AVwebBiz - Volume 9, Number 32

August 24, 2011

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
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AVflash! Platinum Jet Pilot Sentenced back to top 
 
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Pilot Who Falsified Flight Logs Gets Prison Time

A pilot for Platinum Jet, the now-defunct charter company whose illegal practices came to light after a crash at Teterboro Airport in 2005, has been sentenced to six months in prison. Francis Vieira, 61, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., pleaded guilty to fraud. In addition to the prison term, he will serve six months of home confinement and three years of supervised release. Vieira, who was not on board for the accident flight, admitted in court last September that on various occasions he had changed weight and balance calculations and knew that a captain was not fit to fly and said nothing. Three others who were involved with Platinum Jet have been convicted and are scheduled to be sentenced in the coming weeks.

The investigation began in September 2005, after a Bombardier Challenger CL-600-1A11 jet that was carrying too much fuel failed to take off at Teterboro, skidded through an airport fence, and ran into a warehouse, injuring 11 people in the airplane and 3 on the ground. The captain on that flight is among those facing charges. The court found that Vieira and his co-conspirators falsified flight logs by indicating that certain flights were private flights instead of charter flights, to conceal Part 135 violations such as pilot qualifications and rest requirements. On more than two dozen occasions, Vieira altered the weight and balance graphs for the jet that crashed at Teterboro by changing the weight and center of gravity printed on those graphs. Vieira and his co-conspirators altered the graphs so pilots could top off the fuel tanks with discounted fuel in order to save money, although it would exceed the maximum forward COG limits.

 
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And the Learjet Goes to ... back to top 
 

Flexjet Launch Customer For Lear 85

The launch customer for Bombardier's new Learjet 85 is Bombardier. Flexjet, Bombardier's fractional ownership subsidiary, will get the first seven of the mostly composite bizjet, which is currently under development and on schedule to be available for deliveries in 2013. Flexjet is now booking fractional positions for the new aircraft at rates competitive with those for the Cessna Sovereign. "Final pricing is $1,137,500 for a 1/16th share of the Learjet 85, but there are incentives available on the first four aircraft that make it less expensive than the Citation Sovereign (also priced at $1,137,500)," said a Flexjet spokesman.

The Learjet 85 is the biggest Lear to date and the use of composites increases cabin volumes through the use of complex curves and thinner cabin walls. It will be powered by the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW307B turbofan. Bombardier says the eight-passenger aircraft is the fastest and most fuel efficient in its class. It has a range of 3,000 nm and a high speed cruise of Mach .82

 
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Hawker Feels the Allure of the East back to top 
 

Hawker Beechcraft Opens Beijing Office

Hawker Beechcraft has become the latest aircraft manufacturer to put a footprint in China. The company announced the establishment of a regional office in Beijing. Hawker Beech and its predecessors have sold aircraft in China for 30 years and six models, from the Bonanza to the Hawker 4000, are certified there. "With the establishment of our new regional headquarters office in Beijing and a stronger team on the ground, we are in an even better position to grow our market and demonstrate how we are the best choice for Chinese business aircraft buyers," said Jeff Anastas, HBC's vice president of China for North Asia.

The Beijing office will serve customers in China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, Korea and Japan. James Wang has been hired as the Beijing office's director of marketing and communications for the region.

 
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No Rest for Those Mired in Red Tape back to top 
 

FAA Misses Pilot Rest Rule Deadline

The FAA was supposed to publish a final rule addressing pilot rest requirements by Aug. 1, but so far the rule has not been released. The proposed rule was published last September. The FAA told Bloomberg News this week it is "working aggressively" to get the final rule done. ALPA President Lee Moak said the final rule is being delayed by the federal Office of Management and Budget, which is being pressured by companies "whose goal is advancing their own competitive interests rather than ensuring the safety of the U.S. air transportation system." NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman also told Bloomberg "it's frustrating" that the rule is being held up by "special interests who are putting profits ahead of safety."

Charter operators have protested that they should be exempt from the proposed rule, and airlines say it would be too costly. The Air Transport Association estimated the proposed rules would cost airlines nearly $20 billion over 10 years, although the FAA estimated their costs at $1.2 billion, which would be partially offset by $660 million in benefits. Cargo operator UPS objected that the proposed rule "effectively rewrites UPS' collective bargaining agreement with its pilots' union while hobbling the company's finely honed domestic and overseas logistics network." The target date for the final rule to be published now is late November, according to The Associated Press.

 
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Speaking of Big Jet Orders ... back to top 
 

Sukhoi Takes Superjet Bizjet Order

An Indian company has placed the first major order for the business jet version of Sukhoi's new Superjet 100 regional airliner. Aviotech Corporate Jet Services signed an a agreement last week to buy 10 of the corporate variants of the 100-seat airliner. The Superjet is being developed jointly by Sukhoi and Italy's Alenia. Aviotech says the aircraft will be decked out in the finest "seven star" style and deployed according to its customers' travel requirements. Although the airline versions of the Superjet have a maximum range of about 2,800 miles, the business variants are much longer-legged.

Sukhoi is putting fuel tanks where the largely unused baggage compartments would normally be, giving the corporate jet an intercontinental 5,000-mile range. Aviotech says it will partner with hotels, resorts, clothing companies and other purveyors of luxury wares to provide a "boutique of rare exclusive and extraordinary experience." The Superjet 100 airliner is already in service in Russia. The business version was announced at EBACE earlier this year.

 
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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.
 
Who's Where back to top 
 

Crawford Joins Jet Source

Jet Source

Joey Crawford is the new chief inspector for the maintenance and avionics department of Jet Source. He has a 36-year career in the industry and most recently worked for Crownair.


Viggiano Promoted at Saab Sensis

Marc Viggiano

Marc Viggiano has taken over as president and CEO of Saab Sensis. He was previously senior vice president and director of corporate development for Sensis Corporation.


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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Opinion & Commentary back to top 
 

AVweb Insider Blog: Innovation, Cooperation, and Prognostication

The road to aviation's future is winding and unpredictable, and the slow way forward is not always the worst way. In her latest post to the AVweb Insider blog, Mary Grady explains how our biggest challenges aren't likely to be solved by quantum leaps in technology or thinking.

Read more and join the conversation.

AVweb Insider Blog: EAA's Not So Young Eagles

The EAA's Young Eagles program has introduced thousands of kids to the wonder of flight. Now EAA plans to expand this program to include adults. Can this possibly work? "Well, why not?" asks Paul Bertorelli on the AVweb Insider blog. As the association retools itself, it's perfectly positioned to take on the grassroots role of student pilot recruitment. The key to success will be execution.

Read more and join the conversation.

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

Video: Aviation Consumer's Remos NXT Flight Trial

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

Remos has a successful line of light sport aircraft, and now they've introduced a new and improved model, the NXT. Aviation Consumer's Paul Bertorelli flew the airplane recently, and here's his video report.

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

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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