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Volume 4, Number 20
October 11, 2006
Adam Aircraft Designs & Manufactures the A700 AdamJet & A500 Centerline Piston Twin
Adam Aircraft's A700 features twin Williams FJ-33 engines, state-of-the-art avionics, and comfortable seating for eight (or seven with an aft lavatory). The A700 is currently undergoing flight test and development. Adam Aircraft's A500 centerline piston twin has been Type Certified by the FAA and offers superior safety, range, and performance, along with the pressurized comfort of a roomy six-seat interior. For complete details on both aircraft, go online.
Sponsor Announcement

The coming horde of very light jets (VLJs) will clog the skies, crowd runways, overtax the ATC system, increase the risk of airline delays and curdle fresh milk. Or it won't. That -- except for the curdled milk part -- pretty much sums up the arguments for and against what many are saying will be an unprecedented increase in the number of jet airplanes operated in U.S. airspace and, by extension, user fees. Those arguments, on both sides of the "issue," have been made in a recent hearing before the U.S. Senate and, of course, in the general media. Similarly, a recent hearing in the U.S. House of Representatives discussed various FAA financing options but -- amazingly -- mostly avoided VLJs. Leading the pro-user-fee charge and warning against the milk-curdling dangers of VLJs has been none other than the domestic airline industry, usually with the carriers' trade group, the Air Transport Association (ATA), walking point. The Senate hearing, held Sept. 28, was convened to learn whether the National Air Transportation System will accommodate the coming crop of VLJs -- dubbed "the mosquito fleet" by U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska). Jack Pelton, chairman of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), and chairman, president and CEO of Cessna Aircraft Company, pointed out that VLJs will not “darken the skies,” as many have predicted. Instead, Pelton said he believed the VLJ market would develop like every other turbine-powered GA aircraft: in an evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, way. “The introduction of VLJs will be at a rate in which they will be transparently and smoothly absorbed into the system,” he added. More...

Fly with the Bose® Aviation Headset X
Enjoy an unmatched combination of benefits: Full-spectrum noise reduction, clear sound, and comfortable fit. Voted the #1 headset for the fifth year in a row by readers of Professional Pilot magazine. (Headset Preference Survey, 12/05.) Learn more and order.

Even while it was basking in the commendable glow of finally earning full FAA type certification for its Eclipse 500 VLJ on Sept. 30, Eclipse Aviation faced the daunting prospect of transforming itself from a product development company into one that actually has to manufacture that product. The company, saying it used "technologies and business practices forged in the technology industry" to develop the new airplane, now must find ways to translate that "new-tech" way of thinking into actually rolling those airplanes out the factory door. When will the first delivery occur? Eclipse isn't saying, but AVweb can go out on a limb to say it will probably be next week, either during or shortly after NBAA's annual meeting and convention concludes in Orlando. The first aircraft will go to a private individual, David Crow. The second one will go to DayJet, the start-up "per-seat, on-demand" operator, which will initially focus its efforts on city-pair markets in Florida and the southeastern U.S. More...

Find JA Air Center — Find the New Garmin GPSMap 496
JA Air Center, Your Garmin Source, has the new Garmin GPSMap 496 with XM Weather, Terrain, AOPA Airport Guide, Taxiway Database, and built-in StreetPilot Automotive GPS in stock for immediate delivery. Call JA Air Center toll-free at (800) 323-5966, or order online.
If you are looking to sell your current GPS, JA Air Center Purchases Used GPS and Avionics — call for current values.

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

There were some 460 attendees at last week's 10th annual Bombardier Learjet Safety Standdown 2006, held at the Wichita (Kan.) Hyatt Regency Oct. 2-5 and, if all of them were as positive about the experience as those with whom AVweb spoke, the event was an unqualified success. As one attendee told us, "Somehow, Bombardier continues to incrementally improve" its annual event. Begun in 1996 in response to a pattern of safety problems the company identified, the Safety Standdown follows the military model, with outside experts bringing their authority and experience to a unique training environment. The four-day event -- two days spent in hands-on safety demonstrations and drills, with an additional two days of lectures and seminars -- has become so popular Bombardier had more than 950 applicants for this year's edition. Do the math -- it was forced to turn away some 50 percent of potential attendees, even after both the FAA and NBAA committed to permanent sponsorships. More...

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.

One day before Eclipse earned its full type certificate, Adam Aircraft received an amended FAA type certificate for its all-composite A500 pressurized centerline-thrust piston twin. The six-seat Adam A500 was originally type certificated in May 2005, but that approval came with several limitations. Now, those limitations have been removed and the A500 becomes the first fully certified all-composite, pressurized twin-engine aircraft. The last new pressurized twin-engine piston airplane was manufactured in 1986, according to the company. The A500 is now certified to its full 5.5 psi pressurization, which provides a sea-level cabin to 12,500 feet. Additional certified upgrades include a fully coupled IFR autopilot, day/night VFR/IFR, single-pilot flight operation and an expanded CG range. Maximum operating altitude expansion to 25,000 feet will be obtained this winter along with known-icing certification. Final performance numbers include a 230-knot cruise speed and a more than 1,100-nm NBAA IFR range at 75% power. More...

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!

It's one thing to be involved in an apparent midair collision. It's another to survive it -- even though all aboard the other aircraft perished. But it's beyond the pale when the country in which you made an emergency landing accuses you and a fellow crewmember of several regulatory violations, seizes your passport and detains you for the after-crash investigation. So it is with U.S. pilots Joseph Lepore and Jan Paladino, who were crewing a brand-new Embraer Legacy 600 jet when it allegedly collided with a Boeing 737 Sept. 29 in Brazilian airspace. After the apparent collision, the other aircraft, a Gol airlines Boeing 737-800, reportedly spiraled out of control before breaking up at low altitude and crashing in the Amazon jungle. All 154 passengers and crew aboard the Boeing were killed. More...

Next week's National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) annual meeting and convention promises to offer a little something for everyone and a lot for most of us. The event, scheduled for the Orange County Convention Center Oct. 17 through 19, is the 59th edition of NBAA's annual extravaganza and, according to the association, exhibit floor and static display space is sold out in advance for the first time ever. Some 1,150 exhibitors are registered and 5,233 10-foot by 10-foot booth spaces have been sold, an almost 9-percent increase in booth spaces compared to the 2005 show, while more than 115 aircraft will be on static display at the Orlando Executive Airport. Yes, AVweb will be there, and will publish two exclusive special editions of AVwebBiz. 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

San Antonio, Texas-based Sino Swearingen Aircraft Corp. (SSAC) is being visited by Taiwan Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-hsiang this week. The company is a joint venture in which Taiwan holds a more than 90-percent share. According to the China Post, the vice minister was at SSAC’s headquarters mainly to find out why it has yet to deliver a copy of the SJ30 light jet since receiving type certification for the model 12 months ago. A company spokesman told AVweb that no major news or decisions have emerged from the meetings with the minister, adding that the “general atmosphere seems positive.” Yen-hsiang told the newspaper that SSAC is having trouble delivering the first airplane for various reasons, including “wrongly installed wings.” Acknowledging the problem, the spokesman said, “Wrongly installed wings means that the left wing on s/n 006 and 008 have shown to have an extra 1.5 degrees of leading-edge up twist, making the airplane fly right-wing heavy at high airspeeds. We chose the expensive, but correct, solution to change the left-hand wings on these two airplanes. We could have chosen to droop the flaps or ailerons to make the airplane fly wings level, but we want these first early production airplanes to be as aerodynamically perfect as possible. All other airplanes seem fine with symmetric wings.” More...

In response to recent mandates by Congress, the FAA is changing its rules to require written permission from a supplemental type certificate (STC) holder to use its data for follow-on installations that alter the affected aircraft, engine or propeller. The changes became effective Oct. 2, 2006. Although written in a manner requiring the STC holder to report to the FAA when it grants permission for installation of the STC, the new FAR, Section 21.120, has the effect of continuing the FAA's recently adopted responsibility of protecting the intellectual property of STC holders. More...

Flight Explorer Professional Edition® Is A Real-Time Decision-Support Tool
Flight Explorer Professional® is an integrated flight-tracking and management-decision-support tool that provides companies and professional individuals with system features they require to improve operational efficiency and performance. Click here for more information and to subscribe

My, how time flies. Has it really been 40 years since the Gulfstream GII made its first flight? It has, according to the company, which noted the occasion last week. On Oct. 2, 1966, Grumman Aerospace test pilots Carl Alber and Bob Smythe flew the first Gulfstream II (GII) on its maiden flight from Bethpage, N.Y. The GII was the first large-cabin, purpose-built business aircraft powered by jet engines. The first GII entered service on Jan. 6, 1968, when it was delivered to National Distillers & Chemical, which had also owned a Gulfstream I (GI), the GII's turboprop precursor. While the GII adopted the familiar signature oval windows from the GI, it was the first Gulfstream aircraft to feature the T-tail design, swept-back wings and engines mounted at the aft fuselage. More...

Visit AVweb's Sponsor Companies at the 2006 NBAA Convention
AVweb will be in Orlando, Florida for the annual NBAA Convention and Conference next week, October 17-19. If you're one of the many AVweb readers who make a living in the business of aviation, please take a moment while you're at the show to stop by our sponsors' booths. Their patronage of AVweb makes it possible for us to deliver the high quality of news, reviews, and information you've come to expect in your inbox twice a week — at no charge to readers. We encourage you to visit with them at the show and thank them for their support of AVweb. Click for a complete list of AVweb sponsors and where to find them at the show.

Everything might be bigger in Texas, but not everything’s better, especially when it comes to the cost of operating the state’s fleet of two Cessna piston singles, four Cessna Conquests and five Beech King Air B200s. The Texas state auditor said a recent review of flight services provided by the state Department of Transportation’s aviation division found that the flight department is not operating the aircraft fleet in a cost-effective manne 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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