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The FAA has a lot of input to consider as it takes the first steps toward implementing its NextGen airspace and air traffic control system.
closed on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on the implementation of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) on Monday. ADS-B is considered the fundamental technology of NextGen and
theres a lot at stake in making sure its done right. So far, it appears that most stakeholders agree ADS-B is the way to go but they arent completely satisfied with the way the
agency is going about it. For instance, the Aircraft Electronics Association, which represents virtually all the companies that make and fix avionics, says the FAAs proposed next-generation
communications, navigation and surveillance (CNS) system is more elaborate than it needs to be and wastes the money aircraft owners have already spent on their current gear. In a news release AEA
government affairs expert Ric Peri described the system envisioned as ADS-B on steroids and called for the agency to take a deep breath. The FAA must develop a proposal utilizing an
evolutionary process that utilizes existing avionics to the maximum extent possible, rather than this stepped revolutionary process of wholesale technology replacement of the
entire CNS suite in general aviation aircraft, Peri said. Its worth noting that AEA wasnt consulted on the NPRM. Even big supporters of NextGen, like the Air Transport Association
are leery about the proposal as it stands. ATA says the system, as proposed, wont produce the needed improvements in capacity and efficiency and will subject aviation to enormous
costs. The Department of Defence is concerned ADS-B might work a little too well. It doesnt want to advertise all its flight and wants a way to fit in the system without letting everyone
know its aircraft are there at times, which, of course is the exact opposite of the main selling point of ADS-B. DoD is also concerned that ADS-B can be hijacked by terrorists or enemies and wants to
know what is going to be done to prevent spoofing the system.
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A coalition of 35 business, political and aviation organizations has sent a joint letter to the Senate requesting that a long-term FAA reauthorization bill be given top priority. In a news release
Airports International Council President Greg Principato says aviation is too important to languish in the legislative ether and the organizations just want something passed. While individual
goals are diverse [like, say between the Portland Cement Association and the Airline Pilots Association], the organizations are unified in recognizing the importance of advancing a multiyear FAA
reauthorization legislation, Principato said. But the letter is noteworthy as much for who didnt sign as who did, including the two largest general aviation groups. Conspicuously absent
from the list are AOPA and EAA, although the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association lent their names to the letter. Those four organizations
have, to this point, anyway, presented a unified front on the FAA funding issue. Also not on the list is the Air Transport Association, which represents most U.S. airlines and is the lead organization
promoting the institution of user fees. It was too late to get comment from the groups before our deadline on Wednesday.
When Congress passed a tax law back in 2003 that allowed buyers of new general aviation aircraft to depreciate up to 50 percent of the
value in the first year (providing the aircraft was bought for business use), the incentive was credited with helping to boost sales by as
much as 30 percent. Now Congress has passed a new economic incentive plan that will extend that tax break through 2008, for aircraft that cost at least $200,000. Under the new "economic stimulus
package," the owner must put a deposit on the airplane this year and take delivery before the end of 2009. Diamond Aircraft already is taking advantage of the new law to tempt buyers. Take delivery of
your new airplane by April 15, Diamond says, and you'll get $3,000 cash back to pay for a tax advisor to figure it all out for
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The Washington, D.C., Air Defense Identification Zone (DC ADIZ) last week made the Small Business Administration's "Top 10" list of government reforms to be pursued this year by the SBA's Office of Advocacy, which Congress created in
1976 to represent the interests of small businesses that are affected by Federal legislative and rule-making processes. A dozen public-use general aviation airports and their associated small
businesses are located within the DC ADIZ, defined by a 30-mile ring around the Washington VOR/DME. The SBA proposal was submitted by David Wartofsky, manager of the Potomac Airfield in Maryland, one
of three airports located within the tightly controlled Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ) that is embedded within the DC ADIZ. "National security can be used to justify anything," Wartofsky told
AVweb. "But what are the costs and what are the benefits?" He hopes the SBA will employ the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (originally the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980) to urge the FAA, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security and the Secret
Service to justify the impacts the airspace restrictions have had on the local economy. However, a spokesman for the Office of Advocacy told AVweb that the SBA has limited resources to force
any action. "We can't compel them to do anything," said SBA spokesman John McDowell. "We don't have a big stick we can whack anybody with. We have our ability to raise the issue in the public
consciousness." The Office of Advocacy submitted one of the more than 21,000 comments received by the FAA in response to its August 2005 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to make the ADIZ permanent. The
boundary of the ADIZ was modified in August 2007, but the FRZ remains largely unchanged.
The growing use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the National Airspace System is raising a number of safety concerns, and the NTSB said
this week it will address them all in a three-day forum, April 29 to May 1, in Washington, D.C. The forum will provide an opportunity for the board and interested parties to discuss issues such as
regulatory standards, perspectives of current UAS operators, certification and airworthiness, perspectives of current users of the National Airspace System (that would be all of us), and future UAS
applications. The forum is a result of the safety board's investigation into the crash of a Predator B unmanned aircraft near Nogales, Ariz., in April 2006. "The Nogales accident surfaced a number of
important questions that need to be addressed if UAS's are to operate safely in the National Air Space," said board member Kitty
Higgins, who will chair the forum. The board's investigation of the Nogales accident resulted in 22 safety recommendations to address deficiencies associated with the civilian use of unmanned
aircraft. "We are very interested in the military's experience with UAS's, training of pilots, maintenance of the aircraft, communication with Air Traffic Control and oversight of UAS operations by
public-use agencies and other operators," Higgins said.
The forum will include representatives from the military, industry, the FAA, and government agencies involved in UAS operations. Interested members of the aviation community and general public are
encouraged to attend. A forum agenda will be announced in mid-April. Representatives from the UAS industry also are invited to set up display booths and unmanned aircraft vehicle scale models that
demonstrate unmanned aircraft systems and technologies. A live and archived webcast of the forum will be available on the board's Web site.
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The Tempest Plus Marketing Group of Greenville, S.C., announced this week that it has formed a new company called Volare Carburetors
to complete its acquisition of Precision Airmotives MSA line of carburetors and spare parts. The new company will be headquartered in Gibsonville, N.C. All Volare MSA carburetors and components
will be marketed under the Tempest brand and are available for immediate shipment, the company said. John Herman, Tempests vice president of marketing and sales, said in a prepared statement,
We are very excited that the acquisition process has concluded and we may now begin supplying the industry with a much needed product. MSA carburetors are used in most normally aspirated
Continental, Lycoming and Franklin engines. AVweb reported last November that Precision wanted out of the
carburetor business after it was unable to obtain product liability insurance following a string of lawsuits, but no information was available this week from Tempest regarding how they were handling
the insurance issue.
When start-up aviation companies throw in the towel its almost unheard of for them to come out for another round, but Aviation Technology Group (ATG) is apparently game for another swing at
developing its sexy two-place executive jet, the Javelin. The Colorado company suspended operations in December and a news release issued Tuesday says the board of directors has
successfully renegotiated deals with its main lenders. Now, the company is in a position to look for a buyer to (hopefully) fund the completion of the certification process and starting production,
which could run $200 million. Multiple teams are pursuing a list of potential buyers, the release said. Though subject to change, the general plan in this regard is to ask for best
and final offer bids from prospective buyers to reach ATG within the next few weeks. The Javelin is always a crowd pleaser at airshows but its curb appeal may not be what saves it. Although
there will certainly be civilian demand for the fighter-like aircraft, a large part of the development effort is focused on military trainers, including possibly a supersonic version. Israeli Aircraft
Industries is involved with development of the military version, which comes with ejection seats and military avionics.
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The ink wasn't even dry on the National Aeronautic Association's newest
category for aviation records before a Husky pilot in Indiana took off to try for the top spot. The new category, "Aeroplane Efficiency," officially went on the books March 1, and that same day, Kris
Maynard departed Sheridan, Ind., in hot pursuit. Hot pursuit may be overstating it though, since Maynard said his speed over the 654-nm course averaged about 65 knots. His fuel efficiency worked out
to an impressive 23.43 miles per gallon (13.71 km/kg), by Maynard's so-far-unofficial calculations. He said he was thrilled with his results and hoped his attempt would encourage others to enter the
competition. "This flight exceeded my expectations by more than 1 km/kg," he said. "I am fully convinced that there is no other production aircraft in the world today that can achieve such efficiency.
When my record falls -- and I know it will -- it will be to an Experimental." That sounds like a challenge.
Maynard flew an Aviat Husky A-1A equipped with a Lycoming 0-360 engine, a 76-inch Hartzell propeller and standard 52-gallon fuel tanks. To compete for the record, an aircraft must be weighed, flown
without stopping or refueling along an approved triangular course, then weighed again. The fuel burn is calculated by the difference in weight.
An Illinois pilot who tried to beat traffic and fly his son to a tennis match -- landing his ski-equipped 1949 Piper
Clipper on a snow-covered golf course -- is being investigated by the FAA. Police arrived at the scene Saturday afternoon after concerned neighbors called to report a crash, and found pilot Robert
Kadera, 65, and his 14-year-old son trudging through the snow, the Chicago Tribune reported. "We're all pretty dumbfounded," Lincolnshire Police Chief Randy Melvin told the Tribune. "I don't have any idea what the guy was thinking. ... He was
going to park his plane across the street, like nobody would notice." The FAA is checking that the pilot and aircraft are properly certified, a spokeswoman told the Tribune. The golf course owner said
no trespassing charges would be filed, but the police wouldn't allow to Kadera to fly home.
A crane and a flatbed removed the airplane from the landing site.
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Donald S. Lopez, 84, author, aviator, and deputy director of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum (NASM) in Washington,
D.C., died of a heart attack on March 3. Lopez joined the Smithsonian in 1972 as part of the team that planned the NASM, which opened in July 1976. "The nation has lost a true hero and the Smithsonian
has lost a great leader," Smithsonian Institution acting secretary Cristián Samper said in a news
release on Wednesday. "Don Lopez was an American Ace fighter pilot, author, educator, and museum professional beloved by all who came in contact with him." Lopez flew 101 missions in China,
piloting Curtiss P-40s and North American P-51 Mustangs for the U.S. Air Force, and later flew North American F-86s in Korea. Among many other awards and honors, Lopez was heralded as one of the
"living legends" at the Gathering of Mustangs and Legends at Rickenbacker Field in Columbus, Ohio, last year.
"Dons contribution to the museum cannot be overstated," museum director Gen. J.R. "Jack" Dailey said. "For 35 years, he was the guiding spirit, contributing his vast knowledge of aviation,
exceptional leadership skills, unflagging enthusiasm, and a sense of humor that endeared him to all."
A Lufthansa A320 with 130 passengers onboard nearly crashed during its landing approach to the Fuhlsbuettel airport in Hamburg, Germany on Saturday in winds gusting as high as 55 mph. Amateur video footage shows the airliner approaching the runway at a substantial crab angle in rain and
gusts. Moments after the unidentified pilot kicked out the crab prior to touchdown, the left winglet scraped the runway. "Just before landing, the plane was hit by a very strong gust of wind that led
to the left wing touching the ground very briefly," Juergen Raps, Lufthansa executive vice president of operations, told the Reuters news agency. "The pilots reacted outstandingly by inducing a
go-around." The Associated Press said that the jet landed on a different runway about 10 minutes later with no injuries reported. Various news agencies reported gale force winds caused flight delays
throughout Germany, but no information was available as to why the Lufthansa flight attempted to land in such adverse conditions.
Mistubishi has asked
Toyota to invest in its regional-jet project, which could produce a new 70- to 90-seat aircraft by 2012...
Substandard parts have been used on airliners because the FAA and airlines lack effective oversight of those making and selling the parts, according to a report by the Department of Transportation Inspector General...
The National Aeronautic Association will award the Collier Trophy on Thursday, given to honor the "greatest
achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America"...
The V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor will fly in to the Sun 'n Fun Fly-In for the first time, next month in Florida...
SeaMax USA has delivered its first new flying boat SLSA to a U.S. pilot. SeaMax believes this is the first flying boat
delivery to a retail customer certified under the ASTM standards.
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The AFSS system has been privatized for a while now, and last week we asked AVweb readers about their recent flight service experiences.
The biggest segment of respondents (a full 41%) told us the state of FSS is terrible, and I'm increasingly using alternatives.
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 ***
As the days get longer and warmer, flying suddenly seems a little easier to do than it did during the winter months and a lot more appealing. But before you take to the
springtime skies, tell us: How much of a damper did Old Man Winter put on your air time?
Be sure to visit our new blog, AVweb Insider, for personal insights and commentary on the aviation industry from our staff of writers and editors. Today, Kitplanes editor Marc Cook sifts through the buzz around the so-called "51%" rule and asks, "Could, as the Aviation Rulemaking Committee suggests, Primary
Category be the bridge between super-fast-build Experimentals and the turnkey (but noncertified) aircraft the market seems to demand? Is the so-far good record of LSA enough to make it viable?"
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Dassault has introduced a jet that changes the playing field for business jet manufacturers, operators and pilots. That jet is the $40 million Falcon 7X. In this exclusive video, AVweb
video editor Glenn Pew takes us inside the Falcon 7X.
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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 ***
We're a little pressed for time at "POTW" headquarters this week, so we'll dive right in and barrel through a few top-notch photos. (Maybe a little vicarious sunshine and fresh
air will help us power through a beefy workload, eh?)
In a week where green grass and sunny skies dominated the "POTW" submissions, Charles Peterson of Jubcos, Puerto Rico gave us our favorite taste of
spring fever. Watch your mailbox for a brand-new AVweb cap, Charles. (It'll keep the sun off your head the next time you boys get together.)
Michael J. Gallagher of Peoria, Illinois is living the dream. Not only does he
get plenty of the aforementioned fresh air and sunshine, but he also hangs out with cool cats like Bob Essel and wing-walker Jenny Forsythe. (Photo plane flown by Greg
Tobias Meyer of Heidenheim, Germany got this incredible photo just after a patient was delivered to the
local clinic. We're not quite sure whether it was taken at dusk or the wee hours of the morning but it makes us long for a cup of coffee and a newspaper, we're going with the
James Shelton of Independence, Missouri calls this shot a "great wallpaper for the technically inclined," and we
couldn't agree more. Anticipating a flood of What's that?s the first was from us James explains that it's "the left side of a [Pratt & Whitney] J-58 engine, as used on the
SR-71 Blackbird, on display at the Virginia Aviation Museum."
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.
Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something 200,000 pilots might want to know about, tell us. Submit news tips
via email to email@example.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.
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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:
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
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Comments or questions about the news should be sent here.
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