AVwebBiz Complete Issue: Volume 8, Number 37

September 29, 2010

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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AVflash! Tax Relief for Aircraft-Owning Businesses back to top 
Sponsor Announcement
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Aircraft Tax Break Signed Into Law

The "bonus depreciation" extension that aircraft manufacturers had lobbied for is now law. President Barack Obama signed the Small Business Jobs Act, which contains the provision, on Monday. "As the one tax provision we asked Congress to pass to help offset the decline in sales due to the recession, we are optimistic that the small-business law will help to re-energize America's general-aviation production lines and bring back lost jobs," said Pete Bunce, president of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. The law is effective as of Monday and applies to businesses' tax returns for 2010, according to the White House. The bonus depreciation item enables businesses to accelerate the rate at which they deduct capital expenditures.

Aircraft purchased before the end of 2010 must be placed into service by the end of 2011 to use the bonus-depreciation option. The tax break has proved effective in boosting sales, according to GAMA. One GA manufacturer said the provision helped close 55 percent of its aircraft sales last year. Ed Bolen, CEO of the National Business Aviation Association, also thanked President Obama for signing the bill. "Now that the president has signed the measure into law, companies will be able to take advantage of the provision right away, giving them access the benefits of business aviation," he said.

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Economic Recovery Slow in Coming back to top 

More Jobs Lost, At Piper And Hawker Beechcraft

Piper Aircraft this week announced it will cut 60 manufacturing jobs, and Hawker Beechcraft has cut 350 positions, as the hoped-for turnaround in orders proves elusive. Workers at Piper's plant in Vero Beach, Fla., were told on Monday their jobs are disappearing and they would get one to two weeks of severance pay, TCPalm reported. Geoffrey Berger, who has been serving as Piper's interim CEO since July, told the workers in a letter on Monday that "Piper remains challenged by overall market weakness." Early this year the company forecast about 200 aircraft sales for 2010, but by this summer "it had become apparent that we needed to temper our expectations considerably," Berger said. The forecast now is down to 158 units. No jobs were cut on the PiperJet program, where 140 workers have been hired over the last year.

In a letter to workers at Hawker (PDF), CEO Bill Boisture blamed the "worldwide recession" for the downturn in orders. "While there are pockets of growth in the global economy, the market for new production aircraft has stagnated at a very low level," Boisture wrote. "Readily available, high quality, used aircraft and the lack of financing have combined to depress the prices on private and business aircraft." No upturn is in sight for at least the next year or maybe longer, he said. The latest round of 350 cuts will come from salaried workers, and will be completed by the end of October. Just last week, Cessna also announced it will cut 700 jobs.

Aviation Asset Management in the Middle East Conference (AAMME) || December 6, 
2010 || Dubai, UAE || Register Now
2nd Annual Aviation Asset Management in the Middle East to Be Chaired by Dr. Donald H. Bunker of Donald H. Bunker & Associates
The Second Annual Aviation Asset Management in the Middle East Summit in Dubai will explore the latest developments in aviation asset management in the region, as well as the future of asset management services in this marketplace. It will provide the platform for high-level debate and exchange of ideas and information, as well as extensive networking opportunities for aviation executives from the Middle East and the rest of the world. Click here to learn for more information.
Caught Up in California Cash Flow back to top 

Schwarzenegger Vetoes Flight School Reprieve

The battle over the future of flight schools in California took a predictable twist last week and groups fighting new fees and regulations are regrouping for another round. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed Bill 1889, which includes provisions that would have put a moratorium on implementation of the fees and rules. The governor didn't veto the bill because of the flight school issue. It included money for new staff and cash-strapped California isn't hiring much these days. Pilots associations in California continue to work the issue.

Rafael Sierra, president of the Palm Springs Pilots Association, said in a recent update that groups around the state will continue to apply political pressure. AOPA is also in the thick of the fight and is working with lawmakers to craft new legislation that will be tucked into another bill or even the state budget to take the immediate pressure off. "AOPA has been working on this issue for many months -- and we have engaged our members to assist through calls to action," said AOPA Vice President of Airports and State Advocacy Greg Pecoraro.

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LockMart Locks AFSS for Next Three Years back to top 

Flight Services Contract Extended

Lockheed Martin's contract to run the automated flight service station system has been extended for three years at a price of $356 million. The company announced the agreement Tuesday. The three-year extension begins Oct. 1. Lockheed Martin took over the AFSS function in 2005 and substantially trimmed the number of flight service stations and staff. "Lockheed Martin is proud of the service its flight service specialists provide to the general aviation industry," said Jim Derr, Lockheed Martin Flight Service Program Director. "We are excited to have the opportunity to continue providing the most accurate and reliable flight service briefings available."

Lockheed Martin said the net result of the changes over the past five years is better, more efficient service, although it acknowledged early in the contract that it was not meeting performance standards set in the contract. It says the system now works. "Under the AFSS contract, which was initially awarded in 2005, Lockheed Martin has employed technology enhancements and a hub system that has modernized flight services. Flight planning is now streamlined and allows the sharing of weather and flight plan statuses across the entire Lockheed Martin AFSS network."

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Southwest Absorbs AirTran back to top 

AirTran Deal Fuels Southwest Growth

The analysts are poring over the announcement Monday that Southwest Airlines is buying its smaller budget competitor AirTran and the consensus is that it's part of the voracious growth model that sustains Southwest Airlines. However, stability in Southwest's bottom line might be reflected by a reduction of rock-bottom fare wars that have also been a hallmark of the industry. The deal is worth more than $3 billion. Southwest gets some route expansion and perhaps some breathing space but also fills some important holes.

Although the $25 fares are likely to go away, so is AirTran's baggage fee. Southwest doesn't charge for bags and believes it attracts customers. Southwest will gain a few more routes, mainly including service to Atlanta, but the fundamental strategy appears to be to take a bigger chunk of business from the legacy carriers. The deal allows for rapid expansion in New York and Boston. "We're trying to get more customers in Chicago and more business customers in particular," Southwest CEO Gary Kelly told MSNBC, "and if we don't serve their destination needs, we won't get them."

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Who's Where back to top 

Production VPs at Gulfstream

Greg Collett Austin Shontz

Gulfstream Aerospace has named Greg Collett as vice president of initial phase operations and Austin Shontz as vice president of final phase operations. Both are long-term Gulfstream executives.

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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New on AVweb.com back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: In the Age of Glass Cockpits, a Glass Ceiling?

Fewer than seven percent of pilots are women. Why is that? In this guest post to the AVweb Insider blog, flight instructor (and ATP) Mireille Goyer argues the aviation culture discourages young women from becoming pilots even if it embraces them after their trial by fire.

Read more and join the conversation.

15 Years and Now 15 Grand Giveaways ... It's Your Chance to Win a Lightspeed Zulu Headset

CLICK HERE to Register for All 15 Drawings

Win a Lightspeed Zulu aviation headset 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 October 15, 2010.

Click here to read the contest rules and enter.

'Handbook of Aeronautical Inspection & 
Pre-Purchase' by Denny Pollard || Available at AVwebBooks.com
Aeronautical Inspection & Pre-Purchase
If you are a prospective aircraft owner or broker, here is information about airworthiness, maintenance, inspections, and rules. Denny Pollard, an FAA Safety Inspector and A&P instructor, will walk you through a pre-purchase inspection step by step without worrying if you are buying a hangar queen. Know where to find the tools to research the aircraft history, specifications, and changes made through the years, including Type-Certificate Date Sheets, ADs, STCs, and Maintenance Alerts for any make and model aircraft.

Book or eBook / $24.95

Call (800) 780-4115 or click here for more information.
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

Video: "First Ever" Human-Powered Ornithopter Flight

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

A group of University of Toronto students has just announced that a flight of their human-powered flapping-wing aircraft, The Snowbird, on August 2 may have set an FAI record with a "first ever" flight for its kind. The group believes that after being towed aloft, the aircraft maintained speed and altitude for 19.3 seconds and covered approximately 145 meters while flying at 25.6 km/h. During that time, it was powered solely by its pilot and designer, U of T engineering Ph.D. candidate Todd Reichert, who estimates he's capable of about 0.3 horsepower. Reichert believes his team's effort represents the first ever sustained flight of a human-powered ornithopter. The FAI ruling committee (the record keepers) is expected to offer its opinion in October.

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

Video: Kansas City's Airline History Museum

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

AVweb visits the Airline History Museum in Kansas City.

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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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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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