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Volume 4, Number 19
September 27, 2006
Bose® Aviation Headset 
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User fees. Airport and airspace access. Operating regulations. Security. Opinions on all these issues -- and many more -- help distinguish one aviation industry segment from another. For example, most scheduled carriers would support eliminating the existing U.S. airline ticket tax and excise taxes on fuel in favor of a per-mile or per-flight fee. Since the carriers are able to pass such costs along to their passengers, placing non-commercial operations at a disadvantage, they presume user fees would make private aviation less attractive. Business travelers who constitute the bulk of those with the option of flying aboard either an airline or a private plane, they believe, will choose the carrier as costs rise. Or so goes the conventional wisdom. Now, Cessna Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Jack Pelton is taking issue with that conventional wisdom as part of a speech given last week in London to the Aviation Club of the United Kingdom [PDF]. Pelton took issue with claims that business aviation siphons passengers from commercial airliners, noting that only 30 percent of business jet departures from European airports in 2005 were from airports with 100 or more daily departures. In other words, most business aviation flights are between smaller airports with limited or no airline service. It is not unusual, he said, for business fliers to use on-demand travel in conjunction with scheduled airline travel. “The fact is, business aviation users are also the biggest users of the airlines,” Pelton said. “Proof, if it were needed, can be seen in the sustained premium traffic growth, and overall historic passenger volumes, that airlines have experienced over the past 18 months, which coincide with the upward trajectory of business aviation.” More...

JA Air Center 
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Visit the new GPSMap 496 Blog for more information on this exciting new product from Garmin.

Depending on how it's measured, yesterday's agreement between Dassault Aviation and NetJets Europe for 24 Falcon 7X aircraft valued at U.S. $1.1 billion is the second largest business aircraft order in history or the largest European deal ever. Regardless, the transaction is Dassault's largest-ever private jet sale. The 24 aircraft will be delivered over six years, starting in early 2008, and continuing through 2014. Of course, the order's size was not lost on the customer. Mark Booth, chairman and CEO of NetJets Europe, said, "This historic order reinforces our desire to provide our customers with the best aircraft and product options to meet their business aviation needs. The Falcon 7X is a magnificent aircraft and we expect fractional demand for this aircraft to be robust. The size of this order clearly demonstrates the significant demand for our product, which has effectively revolutionized travel on this continent." A similarly happy Charles Edelstenne, chairman and president of Dassault Aviation, said, "We are extremely pleased that NetJets Europe has selected the Falcon 7X for this order. We believe it is the perfect aircraft for NetJets to continue building its long-range business and to offer its clients the exceptional service they have come to expect." More...

Pilot Insurance Center In a Group Plan & Think You're Getting the Best Deal on Life Insurance?
The Pilot Insurance Center (PIC) finds many people believe this is the case. Unfortunately, in some group plans you're only as good as your weakest link. Meaning, while you may be in excellent health, you may be paying a higher premium due to those in the group that aren't as healthy. From airline pilots to weekend warriors, PIC has saved pilots 30-60% on coverage through A+ rated carriers or better. Find out if you are getting the best deal. Call PIC today at (800) 380-8376, or visit online.

Mooney Airplane Co. Chief Executive Gretchen L. Jahn resigned her position yesterday, effective Oct. 1, formally saying only that she wished to pursue other opportunities. The Kerrville, Tex.-based company's board of directors immediately named Dennis Ferguson as her replacement. Perhaps reflecting on the fact that deliveries of Mooney aircraft under her management more than doubled from 2004 to 2005 -- from 36 to 85 -- Jahn said in a statement, "I have a passion for getting companies up and running. It has been exciting to participate in this process at Mooney." She will remain on staff as an adviser to the certification of Mooney's new Acclaim single-propeller aircraft, which it unveiled in April. The company bills it as the fastest single-piston-engine airplane on the market. More...

Last week's award of an FAA production certification to Adam Aircraft for its A500 piston twin -- along with a recently announced infusion of cash -- will give the young company enough breathing room to move forward on delivering the new aircraft to customers while it accelerates development of its A700 AdamJet. The FAA gave the company formal approval to manufacture and deliver the A500, enabling it to accelerate its production. "An FAA production certificate represents a major step toward the Adam Aircraft goal of delivering six A500 aircraft every month," said Rick Adam, founder and CEO. More...

Ultra-Comfort from 
LightSPEED Fly in Ultra-Comfort with LightSPEED Headsets:
"Custom ear molds made my Mach 1 as quiet as any headset I've tried." — Bing Lantis, President of Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing. Discover what thousands of pilots already have: the most comfortable headsets in the industry. The in-the-ear Mach 1 weighs less than 1 oz.; the full-size Thirty 3G, just under 16 ounces and uses soft conform-foam ear cushions. Try a LightSPEED headset with a 30-day money back guarantee. To order, contact a LightSPEED dealer or call (800) 332-2421 (PST, business hours). View the 60-second video clip!

Swiss-based business aviation company Executive Jet Investments (EJI) last week announced it has acquired the controlling share in German aircraft manufacturer Grob Aerospace. No details or terms of the acquisition were announced, although EJI did say its future operations would be conducted under the Grob Aerospace banner. The deal makes a multinational corporation out of Germany's last remaining independent aircraft manufacturer and solidifies EJI's commitment to the Grob SPn Utility Jet, of which it already owned a 50-percent stake. More...

Rockwell Collins last week introduced two pieces of avionics equipment for the business aviation market, including a new traffic surveillance system and a new WAAS-capable GPS receiver. According to the company, the TSS-4100 Traffic Surveillance System is a highly integrated system combining TCAS II and Mode S transponder functionality -- as well as emerging ADS-B applications -- into a single unit. Meanwhile, the GPS-4000S sensor and associated WAAS antenna will allow operators to use GPS as a sole means of navigation for en route operations and approach procedures. Operators flying with the company's Flight Management Systems (FMS) and who install a GPS-4000S will be able to take advantage of localizer performance vertical guidance (LPV) approach capability upon availability of an FMS upgrade option, which is scheduled for initial certification in late 2007. More...

Columbia Simplifies Buying & Selling All Aircraft Brands
Selling an aircraft can be a challenging odyssey. Aircraft owners need to: locate a broker with national resources to sell for top dollar; select and utilize the most effective advertising; access no-cost, no-obligation finance pre-qualification; consult aviation tax experts; and obtain insurance quotes with higher liability limits. Columbia Aircraft has created a tool to assist pilots and aircraft owners of all brands. Check out their web site.

Bombardier last week said its Learjet 60 midsize jet set a world speed record for its class, flying a roundtrip between from Cape Town, South Africa, to Johannesburg and back in two hours, 59 minutes. The flight was fully sanctioned by the Federation Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), the international body responsible for recognizing such records. “The aircraft performed superbly as expected,” said Terry Redman, chief pilot and director, The Aviation Co., the aircraft’s operator. “The first leg to Johannesburg took just one hour, 24 minutes. The aircraft’s performance was put to the test against the wind on the return leg to Cape Town, arriving only one hour and 35 minutes later.” More...

Pilatus Switzerland this month announced the newly formed Pilatus PC-12 Centre Southern Africa is the new exclusive factory-authorized sales and service center for Southern Africa. The new company was started by well-known South African aviation professionals Tim Webster (acting CEO) and Gerry Wyss (director). All partners have extensive aviation and aircraft sales experience, and have worked with the international Pilatus team for a number of years. “We are convinced that we have found a dynamic team that can drive our Pilatus business in Southern Africa,” says Fred Muggli, head of PC-12 Sales and Marketing at Pilatus. “There is great potential for the PC-12 in the region because its long range, spacious cabin, high speed, low operating economics, and outstanding reliability make it uniquely suited to the area.” More...

Not Keeping Up with FAA Rules & Regulations Can Cost You
In today's flight environment, busting a rule and/or regulation can cost you not only a fine but your ticket. Protect it by being informed. Read Aviation Safety every month for interesting and information-packed articles to sharpen your air readiness. Order your subscription online for savings from the regular rate.

Pratt & Whitney Canada earlier this month announced it named John Saabas as executive vice president and Benoît Brossoit as senior vice president, Service Centres and Operations. Mr. Saabas will be responsible for engineering, operations, quality, service centers, customer support and marketing. Previously senior vice president, engineering and operations, Mr. Saabas has been with the company since 1985. Mr. Brossoit, who will report to Mr. Saabas, will provide leadership and strategic direction to the PWC Service Centre network as well as its manufacturing operations and supply chain activities worldwide. He joined PWC in 1995. More...

Landmark Aviation this month said it named Jim McNeill as its new regional vice president, FBO Operations. McNeill previously was general manager at Landmark Aviation’s flagship FBO facility at Dulles, Va., and now will manage several key FBOs in the Landmark network. Those include company facilities at Toronto; Dulles; Leesburg, Va.; Fayetteville, N.C.; and Raleigh Durham, N.C. He also will continue oversight of the Dulles operation until his successor is named. He was general manager at Dulles since 2003 and before that, general manager at Landmark’s Toronto operation. More...

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AVwebBiz is an every-other-week summary of the latest business aviation news, articles, products, features, and events featured on AVweb, the internet's aviation magazine and news service.

Today's issue was written by Joseph E. (Jeb) Burnside (bio).

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