AVwebBiz Complete Issue: Volume 7, Number 43

November 4, 2009

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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"Please Turn Off Your Personal Electronic Devices" back to top 

Cockpit Laptop Ban Eyed

North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan will propose a measure to ban the use of laptop computers and other "personal electronic devices" in airliner cockpits in response to the distraction of two Northwest Airlines pilots last month that they say led to their missing their destination of Minneapolis. Dorgan, chairman of the aviation subcommittee, told the Associated Press he was surprised that the use of such devices isn't specifically outlawed and that clearly there's a need for that kind of guidance. "We now understand from this flight at least that this can happen and there ought to be a more clear understanding by everyone in the cockpit that there is a national standard that would prohibit this and that they need to take it seriously," said Dorgan, D-N.D. His staff is currently working on the wording of the measure, which he confirmed will exempt electronic flight bags. There are a lot of other definitions that need to be nailed down, however.

The AP story mentions DVD players, MP3 players and "other devices" as being subject to the ban. There's also the question of what constitutes an airliner and whether other types of paying passenger services will be included in the ban. And since there's another law that requires the cockpit to be locked during flight, enforcement becomes another discussion point. Dorgan expects to have the bill ready next week and told the AP that he expects it to be included in a larger aviation bill (FAA Reauthorization?) to be considered by the Senate.

Remos GX
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Chinese Engines to Power C919 back to top 

China Debuts Airliner Engine Model

China intends to design and build its own engines to power the so-called Big Plane, the C919. The AVIC Commercial Aircraft Engine Company was formed last January and it has a model of its SF-A engine on display at the China International Industry Fair in Shanghai. The company said it will have a detailed design team in place by the end of this year with a goal of completing the design by the end of 2010. Although the goal of the program is to eventually produce powerplants for the C919, it's not clear if the plan is to have the new engine ready for the aircraft's proposed launch date of 2016.

Earlier this year, Zhang Jian, general manager of the engine company, announced the goal of mating a homegrown engine to the domestically built airliner but Liu Daxiang, an executive with the airframe builder AVIC, was less sure that could be accomplished in time for the debut of the airliner. "It would take about 20 years to develop an engine to propel China's first homemade large plane," said Liu.

King Air Enhancements & Upgrade Seminar || Cutter Aviation || 
November 10, 2009
King Air Enhancement & Upgrade Seminar — Phoenix, AZ on November 10, 2009
Join Cutter Aviation for the 2009 King Air Enhancement & Upgrade Seminar on November 10, 2009 at Cutter Aviation Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. This comprehensive one-day event will bring together upgrade solutions from Garmin, Raisbeck Engineering, Blackhawk and others to offer current and potential King Air operators a detailed look at the opportunities available to transform older King Air models into aircraft comparable to new aircraft. Visit CutterAviation.com for details.
Piper's John Becker Steps Down back to top 

Piper President Resigns

There has been another change at the top of Piper Aircraft. President John Becker, who'd been in the position less than six months, resigned Monday, according to TCPalm.com He will stay on until Dec. 1. Becker was the former vice president of engineering and took over the president's post when former CEO Jim Bass announced he was leaving in May, shortly after the company's acquisition by Brunei-based Imprimis. Becker was a long-time Piper employee. "We would like to express our deep appreciation to John for his many years of faithful service to the people of Piper, and wish him all the best in the future," Human Resources VP Steve Johnson said in a letter to Piper staff.

The news comes a week after Piper told PiperJet position holders that deliveries would be delayed until 2013. Meanwhile, the company has made a flurry of announcements concerning the creation of business units in Asia, including facilities in Brunei.

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FAA Lowers Tolereance for Pilot DWIs back to top 

FAA Tightens Rules On Pilot DUI

The FAA has tightened up its treatment of pilots convicted of alcohol-related driving offenses. In the latest issue (PDF) of the Federal Air Surgeon's Medical Bulletin, AMEs are advised that first-time DUI and DWI offenders don't necessarily escape the agency's scrutiny as they have in the past. Under the new rules, anyone whose blood-alcohol content was measured at higher than .15 percent or who refused to provide a sample will automatically have their case referred by the AME to FAA headquarters. The FAA medics will then insist that the pilot applicant undergo a substance abuse assessment. Previously, on first offenses, AMEs had to review court records and make the call on whether the applicant had a problem. It's been suggested the tougher rules might tempt offenders to lie about it on their medical but that will likely make things worse.

In the fine print on the medical form is permission granted to the FAA to cross check the pilot applicant with the National Driver Registry, which compiles driving records. If the FAA gets a hit on the registry and then discovers the pilot didn't disclose the offense on the medical form, justice is swift and harsh. The FAA hates liars so the penalty for omitting the alcohol-related event (or anything else) is immediate revocation. There's also a requirement to report these offenses within 60 days of occurrence, regardless of the time remaining on a pilot's medical certification and failure to do so results in an immediate suspension.

The New Meridian G1000 — Commanding
The new Meridian G1000 with Garmin G1000 avionics and GFC 700 autopilot suite, business jet luxury and turbine simplicity for 30% less than any comparable six-place turbine-powered aircraft. With a panel as commanding as the airplane, and a million dollars less than its closest competitor, "Pilot in Command" means precisely that.

Click here for more information on the new Piper Meridian G1000.
Small Airports, Big Numbers back to top 

USA Today: Small Airports Get Big Money

Small general aviation airports around the country have raked in $1.1 billion in federal "earmarks" since 2001, USA Today reported this week. The earmarks are funds requested by lawmakers to support specific projects. USA Today says corporate jets, private pilots, and cargo operators like UPS and FedEx have benefited at the expense of taxpayers and the traveling public. NBAA, EAA, and AOPA were quick to respond. "Unfortunately, the vital contributions provided by community airports, and the millions of people who rely on them, were completely missing from your coverage," NBAA President Ed Bolen wrote to the newspaper. EAA's Earl Lawrence, vice president of industry and regulatory affairs, also weighed in: "The continuing inference that the only airports that are worthy of support are those with commercial service is similar to saying the only roads worth maintaining are those used by passenger buses," he wrote. AOPA President Craig Fuller responded: "USA Today has done its readers a disservice by failing to present all the facts ... regarding aviation funding."

If this all sounds a bit familiar, it's because this week's USA Today report expands on a story published in September that touched on similar themes, and prompted a similar response from the GA advocacy groups. Click here for our report on that story, and click here for a post at the AVweb Insider blog by editor Russ Niles, which led to a lively discussion among our readers about the issues raised.

Garmin Glass for the Diamond DA20!
Diamond Aircraft is celebrating the introduction of the lowest cost certified glass cockpit airplane with a time-limited spectacular introductory offer. Every purchaser of a new DA20 equipped with Garmin G500 will receive a no-charge avionics upgrade and free SVT (Synthetic Vision Technology), a $9,685 value!* Visit DiamondAircraft.com or call (888) 359-3220.

* Some terms and conditions apply.
Milwaukee's Ceremonial Send-Off to a Bygone Era back to top 

Midwest Airlines 'Legacy Flight' Lands At MKE

Although customers may not notice much besides lower prices and newer aircraft, there are some who are mourning the demise of Midwest Airlines as it was previously structured. Republic Airlines bought the carrier in July and on Monday the last "legacy flight" of a Midwest Boeing 717, with an original Midwest crew, landed at Milwaukee's General Mitchell International Airport. Midwest charged more for its flights than its competitors on the notion that passengers would pay for a superior level of service and wider seats. Its flight crews were also paid more than typical regional crews and both practices came to an end with the Monday flight. It's probably not a coincidence that Sunday marked the beginning of Southwest Airlines' service to MKE.

Southwest announced its intentions for Milwaukee in the summer and before the first blue and red 737 touched down fares had already started dropping, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Southwest is operating 12 flights a day from MKE. Meanwhile, Midwest's new owner Republic is responding with Embraer 190s and A319s that pack more pax in their 17.8-20-inch seats (compared to Midwest's 717s' 21.5 inches). Some of the cost savings will come with the layoff of Midwest's legacy crews and their replacement by less expensive Republic crews, according to the Journal Sentinel.

Jeppesen Pilot Training
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Tell Your Friends: Read AVweb, Win a Handheld MFD back to top 

It's the Final AV8OR Prize This Year ... And Your Chance to Win!

Bendix/King by Honeywell is helping us give away one last AV8OR handheld MFD unit this year! All you have to do is click the image at right to enter your name and e-mail address. And no, we're not going to rent or sell your name, but Bendix/King by Honeywell may send you information on the AV8OR. You may also forward this newsletter to friends and invite them to sign up for AVweb so they can qualify for the AV8OR prize drawing, too. (We won't spam them, either, but we hope they will sign up for our AVwebFlash and AVwebBiz newsletters.)

Deadline for entries is midnight EST on Wednesday, November 4, 2009.

Click here to read the contest rules and enter.

(There's nothing to buy. All you need to do is be registered with AVweb.)

Contact Jennifer Mitchell
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Click here for the top 10 reasons to buy a Mooney now.
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

Exclusive Video: Garmin's New Touchscreen Aera Makes Its Debut at AOPA Summit

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

At AOPA Summit this week in Tampa, Florida, Garmin will roll out it's new touchscreen-based aera line of navigators. AVweb's Paul Bertorelli spent the last week wringing out a sample. Here's his video report.

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

Exclusive Video: Diamond's DA20 with Aspen and Garmin

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

Diamond Aircraft has always stepped right out there with innovation, and even in its modest DA20 trainer, the company is offering two glass panel choices. AVweb recently took a look at the Aspen EFD1000 and Garmin G500, both offered as options in the DA20.

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.

Ho, Ho Holiday Gift Guide Offer
It's time to promote your gift items and stocking stuffers to AVweb's 255,000 readers worldwide. Display your items starting now for one low price to generate instant orders until 12/31. We'll promote the Holiday Marketplace in every newsletter. Click here to visit the Gift Guide and have your product featured on AVweb.
Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: Airplane as Pig Sty

Anyone who has ever flown a long cross-country in an airplane knows that the cabin turns into a disorganized mess of charts, water bottles, headsets and snack sacks. Paul Bertorelli and Kitplanes editor Marc Cook have the video footage to prove it — and they'd like to hear your best theories on why the cockpit gets so messy on a long flight. Head over to the AVweb Insider to watch their video blog and share your thoughts in the comments section.

Read more.

AVweb Insider Blog: Flight 60 vs. Flight 188 — The Art of Failure

Those poor sods over at Delta who landed their B767 (with 193 aboard) on (active) taxiway M at ATL after being cleared to land on runway 27R in the pre-dawn of October 19 sure had one thing going for them, says AVweb's Glenn Pew — what the pilots at Northwest were about to do on October 21 to trump them. In the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog, Glenn looks at the two high-profile mistakes that have commanded headlines for the last couple of weeks.

Read more.

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.

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

How's Your Aircraft Partnership Working Out?

Aviation Consumer would like to know. We're most interested in hearing about successful long-term aircraft partnerships. What works for you? How have you sustained group ownership? And what effect has the current economic downturn had? Contact the editorial staff directly at avconsumer@comcast.net and we'll respond with our questions.

(The results will appear in a future issue of Aviation Consumer. For subscription information, click here.)

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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