AVwebBiz Complete Issue: Volume 6, Number 53

December 31, 2008

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
Holiday Special Extended! Get $100 Off a Panel Power Zulu
Lightspeed has lowered their price from $900 to $850, plus they'll give you a $50 mail-in rebate. So there's still time to give your special pilot everything dreams are made of — performance, comfort, and crystal-clear audio, with more total noise cancellation than any other headset, plus built-in Bluetooth. Purchase from an authorized Lightspeed dealer by January 31st, 2009. Click here to see why Zulu is Aviation Consumer's Headset of the Year for 2008.
TSA's Large Aircraft Security Program Under Scrutiny back to top 
Sponsor Announcement

LASP Hearings Start Next Week

New rules proposed by the Transportation Security Administration would affect only the operators of large aircraft -- over 12,500 pounds -- but the general aviation community, representing pilots of aircraft of all sizes, is united in opposition to the plan. Public hearings on the Large Aircraft Security Program (LASP) begin next week, Friday, Jan. 6, at Westchester County Airport in White Plains, N.Y. In a briefing paper, EAA said that it "strongly encourages" everyone involved in recreational, personal and business aviation to participate in the TSA public hearings. EAA is concerned that the proposal would infringe "on the freedom of movement by private U.S. citizens and their family, friends, and business associates in their own personal or business-use aircraft." Ed Bolen, CEO and president of the National Business Aviation Association, plans to be in White Plains to testify. NBAA has posted a list of concerns with the proposal, which includes a TSA checklist of 80 items that would be prohibited from the cabin, a requirement for private aircraft to carry federal air marshals on demand, and fees for required "security audits." Anyone who wishes to provide oral testimony can attend the New York hearing, which begins at 9 a.m., with registration starting at 8. For more information about the hearings, click here for the complete TSA official notice. Other public meetings are scheduled for Jan. 8 in Atlanta, Ga.; Jan. 16 in Chicago; Jan. 23 in Burbank, Calif.; and Jan. 28 in Houston, Texas.

For the full text of the TSA NPRM, all 260 pages of it, click here. All interested persons may provide written comments, which must be received by Feb. 27. To post a comment online, click here, and then click on the "Add Comments" icon.

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 is now open in Sugar Grove, IL (KARR) providing the finest avionics installations, turbine/piston maintenance, avionics/instrument service, mail order, and aircraft sales. Call (800) 323-5966, or click for more information.
NBAA Weighs in on NTSB De-Icing Warning back to top 
Sponsor Announcement

NBAA Counters NTSB Icing Alert

The NTSB recently issued a Safety Alert advising pilots that the procedures they have been taught regarding the use of de-icing boots may not be safe, but the National Business Aviation Association said this week that operators "should continue to base their decisions about de-icing on their experience and judgment." The NTSB alert said that pilots shouldn't wait "for a prescribed accumulation of leading-edge ice before activating the de-ice boots because of the believed threat of ice bridging." Ice bridging has never been implicated as the cause of an accident, and is extremely rare, and may not exist at all, the NTSB said, and delaying the use of the boots has been noted in "numerous incidents and accidents." NBAA said it believes "proving the existence of ice bridging after an accident is difficult, and many documented cases resulted in successful outcomes due to the skill and professionalism of the flight crew." Misuse of the de-icing boots was cited as a factor in the NTSB report on the crash of a Cessna Citation 560 in Pueblo, Colo., in February 2005, in which all eight people on board were killed. At that time, the NTSB asked the FAA to require all manufacturers and operators of airplanes equipped with pneumatic leading-edge de-ice boots to revise their manuals and training programs to emphasize that the boots should be activated as soon as the airplane enters icing conditions.

The safety board also asked the FAA to require that all pneumatic de-ice boot-equipped airplanes certified to fly in known icing conditions should have a mode that would automatically continue to cycle the boots once the system has been activated.

Fly With Bose Aviation Headset X®
Enjoy an unmatched combination of full-spectrum noise reduction, clearer audio, and comfortable fit. Voted the #1 headset for the seventh consecutive year in Professional Pilot's 2007 Headset Preference Survey. Also rated "Best ANR Headset: The Aviation Consumer Product of the Year" by Aviation Consumer.

Purchase by December 31, 2008 and receive a complimentary pair of Bose in-ear headphones ($99.95 value). Learn more and order.

Quotes reprinted with permission: Professional Pilot, 2007 Headset Preference Survey, 12/07; Aviation Consumer, 8/07.
Tough Times Catch Up to the Biz Sector back to top 

Bizjet Perception, Reality

The argument for business jets as essential tools for business may see some conflict in tight economic times as businesses seeking to control costs are selling their jets and corporate jet brokers watch their inventories soar. Where manufacturers recently had waiting lists of people seeking positions on non-resaleable deposit lists the trend has now reversed. Citigroup, Time Warner, Alcatel-Lucent, and of course, GM and Ford are among those companies that have allowed leases to expire or put jets up for sale. "The jet market stinks," Richard Santulli, chief executive of Warren Buffett's NetJets, told The New York Times Thursday. Recent months have seen the global market, which some industry optimists had hoped would help carry manufacturers through difficult times, fall into a worldwide slump. The fall of the Indian and Russian stock market, a slowing economy in the Middle East, and fears of a depression brewing in the United States have had a substantial negative impact on sales -- as has a strengthening U.S. dollar. Unfortunately, when a company drops a jet lease, or sells a jet it previously operated, that effort to control costs doesn't just dump an expensive asset, but also the workers hired to maintain it. In GM's case, closing its air transportation services unit cost the company another 49 jobs. Flight Options, which sells jet shares, has laid off 104 pilots. Even within the bizjet segment, there are particular aircraft lines that are suffering more than others.

Operational and ownership costs of big jets can burden a company with fixed costs like property tax and pilot/steward salaries adding up to nearly $1 million annually in support of a $47 million jet like a Gulfstream G550, which typically costs another $2,000 per hour to operate. It's those sort of numbers that have exacted a larger toll on large jet operators and manufacturers, and Gulfstreams, Bombardiers, and Falcons have taken perhaps a larger blow than smaller jets, according to some industry insiders. Financial pressures aside, there are public perception issues in play, as well. In short, it doesn't look good to keep airplanes, but not employees. NetJets believes that history has shown the jet market lags behind the stock market by about three months when it comes to recovery. As such, recovery is not yet on the horizon.

Gulfstream Expands "Cautiously"

Gulfstream says it will continue with expansion plans at its facilities despite the market downturn and PR problems in the industry. Company spokesman Robert Baugniet told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that Gulfstream has been affected by the downturn and that's in turn affected the company's approach to expansion. "We're still hiring people but we're doing it carefully," Baugniet said. The company had an ambitious year in 2008, completing a new manufacturing plant and a research facility at its Savannah headquarters and launching two new models, the big G650 intercontinental jet (view video here) and the midsized G250.

There are plans for more hangars at Gulfstream facilities and more staffing will be required. Baugniet acknowledged that the inventory of used business jets has gone up dramatically in recent months and it's a situation that hasn't yet resolved itself. "Sellers are still looking for high prices. Buyers are looking for low prices, so until that rationalizes you're going to have a lot of inventory in the marketplace," Baugniet told the AJC. Analyst Richard Aboulafia says Gulfstream is well-positioned to capitalize on the inevitable uptick in the market with the new models, particularly the 650. "They're wisely getting that going in preparation for the next upturn," Aboulafia said. "If you accept that wealth generation will return, the need for transport will return, globalization will return."

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.
Eclipse on the Auction Block back to top 

Eclipse Auction Jan. 14

Rumors that other bidders will try to assume control of Eclipse Aviation will either be verified or put to rest Jan. 14 when a Maryland bankruptcy court holds an auction for the assets of the company. Eclipse filed for Chapter 11 protection on Nov. 25 and a Luxembourg subsidiary of ETIRC Aviation, which is headed by Eclipse's Chairman of the Board Roel Pieper, has let it be known it wants to buy the company for $198 million. According to an Associated Press Report carried by Business Week, other potential suitors will have until Jan. 13 to get their bids in.

Eclipse had asked the auction to be set a week earlier but court scheduling problems led to the delay. Although ETIRC has been the only publicly declared bidder to date, there have been persistent rumors that at least one other bid is in the offing. Court documents indicate the company had more than $1 billion in liabilities when it filed for bankruptcy.

Great Gift Anytime
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.
ATP Passing Savings on to Students back to top 

Fuel Price Rebates Given To ATP Students

It's easy to get cynical about high fuel prices, especially when the price of aviation fuel hasn't dropped like that of auto fuels. But the flight school Airline Transport Professionals (ATP) is relieving some of that frustration among its students by dropping prices for new enrollments and giving rebates of up to $2,500 to students who signed up last summer when fuel prices topped $6 a gallon. "ATP is the only flight training company to pass cash rebates on to their students due to the recent fuel cost savings," said Jim Koziarski, ATP's Vice President of Flight Operations.

Koziarski said it generally takes longer for a drop in the price of crude oil to be reflected in the price of aviation fuel because avgas inventories turn over more slowly than automotive fuel inventories. Aviation fuel is now in the $4.00-$4.50 range in many areas (a lot lower in others) and Koziarski said the fuel-driven fee increases had to be adjusted to reflect the current costs.

Diamond Aircraft Raffle:
Great Gift Idea for the Pilot Who Has Everything!

Win a Diamond Star DA40 XLS! Only 5,000 tickets will be sold to benefit Wings of Dreams, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Help Wings of Dreams complete their aviation museum and warbird restoration facilities at Keystone Heights Airport, Florida (42J). Target drawing date (if 5,000 tickets are sold) is February 22, 2009. Void where prohibited.

For more information, visit WingsOfDreams.org.
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

Bonus Video! Aviation Safety Profiles the Garmin 696's Top Safety Features

Original, Exclusive Videos from AVweb | Reader-Submitted & Viral Videos

By now, you've seen and heard a lot about Garmin's new GPSMap 696 GPS device. In this video, Jeb Burnside, Editor-in-Chief of Aviation Safety magazine, walks you through four key safety features of the 696.

Don't see a video screen?
Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

Bonus Video! IFR Magazine Goes Inside the Tower at JFK International Airport

Original, Exclusive Videos from AVweb | Reader-Submitted & Viral Videos

IFR magazine Editor-in-Chief Jeff Van West spent time in the Tower at Kennedy airport to see what it takes to run the operation during the evening push and why it takes two years for a controller to reach full qualification at one of the busiest airports in the Northeast.

Don't see a video screen?
Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

Inside the Circle, the New Aviation Novel from
AVweb's "Brainteasers" Quizmaster, Now Available

1937. The Depression lingers, Amelia Earhart is lost, and prohibition is over. Barnstormers who'd once made a living in the bootlegging trade turn to less interesting work. One enterprising flyer, Kate Strauss, can't qualify for the airlines, because "No Women Allowed." With friends and lovers, Kate keeps a small Midwestern flight operation aloft by the numbers — the numbers racket. Go online to order for yourself and as gifts.
New on AVweb back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: Patty Wagstaff, Booze and Flying

Patty Wagstaff's official statement on the embarrassing incident at an Oshkosh runway this past summer has sparked a lot of reaction among our readers. AVweb Editor-in-Chief Russ Niles has been reading the mail, and while your comments are harsh, they're mostly fair. In the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog, Russ doubts that Patty Wagstaff will ever make such a faux pas again.

Read more.

Are Your Company's Sales Stalling?
Advertise Here to Reach Over 255,000 Aviators Worldwide

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Who's Where back to top 

JA Air Center Opens at Chicagolands

JA Air Center

The year ended on a positive note for JA Air Center with the opening of their new FBO at Chicagolands Aurora Airport (KARR). The facility includes a canopy large enough for large-cabin business jets to park under while deplaning passengers.

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.

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

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.

Attention, Power Flow Customers: Aviation Consumer Wants to Hear from You!

Have you installed a Power Flow Exhaust on your airplane? Our sister publication, Aviation Consumer magazine, is conducting a survey on Power Flow exhausts and would like to learn about your experiences with their products.

Send a note to aviation_safety@hotmail.com to share your experiences. We're particularly interested in your opinions on the exhaust system's price and performance, its ease of installation, before and after performance measurements, fuel flow, whether you'd purchase the system again and any other comments you'd care to share. Please include information on your airplane (make/model/year) and its engine (e.g., Lycoming O-360).

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

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

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.

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