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Volume 14, Number 12b
March 20, 2008
Subscribe to Trade-A-Plane & See Why 96% of Trade-A-Plane Subscribers choose Trade-A-Plane as their primary aviation shopping tool. Thousands of classifieds (updated daily), product and advertiser indices, NAAA Evaluator, and aviation weather — Trade-A-Plane is everything that keeps you flying! To order, call (800) 337-5263 or subscribe online.

» Ask for your complimentary copy of Trade-A-Plane in booths A-001-003 at Sun 'n Fun
Win an AVweb DC-3 Flight at Sun 'n Funback to top 


copyright © John Fleck
Entry Deadline:
April 1, 2008
Flight Date:
April 8, 2008 (7 a.m.)
Flight Location:
Linder Airport, Lakeland, Florida
Winners Announced:
April 3, 2008
To qualify, you must have a valid pilot certificate and current medical. (It doesn't have to be a U.S. certificate.)

Arguably the most important aircraft ever produced, the DC-3 ushered in the "modern" era of air transportation. But until you've sat in the left seat, gripped that huge yoke and tried to muscle the big bird onto final, you can't appreciate what life was like for the tens of thousands of pilots who have shaken, rattled and rolled in the confines of that cockpit.

Or maybe you're a former DC-3 pilot looking for a trip down memory lane. Whatever the motivation, now's your chance to fly left seat in the iconic aircraft, courtesy of Herpa Wings, AVweb and the owner of N143D, Dan Gryder, at Sun 'n Fun on April 8. You'll be in control as Dan guides you through takeoff, pattern work and even a few low and overs in a beautifully maintained but still very historic DC-3. All you have to do is tell us (and 200,000 AVweb readers) why you want to. Send us a short (no longer than 200 words) essay on the topic: "Why I Want To Fly The Herpa Wings DC-3."

E-mail your entry to fly-the-dc3@avweb.com by April 1, 2008.

(Click through for rules and details.)


Aircraft Spruce Is a Proud Sponsor of the 34th Annual Sun 'n Fun Fly-In
Join Aircraft Spruce in Lakeland, Florida at Sun 'n Fun (Hangar B, Booths 4-9) April 8-13th, 2008, 9am to 5pm. Sun 'n Fun brings together those from all around the world and from all segments of the aviation community. Take advantage of some of your favorite products on sale, complimentary ground shipping (does not apply to hazardous or oversize products), and Aircraft Spruce's helpful staff to answer questions. Call Aircraft Spruce at 1 (877) 4-SPRUCE or visit online.

» Ask about Aircraft Spruce's show specials at booths B-004-009 at Sun 'n Fun
Staying Alertback to top 

Officials in Mexico have cracked down on aerial drug trafficking, says Bob Collins of the Aviation Crime Prevention Institute, and this has created a need for criminals to quickly steal more airplanes to replace those that are seized. Collins said the threat to King Airs, Caravans and Cessna cabin-class twins has intensified, and interest in Cessna single-engine models is likely to continue. "ACPI does not send this kind of information lightly," said Collins. "The threat is real." He suggested that pilots should take extra care to be sure their aircraft are secure. 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.
Building ... and Beyondback to top 

"FAA should not attempt to change the experimental amateur-built rules," says Earl Lawrence, EAA's vice president of industry and regulatory affairs, in a response to a report published by the FAA last month that raises concerns about the way those rules are being implemented. Lawrence said now is the time for EAA to "articulate a definitive position," while the aviation community awaits the FAA's next move -- a draft proposal of its new guidelines, which is expected to be released in the next month or two. Lawrence said the FAA should not prevent paid professionals from helping to construct an experimental aircraft, as long as the amateur personally carries out a majority of the work. He also said that aircraft eligible for amateur-built status should not be limited by complexity, power, size, or performance. EAA urges the FAA to "preserve the amateur-building movement and the constructive environment that exists today," Lawrence said. More...

While business jet demand continues to exceed supply, piston manufacturers have noticed a significant softening of the market this year. Cirrus Design’s new Chief Operating Officer Brent Wouters told AVweb in a podcast interview that the current economic downturn and declines on financial markets have hit his sector noticeably. “People are feeling less rich,” he said. Rather than simply discount prices, Cirrus has taken an automotive industry approach and launched an ambitious incentive program that covers scheduled maintenance for two years or 600 hours, whichever comes first. Wouters said Cirrus has been planning the maintenance program for some time as part of the company’s ongoing effort to change the way people think about owning airplanes. More...

Piper Matrix — Piper Compelling
Click here for more information on the new Matrix, Piper's next generation of cabin-class sophistication. Compellingly priced at $757,000.

» Discover the Matrix and other Piper Aircraft at booths MD-018C and MD-019B at Sun 'n Fun
Eyes on the Skiesback to top 

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) is blaming poor controller training practices for a March 13 incident in which a Boeing 737 and an Embraer regional jet did not have adequate separation while on approach to Chicago's Midway Airport. But the FAA says the current training regime is an improvement over old methods. More...

The new Evolution Flight Displays that were introduced last summer at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh by Aspen Avionics now are FAA-certified and will be ready to deliver by the end of the month, the company says. The system aims to be an affordable upgrade for general aviation cockpits, with modular units that can be installed directly into existing three-inch instrument panel holes. The basic model lists at $5,995, and a pro model goes for $9,995. The market has been enthusiastic about the launch, according to the company, buying over $1.5 million of the units in the first week after Oshkosh. "This is the right product, at the right time, for the right price, and is a joy to fly," said Doug Cayne, Aspen's vice president of marketing. About 300 authorized avionics dealers are ready to begin installations of the Evolution system next month, the company said. 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.

» Learn more about the Precise Flight HID Landing Light at booth C-057 at Sun 'n Fun
New Airplanesback to top 

Since the launch of the light sport aircraft, many of the LSAs on the U.S. market have arrived from Europe, where airplanes that fit the certification parameters have long been in production. Now, a company in Canada is building a new clean-sheet LSA for the U.S. market. Rex Meade, president of RAMtech Aviation, based near Toronto, Ontario, says his young company has zeroed in on a market sector that has not been addressed. "The Aldera utilizes advanced composite technology, resulting in a uniquely 'Canadian tough' airplane that incorporates innovative production methods," he says. The company hopes to keep the introductory price under $80,000, which would be a considerable price advantage over much of the current fleet. RAMtech has recently completed its prototype aircraft, after two years of development. First flight is expected in May. More...

It may be easy to be skeptical of dreamers who imagine they can launch a space-tourism industry, but when a hard-headed gigantic company like EADS starts talking about building a production line for rocket planes, that's harder to ignore. "To satisfy the market you will need more planes than you think, because once there is regular operation, the price will decrease, which means there will be more customers," Robert Laine, chief technical officer of Astrium, EADS's aerospace division, told BBC News. Astrium is developing a six-seat rocket plane, Laine said, that will take off from a runway using normal jet engines. At about 40,000 feet a rocket engine will ignite to boost the aircraft to the edge of space. 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.

» Ask Avemco Insurance Company what policies are right for you at booths C-055-056 at Sun 'n Fun
News Briefsback to top 

The tornado that ripped through downtown Atlanta on Friday night, damaging parts of the CNN Center and the Georgia Dome, spared the city's two general aviation airports. More...

Last weekend, two Los Angeles-area teenagers completed what they hope will be a record-setting solo marathon, flying six airplanes and a helicopter on the same day. Kelly Anyadiki and Jonathan Strickland, both 16, are among the more than 800 young flight students who participate in aviation-themed after-school aviation programs provided by Tomorrow's Aeronautical Museum at the Compton/Woodley Airport in Compton, Calif. More...

Jeppesen will stop updating NavData databases for some older GPS units ...
Vicki Van Meter, who set aviation records at age 11, died at age 26...
A crackdown in Mexico increases the threat of aircraft thefts, says ACPI...
 Big Sky Airlines, of Montana, flew for the last time last week...
A helicopter self-monitoring system is being flight-tested at ERAU. More...

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...

A Proven Weight Loss Program with an MT Composite Propeller
If your airplane were your body, the MT Composite Propeller would be like getting an exercise & weight loss program, a facelift, and Viagra all in one! STCs available for most popular aircraft, especially those with a little weight problem up front, and ready for immediate shipment. For complete details, call Flight Resource at (866) 717-1117, or go online.
New on AVwebback to top 

BrainteasersWhen you're on final, aiming for the numbers, with passengers squawking, "Are we there yet?" there's little time to preplan. So, take a moment -- assuming you're not on final -- to test your approaches to landing.

Take the quiz.

With the Crime Institute reporting an increased risk of aircraft theft, we're curious: How secure is your airplane? Plus: How much of a damper did winter put our our readers' flying time? More...

Question: Why Purchase Used Avionics?
Answer: Money

Purchasing used and reliable avionics from Bennett Avionics maximizes the additional capability for your budget. You can improve your aircraft's utility and safety while saving money compared to new. If a panel full of new avionics does not make sense for your aircraft, Bennett Avionics can help. Call Bennett Avionics at (860) 653-7295, or go online for a complete list of available products.
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Out of the Blue Aviation at KAWO in Arlington, Washington.

According to AVweb reader Jeanne Howe, Out of the Blue "has it all":

There is a comfortable lounge with great espresso, pilot supplies and top-notch instructors. Owner Cathy Mighell is enthusiastic about all she has developed. As a Cessna Pilot Training Center, the staff is knowledgeable and able to guide students and pilots to meet their needs. Everyone is friendly and excited about their seminars and events. I've enjoyed the North Sound Poker Run and look forward to their Mountain Flying seminar and beach BBQ getaway.

From Jeanne's description, it sounds like the FBO at Out of the Blue is a destination unto itself!

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...

Envision® Integrated Flight Deck Now Available for Retrofit Installation in Cessna 400-Series Aircraft!
Avidyne's Envision® Integrated Flight Deck modernizes the popular Cessna 400-Series piston-engine twins with state-of-the-art situational awareness and safety systems and the industry's easiest-to-use integrated flight deck. Purchase and take delivery of an Envision® System (EXP5000 PFD and an EX5000 MFD) and get an MLB700 at no charge! This $5,495 value provides you with WSI Datalink Weather and Sirius® Digital Audio! Offer valid from 1/15/08 to 5/15/08. Click here for more info.

Sign up to be an Avidyne Insider.

» See Avidyne technologies in action at at booths D-069-070 and N-028 at Sun 'n Fun
Reader-Submitted Photosback to top 

Over the last several weeks, we've witnessed the annual "spring thaw" in reader-submitted photos. Perhaps our readers' fingers are just now warming up enough to upload their photos, or maybe it's the lure of hanging around the FBO for a couple of hours when the sun stays out later. Whatever the case, photo submissions are up, so hang onto your seat as we dive into our latest batch of reader images, starting with this one from Leonard Duncil of Titusville, Florida. More...

Understanding Your Airplane's Mechanics Could Save Your Bank Account
Light Plane Maintenance is the monthly magazine for aircraft owners who aren't satisfied with just flying. Aircraft repair can be simple when explained in concise, step-by-step details. If you want to truly learn about the workings of your airplane (and save a few dollars, too), Light Plane Maintenance is for you. Order online today and receive LPM's 40 Top Maintenance Tips as a gift.

» Subscribe to Light Plane Maintenance and other magazines
from Belvoir Aviation Publications at booth C-034 at Sun 'n Fun
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.

Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's sales team.

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 here.

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