AVwebBiz - Volume 6, Number 38

September 17, 2008

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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Top News: AIG Woes Could Spell Trouble for Aviation back to top 

AIG Problems Affect Aviation Sector

Aviation's relative immunity to a host of political, economic and even social issues that have dragged down virtually every other sector couldn't last forever and the potential failure of American International Group Inc. (AIG) could be the fly in the ointment. MarketWatch, The Wall Street Journal's online newsletter, says AIG may have to sell its commercial aircraft leasing arm, International Lease Finance Corp., to stay afloat and that will undoubtedly send ripples through the whole industry. In fact, Boeing has 102 firm orders through ILFC and if the company's credit rating is downgraded, that could mean higher prices for the end customers of those aircraft.

"If [ILFC] becomes consumed by AIG's problems, it may not be able to maintain the same purchase terms and financing terms with its banks and lenders and manufacturers," Henry Harteveldt, an analyst with Forester Research, told MarketWatch. "That may force them to cancel orders, and that could have a huge impact on Boeing Co. and Airbus." Of course, trouble in the commercial sector doesn't always translate to problems in GA and even the opposite can happen, but given the sheer scope of the problems, it seems unlikely to escape.

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Quotes reprinted with permission: Professional Pilot, 2007 Headset Preference Survey, 12/07; Aviation Consumer, 8/07.
Uncertainty Looms as Thielert Rebuilds back to top 

Thielert Engines Update

The Thielert engine factory in Liechtenstein is continuing to build and deliver diesel engines and spare parts while sorting through various offers from new investors who hopefully will rescue the company from insolvency, company representatives told the media in a conference call from Europe on Tuesday. Asked whether a new owner will honor the warranties that are currently worthless paper in the hands of engine owners, spokesman Christoph Moller said that will be up to the new investors to decide. "We are not authorized to tell the new investors what to do with their company," he said. Gunter Kappler, head of technology at Thielert, said that even if Diamond Aircraft switches to their own Austro diesel engine, as they have said they plan to do, Thielert has enough other customers to keep the company viable. Also, the company is focused now on extending the life of life-limited components from 300 hours to 600 hours, though Moller said he couldn't give a timeline for when that goal would be reached. He also said it would be up to the new investor to figure out the problems associated with a lack of service centers in North America -- engines now must be shipped to the factory in Europe for inspection and repair. And he added that since the factory is still operating and the service center is open, "There is no reason from our side that aircraft are AOG" -- a claim that aircraft owners whose Thielert engines are now up against life limits and no apparently viable options to keep them in the air, are sure to dispute.

Todd House, the founder of the Thielert Engine Owners Group, also called in to the conference, but his questions were politely defrayed by the company representatives. "This is a press conference, and you are welcome to listen in, but we are taking questions from the media only," they said. They added that a meeting with representatives from the owners group is scheduled for later this week and all of House's concerns would be addressed at that time. For more on this story, click here for analysis from Paul Bertorelli, editor-in-chief of Aviation Consumer, in the AVweb Insider Blog.

JA Air Center Announces First Installation of a Garmin G600 PFD/MFD LCD Display
JA Air Center has installed the first Garmin G600 PFD/MFD LCD display in a certified aircraft, a 2001 PA28RT-201 Arrow. The aircraft is also equipped with dual GNS430Ws, GDL90 ADS-B Uplink and GTX327 Transponder. The G600 combination PFD/MFD, designed to take the space of the basic six-pack, fully integrates all primary flight, navigation, terrain, traffic and weather. For more information, go online.

Call JA Air Center at (800) 323-5966 to speak with a Garmin expert about the G600.
BizAv Flocks to Jet Expo in Russia back to top 

Jet Expo Opens In Moscow

Against a backdrop of international tensions over Russia's involvement in Georgia, Russia's biggest business aviation exhibition opens today. Geopolitics notwithstanding, Jet Expo 2008 promises to be bigger than ever with all the major manufacturers represented in the static display at Vnukovo Airport and hundreds of exhibitors filling the Crocus Expo exhibition center. The message seems to be that business aviation continues to be on a growth curve in Russia and some of the seminar topics reflect that.

In addition to the usual updates and announcements from manufacturers, there are sessions devoted to the unique circumstances of business aviation operation in the vast but infrastructure-poor country. The final plenary session is entitled "Russian Business Aviation: The Difficulties That Could Not Occur."

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 $16 billion. The global fleet of more than 5,200 Citations is the largest fleet of business jets in the world. More information about Cessna Aircraft Company is available at Cessna.com.
FAA Shares Some Details on Eclipse 500 Certification back to top 

FAA Releases Eclipse Report

The FAA has posted online its report reviewing the certification of the Eclipse E500 jet. FAA Acting Administrator Bobby Sturgell said last week the FAA is committed to acting on each of the six recommendations from the review team, headed by former Boeing executive Jerry Mack, but the full text of the report was not released until this week. "The team did not identify any unsafe condition needing immediate attention within the areas reviewed," the report states. It lists eight "findings," which include the panel's observations that issues with the jet's stall warning, screen blanking, trim, and flaps were all adequately checked in the certification process. However, "The FAA flight-test function of the certification program was not staffed with an appropriate mix of flight-test engineers and pilots," the report says, and "communication among parties was not effective."

Several sections of the report have been blacked out, presumably to protect the company's proprietary information. Click here to download the full report in PDF format.

Attention, Turboprop Operators! Reserve October 28-30 on Your Calendars
Turboprop Expo 2008, October 28-30 in Scottsdale, AZ, will offer specialized programs including seminar tracks for airframe and turboprop engine topics as well as operational and ownership information. Dr. David Strahle will present his informative and acclaimed seminar: Understanding Nexrad Imagery. Enjoy the relaxing surroundings of a classic resort and network with industry leaders at Turboprop Expo 2008. For more information and to register, visit online.
Embraer Servicing More Phenoms in North America back to top 

Embraer Bulks Up Service Center Network

Things appear to be happening in the correct order for Embraer as the company prepares for the entry into service of its first very light jet, not to mention aircraft barely off the drawing board. On Monday, Embraer opened a 47,700-square-foot service center in Mesa, Ariz., to look after the Phenom 100, Phenom 300, Legacy 450, Legacy 500 and Legacy 600 business aircraft. "The grand opening of this service center reinforces Embraer's long-term commitment to providing a full-service support network for its growing fleet of executive jets in North America and signals its readiness for the Phenom 100 to enter service," said Edson Carlos Mallaco, Embraer Vice President, Customer Support and Services, Executive Jets.

Mallaco said the company is spending more than $100 million to bulk up service for the fleet of business jets it is launching in coming years. The Phenom 100 and 300 will be assembled in Florida; the 100 is undergoing final certification testing and the company hopes to have all the flight hours and mountains of paperwork completed by the end of September.

Precise Flight: Hidden in Plain Sight
With design capabilities as varied as the number of aircraft models available, it's easy to find at least one device manufactured by Precise Flight in the cabin, cockpit, or body of any aircraft on the market. In fact, integration is a key characteristic of Precise Flight's operating code. Learn more online.
Aviation Safety back to top 

NTSB Wants Better-Trained Pilots And Seatbelts For Skydivers

The NTSB on Tuesday released a special report identifying several recurring safety issues with parachute jump operations, and recommended improvements in aircraft maintenance and pilot training. The report was prompted by a crash in July 2006 in Missouri, when an engine failed shortly after takeoff in a de Havilland DHC-6-100. The pilot and five parachutists were killed, and two other parachutists were seriously injured. Since 1980, 172 people have died in 32 skydiving-related accidents that had nothing to do with the act of actually jumping from the airplane and deploying the chute. The board found a "pattern of safety deficiencies" in aircraft maintenance, pilot training, and FAA oversight. For example, the board found in its final report on the 2006 accident, released this week, that more parachutists may have survived if better restraints had been used. "This clearly emphasizes the importance of implementing our recommendations designed to increase survivability when an accident does occur," said NTSB Acting Chairman Mark Rosenker.

The board made recommendations to the FAA and USPA regarding dual-point restraint systems for parachutists. "As this activity increases in popularity, we have to ensure that safe operations are adhered to by all operators," said NTSB Acting Chairman Mark Rosenker. "Our recommendations in the areas of maintenance and training will move this industry forward in preventing these types of accidents."

Diamond Aircraft Distributors Offer Tax Advantage Program
September 30th is the deadline to take advantage of up to $300,000 in depreciation opportunities on a new Diamond DA40 XLS. Diamond Aircraft distributors are also offering a $3,000 cash back incentive, to pay for the tax and legal services needed to take advantage of this tax savings opportunity. Go online for full details!
New on AVweb: Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: Thielert's Recovery — Call Us Skeptical

Thielert's insolvency master says it has found investors for the troubled diesel engine maker. AVweb Editorial Director Paul Bertorelli doesn't see how they find value in the company, and that's the subject of his latest post to the AVweb Insider Blog.

Read more.

Avidyne Delivers Worldwide Datalink Graphical Weather and Two-Way Messaging
Avidyne's new MLX770 Iridium®-based two-way datalink transceiver brings strategic datalink weather services to Entegra- and EX500-equipped aircraft operating worldwide. The MLX770 allows pilots to more easily make go/no-go decisions on the ground and fly more strategically while en route. Additionally, the MLX770 provides convenient two-way SMS text messaging from an airborne MFD to any ground-based SMS-capable mobile phone or e-mail address, allowing pilots to communicate in-flight. Click here for more information.
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 

Help AVwebBiz Spread Your NBAA News

The world's most important business aviation event, the National Business Aviation Association's annual convention, is coming up Oct. 6-8 in Orlando and there will be hundreds of product announcements and updates. AVweb will be there with daily coverage of the events, news conferences and announcements that make this show so important but if your company has something more than 100,000 business aviation decision-makers need to know about, we're encouraging you to let us know in advance. That way we can give your news the full attention it deserves and make sure it's released in a timely fashion during our coverage. Don't worry. We'll strictly observe all embargos. Send your advance material to rniles@avweb.com and thanks for your help in making our coverage the most comprehensive available.

How to Find Cheap(er) Gas

There's no such things as cheap gas. Nonetheless, prices vary as much as $3 per gallon from one FBO to another and that's more than $100 on a typical fill-up. Our sister publication, Aviation Consumer, is conducting a survey on how pilots find the best prices on gas.

To chime in, e-mail avconsumer@comcast.net.

(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.

You Pay More for the Unbiased Truth — To Ultimately Save More
Yes, Aviation Consumer costs more than other aviation magazines. Aviation Consumer is supported by you, the subscribing consumer, not by advertising. So the editors can be completely truthful to help you make the right decision on products and services. Order online and receive unlimited use of Aviation Consumer's ratings-packed web information database!
Who's Where back to top 

Clare in OEM Role

Robert Clare

Robert Clare is the new Director of OEM Marketing for Universal Avionics. He's been with Universal for 15 years.

Kenaga to Patent Partner

Michael Kenaga

Michael Kenaga brings his 20 years of experience to Patzik, Frank & Samotny Ltd. in Chicago. A private pilot and former electrical engineering, Mike's patent practice includes all mechanical and electrical related matters. Mike owns a Cessna 195 and is the AOPA ASN volunteer at C09.

Isham Promoted at Parker Hannifin

Shawn Isham

Shawn Isham has been promoted to Marketing Manager for Parker Hannifin Nichols Airborne Division Customer Support Operations effective immediately. Isham joined Parker Hannifin in 1998 and has held various positions in Customer Support within Parker Aerospace.

Who's Where? You Tell Us

Get a promotion or a new job? Your colleagues want to know about it, and AVwebBiz can get the word out. Drop us a line about the staff appointment, with a nice recent photo, and we'll do our best to include it in our new section, "Who's Where." The items will be permanently archived on AVweb for future reference, too.

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

Scott Simmons

Mariano Rosales
Jeff van West

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