AVwebBiz - Volume 8, Number 38

October 6, 2010

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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AVflash! U.S. Certs Worthless in Europe? back to top 
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New European Rules Target U.S. Pilots, Aircraft

AOPA says a new regime of rules proposed by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) "has potentially devastating implications for the U.S. general aviation manufacturers and for the U.S. flight training industry." EASA intends to adopt a wide-ranging series of amendments to rules that appear to particularly affect those holding U.S. pilot certificates and aircraft registered in the U.S. but resident in Europe. "It would render FAA pilot certificates and instrument ratings issued to pilots living and operating in Europe (including U.S. citizens based in and flying in Europe) effectively worthless, requiring them to essentially start over and retrain and recertify," AOPA spokesman Chris Dancy told AVweb. "It would also eliminate any advantage to owning and operating an N-number-registered aircraft in Europe."

There are an estimated 10,000 pilots in Europe flying under U.S. certificates. Many of them got their training in the U.S. and a lot of flight schools cater specifically to European students. U.S. manufacturers will be hit from two directions. The rules will make U.S.-built aircraft "more difficult and expensive to own and operate," and therefore less attractive in Europe, a key market for most U.S. manufacturers, Dancy said. "And on that side of the Atlantic, it could mean a glut of N-number-registered aircraft being dumped on the market, further depressing used aircraft sales." AOPA has contacted members of Congress, the FAA and Department of Transportation to make sure they're aware of the issue. It's also supporting European aviation groups in their attempts to stop the action.

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Recession Aftershocks back to top 

OurPLANE In Bankruptcy

OurPLANE, one of the pioneer companies in fractional ownership of GA and very light jet aircraft, filed for bankruptcy last week, the victim, it said, of the poor economy. In an e-mail to one of the last participants in the once-ambitious program, company CEO Graham Casson said the company tried to make a go of it but couldn't continue. "It is a sad end to a very difficult three years since Eclipse filed bankruptcy and the recession eradicated our business," Casson said. "We did all we could to survive, but ultimately did not make it."

When it was formed about seven years ago, OurPLANE first offered fractional deals on Cirrus SR22s, but its ultimate business plan was to manage a fleet of Eclipse 500s. When air taxi operator DayJet collapsed in 2008, OurPLANE tried to buy 28 EA 500s that were returned to Eclipse. The deal didn't go through and the aircraft eventually became the property of Eclipse Aerospace, which bought Eclipse's assets in August of 2009.

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Master Instructors Put the Past to Bed back to top 

Hills Dropping Suit Against NAFI

Master Instructors LLC owners Sandy and JoAnn Hill say they've agreed to abandon their copyright lawsuit against the National Association of Flight Instructors "in exchange for a waiver of fees and costs." NAFI has confirmed it has accepted the Hills' offer and will continue to use the material in dispute. "NAFI will continue to grow this valued program along with other services that we provide to the flight-instruction community," said NAFI Chairman Ken Hoffman. The Hills, who were leading members of NAFI until they were removed from the board of directors two years ago, sued NAFI for continuing to use the training materials they say they developed. NAFI countered that since the programs were developed under NAFI's banner, they were free to use them. Regardless of the legal intricacies, the Hills said their customers have spoken.

"We feel completely vindicated by the response of the marketplace to our program," Sandy Hill said. "It just no longer made sense for us to expend more time and money on the legal action -- a lot of which had been donated by hundreds of wonderful friends and supporters." The Hills said they're just about as busy conferring Master Instructor status now as they were when they were at NAFI and they need to concentrate on delivering their programs and services.

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Final Flight Milestone back to top 

Last Boeing 720 Retired

The last operational flight of a Boeing 720 took place in Canada on Sept. 29. The aircraft, the engine test bed for Pratt & Whitney Canada, flew for four hours with a turboprop mounted on the nose. At the end of the flight, its airframe time was up. It will make one last flight, either to a museum or a scrapyard. The engine maker has replaced it with a Boeing 747 SP. The fate of the 720 has not been decided but a Canadian classic airliner fan is hoping the aircraft can be preserved.

Henry Tenby of AirlineHobby.com told Wings Magazine the end of the 720 era happened with no fanfare and that's why he's afraid the last one will be lost forever. He said he's hopeful a museum will step forward to take the aircraft and maintain it in engines-running condition. The 720 was a stubby version of the 707 and was designed for shorter fields. Paradoxically, even though it could get into tighter places, it was faster than the 707. There were 64 720s built along with 88 720B models with turbofan engines.

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Flying into the Future back to top 

Quick Change At Flying: Maya Charles Out, Goyer In

Michael Maya Charles, a former AVweb columnist, was named editor-in-chief of Flying magazine in July, but on Tuesday he was out and longtime staffer Robert Goyer stepped into the job. "It was a mutual decision" for Maya Charles to leave, publisher Dick Koenig said. "We certainly wish him success in his next endeavor." Goyer has been with the magazine since 1994 and said this week he plans to take the magazine to "new heights." Koenig cited Goyer's "skill with new media" along with a track record of success in the magazine industry and a wide breadth of aviation knowledge. Maya Charles had taken over the job from J. Mac McClellan, who had been editor-in-chief since 1990.

McClellan is now with EAA's publications division, where he will contribute to their print and online media. He said in July that his departure was due to a disagreement with the magazine's new owners, Bonnier Corp., over the editorial direction of the magazine. Bonnier, which acquired Flying last year, had "very specific ideas about how to produce editorial content for its special interest titles," McClellan told EAA, requiring as much as 14 months advance planning in very specific detail for each issue. Maya Charles is expected to return to his work as an aviation writer and photographer, according to Flying's news release.

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Who's Where back to top 

Swift Promoted at Gulfstream

Tony Swift

Tony Swift is Gulfstream Aerospace's field service representative in Newark, Teterboro and Morristown. Previously, he was in charge of servicing U.S. Air Force C-37 (GV) aircraft in Belgium.

Evers Joins Piper

Enrico Evers is Piper's new director of Sales for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Evers has 20 years of experience in aircraft sales with Lancair, Beech and Cessna and fleet operations with Falcon Jets.

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: Without a Trace

Richard Abruzzo and Carol Rymer Davis were equipped with the latest in tracking technology when they disappeared over the Adriatic Sea. On the AVweb Insider blog, Mary Grady asks the quetion on many minds: Shouldn't we be able to build this stuff so it survives a crash and tells us where it happened?

Read more and join the conversation.

AVweb Insider Blog: Old Myths Die Hard

One of them is that the only real pilots are taildragger pilots. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli says he never really believed that. But what's this? He's changing his tune? And now he thinks the ideal trainer is a Cub with a glass panel? Go read the blog and help reel this man back to reality.

Read more and join the conversation.

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

Video: The Story of Red Bull's Aerobatic Heli (And Pilot Chuck Aaron)

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

Chuck Aaron is an FAA-certified aerobatic helicopter pilot. And he flies for Red Bull. The helicopter is a modified Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm BO-105. Aaron can be seen flying at Red Bull events.

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.

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

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.

Congratulations to Ronald C. Hanna of Independence, Oregon, who won our last prize, a PMA6000B audio panel! (click here to get your own from PS Engineering)

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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