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Volume 14, Number 19a
May 5, 2008
 
Fly With Bose® Aviation Headset X™
Enjoy an unmatched combination of full-spectrum noise reduction, clear audio, and comfortable fit. Voted the #1 headset for the seventh consecutive year in Professional Pilot's 2007 Headset Preference Survey. Also rated "Best ANR Headset: The Aviation Consumer Product of the Year" by Aviation Consumer. Learn more and order.

Quotes reprinted with permission: Professional Pilot, 2007 Headset Preference Survey, 12/07; Aviation Consumer, 8/07.
 
Of Engines and Gasback to top 
 
Sponsor Announcement

CESSNA SUSPENDS DIESEL 172 SALES, DIAMOND STEPS UP SUPPORT
AOPA says Cessna has suspended its delivery schedule of 172 TD models in light of the crisis at Thielert Aircraft Engines, which supplies the engines. According to AOPA, Cessna intends to continue with certification of the diesel Skyhawk but none of the 100 on order will go to customers just yet. "At this point we have decided that we will not deliver 172TD aircraft during 2008, and we have informed our customers accordingly," AOPA quotes an unnamed Cessna spokesman as saying. Meanwhile, Diamond Aircraft appears to be moving aggressively to establish technical and parts support for its installed base of Thielert diesel engines, following Thielert's bankruptcy filing last week. In a series of letters to owners, Diamond says it plans to order a "significant spare parts inventory" and is asking dealers and owners for status reports on parts needs. It has also established a North American hotline for owners and shops that can be reached at 888-613-0096 or via e-mail at DA42-TAE-NorthAmericaSupport@diamondair.com.As we reported last week, Thielert declared bankruptcy due to a looming liquidity crisis and on news that German authorities were investigating the company for financial anomalies relating to its IPO filing in 2005. More...

ETHANOL RAMPANT, MOGAS USERS WARNED
AOPA is warning aircraft owners who normally use automotive fuel purchased off the airport to test the gas for ethanol even if the pump doesn't say there's alcohol in the fuel. The federal government mandate to increase the use of renewable fuels in gasoline blends has prompted some companies to add ethanol without notification and that can be dangerous for aircraft engines. "While AOPA has successfully prevented ethanol from being blended with avgas, there are limits to what the general aviation industry can do to prevent auto gasoline from being blended," AOPA said on its Web site In Idaho, pure gasoline is apparently so rare that it's no longer available at some airports. "What I'm hearing from my members is that they cannot find ethanol-free auto gas on airports anywhere," Idaho Aviation Aviation Association Director Ken Jackson said in an email to AVweb. "Their choices now are to switch to 100LL, run contaminated fuel, or hang it up." More...

 
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.
 
Jet Updateback to top 
 

TOYOTA'S VENTURE WITH MITSUBISHI JETS
Toyota Motor Corp has decided to invest more than $96 million in Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp., taking a 10-percent ownership interest in the company that will oversee launch of Mitsubishi's new regional jet. Mitsubishi's Aircraft subsidiary was established by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. just last month and was prepared to begin operations April 1 to manufacture and market the new plane. The 70- to 90-seat regional airliner is expected to launch in 2013, may be Japan's first aircraft project of its kind, and will put Mitsubishi in direct competition with Bombardier and Embraer. Japan's ANA airline has shown its support for the native project by ordering 15 of the aircraft. Rather than marking an initiation of Toyota's involvement in aircraft production, Toyota officials say the relationship should allow the auto manufacturer to improve its development of automobiles through the application of aeronautical technologies. More...

D-JET EARNS FIRST EUROPEAN FRACTIONAL PROGRAM
Smart Air S.A. has announced the first fractional ownership program in Europe for Diamond's single-engine (and very roomy) four-plus-one place composite D-JET. The company has purchased eight D-JETs, which it expects sometime in 2010, and has options for more. Smart Air's business plan aims to offer a "hassle-free, flexible" and "even more economical way" for people to travel across Europe. Smart Air plans to operate the fleet from offices in Finland, UK, France, Benelux, Germany and Italy, offering its co-owners transport to 1,835 airports across the continent with "guaranteed availability." Diamond Aircraft president Peter Maurer said, "We have designed the D-JET to be an affordable personal light jet to make jet travel attainable to more people. Smart Air's fractional ownership solution is a good complement to our product." More...

 
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.
 
Business Newsback to top 
 

NARCO ACQUIRED BY INTERNATIONAL AVIONICS
International Avionics Inc., a Delaware corporation, has acquired what it says is the oldest general aviation electronics manufacturer in the world, Narco Avionics Inc. All operations at Narco's Fort Washington, Pa., facilities "will continue as they are," according to a Narco release. Narco says that all its customer service, support and dealer network functions will continue to be fully supported and new product research and development will continue at "maximum effort." Alan Hanks, CEO of International Avionics Inc., was employed by Narco in 1967 as regional sales manager, served as president of Narco from 1994 to 1998, and has served more recently as a consultant. Hanks holds commercial and instrument ratings and has logged more than 18,000 hours. Narco was originally incorporated November 11, 1945, and will celebrate its 63rd birthday this year. More...

SATSAIR AIR TAXI POSTS BIG GROWTH
SATSair Thursday announced that its on-demand "air cab services" (or air taxi) finished 2007 with strong financials and growth, and that the trend has continued into 2008. From 2006 to 2007, SATSair grew its number of flights by 60 percent, operating more than 16,000 flights in 2007. The company has flown more than six million passenger miles since November 2004 and reports a 314-percent increase in flights taking place in Florida for 2006. The company says 2007 marked a shift in the way its services were used -- away from a more traditional role as a replacement for driving trips of two to five hours and toward use as a point-to-point vehicle and substitute for airline travel. The company operates new Cirrus SR22 aircraft, claiming a rate of three flights per day from its South Carolina headquarters. More...

 
Pilot Insurance Center (PIC) Offers Quick Decision Term Life Insurance
PIC is offering Quick Decision Term product. The application, approval, and delivery processes are streamlined, allowing decisions in a few minutes or days versus weeks or months with traditional insurers. In most cases: No medical examinations, no testing, and no waiting for results. Face amounts up to $300K, available to most pilots. Ask about it today. Call PIC today at 1 (800) 380-8376, or visit PIC online.
 
News Briefsback to top 
 

FIRST FATAL T-38 CRASHES IN YEARS PROMPT STAND DOWN
Two fatal accidents in nine days snapped five years of fatality-free operations for the Air Force's T-38C trainer and have now grounded the aircraft. An April 23 crash and a May 1 crash together claimed four pilots. The Air Force has so far offered few details, offering Thursday that the accidents so far appear unrelated. "Until we have a more complete understanding of the causes," said General William Looney, commander of Air Education and Training Command (AETC), "it's prudent to stand down the T-38's." AETC will observe a "safety day" Monday, leaving all its aircraft on the ground. The April 23 crash occurred on takeoff at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi, killing Maj. Blair Faulkner and 2nd Lt. Matthew Emmons. The May 1 crash killed two more pilots whose names had not yet been released when AVweb went to press. Those pilots -- a student and instructor -- were flying a training mission out of Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls. More...

FAA FIGHTS FOR JETS AT SANTA MONICA AIRPORT
Last month, the Santa Monica, Calif., City Council approved a law banning jets with approach speeds between 139 and 191 mph, but a Federal Judge has granted the FAA a temporary restraining order blocking the move. Santa Monica airport saw 18,575 jet operations in 2007. The FAA says that the law is not only unnecessary, but would also significantly harm jet operators and their supporting businesses. The City Council says it acted to protect local residents from jet overruns and acted in accordance with the FAA's own safety standards. In court, the judge asked the city attorney how many aircraft of the type that would be affected by the ban had been involved in overruns at the airport. The answer is none, but that smaller, slower aircraft have been involved in overruns and the city's attorney stated that the results of such an incident involving larger aircraft would be disastrous. The judge responded noting that the larger aircraft in question were flown by professional pilots and were considered safer than smaller private aircraft. 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 
 

POLITE PILOT RELEASED FROM PSYCH WARD
Welsh pilot Maurice Kirk gets full marks for politeness but his questionable judgment landed him in a Texas psychiatric hospital. Kirk, from the Vale of Glamorgan, was detained for psychiatric assessment after landing his Piper Cub in a field about six miles from President Bush's Texas ranch April 25. Known as the Flying Vet, Kirk wanted to personally thank Bush for help he got from the U.S. Coast Guard when he crashed off the coast of the Dominican Republic in February. According to the BBC, police who stopped Kirk in the Texas field originally thought he was drunk, but he was sober. McLennan County Chief Deputy Sheriff Randy Phlemons said he was not arrested but was ordered to undergo a psychiatric assessment. Kirk was released from the Austin State Hospital last Thursday. More...

LASER PRANKSTER NABBED BY VICTIM, A PILOT
Hit twice on the same night by a laser beam, Mark Westwood, a helicopter pilot for the British police, found justice ... and the man responsible. Westwood was momentarily blinded by the beam, but kept control of his helicopter and turned his thermal imaging camera on the culprit. It turns out that 20-year-old Dean Bottomley had targeted the helicopter from his bedroom with a green laser pen and in moments, Westwood had his location locked. In minutes, police arrived and arrested Bottomley at his home. Stating that he was "just having a laugh," according to the Mirror UK, Bottomley now faces a potential jail term of five years for admitting to endangering an aircraft and will contemplate that fact until his June 6 sentencing date. "He knows he has been very stupid," offered his attorney. Bottomley, who reportedly bought the laser pen on eBay, added, "I didn't realize just how serious it was." More...

 
Find Your Next Aircraft on ASO!
When you search for used aircraft on ASO, you get the most complete picture of the market available anywhere. View thousands of listings with detailed specs and photos or use ASO's advanced search tools to quickly find your next aircraft. Best of all, know that every ad is current and no time is wasted on stale listings. If you're ready for your next aircraft, it's ready for you — on ASO. Visit ASO.com today!
 
Reader Voicesback to top 
 

AVMAIL: MAY 5, 2008
Reader mail this week about fuel taxes, securing drunks to their seats, electric aircraft and more. More...

GOT A THIELERT DIESEL? WE WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU
Our sister magazine, Aviation Consumer, is preparing a follow-up story on user experience with Thielert diesel engines. If you'd like to participate, drop an e-mail to avconsumer@comcast.net. (The story will appear in a future issue of Aviation Consumer. For subscription information, click here.) More...

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. What have you heard? More...

 
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.
 
New on AVwebback to top 
 

CEO OF THE COCKPIT #82: THE SKY (PROBABLY) ISN'T REALLY FALLING
AVweb's CEO of the cockpit is flying SIC in a Skyhawk, but he's lost his skill at being a tactful and deferential co-pilot. More...

COCKPIT SMOKE HOODS
Our trials revealed that all three perform well, although Parat-C is our first choice. But you'll need to train and practice to handle them well in a real emergency. More...

 
Avidyne Extends Interface Capability for Tactical WX Detection System
Avidyne's TWX670 Tactical Weather Detection System has a Compatibility Mode providing a second output format for display of monochromatic lightning strike and storm cell information on a number of existing lightning detection-compatible displays. The TWX670's normal RS-232 output protocol supports the TWX670's TWxCell™ and Color Strike modes on compatible displays, including Avidyne's EX500, EX5000 and MHD300. With Compatibility Mode, the TWX670 provides an alternate protocol compatible with other manufacturers' displays. Click here for more information.

Sign up to be an Avidyne Insider.
 
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 
 

FBO OF THE WEEK: AIR 51 (LEX, LEXINGTON, KY)

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to a relatively new FBO, Air 51 at LEX in Lexington, Kentucky.

AVweb reader Graham Richardson discovered Air 51 "quite by accident":

We were stopping for fuel at [another FBO] as is our habit when at LEX when we passed a spectacular P51 Mustang heading out for an evening flight. I questioned ground control and found out that the owner had just opened a new FBO called Air 51. We changed our destination and taxied down taxiway Delta to the nicest airport facility I have ever seen. Service was imediate, friendly and competent ... free soft drinks and popcorn [and] a brand-new Porsche Boxter convertible loaner car. ... This was the best FBO experience I've ever had in over 20 years of flying. I only hope these guys go national.

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!

More...

 
Stuck on the Freeway? Put That "Down Time" to Good Use with Pilot's Audio Update
Subscribe to Pilot's Audio Update and receive monthly CDs with topics from "Expediting an IFR Approach" and "Airplane Trim Systems" to "Carburetor Ice" and "Low Workload Maneuvering." Subscribe now to receive the Acing the Flight Review CD as a gift with your order.
 
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 
 

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: PATTY WAGSTAFF INTERVIEW AND FLIGHT
Ride along with Patty Wagstaff as she flies her airshow routine at Sun 'n Fun 2008, courtesy of AVweb's Glenn Pew. Or, if you're easily queasy, just close your eyes and listen to our post-flight interview with Patty about how it feels to fly the maneuvers and what it's like to perform. Special thanks to our friends at Bose Corporation and Aircraft Spruce & Supply Co., whose good people stepped up when we needed them and helped make this video happen. And very special thanks to Patty's main sponsor, Cirrus Design, maker of the airplanes that changed the industry. (Click through to watch.) More...

FLYING TO ALASKA: MARVELING AT NATURAL BEAUTY WITH GARY SCOTT
Gary Scott has flown his Cherokee 180 from New Mexico to Fairbanks Alaska three times and has been amazed by the beauty of the landscape and the hospitality of the people along the way. But flying to Alaska does take some preparation, and those thinking about going might consider ordering the DVD and handbook Gary and his wife Sandy have put together. (Contact them for ordering information.) More...

VIDEO OF THE WEEK: "LIVING THE LEGEND" WITH THE ANTIQUE AIRPLANE ASSOCIATION
AVweb reader Brent Taylor brought this little gem to our attention — a promotional video for the Antique Airplane Association's annual Labor Day Fly-In. (Yet another fly-in on our list of "gotta do that" destinations.) We've got aerobatics, crashes, and amazing builds on tap for the next couple of weeks, but for today, let's take a break from the excitement and marvel at some truly amazing aircraft in flight. (Click through to watch.) More...

 
The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 
 

SHORT FINAL

On a Qantas flight from Adelaide to Perth last week, our lovely senior air steward announced the following after the doors closed:

Over the Speaker:
"Ladies and gentleman, please turn off all electronic devices such as laptops, mobile phones, washing machines and hairdryers. However, if they have a flight mode, please switch now."

It made me smile; must be hard to repeat the same thing every flight.

D. Dann
via e-mail

More...

 
More AVweb for Your Inboxback 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/. More...

 
Names Behind the Newsback 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.

More...