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Quotes reprinted with permission. Aviation
Consumer, August 2007.
2007 LAUNCHES IN ATLANTA
The business aircraft market has
never been hotter, but that doesn't mean everything is perfect. As the
National Business Aviation Convention rolls into the Georgia World
Congress Center in Atlanta on Tuesday, NBAA and its allies in general
aviation remain embroiled in a political battle in Washington that could
fundamentally change the way general aviation operates in the U.S. While
there have been some encouraging signs about the future funding of the
FAA, the battle over user fees is far from over, judging by the banners
outside the convention center. And could a pending takeover in the
piston single sector overshadow the turbine-oriented NBAA show, with
Cessna rumored to be buying Columbia.
Sign up for AVwebBiz
for daily updates of the convention, and listen to our Monday
podcast to hear NBAA President Ed Bolen discuss the issues
surrounding NBAA 2007. More...
REPORTEDLY INTERESTED IN COLUMBIA
Oregon definitely isn't
Kansas but a key component of one Oregon town's economy could be headed
there. According to the Wichita Eagle, Cessna is one of as many as three
suitors for Columbia Aircraft, which has been shopped around by the
Malaysian government, its principal investors, for about a year.
Analysts say acquiring Columbia would give Cessna instant penetration of
the luxury touring market that it has all but surrendered to Cirrus and
the current incarnation of Columbia (the 182 and 206 are not really
considered in the same market segment by many analysts). Cessna's
interest could be an indication that its high-wing Next Generation
Piston project has failed to strike a chord with dealers and potential
owners and it has decided to enter the low-wing sweepstakes.
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|FAA Reauthorization Bill Good News and
FINANCE COMMITTEE REJECTS USER FEES
The Senate Finance
Committee has approved the "American Infrastructure and Investment Act"
as part of Congress's FAA reauthorization process. The Act in part uses
an increase in fuel taxes as a source of additional funding for the FAA
and its infrastructure modernization efforts. The move was lauded by
NBAA, because it does not include the $25-per-leg user fee that the
Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Committee was endorsing. "We
agree with the Committee that everyone should support the NextGen
effort, and that the best way for general aviation to contribute is by
'paying at the pump,'" said NBAA CEO, Ed Bolen. (Be sure to listen to
Bolen's comments on the bill in Monday's audiocast). More...
PASSES ITS VERSION OF FAA BILL
There have been backslaps all
around about the Houses convincing 267-151 vote to essentially
maintain the status quo on the way the FAA is funded. In rapid
succession, the Ways and Means Committee, the Rules Committee and the
full House rejected user fees as a method of funding the Next Generation
Airspace System (NextGen) and instead allocated modest increases in
aviation fuel taxes to that effort. The House vote was considered a slam
dunk by most aviation leaders but things get more interesting with the
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DAYJETS UP AND RUNNING
DayJet, the largest customer for
Eclipse 500 very light jets, has been quietly conducting revenue flights
for more than a week as it shakes down the operation. Although there
have been no official announcements about the commencement of air taxi
operations, a column by James Fallows in The Atlantic.com spilled the beans and DayJet
spokesman Jeff Benanto confirmed the operation to AVweb in an
e-mail Thursday. Right now DayJet is enabling a small number of
members to use the system, Benanto said. The goal is to
slowly ramp up to the point early next month when all the members can
use the system. More...
MORE DUMBING DOWN GPS
The Department of Defense says its next
generation of GPS satellites wont come with an on/off switch for
civilian users. Because the system was originally deployed as a military
system, the military wanted the ability to degrade the accuracy of the
signal or eliminate it entirely to prevent it from being used against
them. But with GPS in everything from cellphones to tracking chips in
store merchandise, the DoD long ago gave up any hope of keeping it a
discretionary asset and effectively turned off the "selective ability"
function in 2000. More...
In Print & Online,
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mentioning this AVwebFlash
PILOT LOSES SUIT AGAINST AIR FORCE
Maj. Harry Schmidt, who
mistakenly dropped a 500-pound bomb on Canadian troops, killing four
Canadian soldiers in 2002, lost a suit against the U.S. Air Force on
Thursday. Schmidt claimed the Air Force damaged his reputation by
releasing the contents of a letter of reprimand. In a military-style
plea arrangement, Schmidt avoided court martial for the friendly-fire
accident but his actions were harshly criticized by his superiors in the
letter. But U.S. District Court Judge Jeanne Scott ruled that the public
interest outweighed Schmidt's personal privacy in this case. "The
release of Schmidt's reprimand gave the public, in the United States,
and around the world, insight into the way in which the United States
government was holding its pilot accountable. Thus considering all of
the circumstances, the disclosures at issue were clearly warranted,"
Scott said. More...
COULD SCUTTLE FAA BILL
While there seems to be agreement in
the Senate and House that user fees will not be part of the FAA's next
reauthorization package, details in the House bill that was recently
passed could hamstring its passage and lead to a veto. The
administration has already said it would veto the bill over a section
that requires the FAA to resume negotiations with air traffic
controllers and to go to arbitration if those talks fail. The FAA
imposed a contract on the controllers (with Congress' tacit blessing)
more than a year ago, and the controllers union has relentlessly
criticized the deal, blaming it for an exodus of experienced controllers
and a bottoming-out of morale. The White House has the votes it needs to
veto since the 267-151 margin is less than the two-thirds required to
block a veto. The other hot-button issue tucked in bill that could cause
political fireworks is a provision to increase the mandatory retirement
age for airline pilots from 60 to 65. More...
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LANDING IMAGE CAPTURES HEADLINES
Hardly a day goes by that we
dont hear about some kind of off-airport landing, but the images
accompanying one pilots bad day in Florida have captured the
imagination of even non-pilots. Pilot Robert W. Robertson, 34, was just
about the only thing left intact after the Beech Super 18 he was flying
lost power Friday, and came down hard on a freeway in Fort Lauderdale.
After the crash, Robertson remained strapped in his seat with the
shredded aircraft around him until rescuers could cut him free.
CONCEPT AT CAMARILLO: HAVE YOU SEEN THIS PLANE?
reader Mike Palmer sent us this tantalizing photo of a Vertical Take-Off
and Landing (VTOL) craft from last week's Camarillo Air
Show in California. We're currently gathering en masse in Atlanta
for the NBAA Convention 2007, so we're hoping AVweb readers can
provide more information this latest craft from the "ohh, cool" file. If
you saw it at Camarillo (or know more about it), drop us a line! (Click
through for the photo.) More...
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MONDAY PODCAST: NBAA'S ED BOLEN ON THE FAA REAUTHORIZATION BILL
AND NBAA 2007 IN ATLANTA
If you were looking for a definition
of busy, National Business Aviation Association President Ed Bolen would
fill the bill. Not only is NBAA's big convention coming up Tuesday in
Atlanta, there are major developments in Washington concerning the
prospect of user fees being applied to general aviation and particularly
business aviation. Bolen took a few minutes to bring AVweb's Russ
Niles up to date on the latest in Washington and to tell us a bit about
what we can expect in Atlanta. More...
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VIDEO: BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE RED BULL AIR RACES 2007 IN SAN
How do they clear those pylons at speeds topping
200mph? And how much Red Bull do air race pilots like Michael Goulian
and Mike Mangold really consume to "give them the wings" they need to
compete in the Air Race World Series? AVweb's Glenn Pew ventured
to the races in San Diego last week to find out. And though he lost a
few hats to stiff breezes whisked in by the racers, he managed to bring
back an incredible reel of video highlights and an exclusive look at the
intense two-day preparation period with racer Michael Goulian. (Click
through to watch.) More...
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Mike Busch Is Coming to a Town Near
If you live near or in one of these states California, New
Mexico, or Oklahoma Mike Busch will be offering his acclaimed
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OF THE WEEK: HUTT AVIATION/SOAR MINDEN (KMEV, MINDEN-TAHOE AIRPORT,
AVweb's "FBO of
the Week" ribbon goes to Hutt
Aviation & Soar Minden at Tahoe-Minden Airport (KMEV) in Minden,
The Civil Air Patrol's Brent Ludlow spent quite a
few hours there during the last two weeks as part of the search
for missing aviator Steve Fossett. Ludlow spoke highly of both FBO
operators and the airport's Taildragger
You all made us welcome and promptly
responded to anything we needed. You helped all of us in the Civil Air
Patrol to do our job, and I hope everyone flying through there stops to
enjoy the hospitality that we have
Congratulations to the folks at Minden-Tahoe
and Brent, watch your e-mail. We'll be in touch about sending you
an official AVweb ball cap.
Keep those nominations
coming. For complete contest rules, click here.
actively seeking out the best FBOs in the country and another one,
submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!
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|Overheard in IFR Magazine's "On the
Flying our Bonanza from Cape Cod,
Massachusetts to Morristown, New Jersey at 6,000 feet with a big
thunderstorm to the west, we were handed off to New York
Approach, Bonanza Eight Zero Lima
level 6,000, heading 270.
Bonanza Eight Zero
Lima, descend and maintain 5,000.
Okay to stay at
6,000 for a better view of the weather
Whaddever, sure, stay at
Later, we were close to some buildups when approach
turned us right to 280 degrees.
would really rather turn left about 10 degrees to stay out of the
Okay, do whatever vou want to do. Just let me know
when you're done.
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:
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editor. (Please let us know if your letter is not
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