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Volume 14, Number 18a
April 28, 2008
JA Air Center, Your Garmin Source
GPSMap 495 and 496 have AOPA Directory and terrain. 496 includes automotive directions and XM weather and music. Have an old GPS? Do not let it lose its value! Call (800) 323-5966 for the current value.

JA Air Center [Dupage Airport (KDPA), 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.
Top News: User Fees Off the Tableback to top 
Sponsor Announcement

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.

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.


Cirrus Encourages You to Compare & Fly All the Airplanes That May Fit Your Mission
Features unique to Cirrus include no-cost Cirrus Maintenance™ for two years; CAPS™ (Cirrus Airframe Parachute System); easy-to-use avionics; robust, fault-tolerant electrical systems; easy access; and a comfortable cabin. Cirrus innovations have made Cirrus aircraft the standard by which all others are judged. For complete information, go online.
More Top News: Thielert Declares Insolvencyback to top 

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. More...

"Only PIC Kept Us at the Lowest Rate." — The Aviation Consumer
Pilot Insurance Center is an industry leader at providing life insurance protection to pilots and their families. PIC has convinced insurance companies that most pilots needn't pay higher life premiums just because they fly. Read the complete Aviation Consumer article on PIC's web site.

You can apply for a policy in less than 5 minutes! Call today at 1 (800) 380-8376.
Seeking Alternative Energy Sources ...back to top 

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. More...

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. More...

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.
... And Better Fuel Efficiencyback to top 

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. More...

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. More...

Carry the Card That Pays You to Support GA
Thousands of AOPA members carry the AOPA WorldPoints credit card. By using the card, they earn their choice of rewards, keep AOPA dues low, and keep general aviation strong. In addition, it allows you to earn double points for most aviation purchases. Support General Aviation and earn reward points on all your purchases. To find out more, visit AOPA online.
New Briefsback to top 

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 VLA's ... 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. More...

"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. More...

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. More...

No More Excuses for Family & Friends Not Enjoying Your Love of Flight!
The ReliefBand is the most effective and predictable relief available for nausea and vomiting associated with motion sickness. Because this wristwatch-like device produces no side effects, the ReliefBand is FDA-cleared. It's the best $129.95 purchase you will make for your aircraft's accessories. The ReliefBand is available exclusively at Aeromedix by calling (888) 362-7123, or go online to purchase.
News Briefsback to top 

Embry-Riddle summer camp opens June 9 ...
EAA AirVenture 2008 to open with rock band Foreigner ...
A drunken passenger was duct-taped to his seat by crew and fellow passengers ...
India is seeking to accommodate general aviation expansion. More...

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. What have you heard? More...

StickyCharts — Flight-Planning Charts — Makes a Great Wall Decoration, Too!
Your favorite Sectional, Terminal, Flyway or USPlan charts printed on heavy-duty paper with adhesive backing. Dry-erase laminated from 3' x 4' to 4' x 9'. Sale prices. Makes a great gift. Order online at StickyCharts.com.
New on AVwebback to top 

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. More...

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. More...

AVMAIL: APR. 28, 2008
Reader mail this week about synthetic vision and aviation films, and still more about civilian flights through MOAs. More...

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. 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 Learnback to top 

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. More...

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 ... .) (Click through to watch.) More...

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 FBOsback to top 


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 Flightback to top 


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 Inboxback to top 

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/. More...

Names Behind the Newsback to top 


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.)

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