Volume 2, Issue 5 -- March 17, 2004

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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded Business News Coverage At AVweb's Business NewsWire.

COULD DCA BE RE-OPENED TO GA?
Yesterday's field hearing by the U.S. House of Representatives' Subcommittee on Aviation may be the beginning of the end for the ongoing ban of non-scheduled operations from the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). The hearing, held in a hangar at the airport's mostly deserted Signature Flight Support facility, allowed the general and business aviation trade associations to once again tell Congress about the many problems arising from the federal government's dealings with the industry in the two-and-one-half years since Sept. 11, 2001. It was also an opportunity for David M. Stone, the TSA's acting administrator, to tell Congress that his agency "is devising a security plan that will allow general aviation and charter operations to resume at DCA." Stone told the panel that his agency planned to present such a plan to an interagency working group as early as within two weeks. More...

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DEADLINES, SCHMEDLINES
One of the more interesting reminders to come from the testimony presented at yesterday's field hearing on non-scheduled access to DCA involved three provisions in the FAA's reauthorization bill, which was enacted on Dec. 12, 2003. Among other things, that bill authorized up to $100 million in federal funds to be used "to reimburse ... general aviation entities for the security costs incurred and revenue foregone" resulting from federally imposed security-based restrictions. Two other things the bill did were to mandate that the Secretary of Homeland Security "develop and implement a security plan to permit general aviation aircraft to land and take off at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport" and to require the FAA to submit, within 30 days after the bill was enacted, "a report containing an explanation of the need for" the Washington ADIZ. Based on TSA Acting Administrator David M. Stone's statement that a plan was in the works, that action could come sooner, rather than later. More...

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TWIN CESSNA AD: WHAT YA GONNA DO WHEN THEY COME FOR YOU?
Got an older Sabreliner, JetStar, Learjet, Citation or GI you're still flying? How about an MU-2, Metro II or early Hawker? If so, then the ongoing drama among owners of 400-series Cessnas, the FAA and Cessna itself bears watching closely, especially if your type is no longer in production. As AVweb has reported, the FAA on May 15, 2003, proposed a complicated, costly Airworthiness Directive (AD) targeting the heavier twin Cessnas (not the 300-series airplanes, yet) for wing spar strap modifications on about 700 relatively high-time Cessna 401, 402, 411 and 414 aircraft. Earlier this month, the FAA held an unprecedented two-day public meeting, bringing together various interested parties to discuss the proposed AD. If adopted, the AD could force operators to incur compliance costs estimated as high as $70,000 per airplane, an amount approaching what an individual airplane may be worth. Aside from the expense associated with the proposed AD, the FAA's actions in this saga thus far suggest there may be dark days ahead for anyone with an "older" aircraft on which someone, somewhere has identified a potentially unsafe condition. More...

OURPLANE FRACTIONAL OWNERS BECOME MORE PROFICIENT WITH ADVANCED TRAINING
OurPLANE Fractional Aircraft Ownership is the #1 world leader in offering brand-new Cessna, Cirrus, and Raytheon aircraft at a fraction of the cost of sole aircraft ownership. OurPLANE customers will now be offered training from ElectronicFlight Solutions, including GPS and avionics training packages. Another safety benefit from OurPLANE, where low-cost aircraft ownership is GUARANTEED! Locations throughout California, Texas, New York, and Connecticut. Call (877) 775-2631 and mention this AVflash, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/ourplane/biz.

GULFSTREAM KEEPS RACKING UP THE MILES, AND AWARDS
Like a traveling salesman punch-drunk on racking up enough frequent-flyer miles to receive first-class upgrades for life, Gulfstream keeps setting distance records with its G550 uber-bizjet. And, in the bargain, it also won an award. The most recent distance records were established on March 8, when a G550 took off from Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C., and landed 7 hours and 24 minutes later at Tempelhof Airport in Berlin, Germany. Three days later, the G550 took off again, this time from Rotterdam Airport in the Netherlands, and landed 7 hours and 27 minutes later at Dulles. Gulfstream is awaiting official recognition by the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) for the resulting speed records. More...

HASSLE-FREE AUTO BUYING FOR THE AVIATION INDUSTRY
You read right! Crewcar and Consumer Guides have teamed up to offer hassle-free auto buying to the aviation industry! Next to the purchase of your home and airplane, this is the most important item you will purchase. Don't go blindly into a dealership; look to Crewcar. Crewcar is a car-buying service formed by aviation professionals. Teamed with Consumer Guide's Personal Auto Advisors (PAA), Crewcar provides shoppers with a free integrated phone and electronic concierge-level buying service that offers outstanding service and value no matter the geography. The service is provided gratis and meets all the Consumer Guide dealership network quality and service standards. For more information, visit Crewcar's web site at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/crewcar/biz.

ECLIPSE TO ACTUALLY START BUILDING JETS; PLEDGES "TRANSPARENCY"
Eclipse Aviation Corp.'s push to certificate its Eclipse 500 light-light bizjet is scheduled to take a giant leap forward this week when the company intends to open its new Friction Stir Weld Center. The 97,000-square-foot facility will eventually house 70 employees and will be used to assemble the Eclipse 500's aluminum fuselage using the friction stir welding process. Eclipse plans to begin building seven pre-production models of its twin-engine, six-seat business jet. Three of the seven aircraft will be used for FAA certification tests, two will be used as beta testers -- logging flight time to uncover post-production issues before they make it into the delivered fleet -- and the remaining pair will be used for static testing. The Eclipse 500, to be priced at $1 million, "will be one of the most highly tested general aviation airplanes in history," according to company spokesperson Andrew Broom. More...

CALCULATE OPERATING COSTS WITH THE INTERACTIVE AIRCRAFT BUDGET ANALYZER
AirPower Software offers multiple software editions that create instant budgets by manipulating your preloaded information to address your particular usage amounts and/or costs. Changes can be made to an individual preloaded figure or across the entire layout as needed. In addition to the preloaded databases of aircraft, the Budget Analyzer also lets you create your own individualized budget via the "My Aircraft" selection. This allows you to input operating numbers for any type of aircraft. There are six editions: Lite (no aircraft databases included); Piston; Turbo Prop; Helicopter; Jet; and Full (which includes all four aircraft databases). Instant downloads are available on all software products. For complete information, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/airpower/biz.

BEECH STARSHIPS BECOMING MUSEUM PIECES
What a difference 20 years makes. It was late 1983, at that year's NBAA annual meeting, that Beech brought down the house with a flyover of a scaled version of its proposed all-composite turbopusher, the Starship 2000. Last year, Beech's new owner Raytheon announced it would scrap the 40-odd airframes it was leasing and developed a buy-back program for the 10 or so copies in private hands. Still, the one-of-a-kind airplanes remain popular -- with museums. Several aviation museums have requested and/or have received a donated Starship. More...

STOP WONDERING — OR WORRYING — WHERE YOUR FRIENDS ARE
Do you have friends flying in tonight? A business colleague coming in for a meeting? Will your partner get back before you need the plane? Find out where in the air they are with the AVweb Edition of Flight Explorer. AVweb members can sign up for Flight Explorer at the special price of just $9.95 a month. Subscribe at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flightexplorer/avflash.

TSA WATCH: GA IN THE "SPOTLIGHT"
With this installment of our twice-monthly special coverage devoted to business aviation, AVweb inaugurates a new feature, "TSA Watch." This feature, which will appear as the last news item in each BizAVflash and Business Aviation NewsWire published by AVweb, is designed to highlight the latest observed action -- or inaction -- by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) involving general and business aviation. Don't worry about our having enough material: Kind of like watching the TCAS display on a Friday-evening approach into TEB, it's a target-rich environment. More...

WATCH YOUR INBOX...
... the next issue of AVweb's BizAVflash will be e-mailed to you on March 31. More...

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IN CASE OF FIRE, AN EVAC-U8 ESCAPE HOOD FROM AEROMEDIX CAN SAVE LIVES
Whether it's smoke in the cockpit or a fire in your home, hotel, or office building, the EVAC-U8 escape hood provides 15 minutes of breathable air to help you and your passengers and/or co-workers get to safety. The patented EVAC-U8 has a canopy made of DuPont Kapton that protects the head, face, and eyes from temperatures up to 800 degrees Fahrenheit, plus an active air-purifying filter to remove carbon monoxide and other toxic gases. Priced at $64.95 each, or less in 4- or 10-packs. Call (888) 362-7123 and mention this Business AVflash, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aeromedi/biz.


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