Volume 2, Issue 2 -- January 21, 2004

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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded Business News Coverage At AVweb's Business NewsWire.

WELCOME TO 2004!
If you liked 2003, you'll probably like 2004, say business and charter aviation industry observers. Many of the issues, trends and challenges visited upon the industry in 2003 remain either under continued development or mired in mediocrity as the calendar flipped over a new page. To be sure, the industry's overall outlook is a positive one -- barring any unforeseen blip in the rebounding overall economy, private aviation should follow along on improving economic coattails. As in the past, such a recovery will follow somewhat more slowly than for other sectors, observers believe. More...

...ISSUES INCLUDE SECURITY...
One of the most vexing issues to confront the industry recently is the moving target of general aviation security: how to improve it, how to ensure it and how to convince politicians and the public alike that much has already been done to prevent business and charter aviation from being used by terrorists. The problem was highlighted last week as CBS aired what amounted to an "attack journalism" piece targeting fly-in communities but painting non-scheduled aviation as insecure because it does not feature TSA battle droids, metal detectors and baggage-scanning equipment at every grass strip throughout the U.S. For all its faults -- and industry observers tell AVweb the piece really got nothing right -- it did serve to remind industry it still has a long way to go before the public's opinion of general and business aviation's relative security changes. More...

...DRVSM, IMPLEMENTING PART 145...
On perhaps a more easily understood -- but no less frustrating -- level, the looming Jan. 20, 2005, deadline for domestic reduced vertical separation minima (DRVSM) will have repair stations working overtime in 2004. This high activity level will come at the same time industry and the FAA work to implement new, often-delayed Part 145 regulations. The new regs go into effect Jan. 31, 2004. By that time, all certified repair stations should have submitted their repair station and quality-control manuals to their local FSDO, among other deadline-related tasks. More...

...NEW FRAX RULES...
Some good news came last year in the form of the long-awaited final rule on fractional operations. Known formally as "Regulation of Fractional Aircraft Ownership Programs and On-Demand Operations," the new rule was published on Sept, 17, 2003, and, for existing frax operators, affects flights conducted after Dec. 17, 2004. Still, industry's challenge in 2004 will be to read and understand the 70-page final rule and comments-disposition document and the major or minor changes it makes to FAR Parts 61, 91, 119, 125, 135 and 142. More...

...AND REGULATORY REWRITES
Now that the new fractional-operations rules have a fork sticking from them, naturally the FAA has launched yet another major regulatory review: the Part 135/125 Aviation Rulemaking Committee. This undertaking, for which the Fractional Ownership Aviation Rulemaking Committee was but the opening act, began last summer and has met once more since then. Still, there are many more meetings -- and, perhaps, years -- to go before this rulemaking committee files its final recommendations. Meanwhile, air tour operators and charitable organizations in danger of being regulated out of existence by the FAA will be fortunate to even get face time with the agency. More...

NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION: STOP PAYING MORE THAN NON-PILOTS DO FOR THE SAME LIFE INSURANCE POLICY
Pilot Insurance Center (PIC) insures more individually underwritten pilots than anyone in the country. PIC is able to accomplish this because of their pilot-friendly rates. PIC works directly with the Nation's top rated insurance companies and has developed exclusive underwriting programs designed for pilots. A+ RATED CARRIERS-NO AVIATION EXCLUSIONS-Quick and Easy Application Process are reasons to go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/piclife/biz.

BOMBARDIER MARKS TWO MILESTONES...
Jan. 8 marked the first flight of Bombardier's second test copy of its new Global 5000, the company's ultra-long-range business jet. The four-hour local flight from Downsview, Ontario, served as a shakedown prior to the plane's planned delivery to the Bombardier Completion Centre in Montreal this month to install a production interior. Flight testing for environmental control system validation and interior function and reliability will begin as soon as the interior installation is complete. It will then join the first aircraft as part of the two-ship flight test program. More...

...AND FIRST CHALLENGER 300 SERVICE ENTRY
Dallas, Texas, was the location, Jan. 8 was the date and Bombardier Business Jet Solutions was the customer. The event? Entry into service of the first completed Bombardier Challenger 300 business jet under the Bombardier Flexjet fractional ownership program. According to the company, the type's first customer flight makes the Challenger 300 the first purpose-built aircraft to enter service in the emerging super-midsize market segment. More...

RECONDITIONED 25XL'S AVAILABLE FROM LIGHTSPEED AVIATION
When new, these headsets had a list price of $599. Now, for a limited time, you can buy reconditioned 25XLs for $350. Most of these headsets come to us from pilots who have upgraded to LightSPEED Thirty 3G headsets. All have new ear seals and head pads, and are upgraded and tested to current factory specifications. In addition, they are backed by LightSPEED's 30-day money back guarantee, one-year warranty, and the LightSPEED emphasis on customer service and satisfaction. For additional information, and to purchase an R25XL go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed/r25xls/biz.

GULFSTREAM'S GOODIES...
Gulfstream is staying busy by using a new G550 bizjet to set a series of city-pair speed records over the last month. Most recently, the company launched a G550 from New York City to Kuwait City. The record-setting flight departed John F. Kennedy International Airport at 4:51 p.m. EST on Jan. 16, flew nonstop for 10 hours, 56 minutes, and landed at Kuwait International Airport at 11:47 a.m. local time on Jan. 17. The flight covered 5,757 nautical miles at an average ground speed of 527 knots. Earlier, a G550 flew three different flights, including: Savannah, Ga., to Dubai, a distance of 6,554 nm, in 13:47, for an average ground speed of 482 knots; Dubai to Hong Kong, 3,196 nm in 6:06, averaging 524 knots; and Beijing to White Plains, N.Y., 5,903 nm, in 13:45 and 429 knots average groundspeed. More...

...CAN YOU SEE ME NOW?
Meanwhile, Gulfstream wasted no time in welcoming the FAA's recently released rule allowing certified enhanced flight vision systems (EFVS) to be used to determine "enhanced flight visibility" for Part 91 operators landing at the conclusion of an instrument approach. Labeling the new rule a "vote of confidence" for its own Enhanced Vision System (EVS), Gulfstream reminded the industry -- and especially its potential customers -- that aircraft and crews using EFVS can now descend and operate aircraft below decision height, decision altitude, or minimum descent altitude by utilizing the EFVS image to detect the required visual cues and to determine flight visibility. The rule change was issued Jan. 9, 2004, and becomes effective Feb. 9. (See related article, below, on a Canadian-certified EFVS.) More...

WINGX FROM HILTON SOFTWARE IS A PILOT'S DREAM COME TRUE!
WingX is a Microsoft Pocket PC application designed by pilots for pilots using Microsoft's the latest .NET technology. WingX enables pilots to perform complex calculations while down at the airport and away from their home PCs. Graphical weight and balance, route information with wind calculations, an E6B page, sunrise and sunset times, medical and pilot expiration date tracking, and FARs 1, 43, 61, 91, 119, 141, and 830 as well as the Pilot/Controller Glossary at your fingertips. This is amazing. See for yourself at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/hiltonsoftware/biz.

CESSNA'S CHANGING OF THE GUARD
Cessna's transition to a world without 25-year veteran Russ Meyer continued last week with Jack Pelton being named president and chief executive officer of the airframe manufacturer. Pelton, himself a veteran of both McDonnell-Douglas and then Boeing, replaces Charlie Johnson, who announced his retirement last month after months on medical leave from the Wichita-based company, as president. Meyer will stay on as chairman to focus on "big-picture" issues with Pelton now in charge of daily operations. "We're extremely fortunate to have proven leaders like Jack on board to build on Cessna's rich foundation of success and market leadership. He is a highly talented executive and a natural choice to lead Cessna into the future," said Textron Chairman, President and CEO Lewis B. Campbell in a press release. More...

NETJETS CANCELS CITATIONS, ORDERS MIX OF AT LEAST 58 HAWKERS
Meanwhile, Cessna CEO Jack Pelton's task of helping the company rebound from the economy's downturn got a bit tougher after industry leader NetJets told the manufacturer that it was canceling its order for 50 Citation CJ3 aircraft. According to Cessna, the canceled order applied to jets slated for delivery in the late 2005-2008 time frame. Almost in the same breath, NetJets announced it has placed an order for 50 new Hawker 400XP light jets and eight Hawker 800XP midsize jets from Raytheon Aircraft Company. With an additional 50 Hawker 400XP jets listed in NetJets' order as options, its potential value to Raytheon rings the cash register at more than $600 million. The aircraft will be added to the NetJets fractional aircraft ownership program. More...

FAA TAPS BOMBARDIER FOR NEW CHALLENGER 604, OPTIONS TWO MORE
It won't be registered as N1, but Bombardier Aerospace will soon deliver a brand-new Challenger 604 bizjet to none other than AVweb's Favorite Aviation Agency. The Jan. 19, 2004, announcement by the Canada-based manufacturer says that the aircraft -- for which the FAA also placed two options -- will be used for runway and airway calibration as well as other special missions. More...

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JEPPESEN TAKES ON DOWNUNDER USER FEES
Jeppesen said earlier this month that it is refusing, so far, to sign an agreement with the Australian government to pay what in the U.S. would be a user fee for the privilege of using public data to compile aeronautical charts and information. According to Jeppesen, it and other commercial organizations are being asked by Airservices Australia to sign a licensing agreement and pay a license fee, the first of its kind. Jeppesen says the amount of the fee has yet to be determined, but it and other companies compiling such data are confident that it will be significant. More...

WSI JOINS JEPPESEN AS FAA-CERTIFIED COMMERCIAL ONLINE WEATHER PROVIDER
WSI Corporation this week announced it had received FAA certification for its Internet-based weather and NOTAM delivery system, WSI Pilotbrief Online. The service's certification is under the FAA’s Qualified Internet Communications Provider (QICP) program, which means that WSI Pilotbrief Online meets the agency's standards in areas like reliability, security and accessibility. The WSI service joins one offered by Jeppesen as the only two commercially available QICP-certified providers. More...

CANADA CERTIFIES EVS-1000 ON CHALLENGER
Could you some day fly your steam-gage King Air down an ILS to a 100-foot decision height without the electronics costing more than the plane? Could be, if recent trends are an indication. The trends in question are the enhanced vision systems first available on Gulfstream's high-end jets (see article above) and now being certified for other airframes. Earlier this month, Portland, Ore.-based Max-Viz Inc. announced the first-ever Transport Canada certification for one of the company's EVS-1000 systems. The infrared-based system was installed on a Bombardier Global Express by Montreal-based ABC Completions Inc. More...

RETIRE "AGENT ORANGE"?
Should the federal government retire its color-coded terrorist threat warning system? That's the theme of an op-ed piece, "Damage From the Alert System Is Alarming," written by Edward N. Luttwak at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies that appeared in Monday's Los Angeles Times. Labeling the current five-color warning system as "useless," Luttwak decries the bureaucratic tendency for government to cover itself by using the warning system whenever it perceives a terror threat. He notes that, "Nothing prevents the implementation of the security measures associated with each threat level, without any need to broadcast frightening yet meaningless warnings to the public." More...

E-OX: $200 BUYS THE WORLD'S BEST EMERGENCY OXYGEN SYSTEM!
Remember the Learjet crash that claimed the life of PGA champ Payne Stewart? With prices starting under $200, E-Ox offers a solid back-up for your aircraft's built-in system at a price you can't afford to pass up. E-Ox uses 100% medical-grade components. It's light and compact, so it slips easily into your flight bag or briefcase. For the ultimate in endurance, add our new REACT electronic oxygen conserver and your tanks will last six times longer! Order E-Ox and many other medical- and safety-related products by calling (888) 362-7123, or online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aeromedi/biz.

MAKING BUSINESS AVIATION LESS EXPENSIVE?
What do air-show legend R.A. "Bob" Hoover and former NASA astronaut Eugene Cernan have in common? If you answered that they are co-founders of a new corporate-jet buying service known as Jet Fleet International (JFI), you win a free subscription to AVweb. The JFI mission is to bring the same high-volume purchasing power enjoyed by the airlines to the business jet fleet by banding them together under one program. According to JFI, the program allows "members to fully benefit from savings on repair and maintenance programs, safety evaluation programs, pilot simulator training, fuel and weather data," among other products and services. More...

CHICAGO AIRSPACE CAN'T HANDLE O'HARE EXPANSION?
Now that Chicago's lakefront Meigs Field is closed, probably forever, are the industry's warnings of an adverse local impact on air traffic congestion coming true? Although not publicly connected to Meigs' closure, a study conducted by former FAA official Joseph Del Balzo says plans to expand Chicago O'Hare International Airport would create additional airspace congestion in the area, already one of the most crowded in the world. Among the problems Del Balzo reportedly uncovered is that plans omit consideration of the traffic at outlying airports. Whether the report's conclusion will serve as one more indication of the city's shortsightedness in closing Meigs remains to be seen. More...

FLYING TO THE SUPER BOWL?
If your company is planning to fly the boss or a party of favorites to the Feb. 1, 2004, Super Bowl game in Houston, be aware that not only will you have to deal with a Special Traffic Management Program (STMP), but you'll also be dealing with a security-based Temporary Flight Restriction. The STMP itself is pretty normal, given the amount of non-scheduled traffic events like this attract. And, of course, everyone wants to leave at the same time, right after the game. The STMP, coupled with the likely TFR -- AVweb hasn't seen it yet and doesn't know when we will -- can only make things much more complicated than they need to be. Our advice? Buy the boss one of those new digital flat-panel TVs and park the airplane. More...

CALCULATE OPERATING COSTS WITH THE INTERACTIVE AIRCRAFT BUDGET ANALYZER
AirPower Software offers multiple software editions to create instant budgets by manipulating your preloaded information to address your particular usage amounts and/or costs. Changes can be made to an individual preloaded figure or across the entire layout as needed. In addition to the preloaded databases of aircraft, the budget analyzer also lets you create your own individualized budget via the "My Aircraft" selection. This allows you to input operating numbers for any type aircraft. There are six editions including: Piston; Turbo Prop; Helicopter; and Jet. For more information and a sample download go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/airpower/biz.

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Business AVflash is a twice-monthly summary of the latest business aviation news, articles, products, features and events featured on AVweb, the Internet's Aviation Magazine and News Service. http://www.avweb.com

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Today's issue written by Joseph E. (Jeb) Burnside:
http://www.avweb.com/contact/authors.html#jburnside
AVweb's editorial team: http://avweb.com/contact/authors.html.

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Let's all be careful out there, okay?


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