AVwebBiz - Volume 9, Number 43

November 9, 2011

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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AVflash! The Dawn of a New Era in Pilot Training? back to top 
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Abu Dhabi Air Expo || 6-8 March 2012 || The Middle East's 
1st GA Expo

Sim-Based GA Flight Training Experiment Begins

Can extensive use of simulators really reduce training times and costs? Redbird Flight Simulations and King Schools hope to prove it can with the opening of Redbird Skyport this today. In a podcast interview, Jerry Gregoire, president of Redbird, said the FBO and flight school is also a laboratory to test a new curriculum from King Schools that teaches everything in the simulator first. Once mastered in the sim, the student performs the lesson in the real airplane. The payoff, according to Gregoire, is a new private certificate in three weeks for a fixed cost of $9,500. Instrument and commercial certificates will be offered for the same price.

Part of the deal is unlimited practice time in the simulator along with automated lessons. The King program will show a video -- privately to the student on the simulator screen -- of the maneuver to fly. Then the sim puts the student in exactly the same situation and grades the performance when the student is done. John King says this program's flexibility means a student will always be able to have some lesson, even if the real weather prevents a non-virtual flight. "We have all these programs to bring people into flight training," says King. "We pour them into this bucket of flight training and we find 80 percent of them drop out. I think we're going to see a big change in the drop out rate. If you lose 80 percent, you can't put enough people into the bucket to keep it full." Groups such as GAMA, Avemco, Cessna, NAFI and AOPA are all partnering in the effort and will feed their own experiments into the lab. "There is a free flow of ideas coming in and a free flow of data coming out. All the secrets that we learn will be available to everybody in the industry," says Gregoire.

Podcast: Are Simulators the Answer for Student Pilot Retention?

File Size 10.3 MB / Running Time 11:15

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Redbird Flight Simulators, King Schools, and a host of industry partners opened a combination flight school and aviation laboratory in San Marcos, Texas this week. IFR magazine editor Jeff Van West spoke with Jerry Gregoire of Redbird and John and Martha King of King Schools.

This podcast is brought to you by Bose Corporation.

Click here to listen. (10.3 MB, 11:15)

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... And Training Is a Hot Topic in China back to top 

China Faces Pilot Training Gap

The 2011 China Airline Pilot Training Summit was held in Shanghai last Wednesday to address a looming pilot shortage. There are about 12,000 airline pilots in China. Up to 18,000 more are needed by 2015. The seven Chinese flight schools cannot meet such demand. The interim solution of sending students to train overseas is far from being ideal, according to airline representatives. The country's fast-growing general aviation sector, which claimed to have needed 15,000 pilots in 2011 alone, further escalates the shortage issue. Summit participants recognized that, rather than putting 250-hour graduates in airliners' right seats, it is a much better practice to have a pyramid hierarchy, where a large pilot population engages in Part 91 operations and proportionally moves up to careers in on-demand and air carrier services.

On top of the dire need for professional pilots, the public's strong interest in private flying also holds clear promise for the pilot training business. The comments made by airline and GA representatives uniformly point to the need of developing the flight training industry in China, especially the primary training sector. This demand is met by western interest. Flight Safety International was reportedly among the participants of the Summit. John and Martha King's earlier visit to China also points to potential opportunities to be explored.

Legal Aspects of Aircraft Lease 
Agreements || December 9, 2011 || Washington, DC || Register Now
Legal Aspects of Aircraft Lease Agreements
to Be Debated in Washington, DC

AeroPodium is honored to present the fourth Legal Aviation Workshop (LAW) on Legal Aspects of Aircraft Lease Agreements, to be held on December 9, 2011 in Washington, DC. Following the success of the previous workshops in Washington DC (USA); London, (UK), and Dubai (UAE), this aviation event, which is hosted by Cozen O'Connor, will cover themes such as types of lease agreements, contract law, and operating leases, as well as insurance. Click here to learn more and register.
Anticipating Dubai in a Soft Economy back to top 

Dubai Air Show Next Week

As a barometer for the health of so-called emerging markets, the Dubai Air Show has earned a prominent place on the airshow calendar in the last couple of decades and the biannual extravaganza gets under way Nov. 13. Four years ago, the burgeoning Middle East and Asian airline industry saturated manufacturers' backlogs with billions of dollars worth of orders but this year's show will take place in the shadow of unprecedented economic issues in Europe and the U.S. that are rippling all over the globe. Nevertheless, all the major players will be there and there are some first-time appearances.

It will be the first time in Dubai for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which was in initial flight testing at the time of the 2009 show but marked its first revenue flight last week in Japan with launch customer ANA. There's a strong business aviation aspect to the show and most manufacturers will be represented in the more than 100 aircraft at the static display. The show includes a spirited daily airshow, which has become a showcase for front-line fighter displays from all over the world. The show will begin with Dubai's own Al Fursan demo team and the Patrouille de France will also perform.

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Safeguarding Mission-Critical Data back to top 

iPad Fix On The Way

A new software upgrade for iPads caused some problems last month for pilots who depend on the tablets for navigation, but Apple now says a fix is in the works, NBAA said on Tuesday. The iOS 5.0.1 software update will correct a file-management feature that was causing some files to be automatically deleted from chart databases. Apple has said the new version of the software should be released within the next two or three weeks, according to several technology websites.

Hilton Goldstein, developer of WingX Pro software for pilots, told NBAA that Apple hadn't informed developers that iOS 5 would contain the "clean-up" feature that deleted files in the background. For the new fix to work, he added, app developers will have to modify their code to mark files that shouldn't be deleted. One operator whose crews depend on iPads, CitationAir, told NBAA they have changed their procedures to ensure that in the future, any new operating systems must be thoroughly tested and approved before pilots can download them to their iPads.

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The State of the Market back to top 

Report: GA Sales Continue To Decline

Worldwide deliveries of new general aviation aircraft dropped almost 10 percent in the first nine months of 2011, compared to the same period last year, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association reported on Monday. The rate of decline is slower than it was over the same period last year, GAMA said, when deliveries fell 15 percent. Hawker Beechcraft CEO Bill Boisture notified employees last week that more layoffs are coming, according to the Wichita Eagle. Boisture said his analysis shows little hope of market expansion for at least the next two years, citing slowing growth in China, the European debt crisis, and cuts in defense spending worldwide. Hawker will eliminate 101 jobs, according to the Eagle, bringing the company's total job loss for this year to 459.

Piston aircraft deliveries totaled 577 for the first nine months of this year, according to GAMA's report (PDF), compared to 633 delivered in the first nine months last year, an 8.8 percent decrease. Turboprop shipments declined 5.9 percent to 223 so far in 2011, and business jet shipments totaled 427, a 13 percent decrease. Not all GA manufacturers shared equally in the downturn; both Cessna and Diamond showed an increase in deliveries compared to last year's third-quarter report. Cessna's deliveries, including pistons, turboprops, and jets, rose from 347 to 424, with the biggest difference in deliveries of the Skycatcher LSA, which totaled only 6 last year but 102 so far this year. Diamond also rose from 99 deliveries last year to 132 this year, with the DA42 light twin leading the increase.

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Elsewhere in the News back to top 

Red Arrows Pilot Dies In Ejection Accident

For the second time this year a pilot in the RAF's Red Arrows air demonstration team has been killed in an accident, but in Tuesday's mishap it appears the aircraft never left the ground. Early details are sketchy but it appears the pilot was killed when the ejection seat activated while the aircraft was parked at RAF Scampton, the team's home base. "It would be inappropriate to speculate on the cause of the incident until that inquiry is complete," Group Capt. Simon Blake told BBC News. "The investigation will determine the facts." In August a Red Arrows pilot died when his aircraft went down at the Bournemouth Air Festival.

Flt. Lt. Jon Egging died in that accident. He reported a mechanical failure before the crash and there was speculation that he blacked out in a high-G turn to avoid crashing the aircraft into a residential area. The investigation of that accident is continuing and the cause has not been officially determined, but there is speculation his Hawk trainer may have been involved in a bird strike resulting in an engine failure.

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Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: This Veteran's Day, Thank an Airman

This Veterans Day, AVweb publisher Tim Cole invites you to chime in on the AVweb Insider blog and publicly thank an airman who defended freedom in the armed services. To kick things off, he has a special "thank you" for Capt. William L. Bacheler, author of the memoir Brave, Splendid Fools.

Read more and join the conversation.

AVweb Insider Blog: The Boringness of Bones

It's easy to take our aviation infrastructure for granted, but we'd miss it if it were gone. In her latest post to the AVweb Insider blog, Mary Grady explains how a little nurturing attention to the dull details of our aviation system can built a brighter future for everyone.

Read more and join the conversation.

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

Video: American Champion Factory Tour

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

Even in an age when composite airplanes rule, the rag-and-tube taildragger still has a place in the market. In Rochester, Wisconsin, American Champion Aircraft still builds the airplanes the way they always have, but with a number of modern improvements. In this video, ACA owner Jerry Mehlhaff gives us a factory tour and tells us about some of ACA's models.

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Video: Denali Hotrod

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

When the Aeronca Champion first appeared, it had 65 horsepower and was just fast enough to get out of its own way. Into what is a very similar airframe, American Champion has stuffed a 210hp Lycoming IO-390 to produce ACA's latest model, the Denali Scout. AVweb's Paul Bertorelli recently took a test flight in it, and here's his video report.

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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.

Who's Where? You Tell Us

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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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