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Printer-Friendly Version

December 20, 2005

Business NewsWire Complete Issue

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
This issue of AVweb's Business AVflash is brought to you by … LightSPEED Aviation

"TRADE UP" YOUR LIGHTSPEED HEADSET AND GET COMPLIMENTARY SHIPPING!
Save money this holiday season while giving the perfect headset — and complimentary ground shipping! Until 12/31/05, trade in your LightSPEED XL or K headset toward a Thirty 3G headset and get the quietest headset on the market with 28-30dB Active Noise Reduction (ANR). LightSPEED's Thirty 3G is the ultimate ANR headset, providing superior comfort, cell/music interface, and up to 30 hours of ANR. Retailed at $599, with this "Trade-Up" program, you may want to buy a second headset. For more info, contact LightSPEED at (800) 332-2421 during business hours (PST) or visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed/trade/biz.

Will VLJs Impact Airline Safety? Or Just Airline Profits?

While many in the general and business aviation community have wondered -- more than idly -- whether the anticipated horde of very light jets (VLJs) will result in a rash of accidents as inexperienced pilots get used to them, no one has seriously questioned their impact on the safety of other aircraft operations. Until now. Enter the Air Transport Association of America (ATA) and its Vice President, Operations and Safety, Basil J. Barimo, who testified before the U.S. Senate last month on the all-encompassing topic of "aviation safety." Appearing at the hearing in addition to Barimo was a partial round-up of the usual suspects: FAA Administrator Blakey, DOT Inspector General Ken Mead, John Carr of the National Air Traffic Controller's Association and representatives from other maintenance and repair organizations. (Since the hearing's title was "Aviation Safety," you'd expect other industry segments or operators to be represented. You'd be wrong. But that's probably a good thing.)

Among the questions asked in Barimo's prepared statement [PDF], were:

  • How will the FAA ensure that VLJ pilots, particularly private pilots operating their own (or jointly owned) microjets, obtain and maintain the skills needed to operate safely in commercial airspace?
  • Are current pilot certification standards appropriate for this new generation of aircraft?
  • Are current maintenance standards for privately owned aircraft appropriate for this new generation of aircraft?
  • Will FAA maintenance surveillance programs ensure the safety of these aircraft if owned and operated privately as well as by air taxi operators?
  • Are the second- and third-tier airports where these aircraft are expected to operate fully prepared to respond to a safety incident?
Putting aside the question of where the "commercial airspace" to which Barimo refers begins and ends, some of these are relevant issues. They are issues that VLJ manufacturers like Eclipse and prospective operators like DayJet have tackled and for which they have ready answers. But the real issue confronting the airlines represented by ATA seems to be summed up when Barimo complains that, "The scheduled airline industry contributes 95 percent of the Airport and Airway Trust Fund (AATF), and in FY 2006 will pay 82 percent of the total FAA budget. ... The airlines should not subsidize safety oversight of the VLJ sector, including both private use and air taxi operations." Thus was fired one of the opening salvos in the coming fight to reauthorize -- divvy up the "pork" -- the FAA's budget. The existing legislation expires in 2007, and both industry and policy groups are gearing up to do battle. If this statement from ATA is any indication, we'll all need lots of popcorn.

Sino Swearingen's SJ30-2 Business JetTHE SJ30-2 IS THE WORLD'S FASTEST LIGHT BUSINESS JET
Not only is it fast; it has intercontinental range — 560 mph and over 2800 sm range. The SJ30-2 is the most advanced light business jet in the sky today — the perfect package of speed, range, and good looks. For details, go online to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/sino/biz.

Bombardier's Global Express XRS Enters Service

Bombardier earlier this month said the first example of its newest bizjet, the Global Express XRS, was placed into service. The proud new owner is European customer Transneft, an oil transportation management company. Bombardier launched the Global Express XRS in October 2003, with an expected delivery date of early 2006; the company obviously beat that schedule. The type's first flight occurred earlier this year, on Jan. 16. The XRS's claim to fame is range: At a cruise speed of Mach 0.88, the aircraft can fly Frankfurt-Beijing in 08:41 and Moscow-Tokyo in 08:22, according to Bombardier. "The aircraft's superior range and comfort are key to meet our regional and intercontinental mission requirements," said Sergei Grigoriev, vice-president of OJSC AK Transneft.

Another attraction of the XRS is cabin size and space, which Bombardier says is the largest of any "purpose-built corporate aircraft either flying or in development." The XRS cabin features a 6-foot, 3-inch (1.91 m) stand up height, and a three-compartment configuration. Interestingly, the company says the plane's improved pressurization system allows a 4,500-foot cabin altitude at FL450 and a 5,680-foot cabin altitude at FL510. The Global Express XRS comes standard with the Bombardier Enhanced Vision System (BEVS), a synthetic vision system designed to reduce CFIT risks and poor-visibility runway incursions and, perhaps, to lower landing minima.

Happy Holidays from JA Air CenterNEW GARMIN GPSMAP 396 WITH TERRAIN, XM WEATHER, AND MUSIC
PLUS FREE AUTO KIT ($239 Value)!

From the sled to the car to the boat — this year, put a Garmin GPSMap 396 under the tree! In stock at JA Air! Also, current inventory levels allow JA to offer top dollar for used GPS, avionics, and aircraft. JA Air Center [Dupage Airport (KDPA) in West Chicago, IL] provides the finest avionics installations, turbine/piston maintenance, avionics/instrument service, mail order, and aircraft sales. Also, they offer FBO services and fuel at Dekalb Taylor Municipal Airport (KDKB) in Dekalb, IL. Please call (800) 323-5966 [after hours (630) 306-7117] and mention this AVflash, or order online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/ja/biz.

The TBM 850: Socata Upgrades, Aims At VLJs

Billing it as the "ultimate personal aircraft," EADS Socata this month announced the newest member of its TBM family: the six-seat TBM 850 pressurized turbine single. Taking square aim at the coming VLJs, the company said its newest model builds on the success of the TBM 700 while offering owners and pilots a maximum cruise speed of 320 KTAS at FL260. Socata said in a press release, "This will give TBM 850 operators the advantage of the cruising speeds typical of light jets." The TBM 850 is certified in Europe; FAA certification is expected "soon" and deliveries will begin early next year. Base price of the TBM 850 is $2,576,930; an upgraded version, equipped with typical options and equipped for RVSM lists for $2,799,850.

"The TBM 850 is the fruit of our close relationship with TBM customers. We listened to their requests to make the fastest aircraft in its class even faster, and the result is the TBM 850," said EADS Socata Chairman and CEO Stéphane Mayer. When compared to the TBM 700, the 850 has a 55-knot speed advantage at FL310, plus it can climb to FL260 in only 15 minutes, almost 25 percent faster than the TBM 700 C2. When compared to the coming crop of VLJs, Socata says an RVSM-compliant TBM 850 will be able to fly direct from Minneapolis to Miami, while most light jets will require a fuel stop. The TBM 850 is powered by a single Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-66D, delivering a flat-rated 850 shp.

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NetJets Finalizes New Contracts With Pilots, FAs

With last month's ratification by its pilots of a tentative labor agreement initially signed on Oct. 8, 2005, NetJets Aviation concluded contract negotiations with both its flight crews and cabin crews. The pilots' agreement, which the company says was endorsed by 84 percent of its cockpit crews, calls for improved wages, job security and increased productivity. Similarly, NetJets' new contract with its flight attendants includes a salary increase and payment of a bonus, recognizes flight attendant seniority, and includes enhanced grievance and arbitration provisions plus a comprehensive scope clause. "I am delighted that our pilots have endorsed this agreement so enthusiastically," said Bill Boisture, NetJets Aviation president, of the agreement with pilots. "It is a fair agreement, it recognizes the important role that our pilots play and positions the company to continue to lead the fractional jet industry in the future."

The pilots' contract, which went into effect on Nov. 21, 2005, becomes amendable in 2010. An overwhelming majority of flight attendants also voted to ratify their contract, which was reached Sept. 15 between NetJets and the flight attendants' union. The NetJets flight attendants are represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters through the Airline Division, Local 284. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters through the Airline Division, Local 1108, represents the pilots. The company employs more than 2,000 pilots; the flight attendants' contract will cover about 140 flight attendants.

THE COLUMBIA 350 & COLUMBIA 400 HAVE A NEW CORPORATE NAME
The Lancair Company has re-branded itself as Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation. The manufacturers of the Columbia 350 and Columbia 400, the world's fastest certified piston aircraft, made the change as part of an ongoing campaign to develop a unique identity for these premium aircraft. The schedule for the Fly Columbia Tour, an interactive Columbia experience, is posted online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/columbia/biz.

Pilatus Dealer Celebrates 100th PC-12 Sale; Close to 600 Flying

Western Aircraft, the top-selling Pilatus distributor, this month celebrated delivering their 100th PC-12 aircraft, to operator Butler Machinery Company. This PC-12 was Butler’s third example, and brought the worldwide fleet of PC-12s in operation up to 583 total aircraft. The type was first certificated in 1994 and Pilatus says that, for the past two years in a row, the PC-12 has been the top-selling turbine-powered business aircraft in the world. The company hopes to complete 2005 with 80 PC-12 deliveries. Established in 1939 and based in Stans, Switzerland, Pilatus Aircraft is a privately held company employing over 1,200 people.

"The entire Pilatus team is proud of this major accomplishment by our partners at Western Aircraft," said Thomas Bosshard, president and CEO of Pilatus Business Aircraft Ltd. Based in Broomfield, Colo., Pilatus Business Aircraft Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Pilatus Aircraft, founded in 1996. Western Aircraft is a full-service 24-hour FBO and FAA-certified aircraft repair station located in Boise, Idaho.

Pilot Insurance Center - (800) 380-8376ADD YOUR FAMILY'S FUTURE TO YOUR LIST OF NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS
Life insurance is one of those things you keep putting off purchasing. Don't. At Pilot Insurance Center (PIC), you aren't penalized with higher rates because you are a pilot. Now there's only one reason your family's future isn't covered — you haven't made the call (or gone online) to PIC. For a complimentary quote, call (800) 380-8376 or visit online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/piclife/biz.

Delta AirElite Adds Challenger 300 and Learjet 45XR to Charter Fleet

Delta AirElite, Delta Air Line's private jet charter and aircraft management service, said last week it had added a Bombardier Challenger 300 and Learjet 45XR to its charter fleet. Both aircraft are newly delivered 2005 models; the Challenger 300 is based in Stockton, Calif., while the Learjet's home will be College Station, Texas. Adding the two new jets brings to more than 400 the number of business jets Delta AirElite says are positioned throughout the United States and operating with it under charter agreements. The company operates a diverse fleet of Bombardier Challenger, Learjet, Gulfstream, Hawker and Cessna aircraft.

"Both the Learjet 45 and Challenger 300 have been very popular with our customers," said Michael B. Green, president and chief executive officer of Delta AirElite Business Jets. Delta AirElite Business Jets is a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta Air Lines, providing aircraft charter, aircraft management and a fractional ownership program, known as Fleet Membership. With more than 21 years of serving business aviation travelers, Delta AirElite is the only business jet operator owned by a major U.S. airline.

ISN'T IT ABOUT TIME YOU CHOSE SOMETHING EXTRA?
Pilot-inspired, German-engineered, and internationally renowned — that's the difference in Extra Aircraft's EA-500. Extra's certified, Rolls Royce-powered, 6-seat turboprop EA-500 is in a class all by itself. The only new-technology cabin-class airplane, the EA-500 averages 220 kts, gets 11 mpg, and costs less than $200/hr to operate. Find out more about Extra's EA-500 at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/extra/biz.

Raytheon Certifies Beechcraft G58 Baron

What do you call a Beech Model 58 Baron when it's carrying a Garmin G1000 integrated avionics system? If you're Raytheon, you call it a G58 Baron, the new prefix letter complying with the company's recent name change to its venerable 36-series Bonanza, the G36. Raytheon last week announced it had obtained FAA type certification for the new model, which features Garmin’s G1000 integrated avionics system as standard equipment, along with the avionics company's GFC 700 autopilot and GWX68 color weather radar. "Truly the most refined piston-twin ever built, the Beechcraft Baron continues to represent the pinnacle of high performance piston-twin aircraft," said Randy Groom, president of Beechcraft. The new model also features new paint and logo designs.

Differences between the G58 and earlier Barons include using the Garmin G1000's primary flight display (PFD) to replace the traditional flight instruments and a multi-function display (MFD) to present engine instrumentation, terrain, navigation and integrated autopilot controls on a second 10-inch LCD. The aircraft is powered by 300-hp TCM I0550-C engines, giving it a top speed of 202 knots and a maximum range of more than 1,000 nm.

NBAA Staffer Recognized For 25-Year Service

The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) this week formally recognized Senior Manager, Office & Support Services Linda M. Eaton for her 25 years of service with the association. According to NBAA, since 1980 when she was first hired, its membership has more than tripled and the number of staff almost quintupled, from 12 to 65. Currently, Eaton oversees support services personnel and manages office facilities and internal communications projects at NBAA headquarters.

During her tenure at NBAA, Eaton has witnessed dramatic growth and change at the association. When she first joined NBAA in 1980 as Linda Nader, membership reached the 2,300 mark. John H. Winant served as president, and the board of directors had just approved NBAA’s participation in forming the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC). The NBAA 33rd Annual Meeting & Convention was held that year in Kansas City, attracting 10,109 registrants and passing 10,000 for the first time, a third of today’s totals. Congrats, Linda!

See You Next Year!

The next issue of AVweb's BizAVflash will be e-mailed to you on Jan. 11. From all of us working on the BizAVflash for AVweb, we extend our best holiday wishes. See you then...



LAST CHANCE TO FIND THE PERFECT GIFT
Let AVweb's Holiday Shopping Page Help

Our sponsors can provide your clients, friends, and family
with the best aviation-related gifts — from avionics to
pilot supplies to books to brand-new airplanes!
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Sponsor News and Special Offers

Access to AVweb and AVflash is provided by the support of our fine sponsors. We appreciate your patronage.

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Version 6 of WxServer just hit the 'net, and it's chock full of new features.  A simpler, more powerful menu structure makes WxServer easier to use than ever before.  NexRad radar maps and satellite pictures are now zoomable. And the new WxServer takes maximum advantage of whatever screen size your phone has available.  Put NexRad maps centered on every U.S. airport, satellite pictures centered on more than 95% of airports worldwide, METARs, TAFs, and even Winds Aloft maps in your pocket. Aviation weather that's ready when you need it — on the tarmac, in the run-up area, or at unattended grass strips.  AVweb readers receive $10 off the regular annual subscription rate at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/wxserver/biz.
LOW-COST DIGITAL REPLACEMENT TRANSPONDERS!
Narco Avionics announces the availability of their all-new Value Series plug-and-play line of digital transponders for the cost-conscious owner. Narco's Value Series line of plug-and-play transponders includes the AT165/VS (a replacement for the AT50 through AT155), the AT165/KA/VS (a replacement for the KT76A/78A), and the AT165/K/VS (a replacement for the KT76/78). Coming Soon: Narco's AT165/C and AT165/C/VS, plug-and-play replacements for the ARC (Cessna) RT359A/RT459A. SPECIAL: Purchase an AT165 and get an AR850 for $99. For more information, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/narco/biz.
SUBSCRIBE TO AVIATION CONSUMER AND SAVE, PLUS GET NO-COST ACCESS TO
AviationConsumer.com. This subscribers-only web site is packed with ratings and evaluations of aircraft, avionics, aviation products, and accessories. Enjoy greater confidence when you buy and when you fly with your Aviation Consumer subscription. Order online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avcons/biz.
SUBSCRIBE TO AVIATION SAFETY NOW AND SAVE!
You spent thousands to earn your license. Now safeguard it for just pennies a day. Aviation Safety helps pilots stay ready for the realities of today's demanding flight environment with instructive articles to keep their decision-making skills sharp. Subscribe now and save big at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avsafe/biz.
HASSLE-FREE AUTO BUYING FROM CREWCAR & CONSUMER GUIDES
Don't go blindly into a dealership when purchasing a vehicle; look to CrewCar.  CrewCar is a car-buying service formed by aviation professionals providing shoppers with a complimentary integrated phone and electronic concierge-level buying service offering value nationwide.  The service is provided gratis and meets the Consumer Guide dealership network standards.  For information, visit CrewCar at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/crewcar/biz.
_____________________________________
We Welcome Your Feedback!

Business AVflash is a twice-monthly summary of the latest business aviation
news, articles, products, features and events featured on AVweb, the
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.

Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? A question on marketing?
Send it to AVweb's sales team: mailto:sales@avweb.com.

Shiny side up, okay?



LAST CHANCE TO FIND THE PERFECT GIFT
Let AVweb's Holiday Shopping Page Help

Our sponsors can provide your clients, friends, and family
with the best aviation-related gifts — from avionics to
pilot supplies to books to brand-new airplanes!
http://www.avweb.com/shopping

Sponsor News and Special Offers

Access to AVweb and AVflash is provided by the support of our fine sponsors. We appreciate your patronage.

SHOPPING DEALS  
A NEW RELEASE OF THE BEST
AVIATION WEATHER SERVICE FOR CELL PHONES

Version 6 of WxServer just hit the 'net, and it's chock full of new features.  A simpler, more powerful menu structure makes WxServer easier to use than ever before.  NexRad radar maps and satellite pictures are now zoomable. And the new WxServer takes maximum advantage of whatever screen size your phone has available.  Put NexRad maps centered on every U.S. airport, satellite pictures centered on more than 95% of airports worldwide, METARs, TAFs, and even Winds Aloft maps in your pocket. Aviation weather that's ready when you need it — on the tarmac, in the run-up area, or at unattended grass strips.  AVweb readers receive $10 off the regular annual subscription rate at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/wxserver/biz.
LOW-COST DIGITAL REPLACEMENT TRANSPONDERS!
Narco Avionics announces the availability of their all-new Value Series plug-and-play line of digital transponders for the cost-conscious owner. Narco's Value Series line of plug-and-play transponders includes the AT165/VS (a replacement for the AT50 through AT155), the AT165/KA/VS (a replacement for the KT76A/78A), and the AT165/K/VS (a replacement for the KT76/78). Coming Soon: Narco's AT165/C and AT165/C/VS, plug-and-play replacements for the ARC (Cessna) RT359A/RT459A. SPECIAL: Purchase an AT165 and get an AR850 for $99. For more information, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/narco/biz.
SUBSCRIBE TO AVIATION CONSUMER AND SAVE, PLUS GET NO-COST ACCESS TO
AviationConsumer.com. This subscribers-only web site is packed with ratings and evaluations of aircraft, avionics, aviation products, and accessories. Enjoy greater confidence when you buy and when you fly with your Aviation Consumer subscription. Order online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avcons/biz.
SUBSCRIBE TO AVIATION SAFETY NOW AND SAVE!
You spent thousands to earn your license. Now safeguard it for just pennies a day. Aviation Safety helps pilots stay ready for the realities of today's demanding flight environment with instructive articles to keep their decision-making skills sharp. Subscribe now and save big at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avsafe/biz.
HASSLE-FREE AUTO BUYING FROM CREWCAR & CONSUMER GUIDES
Don't go blindly into a dealership when purchasing a vehicle; look to CrewCar.  CrewCar is a car-buying service formed by aviation professionals providing shoppers with a complimentary integrated phone and electronic concierge-level buying service offering value nationwide.  The service is provided gratis and meets the Consumer Guide dealership network standards.  For information, visit CrewCar at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/crewcar/biz.
_____________________________________
We Welcome Your Feedback!

Business AVflash is a twice-monthly summary of the latest business aviation
news, articles, products, features and events featured on AVweb, the
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.

Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? A question on marketing?
Send it to AVweb's sales team: mailto:sales@avweb.com.

Shiny side up, okay?



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