AVwebFlash - Volume 14, Number 32b

August 7, 2008

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
Aircraft Spruce at the Camarillo Air Show!
Come join the Aircraft Spruce team at the Camarillo Air Show in Camarillo, California in Booth #15 on August 16 and 17 from 9am-5pm. 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. Don't forget your no-cost copy of the Aircraft Spruce new 2008-2009 catalog! Call Aircraft Spruce at 1 (877) 4-SPRUCE or visit online.
 
Top News: Coming Controller Crackdown? back to top 
 

Controllers As Airspace Police?

If you've ever missed a turn, set the altitude bug incorrectly or committed any of thousands of sins that air traffic controllers routinely catch and help correct every day without much fuss, those days are apparently over. The FAA has apparently ordered controllers to violate pilots for any and all errors and has threatened to discipline them if they don't file the reports. While the FAA says it's just enforcing rules already in place, the head of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association say it's yet another burden on an already-overworked workforce that will pit controllers against pilots. "We are not the FAA police! The FAA's and controller's mission is to provide the safe and efficient movement of live air traffic," said NATCA President Patrick Forrey. "The fact that the FAA is now disciplining controllers for not 'policing' pilot actions as they relate to flight regulations is indicative of the tyrannical and oppressive culture the FAA has created." The FAA, as might be suspected, has a different view.

In an e-mail to AVweb, FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown said it's alway been controllers' jobs to report pilot infractions and she stressed there has been no change in FAA policy in this regard. However, in a quote from an unnamed senior staff member in the Air Traffic Organization (ATO) it's clear that reporting infractions is now being stressed. "The bottom line is there has been no change in ATC requirements just reinforcing the reporting piece," Brown quoted one of the ATO managers as saying. For the record, controllers are supposed to write up errors and supply supporting evidence to the FSDO manager and the decision to sanction pilots is made there. Make sure those clearances and readbacks are clear ... .

Related Content:
Be sure to listen in to The 25Zulu Show on Gold Seal Live Aviation Talk Radio Thursday night about 9:30 p.m. EDT as AVweb Editor-in-Chief Russ Niles gives his views on the FAA's recent decision to step up enforcement of minor pilot errors through the controller reporting method now in place. (Hint: He doesn't think much of it.)

 
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LSA Scrutiny from the FAA back to top 
 

FAA To Assess ASTM Process Used By LSA Manufacturers

FAA staffers will check a random sample of 29 light sport aircraft manufacturers over the next 10 months to assess how well they are applying the industry's consensus-based ASTM standards, EAA said last week. A meeting between FAA officials, EAA staff and LSA manufacturers at EAA AirVenture laid out the details of the FAA plan. The agency is trying to "get a picture of the health of the industry overall," one FAA staffer said at the meeting, and is not aiming to conduct a compliance audit of any particular manufacturer. Two teams of two FAA inspectors will assess each company, spending an average of eight hours to gather information and data for analysis. "By comparison, a compliance audit conducted by LAMA (Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association) takes 30 to 40 hours or more," LAMA chairman Dan Johnson told AVweb on Wednesday. The FAA will report the results of its research in September 2009, Johnson said.

The data will be used by the FAA to evaluate and report on the overall health and safety of the industry, EAA said. About 3,000 light-sport aircraft have been certified since the FAA rule was certified in September 2004.

 
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Modern Flying: Air Taxis and Online Education back to top 
 

Cirrus SJ50 Vision Jet Chosen For SATSair Air-Taxi Operations

SATSair, an air-taxi operator based in Greenville, S.C., has announced it will add Cirrus Design's new SJ50 single-engine jet to its fleet of 26 Cirrus SR22s. The jets will expand the range of the company's present air-taxi services, SATSair CEO Steve Hanvey said on Tuesday. "Our business model is based on operating single-pilot and single-engine planes at the lowest cost of operation, when utilized in a network across a given geographical area," he said. "The Vision is an excellent next step to a mixed fleet that will continue to provide personal service to our current customer for legs longer than our traditional 200 to 250 mile trips." He added that the Vision parachute is an important consideration for single-pilot operations. The company has placed an initial order for five jets, Hanvey told AVweb on Wednesday, but expects to expand the fleet in the future.

Customers have been eager for the company to add jet service to its offerings, Hanvey added. "The Cirrus Vision will meet the additional demands of the personal air market and will fit our business model perfectly," he said. SATSair serves the Southeastern U.S. region, and offers both "retail" flights that can be reserved up to a week in advance and also block-time discounts.

ERAU Online Aviation Courses Open To All

If you'd like to learn more about aviation but don't necessarily want to go back to school, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has a new online program that can fill that need. The school is offering 23 new aviation courses online, and no enrollment in the university is required. Just sign up online, pay your $99 per course, and start learning. The courses cover topics such as meteorology, high-altitude flying, cold-weather operations, North Atlantic procedures, and many more operational and performance-related topics. "The technology of aircraft navigation, cockpit automation, and aircraft systems requires continued training," said Thorsten Hisam, director of the Office of Professional Education at ERAU.

"We're looking to meet the needs of the industry by offering high-quality, affordable courses with the added convenience of online delivery." For more info or to sign up, click here.

 
Introducing AV8OR™ from Bendix/King by Honeywell
The AV8OR is the portable and affordable GPS built specifically for pilots, by a company that knows pilots. With navigation routing, planning and weather information for the aircraft and the automobile, the AV8OR uses aviation software and symbology pilots understand. Its 4.3-inch touch screen is larger and easier to read than competing GPS systems, with an intuitive interface derived from the pilot-friendly, panel-mounted Bendix/King multi-function display systems. For more information, go online.
 
News Briefs back to top 
 

Nine Dead In Helicopter Crash; Skyhawk Hits House In Oregon

A Sikorsky S-61N helicopter used by the U.S. Department of Forestry to fight fires crashed at about 7:30 p.m. local time Tuesday in a remote wooded area about 35 miles northwest of Redding, Calif. Of the 11 firefighters and two pilots reported to be on board, nine were unaccounted for and presumed dead and four with serious injuries were taken to hospitals, the NTSB and news reports said on Wednesday. The helicopter was destroyed in a post-crash fire. It was owned and operated by Carson Helicopters, based in Grants Pass, Ore. Bob Madden, a spokesman for the company, said preliminary indications suggested that neither weather nor visibility should have played a role in the crash. The S61 can be outfitted to carry water or fire-retardant chemicals to drop on a fire, he said, or to transport up to 15 passengers. On Monday morning, a Cessna 172 crashed into a vacation home on the Oregon coast near Portland, killing three children in the house and two adults in the airplane. Three other people in the house were seriously hurt.

Conditions were reported as foggy with low clouds when the airplane crashed before 7 a.m., shortly after taking off from Seaside Airport, about a mile away. Several explosions occurred after the crash. Fatalities on the ground caused by light GA aircraft are "exceedingly rare," according to Bruce Landsberg of AOPA's Air Safety Foundation.

NTSB: Minnesota Jet Hit ILS Structure On Go-Around Attempt

A Hawker 800 jet that crashed in Minnesota last Thursday, killing all eight on board, had already touched down but then ran about 1,000 feet beyond the end of the runway into a grass field where a wing hit an ILS antenna, the NTSB said late last week. "The antenna stands about 8 feet high and straddles the width of the runway," said Steven Chealander, of the NTSB. He added that according to witnesses at the scene, after touching down, the engines powered up and it appeared that the crew was trying to take off again, but the jet never became airborne. When the wing hit, the airplane rolled over and broke apart, coming to rest in a cornfield. The airplane, operated by East Coast Jets, crashed about 10 a.m. last Thursday at Owatonna Degneer Regional Airport in Minnesota during a light rain. "We are looking at everything," Chealander said. "There is no single focus at this point. It is a multiple-focus accident investigation." Former NTSB chairman Jim Hall said the FAA should require flight data recorders or cockpit video recorders in corporate and charter aircraft to aid in accident investigations.

"We see this time and time again -- an accident occurs with air taxis or corporate airplanes, and recorders were not required to be installed, forcing NTSB accident investigators into a search for other data, such as radar tapes from air traffic control, to infer what happened," Hall said. "A supposition, however well educated, is simply not good enough." The Hawker did have a cockpit voice recorder on board. The single runway at the airport is 5,500 feet long.

 
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News Briefs back to top 
 

An Aerial "Get Well" For Ailing Aviator

When the Oregon Aero SkyDancer wrote "Get Well Alan" in white smoke across the blue sky above Oshkosh last week, it wasn't only to express the company's wishes to the crowds at EAA AirVenture. Alan Henley, the lead pilot for the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team, who was spending the show in a hospital bed instead of performing in the airshow as planned, was able to share in the moment. "Our original intent was to capture it in photos and video to send to [Alan and his family] to cheer them up. But the way everything came together was incredible!" said Steve Oliver, of the skywriting team. At the time of the skywriting, Henley's wife, Jennifer, was with him in his hospital room, and they were able to watch the skywriting in real time from a computer that had arrived just an hour earlier. "At that moment, everyone on the grounds, in addition to the aerobatic community, was thinking of Alan and wishing him well," Oliver said. Henley is recuperating from an accidental fall at his home that left him paralyzed, and he will require extensive rehabilitation.

A foundation has been established to help Henley and his family defray his medical expenses. Click here for more information.

China, Meet GA; GA, Meet China

Corporate aircraft have been flying into China for years, of course, but the launch of the Olympics in Beijing this week will bring general-aviation aircraft into the country in unprecedented numbers, and the country's aviation infrastructure will never be the same. U.S. officials are pressuring China to open up its skies, which are 80 percent under military control. "We certainly remain hopeful that ... there will be shifts to accommodate the civil aviation growth that has been forecast," Dorothy Reimold, the FAA's acting assistant administrator for international aviation, said on Monday. The GA fleet in China could expand from just over 700 aircraft today to as many as 10,000 by the year 2020, she said. FBO operator Jet Aviation is readying to serve that market, with a brand-new facility opening at Beijing's Capital International Airport (PEK) this week just in time to help handle the Olympics influx. The FBO will provide "around the clock in-house border police and customs clearance, security checks, baggage screening and metal detection capabilities ... for fast, secure passenger and baggage handling," the company said in news release. Also, earlier this month, aviation regulators in China sought to "rein in" pilots and restrict them from shopping around for jobs during the rise in traffic, Reuters reported. Such job-hopping was characterized as a threat to air safety.

Those who fly commercial also will encounter changes, including new security procedures. Atlantic Monthly writer (and Cirrus pilot) James Fallows, who is based in China, recently met with a new request while flying from Chengdu to Beijing. "I had to hold my [bare] feet up while a young security officer waved a metal-detecting rod around the top, bottom, and sides of them," he wrote in his blog last week. "'Those are my feet,' I helpfully pointed out to her. 'For the Olympics!' she said, with what looked like a smile."

On the Fly ...

AOPA will hold its annual expo November 6-8 this year, in San Jose, Calif. Online registration is open now...

U.S. pilot Kirby Chambliss won last week's Red Bull Air Race in London, moving to second place overall, as the series moves on to Budapest for August 19 and 20...

FAA is moving forward with the approval process for a spaceport to be built in Alamagordo, N.M....

Continuing reaction and commentary on Eclipse Aviation shake-up -- Flight International, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Wired, London's Financial Times...

Delta to roll out in-flight wireless by this fall.

 
Does Your Aircraft Insurance Provide $5,000.00 in Legal Costs?
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New on AVweb back to top 
 

Brainteasers Quiz #136: Adrift in an Unstable Sky

Brainteasers In a stable world, the weather is never claggy, airplanes fly upright and avgas is 50 cents per gallon. Sorry, this quiz is in the real, unstable world, so straighten up and answer right.

Take the quiz.

More Brainteasers

 
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.
 
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 
 

Question of the Week: The Biggest News Out of AirVenture '08

This Week's Question | Previous Week's Answers

PREVIOUS RESULTS ***

As worries about airplane theft, vandalism and for-profit scavenging multiply, we're starting to get a little more security-conscious at our own airports — and so, we're willing to wager, are AVweb readers. Before we left for EAA AirVenture, we asked how you would rate the security at your own airport.

Distressingly, the largest segment of readers (32% of those who responded) characterized their airport's security as wide open (anyone can walk on the airport after hours and no one would know). At the other end of the spectrum, 17% opted for the description as good as you can get.

For a complete (real-time) breakdown of reader responses, click here.
(You may be asked to register and answer if you haven't already participated in this poll.)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION ***

AVweb covered plenty of product announcements and breaking news at EAA AirVenture last week. Now we'd like to know what you consider the biggest news to come out of Oshkosh this year.

What was the biggest event at AirVenture?
(Click to answer.)


Have an idea for a new "Question of the Week"? Send your suggestions to .

NOTE:
This address is only for suggested "QOTW" questions, and not for "QOTW" answers or comments.
Use this form to send "QOTW" comments to our AVmail Editor.

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.

 
Q: What's the Difference Between a $10,000 Annual and a $2,500 Annual?
A: SAMM

Mike Busch and his team of seasoned maintenance professionals are saving their aircraft-owner clients thousands of dollars a year in parts and labor — not to mention hours of hassle — by providing professional maintenance management for owner-flown singles and twins. Learn how they do it.
 
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 
 

AVweb's AirVenture 2008 Video Round-Up

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

This year at EAA AirVenture we brought you fourteen video reports over the course of seven days. We realize the news was flying fast and furious during the show, so just in case you missed any of our reports, you can catch them all here.

Click here to watch. (The main frame contains all of our videos, or you can click over to a particular video if one interests you more than the others.)

 
Diamond DA40 XL Demonstrator Sale
For a limited time only, while quantities last, Diamond DA40 XL Demonstrator models are available at a special price of $299,950. The aircraft also qualify for special 2008 tax incentives. You can enjoy owning a Diamond DA40 and write off up to 93% of the purchase price. Visit Diamond Aircraft now for more information.
 
Your Favorite FBOs back to top 
 

FBO of the Week: Three Wing Flying Services (KBDR, Stratford, CT)

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Three Wing Flying Services at Igor Sikorsky Memorial Airport (KBDR) in Stratford, Connecticut.

AVweb reader Paul McGhee tells us why Three Wing is an outstanding FBO:

I was stuck at BDR as thunderstorms popped all around the area. Even though I hadn't purchased a thing, the manager offered me the crew car so I could get breakfast. When I finally gave up, the line guys helped me get a car rental and tied me down. All this and the lowest fuel prices in the New York airspace area.

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!

 
Just a Few of the AVweb Classified Ads Now Online:
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Reader-Submitted Photos back to top 
 

Picture of the Week: AVweb's Flying Photography Showcase

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

Each week, we go through dozens (and sometimes hundreds) of reader-submitted photos and pick the very best to share with you on Thursday mornings.  The top photos are featured on AVweb's home page, and one photo that stands above the others is awarded an AVweb baseball cap as our "Picture of the Week."  Want to see your photo on AVweb.com?  Click here to submit it to our weekly contest.

*** THIS WEEK'S WINNERS ***

While we were gallivanting around the show grounds in Oshkosh, AVweb readers have kept busy, stuffing our submission box with dozens of the coolest airplane photos we've seen all year. So great was our embarrassment of riches this week that we stripped out the most recent photos and rolled them over (sights unseen) to next week. (That means anyone who submitted after Sunday of this week will be considered alongside the coming week's entrants.) Now, without further ado, let's delve into the photos you sent in while we were away!

medium | large

Used with permission of Raymond Thabet

Red Arrows, Head-On

We're not sure how Raymond Thabet of Québec City, Québec (Canada) found himself in the position to take this shot of the RAF's Red Arrow Aerobatic Team commemorating the city's 400th anniversary — but we're glad he did!

 

medium | large

Used with permission of Kent Wein

Noctilucent, Naturally ...

Kent Wien of Newfields, New Hamphire writes:

I've been flying for a number of years, but this is the first time the captain or I had ever seen this phenomenon — and judging from the reactions of the other airplanes crossing the Atlantic Monday night, not many other pilots had seen these clouds [either]. They're noctilucent clouds, which live between 49 and 53 miles above the Earth.

FYI, Kent's submitted photos to our "POTW" contest in the past, but this is the first time he's pointed us to his blog on Gadling, "Cockpit Chronicles." If we're a little late getting out the Flash today, you can likely blame Kent ... .

 

medium | large

Used with permission of George Perks

Eight-Ship Shadow

George Perks of Spokane, Washington snapped this incredible photo at Felts Field just as the biplanes ("including the Boeing 40c," as George points out) were getting ready for take-off.

 

medium | large

Used with permission of Brian Bradac

Win an Airplane!

Brian Bradac of Poolesville, Maryland registered to win an airplane at Oshkosh. (Hopefully he didn't think he was going to take home the Dreamlifter ... .)

 

medium | large

copyright © Paul T. Gernhardt
Used with permission

Ducted Fan on the Martin Jetpack

We must have missed Paul Gernhardt of Ashburn, Virginia several times at Oshkosh. Judging by the AirVenture pics he submitted, Paul visited many of the same airplanes we did around the grounds — and while everyone stopped to take pics of the Martin Jetpack, his was one of our favorite perspectives.

   

Don't forget to visit AVweb's home page for more photos in our weekly-updated slideshow.

Click here to submit your own photos to "POTW."

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.

 
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.
 
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

Webmaster
Scott Simmons

Contributors
Mariano Rosales
Jeff van West

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.