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Volume 6, Number 48
November 26, 2008
Trade-A-Plane, Aviation's Original Search Engine
Back in 1937, Trade-A-Plane was the original — and only — place to look for parts to repair an airplane. Trade-A-Plane is still the best, with everything that keeps you flying — thousands of planes, products, and services updated hourly. Call Trade-A-Plane at (800) 337-5263 or subscribe online.

In print or online, start your search with the world's largest aviation resource — Trade-A-Plane.
More Gloom Leads Into U.S. Holiday Weekend ...back to top 

About 500 production employees at Cirrus Design will be furloughed for about a month each as the company cuts production to clear out built up inventory. Bill King, Cirrus's VP of Business Administration told AVweb in a telephone interview staff were told of the move on Tuesday. Only production employees are affected and not all them will be off at the same time. Those at the beginning of the build cycle will be off first and will return first on Jan. 5. As the airplanes on the floor progress through completion, those farther down the line will be furloughed as they complete their part of the process. Last to be furloughed will be the painters. Each worker will be off for about 30 days. "We don't want to add to the bad economic news but we just think this is the prudent thing to do so we can hit 2009 hard," he said. King said the company is retaining all the workers and will be topping up their unemployment insurance and paying medical and other benefits during the shutdown. King said the company is strong and its financial backers, Arcapita, are solidly behind Cirrus. "We're very well positioned and the truth is that if we weren't well positioned we wouldn't be able to pay these benefits," he said. More...

Eclipse Aviation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today and it appears ETIRC, the company controlled by current CEO Roel Pieper, is moving to consolidate its hold on the troubled planemaker. According to a news release from Eclipse, the company is "seeking court approval for debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing and procedures for the sale of substantially all of its assets under Section 363 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code." At the same time, it announced it has a buyer for the assets, described as "an affiliate of ETIRC Aviation S.a.r.l., Luxembourg" and that the deal is subject to "higher offers." According to court documents filed by Eclipse in support of the petition, the company owes investors about $577 million and has racked up about $135 million in debt to vendors and suppliers. "In the face of unprecedented economic challenges, it is clear that the sale of the Eclipse business through the Chapter 11 process is the right course of action to maximize the value of the business, secure its future and protect the best interests of Eclipse's stakeholders, including customers, suppliers, employees and creditors," Pieper is quoted as saying in a release. "The successful sale will position the business for aggressive global expansion, allowing the company to fulfill its promise and solidify its position as the world's leading manufacturer of VLJs." And to address the current cash crunch, Pieper has cut a deal with existing shareholders and lenders to keep the company alive in the interim. The company is asking the Delaware court, where the petition was filed, to approve the interim financing package quickly so Eclipse can honor its commitments. Once approved, this financing along with other relief requested from the Court, will position Eclipse to pay wages and salaries, honor employee benefits, service customer aircraft and continue manufacturing operations throughout the sale period. The company also announced that Peg Billson, president and manager of the company, has resigned "to pursue other career opportunities." More...

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Quotes reprinted with permission: Professional Pilot, 2007 Headset Preference Survey, 12/07; Aviation Consumer, 8/07.
Diamond, Exxon Not in Sync on Diesel Dilemmaback to top 

Diamond Aircraft is advising its customers to continue fueling their diesel-powered aircraft with jet fuel in spite of a recommendation from ExxonMobil to dealers to stop selling jet fuel to diesel aircraft owners. Diamond CEO Peter Maurer told AVweb he's unaware of any service issues that might have led the oil giant to issue the letter sent to dealers last week. "It looks like they've come up with a solution to a problem that isn't there," Maurer said. He said he's in the process of arranging a conference call with ExxonMobil officials to discuss the decision, which he said caught his company by surprise. "We're frankly a little perplexed," he said. Diamond is also sending a letter to customers outlining the company's position. In the letter to fuel dealers, Martin Tippl, ExxonMobil's U.S. General Aviation Operations Manager, says the company has determined that jet fuel may not meet the technical requirements for safe operation in piston engines and the company "does not support or endorse the supply of jet fuel to aircraft powered by diesel engines." The letter is posted on the Thielert Owners Group Web site. Dealers are asked to sign an agreement not to pump jet fuel into diesels. There is a provision for diesel owners who insist on fueling with jet fuel, however. There's a waiver they can sign indemnifying ExxonMobil from liability if something goes wrong. "We're recommending [diesel aircraft owners] sign the waiver and continue using jet fuel," Diamond's Maurer said. More...

JA Air Center, Your Source for the New Garmin GPSMap 696
JA Air Center is YOUR source for Garmin equipment, including the new GPSMap 696 with Victor Airways, Jet Routes, XM Weather, Terrain, AOPA Airport Guide, and Safe Taxi. JA Air purchases used GPS units, avionics, and aircraft.

JA Air Center [Opening - Aurora (KARR) in Sugar Grove, IL December 1, 2008] provides the finest avionics installations, turbine/piston maintenance, avionics/instrument service, mail order, and aircraft sales. Call (800) 323-5966, or click for more information.
Fly Smarter, Not Harder?back to top 

Last week's controversy about the convoy of business jets that carried the CEOs of the Big Three automakers to Washington to ask for a bailout was bound to get tongues wagging on the nightly news elsewhere. It prompted an "investigation" by "Chief Investigator" Darcy Spears at KTNV in Las Vegas. Spears combed public records and discovered 80 percent of the state's Citation's flights are between Vegas and Reno (closest IFR airport to the capital of Carson City) and that the average cost per passenger, round trip, on those flights was $760. Well, those who know something about bizjet costs might remark that the figure represents pretty efficient utilization of the aircraft, which obviously flies fairly full most of the time. But Spears suggested her viewers would consider it "crazy" to spend that much when Southwest goes there a dozen times a day for $300 or less. Robert Chisel, of Nevada's Department of Transportation, was patient and unapologetic about the Citation and the state's only other airplane, a Turbo Commander used for mapping and photography. More...

Oil prices have dropped but who knows where they'll be in four months and aviation representatives will have a meeting of the minds in London in February to compare notes on squeezing the most from each drop of kerosene. The Efficiency In Aviation conference (PDF brochure) will be held Feb. 3-4 and proposes to bring together business and airline execs aimed at "developing and implementing [a] proactive cost and fuel efficient strategy." More...

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 $15.6 billion. The global fleet of more than 5,400 Citations is the largest fleet of business jets in the world. More information about Cessna Aircraft Company is available at Cessna.com.
Meanwhile, in Washington ...back to top 

FAA Acting Administrator Robert Sturgell said this week the agency will move forward rapidly to implement nationwide deployment of the Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast (ADS-B) system. ADS-B, which will replace radar-based services with data disseminated via satellite, will reduce the risk of midair collisions and weather-related accidents, provide more efficient routes in adverse weather, and improve situational awareness for pilots, the agency said in a news release on Monday. "ADS-B is the backbone of the future of air traffic control," Sturgell said. "NextGen is real and, as of today, NextGen is now. President Bush just last week stated that modernizing our aviation system is an urgent challenge, and today's announcement demonstrates that the Department of Transportation and the FAA are taking concrete steps to do just that." The ADS-B system is now being installed in Florida. By 2013, it will be deployed nationwide, with 794 ground stations, the FAA said. ADS-B will provide services everywhere there is radar coverage today, and will also cover areas that currently lack radar service, including the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska. More...

With a new administration preparing to take over in Washington next January, AOPA's incoming president, Craig Fuller, met with members of the Department of Transportation transition team on Monday to press the case for GA. Fuller, along with AOPA Executive Vice President of Government Affairs Andy Cebula, met with Mortimer Downey, head of the DOT transition team; Duane Woerth, former president of the Air Line Pilots Association (and touted as the next FAA administrator); and Jane Garvey, former FAA administrator (and maybe the next Secretary of Transportation). Fuller told the team that priorities for general aviation pilots include quickly naming a well-qualified FAA administrator; investing in aviation infrastructure; addressing proposed regulations that target aviation gasoline, emissions, and noise; modernizing the Air Traffic Control system without placing undue burdens on GA aircraft owners; and ensuring that aviation taxes (not user fees) pay for the FAA. More...

Business Executives! Mark Your Calendars for February 3 & 4, 2009 in London, England
Active Communications' Efficiency in Aviation forum will provide a unique platform for senior aviation executives to discover, consider and discuss innovative management, operational and technical strategies to achieve greater cost and fuel efficiency. AVweb is a media partner for this forum. As an AVweb subscriber, sign up by December 12, 2008 and receive a special 15% discount. Call Melanie Mulazzi at +44 (20) 7981-2504, or click here to contact her via e-mail.

Details online.
Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

As Eclipse Aviation's biggest investor, CEO Roel Pieper has the most to lose in the company's collapse. Does that mean he's the right person to try and save it? AVweb's Russ Niles still has high hopes for Eclipse's future, but in the latest installment of the AVweb Insider blog, he tries to wrap his head around the restructuring plan. More...

Escape the Storm ... Invest in Diamonds
With bonus depreciation — write off up to 93%, or more than $300,000 — and Diamond Aircraft's fuel, maintenance, and flight training incentives (all available until December 31, 2008), there has never been a better time to buy a Diamond DA40 XLS. See program details at DiamondAir.com/escape.
Who's Whereback to top 

Alan Dias
Angel Flight West has named Alan M. Dias as its Executive Director. Dias has been flying missions since 1993 and was previously vice chair of the board of directors.

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. More...

Look Around Your Hangar and Office!
Build A Plane needs items for their annual eBay auction. Avionics, parts, electronics, headsets, books, videos/CDs, software, leather jackets, even special airplane rides — well, you get the idea. Anything Build A Plane can sell will benefit school-building projects offering students an exciting way to learn science, engineering, and math and building a new generation of aviation enthusiasts. For complete information, contact Katrina Bradshaw at (804) 843-3321, or go online.
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!back to top 

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. What have you heard? More...

Our sister publication, Aviation Consumer, would like to know. The magazine is conducting a survey of owners on their experiences running the SR22's engine lean of peak. If you'd like to participate, contact the editor directly at avconsumer@comcast.net. More...

Great Holiday Gift
Clear Left, I'll Have the Chicken: An Airline Captain Looks at Life, by Kevin Garrison. What people are saying: "I have spent years and billions of dollars getting into space, only to find that Kevin already is" — NASA spokesperson. "I think he was trying to be funny" — Mark Twain.

Available online for only $10.95.
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

At the 2008 AOPA Expo, our video team brought you exclusive interviews with outgoing AOPA president Phil Boyer and the incoming president, Craig Fuller — plus a demo flight with Cirrus Design's new EVS system and an in-depth profile of Garmin's hot GPSMap 696. If you missed any of those, you can watch all eight of our show videos right here. (Click through to watch.) More...

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!
Names Behind the Newsback to top 


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

Jeff van West

Click 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 here.

Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's sales team.

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 AVwebBiz. For complete instructions on making the switch, click here.

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