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INSIDE LOOK AT AOPA: EXPENSES AND SALARIES
leading member organization, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
has become the unchallenged defender and guardian of everything to do
with general aviation. But it's also a multi-faceted $60 million
business run, in part, as a non-profit organization owned by its
members. Thus its tax filings are in the public record. This allows
members to access at least some financial data to try to answer this
question: Do we get our money's worth? Does the association spend the
money wisely? And has it trimmed its balance sheet and expenses to
reflect the severe contraction in the industry it advocates? To
illuminate this, AVweb obtained and analyzed the association's
public IRS tax filings and compared its salary expenditures to the
association universe in general. We also posed a series of detailed
questions to AOPA senior management, which association president Craig
Fuller answered for us in writing and in an extensive interview. He also
reacted with sharp postings on his own blog criticizing AVweb's original
story on executive salaries, which appeared in early November.
TO CREATE GOVERNANCE SECTION ON WEB SITE
AOPA President Craig
Fuller says members need easier access to information about the
organization's governance and finances and has pledged to make that
possible. In direct response to AVweb's enquiries about AOPA
finances over the past month and member reaction to his blogs on
the subject, Fuller has promised to establish a governance section on
the AOPA Web site. "Until now, I thought most people who were interested
in AOPA's finances had no trouble finding the information they sought,"
Fuller wrote. "However,.. a good case has been made for having a
"governance section" on our Web site where such information can be
easily accessed. We will set that up." More...
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PANEL SLAMS U.S. SECURITY VETTING
A Canadian human rights
panel has ruled that Bombardier violated the rights of a man who was
denied flight training because he was on a U.S. list of suspected
security threats. One member of the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal said
Bombardier should have ignored warnings from the U.S. about Javed Latif,
a Canadian of Pakistani origin, and conducted its own assessment of
whether Latif posed a threat. Bombardier was ordered to pay Latif
$319,000 CAD in compensation. Latif applied in 2004 to train on
Challenger 604 business jets at Bombardier's Montreal facility under his
U.S. pilot certificate and was rejected after background checks revealed
his status as a suspected security threat. He then applied under his
Canadian pilot's licence and was rejected again because of the U.S.
designation. That's when the rights violation occurred, according to the
tribunal. "Those rules do not apply here in Canada, were not adopted
here in Canada by Canadian law," said Athanassia Bitzakadis, the lawyer
who represented the Quebec Human Rights Commission, which brought the
case before the tribunal. "So Bombardier cannot simply refer to those
rules to justify a discriminatory decision to refuse to someone a
service, a service that they offer to everyone here in Quebec." Latif
was taken off the security list in 2008 and has since trained at
Bombardier three times. More...
REGISTRATION PUSH CATCHES PUBLIC EYE
The FAA's mandated
re-registration of the civil aviation fleet has caught the attention of
the mainstream media, who are reporting it as a response to a security
threat. As we reported
Oct. 19, all aircraft owners have to re-register. In its notice, the FAA characterized the move as an
administrative housekeeping chore because it has lost accurate track of
about 100,000 registrations. The FAA now seems to be going along with
the security theme offered by the mainstream media. More...
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ISSUE STOPS CORVALIS DELIVERIES
Cessna has suspended
deliveries of the Corvalis line of high-performance singles after the
composite structure of the wing of a newly built aircraft unbonded
during the plane's shakedown flight. "During a production flight of a
new Corvalis 400, a wing fuel leak was detected," Cessna spokesman Doug
Oliver told AVweb. "Working closely with the FAA, we took
immediate steps to understand the root cause. We now fully understand
the cause and a solution." The FAA issued the emergency airworthiness directive Friday and said
seven feet of skin disbonded from the upper forward wing spar.
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EXPANDS FOOTPRINT IN CHINA
A Chinese company has opened an
FBO that will focus on Cirrus aircraft but offer traditional services to
transient and based aircraft at Zhuhai Airport. The Zhuhai Cirrus FBO is
aimed at promoting general aviation activities as China's rules
regarding private aviation relax. Zhuhai Tianyi Aviation Trading Co.
also bought three SR22s to use at the FBO. The deal, which was a year in
the making, will become the focus of Cirrus's activities in that area of
China, be a Cirrus Sales Center and offer flying club and Cirrus
service, training and import services. "We expect the Zhuhai region to
become the center of Cirrus activity in Guangdong Province and the
surrounding area," said Scott Jiang, Cirrus's China Director.
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FELL FROM 737 WHEEL WELL
Boston authorities said Friday that
at a teenager whose body was found in a Boston suburb last month
appeared to have stowed away inside the wheel well of a 737 arriving
from Charlotte, N.C. The remains of Delvonte Tisdale, 16, were found in
Milton, Mass., below the approach path to Boston's Logan Airport,
according to a report in The New York Times. Tisdale was believed to
have gotten on the flight in Charlotte, although authorities --
including the TSA -- had no idea how he breached airside security to get
to the aircraft. More...
Corporate Aviation Is Landing
Explore the latest developments in the U.S. corporate aviation sector.
Debate the future of corporate aviation, discuss the latest developments
in light jets, explore the air taxi market in the U.S., and network with
leading experts as well as business aircraft operators. Meet operators,
manufacturers, consultants, bankers, lawyers, airport executives,
leasing and financing companies, and other senior professionals with an
interest in the development of corporate aviation in the U.S.
INSIDER BLOG: AOPA WE'RE JUST ASKING
recently undertook a review of AOPA salaries and expenses. We're curious
how the numbers parse out, but as Paul Bertorelli explains in the latest
installment of our AVweb Insider blog, that doesn't mean we're at
odds with the associatoin. In fact, we think critical reviews make for a
stronger association, and that's something we can all benefit from in
the current climate. Read
more and join the conversation. More...
INSIDER BLOG: ECLIPSE RISING
If ever the stars were aligned
for success, Eclipse Aerospace is an example. The investors bought the
bankrupt wreckage of the previous company for four cents (or less) on
the dollar, they're well on their way to sorting out the EA500's
shortcomings, and aerospace giant Sikorsky has bought into the action.
On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli concedes he may be a
kook for thinking this ought to work. Read
more and join the conversation. More...
INSIDER BLOG: WHY FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ISN'T
never very clear, government agencies drag their feet when asked to
release the most mundane information. On the AVweb Insider blog,
Paul Bertorelli relates the experience of one owner trying to do his own
due diligence in following the FAA's fuel approvals policy. If you're
guessing he hit a brick wall, you'd be right. Why aren't government
agencies kinder to and more cooperative with their citizens they're
supposed to serve? Read
more and join the conversation. More...
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AVWEB FLIES THE KITFOX LSA
Everyone complains that light sport aircraft are too
expensive, but Kitfox is doing something about it. AVweb recently
went to Homedale, Idaho to try out Kitfox's new moderately priced LSA.
Here's a full video report. More...
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OF THE WEEK: EXECUTIVE AIR TRANSPORT (KMKG, MUSKEGON,
AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Executive Air
Transport at Muskegon County Airport (KMKG) in Muskegon,
AVweb reader Alex Anderegg recommended the
FBO for its "excellent service (baggage help, fuel, courtesy car,
catering, charter services, etc.)" and told us the folks at EA Transport
"deserve to be 'FBO of the Week' because of their deep commitment to
great customer service and pilot training."
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...
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OF THE WEEK: AVWEB'S FLYING PHOTOGRAPHY SHOWCASE
Gary Dikkers of Madison, Wisconsin always
makes it out to the Seaplane Base during EAA AirVenture and while
that always makes us jealous, since we're lucky if we can manage a
whirlwind visit in between press conferences and interviews, at least
Gary is kind enough to snap some incredible photos. This one earns our
latest blue ribbon and leaves us pining for the warm, long afternoons of
|Overheard in IFR Magazine's "On the
A student pilot finally spotted the
airport after getting multiple vectors.
I'd like to make this a touch-and-go and then depart the
"Oh no! It took so much effort for us
to get you here, and now you want to leave right away."
Paul Scott More...
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...