AVwebBiz Complete Issue: Volume 9, Number 5

February 2, 2011

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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AVflash! Bizjets Stepping Up back to top 

Bizjets Evacuate Expats From Egypt

As unrest in Egypt continues, a veritable flotilla of private aircraft is filling a void left by the disarray of airline transportation at the country's main exit-point airports. As of Tuesday evening, it's estimated that more than 1,200 expatriates have been evacuated from Egypt on everything from Lears to A300s. Countries around the world are attempting to get regular airliners into Cairo with mixed results but the stream of private aircraft seems mostly unaffected by the turmoil. As always, expedience has its price.

As demand has increased, so have charter fees. A flight to Cyprus (350 miles) in a business jet is going for $26,000 and a trip to Abu Dhabi is running $100,000. On the forefront of the evacuation effort is Air Partner, which took 800 people out on 14 flights over 36 hours to "safe havens" as far away as the U.S. "Air Partner team members worldwide worked tirelessly throughout the weekend arranging flights out of Egypt for individuals and corporations wishing to safeguard oversees employees from the political unrest currently gripping the country," an Air Partner statement said.

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Signs of Life, Part I back to top 

Top Of The Bizjet Market Healthy

In case there was any doubt that the upper end of the bizjet market is healthy, Airbus announced Tuesday that it delivered 15 corporate aircraft last year and took orders for eight more. Granted, 13 of the 15 delivered were low-end A318s and A320s, but a couple of widebody A330 and A340 aircraft also went out the door. The total value was more than $1.5 billion. "Like our airliner business, the market for our corporate jets is worldwide and growing, as more and more customers recognise the greater capability, benefits and value that we offer, when compared with traditional business jets," said COO John Leahy. Bombardier recently inked a deal for eight of its largest corporate airplanes and Boeing reported healthy numbers in that league, too. Embraer and Gulfstream are also riding a surge in high-end business. The uptick at the top of the market also figures in the business of suppliers that cater to it and True North Avionics is just one example.

TrueNorth sells cabin communications and entertainment systems for big business jets and has apparently missed the recession. The company said it set sales records for its SimPhone OpenCabin system and signed contracts with a long list of blue-chip providers of ultra-luxury, long-range transportation. TrueNorth says its success is a harbinger of good things to come in the bizjet sector.

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Signs of Life, Part II back to top 

Textron Upbeat For 2011

Textron, the parent company of both Cessna and Bell Helicopter, reports that business was up in the fourth quarter of 2010, and more growth is expected for 2011. "An improving commercial outlook, combined with accelerating investments in new product development, should support top-line growth across our manufacturing businesses," said CEO Scott Donnelly. "We're particularly encouraged by the pick-up in business jet and commercial helicopter demand." Those sales were driven in part by the impact of bonus depreciation in the United States, Donnelly said, but relative stability in global economies and improving business confidence is also having an impact. Cessna's revenues increased $105 million in the fourth quarter of 2010 from the same period in the prior year, reflecting higher overall volume, including the delivery of 79 business jets, compared to 68 in 2009.

Cessna also said last month the pace of Skycatcher arrivals from Shenyang Aircraft Corporation, in China, is increasing. The company is on track to deliver 150 Skycatchers this year, including the first models featuring the McCauley two-blade, fixed-pitch composite propeller. Also, Cessna said it has posted the complete Pilot's Operating Handbook for the Skycatcher online (PDF). Cessna's Bob Stangarone spoke with AVweb's Paul Bertorelli last month at the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, Fla.; click here for that podcast, featuring an update on the Skycatcher program.

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Funding the FAA back to top 

FAA Funding May Fly As "Jobs Bill"

On Monday, Democrats in the Senate recast the long-overdue FAA funding bill as an infrastructure and jobs program, arguing that $8 billion for airport improvements will support 90,000 workers. "If there was ever a jobs bill, this is it," said Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev. The bill, which has been stalled for more than three years, would allot $34.5 billion to the FAA to keep the agency running for two years and make progress toward NextGen. Last year, the bill passed in the Senate but languished in the House. The new House, however, may provide fewer obstacles. U.S. Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., the new chair of the House Transportation Committee, has said the bill will be his first priority, according to The Associated Press.

Various issues have bogged down the legislation over the last few years, including a dispute between FedEx and UPS over union rules and wrangling over the addition of more slots at Washington's Reagan National Airport. Consensus seems to be building, however, that the details will get worked out and the legislation will finally get through to completion sometime this year. But that doesn't mean it will be smooth sailing. Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., told Politico he wasn't buying the Democrats' pitch. "It's not a jobs bill," he said. "I know jobs is a big thing these days, but don't try to sell legislation that really has some other impetus or reason for being as a jobs bill if it's really not."

Lightspeed Aviation Foundation
Don't Let This Opportunity Pass You By!
The Lightspeed Aviation Foundation Has Extended the Deadline
For Aviation-Related Charities to Apply for 2011 Grants

Twenty charities were awarded over $100,000 in grants for 2010. Your favorite charity could be on that list this year. To fill out the application, simply go to LightspeedAviationFoundation.org.

Make sure you submit it by midnight, February 11. Once the 20 finalists are chosen, the pilot community will decide how the funds will be distributed.
Fact, Fiction — And Fiasco? back to top 

Chinese Fighter, Or "Top Gun" Clip?

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A news video produced by CCTV, China's state broadcaster, purports to show a missile shot by a Chinese J-10 destroying another jet during an air force drill, but in fact the clip appears to be from the movie "Top Gun," according to The Wall Street Journal. The Journal's side-by-side comparison of the clips shows them to be virtually identical. A Web user named Liu Yi first posted the questionable clips, which were later compiled by the WSJ. The video has been taken down by the Chinese news site, but CCTV has not commented on the incident, according to the Toronto Star.

In the video clip, a CCTV reporter describes the air force training drill as three jets launch missiles, then shows a jet exploding in midair. The side-by-side comparison compares the explosion to the clip from "Top Gun," showing identical chunks of debris flying from both jets. Ironically, Beijing authorities recently have been putting pressure on news organizations to dismiss journalists suspected of falsifying reports, according to the WSJ.

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Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: A Mixed Message on Met Towers

The FAA is suggesting that if the folks who are putting up met towers wouldn't mind, it would be nice if they would paint them so aviators have a better chance of seeing them. On the AVweb Insider, Mary Grady wonders why the FAA doesn't just, you know, issue some kind of mandate if the towers are a safety issue.

Read more and join the conversation.

AVweb Insider Blog: FAA's SAIB on Icing — Huh?

The FAA probably spent a fair amount of staff research time and money telling us what we already know: Conventional stall warning systems don't work very well, if at all, in icing. But having reviewed 25 years worth of data, they probably missed a boatload of opportunities to tell us things we really don't know about icing accidents. In the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli opines that one of these is tailplane icing.

Read more and join the conversation.

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Who's Where back to top 

New Line Manager at Tampa Jet Center

Clayton Lackey is the new line service manager at Tampa International Jet Center. He's worked at the business since 2007.

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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The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 

De-Icing in the Real World: Aviation Consumer Wants to Hear from TKS Users

Aviation Consumer is researching an article on TKS performance in the real world and could really use your help. If you fly an aircraft equipped with a TKS system, please take just a few moments to complete this online survey.

Information about how you use the system and how it performs will be kept anonymous, but the general findings will be reported in a future issue of Aviation Consumer.

AVweb's Newstips Address ...

Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something 255,000 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.

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

Video: Flight Recorders Reviewed by 'Aviation Consumer'

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

Ever wish you could replay a flight and analyze what really happened? Aviation Consumer's Jeff Van West reviewed three different cockpit recording systems that target three significantly different needs. Here's the video recap.

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Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
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Video: Own an Airplane, Make Money, Save Taxes

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

If it seems like David Sussman has achieved airplane ownership Nirvana, he would probably agree. AVweb spoke with him at U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring about enjoying financial benefits from a light sport aircraft.

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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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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