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Volume 2, Number 14 -- July 21, 2004July 20, 2004

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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded Business News Coverage At AVweb's Business NewsWire.

ARE PRO PILOTS PROS?
You're a pilot. You stopped counting hours long ago; now you count engines, instead. Your FAA certificate comes with page numbers and looks like a list of every ticket and rating the FAA hands out. Flying is your main source of income. You fly as a professional, act as a professional and get compensated as a professional. But, unless you fly for an air carrier, you may not be a professional in the eyes of the federal government. That interpretation comes from a rule issued in April by the U.S. Department of Labor that attempts to define who is and is not exempt from the department's wage and hour requirements. The rule's impact affects how employers treat pilots when considering minimum wages and overtime, among other considerations. Of course, being a "professional" in the eye of the federal government may not be a good thing if you depend on overtime to make ends meet. The new rule, published April 23, 2004, and scheduled to go into effect Aug. 23, 2004, has created a lot of uncertainty within the corporate flight department, at charter operations and elsewhere. In other words, everywhere "professional" pilots work. Both the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) recently were forced to look at the new rules and determine if their constituencies were affected. That jury is seemingly still out, however. A quick read of the new rule shows that the essential problem has to do with the department's outdated understanding of how pilots are trained and compensated. More...

FLIGHT INTERNATIONAL DIGITAL — IT'S NEW, AND IT'S AVAILABLE NOW!
The international news magazine no aviation professional can afford to be without is now available for download to your desktop, laptop, or tablet. If you do business internationally, you need information from right across the global marketplace. Flight International Digital brings you the latest news from wherever it's being made. To get your copy now (or for more information), go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/fltintl/biz.

BOMBARDIER I: HEY, BUDDY. WANNA BUY A LEARJET ... COMPANY?
It’s all a rumor, say company officials. Nevertheless, it’s a rumor gaining visibility. "It" is the concept that Canadian aerospace giant Bombardier is trying to sell its Wichita-based Learjet subsidiary. But, like Mark Twain’s death, rumors of Learjet’s pending sale are premature, according to the parent company. Published reports quote Bombardier Aerospace spokesman Leo Knaapen as saying, "It's absolutely untrue." According to The Wichita Eagle, Knaapen added, "Bombardier is committed to corporate aviation, and Learjet is part of the Bombardier family." But the rumors seem to have traction, having first appeared last week in The Montreal (Canada) Gazette and later confirmed by the Eagle with numerous industry participants. Bombardier presently manufactures the Model 31A, the Models 40, 45 and 45XR, and the Model 60 Learjets. More...

BOMBARDIER II: GOING UP AGAINST BOEING, AIRBUS?
Even as the rumors of a Learjet company sale swirled around Bombardier, the company may also be getting into the "real" airliner market. Already manufacturing one of the world's most popular regional jets, Bombardier officials say a new plane designed to compete in the airliner market for 100- to 150-seat jets may soon take shape. Dubbed the CSeries -- for Competitive, Continental, Connector -- the newest ride in the company's stable would target those air carriers currently operating aging DC9s, Fokker 100s, Boeing 737 Classics, BAe-146s and MD80s that are beginning to need replacement. Also targeted, of course, are similarly sized offerings from Boeing and Airbus, the 717 and the A318/A319, respectively. Also involved in that low-end market is the 98-seat Embraer 190, which has not yet entered service. "The market for the 100- to 150-passenger commercial aircraft segment is estimated at $250 billion U.S., or roughly 6,000 aircraft over the next 20 years," said Gary Scott, president of the Bombardier New Commercial Aircraft Program. Perhaps even more interesting, said some observers, is the potential for a "CSeries" Bombardier to be placed into traditional business and corporate aviation use. More...

SAFIRE CUSTOMERS: ECLIPSE HAS AN OFFER FOR YOU!
Simply transfer to Eclipse your refunded Safire deposit of $8,000, and we'll reserve an Eclipse 500 in your name. It’s that easy. We encourage Safire customers to learn more about this special offer by visiting http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/eclipse/biz.

BELL RINGS IN WITH NEW LINE...
Bell Helicopter this week announced the first flight of Bell’s MAPL (Modular Affordable Product Line) tail-fan demonstrator at the company’s new XworX research center in Arlington, Texas. The company said its new aircraft on July 15 was test-flown, briefly, including hover, low-speed maneuvers and pedal turns before safely landing. Bells says its tail-fan-equipped demonstrator will be used to research applications for its new product line. That new line could include the tail-fan technology as well as an advanced rotor system, the demonstrator for which is planned to fly later this year. Bell said it expects the first new aircraft in its MAPL family to be available in 2008. More...

...PLUS MODEL 427I LAUNCH CUSTOMER
Air Methods Corporation will be the launch customer for Bell Helicopter's new Model 427i twin-engine helicopters, the manufacturer announced this week. Fifteen of the new 427i aircraft are scheduled for delivery to the aeromedical operator, beginning in late 2007. The agreement between Bell and Air Methods provides for a minimum delivery of three aircraft per year. Bell Chief Executive Officer Mike Redenbaugh said, "The 427i is an aircraft that will have tremendous performance capability. To have it operated by the largest provider of air medical transport services for hospitals in the business is a testimony to the acceptance the 427i has already received in the marketplace." More...

PROTECT YOUR RIGHT TO FLY
With the one magazine dedicated to keeping pilots out of trouble. Aviation Safety is the informative, instructive monthly that strengthens your knowledge, sharpens your skills, and gives you the winning edge in the air. Order today and enjoy guaranteed savings for as long as you subscribe, at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avsafe/biz.

ECLIPSE UPDATE: TRAINING...
One of the industry's major concerns about the forthcoming flood of light-light jets like the Eclipse and the Safire Jet is training. Turning loose, say, a Baron pilot in a jet cruising 150 knots faster at much higher altitudes is not something to be taken lightly. Just ask the insurance companies. Perhaps recognizing this, Eclipse Aviation Corporation this week took the cover off its new six-phase pilot training program. The company also announced the first module of its self-paced study course and revealed that it recently purchased an L-39 Albatross for use in upset recovery training. "Our commitment to innovation extends far beyond the design and manufacture of the Eclipse 500 jet," said Vern Raburn, president and CEO. "We have defined a six-phase program that will train customers of various experience levels to be safe and successful in the Eclipse 500 jet. These latest milestones demonstrate our progress in delivering on that promise," he added. More...

...AND COMPONENT PROGRESS
Meanwhile, Eclipse inked a long-term deal with Compass Aerospace Corporation calling for Compass to manufacture structural components and sub-assemblies for the cockpit, fuselage and doors on the Eclipse 500 jet. Compass is currently supplying the structural components and assemblies for Eclipse’s pre-production, certification-program aircraft and expects to begin its production ramp in 2005 and achieve full-rate production levels soon thereafter in support of Eclipse’s delivery of production aircraft, Eclipse said in a press release. Compass' work will initially be performed at the company's facilities in California, Kansas and Washington. More...

GAMA MEDIA GUIDE GAINING GROUND
The recently announced media guide from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) -- long overdue, in AVweb's opinion -- has already seen pretty significant exposure. According to the association, more than 10,000 page views were registered since it went online last week, with more than 4000 hits to the guide's home page. The association told AVweb that "overall feedback from the public has been very positive thus far. Since going live a week ago, we have made very few changes/corrections." More...

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NETJETS TWEAKS FLIGHT OPERATIONS DEPARTMENT
NetJets announced changes to its flight operations shop. Senior Vice President of Flight Operations Dave MacGhee, Maj. General U.S. Air Force (Ret.), who has joined the company to assume the position, will take over the company's flight ops. Among other challenges MacGhee will face are preparations for FAR 91K/FAR 135 operations. MacGhee is a former U.S. Air Force command pilot with 3,700 hours in more than 20 types of high-performance aircraft. Gary Hart will also join NetJets as Vice President of Flight Operations/Director of Operations. More...

AGUSTA GOES GRAND
Italian manufacturer Agusta this week announced its forthcoming A109 Grand helicopter during the Farnborough 2004 air show. The new light twin helicopter fits at the upper end of the light twin FAR/JAR 27 segment, according to the company. The A109 Grand will have a maximum takeoff weight of 3,175 kg./7,000 lb. and be powered by an 815-shp Pratt & Whitney PW207C and an uprated transmission. More...

BEFORE YOU PAY YOUR NEXT LIFE INSURANCE PREMIUM, CALL PIC!
If you are a pilot, it's likely that you are paying more for your life insurance just because you are a pilot.  Pilot Insurance Center (PIC) specializes in providing pilots (from student to ATP) with premium rates that are not available through other agents.  A+ RATED CARRIERS — NO AVIATION EXCLUSIONS — Quick and Easy Application Process.  Call (800) 380-8376 and mention this Business AVflash, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/piclife/biz.

SAFIRE UPDATE
There is little new or definitive in the ongoing saga of Safire Aircraft Company's struggle to find new financing to bring its planned light-light Safire Jet to market. As AVweb reported, the company suspended operation on June 10 and set off to find new financing opportunities. However, some good news for the company may be announced as early as next week. More...

TSA WATCH: AOPA AND THE "DUMBBELL" TFR
As the nation's political season approaches with a fury, so do new, larger and more prevalent temporary flight restrictions (TFRs). As President Bush and presumptive Democratic nominee John Kerry hit the road, TFRs will follow them everywhere they go -- kind of like a homing beacon. And now, according to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), comes the "dumbbell" TFR: two circular areas connected by a narrower corridor. More...

BUYING OR SELLING BUSINESS AIRCRAFT?  HERE'S THE PLACE TO BUY AND SELL!
AvBuyer.com and World Aircraft Sales Magazine offer the complete solution when buying and selling business aircraft.  Listing aircraft for sale from around the world, AvBuyer.com is visited by thousands of buyers each day.  Try AvBuyer.com today and experience fast, effective aircraft sourcing.  For more information and to sign up for the no-cost, no-obligation aircraft e-mail alert, visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avbuyer/biz.

WATCH YOUR INBOX...
...the next issue of AVweb's BizAVflash will be e-mailed to you on Aug. 11. More...

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Business AVflash is a twice-monthly summary of the latest business aviation
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Internet's Aviation Magazine and News Service. http://www.avweb.com

Have a comment or question? Send it to mailto:newsteam@avweb.com.

Today's issue written by Joseph E. (Jeb) Burnside:
http://www.avweb.com/contact/authors.html#jburnside
AVweb's editorial team: http://avweb.com/contact/authors.html.

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