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Volume 7, Number 14
April 8, 2009
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Top News: Shopping Around in the Shifting Economyback to top 
Sponsor Announcement

Market analysts say Textron, the parent company of Cessna and Bell Helicopter, is prime for a takeover bid, and speculation grew this week that a move is imminent, perhaps by Lockheed Martin or Raytheon. Sikorsky officials have also expressed interest in acquiring Bell, according to Reuters. None of the companies would comment on the rumors, but Textron's stocks rose 11 percent by Tuesday, trading at 12 times the usual level. Aviation analyst Richard Aboulafia told the Wichita Eagle that both Cessna and Bell are solid companies that would be attractive to buyers. Other analysts, however, noted that some of Textron's other divisions, such as a golf-cart company, would be less appealing. Officials at Textron have said that divisions may be sold off one by one if necessary to raise cash. Textron share values dropped 87 percent over the last year, and last week more layoffs at Cessna were announced. More...

Aircraft Spruce Is a Proud Sponsor of the 35th Annual Sun 'n Fun Fly-In
Come join Aircraft Spruce in Lakeland, Florida at Sun 'n Fun (Hangar B, Booths 4-9) April 21-26, 2009. Sun 'n Fun brings together those from all around the world and from all segments of the aviation community. Take advantage of some of your favorite products on sale, complimentary ground shipping (does not apply to hazardous or oversize products), and Aircraft Spruce's helpful staff to answer questions. Call Aircraft Spruce at 1 (877) 4-SPRUCE or visit
Safety & Securityback to top 

The flight school whose Cessna 172 was stolen for a cross-border flight Monday says security was not compromised in the incident because the alleged thief was a student who had normal access to the aircraft. Adam Leon, a 31-year-old Turkish immigrant who became a Canadian last year, was arrested near Ellsinore, Mo. Monday evening after landing on a highway. In a statement, Confederation College, of Thunder Bay, Ontario, said that it was the first incident of its kind in the flight school's 35-year history. But in an interview with the Canadian Press, Pat Lang, the college's president said a thorough review of security would be undertaken. Under the existing policy, flight students have access to the ramp and hangar. "When the planes are beside the hangar, the keys are kept in the aircraft," she said. More...

The mainstream media is starting to take note of the impact of TSA rules that general aviation pilots and operators have been unhappy about, and if a story in this week's Denver Post is any indication, GA may get a sympathetic hearing. The costs and logistics of TSA regulations on Colorado's airports are significant, Rex Tippetts, director of aviation at Grand Junction's Walker Field, told the Post. New TSA rules will require him to provide 2,000 additional security checks and badges. "It's out of control," he said. "We have a large maintenance operation here with 400 people. We have a large interagency fire-fighting operation here, with maintenance facilities. It's an unfunded mandate we have to comply with. We had to hire people just to comply with it." James Elwood, director of Sardy Field in Aspen, said the regulations will be "time-consuming and difficult to accomplish." Details of the security procedures have been released only to airport managers. The Post reporter said the TSA refused to release a copy of the directive, but a spokeswoman wrote that all personnel with access to secure areas, including private pilots, must undergo a Security Threat Assessment, which includes matching their names against a terrorist database, a criminal background check, and a review of immigration status. Pilots must attain a security badge from each of the 13 commercial airports in the state, and passengers and guests who don't have badges must be escorted. More...

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Maintenance Mattersback to top 

Sikorsky is designing a fix for the military version of its S-92 series to save a $5 billion contract with the Canadian Forces. The Toronto Globe and Mail reported earlier this week that the S-92 was certified without the normal 30-minute "run dry" capability in case of oil loss in the transmission. An S-92 operated by Cougar Helicopters crashed off Newfoundland two weeks ago 12 minutes after the pilot reported a loss of oil pressure in the transmission. The crash killed 17 of 18 people aboard. The oil pressure loss was caused by a broken stud and an emergency AD was issued for replacement of the studs. But the Globe and Mail obtained documents that showed the S-92 was certified by the Joint Aviation Authority in Europe with an exemption for the 30-minute run-dry capability because Sikorsky convinced the JAA that the chance of gearbox oil loss was "extremely remote." The Canadian Forces has told Sikorsky it will cancel its order for 28 of the military versions of the helicopter (MH-92) unless it complies with the 30-minute run-dry rule. Sikorsky told the Globe a fix is in the works for the military version of the helicopter but didn't specify if civilian choppers would be modified. More...

David Green, a spokesman for the Eclipse Owners Group, said on Tuesday the group has entered into a preliminary agreement with Hawker Beechcraft Corp. under which Hawker would provide maintenance upgrades and other aircraft services to Eclipse 500 owners. "The parties will now begin negotiations for a definitive binding agreement," according to a news release from the owners group. "This relationship is sure to create tremendous confidence in Eclipse owners that their planes will be flying for many years to come," said Green. The agreement depends on EOG's success in acquiring the assets of Eclipse Aviation Corp., including the type certificate for the jet. A bankruptcy auction is expected to occur soon, and EOG will have to compete with several other entities for those assets. "Hawker Beechcraft is pleased to offer Eclipse 500 owners the highest quality service and support in general aviation," said Bill Brown, president of global customer service and support for Hawker Beechcraft. "We look forward to this new relationship and keeping the Eclipse 500s in the air." More...

JA Air Center, Your Source for the New Garmin GPSMap 696
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WiFi in the Skyback to top 

Business travelers on some long-haul international flights have noticed that wireless Internet service is becoming available for the cabin, although it's not widely in use. But the market is getting increasingly competitive with more companies pitching products for both airline and business aircraft use. The latest is AirCell, which has been plying the airborne cell phone market for more than a decade. At last week's AEA show in Dallas, AirCell announced a new wireless internet system based on its established ground-based cell system. 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.
New Zealand Airports Covered for Lunchback to top 

Common sense and a spirit of cooperation have resolved a peculiar impasse in New Zealand that would have resulted in the closure of towers at five airports for lunch, twice each day. Government officials, the air traffic control provider and employees have reached a deal whereby tower staff will eat lunch in a combination of scheduled meal breaks and traffic-dependent interludes. Late last week Air New Zealand said it would have to cancel 25 regional flights so tower staff at five small airports can comply with new labor rules. The rules, apparently strictly interpreted, would have required all lunch breaks to be scheduled. On the eve of the April 1 imposition of the rules, negotiators worked overtime to come up with schedules that complied with the law but kept the towers open and there were no disruptions. More...

Aircraft Financing Available
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New on AVwebback to top 

When you're trying to argue that it's ridiculous to think GA is a security risk, that last thing you need is a pair of F-16s chasing a stolen Skyhawk cross the border. In the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli explain why we've got to stop leaving unsecured airplanes on the ramp. More...

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
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

Just one more minute of your time! In this final "Product Minute" from the AEA Convention, AirCell's Andy Geist talks about in-flight wireless access, a hot topic in the age of Blackberrys and smartphones. More...

Video Marketplace Spotlight

Garmin GPSMap 696: Charts & Plates Demo
AVweb's Liz Swaine demos the Garmin GPSMap 696's incredible ability to manage charts and approach plates. Stuff those paper charts back in the folder and watch as we demonstrate the 696's capabilities as an electronic flight bag.

Click here to watch the video (and discover other great products) at AVweb's Video Marketplace.

Professional Pursuit A&P's Flash Cards
400 popular-style flash cards with 1,600 questions and answers from the FAA exams for the general, airframe, powerplant, and avionics technician. See how much you remember. Better yet, see how much they remember! Spread them around the break room (or the board room). It's great fun, and they keep your crew and students busy during their free time. Click here for more information.
Who's Whereback to top 

Tony Medniuk
Tony Medniuk is retiring as Group CEO of Global Aerospace as of June 30. Nick Brown, currently Chief Underwriting Officer, will become CEO, subject to the normal regulatory approvals. More...

Rob Waterhouse is Satcom Direct's new Director of Sales. He was formerly at ARINC, where he sold satellite technologies and services.

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

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 What have you heard? More...

No Cute Cartoons, No Fancy Covers, IFR Magazine Brings You the Facts
IFR magazine has insightful facts to polish your proficiency, updates on changing regs, and articles that help keep your decision-making skills sharp in the demanding IFR environment. Order your subscription online for savings from the regular rate.
Names Behind the Newsback to top 


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.

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.



Video Marketplace Spotlight

Garmin GPSMap 696: Charts & Plates Demo
AVweb's Liz Swaine demos the Garmin GPSMap 696's incredible ability to manage charts and approach plates. Stuff those paper charts back in the folder and watch as we demonstrate the 696's capabilities as an electronic flight bag.

Click here to watch the video (and discover other great products) at AVweb's Video Marketplace.