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In this market it might be assumed that American Capital, the company that owned Piper Aircraft until last Friday, was bailing on a
troubled industry. In fact, the company made a healthy $31 million profit on the sale and the premium paid by Imprimis is indicative of the strength of the company. "We are extremely delighted with
the impressive results of our sale of Piper. The sale of Piper during such challenging economic times demonstrates that the market is still receptive to the acquisition of strong assets," American
Capital spokesman Steve Price said in a news release. "We are
excited for Piper as it moves forward with new ownership under Imprimis and expands in new geographic markets, especially Asia, with its comprehensive product line."
Rumors of a sale had been around for months but the announcement on Friday still surprised many because of the timing. Piper is among the majority of airplane companies that have laid off staff and
cut production in response to market conditions. Imprimis intends to sink capital into Piper and take advantage of opportunities it sees in Asia. The range of products was also a selling point. With
the addition of the PiperJet, the company covers the spectrum of GA aircraft applications.
Has Zulu Changed Your Mind?
If so, we'd sure like to hear your story. Just go to the Zulu Change Your Mind web site and fill us in between now and the end of May, and we may post it on our web site. Plus We'll give you
another possible way to share your Zulu experience: All stories will be entered in a drawing for a free headset. Win, and you could make a passenger very happy. For the details, go to
Shipments of general aviation aircraft fell by 41 percent in the first three months of 2009, compared to the same period a year ago, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association said on Tuesday. "This is an extremely
difficult time for our industry," said GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce. "We are dealing first and foremost with the severe negative effects of a worldwide economic downturn, but also with
unwarranted criticism focused on the industry. The result has been the cancellation of orders for new airplanes and the loss of more than 15,000 high-paying jobs for American workers over the last
several months." The piston segment was down 55 percent in the first quarter, with 179 airplanes delivered, compared to 399 in the first three months of 2008. Business jet shipments fell 36 percent,
with 191 deliveries, compared to 297 in the first quarter of 2008. The turboprop segment was the only bright spot, showing a 3 percent increase, with 92 units delivered, up from 89 a year ago. A total
of 462 GA airplanes were delivered, and industry billings totaled $4.34 billion, down 18 percent.
But while the numbers may seem grim, the industry has always been somewhat volatile, and a look back in the GAMA records shows the last time total deliveries sank this low was not that long ago --
in the first quarter of 2004. Growth trended upward each year from 2004 to 2007. Bunce said on Tuesday that the U.S. general aviation industry leads the world in innovation, and is one of the few U.S.
industries that maintains a positive balance of trade. "We will continue to work with governments around the world to recognize that general aviation can play a key role in propelling the economic
recovery," he said. Click here for the full text of GAMA's report.
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.
Canada's Minister of Transport, John Baird, has overruled his bureaucracy and suspended implementation of a controversial rule that would
have required almost all aircraft to have certified 406 Mhz emergency locator transmitters installed by February of 2011 in order to fly legally in Canada. The rule would have applied to aircraft
trying to enter Canada from other countries. In an interview with AVweb at Canadian Aviation Expo in Hamilton, Ontario, earlier this week, Kevin Psutka, president of the Canadian Owners and
Pilots Association (COPA), said the minister refused to sign the rule as presented by Transport Canada because it didn't include any viable alternatives to 406 ELTs, even though it included language
that indicated an alternative method of compliance was possible. "There is no technology that exists today that could meet those (alternative) requirements," Psutka said. He said the minister has
ordered his staff to draft a rule that gives new technology a fighting chance for acceptance.
Psutka and COPA have been fighting the mandatory equipage with 406 ELTs for 10 years, arguing the new ELTs, while somewhat improved in the level and types of information they provide rescuers,
suffer from the same operational flaws as the old-style 121.5 units. The vast majority of ELT signals are accidental and do not announce any kind of emergency. On the other hand, when a plane does go
down, they fail to trigger more than half the time, according to COPA's research. Psutka was urging Transport Canada and the Canadian Forces (which handles search and rescue) to consider new GPS-based
systems that leave a "bread crumb" trail of position reports for rescuers to follow but the rule, as written, excluded all of them, he said. TC's position was that 406 ELTs meet International Civil
Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards that changed when the satellite constellation that monitors search and rescue alerts stopped receiving 121.5 signals. The U.S. did adopt mandatory 406 equipage,
but the military and Civil Air Patrol are recommending aircraft owners install the new ELTs.
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Maybe those auto execs would have suffered less of a thrashing if they had shared a ride to Washington in one jet instead of three -- that's part of the idea behind Greenjets, a new Florida-based company that aims to fill empty seats on private jets, to save money and reduce the environmental impact of the
flight. The company said this week it already has 40 jets signed up in its network and plans to start service this summer. Travelers can book a seat online or over the phone, or buy a jetcard that
offers discounts and freebies. "The Greenjetcard provides the most cost-effective private jet travel solution available today," the company said in a news release. Special-offer membership starts as
low as $1,400 for a year and trip prices from NY-Florida can be as low as $1,800 per person. The company plans to start with service between New York and Florida, and later this year will add service
for Chicago, Boston, Washington, and Atlanta. Over the next two years, another 27 markets will be added across the U.S. "Greenjets comes at a time when companies and individuals are looking to save
money while maintaining productivity through flying private," the company said.
The arrangement also offers environmental benefits. If three passengers share one flight instead of three, the carbon emissions are reduced by two-thirds.
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Your Piston Single: The Last Frontier for
Surfing the Internet while flying the airways has mostly been reserved for bizjet passengers and, most recently, for those on a few
airlines. But a Virginia company says it's developed a combination satellite phone and Wi-Fi system for any size aircraft, including light singles. "In response to significant customer
recommendations, we have developed the CIS-100 as a simple low cost device that will give any aircraft the added safety, convenience and connectivity that owners and operators have only recently been
able to acquire for their much larger, more sophisticated business and personal aircraft," said Jeff Saucedo, of International Communications Group. The news release issued by the company did not
define affordable but it did address the size and weight issues that have also been an impediment to light aircraft installations.
The company says the basic unit weighs 3.5 pounds and is flange-mounted but provides up to three phone connections, intercom calling, call transfer, conferencing and follow-on dialing. It can be
teamed with the company's NxtMail Server to provide Wi-Fi. The system taps the Iridium satellite network for global reach. The system can also be a revenue producer for fractionals and charters with
the addition of credit card readers to bill users for the time they use.
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For complete details,
Europe's biggest business aviation show, the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) is almost here and
AVweb is inviting companies attending to submit their news releases to us for possible publication in our show coverage. Send your news to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.
Almost 10,000 people entered our contest, sponsored by Bendix/King by Honeywell, for a chance to win one of five
AV8OR GPS units. The lucky winner of the unit given away at AERO Friedrichshafen in Germany in early April was Nikolaus Gable from Memingham, Germany. In conjunction with our daily show coverage at
Sun 'n Fun, we gave away four AV8ORs and the winners are:
Brian Catchpoole Lincolnshire, UK
Marianne Blair Waynsboro, VA
Andrew Vlack Westmont, IL
David Joseph Lakeland, FL
Our thanks to those who entered online and stopped by to see us at our booths at both shows. If you weren't one of the lucky ones this time around, you'll have another chance starting July 13 for
AV8ORs that will be awarded after AirVenture 2009. Stay tuned for more details.
Professional Pursuit A&P's Flash Cards
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In the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog, Editorial Director Paul Bertorelli takes the question of whether Sun 'n Fun faces a dire future. In a nutshell, his answer is yes
but if you've turned on the TV lately, you know times are tough all around.
(The results will appear in a future issue of Aviation Consumer. For subscription information, click here.)
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.
Does the world need an alternative to the government's section charts? Jeppesen thinks so, and Aviation Consumer's Jeff Van West finds that these new products from Jeppesen are
well-designed and well-executed, with a just a couple of small shortcomings.
Dan Petno has been promoted to owner of RW Armstrong, a worldwide engineering firm. Petno is based in Cleveland and has managed several aviation-related projects, including a new runway at Cleveland
Hopkins International Airport and a centralized de-icing facility there.
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,
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.