AVwebBiz - Volume 7, Number 18

May 6, 2009

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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Top News: Piper Has New Owners, Healthy Profit back to top 

Piper Sold For Profit

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 ZuluChangeYourMind.com.
No Surprise: Deliveries Wane as Economy Stumbles back to top 

GA Deliveries Decline 41 Percent In First Quarter

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. Visit CessnaRise.com.
Canada Eases Up on ELT Update Requirement back to top 

Canada Backs Off 406 ELTs

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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New Times, New Models for Jet Use back to top 

New Company Offers Ride-Shares For Jets

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.

Aircraft Financing Available
Purchasing an aircraft but wondering about available financing? AirFleet Capital is dedicated exclusively to aircraft and has flexible financing programs available to meet your needs for new and used aircraft. From Light Sport to Light Jet, please call (800) 390-4324 or visit us online for a quote today!
Your Piston Single: The Last Frontier for Broadband? back to top 

Internet, Phone For Any Size Airplane

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

Share Your EBACE News

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 editor@avweb.com.

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.

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 ERAU.edu/camc.
Congrats to Our AV8OR Handheld Winners back to top 

Lucky AV8OR Winners

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.

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Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: 'Is Sun 'n Fun, Like, Over?'

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.

Read more.

Aviation Consumer's Aspen Avionics Survey

Have you installed an Aspen Avionics PFD/MFD? Our sister magazine, Aviation Consumer, wants to talk to you about the experience and your satisfaction with the system.

Please take a moment to fill out this survey and share your experience with other potential buyers.

(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.
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

Exclusive Video: Aviation Consumer Reviews Jeppesen's Visual Charts

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

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.

Don't see a video screen?
Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

Want to see more shots of the Transition in flight?
You can view the raw video footage here.

Video Marketplace Spotlight

Glasair — Two Weeks to Taxi
Your own Glasair, built by you (with professional assistance) in only two weeks. It sounds too good to be true, but it's not. Kitplanes editor Marc Cook went through the program and has more info.

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

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.
Who's Where back to top 

Petno Now an Owner of RW Armstrong

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.

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

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.