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Lancairs 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 Fridays AVweb Audio, Lancair CEO Joe Bartels is concerned that the FAAs 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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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.
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,
» Experience the fun of flying with Cirrus Design at booths MD-032C and MD-033B at Sun 'n Fun
An NTSB preliminary report into the crash of a Kemper Aviation Cessna 172S that killed the companys
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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The Air Force says Northrop-Grummans proposal for a new aerial refueling aircraft based on the Airbus A330 was simply better than Boeings 767-based plan. Documents quoted by the Seattle Post Intelligencer say the Air Force will need 22 fewer Airbuses because its 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 Northrops past performance on Air Force contracts was judged as satisfactory, the Air Force assessment team said it had little confidence in Boeings
ability to get the job done on time and on budget. Boeing spokesman Bill Barksdale told the PI that Boeings previous problems on defense contracts were overemphasized in the tanker
bid and didnt take into account the lessons learned on those projects.
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.
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learning to fly or fulfilling the lifelong dream of owning a new Cessna. Call 1 (316) 517-6056, or
» Be there with Cessna Single-Engine at booths SNF-001-005 at Sun 'n Fun
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 fighter pilots routinely face a variety of on-the-job hazards but they likely didnt 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.
Theres no word on the source of the chemical or when the Storms will be cleared for flight.
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
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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.
Find Your Next Aircraft on ASO!
When you search for used aircraft on ASO, you get the most complete picture of the market available anywhere. View thousands of listings with detailed specs and photos or use ASO's
advanced search tools to quickly find your next aircraft. Best of all, know that every ad is current and no time is wasted on stale listings. If you're ready for your next aircraft, it's ready for
you on ASO.
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."
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):
Piper Owners & Pilots Gain Knowledge, Have Fun
Join the fastest-growing and best association for Piper Flyers the Piper Flyer Association (PFA), since 2004 providing same-day parts locating, faster answers to technical
questions, an informative monthly magazine, online forums, national and regional events, an annual gathering, seminars, member discounts, and more for only $40 yearly. The PFA is located in
the Blue Hangar on the Waupaca Municipal Airport (PCZ) in Waupaca, Wisconsin, 35 nm NW of Oshkosh.
For more information,
AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Blue Diamond Aviation at Russellville Municipal Airport (M22) in
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.
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
» See Jeppesen e-charts in action at booths C-017-021 at Sun 'n Fun
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.
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!
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."
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.
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/.
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
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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