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Volume 14, Number 18b
May 1, 2008
Aircraft Spruce East Coast Annual Super Sale
Aircraft Spruce East will be holding their Annual Super Sale and Fly-In on Saturday, May 17, 2008 from 8am-4pm in Peachtree City, Georgia. Come and join the Aircraft Spruce Team and vendors for lunch, special pricing, vendor demonstrations, and educational seminars. Lots of opportunities to win raffle prizes from some of your favorite vendors, and a complimentary shuttle will be offered to and from Falcon Field Airport. Call Aircraft Spruce at 1-877-4-SPRUCE, or visit online.
GA and Governmentback to top 

The GA community has been cautiously celebrating this week over the removal of user fees in the final version of the Senate's FAA reauthorization bill -- but there's a ways to go before any bill becomes law, and the White House on Tuesday made clear that it's not ready to welcome this latest iteration. The Senate bill, the White House said in a policy statement, fails to include "critical reforms proposed by the Administration," including "more closely aligning FAA's revenues with its costs through fair fees linked to usage of the system..." which is another way of saying "user fees." The statement continues, "If the President is presented with a bill that not only excludes the critical reforms proposed by the Administration, but also includes provisions that would further exacerbate an untenable status quo, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto it." More...

When aviators around the U.S. were preparing to fly to Florida for Sun 'n Fun a few weeks ago, concerns arose about a "use tax" that could be levied against out-of-state aircraft, as has been done to pilots who fly in Maine. This week, the Florida House of Representatives passed a new General Aviation Tax Exemption to "limit" tax exposure for new aircraft owners flying into the state -- although it does not eliminate that exposure. The newly passed legislation allows aircraft that were purchased within the last six months to be in Florida for a total of 21 days, plus up to 20 days for maintenance, without being subject to a tax. It also exempts new aircraft owners who come to Florida for flight training during this time frame. The Florida Aviation Trades Association lobbied for the legislation, which they say will enable non-resident pilots to visit Florida for vacation, flight training, or to attend an event without fear of receiving a tax bill when they return to home where the aircraft is based. More...

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Manufacturer Newsback to top 

Embraer announced Tuesday that the prototype of its Phenom 300 light business jet flew for the first time from the company’s Gaviao Peixoto plant. Three more test articles are under construction and will be used in the 1,400-hour certification test regime. The first production models are scheduled to enter service in the second quarter of 2009. “This first flight of the Phenom 300 executive jet is a very special and historic moment for all of us at Embraer…,” said CEO Frederico Fleury Curado “We unveiled the Phenom jets nearly three years ago, making a clear statement to the business aviation community of our commitment to becoming a long-term player in the executive aviation market. (Click through for a video of the first flight.) More...

After more than a year of exploring various sites for its next stage of growth, a $32 million incentive package that won approval this week seems likely to entice Piper Aircraft to stay in Vero Beach, Fla. CEO Jim Bass told TCPalm that he will recommend the package to the company's board of directors, and said he expects a final decision by June 30. "We really think that this is good for Piper and the community, and we look forward to a long partnership," he told the Palm Beach Post. The county on Monday OK'd a $12 million incentive, and the other $20 million will come from the state. For its side of the deal, Piper must hire more workers and invest in its physical plant. The PiperJet program is expected to absorb most of that extra investment. More...

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Aviation Safetyback to top 

Management at the Dallas-Fort Worth Tracon investigated operational errors and deviations, but routinely and intentionally misclassified them as pilot errors or non-events, the FAA said late last week. That conclusion was reached after an investigation by the Department of Transportation's Office of Inspector General. The OIG report, prompted by whistleblower allegations, found that between November 2005 and July 2007, Tracon managers misclassified 62 air traffic events as pilot deviation or non-events when it fact there were 52 operational errors and 10 operational deviations. In response, the FAA removed both the facility manager and assistant manager at the Dallas-Fort Worth Tracon from their positions. Additional personnel actions may be taken, the FAA said. "I am deeply disturbed by the findings in this report," said Hank Krakowski, chief operating officer of the FAA's Air Traffic Organization. "I am personally committed to making sure the IG’s recommendations are implemented and that managers are held accountable." More...

Pilots, engineers, regulators and others with an interest in the technology and utilization of unmanned aircraft systems met in Washington this week to discuss the latest developments in the field, with regard to safety. The forum, hosted by the National Transportation Safety Board, looked at issues such as integration of the systems into the National Airspace System, air traffic control procedures and training, and a look at the lessons learned from accidents and incidents that have occurred so far. Other topics included UAS design standards and airworthiness, pilot training and fatigue issues, and the use of the systems in firefighting missions. A Webcast from the forum is archived online at the NTSB Web site. More...

The World of Flight Gathers at EAA AirVenture
EAA AirVenture is The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration. Whatever your favorite aircraft, you'll find it along the flight line in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Plus nearly 1,000 forums, workshops, and seminars; 750+ exhibitors; daily air shows; evening programs; and more add up to the event of a lifetime! Go online for more information.

SPECIAL! Buy now and save!
Advance ticket purchases now available online.
Alternative Energyback to top 

The days of flying in quiet, emissions-free aircraft are closer now, following EAA's announcement that it has filed a request to the FAA for regulatory exemptions that would allow the use of electric motors in ultralight and light-sport aircraft. "This is only a first step," said engineer and EAA member Craig Willan, who made the announcement last week at the CAFE Foundation 2008 Electric Aircraft Symposium, in San Francisco. "I'm participating on an EAA task force charged with further facilitating progress in the use of electric energy to power aircraft," Willan said. "The EAA community is committed to this direction. More announcements are coming." More...

A Washington, D.C.-based company is in the preliminary stages of developing a $250 million plant in California to make jet fuel out of garbage, manure and tree bark. According to Biomass Magazine Solena Group hopes to build the plant in Gilroy, Calif., and will use raw material from municipal, agricultural and forestry waste supplied by Norcal Waste Systems, one of California’s largest municipal waste and biomass collectors. The announcement comes on the heels of the successful certification of jet fuel made by a South African company that uses a different raw material but the same basic process as that planned in California. More...

Aircraft Financing to Fit Your Needs
AirFleet Capital offers a competitive and experienced approach to each and every loan program by focusing exclusively on aircraft financing. AirFleet Capital provides exceptional terms coupled with personal service and a long-term commitment to support the business and shared passion of aviation. From Light Sport Aircraft to VLJs and Business Jets, AirFleet Capital has a loan program to fit your needs. Call an AirFleet Capital financing specialist at (800) 390-4324, or request a quote online.
News Briefsback to top 

We've all heard the stories of ordinary airline passengers denied the right to fly because their name happens to match a name on the "no-fly list" kept by the Transportation Security Administration. But it appears that some federal air marshals, who are supposed to be on board as a protective measure, have also been denied boarding for the same reason. "In some cases, planes have departed without any coverage because the airline employees were adamant they would not [allow the marshal to] fly," an unidentified air marshal told The Washington Times. On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security said it will start this week to implement a new program that allows airlines to store travelers' birthdate information, which should eliminate most of the watch-list misidentification problems. "This is good for travelers and for security, because as we make the checkpoint environment calmer, it becomes easier to spot individuals with hostile intent," said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. More...

The Lindbergh Foundation announced this week that in connection with its 31st annual Lindbergh Award Celebration in May, several one-of-a-kind items will be available for online bidding. Kelley Welf, spokesperson for the Foundation, said the auction for 12 unique items opened on Wednesday and will close on May 15, at 4 p.m. CDT. Among the items for sale: a first-edition mint-condition copy of The Spirit of St. Louis signed by Charles Lindbergh; a lithograph of astronaut Neil Armstrong signed by both the first and last man on the moon; a print of a special-edition oil painting celebrating Lindbergh's arrival in Paris, signed by James Lovell, Alan Shepard, Neil Armstrong, and Jimmy Doolittle; dinner with John and Martha King and a flight in their Falcon jet; and a behind-the-scenes tour of CNN studios with correspondent Miles O'Brien. "This online auction of such unique items is unprecedented in the history of the Lindbergh Foundation," said Knox Bridges, president and CEO of the foundation. For more details, and to enter a bid online, go to the Foundation Web site and click on the "Participate in our On-Line Silent Auction" link. More...

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News Briefsback to top 

A pilot who landed on a golf course is charged with two misdemeanors...
EOS Airlines shut down this week and filed for bankruptcy...
AOPA warns pilots who use auto fuel to beware of unlabeled ethanol mixes...
Supermarine Spitfire, Hawker Hurricane damaged in a taxi accident...
A referendum to save Berlin's historic Tempelhof Airport has failed. 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...

Join NAA and Help Shape the Next Century of Flight
It's a great time to join the National Aeronautic Association (NAA), the nation's oldest aviation organization. At $39 a year, NAA membership is a terrific value for any aviation enthusiast! Members receive the Smithsonian's Air & Space magazine, plus access to aviation records and much more. To become an NAA member, sign up online or call (703) 416-4888 and press 4.
New on AVwebback to top 

After a few years with startup airlines, Carl Moesly gets a callback from Uncle Sam. This time he helps paratroopers jump and cargo planes find their way in Greenland. More...

Was a sudden physical or mechanical problem -- or some of both -- what led to this King Air pilot losing control of the aircraft? More...

With alternative power, fuel efficiency, and the environmental footprint on everyone's mind, we're all starting to think tomorrow's aircraft may look and feel a little different from what we're used to. This week, we want to hear what you think about electric aircraft. Plus: Did AVweb readers do anything special to celebrate Earth Day last week? More...

The AVweb Bookstore, The Most Complete Aviation Bookstore Anywhere
Over 400 titles representing 52 publishers are in stock and ready for immediate delivery — as books, videos, or CDs. 100+ titles available instantly as fully searchable e-Book downloads. Whether you are a pilot, an A&P technician, or a kit airplane builder, if it's worth reading, it's available from the AVweb Bookstore. Click here to visit online.
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!


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.
Reader-Submitted Photosback to top 

Michael Hays of Vero Beach, Florida hammered us with great photo submissions this week — but it was his tall and elegant portrait of this Beaver getting pulled out of the water that nailed down his spot as "POTW" winner. ("Picture of the Week" submissions dipped a bit over the past few days, but the quality has thankfully remained high. Good for our eyes, but bad for our brains, as it means we have to make those oh-so-tough choices of which photos get featured here, which are showcased in our home page slideshow, and which only get airtime on our desktop monitors. To get in on next week's fun, click here and submit your own photos. We'll be looking for 'em!) More...

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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