AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 14, Number 13b

March 27, 2008

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
Hearing Protection Study by Lightspeed Aviation (Participate to Enter Cash Drawing)
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.

» Listen to all the fine Lightspeed headsets at booths D-052-053 and D-060 at Sun 'n Fun
Top News back to top 

Thielert Hits Stock Market Turbulence

Thielert shares dropped to a record low of 3.65 Euros (it’s traded as high as 25.22) on the German stock market Tuesday on news the company was delaying the release of its financial statements. The company, which supplies diesel aircraft engines to Diamond and Cessna, as well as for STC applications, has some major accounting work to do after a Hamburg court, on March 6, nullified its financial statements for the years 2003, 2004 and 2005. The court ruled the company had breached valuation provisions. Thielert is appealing the decision. An earlier action against the company nullified all the resolutions made at last August’s shareholders meeting. AVweb found out about the situation after close of business in Germany and has not been able to contact company officials. A message left at the company’s North American subsidiary, Superior Air Parts, was not returned by our deadline. The company’s two biggest customers, however, say it’s business as usual.

Diamond Aircraft, which uses Thielerts in its DA40 single and DA42 twin continues to receive inventory and support from the company. “We have no information beyond what is published,” said Diamond CEO Peter Maurer. “We have been a long-time customer of TAE, we are their highest volume OEM customer and continue to receive and install TAE engines in our DA40-tdi and DA42 aircraft.” Cessna has started putting diesels in 172s and spokeswoman Pia Bergqvist said the company is monitoring the situation, but there’s been no change in business between the two. “We have good relationship with Thielert,” she said. “This does not affect our relationship.”

Pictures May Show Bullet Hole In US Airways A319

When the gunshot is coming from the cockpit, there’s a lot to figure out and that’s undoubtedly why we don’t know exactly what happened aboard US Airways Flight 1536 from Denver to Charlotte on Saturday. But pictures obtained by the Associated Press show what appears to be a bullet hole next to the captain's sidestick and an exit hole in the skin below the side window. The so-far unidentified captain of the flight is on leave while the airline, the FAA, the TSA and quite likely the FBI look into his alleged faux pas. .

The shot was fired as the A319 approached Charlotte and it appears the bullet breached the pressure vessel. The FAA says it’s inspecting the aircraft to make sure it’s fit to fly. It’s also worth noting that no one else on board was aware of the shot.

Aircraft Spruce Now Carries the New Garmin GPSMap 495
Fly with confidence without breaking your budget with the GPSMap 495. This "mini-MFD" portable includes the advanced features of the 496 — minus XM™ compatibility and preloaded maps — at a price you'll love. It comes loaded with SafeTaxi® airport diagrams, AOPA's Airport Directory data, Garmin's Smart Airspace™, super-fast update speed, enhanced terrain and aviation databases, and more. Add optional mapping to this versatile handheld for use on land or water. Call 1 (877) 4-SPRUCE or visit AircraftSpruce.com.

» Ask about Aircraft Spruce's show specials at booths B-004-009 at Sun 'n Fun
Fighting Fees in Florida back to top 

EAA, AOPA Seek Moratorium On Florida "Use Tax"

It seems that Maine is not the only state eager to slap visiting pilots with a "use tax" on their aircraft. Florida also has such a law on the books, and has used it in the past to collect thousands of dollars from aircraft owners. With Sun 'n Fun coming up next month, the show organizers have obtained assurances from state officials that visiting pilots will not be harassed. But to be sure there is no confusion, EAA and AOPA have asked the state to impose a moratorium on collecting the tax until the law can be clarified. "Florida revenue officials have admitted that the law is ambiguous for aircraft," says EAA President Tom Poberezny in a letter to Florida Governor Charlie Crist. "So it does not make sense to enforce a law that could put visitors to the state in such an uncertain situation." The 6-percent "use tax" can be assessed if an aircraft is less than six months old when flown into the state and the owner did not pay at least a 6 percent sales tax on it elsewhere.

There are bills pending in both houses of the Florida legislature to address the situation, EAA says, but those bills are currently in committee and face an uncertain legislative timeline for final action.

Florida Flight School, After Three Fatal Crashes, Surrenders Certificate

Kemper Aviation, based at Palm Beach County Park airport near Lantana, Fla., has voluntarily given up its Part 141 flight school certificate, the Sun-Sentinel reported on Wednesday. Three airplanes from the school have crashed in the last five months, killing eight people. The school suspended all of its flight training operations after the last crash, on March 13, in which a co-owner of the company died. The FAA is continuing its investigation into the school, which could still offer flight training under Part 61, but only for U.S. citizens. Most of Kemper's students are from India.

In January, The Palm Beach Post interviewed a half-dozen current and former flight instructors who shared safety concerns about the flight school.

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
Research & Development back to top 

FAA Reports On Runway Safety Measures

The FAA said on Tuesday that small airports around the country must upgrade their taxiway markings by March 31, 2010. The upgrades previously were voluntary. The agency also plans to mandate a change in how taxi clearances are issued. More explicit instructions are needed, the FAA says, and the U.S. should adopt international phraseology such as "line-up and wait" instead of the familiar "position and hold." New rules about clearances will be issued by June. Airline flight crews will be required to view new online safety information about incursions by May. A new working group, the Runway Safety Council, comprising representatives from government and industry, will launch by the end of this month. The FAA also announced that it has certified Jeppesen’s Airport Moving Map cockpit display.

FAA Administrator Bobby Sturgell also announced on Tuesday that the FAA will sponsor a first-ever symposium dedicated solely to the issue of pilot fatigue June 17-19 in the Washington, D.C., area.

Air Force Tests Synthetic Fuel In Supersonic Flight

The Air Force flew supersonic on synthetic fuel for the first time last week. A B-1B Lancer burning a 50/50 blend of synthetic and petroleum fuel launched from Dyess Air Force Base in Texas and flew the supersonic test above the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. Air Force officials said their goal is to develop a clean-burning, domestically produced fuel by 2011 that can be used by all aircraft in their fleet. Each time the price of oil goes up $10 per barrel, it costs the Air Force an extra $600 million. Synthetic fuel costs about $30 to $50 less per barrel than its petroleum counterpart, for substantial savings.

The synthetic fuel can be produced from domestically available hydrocarbon products like natural gas, coal and shale, and then gasified and converted into liquid fuel. "There was no noticeable difference flying with this fuel," said Capt. Rick Fournier, the B-1B flight mission commander. "I would have no problem flying an aircraft using this fuel in peacetime or combat." The fuel has previously been tested in the B-52 Stratofortress and the C-17 Globemaster III.

Avoiding Thunderstorms — Your life Can Depend On It!
Few pilots are willing to fly through convective activity. Those who do soon discover why they're in the minority. Learn about effective ATC communications and the weather-radar equipment that can help you avoid convective activity — in a no-cost online safety course from the Air Safety Foundation. This knowledge will help you make sound decisions as a pilot-in-command. Take the no-cost Thunderstorms and ATC online course now.

» Look for AOPA's Air Safety Foundation under the big yellow tent (booth SNF-008) at Sun 'n Fun
Food and Drink back to top 

Ewww, That Smell! Cargo Crew's Culinary Mishap

Hazmat specialists and emergency crews were ready and waiting when an Alitalia cargo flight bound from Milan to Miami diverted into Boston last Tuesday night. The MD-11's four crewmembers had donned oxygen masks as the cockpit filled with a noxious odor, and radioed ahead that they were concerned the fumes might be toxic or flammable. After a safe landing, the cargo was checked and investigators found the source of the problem -- four pallets loaded with five tons of minced onions. The onions were offloaded and shipped to Florida by truck, according to the Boston Herald.

The crew flew the airplane on to New York.

Flying And Alcohol - No. Hangars And Beer - Yes!

All pilots know that eight hours bottle-to-throttle is an absolute minimum rule, but luckily there is no rule about how soon after landing you can tip back a cold one. Taking advantage of pilots' affection for a tasty brew, some folks in Redlands, Calif., have opened up a microbrewery right next to the airport, in the former headquarters of a missionary flying group. The brewery is named Hangar 24, in honor of a favorite hangout of the owner, Ben Cook, who started brewing beer at home and sharing it with airport friends after the day's flying was done. The beer labels and logo designs feature vintage aircraft and wooden propellers.

The beer can be bought only when you're in the local Redlands area, but anyone can shop at the Web site for an aviation-themed T-shirt or beer glass.

Precise/Cirrus Fixed Oxygen Is Now Available as an SR22 Retrofit
Because every SR22 deserves the best, we have acquired STCs for the G2 and G3 Models. The Precise Flight Certified Fixed Oxygen System, unique in its clean and simple integration into the aircraft, is making its way "standard" on the industry's leading airframes. Click here to find out more about the Precise Fixed Oxygen System.

» Learn more about the Precise Flight Fixed Oxygen System at booth C-057 at Sun 'n Fun
News Briefs back to top 

China To Build 97 New Airports By 2020

The aviation infrastructure in China is about to take a big leap forward with the addition of 97 airports, including a second international airport in Beijing. As of now, the country has only 147 airports, so the goal is to reach 244 in the next 12 years. (By comparison, the U.S.A., with less than one-quarter the population of China, has more than 5,000 public-use airports and 555 that are certificated for air-carrier operations.) The increase will mean that by 2020, 82 percent of China's population will be living within a 90-minute drive of an airport, compared to 61 percent today. The project will cost $64 billion, China Daily reported.

A major new terminal recently opened in Beijing, in preparation for the arrival of the Olympic Games in August. And this week, a new terminal and cargo facility opened at Shanghai's Pudong International Airport, with the aim to become the cargo hub of Asia by 2010, according to The Associated Press.

KLM Pax Get Unexpected Aerial Tour Of India

A mix-up over where to land led to a KLM crew extending its downwind leg a bit -- by about 1,500 miles. It seems the crew, which had launched from Amsterdam, was expecting to land at its usual destination near the city of Hyderabad, in the south of India, but that airport had been closed just hours before. A brand-new airport had opened nearby, but when controllers directed the crew to land there, they declined, saying they hadn't heard about any new airport and weren't authorized by their airline to go there. They flew on to Delhi, but were not allowed to land, so flew on to Mumbai (Bombay) where they finally set down, with their 233 passengers.

The new airport had delayed its opening by a week. Officials said all airlines had been notified.

On the Fly ...

An F-15 pilot who was hurt when the airplane broke up in flight has sued Boeing, alleging "gross indifference" to the safety of flight crews...

Sales of Light Sport Aircraft have slowed, perhaps reflecting economic uncertainty, says Dan Johnson of bydanjohnson.com...

EAA is working to reverse an FAA decision that prohibits first flights in homebuilt aircraft from the Placerville, Calif., airport...

Two Russian Tu-95 bombers that flew close to U.S. airspace near Alaska were escorted away by NATO jets early Wednesday...

A Montana college student pilot spent a cold night on a mountain near Billings after taking a wrong turn on a cross country. Andrew Sheffer was walking out through waist-deep snow when he was found by rescuers.

Aircraft Loans to Fit Your Needs
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New on AVweb back to top 

Across the Pond #15: Report from Europe

Ruling delays, more consultations and possible new technologies are topics on the agenda in Europe this month.

Click here for the full story.

AVweb Insider Blog: Our Wasteful Training Habits

We're wasting fuel in the name of safety, and it's time we started sharpening our flying habits to save money and the environment. So says Belvoir Aviation Group Editor Paul Bertorelli is his latest post to the AVweb Insider blog.

Read more.

Over 16,000 Happy GAMIjectors® Customers Can't Be Wrong!
GAMIjectors® have given these aircraft owners reduced peak cylinder head temperatures, reduced fuel consumption, and smoother engine operation. GAMIjectors® alter the fuel/air ratio in each cylinder so that each cylinder operates with a much more uniform fuel/air ratio than occurs with any other factory set of injectors. To speak to a GAMI engineer, call (888) FLY-GAMI, or go online for complete engineering details.

» See aviation technology at its best when you visit GAMI at booth A-065 at Sun 'n Fun
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Learn and Laugh 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.

Don't see a video screen?
Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

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. Visit ASO.com today!
Readers' Voices back to top 

Question of the Week: Fuel Economy and You

This Week's Question | Previous Week's Answers


Last week, we asked how far you go to secure your airplane when you're not sitting in the cockpit.

Just over half of those who answered told us they keep their plane in a hangar but the hangar (and the airport) could be more secure.

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.)


Fuel economy is more important than ever, and we want to know how you're taking this vital aspect of flying into account.

What are you doing to save fuel when you fly?
(Click to answer.)

Have an idea for a new "Question of the Week"? Send your suggestions to .

This address is only for suggested "QOTW" questions, and not for "QOTW" answers or comments.
Use this form to send "QOTW" comments to our AVmail Editor.

Got Cylinders? Tell Us About Your Service History

Our sister publication, Aviation Consumer, is conducting a survey on aircraft engine cylinder products. If you've done an overhaul during the past several years, the magazine's editors would like to hear from you on how the cylinders have performed.

Just click on this link to take the survey.

The results will appear in a future issue of Aviation Consumer. For subscription information, click here.

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.

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.

» Experience the Diamond Aircraft DA40 at booths MD-023B and MD-024C at Sun 'n Fun
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!

Knowledge Is Power; Knowledge Is Also a Safety Factor When Flying IFR
The IFR environment is constantly changing. You need to keep informed. IFR Refresher is the publication for you if you're serious about flying IFR. No other publication can help maintain your IFR flying and decision-making skills. Order your subscription online for savings from the regular rate.

» Subscribe to IFR Refresher and other magazines
from Belvoir Aviation Publications at booth C-034 at Sun 'n Fun
Reader-Submitted Photos back to top 

Picture of the Week: AVweb's Flying Photography Showcase

Submit a Photo | Rules | Tips | Questions | Past Winners

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.


AVweb readers served up an incredible batch of original photos this week, stuffing our "POTW" contest box with stunning images snapped at hangars, airports, fly-ins, and backyards across the globe. (Want to see your photos here? Try submitting them via this form. Even if your photos aren't featured, we'll be more than happy to drool over your plane and jealously fantasize about the places you visited this year while we were sitting in a dark little room looking at airplane pictures.)

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copyright © John Fleck
Used with permission

Blue Angels on the Flight Line at El Centro NAS

John Fleck of Indianapolis, Indiana has submitted some great pics over the last few months. Today, he joins the proud ranks of "POTW" winners, and he's certainly earned it.


medium | large

Used with permission of
Joseph P. Horenkamp

All Eyes on the Lady

Joseph P. Horenkamp of Novi, Michigan (and a few hundred of his close friends) got a close-up view of the B-17 Yankee Lady at Thunder Over Michigan.


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copyright © Gary Dikkers
Used with permission


Gary Dikkers of Madison, Wisconsin gets us in the mood for AirVenture with this shot direct from Wittman Field at Oshkosh. (Yes, we do love a little symmetry!)


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Used with permission of John Schuster

Air Force One at LAX — Close-Up

John Schuster of Christiansted in the Virgin Islands grabbed a few shots of Air Force One landing at Los Angeles — but it's this perspective that left us saying, "Now there's something you don't see every day."


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copyright © Jerry M. O'Neill
Used with permission

Under the Watchful Eye of Airdale Len Roberto

Jerry M. O'Neill (of Cheshire, Connecticut) takes us back to the flight line, where this week's edition started. This time it's Mather Field at Rancho Cordova, California, but you'll forgive us if we close our eyes and pretend we're already at Linder Airport in Lakeland, Florida. (We've got a touch of Sun 'n Fun fever, folks.)


More Reader-Submitted Pictures
... can be found in the "POTW" slideshow on our home page. Watch for fresh photos later today!

Click here to submit your own photos to "POTW."

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, consult the POTW Rules or or send us an 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.