AVwebBiz Complete Issue: Volume 9, Number 17

May 4, 2011

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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AVflash! Jack Pelton Steps Down back to top 
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Pelton Leaves Cessna

Jack Pelton, the current chairman, president and CEO of Cessna, is retiring, parent company Textron announced on Monday. Scott Donnelly, the CEO of Textron, is now running Cessna, though Pelton doesn't officially retire until June 1. Donnelly, who is based in Providence, R.I., has already been spending a lot of time in Wichita, Textron spokesman David Sylvestre told AVweb on Tuesday, and will be spending more time there until Pelton's successor is named. "We are actively conducting a search, and looking at both internal and external candidates," Sylvestre said. The company is seeing signs of recovery, he said, and the new leader at Cessna "would have to capitalize on that." Cessna's recent quarterly report showed a loss of $38 million, which Donnelly called "disappointing."

Pelton joined Cessna in November 2000 as a senior vice president in charge of engineering and product development. He was named president and chief executive officer in 2003 and chairman in 2005. He oversaw the development of the Mustang jet and the Skycatcher light sport aircraft, and was active in a number of initiatives to promote general aviation overall. "Jack Pelton has been an exceptional leader for and friend to the entire general aviation community," said AOPA President Craig Fuller. "I am certain that he will continue to be a powerful advocate for GA and look forward to future opportunities to work together." Pete Bunce, president of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, told AVweb that Pelton has been a "tireless" industry leader. "We owe him a huge debt of gratitude," Bunce said. "He has been one of our most effective spokesmen for general aviation, always willing to travel and speak to policy makers and regulators on issues affecting both manufacturers and operators. He has passionately promoted a positive perception of business aviation while also tackling the tough issues associated with air traffic modernization and aircraft certification." EAA Chairman Tom Poberezny told AVweb that Pelton has been an "outstanding" leader. "As an aircraft owner and active pilot, an engineer and a manager, he grasped the entire spectrum of aviation," Poberezny said. "That's a unique blend, a total package. I hope he stays engaged in the community."

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China Readying for a GA Renaissance back to top 

China Lays Out Its GA Plan

The recent buying spree of U.S. aviation companies by the Chinese appears to be a coordinated effort to ensure the country cashes in on the phased liberalization of airspace restrictions. People's Daily, the official organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, reported on Tuesday that state-owned AVIC International Holding Corporation recently completed its acquisition of Mobile, Ala.-based Teledyne Continental Motors and the purchase "will make AVIC International better prepared for the burgeoning general aviation market in the country." It also touts the pending sale of Cirrus Aircraft to China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Company (CAIGA) "will greatly enhance CAIGA's production capacity, and help it meet the surging demand for general aviation aircraft as China looks to further open up its low-altitude airspace." It's worth noting that CAIGA was formed in May of 2010, not long before reports began circulating that Cirrus was being sold to the Chinese. The deal was formally announced Feb. 28 and must still be approved by U.S. regulators.

People's Daily unveiled the timeline for the opening up of low-level airspace in China. It quotes Li Jiaxiang, director of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, as saying the plan is to phase in the airspace liberalization and have all airspace below 3,000 meters open by 2015. The plan was laid out pretty clearly in the story. "The development of the whole industry will be accelerated through cooperating with foreign companies and introducing advanced technologies to develop China's own products and intellectual property rights," said Wang Xia, deputy president of the General Aviation College under the Civil Aviation University of China. "As foreign companies have limited knowledge of the domestic general aviation policies and operating system, domestic enterprises still have certain advantages. However, the advantages are temporary. We must advance with the times and continue to develop to maintain this advantage."

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Hawker Revenues Dip, Workload Ticks Upward back to top 

Hawker Beechcraft: GA Deliveries Up

In first-quarter reports released this week, Hawker Beechcraft reported aircraft deliveries in its business and general aviation segments were up compared to the same period last year, but revenues were down. Hawker said it delivered 45 business and GA aircraft in the first quarter 2011, compared to 34 in the first quarter 2010. "We are coming off of a solid 2010 and our momentum into 2011 is encouraging," said CEO Bill Boisture. "While the first quarter is historically a quieter one for the industry, we believe the uptick in our aircraft shipments and increased backlog is evidence of the ongoing demand for our products." Despite higher delivery numbers, however, revenues were down by about $49 million over last year, at $286 million. The company said the decrease was due to a higher percentage of lower-priced aircraft in the 2011 deliveries, plus lower revenues from the sale of used aircraft received as trade-ins.

Boisture said other factors contributed to the "significant losses" in the business and GA segment, including higher sales and marketing expenses related to international expansion, expenses associated with cost-reduction initiatives, and continuing weakness in the general aviation market. "Due to strong sales in the fourth quarter of 2010, we started the year with fewer jets in inventory, which in turn led to four fewer jet deliveries compared to the first quarter of last year," he said. "However, we delivered 15 more Beechcraft aircraft versus last year -- including several special mission aircraft -- which speaks to the market recognizing the inherent attributes of Beechcraft products' efficiency and utility, especially in a down market." He added that he is "cautiously optimistic" that a recovery for GA will begin next year, as most industry analysts have forecasted.

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.
The Goodyear Blimp ... Er, Zeppelin back to top 

Goodyear Trades Blimps For Airships

"Goodyear Airship" just doesn't have the same ring to it but the iconic blimps are being phased out in favor of a rigid design. The rubber company announced Tuesday it's teaming with Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik, of Friedrichshafen, Germany, to build three Zeppelin NT airships to replace the gas bags that now circle the stadiums of the nation. The $21 million airships will be built at Goodyear's blimp-making facility in Akron in a team effort between Goodyear and Zeppelin. Goodyear took a test drive in an appropriately decorated Zeppelin over Europe last summer. The Zeppelin model delivers considerably better performance and payload over the Goodyear creations.

The Zeppelin NT is 246 feet long compared to the current blimps' 193 feet. The rigid ship will go 73 mph, 19 mph faster than the blimp, and the Zeppelin's gondola will carry 13 people compared to the blimp's seven. The new aircraft will be powered by three Lycoming IO-360 engines. The first airship will go into service in 2014. Goodyear keeps its lighter-than-air fleet at bases in Akron, Oh.; Pompano Beach, Fla.; and Carson, Calif.

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New Meaning to the Term "Airborne Virus" back to top 

Heli-Expo Source Of Measles Outbreak

If you brought something home from Heli-Expo other than a nifty swag bag and a latent desire to hang a machine gun on your chopper, then the Center for Disease Control wants to know about it. The CDC has sent an e-mail letter (PDF) to everyone who registered for the event in early March to tell them that at least five of their fellow show-goers came down with measles. Since they were all at the show, the CDC is presuming that someone at the Orange County Convention Center with an unrecognized case of the disease was the source of the outbreak. It's already too late for those who picked up a dose of the highly contagious illness at the show but since measles can be serious for some, the CDC wants to try and prevent further spread, something that might be a challenge given that attendees came from all over the world.

Anyone who got sick after getting home from Orlando should see his or her doctor so the local health authorities can be notified. That way, those who might have been in contact with an infected show-goer can be vaccinated. U.S. residents with questions about the notice can contact the Orange County Health Department at 407-858-1400. Visitors from outside the U.S. can call the CDC at 800-232-4636. Measles information is also available here.

Southeast Aerospace (SEA)
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The newly designed industry-leading web site SEAerospace.com has been released! Get to know all of SEA's services: Part Sales, Repairs, Installations, Special Missions and Engineering. Each online department provides detailed information on services, capabilities, experiences and contact information. Save time and go directly to the resources you need. And, as always, you can find real-time inventory pricing and delivery on the part sales site, SEA-Avionics.com.
Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: Sleep Breaks for Controllers — The Politics Are Wrong for This One

If NATCA, the controllers' union, was entertaining the slightest notion that the FAA would approve its members reporting for midshifts with jammies and blankets in tow, I'd say that idea is probably a dead letter by now. The politics are just all wrong, no matter how good the idea may be. And controllers aren't necessarily helping their own cause. In his latest post to the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli explains why.

Read more and join the conversation.

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Who's Where back to top 

Pearce to Innotech-Execaire Aviation Group

Andrew Pearce

Andrew Pearce is the new Aircraft Sales Director for Innotech-Execaire Aviation Group in the U.K., Europe and the Middle East. He has 30 years of experience, particularly in the Middle East.

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 

Survey: 'IFR' Magazine Wants to Hear Your Thoughts on Lockheed Martin FSS

Do you use Lockheed Flight Service? Did you used to but you don't any more? We're planning to sit down for a chat with Lockheed and want to hear your thoughts before we do. Please take a moment to complete this short survey so your voice can be heard. Hey, you're paying for the service whether you use it or not ... .

Click here to take the survey.

The results will appear in a future issue of Aviation Consumer. For subscription information, click here.

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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: 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.

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Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

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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