AVwebBiz - Volume 7, Number 38

September 30, 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: New "Jumbo Jets" the Next Big Thing? back to top 

Gulfstream Rolls Out G650

Click through for a guided tour of the Gulfstream G650, from EBACE 2008

Gulfstream rolled out the first example of its ultra-large G650 Tuesday in front of about 7,000 people at its plant in Savannah, Ga., and announced the program is on schedule with first deliveries planned for 2012. The aircraft has been spotted several times in recent weeks as it underwent engine start and low-speed taxi tests. The rollout on Tuesday presumably marks the beginning of the flight test program, although no date has been announced for a first flight. The rollout comes about two months after Cessna announced it was shelving its large-cabin Columbus intercontinental jet. "Simply put, the Gulfstream G650 is in a class by itself," said Joe Lombardo, the executive vice president of General Dynamics' aerospace group.

Announced in the heady days of massive backlogs, maximum production and seemingly boundless opportunity (about 18 months ago), the 650 was clearly presented as a flagship product intended to assert Gulfstream's dominance of the ultra-luxury market. It's the largest G ever built, with a top cruise speed of .925 Mach, a maximum operating altitude of 51,000 feet and a range (at .85 Mach) of 7,000 nm. It will carry up to 18 passengers, depending on cabin configuration, and includes a separate compartment for a second crew on those long flights.

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Don't Count the Small Jets Out, Either back to top 

First Emivest SJ30 Delivered

The first SJ30 light business jet to be delivered by Emivest, the company that resulted from the takeover of Sino Swearingen by Emirates Investment and Development Corp., was handed over to its new owner Sept. 23. The Emivest jet is serial number 8 and the third SJ30 to enter service. The well-appointed aircraft went to Harry Mahoney, who runs an international entertainment business. Mahoney had to wait four years for his aircraft as Sino Swearingen went through some difficult times before emerging as Emivest. "We have persevered through it all but have always known that the SJ30's performance would be worth the wait," Mahoney is quoted as saying by Emivest. There's another high-profile delivery to actor Morgan Freeman coming up next month.

The SJ30 underwent a protracted development period under the start-up company, Sino Swearingen, which was founded by designer Ed Swearingen and was heavily backed by the Taiwanese government. When political support disappeared for the American jet project, the company floundered until it found the Emirates backers. At last year's NBAA convention, the Emirates investors essentially pledged to do what it would take to get the business going again. Although it's a single-pilot light jet, the SJ30 mixes it up with bigger iron in terms of performance. It will cruise at 49,000 feet at .83 Mach and its pressurization system will maintain a 12-psi differential, meaning sea-level cabin pressure at 41,000 feet.

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Court to Hear Curious Case of Crash Coverage back to top 

Columnist Sued Over Legacy Crash Coverage

The widow of one of the passengers who died when the GOL Boeing 737 he was on collided with an Embraer Legacy and crashed in Brazil three years ago has put a price on the damage allegedly done to her country's honor by an American journalist. As we reported last year, Rosane Gutjhar launched the suit saying New York Times columnist Joe Sharkey, who was on the Legacy, caused "moral damages" in his coverage of the tragedy. According to the Committee for the Protection of Journalists, Sharkey didn't actually get served with suit until Sept. 16; the suit is demanding $280,000 and a public apology from Sharkey. Sharkey told the CPJ that the comments referenced in the suit were published on a Brazilian newspaper and incorrectly attributed to him in the reader comments on the site. But that may not mean much in the strange litigation class under which he's being sued.

According to the CPJ, citizens of Brazil have the right to sue the media if they think the country's national honor has been insulted. In this case, Gutjhar claims Sharkey called the government-run air traffic control system "archaic" and Brazil's citizens "idiots," words Sharkey told CPJ he never used in interviews or his various written accounts of the disaster. He was, however, critical of air traffic control and the judicial process in his accounts and interviews with other outlets. The CPJ says the Brazilian law is used to stifle criticism by the country's media and there have been thousands of suits launched under the provisions.

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Bird-Watching and the NTSB back to top 

NTSB: GA Fatalities Level; More Bird-Strike Measures Needed

The NTSB on Tuesday released its annual compilation of transportation fatalities, and reported that in 2008 aviation-related deaths increased slightly to 572, from 550 in 2007. Nearly 87 percent of those fatalities occurred in general aviation accidents (495), which was almost unchanged from the previous year (496). The other deaths occurred in air taxi operations (66), airlines (3), and foreign or unregistered aircraft (8). Commuter airlines were fatality-free in 2007. "We at the NTSB will continue to press hard advocating improvements in all modes of transportation to keep this trend moving in the right direction," said NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman. "Every transportation fatality is an unnecessary tragedy." Also on Tuesday, the board issued several safety recommendations asking the FAA to take action to prevent bird-strike accidents. The FAA should ensure that GA airports near woods, wetlands, or water comply with the wildlife-hazard assessments they are required to perform, the NTSB said. Also, aircraft manufacturers should be required to develop guidance for pilots to minimize bird-strike damage, such as airspeed charts that show the safest speeds to fly when in areas of known bird activity.

The NTSB would also like to make it mandatory for all wildlife strikes to be reported to the FAA database, which is now voluntary. The NTSB also asked the FAA to require that all flight plans identify the operator and specify the operating rules under which the flight is being conducted. The NTSB would also like the FAA to require that all cockpit voice recorders be checked periodically to verify that the audio is being recorded properly, is intelligible, and is free from electrical noise or other interference. Several other recommendations addressed charter operations.

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News Briefs back to top 

Aviation Alliance Survey Shows Positive Impact Of GA

General aviation airports and private aircraft have taken a beating in the press lately (click here if you missed it), but the industry is not taking it without a fight. This week, the Alliance for Aviation Across America unveiled a new tool for the defense of GA -- an online compilation of data from each of the 50 states detailing the jobs, businesses, and other economic activity generated by all those little airports and aircraft. "We've been working for about six months to collect all this data," AAAA spokeswoman Selena Shilad told AVweb on Tuesday. "So it's not a direct response to the recent USA Today stories -- but it is particularly important in light of that." She said AAAA aims to communicate to the public, to lawmakers, and to the media that GA is a crucial element in our communities, supporting thousands of jobs and small businesses. Click here to view the new map, which allows users to look up local airports by state or by Congressional district.

"This is just the start of a big new campaign to educate the public," said Shilad. The map will be an ongoing project and data will be updated periodically, she said. The nonprofit Alliance, formed in 2007, comprises more than 4,000 representatives from business, agriculture, FBOs, small airports, government, and charitable organizations. Members include AOPA, EAA, NBAA, the Air Care Alliance, and Helicopter Association International.

Garmin Days at JA Air Center
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Who's Where back to top 

Antonucci New Metron Chairman

Don Antonucci has been named chairman of the board of directors of Metron Aviation, which specializes in air traffic management. He retired in 2006 as president of Lockheed Martin.

Chesley New Skytech VP

Tann Chesley

Tann Chesley is the new vice president of Skytech Inc. He is working out of the company's new FBO at Carroll County Regional Airport in Westminster, Md.

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.

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Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: No Hair Shirt for GA Over New York Congestion

AOPA Prez Craig Fuller met with FAA and industry officials in New York this week to talk about ways to reduce congestion in New York. Resident blogger Paul Bertorelli points out that he quite rightly pledged that GA would do its part but isn't sure GA has a part to play. Traffic volumes are already in the tank, and not many of us file New York's three major airports as a final destination. If you really want to cut congestion, says Paul on the AVweb Insider, eliminate about every third RJ operation into New York.

Read more.

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

Exclusive Video: Austro Engine Analysis

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

The Austro aerodiesel, based on the Mercedes-Benz A-class sedan automotive engine, is now certified in the U.S. and Europe. As part of AVweb's flight trial of the new DA42 NG, we did a detailed video tour of the engine.

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.

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

Ever Made a Forced Landing on a Road? Aviation Safety Wants to Hear About It!

If you've ever had to make an emergency landing on a road, we'd like to hear more about it. As part of sister publication Aviation Safety magazine's new podcast series, we're looking for pilots who have had the combined misfortune and good luck to make a forced landing on a road. Especially if your event includes a "teachable moment," we may ask you to help inform other pilots about the lessons you learned by participating in an upcoming podcast, moderated by Aviation Safety magazine Editor-in-Chief Jeb Burnside.

If you've "been there, done that" and would like to share your experience with other pilots, please drop us a note at aviation_safety@hotmail.com briefly describing what happened. Please also include your name, e-mail, and telephone number. We'll take it from there!

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.

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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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