AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 14, Number 21b

May 22, 2008

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
Anytime Is Zulu Time ... From Lightspeed

"The audio quality is vastly superior ... has much better styling ... is feather-light by comparison and is far more ruggedly built." — Richard in Illinois, web posting from Pilot Forum, comparing the Zulu to other premium ANR headsets

The Zulu leapfrogs all previous ANR headsets on the market by incorporating advanced audiophile technology not available on any other headset or headphone. See why more pilots are Zuluing. For more information and to order, click here.
 
More Big Picture Woes (And Some Finger-Pointing) back to top 
 

Airlines Continue Anti-GA Lobbying

When the Air Transport Association, the lobbying group for the airlines, sent out an e-mail this week griping about all the private jets that cluttered up the airways during Kentucky Derby weekend, the National Business Aviation Association was quick to respond. "The ATA's suggestion that GA air traffic at a well-planned weekend event in a single location was somehow problematic is simply laughable," said Ed Bolen, NBAA president and CEO. "The fact is, delays are caused by the airlines over-scheduling flights 365 days a year at big city airports all across the country." The ATA also took a shot at the rest of us, who aren't flying in private jets but in our own piston airplanes. "The recreational piston-engine (or 'general aviation') community has been ginned up by the jet-setters to oppose the small fees proposed, even though these fees would not be imposed on piston aircraft under any proposal Congress is considering," ATA President James May wrote. We had to look up what "ginned up" means, and it's as unflattering as it sounds -- apparently ATA thinks piston pilots can't think for themselves. "It's unfortunate that the nation's big airlines have chosen to focus efforts on attacking general aviation, rather than working toward solutions for modernizing our air transportation system," said Bolen.

The Alliance for Aviation Across America also objected to the ATA e-mail, noting that "according to Department of Transportation (DOT) data, the primary causes for airline delays are weather and the airlines' own practices."

 
BatteryMINDer Now Available at Aircraft Spruce
VDC Electronics now has available Aviation Specific versions of its 12-volt and 24-volt Maintenance Charger/De-Dulfator/Conditioners. Both models are safe to use on all types and sizes of Aviation Specific batteries, including both sealed and wet-cell constructions. The voltage settings and charge rates (both user-selectable) have been chosen after conferring with leading U.S. aviation battery makers. Providing each of these BatteryMINDer units with an "at-the-battery" temperature-compensating sensor, batteries can be safely charged and maintained for extended periods in temperature extremes from 32°F to 125°F. Call Aircraft Spruce at 1 (877) 4-SPRUCE, or visit online.
 
Summer Safety back to top 
 

Controllers Warn Of Crowded Summer Skies

With the Memorial Day weekend coming up, the summer travel season kicks into high gear. While GA pilots have plenty of options and often can avoid the more congested airports and airspace, air traffic controllers are warning of a worsening staffing shortage across the country, and increasing fatigue as fewer controllers work longer shifts. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association says many facilities will have a greater proportion of trainees and fewer experienced workers. "The FAA is considering canceling vacation time for controllers to deal with short-staffing," NATCA said in a news release on Tuesday, "which will deprive controllers of the breaks they so desperately need away from this grueling job." Efforts by the FAA to redesign the airspace in the New York region are "smoke and mirrors," Phil Barbarello, NATCA's vice president for the eastern region, said in a news conference on Wednesday. Pilots are confused by new unpublished procedures, he said, and "operations are less safe."

FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown told AVweb on Wednesday that the agency believes "the full implementation of the airspace redesign will result in a reduction of delays." At our deadline she was not able to confirm or dispute the NATCA statements regarding vacation cancellations.

The FAA has been working to redesign the airspace above New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia, a project that is scheduled to take five years.

FAA Mandates More Precise Taxi Instructions

Under new FAA procedures that take effect this week, air traffic controllers must provide specific taxi routes to pilots, instead of simply OK'ing them to proceed to a stated destination. Controllers now must name the taxiways the aircraft should follow at each step along its route. FAA safety officials developed the new procedure as part of an effort to reduce runway incursions. A panel of risk-management experts and aviation user groups analyzed risk factors associated with the new procedures, such as longer periods of communication between controllers and pilots, and the increased chance of miscommunication. They concluded that the new procedure was safe.

The panel also is reviewing recommendations for changes in takeoff and landing clearance procedures.

 
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.
 
Aviation Economy Good for Some, Not for Others back to top 
 

DayJet Expands Operations In Florida

Less than two weeks after announcing cutbacks in staff, DayJet on Tuesday said it will expand its network of DayPorts, adding two more Florida cities, for a total of nine sites. With the addition of Jacksonville and Sarasota, 62 percent of Florida's population now lives within 35 miles of a DayPort airport, the company said in a statement on Tuesday. "Jacksonville and Sarasota are among the nation's leading business communities for job and economic growth," said Ed Iacobucci, DayJet president and CEO. "Now it is easier than ever for Floridians to enjoy our state's great quality of life, conduct business across the Southeast, and be home in time for dinner with their family." Sarasota already had a DayJet site with service for five destinations, but the upgraded site now will offer flights to 45 destinations. Customers must join the DayJet network, which costs up to $250, then can choose their fare based on how flexible they can be.

For example, a trip with a two-hour scheduling window from Sarasota-Bradenton to Tallahassee one-way would cost $1,156, but the same trip with a four-hour window would cost $309, the Herald Tribune reported on Wednesday.

Light Sport Aircraft Sales Reflect Economic Slowdown

Sales of piston aircraft showed a slump in the first quarter of this year, down 28 percent compared to the year before, as AVweb recently reported, and the numbers for light sport aircraft reflect a similar trend. The data for 2008 through April show sales off 30 percent compared to a year ago. The numbers reflect the economic concerns of potential buyers, says Dan Johnson, of the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association. "Personal and sport aircraft sales react quickly to the slightest perception of economic shakiness," says Johnson. But if fuel prices continue to rise, Johnson told AVweb on Wednesday, the LSAs may gain an advantage in the market. "Better to be burning three or four gallons per hour, compared to six or seven or even more," Johnson said. Even with the overall numbers down, some LSA manufacturers are holding their own or even increasing their sales. REMOS, of Germany, registered nine LSAs in the U.S. in the month of April, putting it first for the month, for the first time.

"Response to the REMOS in the United States has been very gratifying," said Michael Meirer, managing director of REMOS in the U.S. "The steady increase in sales here is attributable to the docile flight-handling characteristics of the REMOS, the high quality of German precision in manufacturing, its sleek style, minimal operating costs and the fact that the wings fold into a very small profile."

 
Student Pilots, Get Support to Reach Your Flight Training 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!

      (Not a student? Pass it on!)
 
News Briefs back to top 
 

FAA Goes To Court Over Santa Monica Jet Restrictions

Citing safety concerns, the city of Santa Monica has banned certain jets from its airport, but the FAA says they have no right to enforce those restrictions. Now, the matter will be decided in court. On Friday, a federal judge said the city cannot impose the ban, pending a decision on its legality. "This is a very important issue," Bill Dunn, AOPA vice president for airport advocacy, told the Los Angeles Times. "There have not been any restrictions like this on a jet type in the United States. There have been other bans, but those were noise-based." The Santa Monica ban is based on approach speed, and would exclude faster jets such as the Gulfstream IV, Bombardier Challenger 604 and Cessna Citation X, which account for about 7 percent of flights at the airport. City officials say the runway is too short to provide an adequate safety margin, endangering nearby homes and businesses.

Some houses are less than 300 feet from the runway, according to the Times. The FAA says high-speed jets have operated at the airport safely for over 20 years. The dispute reflects conditions found at many airports across the country -- at the same time that urban sprawl has encroached on the airports, airport operations have increased significantly. If Santa Monica officials prevail in court, other cities across the country might also try to limit air traffic using similar tactics.

Balloonists Launch Open-Content Build-Your-Own Project

A pair of New England balloon pilots have developed what they hope could be a new way for homebuilders to share design ideas, modeled after "open content" and "open source" collaborative projects like Wikipedia and Linux. "Closed content gets fixed in time," says pilot Dan Nachbar, of Amherst, Mass. "Open content tends to evolve. Good ideas get incorporated, and a lot more progress can happen much more quickly." Nachbar worked with balloon builder Paul Stumpf, of Andover, Vt., to develop the online project, funded by a grant from the Wolf Aviation Fund. "We've started with a basic design that's good for first-time builders," says Stumpf. Along with the plans, new builders can find construction advice, lists of parts and materials, information about FAA issues and more. The pilots hope that each builder who uses the plans will add their ideas and improvements, to create a better product.

"Lighter-than-air has always been the leading edge of aviation," says Nachbar -- balloons were flying more than 100 years before the Wright brothers developed fixed-wing aircraft. "We're just continuing that tradition."

 
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.
 
News Briefs back to top 
 

Able Flight Scholarship Winner Earns Private Certificate

Staff Sgt. Ryan Kelly is not one to let anything get in the way of his goals. After losing his right leg below the knee in Iraq five years ago, Kelly has since earned his helicopter and helicopter CFI certificates as well as a degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Now, Kelly is the first wounded warrior to earn his fixed-wing private pilot certificate using his Able Flight scholarship. But his dreams don't stop there. Kelly's next goal is to become an airplane flight instructor and teach others with disabilities how to fly. "For me, aviation is the great equalizer," said Kelly. "When I'm flying I can do everything and anything a person with two legs can do!"

During his flight training Kelly trained at Philly Sport Pilot at Wings Field in Philadelphia. This flight school was started by Sean O'Donnell, another Able Flight scholarship winner. "It's great to see how a scholarship winner can complete the circle," said Kelly. "It's a real motivation for me to get my fixed-wing CFI so I can give back also."

Embry-Riddle Makes First Back-to-Back Win at SAFECON

For a week in early May Middle Tennessee State University played host to this year's Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference (SAFECON). This event, which is governed by the National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA), allows different universities to compete in 12 aviation events to test their students' piloting skills. Four events are in the air and eight are on the ground. Regional competitions in the fall sort out which schools can attend, and only the top thirty schools are invited to compete. The top-placing school this year with 465 points was the Golden Eagles Flight Team from Embry-Riddle's Prescott campus. In second place was the University of North Dakota Flight Team with 349 points. The Eagles Flight Team from Embry-Riddle's Daytona campus took third place with 332 total points.

This was not the first national championship for the Golden Eagles. This was their seventh win since 1993 and their first back-to-back national championship. "Our performance was a result of endless hours of work and practice by every team member," said Jared Testa, head coach of the Golden Eagles. "Thirteen of our 18 national conestants will return next year to work toward a 'three-peat.'"

On the Fly ...

Liberty Aerospace announced a new dealer for the Southeastern U.S. -- Liberty Southeast, in Greensboro, N.C....

Mooney Airplane Co. named Air Touring Ltd. as its exclusive sales representative for the United Kingdom and Ireland....

The Sukhoi Superjet 100 – an all-new Russian regional jet - successfully completed its first flight in Komsomolsk-on-Amur on Monday...

A pilot and a flight attendant were found naked and drunk in the Pennsylvania woods after a late-night tryst went awry late Sunday night. Both were arrested and have been suspended from their jobs at Pinnacle Airlines.

 
Piper Matrix — Piper Compelling
Click here for more information on the new Matrix, Piper's next generation of cabin-class sophistication. Compellingly priced at $757,000.
 
New on AVweb back to top 
 

Across the Pond #17: Report from Europe

Across the Pond this month looks at impact of VLJs on Europe's ATC, the demise of a well-known manufacturer and key events to visit as show season gets underway.

Click here for the full story.

Around the World in 70 Days, Week 1: Pilots Complete First Leg Of Round-the-World Journey

A half-dozen GA aircraft took off from Quebec City last week for the first leg of a 10-week round-the world adventure. The pilots, who are flying on an escorted trip organized by Air Journey, will visit 22 countries on five continents, logging more than 24,000 nautical miles. "This is a dream come true!" said Thierry Pouille, president of Air Journey. "Flying completely around the world has been a lifelong dream for many pilots, myself included, and now it's finally happening!" Pouille has been planning the trip, the first of its kind, for about a year. "We have a very capable group of pilots and aircraft on this first trip around the world," Pouille said. The group includes a TBM 700, a Cessna Mustang VLJ, a Pilatus PC-12, a Beechcraft Duke refitted with PT6 propjet engines, and a similarly modified Cessna Conquest 441. AVweb will be following the pilots with weekly updates and pictures from the road. Click through for more about the first leg of the trip, from Canada to Greenland.

Read more.

 
NEW Real Pilot Story:
Toddler Overboard ... Power Loss on Takeoff ... Mountain Crash ... Vacuum Failure in IMC

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 ASF Real Pilot Stories can help make better pilots of us all. Listen now.
 
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 
 

Cirrus Surprise: Garmin EFIS Option

Although EBACE isn't the usual venue for major light aircraft announcements, Cirrus rolled one out here in Geneva nonetheless in the form of a new model called the Cirrus Perspective, which sports some airframe upgrades but—the real stunner—a new, upgraded version of Garmin's popular G1000 EFIS system. We went to Duluth last week for an advance look at the Perspective. (Watch the video below.)

It's more accurate to call the Perspective an options package rather than a new model, since Cirrus will continue to sell the mainstay Avidyne Entegra-equipped SR20s and SR22s.The Perspective is an SR22-only upgrade—at about a $48,000 premium—that has what might best be described as a gen-and-half Garmin G1000. The new EFIS has been, in the words of Alan Klapmeier, "Cirrusized" with 12-inch rather than 10-inch screens and is thus the ideal platform for Garmin's recently announced SVT synthetic vision upgrade, which the Perspective has. Terrain depiction is detailed almost down to rubber skids on runways and the new display also has highway-in-the-sky (HITs) boxes and an airdata-driven flight path indicator. To simplify operation of the EFIS, the Perspective has an alphanumeric keyboard which resides on the pedestal between the pilot seats, where a pair of GNS430s are found in the conventional Avidyne-equipped airplane. Besides the keys, some of G1000's knobs and joystick have also been relocated to center section control. Cirrus has also directed Garmin to simplify the GFC700 autopilot control panel and it has one neat new feature: a dedicated blue button labeled LVL. By pushing that, the pilot commands the autopilot to level the wings and nose on the current heading and altitude. Although it's not billed as a recovery-from-unusual attitudes button, our sneak preview of the system at Duluth last week suggests it has that potential. Other Perspective upgrades include a yaw damper, brake temperature systems and spiffy new paint schemes.


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Picture of the Week: AVweb's Flying Photography Showcase

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

"Picture of the Week" will return next Thursday, once we've returned from EBACE and had a chance to look through all the great photos you've been submitting. (You are submitting them, right?)

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.

 
CAV Aerospace Offers Summer Savings for Ice Protection
Schedule summer installation of CAV Aerospace TKS ice protection today for $1,000 or more in savings for: Cessna 182, Piper Saratoga, Mooney 252, Encore, TLS/Bravo, Ovation, Eagle, and Acclaim aircraft. For peace of mind, call (888) 865-5511, contact TKS sales by e-mail, or go to WeepingWings.com.
 
Reader Feedback back to top 
 

Question of the Week: Economic Uncertainty and Your Aviation Plans

This Week's Question | Previous Week's Answers

PREVIOUS RESULTS ***

Last week, we asked if diesel engines are the wave of the future in aviation.

While that seems to be the prevailing opinion, AVweb readers disagree. Your answers were pretty evenly scattered across a range of options from absolutely to no way, with just under 50% of you (at press time) falling on the positive side of the line. (We can report, however, than only a scant 3% of those who responded chose no way as their answer.)

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 ***

Under threat of a looming recession, many companies and private individual are tightening their belts with regard to aviation spending. This week, we'd like to know how you're reacting to all this economic nervousness.

Has the state of the economy affected your future aviation plans?
(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.

Aviation Consumer: Take Our Hangar Survey

Our sister magazine, Aviation Consumer, is conducting a survey on hangar availability, cost and purchase options. We would love to hear from you on this topic. Just drop an e-mail to aviation_safety@hotmail.com, and we'll respond.

(The results will appear in a future issue of Aviation Consumer. For subscription information, click here.)

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.

 
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.
 
Your Favorite FBOs back to top 
 

FBO of the Week: Indy Aero (KMQJ, Mt. Comfort, IN)

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Indy Aero at KMQJ in Mt. Comfort, Indiana.

AVweb reader Penny Litz, a volunteer for the American Military Heritage Foundation, told us how Indy Aero came to her rescue recently:

[T]he AMHF operates a rare Lockheed twin-engine PV2 Harpoon on the air show circuit. We do not have a hanger for our aircraft. Recently Indy Aero cleared out their whole maintenance hanger for a whole weekend so that we could work on replacing an engine in comfort — it is cold in Indiana — at no expense to us. They are very supportive to the community, general aviation and the weekend-warrior as well as the corporate jet set.

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!

 
AVweb Bookstore Features Downloadable Jeppesen Training Manuals
AVweb Bookstore offers Jeppesen (and other) maintenance and pilot training manuals in e-book and book format, letting customers choose how to receive content. E-book advantages including complete search ability, no-cost and instant delivery, and storing hundreds of volumes on a laptop or mobile device. Attention, international customers — no import taxes or fees! For a complete list, call (800) 780-4115 or go online.

 
Meanwhile, in AVwebBiz back to top 
 

AVweb Insider Blog: EBACE Notes, Gripes and Accolades

Today on the AVweb Insider, our staff copes with jetlag, European electrical outlets, and the dawning realization that everyone (from big companies to small dealers) have actually made good on their ambitions to go global.

Read more.

AVweb's Daily Coverage of the European Business Aviation Conference and Expo (EBACE) 2008

EBACE 2008 begins Tuesday at PalExpo convention center in Geneva, and coverage in AVwebBiz will include original videos, podcasts and details on the latest announcements daily through Friday. AVweb's Russ Niles ran into our European correspondent, Liz Moscrop, who's reporting for the Flight Evening News daily show publication, and she set the scene for what has become one of Europe's premiere aviation events.

Look for daily coverage in our business aviation newsletter, AVwebBiz. If you don't already receive Biz (or you're uncertain whether you do or not), you can add it (or check) by logging into your AVweb profile here.


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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/.

 
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.