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Volume 7, Number 6
February 11, 2009
 
Happy Helicoptering! Get $100 Off a Zulu for Helicopters
Lightspeed has lowered their price from $900 to $850, plus Lightspeed will give you a $50 mail-in rebate. Experience unmatched performance, lightweight comfort, crystal-clear audio, unsurpassed quiet, and built-in Bluetooth. Purchase from an authorized Lightspeed dealer by February 28, 2009. Click here to see why Zulu is Aviation Consumer's Headset of the Year.

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Cessna Stands Firm Amid Economic Uncertaintyback to top 
 
Sponsor Announcement

CESSNA FIGHTS PUBLIC PERCEPTION OF BIZJETS
In an aggressive new advertising campaign, Cessna is urging the captains of industry to stay the course and keep their business jets (or buy new ones) in the face of public backlash. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Cessna, which has lost a huge amount of business in the last two months, in part to public perception of business aircraft as perks, is committing half its ad budget to the campaign. The ads recommend the business community show similar grit. "Timidity didn't get you this far. Why put it in your business plan now?" the ads read and suggest that rather than abandon corporate aviation that companies should do it more efficiently. "We think it's time the other side of the story be told, and that support be given to those businesses with the good judgment and courage to use business aviation to not only help their businesses survive the current financial crisis, but more quickly forge a path toward an economic upturn," CEO Jack Pelton told WSJ. More...

CESSNA FOR SALE?
The FortWorth Star-Telegram is reporting that Textron CEO Lewis Campbell told an investment conference on Tuesday that the corporation may have to sell either Cessna or Bell Helicopter to cover losses by its financial arm. Campbell told a Barclays Capital conference in Miami Beach that the company needs to raise $1 billion in the first of this year and that means one of the aviation units could be put on the block. Which will go will likely depend on which has the most perceived value. Both companies are cutting back in the face of decreased demand. More...

 
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Not Everyone Is Taking Cessna's Adviceback to top 
 

NORTEL DUMPS CHALLENGERS
Nortel Networks has become the latest high-profile company to dump its corporate aircraft and it left the aircraft lessor holding the bag for the lease cancellation costs. Nortel, once a powerhouse in the dotcom world, filed for bankruptcy protection last month and one of its cost-cutting moves was to cancel the leases on its two Challenger aircraft. Because it filed for bankruptcy under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act, it was able to simply hand the aircraft back without the normal lease-cutting penalties that would follow, company spokesman Mohammed Nakhooda told the Toronto Star. More...

 
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. Learn more and order.

Quotes reprinted with permission: Professional Pilot, 2007 Headset Preference Survey, 12/07; Aviation Consumer, 8/07.
 
Coping with the Recessionback to top 
 

PIPER CUTS ANOTHER 300 JOBS
Citing a "deepening global recession," Piper Aircraft, based in Vero Beach, Fla., abruptly laid off another 300 workers on Tuesday. "People aren't buying planes," Piper spokesman Mark Miller said in a statement. "Similar to many other businesses, general aviation has been experiencing one of the worst downturns in its history, and sales of airplanes have sharply deteriorated over the past few months. These unforeseeable business circumstances are virtually unprecedented and have caused the company to take agonizing and painful actions." The workers were laid off effective immediately, and several of them spoke with local reporters as they left the plant. "I am still in shock," Robert Krauss, who worked for Piper for three years, told TCPalm. "I am worried about my house, my kids, my wife. ... I don't know what we're going to do." Miller said the company regrets the pain caused by the layoffs, and added that Piper will do all it can to rehire impacted employees when the economy improves. But meanwhile, the 650-plus workers who remain can expect a one-week furlough in April and another one in July, without pay, to prevent the buildup of unnecessary inventory. These shutdowns will affect everyone in the company, including management, Miller said. "If market conditions continue to deteriorate, it may be necessary for the company to take additional actions," he added. Piper will do "everything possible" to preserve its remaining jobs and ensure the company remains viable, Miller said.

Related Content:
Podcast interview with Mark Miller

More...

SIRIUS XM PREPARING FOR BANKRUPTCY: REPORT
The future of the cockpit weather service attached to most of the popular glass panels is in question with news that Sirius XM may be preparing a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. The New York Times is reporting that the debt-ridden company has $175 million in debt coming due next week "that is unlikely to be able to pay" and quotes unnamed sources as saying bankruptcy experts have been engaged to prepare a Chapter 11 filing. But the newspaper also says the bankruptcy talk may be part of a "negotiating dance" with a major creditor, EchoStar, to forestall a takeover. More...

BRANSON: BOEING, BIKINIS, BITCHING -- AND BOOMING
While everyone else in the aviation world seems to be in a dark and deepening slump, none of that is rubbing off on Virgin CEO Sir Richard Branson. The irrepressible Brit brought his retinue of Virgin execs to Seattle the other day clad in T-shirts and shorts, while female cabin attendants sported bikinis, despite the damp and chilly weather. He was there to take delivery of a 777-300ER that is the launch vehicle for his newest airline, V Australia. But he made it clear -- painfully clear, no doubt, to Boeing executives -- that he wasn't happy about the delivery delay. He said the new airline was ready to go last Christmas, but had to wait for airplanes, due to the strike at Boeing. "The strike hurt hundreds of thousands of our passengers," Branson told reporters. "It messed up Virgin Atlantic, it messed up Virgin Blue in Australia, it ruined people's Christmas holidays. It was absolutely and utterly ghastly." He certainly didn't brighten Boeing's day when he added: "If union leaders and management can't get their act together to avoid strikes, we're not going to come back here again. We're already thinking, 'Would we ever risk putting another order with Boeing?' It's that serious." Boeing spokesman Jim Proulx later told reporters, "We never want to disappoint our customers to such an extent. We are committed to doing everything we can in the future to satisfy our customers in the manner they deserve." As for Virgin, it seems unaffected by the current worldwide slump, and while other companies are cutting staff right and left, Branson is looking to hire. "We have just launched our new group-wide careers site," he announces in his latest blog post. "We have roles in offices, on shop floors, in call centres, gyms, on trains and planes, in resorts and across different geographies. From customer service to finance to product development to sales ... and much more." More...

 
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News Briefsback to top 
 

HACKER BREACHES FAA SECURITY
The finger-pointing has begun in the wake of news on Monday that hackers were able to get into the personnel files of 45,000 FAA employees. There was no breach of the computer systems that run the air traffic control system or any other critical systems but the security breakdown nevertheless raised some concerns. A total of 48 files were opened by the hacker and two of them contained the personal information of employees who were on the payroll as of February 2006. The data was copied from the files. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) says it warned the FAA this might happen and is not happy about being right. More...

DEADSTICK AT NAPLES
From the unsung hero department comes an NTSB report of another airliner that suddenly became a glider and the reason we never heard about it at the time was because of the pilot's apparently flawless forced landing at Naples Airport in Florida. The Cape Air Cessna 402 (operating as a Continental Connection flight) was en route from Key West to Fort Meyers when the engines quit just north of Naples at about 6:45 p.m. on July 22, exactly a week after Capt. Chesley Sullenberger successfully ditched an A320 in the Hudson River. The unidentified Cape Air pilot spotted the runway lights at Naples and headed for Runway 14, with props feathered. When he knew he had the runway made, he used the blowdown bottle to drop the gear, landed and even managed to coast onto a taxiway, undoubtedly to the delight of his six passengers. More...

 
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New on AVwebback to top 
 

AVWEB INSIDER BLOG: PELTON GETS TO THE POINT
While the world waits for a miracle from the trillions of dollars government is pouring into economic stimulus, Cessna's Jack Pelton is urging the industry to get busy and get flying. AVweb Editor-in-Chief Russ Niles thinks that's a good, and he explains why in the latest edition of our AVweb Insider blog. More...

LAYOFFS ARE SIMPLE ECONOMICS
Piper laid off a third of its work force on Tuesday and reduced its forecast production for the year to just 110 aircraft. AVweb's Russ Niles spoke with Piper's Chief Corporate Spokesman Mark Miller about the harsh economic realities facing planemakers. More...

 
Rediscover Jet City!
Make King County International Airport/Boeing Field your flight destination! Conveniently located just 5 miles from downtown Seattle, KBFI is positioned in the center of the growing economy of the Puget Sound region, serving as a hub for business travel, private jets, and general aviation travel. Partner with aviation experts when you fly to Seattle. Make your destination King County International Airport/Boeing Field! For more information, visit online.
 
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 
 

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: ARE LED LIGHTS BRIGHT ENOUGH?
Judge for yourself by viewing AVweb's latest product report video. Editorial director Paul Bertorelli demonstrates traditional incandescent bulbs, HIDs, and new-age LEDs. The results are revealing. (Click through to watch.) More...

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: JETLEV-FLYER WATER-POWERED JET PACK
Fly on water thrust — this new jet pack idea may not be the best way to get to work, but it sure does look like a good time. The German company MS Watersports GmbH is marketing the JetLev-Flyer and selling it (lessons included) for about $128,000 — or just about what a brand-new two-seat 120-mph light sport aircraft costs. (Click through to watch.) More...

 
Sun 'n Fun — It's Like Spring Break for Pilots
Scheduled for April 21-26 in Lakeland, Florida. Featuring the U.S. Army Parachute Team "Golden Knights." This annual event includes more than 4,500 airplanes, 500 commercial exhibitors, over 400 educational forums, seminars, and hands-on workshops for virtually every aviation interest. Plus a spectacular daily air show. All included in your ticket price. Special online-only discounts. Get your tickets online now at Sun-N-Fun.org.
 
Who's Whereback to top 
 

WELCH TO SIERRA INDUSTRIES
David Welch
David Welch has joined Sierra Industries in sales and marketing. Welch has 21 years of experience in the field. More...

LYONS NEW AMSAFE CEO
Terence Lyons has succeeded Kenneth Beckemeyer as CEO of AmSafe Global Holdings. Lyons was the Chief Financial officer of the company since 2004. More...

RUDINGER HAS NEW ROLE AT AOPA
Melissa Rudinger
Melissa Rudinger has been named VP and Assistant to AOPA President Craig Fuller and will oversee operation of the president's office. She was formerly VP of Regulatory Affairs. More...

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. More...

 
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Accoladesback to top 
 

PLANESENSE EXPANDS IN BAHAMAS
PlaneSense has expanded coverage in the Bahamas to include seven new airports, bringing to 19 the number accessible without repositioning fees. The company has also expanded its primary operating area westward to include parts of Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. More...

PIEDMONT AIRCRAFT COMPANY FORMED
A unit of Landmark Aviation Services has emerged under new ownership. Piedmont Aircraft Company will sell pre-owned Hawker and Beechcraft from offices in Winston-Salem, N.C. and Leesburg, Va. More...

JETCORE SPRINGS FROM FIRSTFLIGHT
Richard Hodkinson, the former West Coast division president of FirstFlight, has purchased those operations and will operate them under the name JetCore. More...

 
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.
 
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. What have you heard? More...

 
Names Behind the Newsback 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

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.

Aviate. Navigate. Communicate.

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