AVwebFlash - Volume 14, Number 40b

October 2, 2008

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
Barry Mounts Available at Aircraft Spruce
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Top News: Promising Developments in Fossett Search back to top 
Sponsor Announcement

Report: Steve Fossett Items Found By Hiker

A hiker in a rugged off-trail region near Mammoth Lakes, California, has found some items that may have belonged to missing adventurer Steve Fossett, authorities said on Wednesday. A weathered fleece pullover, about $1,000 in cash and an FAA pilot's certificate bearing Fossett's name were found Monday, close to Minaret Lake and Minaret Mine, according to reports by Fox News and the Associated Press. The hiker, Preston Morrow, found what appears to be two FAA certificates, tattered and crumpled on the ground, that listed the name Steve Fossett. Morrow said he didn't recognize the name but showed the finds to a co-worker on Tuesday who told him about the missing aviator. Morrow then returned to the site on Tuesday with some friends who searched further, and they found the fleece pullover nearby. He then attempted unsuccessfully to reach Fossett's relatives before reporting the find to authorities on Wednesday. Search teams led by the Madera County Sheriff's Department were dispatched to the scene, and an air and ground effort was expected to be under way by Wednesday afternoon, sheriff's spokeswoman Erica Stewart told the AP.

Fossett went missing September 3, 2007, while on a solo pleasure flight in a borrowed Decathlon. He launched from a friend's ranch near Minden, Nevada, just east of Lake Tahoe. Mammoth Lakes is about 75 miles to the southeast of Minden and well within the Decathlon's fuel range. Fossett's disappearance touched off one of the largest search-and-rescue efforts in U.S. history, but no trace of him or the airplane was ever found, and Fossett was declared legally dead in February.

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Canadian Management Comes South (to Chicago) back to top 
Sponsor Announcement

Midway Airport Privatized: Canadian Company Takes Over

Midway Airport in Chicago will become the first major airport in the U.S. to be privatized and it will be run by a Canadian company. Vancouver Airport Services, which runs Vancouver International Airport and 17 other airports in British Columbia, the Caribbean, South America and Europe, was the successful bidder for a $2.5 billion deal that will include a lease on Midway for 99 years."This contract marks a milestone in the growth of our company, and is a clear example of how we can leverage our success at home to develop the best airports in the world," Larry Berg, president and CEO of the Vancouver Airport Authority, which owns half of Vancouver Airport Services, told The Canadian Press.

The landmark deal is the first in an FAA pilot project. Chicago has asked to privatize as many as five of its airports. The Midway deal must be ratified by Chicago city council but it's already been blessed by Mayor Richard Daley. Midway handle about 19.3 million passengers in 2007, about two million more than Vancouver International. The deal will net Chicago about $1 billion but the deal requires that 90 percent of that go into airport improvements.

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.
Tough Times, from Heavy Jets to Light Airplanes back to top 

Credit Crunch Affecting Bizjet Sales

The CEO of Embraer, of Brazil, said at a media briefing in Singapore this week that it's getting harder for some buyers to get access to the credit they need to place orders. "We see signals that the customers' financing options are getting scarce. But so far we have had no direct impact," said CEO Frederico Fleury Curado. The future is uncertain, however. "Nobody is immune to what happens in the U.S.," he said. "For now, we're keeping our estimates for 2009. If things deteriorate more, who knows?" He added that there is no change in the company's plan to deliver 215 aircraft by the end of this year and no current orders have been cancelled. However, some customers have asked for their deliveries to be postponed, including Jet Blue and Virgin, according to Bloomberg News.

Embraer will exhibit full-scale mock-ups of the Phenom 300 and Legacy 500 and a cabin cross-section of the Lineage 1000 at its booth next week at the NBAA convention in Orlando, Fla. Also, the Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 aircraft will be on display on the flight line at Orlando Executive Airport for the first time, along with the Legacy 600.

LSA Sector Hangs Tough In Economic Winds

"Things are slow, no question," Dan Johnson, chairman of the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association, told AVweb on Wednesday, "but nobody's bailing out." The current economic slowdown is the first significant downturn since the Light Sport Aircraft sector launched just a few years ago, and so far the industry seems to be coping, Johnson said. "One advantage for many of these companies is that they're small, owner-run companies, and can be more nimble when it comes to responding to changes," he said. He added that the AOPA Expo is coming up in early November, followed by the Sebring show in January and then Sun 'n Fun in April, all of which have had a positive impact on sales in the past. So far the number of LSA exhibitors who plan to show up for those events is equal to or greater than last year, Johnson said.

He recently compiled an update on sales for the LSA manufacturers, and found that while growth rates are down most companies still are logging new deliveries at a steady pace. For the first eight months of 2008, Flight Design, Remos, Tecnam, Jabiru, Czech Aircraft Works and Legend, in order, recorded the most registrations, according to Johnson.

Trade-A-Plane, Aviation's Original Search Engine
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Science & Education back to top 

Virgin Spaceships Will Fly For Science

Virgin Galactic will partner up with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to use the fleet of SpaceShipTwo and WhiteKnightTwo vehicles for scientific research, Virgin announced on Tuesday. "We need data and observations to understand how our climate changes," said NOAA Administrator Conrad Lautenbacher. "This affords us a new and unique opportunity to gather samples and measurements at much higher altitudes than we can usually achieve." NOAA and Virgin Galactic hope to fly NOAA science instruments aboard both the WhiteKnightTwo carrier vehicle, which will regularly reach altitudes up to about 50,000 feet, and SpaceShipTwo, which will soar into space. The instruments would provide data on atmospheric composition -- particularly carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases -- and would also provide a way to calibrate measurements made by satellites.

"To my mind there is no greater or more immediate challenge than that posed by climate change," said Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic. "It's therefore more than fitting that the very first science to be conducted on board our new vehicles may be specifically directed at increasing our understanding and knowledge of the atmosphere and from there, to better inform our decisions as to the most effective ways of dealing with climate change." The Virgin Galactic fleet will provide frequent access to relatively understudied regions of the Earth's atmosphere, particularly the upper stratosphere, mesosphere and lower thermosphere. The collaboration with NOAA will help define the processes and parameters for successful science research aboard the vehicles.

Aviation Educators Invited To Gather In D.C.

Everyone in aviation knows the future depends on keeping the next generation interested in things that fly, and the National Coalition for Aviation Education works to do exactly that. On October 16-18, the group will host its annual meeting in Washington, D.C., gathering educators from around the country to share ideas, get inspired, network, and learn all the latest about aviation and space. Former astronaut Bonnie Dunbar, now president of The Museum of Flight, in Seattle, will address the meeting. Many other aviation notables will speak, including Gregory Condon, manager of the NASA Smart Skies Education Project; Barrington Irving Jr., the first black pilot and youngest person ever to fly solo around the globe; NASA astronaut Janice Voss; and more. Industry reps will exhibit the latest materials and programs they offer to the educational community. The meeting will take place at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Va.

The meeting agenda will feature several tracks, including science of aviation and space, teaching and learning methodologies and technologies using aerospace education as the theme, outreach in aviation education, and educating youth for aerospace careers. For more information, click here to visit the Conference Web site.

Aircraft Financing to Fit Your Needs
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News Briefs back to top 

Five Seized Cessnas Stolen In Mexico

A gang of about 20 men, heavily armed, have stolen five Cessna 206 aircraft from an unpaved airfield in the town of Navolato in Mexico, in the Pacific Coast state of Sinaloa. The gunmen tied up a guard who was on the site to watch the airplanes, according to a statement released on Tuesday from the Attorney General's office of Mexico. The light aircraft had been seized by the Army because they were used to deliver seeds and fertilizer for illegal crops of marijuana in the "Golden Triangle" area, according to authorities. Staff at airports around the country have been notified to watch out for the airplanes. The army, which is battling drug cartels across the country, has confiscated 245 small planes and helicopters since November 2007, according to Reuters.

The Aircraft Crime Prevention Institute issued an alert earlier this year to U.S. pilots who operate in the border region, noting that the crackdown by authorities in Mexico was increasing the incidence of airplane theft.

Wichita Aero Club Launches

Several Aero Clubs around the country, most notably in Washington and Atlanta, have proven to be valuable networking assets to their local aviation community. Aiming to follow that pattern, a consortium of business, government and educational organizations in the greater Wichita area has announced that it will form the Wichita Aero Club. "Aviation is the driving force in the greater Wichita area. There have been more airplanes produced in Wichita than anywhere else in the world," said Bob Stangarone, vice president of corporate communications for Cessna and chairman of the ad-hoc committee that launched the group. "It is appropriate that this community have a world-class platform for discussion of key industry issues, the recognition of achievements and innovations in aerospace, and a forum that encourages interaction and cooperation," he said. The new group plans to host monthly luncheons and invite high-profile speakers to address major aviation industry issues.

The group will also have a Web site, publish an online newsletter, and host fundraising events throughout the year. More details about the leadership and activities of the Wichita Aero Club will be announced next Monday at the NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention in Orlando, Fla. For more information about the club, contact Dave Franson at (316) 681-4491.

Can You Believe Avemco® Will Not Exclude Coverage Even If ...
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News Briefs back to top 

Light Sport Aircraft Debuts At NBAA

The annual trade show of the National Business Aviation Association is the place where new corporate jets often are introduced -- but at this year's NBAA Expo, coming up next week in Orlando, Fla., a light sport aircraft also will be on display, for the first time. Flight Design USA says their new all-metal MC LSA will be featured in the EAA's display space at the NBAA Expo. Flight Design staffers will be on hand at the EAA exhibit to answer questions from visitors about the aircraft and the category. Flight Design President Tom Peghiny said the show offers an opportunity to reach out to a different slice of the aviation marketplace. "For the price of one business jet or business-configured airliner, you could buy a sizable fleet of MCs or our top-of-the-line CTLS," he said. The NBAA Expo runs Monday to Wednesday next week, October 6 to 8. AVweb Editor-in-Chief Russ Niles will be there to bring you live daily reports.

The MC design is meant to satisfy the needs of flight-school operators, with durable metal construction and a 51-inch wide cabin, the company says. The MC is one of the prizes in EAA's 2009 Sweepstakes, which raises funds to support activities such as the Young Eagles program and other aviation education and preservation initiatives. Tickets will be sold starting in mid-October.

On the Fly ...

The Mooney Airplane Co. has a new CEO, Robert Gowens; current CEO Dennis Ferguson will remain as president...

Diamond is offering $1.99 fuel and a $2,000 training credit to new buyers of the DA40 XLS...

A French pilot's attempt to cross the English Channel in a pedal-powered airship failed on Sunday when the ship was becalmed...

FAA's comment period has closed for its new homebuilt policy, EAA states its case against the proposed changes...

Coming up November 8-9, Roar & Soar at Fantasy of Flight, Kermit Weeks' aviation attraction in central Florida...

The first Zeppelin airship bound for the U.S. is on its way across the Atlantic on a cargo ship. It will arrive in Texas in a few weeks and then fly cross-country to its base near San Francisco.

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.
New on AVweb back to top 

Question of the Week: Privatized Airports, Foreign Operators — Is There a Security Risk?

This Week's Question | Previous Week's Answers


Last week, in the wake of several setbacks for various segments of the very light jet industry, we asked if VLJs, recently seen as the hottest ticket in aviation, might be cooling down.

Nearly half of those who took a moment to participate in our poll felt the VLJ dreams is far from dead, telling us every innovation has teething pains, and while VLJs may not be a revolution, they have a place in business aviation.

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.)


In an age where security concerns dominate the American psyche, many AVweb readers may be surprised to learn that a Canadian company is taking over the operations of Chicago's Midway airport, making it the first major privatized airport in the U.S.. We're curious how you're reacting to the news (if at all). Is the privatization of major U.S. airports wise, and should foreign operators be allowed to bid?

Click here 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.

Brainteasers Quiz #138: Watch Out For That Tree

Brainteasers TERPS means terminal instrument procedures, and procedure designers (a.k.a., TERPSters) build safe arrival and departure paths to clear ridges, trees and tall shrubbery near many airports. Test your TERPS savvy or prepare to bring us that shrubbery.

Take the quiz.

More Brainteasers

AVweb Insider Blog: FSS Under Lockmart — Stop Whining and Lobby for Some Better Tools

Don't like the brave new world of Lockheed-Martin's Flight Service? Too bad. It's here to stay and after three years of working at it they've clawed their way back up to the level of adequate. Some of what we once had with locally knowledgeable briefers is gone forever, but at least one gem of bygone days could be brought back with the right software and some willing users, according to IFR magazine Editor-in-Chief Jeff van West, who takes the new FSS system to task in the latest installment of our AVweb Insider Blog.

Read more.

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

Help AVwebBiz Spread Your NBAA News

The world's most important business aviation event, the National Business Aviation Association's annual convention, is coming up Oct. 6-8 in Orlando and there will be hundreds of product announcements and updates. AVweb will be there with daily coverage of the events, news conferences and announcements that make this show so important but if your company has something more than 100,000 business aviation decision-makers need to know about, we're encouraging you to let us know in advance. That way we can give your news the full attention it deserves and make sure it's released in a timely fashion during our coverage. Don't worry. We'll strictly observe all embargos. Send your advance material to rniles@avweb.com and thanks for your help in making our coverage the most comprehensive available.

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.

Join NAA and Help Shape the Next Century of Flight
It's a great time to join the National Aeronautic Association (NAA), the nation's oldest aviation organization. At $39 a year, NAA membership is a terrific value for any aviation enthusiast! Members receive the Smithsonian's Air & Space magazine, plus access to aviation records and much more. To become an NAA member, sign up online or call (703) 416-4888 and press 4.
Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Tunica Air Center (UTA, Tunica, MS)

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Tunica Air Center at UTA in Tunica, Mississippi.

AVweb reader Steve Spinney did his research before a 600-mile flight and learned about the FBO online:

I started by checking out their web site and also called and asked a few questions on the phone. This place is building quite a reputation for rolling out the red carpet for their customers; big or small, they can do it all. The facility is as nice as the people that run it. ... One attendant even took my picture by the airplane for me. I base out of Fort Smith, AR and I have to say we have a first-class FBO with TacAir, but you can't get a hamburger with your fuel. The cafe at Tunica has a great burger and some sandwiches made with Boars Head Deli products. So fly to Tunica — there is lots of runway and amenities!

Mmm — Boar's Head! Thanks for the recommendation, Steve!

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!

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.


With NBAA's annual convention coming up next week, things are beginning to get a little more hectic around AVweb world headquarters. Thankfully, we have a great batch of photos in this week's submission box, so let's kick up our heels and take a break to see what AVweb readers have sent in over the past seven days.

medium | large

copyright © Daniel Valovich
Used with permission

Balloon Glow

Daniel Valovich of Hot Springs, Arkansas kicks things off with a photo we can only describe as luminescent.

medium | large

copyright © M.G. Rainey
Used with permission

Rough River 2008

Running a frighteningly close second is this stark image from Glenn Rainey of Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire (Scotland), who sent us a sackful of great photos from the Central States Association's Annual Canard Fly-In in Rough River, Kentucky. (Watch for one or two more in this week's "POTW" slideshow on the AVweb.com home page.)

medium | large

Used with permission of Thomas Auerbach

Stearman on Main Street — Lunch Is Over at the Beaumont Hotel

"Fly in to the Beaumont Hotel (Beaumont, Kansas) for lunch and taxi down Main Street to parking across the street," advises Thomas Auerbach of Ponca City, Oklahoma. Thomas took this shot from inside the hotel cafe, which he recommends as "an excellent place for a $100 hamburger."

medium | large

copyright © British Disabled
Flying Association (BDFA)

Used with permission of Mike Miller-Smith

Rising Fuel Costs Stimulate Alternative Propulsion Methods

Mike Miller-Smith of Basingstoke, Hampshire (U.K.) almost had us doing the math to see if this method might work for the average GA pilot — but, alas, it was merely the British Disabled Flying Association setting a world record by towing a Boeing 757 for 100 meters (!) at Lasham Airfield. "The event was a great success," according to Mike, who urges those interested in the BDFA to click through on thta link and learn more.

For an hour or so this afternoon, we were puzzled as to why we'd received so many photos of pilots in wheelchairs — but then our faltering memory reminded us that it was only last week we ran Mujahid Abdulrahim's wheelchair tie-down photo. (Incidentally, we received some great mail about the photo and learned a little about the hassles of being a chair-bound pilot from readers like Chris Bazeley, whose letter appeared in this week's AVmail.)

medium | large

copyright © Gerald Benson
Used with permission

Heads Up!

Gerald Benson of Alva, Oklahoma flies us home with a photo of this 502JA test flight at Alva Regional Airport (AVK).

Want more? Look no further than the slideshow on AVweb's home page.

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.

Choose the Flight Explorer Edition Right for You
Flight Explorer is an information system tracking commercial and general aviation flights. With the Flight Explorer Personal Edition, view air traffic for the U.S., Canada, or New Zealand and monitor and display real-time delay information, TFRs, SUAs, and more. With the Flight Explorer Pilot Edition, view weather along a route, receive alerts with your preliminary flight plan, and have an e-mail sent to someone on departure or arrival. Click here for more information and to subscribe.
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

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.