AVwebBiz - Volume 10, Number 12

March 21, 2012

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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Signs of the Times I back to top 

TEB Traffic Drops

Traffic has dropped at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey and that's a quantifiable symptom of the general malaise in business aviation, according to a story in the Hackensack Record. Although movements at TEB, the busiest business airport in the U.S., were up year over year, traffic flattened and then declined in the end of the year. It was off by 3.6 percent in October and December and 1.4 percent in November. To those in the industry, it's indicative of a slowdown in the recovery that was widely hoped to be firmly established going into 2012. "We've definitely seen a flattening in the fall of 2011 and it's continued into 2012," said Ken Forester, CEO of a Teterboro-based Meridian, which manages 23 corporate and private aircraft. "I assume it's related to the overall economy. I think there is more uncertainty than there was a year ago."

NBAA's Dan Hubbard agreed with Forester, saying the downward trend at TEB is "indicative of what's going on nationally." Some analysts suggested the European debt crisis had an impact on the rate of recovery in the industry. Forester said there is intense price competition as companies like his compete for a more rate-conscious clientele. "We are happy with the way things are going as long as this dip is temporary," he told the Record.

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Aviation Safety back to top 

10 Killed In Two Citation Jet Crashes

Fatal crashes of business jets are relatively rare, but two Citation crashes this month took 10 lives. Last week, a Citation I/SP owned by a Florida businessman crashed at Macon County Airport in western North Carolina. The airplane was reportedly on its second landing attempt when the airplane touched down nosewheel-first. A wingtip touched the ground and the airplane flipped and caught fire, according to the Associated Press. Everyone on board, two couples and an 11-year-old girl, died. On March 1, a Citation X that was registered in the U.S. to Cessna Finance Corp. and operated by Asia Today crashed in Germany, and all five on board were killed.

The X had taken off in Linz, Austria, and crashed in a wooded area while on approach to land at Frankfurt-Egelsbach Airport near Frankfurt, Germany, according to the NTSB. The investigation is under the jurisdiction of the German government, the safety board said.

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Signs of the Times II back to top 

MRO Closure Strands Airliners

Aveos Fleet Performance, Canada's largest maintenance, repair and overhaul company, is closing permanently, it says, because its largest customer (and former owner) Air Canada cut back on the amount of work it was having done there. Aveos was the former maintenance department of the airline but it was hived off in 2004. Air Canada remained a significant shareholder. However, Aveos claims Air Canada cancelled or deferred $16 million worth of work in the last two months, delivering "a devastating blow" that it could not recover from. Air Canada says Aveos has done more than 90 percent of its maintenance in the past year and the airline has also propped it up financially. Aveos abruptly laid off all 2,700 employees at facilities in Montreal, Winnipeg and Vancouver on Sunday and while it initially applied for protection from creditors to attempt restructuring, it abandoned that plan and put everything on the block on Tuesday. The action has stranded about a half dozen Air Canada aircraft and that means thousands of passengers could also be affected.

When Aveos bolted the doors, three wide-body and "several" smaller aircraft were undergoing work and they're still there. Some don't have landing gear. It's not clear how the airline will go about retrieving the planes. Meanwhile, the union representing most of the workers has asked the Canadian government to intervene. "The employees are as angry as ever, they feel abused and they don't have answers to their questions," Marcel St-Jean, a spokesman for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, said in an interview with CBC News.

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Signs of the Times III back to top 

Arcapita In Bankruptcy

Arcapita Bank BSC, the private equity company and former majority shareholder in Cirrus Aircraft, filed for bankruptcy on Monday, saying it couldn't reach a deal with creditors on debt repayment. The company, which describes itself as a "manager of Islamic compliant investments" that manages $7 billion, says it now has only $3.06 billion in assets against $2.55 million in liabilities. "This global recession has hampered the Arcapita Group's ability to obtain liquidity from the capital markets, and has also resulted in a reduction in asset values," the company said in a statement. Just last year Arcapita sold its 58 percent stake in Cirrus to China's CAIGA after several years of turmoil at the Duluth-based company.

Arcapita does not appear to have any other aviation-related investments. Analysts say the bankruptcy move will give Arcapita a chance to restructure without creditors trying to go after its assets, which include a big power company in Ireland, according to Bloomberg.

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Rotax Isn't the Only Engine Maker in the News back to top 

GE's New Turboprop Engine FAA-Certified

GE's H80 turboprop engine, which has been in development for several years in the Czech Republic, is now certified by the FAA, the company said last week. The engine was certified by EASA in December. The engine's launch customer is the Thrush 510G agricultural aircraft. According to GE, the engine "combines the elegant, robust design of the M601 engine with GE's 3-D aerodynamic design techniques and advanced materials to create a more powerful, fuel-efficient, durable engine with no recurrent fuel-nozzle inspections and no hot-section inspection." The H80 also will power the Aircraft Industries L410 twin-engine commuter aircraft, built in the Czech Republic, which has been flying since 1969, with 1,100 units produced. The new H80 version of the L410 is expected to be certified later this year.

The H80 engine will feature an extended service life of 3,600 flight-hours or 6,600 cycles between overhauls, GE said. It will provide the option of a single- or dual-acting governor, allowing customers to have flexibility in propeller selection. GE Aviation said it expects to produce 70 of the H80 engines this year. The H80 is the first GE engine to be manufactured outside the U.S., and the first to get its initial certification from EASA. It's based on the Walter M601 that was acquired by GE when they bought up Walter Aircraft Engines in 2008.

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Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: GA's Future -- The European Perspective

Wrapping up his blog-o-tour of Europe for the AVweb Insider, Paul Bertorelli offers some final thoughts on what he heard about the future of the industry. And yes, there is one. But it's time to stop whining about the fact that GA is no longer a mass market activity, if it ever was. No one is to blame for this; it's just the evolution of demographics, wealth generation and maturing markets.

Read more and join the conversation.

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Who's Where back to top 

Pflieger Promoted at Gulfstream

Sharon Pflieger

Sharon Pflieger has been named Gulfstream's director of organizational effectiveness. She was previously an organizational development manager.

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

Video: Pipistrel Virus SW Flight Trial

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

On AVweb's recent swing through Europe, we visited Pipistrel Aircraft, a Slovenian manufacturer that's staked out the hyper-efficient segment of the LSA world. The company demonstrated its sophisticated Virus SW, which boasts fuel economy of nearly 50 MPG. This video is worth the watch just for the spectacular mountain scenery.

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If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

Video: Rotax's New 912iS

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

This week, Rotax rolled out its new 912iS light aircraft engine at its Gunskirchen, Austria factory. AVweb was there, and here's a full video report on the new engine, which features dual electronic fuel injection, dual ignition, and power options. The engine will be ready for volume shipments as early as May of 2012.

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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 

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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 world's premier independent aviation news resource.

The AVwebBiz team is:

Tom Bliss

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Russ Niles

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Scott Simmons

Kevin Lane-Cummings
Jeff Van West

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