AVwebFlash - 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

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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 ...
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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.

Eurocontrol Working On VLJ Air Traffic Management

Eurocontrol is assessing how it will manage very light jet (VLJ) operations by simulating potential traffic scenarios as the European market grows. The organization is looking at performance, types, and expected frequency of operation. The intention is to assess how air-navigation service providers will deal with a burgeoning market.

The assessment will start in October at Eurocontrol's research center in Budapest. According to the agency's Deputy Director Of Air Traffic Management Strategies Alex Hendriks, VLJs are likely to have a "considerable impact" because they perform differently both in the departure and en-route phases of flight. They are slower than most airliners, and do not climb as fast. Hendriks says that Eurocontrol staff will visit the FAA in Washington, D.C., in September to share ideas on how to meet this new challenge.

There are about 500 VLJs due to come into Europe, half of them by the end of 2010. Eurocontrol's latest findings suggest that the most VLJs in Europe will be operated by air-taxi operators, running around three one-hour flights per day. In terms of ATM provision, this means catering for an extra 200 to 300 flights a day.

The agency is also looking at whether VLJs should be required to carry an airborne collision-avoidance system. At present, only civil aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of over 5700 kg (12,550 pounds) or with 19 seats or more have to carry such equipment.

On a similar theme, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has said that new VLJs and business jets in Europe will have to meet basic certification characteristics plus extra requirements tailored to the aircraft's performance. A jet such as the Eclipse 500, which competes with twin-turboprop aircraft, operates at altitudes and with avionics that make it completely different from the turboprops, necessitating extra certification considerations. The more congested European airways may mean that there will be some differences between EASA and FAA certifications, such as the need for Mode-S transponders.

Other changes include sufficient backup electrical power for sophisticated avionic systems. A standard personal-use jet is likely to be exempt from the more stringent certifications; however, when an aircraft is used to carry paying passengers, there will be a requirement for higher margins to guarantee safety standards across commercial operations.

IAOPA World Assembly -- Icarus 2008

GA in Greece will receive a welcome boost next month with the 24th IAOPA World Assembly taking place in Athens June 9-15. Phil Boyer, IAOPA's president, exhorts visitors to "come visit the land of Icarus, where aviation was born." Running alongside the conference will be the First International Aero Expo Athens. The GA Exhibition will take place June 13-15 at Tatoi Airfield. There will be pilot seminars with keynote speakers including Phil Boyer, Hellenic Air Force representatives and Air Safety Foundation experts, as well as several international instructors. There is also free access to the Hellenic Air Force Museum and to a unique private collection, M. Kyriakou's private museum. Southern and Southeastern Europe are becoming fast-growing GA markets in Europe thanks to their warm weather, and this promises to be a great GA event.

Tatoi Airfield (LGTT) is home to all Athens aero clubs and their flight schools. It is located 15 km from downtown Athens, three minutes from the trunk highway network. There is also a direct rail link to the Athens subway. The 5800-foot, asphalt runway is large enough for some business jets. The organizers are offering permission to land and freely visit Tatoi airfield for 10 days, June 6-16. As an added bonus there will be no handling charges in all Greek airports during the month of June, thanks to sponsorship from Olympic Airways Services. Details on Tatoi Airfield can be found here

Thielert Bankruptcy

As reported in AVweb earlier this month, the Thielert's supervisory board dismissed Frank Thielert -- founder of Thielert Aircraft Engines GmbH, the German manufacturer of diesel engines -- and the company has filed for insolvency. Thielert manufactures Centurion diesel engines. Two companies that have been badly hit are Cessna and Diamond. Cessna was set to produce a diesel variant of its Cessna 172 Skyhawk equipped with a Centurion later this year. Meanwhile, Austria's Diamond Aircraft is moving swiftly to offer customer support for aircraft equipped with Thielert engines.

New Owner For Sino Swearingen

Dubai's Emirates Investment Developments (EID) is set to take the lion's share of ownership of Sino Swearingen Aircraft (SSAC), manufacturer of the SJ30 light business jet. The remaining stakes will belong to the Taiwanese government and private investors. The deal should be complete by the start of the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE). San Antonio (Texas)-based Sino Swearingen has an order book of 300 units for its $7.5 million aircraft, and the investment will allow it to restart production in earnest.

Isle of Man Aircraft Registry

More than 50 aircraft have signed on to the Isle of Man (IOM) Aircraft Registry since it was launched a year ago (Across the Pond, June 2007). The IOM is self-governing and says it has mainly seen private and corporate takers.

Merger for UK Associations

In the U.K., the Light Aircraft Association (>LAA) and British Microlight Aircraft Association (BMAA) are in talks about a possible merger. The two organizations believe that uniting under a common umbrella will offer grater protection for members. There have long been rumors about such a marriage; however, now it looks more likely. Keith Negal, BMAA chairman, and Roger Hopkinson, LAA chairman, issued a joint statement that said, "During mid-April, our respective councils voted unanimously to work towards the amalgamation of our two successful organizations. Our aim is to put this proposal to our members later this year and, with their support, enter 2009 as a single association of nearly 12,000 members ... the advantages of pooling our strength, experience and resources for the benefit of all our members can no longer be ignored."

Among the issues still to be addressed before any amalgamation can go ahead, is that of the merged body's name; this could prove to be a tricky part of the deal.

New FBO for Oxford

Oxford Airport in the UK is set to open a new, private-aviation terminal on site, named Oxfordjet. The FBO will be open in July. Building work on the new facility started last month. "The new Oxfordjet facility ... will enable us to build on the business aviation activity we are enjoying," said Steve Jones, managing director. Oxford Airport averages about 10 business jet movements a day.

Oxfordjet is aiming to attract business aviation traffic stymied by lack of slot availability in the increasingly congested London airports. Jones said, "We are less than an hour's drive from the west end of London and, importantly, we have slot availability." The facility will have triple the space of the existing GA terminal, with a fresh, modern design and amenities akin to a smart, boutique hotel. There will be separate lounges for crews with additional rest areas, along with VIP and "VVIP" zones for passengers. There will also be private shower rooms, a crew kitchen, bar and meeting rooms and customs and immigration facilities.

The new terminal represents the first phase of a major investment by Oxford Airport's joint owners, international property developers the Reuben Brothers and Dawnay Day, who purchased it last summer from BBA Aviation. It also reflects the fact that business aviation at the airport has doubled over the past three years. Jones said, "With our new wider and stronger runway completed last summer, Oxford Airport is able to accommodate heavier business jets such as the Global Express and Gulfstream V (550), together with regional aircraft such as the BAe 146 family and the Bombardier Q400. The new high-bearing-strength apron will allow us to accommodate aircraft with maximum weights in excess of 77 tonnes."

Meanwhile, PremiAir Aircraft Engineering announced that the Oxford would be home to its new fixed-wing maintenance base for Hawker Beechcraft aircraft. Work will move from the company's HQ at Blackbushe Airport, Surrey, from September this year, and Blackbushe will become a dedicated base for rotary-wing maintenance. Managing director David McRobert explained that Blackbushe is too small to allow the company to expand its fixed-wing operations. The airport's short runway-length and lack of ILS always constrained fixed-wing operations.


As you read this, Europe's largest business aviation gathering is just concluding, too late for inclusion in my report this month. I'll have details from the European Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (EBACE) in next month's Across the Pond report.

Tempelhof Update

Sadly, as one European airport expands, it looks like it could finally be the end of the road for Berlin-Tempelhof -- centerpiece of the city's famous post-war airlift. The airport has been slated for closure for some time, but Berlin held a citywide referendum to assess public opinion about the move. Initial results showed that only 21.7 percent of voters took part in the poll, which required at least 25 percent to be legally valid.

Campaigners said that the city government had underestimated the place Tempelhof holds in Berliners' hearts. The airport was vital to the success of the Berlin airlift of 1948/49 when more than 278,000 allied air force planes kept West Berlin in food during a Soviet military blockade.

Berlin's ruling Social Democrat/Left coalition government has insisted on enforcing a permanent shut-down at Tempelhof this autumn. Before the vote, polls had indicated a 60 percent majority would be in favor of keeping the airport open. Tempelhof's closure would be the end of one chapter of more than 100 years of German aviation history. (Orville Wright landed there in 1903 and put on airshows.) The city's revamped Schönefeld airport is due to open in 2013.

ILA 2008

Tempelhof may be shutting its doors, but over on another Berlin airfield the biennial International Aerospace Exhibition (ILA) will open its doors on the southern section of Berlin-Schönefeld Airport. From May 27 to June 1 over 1000 exhibitors from some 40 countries will be presenting aviation and space flight in all its fascinating details.

The final weekend June offers a program of flying displays featuring 300 of the world's leading aircraft and helicopters, ranging from ultralights to flying legends. One of the main attractions for visitors this year will again be the Space Hall, presenting a wide range of German and European activities, products and programs. Visitors can even test their flying skills in a Eurofighter simulator. There will also be sightseeing flights in a historic Ju 52 on offer. Take it from someone who's enjoyed one of these flights: It is well worth the trip. The airplane is simply gorgeous.

Biggin Hill

I have to give a plug to my favorite U.K. airshow. The Biggin Hill International Air Fair is not only one of the most famous worldwide aviation events, but it is also the largest privately organized airshow in Europe. Although it gets busy, because of the layout of the historic airfield, there always seems plenty of space to wander and enjoy the show and displays. Hundreds of thousands of visitors flock to Biggin Hill Airport and the former WWII fighter station for the great mix of airshow participants and ground attractions.

On June 7 and 8, the gates open at 9 a.m. and the airshow is usually between 12:00 and 5:30 p.m. One of this year's special attractions is the U.K. debut of the Indian Air Force Helicopter Display Team. It will be flying four Dhruv advanced light helicopters, which are highly decorated with peacocks, the national bird of India. Also getting an airing for the first time since 1992 is former RAF cold war bomber, the Avro Vulcan.

Red Bull Flugtag

If silliness is more your thing, British eccentricity can be seen at Red Bull's Flugtag, also taking place on June 7. The event returns this year to London's Hyde Park. There are 40 teams of intrepid inventors will vie for the title of Red Bull Flugtag Champion. Homemade flying machines are launched from a 20-foot ramp above Lake Serpentine. The competition is judged on distance flown and ingenuity, in both costumes and pre-flight silliness. Tickets are free but limited to 80,000 -- doubtless sparked in part by a previous event, when the park was packed to capacity. (I know, I was there ...)

Great Female Aviators

In addition to the book I'm writing on the greatest female aviators, I've also discovered that Women in Aviation International has introduced a book called Stars of the Sky, Legends All. I've already ordered my copy. Ann Lewis Cooper's book is illustrated by Sharon Rajnus, an award-winning artist. I'm looking forward to reading about women such as Aida de Acosta and Mrs. Alexander Graham Bell -- both of whom I have not covered. It is great to see these pilots getting the recognition they deserve. If you have any more suggestions for mine, please send them over. Anyone know anything about Ruthy Tu, the first Chinese pilot -- or Chinese female pilots in general? I gather the Chinese Air Force has a history of hiring women since the '50s, but if you know more than that, I'd be grateful for your help.

For more aviation news and information from Europe, read the rest of Liz Moscrop's columns.

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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.

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.

The pilots arrived in Quebec City last week, to perfect flying weather, and took some time to relax at the Chateau Frontenac, a landmark hotel, before the big departure. Thursday afternoon, the group met for an hour-and-a-half pilot briefing, checking the weather and routes for the North Atlantic. On Friday morning, the plan was to fly straight to Reykjavik, Iceland, but before they got off the ground, fog was reported moving in over Iceland. Instead, the pilots took off for Goose Bay, on the east coast of Canada, where they could stop for the night and check the weather again.

The next morning's weather check showed Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, had the best conditions, so the pilots revised their plans. Crossing the North Atlantic, blue skies and oceans extended infinitely, for a spectacular view of the icebergs below. "Our descent into Nuuk was truly astonishing, with stunning views of the rolling mountains, glaciers descending into the ocean, and the multitude of inlets; providing the group a serene bird's-eye view of this rugged landscape," says the Air Journey blog. Click here for a short video showing the approach and landing.

AOPA Pilot writer Tom Horne is flying along on the first leg of the trip, from Quebec to Paris. You can read his blog entries here. Here at AVweb, we'll bring you an update once a week as the trip continues across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Alaska, till its final destination at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., late in July.

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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


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.)


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 .

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

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:

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.)

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.