AVwebBiz Complete Issue: Volume 6, Number 21c

May 22, 2008

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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Quotes reprinted with permission: Professional Pilot, 2007 Headset Preference Survey, 12/07; Aviation Consumer, 8/07.
Flight Global: European Challenges for Eclipse 500? back to top 

Eclipse European Certification Question

A major European aviation publication is speculating that Eclipse Aviation might have to build a separate line of its E500 very light jet to satisfy concerns of the European Aviation Safety Agency. Flight Global reported Wednesday in its EBACE publication that EASA has significant concerns. As AVwebBiz reported Wednesday, CEO Vern Raburn is saying he won't predict when the aircraft will be able to fly in most of Europe. "We are optimistic that we'll get European Aviation Safety Agency certification," he said. "I'm just not prepared to say when."

According to the Flight Global story, EASA has a laundry list of deficiencies it wants addressed on the Eclipse 500, even though the FAA is allowing the aircraft to fly in commercial service in the U.S. Among the issues are the lack of certification for flight into known icing. The Avio NG integrated flight management system is still not complete; there are issues with the autopilot and autothrottles, according to Flight Global; and EASA is worried about the ability of the aircraft to descend from altitude quickly enough after a sudden decompression. They're also considering mandating a traffic alert and collision avoidance system, something Raburn has said is not practical for the aircraft.

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F1 Driver Jenson Button First in Line for a HondaJet back to top 

HondaJet Launches In Europe

One of the biggest stars on the Formula 1 racing circuit drives a Honda, and he'll soon be flying one. Jenson Button was introduced at EBACE 2008 as the first European customer for the HondaJet. A large crowd formed at the Honda booth at the PalExpo convention center in Geneva to catch a glimpse of the popular F-1 driver, who bought two aircraft and is planning to build a new charter service. Honda also used the occasion to announce the establishment of three HondaJet sales and service centers, which, as their U.S. counterparts do, bear a strong resemblance to car dealerships. The service centers will be in Farnborough (a partnership with TAG), Frankfurt (Rheinland Air Service) and Madrid (Aviastec).

The announcement was Honda's debut at EBACE, and the market potential has not been lost on company executives. "Europe is one of the world's fastest growing markets for light jets, and we have a gret number of customers who have contacted us over the past two years about owning a HondaJet," said Honda Aircraft CEO Michimasa Fujino. Fujino told the crowd the prototype aircraft was unavailable for the show because it's undergoing intensive flight tests.

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Int'l Business Aviation Council on Pilot Shortage back to top 

Safety Issues Loom For BizAv

Business aviation is by far the safest segment of general aviation but that doesn't mean it can't be better. And there's also a shift in personnel and operations on the horizon that might challenge that claim, though not necessarily. At a seminar at EBACE 2008 in Geneva on Wednesday, Don Spruston, Director General of the International Business Aviation Council, told delegates that gross navigation errors, particularly over the ocean, and runway incursions continue to be major issues for business aviation. "More than 50 percent of business aviation accidents are runway accidents," Spruston told a rather small crowd at the safety forum. He also said in a podcast interview that the industry is grappling with a pilot shortage that might have safety implications.

Spruston said there will be a major meeting of industry officials next week to discuss the implications of a pilot shortage that has ravaged regional airlines in some parts of the world, caused a severe shortage of instructors in some areas and is now being felt in business aviation. He said the impact of younger, less-experienced pilots in the normally top-tier positions in business jets is unknown and will be thoroughly discussed.

Cessna Aircraft Company, the World's Largest General Aviation Manufacturer
Based on unit sales, Cessna Aircraft Company is the world's largest manufacturer of general aviation airplanes. In 2007, Cessna delivered 1,272 aircraft, including 387 Citation business jets, and reported revenues of about $5 billion. Cessna has a current backlog of $12.6 billion. The global fleet of more than 5,100 Citations is the largest fleet of business jets in the world. More information about Cessna Aircraft Company is available at Cessna.com.
Business Jet to Flying Hospital, in the Blink of an Eye back to top 

BBJs As A Humanitarian Tool

Boeing makes no bones about the luxury and style it offers on its large business jets but thanks to an innovative project developed in Sweden, they can be converted to lifesaving workhorses in a matter of hours. The company has certified a modular system of stretchers and self-contained intensive-care beds that can be used in the mass evacuation of casualties from disasters. "We can convert a standard airliner or business aircraft in less than six hours," said Boeing engineer Sven Stein. A 737-800 can carry six of the intensive-care beds and the staff needed to monitor them, along with up to two dozen less seriously injured individuals.

Sweden keeps a full planeload of equipment on standby but it's only been used in a real emergency once, when it helped out in the evacuation of people injured in the tsunami that hit Southeast Asia several years ago. Although it's a potent tool to help out in emergencies, there has to be basic infrastructure in place to handle the large aircraft and that's why the system has not been employed in the recent earthquake disaster in China and the typhoon in Burma. Stein says the Swedes hold regular disaster response exercises and the system is employed in those trials.

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Avidyne Extends Interface Capability for Tactical WX Detection System
Avidyne's TWX670 Tactical Weather Detection System has a Compatibility Mode providing a second output format for display of monochromatic lightning strike and storm cell information on a number of existing lightning detection-compatible displays. The TWX670's normal RS-232 output protocol supports the TWX670's TWxCell™ and Color Strike modes on compatible displays, including Avidyne's EX500, EX5000 and MHD300. With Compatibility Mode, the TWX670 provides an alternate protocol compatible with other manufacturers' displays. Click here for more information.

Sign up to be an Avidyne Insider.
Boeing's Flight Sim Setup back to top 

At EBACE, Everyone Can Fly a 787 (Well, Sort Of)

One of the most popular booths at EBACE 2008 has nothing directly to do with business aviation, but it's attracting crowds of people. Boeing has put up an elaborate flight simulator with controls approximating a Boeing Business Jet and a wide screen depiction of the ILS to Nice, France. Most people who try it, like this fellow, do a pretty credible job of planting the virtual 787 on the centerline.

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AVweb Bookstore Features Downloadable Jeppesen Training Manuals
AVweb Bookstore offers Jeppesen (and other) maintenance and pilot training manuals in e-book and book format, letting customers choose how to receive content. E-book advantages including complete search ability, no-cost and instant delivery, and storing hundreds of volumes on a laptop or mobile device. Attention, international customers — no import taxes or fees! For a complete list, call (800) 780-4115 or go online.

AVweb Audio: Are You Listening? back to top 

What's on the Inside Is What Really Counts — Just Ask Jet Completion Pro Jerry Gore
(Recorded Live at EBACE 2008)

File Size 4.9 MB / Running Time 5:21

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

When it comes to private jets, the airplane is only part of the package. The interior furnishings and systems are what most customers are interested in, and Gore Design Completions of San Antonio, Texas is one of the world leaders in outfitting the most opulent aircraft on the planet. Owner Jerry Gore discussed the completion business with AVweb's Russ Niles at EBACE 2008 in Geneva.

Click here to listen. (4.9 MB, 5:21)

IBAC's Don Spruston Asks How the Pilot Shortage Could Affect Safety
(Recorded Live at EBACE 2008)

File Size 5.3 MB / Running Time 5:47

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

Business aviation has an enviable safety record, but there are still issues to be addressed, and a looming pilot shortage raises the potential of less-experienced pilots entering a field that has traditionally been open only to high-time aviators. Don Spruston, director general of the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) spoke with AVweb's Russ Niles at EBACE 2008 about the challenges ahead.

Click here to listen. (5.3 MB, 5:47)

The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 

Aviation Consumer: Take Our Hangar Survey

Our sister magazine, Aviation Consumer, is conducting a survey on hangar availability, cost and purchase options. We would love to hear from you on this topic. Just drop an e-mail to aviation_safety@hotmail.com, and we'll respond.

(The results will appear in a future issue of Aviation Consumer. For subscription information, click here.)

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.

Names Behind the News back to top 

Meet the AVwebBiz Team

AVwebBiz is a weekly summary of the latest business aviation news, articles, products, features, and events featured on AVweb, the internet's aviation magazine and news service.

The AVwebBiz team is:

Timothy Cole

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Russ Niles

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Features Editor
Kevin Lane-Cummings

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