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Volume 14, Number 11b
March 13, 2008
Plane Sights Aircraft Markers Are Available Now at Aircraft Spruce
Plane Sights highly reflective markers make vulnerable areas clearly visible under all conditions, and the projecting "proximity fuses" warn that something is too close before damage occurs. Plane Sights markers are easily custom-fitted to virtually any aircraft, take only minutes to attach and remove, and weigh only three pounds folded into their briefcase-size pouch. Plane Sights markers are available in sets of two to five pieces. Call Aircraft Spruce at 1 (877) 4-SPRUCE, or visit online.
Is GA Crowding the Skies? DOT Thinks So ...back to top 

On March 3 the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Transportation quietly released an audit on the use of the National Airspace System (NAS)—and the general aviation community is quietly taking notice. The audit, initiated by then Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Rep. John L. Mica, R-Fla., found that “air carriers and non-air carriers, including general aviation and business jet operators, all make sufficient use of the NAS so as to materially contribute to FAA’s costs and congestion in general.” Non-air-carrier traffic accounted for up to 30 percent of the peak-level instrument approach operations at the New York TRACON in 2005, according to one example in the report, though GA used fewer center resources overall. More...

a Lightspeed Aviation Is Sponsoring a Study on Hearing Protection
Your input will be used to understand hearing loss and design state-of-the-art headsets to meet the specific requirements of pilots. Participate and be entered into a drawing to win one of four cash prizes (two for $100 and two for $500) or the grand prize of a brand-new Zulu ANR headset. Click here to begin.

Please know that this is not a sales promotion and you will never receive a sales call based on your participation. All responses will be kept confidential.
Weather Concerns, Long-Term and Short-Termback to top 

The families of nine young skydivers who died last October when a Cessna 208B Grand Caravan crashed in Washington state have sued Cessna, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported on Monday. "They [Cessna] had the numbers of each plane that had a miscalibrated warning system on it and did not contact the owners of those planes," lawyer Dean Brett told the P-I. "Our goal is to have the 208B decertified from flying in icing conditions." The pilot also died when the airplane hit a mountain. Cessna declined comment to AVweb. Spokesman Doug Oliver said the company does not comment on pending litigation. More...

Airport runways in coastal areas are in danger of being submerged by rising sea levels and storm surges brought on by global warming, says a new report from the National Research Council, released on Tuesday. At least 23 major airports, and many more GA fields, have elevations of just 22 feet or less, which puts them at risk, according to the report. Those airports are located along the U.S. East and West Coasts, the Gulf Coast, Alaska, and Puerto Rico. More...

Precise Flight's High-Intensity Discharge Landing & Taxi Light Systems ...
... Are the brightest illumination available. The stellar combination of increased light output, reduced power consumption, superior lamp life, and brilliant light quality are a few of the major 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 lamp and available in 12 and 24 volts. Click here for additional information.
Staying Safe Is a Constant Battleback to top 

The FAA yesterday issued two emergency airworthiness directives affecting general aviation aircraft. The first, (AD 2008-06-52), applies to Thielert Aircraft Engines GmbH (TAE) model TAE 125-02-99 engines with a serial number from 02-02-1500 through 02-02-2279. These engines are installed on some Cessna 172 and (Reims-built) F172 series (STC No. SA01303WI) airplanes and Diamond DA42 airplanes. The FAA says it received reports of in-flight engine shutdown incidents that were found to be the result of a cracked high-pressure fuel line between the high-pressure pump and fuel rail. These cracks were caused by excessive vibration of the fuel line and, if not corrected, could result in an in-flight engine shutdown or engine fire.The second AD (2008-06-51) addresses a problem with certain Precision Airmotive LLC RSA-5 and RSA-10 series fuel injection servos. More...

Lockheed Martin computer programmers are trying to figure out why a planned software upgrade to FS21 caused the system to crash late Tuesday night. AVweb received a tip from a former briefer in Michigan that the system went down at about 0100Z. A spokeswoman for Lockheed Martin told AVweb that when they realized the FS21 upgrade was “unstable,” they reverted to the backup system known as AISR (Aeronautical Information System Replacement). “It provides the same type of information as FS21 but it’s in disparate sources so it takes a little longer for the briefing,” the spokeswoman said. “In the morning, queue times were several minutes, but by around 11 a.m. they were in the single digits.” More...

Download No-Cost Runway Flash Cards Now!
Landing a plane is tough. Flying into unfamiliar runways makes it even tougher — and more dangerous. Ensure you and your crew's safety by downloading these no-cost flash cards today. Each of the 23 flash cards displays an airport sign or pavement marking as well as the required pilot action. Use them as quick reference before your departure or during your flight. Download the Runway Safety Flash Cards now.
Aviation Lossesback to top 

A Las Vegas television station reported that Silver State Helicopters owner Jerry Airola failed to appear in federal bankruptcy court on Tuesday, disappointing nearly 200 former students who showed up hoping to confront him. More...

Ellen Evak Paneok, of Anchorage, who died March 2 at age 48, was the first Native Alaskan woman bush pilot, and accumulated more than 15,000 hours of flight time, much of it along Alaska's remote northern coast. She delivered mail and supplies to Eskimo villages in all kinds of weather. "The most challenging part," she said in the 1997 book "Women and Flight," "is the off-airport work, like landing on the sandbars, landing on top of a mountain with big tires, maybe on a 20-degree grade, landing uphill and taking off downhill - to me, that's the epitome of bush flying." Paneok also worked for the FAA as an operations inspector and was statewide aviation safety coordinator for the Alaska Aviation Safety Foundation. She was one of the few pilots authorized to fly the vintage aircraft owned by the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum. She was also a writer, published in Alaska Magazine and AOPA Pilot. 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.
Industry Growthback to top 

The FAA today released its 2008 aerospace forecast, which is less optimistic of the near-term growth potential for general aviation than the previous forecast. The report is the focus of the 33rd annual FAA Aviation Forecast Conference scheduled for Monday and Tuesday in Washington, D.C. Industry panelists cited rising fuel prices, airspace and airport congestion, and a slowing economy as the primary risk factors affecting growth in both GA and the airlines. Nan Shellabarger, FAA director of aviation policy and plans, said that total GA flight hours are expected to remain relatively flat over the next year, with annual growth increasing from 2.1 percent to 3 percent beginning in 2009. More...

Cessna's new Model 162 SkyCatcher prototype flew for the first time on Saturday morning, the company announced on Monday. Test pilot Dale Bleakney flew the airplane out of Cessna Aircraft Field Airport in Wichita and evaluated its controllability and stability. He then landed at Mid-Continent Airport, also in Wichita, where development testing will continue. "The first flight of the SkyCatcher is a significant step ahead toward our goal of bringing an affordable training aircraft to market," said Cessna CEO Jack Pelton. The company is also building the first production model, which is scheduled to fly later this spring, and an ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) test article, which is currently undergoing load testing. All engineering work and testing of the 162 will be completed in Wichita, the company said, although the airplanes will be built in Shenyang, China. More...

If Aircraft Insurance Brokers Say They Cover the Whole Market ...
Why can't they get a quote from Avemco? Because Avemco is the only direct provider of aviation insurance that lets you talk directly to the aviation underwriter for fast, accurate answers. So if a broker tells you they cover the whole market, they're only telling you half the story. Call (888) 241-7891 or visit online for the rest of the story.
News Briefsback to top 

The U.S. Air Force is retiring its fleet of F-117 Nighthawks, which were the world's first attack aircraft to employ stealth technology. The single-seater aircraft made its first flight in 1981 at the Tonopah Test Range in Nevada. The Nighthawk program remained classified until 1988, when a photo of the jet was first unveiled to the public. The Air Force said the decision to ground the fighters was based on economics. "With aging aircraft fleets and infrastructure, senior Air Force leadership has made hard choices to pay for modernization of our overall aircraft inventory," said Air Force spokeswoman Diana Filliman. "One of these decisions was to accelerate the retirement of the F-117, and use the savings generated to accelerate the recapitalization and modernization efforts underway across the fleet." Fifty-nine of the F-117s were built, the last one in 1990, and seven of them crashed. During more than 1,000 sorties flown by Nighthawks during Operation Desert Storm in the early 1990s, not one was shot down, the USAF said. More...

George B. Litchford Sr., who helped develop TCAS, died on Feb. 28 at age 89 ...
A proposed AD would require Cirrus SR20 owners to check the heat exchanger ...
Two F-16s intercepted a Cessna 177 that violated restricted airspace in D.C. ...
Southwest grounded 41 jets as FAA investigates failure to inspect them ...
Continental Airlines could face manslaughter charge in Concorde crash. More...

Make Plans Now to Attend a 2008 Savvy Aviator Seminar
Mike will be conducting Savvy Aviator Seminars in Chicago, Las Vegas, Norfolk, and Santa Maria. 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.

AVweb founder Mike Busch has been selected by the FAA and supporting aviation organizations as the National Maintenance Technician of the Year. Busch will be presented his award at a ceremony during EAA AirVenture.
New on AVwebback to top 

Aircraft parts are expensive, so we really should be repairing rather than replacing them whenever possible. We need to make this clear to our mechanics. More...


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, AVweb Editor-in-Chief Russ Niles urges pilots to keep a watchful eye on a developing legal case urging courts to revoke the Cessna Grand Caravan's icing certification.

Read more.


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 favorite. Go online for information on all Diamond Aircraft.
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Tropical Aviation Corp. at Isla Grande's Fernando Rivas Dominicci Airport (TJIG) in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

AVweb reader Robin Fraser made a compelling case, insisting that Tropical "was the best FBO we used in an entire month of cross-country flying" from Saskatchewan to BVI. "They easily deserve to be recognized as the 'FBO of the Week,'" writes Robin, and based on his account of the trip, we tend to agree:

The service at Tropicana Aviation was nothing less than excellent. From fueling at customs the moment we arrived and excellent pricing to the assistance in parking, everything was top-notch. The front desk staff arranged transportation and accomodations on a moment's notice and were exceptional with their service. The General Manager was there to meet us and offer his assistance and also introduced us to the owner of the business. Facilites were excellent and the staff took care of flightplans and the very low airport fees (less than 7.00 for the night!).

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!


NAA Spring Awards & Collier Winner Announcement in AVweb's Audio News
AVweb's Managing Editor, Meredith Saini, was on-hand for this year's National Aeronautic Association (NAA) Spring Awards Luncheon. Meredith spoke with NAA chairman Walter J. Boyne about the 2007 Collier Trophy winner he announced. Listen online.

Join NAA and be an aviation record setter and part of the Collier Trophy. Aviation enthusiasts can join for $39 a year and receive Smithsonian's Air & Space magazine, aviation records, fee discounts, and much more. Join now online, or call NAA at (800) 644-9777.
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

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. (Click through to watch.) More...

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 

Chris Hullen of the Woodlands, Texas submitted this photo taken by his wife Heather Hullen "of what is claimed to be a DC-3 or C-46 Commando. It sits just off the eastern shore of Norman's Cay, Bahamas," Chris tells us. "Legend has it that the overloaded aircraft lost an engine on takeoff and could not make it back to the field. Now it is a snorkeler's paradise." More...

The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!back to top 

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 newstips@avweb.com. What have you heard? More...

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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