AVwebBiz Complete Issue: Volume 10, Number 29

August 1, 2012

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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AVflash! Update on Hawker Beech Bonuses back to top 

Some Hawker Beech Bonuses Approved

At least 31 senior Hawker Beechcraft employees will receive payments totaling $1.9 million after a bankruptcy judge approved that part of the Key Employee Incentive Program that is part of the company's bankruptcy filing. However, a decision on the big prize for the company's top eight executives, bonuses totaling $5.3 million, has been deferred until Aug. 6, with the judge inviting new evidence to be considered. The company insists the bonuses are justified because taking a company out of bankruptcy and transferring its assets to another owner is a lot of work. They will also preside over the "orderly shutdown" of the business jet part of the business.

The Machinists Union is upset about the whole idea of the sale of Hawker Beech to Superior Airparts, which has an exclusivity agreement with the company to pursue a takeover worth about $1.79 billion. Superior is owned about 40 percent by Chinese interests and the union has warned the sale will give China access to technology and equipment it does not now have. As for the bonuses, the union has hit the "complete irony and hypocrisy" of awarding millions of dollars to those who have been at the helm of the company for its decline.

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Sidestepping BARR back to top 

Hackers Defeat BARR

It was perhaps inevitable that someone somewhere would find a way, and an apparently legal one at that, to track flights of aircraft on the Block Aircraft Registration Request (BARR) but at least one of the architects of the project feels a little bad about it. Dustin Hoffman (the researcher, not the actor), who developed the system with Semon Rezchikov, is a private pilot who thinks it's none of anyone's business where consenting adults fly their aircraft but he's also not adverse to making some money by selling that information to others, like, for instance, celebrity gossip channels and sites. In fact, he's managed to strike a noble posture in his defense of OpenBarr.net. "I'm a libertarian. I don't think it's anyone's business where you travel to," he told Forbes "But what's worse, for everyone to know it's easy to track you, or to have a false assurance you can't be tracked?" NBAA isn't buying it. "Getting on an airplane shouldn't amount to forfeiting your security and privacy to anyone, anywhere in the world with an Internet connection," NBAA spokesman Dan Hubbard told Forbes. "That's why a law was passed to create a program that allows citizens and companies to opt out from having their flights tracked. Attempts to compromise that opt-out ability amount to nothing less than an unwarranted invasion of the privacy of aircraft owners and operators, a threat to the competitiveness of U.S. companies and a potential security risk to the persons aboard aircraft."

Hoffman might have used his knowledge as a pilot to come up with the process. OpenBARR's software simply scans LiveATC's broadcast of pilot/controller interactions and picks out the N-numbers of arriving or departing aircraft. It would appear those scanning the data would have to know what they're looking for but aircraft registrations remain public information and finding out the tail number of a celebrity or business owner's aircraft is relatively simple. The site is active now scanning ATC transmissions from Henderson, North Las Vegas and McCarran Internation Airports serving Sin City. More will follow. The "service" was unveiled at the annual DEF CON hackers' conference in Las Vegas last week.

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Vetting the Administrator back to top 

Senator Opposes Huerta Confirmation

It looks like politics will get in the way of the confirmation of Acting FAA Administrator Michael Huerta to the five-year appointment in the top job. Despite the unanimous endorsement of the Senate's commerce committee earlier in the day, Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., has announced he'll oppose the confirmation so the full Senate can more thoroughly explore Huerta's views on labor relations. "Senator DeMint would want to have a full debate and vote on this nominee as he has strong concerns about the FAA's labor policies," said DeMint spokesman Wesley Denton.

Huerta has had a comparatively easy confirmation process and appeared to be on track to take over the job this week. DeMint's action could delay the confirmation, assuming it eventually occurs, by weeks. In a an interview with AVweb at AirVenture last week Huerta said he hoped the confirmation would pass the Senate and that he'd be able to settle in to tackle things like NextGen. And just to add further political intrigue to the issue, it should be noted that Huerta, although he was nominated by President Obama, worked for Obama's presumed rival Mitt Romney as managing director of the 2000 Salt Lake City Olympics.

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More New Engines Announced back to top 

GE Expands Turboprop Line

The new H80 turboprop engine from GE Aviation, which was certified in March, has spawned two derivative engines, the company said last week. The H75 will be rated at 750 shaft horsepower (shp) for takeoff and maximum continuous operation, and the H85 engine will be rated at 850 shp. Both should be certified by FAA and EASA early next year, GE said. The new models are designed for the agricultural, commuter, utility and business turboprop aircraft segments. "The H80 turboprop has been extremely successful for us," said Paul Theofan, of GE. "We anticipate the same level of interest for the H75 and H85." The engines will be manufactured at GE's facility in the Czech Republic.

Production of the H80 is already underway, with 50 engines to be built this year, and more than 100 scheduled for next year, the company said. The H80 will power the Thrush 510G agricultural aircraft, Aircraft Industries' new L410 commuter airplane, and Technoavia's new Rysachok twin. The company hasn't yet announced any customers for the new models. "There are several potential aircraft applications that could benefit from these two new engine models," Theofan said.

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Aviation Safety back to top 

NTSB Seeks Cause Of 787 Engine Failure

One engine of a new Boeing 787 Dreamliner failed during a pre-delivery taxi test on Saturday, and the NTSB is investigating to find out why. The engine failure left debris on the active runway at Charleston (S.C.) International Airport and sparked a brush fire. The safety board said an investigator was sent to the scene, and as a result, it was decided it would be necessary to disassemble and examine the GE engine to determine the cause of the failure. There were no injuries in the incident.

In a statement quoted by USA Today, Boeing said, "While the investigation is in its early stages, we are unaware of any operational issue that would present concerns about the continued safe operation of in-service 787s powered by GE engines." A company spokesperson added that after the investigation is complete, Boeing will "determine what went wrong and come up with a remedy." The engine will be examined at GE's facility in Cincinnati.

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Who's Where back to top 

Crawford at Sportair

Monty Crawford

Monty Crawford is the new avionics manager at SportairUSA in Little Rock. He's been in avionics for 35 years and held positions at Hawker Beechcraft, Bell Helicopter, Bizjet International and Bombardier.

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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AirVenture Recap back to top 

AirVenture 2012: News Coverage Round-Up

The year's mostly eagerly anticipated fly-in and trade show, EAA AirVenture took place in Oshkosh, Wisconsin from July 23 to July 29, 2012. Click here for an all-in-one-place index to coverage from the show — including podcasts, videos, blogs, and photo galleries.

Or skip to your favorite section here:

videos | podcasts | photo galleries | blogs | daily coverage

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

Video: iFlightPlanner with iPad Interface

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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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