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Volume 13, Number 48b
November 29, 2007
IFR Pilots: Take Your Flight-Planning Skills to the Next Level
Introducing IFR Weather, Planning & Tactics — a new computer training program from PilotWorkshops.com. Join their experts as they plan and fly real IFR trips, using the latest online tools to interpret the weather and develop the safest flight plans. This program provides a structured approach that will have you better prepared to manage the complex and challenging environment of instrument flight. Click here to learn more.
Manufacturers Coping with Costsback to top 

Cessna has chosen the Chinese-government-owned Shenyang Aircraft Corp. to build the Model 162 Skycatcher. Earlier this week, Cessna announced it would be building the light sport aircraft offshore. In a news release, Cessna CEO Jack Pelton said the company needed top quality at a competitive price and SAC put it all together. "Our solution is to partner with SAC, a company with excellent facilities, state-of-the-art technologies and a workforce highly experienced in aircraft manufacturing. SkyCatcher customers will get an advanced design, high-quality workmanship and world-class product support, all at an affordable price from Cessna, a brand known and trusted worldwide." The move, coupled with Cessna's acquisition of Columbia Aircraft, has dominated Cessna's profile in recent months as it continues to pile up record sales for its business jets. More...

In a letter to position-holders this week, Eclipse Aviation CEO Vern Raburn asked customers to send money now, and he will in return give them a discount on the final delivery cost when their jet is ready. Raburn said he hopes to raise $30 million in the next few weeks with the offer, which will go to finance operations while the company finalizes a new round of capital raising. The offer would give customers a locked-in base price of $1.25 million in return for an up-front payment by Dec. 14 of $625,000. The deal can save owners up to a half-million dollars on the final cost. Some customers already have shown interest in the program, Eclipse spokesman Andrew Broom told AVweb on Wednesday. "We're not trying to raise all of our money via customers, but we are raising more money and thought we would ask our customers to participate," he said. If not enough customers come forward to raise at least $30 million, then Eclipse will refund the money, he added. More...

The Toughman Tie-Down Is Available Now at Aircraft Spruce
The new and unique multi-use rope-based tie-down system is easy to use, extremely lightweight, high-strength, and permanently corrosion-proof. The Toughman™ Tie-Down product package includes one rope clamp, ten feet of rope, and one corrosion-resistant steel hook. Features include quick lock and release, adjustable rope tension, no bouncing or vibration, and safety. The Toughman™ uses braided rope as the restraint, so loads can be safely secured without dangerous quot;elastic stretch" situations. Call Aircraft Spruce at 1-877-4-SPRUCE, or visit online.
Fossett Search, Columbia Bidding War Winding Downback to top 

As expected, Cessna was the top bidder for Columbia Aircraft, paying $26.4 million for "select assets" of the bankrupt Bend, Ore., planemaker. The bankruptcy auction was held Tuesday afternoon. CEO Jack Pelton said the company will invest money in the Bend plant, make sure existing owners are looked after and will keep making the two aircraft models under the name Cessna 350 and Cessna 400. "The Columbia models are a good fit with our existing product line," Pelton said in a news release. "We look forward to providing existing Columbia owners with improved levels of service and support and introducing new customers to these outstanding aircraft." More...

The wife of adventurer Steve Fossett, who vanished in September while flying over the Nevada desert, asked a court in Chicago to declare him dead on Monday. "As painful as it is for Mrs. Fossett, other members of the family and his many friends, it is time to initiate this process," lawyer Michael LoVallo told The Associated Press. The court petition clarified some details of the disappearance. It stated that Fossett was on a pure pleasure flight, not scouting for sites for a land speed record attempt, as was widely reported early on. The petition also confirmed that Fossett did not take along a watch he owned that was capable of sending out a distress signal, and he did not have a parachute on board. LoVallo said the court request is a necessary step to resolve the status of Fossett's estate, which he said is "vast, surpassing eight figures." More...

PowerLink™ FADEC Certified on Liberty XL-2; Is It Right for Your Aircraft?
Liberty Aerospace is the first certified piston-powered aircraft with PowerLink™ FADEC as standard equipment. PowerLink™ FADEC is now also available for several additional certified and experimental aircraft, including the A-36 Bonanza and VANS RV series. Find out how you can bring your aircraft into the state-of-the-art online.
Not Too Late to Voice Opinions on ADS-Bback to top 

The transition from radar to ADS-B is expected to take more than 13 years and may cost you, personally, close to $9,000. The FAA is now giving you an extra 60 days to add your thoughts on its Notice of Proposed Rule Making -- the comment deadline is now March 3. Currently, some forecasts expect the transition to cost the average aircraft owner about $9,000 in necessary equipment upgrades should ADS-B compliance become mandatory, as planned by 2020. All aircraft flying within Class B and C airspace and above 10,000 feet would need to carry the equipment. On the whole, the FAA predicts that the industry faces a projected investment of between $1.27 billion and $7.46 billion. More...

Make the AOPA WorldPoints Credit Card Your Card of Choice
Earn valuable points on all purchases: 2 points for every net retail dollar at thousands of FBOs, Sporty's, Pacific Coast Avionics, Gulf Coast Avionics, Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Company, King Schools, and on select AOPA products and services. Earn 1 point for every net retail dollar on everyday expenses. Redeem points for unlimited cash back, merchandise, travel, and unique experiences. Apply online now.
Light Sport & Homebuiltsback to top 

The Experimental Aviation Association is seeking to expand channels that would allow aircraft enthusiasts to build and fly their own airplane while participating less in that aircraft's construction process. The organization's latest push "supports the revision of the existing experimental 'Primary Kit Built' category to make this certification category readily available to consumers that desire to build their own personal aircraft without a restriction on the amount of commercial assistance they receive." The FAA has indicated that a new policy statement regarding amateur-built rules may be forthcoming in the new year. Note that EAA's board of directors last week voted to preserve existing amateur-building in support of "the 51-percent rule," which very appropriately allows certification in the experimental category for any aircraft built at least 51 percent by its owner. EAA says its new drive is simply pushing for FAA approval of alternatives for kit manufacturers and their customers. More...

The Light Sport Aircraft era faced a number of chicken-and-egg difficulties in getting launched, such as ensuring there would be enough flight instructors and mechanics to train students and maintain airplanes. Folks were cautious about buying aircraft if that infrastructure was sparse, but businesses were reluctant to invest until they were sure the market was there. Now, with more than 1,000 light sport aircraft sold and registered, those issues are starting to work themselves out. This week, Flight Design USA, which builds the top-selling LSA, said it has graduated 23 technicians, distributors, and dealers from its comprehensive engine and airframe training classes in the last year. Students in the week-long courses at Aero Technical Institute, in Sebring, Fla., learn about the Rotax 912 engine and the CTsw composite airframe. More...

If You're Looking For Aviation Insurance, Give Avemco a Call
— the ONLY direct provider of aviation insurance in the GA market.

Avemco Insurance Company
(888) 241-7891
or visit Avemco online
News Briefsback to top 

A Cirrus SR22 was on its second try to land at the Faribault airport in southern Minnesota on Sunday afternoon when it flipped over and burst into flames by the side of the runway. All four on board were killed. The pilot, Dr. Chester W. P. Mayo, 51, was a descendant of one of the founders of the famed Mayo Clinic. The others on board were his 17-year-old son and two of his friends, who were on their way back to school after the holiday. Winds were gusting at up to 20 knots, but officials weren't speculating as to whether that was a factor in the crash, and also didn't say why the pilot had aborted his first landing attempt. The airplane had departed from Aberdeen, .D. "There's very little left [of the airplane]," Faribault Police Chief Dan Collins told the Associated Press on Sunday. More...

Desperate for pilots to fill the cockpits of its expanding fleet, Air India made a deal with the Indian air force to offer a new career option to military pilots age 54 and over. But so far only nine pilots have agreed to join the airline, though dozens more are eligible, the Hindustan Times reported on Tuesday. "Civil aviation flying testing procedure is over-hyped and impractical, whereas the IAF procedure is more practical, result-oriented and operates within flight safety envelopes," a senior IAF official told the Times. The Air Force said it is not trying to get rid of the older pilots, but just trying to help out the struggling civilian sector. "At this age, an IAF pilot would have contributed adequately to the force," the IAF said in a statement. "To enable them to seek a second career option would help in utilising their duties in civil aviation flying, where one can fly till 65 years of age." More...

Diamond DA40 A Fleet Favorite
Airline Transport Professionals, Beijing PanAm, Empire Aviation, European-American Aviation, Middle Tennessee State University, Sabena Airline Training Academy, Utah Valley State College, and Utah State University have all selected the G1000-equipped Diamond DA40. For value, efficiency, and safety, the Diamond Aircraft DA40 is the fleet favorite. Go online for information on all Diamond Aircraft.
News from Around the Webback to top 

"To increase awareness and support for our airport," Linda and Mike Ely produced a video that puts the focus on that airport -- Liberty Municipal Airport (T78) in Liberty, Texas (population 9000). They say they thought it would be a good way to promote general aviation and their community airport and, they say, city officials are just now starting to pay attention. The Elys posted their 4:19 video, Tango Seventy-Eight, on YouTube. Airport and GA self-promotion ... a template for others? More...

J. Clarke McNeace of Mesa is NAFI's first Master CFI-Aerobatics...
Honda Aero broke ground Wednesday on its jet engine plant in N.C....
ATG has laid off workers from its Javelin jet program. More...

Make Plans Now to Attend a 2008 Savvy Aviator Seminar
Mike Busch has completed his very successful Savvy Owner Seminars for 2007. In 2008, he'll be conducting four more in Austin, Chicago, Las Vegas, and Norfolk. Sign up for one of these classes and learn how to save thousands of dollars on maintenance costs, year after year. Do it before your next annual inspection! For complete details (and to reserve your space), click here.
The Most Important Part of AVweb ... Is You!back to top 

The EAA is recommending a new class of kitbuilt aircraft where builders might not have to complete a strict "51%" of the process on their own. What do you think of this? Plus: Time magazine recently reported that 49% of pro pilots are "very happy" with their jobs. Find out how many AVweb readers lit up with smiles when we asked the same question last week. More...

Our sister publication, Aviation Consumer, will soon publish an in-depth report on aircraft batteries. As part of that report, the magazine would like to hear about your experiences with aircraft batteries -- good, bad or otherwise. To take part in our online survey, click here. More...

Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something that 130,000 pilots might want to know about, tell us. Submit news tips via email to newstips@avweb.com. What have you heard? More...

Get into the Cockpit!
Classic Cockpits is a series of high-quality DVDs that put you into the pilot's seat of some of the world's great airplanes. Be there for engine start, checklists, taxi, take-off, climb, cruise, descent, landing, and more. Titles currently available are: Flying the Legendary DC-3, Flying the PBY Catalina, and Flying the De Havilland Vampire. Order your DVD now online.
New on AVwebback to top 

Columns | Features | What's New | Calendar | Brainteasers

BrainteasersRun away! Run away! No, it's not that scary. You can turn the tables on an FAA spot-inspection by having your paperwork in order and answering a few questions.

Take the quiz.


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Monaco Air at Duluth International Airport (KDLH) in Duluth, Minnesota.

AVweb reader Armand Bendersky recommended the FBO for its friendliness and careful preparations, calling Monaco "a first-class operation with first-class folks":

[W]hen I told Holly were we were staying, she gently suggested that we could do better and proceeded to name about four hotels that were much better. Also, she said that Monaco had checked them out and arranged special rates for transient pilots. We got a great rate at her first choice. ... Also, she and the line manager were so helpful on our arrival. Our rental car had been pulled up and was running, as temps were in the teens.

Keep those nominations coming. For complete contest rules, click here.

AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!


Attention, Piper Owners and Pilots!
Join the fastest-growing and best association for Piper Flyers — the Piper Flyer Association (PFA), since 2004 providing same-day parts locating, faster answers to technical questions, an informative monthly magazine, online forums, national and regional events, an annual gathering, seminars, member discounts, and more for only $40 yearly. The PFA is located in the Blue Hangar on the Waupaca Municipal Airport (PCZ) in Waupaca, Wisconsin, 35 nm NW of Oshkosh. For more information, visit PiperFlyer.org.
Reader-Submitted Photosback to top 

While many of us were fighting the crowds on Friday morning trying to find that perfect bargain on a widescreen TV or iPod, quite a few AVweb readers opted to stay home and submit a few photos to our "Picture of the Week" contest. Most of you, in fact, did your submitting on Friday instead of scattering it out over the whole seven days. That's O.K. with us, though — especially considering the great pics we found waiting in the submission box once we'd finished digesting our Thanksgiving turkey. Brian Kilby of Newnan, Georgia kicks off the festivities this week with a photo he took during the Great Georgia Air Show a few weeks ago. (That's the incredible AeroShell Aerobatic Team overhead.) As Brian probably knows (but new readers may not), we'll be sending him a keen AVweb cap in the mail for submitting this week's top photo. Wear it with pride, Brian — but remember to hold it over your heart when they play the national anthem. More...

New Gift Ideas Have Been Added to AVweb's Holiday Marketplace
When purchasing gifts for family, friends, and flying buddies, go to AVweb's Holiday Marketplace. AVweb is the perfect place to find perfect gifts for pilots and aviation enthusiasts. And for yourself — forward the link to your family and friends as a hint as to what you want! It's easy online, with AVweb!
More AVweb for Your Inboxback to top 

HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVweb's NO-COST weekly business aviation newsletter, AVwebBiz? Reporting on breaking news, Business AVflash focuses on the companies, the products and the industry leaders that make headlines in the business aviation industry. Business AVflash is a must read. Sign up today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/. More...

Names Behind the Newsback to top 


AVwebFlash is a weekly summary of the latest news, articles, products, features, and events featured on AVweb, the internet's aviation magazine and news service.

The AVwebFlash team is:

Timothy Cole

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Russ Niles

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Features Editor
Kevin Lane-Cummings

Click here to send a letter to the editor. (Please let us know if your letter is not intended for publication.)

Comments or questions about the news should be sent here.

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