AVwebBiz Complete Issue: Volume 10, Number 18

May 9, 2012

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
Pilot Input Needed || Spend Five Minutes to Take the AVweb/MIT GA Survey
Tell MIT Researchers About GA's Challenges,
Your Ideas and Concerns

The International Center for Air Transportation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is conducting a study of general aviation trends. Let them know what you think about fuel costs, how to advance general aviation and why you fly. It takes ten minutes or less. AVweb will publish the results — so will MIT.

To take the survey, click here.
AVflash! NTSB Gets Proactive with GA Safety back to top 
Sponsor Announcement
AVweb Survey for Owner Pilots - Past, Present, or Future

NTSB To Explore GA Safety

The NTSB announced this week that it will hold a two-day forum next month to examine safety issues related to general aviation. "Each year, hundreds of people are killed in general aviation crashes, and thousands more are injured," said board chairman Deborah Hersman, in a news release. "Tragically, the circumstances leading to these accidents are often repeated over and over, year after year. If we are going to prevent future fatalities and injuries, these common causes must be addressed." Last year, the safety board added "General Aviation Safety" to its "Most Wanted" list of transportation safety improvements.

The forum, "General Aviation Safety: Climbing to the Next Level," will take place June 19 and 20 in Washington, D.C. Among the key issues the forum will address are pilot training and performance, pilot access to and use of weather-related information, and aircraft design and certification. Panelists participating in the forum will represent industry, government, academia, and professional associations. Hersman and all five members of the safety board will participate. The forum is open to the public and will be webcast live at NTSB.gov.

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Bracing for EBACE back to top 

EBACE Launches Next Week

Europe's biggest and most important business aviation show gets under way formally next Monday. EBACE, held annually at the PalExpo convention center, conveniently located at Geneva Airport, will run until May 16 and include attendance by a worldwide audience and exhibitors. New product announcements have begun to appear in advance of the show, which is traditionally a launch pad for new aircraft.

As of Tuesday, there were almost 500 exhibitors, including about 30 static display participants. At EBACE, the static display is just outside the convention hall on the ramp. The exhibitor numbers are on pace with the 2011 show, which saw an attendance of almost 13,000 people.

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What the World Needs Now — Is More Airliners back to top 

Boeing Boosts Airliner Production

Boeing says that despite a generally sluggish economy worldwide, it's being forced to increase production of its full line of airliners as demand keeps increasing. "Except in Europe, we expect airlines to be profitable," Randy Tinseth, Boeing's vice president for marketing, told Dow Newswire. "When business is growing, airlines are profitable, they buy new airplanes." High oil prices might be to blame for some of the economic downturn but they're also helping to fuel the demand for new, more fuel-efficient airliners. He said Boeing expects airlines to retire about 500 older aircraft a year. At the same time, passenger growth, fueled in part by the expanding middle classes of many developing countries, will be about 5 percent this year after jumping 6 percent last year.

The upshot is that Boeing got orders for 412 airplanes in the first quarter of 2012 and booked 921 orders last year. Airbus took a staggering 1,608 orders in 2011. For Boeing, the surge in orders means it can't keep up with demand and will increase production by about 10 percent for its established designs. For instance, 737 production will go from 35 a month to 38. The newly introduced 787 is currently being built at a rate of 3.5 a month. That will almost triple to 10 a month by the end of 2013.

Eclipse 550 || Delivering in 2013
The Eclipse 550 Twin-Engine Jet: Delivering in 2013
Eclipse Aerospace has received Production Certificate #550 from the FAA, paving the way for production of the new Eclipse 550 twin-engine jet. What does this mean for you? It means you can fly 375 ktas at 41,000 feet while sipping just 59 gallons of fuel per hour. And you can do it next year. Take a look at the most technologically advanced, fuel-efficient jet on the planet by clicking here.
Hawker Beech Update back to top 

First Flight For Hawker 400XPR Upgrade

Hawker Beechcraft, fresh off a week in the news over its Chapter 11 filing, announced on Monday that its 400XPR test aircraft has flown for the first time. The light jet flew with Williams International FJ44-4A-32 engines and winglets, which are available as an upgrade for current owners of the Hawker 400 or as an option for new buyers. The package will be certified in September. Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics also will be made available. Hawker spokesman Christi Tannahill said there is "great demand" for the 400XPR upgrade, which will enhance performance, cost and reliability. Hawker also said it is moving forward with its case in bankruptcy court and has received approval to continue to pay employees, vendors, and suppliers for goods and services delivered after the commencement of the Chapter 11 case.

The company said it will utilize a commitment for $400 million in debtor-in-possession financing, negotiated as part of the prearranged restructuring, to meet these obligations. The court's approvals will allow Hawker to continue to operate during the reorganization process. Last week, CEO Robert Miller said the reorganization will make Hawker a more competitive company.

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Aviation Law back to top 

Passengers On Upset Flight Sue Airline

A $20 million class action lawsuit has been launched against Air Canada by passengers aboard a Toronto-Zurich flight that was mistakenly thrown into a dive by one of the pilots. As we reported, at least 16 people, 14 passengers and two flight attendants, were hurt when the first officer, who had just awoken from a sanctioned in-seat nap, spotted an oncoming Air Force C-17 and thought they were on a collision course. Moments before, he'd mistaken the planet Venus for the C-17. The military plane was 1,000 feet below the 767-300 at 12 o'clock. The FO pushed the Boeing into an emergency dive, dropping 400 feet. It then, just as abruptly, climbed 800 feet before settling into level flight with the captain under control. Seven of the injured were taken to hospital when the aircraft arrived in Zurich three hours later. But it wasn't the incident itself, which happened in January of 2011, that pushed the passengers to legal action. Their statement of claim alleges the airline "actively covered up the true cause of the terrifying episode."

The suit alleges Air Canada blamed turbulence for the upset, offered modest cash settlements to the injured and asked some passengers to sign indemnity waivers. It wasn't until Canada's Transportation Safety Board issued its report on the incident that the passengers learned what really happened, the suit alleges. "I have been lied to for 15 months by this airline," Jaragina-Sahoo told the Canadian Press. She was pregnant and was thrown against the ceiling of the aircraft. She accepted $3,500 for medical expenses and lost time at work from the airline. "Obviously, I would not have settled for the amount they offered me had I known it was a human error rather than just a course of nature." Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick said the airline considers the suit without merit and will defend itself.

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Who's Where back to top 

Wouters Lands Non-Aviation Job

Brent Wouters

Former Cirrus Aircraft CEO Brent Wouters has taken a job with IO, a Phoenix-based data management company. Wouters left Cirrus last year after engineering the sale of the company to CAIGA, of China.

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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Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: Bin Laden Raid -- Why Did the Blackhawk Crash?

A year on, we've learned more about the special ops raid that killed Osama bin Laden. What we don't know — and may never know — is why that MH-60 crashed in the compound. In his latest post to the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli wades into the speculation.

Read more and join the conversation.

AVweb Insider Blog: Regulation as a Field Leveler

If regulations can't spark innovation, is it just as good that they can spread the misery around? Paul Bertorelli contemplates that uncomfortable consolation prize in his latest post to the AVweb Insider blog.

Read more and join the conversation.

AVbuys || AVweb Stories About Great Deals in Aviation
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AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

Video: William Rankin, the Man Who Rode the Thunder

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

The story of William Rankin's ejection at 47,000 feet and 500 knots is legendary, not only because the fall took him 40 minutes, but also because he lived to talk about it. There are other and more recent cases of people who have been drawn into thunderstorms under canopy and not every one ends in survival.

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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 

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:

Tom Bliss

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Russ Niles

Scott Simmons

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Kevin Lane-Cummings
Jeff Van West

Ad Coordinator
Karen Lund

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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Comments or questions about the news should be sent here.

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