Aviation Technology - Page 12 Aviation Articles

When a Deal Gets Technical

Do you have the Resources?
Jim Odenwaldt of Elliott Aviation, Aircraft Sales Manager

As aircraft brokers, we represent both buyers and sellers and it is common to be tasked with finding a fair resolution on a technical issue while in the middle of a deal. For the most part, in today’s economy, the prebuy inspection can be difficult to manage. During the prebuy, technically referred to as a survey, the buyer must specifically request inspections deemed important. In recent years, the typical prebuy has become a full inspection (I-V, A-G, etc.) and engine bore scope inspections. It is commonplace for an airplane to have had a recent major inspection, completed by the seller per the normal hourly/calendar schedule, and a buyer’s prebuy, repeating the inspection at a new facility.

If this is the case, the seller is usually comfortable with the request since the buyer is paying the flat rate. I always stress, no matter how recent the previous inspection, the prebuy will reveal a new list of un-airworthy items. Although maintenance teams all use the same guidelines and the system is highly standardized, some issues are subjective. In addition, the airplane is in a new shop, being inspected by a whole new set of eyes. The service center may also have a new motivation…a new customer. In any event, the airplane will be subject to special scrutiny. As a broker, it is essential to manage this part of the deal objectively. This often takes substantial technical resources.

A major value of a highly experienced broker is that they will work through every minute detail on a squawk list. These can be high dollar items and resolution can be highly technical. Is the blade sulfidation stage 3? Is that inlet screen corroded? Is that skin gouge beyond 10%? Is that windshield really un-airworthy? It should come down to what is allowable according to the tolerances. Most of the time, I call in the help of an objective specialist. This is typically a technician who is assigned by the manufacture of the particular component in question or a third party engineer and they are required to document their findings. This will dictate our course of action and keep the sale moving forward.

Brokers, shops and pilots alike all want to deliver a perfect airplane to the buyer. Ideally, the airplane will fly along to the next scheduled inspection with no squawks. This makes happy customers who stay in our industry and buy more airplanes. An ownership experience starts with a prebuy for a buyer and also serves as the end for a seller. It is our job to manage this process efficiently and equitably.

Jim Odenwaldt has extensive flying and technical experience with all Beechcraft products and sales expertise with all models of Hawker/Beech, Citation and Gulfstream. After graduating from Embry-Riddle in 1989, Jim worked as a CFI and maintenance technician. While with American Beechcraft Company, he was responsible for aircraft sales in the mid-Atlantic region. In addition to his ATP, Jim is an A&P and type rated in the Beechcraft Premier.

Elliott Aviation is a second-generation, family-owned business aviation company offering a complete menu of high quality products and services including aircraft sales, avionics service & installations, aircraft maintenance, accessory repair & overhaul, paint and interior, charter and aircraft management. Serving the business aviation industry nationally and internationally, they have facilities in Moline, IL, Des Moines, IA, and Minneapolis, MN. The company is a member of the Pinnacle Air Network, National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), National Air Transportation Association (NATA), and National Aircraft Resale Association (NARA).

It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's a...Where is It Again?

Like everyone at Oshkosh, I was most looking forward to Ives Rossy, aka Jetman, take to the skies with that jetpack we've all been promised since the 50's.  That's the 1950's to you kids.  


It was a huge crowd gathered to witness history for the festival, with dads all around me forcing their kids to sit down and watch - the same way my mom made my sister watch the moon landing.  Didn't matter that she was only 5 months old - Mom just wanted to say "she saw it".  Everyone KNEW they were going to see something special.


Shortly, Rossy took to the sky in his launch helicopter, climbing higher and higher.  The announcers kept us entertained with the details of how Rossy arching his body changes the direction of flight, or how he normally does a 6-point landing (feet, knees, then hands), but sometimes adds a 7th point (his nose).  We also learn that every jump is different, because the air is different, the wind is different, his frame of mind is different, etc.  I morbidly joke that the ground is always the same - hard.


Suddenly, he was out.  You only knew he was freefalling because of the big screens showing the view from Rossy's wing.  So we're all scanning the sky, seeking this miracle worker.  And we're looking.  And we're looking.  And we're...WAIT! Nope, that's a seagull.  And we're lo..THERE!  We see an arrow-shaped pinpoint move swiftly across the sky, darting from cloud to cloud.  This is cool!  This is great!  This is...happening 2,500 feet up in the sky, and I barely see him.


Don't get me wrong, it was cool to be there, and everyone around me was rightly awe-inspired.  However, I didn't really get that "I'm a part of this" feeling I went to receive.  I blame my own build-up - kind of like going to the opening night midnight showing of "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace".  At least this was cooler technology than what brought Jar Jar Binks to life!


After 10 minutes of occaisionally getting a glance of the world's smallest stealth bomber playing hide-and-seek, suddenly the parachute was out, and he was on the ground three minutes later.  I think I finally got him on camera at that point. My work here is done!


So what did I learn today?  I learned I STILL want my jetpack I was promised in the 50's - just so I can finally get a good picture of Jetman.

Check out the attached video!

Jetman2.MTS (9.66 mb)

Cessna Updates on Programs in the Works

Today at Oshkosh, Cessna held a press conference to announce the progress on some of their programs that are underway.  Here are a few highlights:

* Grand Caravan EX has been delivering, 16 orders going into Africa alone, without a demonstrator present.  Huge in Russia as well, great commuter there.

* Cessna TTX has just been certified, starting on deliveries now.

* Turbo Skyline JTA, JET A fueled, currently in the certification process, expected in 3rd quarter.

* Turbo Stationair NightSky edition, new black paint that is reflective on the body and propellor, similar to white paint, defers heat and allows painting flexibility, offered for limited time.

* Cessna is now partnering with Kansas State University; any new pilots trained at Cessna pilot centers can now get college credit towards their degree, beginning in the fall of 2014. 

* Discover Flying Challenge, putting interns into the field in new aircraft to promote general aviation, now partnering with five charitable organizations.  The winner this year, based on his social media work and more, is Brian Todd.  

* Cessna's 9th year as presenting sponsoring the Young Eagles program.  Brian Olena, Young Eagle's leader, was presented a check for $100,000 for the Thursday Young Eagle's gathering.

* Jamie McMurray, the driver of the #1 Cessna stock car, was present as well to discuss the importance of general aviation for him and his racing team.  His aircraft of choice has been a Citation X.  They have also partnered to give the winning bidder at the Young Eagle auction an experience at the track in the pits and meeting drivers and more.

Jetcraft Corporation Introduces HUD Vision Access™ – Based on Kollsman Technology – for Bombardier Challenger 604

FAA STC approval and US dealer network established – sales and installation now available through West Star Aviation

RALEIGH, NC, July 23, 2013 – Jetcraft Corporation and its subsidiary Jetcraft Avionics LLC, today announced that their HUD Vision Access™ system is now available for sale and installation on the Bombardier Challenger 604 (CL604).

Last month, Kollsman announced that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had awarded a “lower landing credit” approved supplemental type certificate (STC) for the Kollsman enhanced flight vision system (EFVS) for the CL604. As a major Kollsman EFVS distributor to the business aviation aftermarket, Jetcraft has commercialized this offering and branded it as HUD Vision Access.

Fully integrated with existing avionics, HUD Vision Access makes the CL604 a more flexible and valuable aircraft by allowing pilots to safely taxi, take-off and land in total darkness, fog, rain, snow, smog and other reduced visibility conditions. Under FAR 91.175, HUD Vision Access permits pilots to descend below decision height (DH/DA) at most airports, reducing the need for ground-based infrastructure. For owners and operators of CL604s, the principal benefits include additional operational credit at more than 4,000 runways across the country, during straight-in approaches with ILS or WAAS-LPV.

Implementation of the HUD Vision Access is a value-adding retrofit for CL604s in-line with the FAA’s new ‘NextGen’ initiative, which places increasing importance on cockpit-based (vs. ground-based) guidance systems.

West Star Aviation, a leading US provider of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services with multiple authorized locations, has been selected by Jetcraft for system installations. West Star will sell and install HUD Vision Access as an integrated system, provisions or as separate components.

“Jetcraft’s HUD Vision Access system makes the CL604 a more valuable aircraft,” says Chad Anderson, President, Jetcraft Corporation. “Based on our extensive experience in the remarketing of previously-owned business aircraft and independent analysis, we estimate the resale value of HUD Vision Access to be approximately 70% of new. Additionally, HUD Vision Access is a significant differentiator at resale, compared to a similar aircraft without this upgrade. Previously, EFVS was only available on new aircraft sold directly by OEMs. With HUD Vision Access now STC approved on the CL604, we look forward to continuing to work with the Kollsman team to pursue EASA approval and comparable retrofits for aftermarket Bombardier Challenger 605 and CRJ conversion fleets. Working with West Star Aviation to access this game-changing technology enables clients to derive more value from their aircraft investments,” adds Mr. Anderson.

“We are pleased to be the leading installation facilities of Jetcraft’s HUD Vision Access system for CL604s,” continues Greg Byrnes, Senior Vice President, West Star Aviation. “We have considerable expertise with Challengers, specifically including avionics installations. The HUD Vision Access represents a major value-add for aircraft owners and operators. With recent FAA STC approval now established, we are ready to serve the more than 150 CL604 operators registered in the US,” concludes Mr. Byrnes.

About Jetcraft Corporation

Jetcraft Corporation is an international leader in new and pre-owned business aircraft sales, acquisitions and trades. Headquartered in Raleigh, NC, Jetcraft has sales offices/representation in five US cities; Basel and Zurich, Switzerland; Dubai, UAE, Moscow, Russia and Hong Kong, China. The company’s 50-year-plus track record in aircraft transactions has earned it a world class customer base and one of the strongest global networks in the industry. Jetcraft Avionics LLC, a subsidiary of Jetcraft Corporation, provides distribution of enhanced flight vision systems (EFVS) for aftermarket business aircraft using Kollsman’s state-of-the-art EVS-II and AT-HUD. For more information, please visit www.jetcraft.com.

About West Star Aviation

West Star Aviation, Inc. specializes in airframe repair and maintenance, engine repair and maintenance, major modifications, avionics installation and repair, interior refurbishment, paint, parts, surplus avionics sales, window repair, landing gear overhauls and accessory services. The company also provides complete FBO services for transient aircraft at its East Alton, Illinois and Grand Junction, Colorado facilities. For more information, please visit www.weststaraviation.com.

The Next Generation MD-10 ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital

According to the World Health Organization, 285 million people worldwide are visually impaired. Of that number 80% of these impairments can be avoided or cured – however, 90% of those afflicted live in developing countries where receiving that care is difficult or almost impossible.

This is where ORBIS International comes in.

ORBIS International is a nonprofit organization that works in developing countries to save sight. ORBIS prevents and treats blindness through hands-on training, public health education, improved access to quality eye care, advocacy and partnerships with local health care organizations. In 1982, its unique aircraft, the Flying Eye Hospital, took to the skies. For the first time ever, a fully-equipped, state-of-the-art teaching hospital had been installed inside an airplane.

Since then, the Flying Eye Hospital has carried out hospital based programs in 92 countries, and has established a long-term presence in the following countries: Bangladesh, China, India, Nepal, Vietnam, Cameroon, Ethiopia, South Africa, Zambia, Peru and Haiti. ORBIS has also used the Flying Eye Hospital and local hospital partners to train 325,000 ophthalmologists, nurses, biomedical engineers and other health care workers to carry out their work, plus has developed an active pool of over 400 doctors, nurses and other eye care specialists from around the world who volunteer to teach during one- to two-week sight-saving programs.

ORBIS medical faculty also train local doctors in oculoplastic surgery, which includes repair of the eye socket (orbit), eyelids, and tear production and drainage. Oculoplastic surgery may be performed to preserve sight as well as to enhance appearance.

Conditions that commonly require oculoplastic surgery in developing countries include:

* Drooping upper eyelid (ptosis)

* Scarring of the upper eyelid, caused by (trachoma, age or trauma, which prevents the lid from covering the entire eye

* Blocked tear ducts

* Trauma causing a fracture to the bones surrounding the eye (socket/orbit)

* Tumors within the orbit, eye or tear gland or pressing against the eye (orbital tumor)

Oculoplastic surgery includes placement of an artificial eye (prosthesis) when eye removal is necessary. Oculoplastic surgical skills are in extremely short supply in developing countries.

ORBIS FEH Comparison – DC-10 vs. MD-10

Recently, FedEx has donated an MD-10 cargo aircraft which will replace the DC-10 that has been serving them well (and still will during the transition). The MD-10 will be converted into the next generation, state of the art Flying Eye Hospital. With the MD-10, ORBIS will only need two pilots as opposed to the current three, as the need for a flight engineer is eliminated. Transitioning to the MD-10 also increases the availability of FedEx pilots to fly FEH programs. The MD-10 has better range, expending from 4,000 to 6,000 miles before a need to refuel. Finally, because they are converting a freighter to a hospital, they will be able to configure the hospital using modules as opposed to building it into the airframe – much more cost-effective and requiring less certification to operate as a flying hospital.

To learn more about ORBIS, including how to donate your time or resources to the cause, please visit www.ORBIS.org. And you can learn more about McDonnell Douglas commercial aircraft on the market at GlobalAir.com as well.




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