AVwebBiz - Volume 9, Number 15

April 20, 2011

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
Cessna Aircraft || Makers of the Cessna Citation
There's Nothing Light About This Jet
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AVflash! Michelle Obama's Lesson in Separation back to top 
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First Lady's Plane In Loss Of Separation Incident

The latest air traffic control SNAFU on Tuesday evening involved a plane carrying First Lady Michelle Obama when controllers at Andrews Air Force Base ordered a go around. The First Lady's C-40, a military version of the Boeing 737 operated by a Guard unit, was handed off by the Potomac TRACON about three miles behind a C-17, instead of the required five miles. Officials were quick to point out that there was never any danger of collision and the go around was a precaution. The FAA is interested in knowing how the loss of separation occurred and the TRACON will undoubtedly be a busy place Wednesday morning.

Meanwhile, the agency is also dealing with the suspension of a controller and supervisor in Cleveland after it was reported that the controller was watching a movie while on duty. "For a little more than three minutes, the controller's microphone was inadvertently activated, transmitting the soundtrack of the movie over the radio frequency for that airspace," the FAA said in a statement. The incident occurred shortly after midnight at the Cleveland Air Route Traffic Control Center. The controller was watching the movie on a portable electronic device while working a radar position, the FAA said. The stuck-mic problem was brought to the attention of ATC by the pilot of a military aircraft using an alternate frequency.

The FAA said the use of portable DVD players and other devices is prohibited on the floor of the radar room. FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt has been touring the nation this week with NATCA President Paul Rinaldi to promote professionalism among air traffic controllers and address the public's questions about sleeping controllers and air safety. The FAA has changed scheduling rules to ensure that controllers get a minimum of nine hours off between shifts. The FAA said it will also develop a fatigue education program to teach controllers the risks of fatigue and how to avoid it, and will commission an independent review of the air traffic control training curriculum and qualifications to make sure new controllers are properly prepared. NATCA said it will expand its Professional Standards program, which focuses on peer-to-peer education for controllers on how to maintain the highest degree of professional conduct.

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Clock Ticks for D-Jet Development Talent back to top 

Diamond May Lose Key Workers

Diamond Aircraft says other companies are snapping up engineers and other workers laid off three weeks ago when the London, Ontario, Canada planemaker suspended its D-Jet program. The company has run out of money to continue the development of the D-Jet and is waiting for a decision on a $35 million loan from the Canadian government. A total of 213 people were laid off and within a week, Piper held a job fair looking for engineers for its aggressive Altaire jet program. Piper spokeswoman Jackie Carlon told the London Free Press that as many as 25 engineers may be making the move from London to Vero Beach. Meanwhile, the Free Press is also reporting that Bombardier is rumored to have made offers to 85 workers for jobs on its Lear 85 development program in Wichita. Diamond CEO Peter Maurer said the brain drain will delay the D-Jet and add costs. "It is dire. We would lose employees. It is a difficult situation for everyone," he said.

Maurer's comments come a week after a war of words erupted between Diamond owner Christian Dries and the local member of Parliament over the fate of the loan and its potential impact on Diamond. MP Ed Holder said Dries threatened to close the London plant if the loan wasn't approved and make the announcement just before a May 2 federal election. Dries says Holder took his comments out of context and has denied threatening to close the plant. Holder has since reiterated his assessment of the discussion with Dries and he's sounding less enthusiastic about Diamond's request. Diamond has since asked the government for $8 million over the next four months as an interim measure, something the company believes could be handled by the bureaucracy rather than in the politically charged atmosphere of the election campaign. Holder has rejected that notion, however, saying the revised request must go through the same "due diligence" and suggesting the company look to the government of Ontario or the city of London for the $8 million. "Those might be avenues (to take)," Holder told the Free Press.

AeroExpo UK || 17-19 June 2011 || Sywell, UK
AeroExpo UK
... is the dedicated General Aviation exhibition in 2011, showcasing everything from ultralights through to turboprops and jets. Whether you are interested in learning to fly or are already a pilot and want to view the latest products available, AeroExpo UK has it covered!

Click here to learn more.
Everything Old Is New Again back to top 

"New" Adam 500 In The Works

The new owner of assets of Adam Aircraft says he intends to certify an improved version of the A500 push/pull piston twin rather than resume manufacturing the aircraft under its existing certification. Thomas Hsueh, owner of Triton Aerospace, of Anacortes, Wash., told the Skagit Valley Herald he's not satisfied with the aircraft as it was certified and the new aircraft, as yet unnamed, will weigh 800 to 1,000 pounds less than the original. Hsueh said he's not happy about the recertification plan but it's the only alternative to get the airplane he wants and one he's sure has a "pent-up demand."

Hsueh said he's getting to work on the new aircraft immediately and hopes to have a flying prototype in six months. Among the items that came with the sale of assets is the full computerized design suite and all the associated intellectual property, so he's not starting at square one. He said the weight savings will come from "proper engineering," which he did not elaborate on. The goal is what Adam originally intended with the A500. "Well, I'm going to produce an airplane that, when it says six seats, you can carry six people and still go a decent distance," Hsueh said. Hsueh also has two disassembled A700 jets but they're likely to stay in mothballs for the foreseeable future if not indefinitely. "Right now I have no plans to continue them. So I'll just preserve them some place and decide what to do with [them]," he said.

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Busy European Expo Does a Lot of Business back to top 

EBACE Attracts Most Exhibitors Ever

With the show still a month away, the organizers of the 11th European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition said this week they have signed up more than 460 exhibitors, making it the biggest EBACE ever. The event, from May 17 to 19 in Geneva, Switzerland, is still accepting more reservations for space. The previous record was set in 2008, when the show attracted 445 exhibitors. The show is jointly sponsored every year by the European Business Aviation Association and the U.S.-based National Business Aviation Association. Besides vendor exhibits and static displays at Geneva International Airport, the event features workshops about operational issues, news conferences, and educational forums.

The show has also already assigned 2,051 booth spaces, which also sets a new record, organizers said. Updates about the show are being posted at the EBACE web site and also on Twitter.

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High-Tech Cockpits for Small Jets back to top 

HUD For Small Jets Unveiled

Rockwell Collins has unveiled what it says is the first head-up guidance system (HGS) designed for small and medium-sized business jets. The HGS-3500 was revealed at the Corporate Aviation Safety Seminar in San Diego. The system will run off a Collins Pro-Line Fusion panel and display enhanced and synthetic vision images. Rockwell Collins spokesman Greg Irmen said the gear is a "breakthrough system that brings this advanced capability to thousands of aircraft that never before had access to the safety benefits of head-up flying."

The HUD itself is an all-in-one hardware package that is designed to fit in smaller cockpits. Rockwell Collins has installed 3,500 HUDs in larger aircraft in the last 20 years.

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Who's Where back to top 

Brentzel New Jet Source President

Jay Brentzel

Jay Brentzel has been promoted to President of Jet Source in Carlsbad, CA and will continue in his role as Director of Operations.

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.

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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Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: So, Why Can't Controllers Take Sleep Breaks?

The services work their people hard, especially the Navy when doing flight ops. On a shipboard visit some years ago, Paul Bertorelli found that exhausted sailors could take sleep breaks. In this post to the AVweb Insider blog he asks, "Why not controllers?"

Read more and join the conversation.

AVweb Insider Blog: More Money = Less Snooze?

Only the U.S. government could, in response to a labor situation in which the job is so boring and low-key that workers can't stay awake to do it, double the workforce. In a post to the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli predicts how this will affect ATC: This time next year, we'll be running a story about two controllers who fell asleep in a tower.

Read more and join the conversation.

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

Video: Practicing Slam-Dunk Approaches with 'IFR' Magazine

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

Eventually, every instrument pilot gets a slam-dunk approach. IFR magazine's Jeff Van West explains how to practice for the slam to remove the guesswork and even add the high-speed technique to your instrument flying toolbox.

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.

The Franklins: How You Can Help back to top 

ICAS Foundation's Kyle & Amanda Franklin Fund

Kyle & Amanda Franklin Fund || Click to Donate via the ICAS Foundation

The aviation community is coming together to help Kyle and Amanda Franklin get back on their feet and eventually back in the air after their mishap at Air Fiesta at the Brownsville/South Padre Island Airport. If you'd like to contribute, click on the banner at right to visit the ICAS Foundation web site.

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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