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Volume 13, Number 49b
December 6, 2007
Adam, Cirrus, Diamond, Liberty ...
The most respected new aircraft on the market all choose Continental engines. Bring your aircraft up to speed with a genuine Continental engine. Select from factory-new, factory-rebuilt, or factory-backed overhauls by Mattituck. Add value to your aircraft and the peace-of-mind that you're flying behind the best — Continental. Click here for further details.
The Skies Above and the Runways Belowback to top 
Sponsor Announcement

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is being flooded with petitions from various sources to do more to curb greenhouse-gas pollution from aircraft. While the called-for measures are mostly aimed at airlines and large aircraft, general aviation, especially the business sector, is not likely to escape scrutiny. On Wednesday, a consortium of state and regional governments and environmental groups urged the agency to address the effects of pollution from the world's aircraft fleet. The petitions are the first step in a process that requires the EPA to evaluate the current impacts of aircraft emissions, seek public comment and develop rules to reduce aircraft emissions or explain why it will not act. "The commercial airlines already are driven to be as fuel efficient and environmentally conscious as possible," said David Castleveter, spokesman for the Air Transport Association. U.S. airlines have improved their fuel efficiency 103 percent since 1978, he said, and ATA member airlines have committed to another 30-percent improvement by 2025. Petitions were filed by the Attorneys General of California, Connecticut, New Jersey and New Mexico; the South Coast Air Quality Management District (Southern California); the City of New York; the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection; and the District of Columbia. More...

Despite FAA efforts to improve safety, the rate of runway incursions has not decreased in the last five years, according to a report released Wednesday by the Government Accountability Office. The report also notes that air traffic controller fatigue continues to be a matter of concern. As of May 2007, at least 20 percent of the controllers at 25 facilities, including towers at some of the country's busiest airports, were regularly working six-day weeks. The FAA's Office of Runway Safety has not carried out its leadership role in recent years, the report says, and technology upgrades that could enhance safety are behind schedule. The GAO concludes that the FAA needs a new national runway safety plan, better data about runway overruns and ramp accidents, and a plan to address controller overtime and fatigue issues. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association was quick to respond. "The facts are crystal clear: Both the NTSB and the GAO are now on record saying controller fatigue affects runway safety," said NATCA President Patrick Forrey in a statement on Wednesday. "There is nowhere else the FAA can run and hide from this staffing crisis and deny its existence." More...

Aircraft Spruce Now Carries VpCI-326 Corrosion Inhibitor Oil Additive
VpCI-326 is an approved Lycoming engine oil additive for prevention of oxidation of all metals. Designed for use in engine oil at 1:10 concentration, VpCI (Vapor-Phase Corrosion Inhibitors) will protect your engine from corrosion (in solution and in all void spaces) for up to 3 years during storage. It is nitrite-free, non-toxic, and thermally stable, providing long-lasting contact and vapor-phase corrosion protection. Call Aircraft Spruce at 1 (877) 4-SPRUCE or visit Aircraft Spruce online.
Pizzas, Parts and PayPalback to top 

The Red Baron Squadron, a team of four vintage Stearman biplanes that has flown formation aerobatics at air shows for 28 years, will fly no more (PDF), the team's sponsor, the Schwan Food Company, said this week. "The Red Baron Squadron has been an incredible asset to our company and we are very proud of its long, successful history," said Bill McCormack, executive vice president. "The retail grocery industry has experienced considerable change over the past few years. And, as a result, we have decided to refocus our Red Baron marketing program and to discontinue the Red Baron Squadron." The team flew at more than 2,000 airshows and gave rides to more than 80,000 passengers. They won the Art Scholl Award in 1995 and the Bill Barber Award in 1993. More...

CubCrafters, of Yakima, Wash., announced this week that it will sell its 27-year inventory of used, pre-owned and "new old stock" Super Cub and similar parts through eBay. "Ultimately, we'll get listed just about anything and everything that ever went on a Super Cub," said CubCrafters President Todd Simmons. That includes engines and engine components, landing gear, cowlings, instruments, control surfaces, wings and wing tips, tail feathers, wheels, tires, brakes, hardware, and more. Items will be added over the coming weeks as detailed descriptions and photos are prepared for each listing. "That effort will take some time," Simmons said. Items already on the site range from switches and cables with starting bids as low as $1.25, to a Continental O-200 engine with a reserve of $3,100. More...

Zulu Time ... From Lightspeed
The new Zulu headset looks different because it is different. Made with magnesium, stainless steel, and four types of composite plastics, it's extremely durable and yet weighs just over 13 ounces. Rather than concentrating purely on cutting decibels, Lightspeed engineers looked at how pilots perceive noise at different frequencies. You get broader noise attenuation over the entire audible range. Zulu has more total noise cancellation than any headset on the market. Click here for a dealer near you.
Taxes and Fees Threaten Pilot Pocketbooksback to top 

That's the question that Steve Kahn and dozens of other pilots are wondering about, after being hit by the state of Maine with tax bills in the thousands of dollars for flying into the state. Kahn, an investment advisor who lives in Boston, flies his Cirrus SR-22 frequently into Maine to visit a summer home and other destinations, and as a volunteer with Angel Flight. He's been doing that since 2003, but this year, he got a tax bill from the state of Maine saying he owes them a "use tax" that totals over $26,000 with interest. Kahn says he had no way of knowing that flying in Maine would trigger the tax until he got the bill. "It's so unreasonable and unfair," he says. He has hired a lawyer to appeal the assessment, but since the appeal is heard by the state tax division, he doesn't have much hope of success. If the appeal is denied, he can take the matter to court, but then expenses will pile up fast. "I'm willing to fight this on principle," he says. "But there is a point where you just give up, even though you know you're right." AOPA has been talking with officials in Maine. More...

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, has been named to succeed Sen. Trent Lott on the Senate Aviation Subcommittee. When longtime Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., announced last week that he will leave the Senate at year's end, that raised questions about what will happen next in the user-fee fight in Congress. Lott is the ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on Aviation, where he has been a proponent of user fees. On Wednesday, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, was named to serve as the new ranking member of the Subcommittee, and the National Business Aviation Association was glad to hear it. "The Senator is very knowledgeable on aviation issues and has an in-depth understanding of general aviation," said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. "NBAA looks forward to working with Senator Hutchison and the other Subcommittee members to advance our aviation system, which is the world's largest, safest and most efficient." AOPA spokesman Chris Dancy said his organization is looking forward to working with Sen. Hutchison. "She voted with general aviation earlier this year on an important amendment that would have stripped user fees from the Senate's version of the FAA reauthorization bill," he told AVweb. More...

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.
Science & Adventureback to top 

Sir Richard Branson is among the latest graduates of a two-day training program for space tourists. Future passengers who have reserved seats to fly into space aboard SpaceShipTwo have started their training at the National Aerospace Training and Research Center, a private company based in Bucks County, Pa. Sir Richard Branson completed his course this week. "It was an amazing experience," he said. "I really felt like I was launching into space." About 60 of the first 100 Virgin Galactic customers have completed the two-day course, which exposes students to simulated flight conditions and G-forces. The course is as much about anxiety reduction as it is about physiological training, says Dick Leland, president of the NASTAR Center. "You can practice what you will feel on the actual launch, so when that day comes, you can say to yourself, 'Hey, I've experienced this before, and I did just fine. I think I'll look out the window and enjoy my ride.'" The test flight program for SpaceShipTwo and its launch aircraft WhiteKnightTwo is expected to begin next summer, with the first flight into space in the following year. More...

It may seem obvious that the surface of an airplane should be as smooth as possible to minimize aerodynamic drag, but that's not really the case. A bit of roughness can break up the boundary layer and improve efficiency. Sharks, with skin formed of rough scales called denticles, can slip through the water at speeds of up to 60 mph with minimal drag. This week, The Lindbergh Foundation awarded a grant to Dr. Amy Lang, at the University of Alabama, to study whether the surface texture on the skin of fast-swimming sharks, capable of bristling their scales when in pursuit of prey, could be mimicked and used to reduce the drag on aircraft. "If we can successfully show there is a significant effect, future applications to reduce drag of aircraft and underwater vehicles could be possible," said Lang. The technology has the potential to increase aerodynamic efficiency up to 30 percent, with savings of billions of dollars and substantial reductions in fuel burn and emissions. More...

What Is the True Age of an Aircraft?
Take the Air Safety Foundation's new online course — Aging Aircraft — to learn what factors affect aircraft aging and how to mitigate their risks. You'll get invaluable tips on how to recognize the symptoms of aircraft aging. Includes complimentary Buying and Renting Guides and information on manufacturer issues. Take this no-cost, online course now.
News Briefsback to top 

Pilots who accidentally violate TFRs won't be prosecuted, FAA said ...
New, faster King Air B200GT has received FAA approval ...
Berlin's historic Tempelhof Airport will close next year ...
Able Flight offers aviation-oriented holiday gifts at their eBay Store. 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...

AFSS Is Up to Speed. And Gaining Altitude.
The new automated flight services system is here. Revolutionizing flight service operations. Reducing legacy sites. Bringing 15 upgraded sites and three hubs online. Retaining 1,200 specialists. Marrying local needs with national information sources. The result: ever-improving levels of performance. And a future of efficient, effective service that give general aviation pilots more flexibility than they've ever thought possible. To see for yourself, visit AFSS.com.
New on AVwebback to top 

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

AVweb's Liz Moscrop reports on possible gifts for GA coming from several European aviation authorities. More...


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Montgomery County Aviation at KLOM's Wings Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

AVweb reader Brett Justus recommended the FBO, telling us that "'Brotherly Service' is abundant at this FBO":

I received exceptional service all the way around. Most notably, though, I needed a quick aircraft wash for some important clients the next morning (potential investors), and there was only an hour and a half of daylight left. The entire staff jumped on it immediately to get it done and charged a ridiculously low price. Definitely the place to land if you're going to Philly!

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!


Bennett Avionics: Used Avionics Guidance You Can Trust
Used avionics is Bennett Avionics' only business! Bennett Avionics has served general aviation worldwide with reliable and quality used avionics for over 30 years. Bennett Avionics can help you meet your avionics needs, improve the capability of your aircraft, and maintain your budget. Call Bennett Avionics at (860) 653-7295, or go online for a complete list of available products.
Chime In — We Want to Hear Your Voiceback to top 

The Environmental Protection Agency says it's getting a lot of inquiries from people concerned about the impact of aviation on the environment. What should aviation's response be: Is it time to limit our flying for the sake of the environment? Plus: What did readers think of the EAA's move to create a new class of kitplane not necessarily bound by the "51% Rule" when we asked them 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...

Collier Trophy Collectible Medallion Series 3 Now Available
NAA's Collier Trophy Centennial Medallion Series 3 is now available for gift-giving or for your own collection, along with Series 1 and 2. A commemorative card encases a heavy metal medallion showing the Collier Trophy on one side and an image of the F-22 Raptor on the reverse. Series 1 reverse shows SpaceShipOne, and Series 2 reverse shows the Eclipse 500. Visit NAA's merchandise section to view and order.
Reader-Submitted Photosback to top 

As the holiday season gets more frantic, AVweb readers are still making time to send us their original photographs. This week's winner, Timothy O'Connor of Cincinnati, Ohio, is a regular contributor to our "Picture of the Week" contest, and it's a nice surprise to find his name on this week's winning photo. We've been marveling at Tim's snapshots for two or three years now (maybe longer?), and there's no AVwebber out there who's worked harder to earn a baseball cap. 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.
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...

There's Only 19 Shopping Days — Choose Gifts from AVweb's Holiday Marketplace
When purchasing gifts for family, friends, and flying buddies, go to AVweb's Holiday Marketplace. AVweb is the 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!
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.

Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's sales team.

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