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While members contacted AOPA inquiring about general aviation relief flights to areas along the East Coast hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy, the FAA, as of Nov. 1, still urged pilots to avoid the area, specifically the New York/New Jersey Class B airspace, because of search-and-rescue flights and emergency operations. Meanwhile, pilots in the areas affected made their way to airports to survey the damage. AOPA Airport Support Network volunteers provide inside information on damage at some of the airports in this special report. As AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg writes in his blog, when the time is right, GA humanitarian flights will play a role in the recovery efforts.
While Hawker jet owners may end up the losers, owners of Beechcraft products may be winners when Hawker Beechcraft emerges from bankruptcy in early 2013. Company officials at NBAA2012 announced this week a series of new propeller-driven products and the potential for reengined Barons and Bonanzas with diesel- or jet-fuel powerplants. Shawn Vick, executive vice president for customers, said the company has been working on a five-year plan of product developments that include four new products. He showed a slide of a single-engine turboprop that is basically a Hawker Premier jet composite fuselage stretched to carry eight to 11 passengers at 300 knots in and out of rough fields. Read more >>
NBAA 2012 News
Honeywell forecasts modest growth in jet deliveries
This year's Honeywell forecast calls for modest growth in aircraft deliveries in the 2012-2013 time frame, compared to 2011. But even so, some 30 percent of flight departments signaled that a purchase might be in the offing within five years. Read more >>
What bizjet market needs for a comeback
Forbes Publisher Rich Karlgaard told an opening meeting of the National Business Aviation Association 2012 convention in Orlando, Fla., Oct. 30 that the business jet market will recover when the nation's economy grows at 3 percent or better per year. "We need 4 percent to make up for lost time," he said. The national economy is currently growing 2 percent yearly. Read more >>
Hawker Beechcraft details failed Chinese deal
A complex agreement with cultural and language barriers and the need for approval from the U.S. and Chinese governments ultimately doomed Superior Aviation Beijing's bid for Hawker Beechcraft. As a result of the failure to agree, the company plans to emerge from bankruptcy protection as Beechcraft Corp. in early 2013, focus exclusively on propeller-driven airplanes, and sell or shutter its Hawker line of jets in the next few months. In addition, the company seeks to cease warranty coverage of two of its jets. Read more >>
Reporting Points: Possible Beechcraft suitors
The savvy jet industry publication Corporate Jet Investor details what might happen next in the stage of the Hawker Beechcraft bankruptcy—soon to emerge as just Beechcraft Corp. Here is the publication's list of companies that are, should be, or have been interested in the company in the past. Read more >>
Falcon announces new 2000LXS
Building on the success of its 4,000-nautical-mile model 2000LX, Dassault Falcon Jet announced Oct. 29 the launch of a lighter variant—the 2000LXS—that promises the same range as its predecessor, but no payload compromises, shorter runway requirements, and a new, three-screen Honeywell Easy II cockpit. Though the LXS will have a 600-pound heavier max takeoff weight, this will be partially offset by weight savings worth 400 pounds through structural improvements and lighter completion items. With full fuel, the LXS will have a payload of 2,190 pounds, and at its max takeoff weight of 42,800 pounds its balanced field length will be 4,675 feet. Read more >>
AOPA tests Tamarack active winglets
Tamarack Aerospace President Nick Guida thinks active winglets such as those used by his Atlas system will eventually replace passive winglets, once their improvement in efficiency is recognized in the marketplace. While he started out installing them on a Cirrus SR22, he has his eyes set on the jet market. AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Al Marsh tested the winglets on a CitationJet. Read more >>
Gulfstream touts G650, G280, and biofuel
Gulfstream Aerospace boasts that its newly certified ultra-large-cabin G650 has proven to fly faster farther than any other airplane in the business jet fleet: 6,000 nautical miles at Mach 0.90. This represents a 1,000-nm increase over the original range expectations for the airplane. Meanwhile, the G280 also has exceeded range expectations. The super-mid-size jet is capable of flying 3,600 nm at Mach 0.80. The original range target was 3,400 nm, but as tests eventually revealed, the airplane was capable of more efficient flight than originally anticipated. In the same vein, it was learned that the airplane’s balanced field length is actually 4,750 feet—a 210-foot reduction from earlier estimates. Read more >>
Kestrel uses pulse deice system
The Kestrel single-engine turboprop will be the first certified airplane to leverage an electro-mechanical expulsion deicing system on its wings. Kestrel Aircraft's Alan Klapmeier said he chose the system for his airplane project to maximize performance, but also found that the system's life cycle cost will be lower than pneumatic boots. Read more >>
Cessna upgrades Sovereign, hints at new line
Cessna's upgrades to the Sovereign, including a G5000 cockpit and autothrottles, a boost in range of 150 nautical miles, and improved short-runway performance, have gone through 800 hours of flight testing. Meanwhile, Cessna said it is investing in its newer products and hinted at a new family of light jets. Read more >>
Eclipse upgrades systems as 550 production starts
Eclipse Aerospace officials report that the final test flight of the Eclipse 550’s autothrottle system is scheduled for this week. The system, once certified, will make the 550 the lowest cost—by far—twin-jet to receive an autothrottle system. Read more >>
Stallion 51 offers unusual attitude training
Stallion 51, long the place to go if you want to fly a North American P-51 Mustang, now offers unusual attitude training to the corporate world and other interested pilots. The company uses a specially equipped Aero Vodochody L-39 jet trainer. “Our new Upset Prevention and Recovery Training Program definitely raises the bar even higher for pilots who fly for a living and under all types of conditions,” said Lee Lauderback, Stallion 51's president. The idea is to train pilots to recognize and respond accurately and quickly before the situation becomes unrecoverable. Read more >>
Up close at the NBAA2012 static display
Nearly 100 business aviation airplanes clustered on 25 acres of pavement at Orlando Executive Airport this week for the sixty-fifth annual National Business Aviation Association Convention. Showalter Flying Services hosted the display next to its fixed-base operation. Based on square footage of exhibit space, the show is the fifth-largest trade show in the country. AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Al Marsh captured 360-degree panoramic views of a virtual reality Cessna exhibit, reviewed the real deal at Orlando Executive featuring several high-end products in the Cessna line, and toured the HondaJet exhibit. For more from the show, view this slide show >>
Heard at NBAA2012
Find out which manufacturing company’s chairman apologized to customers and which Congressman said there is a “cease-fire” on business aviation. AOPA compiled some of the best quotes heard at NBAA2012. Read more >>
Bizav by the numbers
Which jet can go 6,000 nautical miles at Mach 0.90? How many Hawker Beechcraft jets could lose warranty coverage, and how much debt is the company shedding in bankruptcy? What’s the value of 10,000 new large-cabin jets set for delivery over the next 10 years? Here’s a look at NBAA2012 by the numbers >>
News and product updates
Cessna's Citation Ten reverts to X … Camera lets bizjet passengers watch takeoff, landing … GE Aviation prepares to assemble Passport engine … AutoPower STC for certain Gulfstream, Hawker jets … New chief at helm of Dynon … FlightAware app tracks flights. See all product news >>
Wx apps of the week
Thanks to the iPhone and iPad, apps have revolutionized the way pilots fly. To that end, AOPA will begin showcasing five aviation-related apps weekly. As those on the East Coast dig out from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, let’s take a look at weather apps. Read more >>
Recreational Aviation Foundation dedicates second fire hub
Nothing binds a group of like-minded individuals together like gathering around a campfire. When building their campfire site helps pilots preserve recreational aviation, everybody wins. Read more >>
Reporting Points: Strange but true
A pilot mistakes a country road for a runway; Cessna Skyhawks prove their worth in traffic enforcement; and a blimp being used for advertising by the Mitt Romney presidential campaign is forced to do an emergency landing. All this and more in “Strange but true general aviation news.”
Reporting Points: Looking for a few good aircraft owners
A U.K.-based documentary production company is looking for people with interesting collections of aircraft—preferably someone with “a couple of airworthy planes and a few other projects that are in various stages of completion (the messier the better).” Read more >>
Safety & Proficiency
Accidents suggest helicopter safety needs ‘critical look’
An industry-government coalition is calling for renewed focus on helicopter safety following a series of accidents in which seven occupants perished during an eight-day period in October. Read more >>
Sometimes it simply isn’t possible to pin down an accident’s precise cause. And sometimes, aircraft simply disappear. It’s happened in Oregon and twice in Florida. Read more >>
IFR Fix: Gap in the message
Does technology ever blow the call? For pilots, it has always been chancy to let faith in a support system graduate to dependence. But those who have may still whistle when the call gets blown. Read more >>
For married IFR pilots, too
Successfully flying in instrument meteorological conditions as the only pilot aboard has many ingredients: preparation, organization, cockpit resource management skills, distraction avoidance, and excellent situational awareness. But are you doing all you can to be safe in this potentially stressing environment? Learn how to optimize yourself for this challenging situation by taking the Air Safety Institute's Single-Pilot IFR online course.
Carb icing got you down?
A carburetor has a simple task: taking fuel and air, and placing them into a combustible mixture. However, its simplicity is also its weakness. With the right set of variables, it can create ice inside of it and have its function impaired. Learn about these conditions, and how to prevent and remedy "carb icing" by reading the Air Safety Institute's Combating Carb Ice Safety Brief.
The FAA, industry, and members of the General Aviation Avgas Coalition continue efforts to work on a permanent solution to replace 100 low-lead for GA aircraft with a new fuel that will meet the needs of the existing fleet. Read more >>
Report misses mark, funding critical for GA airports
AOPA believes that federal Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grants for general aviation airports should be preserved because of the important role these airports play within the national air transportation system. This is in stark contrast with a new report from the Washington, D.C.-based Brookings Institution that recommends cutting the AIP mandatory spending floor for GA airports. Read more >>
AOPA offers election resources for pilots
With the final days of a contentious campaign winding down, AOPA has assembled a detailed briefing on where the candidates stand on issues critical to general aviation. The presidential candidates responded to an AOPA questionnaire, along with members of Congress, detailing their positions. AOPA staff have also compiled a voter’s guide on GA issues, listing votes and other actions taken—or not taken—on issues including FAA funding, user fees, and the Pilot's Bill of Rights.
Starting a flying club: Find out how
Flying clubs offer lower costs, camaraderie, quality instruction, and a viable business model to pilots around the world. If you're thinking of starting one in your neck of the woods, join AOPA for a webinar Nov. 14 at 8 p.m. Eastern time to find out what's involved. The webinar panel will include counsel on legal and entity concerns as they apply to clubs. We'll also hear from the director of a successful new flying club as he shares his experiences in the first of several webinars on various flying club topics. Space is limited. Reserve your seat now >>
Diabetes mellitus on oral medications
Diet-controlled diabetes mellitus is one of the five medical conditions that your aviation medical examiner may grant issuance if you come to your examination with the proper documentation. Diabetes mellitus treated with oral medications or insulin is one of the FAA's specifically disqualifying medical conditions. This means that if you have one of these problems, your AME may not issue you a medical certificate without going through requesting a special issuance from the FAA. Read more >>
How strong is your safety net?
Whether you are flying, driving, or on a hike in the park, AOPA can help protect all that is important to you. As AOPA previously announced, the new AOPA Accidental Death and Dismemberment Group Insurance Plan has been expanded beyond the cockpit to provide you 24/7 coverage without any increase in cost.
AOPA Career Opportunities
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for a member services representative; manager, AOPA Flying Club Network; marketing production specialist; contract administrator; accounts receivable payable tech; Web developer (eMedia); major gifts officer; and Web graphic designer. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.