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Cirrus Design co-founder Dale Klapmeier said a prototype of the company's single-engine personal jet will probably make at least a fly-by at EAA AirVenture this summer. However, he told AVweb
in an exclusive interview that the jet may not be ready for static display at the show. The Duluth, Minn., manufacturer has taken more than 400 deposits of $100,000 each for the jet, but the final
price hasn't been disclosed. Klapmeier said the project is a few weeks behind schedule, due in part to difficulties in hiring qualified engineers who are willing to relocate to Duluth. He said the
company is actively recruiting but is not going to extraordinary means, such as offering cash incentives, to convince people to take the plunge. Michael Van Staagen, Cirrus vice president of advanced
development, said that the roughly 120 people currently assigned to the jet project have not yet moved into the company's recently acquired hangar space at the Duluth International Airport, where the
jets will be produced. The hangar, formerly used by Northwest Airlines for maintenance, does not have the requisite network connections, Van Staagen said, but Cirrus is working on it.
The former lead investor in bankrupt Symphony Aircraft Industries has formed a new company and hopes to resume production of the two-seat aircraft. Lou Simons told AVweb in an exclusive
interview that the new company, North American Factory for Technologically Advanced Aircraft (NAFTAA), is aiming at an initial production rate of at least 80 aircraft a year. Location of the factory
hasn't been confirmed but the former company's Trois Rivières, Quebec, facility is in the running. Symphony filed for bankruptcy last year. Simons announced at EAA AirVenture last July that he
was hopeful the company could be revived. Simons said there are plans for new models and options and the name of the aircraft and company may also be changed. Simons said new Symphonies (or whatever
they're called) will have increased fuel capacity, that a diesel option is being considered and that a 200-hp version with a constant speed prop is also in the cards. A four-place model may be
offered, but the company will concentrate on the existing, type-certificated 160 model at first. Were going after the flight training market first, Simons told AVweb.
This aircraft is ideal for schools. He said a less-expensive version will be available for the training sector. Simons said reducing outsourcing and cutting production costs are key to
reviving the aircraft.
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A downturn in the stock market made it appealing for 143 senior pilots at American Airlines to call it quits Thursday, according to
American. The airline says the departed were watching the falling stock market and decided to lock in the value of their retirement plans by jumping ship. An AA pilot can lock part of his pension
plan's value three months ahead of an announced retirement date, but can either retire or withdraw his notice at the end of that three months depending on his perception of the market. With pilots now
allowed to stay on to age 65, senior pilots must weigh the value of those extra years against the value of their pension portfolios. American employs about 9,000 pilots, but in anticipation of
Thursday's fallout canceled 28 flights (mostly long-haul routes flown on Boeing 777 aircraft by senior pilots) scheduled for February. The cancellations represent about one-tenth of one percent of
AA's entire February schedule. The move brought some quick winter heat from the Allied Pilots Association (APA). The APA is framing American's strategy in the union's weekly newsletter as "inept
decision-making in manning this airline," which it believes is understaffed. Cuts in training capacity at American may also make it slower to respond to an increased demand for pilots. APA is
currently engaged in contract talks with the airline. American last year canceled more flights than any network carrier -- 2.7 percent of its schedule, according to early statistics by
Flightstats.com. American Airlines officials have proposed changes to retirement plans that would dissolve some of the flexibility built into the current programs.
The only U.S. base still using T-2 Buckeye aircraft, Pensacola NAS, will put that distinction to rest with a ceremony to take place in
early August as the base makes way for the new T-45 Goshawk. The T-2 saw its 50th anniversary as an active military aircraft pass on Jan. 31. It made its first showing at Pensacola in November of
1959, nearly a year after its introduction, and proved its staying power long after. The aircraft was used to teach air-to-air techniques and train airmen to drop munitions while preparing the pilots
for jets. Pensacola instructors and maintenance crew will be trained in Meridian, Miss., to tangle with the Goshawk, which offers contemporary avionics and technology similar to modern fighter jets.
New pilots may welcome the change. Older ones may wonder if the Goshawk can possibly outlast the T-2 ... or if they can soon find a Buckeye on eBay.
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The Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) is warning pilots they should be concerned that revisions to a regulation's wording
could mean mandatory installation of 406 ELTs in all Canadian aircraft -- and transient aircraft, too. In a letter from Kevin Psutka, president and CEO, Canadian Owners and Pilots Association, Psutka
states that "low-cost alternatives to ELTs have all but been ruled out for our sector of aviation." Because the U.S. does not mandate 406 ELTs, "thousands of U.S. aircraft will be banned from Canada,"
posing a particular problem for aircraft transiting to and from Alaska. COPA is advising its members that the next opportunity for comment will be when the draft regulation is publicly announced.
While COPA seeks alternatives, it is also advising members in the market for an ELT to equip with a 406 ELT. "The battery must not be LiSO2 and, for a 406 ELT, it must be coded for Canada and
registered with the National Search and Rescue Secretariat."
Pilots may not like sharing airspace with unmanned aircraft, but many like the temporary flight restrictions that often accompany UAVs even
less -- so here's the good news. A recent decision by the FAA to issue an advisory NOTAM instead of a flight restriction for unmanned military aircraft operations has AOPA voicing its approval. "This
needs to be the template for other locations where unmanned aircraft are used, said Andy Cebula, AOPA executive vice president of government affairs. AOPA was encouraged by the FAA's apparent
consideration of "the needs of civil aviation" balanced with those of the military. The NOTAM advises pilots flying near Cherry Point, N.C. (and more specifically warns those pilots transitioning
through Alert Area A-530) of the unmanned vehicle's expected altitude (2500-3500 feet) and "strongly advises" those aircraft flying without encoding transponders to steer clear unless in contact with
Cherry Point Approach.
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The Department of Environmental Protection Dec. 25 formally requested that the EPA take action including "removal and remediation
duties" at seven facilities that house radium dial instruments. The facilities, owned by Strube Inc. and located in Lancaster Country, Pa., had been the subject of visits and inspections by the DEP,
which found Strube uncommitted to meet previously outlined cleanup deadlines. Deemed "hazardous materials," the aged instruments that may no longer be used in aircraft must be "identified and properly
disposed of" because Strube had "improperly stored" them, according to the EPA. Strube officials claim there is no public health threat. Strube's warehouses may contain an estimated 20,000 of the
instruments hidden among some 58 million aircraft components, according Strube. The instruments may have been there since the 1950s. Strube had been issued a license "to possess and dispose of" all
radioactive material at its facilities and has "made progress in properly containing hazardous materials at its facilities." The EPA judged Strube had offered no progress in the removal of radioactive
materials. Strube had hired security guards and recently hired a licensed contractor to handle the cleanup of two warehouses.
An Indian newspaper says India's Minister of Civil Aviation has overruled his own department and ordered reinstatement of the operating certificate of a flight school that allegedly rubber-stamped the
conversion of foreign pilot's licenses to Indian permits. According to the Sunday Express, Civil Aviation
Minister Praful Patel approved the resumption of business by Carver Aviation Academy in Baramati a week after the Directorate General of Civil Aviation closed it down for allegedly fraudulently
granting Indian licenses to 25 pilots who had been trained in the U.S. and Canada. India does not recognize those credentials and requires "conversion tests" before pilots holding foreign certificates
are allowed to fly. The ministry alleges that, for a fee, Carver signed off on the Indian conversions without actually testing the pilots. [more] Those pilots now face the loss of their licenses and
could be charged criminally. At least four Carver employees were arrested and charged for alleged financial irregularities related to the affair. Meanwhile, it's business as usual at the flight
school, with lessons being conducted and aircraft in the air daily. In ordering the school's certificate reinstated, the government appeared to acknowledge the irregularities uncovered by the
investigation and directs staff to ensure a strict monitoring system to avoid recurrence of such malpractices, not only in Carver Aviation Academy, but in all other flying training
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The NTSB is investigating the diversion of an American Airlines Boeing 757 to West Palm Beach, Fla., after smoke from a windshield heater filled the cockpit and the inner glass shattered on
Friday. A similar incident (without the shattered glass) forced the diversion of another American 757 on Wednesday ...
The crash of an F-15D off Hawaii has raised more questions about the safety of the Air Force's fleet. The pilot of the Hawaiian Air National Guard Eagle ejected safely after reporting
control problems ...
There were no fatalities in the off-airport landing of a Boeing 727 in Bolivia on Friday. The aircraft reportedly landed gear up on a flooded field about three miles from the Trinidad
Airport and only some of the 151 passengers and crew were slightly injured ...
Six people aboard a King Air were killed Friday when the aircraft crashed while trying to land at Mount Airy Airport in North Carolina. Witnesses said the crash occurred during a
Rotax has amended a service bulletin on certain 912 and 914-series engines concerning abnormal wearing of the valve lifters. The serial number range of affected engines has been narrowed
down and mandatory magnetic plug inspection has been added. More details are available at Rotax-Owner.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.
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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.
Attention, Cessna Owners and Pilots! Join the fastest-growing and best association for Cessna Flyers the Cessna Flyer Association (CFA), since 2004 providing same-day parts locating, faster answers to technical
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According to AVweb reader Scott A. Hauert, "These folks embody the spirit of aviators helping aviators" and after hearing his story, we tend to agree.
Scott arrived early the morning for what he'd planned as a three-day stay in Page. "Bob, the Chief Pilot, could not have been more helpful if he had to," writes Scott. "He opened the FBO an hour
early so we could stay on [a tight] schedule." When mechanical troubles reared their head, Scott became worried he wouldn't be able to get back, so Bob stayed late ("the same day he picked us up
early") to let him back into the hangar. And when Scott had to leave bright and early the following morning, "one of the linemen picked us up."
In case you've lost count, this year marks the 25th anniversary of the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, Wis. In this AVweb audio feature, EAA's Dick Knapinski tells Mike Blakeney about
some of the major 2008 events scheduled to celebrate a significant milestone for this one-of-a-kind world-class museum.
An AVweb reader pointed us in the direction of this week's video as "a reminder of the days when it was fun to be an airline pilot." The video is a compilation of footage shot by
pilots, staff and support personnel on the last day of operations for Provincetown Boston Airlines, all edited together and set to music by YouTuber DPatrickSutton.
Don't forget to send us links to any interesting videos you find out there. If you're impressed by it,
there's a good chance other AVweb readers will be too. And if we use a video you recommend on AVweb, we'll send out an official AVweb baseball cap as a "thank you."
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.
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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:
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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
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