AVwebBiz Complete Issue: Volume 7, Number 7

February 18, 2009

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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"No Plane, No Gain" Say Biz, Manufacturer Groups back to top 
Sponsor Announcement

GAMA, NBAA Launch No Plane, No Gain

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association and the National Business Aviation Association have reconfigured a familiar advocacy program to deal with the negative perception of business aviation in the minds of some "policy makers and opinion leaders." In a news release, GAMA President Pete Bunce said the reprise of the No Plane No Gain campaign is an effort to set the record straight on business aviation. "The contributions of business aviation to our nation's employment, commerce, competitiveness and health are profound but not always well understood," said Bunce. "We are launching this new multi-media educational campaign to get the word out that business aviation is working for America." In a podcast interview, NBAA President Ed Bolen told AVweb that although the new campaign shares the name of a 1990s promotion, the focus is different and aimed at having business aviation considered "for what it is."

Bolen said the principal benefits of business aviation, including the often-overlooked humanitarian side, will be portrayed for the target audience through media advertising, studies and surveys, and online webinars. YouTube videos and podcasts will also be presented. GAMA and NBAA have set aside funds to pay for the program, which was launched at GAMA's annual review and outlook meeting in Washington on Tuesday.

GAMA and NBAA Team Up to Fight Bad Perceptions with No Plane No Gain Program

File Size 9.2 MB / Running Time 5:41

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

The General Aviation Manufacturers' Association (GAMA) and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) joined forces Tuesday to fight the negative perception of business aviation among some leaders. AVweb's Russ Niles spoke with NBAA President Ed Bolen about the new No Plane No Gain program.

Related Content:
More on No Plane No Gain

Click here to listen. (9.2 MB, 5:41)

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Eye on the Economy back to top 

GAMA: 2008 Piston Deliveries Down 20 Percent

No surprise here: the 2008 year-end numbers, released on Tuesday by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, show that worldwide shipments of general aviation airplanes decreased for the first time in five years. The decline was wholly driven by the 20.8 percent drop in piston deliveries, down to 2,119 from 2,675 the year before. Turboprop deliveries grew 16.6 percent compared to 2007, and business jets were up by 15.6 percent. Overall, industry billings grew by 13.4 percent, to $24.8 billion. The positive numbers reflect the fulfillment of orders placed for turboprops and business jets during the strong economic years of 2006 and 2007, according to GAMA. All of the main piston manufacturers saw declines except for Piper, where deliveries increased from 221 in 2007 to 268 in 2008, driven by the popularity of the Matrix six-seat piston single. GAMA Chairman Mark Van Tine, president and CEO of Jeppesen, said despite current challenges, the industry is focused on the future. "The world's economy depends upon a robust air transportation system and general aviation is absolutely a vital component of that global system. Our industry's continued investment in research and development of new products is unprecedented," he said. "We have learned from history that investing smartly in our future and that of our customers is the best way to build our way out of tough economic times."

For more details, and a PDF of the complete report, go to the GAMA Web site.

Sirius XM Averts Bankruptcy

A $530 million investment by cable services provider Liberty Media Corp. has saved Sirius XM from possible bankruptcy and that means the satellite weather service provided through most of the popular avionics suites should be in no danger of lapsing. Sirius XM announced last week that it had $175 million in debt coming due and no money to pay it. It warned that if it didn't get a lifeline of some kind, it would have to seek bankruptcy protection, although analysts didn't believe that service would be disrupted even if that had happened. The lifeline came at a price, of course, and Liberty Media now has a major stake in Sirius XM.

Liberty's investment equates to about 10 percent of the asset value of the company but it's getting 12.5 million preferred shares that can be converted into 40 percent of Sirius's common shares. Liberty also gets two seats on the board of directors.

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Safety First (Part I) back to top 

'Ground Turboprops': Former NTSB Chair

Former NTSB Chairman Jim Hall says high-wing twin turboprop airliners similar to the Bombardier Q400 should be grounded until the NTSB determines whether icing caused the crash of Continental Flight 3407 in Buffalo last Thursday. However, undoubtedly to the relief of a major subset of the aviation industry, there doesn't seem to be much chance of that happening. "We don't have any data right now that would lead us to ground this aircraft," FAA spokesperson Laura Brown told The Toronto Star. "The FAA and the whole aviation industry has worked aggressively over the past 15 years to reduce accidents related to icing and those accidents have dropped significantly as a result of that work. The aircraft involved in the crash has a sophisticated ice detection and protection system that benefited from years of research and analysis about how aircraft operate and perform in icy conditions," Brown said.

It could be two years before the NTSB's final report on the crash is released and for now, at least, the board isn't saying that ice brought the Bombardier Q400 down, killing all 49 people aboard and one in the house that it hit. It seems Hall isn't a fan of the de-icing boots that provide protection for most turboprops, preferring the bleed air systems that heat the ice-prone surfaces of jets. "I think the prudent thing to do ... is ground the aircraft," until the board investigation is finished, he told the Star. He noted an ATR-72, which shares the same basic configuration of the Bombardier Dash 8 series, of which the Q400 is the latest variant, was brought down by ice in 2000. He said it's not the aircraft or the manufacturers he's targeting, but the certification process. "My concern is with the failure in the certification process in the United States in light of accidents involving aircrafts similarly designed, which was the ATR-72."

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AVweb Photo Galleries back to top 

Flight 1549 Plane's Last Trip

Click for more photos

Although the actions of the crew grabbed most of the attention in the aftermath of the ditching of Flight 1549 in New York last month, the aircraft itself proved itself to be a real traffic stopper. After being hoisted from the water and stripped of its flight surfaces, the fuselage of the Airbus A320 had to be moved using special trucks and trailers. The streets of East Rutherford, N.J., proved especially challenging.

Click here to view photos.

Aftermath of C-17 Gear-Up Landing at Bagram Air Field

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According to the Department of Defense's Pentagon Channel military information service, it took more than two days to remove a damaged C-17 from the runway at Bagram Air Field outside of Kabul, Afghanistan. The DOD has video of the recovery, and we have photos of the crippled aircraft.

Click here to view photos.

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Safety First (Part II) back to top 

Symposium Focuses On Safety

The Air Charter Safety Foundation is organizing a symposium March 3-4 at the NTSB Training Center in Ashburn, Va. that will cover some timely topics for air charter and fractional operators. The Air Charter Safety Symposium will focus on safety and security concerns faced by the sector and give operators a chance to rub elbows with their peers. The event covers two full days and includes expert speakers and case analyses on safety issues of interest to charters and fractionals.

On the first day, the group will be taken through the implementation of an FAA-approved Aviation Safety Action Program by one company. There will also be a discussion led by members of the NTSB on the importance of safety management systems and the importance of convincing corporate management of their value. On the second day, the discussion gets narrowed to the ACSF's Top Ten Safety Action Items that the organization believes needs to be addressed immediately "to counter negative trends and improve the safety of operations."

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Anticipating Air Show Season 2009 back to top 

Aircraft Expos Head For Southeast U.S.

Anyone in the southeastern U.S. who is interested in buying a GA airplane will have a chance to check out a variety of models in a series of Airport Expos that launches in Florida next week. Among the aircraft manufacturers scheduled to participate are Cessna, Daher-Socata, Diamond, Hawker Beechcraft, Husky, Liberty, Mooney, Piper, and Remos. "These Expo events give serious aircraft shoppers a chance to compare all the latest models at an airport close to where they live," said Fred Ahles, president of Premier Aircraft Sales, an organizer of the event. "The Southeast and Texas Aircraft Expo events were extremely well attended last year and we anticipate the same level of interest this year in Florida."

The shows will make eight stops in Florida, starting Feb. 26, from Daytona to Miami; in March the shows visit Atlanta and Savannah in Georgia, and Knoxville, Tenn. In Texas, six stops are scheduled, starting in March. Along with checking out the airplanes, visitors will find experts in aircraft taxes, insurance and training ready to offer their services, and at some of the sites, seminars will be offered.

Heli-Expo Opens Sunday In Anaheim

The biggest annual gathering for the rotary crowd, Heli-Expo, opens this Sunday in Anaheim, Calif., with a full slate of product announcements, safety and management seminars, forums and workshops, an awards banquet, a job fair, and lots more. The state of the economy is sure to be a major topic of discussion, though the helicopter segment has so far felt less pain than many other aviation businesses. Production appears to be relatively stable and mass layoffs have not occurred, according to FlightGlobal. The main attraction at Anaheim is the chance to check out all the newest and best products and services in one place, with technical briefings from the exhibitors. This year's show has attracted a record 583 exhibitors, including 88 showing for the first time, and 73 helicopters are scheduled to be on the show floor.

At last check, registrations were running close to the numbers for last year's show, which set a record with over 17,000 attendees and exhibitors. Online registration is still open. The Expo, held at the Anaheim Convention Center, runs Sunday through Tuesday. The show is organized by Helicopter Association International, the professional trade association for the international helicopter industry.

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New on AVweb back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: Buffalo Flight 3407 Crash — FAA Better Hope It's Not Icing

For years, the NTSB has complained that the FAA hasn't done enough to improve flight-in-icing requirements in the airline industry. If the Buffalo crash is icing-related, AVweb Editorial Director Paul Bertorelli thinks there will be hell to pay.

Read more in the latest installment of the AVweb Insider blog.

Exclusive Video: JetLev-Flyer Water-Powered Jet Pack

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

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. Video Editor Glenn Pew has the skinny.

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Exclusive Video: Are LED Lights Bright Enough?

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

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.

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Who's Where back to top 

Thomas Promoted at Sacramento

Sacramento County Airport recently promoted finance specialist Amanda Thomas to Deputy Director of Finance. She was previously business services manager for the county airport system.

Beutel Joins TrueNorth

Jeff Buetel

Jeff Beutel is the new Midwest sales manager for TrueNorth Avionics, representing the company's line of airborne telecom products and soon-to-be-released Global Broadband system. Beutel was formerly at Electronic Cable Specialists.

Reeves Joins Barr Air Patrol

Gregory Reeves

Gregory Reeves is the new safety manager and assistant director of operations at Barr Air Patrol LLC's Mesquite, Tex. operation. Reeves was interning at AOPA's Air Safety Foundation, after graduating from Western Michigan University, before joining Barr.

Diemer Aerobatic Club Manager

Trish Diemer

Trish Diemer is the new manager of the International Aerobatic Club, a division of EAA. Diemer has been program manager of the National Association of Flight Instructors since 2004.

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Accolades back to top 

ATP Adds Five Schools

ATP has or is opening five new flight training centers and is also lowering prices up to 20 percent to reflect lower prices for fuel, facilities and supplies. "We are taking full advantage of the current economic climate to reduce expenses across the board," said Jim Koziarski, VP of Flight Operations.

L.J. Aviation Expands

L.J. Aviation has completed a $2 million expansion at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Latrobe, Pa,. and is adding three new aircraft to its fleet. The expansion includes a 30,000 sq. ft. hangar.

AMETEK Buys High Standard Aviation

AMETEK Inc. has purchased High Standard Aviation, an electrical, hydraulic and pneumatic repair company in Miami. The acquisition broadens AMETEK's maintenance, repair and overhaul capability.

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.

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.

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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Comments or questions about the news should be sent here.

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