AVwebBiz - Volume 10, Number 25

June 27, 2012

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
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AVflash! Embraer's Outpost in the East back to top 
 
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Embraer To Build Jets In China

In Rio de Janeiro last week, political leaders from Brazil and China signed an agreement that will allow Embraer to start building business jets in China. The deal creates a partnership between Embraer and the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) to build Legacy 600 and 650 jets using a facility already in place in Harbin, China. The new operation is expected to produce about 20 jets a year for the Chinese market. The first Embraer jet to be built in China is scheduled to be completed by the end of next year.

Embraer negotiated with China for about two years to reach the deal. Originally, Embraer wanted to build regional jets at the Harbin facility, but their E190 would have competed against a Chinese-built aircraft. Embraer won't be without competitors in the country -- Cessna signed a deal with AVIC in March to build business jets in China.

 
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Medical Reform Down Under back to top 
 

Australia Relaxes Medical Requirements

Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has announced liberalized flight medical standards for private and recreational pilots that include a 3,200-pound maximum weight for aircraft and allow pilots to register their medical fitness online. In a newsletter to Australian pilots, John McCormick, CASA's director of aviation safety, said the idea is to make it easier for pilots to maintain medicals without sacrificing safety. "Having robust medical standards is a key element of aviation safety and this initiative ensures safety standards remain high while making the system simpler," McCormick said. Pilots will still have to get regular medical assessments (every two year for those 65 or younger, every year after that) but they're based mostly on driver's license standards and can be done by their family doctor. Australia requires all drivers to self-declare medical fitness to maintain their licenses. After being signed off by the GP, the pilot registers his or her medical fitness online and keeps the printed copy with him or her while flying. Australia's new rules have some significant differences from those being considered by the FAA. By the way, the deadline for comments on the joint EAA/AOPA third-class medical exemption proposal is July 2. To find out how to comment, look here (PDF).

The doctor's office flight medical adds a few areas of specific concern for aviation safety including questions about cancer, heart failure, head injuries, epilepsy and musculoskeletal disorders. As with the U.S. proposal, pilots in the new category can fly with only one "informed and consenting passenger" and are limited to day VFR. However, where the U.S. proposal limits aircraft flown under the exemption to those with piston engines of 180 horsepower or less, Australia sets the limit at piston singles of 1,500 kilograms (3,200 pounds) maximum takeoff weight or less. This captures a much wider range of aircraft than the U.S. exemption, but it still misses popular high-performance aircraft like the Cirrus SR22 and Cessna Corvalis, which are a few hundred pounds heavier. There's a 10,000 ASL ceiling for pilots in this class and flying in controlled airspace is allowed.

 
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Aviation Safety back to top 
 

NTSB Recommends Stick-Pusher Changes

In a safety recommendation stemming from its investigation of a 2009 crash in Texas, the NTSB said on Tuesday the FAA and the European Aviation Safety Agency should require changes in the stall-warning system on ATR-42 series airplanes. Both agencies should also evaluate all other transport-category airplanes to ensure that the stick pusher "activates at an angle of attack that will provide adequate stall protection in the presence of airframe ice accretions," the safety board said.

In the 2009 cargo flight, which caused no fatalities but destroyed the aircraft, the crew failed "to monitor and maintain a minimum safe airspeed while executing an instrument approach in icing conditions, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall at low altitude," the NTSB said in its report. Several contributing factors were cited, including the crew's failure to follow published standard operating procedures, the captain's decision to continue with an unstabilized approach, poor crew resource management, and fatigue.

 
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Jets, Jets, Jets! back to top 
 

Another Incarnation Of The Vantage Jet?

One of the original proponents of the Vantage Jet single-engine very light jet has resumed his quest to certify and build the Burt Rutan-designed aircraft. Jim Rice has re-acquired the original prototype of the forward-swept-wing composite design that first flew in 1996 but encountered various financial and technical challenges before the post-911 slump forced it into bankruptcy. Rice has moved the new company, called VisionAire Jets, to his childhood home of Hickory, N.C., and is telling locals he hopes to hire up to 600 people to build the aircraft in a future factory there. The initial footprint is considerably more modest and consists of some office space and space on the ramp for the airplane and the interior mockup. "Several members of the former management team of VisionAire and others have acquired an option to purchase all the intellectual property for the single-engine version of the VisionAire Vantage and have begun assembling the necessary team to bring the project to fruition," Rice says in his LinkedIn profile.

Rice and a few others started the Vantage Jet project with a visit to Scaled Composites in the mid-1980s and the aircraft and mockup were regulars at the major shows until the original company was forced into bankruptcy in 2002. The intellectual property was sold and a twin-engine version of the aircraft was attempted in Brazil. Rice said he picked his former home for the renewed effort to help out the employment-challenged area and because many of those who are out of work were in the textiles industry and their experience might translate to composites work. No timelines have been set for the development of the aircraft.

More Supersonic Bizjets On The Way?

A report in the British newspaper the Daily Mail says Boeing, Gulfstream and Lockheed Martin will unveil concepts for supersonic business jets capable of 2,500 mph and a London-to-Sydney flight time of four hours at the Farnborough Air Show next month. The newspaper quotes unnamed sources as saying the aerospace heavyweights have partnered with NASA to come up with designs that muffle the sonic boom, a key consideration in the marketability of such aircraft. An unnamed Gulfstream engineer is quoted as saying the result is "closer to a puff or a plop."

Gulfstream has been working on its X-54 quiet supersonic concept aircraft for four years and has kept it under wraps. It's believed to be an evolution of experiments conducted with NASA starting in 2005 to reduce the sonic boom to an acceptable level. The curtain may be pulled back a little on it at Farnborough. Both Boeing and Lockheed Martin have experience in supersonic designs but not in business jet-type aircraft. There are other hopefuls in the supersonic bizjet race but none have built an actual airplane yet.

 
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Using a high-performance sailplane, Ascension Scattering™ releases cremated remains into strong thermals over the Rocky Mountains. The ashes are carried heavenward, making them part of the sky. Your family is invited to personalize the release to create an individualized memorial event. Optional video of the release serves as a lasting memorial. Contact Aerial Tribute to book an eternal flight, either as an advanced arrangement for yourself or as an arrangement for a loved one. Click here for a video overview.
 
Who's Where back to top 
 

Bartolotta Heads Up CHC Operations

Peter Bartolotta

Peter Bartolotta is the new COO and president of CHC Helicopter's Helicopter Services Unit. He was formerly senior vice president for global services at Lenovo.


Brooks Joins APS

Randall Brooks

Randall Brooks has been named VP of Training and Business Development for APS Performance Solutions, an upset recovery training company based in Mesa, Arizona.


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: Lessons from the Jack Roush Crash

It's all there in black and white. Roush simply stalled the airplane near the ground, the result of a botched go-around. Before you remind yourself that you'd never do that, just remember that the intensity and distractions of AirVenture flight operations can throw anyone off their game. Paul Bertorelli meditates on the importance of circumstances in the latest installment of the AVweb Insider blog.

Read more and join the conversation.

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

Video: 'Aviation Consumer' Takes the Show on the Road with Five Folding Bicycle Reviews

The July issue of our sister publication, Aviation Consumer, features a blow-by-blow comparison of some of the best folding bikes for pilots we could find. See them in action in these five video reviews by Consumer's Jeff Van West.

Video: ANA 767 Hard Landing Creases Fuselage

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

An All Nippon Airways Boeing 767-300 carrying 193 passengers was damaged during a hard landing at Tokyo Narita airport, Wednesday, June 20, 2012. The ANA jet touched down on Runway 16R. Airport weather reports show winds at 230 and 16 knots gusting to 29 at that time, suggesting a potential crosswind component of more than 27 knots. However that may have affected the pilots and aircraft, security camera footage shows the airliner came down first on the right main, then on the nosewheel alone, before porpoising into a second impact that appears to impart visible flex on the airliner's forward fuselage. No injuries were reported, but an early post-flight inspection clearly showed buckling and creases in the fuselage skin forward of the wing root. Japan's transportation safety board is investigating.

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Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

Video: Cessna Grand Caravan Flight Demo

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

Since its launch in 1985, the Cessna Caravan and later the Grand Caravan have been strong sellers for Cessna. In this video, AVweb takes a flight demo in the latest model, complete with G1000 and GFC700 autopilot.

Don't see a video screen?
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 
 

Survey: What's That LSA Costing You? 'Aviation Consumer' Wants to Know

If you're operating a light sport aircraft -- either a legacy or late-model new airplane, our sister publication, Aviation Consumer, would like to know what it costs.

Click on this link to take the survey and leave comments.

We're interested in all kinds of light sports, but we especially want to know what costs are like when the airplanes are in partnerships.

The results will appear in a future issue of Aviation Consumer. For subscription information, click here.

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

Webmaster
Scott Simmons

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Contributors
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].

Click here to send a letter to the editor. (Please let us know if your letter is not intended for publication.)

Comments or questions about the news should be sent here.

If you're having trouble reading this newsletter in its HTML-rich format (or if you'd prefer a lighter, simpler format for your phone or handheld device), there's also a text-only version of AVwebFlash. For complete instructions on making the switch, click here.

Aviate. Navigate. Communicate.