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The FAA funding bill under consideration in the Senate has stalled, bringing dismay to GA advocates who had been momentarily
heartened by this latest version's lack of user fees. Partisan politics are to blame, says EAA. "We're deeply
disappointed, but will continue to push for procedural opportunities to move the bill forward through the Senate," said Doug Macnair, EAA vice president of government relations. "This could mean
extended and protracted continuing resolutions, leaving unresolved the questions of user fees and how the FAA will be funded ... This also continues to jeopardize airport improvement funds and other
programs vital for general aviation and the entire aviation industry." Ed Bolen, president of the National Business
Aviation Association, said he's hopeful the compromise to settle for a GA fuel tax instead of user fees will survive this latest delay, and a bill will be passed in this session.
James Coyne, president of the National Air Transportation Association, agreed. "Obviously,
we are very disappointed that the Senate was not able to approve their FAA reauthorization bill over the last week," he said. "We are hopeful that as the June 30th expiration looms the Senate will get
this bill back on track and passed as quickly as possible."
DayJet has cut its fleet by more than half and its staff by more than a third as it scales back operations in the absence of capital to fund expansion. DayJet founder and CEO Ed Iacobucci told AVweb
on Tuesday the company needs about $50 million to essentially triple its current size to achieve the "critical mass" necessary to be profitable. DayJet operates out of 11 "Dayport" hubs and flies to
more than 30 destinations. Iacobucci said they need 20 to 30 hubs and up to 50 aircraft to start making money and they've been unable to find investors because of the tight market. As a result, staff
has been trimmed by 100 to 160 and the company is selling or leasing 16 of its 28 Eclipse 500s "to minimize the loss." But Iacobucci said he predicts the company will find the money it needs and the
expansion will take place within a year. "Keep watching us because you're going to see a lot of development," he said. "The model works." Iacobucci also downplayed the impact of the decision on
Eclipse, which lists DayJet as its largest customer, with more than 1,400 aircraft reserved.
Iacobucci said Dayjet has "made no changes to our order book" and the delay in its overall plan should have little impact on Eclipse in the short term. "Our orders were not cancelled, they were
deferred," he said. He said Eclipse has "plenty of customers" who will be happy to get their aircraft earlier because of the deferral. Eclipse declined comment on the DayJet decision. In its first six
months, DayJet's "proof of concept phase," Iacobucci said the company proved there was a market for the modified point-to-point service. More than 1,500 people paid to sign up as "members" of DayJet
and more than 500 actually used the service. About 50 had flown more than 10 times. He said customers generally liked the service and the airplane and, after initial technical bugs were ironed out,
the company was generally satisfied with its performance. Iacobucci said he's looking forward to the aircraft being fully equipped with all the navigation and systems it's supposed to have so that it
has even more utility. "The airplane is not a problem," he said.
"Zulu is amazing. I haven't found anything as quiet or nearly as comfortable. The audio quality is better than anything I've ever heard through any
headset." Kevin Eldredge, Race Pilot
The Zulu headset looks different because it is different. Zulu sets a new standard in ANR performance, comfort, and audio quality. Includes built-in Bluetooth for your
cell phone not available on any other headset. See why more pilots are Zuluing.
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"Not only can our fuel seamlessly replace the aviation industry's standard petroleum fuel [100LL], it can
outperform it," says John Rusek, a professor at Purdue University and co-founder of Swift Enterprises. The company recently unveiled a new general aviation fuel that it says will be less
expensive, more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendlier than any on the market. Unlike other alternative fuels, Rusek said, SwiftFuel is made of synthetic hydrocarbons that are derived from
biomass, and it can provide an effective range greater than 100LL, while costing about half as much to produce. "Our fuel should not be confused with first-generation biofuels like E-85 [85 percent
ethanol], which don't compete well right now with petroleum," Rusek said. Patented technology can produce the 1.8 million gallons per day of fuel used by GA in the U.S. by using just 5 percent of the
existing biofuel plant infrastructure, the company said.
The synthetic fuel is 15 to 20 percent more fuel-efficient, has no sulfur emissions, requires no stabilizers, has a 30-degree lower freezing point than 100LL, introduces no new carbon emissions,
and is lead-free, Rusek said. In addition, he said, the components of the fuel can be formulated into a replacement for jet/turbine fuels. The company now is working with the FAA to evaluate the
Cessna's new Citation CJ4 business jet prototype flew for the first time on Monday in Wichita, the company said. "We tested quite a number of the systems on the aircraft,
including the autopilot, and all performed very well," said Cessna test pilot Dan Morris, who flew the jet for nearly two and a half hours. "The FADECs operated just as we expected, and along with the
four displays of the Pro Line 21, this is a very pilot-friendly aircraft. Operators will transition easily into the CJ4." Cessna also announced on Monday that it has flown the first production model
of the SkyCatcher for the first time. It flew for a half hour on May 1,
about two months after the first flight of the first prototype of the airplane. Cessna said it plans to add one more aircraft to the test fleet.
All engineering work and testing of the SkyCatcher, a light sport aircraft, will be completed in Wichita. The CJ4 is scheduled to start deliveries in the first half of 2010.
Vertical Power Is Now Available at Aircraft Spruce Vertical Power introduces a new way to wire and fly your experimental aircraft with the industry's first solid-state electrical system. Wiring is simplified with home-run wiring to a central
control unit, which provides electrical power for the avionics, lights, trim, and flaps. Most switches, circuit breakers, and control modules are replaced by solid-state circuitry. Routine pilot
tasks are handled for you, so you can spend more time flying with your head outside the cockpit. Call Aircraft Spruce at 1 (877) 4-SPRUCE, or
A federal judge in California said this week that air traffic controllers at the Torrance Municipal Airport made
a critical mistake in November 2003, resulting in the collision of two helicopters in flight. The NTSB report, issued last May, found the surviving pilot, a student flying an R22 solo, had caused the
crash, by failing to comply with an ATC clearance. Two men in a Robinson R44 helicopter on a training flight died when it crashed to the runway and exploded. The R22 pilot survived with serious
injuries. The judge said the two controllers involved "failed to issue clear and concise instructions" to the pilots and acted "negligently and carelessly," the L.A. Times reported on Wednesday. The two pilots were maneuvering in the traffic pattern above
parallel runways and were in positions where neither pilot could see the other when ATC reportedly told one of the pilots to turn, putting the two aircraft on a collision course, the Times said. The
NTSB final report says the R22 pilot crossed runway 29R, where the controller had directed him to land, and was
heading toward 29L when the collision occurred.
The case was brought to court by families of the three victims, who filed a civil lawsuit against the FAA. Testimony was heard for 11 days. An FAA spokesman declined to comment on the case, The Associated Press reported. "The tower should have been staffed with four controllers, but instead had just three at
the time of this crash, as the ruling affirmed," Doug Church, spokesman for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, told AVweb on Wednesday. "Like the Comair crash in Lexington, when
a facility is understaffed, it is unsafe and tragedy can result."
The House Subcommittee on Aviation met on Tuesday for a hearing about aviation's impact on the
environment. Noise and emissions from aviation are expected to double by 2025, the panel said, so aggressive action is needed soon to prevent that scenario. Gerald Dillingham, speaking for the
U.S. Government Accountability Office, told the panel that NextGen developments will improve efficiency, but more funding is needed for research into better technology. National Air Transportation
Association (NATA) President James Coyne also testified at the hearing. NetJets, a member of NATA, is investing in the development of an ultra-low-emissions jet fuel, Coyne said. Several
representatives of the airline industry noted that given the cost of fuel, the industry is doing all it can to improve efficiency.
Mary Ann Schaffer, of the Air Line Pilots Association, said pilots conserve fuel by various strategies, including single-engine taxiing, continuous descent arrivals, and flying at optimal altitudes
The Red Bull Air Race returned to the U.S. over the weekend, with Mike Mangold and Paul Bonhomme battling for first
place over San Diego Bay. Mangold won the series last year, but just barely. This weekend, Bonhomme took first after a one-on-one flight against Mangold. "Great rivalries have a history of triggering
interest in motorsports," wrote Bill Center, in the San Diego Union Tribune, a view that is sure to
warm the heart of the race organizers. Kirby Chambliss, of Arizona, came in third, but took first for the weekend in pulling Gs, pegging at +9.1 in a tight turn. Mangold said that after three years of
competition, all 12 pilots are hard to beat. "This thing is getting a lot tighter," he told the Union Tribune. "The small things are adding up, we're all getting closer and closer." The races drew a
crowd of about 150,000 over the weekend. The racers will compete again in Detroit at the end of this month, then move overseas to Europe.
The top three pilots all were flying Edge 540 airplanes. Although Bonhomme made it look easy with his elegant style of flying through the challenging obstacle course just above the water, he was
drenched in sweat after returning to the runway, set up on the U.S. Naval Air Station on North Island. He won the final with a time of 1:18.01 to 1:19.24 for Mangold. The San Diego race was just the
second of the season, which launched in Abu Dhabi. After six stops in Europe, the series will finish up in Perth.
Click here for video of the race and interviews with the pilots. And here's a little video of our own, from last year's
San Diego Red Bull Air Race:
Pilots in search of an aviation destination for summer have plenty to choose from. This week, the FAA published instructions for pilots flying into Oshkosh for EAA AirVenture, July 28 to August 3. The NOTAM takes effect starting July
25, and outlines procedures for arrival and departure. There have been some major changes since last year, EAA says, so be sure to check. "Besides following the published arrival and departure
procedures in the AirVenture NOTAM, pilots should maintain high vigilance in watching for other aircraft," adds EAA. "Pilots are expected to have a copy of the NOTAM available for in-flight
reference." Also coming up soon -- the annual AOPA fly-in and open house at their headquarters in Frederick, Md., on June 7. The free event features 100 aviation exhibitors, 40 aircraft on display,
safety seminars, and tours of the HQ.
Check the AOPA site for fly-in procedures. Special security measures are in effect, and a temporary control tower will be
in operation at the Frederick airport.
Toddler Overboard ... Power Loss on Takeoff ... Mountain Crash ...
Each Real Pilot Story on the AOPA Air Safety Foundation web site is a true account of a good flight gone bad. These multimedia presentations allow you to watch, listen, and learn as
pilots tell their harrowing tales of survival. The quick thinking and skillful techniques shown in the ASFReal Pilot Stories can help make better pilots of us all.
Just in case you don't already have enough stuff flying around in the sky to watch out for, a new company in Alabama says it's ready to
start marketing a new product called Flogos -- for flying logos. The floatable icons come in various sizes up to three feet across, and can be
stamped out in any shape, such as a peace symbol or a corporate logo. They are made from an airy mixture of foam, soap and helium, and the company says they will pop like a soap bubble in a collision.
However, they can be released into the sky dozens at a time, they can travel up to 20 or 30 miles, and they can reach as high as 20,000 feet. "It sounds like it's harmless," said Jerry Emison, a
professor of public administration at Mississippi State University told The Associated Press.
"But there's a lot of stuff that we thought was harmless that turned out not to be." Coming soon, the company says: a Flogo generator that can create shapes up to six feet across.
Kathleen Bergen, a spokeswoman for the FAA in Atlanta, told the AP that a local FAA office would need to be contacted before a Flogo launch so pilots could be notified about it.
The hundreds of titles of technical and training manuals produced by industry leader Jeppesen are now available for
download into your computer from AVweb Bookstore. The AVweb Bookstore is among the retail aviation book catalogs
operated by the Aircraft Technical Book Company. President Andy Gold told AVweb in a podcast interview that e-books are a burgeoning segment of the market now that copyright and duplication issues
have been resolved and he expects the PDF downloads to be available for most of his titles by the end of the year.
Gold said that while there will always be those who prefer the printed word (like him), there are significant advantages to e-books, most of them cost related. In some cases, because of
transportation and taxes, the cost of shipping a book can be much higher than the cost of the book itself, particularly for international customers. E-books are also fully searchable, employ the zoom
and other features on computers and are weightless. "For students and for on-the-job reference, there is no longer a need to carry around 40-50 pounds of manuals," he said. The books are faithful to
the printed originals in every respect and include all the pictures and diagrams in PDF format. With standard high speed connections, the downloads take from a few minutes to longer than 10 minutes,
depending on the size of the tome and the number of graphics.
Precise/Cirrus Fixed Oxygen Is Now Available as an SR22 Retrofit
Because every SR22 deserves the best, we have acquired STCs for the G2 and G3 Models. The Precise Flight Certified Fixed Oxygen System, unique in its clean and simple integration into the
aircraft, is making its way "standard" on the industry's leading airframes.
Click here to find
out more about the Precise Fixed Oxygen System.
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.
If you're interested in access to higher-resolution versions, contact
We've all been there, lugging bags full of heavy books and manuals to ground school or out to the hangar, but computer technology has reached the point where none of that's necessary anymore.
AVweb's Russ Niles spoke with Aviation Technical Books President Andy Gold about the trend toward e-books and the introduction of the full line of Jeppesen manuals to the AVweb Bookstore catalog.
Over 17,000 Happy GAMIjectors® Customers Can't Be Wrong! GAMIjectors® have given these aircraft owners reduced peak cylinder head temperatures, reduced fuel consumption, and smoother engine operation. GAMIjectors® alter the fuel/air
ratio in each cylinder so that each cylinder operates with a much more uniform fuel/air ratio than occurs with any other factory set of injectors. To speak to a GAMI engineer, call (888)
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What does DayJet's scaling back mean to the future of air taxi services? AVweb's editors have a few ideas, and they're sharing them on our blog, the AVweb Insider.
Today, Mary Grady wonders whether the VLJ is really the critical piece of the puzzle and reflects on other air-ferry services that have made a go without jets.
Last week, we asked whether you'd ever consider owning an electric-powered airplane. Nearly half of those who responded to our poll (47%) were optimistic but cautious, saying they
might climb aboard when the range and power get better but a full quarter of you were ready to commit, agreeing with the option it's the wave of the future for light
For the complete breakdown of reader responses, click here. (You may be asked to register and answer if you haven't already participated in this poll.)
THIS WEEK'S QUESTION ***
With DayJet's announcement that it will scale back operations and lay off employees, many are beginning to
speculate that the bright, golden rug has been out from under the future of air taxi services. As usual, we'd like to know what you think:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.
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
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.
AVweb is actively seeking
out the best FBOs in the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!
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
Each week, we go through dozens (and sometimes hundreds) of reader-submitted photos and pick the very best to share with you on Thursday mornings. The top photos are featured
on AVweb's home page, and one photo that stands above the others is awarded an AVweb baseball cap as our "Picture of the Week." Want to
see your photo on AVweb.com? Click here to submit it to our weekly contest.
*** THIS WEEK'S WINNERS ***
"Picture of the Week" submissions are still hovering in the fair-to-middling range, as least where sheer numbers are concerned but we won't tire you with our usual
bellyaching and begging. Why? Because the quality is still sky-high, and we're having to turn away some awfully eye-catching pics just to whittle the
finalists down to a managable number.
Kicking off the excitement this week is 12-year-old Austin Randall of Clyde, Texas, who shot this week's super-sharp winning photo at Dyess Air
Force Base this past Saturday. "It was awesome!!!" writes Austin and we agree!
Thunderstorms may have ruined many a flight plan, but at least they've given readers a few spectacular photos to share with us. Danielle Martin of
Fayetteville, Arkansas snapped this one during "a very stormy week."
A quick note for submitters: If you've got several
photos that you feel are "POTW" material, your best bet is to submit
them one-a-week! That gives your photos a greater chance of seeing
print on AVweb, and it makes the selection process a little easier on
us, too. ;)
A Reminder About Copyrights: Please take a moment to consider the
source of your image before submitting to our "Picture of the Week" contest.
If you did not take the photo yourself, ask yourself if you are indeed
authorized to release publication rights to AVweb. If you're uncertain,
send us an e-mail.
Embraer's Phenom 100 hasn't been publicly displayed yet, but PP-XPH, one of Embraer's certification prototypes, has been making the rounds in the U.S. as part of its certification
program. It was spotted in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where it's undergoing icing tests.
CLICK FOR LARGE IMAGES
EACH IMAGE WILL OPEN IN A NEW WINDOW
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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/.
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.