AVwebBiz Complete Issue: Volume 9, Number 22

June 8, 2011

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
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AVflash! Av Groups Go to Bat for Privacy back to top 
 
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GA Groups Challenge BARR Change

The Transportation Department's recent decision to dismantle the BARR (Block Aircraft Registration Request) program, which allows aircraft operators to block identifying data from public flight-tracking systems, now faces a legal challenge from general aviation advocacy groups. NBAA, AOPA, and EAA said on Monday they will seek an injunction to prevent the DOT decision from taking effect and will ask the courts to invalidate the new policy altogether. "The DOT ... appears to have simply ignored the thousands of individuals and companies that voiced their strong and principled opposition to this change," said NBAA President Ed Bolen.

Bolen said the BARR decision is "an alarming development" with implications that extend well beyond aviation. "This is the first time an agency has claimed the public's interest in 'open government' requires public dissemination to anyone with an Internet connection of wholly personal and private information simply because it happens to be in the government's possession." Bolen said BARR retains widespread support from both Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate. "Unfortunately, the Administration's sudden, unilateral decision to curtail the program forces us to look to the courts for help in preserving the privacy, competitiveness and security of Americans and American companies while Congress reviews the program," Bolen said.

 
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Back to Business for Jets back to top 
 

Bizjet Use Rises Sharply

Business aircraft traffic is now within 10 percent of the April 2008 peak and while that's good news for some parts of the industry, the manufacturing side is still in the doldrums in many sectors. USA Today quoted JSSI CEO Lou Seno as saying flight hours took a big jump in the first quarter of the year. He said the 1,300 customers for whom JSSI manages aircraft, on average, flew 11.4 percent more hours and the trend continued into April, which saw a 7-percent increase over March. "We are not back to late '07, early '08 levels, but we're really off the bottom of where we were," says Lou Seno, president and CEO of JSSI. "In the fall of 2008, following the decline of the financial markets … flying literally fell off the charts, and because of the economy and everything else, it has been slow to recover. But the recovery we're seeing has been encouraging." While bizjet owners are using their aircraft more, most are still not in a buying mood.

The latest report from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association showed business jets were among the weakest categories for deliveries in the first quarter compared to 2010, which was hardly a banner year. Most analysts believe the manufacturers have another tough year ahead of them before there's enough confidence among business leaders to start updating their equipment and the glut of used aircraft currently on the market gets back to normal. "It appears that people are getting back to doing business and out using their airplanes for the purpose which (they're) … meant to be used," Seno said. "For guys who have to go out and make it happen, the only way to do it is in a corporate airplane, where you can get in and make five stops in one day."

 
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Bombardier's Good Year back to top 
 

CSeries Orders Buoy Bombardier

It's been a good week for Bombardier's CSeries program with a few new orders and a more positive outlook for the potentially game-changing design. An unnamed airline took three 110-seat versions of the ultra-efficient single-aisle aircraft and options for three more. The $350 million deal, if the options are exercised, is small in airline terms but it comes on the eve of the Paris Air Show and some pundits are suggesting this sale and last week's 10-plane order from Sweden's Braathens are teasers before a blockbuster announcement at the big show. Regardless, the orders are the first in 15 months for the CSeries and Bombardier's arch rival in just about everything, Embraer, is watching from the sidelines as it assesses the market potential for single-aisle jets in an increasingly crowded field.

Actually, Embraer says it's really only interested in what Boeing will do before it decides whether to enter the fray. Embraer, which already produces regional airliners in the 50-100-seat range, is considering a 150-seat aircraft that would put it in direct competition with whatever the 737 will become and Airbus's refreshed and re-engined A320. That's not to mention China and Russia's entries to the market. However, it's Boeing's plans that have Embraer on the fence and the company says it won't decide what it will do until Boeing decides whether to upgrade the 737 or build a single-aisle version of the 787. "We plan to wait to see what Boeing decides," Paulo Cesar de Souza e Silva, president of Embraer's commercial aviation unit, told Bloomberg. "We believe it's important to have every piece of information about our competitors for us to make a sound decision." If they build it, Embraer intends to make it even more efficient than the offerings now being built or proposed. An open rotor engine is a possibility.

 
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Trials, Tribulations, and Temporary Flight Restrictions back to top 
 

GA Groups Lobby For Kinder TFRs

Aviation advocates working with the TSA last year made progress in lessening the impact of TFRs on Hawaii's airport businesses during a presidential visit, and now six GA groups are asking the TSA to loosen its grip nationwide. In a letter (PDF) to TSA Administrator John Pistole, the groups ask for procedures that would allow general aviation operations at near-normal levels while still addressing the security measures necessary to protect the president. Plans already in place at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport allow GA aircraft to share the airspace with the president, the groups said, and those procedures could be implemented elsewhere.

The impact of TFRs as they are currently imposed is not inconsequential. "For instance, a fixed base operator at Chicago's Midway Airport loses an average of $60,000 in revenue daily when the president visits the Chicago area," says the letter. "Also, helicopter air tour operators In Hawaii and Las Vegas experience losses in excess of $150,000 during each presidential visit." Presidential TFRs typically stop or severely limit GA operations at airports within a 30-nm radius of the president's location, causing serious financial consequences for GA operators while allowing commercial airline flights to continue. The letter was signed by the leaders of NBAA, AOPA, EAA, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Helicopter Association International and the National Air Transportation Association.

 
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Hawker 200 Update back to top 
 

Second Hawker 200 Flying

Hawker Beechcraft says it's about halfway to certification of the Hawker 200 light business jet it unveiled last October at the National Business Aviation Association convention in Atlanta. Executive Vice President Shawn Vick said the second preproduction 200 had its first flight last week and is now taking part in the certification flight testing. There are also two modified Beech Premier jets. The 200 is an updated version of the Premier 1A and was originally named the Premier 2. Although they look the same on the outside, the systems changes and performance upgrades make it virtually a new aircraft.

The 200 has Williams FJ44-3AP engines that give it a 20-percent range boost (up to 1,500 nm with four pax) and a cruise speed of up to 473 knots. It will, of course, sport a full glass cockpit with all the bells and whistles and it will include a 10-year warranty on the composite fuselage. Cost is about $7.5 million. Vick said there will be a new full-scale mockup of the fuselage making the show rounds this year to gauge customer response to the layout and choice of materials.

 
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Opinion & Commentary back to top 
 

AVweb Insider Blog: LOTOT and the Impossible Turn

One reason so many people die in stall-related accidents may be that we don't have good training doctrine to detect and respond to loss of power incidents on takeoffs. And we persist in the notion that turning back to the runway is never a good idea. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli offers a different viewpoint.

Read more and join the conversation.

AVweb Insider Blog: Fatal Accident Reduction — No Easy Task

Paul Bertorelli's been looking at the numbers from a single year of GA accident fatalities —— and he shares his findings on the AVweb Insider blog. When you look at the numbers, says Paul, it's not easy to see any low-hanging fruit because there isn't any. Stall-related accidents still kill the most pilots every year, but plain, unimaginative loss of control is a close second. And don't even get him started on the bad judgment calls.

Read more and join the conversation.

 
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Who's Where back to top 
 

Yowell Law at Plane Fax

Christi Yowell Law

Christi Yowell Law is now an aircraft history specialist at Plane Fax. She was formerly at International Aircraft Title and Escrow.


Ramirez Promoted at JSSI

Haydee Ramirez

Haydee Ramirez is the new director of business development for Africa at JSSI. She's been at JSSI for three years as an international sales assistant.


McAndrews to Platinum Aviation

Kevin McAndrews

Kevin McAndrews has been named director of sales for the aircraft division of Platinum Aviation. McAndrews was previously the co-owner of Sunrise Helicopters in New York and Florida.


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

Video: Tribute to Amanda Franklin

Recommend a Video | VOTW Archive

A nice video tribute to Amanda Franklin, who died a week ago, was posted shortly after her death. Franklin died May 27 from complications of burns suffered in a March 12 crash while she was doing her wingwalking routine with husband Kyle flying their Waco biplane. Donations are still being accepted to help the Franklin family in the aftermath of the tragedy.

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.
Originally posted to YouTube by Cindy Monohan/cinziava

Don't forget to send us links to any interesting videos you find out there. If you're impressed by it, there's a good chance other AVweb readers will be too. And if we use a video you recommend on AVweb, we'll send out an official AVweb baseball cap as a "thank you."

Video: Eastman Aviation's CH750 Video Review

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

There are only a few LSAs that qualify for true STOL status, and Eastman's CH750 is one of them. With full-span flaperons and leading-edge slats, it won't win any beauty contests, but it could excel at some short landing contests. In this video, Aviation Consumer editor Paul Bertorelli takes a spin with Eastman's Gary Webster.

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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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 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.

 
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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