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Volume 5, Number 9
March 14, 2007
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 sixth year in a row by readers of Professional Pilot magazine's Headset Preference Survey, 12/06. Learn more and order

To many, this year's battle in Congress over the FAA's pending reauthorization legislation -- which pitches the agency and airlines against general aviation pilots/operators and airframe manufacturers -- is eerily reminiscent of a similar fight waged in the early 1980s. At the time, the playing field was a bit different, with the August 1981 firing of PATCO controllers supposedly driving then-Administrator J. Lynn Helms' vision of a modernized, automated FAA air traffic control system requiring fewer controllers to handle the onslaught of airline deregulation and, of course, all those pesky business jets. But much of the same rhetoric and rationale was being deployed. For example, the FAA had a plan -- the National Airspace System Plan, or NASP -- emphasizing a new "host" computer system for the en route environment, using increased automation throughout the ATC system as a way to minimize the need for human controllers (and their labor issues), plus enhanced communications to ATC and with other airborne aircraft through Mode S transponders and the Traffic Alert Collision Avoidance System (TCAS). More...

Announcing the Online MBA for Aviation Professionals
from Daniel Webster College

Did you know that professionals with an MBA earn an average of $10,000 to $30,000 more per year? Within 27 months, you can be one of them!

Daniel Webster College MBA for Aviation Professionals is a fully-accredited, 100%-online program built for the busy schedule of the aviation professional. Being "on the road" is no longer a barrier to career advancement. Call (866) 458-7525 or click here for more information.

During congressional consideration of the 1982 FAA authorization bill, the user-fee issue got the lion's share of attention, with some proposals even calling for a tax on the new avionics general aviation aircraft would be required to carry for access to the nation's most-congested airspace. A complicated user-fee system was envisioned, with conventional and Mode S transponders used to identify aircraft and their system impact, followed by direct billing -- similar to a telephone bill -- a month later. Another "idea" was an annual tax on aircraft by weight, number of engines or installed avionics equipment. Eventually, the 1982 debate resulted in Congress passing legislation designed to modernize the ATC system and, employing the basic activity-based excise tax system in place today, cover its costs. All of which worked quite well according to most observers. Until the fall of 1984, that is, when federal-budget politics overshadowed the FAA's commitment to users and funding for the NASP and airports was drastically reduced. Of course, with one or two exceptions, primarily resulting from congressional inaction, the taxes/fees levied on aviation system users were not reduced. Most years since then, there's been an annual battle between general aviation, airlines and their passengers -- one fought in the halls of the FAA and Congress -- to fully fund the system improvements already authorized. Rarely has Congress approved full funding; even rarer has been an FAA budget proposing to spend at the levels previously agreed. More...

Chicago-Based JA Air Center Selected as
Authorized Diamond Service Center

JA Air Center is proud to announce it has been selected by Diamond Aircraft as an Authorized Service Center for the full line of Diamond aircraft. JA will provide full-service aircraft care, including routine inspections; scheduled and unscheduled airframe, engine, and avionics maintenance; and repairs.

JA Air Center has facilities in West Chicago and DeKalb, Illinois and a new facility scheduled to open 2008 in Aurora, Illinois. Call (800) 323-5966 or click here for more information.

Civil aviation safety continued to improve in 2006, according to NTSB numbers released yesterday. According to those statistics, the number of accidents throughout all segments of civil aviation in 2006 was less than in 2005, with general aviation recording the lowest number of accidents and fatal accidents in the 40 years of NTSB record keeping. To no one's surprise, major air carriers continued to rack up the lowest accident rates in civil aviation, while 2006 accidents among on-demand Part 135 operations -- including air taxi, air tour and air medical operations -- were down almost 20 percent from 2005. "This is very good news," said NTSB Chairman Mark V. Rosenker, "but it is no reason to let down our guard. We need to build on this improving record with a continued emphasis on safety in all phases of aviation." 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.

Despite the NTSB's data showing that GA hours are down since 1990, activity levels in certain segments of civilian non-scheduled aviation are up. Perhaps chief among them is the business aviation segment, as evidence by last year's record-setting sales numbers. With that in mind, and perhaps recognizing there's never too much of a good thing, Cessna Aircraft Company last week announced it was increasing production of its Citation X business jet over the next five years. Additionally, the company this week said it had entered into an agreement with Winglet Technology, LLC, to collaborate on the latter’s patented "Elliptical Winglet" design for retrofit on Citation X jets already in the fleet. More than 260 Citation Xs already have been delivered to customers around the world and the backlog for the aircraft extends well into 2008. The fleet has amassed almost 1 million flight hours over its 10-year history, the company said. With a top speed of .92 Mach, the Citation X is not only the world's fastest business jet but it's also the fastest civilian aircraft flying. More...

Fly in Ultra-Comfort with LightSPEED Headsets:
Discover the most comfortable headsets in the industry. The in-the-ear Mach 1 weighs less than 1 oz., and the full-size Thirty 3G just under 16 oz. 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). For more information and to view a video clip, click here.

If you crew a turbojet airplane and regularly depart the McCarran International Airport (LAS) in Las Vegas, Nev., your regular departure procedure may change. According to Keith S. Gordon, business aviation representative for Las Vegas Airspace Users, RNAV-capable turbojets departing LAS to the north and northeast over initial fixes such as MLF, BCE, DVC or ILC will no longer be issued the TRALR departure when Runways 25L and 25R are in operation. Instead, crews should expect a revised STAAV3 RNAV departure for all aircraft filed over MLF, BCE, DVC, ILC, etc. Additionally: The STAAV3 is only for Runway 25L/R departures, a minimum climb gradient is required to meet the procedure's first crossing restrictions, and the TRALR departure will not be available for aircraft departing Runways 19 or 25. Importantly, this procedural change will not be implemented this Thursday, the beginning of the regular 28-day charting and procedure cycle. Instead, it will occur beginning Tuesday March 20, at 06:00 local time. More...

Columbia Introduces 2007 Models
The 2007 Columbias have arrived. Fresh for this year are new, dynamic paint schemes for both the Columbia 350 and 400, as well as a host of thoughtful and unique features for the discerning aircraft owner. See how your new Columbia will look with the interactive online Paint Selector. Just go online and click on the "Paint Your Passion" icon.

Global Aircraft Solutions Inc. (GACF) yesterday announced it has acquired a 20% interest in and entered into an exclusive service agreement with Global Aircraft Leasing Partners (GALP). GACF is an integrated aviation company engaged in aircraft trading and aircraft parts sales plus maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services for commercial airlines, charter airlines and aviation leasing companies; GALP is a start-up aircraft-leasing venture formed to acquire aircraft and lease them to operators throughout the world. In exchange for 20% interest in GALP, GACF will obtain infrastructure, industry expertise and management assistance. Global Aircraft (GACF) and GALP also agreed that GACF will have first right of refusal for all aircraft maintenance, aircraft parts and technical consulting requirements GALP may have. More...

Avidyne TAS600 — Because Two Antennas Are Better than One!
Whether you're flying in a busy terminal area, navigating a long cross-country, or hovering over a city, seeing and avoiding traffic requires having the right information in real time. Avidyne's TAS600 Traffic Advisory Systems, with dual-antenna technology, provide significantly improved signal coverage and target tracking, enabling faster updates and enhanced performance over single-antenna systems, for maximum safety. Avidyne's TAS600 Series makes active-surveillance traffic alerting affordable. Visit Avidyne online.

Grapevine, Texas,-based PrestoSIM, one of four U.S. companies authorized to provide FAA Part 142 simulator-based training in Cessna Citation aircraft, last week said it has won FAA approval to provide training on the Cessna Citation Ultra and Encore aircraft featuring the Primus 1000 avionics suite. Established in 2004, PrestoSIM operates a 30,000-square-foot facility in Grapevine, Texas, and specializes in owner pilot and small to midsize corporate flight departments. When combined with the company’s earlier FAA approval of its Citation Bravo courses last week's approval gives PrestoSIM authority to train pilots on some of the most popular models in the Cessna Citation line. More...

If, like many others, you're ready for North America's winter to be over, you just may get your wish. Evidence that spring is about to arrive came this week in the form of an announcement by Tradewind Aviation, a Teterboro, N.J. (TEB)-based charter operator, that it's gearing up for what it calls daily first-class "Premium Scheduled Service" from TEB to Martha's Vineyard. With operators already advertising easy getaways to nearby beaches, what more evidence of spring's arrival do you need? More...

We won't make it, but any readers living down under may want to check out the Australian International Airshow and Aerospace & Defence Exposition, which will be held at Avalon Airport, Victoria, beginning March 20 and running through March 25, 2007. Attendance Tuesday through 2:00 p.m. Friday the 23rd is for "industry professionals" only; gates open to the public next Friday afternoon and through the weekend to the show's closing on Sunday. A mix of military, civilian and warbird aircraft will be on display and performing. Among the special events planned is commemoration of the sound barrier's breaking 60 years ago, an aviation careers expo and a nighttime air show, sponsored by Boeing. More...

Attention, Operators, Avionics Shops, and FBOs
Stay within budgets with Bennett Avionics. Bennett Avionics provides quality avionics to meet the needs of business and commercial aircraft operators and those who service their equipment. Before you buy anywhere else, check out Bennett Avionics at (860) 653-7295 or online. You'll be glad you did!

Gulfstream Aerospace said last week it had completed the previously announced acquisition of WECO Aerospace Systems Inc., a privately held aviation-component overhaul company. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. The company, which specializes in electrical, electronic accessories and flight instrument services, will retain the WECO Aerospace Systems name as part of Gulfstream’s Product Support business operations. More...

Jet Advisors, the Broomfield, Colo., bizjet acquisition and management firm, said last week it is adding former Raytheon sales and marketing vice president Karl R. Childs to its staff. In his new position, Childs will help the company focus on private jet sales and acquisitions, an area Jet Advisors said will be one of its priorities for the coming year. Childs' new role will be a familiar one: He will support his new employer's sales and marketing efforts, as he has for Raytheon, Sabreliner and Cessna. More...

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