AVwebBiz - Volume 7, Number 22

June 3, 2009

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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.
Top News: GM Seeks to Jettison Jets back to top 
Sponsor Announcement

GM Asks Court To Dump Jet Leases

One of the first things General Motors did under bankruptcy protection is ask the court to allow it to shed seven business aircraft leases and the lease on the hangar that holds them at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport. "The leases are not necessary or valuable to the debtors' business activities or the sale process," GM is quoted by Bloomberg as saying in filings to the court. Shortly after the widely publicized criticism of GM CEO Rick Wagoner and other car company CEOs for using business jets to travel to Washington, D.C., GM tried to dump the aircraft leases but were legally required to maintain some.

The bankruptcy changes all that and it will be the judge's call on whether the leases can be cancelled. The publicity surrounding the Washington trip became a lightning rod for criticism of business aircraft use in general and caused many companies not directly related to the issue to cut or curtail the use of their planes. It's prompted widespread response from aircraft organizations and manufacturers in the form of publicity campaigns aimed at reinforcing the value and utility of business aircraft.

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WAAS Technology to the Rescue of HEMS Services? back to top 
Sponsor Announcement

Helicopter WAAS LPV Development

With the safety of helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) under so much scrutiny it's worth noting that technology and procedures are under development to make these and other helicopter operations safer. Among the systems being successfully deployed is wide area augmentation system localizer performance with vertical guidance (WAAS LPV) for helicopters. Although WAAS LPV is becoming common at airports all over the U.S., Hickok and Associates, of Orange Beach, Ala., is developing it where helicopters need it most, at the hospitals and other off-airport sites they customarily serve.

Hickok and Associates says it's the only company doing this kind of work and it now has seven of these highly specialized approaches approved by the FAA. An example is the approach to the Ukiah Valley Medical Center developed for CALSTAR, a major provider of HEMS in California. IMC severely restricted the utility of CALSTAR's service to the Ukiah hospital because the localizer/DME minimums at the local airport are 1,106 feet AGL and 1.25 statute miles. The new GPS-based approach has minimums of 364 feet height above landing (HAL) and .75 statute miles to the hospital's helipad. Hickok and Associates has developed procedures all over the country, including United Technologies' (Sikorsky) heliport in Farmington, N.Y.

FBO Customer Survey
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Outlook Grim for Missing Air France Flight back to top 

All Believed Lost On Air France 447

Searchers and investigators are now converging on the area where the Brazilian Air Force found a five-mile debris field where an Air France A330 carrying 216 passengers and 12 crew is thought to have gone down while on a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris Sunday evening. Brazilian authorities are now saying there is no hope for survivors. The Air Force says pieces of metallic debris and seats were spotted in the Atlantic about 400 miles off the country's northern coast. The aircraft sent about four minutes of telemetry to the airline's maintenance base indicating catastrophic failures in at least 12 systems, Air France said Monday, but the cause of the accident has not been determined. It is known the aircraft flew through an area of convective weather about the time of the telemetry burst. The flight was beyond radar range and there were no communications received from the flight crew over the high frequency radio used for transoceanic communications. A lightning strike remained the popular media's most persistent theory for the cause of the apparent crash, although lightning dispersal systems are a well tested and effective feature of all modern airliners.

The possible discovery of the crash site raises hopes that the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder will be recovered. The FDR, especially, is regarded as a prime target in the search because the A330 carries a sophisticated device that will reveal the status of all the aircraft's systems during the crash sequence. Meanwhile, most of those who perished have been identified and include people from at least 32 countries. Among the dead are at least eight children.

Aircraft Spruce Canada: Grand Opening Fly-In on June 6, 2009
Aircraft Spruce Canada will be hosting their official Grand Opening on Saturday, June 6th from 8 am to 5 pm at 150 Aviation Avenue on Brantford Municipal Airport. Come and join the Aircraft Spruce Team and vendors for lunch, special pricing, vendor demonstrations, educational seminars, and lots of opportunities to win raffle prizes from some of your favorite vendors. Don't miss the ribbon-cutting ceremony with Jim Irwin and special guests. Call 1 (877) 4-SPRUCE or visit AircraftSpruce.com.
Signs of Rebound Abound back to top 

Cirrus Boosts Production, Will Rehire 50 Staffers

Cirrus Aircraft said this week it will boost production to eight aircraft per week and recall about 50 furloughed workers. "We are extremely pleased with continuing stronger sales trends that began in the first quarter," said Pat Waddick, executive vice president of operations at Cirrus. The company had increased production to six airplanes per week in late April, after nearly six months of significantly reduced production rates that averaged about three to four airplanes per week. It will take some time to ramp up to the new rate, Waddick said, since staff must be recalled and vendor lead times must be adjusted. Workers will be called back at Cirrus facilities in Duluth, Minn., and Grand Forks, N.D. Brent Wouters, president and CEO of Cirrus, said the marketplace is responding to the company's new offerings, including flight into known icing certification for the SR22 and Turbo models.

Yet Wouters cautioned that the immediate future remains challenging. "While today's news is certainly reason for optimism and clearly another step in the right direction, we will maintain our determined approach and continue to make any adjustments necessary as quickly and efficiently as possible," he said.

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News Briefs back to top 

Florida Town Presses On With Anti-Flight Training Effort

The town council of Grant-Valkaria, a small town on Florida's Atlantic coast, voted late on Monday night to go ahead with an effort to restrict flight training activities at the Valkaria Airport. "Basically it's a travesty, it's an absolute travesty," one unidentified pilot told the local WFTV News. Town attorney Karl Bohne adjusted the ordinance on Monday to clarify that the town is not trying to regulate flying, which the FAA wouldn't allow, but is trying to prevent flight schools from opening facilities at the airport, according to Florida Today. The proposal has brought opposition from AOPA, the National Air Transportation Association, and other aviation advocates. AOPA says the county owns the airport, and it has agreements with the FAA that obligate it to allow aeronautical activity on the field. "Flight training activities cannot be legislated out of existence at Valkaria by the town government," wrote John Collins, AOPA's manager of airport policy, in a letter to the town mayor, Del Yonts.

On Monday night, the council said it would send its proposal to the FAA for comment. A second hearing is scheduled for June 11, and the Town Council is expected to hold a second vote on the ordinance before August.

Aircraft Financing Available
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Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: Good Gov, Bad Gov

Sometimes the federal government rolls in and complicates a simple task beyond belief. Other times, it puts its bureaucratic muscle to good use by making things happen that would otherwise be stalled out by local politics. In the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli muses on the feds' role as both wicked stepmother and fairy godmother.

Read more.

Piper Meridian — Exhilarating
Piper Meridian. Power. Pure and simple. Relax in business jet luxury with turbine simplicity for 30% less than any comparable six-place turbine-powered aircraft.

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

Exclusive Video: Fiddling Around America, Part 5 — Final Thoughts

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

These days, the bright light of favorable publicity doesn't shine much on aviation. AVweb's "Fiddling Around America" tour with Dan Gryder's Herpa DC-3 changed that, at least for one week.

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

Video Marketplace Spotlight

Lightning LSA
Kitplanes editor Marc Cook talks with Lighning Aircraft's Nick Otterback and discovers how their LSA offers speed, strength, and safety in an American-made light airplane.

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

International Civil Aviation Organization — ICAO
ICAO documents are now at the AVweb Bookstore in convenient and economical eBook format. ICAO, a division of the United Nations, sets the global standards for international aviation, including communications, airport design, overseas routes, ATC, hazmat transport, and much more. If you are involved with international air transportation, these documents are critical information for your operations and planning departments. Click here for the growing product listing.
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.

"The best way to predict the future is to create it."
— Peter Drucker
Who's Where back to top 

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.

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 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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