to halt the furlough plan's implementation says the FAA itself is
saying the furloughs could be more disruptive than a summer cold front
barreling into the Eastern Seaboard. "The FAA has told airlines that on
average, the furloughs could delay twice as many flights as during the
most heavily storm-disrupted days last year," an ALPA memo says (PDF).
It also says the reduced staffing could routinely delay 6,700 flights
daily at the country's 13 busiest airports, which, of course, can spread
to every corner of the air transportation system. It also notes that
others are predicting relatively minimal impact on the system as a
AND AIRLINES SUE FAA
The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA)
joined by two airline trade groups Friday filed a lawsuit against the
FAA hoping to stop air traffic controller furloughs scheduled to begin
Sunday. The FAA believes the furloughs will save $200 million of the
$637 million that sequestration requires the agency to cut before
November. ALPA, Airlines for America, and the Regional Airline
Association believe the cuts will lead to delays that will ripple
through the system. The FAA doesn't necessarily disagree.
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787 BATTERY REDESIGN APPROVED
Friday, the FAA approved a
redesigned battery system for the 787 Dreamliner created by Boeing to
protect the aircraft from potential battery fires, meaning the airliners
may soon return to service. The 50 jets in service have been grounded
since January, when two 787s suffered fires. Boeing must now issue a
service bulletin that details the design changes that carriers will need
to apply before their Dreamliners are approved for flight by the FAA.
The FAA is expected to publish the information next week and foreign
regulators are expected to follow the FAA with their own approvals.
Meanwhile, the NTSB is still trying to determine why the aircraft's
lithium ion batteries failed. More...
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RAIDERS SHARE 'LAST' PUBLIC MEETING
Of eighty men, three of
the four surviving members of Doolittle's Raiders, all now living their
ninth decade, met publicly -- and, they say, for the final time --
during the week of April 15, at Eglin Air Force Base, to commemorate the
71st anniversary of their April 18, 1942, one-way mission to bomb Japan.
The three members present were 97-year-old Col. Richard Cole; 91-year-old Staff Sergeant David Thatcher; and 93-year-old Lt. Col. Edward Saylor. The fourth surviving member,
93-year-old Lt. Col. Robert Hite, was unable to attend. All of the men
had trained for the mission at Eglin in the winter of 1942. And this
year Cole was afforded a flight (and reportedly flew a good portion of
it, including the landing) in a B-25 owned by Larry Kelley. The men say
they toast each year to the comrades who shared their mission and have
since passed. But they have decided a special toast will now come sooner
than originally planned. More...
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ULTRALIGHT ATTRACTS ATTENTION AT SUN 'N FUN
were scarce at last week's Sun 'n Fun show in Lakeland, Fla., but a new
electric ultralight motorglider held center stage at the new LSA Mall,
attracting a constant stream of curious visitors all week long. The
ElectraFlyer ULS was first seen last
summer at EAA AirVenture, just a few days after its first flight. At
Sun 'n Fun, its creator, Randall Fishman of the Electric Aircraft Corp.,
said he has accumulated about 30 hours of flight time in the airplane
and he's ready to offer copies for sale at $59,000. Fishman said the
lightweight carbon-fiber aircraft cruises at about 40 mph, flies for up
to two hours on a single charge, and can stay aloft longer for those who
like to soar and choose a folding prop. "People are very interested in
electric flight," Fishman told AVweb. It's nice to fly with less
pollution, he said, but people also like that "it's just really nice to
fly quietly and without vibration." More...
RANDALL FISHMAN'S ELECTRIC-POWERED ULTRALIGHT
first exhibited this lightweight new design at EAA AirVenture in 2012,
shortly after its first flight. At Sun 'n Fun in April 2013, the
prototype had about 30 hours of flight time, and Fishman was ready to
sell copies under Part 103. More...
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INSIDER BLOG: FAA BUDGET CUTS -- GO FOR THE PAPER CLIPS
you're a student of the First Amendment's right of redress, aviation
gave you a good week last week, with a lawsuit to stop the FAA from
furloughing controllers. But if you're a deficit hawk? Not so much. On
the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli observes that by the time
all the special interests get their piece of the pie, the FAA will be
back where it started: no budget cuts at all. Maybe those people who say
we're doomed have a point. Read
more and join the conversation. More...
INSIDER BLOG: JACK HOWELL'S WORTHY CAUSE
stress disorder is well-known for soldiers returning from combat, but
less known is that it affects the children of soldiers killed or wounded
in battle. Jack Howell is doing something about that, offering free
flight training for the offspring of wounded or deceased military
members. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli explains why
he sent Jack some money and why you should, too. Read
more and join the conversation. More...
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APRIL 22, 2013
Letter of the Week: Managing the
I planned an FAA Safety Team seminar on the subject of
non-towered operations at towers closed by sequestration. The speakers
listed would be FAA Safety Team members, local ATC controllers, and FSDO
The document was released to 8,000-plus pilots in the
Tampa Bay area by FAASafety.gov around April 1. On April 3, I got a
phone call from FAA Safety Team management advising me to revise the
notice and remove any mention of FAA involvement. I expressed my extreme
displeasure with that direction, but I revised the notice. Two days
later I got a call from the same manager telling me that FAA HQ wanted
me to change the title and remove any mention of the word
"sequestration." In addition, I was advised to not discuss budgetary
items or sequestration with pilots.
I cannot detail here what I
said to the manager because a censor would redact them. I refused to
change the title. I also threatened to resign as a Lead Team Rep (been
one for 25 years) because I will not let the FAA trample on my First
Amendment rights. The manager asked me not to resign, especially when I
told him the next call I was making would be to the media.
is not paying a penny for the countless hours I have devoted to the FAA
Safety Program. I refuse to be intimidated by faceless Washington HQ
types who cannot stand the heat brought on by their total disregard for
The title of the seminar was revised without me.
It was held last week with 66 pilots attending. We discussed everything
that the FAA told me not to discuss.
This attempt by FAA HQ to
manage the story cannot be tolerated. That's why I am writing this
here to read the rest of this week's letters. More...
|The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!||back to
OF THE WEEK: HARRISON AVIATION (KGKY, ARLINGTON,
AVweb's latest "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to
Harrison Aviation at Arlington Municipal
Airport (KGKY) in Arlington, Texas.
AVweb reader Carol
Goldberg found warm Texan hospitality awaiting her here on a recent
Due to weather, we
diverted to Arlington, Texas on our way home from Las Vegas to Fort
Lauderdale, Florida. The entire staff went out of their way to assist us
in obtaining hotel reservations, driving us to the hotel, recommending a
dinner place, assuring us the jetprop would be hangared if the winds
increased, and having snacks and hot drinks.
Keep those nominations
coming. For complete contest rules, click
AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in
the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here
next Monday! More...
Maybe this is only funny to those of us who live
here, but here it is anyway. The other day, I was buzzing around over
the east side of Wichita when I heard this:
"Bizjet 123, maintain 3,500. Departing traffic from
Jabara and Beech Field."
"3,500 for 123.
You guys sure have a lot of airports around here!"
"Well, Wichita is known as the Air
"Really? I didn't realize
John "Dizzy" Phunt
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