AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 14, Number 27a

June 30, 2008

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

Medevac Helicopters Collide, Seven Dead

At least seven people died and three were critically injured when two medical helicopters collided and crashed near a hospital in Flagstaff, Ariz. about 3:45 p.m. Sunday afternoon. Initial reports say a patient was among the dead. There were no casualties on the ground and, of course, authorities were not speculating on a cause. "As you can imagine, we've got lots of heaps of metal to go through," Capt. Mark Johnson of the city's fire department told CNN. "It's just difficult right now."

The crash ignited a 10-acre wildfire that was quickly put out. Authorities are now on the scene investigating. At least one helicopter was owned by Air Methods Corp, according to FAA spokesman Ian Gregor.

 
Cessna Caravan
Introducing the perfect union of brains and brawn. With more than 10 million fleet hours under its heavy-lifting wings, the Cessna Caravan now has brains to match. The standard Garmin G1000® glass cockpit combined with the WAAS-certified GFC700 automated flight control system integrates all primary flight, engine and sensor data to provide intuitive, at-a-glance situational awareness and precise flight guidance and control. For complete information, go online.
 
GA and Government back to top 
 

AOPA: No User Fees (For Now)

Congress has extended the FAA's funding under current conditions, which means no new taxes or fess at least until Sept. 30, AOPA reported Friday. The extension allows Airport Improvement Program grants to be used by airports for construction season (a.k.a., summer). Operating under an extension doesn't change the rules, but multiple bills that support both fee-funded and non-fee-funded approaches to FAA reauthorization have been bouncing through the Senate like hot potatoes and AOPA President Phil Boyer is telling AOPA membership that "The bad news is that user fees still remain a possibility." AOPA says the Bush Administration has threatened to veto any bill that doesn't "...include user fees for anyone talking to ATC." The most recent bill presented to the full Senate included increases for jet fuel taxes, but excluded user fees. That bill stalled due to conflict over non-aviation-related measures included in the legislation.

Passage of new legislation is seen by some as the tipping point for starting down the path of real progress in creating NextGen air traffic control infrastructure that would ultimately give pilots much more awareness of their flight's routing and potential traffic conflicts.

FAA's Push To Push Air Traffic Controllers

The FAA's latest plan to adjust its workforce of controllers amid a boom of attrition, retirement and training aims to seduce veteran controllers to particular locales with higher incentive bonuses that, according to the FAA, are necessary to offset the higher cost of living in those areas. Current openings include spots in Westbury, N.Y.; Aspen, Colo.; Nantucket, Mass.; and heat-challenged Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska; and span a total of 25 facilities nationwide. In New York, "incentives" translate to $27,000 as a transfer bonus for accepted applicants, plus up to $75,000 over four years as an incentive bonus. That's on top of the roughly $99,000 to $137,000 per year that the FAA says it pays its New York controllers. The move may bring attention to issues highlighted in a recent report from the Department of Transportation Inspector General that found one-quarter of current air traffic controllers are new hires still in training and 20 percent of facilities fail to match the FAA's limits for the number of controller-trainees allowed.

An ABC news report Thursday noted that the agency's job postings list "Vacancies: Many" and that the FAA is seeking to manage its shrinking force of seasoned air traffic controllers, which it ultimately must nearly replace over the next 10 years to counter attrition and retirements. All the while, the FAA and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) continue to disagree about staffing levels and pay, with NATCA frequently referring to the current condition as a crisis, and the FAA contending that everything is under ... control.

 
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 CirrusDesign.com.
 
New Shapes in the Sky back to top 
 

Cirrus Rolls Out "The Jet"

Well, we still don't know its real name and we're not sure if it got out of the massive former Northwest Airlines A320 maintenance hangar on its own power but it sure looks like Cirrus's new family jet is ready to fly. Sporting a red-on-white paint scheme that gives it a sleeker look than the mock-up's more sedate gold-on-white, the aircraft looks like a display airplane and that's what those attending Cirrus's annual Migration and the folks at EAA AirVenture are hoping for as the jet is obviously nearing first flight. The aircraft was formally introduced exactly a year ago at last year's Cirrus Migration and more than 400 refundable deposits of $100,000 have been received.

Click here to view photos.

New High Wing And Potential Air Taxi From Comp Air

Ever prolific Comp Air, manufacturer of multiple and often turbine-turning heavy-hauling kitbuilt aircraft, has announced its new model -- the carbon composite high-wing Comp Air 9 -- will fly to AirVenture this year. Company president and CEO Ron Lueck says he'll be offering at AirVenture Oshkosh, this year, updates on the new aircraft and a certification progress report on the 1,650-hp, 310-knot, 8 plus 2 stand-up cabin, enclosed-lav, one-stop coast-to-coast flying Comp Air 12. (Take that, VLJs?) The new 9 hangs under a high cantilever wing and is pitched as by Comp Air as a "truly versatile aircraft" with three doors, easy maintenance and the "durability of fixed gear" that drops operating costs dramatically. The aircraft, launched by a Honeywell TPE331 turbine engine offering 1,000 hp at sea level, gets off the ground in 750 feet at gross and then slings along with a 250 KTAS cruise. That, plus room for six and the ability to haul 3,400 pounds of useful load up to 2,200 nm, is managed in part by a four-blade constant-speed reversible prop. The plan is to offer the 9 as a kit and then seek certification.

Comp Air has in the past told AVweb that much of its success comes from selling aircraft overseas. If certification efforts prove successful, the company's aircraft may see broader appeal in American air taxi markets.

 
How Would You Like a Life Insurance Policy That Returns All of Your Premiums?
The Return of Premium Term product through the Pilot Insurance Center features a level death benefit term plan with fully guaranteed level premiums for the first 15, 20, or 30 years and is also guaranteed to pay back all of your premiums at the end of the policy. Pilot Insurance Center specializes in providing pilots — from student to ATP — with the life insurance protection they need. For a personalized quote, call PIC today at 1 (800) 380-8376 or visit PIC online.
 
The Quick and the ... Not-So-Quick back to top 
 

Rocket Racing Revelations, AirVenture Oshkosh

The drumbeat driving the march to this year's AirVenture Oshkosh will end with the roaring cacophony of the Rocket Racing League, which plans a public debut at EAA's July 28-Aug. 3 "aviation celebration." Competition rocket-driven aircraft will be unveiled and flown July 29, with full flight demonstrations planned (weather permitting) for Aug. 1 and Aug. 2. Special presentations throughout the show will offer insights into the League, its modified Velocity canard-design aircraft and the 3-D "raceway in the sky" technology that defines a course to its pilots. During flight demonstrations, large outdoor screens will showcase the race and as an evening program at EAA's Theater in the Woods, July 28, a presentation will showcase the story behind the creation of the rocket racing league concept. Granger Whitelaw, founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Rocket Racing League, said of the events, "Not only are these first public demonstrations important milestones in the progression of the Rocket Racing League, but by sharing the experience and thrill of rocket racing with the public, as well as harnessing the technological and business development power of the aerospace industry, we will be changing the future of sports and entertainment."

Zeppelins To Fly Again Over New Jersey?

The German company, Zeppelin NT airships, that earlier this month announced its airship would in July begin Zeppelin air tours over London, Thursday announced that "the U.S. market is opened for the Zeppelin NT." While something may have been lost in translation, "the type certification for the Zeppelin NT has been successfully completed," according to ZLT Zeppelin, which provides a basis for the start of Zeppelin NT operations in the U.S. Airship Ventures (also involved in the Zeppelin air tours in London) is planning to expand its fleet in the U.S., seeing a market for a "further two or three" airships. While concerned citizens may not be relaxed by the wording that "the Zeppelin NT has already conquered Germany and Japan," the statement refers to the airship's ability to perform as a passenger carrier as well as providing service in "various special missions" in those markets.

The modern airships enjoy technical improvements that provide reduced weight, increased lift and double the airframe life of earlier designs, according to the company. They carry up to 12 passengers per flight in a 35-foot window-seat-only cabin and have gathered 13,500 flight hours and have carried more than 75,000 passengers since 2001.

 
Fly With Bose® Aviation Headset X™
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Quotes reprinted with permission: Professional Pilot, 2007 Headset Preference Survey, 12/07; Aviation Consumer, 8/07.
 
News Briefs back to top 
 

444 Miles Of Non-Powered Flight

Eric Rupp, 49, last Saturday flew more than six hours from Hollister, near San Francisco, to the southern U.S. border town of Calexico, some 444 miles away, using nothing but the natural power of thermals and orographic lift, and in the process broke a Bay Area record of 362 miles held by Brian Choate since 2003, according to the Santa Cruz Sentinel. "I was literally flying with hawks and eagles, wing tip to wing tip," Rupp told the paper. At about 11:20 a.m. Rupp began his flight in a DG-300 sailplane with two other pilots flying separate gliders. Harry Fox and Tom Hubbard would exchange information with Rupp, sharing what they found about where to find good lift. The two other men and Rupp continued together all the way to Santa Barbara, where Fox and Hubbard elected to turn back for home -- unlike Rupp, they didn't have brothers on the ground chasing them with glider trailers in tow. Loren Rupp was on the ground in chase. Somewhere near Bakersfield, Calif., Rupp reported he found very good lift and lost radio contact with his brother who continued with faith for five hours, driving along a pre-planned route. Rupp's 444-mile flight took him as high as 17,300 feet. He flew with the benefit of oxygen and the aircraft's natural attributes, a 40:1 glide ratio. Referred to by Fox as an airborne adventurer, Rupp is said to be the kind of pilot who doesn't mind landing in a remote area and begging a ride home from a truck driver. That, says Rupp, is just "adventure number two."

Uplifting as Rupp's flight indeed is, we must report for those unfamiliar with sailplane flying that the longest recorded flights in gliders have exceeded 1,000 miles. One such record stood for almost 20 years. It's not easy.

UK Carrier Easyjet To Back Aircraft Tax

EasyJet is expected to break from the rest of Britain's airlines today and support plans that would replace taxes on passengers with a tax levied on aircraft. The carrier is backing its perspective with an advertising campaign that hits home with the tag line, "Air tax is changing. Cut out the subsidies." Those words are likely making other carriers squeamish, but are drops of honey for the government, which is proposing to hit aircraft with a per-flight tax based on aircraft weight and distance of the flight. Opposition to the idea is strong and has created talk of special considerations for Heathrow and transfer-passenger flights that have complicated the idea's structure and perhaps its fair application. Even the U.S. Embassy in London has written to the Treasury to lay out its arguments against the plan. British Airways has conveyed its arguments as well, concerned that the new tax would kill UK airlines' ability to compete in the market. And over the weekend, a senior government minister indicated the Treasury, which has been slow in moving on the issue, may not in fact change the system.

Jim Fitzpatrick, parliament's under-secretary for transport, told local news that "there are very strong arguments from noncharter airlines that the proposals will penalise them."

 
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 AVweb back to top 
 

CEO of the Cockpit #84: Terms of Up-Gearment

Don't try to imitate the "heavy iron" pilots on the radio. They have their own language issues.

Click here for the full story.

AVweb Insider Blog: Earth to Airlines -- Raise the #@!$% Fares

Sometimes shelling out a few extra bucks can be a good thing, and AVweb Editorial Director Paul Bertorelli thinks paying a little more for your airfares could save a lot of heartache in the long run. Passengers have figured out that airfares must rise, argues Paul in the latest installment of the AVweb Insider blog, so why can't the airlines do the same?

Read more.

 
What You Don't Know About Charts Can Hurt You — Or Worse
Instrument flying and aeronautical charts are inextricably linked. From SIDs to IAPs, this interactive course will get you up to speed on instrument charts and how to use them effectively in the system. Covering everything from departure procedures to approach plates, it's a comprehensive look at the world of IFR charts — both NACO and Jeppesen. Begin the IFR Insight Charts course today!
 
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.

Do You Like the Headset You Own? How About Telling Us About It?

Our sister magazine, Aviation Consumer, is preparing a survey on conducting an extensive customer survey on headset quality, performance and comfort. We would love to hear from readers everywhere about their headset experiences. The survey takes just a few minutes.

Click here to take part.

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

 
The Five (5) Things No Pilot Should Take Off Without!
Dr. Blue discusses what he believes are the five essentials every pilot should have on board for a safe and fun flying summer. Click here to see what Dr. Blue carries in his airplane!
 
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 
 

Exclusive Video: Inside Diamond's D-Jet Personal Jet Aircraft

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

With new personal jets popping up all the time, AVweb takes a look at what may very well be the next certified single-engine very light or personal jet to enter the market. Diamond's D-Jet is expected next year to earn its type certificate, and that's when the company hopes to make first deliveries. Diamond recently announced plans to upgrade the aircraft with Garmin's G1000 Synthetic Vision package and the Williams FJ33-19 powerplant — offering 20 percent more thrust and a 4,000-hour TBO. AVweb's Glenn Pew offers this look inside.


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

Video of the Week: AIR22 Helicopters Flying Inside the Box

Recommend a Video | VOTW Archive

We're often amazed at the precision and care with which helicopter pilots carry out certain tasks, especially those who perform power-line maintenance. AVweb reader Adam Hunt reminded us of the many pilots who exercise tremendous skill and control as part of their work day, and we spent the rest of the afternoon surfing the web, watching these guys in action. Here's one of our favorite clips, from YouTube user FlyingLineman, depicting a pilot working in a tight spot, "inside the box":


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.

Don't forget to send us links to any interesting videos you find out there. If you're impressed by it, there's a good chance other AVweb readers will be too. And if we use a video you recommend on AVweb, we'll send out an official AVweb baseball cap as a "thank you."

Pioneering Female Commercial Pilot Addresses the Looming Pilot Shortage

File Size 16.8 MB / Running Time 18:23

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

What are the best routes to pro-pilot jobs? Which qualifications count most with employers? Just some of the questions you'll hear answered by 30-year veteran and current jet pilot Captain Karen Kahn in today's podcast. Avweb's Mike Blakeney talks to Karen about her extraordinary career and her recent book, Flight Guide for Success, and gets some straight and level tips for budding commercial pilots.

Click here to listen. (16.8 MB, 18:23)

 
Jeppesen NavSuite
Better information that's more easily accessible means faster, safer and better flying. There's no better time than now to consider a tablet PC/electronic flight bag (EFB). Jeppesen NavSuite combines Jeppesen JeppView Electronic Charts with their popular FliteStar flight planning, providing a fully-integrated, easy-to-use, affordable solution for charting and flight planning. This powerful integration provides bundle pricing discounts, an efficient update process and ease of use. Visit Jeppesen.com/NavSuite for more information.
 
Your Favorite FBOs back to top 
 

FBO of the Week: Columbia Air Services (Southern Vermont Regional Airport, KRUT, Rutland, VT)

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

Hands down, our latest "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Columbia Air Services at Southern Vermont Regional Airport (KRUT) in Rutland, Vermont.

The Cessna Pilots Society recently held their annual gathering in Rutland, and praise for the FBO has been pouring in to AVweb ever since the participating pilots returned. Almost everyone who took time to rate the FBO pointed out that the staff stayed very busy throughout the five-day event but never faltered when it came to top-notch service and friendliness, working their fingers to the bone to provide tie-downs, refreshments, rental cars, and local information. In particular, Kate, Al, and Brian received a lion's share of praise for going the extra mile to help out these Cessna flyers.

(And while we can't send hats to everyone, we will be sending one to AVweb reader Abbott de Rham, who was the first to sing the praises of Columbia. It's certainly gratifying to know we have so many regular readers and contributors among the CPS membership!)

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!

 
Envision® Integrated Flight Deck Now Available for Retrofit Installation in Cessna 400-Series Aircraft!
The Avidyne Envision® Integrated Flight Deck modernizes the popular Cessna 400-Series piston-engine twins with state-of-the-art situational awareness and safety systems and the industry's easiest-to-use integrated flight deck. Click here for more info.

Sign up to be an Avidyne Insider.
 
The Lighter Side of Flight back to top 
 

Short Final

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

I heard someone call Jacksonville Center "Jacksonville approach." When corrected, the pilot apologized.

Controller:
"I've been called worse."

Pilot:
"You must be married."

No telling if the controller was or not ... .

Frank Long
Tampa, Florida

 
More AVweb for Your Inbox back 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/.

 
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.