Cirrus Aircraft hopes to finally have its Vision SF50 personal jet ready for certification by the end of 2015. "This has been a long, long program," said company President and CEO Dale Klapmeier. "I like to say we've been going at the speed of cash." The company is working on a ballistic parachute system for the aircraft and says it won't take any shortcuts on safety.
The impact on business aviation of reduced air traffic control staffing levels due to federal budget cuts remains unclear, writes blogger Charles Alcock. Despite the ongoing debate over tax bonus depreciation, it was renewed by President Barack Obama for 2013.
Vice President Joe Biden voluntarily gave up traveling on Air Force 2 between Washington and his home in Delaware as part of the budget cuts that began in March. The military airplanes that members of Congress routinely travel on have also been grounded.
Blogger Jeff Burger doesn't think that a change in the tax-depreciation schedule would really have that much impact on business aviation sales since it doesn't apply to used aircraft, and also doesn't help the American aviation industry when applies to aircraft built outside of the U.S. "The business aviation associations have a case to make, but they could make it better and more credibly if they toned down the rhetoric," writes Burger.
Night-vision goggles are not cheap, but many helicopter pilots say they hate flying without them. The goggles take available light and amplify it, making things visible that the human eye otherwise could not see. Models made by the two major manufacturers, ITT Exelis and L-3, start at $10,000.