March 10, 2017

by Pres of AircraftPost Dennis Rousseau

Business jet values and prices continue to deteriorate, which can be attributed in part to the global economic downturn but mostly to market saturation. 
    In 2010 an average ~11% of the current generation fleet was on the market. By 2014 this had increased to 15% and year-end 2016 18%. To exacerbate the saturation problem, we're seeing ask price cuts of ~$5M on the upper end of the market and as ask prices drop so do sell prices. To the buyer this is good news, but it has a negative impact on future value confidence. 

    As part of the long-range jet segment, G650 pre-owned prices continue to drop (4 are asking 49-52M), and as selling prices trend in kind, new [long-range] aircraft buyers have more choices especially considering most pre-owned 650s are 'near new'. 

    Brand loyalty and technology aside, if we consider the average list price new of the 6000 / 550 at ~$50M, or ~57.5M for the 8X, all having similar range (typical cruise) and 3-zone cabins, then we're presented with a longer-range aircraft with all the available technology, not to mention a 3K' cabin altitude, potential buyers would be hard pressed not to consider pre-owned. All things being equal this same situation could play out in the near future with the Global 7000 and G600. 

Third prototype of PC-24 jet took maiden voyage on Mar 6th. 

Flight took off from Buochs Airfield at 9:45 and flew across central Switzerland for 2 hrs and 5 minutes. Certification is expected in Q4 2017.  
 Launch customer is Portsmouth NH-based fractional operator PlaneSense which has pre-ordered 84 aircraft. Deliveries will begin immediately after certification. Reported by  Flight Intl : Acquiring a 1/16 share through Plane Sense has a price tag of $685,000 and entitles the owner to 50 flying hrs a yr. And there's also a monthly management fee of $8900 and occupied hourly fee of $2320.   

Here are some of the design benefits of the PC-24:

1  Pilatus ACE avionics system,
    single- pilot certified.
2  Spacious cabin (501 ft) with
    continuous  flat floor.
3  Two Williams FJ44-4A engines.
     Max  take off thrust 3400 lbf each.
4  Dual-wheel main landing gear
    designed  for operations for paved
    & unpaved  surfaces.
5  Optimized wing geometry
    combining  excellent short field
    performance with  competitive
    cruise speed.
6   All-internal pressurized baggage compartment (90 ft).
7   Large cargo door (51 x 49 in) for ease of loading.

West Star acquires Avant. Avant Aero-space is a leading supplier of Dassault Falcon Jet spares, equipment and tooling 
for the F2000, F900 and F50 series aircraft. Company will continue to operate under its name. Acquisition helps West Star better assist Falcon operators worldwide.

Wheels Up, Cirrus, Corporate Angel Network and FlightSafety Intl earn 2017 Business Aviation Laureate award from Aviation Week. Awards recognize excellence in business aviation. To see full list of award winners click here:

Expanded quarters for ICCS at MRY (Monterrey NL Mex).  
Investing $1.5 million, ICCS expanded the facility, hangar and parking area.  Inside the FBO are newly designed  private waiting areas, lounges, a Snack Bar for hors d'oeuvres and beverages, a conference room, private resting rooms and showers and a flight planning room. Now Immigration, Customs and Health offices are built within the FBO for quicker processing. Close Circuit TV and outdoor cameras monitor the entire premises for security and quality control. On display are Nierman's Magic Flight collection of paintings and sculptures.

NASA could be putting humans in orbit around the Moon next year.  

   At the urging of the White House, NASA is assessing the feasibility of adding a crew to Exploration Mission-1  (EM-1), the 1st integrated flight of the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft. In its design the EM-1 mission was scheduled to be an unmanned test of the Orion spacecraft and the launch system. 
   Comparing the Apollo technology with that of Orion, Orion has the power to deploy on longer missions-a necessity for potential future missions to Mars. With improved radiation shielding, solar panels and planned life support systems that will reclaim used water, Orion will be able to support 4 astronauts for up to 3 weeks.

Concorde Battery comes out with a high capacity RG-427 battery for Bell 407 and 427 models.  Used in high cycle and short leg operations like air ambulance and oil & gas missions, the 28 Ah battery was not getting fully recharged causing starting performance during successive engine starts. This causes degrading and shortening of the battery life. RG-427 is a 24 volt battery packed with 20% more power than the 28 Ah battery.

CASPER 14. Flight Cancellations 0. At Medford OR the ground crew uses dry ice to disperse ground fog. Dry ice collects the moisture in the air and it falls to the ground as snow or ice. Ground workers load dry ice into a hopper suspended under an 18-ft helium balloon attached with a winch cable to a truck nicknamed CASPER for Cable Attached System Providing Effective Release. Truck  is driven slowly around the airport with the balloon flying at 500 ft. For this to work the air temperature has to be at 32° or below. 

CASPER has been deployed about 14
times this winter and has reduced flight cancellations to zero. 


I nfo recorded by Amazon Echo may help solve a crime. Police in Bentonville AR have issued a search warrant to Amazon asking them to release info stores on the Cloud.  It's believed that additional info   recorded by Echo in the home of murder suspect James Andrew Bates. Bates is accused of drowning a man in his bath tub. 
   Police have been able to download some conversational data from the device as well 
as the fact that 140 gals of water were used between 1 and 3 am on the date of the murder. 
   Exec Dir of the Executive Women's Forum 
on Info Security & Risk Mgmt Lynn Terwoerds clams that "Myth is that Echo is constantly listening to you and recording-that's just not true. It can be argued the data the police are requesting will have limited value compared to the privacy rights of the individual, even in a murder case."  
    An article in Wired clarifies that devices like Echo have a specific wake word. It's doubtful anything said before that prompt will be recorded. A Smartphone associated with the Echo could be more incriminating as it keeps text records of almost every request made.
    In a recent update, Bates has given police approval to access the Cloud info. 

Leonardo and Elbit will jointly market the Heli ClearVision  enhanced flight vision system (EFVS) on Leonardo's commercial rotor-craft. Certification is expected in early 2018.
   Hell ClearVision is a set of SkyLens and SkyVis wearable head up displays and an EVS and SVS adapted to helos. EVS camera can support day and night ops in extreme weather and low visibility conditions.

V ector certifies ADS-B upgrade for light, medium and heavy helicopters.   Under EASA the STC covers Airbus Super Puma, Leonardo A139 and Sikorsky S76. Under FAA the STC covers Airbus H120/EC 120, H124/
AS350 and H130/EC130 light helos. Read more.

Cindy Youngblood is elected Pres of Women in Corporate Aviation (WAC).   Her goals as pres are to increase member-ship by expanding aware-ness of the association and business aviation as a whole-and-to create more opportunities for members to grow and connect as women, aviators and leaders. Cindy is a contributing writer to Professional Pilot .

Gulfstream flies 2nd G600 test air-craft,  spending 4 hrs and 26 min the air. FAA  certification  is expected in 2018, with customer deliveries scheduled for later the same year. Read more here

FlightSafety Intl and Sikorsky have introduced a graphical sim for 
Sikorsky S76D. It's a stationary trainer that reproduces the cockpit and allows for  a touch screen interface. Pilots can become familiar with the controls, aircraft systems and avionics suite prior to flying the full-flight sim.

At this point in your career what are your expectations or further ambitions?

Click here to answer

RUAG is developing a 4G LTD connectivity solution for helicop-ters which will enable passengers to enjoy the same browsing speed in the air as they have on the ground. STC application is underway with EASA.

B/E Aerospace stockholders approve merger with Rockwell Collins.
Expected close date for the deal is spring 2017. Among B/E's products are cabin and cockpit seating, oxygen & galleys systems and cabin lighting. Rockwell Collins announced its intentions in Oct 
to acquire B/E for $6.4B.

Gogo Biz 4G is ready to enter service.  4G technology enables streaming video and audio to business jets for multiple users in the cabin. Air-craft equipping with this 4G Biz system will automatically upgrade to next gener-ation network when it reaches completion in 2018.

Worldwide av authorities examining studies of how UAVs should fly safely over crowds.  They are watching Virginia Tech tests where UAVs are crashed into dummies on the ground to see if small- or medium-sized UAVs could seriously injure or kill a person. CNN is also doing research on how to safely use drones over crowds for news video photography. Authorities will use this data to support rule making.

ACI Jet pursuing IS-BAH safety cert at SBP. ACI is a So Cal FBO chain that also offers a/c mgmt, charter and mx.  ACI operates 3 FBOs located at SBP (San Luis Obispo, PRB (Paso Robles), L52 (Oceano) and a new base coming soon to SNA (John Wayne). Read more here

Eating stale bread could be a tool to help prevent colon cancer.  Key to this study is measuring resistant starch which is a set of carbohydrate molecules resistant to the body's own digestive enzymes.           
   Researchers from RMIT Univ (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) in Melbourne Australia baked bread and kept it at a variety of tempera-tures for up to 5 days.  They found bread stored at 38° F resulted in stale bread with higher resistant starch levels. 
   Colon cancer is 10% of all cancers diagnosed and effects 1.4 million people worldwide. (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

portable ISR system and communication suite for helicopters.   Astronautics and Jake's Aerospace Govt International Defense (JAGID) are teaming up to create SmartCopter that com-bines surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) cockpit situational awareness and communications system that will expand ground based ops for law enforcement and military operators around the world.  Read more here: 

A British woman got a shock when she sliced into a red bell pepper and saw the screaming face of Donald Trump. It had scrunched-up eyes and wide open mouth similar to Trump in his angrier moments. Friends ate the pepper for dinner and suffered no ill effects.  

With sun shining on the water in Horsetail Falls in Yosemite National Park it look like the water is on fire.  
This intriguing phenomenon requires the snowmelt water to be flowing in mid-Feb and the sun to shine through the clouds at the perfect time of day. 

Photo by Ray Lee@rayophotography13. 

If you find yourself in Memphis TN consider taking a musical tour of Sun Studio, considered the birthplace of Rock N Roll.  

In 1951 the 1st rock song called Rocket 88 was recorded by Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats.  Actual band name was Ike Turner's Kings of Rhythm. 

Photo on the building shows the impromptu Million Dollar Quartet jam session between Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley held on Dec 4, 1956.  Among the songs sung that day were Whole Lotta Shakin', Blue Suede Shoes, Peace in the Valley, Hound Dog and I Walk the Line.   Take a listen:  

If flying to Memphis, at MEM you have a choice of Wilson Air Centers and Signature FBOs.  At OLV (Olive Branch MS) 10 nm E of MEM you'll find Metro Av Services.  

Murray Smith

Earlene Chandler


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