AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 14, Number 34b

August 21, 2008

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
Announcing: First-Ever, Zero-Down Factory Engine Financing!
Air Power, Inc. — the World's Largest Factory Engine Distributor — announces an industry first: long-term, low-interest, no-money-down financing on all Continental and Lycoming Genuine Factory Engines: New, Remanufactured, and Overhauled, always sold at just $300 over factory invoice. Offering 20-year 6.9% simple interest Factory Engine Loans with no prepayment penalty and payments as low as $129.79 for a Cessna Skyhawk Factory Engine. For details, call Air Power at (888) 759-4295, or go online to FactoryEngines.com.
Eclipse 500 Certification Revisited back to top 

FAA Reviewing Certification Of Eclipse Jet

The FAA said on Wednesday that it has begun a 30-day special review of its certification of Eclipse Aviation's very light jet, the Eclipse 500. The review started on Aug. 11. Jerry Mack, a former Boeing safety executive, is leading an oversight team of seven FAA experts with specialties such as flight testing, avionics, and certification, all of whom are independent of the original certification group. The FAA said the review team will look at aircraft safety, certification of aircraft trim, flaps, screen blanking, and stall speeds. These issues were the subject of Service Difficulty Reports that have been filed by operators since the aircraft was certificated on Sept. 30, 2006. The team will look at whether or not any of these issues were raised during the certification process and if any of the issues are currently a threat to safety. A union grievance filed in October 2006 questioned the timing of the E500 certification and suggested possible pressure from an FAA pay-for-performance policy.

Eclipse issued a statement saying that it welcomes the independent investigation and is "confident" in the outcome. "Eclipse is confident the review will find that the Eclipse 500 was in full compliance with all federal regulations at the time of its certification, and that all FAA testing was completed with the highest degree of thoroughness, accuracy and integrity," the statement reads. "Without a doubt, this special review will uncover what we already know -- that the Eclipse 500 marks the safest new airplane introduction into service in 20 years," said Roel Pieper, Eclipse Aviation's CEO. "Customer safety has always been a priority at Eclipse, and we look forward to this investigation dispelling any inaccuracies about the certification of this airplane for once and for all." The E500 accumulated more than 5,000 test hours on six aircraft, Eclipse says, well beyond the average of 1,100 hours for a GA aircraft. The 245 aircraft delivered so far have flown more than 32,000 hours and achieved a safety record "unprecedented" for a new Part 23 aircraft, Eclipse said. The company has posted its statement at www.eclipsefacts.com. The FAA noted that such a special review is not unprecedented. In the past 10 years, the agency has conducted special reviews on the Liberty XL-2 (2008), Mitsubishi MU-2B (2005), Cessna 208 (2005), Twin Cessna 400 Series Models (2004), Raytheon 390 (2004), and the Beechcraft T34 (2003).

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.
Safety & Security back to top 

Pilots Furious Over TSA-Damaged Airplanes

Fourteen American Eagle aircraft were damaged overnight on Monday at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport when a TSA inspector used instrument probes as handholds to test the security of the aircraft from tampering, ABCNews reported. Over 40 flights were delayed on Tuesday while mechanics checked the airplanes. "Our inspector was following routine procedure for securing the aircraft that were on the tarmac," TSA official Elio Montenegro told ABC. However, "There is a sign that clearly says don't step," Mary Frances Fagan, a spokeswoman for American Airlines, which operates American Eagle, told the Chicago Tribune. One pilot who posted on an Internet forum wrote, "The brilliant [TSA] employees used an instrument located just below the cockpit window that is critical to the operation of the onboard computers. They decided this instrument, the TAT probe, would be adequate to use as a ladder."

TSA workers will be retrained to ensure that the problem doesn't happen again, Montenegro said.

MD-82 Crashes On Takeoff In Madrid, At Least 153 Dead

An MD-82 operated by Spanair crashed on takeoff in Madrid on Wednesday afternoon. The aircraft broke apart and a fire ensued, the NTSB said. Early reports saidt 44 were dead and 45 injured, but the death toll climbed through the day. The flight was headed for the Canary Islands, a popular vacation spot off the West Coast of Africa. Spanair is a low-cost carrier owned by SAS, the Scandinavian Airlines System, and has been losing money. SAS had recently tried to sell it off, but couldn't find a buyer, and on Wednesday, before word of the crash, the pilots had threatened to go on strike. There were also reports that the aircraft had aborted a takeoff an hour before the crash and passengers were warned they might have to change aircraft. Weather at the time of the crash was reported as clear. Helicopters and fire trucks were used to suppress the fire.

Available Now at Aircraft Spruce, Trio Avionics Pro Pilot Autopilot!
The Pro Pilot is a two-axis autopilot designed for precise navigation and altitude control, including back-lighted buttons and illuminated faceplate nomenclature for a pleasing new industrial design. The Pro Pilot provides excellent horizontal navigation capabilities, and the vertical navigation provides altitude control, climb/descent functions with airspeed limiting, and altitude pre-select. Although incorporating many features, it's very simple to operate. Call Aircraft Spruce at 1 (877) 4-SPRUCE or visit online.
News Briefs back to top 

Piper Continues Jet Flight Testing

"The PiperJet has flown 12 times now," Piper spokesman Mark Miller told AVweb on Tuesday. The jet, which flew for the first time just last month, is undergoing tests to explore stability, control and handling throughout the flight envelope. In the coming months, it will typically be flown for one to three weeks, and then down for one to three weeks for systems upgrades and the installation of additional flight test equipment, Miller said. "We are just finishing a two-and-a-half-week flight test block and are about to go into a two-week maintenance/upgrade block to get ready for flutter testing and put paint stripes on the airplane," he said. Piper says the jet will hold six or seven seats, cruise at 360 knots, and carry 800 pounds of payload with full fuel and a range of 1,300 nautical miles.

Piper has posted a series of interesting "design review" documents on its web site that discuss some of the jet's features, such as trailing-link landing gear, single-engine operations, the auto-trim systems, and safety considerations in the event of an engine rotor burst.

Related Content:

ELT Issue Down To The Wire In Canada

The Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) says a pending new Transport Canada regulation that would require new emergency locator transmitters (ELTs) in private aircraft is too expensive and won't help to rescue lost pilots. The new 406 MHz gear would cost the general aviation sector $100 million -- with individual aircraft owners forking out $2,000 to $9,000 each -- and is not effective enough to justify the costs, according to COPA. "The geostationary satellites that receive the 406 alerting signal have limitations in latitude (unreliable above 70 degrees North) and mountainous terrain such that for 40 percent of Canada the ability to receive the 406 signal is degraded," says COPA. The association wants Transport Canada to allow each aircraft owner to decide what equipment is best suited to their own location and operations. The deadline for comments on the pending rule is Oct. 23.

As of Feb. 1, 2009, the international COSPAS-SARSAT satellite system that receives signals from the 121.5/243 MHz frequencies used in many ELTs will be discontinued. AOPA has taken a stand against making 406 MHz ELTs mandatory in the U.S. "The decisions to replace an existing ELT should be left to the discretion of the aircraft owner," says AOPA.

In Print & Online, Trade-A-Plane Has Everything That Keeps You Flying
Get 24 issues (two years) for just $24.95 (U.S., standard mail), including no-cost access to Trade-A-Plane's web site, which is updated daily. Subscribe by calling (800) 337-5263 and mentioning this AVwebFlash, or subscribe online.
Flying in the Information Age back to top 

FAA Seeks Pilot Feedback On Flight Services

The FAA is conducting a satisfaction survey to get feedback about flight services that are provided to pilots. The FAA says it will use the survey results to improve service and "to continuously advance the safety and security of civil aviation." The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete, the FAA says, and is being conducted by an independent research and consulting firm. Responses are confidential and anonymous, the FAA says. Questions touch on topics such as the quality of service from Flight Service Stations, how quickly calls are answered, and the quality and usefulness of weather information. A space is provided for additional comments. The FAA says it will conduct follow-up surveys throughout the year. It appears to be an invitation-only type of survey, so keep an eye on your inbox.

The Age Of E-Books Arrives For Aviators

Many manuals, regs, training texts and other reference materials now can bought in a convenient e-book format via the online AVweb Bookstore, the company said this week. McGraw-Hill, Jeppesen, AeroEd, and the Aircraft Technical Book Company all have authorized the bookstore to distribute their publications online. The texts can be downloaded immediately, avoiding shipping costs and waiting time, and can be read with free Adobe Reader software on a variety of platforms, including Macs, PCs, handheld devices, and the popular Kindle wireless reading device. All of the illustrations and formatting of the printed book are preserved, and the texts are fully searchable. Hyperlinks make it easy to navigate through the text, and electronic storage makes it simple to keep your references handy at home, while traveling, or in the cockpit. And if you're not sure that e-books are right for you, you can try one for free.

You can also find plenty of traditional books, DVDs, magazines, software, and more at the AVweb Bookstore site. The bookstore features over 500 titles from 56 publishers. About 60 percent of the catalog is now available in either printed or e-book format; that number is expected to rise to 90 percent by the end of this year, the company said. For e-book FAQs, click here.

Aircraft Financing to Fit Your Needs
AirFleet Capital offers a competitive and experienced approach to each and every loan program by focusing exclusively on aircraft financing. AirFleet Capital provides exceptional terms coupled with personal service and a long-term commitment to support the business and shared passion of aviation. From Light Sport Aircraft to VLJs and Business Jets, AirFleet Capital has a loan program to fit your needs. Call an AirFleet Capital financing specialist at (800) 390-4324, or request a quote online.
News Briefs back to top 

Seattle Pilots Aim To Explore Northern North America

Here in the U.S., it's easy to forget that our continent extends well north of the border, with vast lands stretching to the Arctic Circle and beyond. But two Seattle pilots, Mark Schoening and Doug DeVries, have set out to explore those northern lands on a 10,000-mile circumnavigation of Canada via the famed Northwest Passage. The team launched on Aug. 2 in a pair of de Havilland Beaver floatplanes, with plans to explore wild lands, wildlife, wild weather, the Magnetic North Pole, and whatever else they may encounter. Also along on the trip is a film crew with plans to create a documentary about the adventure. So far, Schoening, DeVries and crew have gone fishing, spotted some humpback whales, experienced a brief engine scare, camped under the stars, paid $8 a gallon for avgas, encountered at least one famous bush pilot, kept a count of grizzly bear and musk ox and caribou sightings, and seem to be having a great time despite temperatures in the 30s.

Click here for the trip blog, and click here for an interactive map of their route.

On the Fly ...

Two helicopter pilots set a new around-the-world speed record...

Local officials backed off on a plan to close Reid-Hillview Airport in California...

Some pilot testing centers have lost their certification under new FAA rules...

A pilot who took off in a 172 in Roanoke, Va., and avoided talking to ATC reportedly planned to commit suicide in the airplane, but was talked down safely and taken to a medical facility for evaluation.

Can You Believe Avemco® Will Not Exclude Coverage Even If ...
... your annual, medical, or flight review expires midterm? It's true. And with Avemco there are no hidden deductibles, no N-number blocking, and no family sub-limits. To learn more or to get your no-cost quote, call Avemco at (888) 241-7891, or click here to visit us online.
New on AVweb back to top 

Can I Land On That?

Urban areas present few open areas for emergency landings when we need them. Do mall parking lots and warehouse rooftops offer safe alternatives?

Click here for the full story.

A Pilot's History: Chap. 10 -- Aircraft Conversion, Part 2

The aircraft-conversion business takes Carl Moesly to Japan three times ... both directions around the world.

Click here for the full story.

AVweb Insider Blog: It's Not Business As Usual In Russia

All eyes are on Russia and its former Soviet sister nations this week — and that has to be giving pause to some Western aviation companies that have strong ties to the Russian market. AVweb Editor-in-Chief Russ Niles ponders what may be going through the minds of some major players in the industry in the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog.

Read more.

Precise Flight: Hidden in Plain Sight
With design capabilities as varied as the number of aircraft models available, it's easy to find at least one device manufactured by Precise Flight in the cabin, cockpit, or body of any aircraft on the market. In fact, integration is a key characteristic of Precise Flight's operating code. Learn more online.
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 

Have You Had Cataract Surgery to Maintain Your Medical?

If so, Aviation Consumer would like to hear your story for an article the magazine is compiling for choices in cataract treatment. Contact us at avconsumer@comcast.net.

(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.

Question of the Week: Do Mandatory ELTs Make Sense in thd 21st Century?

This Week's Question | Previous Week's Answers


Last week, we asked what AVweb readers thought of the TSA's efforts to beef up GA security.

To no one's surprise, most of our readers — as they tend to when faced with tighter regulation, longer delays, and more paperwork — called it the first step in the strangulation of all GA. That answer accounted for the clear majority of respondents (some 69%, actually), while only 1% described the measures as exactly what we need to maintain security and keep private aviation viable.

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.)


A debate in Canada is raging about mandatory equipage with 406 ELTs, and the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association says it's not only expensive, it's outdated technology that doesn't work much of the time. We know where COPA stands, but what do you think?

Should ELTs be mandatory at all?
(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.

"A Celebration"
Celebrating their 45th anniversary this September, the National Championship Air Races are the last head-to-head air racing event left on Earth and are the favorite among aviation enthusiasts, worldwide. The event features six high-speed racing classes and a static aircraft show, and this year the USAF Thunderbirds and F-22 Demonstration Team will highlight a fleet of world-class aviation demonstrations. For more information on the National Championship Air Races or to purchase tickets, call (775) 972-6633, or visit AirRace.org.
Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Air 51 (LEX, Lexington, KY)

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

Althought it's still a relatively new FBO, Air 51 in Lexington, Kentucky keeps popping up on our radar. The latest recommendation comes from AVweb reader Don Hagedorn, who calls this popular pit stop the "best FBO I have ever visited," prompting us break with tradition and make Air 51 our "FBO of the Week" for a second time.

Don writes:

We were delayed due to weather ... when returning to Columbia, SC from Oshkosh on 2 August. Their great staff went out of their way to take care of my 13-year-old nephew and make him feel welcome while we waited. Fine staff, great facilities, reasonable fuel prices, and wonderful amenities. Plus, my nephew was especially thrilled by the TV in the men's room. (Ah, simple pleasures!)

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!

Over 17,000 Happy GAMIjectors® Customers Can't Be Wrong!
GAMIjectors® have given these aircraft owners reduced cylinder head temperatures, reduced fuel consumption, and smoother engine operation. GAMIjectors® alter the fuel/air ratio in each cylinder so that each cylinder operates with a much more uniform fuel/air ratio than occurs with any other factory set of injectors. To speak to a GAMI engineer, call (888) FLY-GAMI, or go online for complete engineering details.
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. (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.)

Editors' Preview


Rocket Racers

Contest Winner


Bobby Sturgell

ChallengeAir Auction

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.

Sean Tucker


Martin Jet Pack



ATC Tower


Fly (or Drive) Somewhere! Use AVweb's Calendar of Events
Air shows, seminars, conferences, club events, fly-ins, pancake breakfasts, and trade shows are all featured on AVweb's Calendar of Events.

If you have an event you want folks to know about, post it at no cost!
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.


Sure, we enjoy things like going out to the Seaplane Base during Oshkosh, eating bratwursts with friends we only see once a year, talking to strangers from all around the world and finding out who was brave enough to fly in — but maybe the best part of EAA AirVenture is that it energizes readers to submit photos to our "POTW" contest for weeks. Once again, we've got a giant pile of photos to share with you, so let's dig in!

medium | large

copyright © Dennis Olcott
Used with permission

Final Preparations for PiperJet's First Flight

We were pretty happy to see photos and video of the PiperJet's first flight in Vero Beach during AirVenture week — but seeing this "behind the scenes" shot from Dennis Olcott (of Vero Beach, Florida, natch) just whets our appetite for more. Fortunately, Dennis has promised to send some photos of his ride in the chase plane, so we'll keep our eyes peeled.

In the meantime, we'll be sending Dennis one of those keen AVweb baseball caps we like to hand out from time to time. If you'd like to earn one of those yourself, you know what to do, of course — submit those photos here.


medium | large

Used with permission of Michael R. Forch

F-22 Raptor

Another outstanding AirVenture photo comes to us from Michael Forch of Virginia Beach, Virginia. We get a lot of shots of the Raptor, but we never tire of seeing it in action!


medium | large

copyright © Daniel Valovich
Used with permission


"POTW" regular Daniel Valovich (of Hot Springs, Arkansas) is back this week, sharing a simple (but indisputable) observation on the Blue Angels: "The talent of these aviators is amazing."


medium | large

Used with permission of Alex McMahon

"Remind Me Again — Which Way Is Up?"

Did we mention there an awful lot of gauges on display in this week's submissions? No?

Well, there were. Witness this dizzying image captured at the bottom of a loop by Milton, Delaware's Alex McMahon.


medium | large

copyright © Henry M. Holden
Used with permission

Another Planet

In actuality, it's just the very strange surface of Mendenhall Glacier in Alaska, seen through the lens of Randolph, New Jersey's Henry M. Holden. This one combines two of our favorite recurring themes — helicopters and glaciers — and sees us off for this week.

If you enjoyed these photos as much as we did, remember that there are couple dozen more online at AVweb's home page — just look for the "POTW"slideshow in the center column!


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.

Knowledge Is Power; Knowledge Is Also a Safety Factor When Flying IFR
The IFR environment is constantly changing. You need to keep informed. IFR Refresher is the publication for you if you're serious about flying IFR. No other publication can help maintain your IFR flying and decision-making skills. Order your subscription online for savings from the regular rate.
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:

Timothy Cole

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Russ Niles

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Features Editor
Kevin Lane-Cummings

Scott Simmons

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.