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Volume 14, Number 6b
February 7, 2008
Announcing the Online MBA for Aviation Professionals
from Daniel Webster College

Did you know that professionals with an MBA earn an average of $10,000 to $30,000 more per year? Within 27 months, you can be one of them!

Daniel Webster College MBA for Aviation Professionals is a fully-accredited, 100%-online program built for the busy schedule of the aviation professional. Being "on the road" is no longer a barrier to career advancement. Call (866) 458-7525 or click here for more information.
Reeling in the Wake of Silver State Closingback to top 

Shocked by the downfall of Silver State Helicopters, the Nevada based flight school that declared bankruptcy earlier this week, former students and employees are telling AVweb that the company made promises to them that it couldn’t keep. Silver State Helicopters abruptly shut down operations at its 34 nationwide locations on Sunday afternoon, leaving more than 800 employees without jobs and more than 2,500 flight students saddled with millions in debt. Company president and founder Jerry Airola has yet to speak publicly on the event, but a statement released by the company alleges that “a rapid, unprecedented downturn in the U.S. credit markets” curtailed the availability of student loans for the company’s students and resulted in a “sharp and sudden downturn in new student enrolment.” Tony and Heather Sullivan told AVweb they were at a Super Bowl party when they got the news. Heather was employed as a receptionist and flight dispatcher at Silver State’s Houston facility, where her husband was a student. To date Tony has logged just 81 of the 200 hours he signed up to receive, and said he does not know how he is going to complete his training. Tony, who works full time as a human resources manager for a construction company, said he has an outstanding loan through American Education Services (AES) for approximately $70,000, the cost of the 18-month program designed to get students through their private, commercial, instrument and initial flight instructor certificates. More...

ACR Personal Locator Beacons Available Now at Aircraft Spruce
The AeroFix and MicroFix both work fast. If GPS data is present in the beacon's first burst, SAR forces can be notified and start planning your rescue in as little as three minutes. The MicroFix is the smallest, lightest Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) available, and it's easily attachable to clothing and equipment for easy access. For more information, call Aircraft Spruce at 1 (877) 4-SPRUCE or visit online.
Sturgell and FAA Under Scrutinyback to top 

More than three months have gone by since President Bush nominated Bobby Sturgell to take over Marion Blakey's job as head of the FAA, but the Senate needs to confirm that choice, and so far they haven't taken action. This Thursday, Sturgell will at least get a hearing before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. His nomination has been controversial, with most of the established user groups (including NBAA, AOPA, and EAA) willing to work with him, but an assortment of noisy advocacy groups, as well as NATCA, vehemently opposed. Senators in the Northeast have been lobbied heavily by constituents who are unhappy with the FAA's ongoing redesign of busy airspace in the region and opposed to Sturgell. More...

The federal Transportation Department this week released the latest version of its budget request, including user-fee-based funding for the FAA, and reaction has been swift. "What part of 'NO!' doesn’t the White House understand?" asked AOPA President Phil Boyer. "Once again, the Bush administration wants huge new taxes and user fees imposed on general aviation, and it wants to slash and burn the Airport Improvement Program." Pete Bunce, president and CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, agreed. "Despite Congress saying 'no' to the Administration's proposal to scrap the current funding mechanism for a less efficient one that imposes user fees, they have once again launched an effort to complete a FAA reauthorization bill by proposing the exact same failed plan," he said. DOT Secretary Mary Peters insisted the system needs to change. "Traditional approaches are not capable of producing the results we need to keep America's economy growing," she said. More...

Aircraft Loans to Fit Your Needs
AirFleet Capital offers a competitive and experienced approach to each and every loan program by focusing exclusively on aircraft financing. We provide exceptional terms coupled with personal service and a long-term commitment to support the business and shared passion of aviation. From Light Sport Aircraft to VLJs and Business Jets, AirFleet has a loan program to fit your needs. Call an AirFleet Capital financing specialist at (800) 390-4324, or request a quote online.
Citation Columbus: More than Just the Cabin Expandingback to top 

Cessna Aircraft Company revealed details of its recently announced large-cabin jet at a press conference in Washington on Wednesday. The intercontinental aircraft will be called the Model 850 Citation Columbus. The jet is designed for intercontinental travel, Cessna said, with a target range of 4,000 nautical miles at Mach .80 carrying eight passengers. The ship will be powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW810 engines. A Rockwell Collins integrated flight deck will go in the cockpit. The airframe will be all aluminum. Columbus will be Cessna's largest business jet. "This provides the perfect platform at the top end of our product line for customers looking for more space, more range, more economy and more capability," said Jack Pelton, chairman, president and CEO of Cessna. "This aircraft will be Cessna’s greatest achievement." More...

How Fast Can Aircraft Insurance Brokers Get You an Answer ...
if they have to get it from someone else? That's a good question. At Avemco, with one simple phone call, you're talking directly with the aviation underwriter. Plus, Avemco offers consistent rates and coverage, as well as short, easy-to-understand policies. So if you're looking for direct answers to your aviation insurance needs, call Avemco directly at (888) 241-7891 or ask for a quote by visiting Avemco online.
The Costs of Flyingback to top 

Maine is in a "state of confusion" when it comes to imposing onerous tax bills on out-of-state aviators, say the folks at AOPA, who have been trying to reason with officials there. "There is a fundamental fairness issue here," says AOPA Vice President of Regional Affairs Greg Pecoraro. He has met with Maine officials several times in an effort to help pilots who have been hit with tax bills of tens of thousands of dollars after flying their airplanes into the state. "Maine Revenue Services is misapplying the law," Pecoraro said, after a Jan. 10 meeting failed to achieve resolution. Maine officials have levied a "use tax" on out-of-state pilots who fly their airplanes into the state within 12 months of buying them, if they didn't pay a sales tax elsewhere. Since some states exempt aircraft from sales tax, dozens of pilots have been assessed taxes, fees, penalties and interest. AOPA will be back in Maine on Feb. 26 for a legislative hearing on a bill that would fix the problem, AOPA spokesman Chris Dancy told AVweb this week. More...

A new law that requires 10 percent ethanol in all auto fuel sold in Oregon is worrying pilots in the state. State officials said the law does not apply to aircraft fuels, but there is no mandate that ethanol-free fuel must be made available. "The fuel distributors we've talked to have all agreed that they would be willing to provide ethanol-free premium to airports, [but] they also say that it must be economical for them to do so," Oregon pilot Dennis Douglas told AVweb. Since they would have to import the fuel from out of state, and only a small percentage of aircraft in Oregon use autofuel, economic viability is problematic. For now, ethanol-free gas is still available in most counties, but the phased-in law will be implemented statewide by the end of this year. Pilots now are lobbying the state legislature to amend the law to exempt premium autofuel from the ethanol provisions for the next five years, so pilots can continue to buy fuel at gas stations. More...

Flight Resource & Lightspeed Team Up for a Very Special Offer
Flight Resource will include a Lightspeed Thirty 3G ANR headset with the purchase of an MT Composite Constant Speed Propeller. These German-engineered and -manufactured MT propellers are known for high-performance airfoils, unlimited life, light weight, and vibration-free operation. STCs for installation on the most popular U.S. and Canadian aircraft and ready for immediate shipment. For complete details, call Flight Resource at (866) 717-1117, or go online.
Events for '08back to top 

While it's still deep winter in much of the country, this year's edition of Sun 'n Fun is right around the corner, with spring not far behind. This week, the FAA published the NOTAM with instructions for those who plan to fly in to Lakeland, Fla., for the show, which runs April 8 to 13. The amphibian "Splash-In," scheduled for April 10 and 11, is moving to a new site this year, at the lake adjoining Kermit Weeks' Fantasy of Flight museum in Polk City. Also new this year, the Light Sport Aircraft folks are excited about their expanded display area right inside the entrance gate. "We'll have room for about 20 airplanes," Dan Johnson, chairman of the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association, told AVweb this week. The site will have a welcome area, shade tents, engine displays, and lots of comfortable space for buyers and sellers to meet and interact, he said. This year's show will also feature the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. More...

NASA and the CAFE Foundation will host a $300,000 General Aviation Technology Challenge this August in Santa Rosa, Calif., to determine which small aircraft are most advanced in a number of measures that include fuel efficiency, quietness and safe handling. The idea is to encourage the development of GA aircraft that can fill the personal transportation needs of the future. Brien Seeley, president of the CAFE Foundation, told AVweb this week that this year's event will especially emphasize environmentally friendly technologies, and will introduce a new $50,000 Green Prize. The use of biofuel will be encouraged. The competition is open to experimental and production aircraft as well as light sport aircraft. More...

Join NAA and Help Shape the Next Century of Flight
It's a great time to join the National Aeronautic Association (NAA), the nation's oldest aviation organization. At $39 a year, NAA membership is a terrific value for any aviation enthusiast! Members receive the Smithsonian's Air & Space and NAA's Aero magazines, plus access to aviation records, product discounts, and much more. Call (703) 527-0226 to become an NAA member, or sign up online.
News Briefsback to top 

Final FAA rule out for pilots of Mitsubishi MU-2Bs ...
Search continues for missing Japanese balloonist in north Pacific ...
European Union will invest $3.2 billion for cleaner, greener aircraft ...
11th annual Commercial Space Transportation Conference held this week ...
Robinson built 823 civil helicopters last year, the most ever ...
EAA's new online searchable calendar aims to list all U.S. aviation events ...
NTSB prelim out for helicopter that crashed on freeway in L.A. 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...

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.
New on AVwebback to top 

Post-WWII America seemed like a great place and time to be an ex-military pilot: Just join one of dozens of new startup airlines. When that one goes bankrupt, join another ... and another ... More...

Caught by weather that was worse than anticipated, a Baron pilot has trouble getting established and eventually runs out of options. More...

Build A Plane Relaunches Its eBay Auction Store
Build A Plane is a non-profit organization that solicits aircraft donations then redirects those airplanes to high schools and youth groups, with over 70 active projects worldwide. The eBay Auction Store supports this no-cost program. There are lots of new items that will make great gifts for your Valentine. For more information regarding Build A Plane's programs, call Katrina Bradshaw at (804) 843-3321. Click here to visit Build A Plane's eBay Auction Store.
We Want to Hear Your Voiceback to top 

In the past, we've asked about many factors that might limit (or even prohibit) you from flying recreationally. This week, AVweb reader Matt Bentson put the same question to us pretty directly, and we're passing the buck along to our readership:  Which is more likely to ground you first — rising fuel prices or the added expense of user fees? Plus: A report on last week's poll about government subsidies for ADS-B avionics upgrades. More...

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...

Choose the Flight Explorer Edition Right for You
Flight Explorer is an information system tracking commercial and general aviation flights. With the Flight Explorer Personal Edition, view air traffic for the U.S., Canada, or New Zealand and monitor and display real-time delay information, TFRs, SUAs, and more. With the Flight Explorer Pilot Edition, view weather along a route, receive alerts with your preliminary flight plan, and have an e-mail sent to someone on departure or arrival. Click here for more information and to subscribe.
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to American Aviation West at KPGA in Page, Arizona.

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."

Now that's what we call first-rate service!

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!


The AVweb Bookstore, The Most Complete Aviation Bookstore Anywhere
Over 400 titles representing 52 publishers are in stock and ready for immediate delivery — as books, videos, or CDs. 100+ titles available instantly as fully searchable e-Book downloads. Whether you are a pilot, an A&P technician, or a kit airplane builder, if it's worth reading, it's available from the AVweb Bookstore. Click here to visit online.
Reader-Submitted Photosback to top 

The winter chill continues to keep many of our contributors locked indoors watching the Discovery Channel instead of snapping photos for us in the great outdoors.  Nevertheless, a few dedicated souls have decided to spend their evenings curled up by the fire going through last summer's flying photos.  Our hat's off the them — literally, in the case of our weekly photo contest winner, semi-regular contributor Don Parsons, who'll be receiving a sharp AVweb baseball cap in the mail in just a few short days. More...

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

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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