AVwebFlash - Volume 14, Number 20b

May 15, 2008

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
Aircraft Spruce Now Carries the SmileView Mirror
Aircraft Spruce has added the SmileView Mirror to its list of unique products. The SmileView Mirror solves the major drawback of high-wing tandem-seat aircraft. Facial expressions add much more to cockpit communications than an intercom alone. Appreciated by all pilots, instructors, and students. Weighs less than 7 ounces installed. Call 1 (877) 4-SPRUCE, or visit Aircraft Spruce online.
 
Top News: Thielert Fall-Out back to top 
 

Thielert: No Warranty Support For Diamond Diesels

Owners of Diamond aircraft with Thielert diesels are getting bad news this week. Thielert says it won't support warranty claims and any owners who need parts and services to keep their airplanes flying will have to pay upfront. As we've reported on AVweb, Thielert declared bankruptcy two weeks ago and is now undergoing financial restructuring. In the meantime, the company pledged to continue building and shipping engines and parts, but buyers will have to pre-pay and await delivery. One DA42 owner has already contacted us expressing unhappiness about this policy. Diamond told us Wednesday that it doesn't yet know if it will step into the breech and support owners who have warranty claims. "We're relatively early into this, we're still making a lot of decisions on how to handle this. I can't give you an answer on that right now," said Heike Larson, Diamond's VP of sales.

Meanwhile, Diamond predicts it will have its own line of Austro four-cylinder diesels certified in Europe by this summer and plans to unveil the powerplant at the Berlin Airshow in two weeks. These engines will initially be used only in European aircraft. The Austro plant is at the Wiener Neustadt headquarters south of Vienna and has been under construction since last fall. Like the Thielert Centurion line, the Austro engine is adapted from Mercedes-Benz automotive technology and will be in the 170-HP range. U.S. certifications are some months away and Larson said the company is planning to offer Austro replacements for existing Thielert installation, but still has a lot of technical details to work out. Press reports in Europe say it also plans to offer diesel as an option in its new DA50 Super Star.

 
Thousands of Classifieds, Updated Daily
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Jets! back to top 
 

Embraer To Build Phenoms In Florida

Click for more photos from our Embraer 100 gallery

Embraer will build a $51 million plant in Melbourne, Fla. to assemble Phenom 100 and 300 models. The announcement was made Tuesday afternoon in Melbourne, According to TCPalm.com, the Brazilian planemaker could break ground within weeks on a 15-acre site at Melbourne International Airport. The plant would employ about 200. Flight testing would also be carried out there as would various engineering and design functions and delivery preparation.

The Phenom 100 very light jet is in the final stage of certification and production has started at facilities in Brazil. A prototype has spent the last month in the U.S. undergoing cold soak and airframe icing tests. The Phenom 300 prototype flew for the first time two weeks ago and is expected to go into service in 2010.

Aerion Sales Supersonic

Aerion says it's racking up orders for its supersonic business jet at the rate of "a billion [dollars] every two months. In an email to media in advance of next week's EBACE business aviation show in Geneva, company spokesman Jeff Miller said the order book for the $80 million jet is now at more than 40 and represents more than $3 billion in advance orders since the company began taking orders earlier this year. Although Aerion won't be having a formal news conference at EBACE, all of its chief executives will be there and available for questions from media and those who want to fly really fast.

One interesting aspect of the aircraft is its predicted ability to fly as fast as Mach 1.15 without a sonic boom reaching the ground. The capability depends on atmospheric conditions but it's a clear marketing advantage against naysayers who point out that the aircraft can only really stretch its legs over the ocean where they can boom to their heart's content. "This will allow it to cruise above Mach 1 above many ICAO countries, achieving as much as two thirds of the speed advantage of its high-speed cruise in comparison with subsonic jets," Miller wrote.

Viper Aircraft Introduces the FanJet

For the homebuilder who likes to go fast, Viper Aircraft has just released the newest member to their personal jet family, the Viper FanJet. This new aircraft is 17% larger than the existing model, the Mk II. This increase in space allows for pilots over 6' 5" tall to comfortably fit in the pressurized cabin, 25 cubic feet of cargo space, and the ability to utilize a turbofan engine for better fuel economy. The standard power plant for the FanJet is the Pratt & Whitney JT-15-4D turbofan engine. Compared to the MKII's J-85 engine, the company says the JT-15 burns less than half the fuel while still providing over 2900 pounds of thrust. At economy cruise and full fuel this engine will provide a 1500 nautical mile range. "This is definitely a multi-purpose airplane," Viper Aircraft VP Dan Hanchette told AVweb. "With full fuel and economy cruise this is a great cross country airplane. But load the aircraft with only 1 1/2 hours worth of fuel and the FanJet will retain the same power-to-weight ratio as the MKII giving you a very capable, high-performance aircraft."

The FanJet will be released as a modular kit, making for fewer parts and easier construction. The first demo aircraft is expected to be flying within 15 months. More information can be found on the company's website, Viper-Aircraft.com.

 
Announcing the Online MBA for Aviation Professionals
from Daniel Webster College

Did you know that professionals with an MBA earn an average of $10,000 to $30,000 more per year? Within 27 months, you can be one of them!

Daniel Webster College MBA for Aviation Professionals is a fully-accredited, 100%-online program built for the busy schedule of the aviation professional. Being "on the road" is no longer a barrier to career advancement. Call (866) 458-7525 or click here for more information.
 
Staying Safe ... back to top 
 

NTSB: Pilots Need Better Information About Turbocharger Failures

The emergency procedures provided to pilots for coping with turbocharger failures in flight are inadequate, the NTSB said this week, and the FAA should require manufacturers to revise pilot operating handbooks. In a fatal crash in May 2004, the NTSB says, the turbocharger failed on a Cessna T206H, and investigators found that in-flight emergency procedures in the POH did not provide a way to assess the difference between an engine and a turbocharger failure. The POH also did not provide any clear guidance about how to handle such a failure once a pilot identified the problem. Manufacturers of aircraft equipped with turbochargers still have not voluntarily improved emergency procedures for turbocharger failures, and accidents and incidents continue to occur, the NTSB says.

In the 2004 accident, a turbocharger-equipped Cessna T206H crashed in Illinois after the pilot reported a loss of engine power while at cruise flight at 1,150 feet AGL. Witnesses reported they heard several attempts to restart the engine and black smoke billowed from the aircraft during each attempt. The airplane struck trees as it descended and crashed into a garage. A fire and explosion ensued, and the pilot was fatally injured. The NTSB found that the turbocharger had failed and the turbine wheel seized. The board concluded that the probable cause of this accident was, in part, "the seized turbocharger.... [c]ontributing factors were the inadequate emergency procedures by the manufacturer."

FAA Says Emergency Medical Helicopters Need Safety Improvements

Three men died last weekend when an emergency medical-services helicopter crashed near Madison, Wis., and this week the FAA responded with an update on its work to address safety concerns about such flights. The NTSB reported on the helicopter emergency medical services fleet in 2006, and asked the FAA to impose stricter requirements on all such operators. "While the FAA has not ruled out proposing new or changing existing rules, the agency has prompted significant short-term safety gains that do not require rulemaking," the FAA said in a statement on Tuesday. The agency said it is focusing on better training for flight crews; encouraging the use of technology such as night-vision goggles, radar altimeters, and terrain awareness and warning systems (though such systems don't work optimally in helicopters, the FAA says); and more detailed, airline-type FAA oversight for operators. "Safety improvements are needed," the FAA said.

Last weekend's fatal crash occurred shortly after takeoff on Saturday night, when the helicopter hit a wooded hillside. The crew did not have either night goggles or a terrain warning system on board. Air Methods, based in Denver, was the operator for the helicopter that crashed. An official of the company told The Capital Times on Monday it is installing the goggles and terrain warning gear as quickly as possible on its fleet of 330 aircraft.

 
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.
 
... And Staying Aloft back to top 
 

Trying To Save Fuel? AOPA Has Pointers

Prices at the pump are sure to rise with summer here, and AOPA this week has some suggestions about how to minimize the pain. Three simple techniques can result in "significant savings," AOPA says: leaning the fuel, economy cruise settings, and gradual descents. Such efforts can save hundreds of dollars in fuel costs, AOPA says. Meanwhile, a report from the Environmental Protection Agency shows that carbon-dioxide emissions from aviation overall have decreased since 1995. That conclusion is already being disputed, though -- a blogger at Wired.com says the data doesn't include fuel burned for international flights.

The EPA report is posted online.

New Maintenance-Management Service Offered For GA Owners

Owners of high-performance GA aircraft who want their airplanes perfectly maintained but don't want to spend the time to oversee every detail now have another option -- they can hire a professional to manage their airplane, for a modest annual fee. Mike Busch, a general aviation maintenance expert, announced on Monday the launch of Savvy Aircraft Maintenance Management (SAMM), a new company providing professionally managed maintenance for owner-flown aircraft. The service will cover high-performance single-engine airplanes to cabin-class twins and very light jets. "Professional maintenance management has long been the norm for corporate jets, but has never been available for owner-flown aircraft until now," Busch said. Annual fees range from $500 to $1,000 for most piston aircraft. SAMM assigns an account manager to act as the owner's advocate and ensure that the aircraft receives the best possible maintenance at the lowest possible cost.

More than 1,000 owners have completed Busch's "Savvy Owner Seminar." However, the approach Busch teaches requires significant time, effort and involvement by the aircraft owner. "It became clear to me that many owners are simply too busy running their business or raising their family to manage their own maintenance properly, and would benefit from hiring a professional to manage it for them," Busch said. Busch was recently named "Aviation Maintenance Technician of the Year" for 2008 by the FAA. He is also the founder of AVweb and contributes the "Savvy Aviator" column. For more information, go to the company Web site.

 
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 Briefs back to top 
 

Silver State Students Sue Lender

When Silver State Helicopters, which operated flight schools in 17 states, closed its doors in February, hundreds of students who had paid thousands of dollars up front were left high and dry. Now, a California law firm representing two of those students has filed suit against KeyBank, which loaned them the money to give to Silver State. The school required students to pay the full $69,900 tuition before training started, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported on Wednesday, and it provided access to "preferred" private lenders, such as KeyBank. The law firm, Pinnacle Law Group in San Francisco, alleges that the bank and the flight school worked together to "ensnare" the students. Further, the bank "intentionally omitted" a federally required consumer protection clause from its loan documents, Pinnacle says.

"We hope to obtain an injunction preventing the bank from enforcing its promissory notes and from contacting credit agencies regarding the notes," Pinnacle attorney Kevin Rooney told the Sacramento Business Journal.

UAVs May Patrol High Arctic

With ice floes melting in the Arctic Ocean, maritime traffic is increasing across the Northwest Passage -- a fuel-saving shortcut between Asia and Europe. To ease security concerns about all that traffic, the U.S. Air Force wants to step up deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles in the vast Arctic region. "There's some extensive work that has to be done with the Federal Aviation Administration and Transport Canada," Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart told The Associated Press, "to ensure that we use these systems in a way that doesn't provide a challenge for our general aviation friends." He said air traffic congestion in the region is a problem, and UAV operators must be trained to navigate in the North's heavily wooded terrain. Gen. Renuart commands the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), which commemorated its 50th anniversary this week.

"The Arctic is a new area that is important to us because of the changes in ice floes," Renuart told the AP. Russian flyovers in the region, which have recently increased, are not a concern, he added.

 
Does Your Aircraft Insurance Provide $5,000.00 in Legal Costs?
When you insure with Avemco®, you get up to $5,000.00 in legal defense costs if the FAA or civil authority takes pilot certificate enforcement action against you for a covered loss or accident. To get your no-cost quote, call Avemco at (888) 241-7891, or click here to visit Avemco online.
 
News Briefs back to top 
 

Cirrus Migration Coming Up In July

Lots of type clubs have a fly-in over the summer, but the one for Cirrus owners, the annual Migration to their factory in Duluth, Minn., has achieved a certain standout quality. Maybe it's because last year, the migrants were the first to get a sneak look at Cirrus's new personal jet mockup. Or maybe it's just that the Migration has become more than just a social gathering and qualifies as a bona-fide event, complete with seminars, exhibits, factory tours, parties, a banquet, activities for the whole family (including tennis, golf, and fishing on Lake Superior), and renowned aviation guest speakers. This year, Rod Machado will be there, to give a talk on single-pilot flying strategies. The fly-in will run from July 10 to July 13.

Migration '06 is organized by the Cirrus Owners & Pilots Association, a nonprofit organization not affiliated with Cirrus Design Corp. Anyone is welcome to attend the event; registration is now open online.

On the Fly ...

New flight patterns at Newark are confusing pilots, controllers say...

Bombardier Aerospace selected Pratt & Whitney Canada's Pw307b engine for the all-composite Learjet 85...

The 2008 Milton Caniff "Spirit of Flight" Award from the Aviation Hall of Fame goes to the X Prize Foundation...

AeroLEDs now offers AeroSUNLite, a recognition/landing-taxi lighting system based on their AeroSUN product, with the same brightness but smaller and less expensive...

Hawker Beechcraft's Hawker 750 has received European Aviation Safety Agency certification...

Online discussions about DayJet continue in the blogosphere.

 
Diamond DA40 XL Demonstrator Sale
For a limited time only, while quantities last, Diamond DA40 XL Demonstrator models are available at a special price of $299,950. The aircraft also qualify for special 2008 tax incentives. You can enjoy owning a Diamond DA40 and write off up to 93% of the purchase price. Visit Diamond Aircraft now for more information.
 
Coming Next Week back to top 
 

AVweb Will Be At EBACE

One of the most respected shows for business aircraft is the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition in Geneva and AVweb will be there to capture all the announcements and inside stories of the event. Exhibitors, now is the time to flood our inbox at newsteam@avweb.com with what you're planning for the show. Coverage begins Tuesday May 20 and runs through Friday May 23.

If you don't want to miss it, but sure to add our business aviation newsletter, AVwebBiz, to your AVweb e-mail subscriptions. (Log in here and click on "Update E-Mail Subscriptions.")

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/.

 
Make Plans Now to Attend a 2008 Savvy Aviator Seminar
Mike will be conducting Savvy Aviator Seminars in Las Vegas, NV; Rapid City, SD; and Santa Maria, CA. Sign up for one of these classes and learn how to save thousands of dollars on maintenance costs, year after year. Do it before your next annual inspection! For complete details and to reserve your space, click here.

AVweb founder Mike Busch has been selected by the FAA and supporting aviation organizations as the National Maintenance Technician of the Year. Busch will be presented his award at a ceremony during EAA AirVenture.
 
New on AVweb back to top 
 

Brainteasers Quiz #133: Stuff You Should've Learned in Ground School

Brainteasers Chances are you learned how to convert Celsius to Frankenstein, but can you remember all the other testable -- and forgettable -- minutiae from your primary training days? Neither can we, so let's see what you know.

Take the quiz.

More Brainteasers

Question of the Week: Are Aircraft Engines Going Diesel?

This Week's Question | Previous Week's Answers

PREVIOUS RESULTS ***

Last week, in the wake of DayJet's cutbacks, we asked AVweb readers whether air taxi services still have a bright future ahead.

A third of you said yes, but in a limited capacity, and nearly as many gave an unequivocal yes as your answer. It seems most of our audience still has high hopes for the air taxi industry ... .

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 ***

Between new designs, new fuels, and better engineering, aircraft engines can be the most dynamic segment of the aviation business. Diesels have garnered a lot of attention lately, and we'd like to know whether you think this is a genuine shift in thinking or just a fad.

Are diesel engines the wave of the future?
(Click to answer.)


Have an idea for a new "Question of the Week"? Send your suggestions to .

NOTE:
This address is only for suggested "QOTW" questions, and not for "QOTW" answers or comments.
Use this form to send "QOTW" comments to our AVmail Editor.

AVweb Insider Blog: Our Honda Wish List (An Aerodiesel Engine!)

"What's needed here is for Honda to stop screwing around with four-cylinder gasoline engines and to get busy with aerodiesel" — so says AVweb Editorial Director Paul Bertorelli in the latest installment of commentary and criticism on our blog, the AVweb Insider.

Read more.

Exclusive Video: Patty Wagstaff Interview and Flight

Original, Exclusive Videos from AVweb | Reader-Submitted & Viral Videos

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 Glenn.


Don't see a video screen?
Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

 
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. For more info, visit CessnaFlyer.org.
 
Your Favorite FBOs back to top 
 

FBO of the Week: Quality Aviation (KFBL, Faribault, MN)

Nominate an FBO | Rules | Tips | Questions | Winning FBOs

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

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!

 
Knowledge Is Power; Knowledge Is Also a Safety Factor When Flying IFR
The IFR environment is constantly changing. You need to keep informed. IFR Refresher is the publication for you if you're serious about flying IFR. No other publication can help maintain your IFR flying and decision-making skills. Order your subscription online for savings from the regular rate.
 
Reader-Submitted Photos back to top 
 

Picture of the Week: AVweb's Flying Photography Showcase

Submit a Photo | Rules | Tips | Questions | Past Winners

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 ***

With storms sweeping the country, we've spent a lot of time indoors this week. At least our readers have been kind enough to send us a few video clips original photos to brighten our days. Seems the least we can do to return the favor, for all the rest of you who don't get the pleasure of rifling through our submission boxes.

medium | large

copyright © Gavin Conroy
Used with permission

Right Side Up?

This week's top photo arrived over the information superhighway from veteran submitter Gavin Conroy of Blenheim, Marlborough (New Zealand), and we immediately knew it would be our "Picture of the Week." There's something fun about a photo you can flip in all directions and still enjoy it!

 

medium | large

copyright © Brent L. Boggs
Used with permission

Breakfast Powered Parachute Fly-In

Likewise, we simply couldn't pass up this photo from Brent L. Boggs of Haysville, Kansas. Not only did we get a laugh from the parking situation, but we couldn't help reading Brent's suggested caption over and over. Were the powered parachutes flying in for breakfast — or was it a breakfast-powered fly-in?

 

medium | large

Used with permission of
James L. Hamilton III

Spring! Short Final to Columbia, CA (O22) Skywagon Fly-In

James L. Hamilton III of Sparks, Nevada serves up a variation on a favorite "POTW" theme: The weather is perfect, and the interior of James's cockpit makes a perfect frame for his final approach.

 

medium | large

copyright © Andrew L. Kocher
Used with permission

Raptor

An awesome desktop wallpaper for your computer, courtesy of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania's Andrew Kocher. (Do yourself a favor and check out the large version.)

 

medium | large

Used with permission of Don Mortensen

What the New GA Fuels Promise to Do!

Don Mortensen of West Jordan, Utah got a laugh from us with his Photoshop tomfoolery — and that's as good a note to end on as any.

We'll see you back here next week. In the meantime, why don't you use one of these rainy afternoons to submit a few photos of you own? (We'd love to see them.)

   

In the Mood for Another Helping of Reader Photos?
Why not cruise over to AVweb's home page and check out the slideshow?

Click here to submit your own photos to "POTW."

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, consult the POTW Rules or or send us an e-mail.

 
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 
 

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. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.

 
Names Behind the News back 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.