AVwebBiz Complete Issue: Volume 5, Number 31

August 15, 2007

By The AVweb Editorial Staff

Mastering ILS
Mastering ILS Approaches: Position & Airspeed
This online refresher covers: Strategies for maintaining positional awareness and airspeed during an ILS approach; the importance of using "raw data" to back up your GPS and MFD; and a common mistake pilots make at DA and what you can do to ensure a smooth transition to landing.
Click to view the full workshop.

Chicago Firm First With Part 135 Eclipse VLJ

North American Jet Charter Group at Chicago Executive Airport in Wheeling, Ill., on Tuesday received FAA approval as the first U.S. Part 135 very light jet (VLJ) operator using an Eclipse 500. Operations are expected to begin Wednesday under the company moniker “Q,” for Quintessential Traveler service that offers an air limo at half the traditional charter rate, according to North American Jet. "Today begins a new chapter in aviation history," said North American Jet Charter Group President Ken Ross. "With the operating efficiency of a VLJ like the Eclipse, the flexibility and productivity benefits previously available only to company presidents and CEOs are now available to virtually any business traveler." Pricing has initially been based on one-way fares with no daily minimums for aircraft usage or overnight charges. North American Jet claims that up to three travelers will enjoy all the benefits of first-class travel on their Eclipse 500s for about the same rate as a one-way first-class airline ticket. Q service will eventually be expanded to offer a wide range of travel services from ground travel to lodging and entertainment venues. North American Jet expects its Eclipse 500 fleet to expand to more than six of the VLJs by year-end, with projected growth to more than 20 aircraft by the end of next year.

Garmin: G1000 Still Safe To Fly

Garmin is aggressively working with suppliers and OEM partners to resolve an issue with the G1000 unit and resume deliveries, the company said in a statement on Tuesday. The problem stems from a sudden increase in failure rates during recent flight tests of new GRS 77 AHRS (Attitude Heading Reference System) units used in G1000 installations, the company said. A component failure in the GRS 77 results in a continual "red-x" of attitude information on the primary flight display. "After communication with Garmin's OEM partners and the FAA, it was determined that in all G1000 installations, continued safe flight can be conducted with the stand-by attitude indicator and other available instruments," the company said in a statement. "If pilots should experience a failure of the GRS 77 AHRS, they should follow standard procedures and refer to the standby attitude indicator." At Cessna, production has continued despite the G1000 problems, director of corporate communications Doug Oliver told AVweb on Tuesday. "We anticipate a resolution from Garmin literally any minute," he said. Nonetheless, deliveries of single-engine piston aircraft are suspended until the issue is resolved. "Mustang deliveries were originally suspended as well," Oliver said, "but due to its lower production rate, its avionics systems were installed some time ago, before the suspect batch was produced. This has, of course, been confirmed through testing and approved by the FAA." He said he doesn't anticipate the G1000 problem to have any impact on aircraft production at Cessna.

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Spectrum Upgrades S-33, Fast Tracks S-40

Spectrum Aeronautical's S-33 Independence very light jet will be even faster, roomier and have a better than 2,000-nm range mostly due to a switch in powerplants from the Williams International FJ33A-4A-15 to the more powerful FJ33-4A-19. The airplane is also now scheduled for certification behind its larger GE Honda HF120-powered sibling, the S-40 Freedom. According to Spectrum, the engine upgrade increases the eight-place S-33's thrust-to-weight ratio (which had already been projected to be the highest of any business jet) and improves efficiency through better fuel specifics. A cabin redesign accounts for increased cabin space, upsizing the maximum diameter from 58 inches to 60 inches. What it all boils down to is a 430-KTAS jet sporting the largest cabin and longest range of any aircraft in the VLJ category, according to the company. But Spectrum now says its first priority will shift to the nine-place S-40 Freedom midsize jet. That aircraft is scheduled for certification in 2009, which is now to be followed by the S-33 in 2010.

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NetJets Names New EJM Head, Eyes China Market

On Tuesday, Berkshire Hathaway-owned NetJets named Benjamin Murray as president and CEO of its aircraft charter and management subsidiary Executive Jet Management (EJM). Murray replaces Albert Pod, who held the top spot at EJM since 2000. A spokesman told AVweb that NetJets has made the decision to explore the concept of expanding its business to China, and Pod will manage this project full time. "Mr. Pod has been deeply involved in NetJets' previous explorations of the China market and brings expertise and relationships to his new role," the spokesman said. Before his latest appointment, Murray spent two years as the vice president for new business development at fractional provider NetJets, and the four previous years as vice president of sales for EJM. According to NetJets Chairman and CEO Richard Santulli. "Ben knows the aircraft management and charter business as well as anyone, bringing a strong sales background and prior experience at EJM to his new role. I have full confidence that Ben is the right individual to lead EJM going forward." Murray is an 11-year aviation veteran and is active in the aviation industry as a member of the National Business Aviation Association and the Experimental Aircraft Association.

Introducing Zulu ... From LightSPEED
Zulu is the world's quietest ANR headset. More quiet, more comfort, more features than any other previous headset. Zulu includes Bluetooth compatibility. For more information, call LightSPEED at (800) 332-2421, or go online for complete details.

Taiwanese Lawmaker: Sell Sino Swearingen

Lin Yu-fang of Taiwan's Nationalist Party this week has demanded that his government sell its majority share of Sino Swearingen Aircraft. The San Antonio-based aircraft manufacturer received FAA certification for its SJ30 twinjet in November 2005, some nine years after the Taiwanese government acquired a stake in the company. However, Sino Swearingen has experienced numerous production problems and to date has delivered only one airplane. Yu-fang maintains that investing in the company was a big mistake, but the irony is that Taiwanese officials' influence in placing homegrown executives with little or no aviation experience at Sino's helm actually caused many problems at the airframer, according to sources. So far, Sino Swearingen has failed to raise additional money and the Taiwan legislature is unlikely to approve further funding. Last month the company laid off some workers and had a management shakeup, though the top post was again filled by another former Taiwanese government official with no previous aviation manufacturing experience. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W. Va., who was instrumental in getting the Taiwanese government to invest in the company, in a guest column in The Journal of Martinsburg wrote, "There are lots of good reasons to still believe in Sino. With more than 300 orders pending worth more than $2 billion, the company is developing a new business plan to get to full production." Rockefeller also said the company is "being pursued by several multinational investor groups." Meanwhile, Edward Swearingen -- the man behind the SJ30 design -- in February filed a trademark for "Edward J. Swearingen Aircraft Company," fueling speculation that he might take a more active role in the company after the Taiwanese cash out.

Save $1,500 on Your Garmin WAAS Upgrade from JA Air Center!
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The Latin American Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (LABACE) made a comeback late last week after the 2006 event was canceled due to airport construction at Congonhas Airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Like the previous three LABACE shows, this year's three-day event was held in Sao Paulo and jointly organized by the U.S. National Business Aviation Association and Associacao Brasileira de Aviacao Geral (ABAG). According to the two groups, a record 33 business airplanes and helicopters were on display at the static area, and 69 Brazilian and foreign exhibitors showed off their wares in the exhibit hall. Aircraft at the static display ranged from a Cirrus SR22 piston single to larger jets such as the Gulfstream G550. At least 4,000 visitors -- mostly business aviation industry professionals -- were expected to attend, though no official attendance number is yet available. In 2005, nearly 5,000 people attended the event. The star of the show was Brazil's homegrown very light jet, the Phenom 100, which made its public debut on Saturday at LABACE less than two weeks after achieving first flight. LABACE 2008 is tentatively set to be held next August in Sao Paulo.

XM WX Satellite Weather Uses a Continuous Satellite Broadcast to Deliver Graphical Weather Data to the Cockpit
Pilots view and interact with the data — including radar, winds, METARs, lightning, and more — on compatible MFDs, EFBs, and PDAs from a wide range of industry partners, as well as on laptop PCs. The situational awareness afforded by XM WX Satellite Weather allows pilots to enjoy their journeys with more confidence and comfort than ever before. For more information, please visit XMWXweather.com.

Bombardier Expands Latin American Service Network

Bombardier Aerospace last Friday officially opened a new spare parts depot near Sao Paulo, Brazil’s busy Congonhas and Guarhulos International Airports to better serve Latin American operators of its Learjet, Challenger and Global business jets. The new 3,000-sq-ft depot, operated by Armazéns Gerais Columbia, will house some 2,300 individual high-demand parts, totaling over 75,000 pieces worth about $7 million. According to Bombardier, the facility ­ the fourth new parts facility to be opened in the past two years after Chicago, Frankfurt and Dubai -- will also support the company’s commitment to improving counter-to-counter AOG parts delivery worldwide. The Bombardier network also includes parts depots in Montreal, Beijing, Sydney and Singapore. Meanwhile, Bombardier also appointed Ocean Taxi Aéreo Ltda (Ocean Air) in Sao Paulo, Brazil, as an authorized service facility for all Bombardier business jets. Ocean Air has been authorized since 2005 to work on Learjets and is now expand its maintenance and service capabilities to include all Challenger and Global models.

Loss of Control in Flight: Leading Cause of Aviation Accidents
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FAA Updates Icing Rules For New Transport Aircraft

The FAA has published a final rule that introduces new airworthiness standards for evaluation of performance and handling of Part 25-certified airplanes in icing conditions. The FAA through this action intends to require "the same maneuvering capability requirements at the minimum operating speeds in the most critical icing conditions defined in appendix C of Part 25 as are currently required in non-icing conditions" and make the U.S. and European airworthiness standards more synchronous. The amendment requires manufacturers to investigate during airworthiness certification the susceptibility of designs to tailplane stall due to ice contamination, with particular attention paid to flap and gear configuration changes. In preparing the rule, the FAA specifically "considered only past accidents involving tailplane stall or potential airframe ice accretion effects on drag or controllability."

FLITELite™ Reinvents Light ... Once Again
FLITELite, aviation's LED innovator, introduces the next step in headset technology — a new intercom-powered, hands-free LED flashlight built into the headset microphone without loss of audio system quality, factory installed by AVCOMM Communications. Never lose your flashlight again. And the FLITELite never requires batteries. FLITELite controls are hands-free; just a gentle touch with your lip to turn it on — give it a kiss, and conquer the night. More details online.

Dassault Expands LIT Center, Mulls Brazil Facility

Dassault Aircraft Services on Tuesday announced expansion plans for its Little Rock (Ark.) Service Center that will double the facility's square footage when completed later next year. Groundbreaking for the nearly $10 million project will be in the third quarter, and the new hangar will be able to accommodate up to six additional aircraft and will feature a new "back shop" capacity -- light refurbishments of aircraft interiors and structures. Meanwhile, on Friday Dassault said it has convened a development team to explore building a company-owned Falcon service center in Brazil that would include full technical support capabilities, maintenance, parts, training and engineering support. The company says no timeline for a final decision has yet been set, but notes that several sites are being considered. Dassault currently has two technical field representatives for South America and Brazil (one is based in Sao Paulo, Brazil) who are available 24/7 to assist South American-based and transient Falcons. In addition, Dassault Falcon and Pratt & Whitney Canada recently positioned a PW308C "bank" engine to Brazil that will be kept at P&WC facility in Sao Paulo. The engine powers the Falcon 2000EX EASy, 2000DX and the future 2000LX.

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Lockheed Martin

FAA Offers Risk Assessment Tool

The FAA is advising operators to become familiar with risk assessment tools [as described in Advisory Circular (AC) 120-92], which "create numerical thresholds that trigger additional levels of scrutiny prior to a go/no-go decision for the flight." The tool works by facilitating the identification of known hazardous parameters particular to the flight and assigning a fixed associated risk value for each parameter. For example, if a flight is assigned to a captain with less than 200 hours in type, that adds a risk value of five. If the flight will be flown to an airport with no published approaches, that adds four to the overall risk value. The FAA suggests that operators identify risk thresholds (a total risk value number) that automatically trigger further review of a flight, or suggest a "no-go" decision. The FAA points out that a flight risk-assessment tool such as the one described should be used as a guide and, obviously, does not guarantee a safe flight.

DA40 Diamond Star a Fleet Favorite
Airline Transport Professionals, Beijing PanAm, Empire Aviation, European-American Aviation, Middle Tennessee State University, Sabena Airline Training Academy, Utah Valley State College, and Utah State University have all selected the G1000-equipped DA40 Diamond Star. For value, efficiency, and safety, the Diamond Aircraft DA40 is the fleet favorite. Go online for information on all Diamond Aircraft.

Saint-Tropez Muzzles Helicopter Operations

According to reports from Reuters, French authorities have limited helicopter flights to Saint-Tropez after receiving numerous aircraft noise complaints. The decision to close the helipad that accounts for about 30 percent of helicopter traffic to the exclusive resort came after a voluntary agreement failed to curb the number of flights, local official Francoise Souliman told Reuters. Helicopters are frequently used to avoid traffic jams in the resort town, as well as provide transport to villages and marinas along the coast. "There's a shocking noise at all times of the day and they're quite often flying over the marinas at Gassin, so you've got helicopters flying very low," Souliman said. The voluntary agreement drafted last year allowed approximately 1,200 flight movements a year and regulated flying times during the day. However, Souliman claims that 5,000 flights had been registered between June and August last year. "There are companies that respect the rules completely, but there are one or two companies that don't respect anything at all," she said. "We've had times when the nuisance has been so great that we had to hit hard."

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IJM Stretches West, Acquires Pylon

International Jet Management (IJM) has acquired Pylon International, expanding IJM's operations to the West Coast. IJM provides charter, management, sales and maintenance services, while Pylon is a Part 135 charter operator based out of Van Nuys, Calif. IJM hopes to use Pylon's fleet of light through large-cabin jets to create cost savings for its combined East and West Coast operations while incorporating the aircraft management skills established by Pylon. Pylon executives will "play key roles in the day-to-day operations of IJM's new West Coast operations," with Andrew Kane acting as executive vice president and director of IJM Holdings. Alan Goodman will serve on the West Coast and will lead the push for growth of the business's charter operations there. Mickael Blakey will serve to facilitate fleet growth and airplane owner transactions on the West Coast.

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Meet the AVwebBiz Team

AVwebBiz is a weekly 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 Contributing Editors Glenn Pew and Mary Grady and Editor In Chief Chad Trautvetter.

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