AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 16, Number 38a

September 20, 2010

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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AVflash! Cessna Workers to Stay on the Job back to top 
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Cessna Strike Averted

Production workers at Cessna Aircraft rejected the notion of a strike but they also told the company they don't much like the contract they'll work under for the next seven years. Members of the Machinists Union voted 58 percent to reject the deal but only 49 percent to strike in voting Saturday. The union had recommended a strike but a two-thirds majority was required. The main issue was job security. Cessna has guaranteed final assembly of existing Citation models at the Wichita plant for the life of the contract. "We understand the times we're in today," Machinists District 70 directing business representative Steve Rooney told The Wichita Eagle. "A paycheck is a hard thing to give up." CEO Jack Pelton was disappointed at the rejection of the contract but pleased the strike vote didn't fly.

"We are satisfied to begin this next week with a new contract in place so we can move forward with our efforts to reshape Cessna to be more competitive in a global market and a tough economy," Pelton said in the statement. "We presented the members a contract that was more than fair, given our business environment. And while we are disappointed they rejected the offer, we appreciate the membership's willingness to continue to put the customer first, knowing that will lead to success for all."

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The Race Is On back to top 

Bombardier's Rumored Challenge To The G650

At 7,000-nm, Gulfstream's coming G650 will offer unmatched range and at 0.925 Mach it will be the fastest civil aircraft in the world, but a former Bombardier executive expects Bombardier to counter with a design to be unveiled next month at NBAA's trade show in Atlanta. George Tsopeis, a former member of Bombardier's strategy and business development team, told the Montreal Gazette that Bombardier's new secret ultra-long-range business jet is known within the company as the M-170. He says he does not know if the aircraft will be a more costly new clean-sheet design, or a further development of the Global Express XRS. He says costs and timing suggest the latter. (The G650 is expected to reach customers in 2012.) Bombardier has said the rumor is "pure speculation." But if the G650's range, size and speed (plus its 200 orders) create a new market category, Bombardier has offered other reasons to believe it will seek to quickly deliver stronger competition.

Bombardier sees itself as "the market leader" and has said "we will not relinquish our position," adding that the G650 "would not go unchallenged." That, and the popularity of the nearly $65 million G650, may force Bombardier's to put its money where its mouth is by putting forth a superior ultra-long-range (or more competitive) jet. Tsopeis believes the XRS can be stretched and flown on the G650's Rolls-Royce engines while vastly upgrading the flight deck and increasing fuel capacity in the wings. Industry analyst Brain Foley believes there could be truth to the rumors, speculating that Bombardier may have to "get in that market segment sooner rather than later." And if Bombardier wants to unequivocally lay claim to the top spot in the G650's market segment, Foley believes the company's effort will have to be very aggressive.

What He Didn't Know About His Life Insurance Cost His Family $500,000
Pilots should take special care when comparing life insurance. Pilot Insurance Center specializes in providing pilots with insurance planning. Get the right coverage. Call PIC at (800) 380-8376 or visit PICLife.com.
There's No Place Like a Home in the U.S. back to top 

EXTRA Deal At Montrose In Jeopardy

EXTRA Aircraft had plans to establish a new U.S. headquarters in Montrose, Colo., but county officials now say they can't follow through on financial incentives, and that's thrown the plan into a holding pattern along with up to 200 potential jobs. The manufacturer builds high-performance aerobatic planes and a high-wing, single-engine turboprop. EXTRA had been promised cash incentives by the local Montrose Economic Development Corporation. But the deal apparently violates the state's constitution. Montrose County Manager Jesse Smith recently told local news "we cannot provide cash incentives to any outside for-profit organization." The revelation reportedly came as the result of a "due diligence" study that has so far postponed EXTRA's plans by two months. A conclusion to the drama hasn't yet been reached as local officials scramble to strike a new deal. But residents who had hoped the manufacturer would have already been hiring by now have turned their anger toward their local government.

EXTRA's arrival would have brought at least some relief to the region's near-10-percent unemployment rate. One resident was quoted by local news, expressing his displeasure at a town meeting. "You find the people that are responsible for their stupidity and you fire them or else, if you don't have the guts to fire them, then you quit," he said. Officials are considering options that could include rebates on personal property taxes, land on the airport and building the facility for EXTRA. But no official strategies have been made public. Officials and locals are fearful that further delay will lead the aircraft manufacturer to seek a more fiscally accommodating state.

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Possibilities ... back to top 

Boeing's Space Taxi

Boeing Wednesday announced an agreement with Space Adventures Ltd. regarding the marketing of "transportation services to destinations in low Earth orbit (LEO) on Boeing commercial crew spacecraft." Boeing plans to use its Crew Space Transportation-100 (CST-100) spacecraft for missions to the International Space Station and other LEO platforms. Under the agreement, Space Adventures will market excess seating capacity as passenger seats. The spacecraft can carry seven and is expected to be operational by 2015, but is still under development. Seat pricing will be set "when full-scale development is under way." Eric Anderson, co-founder and chairman of Space Adventures, said, "We are excited about the potential to offer flights on Boeing's spacecraft." According to Boeing, potential customers include "private individuals, companies, non-governmental organizations and U.S. federal agencies other than NASA." And Space Adventures already has experience in the field and hopes to expand its offerings.

Space Adventures offers a range of experiences, from atmospheric weightless flights to orbital missions. It has already contracted and flown "seven spaceflight participants on eight missions to the International Space Station." Its clients have spent "over 2,000 hours in space" and have collectively travelled "over 35 million miles," according to the company. The last customer rode on a Soyuz capsule for a seat price of $40 million. If the company has its way, it will one day be marketing seats aboard a craft that will make a "historic return to the moon." Of course, they may find themselves in competition with Virgin Galactic and other pioneering efforts in space tourism. Boeing's version expects to launch from Kennedy Space Center and return to White Sands, N.M.

Friends Of Meigs: "The Door's Open A Crack"

Supporters are hopeful that a volatile election year, a down economy and the departure of the mayor who destroyed Meigs Field means their beloved airport may come back to Chicago, but could they possibly be right? Short answer: not likely. But. One candidate for mayor, State Senator Rickey Hendon, said Wednesday that, if elected, he would reopen Meigs Field on his first day in office. And that suggests Meigs may become a topic in the broader race. AVweb Thursday spoke with Steve Whitney, president of Friends of Meigs Field and active public supporter of the now-former airport since the mid-90s. That conversation was not all sunshine and roses for Meigs. But it showed that Hendon's comments weren't the only reason supporters might have to hope. And, for better or worse, they may now have more reason to believe than they've had in years.

BACK STORY: Seven years ago, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley had the runway at Chicago's Meigs Field destroyed without warning in the dead of night. Now, after serving as Mayor of Chicago since 1989, Daley says he'll not seek re-election at the end of his term. Whitney says Daley's departure and notorious actions at Meigs, plus Chicago's struggling economy (and President Obama's infrastructure plans), could turn Meigs into a political football in the next mayoral race. Hendon's comments support that case. As for Meigs, the case can be made that rebuilding Meigs could create near-term jobs in its construction and long-term support for local businesses. But using the ghost of the airport for political advantage during a campaign is different from tearing up a lakefront public park to reinstall an airport. For many, Meigs is a sort of Alamo for general aviation. And even if you never flew into Meigs, or don't care much about it, you may still benefit from what Whitney has to say.

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News Briefs back to top 

Show Planes Collide

click for larger images

One pilot was killed and another was apparently able to land safely after a midair collision between two aircraft at an airshow in Germany on the weekend. Photos of the collision indicate the aircraft, which appear to be high-performance aerobatic types, came together while traveling in the same direction. The wing of one folded under and it crashed vertically, killing the pilot. It was the third fatal airshow crash in as many weeks in Germany.

Two weeks ago a female spectator was killed when she was hit by the prop of a Tiger Moth biplane that went out of control on takeoff and ran into the crowd at a small show near Nuremberg. Before that, a female hang glider pilot died at a show in Bavaria.

Winds Cancel Reno Final

Steve Hinton won the big title at the National Championship Air Races in Reno on Sunday but it wasn't the way he wanted to win. "It's more than kind of disappointing," the 23-year-old Hinton told the Reno Gazette-Journal. The final race of the Unlimited Class was cancelled because of high winds (southwest gusts to 30 knots) so Hinton won based on his final qualifying time in Strega, a highly modified P-51 that earned its ninth title with this race. It's the first time in the 47-year history of the event that the marquee race has been cancelled. "It was a safety issue," said Mike Houghton, president and CEO of the Reno Air Racing Association. "Our No. 1 priority is the safety of our pilots."

The gusty winds also cancelled the T-6 final so Dennis Buehn won based on his Saturday time. Hinton said the crews save their best for the finals and winning based on a qualifying time is not satisfying. "Every one of these crews up here bust their asses 365 days a year to come out and show what you've done with the airplane and to compete. As the racing process goes, you're building up to Sunday, so what we used yesterday or what Rare Bear used yesterday isn't necessarily all we had. We were saving it for Sunday and when you don't get to go out there and use what you built up all year, it's a major disappointment."

Related Content:

AVweb's Newstips Address ...

Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something 200,000 pilots might want to know about, tell us. Submit news tips via email to newstips@avweb.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.

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Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: Talk to the Drone

As UAVs carve their way into the airspace system, the services are always trying to grab up and restrict more airspace. In the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli says they need to get over this and figure out a better way to play nice with the world of civil aviation.

Read more and join the conversation.

Q: What's the Difference Between a $10,000 Annual and a $2,500 Annual?

Mike Busch and his team of seasoned maintenance professionals are saving their aircraft-owner clients thousands of dollars a year in parts and labor — not to mention hours of hassle — by providing professional maintenance management for owner-flown singles and twins. Learn how they do it.
AVweb Audio — Are You Listening? back to top 

Friends of Meigs President Steve Whitney: Meigs Resurrection "Unlikely" — But Possible

File Size 10.4 MB / Running Time 11:26

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

Mayor Richard Daley has said he'll not seek re-election at the end of his current term — but that doesn't mean Meigs Field is returning to Chicago. Or does it? AVweb's Glenn Pew caught up with Friends of Meigs president Steve Whitney for a reality check.

Click here to listen. (10.4 MB, 11:26)

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AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

Video: An Illuminating Look at LED Landing Lights

Original, Exclusive Videos from AVweb | Reader-Submitted & Viral Videos

Don't look now, but LED landing lights have gotten brighter and better over just the last year. In this video, AVweb takes a look at some of the current offerings and concludes they perform better than the old standby 5509 tractor bulb.

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Traditional Tactics Need a Fresh Approach
Doing the same thing and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. Isn't it time to initiate a digital marketing program with AVweb that will deliver traffic and orders directly to your web site? Discover several new and highly successful marketing options to use in lieu of static print or banner campaigns. Click now for details.
Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Tradition Aviation (KTRM, Thermal, CA)

Nominate an FBO | Rules | Tips | Questions | Winning FBOs

Conoco-Phillips WingPoints || Under Our Wings, Reward Yourself a Latte || Click to Get Your 

AVweb reader Brian Stirm from Swift Enterprises recently spent some time at our latest "FBO of the Week" — Tradition Aviation at Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport (KTRM) in Thermal, California.

As Brian's quick to point out, "A closed course world speed record was set at the airport by Smokey Young, his Reno race crew using Swift's new 100SF renewable pure hydrocarbon fuel." And the staff at Tradition? During Brian's stay, "Penny, Ann, Lynn, and crew went out of their way to support the effort. ... [Over] a three-day period, I observed many happy customers who received a great value and wonderful services with a smile from every Tradition employee," writes Brian.

Keep those nominations coming. For complete contest rules, click here.

AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!

Help Us Celebrate AVweb's 15th Anniversary back to top 

15 Years and Now 15 Grand Giveaways ... It's Your Chance to Win a PMA6000B Audio Panel from PS Engineering

CLICK HERE to Register for All 15 Drawings

You could win a PMA6000B audio panel from PS Engineering! All you have to do is click here to enter your name and e-mail address. (You only have to enter once, and you'll be entered in our prize drawings for the entire year — so if you've already entered, you're all set.)

And no, we're not going to rent or sell your name, ever. Tell your friends, and invite them to sign up for AVweb so they can qualify for our 15 Grand Giveaways prize drawings, too. (We won't spam them, either — but we hope they will sign up for our newsletters.)

Deadline for entries is 11:59pm Zulu time Friday, September 24, 2010.

Click here to read the contest rules and enter.

Congratulations to David Durnan of Somerville, Massachusetts, who won our last prize, a Bose Aviation Headset X! (click here to get your own from Bose)

The Lighter Side of Flight back to top 

Short Final

Overheard in IFR Magazine's 'On the Air' Section
Overheard in IFR Magazine's "On the Air"

"You need to say your altitude is 2999 feet."

"But my altitude is 3000."

[radio silence]

"If yon say your altitude is 2999, you won't be in Class B airspace without a clearance. If you say your altitude is 3000, you're in Class B without clearance."

"Ah. My altitude is 2999."

Bruce Edwards
via e-mail

Names Behind the News back to top 

Meet 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.

The AVwebFlash team is:

Timothy Cole

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Russ Niles

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Features Editor
Kevin Lane-Cummings

Scott Simmons

Jeff van West
Mariano Rosales

Click 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 here.

Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's sales team.

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 here.

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