AVwebFlash - Volume 14, Number 16a

April 14, 2008

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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.
A Final Word from Sun 'n Fun — And It's "FADEC" back to top 
Sponsor Announcement

Exclusive Video from Sun 'n Fun 2008:
FADEC Coming Of Age?

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

For more than 100 years, piston aircraft pilots have been priming, pumping and leaning their engines to coax maximum performance out of them (or just keep them running). Other types of gasoline-powered conveyances largely ditched carburetion and all that comes with it 10 years ago but aircraft have been slow to adopt digital control of the things that make the prop go around. Continental has certified Full Authority Digitial Engine Control (FADEC) on its 0240 engine and the lessons learned are modestly leading the industry in a direction that seems inevitable. AVweb flew the FADEC demo Diamond DA20 at Sun 'n Fun and, thanks to software upgrades and other tweaks, there were none of the running faults that have been reported in the past. Not only does the engine run well, it can tell you when it's not feeling well. In this AVweb Exclusive Video from Glenn Pew, Continental's Phillip Grice explains the system and its advantages:

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This video brought to you by WxWorx XM WX Satellite Weather and Bose Corporation.

Aerocar Flies Again — With FADEC (Really)

Modern technology has come to the rescue of a persistent problem, which, had it been addressed in its time, might have made Molt Taylor's Aerocar more appealing in its day. The aircraft flew to Sun 'n Fun (it's the only flying example of five left) from its home away from home at a museum in Kissimmee, Fla. with its O-360 engine equipped with full authority digital engine control (FADEC). Owner Ed Sweeney said that through most of its life the machine suffered chronic running faults because of the geometry of its old carburetor installation.

Sweeney explained that on the old engine, the carburetor had to be offset to accommodate the drive shaft. As a result, two cylinders got most of the fuel while the others were starved. "It runs better than it ever has," said Sweeney, who knew Taylor and first flew in the aircraft when he was 17. The Aerocar was owned by actor Bob Cummings for years and it came into Sweeney's hands about 20 years ago.

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Do You Have Enough Life Insurance?
The truth is most people do not. Studies show that 40% of adult Americans have no life insurance whatsoever and over 50 million people in this country lack adequate life insurance. Pilot Insurance Center can help you protect your family with full-coverage life insurance and no aviation exclusions. PIC specializes in providing pilots — from student to ATP — with the life insurance protection they need. For a personalized quote, call PIC today at 1 (800) 380-8376 or visit online.
Venerable Vendors back to top 

G3 SR20 Has New Wings, Refined Interior

When Cirrus unveiled the G3 SR22 at last year's Sun 'n Fun, the reaction was positive and the response from customers was favorable. Lessons learned from the improvements of the flagship model were applied to the entry-level SR20 and it made its show debut at this year's Sun 'n Fun. Probably the biggest change (and biggest mystery) of the project was putting the new wing from the SR22 on the new SR20. Previous SR20s had a smaller wing than their more powerful stablemates. But when the larger wing was put on the SR20, the cruise speed actually went up by six or seven knots.

The carbon fiber spar in the G3 wing weighs 40 lbs. less. Cirrus also added vortex generators and other small aerodynamic touches to improve handling, including a one-degree dihedral increase that eliminates the need for a rudder/aileron interconnect that had caused problems. The interior has also been redesigned with smoother lines and recessed switches with backlighting and a reworked fuse panel.

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New Cessnas Make Show Debut

Cessna 350 and Cessna 400 models made their air show debut at Sun 'n Fun last week and company officials say there's been overwhelming response to the aircraft. Cessna was the winning bidder at a bankruptcy auction for the former Columbia Aircraft late last year and began building the speedy composite singles in Cessna colors in December. The aircraft have been integrated into the company's sales and support systems and Cessna continues to hire more staff at the Bend, Ore. plant.

In fact, according to the Bend Bulletin the Oregon community is pinching itself over Cessna's move to Bend. While the company made headlines over its request for a $25 million subsidy from Kansas last week to build its Columbus large business jet there, Cessna hasn't asked for anything (except for a tower at the airport by 2009) from Bend officials. That's perhaps a good thing since Bend doesn't have any budget for business incentives.

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Cessna Caravan
Introducing the perfect union of brains and brawn. With more than 10 million fleet hours under its heavy-lifting wings, the Cessna Caravan now has brains to match. The standard Garmin G1000® glass cockpit combined with the WAAS-certified GFC700 automated flight control system integrates all primary flight, engine and sensor data to provide intuitive, at-a-glance situational awareness and precise flight guidance and control. For complete information, go online.
Nifty Newbies back to top 

Crowds Gander At New Goose

Antilles Seaplanes made its first appearance at Sun 'n Fun 2008 and the company says it hopes to be delivering newly-manufactured modern versions of the venerable Grumman Goose in the next year or two. The company has the type certificate for the aircraft and has been developing the manufacturing processes at its plant in Gibsonville, N.C. and the company says it's getting close to actually building aircraft.

A company spokesman said that rather than taking advance orders, the firm wanted to ensure it could actually build the aircraft. Now that they've determined the plane can be manufactured again, they're getting ready for the marketing of the plane. Radial and turboprop versions will both be offered.

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"Convertible" LSA Offered

Warner Aerocraft is offering a unique concept in Light Sport Aircraft design with a three-way convertible cockpit. The Sportster can be flown single or tandem with or without a canopy. The company says it only takes five minutes to reconfigure the plane. It's powered by a Continental 0200 and has a top speed of 130 mph. It has a fabric fuselage and metal wings.

The aircraft has a useful load of 504 lbs. and carries 14 gallons of useable fuel, with an option to double that amount. The company says it's a good training aircraft but it also boasts load limits of +6 and -4. The aircraft has been offered as a homebuilt for 10 years and while an LSA kit is in the works, the company is focusing on manufacturing the aircraft under the LSA category for the moment.

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JA Air Center, Your Garmin GPSMap 496 Source, Is Looking to Purchase Used GPS Units, Avionics, and Aircraft
Call (800) 323-5966 for current value, with no purchase required. JA Air Center is your source for Garmin GPS and Avionics, including the popular GPSMap 496 with XM Weather, Terrain, AOPA Airport Guide, Taxiway Database, and built-in StreetPilot Auto GPS.

JA Air Center [Dupage Airport (KDPA) in West Chicago, IL] provides the finest avionics installations, turbine/piston maintenance, avionics/instrument service, mail order, and aircraft sales. Call (800) 323-5966, or click for more information.
AVweb Audio — Are You Listening? back to top 

Glasair Aviation's Mikael Via on "Two Weeks To Taxi" and the 51% Rule
(Recorded Live at Sun 'n Fun 2008)

File Size 14.7 MB / Running Time 16:05

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One of the more visible of the "new generation" of builder-assist programs, Glasair Aviation's Two Weeks to Taxi program has been continually updated since its inception in 2006. Company president Mikael Via talks about the program and the possible impact of changes to the 51% Rule.

Click here to listen. (14.7 MB, 16:05)

This podcast brought to you by Bose Corporation and WxWorx XM WX Satellite Weather.

First Completed Texas Sport Cub Debuts at Sun 'n Fun
(Recorded Live at Sun 'n Fun 2008)

File Size 9.9 MB / Running Time 10:49

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Texas Sport's Kurt Sehnert talks with Kitplanes magazine's Marc Cook about the first completed Texas Sport Cub, which was on prominent display in the company's booth at Sun 'n Fun. The Texas Sport Cub is a derivative of the Legend Cub factory-built Light Sport aircraft that is constructed as an Experimental/Amateur-Built aircraft. It can be built to conform to LSA rules so it can be flown by Sport Pilots or to a higher gross weight for the rest of us.

Click here to listen. (9.9 MB, 10:49)

This podcast brought to you by Bose Corporation and WxWorx XM WX Satellite Weather.

No Slippery Stuff On Aviation Oil
(Recorded Live at Sun 'n Fun 2008)

File Size 8.3 MB / Running Time 9:02

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To wrap up our daily Sun 'n Fun coverage, we have a quick chat with ConocoPhillips' Harold Tucker, director of technical information and training. An industry veteran, Tucker offers his thoughts on the ideal oil and external additives and gives us a few tips that could help pilots and owners get more life from their engines.

Click here to listen. (8.3 MB, 9:02)

This podcast brought to you by Bose Corporation and WxWorx XM WX Satellite Weather.

Lycoming Engines
Lycoming Engines specializes in Engineering, Manufacture, Service and Support of piston aircraft engines. Headquartered in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Lycoming piston engines power more than half of the world's general aviation fleet — both rotary-wing and fixed-wing. Lycoming Engines is a division of Avco Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc. More information is available online.
News Briefs back to top 

On the Fly ...

A pilot leaving Sun 'n Fun about 11:30 a.m. Sunday was killed after his plane crashed shortly after takeoff. Identity and address of the pilot weren't available at deadline ...

A blown flypast by National Guard F-16s at Fenway Park in Boston has resulted in the grounding of the out-of-position pilot. The maneuver he chose to remedy his error busted an altitude limit, but having video of the maneuver distributed on YouTube likely added to the attention ...

Prince William has qualified as a military pilot. The second in line to the throne got his wings along with 24 other RAF cadets. William's dad, Prince Charles, pinned on the wings.

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.

What Are the Advantages of Working with an Aviation Insurance Broker?
An aviation broker gives you a choice of coverage and pricing options offered by numerous insurance companies. Today's policies offer more enhancements and features, including coverage for handheld avionics, automatic increase in insured value, trip interruption, and more. The AOPA Insurance Agency can help you select the features that best meet your unique insurance needs. Call for a complimentary quote at (800) 622-2672, or go online.
New on AVweb back to top 

AVmail: Apr. 14, 2008

Reader mail this week about LSAs, N. Mex., and much more about GA vs. F-16s in MOAs.

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

Probable Cause #56: Night Shift

Flying VFR at night can be very safe and enjoyable, but not when you're in the mountains.

Click here for the full story.

Some of my most memorable flights involve night flying, both for good and bad reasons. On the good side, I recall breathtaking sunsets, full, orange moons on the horizon, distant lightning and flying down New York City's East River after departing the now-closed Flushing Airport. On the bad side, I remember flogging a Skyhawk through a cold front into Asheville, N.C., shortly after getting my Instrument rating, plus getting nailed by a Hickory, N.C., used-car dealer's spotlight in that same Skyhawk years later. And then there was the time ... well, you get the idea.

While the airplane certainly does not know whether the sun is shining, the lack of light makes many things more difficult to do from the left seat of an airplane at night. Some things -- like spotting well-lit traffic, airports and even transmission towers -- can be easier at night. But that's only true when the weather's good and I'm flying VFR. When the weather's bad, it's no contest: File and fly IFR on established airways or in a radar environment.

In fact, I recently completed a four-hour, headwind-laden jaunt from Virginia to Georgia at night. All of the trip was flown IFR after the sun set. Some of it was IMC, but all of it was at or above 4000 feet msl. That's lower than I usually fly on a cross-country, but the winds weren't cooperating with me -- they rarely do -- and by the time I descended to 4000 feet, I was well above any obstacles along my well-known route.

Even though I've spent a smidgeon of time over both the Appalachian and Rocky mountains at night, it's always been IFR, even though the weather may not have required it. The one thing I won't do is try to fly into deteriorating weather and mountains, at night, VFR and at low altitude.

Doing it IFR can involve more work than during the daytime. But, it's often worth the effort. As we shall see, putting a little extra effort into nighttime flight planning -- and, especially, the weather we'll encounter -- can make or break a safe arrival at our destination.


On March 21, 2004, at about 2050 Eastern time, a Piper PA-32R-301 was destroyed when it impacted mountainous terrain near Harlan, Ky. The non-Instrument-rated Private pilot and five passengers were fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed near the accident site. The flight departed the Darlington County Jetport (UDG), Darlington, S.C., with the Blue Grass Airport (LEX), Lexington, Ky., as its intended destination.

Review of ATC communications and radar data revealed that the flight proceeded uneventfully and soon contacted the Tri-Cities Approach Control, requesting transition through the airspace, and descending from 10,000 feet to 4500 feet msl. After transitioning the airspace, ATC terminated services at about 2041. The last radar target return was recorded at 2048:43, with no altitude recorded. However, an altitude of 4500 feet was recorded on the previous radar target return, at 2148:24. The position of the last target return was approximately six miles southeast of the accident site, near the peak of Little Black Mountain.


Before takeoff, the pilot received a standard weather briefing, which included an icing advisory for occasional moderate rime or mixed ice in clouds and precipitation below 7000 feet msl over Kentucky and Indiana. The briefing also included information about cloud cover north and west of the Appalachian Mountains. The cloud cover was described as solid broken-to-overcast with bases between 3000 to 4000 feet msl and tops at 6000 feet.

A weather observation at the Tri-Cities Regional Airport (TRI) at 2053 included visibility 10 miles and few clouds at 4700 feet agl. However, a Kentucky State Trooper observed heavy snowfall in the Harlan County area at the time of the accident, with possible accumulation of one inch in the mountainous areas. Additionally, the NEXRAD weather radar imagery report for 2100 revealed light to medium intensity echoes for southeastern Kentucky.

All major components of the airplane were accounted for at the accident scene. The main wreckage was about 300 feet below the peak, on the southeast side of the mountain. The wreckage was oriented on about a 010-degree heading at approximately 3050 feet msl. The cockpit, and a large section of fuselage, were destroyed by fire. Flight-control continuity was established from the vertical stabilator, the horizontal stabilator, and the horizontal stabilator trim to the mid-cabin area. The landing gear system indicated it was retracted at impact, as did the wing flap system. The propeller exhibited evidence of being under power.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determined the probable cause(s) of this accident to include the "pilot's improper decision to continue VFR flight into IMC conditions and his failure to maintain terrain clearance, which resulted in controlled flight into terrain. Factors were night, snow and a low ceiling." It doesn't get much more succinct than that.

Flying a perfectly good airplane into the side of a mountain is easy to do at night while trying to remain clear of a snow storm. The hard part is doing the extra work necessary to both understand the weather forecast and the terrain we'll be flying over. In fact, any time we'll be flying toward mountains, we must consider the terrain, even when in good VFR.

In this accident, the pilot was probably proceeding along a direct course from his departure airport to his destination. That course would take the Saratoga over some of the most rugged terrain east of the Mississippi River. Shifting that course several degrees to the south would have kept the flight out of the highest terrain, and probably away from the snow showers. Once further west, the Saratoga could have turned north toward its destination.

With the cloud tops forecast to be at 6000 feet, it's unclear why the pilot chose to descend from his higher cruising altitude. Since we don't know the current or forecast conditions at LEX, it's possible the pilot feared being caught on top of a cloud deck on arrival. And a VFR-only night flight over mountains and icing conditions would not be my first choice. But the choice to descend into hilly terrain and poor weather was the wrong one. Better to have landed at TRI and waited out the weather, and perhaps the night.

More accident analyses are available in AVweb's Probable Cause Index. And for monthly articles about safety, including accident reports like this one, subscribe to AVweb's sister publication, Aviation Safety.

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Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Amelia Reid Aviation (KRHV, San Jose, CA)

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Amelia Reid Aviation at KRHV in San Jose, California.

AVweb reader Konstantin Blank recommended the FBO, citing the unique training experience:

Amelia Reid Aviation is a rare place where you get excellent flight instruction while connecting with the roots of aviation. While they instruct for all airplane ratings, the spcialty is in tailwheel aircraft ... a place where hangar flying is a both a pleasure and valuable (non-loggable) flight experience. I recommend everyone get a tailwheel transition training here as it will be fun and make you a better pilot.

While tailwheel training isn't on our list for this year, we'll definitely spread the word. (And now we know a good FBO in San Jose to stop in on during our travels.)

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!

Cessna Owners & Pilots — Gain Knowledge, Have Fun
Join the fastest-growing and best association for Cessna Flyers — the Cessna Flyer Association (CFA), 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 CFA is located in the Blue Hangar on the Waupaca Municipal Airport (PCZ) in Waupaca, Wisconsin, 35 nm NW of Oshkosh. For more info, visit CessnaFlyer.org.
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 

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.

Choose the Flight Explorer Edition Right for You
Flight Explorer is an information system tracking commercial and general aviation flights. With the Flight Explorer Personal Edition, view air traffic for the U.S., Canada, or New Zealand and monitor and display real-time delay information, TFRs, SUAs, and more. With the Flight Explorer Pilot Edition, view weather along a route, receive alerts with your preliminary flight plan, and have an e-mail sent to someone on departure or arrival. Click here for more information and to subscribe.
Signing Off from Sun 'n Fun back to top 

AVweb's Sun 'n Fun 2008 Galleries #6 of 7:
Winding Down

CHOOSE GALLERY: one | two | three | four | five | SIX | seven


Parallel Landings

Garmin's New Synthetic Vision Technology

PT-19 Approaches Rwy 9L

Corky Fornoff & His LoPresti Fury Love Air Shows

Formation Landing

Thunderbirds' Trademark Logo in Four-Ship Fly-By

C-130 Warms Up Engines on the Military Ramp

A Big Flag for a Big Show!

Patty Wagstaff Pulls to the Vertical

Aaron Alt Imitating Patty Wagstaff (Now 5 Years Old, Aaron Has Yet to Miss Sun 'n Fun!)

Aspen Avionics' Affordable Glass Instruments

Legend Cub's Vintage-Looking Display

Campking Close to Home

Doubling as a Towel Rack

MSquared Lines Up for Paradise City

Dan Gryder Readying the Herpa Miniatures DC-3

Bogey, 9 o'Clock!

Aircraft Arrived at a Steady Pace Throughout the Week ...

CHOOSE GALLERY: one | two | three | four | five | SIX | seven

AVweb's Sun 'n Fun 2008 Galleries #7 of 7:
See You Next Year!

CHOOSE GALLERY: one | two | three | four | five | six | SEVEN


T-28s, Anyone?

Tying Down for the Week

Ground Crew Positions Another Warbird on the Ramp

CGS Hawk Makes a Sunset Take-Off

Powered Parachutes Kept the Skies Alive

DC-3 Holds Short for AeroShell's T-6 Texan

P-51 Taxis Out for Departure

T-6 Texan

The Short Grass Runway at Show Center

Camping Is Part of the Experience

Eclipse's Joe Cozza Answers Questions

Float Planes and Amphibs' Light Sport A-22 Valor

Rans Kept Busy Flying Demo Flights All Week

Keith Uhls Demonstrating GHT Avionics

Paradise City Ground Crew Watch Another Sunset Approach

The Sun Sets on the Show — More Fun to Be Had Next Year!

CHOOSE GALLERY: one | two | three | four | five | six | SEVEN

Big thanks to photographer Mariano Rosales for snapping pics for us throughout the show; for more of his work, visit 12OClockLevel.com.

The Lighter Side of Flight back to top 

Short Final

We were a flight of three consisting of two Cessna 180s and one Maule headed into the Lake Parker holding pattern [for Sun 'n Fun 2008]. We had dropped to extended trail and began circling the lake following a Glastar, and we had two twins holding above us as well. After about 20 minutes of circling and waiting for the field to re-open after the airshow, we were joined in the hold by a new Cirrus pilot.

"Tailwheels, nice job keeping the seperation. Keep the pattern a little closer to the shoreline on the west side of the lake. The field should open in the next 10 to 15 minutes. Cirrus, enter the hold behind the red-and-black high wing."

"Control, we have a rental car waiting for us, and if we don't get down there in time they may give it away. Could we get priority consideration as soon as the field opens?"

"Control, we have cold beer waiting for us in the campground, and if we don't get down there in time, it may get warm. Could we get priority consideration as soon as the field opens?"

Controller (laughing):
"All aircraft continue in the hold for now. We will advise when the field re-opens and release the aircraft as they arrived."

Chris Davis
via e-mail during Sun 'n Fun

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

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.