AVwebBiz Complete Issue: Volume 10, Number 40

October 24, 2012

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
Copperstate Fly-In || October 25-27, 2012
The Southwest's Premier Aviation Event, the Copperstate Fly-In & Aviation Expo will take place October 25-27 in Casa Grande, Arizona at the Municipal Airport. This, the 40th annual event, will include over 500 aircraft of all kinds, airplane rides, aviation exhibitors, fly-bys, vendors, a food court, and the Ford "Go Further" Tour. Adult admission: $15. Children 12 & under: no charge. No-cost parking. See Copperstate.org for more information.

Come and enjoy an aviation experience at its best!
AVflash! Inside Redbird's Training Center back to top 

Redbird's Migration Training: A New Paradigm

After a year of research and training at its San Marcos, Texas Skyport simulator lab, Redbird Flight Simulations is poised to roll out a new simulator-based pilot training program that expands its business beyond sim sales and into the wider market of flight training delivery. The training could, in some iterations, be based on a fixed-cost, fixed-time model that Redbird says it has had success with at its San Marcos location. Redbird will continue to market its line of affordable simulators while a separate company called Redbird Media will produce training support and outreach materials based on simulator-centric training. The new system is called Migration and will capitalize on what Redbird has learned from a year of intensive research on simulator training methods at its San Marcos facility.

At the company's second industry training conference in San Marcos on Tuesday, Redbird CEO Jerry Gregoire told about 175 instructors, flight school owners and industry professionals that Red Bird's sim-based training will change the rules for how flight training is delivered to customers while at the same increasing the return on investment for flight schools, a critical part of the GA equation. Gregoire has long been a critic of an established flight training system that he compared to trying to make progress by "climbing up a mudslide." In a day-long event introducing what will become the Migration method, Gregoire said current flight training is a game rigged against the student because it depends on instructor and equipment availability, not the would-be student's convenience or desires. The drop out rate is horrific, said Gregoire, and seems to be getting worse.

Redbird developed the underlying concepts at its Skyport lab and for its version of the training it used a fixed-cost model of $9500 for either private or instrument rating, with the training completed over a three-week period. Typically, a student spends two dual sessions a day of about an hour-and-half each, plus solo sim sessions. Aircraft sessions are scheduled as the simulator program progresses. Students can fly as much solo sim time as they like on the way to the rating. As the ideas behind the training filter into the wider market under the Migration nameplate, the program will be based broadly on Skyport's training findings, but it will up to individual flight schools to decide how fixed costs are set and whether the fixed-time model will be followed. The training materials will allow some flexibility.

Redbird's chief instructor Roger Sharp told the group that in some 10 months of operation, the lab tested a number of assumptions designed to improve the student's training experience, including the design of the building itself, how people learn—or don't learn--the sometimes daunting technical details of flying and how sim time can best be integrated with actual aircraft time. Red Bird found that much of what pilots are forced to learn is useless rote-and-repeat knowledge designed to meet outdated FAA standards of what pilots are supposed to know. It has stripped down and simplified the delivery of required knowledge for the ratings.

One novel idea: the instructors aren't hourly employees, but full-time, salaried professionals with benefits. Sharp conceded that this definitely raises overhead, but he insists that it pays off in a higher margin for the flight school on both the simulator and aircraft investments. The lab has graduated 41 students, including 20 private pilots. Sharp said as a group, these pilots have had a 97 percent first-time pass rate on checkrides and have completed their training in an average of 38 hours for those who pursued the program full time. The national average is 62 hours.

The Migration system will be rolled out to all comers by Redbird Media, headed by Jeff Van West. Although developed on Redbird simulators, the system can be used by any school with adequate simulation. The Migration training materials aren't available yet, but are expected to be in the months ahead.

Meanwhile, Continental Motors has already launched its own simulator-based training initiative called Zulu. Continental CEO Rhett Ross summarized this for the conference on Tuesday. Although it's not yet using the Migration system, Ross said Continental's initial experience has proven one thing: a simulator business can be placed off airport in a shopping mall and draw both walk-in traffic and regular student trade. Ross said the storefront location spares the student a long slog through traffic simply for a one-hour flight lesson. The Zulu store has a spacious storefront in downtown Mobile and three Red Bird simulators. It also has two glass panel 172s for flight training. Ross said Zulu capitalizes on the fact that flight training simply hasn't kept up with customer expectations and he believes clean, modern facilities and full-time instructors can reset the rules. "We have to look at flight training differently," Ross said. "The customer is different today."

U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, FL || January 17-20, 
U.S. Sport Aviation Expo
January 17-20, 2013

Sunny Sebring, Florida will hold its 9th annual U.S. Sport Aviation Expo this January 17-20, 2013 — the largest sport aircraft-dedicated event in the world. Additions for 2013 range from a twilight air show opened by Patty Wagstaff demonstrating LSA aerobatic aircraft to The Year of the Cub to star-studded Manufacturers Showcases and a contest that will crown sport aviation's most efficient aircraft/pilot duo. Four days in Sebring, Florida to "See, Try, Fly and Buy" ... everything in the world of sport aviation. Visit Sport-Aviation-Expo.com for details.
EAA's Surprise Change in Leadership back to top 

Hightower Out at EAA

In a surprise announcement Monday, EAA President and CEO Rod Hightower said he was stepping down effective immediately. The decision came following an EAA board of directors meeting in which former Cessna CEO Jack Pelton was elected chairman. EAA spokesman Dick Knapinski said Pelton will oversee the search for a new president for the organization. "I will be working closely with the EAA board of directors to ensure a seamless transition to a new leader," Pelton said. He will meet with staff on Tuesday. Hightower said he was leaving due to family concerns. “When I accepted the position two years ago I believed that we could as a family relocate to the Oshkosh area," he said. But with five kids still in school, "It would simply be too great a hardship on my family to move them.” Pelton said he and the EAA board members "thank Rod for his service [and] understand how difficult it is to relocate a family of school-age children."

Pelton added: “EAA, as all of aviation, faces many challenges with the continuing economic slump and the decrease in personal aviation participation. As an association we must remain focused on the original mission of our founder, Paul H. Poberezny, to welcome all members no matter what they fly, celebrate our volunteers, and treat our employees fairly." Hightower joined EAA in July 2010 as president, while Tom Poberezny stayed on as CEO. In July 2011, Poberezny announced his departure, leaving Hightower at the helm. Early this year, Hightower "realigned" EAA's staff, and eliminated about 30 jobs, many of them held by longtime employees well-known in the aviation community. AOPA President Craig Fuller said on Monday that during Hightower's tenure, "AOPA and EAA enjoyed an unprecedented level of collaboration that has served members of both organizations well. Our associations have committed to working together to protect general aviation interests, promote GA safety, and grow the GA community in the United States."

AVweb's editorial director Paul Bertorelli offers his take on today's news from EAA in the Insider blog.

MIssion-Specific Pilot Flight Bags - The All-New FLEX 
System || BrightLine Bags
Mission-Specific Flight Bags with Adaptive Utility™
We took our award-winning flight bag and made it better! The FLEX System is engineered to handle the simple fact that you face different types of flights on different days. With FLEX, you can build your own perfect bag for each flight from eleven different modules, pockets, and end caps. This lets you add or remove space without having to reload and repack.

Watch the video demo at BrightLineBags.com.
The Politics of Safety Numbers back to top 

Airlines' Safety Record Hampers Change

More than three and a half years have passed since the last airline fatality in the U.S., The Associated Press reported last week, and that record is making it harder for the FAA to impose expensive new safety rules on the industry. Overall, the last 10 years have been the safest time ever for the airlines. "The extraordinary safety record that has been achieved in the United States ironically could be the single biggest reason the FAA isn't able to act proactively and ensure safety into the future," Bill Voss, president of the Flight Safety Foundation, told the AP. The FAA started to work on new rules for training airline pilots in 1999, the AP says. The process was revisited after the Colgan crash in 2009, and the new rules are not expected to take effect until 2019.

"We're doing rulemaking in a system that is very, very safe," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told the AP. "Sometimes it does get to be difficult to produce the cost justification for the kinds of rules that we're promoting." The lack of rulemaking doesn't mean a lack of progress, however. The airline industry and the FAA have been working together to continuously improve pilot training and safety protocols. "There are literally hundreds of people at all the airlines collecting and analyzing data," Margaret Gilligan, FAA's associate administrator for safety, told the AP. "They are working with us voluntarily on all kinds of committees to share that data among themselves because there are things we want an airline to find out and fix for itself." But Tom Haueter, a former head of the NTSB's aviation safety office, cautioned against complacency. "I talk to people all the time who say we have this fantastic accident rate and we've cured all these problems," he said. "But I think if we forget the lessons of the past, we might have to relive them."

'The Aviators' Season 3 || The Biggest Aviation Show on the Planet - Now on PBS, 
iTunes, and Hulu
The Biggest Aviation Show on the Planet ... Is Back!
The award-winning hit TV series The Aviators is back for an all-new third season showcasing everything from the F-22 and DC-3 to LSA and balloons. We take you dogfighting in the Nevada desert, flying with the USAF Thunderbirds, and look on as Mötley Crue frontman Vince Neil learns to fly. Join our 10 million weekly US viewers and countless more worldwide.

Watch The Aviators on PBS, iTunes, Amazon, and Hulu.
Aviators Remembered back to top 

Aviators Lost: Mitchell, Ueltschi, and McGovern

Aviation's elder generation lost several luminaries recently -- Albert Lee Ueltschi, the founder of FlightSafety International; Monte Mitchell, a former president of the Aircraft Electronics Association; and George McGovern, best known for his political career, who flew a B-24 bomber during World War II. Ueltschi, who died on Oct. 18 at age 95, learned to fly at age 16. He flew the line for Pan Am, then started FlightSafety in 1951. He sold it for $1.5 billion in 1968, earning a spot on Forbes' list of the 400 richest Americans. Mitchell died Oct. 16 at age 83. His work "was crucial to establishing the General Aviation Revitalization Act and having the milestone legislation signed into law," said Pete Bunce, president of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.

"GARA was revolutionary and without Monte Mitchell's hard work and perseverance, it would not have been possible," Bunce said. McGovern, who died on Sunday at age 90, visited EAA AirVenture in 2007. He flew 35 combat missions over Europe as a B-24 pilot. He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross when he crash-landed on an island in the Adriatic Sea after being hit by enemy gunfire, according to EAA. "I was very lucky to get out," McGovern said during his Oshkosh visit. "I survived at a time when half of the B-24 crews in that theater did not make it."

VoiceFlight || Helicopter Speech Recognition
Helicopter Speech Recogition
hands-free vectoring to any latitude/longitude
hands-free entry of Nav/Comm frequencies

The HELO101 uses VoiceFlight's field-proven speech recogntion technology to address the inherent conflicts between safe rotocraft flight operations and the distractions of data entry on modern avionics. See a demonstration on our web site, VoiceFlight.com.
Aviation Safety back to top 

Hawaiian Charter Earns Safety Certification

A Hawaiian helicopter tour and fixed-wing charter and scheduled air service company has become the first in the U.S. to earn International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) accreditation. Schumann Aviation, which operates Makani Kai Helicopters and Makani Kai Air, earned the certification in October after a thorough audit by the standards organization. "The IS-BAO accreditation for Makani Kai is unique as it is the only company in the country, out of 478 operators so certified, with multiple types of flight operations, spanning air tour to airline, to achieve such a high safety rating," said Richard Schuman, president. "Although preparing for the safety audit was a lengthy and arduous process, this accreditation demonstrates that we value safety above all."

IS-BAO is a voluntary program established by the International Business Aviation Council a few years ago to foster a best-practices approach to safety within flight operations departments. To qualify, companies must institute a safety management system and undergo audits by IS-BAO inspectors. The operator's systems, processes, practices and documentation must meet standards that are based on the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) International Standards and Recommended Practices for the Operation of Aircraft.

ProActive Safety Systems
Operational Safety Management Seminar
Denver, Colorado, November 13-14
This real-world, two-day operational safety management seminar focuses on the four pillars of SMS: Safety Policy, Risk Management, Safety Assurance and Safety Promotion. 18,000-hour pilot J.R. Russell and guest speaker David Soucie (former FAA official and author) show you SMS applications and case studies from the inside out. "Operationally relevant," says corporate pilot-safety officer Gary Tucker. Stay at Denver's great Inverness Conference Center, where rooms and meals are included — networking, too. Click here for details.
"There Will Be Cuts Made" back to top 

GAMA: Different World Ahead

FAA budget cutbacks are almost certain to directly impact the industry next, according to General Aviation Manufacturers Association president Pete Bunce. "The world will be different starting next year," Bunce told participants Tuesday at Red Bird Simulations second annual flight training industry conference in San Marcos, Texas. "There will be cuts made," he added, explaining that these might result in a more difficult regulatory environment for the short term. On the other hand, Bunce said a proposed revision of FAR Part 23 which is now underway shows promise of reducing the hoops aircraft manufacturers and modifiers have to jump through to gain certification approvals for new aircraft and mods.

The Part 23 Aviation Rulemaking Committee is tasked to simplify Part 23 to manufacturers and will have a menu of options to suit their particular circumstances, rather than having to comply with rules that don't apply to what they're building or modifying. Even the FAA has proposed the notion of "twice the safety at half the cost." The explosion in changes to Part 23 occurred between 1994 and 1996, said Bunce, amounting to about 800 additional requirements. The changes are so extensive, said Bunce, that the distinction between Part 23 and Part 25, which applies to transport category aircraft, is sometimes blurred. Bunce said the FAA is also showing flexibility on revising knowledge tests to more accurately reflect the way pilots actually fly in the system.

Lightspeed Trade-Up Program || A Better 
Headset ... One Click Away
Lightspeed Aviation Trade-Up Program
Your old less-than-perfect headset has trade-in value on our new Zulu.2 or Sierra headsets. Just visit us online at LightspeedAviation.com, click on our Trade-Up Program, and discover how easy it is to own the headset most pilots prefer. Quiet and clarity never felt so comfortable. You get an incredible headset at a great price from a company that is totally committed to aviation. Headsets for aviation is our only passion.

Click here to learn more and to find a dealer near you.
Who's Where back to top 

Morris Promoted

David Morris

David Morris is the new division nanager for flight operations for the Nebraska Department of Aeronautics. He's been with the department since 2008 and was formerly a Nebraska state trooper.

Eclipse 550
Eclipse Carefree Ownership Unveiled
For a limited time, EAI is offering 550 jet positions with our new Carefree Ownership Program at no additional cost. This program includes fuel at no extra cost for the first year you own your Eclipse Jet, and all scheduled maintenance, inspections, and consumables (including brakes, batteries, oil, and tires) for the first two years of ownership, as well as a training allowance to cover everything from jet basics to your Eclipse Jet type rating. Click here to see the complete details of this offer!

White New FlexJet President

Deanna White

Deanna White has been named president of Flexjet. She was formerly the company's VP of finance and administration. She replaces Fred Reid, who is retiring.

Books on Flying Careers || Available at AVwebBooks.com
A Professional Pilot
Available from AVweb Bookstore.
Guides to help you along the way to becoming a professional pilot. These and others will outline your choices, let you know what to expect (and what will be expected of you), and offer critical guidance to help you succeed along the path you choose, each step of the way. Call (800) 780‑4115 or click here for more information.

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.

Kitplanes Magazine || Order Now
Cheap Thrills
Join the fastest-growing segment in GA today! With a subscription to Kitplanes, you're where the action is — at a price that won't break the bank!

Strap in now.
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.

Looking for Low-Cost, Yet Effective, Marketing Options?
Let AVweb assist your company in creating effective direct-response marketing campaigns to generate leads. No other digital aviation news media reaches more qualified subscribers more often. Text messages in newsletters combined with online banners reach over 255,000 readers monthly and deliver more new users to sponsor sites weekly than most print publications do monthly. Click now for details.
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

Ad Coordinator
Karen Lund

Avionics Editor
Larry Anglisano

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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