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JET EXPECTED TO FLY AT AIRVENTURE
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.
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
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FEARS SPARK RETIREMENTS/CANCELLATIONS AT AA?
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). More...
BUCKEYES TO RETIRE
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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ELT'S MANDATED IN CANADA?
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.
PRAISES UAV NOTAM
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
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CLEANS UP RADIUM INSTRUMENTS FOR STRUBE
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 to Strube. The instruments may have been there
since the 1950s. More...
SCHOOL BACK FLYING DESPITE FRAUD ALLEGATIONS
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. More...
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THE FLY ...
Smoke forces diversion of American 757s
F-15D crash raises more safety concerns ...
All survive 727
off-airport landing in Bolivia ...
Six die in King Air crash in
North Carolina ...
Rotax issues service bulletin on 912- and
914-series engines. More...
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US ABOUT YOUR INTERIOR SHOP
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. To take part in the online
survey, click here.
The results will appear in a
future issue of Aviation Consumer. For subscription information,
click here. More...
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OF THE WEEK: AMERICAN AVIATION WEST (KPGA IN PAGE, AZ)
"FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to American
Aviation West at KPGA in Page, Arizona.
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
Now that's what we call first-rate service!
Keep those nominations
coming. For complete contest rules, click here.
actively seeking out the best FBOs in the country and another one,
submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!
MONDAY PODCAST: EAA'S AIRVENTURE MUSEUM TURNS 25 THIS YEAR
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. More...
OF THE WEEK: CLOSING THE CURTAINS ON PROVINCETOWN BOSTON AIRLINES
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. (Click through to watch.)
Overheard on a recent trip from Cross City to
DeLand (Fla.), with flight following provided by Orlando
destination is 12 o'clock 10 miles. Advise you have destination in
"Approach, 345 has
destination in sight."
"Cardinal 345, Squawk VFR, frequency change
approved, no traffic observed between you and your present
Cardinal (pilot to
"I think that's good!"
Ann Ediger More...
THE AVWEBFLASH TEAM
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.
AVwebFlash team is:
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
Have a product or service to advertise
on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's
If you're having
trouble reading this newsletter in its HTML-rich format (or if you'd
prefer a lighter, simpler format for your PDA or handheld device),
there's also a text-only version of AVwebFlash. For complete
instructions on making the switch, click
Navigate. Communicate. More...