AVwebBiz Complete Issue: Volume 9, Number 36

September 21, 2011

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
U.S. Sport Aviation Expo || Sebring, FL || January 19-22, 2012
Sebring Regional Airport Hosts U.S. Sport Aviation Expo!
The LSA show is January 19-22, 2012 and features conventional aircraft, kitplanes, powered parachutes, trikes, gyros, amphibians, and innovative designs such as electrically powered aircraft — 150+ aircraft on display. If it exists in the recreational aviation market, it will be at Expo! Over 12,500 aviation enthusiasts attended last year for demonstration flights, EAA forums, and what's new in the LSA market. Visit Sport-Aviation-Expo.com for details.
AVflash! The Shape of User Fees in 2011 back to top 
Sponsor Announcement
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User Fees Back In Play

A deficit-reduction plan proposed by President Barack Obama on Monday includes user fees for some general aviation flights, a move quickly opposed by GA advocates. Nine groups, including AOPA, EAA, GAMA, and NBAA, issued a statement on Monday expressing "unified opposition" to the proposal. "We believe this per-flight tax not only imposes a significant new administrative burden on general aviation operators who currently pay through an efficient per-gallon fuel charge at the pump, but it will also necessitate the creation of a costly new federal collection bureaucracy," the groups said in a joint statement. The president proposed a fee of $100 per flight to be paid directly to the FAA. Not all flights would be affected, however.

The proposal (PDF) exempts military aircraft, recreational piston aircraft, air ambulances, aircraft operating outside of controlled airspace, aircraft operated by the federal government, and Canada-to-Canada flights. The revenues generated by the surcharge would be deposited into the Airport and Airway Trust Fund to help pay the costs of maintaining the country's airports and the air-traffic-control system. The fee would generate an estimated $11 billion over 10 years, according to the proposal. "Mr. President, many foreign countries have imposed per-flight charges on general aviation and the results have been devastating," the GA groups said in their statement. "Please do not go down the dangerous path and cost jobs in our community. Per-gallon fuel charges work. Per-flight taxes destroy." Other groups signing on to the protest were the Aircraft Electronics Association, Helicopter Association International, the International Council of Air Shows, the National Association of State Aviation Officials, and the National Air Transportation Association.

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New Cirrus CEO Has a Familiar Name back to top 

Wouters Out, Klapmeier In At Cirrus

Cirrus Aircraft announced on Monday that co-founder Dale Klapmeier is now the CEO, and Brent Wouters, who held that post since 2009, is no longer with the company. "Along with our new owners, our commitment is stronger than ever to the same goals and ideals that we had when we started the company more than 25 years ago," Klapmeier said in a news release. "And that goal is to make the dream of flight a reality for more people, both in the U.S. and around the world. Today we are at the beginning of the next chapter of the reinvention of personal transportation." The company finalized a deal in June to be sold to CAIGA, China's general aviation conglomerate. "The timing of this change was not unexpected," Cirrus spokesman Todd Simmons told AVweb on Monday. "It's supported by the executive team and by the board."

Klapmeier will be at AOPA Summit later this week, where the company is scheduled for the first news conference, on Thursday morning. With his brother, Alan, he co-founded Cirrus in 1984. In recent years he has served as chairman of the board. Alan, who served as CEO until 2009, now runs Kestrel Aircraft, in Maine.

Jeppesen Mobile Flite Deck
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Shifting Focus at Bombardier back to top 

Bombardier Cuts CRJ Line, Appoints Travolta

Bombardier is cutting production of its CRJ regional jet series due to a slowdown in orders, but there won't be any layoffs as a result. The company says it has more than enough work for the about 350 workers who will be affected at the company's Mirabel, Quebec, CRJ plant. Bombardier currently has the CSeries airliner, Global 7000 and Global 8000 business jets and the Learjet 85 under development and will simply shift workers to those projects. It's not saying how much production will be reduced but the CRJ backlog is now at about 60 aircraft, or 15 months, and the company likes to have about 18 months worth of work ahead of it on all its production lines. It says the future market looks strong for CRJs and production can be adjusted in the future if need be. Meanwhile, Bombardier signed actor and pilot John Travolta to a promotional role with its business jet division.

Travolta recently got rated in the Challenger business jet (he has 11 type ratings) and Steve Ridolfi, president of Bombardier Business Aircraft, said his extensive knowledge of aviation and his frequent use of business aviation makes him ideal for the title of brand ambassador for the company. "Business aviation has always made sense to me in that it offers flexibility, privacy, security, and most importantly, timesaving -- meaning I have the ability to keep up with my busy schedule and have more time for my family, which is very important to me," said John Travolta. "On top of that, I'm a pilot -- I love to fly. Bombardier designs aircraft as much for the person flying them as for the passenger. I'm proud to represent their aircraft."

Southeast Aerospace (SEA)
Southeast Aerospace —
Leading Avionics Resource Now More Effective!

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.
Public Jets, Private Obligations, and Media Scrutiny back to top 

"Jet-Setting General" Under Fire

It seems the stigma of "private" jet travel extends even to top-ranked military officers in Canada, where the country's top soldier will likely pay back part of the cost for at least one trip he took in a Royal Canadian Air Force Challenger bizjet. Gen. Walt Natynczyk, Canada's Chief of Defense Staff (the equivalent of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the U.S.), has been under fire for the use of the aircraft to meet his family for a Caribbean vacation in January of 2010. The story first came out without comment from Natynczyk, who explained that he had missed his charter flight because he was commanding a repatriation ceremony for four soldiers and a Canadian journalist killed in fighting in Afghanistan. His boss, Defense Minister Peter MacKay, then authorized a Challenger flight to allow the general to get to St. Maarten so he could get on a cruise ship in time to be with his family. At first, Natynczyk blew off the reports labeling him a "jet-setting general," but then he had a chat with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The PM apparently explained to him that Canada has a policy that requires officials to reimburse the government for the commercial airline ticket value of flights that involve personal business. Harper told reporters he's written checks himself for such travel. On Tuesday, Natynczyk said he too would repay the government.

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AliphaJet's Future Fuel Looks to Revolutize Navy back to top 

Company Claims Biofuel "Breakthrough"

A San Francisco-based company said last week it has developed a new way to make jet biofuel from renewable materials that is "highly cost-effective." AliphaJet said its catalytic method uses materials derived from plants and animals such as triglycerides and fatty acids. "Our strategy fundamentally improves the economics of making 100-percent drop-in renewable jet biofuel," said Jack Oswald, CEO of AliphaJet. "Our approach is radically different and unlocks a new industry that can meet the U.S. Navy's goal of replacing 50 percent of its liquid fuels with renewables by 2020."

AliphaJet said its catalytic de-oxygenation process "significantly reduces capital and operating costs" because it does not require the use of hydrogen in processing. That means the processing plant can be less complex, reducing capital costs. It also saves money because the biofuel can be produced close to the site of the raw materials, without the need to be close to a hydrogen source. The company says its process can also produce renewable drop-in diesel fuel, gasoline and other hydrocarbon molecules usually derived from fossil fuel oil. A variety of raw materials can be used, including algae, certain seeds and vegetables such as camelina and soy, and animal fats. AliphaJet is a collaborative venture between SynGest and Unitel Technologies.

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The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 

Survey: How's That Factory Engine Working for You?

Our sister publication, Aviation Consumer, would like to know. We're doing a survey on owner experiences with factory-new, factory-reman and factory-overhauled engines. (No field overhauls this time.)

The survey will take about five minutes, and you can take it merely by cliking this link.

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.

'Instrument Pilot Handbook' & 'Instrument Pilot's 
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Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: Summer Safety Numbers -- Can't We Do Better?

Mary Grady has been looking over some numbers related to aviation safety, and in her latest post to the AVweb Insider blog, she has to say it: Maybe pilots need better ways to analyze and calculate risks.

Read more and join the conversation.

AVweb Insider Blog: Should the Reno Races Continue?

For as much as we, aviation enthusiasts, might hope so, it's not up to us. It's up to the community of Reno. Accidents like the one last week rightfully spark some inward examination of safety procedures and the risk/reward equation of doing things that are dangerous. In his latest post to the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli has the immediate takeaway: Air shows and air races represent the tiniest of risk for spectators. But anyone who thinks the risk is non-existent should stay home.

Read more and join the conversation.

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

Video: Synvis on the iPad

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

Garmin's new 796 has a touchscreen and 3D vision — but so can an iPad. It's not as robust as any certified system (or even the AV8OR Horizon, nee VistaNav) but it would certainly help keep the sunny side up in the clouds if you ever needed it. It looks pretty cool, too.

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.

Video: Garmin's New 796 -- Product Tour

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

At AOPA Summit in Hartford, Garmin will unveil its latest portable, the touchscreen aera 796. Take a video tour of the navigator's features, which include synthetic vision, enhanced chart functions, and a new touchscreen interface.

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.

Who's Where back to top 

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.

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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