AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 14, Number 13a

March 24, 2008

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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Lancair's Evolution Takes to the Skies back to top 
Sponsor Announcement

Lancair Evolution First Flight

Lancair’s latest kit-built aircraft, the Evolution, had its first flight at company headquarters in Redmond, Ore., last Friday. The all-composite speedster will weigh just 2,300 pounds empty but has a 750-hp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT-6 engine up front that will give it a maximum cruise of 330 knots. First flight, with Len Fox at the controls, appeared uneventful and lasted about 40 minutes. According to the Lancair Web site the company is planning to have the aircraft at Sun ‘n Fun, which begins in just two weeks. Actually getting the aircraft to market may prove to be more difficult, though.

As we reported in last Friday’s AVweb Audio, Lancair CEO Joe Bartels is concerned that the FAA’s reassessment of the rules that have governed kit-built aircraft for more than 20 years will threaten technologically advanced aircraft such as the Evolution. The FAA is suggesting that home builders should do more of the parts fabrication themselves, rather than just straight assembly of pre-made parts, but Bartels says the specialized equipment and materials that go into the parts of a composite airframe are far beyond the scope and abilities of someone working in a home shop. While it decides its next move, the FAA has put a moratorium on inspections of new kits and their conformity to the existing regulations and the Evolution is caught in that moratorium. However, Oregon politicians are going to bat for the company and calling on the FAA to resume the so-called “courtesy inspections,” which give potential buyers comfort that once the plane is built the agency will sign off on its airworthiness, assuming it was built according to manufacturers’ directions.

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Quotes reprinted with permission: Professional Pilot, 2007 Headset Preference Survey, 12/07; Aviation Consumer, 8/07.

» Try out the Headset X™ and other Bose Corporation products at booth SNF-009 at Sun 'n Fun
Crime and Responsibility back to top 

After Canadian Crash, Court Attacks Airline Culture

Mark Tayfel managed a relatively safe landing on a public street in Winnipeg with both engines out that was, said one man, "an absolute miracle," according to Canada.com. Unfortunately, Tayfel had initiated the flight with six passengers aboard and without enough fuel to reach its destination, and one of Tayfel's passengers, 79-year-old Chester Jones, died of his injuries a few weeks after the crash. The trial regarding the 2002 crash apparently convinced the judge that a "culture" within the airline industry "pressures young pilots to break the law." Justice Holly Beard last week sentenced Tayfel to 240 hours of community service and a curfew. "It's clear the failure to follow aeronautics regulations is very prevalent," said Justice Beard while delivering Tayfel's sentence. And she would not lay blame for that culture squarely on Tayfel.

Prosecuting attorney Brian Wilford had argued that Tayfel had acted recklessly in his initiation of the flight and did not communicate the aircraft's condition until it was too late. Defense lawyer Balfour Der argued that Tayfel had not set out to endanger himself or his passengers and could better serve the community by preaching of his mistake to student pilots. Der noted that Keystone Air, Tayfel's employer, did not appear in court in support of his defense and that the company should have been held liable. Tayfel's former boss George Riopka did comment on the outcome of the trial, however, saying the judge's characterization of airline culture is outmoded. "That culture they're talking about is a dying breed in my eyes. There's very little of that in the aviation industry today from what I've seen," he told The Globe and Mail.

Jail For Diabetic Pilot

Pilot Ronald Crews was sentenced to 16 months in prison for lying about a medical condition that led in 2002 to his diabetic seizure while at the controls of a Cape Air Cessna 402. Crews, then 50 years of age, had flown with Cape Air for four years and had not disclosed to the FAA his insulin dependency. He will serve two years probation following completion of his jail term. The Feb. 8, 2002, flight out of Martha's Vineyard for Hyannis with four passengers aboard was spared potential disaster by the actions of one passenger -- a Cape Air security supervisor and pilot trainee. Melanie Oswalt, then 24, took the controls with 48 hours of experience under her belt and managed a gear-up landing at non-towered Provincetown airport at the north end of Cape Cod. The airport was closed at the time of the landing and located well beyond the flight's intended point of arrival. None of those aboard were injured. The U.S. Attorney's office says that Crews had for his entire career hidden the condition from the FAA.

Crews had once previously removed himself from a flight he was scheduled to fly for Cape Air and later took a medical leave of absence. He had been cleared to fly again just six weeks before the accident flight. Crews pled guilty to four counts of making false statements to a federal agency. His sentencing took place in federal court in Boston.

Cirrus Announces New Standard Maintenance Program
A planemaker fond of comparing its planes to high-end luxury automobiles just brought those two seemingly disparate markets a little closer. Cirrus Design has announced the launch of Cirrus Maintenance, a new "standard with purchase" benefit designed to help reduce the cost of scheduled and unscheduled maintenance. For more information, click here.

» Experience the fun of flying with Cirrus Design at booths MD-032C and MD-033B at Sun 'n Fun
Kemper Crash Update back to top 

Crash 172 Low, Slow, Possibly Overweight

An NTSB preliminary report into the crash of a Kemper Aviation Cessna 172S that killed the company’s co-owner, Jeff Rozelle, and three others earlier this month near Indiantown, Fla., suggests the aircraft could have been overloaded by as much as 200 pounds. The report says it was carrying 808 pounds of people and baggage and had flown 1.5 hours after being topped up to a full 56 gallons of fuel. That would have left approximately 46 gallons (about 275 pounds) in the tanks at the time of the crash, for a total weight of about 1083 pounds. Useful load on the crash airplane was 861.8 pounds. Only 9.5 gallons was recovered from the tanks but the fuel and vent lines from both tanks were broken in the crash.

The report says witnesses saw the plane flying slowly at about 200 to 250 feet AGL when "the nose dropped and the tail went straight up." The flaps were set at 14 degrees and there was five degrees of up elevator trim. Witnesses said engine noise increased as the plane spun and the throttle was found fully advanced. It was the third fatal crash for the company in less than six months and it suspended operations pending an FAA investigation.

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Big Planes, Big Business back to top 

Why Airbus Tanker Beat Boeing

The Air Force says Northrop-Grumman’s proposal for a new aerial refueling aircraft based on the Airbus A330 was simply better than Boeing’s 767-based plan. Documents quoted by the Seattle Post Intelligencer say the Air Force will need 22 fewer Airbuses because it’s more efficient at refueling and has a faster turnaround time than the 767. The Boeing had the edge in communications, some aerial refueling capabilities and combat survivability. It all added up to a close competition that the Air Force suggests may have been tipped by the business skills of the two bidders.

While Northrop’s past performance on Air Force contracts was judged as “satisfactory,” the Air Force assessment team said it had “little confidence” in Boeing’s ability to get the job done on time and on budget. Boeing spokesman Bill Barksdale told the PI that Boeing’s previous problems on defense contracts were “overemphasized” in the tanker bid and didn’t take into account the “lessons learned” on those projects.

Lockheed Martin's Composite Transport

Lockheed Martin intends to have a prototype Advanced Composite Cargo Aircraft in the air by October, just one year after winning the $50 million contract to produce the plane. The design may be roughly based off of a highly modified Dornier 328J regional jet, but made of synthetic fibers, resin and epoxy instead of metal. Where comparable aircraft could be built from up to 4,000 parts, the new aircraft will be made of just 306 parts and benefit from a weight loss of up to 30 percent versus conventional cargo aircraft. The Air Force is hoping that savings could allow heavier payloads, longer range and significant fuel savings while offering a structure more resistant to corrosion and fatigue. Composite materials are not less expensive than metal, but a faster build time, if achieved, will also contribute to an overall reduction in cost. The prototype aircraft will be smaller than the aging C-130 Hercules, but also more nimble and capable of delivering troops to shorter, rougher strips closer to the front lines.

Discover the Thrill
You are here when you discover that the thrill of hanging 10 has nothing on hanging around Cloud 9. In a brand-new Cessna Skyhawk, you too will discover life in a brand-new way, whether you're learning to fly or fulfilling the lifelong dream of owning a new Cessna. Call 1 (316) 517-6056, or visit CessnaYouAreHere.com.

» Be there with Cessna Single-Engine at booths SNF-001-005 at Sun 'n Fun
News Briefs back to top 

Arlington Fly-In And EAA

EAA and the Arlington Fly-In have reached a new working agreement that clarifies a 20-year relationship and defines the EAA's role to provide extensive promotion and coverage of the fly-in, and serve as a major sponsor for forums and workshops during the event. "We have set the stage for success in our shared missions," said EAA Vice President Adam Smith, "which is to promote recreational aviation in all its forms." The agreement will bring EAA judging standards to Arlington's aircraft awards program, along with two EAA SportAir workshops to be held on the fly-in grounds at other times of the year. The Arlington Fly-In is set for July 9-13 this year. One weekly ticket for a fly-in visitor arriving by aircraft is $24. Daily tickets are $15 for airborne arrivals. EAA's own AirVenture Oshkosh 2008 is set for July 28 through August 3.

Israeli Fighters Grounded In Cancer Scare

Israeli fighter pilots routinely face a variety of on-the-job hazards but they likely didn’t expect a threat from inside the cockpit. According to YNet News pilots are being tested for cancer after a high concentration of formaldehyde was found in the cockpit of one of its F-16I (Storm) fighters. Now the Israeli air force is saying that most Storm pilots were exposed to the chemical. Intense exposure can cause cancer but Israeli officials say that the chance of the pilots developing the disease is remote.

The investigation began after pilots complained about a pungent odor in one aircraft. The rest of the aircraft were initially cleared but they remain grounded until more thorough tests are done. There’s no word on the source of the chemical or when the Storms will be cleared for flight.

On the Fly ...

The Air Care 2008 conference on public benefit flying will be held Apr. 25-26 in Atlanta. Anyone thinking of going is reminded that the deadline for getting discount hotel rates is March 28 and more information is available here ...

Jon Sharp will try to set a speed record in his NemesisNXT racer at EAA AirVenture in July. Sharp hopes to exceed 334.31 mph screaming over Runway 18/36 to claim the record for that class of aircraft over a three-kilometer course ...

Boeing isn't commenting on reports that modification of the wing box on the 787 will delay the project further. The company said the redesign was part of the normal development process.

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Readers' Voices back to top 

AVmail: Mar. 24, 2008

Reader mail this week about Southwest Airlines, sunken airplanes, the Distinguished Flying Cross and more.

Click here to read this week's letters to the editor.

AVweb's Newstips Address ...

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. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.

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New on AVweb back to top 

The Pilot's Lounge #124: An Airplane With A Personality? Let's Not Be Silly

Airplane drivers don't believe airplanes are anything other than inanimate objects. Airplane flyers, however, will enjoy what AVweb's Rick Durden has to say about a Piper Apache named "Da Pop."

Click here to read Rick Durden's column.

Always Wanted To Fly A DC-3?

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.

Important Rules:
To qualify, you must have a valid pilot certificate and current medical. It doesn't have to be a U.S. certificate. You must be available to fly at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, April 8, 2008 at Lakeland Linder Airport in Florida. All entries must be received by April 1, 2008.

Winner will be announced in the April 3 edition of AVwebFlash. Good luck!

To get some idea of what you're in for, watch this video of AVweb Editor-in-Chief Russ Niles as he tries to push the aircraft around (left) and Dan's patented one-wheel landing (right):

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Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Blue Diamond Aviation (Russellville Municipal Airport, AL)

Nominate an FBO | Rules | Tips | Questions | Winning FBOs

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Blue Diamond Aviation at Russellville Municipal Airport (M22) in Russellville, Alabama.

AVweb reader Robby Bendall calls the FBO "a welcome stop for anyone," recounting how he and a friend have made it their base of operations while airplane shopping:

Cm. Sgt. Harry Mattox has done an excellant job of building a good small town FBO and flight traing center. Recently a friend and I have been working on the purchase of his first airplane, a 172 that has been sitting for two years. He has welcomed us with open arms and has gone out of his way to help. We have used his facilities on and off since January of this year, and it and looks like we are about to finish up. Harry has auto-dispensed Jet A and 100LL, [plentiful] hangar space, and the nicest small town terminal with a courtesy car. Smiles abound.

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!

Welcome to Jeppesen E-Charts
Jeppesen Electronic Charts — or e-charts — are here. They're compliant and replacing paper charts worldwide. E-charts will make your flying faster, safer, and better. Whether you display your electronic charts in the cockpit or print them out and use the paper, e-charts are easier to carry, easier to use, and easier to revise than traditional paper charts. You'll spend more time flying and less time preparing to fly. Learn more about the many benefits of switching to electronic charts by visiting Jeppesen online.

» See Jeppesen e-charts in action at booths C-017-021 at Sun 'n Fun
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

Exclusive Video: Lockheed U-2S "Dragon Lady" Cockpit Tour

Original, Exclusive Videos from AVweb | Reader-Submitted & Viral Videos

The Lockheed U-2 has been in service for over 50 years. It has been at the center of some of the most tense moments in America's history. AVweb's Glenn Pew takes you inside the cockpit on a guided tour with an active U-2 pilot.

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Video of the Week: Helicopter Incident on the High Seas

Recommend a Video | VOTW Archive

AVweb reader Jim Lin sent us this week's video clip, along with a note that the original YouTube description (which calls this a takeoff error and blames it on an unreleased strap) may be a misreading of what we're actually seeing:

Here's a video of a scary helicopter incident at sea. Despite what the video description says, it looks like the pilot failed to keep the helicopter pinned to the deck of the pitching ship. You can see the heli get light on its skids on the swell prior to the actual liftoff and subsequent tail strike. That's one lucky deckhand!

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Don't forget to send us links to any interesting videos you find out there. If you're impressed by it, there's a good chance other AVweb readers will be too. And if we use a video you recommend on AVweb, we'll send out an official AVweb baseball cap as a "thank you."

Anywhere from Texas to California, Bad Guys May Be After Your Baby ...

File Size 9.5 MB / Running Time 10:22

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

As you read last week on AVweb, the Aviation Crime Prevention Institute has issued an All Points Bulletin to pilots/owners of Cessna singles and especially heavy haul Caravans, King Air models, and medium/heavy Cessna Cabin Class Twins to take measures to secure and guard their airplanes. Because the Mexican government is now seizing airplanes at an accelerated rate, the drug cartels need to quickly procure some American assets to replenish their illegal aviation fleet. AVweb's Mike Blakeney spoke with ACPI president Bob Collins to find out why and how they plan to turn your pride and joy to a life of crime.

Click here to listen. (9.5 MB, 10:22)

Stuck on the Freeway? Put That "Down Time" to Good Use with Pilot's Audio Update
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» Learn more about Light Plane Maintenance and other magazines
from Belvoir Aviation Publications at booth C-034 at Sun 'n Fun
The Lighter Side of Flight back to top 

Short Final

Overheard in IFR Magazine's 'On the Air' Section
Overheard in IFR Magazine's "On the Air"

Departing Oakland for Redding, California, NorCal Departure handed me off to Oakland Center. I changed frequencies but attended to some other issues and couldn't remember if I'd checked in:

"Oakland Center, Skyhawk XXXXX, six thousand. I can't remember if we actually checked in or if I just thought about it."

Oakland Center:
"XXXXX, roger. No, you didn't check in — but it's the thought that counts."

Walt Odets
via e-mail

More AVweb for Your Inbox back to top 

AVwebBiz: AVweb's Business Aviation Newsletter

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/.

Names Behind the News back to top 

Meet 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.

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.

Aviate. Navigate. Communicate.