AVwebBiz - Volume 10, Number 14

April 11, 2012

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
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AVflash! Safety Revisited: The Reno Air Races back to top 
 

NTSB Suggests Changes For Reno Races

The NTSB is still working to complete its investigation of last year's fatal crash at the Reno Air Races, but on Tuesday, board chairman Deborah Hersman announced a half dozen safety recommendations that she hopes the race organizers will implement before the races resume in September. "We believe these recommendations can go a long way toward preventing future accidents," she said at a news conference at the Reno airport. The suggestions to race organizers include changes to the course design and layout, improvements to the methods used to track and resolve discrepancies found during pre-race aircraft inspections, required pilot training in G-force tolerance, and better ramp safety, such as keeping fuel trucks farther from the race area and improving the placement of barriers. Hersman also emphasized that pilots should document that highly modified aircraft have been exposed to realistic race conditions -- high speeds and high g-loads -- before the race.

Hersman also asked the FAA to review its publications that provide guidance for air racing, because the FAA order for the Reno race required just 500 feet between the race course and the spectators; however, an FAA advisory circular recommends a separation of 1,000 feet when aircraft are flying faster than 250 mph. The board recommends that the FAA should "reconcile all of the differences between these two documents," Hersman said. She also suggested that race organizers should evaluate the use of g-suits for race pilots, and consider making them a requirement. Hersman said additional recommendations may be issued as the board continues its investigation. The accident in September 2011 killed pilot Jimmy Leeward and 10 spectators, and another 60 spectators were injured.

 
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Korean Air Flight Escorted to the Ground back to top 
 

F-15s Intercept Korean Airliner

As North Korea gets ready to launch a rocket generally acknowledged to be an ICBM, NORAD was taking no chances Tuesday when a bomb threat involving a South Korean airliner in the air off the west coast of Canada was phoned in. F-15 fighters from Portland intercepted the Korean Airlines Boeing 777 off British Columbia and escorted the plane to a Royal Canadian Air Force base at Comox on Vancouver Island. The aircraft, carrying 149 passengers, took off from Vancouver for Seoul at 2:35 p.m. PDT and was on the ground in Comox at 5:23 p.m. Comox is about 50 miles from Vancouver. "Wing emergency personnel are responding to the location and are securing the aircraft in accordance with normal procedures. All emergency services on the Wing have been activated," said RCAF spokesman Lt. Trevor Reid.

The bomb threat was received at the Los Angeles office of Korean Air. By then the 777 was near Haida Gwaii, an archipelago about 400 miles northwest of Vancouver. Early reports said the aircraft was held in an isolated area of the air force base and the passengers kept onboard. There were also unconfirmed reports that it had been cleared to leave the base about 7 p.m. PDT.

 
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The Brazilians Are Coming back to top 
 

U.S., Brazil Sign Aviation Deal

News that Boeing and Embraer will cooperate on future unspecified development projects is part of a much larger package of cooperation between Brazil and the U.S. to help the emerging South American country modernize and expand its air transportation system. The U.S. Trade and Development Agency announced Monday an interagency effort that will allow U.S. businesses to create new opportunities in Brazil's burgeoning aviation sector. Embraer and Boeing are among the six initial participants in the U.S.-Brazil Aviation Partnership. "We are excited to work together to support the growth of Brazil's dynamic aviation sector and deepen our commercial engagement with Brazil," said USTDA Director Leocadia Zak. Other government departments taking part in the project are the State Department, TSA and FAA, and Brazilian opportunities will be on display later this year.

In October, the USTDA will host a Latin American Aviation Summit in Miami "to introduce hundreds of U.S. aviation company representatives to aviation officials from countries across Latin America." Brazil's expanding economy is fueling aviation industry expansion but the system, which is largely controlled by the military, is not keeping up. High-profile events like the Olympics and World Cup of Soccer are expected to put even more pressure on the system. "Brazil is facing an urgent need to increase its investments in aviation infrastructure in order to accommodate the expected growth," the USTDA news release says. "U.S. companies are eager to connect to the export opportunities created by these investments." There has been some controversy about the relationship between the U.S. and Brazil in aviation matters. A Brazilian court convicted two American pilots of negligence in the midair collision of their Legacy 600 business jet with a GOL Boeing 737 that downed the airliner and the U.S. Air Force recently changed its mind on awarding a $1 billion contract for light air support aircraft to Embraer after Wichita-based Hawker Beechcraft alleged it was unfairly shut out of the competition.

Boeing, Embraer To Collaborate

Boeing and Embraer will "work together to benefit their customers, their companies and the global aviation industry," the two companies announced on Monday. The companies didn't offer any details about what this cooperation would produce, but said they will work together to develop commercial aircraft features that enhance safety and efficiency and to develop sustainable aviation biofuels. They will also look for other areas to work together "to bring mutual benefit and value to customers." The announcement was made on the same day that the governments of Brazil and the U.S. agreed to expand cooperation on civil aviation matters.

The agreement could develop into a joint effort to build a new commercial airliner, aviation analyst Scott Hamilton told the Puget Sound Business Journal. "It appears neither Boeing nor Airbus will do a new small airplane until sometime around 2030," Hamilton said. "What you may see is Boeing tying up with Embraer, possibly for an eventual development of larger Embraer aircraft that would supplant the 700 and 7 Max." Last year, Boeing and Embraer announced plans to jointly fund research on producing sustainable aviation jet fuel from sugarcane. And last month, Boeing, Embraer, and Airbus announced an agreement to work together on the development of drop-in, affordable aviation biofuels.

 
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Bringing the Mountain to You back to top 
 

Online Matchmaking For Charters

PlaneFinder, an online matchmaking service for on-demand charter operators and potential customers, has turned the tables on the usual arrangement for bringing the two together. Customers can still shop for available flights but now aircraft operators can also shop for available customers. "Customers can anonymously post their travel plans and charter companies have access to search through the database and find passengers for their aircraft," said Managing Director Justin Beitler.

Beitler said the website now has booking potential on 150 aircraft ranging from Pilatus PC-12s to BBJs. Often operators are looking to fill deadheads and will post the available flights at a flat rate. Customers looking for specific flights are able to indicate the size of aircraft they need and how much they're willing to pay. In both cases, the postings are anonymous and PlaneFinder arranges for the direct negotiations to take place.

 
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A Major in Computer Science with a Minor in Airbus? back to top 
 

University Offers Type Ratings

The Florida Institute of Technology says it's the first post-secondary institution to graduate students with type ratings in modern jet airliners. Juan Villa-Navarro and Sidney Callaghan completed the Jet Transition and Commercial Type Rating course as part of their bachelor's degree program at the Melbourne campus. They both earned type ratings in the A320. Type ratings are also available in Boeing 737NG. "The courses will prepare them well and provide all the ratings necessary to go directly to a major airline. This represents the gold standard in collegiate flight training," said Ken Stackpoole, vice president for Aviation Programs and dean of the College of Aeronautics.

The type rating course, which is available as an elective for junior, senior and grad students planning airline careers, is offered in partnership with Aerostar Training Services in Orlando. There are six more students in the pipeline. Most graduates of university-level aviation courses obtain multi-IFR endorsements, but a type rating is required to fly jets. Peter Dunn, the program manager, said the courses were designed specifically in response to what appears to be a looming pilot shortage and new airline pilot standards mandated by Congress. "We are responding to what the new law intends," Dunn said. "We want to give our graduates the ability to compete for major airline jobs."

 
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Who's Where back to top 
 

Fawcett to TAS

Michelle Fawcett

Michelle Fawcett has joined TAS Aircraft Sales. She was most recently program manager for Cirrus Certified Pre-Owned Aircraft.


Huff to Gulfstream

Tom Huff

Tom Huff is the new aviation safety officer at Gulfstream. He was formerly the commander of the Naval Test Wing in Patuxent River, where he also served as chief test pilot.


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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Show Coverage Recaps back to top 
 

AEA 2012: Podcasts and Videos

Did you catch our podcast and video interviews from the 55th Annual Aircraft Electronics Association Convention in Washington, DC April 3-6, 2012? If not, click here for Friday's AVwebAudio recapping our media coverage of the show.

Sun 'n Fun 2012: News Coverage Round-Up

AVweb attended the 38th annual Sun 'n Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Florida from March 27 to April 1, 2012 — and brought back an assortment of news and interviews. Click here for a handy index to all our coverage from the show, including podcasts, videos, and blogs.

 
Light Plane Maintenance || Practical Maintenance Advice for Mechanics and Pilots
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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.

 
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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:

Publisher
Tom Bliss

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Editor-in-Chief
Russ Niles

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Webmaster
Scott Simmons

Contributors
Kevin Lane-Cummings
Jeff Van West

Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? Your advertising can reach over 225,000 loyal AVwebFlash, AVwebBiz, and AVweb home page readers every week. Over 80% of our readers are active pilots and aircraft owners. That's why our advertisers grow with us, year after year. For ad rates and scheduling, click here or contact Tom Bliss, via e-mail or via telephone [(480) 525-7481].

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