Aircraft Spruce, Proud Sponsor of WAA Northwest Aviation Conference & Trade Show
Come join Aircraft Spruce in Puyallup, Washington at booths 625, 627 and 629 on February 23-24, 2008 from 9am to 5pm Saturday and 10am to 4pm Sunday. Help celebrate the 25th anniversary of
this important aviation event. Take advantage of some of your favorite products on sale, complimentary ground shipping (does not apply to hazardous or oversize products), and a helpful staff to
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Some Pilots Minding the Gap Between Age-60 and
When Congress last year hurriedly passed the Fair Treatment for Experienced Pilots Act, which raised the mandatory retirement age for airline pilots to 65, nobody read the small print, say some
age-60-plus pilots who have lost their jobs. About 3,000 pilots who were required to retire between Nov. 23, 2006, and Dec. 13, 2007, were specifically barred from being rehired at their same
seniority levels, the Kansas City Star reported on Monday. The law also bars pilots from challenging the law in court. "I
just dont see how Congress can do that," said Lew Tetlow, president of the Senior Pilots Coalition. He plans to challenge the
law in federal court nonetheless. "The new law is poorly written and expressly denies carriers the right to treat older pilots fairly," says the group's lawyer, Jonathan Turley. "Congress clearly
enacted this law with little understanding of its implications," he said. He added that a legislative remedy would be preferable to a court fight.
The law says the retired pilots can be rehired by the airlines, but must be treated as a new hire, at the bottom of the pay and seniority scale.
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.
Almost twice as many light sport aircraft were sold in 2007 as in 2006, according to numbers compiled by Dan Johnson at bydanjohnson.com. By
year's end, 565 new fixed-wing LSAs had been registered, bringing the total fleet to 1,118 airplanes. Johnson said he expects the numbers to continue to grow. "I've forecast 1,000 units in 2008 and
doubling that again in another year or two," said Johnson. "If I'm right, LSA may someday meet or exceed all other single engine pistons in the USA." FlightDesign is holding on to the top spot, with
226 aircraft registered -- that's 20 percent of the fleet. The Legend Cub comes in second with 120 copies, and another 20 manufacturers that have each sold more than 10 aircraft. The LSA fleet also
includes another 277 aircraft in the weight shift, powered parachute, and glider categories.
When the FAA issued its complex Light Sport Aircraft rule about three years ago, owners of two-seat ultralights were issued a deadline of Jan. 31, 2008, to convert their aircraft to the
experimental-LSA category. More than 6,000 owners requested transition kits from EAA. With the deadline looming, applications have backlogged, as owners await required inspections by designated
airworthiness representatives, who are in short supply. EAA asked the FAA for more time, and last week, FAA granted an exemption. Owners still must get their registration application to the FAA on or
before Jan. 31. Then they can apply for an exemption to be allowed to complete the process.
Owners can go to the EAA Web site for more information. The FAA says the exemption will terminate on Jan. 31,
2010, unless sooner superseded or rescinded. (PDF)
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The FAA has adopted a final rule that imposes standardized training requirements and operational procedures aimed at curbing an increase in the number of accidents by Mitsubishi MU-2B aircraft. The
aircraft, which use spoilers for roll control rather than ailerons, were involved in a spate of accidents in 2004 and 2005, prompting calls by some to ground the fleet. Defenders of the ubiquitous
freight hauler argued there was nothing inherently wrong with the airplane, but agreed pilots needed to understand its quirks. The FAAs response is a Special Federal Air Regulation that creates
a common training regimen for pilots new to the high-wing twin turboprop. Theres also a new standardized cockpit checklist and the requirement that all aircraft have the revised Airplane Flight
Manual. Finally, the autopilot has to be working on all flights except in certain (rare) special conditions. The FAA studies enormous amounts of data looking for trends, FAA Associate
Administrator for Aviation Safety Nick Sabatini said in a news release. When we saw the rising accident rate for the MU-2B, we decided to take appropriate actions to bring the plane up to an
acceptable level of safety.
New technology now being studied in Europe can track aircraft by detecting tiny changes in the Earth's magnetic field, according to a recent report in ICTWeb. Structures that cause "shadows" for today's radar systems -- a
problem for ground surveillance at large, sprawling airports -- do not impair the magnetic field detectors. Recent tests of the system in
Greece and Germany showed that it could detect 100 percent of the passing aircraft, and pinpointed their location to within 7.5 meters [25 feet], a level of accuracy comparable to most existing air
traffic management systems, says researcher Haibin Gao. The system uses an array of small, cheap sensor units, which could be as small as a coin in the future. They can be installed at the entry and
exit points of each runway, and would be affordable even for small airports.
The researchers now are looking for investors to certify the technology and bring it to the market.
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.
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Aviation is a growing industry, and that means manufacturers, flight schools, airlines and maintenance shops all need trained workers. To fill that need, a coalition of business and education leaders
in central Florida is working on a plan to build a new aviation-themed campus at Orlando International Airport, the Orlando Sentinel reported on Tuesday. The campus would involve a half-dozen colleges,
including Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the Florida Institute of Technology, the universities of Central Florida and South Florida, Valencia Community College, and the National Aviation
Academy, a Tampa-based trade school for aircraft mechanics. The airport campus would offer courses in a wide range of aviation topics, from avionics and aerospace engineering to human resources and
transportation logistics, according to the Sentinel. Companies such as AirTran, JetBlue Airways, Continental Airlines, Cessna Aircraft and FlightSafety International need workers in the Orlando area.
The plan is still in a preliminary stage, and millions of dollars would have to be raised. But supporters say it would be a good investment in the region's economic future
Just a day after five teenagers were killed while speeding down a runway in a BMW at a private Florida airport, a woman was arrested for allegedly driving drunk on a runway at Grand Junction Regional
Airport, in Colorado. The 36-year-old woman was found by police just after 3 a.m., when her car got stuck. "The vehicle was high-centered on electrical conduits and the wheels spun as she applied the
accelerator," the officer wrote in an arrest affidavit, according to the Vail Daily. Police at the scene
contacted air traffic controllers, who said there were no inbound aircraft. The woman reportedly failed field sobriety tests and was charged with driving under the influence, driving with a suspended
license, second-degree trespassing and careless driving, according to the Vail Daily. Meanwhile, investigators in Florida said the 18-year-old driver of the BMW had gone online hours before the crash, seeking advice about how to handle the car at high speeds.
One member of the online forum responded that "an 18 year old behind the wheel of an M5 is what accidents are made of IMO." The $80,000 BMW M-5 sedan has a top speed of 155 mph, according to the BMW Web site.
Precise Flight's High-Intensity Discharge Landing & Taxi Light Systems ...
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benefits of HID lighting. The PreciseLite HID landing light, approved for Cessna and Piper models, is now approved for Beechcraft Bonanzas with cowl-mounted lights replacing the existing cowl
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Air Canada has retired one of the most famous Boeing 767s in pilot lore. Fleet no. 604 was flown to a storage area in the Mojave Desert, Thursday, 25 years after surviving, along with its crew of
eight and 61 passengers, one of the most amazing dead-stick landings ever attempted. After the computerized fuel gauges on the then state-of-the-art aircraft failed because of a faulty solder joint,
the ground crew decided to dip the tanks to ensure there was enough fuel for the 2,000-mile trip from Montreal to Edmonton. What they didn't know is that the dip gauges were calibrated in centimeters
rather than inches and since a centimeter is less than half an inch, nowhere enough fuel was put on board. Sure enough, about half way through the trip, near the border of Ontario and Manitoba, both
engines quit. Fortunately, Capt. Robert Pearson was a trained glider pilot and what happened next earned a footnote in airline history.
Pearson and First Officer Maurice Quintal calculated the glide potential of the airliner and determined they wouldn't make it to Winnipeg, the nearest airport of any size. Quintal, a former
military pilot had served at an abandoned air force base in the small town of Gimli, Manitoba and the numbers, along with a long runway, looked good to both men. Pearson was high and hot on final but
side slipped the 767 to a rough but safe landing that collapsed the nose gear but did little damage. The landing intruded on a day at the races for some go cart enthusiasts who were using the
abandoned concrete but no one was hurt. The plane was flown away after two days of repairs and remained in uneventful service until Pearson, Quintal and several of the flight attendants on board that
day accompanied it on its final flight to California.
An Air Canada 767 en route to London diverted to Shannon Airport in Ireland on Monday morning and the first officer was taken off the aircraft by medical personnel. Local news reports said the pilot
was taken to a psychiatric hospital for evaluation and may have suffered a nervous breakdown, but officials would not confirm those reports. "This is an issue around one of our employee's health,"
airline spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick told reporters.
"We're quite limited in what we can say. There are privacy concerns." The 146 passengers on board were never in danger, he said. "We have standard operating procedures in place to deal with these
situations and at no time was the safety of anybody compromised." The passengers were transferred to another airplane with a fresh crew and arrived in London eight hours late.
Sources told the Irish Independent newspaper that the
co-pilot began "acting in a peculiar manner and was talking loudly to himself," during the last hour of the trans-Atlantic crossing.
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A German travel agency says it will offer the country's first-ever nude tourist flight in July, flying up to 55 passengers to a Baltic beach resort in a chartered aircraft. "It's an unusual gap in the
market," travel director Enrico Hess told Reuters.
Passengers cannot undress until they are on board, he said. "But then they will be able to enjoy the hour-long flight in the way God intended." Commenters at the Web site for Britain's Telegraph were uncomfortable with the concept. "Rubbing more than shoulders unclothed [in
narrow airline seating] is statistically unlikely to be an agreeable experience," says one. "Wouldn't any exit down escape-chutes guarantee friction burns? These questions demand not so much answers
as a cover-up." The world's first nudist flight was offered by a U.S. company in 2003.
Castaways Travel organized the "Naked Air" flight from Texas to Cancun, on a Boeing 737. They noted that no hot drinks were served on board, all 90 passengers were required to dress for takeoff and
landing, beach towels were distributed to cover the seats, and the crew remained in uniform throughout the flight.
The Aviation Weather Center in Kansas City, the nation's primary source of weather information for flying, has named Robert Maxson, a veteran research pilot, as its new director ...
"Space weather" scientists in the U.K., who work to protect communication and navigation systems from solar and space threats, are devastated by budget cuts ...
VirginGalactic will have a "significant exhibit" at AirVenture in Oskhosh this summer, says
StickyCharts Beautiful Wall Decoration & Flight Planning Charts
Your favorite FAA charts printed on removable adhesive backing. Easily map your route with dry-erase markers. Up to 4 feet tall, StickyCharts are delivered in a sturdy tube. Makes a great
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With the letters LSA on everyone's lips following the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo, we thought last week would be as good a time as any to ask when AVweb readers might make their first
light sport aircraft purchase.
At press time, your responses to our question are pretty evenly split, with a third of readers telling they don't ever plan to buy one, a third saying We'll see how it goes, and
another third either owning an LSA now or planning to buy one in the next five years.
For the complete breakdown of reader answers,
click here. (You may be asked to register and answer, if you haven't already
participated in this poll.)
THIS WEEK'S QUESTION ***
The Governor of Alaska is proposing that aircraft owners be offered low-interest loans to equip
their aircraft with avionics that will be required under the FAA's NextGen airspace management system. Should similar subsidies be offered to owners in Hawaii and the Lower 48, or should the
government be even more involved?
Our sister publication, Aviation Consumer, is preparing a report on interior shops. If you recently had an interior redone, the editors would like to hear from you, whether the experience was
good or bad.
The results will appear in a future issue of Aviation Consumer. For subscription information, click here.
Make Plans Now to Attend a 2008 Savvy Aviator Seminar
Mike Busch will be conducting three of his Savvy Aviator Seminars in 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.
On November 2, 2007, an F-15C with the 110th Fighter Squadron (of the 131st Fighter Wing) broke up while conducting an air-to-air training mission. This video, produced by Glenn Pew for AVweb, covers the military investigative board's findings.
Diamond DA40 A Fleet Favorite
Airline Transport Professionals: Beijing PanAm, Empire Aviation, European-American Aviation, Galvin Flying Services, Middle Tennessee State University, Sabena Airline Training Academy, Utah Valley
State College, Utah State University, and many more have all selected the G1000-equipped Diamond DA40. For value, efficiency, and safety, the Diamond Aircraft DA40 is the fleet
Go online for
information on all Diamond Aircraft.
In a week filled with stellar FBO recommendations, our "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Epic Aviation at KEVB in New Smyrna Beach,
According to AVweb reader Robert Edelson, Epic really stepped up to the plate on a recent visit, despite having their hands full with other pilots:
The self-service pump was inop, but they refueled me by truck at the same price. Furthermore, they changed by CHT probe and cleaned a partially-blocked injector plus moved and returned our plane to
its tie-down by tug, all for a time charge of one and half hours. They operate a busy flight-training operation, maintaining 20 aircraft, yet they graciously took the time to help me ... all for a
Each week, we go through dozens (and sometimes hundreds) of reader-submitted photos and pick the very best to share with you on Thursday mornings. The top photos are featured
on AVweb's home page, and one photo that stands above the others is awarded an AVweb baseball cap as our "Picture of the Week." Want to see your
photo on AVweb.com? Click here to submit it to our weekly contest.
*** THIS WEEK'S WINNERS ***
A slight dip in the number submissions this week has turned out to be a blessing in disguise. For one thing, we can run a few more of last week's incredible photos in our home page slideshow. (Seriously, we almost had enough from last week to have run a second "POTW" column!)
While the quantity may be lower this week, the quality certainly isn't! We can't recall when we've had a tougher time deciding which of our finalists should receive heaping accolades (and a free
AVweb baseball cap) but somehow we managed to agree on this incredible shot from J.T. Vink of Terre Haute, Indiana.
J.T.'s shot was taken at KLXV in Leadville, Colorado, ELV 9927 (according to J.T.), which means she was about as close to returning as she could get with her landing gear on the ground.
Here's a question for AVweb readers out there: Why do so many Pitts photos end up as desktop wallpaper around "POTW" headquarters? It's not a special affinity for the airplane
just that we seem to end up with a lot of great Pitts pictures. (Are they packaging digital cameras with these things?)
Oops we almost forgot to mention that this is Deborah Grigsby Smith of Englewood, Colorado contributing to our desktop wallpaper file!
(If you like watching airplanes take off from Colorado's Everitt Field, keep reading. We've got another below!)
Mark Reed of Seattle, Washington made a "precautionary landing at Valparaiso, Indiana (VPZ)" when thunderstorms and hail threatened his just-completed
Glasair Sportsman 2+2. Thankfully, some kind souls lent him the use of a hangar while the storm passed over, so we can safely assume Mark's paint job is as gorgeous today and seen here.
A quick note for submitters: If you've got several
photos that you feel are "POTW" material, your best bet is to submit
them one-a-week! That gives your photos a greater chance of seeing
print on AVweb, and it makes the selection process a little easier on
us, too. ;)
A Reminder About Copyrights: Please take a moment to consider the
source of your image before submitting to our "Picture of the Week" contest.
If you did not take the photo yourself, ask yourself if you are indeed
authorized to release publication rights to AVweb. If you're uncertain,
send us an e-mail.
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/.
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:
Publisher Timothy Cole
Editorial Director, Aviation Publications Paul Bertorelli
Editor-in-Chief Russ Niles
Managing Editor Meredith Saini
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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