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It may be time for many bizjet sales people to cash in those frequent flyer points, at least according to one analyst. The Gerson Lehrman Group says growth in business aircraft sales will come mostly
from the U.S. as companies recover from the current recession and get back to business as usual. The overseas market has been leading the charge in recent years. While "excess" is definitely out of
style at the moment, the firm says the fact is that growing companies can't do without business aviation. "The market for business jets is tied to GDP closely, with activity mirroring the economy
domestically," the firm said. " As the US economy recovers, so will the business aircraft market and fortunes of Cessna, Bombardier, Gulfstream, Dassault, Hawker Beechcraft, Embraer and others." The
big question is when and that's almost entirely dependent on the availability of financing.
Gerson Lehrman says the return to normal credit availability depends on the speed with which the banking system rids itself of "toxic assets" and money becomes available. "Currently, business jet
financing remains weak, albeit improving slightly, and the market appears to be bottoming, both in terms of values for used aircraft and firming demand," the company said. It predicts an uptick in
business by the end of this year and a return to the boom times of 2007 as early as 2011.
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In an unusual move on Tuesday, the NTSB issued an "urgent safety recommendation" asking the FAA to prohibit further flight of
the Zodiac CH-601XL, a light sport aircraft that has been involved in six in-flight structural breakups since 2006. The airplane is designed by Zenair. The board cited four accidents in the U.S. and
two in Europe in which a CH-601XL broke up in-flight, killing a total of 10 people. According to the NTSB, there is a problem with the airplane design that makes it susceptible to aerodynamic flutter
-- a phenomenon in which the control surfaces of the airplane can suddenly vibrate, and if unmitigated, can lead to catastrophic structural failure. The CH-601XL was certified as an LSA in 2005. The
NTSB wants the fleet grounded until the FAA can determine that the problem has been solved. "The NTSB does not often recommend that all airplanes of a particular type be prohibited from further
flight," said NTSB Acting Chairman Mark Rosenker. "In this case, we believe such action will save lives. Unless the safety issues with this particular Zodiac model are addressed, we are likely to see
more accidents in which pilots and passengers are killed in airplanes that they believed were safe to fly." The NTSB also found the stick force gradient was not uniform, and was lesser at high Gs,
which could make the airplane susceptible to over-control by the pilot, which could lead to over-stressing the design limits and lead to in-flight structural failure. The board also made several
requests of ASTM International, the entity that provides the design standards for light sport aircraft. NTSB says ASTM should add requirements to ensure the standards for LSAs reduce the potential for
aerodynamic flutter to occur, develop standards on stick-force characteristics that minimize the possibility inadvertent over-controlling by the pilot, and ensure standards for LSAs result in accurate
airspeed indications and appropriate documentation in new airplane pilot operating handbooks.
The FAA is already looking into concerns about all versions of the Zodiac aircraft, which were raised at an industry meeting back in February, FAA spokeswoman Laura J. Brown told AVweb on
Tuesday, but she added that the agency has no immediate plans to call for the airplanes to be grounded. "The manufacturer already has told owners to check the aileron control cable tensions," she
said. The FAA has formed a special review team with members from the FAA and the industry to investigate the problem. Brown added that the FAA has told the ASTM that it should conduct a review of its
LSA standards regarding aerodynamic flutter.
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ADS-B has been in operation over a vast area of northern Canada for more than two months and air traffic services provider Nav Canada and the technology provider Sensis say it's working as advertised.
While the 250,000 square nautical miles covered by the system is scantily populated and encompasses Hudson Bay, its high-altitude airspace is used by 35,000 flights between Europe and North America
every year. Until earlier this year, those flights simply dropped off controllers' radar until they emerged hours later on the other side. With ADS-B, Nav Canada controllers can accurately track
anything above 29,000 feet over the whole area and that means more efficient use of the routes. "With the accuracy of Sensis ADS-B, we can maximize airspace capacity by reducing separation standards
from the current procedural separation of 80 miles to the five-mile separation standard now used in airspace with surveillance coverage," said Nav Canada spokesman Rudy Kellar.
The five-mile separation allows the most direct routing for almost all flights and Nav Canada estimates that will save 4.5 million gallons of fuel and 50,000 tons of carbon emissions a year, once
all aircraft using the airspace are equipped for ADS-B. Nav Canada is expanding ADS-B to areas Labrador and Baffin Island that don't have radar coverage.
Business Aviation Will Help Companies Not Only Survive
But Prosper During the Current Financial Crisis
To be your most productive, and your most efficient, you must keep flying. Because in so doing, you will emerge from these times even stronger than before. And you will replace the uncertainty that
surrounds many, with the confidence and courage to light the way for all.
Click for video of Avidyne's Release 9 from AOPA Expo 2008
For aircraft owners looking to upgrade to the latest new panel, or shoppers ready to buy a new airplane, the big shows like Sun 'n Fun and AirVenture provide great opportunities to check out all
the options. But now, buyers who can't be at the show in person can have the next-best thing an online Webinar, complete with graphics, live audio, and a Q&A session, to get a rundown on all
the details in the latest products. This month, Avidyne is making the most of the Webinar format to get the word out about their latest glass-panel upgrade, Release 9. The new system was unveiled late last year click here for Paul Bertorelli's video tour of the system at AOPA Expo but with the spring flying
season now upon us and FAA certification approaching, the company is offering the hour-long Webinars to show off the system to potential buyers.
Avidyne says Release 9 aims to provide "true single-pilot IFR" capabilities while making it easy and simple to use. Click here for a list of the dates for Avidyne's Webinars and to sign up. The Release 9 system provides new hardware and software, with redundant displays and a full qwerty
keyboard for data entry. Modular design makes it easy to install, service, and upgrade the equipment, according to the company. A full-function upgrade to the flight management system provides
intuitive flight-planning aid and a caution-alerting system. The system comes with two or three integrated flight displays, or IFDs no more separate MFD and PFD. First installations in the
Cirrus SR22 are on track for June, with Piper installations to start later this year. Prices range from about $73,000 to $93,000, minus trade-in credits on current systems of about $10,000 to
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.
Arguably one of the most iconic pieces of aviation-related architecture anywhere came tumbling down recently. The old tower at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wis., for a week each year the
"World's Busiest Tower" was pulverized late last week by Miron Contracting, the company that built the new tower. According to the Oshkosh Northwestern, Airport Director Peter Moll said the
contractor decided there was no economically feasible way to provide souvenirs from the old tower.
EAA spokesman Dick Knapinski told AVweb last year that the prime real estate formerly occupied by the old tower will become part of the exhibit space during AirVenture. Commenters on the
Northwestern's Web site suggested the tower could have been used for housing during AirVenture. The new tower was completed in time for use at last year's event.
Sensenich Expands Its Revolutionary Line of Propellers For Light Sport and Experimental Aircraft
Lighter in weight, easier to navigate and less expensive to fly, Sensenich's composite props are also stronger than similar props. Their carbon construction allows the propeller's
weight to aerodynamically optimize flight and minimize its susceptibility to harmonic vibration damage. Pitch-adjustable, their built-in stops ensure selection of the most efficient pitch. See them
at Sun 'n Fun (booths A30-31) or
Every private pilot thinks about it but for an unidentified passenger on a King Air last Sunday, the fantasy/nightmare came true. The
self-described low-time single pilot stepped into the cockpit of the big turboprop twin when the pilot collapsed, and a short time later, died at the controls. "It's just me and the Good Lord hand
flying this," the passenger/pilot told Fort Myers approach controllers as he got the feel for the powerful aircraft and set it up for landing. As you can hear in this podcast, he didn't know much about flying a turboprop twin, but he also knew what he didn't know.
The pilot, Joe Cabuk, collapsed while the aircraft was under the control of Miami Center and was climbing through 10,000 feet on autopilot. Miami controllers, including at least one experienced
pilot, cleared traffic and got the stand-in pilot hand flying and headed for a long runway at Fort Myers. Meanwhile Dan Favio, a controller at Fort Meyers Approach contacted a friend, Kari Sorensen,
who is an experienced King Air pilot and was able to relay speed, equipment and other vital flight information to the pilot through controller Brian Norton, himself an experienced pilot. Norton and
Favio worked the King Air exclusively, talking White to final. In the back were White's wife and two daughters. The family was flying home after attending the funeral for White's brother. The landing
was uneventful and a clearly emotional White can be heard on the ATC tape telling the controllers of his safe arrival. "We're down, buddy. Thank you." National Air Traffic Controllers Association
(NATCA) President Patrick Forrey called those involved "heroic" but at the same time said it was part of the job of controllers. "They all went above and beyond the call of duty and it is times like
these that I hope the flying public can see the invaluable lifeline that controllers provide every day and particularly in emergency situations," he said.
When the pilot of a King Air 200, with five passengers, bound from Naples, Fla. to Jackson, Miss., died at the controls on Easter Sunday, a passenger who was a low-time single pilot stepped up,
along with air traffic controllers at Miami Center and Fort Myers approach to bring a successful conclusion to the emergency. Relaying information from a friend who was a King Air pilot, the Fort
Myers controller was able to give the stand-in pilot the tools he needed to bring the aircraft in. AVweb's Russ Niles assembled this report.
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.
Gearing up for the Sun 'n Fun extravaganza in Lakeland, Kitplanes editor Marc Cook and AVweb editorial director Paul Bertorelli are motoring around the west in Cook's Glastar Sportsman
visiting companies prior to the show. Here's their first video blog report.
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
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information, visit online.
All you have to do is click the image at right to enter your name and e-mail address. And no, we're not going to rent or sell your name, but Bendix may send you information on the AV8OR. You may
also forward this newsletter to friends and invite them to sign-up for AVweb's Sun 'n Fun coverage and qualify for the AV8OR prizes also. (We won't spam them, either, but we will send them our
e-mail news Flashes.)
Deadline for entries is midnight, Monday, April 27, 2009.
(There's nothing to buy. All you need to do is be registered with AVweb.)
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Aspen Avionics was named Associate Member of the Year by the Aircraft Electronics Association. President John Uczekaj said he was "speechless" at the announcement.
Economic Challenges Call for Proven Advertising Results AVweb Delivers Results
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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.
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