AVwebBiz Complete Issue: Volume 11, Number 6

February 6, 2013

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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Appreciating Depreciation back to top 

Groups Battle Anti-GA 'Rhetoric'

Aviation groups have been quick to react to remarks by President Obama's Press Secretary Jay Carney, who likened the depreciation schedule on business aircraft to a "loophole." Carney included the reference in a question-and-answer session with the White House press corps after remarks by Obama on tackling government debt. Derision of business aviation has been a common theme with the current administration when it discusses its goals to increase tax contributions by the wealthy, but both the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) say the remarks are not only unfair, they're wrong.

"Politics in Washington continues to demonstrate that facts can be conveniently overlooked when one is trying to point fingers and score sound bites," said GAMA President Pete Bunce. "Their rhetoric is wrong and all it does is hurt general aviation companies and workers across this country." Both Bunce and NBAA President Ed Bolen noted that aircraft are one of thousands of durable items that qualify for depreciation schedules as a means of encouraging businesses to invest in new products. "The bottom line is that the White House's rhetoric about general aviation depreciation ignores established facts and long-standing tax policies related to business airplane ownership and use, does almost nothing to seriously address the nation's debt and has the potential to harm a great American industry in the process," said Bolen.

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"Good," "Evil" Robots Battle for Control of the Skies back to top 

Cities, States, Industry Pile On Drone Debate

Charlottesville, Va., says it's the first civic jurisdiction to pass a resolution opposing the use of unmanned aerial systems based on the "serious threat to the privacy and constitutional rights of the American people" it believes the widespread use of drones presents. The resolution by the Charlottesville city council calls for a two-year moratorium on the use of drones in Virginia and urges the state and the federal government to ban drones from being equipped with weapons in domestic airspace. The resolution came as Obama administration officials were defending drone strike policies against suspected terrorists abroad. The American Civil Liberties Union says nine states are considering legislation to restrict the use of drones. Meanwhile, those who want to use drones for commercial purposes continue to press for laws that will accommodate pilotless aircraft in the National Airspace System.

While the focus on drones has generally been on their military and law-enforcement use, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International says that's not where the money will be made. "Agriculture is going to be the big market," AUVSI Vice President Chris Mailey told Wired. He said drones developed during the 1990s in Japan now do most of that country's aerial spraying and there are many uses for drones down on the farm. "Spraying, watering -- there's a whole market for precision agriculture, and when you put that cost-benefit together, farmers will buy [drones]," he said. Hollywood has also jumped on the drone bandwagon. The Motion Picture Association of America says it can get better shots with less danger to film crews by using camera drones, and moviemakers are already using the technology extensively in countries that permit it. For instance, some of the spectacular sequences in the opening of the recent James Bond series release Skyfall were shot from drones. It's not just action movies that benefit from the versatility of drones, however. Some of the scenes in The Smurfs 2 were shot from drones in France.

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A Voice in Congress back to top 

GA Groups Work To Expand Caucuses

With a new Congress now in session in Washington, NBAA this week said now is the time for pilots around the country to contact their elected representatives and ask them to join the general aviation caucuses in the House and Senate. NBAA President Ed Bolen said the bipartisan groups "inform legislative debates by highlighting the value of general aviation in creating jobs, helping companies succeed, connecting communities and supporting humanitarian endeavors." Bolen said the groups helped to pass FAA reauthorization, the pilot's bill of rights, and bonus depreciation for airplane buyers.

AOPA has posted a map on its website to show the status of elected officials in each state, and EAA also says it's vital that the caucus "has a large membership to draw upon to highlight important issues facing the GA industry." U.S. Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo., told AVweb back in 2011 that the House caucus worked hard to inform lawmakers about "hundreds of issues" regarding FAA reauthorization, which finally passed, after a five-year effort, in February 2012. Elected officials can be contacted through the USA.gov website.

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Dreamliner's Return to the Air — For Testing back to top 

787 Test Flights Expected This Week

Boeing has asked the FAA for permission to conduct test flights with a 787, and the FAA is expected to give the OK as early as this week, according to news reports on Tuesday. Boeing has not released any details about the purpose of the tests. The Seattle Times reported that sources said the initial flight tests will gather data on how the airplane's lithium-ion battery is affected by changes in temperature during the flight cycle as well as the impact of vibrations during landing and takeoff. The Times said Boeing may also be investigating a theory that moisture might have gotten inside the battery, contributing to the recent incidents. Meanwhile, Boeing may be facing demands for compensation from its airline customers if the fleet is grounded much longer.

Over the weekend, Boeing said that it has formed teams "consisting of hundreds of engineering and technical experts" who are working around the clock to figure out what went wrong with the two 787s that experienced battery problems. They are also working to figure out what's necessary to get the fleet back to flight status. Sources told the Seattle Times that one fix Boeing is looking at closely is a way to strengthen the battery's ability to contain any internal overheating and to improve the venting system for hot liquid or gasses to exit the battery box. Even if progress is made, it will likely be weeks or months before the fleet is back in the air, according to the Times.

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Aero India: Asian Extravaganza This Week back to top 

Aero India Opens

The ninth edition of Aero India runs Feb. 6-10 at Air Force Station, Yelahanka, near Bangalore, and the growth of the show follows the increasing importance of India as a civilian and military aviation market. Hundreds of exhibitors and a major static display will be featured in the show. Most major manufacturers will be represented and there will be a daily airshow featuring some top acts, including the Russian Knights demo team with their Su-27 jets. While there is worldwide participation at the event, which is one of the largest in Asia, the show is also a chance to show off some of India's indigenous aviation products.

For instance, India has embarked on a development project with Russia to build a fifth-generation fighter, and a mockup will be on display. India is building its own light attack aircraft called the Tejas and it's about to sign a deal with Dassault to license-build 126 Rafale fighters for the Indian air force. On the GA side, Mahindra Aerospace has continued to make progress with development of the turboprop GA-10 utility aircraft that it manufactures through GippsAero in Australia.

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New on AVweb.com back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: TEL False Alarm

Following a provocative article in Mother Jones magazine, the UK press went after Innospec, the principal supplier of tetraethyl lead for 100LL. Although some news reports said Innospec would end TEL production by the end of the year, Paul Bertorelli says on the AVweb Insider blog that the announcement is a false alarm. The company is phasing out TEL for automotive use but pledges to continue manufacturing it as long as it's required for avgas.

Read more and join the conversation.

Brainteasers Quiz #180: Regulation Oscura


Before flight, every pilot must plow through a spaghetti bog of regulations designed to enhance safety by potentially scaring the flyer to stay on the ground. But you won't scare easily once you ace this quiz.

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More Brainteasers

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Who's Where back to top 

Lyons at Avionyx

Peter Lyons

Peter Lyons is the new president of Avionyx, a Costa Rica-based engineering services provider for avionics manufacturers. He founded Aspen Avionics and was its first CEO. He left Aspen last year.

Markise New Chief Pilot

The Nebraska Department of Aeronautics has hired Rob Markise as its chief pilot. Markise was formerly a captain with Air Wisconsin.

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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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.

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

Video: Pardo's Push -- McDonnell F4 Phantom

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

"Pardo's push" of March 10, 1967 was preceded by a similar event. In 1952, fighter ace Robbie Risner pushed fellow flyer Joe Logan 60 miles. The two men were flying F-86 Sabre jets and successfully cleared hostile territory, but Logan bailed out over water, was tangled in his canopy lines, and drowned. Risner was deemed a hero, but by Pardo's account, pilots were not encouraged to partake in similar activities.

Pardo's push may have saved the lives of pilot Earl Aman and his weapons system officer, Bob Houghton. But it would be decades before their efforts were recognized by the Air Force. Bob Pardo and Steve Wayne eventually earned the Silver Star for the act.

Pardo was later quoted saying that they'd gotten Earl and Bob back, and that's all they wanted.

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If that doesn't work, click here to watch on YouTube

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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