AVwebBiz - Volume 9, Number 39a

October 10, 2011

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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AVflash! Cessna Dominates Day One of NBAA back to top 

Restructured Cessna Stays Course

Cessna's new CEO is promising a "renewed focus on our propeller [aircraft] business" following a major restructuring of senior management. In his first public outing as CEO since taking over four months ago following the sudden retirement of Jack Pelton, Scott Ernest gave a generally upbeat overview of the company operations and future. In an exclusive podcast interview with AVweb, Ernest said the company will focus on its existing product line and gauge future investments according customer demand and feedback. "We're going to continue to invest in our product," Ernest said. Among the targets for that investment could be alternative fuels aircraft in the piston line.

Ernest said the company has "heard a lot of feedback from customers" regarding alternative power for aircraft and promised action on that, although he did not go into details. The company unveiled the mockup of its Citation M2 light jet and Ernest said the Citation Ten, announced a year ago at NBAA in Atlanta, will fly before the end of the year. He gave no encouragement for the continuation of the Columbus large-cabin business jet program. Cessna is also taking advantage of the global reach of sister company Bell Helicopters and is setting up storefronts and service centers as shared facilities in countries all over the world.

Podcast: Cessna CEO Scott Ernest Meets the Press

File Size 5.7 MB / Running Time 6:15

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For the first time since taking over Cessna four months ago, CEO Scott Ernest started making the press rounds at NBAA in Las Vegas. AVweb's Russ Niles was among the first to interview him.

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Click here to listen. (5.7 MB, 6:15)

Video: Cessna M2 Unveiling

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Cessna Aircraft Company unveiled a new business jet, the Cessna M2, at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) convention in Las Vegas, October 9, 2011.

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Setting the Tone for BizAv in Las Vegas back to top 

Big Bizjet Market Booms

Despite the general economic malaise, it's good to be Gulfstream these days. Speaking to reporters at the NBAA convention in Las Vegas on Sunday, the company's new President Larry Flynn said that the good times continue to roll in the big-cabin bizjet market and the future looks strong. "Businesses that were once regional are now global," Flynn said. "And their leaders need long-range transportation. They recognize Gulfstream as the leader in technology, performance and product support; and that has translated into strong sales." He said the order book is at $18 billion, including $400 million added in the second quarter of this year and production backlog is in the "sweet spot" of 18-24 months for most models. The flagship G650 is nearing certification and will have a market niche virtually to itself for several years until Bombardier's new Global 7000 and 8000 models become available. Meanwhile, Honeywell has issued its 20th annual bizjet forecast and it's showing a little more optimism from its 2010 crystal balling.

The company has increased its 10-year forecast by two percent to about $230 billion over the next 10 years but there is some short term pain to endure to get to that long term gain. Honeywell says 2011 deliveries will barely top 600 units and 2012 will be only marginally better. Things look better after that. Meanwhile, Embraer, which also puts out an industry forecast has taken the unusual step of issuing a "what if" adjustment. At NBAA, Ernest Edwards, Embraer's VP for business jets said the possibility of economic failures of European countries and a resulting double-dip recession will cut the market and production of business aircraft. Edwards also said that in the absence of the potential crisis, the bizjet market is on track to recover.

Podcast: New Products, Weighty Discussions at NBAA 2011

File Size 4.7 MB / Running Time 5:10

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Contrasting the typically sunny skies of Las Vegas, the gloomy economic forecast continues to cloud business aviation's mood, but the atmosphere is upbeat in the desert this week as NBAA 2011 gets going. AVweb's Russ Niles spoke with NBAA president Ed Bolen on the eve of the big show.

This podcast is brought to you by Phillips 66 Aviation.

Click here to listen. (4.7 MB, 5:10)

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Networking and Partnership Announcements back to top 

Sukhoi BizJet Lands Launch Customer, Comlux

SuperJet Worldwide announced Sunday at the NBAA convention in Las Vegas that Comlux will be the launch customer for the $50 million Sukhoi Business Jet (SBJ), a version of the 100-seat Sukhoi Superjet 100. Comlux has ordered two of the fly-by-wire jets to be delivered in 2014, with options for two more. The SBJ can be built as an eight-passenger VIP transport with a 4,250 nm range. It is powered two SaM146 engines produced by Powerjet, a joint venture between Snecma and Russia's NPO Saturn. Comlux believes the jet will fill a niche between the Boeing Business Jet and Embraer Lineage 1000, a variant of the Embraer 190 regional jet. Comlux is also projecting a bullish sales outlook for the jet.

Over a 20-year span starting in 2015, Comlux believes the market may seek between 150 and 200 SBJ's. The aircraft's cabin is 3.24 meters wide, 2.12 meters high, and 20.42 meters long, making it significantly larger than the Lineage 1000, but close to the Boeing Business Jet. The entire market for business jets of similar size has generally held below 20 per year. Comlux CEO Richard Goana said his company is working as a partner with SuperJet and he believed that 200 aircraft over 20 years was "feasible." Goana said Comlux plans to charter, demo and market the aircraft, and may eventually order to 10 of the jets. Support infrastructure for the jet will be managed by SuperJet including facilities in Moscow and Venice. Company representative Carlo Logli said SuperJet may establish a U.S. hub at Ft. Lauderdale to cater to U.S. customers.

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Rugged on the Outside, Posh on the Inside back to top 

Video: Quest Kodiak Executive Interior

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Executive style and comfort come to the rugged Quest Kodiak. The tuboprop Kodiak can carry more than 3,500 pounds of useful load into and out of 1,200-foot unimproved airfields. (No paved runway or airport required.) The airplane can cruise at 170 knots over 1,000 nautical miles. And it can now do all that with air conditioning, weather radar, synthetic vision GPS, TKS flight into known icing protection, and leather-clad executive seating for six.

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Meanwhile, Outside of NBAA ... (I) back to top 

Boeing Settles Toxic Cabin Air Case

Former flight attendant Terry Williams has won a settlement of an undisclosed amount after suing Boeing, alleging that the manufacturer employs faulty engineering, which allows toxic fumes into the cabin that harm people inside. Williams' lawsuit claimed that fumes in engine bleed air pumped into aircraft cabins can cause tremors, severe headaches and memory loss. The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA believes that the bleed air can contain carbon monoxide, tricresyl phosphates and other contaminants. Settlement aside, Boeing contends that cabin air is safe and that independent research shows that it meets applicable health and safety standards. The FAA has also chimed in on the subject.

FAA funds were used to produce a guide for health-care providers treating airline workers exposed to aircraft bleed-air contaminants. According to the document itself, the FAA Office of Aerospace Medicine sponsored the project, and "it neither endorses nor rejects the findings of this research." The research states that bleed air "may sometimes be contaminated with pyrolyzed engine oil and/or hydraulic fluid." It also says "airline workers and passengers may develop acute and/or chronic health effects and seek attention from health care providers." The document (PDF) cites mechanical failures, maintenance irregularities and faulty designs as potential sources for bleed-air contamination. According to the guide, health effects due to exposure to contaminated bleed air "are difficult to document." In a statement to CNN, the FAA said "the concerns are reasonable and are being investigated."

Drone Computers Hit By Virus

Wired is reporting that the computer systems used to control military drones have been infected by a key logging virus that has so far defied attempts to eliminate it. The tech website says it has heard from three independent but unidentified sources that the virus was first detected about two weeks ago in the computers at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada and the military has continued to operate drones in Afghanistan and other trouble spots even though it would appear that every keyboard operation involved in the missions is being logged. The military has not confirmed Wired's story. According to the Wired story, the people it talked to couldn't say whether the virus was deliberately targeted at their hardware or whether it is just part of the normal stream of malware that computers try to fend off every day. What is known, however, is this bug is persistent. "We keep wiping it off, and it keeps coming back," one of Wired's sources said. "We think it's benign. But we just don't know."

Of course, the big question is whether all those keystrokes are being transmitted outside the military system and what data they might reveal. Wired's sources say the virus is in computers that hold sensitive secret military information. For all their high-tech abilities, U.S. drone systems have notoriously porous security. Early in their operational history it was discovered that real-time video from drones was being transmitted via publicly available satellite transponders and in 2009 U.S. forces discovered reams of drone downloads on the laptops of Iraqi insurgents, allegedly obtained with readily available hacking software. Wired says it's believed that the virus was introduced from a removable drive that drone system techs use to update maps and databases. The systems are supposed to be isolated entirely from the public Internet.

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Meanwhile, Outside of NBAA ... (II) back to top 

Private Rocket To 121,000 Feet (Plus Video)

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A team self-identified as Qu8k (spoken "quake") claims to, on Sept. 30, have launched an unmanned 26-foot rocket at 2,185 mph to more than 100,000 feet over Black Rock Desert, Nev., and possibly earned a monetary prize for the effort. The team's effort addressed the Carmack Challenge, which, among other things, required the rocket to record a GPS altitude of over 100,000 feet to win a prize of $5,000. Qu8k says that none of four independent GPS systems onboard its vehicle maintained positional lock through the trip and suspects some simple reasons for that. According to Qu8k, that launch included a roughly 15G acceleration and pushed the rocket through 17,000 feet in less than 11 seconds. GPS notwithstanding, the team's rocket returned intact and Qu8k believes it has data that confirms they bested the goal. They also have video.

Qu8k says accelerometer data and time to apogee available from onboard video footage allow them to mathematically deduce "with high certainty" that the rocket reached 121,000 feet. It will be up to former computer game developer John Carmack, who in February announced his "Carmack Challenge," to determine if Qu8k can earn the $5,000 prize based on that. Qu8k has images they say were recorded by onboard cameras during the rocket's journey and those images (and the video) clearly show a black midday sky and the curvature of the earth below the rocket at apogee. The team says the rocket reached its highest point 90 seconds into the flight where it deployed its chute. The rocket then returned to earth over the next seven minutes and landed just three miles from its launch tower. According to Qu8k, all parts of the vehicle were recovered and could be easily prepared to fly again. Watch the video at right, or click this link for a picture gallery.

FAA Warns Turkey Drop Pilots

Thanks to the FAA, there might be a little less hooting and hollering at Yellville, Arkansas's annual Turkey Trot celebrations on the long weekend. The FAA confirmed to The Associated Press that it was sending agents to the Ozark community of 1,300 to sanction any pilots who take part in the annual Turkey Drop. The event involves live wild turkeys being dropped from aircraft onto the town square and, contrary to the horror expressed by animal-rights groups, local officials insist the birds are perfectly capable of gliding to a safe landing on the square. The FAA is staying out of that aspect of the controversy and focusing on the FAR that prohibits dropping anything, winged or not, from an airplane that might harm something or someone below. Turkeys, gliding or not, apparently don't make the grade for that approval so the guys in the sunglasses and polo shirts on the town square are there to try to make sure no one is hurt. "Our concern is always with public safety," FAA spokesman Lynn Lunford told the AP. " We could be talking about turkeys or boxes of paper. It doesn't matter. If you throw something out of an aircraft it can cause damage to people or property on the ground." As for the turkeys, the greatest peril unquestionably awaits them after the drop.

In almost 70 years of Turkey Drops (before airplanes were available, the birds were launched from the roof of the town's courthouse) the object has been for those in the square to chase the turkeys down and make a meal out of them. It's not clear whether the absence of the drop part will make much difference to their final fate. Among other Turkey Trot festivities are a beauty pageant and a turkey-calling contest. The event was parodied in a WKRP in Cincinnati episode in which the radio station mistakenly dropped flightless domestic turkeys onto a mall parking lot as a promotion.

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New on AVweb.com back to top 

Forty-Seven Years in Aviation: A Memoir; Chapter 6: Basic Flight Training, Part 2

Jumping straight from T-6s to the B-25, Richard Taylor gets to experience not only a huge airplane but one that requires two crew (giving new meaning to the term "solo"), and also experiences the joys of winter in Oklahoma.

Click here to read the sixth chapter.

The B-25 was one of a long line of North American Aviation's highly successful military aircraft: T-6, P-51, B-45, F-86, F-100, T-28, A-5, XB-70 and the B-1, still in operation. It's worth noting that the B-25 holds the unique distinction of being the only American military aircraft named for a specific person, General Billy Mitchell, a pioneer of U.S. military aviation, who went to the mat in courts-martial proceedings to defend his belief that the Air Force should be a separate service. He lost the court battle, but his philosophy of air power proved valid years later.

North American's XB-21 may have been the B-25's grandfather. Designed to compete for an Army Air Corps medium-bomber contract, the XB-21 displayed all the hallmarks of mid-1930s military aircraft design (a pregnant C-47?). It was a load-lugger and cruised at 220 mph but it failed to score well in the competition.

The next generation and most likely the B-25's "father" was North American's NA-40. It represented a significant step forward in aeronautical design, with tricycle landing gear, a more efficient wing and unique twin-rudder empennage. This model competed as an attack bomber (narrow fuselage, tandem pilot seating, armed with seven machine guns) and was accepted by the Army for further evaluation. A crash-and-burn event two weeks later destroyed the only NA-40 in existence and North American gave up on the airplane, but it certainly looked like it could morph into a B-25.

Despite the crash, the Army was impressed with the concept and asked North American to come up with an improved model. The result -- the NA-62 -- was based on the knowledge gained from the NA-40 project but retained little more than its general configuration. The fuselage was widened to accommodate more bombs and side-by-side seating for the pilots, the wing location was changed to mid-fuselage, the crew was increased to five, and R-2600 engines were installed. There were numerous small changes but for all intents and purposes the B-25 was born.

One major change that made the airplane unique among bombers was the wing construction -- and that resulted from a design error. The first nine B-25s out of the factory had wings that proceeded straight out from the fuselage with a constant dihedral (à la NA-62) but this configuration had a negative effect on lateral stability; the problem was resolved by removing the dihedral from the wing sections outboard of the engines, resulting in the distinctive "gull wing" profile and -- lucky for pilots -- an improvement in handling qualities.

The B-25 prototype first flew in August 1940 and was ready to go into production shortly thereafter. The subsequent military evaluation was so favorable that no experimental or field-test models were required; the first airplanes off the production line were on their own, so to speak. All told, nearly 10,000 B-25s were built and served well in the U.S. Army, Navy and Marine Corps, plus the aviation complements of 22 foreign nations.

My group, Class 56-I, trained in a mixed bag of well-used B-25s: We had –J, -L and –N models; some all-glass up front, some had solid noses that had accommodated machine guns, but all of them were equipped with Wright R-2600 Twin Cyclone engines that produced 1700 hp.

An engine-driven hydraulic system operated the wheel brakes, wing flaps, bomb-bay doors and cowl flaps; a generator on each engine produced electrical power for the airplane. The fuel system held a total of 974 gallons, enough gasoline for roughly four hours of flight; there were auxiliary-tank configurations available that nearly doubled the fuel capacity and enabled a maximum range of 2,700 miles.

The Mitchell's wings spanned 67.5 feet and the airplane measured 53 feet from nose to tail. The operational weights of the airplane were out of sight compared to those of the primary trainers we had flown: The empty weight of a typical B-25 was 21,000 pounds and the maximum takeoff weight was an astounding 41,800 pounds. For student pilots who cut their eye teeth on 1700-pound Piper Cubs and T-6s that weighed 5600 pounds, the B-25 was a huge challenge.

The B-25 checklist was considerably longer and more detailed than its T-6 counterpart, but certain items and procedures were similar and were destined to show up in most of the recip-powered airplanes we would fly during our Air Force careers. Some of the common preflight inspection items were flight-control locks, trim tabs, landing-gear indicators, fuel drains, pitot covers, tire condition, and so forth.

Learning to fly the B-25 began with "How to Make Sure the Airplane is Ready to Fly," known more formally as the Preflight Inspection. This procedure began in the cockpit and consisted of 117 items that had to be in place, checked, looked at, opened, closed, locked, unlocked, removed, kicked (as in tires), secured, engaged, safetied, turned off or on, or stowed. Landing-gear strut extension was a critical item: too long and the tire might not fit in the wheel well on retraction; too short and the strut might bottom out on landing. A pack of regular cigarettes was a "close enough for government work" ruler to make sure the struts were OK for flight. (The zippered pocket on the left upper sleeve of a GI flight suit was probably not designed with cigarettes in mind, but the dimensions were perfect for stowing one's smokes.)

The B-25s we flew at Vance were "war-wearies" and several of them had remnants of the steel armor that had been installed for crew protection in combat. This photograph shows the typical hinged armor panels that covered the pilots' backs.

The normal training-flight crew complement was an IP and two students; the non-flying student was usually detailed to the bombardier's compartment in the nose to watch for other aircraft. It was the best seat in the house, with nearly unlimited visibility except to the rear; from "up front," we had a grand view of the spectacular north-central Oklahoma landscape (spectacularly flat).

In order to get to and from the nose compartment, it was necessary to crawl (or slide on your back, using the overhead handrails) through a tunnel below the pilot's seat. During one memorable training flight, we collided with a herd of birds that broke a couple of the glass panels in the nose, resulting in a huge rush of air throughout the airplane and a crawlway coated with blood, guts and feathers. There was no one in the nose compartment at the time, hence no injuries, but what a terrible mess for the crew chief to clean up; he may have needed a fire hose.

The upper turret compartment was the terminus of the preflight inspection routine (the turrets were removed when the airplanes were modified for flight training). Located between the flight deck and the bomb bay, the turret compartment contained pressure gages for the hydraulic system, the emergency air brakes, crew oxygen pressure and several components of the fuel-transfer system. One of the last items in this area was removal of the safety clip that locked the bomb-bay doors open. Making sure the clip was in place was Item #1 on the exterior checklist because the bomb doors opened or closed in just two or three seconds and could cause serious injury if there was any pressure in the hydraulic system and someone inadvertently moved the bomb-bay door switch. With the clip removed the doors were "hot," and were not to be closed until all ground personnel were clear of the airplane.

Every airplane has its secrets. I recall preflighting a B-25 for a solo (i.e., two student pilots) cross-country flight to somewhere south of Oklahoma ... during the winter we didn't plan trips in any other direction. While we were shivering through the nosewheel checklist, a crew chief ducked into the wheel well and asked if we would like to RON ("remain over night") a couple of extra days in the sunny south. Our answer was predictable, whereupon the crew chief pointed out an inconspicuous, flush-mounted valve that could be opened or closed with a 50-cent piece. In the open position, the valve relieved all pressure in the hydraulic system; the chief explained that we could open the valve after shutting down the engines and, in his words as I remember them, "There's not one mechanic in a hundred who knows where that valve is or what it does ... your airplane will be grounded, and by the time they figure it out, you'll be ready to come home." Not wanting to screw up our careers with such a deception, we elected to play it straight. But in light of the winter weather in Oklahoma, it was very tempting.

Speaking of which, the winter of 1955-56 in Enid was not for sissies; in addition to many foggy, below-minimums days, we were beset with super-cold temperatures and heavy snow. Adding insult to injury, there were more than a few times when we finished the cockpit portion of the preflight inspection, climbed out of the airplane and were greeted by a frigid blast from the airplane in the row ahead as its crew started their engines ... wind chill in spades.

Now that the airplane is preflighted and ready for engine start, I digress to provide a brief review of an event in which the B-25 played a leading role. Whenever people with an interest in the B-25 get together, someone will inevitably mention what was probably the most significant event in the airplane's service to the country during World War II: the air raid on Japan in April 1942.

Just two weeks after the tragedy at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt requested his Joint Chiefs of Staff to arrange a retaliatory bombing raid on Japan as soon as possible to boost American morale and demonstrate the vulnerability of the Japanese homeland.

Air Corps General Hap Arnold was enthusiastic about the proposed mission and directed Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle to select an airplane and organize a suitable group of airmen. The plan called for launching the B-25s from the flight deck of the USS Hornet, the Navy's newest carrier. The mission requirements were staggering: Limited by the Hornet's 800-foot long flight deck, the bombers could use no more than half that distance for takeoff (in consideration of 16 airplanes packed together on the deck) and fly 2400 nautical miles with a 2000-pound bomb load. The very-long-range requirement was imposed so the crews could reach friendly territory in China following the raid.

Doolittle considered several medium bombers before choosing the B-25 and the flight crews were selected from a Coastal Patrol squadron in Pendleton, Oreg., the first US Army Air Corps unit to be equipped with the brand-new bombers. Sixteen B-25s were modified for the mission -- installation of auxiliary fuel tanks and removal of the tail gunner position, among other changes -- then on to Eglin Field in Florida for training in ultra-short takeoffs. The unorthodox procedure involved full power, full flaps and full up-elevator as soon as the brakes were released ... the resulting nose-high attitude enabled the airplanes to become airborne just a few knots above stall speed.

By the time this training was completed the pilots were able to take off in about 400 feet. Keep in mind the normal takeoff distance for a B-25 at 31,000 pounds was about 3300 feet at sea level with zero wind. When the airplanes were launched, the Hornet was steaming into a 40-knot gale, a significant performance enhancer that shortened dramatically the distance between brake release and lift-off. In addition to a strong, direct headwind, the launch officer used the pitching deck to the pilots' advantage: He signaled "brake release" when the Hornet's bow bottomed out; this provided a bit of downhill for the first part of the takeoff run and a mild "ski jump" effect as the bow rose.

The B-25s were loaded and strapped down on the Hornet's flight deck in Alameda, Calif., on April 1, 1942, and the carrier headed west the next day.

The plan was to launch the airplanes about 400 nautical miles east of Tokyo, but on April 18, 10 hours and 170 miles early, a Japanese picket ship was spotted and sunk immediately. Concerned that the picket may have sent a warning message to Japan (it had), the decision was made to launch immediately; with Doolittle at the controls, the first B-25 was on its way at 8:00 a.m. after a takeoff roll of 487 feet.

The raid was conducted in broad daylight with no interference from Japanese aircraft or ground fire. All the crews bombed their targets and headed for their planned destinations in China. One crew landed safely in Russia, where the crew was interned for more than a year, but bad weather, darkness and fuel exhaustion resulted in crash landings or inflight abandonment of the remaining 15 aircraft.

From a tactical standpoint, the raid was something less than a success, but it was a strategic home run; it put the Empire of Japan on notice that we could -- and would -- bring the war to their shores. In his after-action report Doolittle said, in part:

"The psychological results ... would be the recalling of combat equipment from other theaters for home defense thus effecting relief in those theaters, the development of a fear complex in Japan, improved relationships with our Allies, and a favorable reaction on the American people."

... and our beloved B-25 was the star of the show.

[Continued next month.]

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More articles, stories and fiction about the joy of aviation are found in AVweb's Skywritings section.
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Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: Why Garmin's New aera 796 Isn't an iPad Killer -- And Vice Versa

Garmin's new mega GPS, the aera 796, is a tour de force. But an iPad killer? Not quite. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli analyzes why there's likely to be a market for both of these devices (or ones like them) for a long time.

Read more and join the conversation.

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Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Henriksen Jet Center (KEDC, Pflugerville, TX)

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AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Henriksen Jet Center at Austin Executive Airport (KEDC) in Pflugerville, Texas.

AVweb reader William Mills visited KEDC on a trip with his his daughter this summer and had a great experience:

Austin Executive Airport ... was nearly as conveniently located to where we needed to go as any other airport, and the brand-new facilities looked very nice and offered the services we would need. When we arrived (on a day that was already quite warm and promised to get much hotter), we were met on the taxiway by a "follow me" cart and led to parking underneath their large covered awning, just like the big boys. We were marshalled in by several linemen, and when we shut down and got out, our rental car was beside the airplane, running and air conditioning fired up. [Their] facilities are amazing, with a genuine Rolls Royce Olympus turbojet engine (from a Concorde) in the lobby. When we arrived back for departure, they took an air-conditioning cart out to the airplane and had it cooling down the inside -- definitely much appreciated. [The] entire staff was extremely friendly and couldn't do enough to make our stay as pleasant and comfortable as they could. Definitely will revisit [when] going back to Austin.

Keep those nominations coming. For complete contest rules, click here.

AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!

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

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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.

The Lighter Side of Flight back to top 

Short Final

Last fall, while I was in the circuit to land at Toronto Buttonville (CYKZ) airport, I was listening to the tower controller who was giving a running commentary and warning to pilots on final to watch for Canada geese that were flying back and forth over the threshold of the active runway, creating a very nasty bird strike hazard. After the controller had made the warning for the fourth time in a very short period of time, she again repeated it to me as I was short final -- in a very frustrated tone. I decided to try and lighten the frustration to her day.

Cessna Amphibian 1234:
"Can't you just give those geese a transponder code?"

Buttonville Tower:
"They won't comply!"

Paul Armstrong
via e-mail

Heard Anything Funny on the Radio?

Heard anything funny, unusual, or downright shocking on the radio lately? If you've been flying any length of time, you're sure to have eavesdropped on a few memorable exchanges. The ones that gave you a chuckle may do the same for your fellow AVweb readers. Share your radio funny with us, and, if we use it in a future "Short Final," we'll send you a sharp-looking AVweb hat to sport around your local airport. No joke.

Click here to submit your original, true, and previously unpublished story.

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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