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Volume 14, Number 23a
June 2, 2008
 
Fly With Bose® Aviation Headset X™
Enjoy an unmatched combination of full-spectrum noise reduction, clearer audio, and comfortable fit. Voted the #1 headset for the seventh consecutive year in Professional Pilot's 2007 Headset Preference Survey. Also rated "Best ANR Headset: The Aviation Consumer Product of the Year" by Aviation Consumer. Learn more and order.

Quotes reprinted with permission: Professional Pilot, 2007 Headset Preference Survey, 12/07; Aviation Consumer, 8/07.
 
In with the New, Maintaining the Oldback to top 
 
Sponsor Announcement

ECLIPSE GOES AHEAD WITH SINGLE,
HIKES PRICE OF TWIN

Eclipse Aviation formally announced its intention to begin production of a $1.35 million single-engine jet called the Eclipse 400. The announcement was made Friday at the company's annual "E-rrival" event in Albuquerque. At the same time, Eclipse announced it was boosting the price of its twin-engine 500 model by $555,000 from $1.595 million to $2.15 million. The announcements came as Eclipse was celebrating the tenth anniversary of the company. In both cases, Eclipse founder and CEO Vern Raburn said they were ideas whose time had come. More...

AUSTRO ENGINE: WILL IT SAVE DIAMOND?
Located in the same industrial complex south of Vienna alongside Diamond Aircraft, Austro Engine is furiously gearing up to build new aerodiesel engines that will eventually replace Thielert's troubled Centurion line. At the Berlin Air Show this week, Austro displayed the AE 300, a 2-litre powerplant that's an evolutionary improvement over the same Mercedes-Benz engine Thielert used for its Centurions. Austro is working with MBTech, a Mercedes Benz daughter company, to develop the four-cylinder engine and certification is "imminent" according to a report in Flight Global's Flight Daily News this week. Like the Centurion, the AE 300 is a turbocharged, direct-injected diesel engine with high-pressure, common rail technology. But it has 165 HP rather than the Thielert's 135 HP. We're told that the engine has the same relative footprint and is being specifically designed to fit Diamond's DA40 Star and DA42 Twin Star.

More of AVweb's continuing coverage of the Thielert bankruptcy:
Thielert Engine Owner Group Forms
Diamond: Thielert Was "Grossly Misleading"
Thielert: Diamond Guilty of Misinformation
... and more on the AVweb Insider blog

More...

 
Cirrus Perspective™ by Garmin: A New Beginning for General Aviation
As a pilot, you sit in a cockpit and experience the world in ways others can only imagine. As leaders in technology and innovation, Cirrus and Garmin sat in the cockpit together and imagined how to redesign the flying experience. Together they have re-imagined the pilot-airplane interface, and as a result, revolutionized general aviation. See the result at See the result at CirrusDesign.com.
 
Gas Tanks and Data Banksback to top 
 

RISING FUEL COSTS; FALLING FLIGHT HOURS
As an economic barometer, the figures for general aviation suggest fuel prices and the economy may be hitting the little guys hard. The evidence is indirect and correlational, but abundant. Friday, AVweb's fuel finder, located at AVweb.com, showed prices for 100LL averaging more than $5.30 per gallon and that they had climbed eight cents since the previous week. A review of activity at FAA and contract towers for 2007 included in FAA's Aerospace Forecast for 2008-2025 stated, "At the end of 2007, non-commercial aircraft activity was 16.1 percent below the activity in 2000, having declined each year since 2002." The FAA's most recent year-over-year records available online show the difference in hours flown by recreational pilots in 2005 and 2006 -- recreational pilots flew about 125,000 fewer hours in 2006 than the prior year. If that's just a bump in the road, it's a bump in a road that's been headed downhill for years. FAA figures show that fixed-wing piston aircraft flown for personal use flew about 2.3 million fewer hours in 2006 versus 2000. As for sales of small aircraft, light sport aircraft in the first quarter of 2008 dropped 30 percent from six months prior, according to industry watchdog Dan Johnson. The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) showed sales of piston aircraft fell 28 percent when compared with the first quarter of 2007. Showing a stark class divide, general aviation business flight hours appear unaffected as do sales of business aircraft, and both may be carrying their respective tallies -- plus total hours and sales figures for general aviation as a whole -- higher. More...

THE NOTAM DATABASE CRASH: WHAT HAPPENED
A nearly 20-hours-long crash of the FAA's NOTAM database last week occurred because of a drive failure that took place "in the middle of updating the information on the hard drive," which in turn "screwed up the database," Barry Davis, manager of the aeronautical information management for the FAA, told ComputerWorld.com. The box in question was a Sun Microsystems Inc. server, according to the FAA, that was nearing the end of its life expectancy. Its failure put controllers to work disseminating the NOTAM information to pilots. Davis' team already had replacement equipment on hand, they just hadn't yet performed the replacement. Because of that, the hardware recovery portion of the fix "was quite simple -- we just put the boxes in," said Davis. Unfortunately, when they did that, they moved a data error over to the backup system, thereby corrupting it and causing the system to run slowly and in a manner that appeared to be deteriorating. In the end, the latest information had to be pulled from the corrupted database, re-imported into the new database and resynchronized with all the subsystems. Davis' team then put the system back online and stuck around into the evening to make sure there were no more surprises. More...

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

CHAMBLISS WINS DETROIT RED BULL RACE
By one of the narrowest margins in Red Bull history, Arizona native Kirby Chambliss won the Detroit Red Bull Air Race title with a final race time of 1:12.08 beating runner up Paul Bonhomme by a mere 0.15 seconds. Austrian pilot Hannes Arch and Mike Mangold came in third and fourth place. The twelve competing pilots flew a modified qualifying round on Sunday because the flying was cancelled on Saturday due to winds. The race gates can normally withstand winds up to 40 knots, but wind gusts of more than 60 knots forced race officials to cancel on the grounds of safety as some of the gates were blown off their moorings. More...

ALASKA PILOTS GET TOOLS FOR THE JOB: MORE ADS-B
Mike Cirillo, the FAA's top official in Alaska, backs the installation of more Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast coverage in Alaska supported with two-way datalink systems and at a May 14 presentation, he said coverage would expand by the end of this year. Countering concerns that the system would not be further deployed, Cirillo said Fairbanks, Nome, Kotzebue and Anchorage would be home to four new ground-based transmission receivers before 2009. The ADS-B system is hailed as making flying more than 40 percent safer in areas of no radar coverage and high traffic and Cirillo's position was welcomed by local pilots. "This is huge. This is good news for Alaskan pilots," one pilot told Alaskajournal.com. Cirillo hopes acting FAA Administrator Bobby Sturgell will make the trip to Alaska later this summer to see the region's challenges firsthand. Pilot groups concerned that new coverage would be held off until late 2009 now have reason to believe the system will soon grow beyond Southwest, Southeast and Anchorage bowl airspace. More...

 
JA Air Center, Your Garmin Source
GPSMap 495 and 496 have AOPA Directory and terrain. 496 includes automotive directions and XM weather and music. Have an old GPS? Do not let it lose its value! Call (800) 323-5966 for the current value.

JA Air Center [Dupage Airport (KDPA), West Chicago, IL] provides the finest avionics installations, turbine/piston maintenance, avionics/instrument service, mail order, and aircraft sales. Call (800) 323-5966, or click for more information.
 
News Briefsback to top 
 

ATG FILES CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY, BYE MARCHES ON
ATG, maker of the fighter-like Javelin jet, suspended operations in December and as of May 23, ATG has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The Colorado-based company that once sought to deliver its subsonic two-place "executive" jet failed to find a buyer and now leaves between 100 and 200 creditors seeking some return on investments ranging from $10 million to $50 million. Court documents indicate ATG has liabilities ranging from $50 million to $100 million. Previous reports indicated that ATG's board had by March successfully negotiated deals with its main lenders and was seeking "final offer bids from prospective buyers to reach ATG within the next few weeks." By April, ATG's former chairman and president, George Bye, was seeking incentives to locate a new privately funded business venture, Bye Engineering, and May 27 announced that company had signed "a long term agreement" with Colorado-based machining company, Arrow Industrial. More...

CORONER: UK NIMROD FLEET NOT AIRWORTHY
A coroner who led an inquest regarding the September 2006 midair explosion of a Nimrod sea control aircraft has said the aircraft "like every other aircraft within the Nimrod fleet, was not airworthy," but the UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) does not have to comply the coroner's recommendations and likely won't. An RAF Board of Inquiry in December 2007 delivered a report that declared aging parts and lack of fire-suppression systems as contributing factors but in the end apparently served as a spark for investigations initiated by parents of some of the deceased fliers. Of all the parents, Graham Knight stood out for claiming to have e-mails from high-ranking officers that detailed problems with fuel leaks prior to the 2006 explosion and noted a 2005 recommendation from BAE Systems that fire-detection systems be installed on the aircraft. The assistant deputy coroner who led the inquest is now calling for the entire Nimrod fleet to be grounded, according to Defense Industry Daily. The UK MoD has taken measures it believes are satisfactory and will continue to fly the plane. More...

ON THE FLY ...
The Red Bull Air Races now have a dedicated YouTube channel...
Flight Design is retaining its lead in the LSA market...
EAA members are eligible for a free SPOT Satellite Messenger at AirVenture...
Engine fire may have preceded Kalitta 747 aborted takeoff and crash. More...

 
Pilot Insurance Center (PIC) Offers Quick Decision Term Life Insurance
PIC is offering Quick Decision Term product. The application, approval, and delivery processes are streamlined, allowing decisions in a few minutes or days versus weeks or months with traditional insurers. In most cases: No medical examinations, no testing, and no waiting for results. Face amounts up to $300K, available to most pilots. Ask about it today. Call PIC today at 1 (800) 380-8376, or visit PIC online.
 
Reader Voicesback to top 
 

AVMAIL: JUNE 2, 2008
Reader mail this week about redundant read-backs, leaden LSAs, absent avgas and more. More...

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. What have you heard? More...

 
Between Wheels Up and Wheels Down, There Is One Important Word: How
As the team managing the FAA AFSS system, Lockheed Martin serves nearly 90,000 general aviation pilots every week. Providing timely, accurate information and helpful service 24/7. From weather forecasts to en route information, from Hawaii to Puerto Rico, ensuring flight safety in the National Airspace System is all a question of how. And it is the how that makes all the difference. Click here for more.
 
New on AVwebback to top 
 

CEO OF THE COCKPIT #83: NEVER KICK A FROZEN CHOCK
Stick around long enough and you'll feel the need to dispense wisdom about flight and life. AVweb's CEO of the Cockpit is a mere mortal in this regard. More...

ANNUAL INSPECTIONS
You don't have to get your hands dirty to save money, but it helps. More...

AVWEB INSIDER BLOG:
THIELERT'S FLAWED ECONOMICS (AND WHY THE COMPANY KNOWS IT)

Our analysis of Thielert's new diesel engine pricing shows that the diesels now cost more than twice as much as a turbine engine to maintain. We don't see how this can work, and Paul Bertorelli runs down the logic on our blog, AVweb Insider.Be sure to visit our new blog, AVweb Insider, for personal insights and commentary on the aviation industry from our staff of writers and editors. More...

 
No More Excuses for Family & Friends Not Enjoying Your Love of Flight!
The ReliefBand is the most effective and predictable relief available for nausea and vomiting associated with motion sickness. Because this wristwatch-like device produces no side effects, the ReliefBand is FDA-cleared. It's the best $129.95 purchase you will make for your aircraft's accessories. The ReliefBand is available exclusively at Aeromedix by calling (888) 362-7123, or go online to purchase.
 
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 
 

FBO OF THE WEEK: LANDMARK AVIATION (KLAL, LAKELAND, FL)

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to the Lakeland Florida location of Landmark Aviation (KLAL).

AVweb reader Alec Thigpen recommended the FBO, telling us how manager Stephen Leidigh helped him (and others) during the very busy week of Sun 'n Fun:

[O]n a busy Saturday of Sun 'n Fun, [Stephen made time] to personally take us to our plane on a somewhat distant parking area when we were unable to get a SNF shuttle to come get us. He also took another group to their airplane as well. The facilities were perfect for all of our needs, and there was a fuel discount during the week of the show as well. Their friendliness was quite nice and not all that common at many FBOs when things get hectic.

Kudos to the folks at Landmark!

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!

More...

 
Avidyne Introduces FMS900w Flight Management System
Avidyne's new Entegra FMS900w WAAS-enabled GPS/NAV/COM Flight Management System (FMS) is designed to reduce single-pilot IFR workload. The FMS900w provides fully-redundant, state-of-the-VHF and TSO C146b Gamma 3-compliant turbine-class FMS capability for all general aviation aircraft. Utilizing a fully-modular architecture, the FMS900w is an enhancement to Avidyne's Entegra Integrated Flight Deck platform and designed specifically to take advantage of Entegra's large-format displays and Byteflight peer-to-peer databus architecture. Click here for more information.

Sign up to be an Avidyne Insider.
 
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 
 

MEET STAFF SGT. RYAN KELLY
As you may have read recently on AVweb, Staff Sgt. Ryan Kelly recently earned his helicopter and helicopter CFI certificates (as well as a degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University). Having lost a leg in Iraq, Kelly is the first wounded warrior to earn his fixed-wing private pilot certificate through the Able Flight scholarship program. Listen to this podcast to hear Ryan's story in his own words. More...

VIDEO OF THE WEEK:
RED BULL AIR RACE DETROIT — PRACTICE LAPS

With the Red Bull Air Races hitting Detroit, let's take a few moments to watch some practice laps, courtesy of our friends at Red Bull. (Click through to watch.) More...

 
AVweb Classified Ads: Buying or Selling Anything & Everything Aviation!
From Aerostars to Zenairs; aircraft tools and parts; employment opportunities and those looking for employment; houses/hangars for sale and lease; avionics — just take a look on AVweb!

Ads change daily.
Post your no-cost ad, too!
 
The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 
 

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

Heard on Denver approach frequency:

Approach:
"Great Lakes One Twenty Three, traffic six o'clock, two miles, 1000 feet above you, a 737."

Great Lakes:
"Approach, Great Lakes One Twenty Three, if I told you I could see him, I'd be lying."

Approach:
"If you told me you could see him, you'd be my mother — 'cause you'd have eyes in the back of your head."

David J. Livingston
Colorado Springs, Colorado

More...

 
More AVweb for Your Inboxback to top 
 

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/. More...

 
Names Behind the Newsback 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.

More...