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Volume 14, Number 35a
August 25, 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.
Liberty Under (Some Kind Of) Reviewback to top 
Sponsor Announcement

Liberty Aerospace is demanding the FAA retract a statement made earlier this week that the company is undergoing a special certification review (SCR) on its XL-2 two-seat aircraft. In a news release about an SCR being conducted at Eclipse Aviation, the FAA mentioned other companies that have been similarly probed and Liberty was listed. But Liberty General Counsel and Safety and Compliance Officer Margaret Napolitan told AVweb the FAA made a mistake in that statement. "We are asking that the FAA retract that statement," she said. "We are not undergoing an SCR." The FAA says it didn't intend to suggest that Liberty was under a special certification review, only that it was under a special review. The agency has not so far said what kind of review Liberty is under. More...

Smart Safety ... Leave Anxiety Out of Your Flight Plan
As a Cirrus owner, you join a lifestyle that takes safety very seriously. Whether flying for pleasure or business, you always fly smart and safe. Cirrus Perspective by Garmin is designed to help by giving you more time and information to make better decisions, reduce workload, and improve your overall flying experience. Cirrus Perspective adds more ability to experience the Cirrus lifestyle fully and leave anxiety out of your flight plan. For complete features, go online.
The Blame Gameback to top 

If ADS-B began in Alaska's Capstone program in 1999, was put into practical use with UPS cargo jets the same year, and the network of ADS-B ground stations should be completed by 2013, why has the FAA set 2020 as the deadline for equipping planes with just ADS-B/out? The Reason Foundation's Bob Poole asks the question and after "puzzling over this for several months now, interviewing experts and reading extensively," Poole has come to the conclusion that the delayed implementation of improved technology providing in-cockpit traffic, weather and more ... is largely your fault. "Because aircraft owners balk at being forced to buy and install new gear until they get real benefits from it (and this is especially true of GA owners), FAA felt under strong political pressure to make the deadline as far off as possible (hence, 2020)." Poole recognizes that part of the problem is that when compared with the radar coverage and ATC, pilots in the lower 48 have little to gain in equipping their aircraft with ADS-B/out. And, in spite of its benefits for all of aviation, ADS-B/in is expensive. He also recognizes that the root of the problem is deeper than your wallet and he does offer a solution, unlikely as it may be ... . More...

While the TSA stipulates that its inspector damaged sensitive external probes while assessing the security of nine American Eagle planes parked overnight at O'Hare earlier this week, it contends that the inspector got into seven of the nine -- and that American is to blame. Toward that end, the TSA is opening an inquiry into "multiple security violations" by American Eagle. Forty American Eagle flights were delayed to allow mechanics time to determine if probes would still properly function following the inspector's "inspection." The inconvenience and loss of revenue may now be compounded by the TSA's continuing investigation that could theoretically fine the airline up to $175,000, according to the TSA, for leaving their aircraft vulnerable. In this case, the aircraft may have been particularly vulnerable to a TSA inspector who may or may not have used his ID badge or eluded airport police to gain access to "sterile" areas of the airfield, then climb up to door height using instrument probes and open a door that can only be locked from the inside. The TSA said in a statement this week's inspection was a follow-up to earlier inspections, which exposed the same vulnerability. More...

Do You Have Enough Life Insurance?
According to LIMRA International, a leading industry research firm, 68 million adult Americans have no life insurance. Those who own life insurance have an average of four times their annual income in coverage, considerably less than most experts recommend. Pilot Insurance Center specializes in providing pilots — from student to ATP — with insurance planning at an affordable rate. A+ Rated Carriers – No Aviation Exclusions – Quick and Easy Application Process. Call PIC at 1 (800) 380-8376 or visit online.
The Aviation Economyback to top 

Grob Aerospace, which Monday announced its insolvency after repeated delays in the SPn business jet flight-testing program were capped by the loss of a loan provider, is winning support from customers. Chief executive Niall Olver says customers with jets on order have offered to support the manufacturer and told Flight International that half the customers he's spoken with "have offered to invest in the company." Olver added that the level of support has been "quite remarkable." Major order holders (PlaneSense, a fractional operator with 25 SPn jets on order) have not yet backed away from the company. Bombardier, which has targeted Grob as its structural design and manufacturing partner for three prototype all-composite Learjet 85 aircraft, says its plans with Grob remain unaffected. Grob's immediate future involves surviving a 90-day period during which the company will be overseen by an administrator, employees will continue to be paid and efforts will be made to find suitable financial footing for the company. Grob's SPn has an order backlog of roughly 120 aircraft and a fourth prototype flew for the first time on Aug. 7. Grob had hoped to see certification of the SPn later this year. More...

Eclipse Aviation is laying off about 650 employees as part of what acting CEO Roel Pieper is calling the company's "operational excellence strategy." The layoffs affect 38 percent of the workforce and will hit employees, including temps and those who have been working less than six months, at facilities in Albuquerque, Gainseville, Fla., and Albany, N.Y., Eclipse said in a statement. The result will be a production slowdown for the rest of the year (by how much, the statement does not say) followed by a ramp-up to "previous levels and higher" in 2009. "Financial stability is critical for this company and unfortunately, a reduction in workforce was necessary to achieve it," Pieper said. "I am confident this action will set the company on the path to profitability so that we can continue to lead the very light jet category." 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 

Development of Lockheed Martin's Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) is not progressing smoothly. The F-35 "is Department of Defense's (DOD) most complex and ambitious aircraft acquisition," according to a recent GAO report, "seeking to simultaneously produce and field three aircraft variants for the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and eight international partners." Some sources also label the JSF, which will have short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) variants, as the most expensive program in the Pentagon's arsenal. The GAO prices the program at a total investment including fleet acquisition and lifetime maintenance "now approaching $1 trillion." As such, a troubled U.S. economy, huge budget deficit and development delays may now complicate matters for an aircraft also labeled as "critical to our nation's plans for recapitalizing tactical aircraft" and hoping to see 2,458 examples in production. Recently, the first F-35 was grounded by nacelle vent fan failure (translation: the engine bay could overheat, causing structural damage) and engine tests for the STOVL "B" variant have now been delayed until next year after the test aircraft is re-engined. In the role of providing quick development to keep costs down and fend off the lure of competing designs ultimately allowing for mass production, the aircraft is not doing well -- total acquisition cost estimates increased by $23 billion from March 2007 to March 2008. Fortunately, the aircraft's intended role is mainly ground attack. More...

Voice and data recorders have been retrieved (but the data recorder has suffered damage) from the Spanair MD 82 that crashed last week following an aborted takeoff. The crash has so far resulted in the death of 154 people, with all eighteen others injured, some critically. Early reports state rescuers believe that as the aircraft broke apart some survivors were thrown from the wreckage, landing in a nearby stream where they were protected from the huge post-crash fire and later found. Early witness reports that one of the airliner's two engines was on fire during the takeoff have been countered by video showing no sign of engine fire, with fire erupting only after the crash. Prior to the flight, a heating system intake valve malfunction had led the pilot to return the aircraft to the gate prior to its fatal departure run. Maintenance work associated with that problem has all but been ruled out as a contributing factor to the crash, according to authorities. The flight of 172 people was departing Madrid's Barajas airport bound for Las Palmas in the Canary Islands. The accident may be the worst Spanish air tragedy in 25 years. 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.
News Briefsback to top 

Yves Rossy (a.k.a. Birdman and FusionMan) last Wednesday covered 21 miles in 10 minutes with a 120-pound, eight-foot carbon-fiber wing strapped to his back, powered by four micro-turbine jet engines. The distance flown matches that of Calais, France, to Dover, U.K. Rossy intends to fly across the English Channel Sept. 24 (weather permitting) following Louis Bleriot's 1909 route between those cities. For the test flight, Rossy exited a jump aircraft, unfolded his rigid wing and fired up four micro-turbines attached to its bottom side. He flew from about 7,500 feet above Bex Switzerland to Villeneuve, turned around and flew and back, reaching about 180 mph in clear skies and landing after deploying two parachutes -- one at 5,000 feet and the second at 4,000 feet. He landed with 2 litres of fuel left. Rossy controls the aircraft by shifting his weight or simply turning his head and shoulders. He wears a heat-resistant suit to protect his legs from exhaust and has evolved his flight envelope to include rolls. Rossy, 48 (49 next week), has logged 1000 hours in the Mirage III and later flew for Swissair. He also has over 1000 parachute jumps to his credit. More...

CubCrafters CC18-180 Top Cub has earned Australian Type Certificate...
Two hypersonic experiments were destroyed by NASA...
Most popular LSA's are Legend Cub, Flight Design's CT and Tecnam. More...

Win This Plane!
Enter AOPA's 2008 Sweepstakes and you could be flying high in a fully refurbished Piper Archer II, accented with a new instrument panel featuring the world's first installed certified EFD1000 PFD. Custom extras include handcrafted leather seats, tie-down rings, nav light retainers, and wood trim accents. Click for more details.
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!back to top 

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...

Dr. Blue Says, "Be Smart — Carry a PLB!"
Flying, hiking, camping, riding your ATV or bike — accidents happen that can become a life-threatening situation. Be prepared with a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB). It's as easy as pushing a button. PLBs from Aeromedix.com include the ACR MicroFix 406 MHz for pilots when you're enjoying activities in unpopulated areas. Click now to visit Aeromedix.com for complete details.
New on AVwebback to top 

Even when it's snowing in the cockpit, it can get quite hot. More...

Why don't more owners move their airplanes out of a hurricane's path? One reason is that insurance companies don't expect them to. In the lastest installment of our AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli argues that this is short-sighted because it encourages victimhood and costs us all money. More...

Meredith Saini, editor of IFR Refresher, interviewed pilots who were camping with their airplanes at EAA AirVenture 2008 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. She wanted to find out what level of equipment people are using to fly IFR and how that affects their decision-making when dealing with weather. Here's what two ordinary general aviation pilots had to say.

For more interviews and photos from the campground at AirVenture, check out the September 2008 issue of IFR Refresher. You can find subscription information here. More...

Envision® Integrated Flight Deck Available for Retrofit Installation in Select Cessna 300-Series Aircraft!
Avidyne has added the popular Cessna 320/335/340 piston-engine twins to the growing list of Envision® Integrated Flight Deck–approved aircraft. The big-glass Envision system is the industry's easiest-to-use integrated flight deck, providing state-of-the-art situational awareness and safety, with a highly-reliable all-solid-state ADAHRS, a full-featured moving map, electronic approach charts, color lightning, traffic avoidance, and satellite datalink weather. Click here for more information.
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

Sometimes a simple idea leads to interesting footage, and that's definitely the case with our lastest "Video of the Week." AVweb reader Beaux Graham "attached a budget Harbor Freight security camera to the tail tiedown ring ... of our Cardinal RG ... to watch the odd gear-retraction action." Not only did he get a chance to watch the wheels, but he also recorded an unusual perspective on the flight. (Beaux reminds you to "watch for the spray of dirt from the nose wheel just before the plane lifts off." (Click through to watch.) More...

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 through to watch.) More...

"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 FBOsback to top 


AVweb readers logged some serious time this week, with many recommending FBOs they visited during their travels. Frank Ladd called our attention to Indiana's Montgomery Aviation, which he praises for taking the "big gamble" of opening an FBO location at Grissom Air Reserve Base in Peru, Indiana. KGUS is U.S. Air Force Base recently opened for public use, and, as Frank writes:

It has been a major feat ... for an FBO to go into this location headfirst and start developing a new FBO where no FBO has ever existed in the 70+ years of existance of Grissom Air Force Base. In economically hard times, Montgomery Aviation should be praised for their forward thinking.

If you pass through, stop by and check out Frank's claims for yourself. And in the meantime, congratulations to Montgomery Aviation, AVweb's "FBO of the Week"!

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 "For Sale" Classified Ads Now Online:
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AVweb Classified Ads — Buying or Selling Anything & Everything Aviation

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The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 


Here's a story from above the Polar Circle:

I am involved in a voluntary home defense pilot group in the northern part of Sweden. We only fly Cessnas and Pipers on a regular basis, and our pilots are mainly bush pilots, not accustomed to using the radio often. During a training weekend at a controlled airport, we had a landing session, with five or six aircraft in the circuit, and the guy in the tower has a busy time keeping us all sorted out. We then heard the following exchange over the radio:

"Sierra Echo XXX, state your position."

"Aeum ... I'm behind the one in front of me!"

Olle Persson
via e-mail


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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

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.

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