AVwebBiz - Volume 8, Number 47

December 8, 2010

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
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AVflash! Recovery Still Over the Horizon back to top 
 
Sponsor Announcement
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Bizjet Recovery Not Until 2012

Although some forecasters predicted a long-awaited recovery in the business aviation industry sometime in 2011, Forecast International's latest analysis says the decline will continue through the coming year and not turn around until 2012. "The business jet market is not yet in recovery, but the worst of the market downturn is over," said Raymond Jaworowski, the firm's senior aerospace analyst. "Order intake remains sluggish, but the massive wave of order cancellations and delivery deferrals experienced in late 2008 and much of 2009 has receded. The market is no longer in freefall." He said backlogs have declined sharply due to cancellations and deferrals but there are orders to keep the scaled-back operations at most OEMs on life support.

As we've reported extensively, Forecast International says the top end of the market is fairing better than the small-to-medium sectors. The firm is saying there are "signs of recovery" in the big-jet class and it's being fueled in part by the announcement of new products. The Gulfstream G650 and Embraer Legacy 650 are attracting customers and Bombardier recently announced ultra-long-range Global 7000 and 8000. There is also a strong indication that Dassault will announce resumption of work on its super midsize SMS sometime in the next year.

 
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Rays of Light in the Economic Gloom back to top 
 

Charter Operators See Interest Spike

Demand for charter-jet services rose 52 percent in November compared to the same month a year before, according to the Air Taxi-Air Charter Association. Most of that is due to economic recovery leading to an increase in business travel, said Joe Leader, president of the trade group. However, "the TSA security hassle factor has absolutely had an additive effect on air taxi and air charter demand," he added, in the Los Angeles Times. In addition to the security hassles, airline cabins are increasingly crowded as airlines are reluctant to add capacity. In August, for example, the airlines averaged more than 85 percent full, the highest percentage ever for that month.

Airline fees also are driving irritated travelers to switch to other modes of travel, according to the Times. Over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, fees alone added up to about $167 million. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., authored legislation that would require airlines to post details of all their fees on their websites. "At a time when families are watching every last penny, they should have a full understanding of what they will be expected to pay not just to get to the airport, but to get to their destination," Menendez said. Airlines have been adding charges for checked luggage, to switch flights, to fly stand-by and more.

 
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NTSB Uncovers Fire Copter Reports back to top 
 

NTSB Says FAA Withheld Information

The FAA dismissed two pilots' allegations related to a fatal helicopter crash in 2008 and failed to report them to the NTSB, investigators said during a safety board meeting on Tuesday. The pilots wrote to the FAA two months after the crash and said the company that leased the firefighting helicopter to the Forest Service routinely understated takeoff weights. NTSB investigators didn't know about the allegations until a year later when the letters turned up in a routine request for documents. The NTSB said the Sikorsky S-61N helicopter was more than 1,000 pounds overweight when it tried to take off from a mountaintop clearing at about 6,000 feet near Weaverville, Calif. The helicopter was airborne less than a minute, carrying nine firefighters and two pilots, when it lost power, crashed into trees, hit the ground, and caught fire. One pilot and eight firefighters were killed and the others on board were seriously injured.

The helicopter was being operated under contract to the U.S. Forest Service by Carson Helicopter Services Inc. as a public-use flight, the NTSB said. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight that was originating at the time of the accident. A VFR flight plan had been filed. The helicopter had been assigned to transport about 50 wildland firefighter helitack crewmembers out of the Trinity Alps Wilderness of the Shasta Trinity National Forest due to forecasted worsening weather conditions. The helicopter had completed two trips, and had gone to Trinity Helibase to refuel. After it had refueled, it returned for its third load of passengers.

 
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Eyes in the Sky to Wear King Air Crown back to top 
 

King Air Picked As Surveillance Platform

At last October's National Business Aviation Association convention, Hawker Beechcraft CEO Bill Boisture noted that an increasing part of its business is supplying special mission aircraft to the military and governments. The latest example comes by way of a contract won by Boeing for an airborne surveillance system. Boeing is buying four King Air 350s to use as platforms for the Enhanced Medium Altitude Reconnaissance and Surveillance Systems and has options for two more for support aircraft, according to the Wichita Eagle.

The King Airs will be armed with a "self protection suite" and a plethora of electronic eyes, including an electro-optic and infrared full-motion video sensor, a communications intelligence collection system, an aerial precision guidance system, line-of-sight tactical and beyond line-of-sight communications suites. Somewhere amidst the hardware will be stations for two operators. The test program could be a bonanza for Hawker Beechcraft. If the Army buys the Boeing system, the King Air would seem to have a leg up as the deployment platform since the tests will have been conducted on it.

 
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Happening Now back to top 
 

MEBA Under Way In Dubai

The Middle East Business Aviation show got under way in Dubai on Tuesday and organizers are expecting a 30-percent increase in attendance from the 2008 edition. About 7,000 people are expected to attend. There are about 250 exhibitors and most of the bizjet OEMs are there. Bombardier has five aircraft, Cessna eight, Hawker Beechcraft four, and Embraer brought its new Legacy 650 along with a Lineage 1000 and a Legacy 600. Embraer released a report saying the Mideast business jet fleet will double to 600 in the next 10 years and be worth $11 billion to the industry. Al Bateen, the region's only executive airport, is getting ready for the increased traffic.

The privately-owned airport in Abu Dhabi recently added an ILS and also announced a 35-percent reduction in landing fees and a 17-percent drop in parking fees. Traffic is steadily increasing and will hit 8,000 movements this year. It's expected to hit 12,000 by 2014. Al Bateen is home to Al Jaber Aviation, XO Jet, Prestige Jet and Falcon Aviation Services with a combined fleet of around 30 business jets and helicopters.

 
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Who's Where back to top 
 

Zanetto Heads Up Fly Comlux

Andrea Zanetto

Andrea Zanetto is the new CEO at Fly Comlux. He was previously the COO of Meridiana Fly in Italy.


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: Airplanes as Sacred Cows

That's what the F-35 has been, but it may not stay that way. The Pentagon will certainly take some cuts, and the F-35 is a $382 billion target of opportunity. But it's also something else: Very likely the last major manned fighter we'll see for a while — and maybe forever. Paul Bertorelli has more in his latest post to the AVweb Insider blog.

Read more and join the conversation.

 
Bonus Depreciation Stories and Resources on AVweb.com
Fantastic Pricing and Tax Incentives make 2010 an ideal time to buy or upgrade an aircraft. We've compiled special offers on new or used planes, avionics, engines and more on the resource page. The pricing, rebates or incentives are available to everyone. Consult your tax advisor regarding the potential bonus depreciation benefits, and check our resources page for stories, podcasts, and videos related to bonus depreciation.
 
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 
 

Video: AVweb Flies the Kitfox LSA

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

Everyone complains that light sport aircraft are too expensive, but Kitfox is doing something about it. AVweb recently went to Homedale, Idaho to try out Kitfox's new moderately priced LSA. Here's a full video report.

(And here's a link to last month's podcast interview with Paul Leadabrand about the Kitfox.)

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.

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

The Final Grand Giveaway Celebrating AVweb's 15-Year Anniversary: Win a Garmin Aera 510 Handheld GPS

CLICK HERE to Register for All 15 Drawings

Where has the time gone? Our 15th anniversary year is almost over, and that means we've come to our 15th (and final) "Grand Giveaway." If you haven't already, register for one final chance to win — as we give away a Garmin aera 510 handheld GPS. All you have to do is click here to enter your name and e-mail address. (You must be a registered AVweb user; if you've entered any of our previous 15 Grand Giveaways drawings, you'll automatically be considered for the aera — no need to enter again.)

Remember: We won't rent or sell your name, ever. Tell your friends, and invite them to sign up for AVweb so they can enter this final 15 Grand Giveaways drawing. (We won't spam them, either — but do we hope they will sign up for our newsletters.)

Deadline for entries is 11:59pm Zulu time Sunday, December 19.

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.

 
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:

Publisher
Timothy Cole

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Editor-in-Chief
Russ Niles

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Features Editor
Kevin Lane-Cummings

Webmaster
Scott Simmons

Contributors
Jeff van West

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