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Volume 4, Number 23
November 22, 2006
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When the new Congress convenes in January, will general and business aviation be better or worse off? Will members of that Congress, the 110th, be more inclined to support creating user fees and more security-related restrictions, or less? And who will be the major players? It's still a bit early to answer all of those questions, but observers are starting to see pieces of these various puzzles fall into place. How the finished picture will look might be critical in 2007, as government and industry gear up for what many believe could be a major battle over legislation reauthorizing the FAA and its programs. That's because the current law authorizing the agency is set to expire on Sept. 30, and many of the players may interpret that deadline as an opportunity to push their pet aviation issue. And some of those "pet" issues may include stronger, more intrusive aviation security measures, especially when considering general aviation. Generally, observers tend to agree that Democratic leadership in both houses of Congress bodes ill for the FAA's user-fee concept while creating greater uncertainty about any future aviation security policy changes, especially as they might impact general aviation. More...

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.

In her appearance at AOPA, Blakey said she did not support a new funding system that would entail "broad user fees." Later, when asked to clarify, she told attendees, "Everybody who uses the air traffic control system should pay their fair share, including the public through a continued general fund contribution," according to the association. "We do not want to create a funding system that stifles GA," she added. Of course, one person's "fair share" is another's "stifling." At NBAA, Blakey summed up her agency's bottom line thusly: "We need a stable, cost-based revenue stream." What that might resemble, how it would be structured and who would pay the most -- and reap the benefits -- are all questions that will define the coming Congressional debate. More...

The fate of two U.S. pilots "detained" by Brazilian authorities after their new Embraer Legacy 600 apparently collided in midair with a Gol Airlines Boeing 737 on Sept. 29 remains undecided. All 154 passengers and crew aboard the Boeing died after the suspected collision apparently crippled the airliner. Most recently, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and the International Federation of Air Line Pilots' Associations (IFALPA) separately urged Brazilian authorities to release the crew. If you're just joining us on this story, the two pilots, Joseph Lepore and Jan Paladino, have been "guests" of the Brazilian government ever since they managed to land their damaged jet at a remote military base. Authorities held the two -- both a state and a federal judge ordered the pilots to relinquish their passports -- while an investigation was underway. For its part, IFALPA last week noted that, "thus far, only contradictory facts, rumor and unsupported allegations have been forthcoming from Brazilian government officials" regarding the accident. The association went on to demand that Brazilian authorities immediately return the pilots' passports and that they be allowed to return home. More...

Weather the Holidays with 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 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.

On Monday, Honda Aircraft lifted the veil of secrecy at its Greensboro, N.C., facility, where the company designed, developed, built and is now flying its very light jet (VLJ), the HondaJet. The company publicly opened its doors for the first time at its Piedmont Triad Airport complex to a group of about 25 journalists to show that the company is not only innovative when it comes to aircraft design -- the HondaJet has unique over-the-wing-mounted GE-Honda turbofans -- but also in how it will sell and service the VLJ. "This small building is filled with very sophisticated technological abilities and big dreams," noted CEO Michimasa Fujino, who is unarguably the father of the HondaJet. According to Fujino, Honda's aircraft program began modestly some 20 years ago, and while that modesty still prevails today the company is well on the path to certify the very light jet. More...

Has it been 10 years already since Cessna restarted its piston-engine single production? According to Cessna, which earlier this month celebrated completing the 7,000th single-engine piston to emerge from its Independence, Kan., facility, it has. Thankfully, the math is easy: An average of 700 new piston-engined singles have emerged from that factory since 1996, adding to the company's total production of more than 152,000 single-engine piston aircraft in its nearly 80-year history. Ironically, the company restarted production after a 10-year hiatus that began in 1986, in part because of unlimited product liability exposure and high insurance costs. Cessna says 1994's General Aviation Revitalization Act (GARA) allowed it to re-enter the market for single-engine piston airplanes. 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.

If, after record-setting attendance levels at the recent annual conventions of both the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), industry participants need further evidence of business aviation's viability and growth potential, we refer you to the plans of the Middle East Business Aviation Association. The organization, formed earlier this year by founding members Royal Jet, National Air Services, Bexair, Gulfstream, Jet Aviation and JetEx, told attendees at last month's NBAA annual meeting and convention it expects to record more than 300 members by 2012. Recently, the new non-profit organization added Boeing and Airbus as members and named Ali Ahmed Al Naqbi, Vice President of Finance and Administration for Abu Dhabi-based Amiri Flight, as its founding chairman. In that role, Al Naqbi will be responsible for carrying forward the association and meeting those goals. More...

"Soon" is about all Eclipse Aviation will say when asked when the company will deliver its first production Eclipse 500 very light jet (VLJ). Despite recent setbacks involving what could be considered teething pains on its flight-test fleet -- which led the company to ground those airplanes as a precautionary measure -- Eclipse this week remained extremely positive about clearing these two hurdles. And, since it says there are some 32 of the new aircraft in various stages of production, Eclipse has no real reason to worry, even though one of its biggest customers, "per-seat, on-demand" operator DayJet recently said it would delay inauguration of its start-up service. DayJet seemed to blame its delay in part on financing and in part on delivery delays. Eclipse received full FAA certification, except for known icing approval and some of the flight management software, plus the autopilot, on Sept. 30. Still, DayJet and other customers are anxiously awaiting the first deliveries, which many expect by the end of November. 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!

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) last week announced that its board of directors had elected new officials to lead the association in 2007, while approving membership applications from Eclipse Aviation, SINO Swearingen and SMA (Societe de Motorisations Aeronautiques), which develops diesel engines for aircraft. At the board of directors meeting, John J. Grisik, executive vice president, Operational Excellence and Technology, Goodrich Corporation was named GAMA’s chairman for 2007; he previously served as GAMA’s vice chairman. Replacing him in his former position as vice chairman will be Alan Klapmeier, chairman and CEO, Cirrus Design Corporation. He served as chairman of the security issues committee in 2006. More...

Bombardier Aerospace earlier this month announced the first delivery of a Challenger 850 executive business jet, a development of the company's CRJ200 regional jet (RJ). The delivery followed the March 2006 entry into service of the first Challenger 850 corporate shuttle, also based on Bombardier's popular RJ line. The new bizjet-configured version of the 850 went to a Russian customer and was also the first Challenger 850 aircraft completed by Lufthansa Technik of Hamburg, Germany. Bombardier and Lufthansa Technik signed an agreement securing completion positions for 17 Challenger 850 executive jets in November 2005. 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.

Landmark Aviation last week said it has received FAA approval to modify in-service Dassault Falcon 50 trijets to increase rudder control authority on aircraft equipped with Collins’ APS-85 autopilot or Pro Line 21 avionics suite. The FBO, MRO and sales, charter and management chain -- formed in 2004 through the merger of Garrett, Piedmont-Hawthorne and Associated Air Center -- said it will perform the modification work at its Springfield, Ill., maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) center. Benefits from the modification include enhanced lateral maneuverability of the aircraft and increased mission capability so operators have greater control in crosswind conditions, according to the company. More...

Truth! Aviation Consumer Is the Only Unbiased Publication Available to Pilots
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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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