AVwebBiz Complete Issue: Volume 7, Number 33

August 26, 2009

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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Top News: 21st Century Facelift for Part 23? back to top 

FAA Proposes Update To Part 23

The FAA has released a proposed update to its rules for the certification of light jets. The changes aim to streamline the Part 23 certification process, and "reflect the current needs of industry, accommodate future trends, address emerging technologies, and provide for future airplane operations," according to the FAA. The rule changes aim to establish a standard of certification that would be similar to what is required of other aircraft in the same size range. The FAA hopes the new rules will reduce its current workload of processing exemptions and approving special conditions for small jets.

The FAA said its current practice of issuing special exemptions, exceptions and equivalent levels of safety to certificate part 23 airplanes amounts to a practice of "rulemaking by exemption," a practice the agency does not want to continue. Also, the accident rate on twin piston engine and turboprop airplanes identified a safety issue that had to be addressed by a change in the rules regarding single-engine climb performance. Public comments on the proposal will be accepted until Nov. 16.

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New Jersey Airport Scrutinized back to top 

Teterboro Safety In The Spotlight

JFK and LaGuardia airports have twice the traffic of Teterboro, but since 2004 Teterboro has provoked twice the number of NTSB incident investigations, NorthJersey.com reported Friday. The NTSB found that either controller or pilot error contributed to nearly each case's probable cause. The airport's other near neighbor, Newark International Airport, has nearly three times the traffic hosted by Teterboro but has also seen fewer reported incidents over the past five years. At each airport those incidents involved everything from close calls between aircraft and ground equipment to aircraft damage and fatalities.

Teterboro is one of the nation's busiest airports, and in 2007 saw an average of more than 540 operations per day. That traffic is composed, almost entirely, of a mix of general aviation and air taxi service that the other aforementioned airports do not see. Teterboro has since Jan. 1, 2004, provided the NTSB with cause for 13 investigations; Newark follows with 10 and JFK and LaGuardia chimed in with five and four, respectively.

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Recession Puts Heavy Load on Jet Makers back to top 

Bombardier Cancels $1.5 Billion Learjet Order

What was billed as one of the biggest business jet orders ever when it was announced almost a year ago has now become one of the biggest business jet order cancellations ever. Bombardier confirmed last week that it had terminated a $1.5 billion order for 110 Learjet 60 XR aircraft from European fractional and on-demand charter operator Jet Republic. The announcement came on the heels of Jet Republic CEO Jonathan Breeze's memo to staff that the company was "technically insolvent." Some analysts are saying the cancellation could result in layoffs at the Learjet plant in Wichita as Bombardier grapples with cancellations and deferrals in all aspects of its aerospace operations.

Although some questioned Breeze's ambitious plans announced as the depths of the world financial crisis were just coming to light in September of last year, the energetic former military pilot was all optimism about the timing of the venture. "This is a sensible, profitable, logical business," he told The Times Online last September. "I think the challenge in the financial markets simply changes the metrics ... If anything it probably strengthens the proposition." Reality bit hard, however, and Breeze broke the news last Wednesday. "It is with great regret that I announce that Jet Republic appears to be technically insolvent," Breeze said in an internal memo. "We will place no more orders with suppliers; we will accept no more revenue from customers; we will solicit no more business from potential customers."

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Ramadan a Blessing to Charters During Recession back to top 

Religious Tourism Boosts Air Charters

International Air Charter is anticipating a 50-percent increase in demand for charters to Saudi Arabia during the month of Ramadan which began Aug. 21 and continues to Sept. 19. The company is devoting "substantial resources" to help well-heeled religious tourists conduct their pilgrimages to holy cities like Makkah (Mecca) and Madinah comfortably and efficiently. "The large number of tourist arrivals during Ramadan makes chartered flights a practical travel solution, especially for affluent travellers who wish to avoid the time-consuming formalities of commercial air travel," IAC spokesman Elie Abdo said in a statement.

The company's strategy for those who want to perform the Umrah and Haj pilgrimages is to ensure they can get to the holy cities from anywhere in the world and the onboard services can be customized to "match their personal and religious requirements." The Saudi Arabian government estimates that religious tourism generates up to $7 billion annually.

Order an Apex Edge Series KFD 840 and Receive an AV8OR Handheld at No Cost
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"This Isn't the End; It's Just the Intermission" back to top 

Alan Klapmeier Leaves Cirrus

Alan Klapmeier is as of Friday no longer employed with the company he founded. Klapmeier, along with brother Dale, created Cirrus Design, manufacturer of the popular SR20 and SR22 aircraft, designs that reignited competition in single-engine piston aircraft and rose to a dominant position in the market. Recently renamed Cirrus Aircraft, the single largest manufacturing employer in Duluth, Minn., has since 2001 been in the hands of majority-share-holding Arcapita Inc., an Atlanta-based venture capital firm. "This isn't the end. It's just the intermission," Klapmeier told the Duluth News Tribune. But Klapmeier also confessed he didn't know what he'd be doing next. As we reported last month, Cirrus CEO Brent Wouters confirmed Klapmeier would be replaced as Cirrus's chairman of the board. No replacement has been announced.

Alan's self-proclaimed more conservative brother Dale remains with Cirrus as vice chairman. "The difference between the two of us is that Alan is a dreamer, and he's extremely aggressive in what he wants," Dale Klapmeier told the Tribune. Cirrus is capable of putting out 16 aircraft per week, but had cut that rate to three per week when current CEO Brent Wouters was appointed to his position in the fall of 2008. Wouters has said his focus is on operational efficiency. The company is back up to production of eight aircraft per week.

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News Briefs back to top 

China To Open Facility For Private Jets

China will open its first facility for private jets next year at Shanghai's Hongqiao Airport, sometime before the World Expo opens there in May, Shanghai Daily reported this week. The project is already under construction. The 10,000-square-foot private-jet terminal will provide its own security inspections, quarantine facilities and customs, separate from the other air passenger traffic. A hangar will provide space for up to three jets. Officials said up to 4,000 private jets will arrive in Shanghai during the Expo, according to Shanghai Daily. That's about twice as many private jet flights as the entire country now handles in a year.

The World Expo will be open from May 1 to Oct. 31 next year, and up to 70 million visitors are expected for a "grand gathering of the world cultures," according to the event's Web site. More than 20,000 events will be held at up to three dozen venues around the city.

You and Your Dollars Go Further in a Diamond
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Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: NTSB's Snit Fit

The NTSB's work is so serious, so respected, and so vital that we don't expect them to throw a fit when a group like the air traffic controllers' association issues a press release that's a little off the government message. In the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli argues why we should expect better of the safety agency.

Read more.

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Who's Where back to top 

Brantner Joins Groom Aviation

Doug Brantner

Doug Brantner is a partner in Groom Aviation LLC as a general aviation consultant. He was formerly vice president in charge of Hawker Beechcraft Services.

Opheim to Avidyne

Michael Opheim

Michael Opheim has been named sales manager for Avidyne's eastern region. Opheim spent 30 years with Rockwell Collins.

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.

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

Exclusive Video: Loss of Control in an F-16 Fighter, Test Pilot on Yaw Departure

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

At Edwards Air Force Base, they still test F-16 fighters, because each software upgrade and each new weapons package introduces new parameters. Experimental test pilots need to identify the aircraft's performance limits, and they need to know how it will perform before their brothers- and sisters-in-arms take upgraded Vipers into combat. This is one of those tests, and Air Force pilot Desmond Brophy walks us through it step-by-step.

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Related Content:
Don't miss our video tour of the Viper cockpit with Major Brophy.

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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.

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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