AVwebFlash - Volume 14, Number 18a

April 28, 2008

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
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Top News: User Fees Off the Table back to top 
 
Sponsor Announcement

User Fees Out Of FAA Reauthorization Bill

The Senate will likely vote on Monday or Tuesday on an FAA Reauthorization bill that does not contain user fees for general aviation. The breakthrough came late Friday with an agreement between Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., chairman of the aviation subcommittee, which supported user fees, and Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the finance committee, which opposed them. Under the deal, the tax on jet fuel for general aviation will rise 65 percent to 36 cents a gallon from the current 21.8 cents, increasing the contribution toward the FAA budget by corporate aviation by 2 percent to 5 percent. "This agreement is a good down payment toward ending the growing inequities that exist between airline passengers and corporate jet users," Rockefeller said in the statement. But in a podcast interview with AVweb, Eric Byer of the National Air Transportation Association said the deal had more to do with political expediency than any softening of Rockefeller's stance on user fees.

Byer said the user fee issue has been eclipsed politically by escalating controversies involving the FAA's oversight of airline maintenance and ongoing issues with its air traffic controllers and allegations that control facilities are dangerously understaffed. Byer said the high profile of those issues in the mainstream media made the agency's funding structure an expendable distraction. But Byer also said he expects the user fee issue to come back and said aviation groups will have to remain vigilant to prevent that. "If we let our guard down we could be caught with our pants down," he said. The House passed its version of the reauthorization last fall and, assuming the Senate passes the current version of its bill, the two will be very close and reconciliation should be straightforward. President Bush had threatened to veto a combined bill that doesn't contain user fees but the change in the political climate concerning the FAA could change that stance.

Related Content:
AVweb Editor-in-Chief Russ Niles wonders aloud if the FAA's internal troubles might deserve more credit for defeating user fees than even the combined lobbying might of weekend flyers and Gulfstream owners in the AVweb Insider blog.

 
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More Top News: Thielert Declares Insolvency back to top 
 

Thielert Aircraft Engines Files For Insolvency

Thielert Aircraft Engines has thrown in the towel after its share prices dropped to near penny stock levels as the crisis over its financial reporting practices deepens. Thielert filed for insolvency on Friday as its share price dipped to .35 Euros. It's traded as high as 25.22 since it went public in 2005. The very existence of the company is now in question as the insolvency process begins. "The going concern of Thielert Aircraft Engines GmbH can only be ensured permanently by restructuring activities with the support of investors, due to the fact that the Holding Thielert AG is not capable to do so anymore," the company's supervisory board said in a statement.

Meanwhile a new executive board must be named, along with an interim insolvency trustee who will present a plan to creditors, and the acceptance of this plan is crucial to the business continuing. On Thursday, the board dismissed company founder Frank Thielert and Chief Financial Officer Roswitha Grosser after receiving results of preliminary criminal investigations into their activities. The situation has major implications for aircraft companies like Diamond and Cessna, which manufacture aircraft with Thielert diesels. "We are in touch with the senior leaders there and we continue to assess the situation as it unfolds," Cessna's Doug Oliver told AVweb.

 
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Seeking Alternative Energy Sources ... back to top 
 

Embry-Riddle Students Launch BioFuels Project

The Society of Aviation Technicians at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University are testing the performance characteristics of biofuels used in aircraft engines. The tests will subject a four-cylinder Lycoming to E85 biofuel (an 85/15 ethanol/gasoline mix) to asses the fuel's performance and its potential to reduce aircraft emissions and lower costs. Under controlled conditions, student researchers aim to discover and quantify specific performance values associated with use of the fuel. Ethanol is viewed by the Department of Energy as a top alternative to petroleum. “As one of the few renewable energy sources that can directly replace gasoline, it may be the shortest route in cutting the cost of aviation fuel,” said student Rick Cevallos, lead investigator in the project.

Sensitive to land use and food supply issues that complicate the practical use of corn as the sole supplier of ethanol, students will also be testing the performance of fuels derived from other biomass forms like cellulose and hemicellulose, which makes up a high percentage of most other plants.

ATG Javelin George Bye's Alternative Engine Venture?

ATG's Javelin Jet hit a credit crunch in December, but ATG chairman and president George Bye is now seeking unnamed incentives to lure a different business, Bye Engineering, to an airport in the southwest. Bye Engineering was formed in early 2007 to focus on alternative energy engines for aircraft and aerospace consulting. It is funded by private investors, has 25 employees and is in growth mode, Bye told Phoenix's East Valley Tribune. Bye says he believes that bio-fuels, electric power and battery technology have collectively reached a tipping point and should now be evaluated for use in general aviation aircraft. Bye's Aviation Technology Group, which stalled in December on its way to bring a fighter-like two-place "executive" jet to business and military markets, was last seen seeking a buyer that would fund completion of the jet's certification process and begin production.

ATG's board by March had successfully negotiated deals with its main lenders and was seeking "final offer bids from prospective buyers to reach ATG within the next few weeks."

 
Cessna Caravan
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... And Better Fuel Efficiency back to top 
 

Quasar Lite LSA Sets High Hopes

Two companies promoting the Quasar Lite -- a Brazilian-made light sport aircraft currently aiming for S-LSA approval in September -- are hoping an experimental version of the aircraft will this year successfully fly "from California to Florida on a single [40-gallon] tank of fuel." No date for the flight has been announced. Powered by a 121-pound HKS-700E 60-hp 4-stroke engine that promoter GeBe LLC says sips about 1.7-3.5 gallons per hour, GeBe claims the roughly 500 pound aircraft could be "the greenest aircraft on the planet," or, less subtly, "the most efficient commercially available aircraft on earth." The company also calls the Quasar Lite a "2-seat trainer" and likens its handling qualities to "a Pitts in the air." In terms that should prove less subjective, the aircraft's fuselage is composite, its 30-foot-span wings are aluminum and the tail is aluminum structure with Dacron covering.

As for advertised numbers, the specifications sheet provided by Quasar Aircraft Company LLC lists the two-seat low-wing with an empty weight of 445 pounds (expected to rise to over 500 pounds before LSA certification) and a maximum takeoff weight of 1,300 pounds. The sheet also lists a baggage capacity of 33 pounds and a maximum fuel load of 124 pounds, which by our math leaves just under 700 pounds for two ... humans. Quasar Aircraft Company LLC says one example of the currently experimental aircraft has been fitted with optional 40-gallon tanks that make more practical use of its carrying capacity, extends its range and (along with economy cruise and tailwinds) could facilitate its coast-to-coast trip.

When AVweb asked about the aircraft's structural integrity we were told the wing withstood 7.5 G's in a test stand that did not. With 20-gallon tanks, the aircraft's range is listed at 1,060 miles (10 hours at economy cruise) and its cruising speed at 75 percent power is listed at 130 mph with stall at 45 with flaps down. Maximum rate of climb at gross weight is listed at 550 ft/min and Quasar told us when they fly the aircraft it generally climbs 700 ft/min with full fuel and one pilot aboard. Quasar also says they routinely fly the aircraft at 120 mph true burning two gallons per hour. The company hopes to prove the numbers through a couple world record attempts and sell the LSA-certified aircraft at the end of the year for a base price of $99,000. So far, neither BeBe LLC nor Quasar Aircraft Company offers an especially extensive Web presence.

DARPA's Vulture To Loiter Aloft For Five Years

Boeing and Lockheed Martin have been selected, along with Aurora Flight Sciences, by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to design and develop an unmanned solar-powered aircraft that can stay aloft for five years. The venture, DARPA's "Vulture" program, would ultimately see a fixed-wing aircraft ascend to 60,000 to 90,000 feet carrying a 1,000-pound payload, produce 5 kW of onboard power and loiter uninterrupted in its mission airspace 99 percent of the time. Those missions may include support of regional telecommunications, persistent surveillance, reconnaissance and atmospheric research. The first 12 months of the program will explore vehicle configurations and investigate in-flight energy collection and storage (solar/photovoltaic cells and fuel cells), along with reliable propulsion systems.

The next phase hopes to see a three-month-long uninterrupted flight test of a sub-scale demonstration vehicle. Aurora's concept design, called "Odysseus," has yet to be unveiled, but the company is already involved in the GoldenEye ducted fan UAV project, the Orion High Altitude Long Loiter (HALL) liquid hydrogen powered project and others. See AVweb video coverage of Boeing's fuel cell aircraft here.

 
Carry the Card That Pays You to Support GA
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New Briefs back to top 
 

Airbus: China Needs 190 A380s

Airbus forecasts that demand for passenger aircraft in China will weigh in at 2,800 aircraft through the year 2026. The forecast need translates to $329 billion worth of aircraft and represents more than one tenth of the world's total forecast demand for the period. China's passenger fleet is expected to triple in size over the next 20 years to meet passenger and cargo traffic, which are expected to grow five to six times, respectively. China's mainland traffic is expected to require nearly 700 large passenger jets and, Airbus forecasts, 190 VLAs ... or, very large aircraft like the double-decker A380. Airbus has already increased its market share in China to nearly 38 percent (up from 7 percent in 1995) and is shooting for control of 50 percent of the market by 2011. For 2007, Airbus delivered about 15 percent of its new aircraft to China. The company is reportedly considering a joint venture in China that would produce composite aircraft components for the manufacturer.

Go! Overshoot Pilots Told To Do Same

"After a thorough internal investigation into the incident on Feb. 13 in which go Flight 1002 overflew the airport at Hilo, Mesa has terminated the employment of both pilots involved," Mesa Air Group (go! parent company) said Wednesday in a statement, though the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) says the pilots were fired at least 10 days prior. The 50-minute trip, carrying 40 passengers aboard Flight 1002, a 50-seat CRJ regional jet out of Honolulu for Hilo, overshot Hilo airport by 15 miles. For 25 minutes during the flight, controllers made repeated efforts but were unable to contact the recently fired pilots. While Mesa seems to have arrived at its own conclusion, the FAA is expected to conclude its investigation in a few weeks. FAA sanctions for the pilots could range from warning letters to suspension of certificates. Mesa pilots have been the subject of media reports on pilot fatigue in the past.

WFAA-TV, a Dallas TV station, reported in 2006 that Mesa's mainland operational schedules were so tight that some pilots camped in their aircraft. ALPA has filed a grievance with the airline on the pilots' behalf.

Search For Priest Turned Helium Balloon Pilot Suspended

Brazil's air force Thursday suspended efforts of finding a Roman Catholic priest, 42-year-old Reverend Adelir Antonion de Carli, presumed missing off the coast of Santa Catarina, where pieces of the hundreds of helium party balloons that carried him aloft (Sunday April 20) were found. After an initial climb to 20,000 feet, Denise Gallas, treasurer of Carli's parish told The Associated Press, Carli settled in at roughly 8,200 feet for his planned trip from Parangua to Dourados -- a city 465 miles away. At the time of his last communication with the port authority Carli was already 30 miles off the coast and stated he would soon crash in the Atlantic. Eight hours later, according to The Associated Press, he was reported missing. The priest had launched wearing a helmet, a thermal suit and a parachute. He was armed with his skydiving experience, a GPS, a satellite phone and a "buoyant chair," the AP reported.

Gallas said Tuesday, "We are absolutely confident he will be found alive and well, floating somewhere in the ocean," adding "he knew what he was doing and was fully prepared for any kind of mishap." It was Carli's intent to break a record for 19 hours aloft in such a contraption and to raise money for a spiritual rest stop for Brazilian truckers. Carli's former paraglider instructor told the Telegraph.co.uk that he had instructed Carli but later asked him to "abandon the course" because in his estimation Carli had personality traits that were "not ideal for a paraglider."

 
No More Excuses for Family & Friends Not Enjoying Your Love of Flight!
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News Briefs back to top 
 

On the Fly ...

Embry-Riddle offers hands-on aviation summer camp June 9 to August 6 ...

EAA AirVenture 2008 to open with rock band, Foreigner, performing opening-day concert in AeroShell Square, July 28 at 6-8 p.m. ...

A drunken passenger was duct-taped to his seat by crew and fellow passengers after disrupting a flight Wednesday from Hong Kong to LAX ...

India is seeking to accommodate general aviation expansion by expediting the process for approval of private airstrips and helipads.

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.

 
StickyCharts — Flight-Planning Charts — Makes a Great Wall Decoration, Too!
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New on AVweb back to top 
 

What's New for April 2008

This month, AVweb's survey of the latest products and services for pilots, mechanics and aircraft owners brings you Garmin WAAS training, an aircraft cleaner, digital engine management and more.

Click here for the full story.

Leading Edge #17: Having a Say in Fuel Costs

With skyrocketing fuel costs, pilots are flying less or sometimes not at all. AVweb's Thomas P. Turner has good fuel-sipping suggestions that won't compromise safety.

Click here to read.

You heard it in the Sun-N-Fun 2008 LSA Mall. Whether you were talking to pilots of Cubs, Luscombes, Bellancas, Cessnas or Beechcraft, it echoed strong in the Type Club tent. It was the talk of manufacturer's displays and the exhibition hangars. It was even touted by purveyors of very light jets. It seems like the biggest thing on pilots' minds is the cost of airplane fuel, whether mogas, 100LL or even jet varieties. There's not a lot individuals can do to affect the cost of a gallon of our gas-of-choice. But there are some things we can do to reduce our fuel consumption, and have at least some say in fuel costs.

Safety

First, let me emphasize there are some fuel tactics that might save a little gas money, but that have a negative effect on safety. Regardless of your fuel strategy do not use fuel pricing as an excuse to press on when you have too little fuel on board, to exceed best-practices engine temperatures or to violate fuel-related aircraft limitations. It does nobody any good to save a few dollars up to the point of impact.

It's probably sacrilege in the world of flying to say this, but if you can't afford to put fuel through your airplane of choice with an adequate safety margin you can't afford to fly that airplane and you need to find a cheaper way to get around. For some of us it means it's time to step down to a slower or smaller airplane to continue making the trip or the hamburger run. For others of us, very unfortunately, it may mean it's time to get out of flying until we can afford to fly safely again. If you're like most pilots, however, you can realize significant fuel savings by changing your operating technique in the plane you fly. Commit to flying safely, while investigating these techniques for controlling your fuel costs.

Power Setting

One way to reduce fuel burn it to choose a lower power setting. You'll be surprised how little time you lose (extra flying time you get to put in your logbook!) while saving a good bit of fuel along the way.

Get out your Pilot Operating Handbook (POH) and make a few power-setting comparisons. For example, the 180-horsepower Diamond DA40 Flight Information Manual (FIM) tells us a flight at 5000 feet and the traditional, go-fast power setting of 75-percent power (about 24" mp and 2400 rpm) nets 136 KTAS while burning 11 gallons per hour (gph) at a best-power mixture setting. Drop back to 65-percent power (23" mp/2200 rpm) and you can expect 128 KTAS and 8.2 gph. Come way back to what many of us consider a very low propeller setting, 2000 rpm, and you can still get 65-percent power at 5000 feet (by running at 25.4" mp) for that same 128 KTAS at only 7.9 gph fuel burn. That's only eight knots loss of true airspeed compared to high-speed cruise, but a savings of three gph.

Now fly 200 nautical miles. At 75-percent and best power, it'll take 1.5 hours and require 16.5 gallons. The 2000 rpm, 65-percent power, economy cruise will take about six minutes more, but you'll burn only 12.6 gallons ... nearly four gallons less on the same trip with a negligible time difference. (These comparisons assume no wind.) At an average $4.94 per gallon (the AirNav nationwide average for 100LL on the day of this writing), that's a savings of $19.76 on this one flight, with no real time difference en route.

So dig into your airplane's POH and look at the real-world effects of using something other than a go-fast power setting. It'll have a big impact on what it costs you to fly.

The Economic Advantage of Tailwinds

When the winds blow strong, especially on longer trips, you might be able to get even better economy. Adjust your power setting for a planned ground speed, not true airspeed. If you're lucky enough to have a tailwind component, throttle back for the "normal" groundspeed and rake in the savings as you attain that speed at a lower fuel burn. Yes, you'll still have to fight your way into headwinds sometimes, and if they're very strong you may even be "forced" to fly at higher power settings to make any real progress. Using tailwind to reach the "normal" groundspeed with lower fuel burn when able, though, will offset the higher fuel costs of fighting a headwind when needed.

Fly High

For a given power setting, the higher you fly, the greater true airspeed you'll attain. This is because the air is thinner the higher you go, so there's less air resistance and -- as long is power is maintained -- you'll go faster. (This is the secret of turbocharging.) Most naturally aspirated (non-turbo) engines can maintain 55-percent to 65-percent power to 10,000 feet or more, so all else being equal (headwinds aloft, turbulence, icing, etc.), it pays to fly as high as practical. Won't you burn more fuel climbing to altitude? If you make a long, shallow descent on the other end, you can offset the added fuel cost of an extended climb. So you can save gas by climbing as high as makes sense for your trip. Note: Altitude helps meet the overall goal of safety, also.

Mixmaster

All too often pilots are taught simple rules for mixture control, like, "Don't lean below 5000 feet," or, "Lean it 'til it sounds rough, then turn the vernier in two turns" as a cruise-mixture technique. These habits may be expedient for high-engine-stress instructional flying, but they are imprecise and in most cases waste fuel. Learn how to properly lean the fuel mixture to glean maximum efficiency from your fuel burn (consistent with good engine-temperature management). Determine if, when and how it may be appropriate to run lean-of-peak in cruise flight with the engine(s) you're flying to save even more fuel -- and money.

Tankering

"Tankering" is the act of loading up on fuel where it's (relatively) cheap, to avoid having to buy fuel where it's more expensive. Do your homework: Use AirNav or similar Web sites to find locations with lower-priced fuel near your destination and any planned fuel stops along the way. Plan to arrive at these "tanker-ports" with a safe fuel-margin in case you need to divert or the pumps are closed, but with as much room as possible in your fuel tanks to load up while the fueling's good.

Fun Flying

Sometimes you're going up just for fun, to see the sights or buzz around on a warm Saturday morning. You don't have to give this up because of high fuel costs -- just do things a little differently. Use very low power settings when you're on local sightseeing hops to keep the fuel burn low. Get more involved with local pilots' groups and start sharing the ride. (You can legally split the direct costs of the flight under FARs and the provisions of aircraft insurance, and this sort of aerial "clubbing" is becoming more popular in the go-it-alone United States.) "Air-pool" together to major events like fly-ins and AirVenture at Oshkosh -- it's fun to share flying with other pilots in the air as well as on the ground, and if you fly a similar airplane type, you might split the flight legs and each log some time going to and from the show.

What If I Rent?

You might ask, "What if I rent airplanes? Fuel prices are figured into the rental cost of the aircraft, so as they go up, the hourly rental rate goes up and there's nothing I can do about it."

Many FBO used to offer "wet" and "dry" rates for aircraft rental, where wet rates include fuel. Occasionally FBOs will put a maximum price they'll cover for fuel purchased away from base, but otherwise they'll cover the cost of fuel out of what you pay in rent. Fuel burn is usually charged assuming 75-percent, best-power, mixture setting. This historically works to the FBO's advantage when the airplane is fueled locally, because often they can negotiate bulk fuel rates and make a little more than the posted fuel price suggests. Given the reduction in hours flown over the last couple of decades, however, a typical FBO's bulk purchases of 100LL are declining and the FBO may not get much of a discount any more.

Renting "dry" means the renter pays a lower rate for the airplane, then pays for his/her own fuel in addition to the fee. Dry rentals went out of favor some time back when fuel prices were low, replaced with the all-fees-up-front simplicity of wet rentals. But now that just a little change in operating procedure can make a big difference in the total cost of fuel, you may be able to negotiate a dry rental rate that covers all the FBO's costs (and profit) except fuel, and pay for the fuel yourself. If your operating technique burns less gas than the FBO's fuel burn assumption, you'll fly for less than the "wet" rental rate. It certainly can't hurt to ask.

Don't Skimp On Training

Make a vow to train as much as always despite the cost of fuel. Combine your flying missions if needed to log a safe amount of dual -- ask your CFI along and combine a flight review with the weekend pancake run, or hire a CFII to accompany you on a business trip and get some hood time on a flight you'd otherwise make alone. Pay the instructor for his/her time, of course, but you're ahead the cost of scheduling additional flights for the purpose of training only. You'll find most instructors like to get away from the home 'drome anyway, so chances are you'll find a qualified teacher of flight who will instruct "on the fly," as it were.

Economy Thinking

You'll most likely come up with a list of other ways you can continue to fly safely while spending less on fuel. I encourage you to use the Comments feature of this article to let others know what works for you. Together we need to change a culture where pilots are judged by the speed at which they fly into one where their worth is determined by the efficiency and economy with which they use an airplane. As the cost of flying fuel skyrockets, you need to be creative to fly safely using less gas.

Fly safe, and have fun!



Thomas P. Turner's Leading Edge columns are collected here.

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AVmail: Apr. 28, 2008

Reader mail this week about synthetic vision and aviation films, and still more about civilian flights through MOAs.

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

AVweb Insider Blog: User Fees — Class Warfare in the Skies

AVweb Insider continues to server up personal insights and commentary on the aviation industry from our staff of writers and editors. Today, AVweb Editor-in-Chief Russ Niles recalls his first impressions of the user-fee debate and wonders aloud if the FAA's internal troubles might deserve more credit for defeating user fees than even the combined lobbying might of weekend flyers and Gulfstream owners.

Read more.

 
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.
 
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 
 

User Fees Out of the FAA Reauthorization Bill? NATA's Eric Byer Gives Us the Inside Story

File Size 4.9 MB / Running Time 5:22

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

Thanks to the tremendous pressure the FAA has come under in recent weeks over maintenance inspections and the air traffic controller situation, the issue of user fees as a method of financing the agency just didn't seem that important anymore to legislators in Washington. In order to get an FAA reauthorization package in place, the user fee issue has been abandoned, and a new reauthorization package will likely be voted on by Tuesday. AVweb's Russ Niles spoke with Eric Byer of the National Air Transportation Association for an explanation of Friday's events.

Click here to listen. (4.9 MB, 5:22)

Video of the Week: Boeing 777 "PTQ" ("Put Together Quickly")

Recommend a Video | VOTW Archive

Wanna see a Boeing 777 put together from the ground up? Got five minutes?

Thanks to the wonder of time-lapse videography and the thoughtfulness of AVweb reader Denis Donohue (who forwarded the video link to us), you can watch the whole process and not get caught by your boss. (No guarantees about that last part; we understand the boss comes around a little more often these days ... .)


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.

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."

 
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.
 
Your Favorite FBOs back to top 
 

FBO of the Week: Five Star Jet Center (KBAF, Westfield, MA)

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Five Star Jet Center at KBAF in Westfield, Massachusetts.

This is facility that's shown up on our nomination list several times, and but it was this strong endorsement from AVweb reader John Light that made us name Five Star our "FBO of the Week":

I expect that I fly considerably more X/C miles than most GA pilots that I know; I stop at far more FBOs in a year ... [and] Five Star Jet Center is, without exception, the best FBO in New England. Beth and Patric make you feel 100% at home ... . Even before they knew that I might buy av fuel or anything else they were right on the spot to offer me a hand ... without me even asking. I simply cannot say enough for these people. They well exceed any measure of customer satifaction practices that I can think of.

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!

 
The Lighter Side of Flight back to top 
 

Short Final

Today, the weather in Southern Wisconsin was dicey. Severe thunderstorms with hail, high winds, and tornados on the ground 20 miles north of the Madison, Wisconsin Dane County Regional airport.

A female voice in a Learjet 45 comes over to Madison approach from Chicago Center and says:
"Madison approach, Lear 12345 is with you out of 10,000 planning on landing Madison to pick up fuel. We've been chased all over the place with this weather."

After vectoring her to the 18 ILS, the controller says:
"Airport 11 o'clock, 10 miles; do you have it?"

She says:
"Yes, we have the runway in sight."

Controller says:
"Then I suggest that you take over visually and 'save yourself.' Tower now on 119.3."

With a halting voice she replies:
"I've never heard it put quite that way before. That's pretty blunt. Going over to the tower now."

Robert Wuilleumier
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:

Publisher
Timothy Cole

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Editor-in-Chief
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.