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Volume 14, Number 20a
May 12, 2008
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Top Newsback to top 
Sponsor Announcement

The second annual Electric Aircraft Symposium (EAS) held late last month offered a lot of theory and some progress. For now, the tone at EAS may suggest development of electric aircraft could follow the path of electric cars, and see their most immediate practical incarnations take the form of gas/electric hybrids. Boeing, which this year flew a small fuel cell aircraft, has one research group targeting a hybrid that could fly 300 miles per charge. That initiative is connected with a navigational control package that aims to take the work (fun?) out of flying and make it accessible to individuals without special training. That offering may appear sometime in the next few decades. Later this year, however, expect Pipistrel to offer its "world's first two seater self launching glider powered by electrical means." In August the CAFE (Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency) foundation will host a contest to test the practical application of current designs and award $50,000 to the most efficient aircraft. More...

The FAA has proposed to change its regulations regarding operations with "polished frost" on an aircraft's flying surfaces ... just in time for summer. Frost polished to make it smooth would no longer be permitted as the FAA has determined it poses a threat to safe flight. The notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) officially applies to parts 125, 135, and certain part 91 operations. Though the FAA previously recommended that aircraft manufacturers could offer recommended procedures for polishing frost, no current manufacturer has issued any recommendations for polishing or operating with polished frost, and the FAA stipulates that "polished frost" is an "ambiguous" term. Plus, the FAA has correlated at least 11 accidents with circumstances involving individuals who crashed shortly after takeoff after attempting to smooth frost on the aircraft's wings. According to the FAA, nine of the 11 accidents would not have been prevented by the newly proposed rule because those accident aircraft were not operating under regulations that would be affected by the proposed rule. Nonetheless.... More...

Fly With Bose® Aviation Headset X™
Enjoy an unmatched combination of full-spectrum noise reduction, clearer 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.
The Latest and Greatestback to top 

Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China (CACC) was inaugurated Sunday, having been bolstered by a $2.72 billion cash infusion, almost one-third of which comes from the state. The company is expected to be involved in the development of the 90-seat ARJ21 regional jet, which rolled off the production line last December, should be test flown later this year and may be the first commercial regional jet developed and produced by China. Deliveries are scheduled for 2009. The aircraft's initial specifications "indicate that it's a bit heavier" than current offerings from other manufacturers, according to Teal Group aviation analyst, Richard Aboulafia, and may be built without extensive use of lightweight composites. Still, "they might be able to establish a presence in the business over the next 10 to 20 years," he told the International Herald Tribune. Airbus has forecast that China will need more than 2,600 new passenger jets within the next two decades. More...

Mooney's Acclaim Type S, Ovation 3, and Ovation2 GX have earned FAA approval to use Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS)-aided navigation and Safe-Taxi technology via amended Type Certificate. The systems work with the Garmin G1000 avionics' GPS to ease pilot workloads in instrument conditions and better manage high traffic environments both in the air and on the ground, according to Mooney. Deliveries of WAAS-approved Mooney aircraft with the Safe-Taxi software upgrade will begin immediately. Upgrades to earlier aircraft are expected to become available in the second quarter, after Mooney establishes its pricing structure for retrofit packages. Mooney says the move to WAAS meets with the company's determination to provide aircraft that are built with the ability to safely and efficiently perform in the same environment as turboprop business aircraft. Working in Mooney aircraft, the WAAS system can interface with the Garmin GFC700 autopilot and also generate a virtual glide path for more than 3,000 straight-in GPS and RNAV approaches already in the aircraft's navigation system. More...

Discover the Thrill of a Family Getaway
Discover that the best family vacation photos aren't taken through the window of a minivan. In a brand-new Cessna Stationair, every single weekend becomes your chance for a family getaway. Without ever hearing the dreaded words "Are we there yet?" Call 1 (800) 4-CESSNA. Or visit CessnaYouAreHere.com.
The State of the (Aviation) Economyback to top 

The "current uncertainty in the U.S. economy is having an effect," specifically on the spectrum of piston aircraft, according to General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) President and CEO Pete Bunce. This year, Q1 piston-powered airplane shipments dropped 28 percent to 399 from 544 for the same period last year, according to GAMA's report. However, turboprop shipments were slightly higher and business jet shipments rose dramatically -- by more than 40 percent. In sum, total industry billings reached all all-time first-quarter high, up more than 16 percent over last year's. The divergent trends may be partially explained by worldwide economics. Accounting for 67 percent of piston deliveries last year, the North American market is an important player in worldwide figures and a downturn in that economy has broad effects. However, growth is strong in markets outside of North America and a good footing in multiple markets may ultimately provide some stability for those manufacturers best able to adapt to worldwide demand. The turbine segments showed impressive gains as did market share outside of the U.S. and North America. Economic stimulus in the form of bonus depreciation may be having a positive impact on aircraft sales, this year. More...

JA Air Center, Your Garmin Source
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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.
News Briefsback to top 

Airshow performer Rob Harrison Saturday crashed his Zlin 50LX while performing at Modesto airport, and though one witness told a local ABC news channel, "the plane just went all to pieces," Harrison, 66, survived the impact with serious injuries. The pilot, nicknamed "The Tumbling Bear," was performing a rolling maneuver at low level near the end of his routine when the aircraft touched the ground and slid for about 100 feet before coming to rest on its side, relatively far from spectators. A crowd of about 4,000 people witnessed the crash and stayed to watch remote-control aircraft perform following Harrison's evacuation by helicopter to Memorial Medical Center in Modesto. Harrison was reported Sunday to be resting in stable condition. Details of his injuries were not released. More...

An Extra 300L operated by Aviation Performance Solutions LLC (APS) crashed Friday, killing two aboard. APS offers upset recovery and spin training. APS instructor Jim "Clap" Clapper was killed in the crash along with another pilot identified by a local CBS news affiliate as "an experienced commercial pilot." Clapper is a former F-4 and F-105 pilot. He had 20 years and 1,400 hours experience flying competition aerobatics, with 8 years flying competitive unlimited aerobatics. In 1995 Clapper was Arizona State Champion -- Advanced Aerobatics. Clapper was employed with the school as an instructor in aerobatics, upset recovery and spin training. The aircraft was returning from a training flight when it crashed approximately eight miles east of the Phoenix/Mesa Gateway Airport in Arizona. "The type of maneuvers they were doing during that flight were very basic, nothing advanced," said Paul Ransbury, president of APS. "It is clear that numerous families were affected by this terrible tragedy," he said. "Our deepest sympathies and prayers are with all of those who were involved in this tragic accident and their families." More...

"I don't give a sh-t about that. I'm taking the airplane." Juan Solis, an aircraft mechanic, told the NTSB the now-deceased Michael Klemm, an ATP certificated pilot with more than 10,500 hours flight time, spoke those words on July 10, 2007, about the accident aircraft (a NASCAR-operated Cessna 310R) prior to his fatal flight, according to a report released Friday by the NTSB. The flight ended approximately 10 minutes after it began when the aircraft, which was, according to witnesses, trailing smoke, impacted two homes, killing Klemm, along with Dr. Bruce Kennedy (the husband of International Speedway Corp. President Lesa France Kennedy). The death toll on the ground added three others -- including an infant and a four-year-old girl. Klemm's comments are associated with his knowledge of a problem with the aircraft's radar, though the extent of that knowledge remains uncertain. More...

Cirrus Encourages You to Compare & Fly All the Airplanes That May Fit Your Mission
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News Briefsback to top 

When was the last time you heard that? For AVweb reader Jeff Goosetree, it seems to be the case. Goosetree currently flies 30- and 40-series Lear Jets out of northwest Arkansas, but maintains his earlier-won CFI. Currently, he is in the process of teaching his girlfriend, Maria, to fly, but on May 3 took a carefully planned deviation from the course book. Jeff arranged for Maria's first cross-country flight to fly west into the sunset, headed for the couple's favorite Italian restaurant. He even made sure to request some extra time with the crew car for the evening's dinner. Then, while en route in a 172, with Maria flying, Jeff began talking about their life together with her 8-year-old daughter, Halle. It was about halfway through the flight when, with ring in hand, "I managed to get up on one knee in the seat and proposed." More...

Irish helicopter pilot rapped for landing on city parkade ...
Smoke may have obscured Jim LeRoy's view in fatal crash ...
Airport sale items worth millions. More...

Get Additional Training Support to Reach Your Goals, Plus ...
... 6 issues of AOPA Flight Training at no cost or obligation from AOPA. Valuable training tools and resources are available to student pilots with AOPA's complimentary six-month trial membership. Activate your trial now for instant access to these benefits: flight planning software, AOPA's Airport eDirectory, live support, interactive safety courses, AOPA Flight Training, and more. Enroll now!

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New on AVwebback to top 

Pilots sometimes decide to live with some chronic mechanical problems. This time, it wasn't a good idea. 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...

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.
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

As you may have read recently on AVweb, Swift Enterprises has unveiled a new general aviation fuel that it says will be less expensive, more fuel-efficient, and environmentally friendlier than any on the market. Swift promises their new synthetic fuel can replace standard petroleum fuel (100LL) and provide a greater effective range while costing about half as much to produce. AVweb's Paul Bertorelli caught up with Swift's John Ziukowski to find out more. More...

In our latest "Video of the Week," Powered Skydiving founder Dell Schanze puts a new paraglider through its paces by — what else? — tumbling through the sky with it. We see some pretty nifty stuff on the receiving end of your video recommendations, but this is something to behold. (Click through to watch.) More...

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...

Is Your Certificate at Risk?
Legal claims for airspace incursions have increased over 150%. The AOPA Legal Services Plan provides protection in a variety of situations where you might need legal support. Plus, the Plan gives you unlimited consultation on most aviation matters covered by the Plan and an annual review of key aviation documents. Call (800) USA-AOPA, or go online to enroll.
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Quality Aviation at KFBL in Faribault, Mississippi.

AVweb reader Rick Lemon made a day stop at Quality while touring a nearby college with his daughter and wife:

Jerry [from Quality] met me at the plane and provided a courtesy car for the day. The car itself was fun — a recycled police car, so you couldn't open the back seat door or the window from inside. While I was gone, a thunderstorm blew in and Jerry put my plane in a hangar to avoid any possible hail damage. He refueled the plane even though it's advertised as self-serve.

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!


Artful Flying, Perfect Gift for Friends or Yourself
Artful Flying, the award-winning book by AVweb's former As the Beacon Turns columnist Michael Maya Charles, will show you how to turn your hours and hours of cockpit moments into a lifetime of art. This is no ordinary "how-to" text! Order online today and receive complimentary ground shipping.
The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 

Overheard in IFR 
Magazine's 'On the Air' Section
Overheard in IFR Magazine's "On the Air"

Heard on 121.5 on December 1, 2001 in the Frederick/Hagerstown, Maryland area (near Camp David or P40):

"Air Force on 121.5, Cherokee One Two Three."

Air Force (my guess is this was the AWACS controller):
"Go ahead."

"There are some F-15s near me. They do not answer my calls."

Air Force:
"F-15s do not have VHF capability; F-16s do."


"Where are you?"

Near Hagerstown; I am doing some photo work.

Air Force:
"You are probably violating expanded P40 and they are escorting you out."

Herbert Rosenthal
Bethesda, Maryland


So You Think You Are a Safe Pilot!
Aviation Safety magazine will keep your decision-making skills sharp with interesting and information-packed articles. You may find lots you didn't know! Order your subscription online for savings from the regular rate.
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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