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EQUITY FIRMS IN THE BIDDING FOR RAYTHEON AIRCRAFT A
rejuvenated Raytheon Aircraft could have new owners in the next month,
according to The Wichita Eagle. The newspaper
reported Friday that the Carlyle Group of Washington, D.C., Cerberus Capital
Management of New York and Onex Corp of Toronto are the three finalists in the
bidding contest for the planemaker, which builds Hawker and Beechcraft
business jets, turboprops and piston singles and twins, as well as
military trainers at its Wichita plant. A recent surge in sales,
particularly on the bizjet side, has put the company in a profit
position and the forecast for continued strong sales in that sector has
made the company an attractive acquisition target, according to various
RAYTHEON AIRCRAFT BIDDERS HAVE DEEP POCKETS One of the
bidders, Onex Corp., is no stranger to Wichita. The Canadian company
bought Boeings Wichita commercial operations last year and formed
Spirit AeroSytems Holding. The new company is doing well building Boeing
737 fuselages and parts for the 787 Dreamliner, and analysts say the
Raytheon acquisition would be a good fit. As a foreign-owned company,
Onex would have to clear some security hurdles, however, because of
Raytheon Aircrafts military connections (mainly the Texan II
trainer). Onex is also involved in a controversial bid to buy Qantas
Airlines. The Carlyle Group and Cerberus are also considered strong
contenders for Raytheon Aircraft. More...
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LYCOMING CRANKSHAFT LAWSUIT FILED A separate legal complaint
recently filed in Illinois against Lycoming carries similar wording, and
may be added to, original suits filed this September (see AVweb's prior coverage) seeking class
action status representing owners ill-affected by a series of Lycoming
Service Bulletins (SBs) ultimately calling for "early retirement" of
nearly 4,000 Lycoming crankshafts within three years. Attorney Robert
Mills, who filed the initial suits (two in Philadelphia covering 49
states, and one in California), this weekend told AVweb that six
law firms are already working cooperatively on the case and the new
filing may seek inclusion, or lead to wrangling for lead attorney
status. The case has been stayed and awaits review -- either in January,
or more likely March -- by a multi-district litigation panel that will
determine its class certification and assignment, or throw it out
altogether, Mills said. More...
THEFT UNLIKELY IN DOT LAPTOP THEFTS The Department of
Transportations Office of Inspector General (OIG) says its unlikely that any of the personal
information on 9,500 pilots stored in two laptops stolen from its agents
earlier this year will be used for identity theft. And in determining
that welcome news, the OIG may have helped bust up a laptop-theft ring
in Miami. In July, a laptop containing the names, Social Security
numbers and other personal information on the pilots was taken from a
locked car outside a restaurant in Miami. Three months earlier, another
OIG laptop went missing in Orlando. To date, according to the OIG, none
of the information has been used to commit fraud. In fact, in the case
of the Miami laptop, its more likely to have been used on a
teenagers term paper. More...
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GROWING EXPONENTIALLY A North Dakota air taxi operator that
uses Cirrus SR22 aircraft has doubled its business in each of the last
two quarters. In an update to city of Bismarck officials, principal John
Boehle says he expects to have 100 airplanes (not necessarily all
Cirruses) and 134 pilots by 2010. The company started last January and
flew about 30,000 miles in the first three months, Boehle told the civic
officials (who fronted $1.25 million in public funds for the startup).
Business almost doubled to 54,000 miles in the second quarter and it
doubled again in the third quarter to 112,000 miles. A 600-mile
round-trip flight costs about $500 per seat, according to a report in the Bismarck Tribune. More...
ELECTS OFFICERS John J. Grisik, Executive Vice President of
Operational Excellence and Technology at Goodrich Corp., has been
elected chairman of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association for
2007. Grisik is vice chairman for 2006 and Cirrus CEO Alan Klapmeier
will move into that spot next year. GAMA also announced that it had
accepted three new members, including Eclipse Aviation, Sino Swearingen
and SMA. Eclipse and Sino Swearingen recently received type
certification for their Model 500 and SJ30 jets, and GAMA CEO Pete Bunce
said its the first time GAMA has simultaneously added two OEMs
with freshly certified products to its ranks. SMA is developing diesel
light aircraft engines and is based in France. More...
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PICKED FOR CORPORATE FBO Arcadia Aviation is building a $20
million corporate aviation center at Eastern West Virginia Regional
Airport (MRB) in Martinsburg, W. Va., just outside the Air Defense
Identification Zone (ADIZ) that surrounds Washington, D.C. The company
announced last week that it will initially build a 20,000-sq.-ft. hangar
and administrative offices, but future plans call for purpose-built
facilities that can handle Boeing Business Jets, 757s and other
airliners. Arcadia also operates the full-service FBO at the airport.
The airport will have no problem accommodating the big iron Arcadia
hopes to attract, thanks to the West Virginia Air National Guard.
JET ENGINE IN DEVELOPMENT So-called personal jet
manufacturers may soon have another power option for their aircraft. Price
Induction, of Tarnos, France, has reportedly test run its DGEN380
turbofan engine, which is designed specifically for aircraft weighing as
little as 1,650 lbs. Company President Bernard Etcheparre told
AVweb Sunday the engine was run on the bench for the first time
three weeks ago. We target a certification type CS-E for the end of
2008, meaning a first flight around the beginning of 2008," Etchebarre
said in an email. "But this phase is a complex period and you have to be
conscious of the difficulties [in following] this timing." The engine
puts out about 600 lbs. of thrust (most current VLJ engines are 1,100
lbs. and up) and weighs just 150 lbs. (dry but including the accessories
needed to run it). More...
Precise Flight's HID Landing
Light Now Certified for Bonanzas with Cowl-Mounted
Lights Precise Flight's HID landing light system is now certified for
Beechcraft Bonanzas equipped with cowl-mounted landing lights. The
stellar combination of increased light output, reduced power
consumption, superior lamp life, and brilliant light quality are a few
of the major benefits of high-intensity discharge lighting. The
PreciseLite HID for Bonanzas replaces the existing lamp in the
cowl and is available in 12 and 24 volts.
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AND EAA OFFER OSHKOSH AND PARIS TO COLLEGE INTERNS Two North
American college students will get a chance to intern at EADS Socata in
France next summer, under a new program developed by Socata and EAA. The
students, who must be juniors or seniors pursuing an aviation career,
will spend five weeks in France. They'll visit several Socata factories
and tour the Paris Air Show. Then theyll spend a week in Oshkosh
at the EAA Advanced Air Academy, where they'll act as mentors to the
youngsters at the camp and attend AirVenture. The internships, which
include transportation and accommodation, will be awarded to one male
and one female student. More...
THE GIFT OF FLIGHT VIA PROJECT PILOT Most pilots know
somebody who's shown an interest in learning to fly "someday," and you
can help bring that day closer with the gift of a Project Pilot
introductory flight. AOPA's new learn-to-fly initiative has an online database of over 3,500 flight schools, many
offering first flights for $49 to $89. The Web site also has FAQs for
beginners, an introductory video, tips for choosing a flight school and
an instructor and advice on how to finance training. At the airport, the
gift recipient will be shown how to preflight the aircraft, how to taxi
and take off and go for a local flight. Its a gift thats
more memorable than just another gift card or necktie.
Hint, Hint Oregon Aero Holiday Gift
You'll find more than 500 items at Oregon Aero, Inc. that make
flying a Painless, Safer, Quieter experience for your
favorite pilot. From seat cushion systems to hand-made headset and
helmet upgrades, flight bags, and survival kits even flashlight
and pencil holders Oregon Aero has great gifts. Can't
decide? Get a gift certificate today at OregonAero.com.
Get a gift certificate today at
ASKS VICTIM'S WIDOW TO PAY COURT COSTS Ellen Dixon, of
Brentwood, Calif., survived the helicopter crash that killed her
husband, David, at a Livermore air show 11 years ago. She won a lawsuit
against the helicopter company -- the pilot had run out of gas -- but
there was little money there to collect. She also won a suit against the
city, which sponsored the show, but it was overturned on appeal. Now the
city's insurance company is demanding that Dixon come up with $41,000 to
pay their legal bills -- money that Dixon, who still suffers pain from
the injuries she suffered in the crash, doesn't have, reports the Tri-Valley Herald. The only way she could raise it
is to sell the house that she bought with her husband, where she still
TO CANADA BY "REFUGEE" RAISES SECURITY CONCERNS A Colombian
man living in the U.S. was refused permission to enter Canada when he
tried to cross the border earlier this month. So he rented a Piper
Cherokee in Illinois, flew across the border, landed at Windsor Airport
in Ontario and claimed to be a refugee. Officials wouldn't release many
details about the case, but said the man was returned to the U.S.,
according to Canada.com. The incident raised concerns about
security. ''The broader question is a very important one,'' said
Canadian Senator Colin Kenny, who chairs a committee on national
defense. ''What protections are in place in the event the plane was
larger and loaded with explosives?" More...
Columbia Simplifies Buying & Selling All
Selling an aircraft can be a challenging odyssey. Aircraft owners need
to: locate a broker with national resources to sell for top dollar;
select and utilize the most effective advertising; access no-cost,
no-obligation finance pre-qualification; consult aviation tax experts;
and obtain insurance quotes with higher liability limits. Columbia
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BUSINESS AVFLASH HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVweb's
NO-COST twice monthly Business AVflash? Reporting on breaking news,
Business AVflash also focuses on the companies, the products and the
industry leaders that make headlines in the Business of Aviation.
Business AVflash is a must read. Watch for a Business AVflash regular
feature, TSA WATCH: GA IN THE "SPOTLIGHT". Sign up today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/More...
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AUDIO NEWS AVweb posts audio news on Mondays, plus a new
in-depth interview each Friday. In Friday's
podcast, you'll find an interview with Honda v-p Jeffrey Smith, who
talked everything HondaJet with AVweb at Honda Aircraft's open house
last Monday. And AVweb's podcast index
includes interviews with Cirrus Design cofounder and CEO Alan Klapmeier;
Cessna chairman, president and CEO Jack Pelton; Spectrum Aeronautical
chairman Linden Blue; Adam Aircraft chairman Rick Adam; and New Piper
CEO Jim Bass. In Today's news
summary, hear about who's bidding for Raytheon Aircraft, another
Lycoming crankshaft lawsuit, a smaller turbofan engine that could spawn
more personal jets, Project Pilot gift-giving idea and more. Remember:
In AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things you won't find anywhere else.
Pilot Journey Isn't Just for Students &
Instructors; There's Something for Everyone
You know Pilot Journey's Discovery Flight program
converting leads to students. However, all pilots can find something at
Pilot Journey: Pilot e-mail accounts, pilot eCards; a pilot
cruise with seminars; AvCareers, where position wanted and positions
available are listed; and much more.
Pilot Journey is the pilot's
AVweb's "FBO of
the Week" ribbon goes to Million Air at KSLC in Salt Lake City,
AVweb reader Harlan Ribnik said he was treated, well,
just like a millionaire at the facility, even though he didn't pull up
at the ramp in a jet aircraft.
"From the instant I taxied to their
ramp, I was met with the friendliest line crew I've ever met. The
atmosphere was incredibly friendly, service-oriented. I was made to feel
an honored guest, rather than just somebody bringing business to the
store. I have been at many FBOs who so clearly tailor their service to
the type of aircraft being serviced, that it was a very welcome surprise
to be treated as well as the G5 pilot, even though I flew a Mooney. Even
when things did not go as smoothly as might be optimal, the staff made
me feel comfortable and confident that I and my airplane would be well
cared for. And we were!
OF THE WEEK: IMPRESSIVE LANDING AVweb reader Brett
Bohannon brought this amazing video to our attention over the
Thanksgiving holiday. (Watch your mailbox for an official AVweb hat,
Brett!) The video was originally posted to YouTube by user Gooney87. Click through to watch as
an unidentified pilot brings his Cessna to a graceful landing with only
one landing gear available. More...
FINAL Overheard in the vicinity of Buchanan tower in Concord,
Cessna: "Buchanan tower, this is Cessna One Two Three,
seven south of Buchanan, 2000 feet, request transit,
northbound." Tower: "Cessna One Two Three, transition
approved. Report clear." Half minute pause, and then: "Tower,
this is Cessna One Two Three; where is Clear?" More...
AVWEB APPRECIATES YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT OF
WHO BRING YOU TODAY'S NEWS AND FEATURES AT NO COST TO YOU
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Going Off to Visit Friends and/or Family This
Get there by sharing a ride. Pilot or passenger, long cross-country or
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Check out the web site today.
AVwebFlash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest news, articles,
products, features, and events featured on AVweb, the internet's
aviation magazine and news service.
Today's issue was written by Contributing Editors Russ Niles (bio), Glenn Pew (bio) and Mary Grady (bio).
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