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Volume 14, Number 27b
July 3, 2008
Now You Can Zulu with Panel Power!
With the new Zulu headset, Lightspeed has raised the bar in performance, comfort and crystal-clear audio quality, with more total noise cancellation than any other headset on the market ... and now you don't need batteries! The Zulu: P (Panel Power) uses the same LEMO plug that you may already have installed in your aircraft. And it also comes with built-in Bluetooth for your cell phone. No one else offers you this much in a total headset package. Click here for more information.
Top News: Government, Aviation, and Safetyback to top 

What are the differences between Senators John McCain and Barack Obama when it comes to issues involving aviation and aerospace? A special report by Aviation Week this week examines their policies, noting that "for many aerospace and aviation interests, McCain is a known but feared quantity, while Obama is a blank slate." FAA reauthorization, fuel costs, and modernizing the national airspace system will all be on the next president's agenda. Senator Obama has said he aims to modernize air traffic control, wants better aviation security, and also wants to revitalize the nation's infrastructure, including airports, according to Aviation Week. Senator McCain has taken an active role in aviation matters as they pertain to military procurement. Editor-in-Chief Anthony L. Velocci Jr. notes in the report that ironically, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and her team had provided the most detailed policy positions on many of these areas. More...

The Transportation Department's Office of Inspector General is investigating a complaint that the FAA certified the Eclipse E500 jet "despite safety concerns raised by the engineers and test pilots," USA Today reported on Tuesday, citing "congressional officials." A briefing on the report is expected "within weeks," according to Jim Berard, spokesman for the House Transportation Committee. Questions about the certification process were raised in October 2006, when the National Air Traffic Controllers Association filed a grievance with the FAA alleging that the type certificate was issued by FAA managers over a weekend and safety issues raised by staffers were not addressed. FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown told USA Today that the FAA stands behind its certification of the jet, and Eclipse CEO Vern Raburn said the airplane is in "complete and total conformity" with federal regulations. More...

The Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS) is calling for a "rolling safety stand down" of medevac aircraft operations after the tragic collision of two medical airlift helicopters near a hospital in Flagstaff, Ariz., on Sunday. Initial reports indicated seven people had died but six people died and one woman , a nurse, survived the crash of two Bell 207 helicopters operated by Air Methods and Classic Helicopters as they tried to land on the same helipad at the Flagstaff hospital. "AAMS is recommending an industry 'rolling' safety stand down to focus the attention of the air medical crew on safety while continuing the ability to provide life saving services to their local communities," said an AAMS news release. The accident has also caught the attention of the NTSB, whose chairman, Mark Rosenker, says he's "very concerned" that this was the tenth accident involving medical airlift aircraft this year. (

Watch for an exclusive podcast interview with Chris Eastlee of AAMS, coming this Friday to AVweb!

) More...

Visit Aircraft Spruce at the Annual 2008 Arlington Fly-In
Come join the Aircraft Spruce team at the Arlington, Washington Fly-In in Booth #43 on July 9-12 from 9am-6pm and July 13 from 9am-3pm. Take advantage of some of your favorite products on sale, complimentary ground shipping (does not apply to hazardous or oversize products) and a helpful staff to answer all your questions. The 2008 Arlington Fly-In features 128 acres of "Family Friendly" aviation exhibits, fun and a spectacular daily air show. Call Aircraft Spruce at 1 (877) 4-SPRUCE, or visit online.
Excitement (and Misery) on the Tarmacback to top 

click for video
The proof-of-concept PiperJet has started low-speed taxi tests and the jet is performing as expected, the company said this week. "Piper test pilots reported light rudder pedal forces and excellent response as the PiperJet POC was maneuvered with confidence in the tight confines of the Vero Beach factory test ramp for the first time," according to a company update released on Tuesday. The Williams FJ-443A jet engine with FADEC is a breeze to operate, the company says. The pilot simply presses a starter button, then brings the thrust lever forward when the engine monitors show that the proper speed has been reached. The FADEC system automatically corrects for heat, humidity, and altitude. The next major milestone for the POC jet will be high-speed taxi tests, the company said. More...

Kate Hanni, an advocate for airline passengers' rights, put it this way this week: "We won't take this sitting down (or belted to a seat locked in the upright position) any longer!" A federal judge in Oakland, Calif., has agreed to hear her case against American Airlines, the airline that left her and a planeful of passengers trapped on the tarmac in Austin, Texas, for nine hours in December 2006. Hanni says the passengers were denied access to food and water, and the toilets overflowed -- which the airline denies -- and went on to form the Coalition for an Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights, to take her case to Washington and the courts. Hanni also succeeded last week in disengaging the Bill of Rights from the stalled FAA reauthorization bill, so it can proceed on its own. More...

Sensenich: Right on the Nose ... Again!
For more than 75 years, Sensenich has been the industry's fixed-pitch prop leader. No surprise Sensenich leads the way again with new composite propellers for light sport and homebuilt aircraft. Proven on 5,000 airboats over the last eight years, plus Rotax- and Jabiru-powered planes, the new lightweight, precision composite props are now available for Continental- and Lycoming-powered planes. Call (717) 569-0435, or click here to learn more.
U.S. Aviation and the Rest of the Worldback to top 

Officials from U.S. and European aviation agencies and industry wrapped up a two-day meeting in Brussels on Tuesday with general agreement on business and safety issues. FAA Acting Administrator Bobby Sturgell and Antonio Tajani, head of transport for the European Union, signed an agreement to promote technical cooperation between the FAA and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The agreement addresses aircraft certification, environmental approvals, and maintenance, and aims to enhance safety while reducing regulatory costs for manufacturers, operators and aviation authorities. Pete Bunce, president and CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), welcomed the new agreement. "We view this strategic partnership between the U.S. and the European Community as a real milestone that will advance our shared safety visions," said Bunce. More...

U.S. pilots who fly in Canada pay a fee for their use of their airspace, but recently, the Canada's Revenue Agency (the equivalent of the IRS) told Nav Canada it should have been collecting taxes on top of those fees. So the agency is trying to retroactively collect those taxes, going back five years, AOPA reported this week. "We have always opposed user fees, and this latest insult shows just how flawed and inefficient the system is," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "How much is Nav Canada now going to spend to attempt to track down the pilot of the aircraft to collect this tax? A simple fuel tax makes so much more sense." AOPA is asking Nav Canada to waive the back taxes for U.S. operators. "This burden shouldn't be placed on the backs of pilots who rightfully believed that they had completely fulfilled their financial obligations to Nav Canada," said Boyer. More...

You Could Win a Refurbished Piper Archer II!
Enter AOPA's "Get Your Glass" Sweepstakes today and triple your chances of winning. Simply join AOPA as a new member or renew your existing membership, and you're automatically entered in the sweepstakes contest. Enter to win a plane now.
Tough Times for GAback to top 

Too much regulation and too many small airports closing down or being sold off to the private sector are the main culprits causing the decline of general aviation in Australia, according to the Australian unit of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. "A viable GA industry is essential for the health and expansion of aviation in Australia," the group said in a report issued this week. If the country would adopt a set of rules more like those in the U.S., as New Zealand has done, the industry could yet rebound, the group said. And the government should reconsider its policy of selling off its GA airports, the report said. Commercial operators hike their prices, driving out small flight schools and private owners. Notably, while the GA industry overall is in trouble, the recreational aircraft sector in Australia is booming. More than 4,000 recreational/sport aircraft and over 1,000 gliders are flown there. More...

While Australia's GA community has problems, in Greece, no GA community even exists. "Which is precisely why the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA) decided to hold their biennial World Assembly in Athens," the group said this week. "Yiouli Kalafati, president of AOPA Hellas (Greece), wanted to show Greek authorities what they could gain by promoting, rather than restricting, general aviation," said Phil Boyer, president of IAOPA and AOPA-USA. "The presence of general aviation representatives from 26 different nations around the world helped change attitudes in Athens." Kostas Hatzidakis, the Greek Minister of Transportation, attended the meeting, held June 9 to 14. "His perspective on GA was positive and forward looking," said Boyer. "This attitude can only help the cause of GA in Greece. We are pleased to see that holding our World Assembly in Greece has had a positive effect on the government's perception of GA." More...

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.
News Briefsback to top 

Almost 65 years to the day after the original 390th Bomber Group departed for their trip across the Atlantic, the Liberty Belle B-17 is repeating her historic journey to England. The flight, which departed on June 30, took the historic aircraft on its original famed route, which originates from its home base in Georgia. Day one of the Liberty Belle's trip took the B-17 to Bangor, Maine, then to Goose Bay, Canada, where it stayed for the night. Day two's first stop was Narsarsuaq, Greenland, for a short fuel stop. Then it was off to the "Lost Squadron" location on the Greenland Icecap followed by another stop at Reykjavik, Iceland. After one more short stop at Prestwick, Scotland, the Liberty Belle will be back at home base at RAF Airfield in Framlingham, UK. The total round-trip distance is 7,800 miles. More...

Report: FAA needs to be a better job overseeing airlines...
Traffic alerts occur up to 10 times more often in U.S. than in Europe...
FAA is offering bonuses up to $100,000 for air traffic controllers to relocate...
Houston's 1940 Air Terminal Museum is raffling off a 1947 Cessna 140. 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!
Reader Voicesback to top 

With fuel prices constantly on the rise, we've been getting a lot of QOTW suggestions from readers about alternative power. This week, we have one from Bruce B., who sent us a rather specific list of characteristics and wonders if any of these might tempt AVweb readers to make the jump to a battery-powered electric airplane. Plus: The shocking result of last week's Question, "At what fuel price would you quit flying?" More...

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...

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.
New on AVwebback to top 

Why does proper leaning procedure seem to be such a confusing subject for pilots when it's so darn easy? More...

"We've been gone over 50 days now, and had just one weather-related delay," says Thierry Pouille, organizer of Air Journey's unique round- the-world GA tour, now in Asia. "It's just chance, really!," he admits, noting that several times weather would have been a factor if they had planned to fly just a day before or after. "We've been lucky." Part of the group's luck stems from Pouille's work ethic. Back in Florida now, he is staying up nights and sleeping during the day, to manage the needs of his group of five world-spanning aircraft. More...

So your local FAA guys are amiable as can be and a pleasure to chat with, but you'd still rather not have them underfoot whenever you turn around? You're not alone — on the AVweb Insider blog, AVweb Editorial Director Paul Bertorelli explains why Sporty's front man Hal Shevers has deciced it's just more trouble to rent airplanes to the FAA than it's worth. More...

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 FBOsback to top 


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!


Understanding Your Airplane's Mechanics Could Save Your Bank Account
Light Plane Maintenance is the monthly magazine for aircraft owners who aren't satisfied with just flying. Aircraft repair can be simple when explained in concise, step-by-step details. If you want to truly learn about the workings of your airplane (and save a few dollars, too), Light Plane Maintenance is for you. Order online today and receive LPM's Top 40 Maintenance Tips as a gift.
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

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. More...

Reader-Submitted Photosback to top 

Bob Rybak of Saunderstown, Rhode Island kicks off the summertime fun with an air show photo from the Rhode Island National Guard's recent affair. As this week's top photo contributor, Bob will get an official AVweb baseball cap to shade his eyes during the next weekend air show he gets out to visit. Submissions remain high this week as we sit between the long weekends of Canada Day and U.S. Independence Day. That means we get a three-day weekend, an excuse to eat way more barbecue than anyone should, and plenty of great airplane pictures to show off on our PDA while we wander around outdoors looking for the mustard. And better still, AirVenture is only weeks away! But don't worry — you can enjoy the same great photos as us while sitting in front of your computer, even if work prevents you from taking a day off (or good sense prevents you from gorging yourself). More...

More AVweb for Your Inboxback to top 

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 


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.

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