AVwebBiz - Volume 11, Number 3

January 16, 2013

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
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AVflash! More Shop Time for Dreamliners back to top 
 

ANA Grounds 787s After Emergency Landing

ANA, the launch customer for the Boeing 787, has grounded its fleet of 17 Dreamliners after an emergency landing and evacuation in Japan on Tuesday. Japan Airlines quickly followed suit with its seven aircraft. The ANA drama was prompted by a battery warning light and what one of the pilots thought was a funny smell. The aircraft left Yamaguchi Airport in western Japan for Haneda, near Tokyo, about 8 a.m. local time, but it was on the ground in Takamatsu 45 minutes later and the 129 passengers and eight crew were hitting the slides. One report said there was smoke in the cockpit and another said a pilot smelled something unusual; ANA was said to be checking whether there was actually any smoke. Nevertheless, the airline promptly grounded the fleet, adding to the considerable pressure already on Boeing to defend the safety of its flagship aircraft.

"We've seen the reports, we're aware of the events and are working with our customer," Boeing spokesman Marc Birtel is reported to have told Reuters. It was the lithium-ion APU battery aboard a Japan Airlines 787 at Boston last week that led to an FAA probe into the airliner and there have been other non-electrical problems reported since. This may be the first time a 787 has been evacuated, however.

 
AEA Pilots Guide || Aircraft Electronics Association
Pilot's Guide to Avionics Now Available
The 2012-13 edition of the Aircraft Electronics Association's Pilot's Guide to Avionics is now available. To request a complimentary copy, visit AEAPilotsGuide.net.

This special 10th anniversary edition is a consumer's directory containing buyer's guides, educational articles and timely information about the avionics industry, its products and its people. The publication helps pilots make better buying decisions and locate more than 1,300 AEA member companies, including government-certified repair stations around the world.
 
New from Garmin back to top 
 

Garmin Rolls Out New Navcomms

With glass everything the rule rather than exception, the lowly navcomm hasn't seen much market push lately, but Garmin changed that this week with a series of new VHF navcomms. The GTR and GNC series will replace the aging but still popular SL 30 and SL 40 radios, which were developed more than a decade ago by the then UPSAT. Garmin bought that company and its product line in 2003. Although the SL series had digital and frequency storage and monitoring features that buyers liked, the GTR and GNC products offer features not seen thus far in navcomms. The GNC is the follow-on for the SL 30 navcomm while the GTR is a comm-only radio, addressing the same market space as the SL 40.

Like modern glass suites, the new radios will have displayed frequency databases, meaning pilots can find frequencies associated with named airports or navaids, and there's also a reverse lookup feature. Data such as nearest control tower, terminal radar or center can also be accessed and as with the SL series, one frequency can be monitored while another is in use. The radios will store the 20 most recently used frequencies, plus up to 15 of the most used frequencies, such as the home tower, ground and radar freqs.

For the upgrade market, both series will include a built-in voice-activated intercom and the GNC series will drive displays including Garmin's G500, G600, G500H and the G3X, which is popular in experimental and LSA aircraft. The GNC will also drive the Bendix/King KI208, one of the most popular indicators in the fleet. However, the new radios are not pin-compatible with the SL product line and will require new installation kits and hardware.

The transmitters also pack more RF punch than the SL series did. Both are available with 10- or 16-watt transmit power, compared to eight watts for the SL series. The radios meet the 8.33 kHz channel spacing requirement just put in place by the European Union. Prices for the series start at $1995 for the comm-only version. For more, see Garmin.com.

Video: Garmin's New GNC255A Navcomm Radio

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

There's still plenty of demand for traditional navcomm radios. The new Garmin GNC and GTR line of navcomm radios bring smart features and advanced interfacing. Larry Anglisano from Aviation Consumer magazine gives a product tour of the new radio on the test bench at EXXEL Avionics in Connecticut.

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.

 
Sennheiser S1 Headset
Sennheiser S1 Digital Aviation Headset
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News Briefs back to top 
 

Bizjet Ban Worries Thai Operators

Bizjets are back at the popular resort area of Phuket, Thailand, after a 16-day ban to accommodate airline traffic over the holiday period. But even though the ban has been lifted, operators in the area say private aircraft are the lowest priority for slots and the difficulty getting into the airport is driving well-heeled visitors elsewhere. "These private jet flyers have tight schedules, and if there is so much trouble getting the needed time slots at Phuket, they'll most likely go somewhere else," Jaiyavat Navaraj, a spokesman for the Hong Kong-based Asian Business Aviation Association, told the Bangkok Post. Access to the airport is determined by the slot coordinator, a committee with reps from the Thai Civil Aviation Authority, Airports of Bangkok -- and Thai Airways.

The newspaper said airline traffic increased tenfold over the holidays, with up to 190 flights a day. Compounding the crowding was an expansion project designed to alleviate such issues in the future but which has three gates and other facilities out of commission for now. The local FBO told the newspaper at least 50 private aircraft were affected by the holiday ban.

Sallie Mae To Offer Flight Student Loans

The Student Loan Marketing Corporation, commonly known as Sallie Mae, is getting back in the business of offering student loans for flight training. The Flight School Association of North America announced Tuesday it has been courting the massive lender for a couple of years and the company recently agreed to consider offering financing to flight students. "Flight schools interested in offering their customers Sallie Mae financing for flight training will be considered based on a variety of business criteria," the FSANA said in a news release. The news release also said that part of the pitch to Sallie Mae involved outlining the FSANA's accreditation standards for members.

The FSANA sets criteria for training and business standards for its members and it said Sallie Mae liked what it saw in those guiding principles. "Flight schools that plan to partner with Sallie Mae will be expected to operate their flight schools in a professional and business-like manner with consistent delivery of best business practices," the organization said. More details on the funding will be available at the FSANA's convention in Orlando from Feb. 11-14.

 
'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.
 
"Fly the Airplane," Says FAA back to top 
 

FAA To Pilots: No Personal Devices

Pilots in Part 121 operations should not be using personal electronic devices or laptop computers in the cockpit at any time, the FAA said in a proposed new rule published on Tuesday. The rule, which complies with legislation passed last year, was prompted by an incident in 2009 when two pilots flew 150 miles past their destination while using their laptops. The rule allows for use of laptops and other devices only if the purpose is directly related to operation of the aircraft, or for emergency, safety-related or employment-related communications. The FAA is accepting comments on its proposal until March 18.

Currently, the "sterile cockpit rule," enacted in 1981, prohibits crew members from performing any non-essential duties or activities -- including the use of personal electronic devices -- while the aircraft is involved in taxi, takeoff, landing or any other flight operations conducted below 10,000 feet MSL, except cruise flight. The new proposed rule is intended "to ensure that certain non-essential activities do not contribute to the challenge of task management on the flight deck and do not contribute to a loss of situational awareness due to attention to non-essential activities," the FAA said.

 
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Enstrom's Eye on Asia back to top 
 

Enstrom Helicopters Sold To Chinese Firm

Enstrom Helicopters, a small but growing company based in Michigan, has been sold to Chongqing Helicopter Investment Co. "This is a major step in moving Enstrom to a new level," said company president Jerry Mullins. "This strong ownership will allow further growth of our business in Menominee, Michigan, to meet the demands of the increasing markets around the world, especially Asia." Enstrom has increased its workforce by 50 percent over the last 18 months, and plans to expand its facilities in Michigan to support higher production rates.

The new ownership will provide funding for new product development and increased marketing, the company said. Enstrom manufactures a three-seat piston-powered helicopter for training, sport and light commercial operations, and a larger turbine-powered model available with three to five seats as a trainer, executive transport or patrol aircraft. More than 1,100 Enstrom helicopters have been sold around the world. The company has changed hands several times since it was founded by Rudy Enstrom in 1959; most recently it was owned by Swiss investors.

 
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at AVwebBooks.com
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A Sunny Outlook back to top 
 

'Golden Age' Of Aviation Beginning

A spokesman for a major aircraft leasing company says a new "golden age" of aviation is upon us and will persist for at least a decade. Dick Forsbergh, head of strategy for Avolon, an Irish leasing company, told a Manila newspaper that aviation is a fundamental component of economic expansion and developing economies all over the world will continue to snap them up. "We are actually entering a golden age of aviation, for which the past 20 years have been a mere warm up," Forsbergh said, adding that although aviation seems to gather a lot of negative press, it consistently outlasts the doomsayers. "Despite dire predictions the past decade taught the industry leaders not to be overly concerned about the sustainability of the airline industry," he said.

Forsbergh said the fundamentals of the industry look especially good going into the next decade. There are deep pools of capital available for companies to expand and modernize fleets to meet the coming demand. Most forecasts estimate about 30,000 new airliners will be delivered over the next 20 years. "If aviation were a country, it would rank 19th in terms of GDP [gross domestic product]; by 2026, the industry will contribute $1 trillion to the world economy," he said.

 
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Opinion & Commentary back to top 
 

AVweb Insider Blog: Guest Blog -- Fixing Flight Training

In a guest post to the AVweb Insider blog, Ted Seastrom argues that student pilots expect more from their training than most are getting -- and that's what's keeping many students from getting their certificates.

Read more and join the conversation.

 
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Who's Where back to top 
 

McGeough Joins Nextant

Sean McGeough

Sean McGeough is the new president of Nextant Aerospace. McGeough was previously head of Hawker Beechcraft's operations in most of the world outside North America.


Turner at Odyssey

John Turner

Odyssey Aerospace Components has hired John Turner as director of engineering. He was most recently at Weber Aircraft.


Funk at Piper

James Funk

James Funk has joined Piper Aircraft as VP of operations. He came from Bombardier, where he was general manager of operations for the Lear 85 program.


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.

 
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.

 
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

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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