AVwebBiz - Volume 7, Number 2

January 14, 2009

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.
 
Top News: Bidding and Bailouts back to top 
 
Sponsor Announcement

Eclipse Auction Cancelled

The Associated Press is reporting that a public auction to sell the assets of Eclipse Aviation Wednesday has been cancelled for lack of qualified competing bidders. According to AP's story, that will pave the way for EclipseJet Aviation, owned by current Eclipse Chairman Roel Pieper, to pick up the company for roughly 20 cents on the dollar. ETIRC is proposing to pay $188 million ($28 million cash, $160 million in new notes) and offer 15-percent equity to senior secured creditors. Eclipse's total liability was estimated at more than $1 billion when it filed for Chapter 11 protection in late November.

It was rumored that there were at least two competing bids for Eclipse but if there were other bids they were not considered to be qualified. Two committees of secured creditors and a committee of unsecured creditors who reviewed the bid(s) determined that there were no qualified bids, Eclipse lawyer Dan Guyder told the AP.

Business Aviation Ban Dropped From TARP

Business aviation groups are breathing a collective sigh of relief with the news late Tuesday that Congress has dropped a provision from a business assistance plan that would have required companies to get rid of their aircraft to qualify for relief. In a last-minute revision, Congress agreed to drop an amendment that would have required companies applying for help under the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) to divest themselves of corporate aircraft. "Congress has clearly recognized that it is important to provide Americans with strong oversight of the federal dollars in the TARP program, but that the language addressing business aviation had the potential to fuel job losses for countless people in the general aviation community," said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. "We thank Congress for recognizing the importance of general aviation to companies and communities across the country with the elimination of this onerous requirement from the TARP proposal."

Although NBAA, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and other groups were lobbying furiously to get the language out of the bill, Bolen said it was members who made the difference by contacting their elected representatives directly. "NBAA has long said that efforts by the association in Washington are most effective if its members also reach out to Congress," Bolen told NBAA members in an e-mail message today. "Today's outcome shows that our members' direct participation can make a difference."

 
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'Missing' Pilot Alive, But in Hot Water back to top 
 
Sponsor Announcement

Fugitive Pilot Reported In Custody

Police in Quincy, Fla. say they've arrested an Indiana pilot who is alleged to have faked a distress call, parachuted from his Piper Meridian and fled a small Alabama town on a motorcycle he'd hidden there. Earlier, some authorities suspected Marcus Schrenker had managed to leave the country in his apparently determined bid to escape a crumbling business empire, criminal fraud charges, the wrath of disgruntled investors and a divorce. "He's shown a total disregard for human life. I think he'd do anything to get away," said David Latimer, chief of the police department in Harpersville, Ala., where Schrenker allegedly landed and had the brand-new Yamaha sport bike stashed in a storage unit he'd rented the day before. Flamboyant might be an understated description for Schrenker, who collected luxury cars, owned at least two airplanes and starred himself in a YouTube video in which he flies under bridges in the Bahamas in an Extra 300.

But it appears the unraveling of the basis for that extravagant lifestyle led to the reckless drama that played out late Sunday over the rural are near Birmingham, Ala. Schrenker told ATC that the windshield on the Meridian had imploded and he was covered in blood. Then the radio went dead. But the aircraft continued heading south at about 2,000 feet. Military aircraft intercepted and reported the windshield intact but the door open and the left seat empty. As the plane crashed in a swamp near Milton, on the Florida panhandle, Schrenker was hitching a ride to a hotel in Harpersville with a local policeman after claiming he'd been in a canoeing accident. After checking into the hotel under another name, surveillance video caught him getting on the motorcycle.

 
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Diamond the Latest Airplane Maker to Tighten Belt back to top 
 

Diamond Furloughs 180 Employees

Diamond Aircraft is furloughing 180 of its 684 employees in London, Ont., to balance inventory as weakening demand settles over the light aircraft market. But company CEO Peter Maurer told AVweb in a podcast interview that he hopes the furloughs will be short-lived as the new Lycoming-powered DA42 twin goes into production. He said there are also good-sized fleet orders for DA20s and DA40s for the training market.

Diamond is the last of the major manufacturers to announce layoffs and Maurer said they held out as long as they could. "As painful as this decision is for our employees and our business partners, it is fiscally responsible and necessary for the long-term health of our company." Maurer said the layoffs are all in the piston production plant and development of the DJet continues unaffected.

Related Content:
Podcast interview with Peter Maurer.

 
Purchasing an Aircraft in 2009?
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Life After AOPA: Phil Boyer's New Job back to top 
 

Phil Boyer Joins Aspen Avionics Board

Soon after retiring from his 18 years as AOPA's president, Phil Boyer has taken a next step common to many executives who complete a successful career while still healthy and full of energy -- he has joined the board of an industry stalwart. Aspen Avionics announced on Tuesday that Boyer will be the first outside member of its board of directors, joining six investors and company executives. The board will help to guide the company through its next stages of growth. "Nearly two decades spent listening to the concerns and issues of the nation's pilots, aircraft owners, manufacturers and regulators has given Phil a deep understanding of the GA industry's opportunities, as well as its challenges," John Uczekaj, president and CEO of Aspen Avionics, said in a news release. "Phil's extensive expertise and relationships will be invaluable in helping chart Aspen's strategic course in the years ahead, and in ensuring that our products meet the needs of pilots around the world." Aspen Avionics sells the Evolution Flight Display System, a glass cockpit for certified GA aircraft. The opportunity to continue bringing transformational technologies to all segments of the GA industry is part of what attracted Boyer to join the board, according to the company.

"Aspen enjoys an active board of directors, with everyone contributing to the company's success," said Uczekaj. "Phil Boyer will be an outstanding addition to our team." Boyer retired from AOPA on Dec. 31. Shortly before leaving office, Boyer sat down with AVweb Editorial Director Paul Bertorelli for a one-on-one video interview about his 18-year legacy. Click here (and here and here) for parts one through three.

 
Corporate Aviation Management Certificate with Embry-Riddle and the NBAA
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University offers the most comprehensive Corporate Aviation Management Certificate program approved by the NBAA Professional Development Program (PDP) for the Certified Aviation Manager (CAM). For details, visit Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's web site at ERAU.edu/camc.
 
JAARS Receives First Charity Kodiak back to top 
 

Quest Delivers First Kodiak Aircraft For Mission Work

When Quest Aircraft launched its Kodiak design back in 2005, the company said it was motivated by a need to support missionary activities in remote places around the world. This week, that goal has been fulfilled with the delivery of Kodiak serial number 008 to JAARS Inc., the first mission or humanitarian customer to take delivery of one of the 10-place turboprops. JAARS was originally formed in Peru in 1948, where it was known as the Jungle Aviation And Radio Service, and provides support to Wycliffe Bible Translators, a group that aims to translate the Bible into thousands of languages. "We looked into the future of aviation for a safe, effective solution to our passengers' unique transportation requirements," said David Reeves, president of JAARS, who took delivery of the airplane in Sandpoint, Idaho, on Monday. "The Kodiak is well-poised to meet the challenging needs of the translation community in remote operations." The airplane burns Jet A, which is much easier to find in many remote locations than the avgas that powers much of JAARS' current fleet of aging piston airplanes. Kodiak No. 008 will spend the next several months in the U.S. for pilot training and then will be exhibited at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., this summer before heading for its new base of operations in Papua New Guinea.

Wycliffe translators are working on 190 different language projects in PNG, a small tropical country just north of Australia, and the Kodiak will provide transportation in the country's rugged mountains and remote coastal areas.

 
Diamond Aircraft Raffle — Win a Diamond Star DA40 XLS!
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.
 
Lawyer Challenges TSA's Controversial Security Plan back to top 
 

LASP Unconstitutional, Says Lawyer

An Atlanta lawyer and pilot claims the Transportation Security Administration's Large Aircraft Security Program (LASP) is unconstitutional and he's started a campaign to convince Congress of that. Alan Armstrong says the stated goal of the program is to prevent aircraft from being used to carry biological, nuclear or other weapons in attacks against the U.S. But in a string of logic that could give some sectors of the aviation industry fits if he's right, Armstrong claims the 12,500-lb. lower limit on aircraft covered by LASP is "arbitrary and capricious" because just about any aircraft can carry such weapons. Therefore, he claims, the rule violates the Fifth Amendment which requires that laws be "substantive." He's asking his own elected representatives to help strike down the law and suggesting he'll take it to court if they don't.

Armstrong is calling for the rule to scrapped entirely. He doesn't address what might happen if the TSA simply changes the rule to cover all aircraft, something that might, quite legally, make matters worse. Indeed, Armstrong reported that at the second of four public hearings into the rule in Atlanta last week, there was a visible demonstration of the flying public's disdain for the rule. "One speaker ... called for everyone in the room who favored the termination and abandonment of the [rule] to stand," he said. "With the exception of a couple of young ladies, whom I suspect were TSA employees, everyone in the room not only stood but applauded."

 
Put AeroExpo Europe - Prague and AeroExpo Europe - London on Your Show Schedule
AeroExpo Europe - Prague (May 22-24, 2009) will showcase everything from ultralights to helicopters to business aircraft in the heart of Europe, marketing to the European and emerging Eastern European and Russian markets. AeroExpo Europe - London (June 12-14, 2009) includes aircraft from light aircraft, pistons, and turboprops through to VLJs (very light jets) and all parts and services for these general aviation aircraft. Go online for exhibitor and attendee details.
 
AVweb Audio — Are You Listening? back to top 
 

Training a Bright Spot at Diamond

File Size 3.9 MB / Running Time 4:16

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

Diamond Aircraft was the last of the major OEMs to announce layoffs to grapple with the tough economy. CEO Peter Maurer spoke with AVweb's Russ Niles about the market in general and the steady sales in the training sector.

Click here to listen. (3.9 MB, 4:16)

 
Get the Diamond Advantage with the Leaders in Flight Trainings
Diamond's DA20 and DA40 CS offer low operating costs, attractive insurance rates, simple maintenance and an industry-leading safety record. No matter what your mission or budget, there are no better options to update your fleet and customize your training flight line. Diamond's DA20 is now available with optional Aspen Avionics Evolution primary flight display, making it the industry's most affordable certified glass cockpit aircraft. For complete details, go online.
 
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.

 
Safety Equipment — Add Aviation Safety to Your MEL
A Minimum Equipment List is not complete without a subscription to Aviation Safety. Discover this informative, instructive monthly publication that sharpens your air readiness. Order your subscription online for savings from the regular rate.
 
Accolades back to top 
 

Kelly Aviation Gets EASA Certification

Kelly Aviation Center, an affiliate of Lockheed Martin, has received EASA certification for maintenance repair and overhaul of the CF6-50 engine. The certification expands the company's market to European-owned DC-10s, A300s and Boeing 747s.


ExecuJet Expands in Mexico

ExecuJet is broadening Mexico-based fleet available for clients in Latin America and the Caribbean to include Global Express and Falcon 900B aircraft. They augment the three PC-12s already dispatched to that area.


 
Who's Where back to top 
 

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.

 
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:

Publisher
Timothy Cole

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Editor-in-Chief
Russ Niles

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Features Editor
Kevin Lane-Cummings

Webmaster
Scott Simmons

Contributors
Jeff van West

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