AVwebBiz - Volume 8, Number 17

May 5, 2010

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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AVflash! Biz Benefits from Volcano at EBACE back to top 
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Market Sluggish, Volcano Might Help

The European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) opened Tuesday in Geneva and manufacturers are trying to sound optimistic and realistic at the same time as they face the inevitable questions about their market. In a speech at EBACE, Cessna CEO Jack Pelton said the European market is showing signs of improvement and he's hoping emerging markets in Eastern Europe will be part of Cessna's future growth in the region as a whole. "Before the economic downturn, for example, Eastern Europe was a very strong region for us and we are beginning to see signs – including Citation sales – of that business coming back," he said. Pelton also said the recovery will be a long one, sentiments echoed by Hawker Beechcraft CEO Bill Boisture in an interview with The New York Times. "I think it's premature to call 2010 a recovery year," he said. "The market still feels the way it did at the end of 2009." Gulfstream CEO Joe Lombardo told a news conference the industry is maturing and globalization is an increasingly important factor. Meanwhile, the industry got an unexpected boost from the volcanic eruption that paralyzed much of Europe's aviation industry last month.

The airspace closures shut down airlines because there was no way to maintain their schedules even though it was safe to fly at least some of the time. Business aircraft operations were also affected but with some creative flight planning it was possible to get around Europe in a private aircraft. "The good news for us is that flexibility has value," David MacDonald of charter broker Air Partner told the Times. "In the wake of the volcanic ash situation, we have had requests for urgent travel from Spain to the United States and the Middle East to Southern France, as executives needed to get to meetings which could not be reached on scheduled airlines." The Teal Group's Richard Aboulafia said anything that highlights the advantages of business aviation will help an industry that has suffered from an image problem during the downturn. "Business aircraft have been hit harder by the economic crisis than any other aerospace market," Aboulafia said.

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2009's Most Celebrated Landing: The NTSB Report back to top 
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NTSB Wraps Up "Miracle" Investigation

As expected, the NTSB determined on Tuesday in wrapping up its investigation into last year's "Miracle" landing on the Hudson that the probable cause of the accident was the ingestion of large birds into both engines, causing an almost total loss of thrust. A slew of factors contributed to the positive outcome, including effective crew resource management, the fact that the aircraft happened to be equipped for overwater flight although it was not required to be, the performance of the cabin crew in facilitating the evacuation, and the proximity of rescuers. Twenty-four safety recommendations followed, including the need for better engine-monitoring technology; better emergency checklists; training for dual-engine loss at low altitude; better training for ditching scenarios; and more research into bird-deterrence technology. "What's important here is how to protect future passengers and help future flight crews should they end up in a situation like this," said NTSB chairman Deborah Hersman.

That said, the board's recommendations included a list of things that went wrong and could be improved in the future. For example, since few of the passengers had paid attention to the preflight safety briefing, perhaps better ways can be developed to impart the information. Also, the brace positions that are now recommended may have contributed to shoulder injuries in some passengers.

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.
View from the Top: Recession? What Recession? back to top 

Super Luxury BizAv In Demand

While much of the business aviation market continues to suffer, the super luxury segment is all but impervious to economic woes and public relations problems and Fly Comlux is investing heavily to solidify its place in that market. The company announced at EBACE that it's adding six big aircraft to its fleet including a 767ER Boeing Business Jet. "With the arrival of the 767BBJ beginning of autumn 2010, we will better serve our Head of State and Royal Families customers," said Comlux President Richard Gaona. "Together with our six Airbus we will confirm our position as the largest operator of VIP charter wide body aircraft and we can offer aircraft management solutions to any customer." The 767 will be configured for about 70 people.

The company also announced the addition of two Bombardier Global Express XRS aircraft, a Challenger 605, an Airbus A318 and an A320. Company CEO Stephen Laven says the lavish and long-legged aircraft are just what his customers want. "This niche market is very specific and demanding," he said.

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EBACE, by the Numbers back to top 

Deliveries, Program Updates

The order count tradition at shows like EBACE is still with us in the downturn but the numbers are a little more modest. Still, aircraft are moving and the Middle East appears to offer the most in the way of opportunities. Dassault announced the delivery of the first of four Falcon 7X three-engine jets to Saudi Private Aviation, the business aviation side of Saudi Arabian Airlines. The aircraft were ordered in 2007. At the other end of the spectrum, Cessna announced the sale of two Citation Mustangs to the Turkish Airlines Flight Training Academy and Embraer found a home for a Legacy 650 in Jordan. The 650 is on track for certification later this year. Meanwhile, Gulfstream announced an important couple of milestones in its latest model, also a 650.

Gulfstream is touting the G650 as the fastest business jet and it stretched the prototype's legs by hitting its designed maximum speed of Mach .925. The flight occurred over Savannah on Monday. Chief Test Pilot John O'Meara said the aircraft behaved well at almost the speed of sound. "At the conditions flown [Monday], the entire operation was flawless," he said. The aircraft has also passed load limit tests. Certification is expected in 2011 and first deliveries will be in 2012.

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Sometimes You Can Take It with You back to top 

BAE Unveils Backcountry Bizjet

For those who like the idea of a camper but require plenty of comfort, the BAE Avro Business Jet Explorer concept unveiled this week would seem to fit the bill. The luxury interior provides up to four sleeping cabins plus living space to provide both transport and accommodation in remote locations. While on the ground, a spacious rear deck area can be deployed where "passengers can relax for the evening ... and enjoy a cool drink in the open air as the sun sets," according to the news release. The concept is the first of five new interiors by Design Q, a U.K. firm. It was introduced at EBACE (European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition) in Geneva on Tuesday.

The Explorer design is available in two versions. Both Explorer One and Four feature top-of-the-line entertainment systems, a spacious galley, a lounge area with curved sofas and white marble floors, and an office workstation. Explorer Four includes the four VIP cabins plus sleeping quarters for the crew in the forward lower hold. Stewart Cordner, VP of Avro Business Jets, said the concepts utilize "the aircraft's unique performance, fantastic interior space and the large rear-opening door to create possibilities previously un-thought of."

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

AVweb Insider Blog: Oil Slicks and Avgas

If BP doesn't get it under control, the growing slick in the Gulf of Mexico could become a major disaster that will reset attitudes and policies toward offshore oil production. None of that is necessarily good for the price of avgas, and Paul Bertorelli breaks down some of the potential consequences in the lastest installment of our AVweb Insider blog.

Click here to read more (and share your own opinions).

"How We Did It" — Red Bull Glider Skydiver Transfer

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

Say, how did those guys pull off that skydiver glider-to-glider transfer that's getting some much attention on YouTube and Red Bull's site? Here's the inside story from Ewald Roithner, the lead pilot. He spoke with AVweb's Paul Bertorelli.

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

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Help Us Celebrate AVweb's 15th Anniversary back to top 

15 Years and Now 15 Grand Giveaways ... It's Your Chance to Win a King Schools Get-It-All Training Kit

CLICK HERE to Register for All 15 Drawings

Win a Get-It-All Training Kit from King Schools as we celebrate our 15th Anniversary! All you have to do is click here to enter your name and e-mail address. (You only have to enter once, and you'll be entered in our prize drawings for the entire year — so if you've already entered, you're all set.)

And no, we're not going to rent or sell your name, ever. Tell your friends, and invite them to sign up for AVweb so they can qualify for our 15 Grand Giveaways prize drawings, too. (We won't spam them, either — but we hope they will sign up for our newsletters.)

Deadline for entries is 11:59pm Zulu time May 21, 2010.

Click here to read the contest rules and enter.

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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.

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

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