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ECLIPSE WORKERS SENT HOME
Eclipse Aviation sent home 800 of
its remaining workforce of 850 in Albuquerque on Wednesday, but a
company official said he hopes to recall them soon. "It's a furlough,
not a layoff," Eclipse President and General Manager Mike McConnell told reporters in a conference call on Wednesday
afternoon. He said the global financial crisis has slowed down efforts
to put together the financing package necessary to complete the sale of
the company, which was approved in bankruptcy court last month. "That
it's taking longer speaks to the complexity of putting together global
deals in today's economy," he said. "The good news is, we believe
they're very close to closing the transaction." The affected workers
will receive their next paycheck as scheduled, he said, and will
continue to receive benefits. McConnell couldn't guarantee that all the
furloughed employees will be recalled. He said the company still has
about 1,000 orders for jets, with 30 right now in the production line.
So far, 259 E500 jets have been delivered. More...
2008 PISTON DELIVERIES DOWN 20 PERCENT
No surprise here: the
2008 year-end numbers, released on Tuesday by the General Aviation
Manufacturers Association, show that worldwide shipments of general
aviation airplanes decreased for the first time in five years. The
decline was wholly driven by the 20.8 percent drop in piston deliveries,
down to 2,119 from 2,675 the year before. Turboprop deliveries grew 16.6
percent compared to 2007, and business jets were up by 15.6 percent.
Overall, industry billings grew by 13.4 percent, to $24.8 billion. The
positive numbers reflect the fulfillment of orders placed for turboprops
and business jets during the strong economic years of 2006 and 2007,
according to GAMA. All of the main piston manufacturers saw declines
except for Piper, where deliveries increased from 221 in 2007 to 268 in
2008, driven by the popularity of the Matrix six-seat piston single.
GAMA Chairman Mark Van Tine, president and CEO of Jeppesen, said despite
current challenges, the industry is focused on the future. "The world's
economy depends upon a robust air transportation system and general
aviation is absolutely a vital component of that global system. Our
industry's continued investment in research and development of new
products is unprecedented," he said. "We have learned from history that
investing smartly in our future and that of our customers is the best
way to build our way out of tough economic times." For more details, and
a PDF of the complete report, go to the GAMA Web site. More...
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RACHETS UP BIZ CAMPAIGN
Cessna has created a Web site to maintain momentum on the ad campaign
aimed at convincing corporate aircraft owners to keep using their
planes. The campaign, now dubbed Cessna Rise, continues the theme that
real CEOs aren't afraid to use jets to make their businesses more
competitive." In the face of empty rhetoric, business aviation speaks
for itself. So pull your aircraft out of its hangar and put it to work,"
says the latest ad, which appeared in the Wall Street Journal on
Wednesday. "The companies that do, will be the very ones who lead the
world back to prosperity." More...
NBAA LAUNCH NO PLANE, NO GAIN
The General Aviation
Manufacturers Association and the National Business Aviation Association
have reconfigured a familiar advocacy program to deal with the negative
perception of business aviation in the minds of some "policy makers and
opinion leaders." In a news release, GAMA President Pete Bunce said the
reprise of the No Plane No Gain campaign is an effort to set the
record straight on business aviation. "The contributions of business
aviation to our nation's employment, commerce, competitiveness and
health are profound but not always well understood," said Bunce. "We are
launching this new multi-media educational campaign to get the word out
that business aviation is working for America." In a podcast
interview, NBAA President Ed Bolen told AVweb that although
the new campaign shares the name of a 1990s promotion, the focus is
different and aimed at having business aviation considered "for what it
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PILOT ERROR SUSPECTED: WSJ REPORT
Investigators studying last
week's fatal crash of a Continental Connection Dash 8 Q400 in Buffalo,
N.Y., now have found evidence that pilot inputs to the controls may have
contributed to the airplane's stall, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday,
citing sources close to the investigation. The flight data recorders
show that the flight was routine until roughly a minute before impact,
when the crew lowered the landing gear and extended the flaps, according
to the WSJ sources. Almost immediately, the airspeed bled off and the
stick-shaker activated, followed by a stick-pusher that automatically
lowered the nose. It appears the captain pulled back on the stick with
enough force to overpower the pusher and added power, causing a
31-degree pitch-up. The wings immediately stalled, and the airplane
whipped to the left, then entered a steep right turn. The pilots
continued to fight with the controls, and they were starting to recover
when they "ran out of altitude," according to the WSJ source. NTSB
member Steven Chealander, speaking to The New York Times earlier this week, urged "caution
about jumping to conclusions that it might be an icing incident."
LAS VEGAS EXPERIMENTAL BAN ON HOLD
"Please stand down for
now," EAA says, regarding its call to action on a Nevada
proposal that would have allowed local authorities to control who uses
the airspace at their local airports. Amid "vocal protest" from the
state's aviation community, EAA says, the two Nevada state legislators
who submitted the resolution aimed at banning homebuilt experimental
aircraft from North Las Vegas Airport have agreed to suspend their
legislative effort and instead work with local general aviation groups
to improve airport safety. "We're hopeful that the local collaborative
effort will yield a better understanding of the safety issues at North
Las Vegas Airport," said Earl Lawrence, EAA vice president of regulatory
affairs. "We're looking for real solutions that neither jeopardize our
federal airspace-management standards nor scapegoat any particular
category or class of general-aviation operations." Last
week, EAA had asked its members and other aviators to participate in
a letter-writing campaign to oppose the resolution, sponsored by state
representatives Steven Horsford and Marilyn Kirkpatrick.
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EXPOS HEAD FOR SOUTHEAST U.S.
Anyone in the southeastern U.S.
who is interested in buying a GA airplane will have a chance to check
out a variety of models in a series of Airport
Expos that launches in Florida next week. Among the aircraft
manufacturers scheduled to participate are Cessna, Daher-Socata,
Diamond, Hawker Beechcraft, Husky, Liberty, Mooney, Piper, and Remos.
"These Expo events give serious aircraft shoppers a chance to compare
all the latest models at an airport close to where they live," said Fred
Ahles, president of Premier Aircraft Sales, an organizer of the event.
"The Southeast and Texas Aircraft Expo events were extremely well
attended last year and we anticipate the same level of interest this
year in Florida." The shows will make eight stops in Florida, starting
Feb. 26, from Daytona to Miami; in March the shows visit Atlanta and
Savannah in Georgia, and Knoxville, Tenn. In Texas, six stops are
scheduled, starting in March. More...
OPENS SUNDAY IN ANAHEIM
The biggest annual gathering for the
rotary crowd, Heli-Expo, opens this Sunday in Anaheim, Calif.,
with a full slate of product announcements, safety and management
seminars, forums and workshops, an awards banquet, a job fair, and lots
more. The state of the economy is sure to be a major topic of
discussion, though the helicopter segment has so far felt less pain than
many other aviation businesses. Production appears to be relatively
stable and mass layoffs have not occurred, according to FlightGlobal. The main attraction at Anaheim is the
chance to check out all the newest and best products and services in one
place, with technical briefings from the exhibitors. This year's show
has attracted a record 583 exhibitors, including 88 showing for the
first time, and 73 helicopters are scheduled to be on the show floor. At
last check, registrations were running close to the numbers for last
year's show, which set a record with over 17,000 attendees and
exhibitors. Online registration is still open. The Expo, held at
the Anaheim Convention Center, runs Sunday through Tuesday.
AVWEB'S BUSINESS AVIATION NEWSLETTER
Have you signed up yet for AVweb's no-cost weekly
business aviation newsletter, AVwebBiz?
Wednesday morning, AVwebBiz focuses on the companies, the
products and the industry leaders that make headlines in the business
aviation industry, making it a must-read.
Add AVwebBiz to
your AVweb subscriptions today by clicking here and choosing
"Update E-mail Subscriptions." More...
Sun 'n Fun It's Like
Spring Break for Pilots
Scheduled for April 21-26 in Lakeland, Florida.
U.S. Army Parachute Team "Golden Knights." This annual event
includes more than 4,500 airplanes, 500 commercial exhibitors, over 400
educational forums, seminars, and hands-on workshops for virtually every
aviation interest. Plus a spectacular daily air show. All included in
your ticket price. Special online-only discounts.
Get your tickets online now at
1549 PLANE'S LAST TRIP
|Click for more photos|
the actions of the crew grabbed most of the attention in the aftermath
of the ditching of Flight 1549 in New York last month, the aircraft
itself proved itself to be a real traffic stopper. After being hoisted
from the water and stripped of its flight surfaces, the fuselage of the
Airbus A320 had to be moved using special trucks and trailers. The
streets of East Rutherford, N.J., proved especially challenging.
OF C-17 GEAR-UP LANDING AT BAGRAM AIR FIELD
|Click for more photos (and
According to the Department of Defense's
Pentagon Channel military information service, it took more than two
days to remove a damaged C-17 from the runway at Bagram Air Field
outside of Kabul, Afghanistan. The DOD has video of the recovery, and we
have photos of the crippled aircraft. More...
GROUPS CRAFT CLIMATE-CHANGE STAND
A consortium of 20 of
general aviation's major alphabet groups, from EAA to AOPA to NBAA and
GAMA to groups representing agricultural flyers, helicopter interests,
state aviation officials, regional airlines and more, this week released
a statement (PDF) summarizing their thoughts about aviation and
climate change. "[This paper] offers a constructive set of principles to
frame the discussion of policy tools to address aviation and climate
change," the authors state. "It is clear that to further reduce
aviation's impact on climate change requires a partnership between the
industry, labor and government ... Solutions lay in four main areas:
technology, infrastructure, operations, and economic measures." The
report notes that since fuel efficiency has always been a powerful
economic driver for aviation, the industry already has made impressive
progress, having improved aircraft fuel efficiency by more than 70
percent during the last four decades. The best strategies, the report
says, are to improve air traffic management, invest in research into new
technologies, and develop alternative fuels. The groups, not
surprisingly, are opposed to measures that impose fees, charges or
taxes, calling them "unnecessary and counterproductive." They also say
that any proposed measures to address aviation's impact on the
environment should include a rigorous analysis of the expected benefits
weighed against the cost to the economy, industry, jobs, communities,
and the transportation infrastructure, and should take account of the
costs and benefits of alternate forms of transport. More...
THE FLY ...
FAA has issued an AD for Cessna 400-series
auxiliary wing spars...
General Motors has shut down its flight
department, cutting 49 jobs. More...
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OF THE WEEK:
YOU LIKE TO FLY; THAT MEANS YOU'RE ROLLING IN DOUGH,
Even GA pilots are beginning to feel pressure for
their "rich man's hobby" in this turbulent economy. This week, we'd like
to know how your friends, family, and peers view your involvement with
aviation. Do others think you're rich because you
Plus: Last week, we asked AVweb readers to
put yourselves in the position of the major airplane makers and tell us
how they'd react to the oppressive antipathy toward private jets that's
been dominating the headlines; click through to see which approach
readers favored. More...
AIRCRAFT OWNERS/OPERATORS: 'AVIATION CONSUMER' WANTS TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR
EXPERIENCES WITH ENGINE WARRANTIES
Our sister publication, Aviation
Consumer magazine, wants to hear about your experiences with
engine warranties. We'd like to know about warranties of new or
remanufactured engines from the factory, field overhauls and "boutique"
engine shops. In your opinion, was the warranty sufficient? Did you
encounter problems after installation, and were they resolved to your
satisfaction? Did any factory, overhauler or installer go beyond their
warranty to address any problems?
Please send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org
and let us know your experiences, including the factory or shop doing
the work, the aircraft type and the nature of any
(The results will appear in a future issue of
Aviation Consumer. For subscription information, click
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VIDEO: JETLEV-FLYER WATER-POWERED JET PACK
Fly on water thrust this new
jet pack idea may not be the best way to get to work, but it sure does
look like a good time. The German company MS Watersports GmbH is
marketing the JetLev-Flyer and selling it (lessons included) for about
$128,000 or just about what a brand-new two-seat 120-mph light
sport aircraft costs. (Click through to watch.) More...
VIDEO: ARE LED LIGHTS BRIGHT ENOUGH?
Judge for yourself by viewing AVweb's
latest product report video. Editorial director Paul Bertorelli
demonstrates traditional incandescent bulbs, HIDs, and new-age LEDs. The
results are revealing. (Click through to watch.) More...
Economic Challenges Call for
Proven Advertising Results AVweb Delivers
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OF THE WEEK: BAY MINETTE AVIATION (1R8, NEAR MOBILE,
"FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Bay Minette
Aviation at 1R8 in Bay Minette, Alabama (near
AVweb reader Al Airey tells us he "actually
had to go back and research the
'FBO of the Week' archives because I could not believe they had not
previously been recognized":
[I] had to stop in both
directions between Texas and Florida because of the pleasant service and
fair price. The all-girl line crew make this a must-see FBO, and the
facilities are first class, as well. You can do a quick turn, but you
will probably want to stay and chat with the staff and maybe purchase
one of their newly available photo calendars. This has to be the most
unique FBO in all of aviation. The spacious facilities are spotless,
prices are the best in the Mobile area, and did I mention the gorgeous
crew that makes this a most memorable fuel stop? You should consider a
wide deviation in your routing if needed to make a fuel stop at this
We have to admit: This is the first
nomination we've seen where the line crew drew 'em in and the prices
brought 'em back ... .
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...
OF THE WEEK: AVWEB'S FLYING PHOTOGRAPHY SHOWCASE
Another week has come and gone, and
AVweb readers have again come through with some great airplane
pics to kick off our Thursday morning. Let's get things started with
this stellar shot from Andrew Kocher
of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. Seems like we're getting a lot of good
air-lift photos lately but we're not complaining!
THE AVWEBFLASH TEAM
AVwebFlash is a weekly
summary of the latest news, articles, products, features, and events
featured on AVweb, the
internet's aviation magazine and news service.
AVwebFlash team is:
here to send a letter to the
editor. (Please let us know if your letter is not
intended for publication.)
Comments or questions
about the news should be sent
Have a product or service to advertise
on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's
If you're having
trouble reading this newsletter in its HTML-rich format (or if you'd
prefer a lighter, simpler format for your PDA or handheld device),
there's also a text-only version of AVwebFlash. For complete
instructions on making the switch, click
Navigate. Communicate. More...