AVwebBiz Complete Issue: Volume 11, Number 8

February 20, 2013

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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AVflash! Sequestration and the System back to top 

Obama: Sequestration Would Affect ATC

If Congress doesn't act before next Friday, March 1, the automatic spending cuts that would take effect would result in cutbacks for air traffic controllers, President Obama said on Tuesday. The FAA budget could be cut by $600 million, and controllers would likely be furloughed for one day per pay period through the end of September, according to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "The result will be felt across the country, as the volume of travel must be decreased," he said in a letter to the Senate appropriations committee last week. Aviation safety staff also would have to cut their hours on the job, with impacts on airlines, airplane manufacturers, and pilots that need their services, LaHood said.

LaHood said the budget cuts also could delay the implementation of NextGen technologies "for years to come." In a study of the likely impacts of the sequester, completed in December, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association said services, programs and pilot training would be affected. "As the front line safety professionals in the aviation community, it is our role to warn the rest of the country that these cuts will be detrimental to our National Airspace System and the economy," NATCA President Paul Rinaldi said. "We urge Congress to act to prevent the sequester before it's too late." Already, the threat of sequester has been cited for the cancellation of several military airshows across the country, including last week's cancellation of an event at Langley Air Force Base, Va. Other military shows also have been called off -- a March show at Luke Air Force Base, in Arizona, and a show scheduled for May at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, in North Carolina. Other shows, such as the U.S. Navy's El Centro air show in California, are moving ahead but have announced that some military aircraft will not appear due to budget concerns.

Report: FAA Lagging On Regional Safety Effort

The FAA is not doing enough to ensure that regional airlines meet the same level of safety as the major carriers they are affiliated with, according to a report from the Transportation Department's Office of Inspector General, released last week. After the 2009 crash of a Colgan Air Q400, which was operated as a Continental Connection flight, the FAA and the Transportation Department initiated an industry-wide "Call to Action" to ensure a common level of safety between code-sharing partners. However, the OIG report found that the FAA doesn't have any specific procedures in place to make that happen. The FAA needs to do more to review code-share agreements and to ensure that major airlines share their safety practices with their regional partners, the report concluded.

Regional airlines today account for more than half of all scheduled commercial passenger flights, operating more than 13,000 flights daily and carrying about 160 million passengers per year, according to the report. That's an increase of 115 percent from 2000 to 2010. The report also found that in most cases, the FAA and the Transportation Department are not required to review the code-share agreements. Mainline carriers use the agreements to purchase seat capacity from an independent regional airline or contract for their services to fly passengers to their larger hub airports.

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More Time to Comment back to top 

Contract Maintenance Rule Comments Extended

The FAA has extended the comment period by a month for a controversial new rule it says is aimed at ensuring contract maintenance companies do their work to the standards set by their customers. The proposed rule would require air carriers to ensure maintenance done to their airplanes by third parties is done according to the requirements laid out in their own maintenance manuals. The rule primarily targets scheduled carriers but it also affects a lot of smaller operations, and it was at the request of the Regional Air Cargo Carriers Association that the comment period was extended.

RACCA spokesman John Hazlet said the rule, when applied to small operators and maintenance shops, will put an unreasonable burden of paperwork and reporting requirements on them for little net safety benefit. He's urging members to take advantage of the extension and let their thoughts be known through the comment process. The new rule only applies to air carriers who operate aircraft with 10 passenger seats (not including pilots) and pure cargo aircraft are exempt.

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.
The Job Market back to top 

Database Brings Pilots, Recruiters Together

ATP Flight School has opened a database aimed at helping pilots find jobs and also to help airlines find pilots. PilotPool.com allows pilots who want to join the airlines to register and keep their qualifications updated so that they may be considered by airline recruiters monitoring their progress and that of others registered on the site. As the pilots reach significant milestones in training and experience, the recruiters are notified. "As a provider of training to over 4,200 pilots every year, we know it is important to help our customers get contact with potential employers," said Vice President Jim Koziarski. "At the same time, we know how important it is for airlines to access data on pilot supply and training pipeline. PilotPool.com brings these two sides together."

The flight school launched the site in 2011 but it was in beta form and was only available to its own students. Now that the site's form and function have been finalized, ATP has opened it up as a free tool for anyone in the industry. "With concerns of hiring shortages, solutions for finding good quality pilot candidates are needed," the company said in a news release. "Many airlines are unable to see candidates until they have met hiring minimums and send in their resume, which delays finding eligible pilots and prohibits a forward-looking hiring process."

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Cool Heads, Clear Skies back to top 

Survey Polls Crew On Air Rage

An Eastern Michigan University undergrad has launched a survey on a topic that gets plenty of media attention (especially if celebrities are involved) but, as far as he's been able to determine, has never been independently studied. Robert Chapin says the survey is designed to poll flight crew members on the incidence of air rage. "Your participation in this study will help us to better understand the effects of passenger misconduct," Chapin says in his preamble to the survey.

Although it's often treated humorously or as an oddity in news, passenger misconduct is a costly and disruptive issue that can also profoundly affect the front-line crew members who have to deal with it. Although the survey is primarily aimed at airline crews, it does not exclude GA and anyone with an unruly passenger experience on a private aircraft is welcome to take part. Chapin, a commercial pilot who is now getting an instructor rating, said he hopes to publish a paper on air rage based in part on the survey results.

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AVflash! Meeting the New Beechcraft back to top 

Beechcraft Corporation Emerges From Bankruptcy

A leaner and financially fit Beechcraft Corporation has emerged from bankruptcy protection with an eye to launching new products and supporting the existing fleet. In a podcast interview with AVweb in advance of today's announcement, Beechcraft spokesman Shawn Vick said the new company has more than $600 million in capital to work with and encouraging signs from the market that its chosen path to future profitability is being met with optimism. "We are moving into the market as Beechcraft Corporation and expect 2013 to be a very good year for this business," he said.

Beechcraft will continue to produce the King Air line, the T-6 and AT-6 military aircraft and the piston-powered Bonanza and Baron models. It has ended production of pure jet-powered aircraft but will continue to support the existing fleet. Vick said almost a third of the 6,000 employees are kept busy in that role. He also said the company is now in the position to entertain offers from others who might want all or part of that business. Vick said feedback from the company's announcement that it would consider building a turboprop single is being analyzed and as the company moves toward profitability it will consider other new products.

The newly reorganized Beechcraft has also released a statement in PDF format.

Podcast: Beechcraft Emerges from Chapter 11

File Size 13.5 MB / Running Time 14:51

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A trimmed down Beechcraft has come out of bankruptcy protection after nine months, and company officials say they're properly financed and organized to grow the business. AVweb's Russ Niles spoke with Beechcraft's Shawn Vick in this extended special edition podcast (15 minutes).

This podcast is brought to you by Bose Corporation.

Click here to listen. (13.5 MB, 14:51)

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Who's Where back to top 

Promotions at Flexjet

Richard ShyneBrian Atkinson

Richard Shyne and Brian Atkinson have both been promoted from sales associates to sales directors. Atkinson will look after the Chicago area and Shyne the Midwest.

Mill Confirmed as Piper VP

Jack Mill

Jack Mill is the new vice president of engineering at Piper Aircraft. He had been doing the job as an interim position for several months.

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: Airline Mergers -- Why Bother?

If they had a history of offering customers more choices and more competition and even helping the airline companies themselves, we would say, "Why not?" But the coming merger between American Airlines and US Airways promises little of that, according to Purdue University's Airline Quality Rating project. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli looks at some of AQR's numbers and agrees with the organization's view that this merger will be a fiasco, at best.

Read more and join the conversation.

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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: Audio Authority's Flexible Power Unit

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

More owners and pilots would probably invest in ground power units for starting and running avionics in the hangar if the things were just more flexible. One that is comes from Audio Authority, which, besides being a GPU, also doubles as a battery tender. In this video, Aviation Consumer's Larry Anglisano gives us the lowdown on this versatile unit.

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Video: Yves Rossy's Jetman School (Without the Jets)

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

A video released Feb. 8, 2013, by Jetman Yves Rossy suggests the skydiving innovator may be on the verge of marketing an unpowered version of his strapped-on wing and opening a school to teach people how to fly it. Rossy has piloted another version of the wing with four micro-turbines attached to its underside delivering power. He has flown that version across the English Channel and a section of the Grand Canyon. Rossy describes the unpowered version by saying it can achieve a "glide angle" of 4.5. English is not Rossy's first language and a glide angle of 4.5 would translate to a glide ratio of roughly 13:1 -- substantially better than a Cessna 172. It's possible that Rossy's use of the term instead indicates the wing's glide ratio. Rossy says he's flown his gliding wing in excess of 150 mph, he has demonstrated aerobatics while flying it and believes there is much more potential for his unique brand of flight. Rossy is meticulous in his flight preparations, studying terrain, angles of flight and walking portions of the route when able. It is not yet known if his apparently proposed school will train the same pre-flight planning.

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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

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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