AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 14, Number 37b

September 11, 2008

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
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.
 
Top News: A Somber Anniversary back to top 
 
Sponsor Announcement

Seven Years Ago Today ...

Seven years later, we still are caught short by the appearance of that date on the calendar -- September 11th -- it brings back all those memories of a day when aviation, and our country, were changed forever. While everyone was affected in one way or another, those of us involved in aviation felt a keen and personal sadness that the technology we admire, that provides us with the amazing ability to fly wherever we wish, was corrupted to such destructive ends. And aviators around the country were affected directly -- stranded by the airspace shutdown, then faced with suspicious scrutiny from local governments and increased regulation of our freedom to fly. Small general aviation airports in the Washington, D.C., area were closed for months, and flight schools around the country saw a drop in student enrollments. Now, seven years later, we almost take for granted those airport fences across what once were open fields. But maybe seven years from now, or seven years after that, or somewhere in the future, those fences will wear away in the wind and weather, and if we're very lucky, nobody will even notice they're gone.

Photo provided to AVweb courtesy of the CAP Historical Foundation and Major Andrew J. Feldman, NY Wing CAP.
This photo is from the first low-altitude fixed-wing photo recon mission over the World Trade Center wreckage, flown by the Civil Air Patrol on September 12, 2001. (Click for a larger version.)

3,500 NavCanada Customers Get Tax Bills

If you've flown your corporate-owned aircraft to Canada anytime in the last five years there's a good chance you'll be getting a bill in the mail NavCanada for back taxes owed on the fees you paid to the private air traffic control provider. NavCanada spokesman Ron Singer told AVweb that about 3,500 "customers" got bills ranging from $25 to more than $1,000 to cover retroactive assessments of Canada's Goods and Services Tax (GST). But don't blame NavCanada and don't blame the concept of privatization, Singer insists. It's the Canada Revenue Agency that will get the money and Singer said NavCanada fought to keep the Canadian version of the IRS's sticky fingers off the money. "This was not our decision," Singer said. "We did not agree with it." He also stressed that private owners of aircraft that have visited Canada need not worry about getting a bill. They've already paid the GST.

When NavCanada was formed to take over Transport Canada's ATC duties more than 10 years ago, it was determined that the GST did not apply to navigation fees charged to foreign corporate-owned aircraft. However, during a recent audit of the company (which, by law, isn't allowed to make a profit) the CRA decided the tax does apply to corporate planes and ordered NavCanada to fork over the money. Singer said the company had no choice but to go through its records and send bills out to recover the money. Complicating the task is that the rate of the tax has been reduced twice, from seven percent to the current five percent during that five-year period. Singer said the majority of bills are less than $200 and only a few are more than $1,000. Anything less than $25 will be written off.

 
Tempest Oil Filters Available at Aircraft Spruce!
Tempest Oil Filters feature a magnetic secondary filtration system that attracts steel particles too small to be caught in the filter media. Proven full-size design, in use for 30 years! Leaf spring technology for lateral stability of filter pack and a powder-coated finish for durability. Available in six-packs! Call Aircraft Spruce at (877) 4-SPRUCE, or click here to see the PDF file for improvements on these filters.
 
People in Aviation Don't Give Up Easily back to top 
 

Seawind Saga Update - Revival Close, But "Time Is Our Enemy"

Dick Silva has been working for over 10 years to get the popular Seawind experimental amphibian to the market as a certified aircraft, and this week, he said he has found some new investors and hopes to soon restart operations. Last year, the company's only flying prototype was destroyed in a crash that killed the test pilot. Silva had to shut down and lay off his staff when investors pulled out, but some 68 order-holders asked him not to give up, and he hasn't. This week, Silva said he has raised $1.2 million to restart the company, and if he can find just $800,000 more the staff will return, and two Seawinds now in the works could soon be up and flying to complete the FAA flight-test regimen. However, "there is a limit to how long we can go without resuming the project," Silva said. "Time is our enemy." The company is accepting deposits of $9,000 (to be held in escrow) from new buyers interested in the fast and roomy four-seat amphib. Silva hopes that a growing number of orders would help to attract that final round of investment cash he needs to get the doors open and bring his staff back to work.

Over 80 copies of the experimental Seawind are flying. The cruise speed is about 165 knots. AVweb's Russ Niles interviewed Silva about the company's status in July; click here for the podcast. "I'd hate to see the Seawind not happen," Silva told Niles. "We're going to keep plugging away at it."

Engine Owners' Group Puts Thielert Investors On Notice

The recently formed Thielert Engine Owners Group (THENOG) said on Tuesday that it will "exhaust every available legal, political and economic avenue" to ensure that any new owner of the bankrupt company will not leave owners high and dry. The group was responding to last week's announcement from Thielert that several purchase offers have been received from "well-known investors." Dr. Todd House, founder of THENOG, said, "We're pleased with the positive investor response in Thielert and we have every confidence that the bidders will want to honor the company's commitments to its customers." Hundreds of aircraft powered by Thielert engines have been sold, but in the course of its insolvency proceedings, the company has said it won't honor warranties or inspect and replace certain life-limited parts as owners expected, THENOG said. The changes have left Thielert owners grounded or trying to operate aircraft that are no longer economically feasible.

"Any investor that ignores Thielert's customer commitments will be facing a very unhospitable business environment," said Vilis Ositis, THENOG co-founder. "The first step for any new Thielert owner will be to honor the company's commitments to aircraft operators who bought into Thielert's vision of a dependable, efficient, aircraft turbo-diesel engine. Not only is that the right thing to do, but it would diminish the threat of potential lawsuits, political action and consumer boycotts the company could face from existing Thielert engine owners."

A representative of the owners' group will meet with Thielert insolvency administrator Bruno Kubler in Germany next week. The group is also working with the FAA and EASA to cope with various maintenance issues, and it is working with aircraft manufacturers and Thielert to improve the options available for support and upgrades for Thielert-powered aircraft.

 
NEW! Zulu with Panel Power!
With the new Zulu: P (Panel Power) headset, Lightspeed has raised the bar in performance, comfort and crystal-clear audio quality, with more total noise cancellation than any other headset — and no batteries needed! The Zulu: P uses the same LEMO plug that you may already have installed. The Zulu: P also comes with built-in Bluetooth. No one else offers this much in a total headset package. Click here for more information.
 
Safety Watch back to top 
 

Panel Recommends Changes In FAA "Safety Culture"

A blue-ribbon panel that was told by the Department of Transportation several months ago to look into the "safety culture" of the FAA has filed its report. "We have found the FAA's aviation safety staff to be unambiguously committed to its core mission of safety," the panel reported. "However, we find a remarkable degree of variation in regulatory ideologies among the field office staff, which, in places, creates the likelihood of generating wide variances, and possible errors, in regulatory decision-making." The panel mainly focused on how the FAA oversees airline operations, but some of the suggested changes could spill over to affect general aviation -- such as changes in how airworthiness directives are handled by the agency, and a recommendation that more training should be required for managers and inspectors in the field. On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters directed the FAA to implement all 13 of the panel's recommendations.

"The mark of an effective safety system is its ability to constantly improve and adapt," Peters said. "Today, the Independent Review Team has delivered a blueprint that will assure continued safe skies ahead for America." New training for safety managers and inspectors will be implemented within six months, Peters said. Members of the review team were Ambassador Edward Stimpson (chair), J. Randolph Babbitt, William McCabe, Prof. Malcolm Sparrow, and Hon. Carl Vogt. Click here for the team's full report in PDF format, or click here for the DOT news release.

Alaska Air Equips Jets With Airport Navigators

Plenty of pilots are familiar with technology that tells us to "Turn right" or "Turn left" in a friendly female voice -- because it's installed on the dashboards of our cars, fresh from Best Buy. Now Alaska Airlines will be the first airline to provide similar technology for all of its airplanes, to guide pilots around airport runways. Their technology, however, fresh from Honeywell, will cost $20,000 per airplane. The airline started working with Honeywell three years ago to test the Runway Awareness and Advisory System (RAAS), which provides pilots with audible alerts when they approach and enter taxiways and runways. RAAS confirms runway identifications to help ensure pilots are on the correct runway with enough distance to complete takeoff, and provides an audible warning if a pilot inadvertently accelerates for takeoff while on a taxiway. Alaska Airlines began installing RAAS on its Boeing 737s in July, and the fleet will be fully equipped with the aural alert software by the end of this month.

RAAS is a software upgrade to Honeywell's Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System, which warns pilots if they fly too close to terrain, and will take about an hour to install. The system will eventually become standard equipment on all Boeing aircraft, according to The Wall Street Journal.

 
Win a Brand-New Ford Mustang GT Convertible!!!
Every Genuine Factory Engine purchased from Air Power, Inc. between September 8, 2008 and July 20, 2009 automatically is entered to win a Brand New Ford Mustang GT Convertible! For official rules and details, visit Air Power online at the web site FactoryEngines.com or call Air Power at (888) 759-4295.

Don't forget: Air Power's First-Ever, Zero-Down Factory Engine Financing makes it easier than ever to get the Factory Engine you've always wanted!
 
News Briefs back to top 
 

Cirrus Design Cuts Staff By 8 Percent

Citing a need to enhance efficiency and redirect resources, Cirrus Design this week eliminated about 100 jobs at its plants in Duluth and Grand Forks, in Minnesota. "We're dealing with some straightforward realities," company president Brent Wouters told the Duluth News Tribune. "We're in a difficult economic environment that has impacted the aviation business. We're not selling as many airplanes as we'd hoped to this year." Wouters said the cuts resulted mainly from a decision to keep production rates at about 14 airplanes per week, instead of ramping up to 16 as had been planned. Also, resources are being reallocated to maximize efficiency and assign more workers to the SRS light-sport aircraft and the Vision jet projects. The company now has about 1,230 workers.

Cirrus shipped 10 percent fewer airplanes in the first six months of this year than it shipped in the same period the year before, which was better than the overall 16-percent drop in general aviation piston aircraft shipments. Wouters told the News Tribune that he considers any further cutbacks at Cirrus unlikely.

Fate Of Rare Twin Mustang Goes Back To Court

The dispute over the future of a rare F-82 Twin Mustang that has long been operated by the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) will go back to court, the CAF says. The case has already been heard by a district court in Ohio, which ruled that the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, which wants to claim ownership of the aircraft, has the right to do so. CAF says it will appeal that decision. CAF says they fear that if the museum takes control of it, the airplane will never fly again. If CAF is allowed to keep it, they say, they have a donor who is ready to fund the restoration of the airplane to flying condition. It hasn't flown since it was damaged in a 1986 accident, but prior to that it flew for nearly 20 years, appearing in hundreds of airshows around the country.

Rob Bardua, spokesman for the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, told AVweb on Wednesday, "Since litigation is still pending, on the advice of our counsel, we are not able to comment at this time." According to court documents filed in the earlier case, the museum argued that federal regulations that pertain to military aircraft would make it impossible for the government to give the airplane unconditionally to CAF. "The CAF could not acquire complete title to the aircraft no matter what the actions of the Air Force Officers and civilian employees were," the U.S. Air Force told the court.

The airplane originally came to the museum's attention in 2002 when CAF said it was going to trade it for a Mustang. The museum said the CAF couldn't do that. Subsequently CAF said it would keep the airplane and restore it, but the USAF did not relinquish its claim. The USAF museum is located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. Click here for a PDF of the Motion of the Secretary of the Air Force for Summary Judgment as filed to the district court, and click here for a PDF of the judgment of the court.

 
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 Briefs back to top 
 

Jet Fuel From Algae A Step Closer

Solazyme, a San Francisco-based company, announced on Tuesday that it has produced fuel derived from algae that meets the Jet-A fuel standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials. The ASTM standards measure performance in areas such as density, stability, flashpoint, freezing point, distillation and viscosity. By meeting those criteria, the company said, it has shown that the fuel is compatible with existing engines and infrastructure, bringing it a step closer to commercial development. "We are excited to be the first advanced biofuel company to successfully make jet fuel from algal oil that passes the most critical ASTM D1655 (Jet A) standards," said Solazyme CEO Jonathan Wolfson. "This announcement is proof of the advantages of our proprietary renewable oil production process to create highly tailorable oils and renewable fuels." The company is already producing thousands of gallons of oil using a unique process in which algae grow in large tanks quickly, efficiently and without sunlight. The algae feed on materials such as agricultural residues and high-productivity grasses as well as industrial byproducts. The oils they produce are low-carbon, nontoxic and safe, the company says.

The company recently announced that it had raised $45 million to fund its expansion and growth. Researchers at Arizona State University also have been working to create algae-based jet fuels, though their process is based on growing the algae in sunlight. Alternative fuels derived from algae have attracted serious attention from global companies such as Pratt & Whitney Canada, Virgin Atlantic, Boeing, Airbus, and others.

On the Fly ...

Lt. Col. Jack Faas has been selected as the new executive director of the Civil Air Patrol Historical Foundation; CAPHF founder Drew Steketee will remain on the board and serve as an advisor...

Three pilots are flying across the U.S. this week in vintage aircraft to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the U.S. Air Mail service. Click here to visit a Smithsonian Web site that will follow their progress...

The pilot of a hot-air balloon was killed and six passengers were hurt when the aircraft caught fire while landing in Pennsylvania on Sunday evening...

Pilots can attend a ground school about formation flying for $50 in St. Louis on Sept. 22; for more info contact Greg or Stan at Wings Aviation Services, 651-227-8981, or e-mail stan@wingsus.com.

 
Some of Aviation's Worst Accidents Have Happened on the Ground; Find Out Why
Refresh your skills and learn how to avoid runway incursions by taking advantage of the Air Safety Foundation's complimentary runway safety tools. ASF's online Runway Safety Interactive Course can be completed in less than an hour, and completion qualifies towards AOPA Accident Forgiveness and the FAA Wings Program. Plus, ASF's downloadable Runway Safety Flash Cards help pilots better understand runway signage and markings. Click for your runway safety tools.
 
New on AVweb back to top 
 

Across the Pond #21: Report from Europe

From a credit-crunch victim to a man with a crazy dream, this month's column takes a look at what's been happening in Euroland this summer.

Click here for the full story.

AVweb Insider Blog: Why Eclipse's Future Is Daunting

The ongoing FAA review of the airplane's certification may be the least of the company's problems. Emerging competition and the need for yet more cash transfusions cloud the future. In his latest AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli analyzes the state of play.

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 
 

Question of the Week: Reflecting on Post-9/11 Air Security

This Week's Question | Previous Week's Answers

PREVIOUS RESULTS ***

Last week, we asked what AVweb readers think of the Martin Jetpack — specifically when it comes to the question of whether or not they'd like to own one.

The biggest segment of our readers, 39% of you told us the much-hyped jetpack looks like a flash in the pan — but at the other end of the spectrum, nearly 8% of you said you'd seriously consider it (with 5% expressed some genuine enthusiasm for the jetpack revolution).

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 ***

It's been said that the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 changed everything; the date certainly motivated a lot of changes in general aviation, and we'd like to know what you think about them, seven years later.

How much more secure is air transportation than it was on 9/11/2001?
(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.

 
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.
 
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

ICON Tour

Rocket Racers

Contest Winner

Terrafugia

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

WhiteKnightTwo

Martin Jet Pack

Electraflyer

EcoFlyer

ATC Tower

Wrap-Up

 
Attention, Turboprop Operators! Reserve October 28-30 on Your Calendars
Turboprop Expo 2008, October 28-30 in Scottsdale, AZ, will offer specialized programs including seminar tracks for airframe and turboprop engine topics as well as operational and ownership information. Dr. David Strahle will present his informative and acclaimed seminar: Understanding Nexrad Imagery. Enjoy the relaxing surroundings of a classic resort and network with industry leaders at Turboprop Expo 2008. For more information and to register, visit online.
 
Your Favorite FBOs back to top 
 

FBO of the Week: McDonald-Gregory Aviation (DVK, Danville, KY)

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

Traveling AVweb readers have recommended many FBOs to us this week. If you'd like to see your favorite FBO spotlighted here next Monday, recommend them using our online form.

Our latest "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to McDonald-Gregory Aviation at Danville-Boyle County Airport in Danville, Kentucky.

AVweb reader Richard Grindal made an unscheduled visit last week:

Far from home and way out of my comfort zone — and experiencing engine trouble — I precautionary-landed on Monday, September 5 (Labor Day). The owner of the FBO arranged a car and called the mechanic that night. With an overnight and the chief mechanic dropping everthing (including work on a Cessna 414) to work on my lowly experimental Cub, I was quickly on my way again — thankful for the hospitality and expertise on the mechanic work, as well as the reasonable price for everything. Thanks again to Tim and Shane!

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!

 
Tired of High Fuel Costs? GAMIjectors Are the Answer!
Don't be grounded by sky-high gas prices. Install GAMIjectors and you could see up to a 20% cut in your aircraft's fuel bill. Balanced fuel/air ratios make your aircraft's engine run smoother, cooler, and more efficiently. Call GAMI at (888) FLY-GAMI, or order a kit online for your Continental or Lycoming engine.
 
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 ***

Once again, it's time to harvest the fruits of our eagle-eyed readership — and this week's crop is outstanding! We've got as many photos as we can bear to look at, and we're thrilled to share them with the rest of you. Let's dig in!

medium | large

Used with permission of Julie Brooks

What a Sight!

Julie Brooks of Flushing Michigan gets us started with a simple (but elegant) composition that she noticed purely by chance while looking down at the Linden Airport runway.

medium | large

copyright © Mark Carlisle
Used with permission

"Labor of Love"

The title speaks for itself when it comes to this submission from Mark Carlisle of Damascus, Maryland. (We've already set its as our desktop wallpaper!)

medium | large

Used with permission of Richard Page

Misty Scottish Morning on the Hotel Pad

No, it's not your imagination — there really is a helicopter following us. (He's hiding in the bushes!) Richard Page of Burlington, Ontario (Canada) snapped this gorgeous scenery (and sneaky AS355 TwinStar) while vacationing in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. "A departing hotel guest was doing power checks ... prior to liftoff" explained Page.

medium | large

Used with permission
of Timothy J. Foulkes

Tomahawk Glory

A little color balancing in a photo application brings out the startling natural beauty of this mystery craft. The shot was taken from the vent window of a C-GSJF Piper Tomahawk by Timothy J. Foulkes of Bayside, New Brunswick (Canada). (The shoreline we see here, Timothy tells us, is the coast of Maine.)

medium | large

copyright © Daniel Valovich
Used with permission

Quiet Moment on Pelican Lake

Randy Jenson of Fargo, North Dakota signs off this week's edition of "Picture of the Week" with a theme we saw plenty of this week — lakes.

Want more lakes? We've got a few — plus some amazing skylines, formation flying, ultralights, antique airplanes, and even one very sleepy passenger — in the slideshow on AVweb's home page. Don't miss 'em!


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

(No, seriously — click and send 'em, folks!)

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.

 
Diamond Aircraft Distributors Offer Tax Advantage Program
September 30th is the deadline to take advantage of up to $300,000 in depreciation opportunities on a new Diamond DA40 XLS. Diamond Aircraft distributors are also offering a $3,000 cash back incentive, to pay for the tax and legal services needed to take advantage of this tax savings opportunity. Go online for full details!
 
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.