AVwebBiz - Volume 8, Number 22

June 9, 2010

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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AVflash! New Regional Jet Soars in from the East back to top 
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India Announces Regional Jet

The regional airliner market got more interesting last week as India's government-sponsored National Aerospace Industries announced it was planning a 110- to 120-seat jet. The announcement creates a crowd in a market that doesn't seem to have many buyers at the moment. For instance, Bombardier's CSeries has but 80 orders and the Chinese, Russian and Japanese entrants are counting heavily on domestic sales to justify their development plans. Some analysts say the Indian project is as much an exercise in national pride as it is an aircraft development program and the new jet, if it's ever built, will likely find buyers only on the subcontinent. Meanwhile, the turboprop airliner market also heated up and France's ATR announced plans for a clean-sheet 90-seat turboprop twin.

That could speed up Bombardier's long-speculated stretch of the Q400 from 70 to about 90 seats. It's been pointed out that the Q400X would be a cut-and-paste version of the already-proven Q400 while ATR's is a full-scale development program. The ATR effort wouldn't deliver an aircraft until 2016. Bombardier hasn't decided on the Q400X but if it pulled the trigger soon it could undoubtedly beat that timeline.

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Pillars of Aviation Coming Up This Month back to top 
Sponsor Announcement
Pillars of Aviation Summit || Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia || June 
28-29, 2010

Conference Focuses On Asian Aviation

Asia is a bright spot for the aviation industry and the local industry is doing its best to capitalize on the growth that's anticipated. The Pillars of Aviation Summit will be held in Kuala Lumpur's Palace of the Golden Horses June 28-29. The conference will emphasize how companies based in the area can grow their businesses but it's obvious that interest isn't confined to Asian firms.

A veritable Who's Who of the aviation industry are listed as sponsors for the event, which will include CEOs of various companies huddling for think-tank sessions that cover the gamut of issues and opportunities facing the region as aviation grows there. There will also be interactive panel discussions.

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Revisiting Lear 60 Tires back to top 

Lear 60 Tire Maintenance AD Issued

Operators of Lear 60 aircraft will have to check the tire pressure every four days starting July 10. The FAA issued a final rule on Tuesday mandating the maintenance procedure after it was determined underinflated tires caused a cascade of failures that led to a charter aircraft running off the end of a runway in Columbia, S.C., killing four of the six aboard. The NTSB determined the tires blew during the takeoff run and took out sensors that controlled the thrust reversers, resulting in their automatic retraction just when the crew needed them the most. The pilot didn't know the reversers were stowed, and firewalled the throttles as the plane went through the airport fence and hit a hill on the other side of a highway. Bombardier has since redesigned the systems making them less likely to fail in a tire blowout.

The FAA said it discovered the tire failure rate for Lear 60s was about twice that of other bizjets so it rejected recommendations that the four-day inspection rule apply to all bizjets. On the other hand, it also turned down the NTSB's recommendation that Lear 60 operators be required to check the tires daily and to give that job to the pilots. There are about 250 Lear 60s in operation in the U.S.

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FAA Recommendations for Light Sport back to top 

FAA Review Raises Issues With LSA System

The FAA has released its final report on its assessment of the light sport aircraft industry, and it identifies four areas that need improvement (executive summary here; PDF of the full report here). The FAA team found that most of the 30 LSA facilities they visited couldn't fully support their assertion that their aircraft meet industry consensus standards. The report suggests that "relying solely on the manufacturer's statements of compliance, for the issuance of airworthiness certificates, should be reconsidered." Dan Johnson, chairman of the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association, said in his blog this week that the report is "tough love" for the industry. "Top FAA and NTSB officials have publicly and repeatedly said they are generally satisfied with the safety record of this five-year-old industry," he said. But the report "shows many ways the industry must improve... with an implied 'or else' lurking in the margins," Johnson said.

The FAA team also said distributors who import and assemble the LSAs need to be more systematic in their procedures and recordkeeping; the industry and the FAA both need a better grasp of the regulations and policies that apply to LSAs, and there needs to be a better system for ensuring that the consensus standards are complied with and updated as necessary. The report concludes that the industry should review the current consensus standards to be sure they're adequate and come up with a way to create new standards if needed. Also, the report concludes the FAA needs to continue its oversight of the LSA manufacturers and update its training of Designated Airworthiness Representatives and others who interact with the industry. Johnson told AVweb this week that LAMA has already been working hard over the last year and a half to address all of the FAA concerns. "We're hopeful [that effort] -- all of it during a vicious downturn in the aviation market -- will bear fruit in helping the LSA industry meet the demands of FAA," he said.

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Classic Biplane Crash in D.C. back to top 

Stearman Mishap At D.C.'s Reagan National

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A vintage Boeing Stearman biplane flipped upside down after landing on Runway 1 at Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday morning. The pilot and one passenger, a reporter for the Washington Post, both walked away, apparently unhurt, but the runway was shut down for over an hour until the airplane could be removed by a crane. The Stearman was one of a flight of eight vintage aircraft that were flying into Washington to promote a new aviation-themed Imax film showing at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum. In a pair of videos posted online, one from inside the cockpit and one from the ground, it appears that the airplane nosed over almost immediately upon touching down. The pilot, Mike Treschel, and passenger Ashley Halsey got out very quickly. The NTSB sent a team to investigate the incident.

Doug Freeman, a spokesman for the film company, told the Washington Post that it was believed the Stearman "picked up more of a crosswind than was expected" and overturned. However, according to NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson, the wind was pretty much "straight down the runway." The pilot at first was cleared to land on Runway 33, Knudson told AVweb, with winds from 360 at 15 knots. Treschel then requested a change to Runway 1, which should have minimized the crosswind component. Knudson said the pilot told NTSB investigators that he "tapped on the brakes" at touchdown. Knudson noted that the investigation is ongoing and the pilot will be talked to again in more detail, with a probable-cause report to follow. Damage to the airplane was "substantial," Knudson added, with a bent prop and damage to the vertical stabilizer, the top of the wing, and the nose.

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Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: For Lycoming, 100 Is the Magic Number

Continental is championing the idea of replacing 100LL with 94UL, but Lycoming's Mike Kraft says that's a sure ticket to shrink the industry and that new fuel needs to be at least 100 octane. In the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli wades into the arguments and speculates on how there can be so much uncertainty over the future of aviation fuels.

Click here to read Paul's blog, the feel free to add your own thoughts to the conversation.

AVweb Insider Blog: DC-3 Reunion Too Important to Screw Up

Logistical conflicts and organizational nightmares threaten to tarnish not only the gathering of 40+ Douglas DC-3s at EAA AirVenture in July — but also the relationship between the group's organizers and the EAA. AVweb's Russ Niles thinks the event's signficance overshadows the concerns of either group, and on the AVweb Insider blog, he calls for both parties to put aside their differences and make things work.

Click here to read what Russ has to say, then add your own comments.

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Who's Where back to top 

Stevenson Joins Piaggio America

Mark Stevenson

Mark Stevenson is the new sales director for the central U.S. and central Canada for Piaggio America. He was formerly with Embraer.

Harman at Rishworth Aviation

Ian Harman

Ian Harman has been hired as the Senior Consultant-Engineering for Rishworth Aviation in Auckland, New Zealand. His major role will be to recruit engineers.

Elgin to Signature Flight Support

Vickie Elgin

Vickie Elgin has been appointed sales manager for Signature Flight Support. She was formerly at Western Petroleum Company as sales manager for contract fuel.

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

Aviation Consumer Reviews the iPad — Warts and All

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

Could it really be? Is the iPad the ultimate cockpit EFB (electronic flight bag) that we've all been waiting for? Find out in this review by AVweb and Aviation Consumer's Paul Bertorelli. It has potential — so much potential ... .

If you enjoy this video, be sure to look for the print review of the iPad in the July issue of our sister magazine, Aviation Consumer.

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Kim Prout Gives Kitplanes a Tour of His Europa Monowheel

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

Kim Prout's homebuilt Europa Monowheel is one of the highest-time examples in the U.S. and amply shows off the superb combination of agility and utility in this exclusive video from the editors of Kitplanes magazine.

If you enjoy this video, be sure to look for other homebuilt content in our sister magazine, Kitplanes.

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

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

15 Years and Now 15 Grand Giveaways ... It's Your Chance to Win an AV8OR Handheld GPS

CLICK HERE to Register for All 15 Drawings

Win an AV8OR handheld GPS (from Bendix/King by Honeywell) 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 June 18, 2010.

Click here to read the contest rules and enter.

Congratulations to William R. Smith of Madison, Connecticut, who won a King Schools Get-It-All Pilot Training Kit in our last drawing! (click here to get your own from King Schools)

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.

Got a Turbonormalized Cirrus? Aviation Consumer Wants You

Actually, Aviation Consumer wants a little bit of your engine data for a research product we're doing. If you don't mind sending us a sample data file, contact Paul Bertorelli at avconsumer@comcast.net.

Contact us before sending anything. Thanks.

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

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

Click here to send a letter to the editor. (Please let us know if your letter is not intended for publication.)

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