NBAA Prepares For Its Main Event
Big Numbers And Big Names Expected …
The business aviation event of the year is quickly approaching and its organizers are putting the final touches on this year’s show. The NBAA 56th Annual Meeting & Convention, to be held October 7 to 9, 2003, at the Orlando/Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., will feature close to 30,000 attendees, more than 1,000 exhibitors (up by 11 percent from 2002), 75 informational sessions and 135 aircraft on static display at Orlando Executive Airport. A noticeable rise in exhibitor interest is documented by 4,361 booths reserved this year versus 4,334 at NBAA 2002. The convention’s Opening General Session will feature new NBAA President Shelley A. Longmuir, FAA Administrator Marion C. Blakey and U.S. Rep. John L. Mica (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee, as keynote speakers.
… Centennial of Flight Is Celebrated …
Aside from the latest and greatest of business aviation, this year’s show will celebrate 100 years of powered flight. As at other major events, EAA’s Countdown to Kitty Hawk exhibit will be on display inside Exhibit Hall C. Also on display will be vintage aircraft simulators and authentic Wright Flyer artifacts from the Franklin Institute and Wright Again program. In addition, the chief historian and interpreter at the Wright Brothers National Memorial, Darrell M. Collins, will give a special presentation on October 7 during the Opening General Session. Collins is widely acknowledged as one of the top five authorities on the Wright brothers and early aviation history.
… As New Exhibitor E-mail Newsletter Is Launched
On August 13, the NBAA launched a new e-mail newsletter called NBAA Exhibitor Update. Designed for NBAA’s Associate Members, this publication covers the latest news, announcements and deadlines for exhibitors and sponsors at NBAA events. The launch circulation for NBAA Exhibitor Update was approximately 5,800 recipients. It is distributed on a monthly basis, except during the period leading up to the convention, when it is distributed every two weeks. Subscriptions are free.
Cessna’s Citation Fleet Enjoys Recent Gains
CJ3 Stays Ahead Of Schedule …
Cessna recently announced its first production Citation CJ3 (serial number 001) took its first flight on August 8, three weeks ahead of schedule. This particular CJ3 — to be used primarily for avionics development and certification — departed from McConnell Air Force Base and landed at Wichita’s Mid-Continent Airport after a one-and-a-half-hour flight. This first flight of the serial 001 aircraft was performed using a standard production first flight profile, which included the full range of airspeed maneuvers, from stalls to MMO, and coupled approaches.Cessna has dedicated three Citation CJ3s to the certification process: a production-conformed prototype, and serial numbers 001 and 002. The prototype made its maiden flight on April 17, 2003, and has already logged over 83 hours. Flight tests underway include climb performance and roll-control tests. Other recent CJ3 program accomplishments are the successful completion of the low- and high-speed envelope expansion, mating of the wing to the fuselage on CJ3 serial number 002, completion of the first customer specification session, and painting of the prototype. The CJ3 team has also begun static testing. The first major airframe article assessment of the tail cone and empennage was completed in late June. All static testing is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2004.
… First Production Sovereign Rolls Out …
On August 27, Cessna team members rolled out their first Citation Sovereign assembled on the production line. Serial number 0003 was celebrated with a brief roll-out ceremony, attended by line employees and management. With a fully operational, 17-station production assembly line, Cessna will deliver its first Citation Sovereigns — of 100 ordered — early in 2004. The company says testing — with its three Citation Sovereigns accumulating over 1600 hours — continues to run smoothly and certification is expected in the fourth quarter of 2003.
… ARINC Offers One-Stop RVSM Package for Citation Airframes …
On August 14, ARINC Direct announced a “one-stop” RVSM modification and certification package for the Cessna Citation 500-series jets. ARINC will provide everything needed to bring the business aircraft into compliance with new RVSM airspace rules scheduled to go into effect over North and South America in January 2005. The ARINC RVSM package includes complete installation by ARINC’s FAA/JAA-certified Colorado Springs service center, an RVSM height-monitoring flight, and the required Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs). The ARINC avionics package includes Shadin’s new ADC-6000 dual Air Data Computer replacement with a right-side altimeter. ARINC claims this equipment preserves the original Citation cockpit architecture while providing multiple-port capability and interfacing for the Flight Management System (FMS) and other systems. Operators planning to have ARINC perform the RVSM upgrade later this fall can have a wiring harness installed immediately. ARINC estimates about 1300 Cessna Citation business aircraft are registered in the region.
… Despite Another Round Of Layoffs
While the Citation line is seeing some gains, the same can’t be said for Cessna as a whole. Earlier this month, Cessna announced another 300 Cessna employees will be given layoff notices, as the company said it will complete the 1,200 layoffs it announced in March. The first 900 workers were laid off in May and the next batch will leave before the end of the year. All of this comes as a surprise to many, especially after company officials recently said Cessna might be able to finish the year without more layoffs, and after a furlough was imposed in the name of company stability. Employees affected by the layoffs will receive their 60-day notices by the end of August, with some of those workers being dismissed before the 60 days expire at the end of October. The layoffs will leave Cessna’s employment at 8,000 by the end of October.
GAMA Speaks Out Against European Corporate Regs
Opposes JAA On Registering Biz Av Operators …
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) recently voiced its opposition to the European Joint Aviation Authority (JAA) proposal to require all European corporate aviation operators to register with their National Aviation Authority (NAA). The Advance Notice of Proposed Amendment (A-NPA), designated JAR OPS-2, would require corporations with a European operating base to register with their NAA as a non-commercial operator. The proposed regulation defines an operating base as any location where operational control of flights is exercised, including scheduling and flight planning. Under the JAA rulemaking process, the final rule could be published in as little as 90 days.
… And Cites Biz AV’s Track Record
GAMA, formally commenting on the JAA A-NPA, stated, “Given the fact that corporate operators have a long history of safety excellence and do not offer air transportation to the public, formal registration of flight departments is unnecessary and places an unjustified economic burden on operators.”While GAMA is encouraged that the JAA is introducing standard operating rules for non-commercial European operators, we are concerned that the definition of a European operator in JAR OPS-2 is vague, and could apply to almost any corporate flight operation,” said GAMA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “The broadest interpretation of the proposed rules could force a U.S.-based company with European sales offices, flying U.S.-registered aircraft, to register its flight department with the JAA and be subject to unwarranted regulation and inspection,” Bolen added.
Better Safety For Charter Flights In Australia
New Rules Will Revamp Charter Operations …
According to the country’s aviation government agency, charter flights across Australia will become safer under a new set of proposed aviation rules. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has issued detailed draft rules for the operation of all commercial passenger-carrying small aircraft. The Part 121B Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM)is open for industry comment until September 30, 2003.A key change under the proposed new rules is the introduction of comprehensive pilot training and checking requirements for all small aircraft charter operations. The agency claims these requirements will lift safety by improving pilot skills, competencies and knowledge in small aircraft charter operations.The planned changes to regulations covering charter operations are included in a new Notice of Proposed Rule Making issued for Part 121B of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations. Part 121B covers charter and regular public transport flights carrying fare-paying passengers in aircraft with a maximum takeoff weight not exceeding 5700 kilograms. A new Air Transport classification will be created to include both charter and regular public transport flights, introducing a single safety standard for commercial passenger operations in small aircraft.
… Higher Accidents Rates Cited
CASA claims the proposed changes are needed as small aircraft charter flightscurrently have a much higher accident rate than small aircraft operating regularly as public transport. In 2001, there were 32 small aircraft charter accidents compared to three involving small aircraft in regular public transport. At the same time, CASA recognizes charter operations must retain their flexibility in order to provide essential transport services, particularly in regional Australia, where remote destinations such as cattle stations and aboriginal settlements are often located.Because of this perceived safety concern, CASA’s NPRM includes other proposed improvements including increased supervision for less-experienced pilots. In addition, single-engine, turbine-powered aircraft allowed to carry up to 14 passengers with a single pilot, standard passenger weights for aircraft carrying more than six passengers, more flexible aircraft performance requirements and more comprehensive fuel provisions are also noted.
LABACE2004 Preparation Underway
After its success with its first event, organizers of the 2nd Annual Latin American Conference & Exhibition (LABACE) are preparing for next year’s show. LABACE2004, the only Latin American exhibition of its kind to focus exclusively on business aviation, will run from April 15 to 17, 2004, in So Paulo, Brazil. This event is organized jointly by the Associao Brasileira de Aviao Geral (ABAG) and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA).Next year’s event will feature topic discussion on:
- Safety and security initiatives
- Business helicopter operations
- CNS/ATM and equitable access
- Future of fractional ownership in Latin America
- Aircraft ownership options
- Brazilian regulatory update
LABACE organizers claim this year’s event “exceeded all expectations,” with nearly 3,000 registered attendees and 88 exhibiting companies on hand at the Transamrica Expo Center. The Static Display at nearby Congonhas Airport featured 16 aircraft for viewing.
NATA Supports Airport Weight-Based Restrictions
National Air Transportation Association (NATA) President James K. Coyne urged support of the Federal Aviation Administration’s proposed weight-based restrictions at airports, as long as the restrictions are not used as a substitute for limiting aircraft noise.”It certainly makes sense to protect pavement from damage from aircraft that exceed the design criteria by a significant margin,” said Coyne. “What we would object to is using ‘weight-based restrictions’ as a way to limit noise by restricting access to an airport by a certain class of aircraft.”NATA encourages the FAA to place predominating emphasis on restrictions that still provide access to an airport without a complete ban on operations by a particular type of aircraft.
Bombardier Seeks Compensation From Supplier
The Globe & Mail reports Bombardier is seeking compensation from the company that supplies landing gear for its regional jet. The newspaper said the Montreal-based company filed a motion in Quebec Superior Court to begin proceedings against Messier-Dowty Inc. of Ontario. The court filing alleges that Bombardier must replace a defective main fitting on the landing gear of 815 regional jets. The cost is expected to be around C$48.8 million. The Globe & Mail said Bombardier expects to reach an out-of-court settlement with the supplier. The newspaper was unable to reach a spokesman for Messier-Dowty but indicated Bombardier has instituted new inspection procedures that detect any premature cracks on the fitting.
Raytheon Aircraft Expands Parts Locator System
Raytheon unveiled a new program where customers will be able to directly order parts online. Aircraft Customer Support Operations has expanded its expansion of Worldwide Inventory Network (WIN), the system that allows customers to log onto its Web site and view the entire parts inventory of Raytheon Aircraft Parts Inventory and Distribution (RAPID) and participating Authorized Service Centers (ASCs). Under the first phase of the program, only customer support representatives could view the parts inventory; however, the current system allows customers to order parts directly from RAPID or ASCs. As part of the WIN system, RAPID and WIN partners update their inventory daily, giving customers an up-to-date list of available parts.
Socata Continues Plans For TBM Owner’s Gathering
As this BizAv issue goes to press, the TBM 700 Owners’ Gathering is being held in Montral, Canada, until September 7, sponsored by EADS Socata. The chosen venue is The Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montral, with TBM 700 owners flying into the Pratt & Whitney plant 5 location at the St. Hubert airport. All incoming TBMs land and taxi to the Pratt & Whitney ramp, then are taxied or towed to taxiway “L” (closed runway “18”) between taxiways B and C. Aircraft refueling will be initially paid for by Socata, then billed to the owner at a later date.
BizAv’s AD Watch
Cessna 400-Series Autopilots
The FAA has extended its comment period by one month for two proposed Airworthiness Directives that would require a wing-spar modification for several models of Cessna twin-engine aircraft. Comments can now be submitted on or before September 8, 2003. Click here to view the proposed AD affecting Models 402C and 414A, and click here for the proposed AD affecting Models 401, 401A, 401B, 402, 402A, 402B, 411, and 411A. Plus, Notices of Proposed Rulemaking have been issued for Cessna models including 172s, 182s, and 206 to address inadvertent and undetected engagement of the Honeywell KAP 140 autopilot system (click here for details). Inboard forward flap bellcranks on Cessna Models 208 and 208B airplanes have also achieved new regulatory attention.
Lear 45s Grounded By Tail Problems
“During our investigation of the problem, we determined that the configuration and quality controls over the production of these parts were so deficient that we do not have confidence that the airplane can be operated safely for any period of time,” a new Airworthiness Directive states. The FAA, last week, grounded 222 Learjet Model 45 business jets until their horizontal stabilizer actuator assemblies are replaced. The new AD issued last Wednesday supersedes an earlier one that called for inspection of the assembly. At the heart of the problem is a screw-and-nut assembly that can get brittle and fail. New parts are expected to be available soon. The original AD was issued after a report of a severe vibration, followed by a rapid nose-down pitch change, by the pilot of one of the eight-seat bizjets. While the tail problems are being tended to, Lear 45 owners might want to take care of another AD concerning the landing gear. New shear pins must be installed in the trunnion assemblies of the main landing gear to prevent a possible gear failure. The AD became effective August 27.
Upcoming BizAv Events
The following business aviation events will be held within the next few months:Professional Development Program (PDP) Course
“Developing a High-Performance Flight Department Team”
October 5, Orlando, Fla.Emergency Response Workshop
October 5-6, Orlando, Fla.Management Fundamentals For Flight Departments Workshop
October 5-6, Orlando, Fla.Human Factors-Fatigue Management Workshop
October 5-6, Orlando, Fla.Professional Development Program (PDP) Course
“Legal Issues in Aviation Management”
October 6, Orlando, Fla.Inspection Authorization (IA) Renewal Course
October 6, Orlando, Fla.NBAA 56th Annual Meeting & Convention
October 7-9, Orlando, Fla.
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