AVwebBiz Complete Issue: Volume 7, Number 3

January 21, 2009

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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Top News: ETIRC Gets Green Light on Eclipse Buy back to top 
Sponsor Announcement

Eclipse Sale Approved

A Delaware bankruptcy judge has approved the sale of the assets of Eclipse Aviation to EclipseJet Aviation International, a subsidiary of ETIRC Aviation, which is owned by current Eclipse CEO Roel Pieper and is the largest single investor in Eclipse. Judge Mary Walrath, of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, made her decision Tuesday after hearing two days of testimony, much of it in opposition to the sale. Pieper's offer is $28 million in cash, plus $160 million in shares and 15-percent equity in the company for secured shareholders. When it filed for Chapter 11 protection on Nov. 25, it was estimated that Eclipse owed more than $1 billion. Now that the ownership question has been settled, perhaps an even larger question looms, particularly for the people and politicians of Albuquerque.

Although Eclipse has said that it intends keep its facilities in Albuquerque, built and serviced with considerable public incentive money, fears remain that the company will abandon New Mexico in favor of Russia and a plant that has already been approved there. The reorganization of the company effectively frees Eclipse from any obligations made under those incentives. EclipseJet has not yet commented on the court decision.

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Latest Type Group Focuses on Cessna Citation back to top 

Citation Owner-Pilots Organize

The latest type group to form is perhaps a sign of the times in business aviation. Citation Jet Pilots was formed last November for owner-pilots of Cessna Citation jets. Membership is climbing (CJ3 owner and AOPA President Craig Fuller just joined) and the organization is planning its first gathering at the Light Business Airplane Conference in San Diego March 13-14. The group has organized formally and has an executive. Founding President John Hayes said the introduction of entry-level jets like the Citation Mustang has increased interest in owner-pilot jets and the group is a response to that. "Our goal will be to make Cessna Jet Pilots a world class organization where Citation owner-pilots can share information with other Citation owner-pilots to improve safety and the utility of our aircraft," he said.

Any Citation owner pilot is eligible for full membership and the group is inviting Cessna representatives, training organizations, instructors and suppliers to interact with the organization online and at meetings. NBAA President Ed Bolen has thrown his support behind the group. "We are delighted to see the formation of the Citation Jet Pilots as we believe this is an important organization and we look forward to working with them."

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Most Recent Layoffs at Piper Hopefully the Last back to top 

Piper Confirms 150 Layoffs

Piper Aircraft is planning for a 40-percent decline in production for 2009 and should not have to lay off any more workers if the estimate is accurate. According to TCPalm, Piper CEO Jim Bass told the Indian River County Commission that 150 employees have been laid off and others have had their hours cut to balance production and demand. "There simply is no need to build planes and have them stacked up on a runway and sit around and rust," Bass told the meeting. "We hope it will be better but we also recognize in today's environment it's very hard to forecast with really good accuracy and it could get worse. If it stayed at the 40 percent level, we won't have to make any more changes to our workforce. No more layoffs."

The commission and the state offered Piper a total of $32 million in incentives to keep the planemaker in Vero Beach but they're based on the company's maintaining minimum employment levels. Late last year, it received a total of $10.7 million as a first installment after an audit showed that the minimum staffing was maintained. On Dec. 24, the company said it would be deferring the next installment and Bass said it's unclear when it might be in a position to claim it. "While we're not sure about how the economy will turn out, we may delay the second payment until the economy improves," Bass said. "We think that this is both good for Piper as well as Florida and the county because ultimately it extends Piper commitment."

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.
AOPA Shelves Fly-In, Plans Outreach Alternatives back to top 

AOPA Scrubs Frederick Fly-In

AOPA has scrubbed its annual fly-in at its headquarters in Frederick, Md., in favor of more outreach at flying events and some non-aviation events in the coming year. In a story on its Web site the organization says the shift is in keeping with its Let's Go Flying promotion encouraging people to discover flying. "The association will bring the excitement of GA flying to new venues throughout the year," the AOPA story reads.

Along with Sun 'n Fun and EAA AirVenture, which it has traditionally attended in force, AOPA is making first appearances at the Dayton Air Show and the Reno Air Races. It's also going to display at "boat shows, motorcycle events and more." Last year's event attracted about 500 aircraft and 5,000 people. AOPA says members don't need a fly-in to visit Frederick. The office is open weekdays and anyone is welcome to drop by.

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Attending Eur-Avia Cannes? AVweb Can Help back to top 

AVweb Partners With Cannes Show

AVweb has teamed up with one of Europe's most important general and business aviation shows. AVweb is partnering with Eur-Avia Cannes 2009 at the International Airport of Cannes Mandelieu from April 30 to May 2."Eur-Avia Cannes exhibition brings together the leading protagonists in general and business aviation in order to offer the possibility to a demanding clientele to discover the latest developments and industrial innovations," said show spokeswoman Samantha Chastang. AVweb readers are encouraged to preregister and use the invitation code AVWEB 09 to get free admission to the show.

The Cannes show is in its third year and has quickly established itself as a leading venue for GA and business manufacturers to exhibit. Organizers have doubled the show space for 2009 and are expecting even greater diversity of products and services. The exhibition covers the complete range of aviation products including GA aircraft, very light jets, business jets, ultralights, helicopters, ground equipment, avionics, financing, insurance and maintenance.

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.
The Rise of Chinese Engines? back to top 

China Planning Engine Development

China is planning to develop its own jet engines to power the commercial airliners and perhaps business jets it plans to build in coming years. Foreign investment in the $878 million venture is being capped at 30 percent, with state aircraft builder Aviation Industry Corp (AVIC) holding 40 percent and the remainder to be split between Shanghai Electric Group and an investment arm of the government. The announcement was made by the official Shanghai Securities News on Monday.

According to a Reuters report the first engine produced by the company will be aimed at the 150-seat airliner market, which is next on the aircraft company's development list. Engines for its developmental 70- to 100-seat ARJ21 regional jet, which is now in flight tests, are being supplied by General Electric. The Chinese report says AVIC is already working on larger airplanes, including a cargo version that can carry 220,000 pounds of freight. Design and testing of homegrown engines is expected to begin in 2010.

AERO Friedrichshafen — The Best Place for Your Business
AERO Friedrichshafen is the premier European trade show for the General Aviation industry. Starting in 2009, AERO will take place annually. Situated in Central Europe, within the border—triangle of Switzerland, Austria, and Germany, AERO is the ideal platform for the European General Aviation market. In addition, Messe Friedrichshafen is one of the most modern fairgrounds in Europe. If you want to do business in Europe, you have to be there! Go online for complete information.
New on AVweb back to top 

Exclusive Video: US Airways Flight 1549's Incredible Landing — First Impact Footage

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

AVweb video editor Glenn Pew has compiled footage and information on the January 15 crash of US Airways Flight 1549 that successfully ditched in the Hudson River minutes after departure from LaGuardia airport. Piloted by Chesley Sullenberger and Jeffrey Skiles, the aircraft landed safely in the water, where NY Waterways ferries and emergency personnel then rescued all 155 aboard.

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If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

AVweb Insider Blog: Flight 1549 — Airmanship to Live For

US Airways Flight 1549 was a textbook ditching with the best outcome imaginable. AVweb Editorial Director Paul Bertorelli thinks there's plenty to be learned from the crew, the circumstances, and the flight path.

Read more on the AVweb Insider blog.

Economic Challenges Call for Proven Advertising Results — AVweb Delivers Results
Since 1995, AVweb has been the most comprehensive no-cost aviation site online. Advertisers reach over 255,000 pilots, aircraft owners, and aviation professionals via a unique and effective combination of newsletter text messages and web site banner ads. Links send readers directly to advertisers' web sites for instant information. Click now for details on AVweb's cost-effective programs.
Accolades back to top 

AMSTAT Marks Milestone

AMSTAT, which provides corporate aviation fleet and operator information, has been part of the CAMP Systems family of companies for five years. It's expanded aggressively in that time and boasts a 96 percent customer satisfaction rating.

ERAU Buys Lycoming-Powered DA42s

Diamond Aircraft announced a major order for its Lycoming-powered DA42 twin from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. The university ordered 10 DA42 L360s and will have them in time for the next academic year.

KSU Adds Cessna 421B To Training Fleet

Kansas State University now has a Cessna 421B for students in its maintenance programs to work on. The pressurized piston twin remains on flight status. It was donated to the university by supporters and aviation enthusiasts Kenneth and Tamara Knight.

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 

Charlie Johnson Joins Viper Aircraft

Charlie Johnson

Former Cessna President Charlie Johnson is now Viper Aircraft's director of business development. The Washington State company is developing the two-place tandem ViperJet.

Hockman at PlaneSense

H. L. Skip Hockman has been named a sales specialist for the PlaneSense Fractional Ownership Program operated by Alpha Flying. Hockman will cover an expanded territory west of the Mississippi.

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:

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

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