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PROPOSES CHANGES IN VLJ PILOT TRAINING
While the crowds at
this week's NBAA Convention in Orlando, Fla., are busy out on the
convention floor and on the flight line checking out all the latest and
greatest technology, a lot is also going on in the meeting rooms, as
movers and shakers get together to discuss issues of importance to the
industry. One of the groups that met in Orlando was NBAA's Safety Committee, and this week the committee
said it will revise its guidelines for training pilots of very light
jets. Changes will attempt to address the basic instrument proficiency
lacking in some prospective VLJ pilots, the committee said. Also,
efforts will be made to better define training outcomes, to explain the
concept of "personal minimums" and to address the unique challenges of
operating into airports with short runways and inhospitable nearby
terrain. The committee said it will work with the General Aviation
Manufacturers Association and others to produce a rewrite of the
training guidelines by the end of this year. More...
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2008 WRAP-UP: ATTENDANCE NUMBERS SLIP SLIGHTLY
|Click for images from the
Attendance at the National Business
Aviation Association's 61st convention in Orlando this week was down
marginally according to early attendance figures released Wednesday.
NBAA spokesman Dan Hubbard said 30,164 people attended the show, down
about 600 from last year. "It's 2 percent," NBAA President Ed Bolen told
AVweb. "This was a solid show." More...
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PILOTS FACE MARKET TURMOIL
First it was zooming fuel prices,
now it's volatile financial markets, and as the airlines scramble to
survive, pilots are finding their work lives in turmoil. Mesa Air Group
this week cut 150 pilot jobs, most of them from Delta routes
that were operated by Mesa. Meanwhile, as Delta and Northwest work
toward a merger, pilots can't agree on how to merge their seniority
lists. In Milwaukee, pilots from Midwest Airlines took to the streets on Wednesday to protest the
outsourcing of new jobs flying regional jets to non-union pilots. And in
Chicago this week, the union representing United Air Lines pilots was in court, as the airline sought to force union
leaders to behave as tensions build over a pilot pay dispute. And pilots
for Sun Country Airlines, a regional carrier in the Twin Cities, can
expect to see their salaries cut by 50 percent while the airline struggles to
survive bankruptcy. The airline's management has told employees they
will be repaid next year. More...
TAXI EFFORTS MOVE FORWARD IN VIRGINIA
discouraging news lately for those hoping to develop a next-generation
air taxi system -- such as the recent
demise of DayJet -- some upbeat news came along this week when the
Virginia SATSLab (VSATS), in partnership with the Air Taxi Association (ATXA), officially launched VirginiaAirTaxi.com, a new on-demand online flight
reservations system. Besides allowing travelers to book on-demand
flights instantly, the site features information about the industry,
commonly used air taxi aircraft, FAQs, and a detailed directory of
Virginia airports. Operators may be added to the system in as little as
one business day. "Virginia has always been at the forefront of
accelerating next-generation aviation," said Keith McCrea, executive
director of VSATS. "This Web site will help foster community airport
utilization across the 64 local airports throughout the Commonwealth."
OF FOSSETT WRECKAGE SNOWED IN, INVESTIGATION CONTINUES
site of Steve Fossett's crash, above 10,000 feet in the rugged Sierra
Nevada mountains near Mammoth Lakes, Calif., was covered in about two
feet of snow over the weekend, and officials said they will probably not
be able to return to the site until next summer. However, the NTSB
already had retrieved the wreckage and the engine of the Decathlon that
Fossett was flying, and the investigation will continue. "A revised
report and a determination of probable cause will be issued upon
completion of the investigation," the NTSB said. Several bone fragments found at the site
have been sent to a lab to see if they can be identified as a match for
Fossett. One of the searchers, who has posted some photos of the recovery effort online, said he was
"amazed" by how thoroughly the site had been cleaned of debris. "Only a
few pieces about the size of a silver dollar or smaller" remained, he
CREWS IN TROUBLE OVER YOUTUBE VIDEOS
For years, airline crews
have lobbied against requests from safety advocates for video in the
cockpit, but now it seems that some crews have shot their own videos and
posted them on YouTube. The FAA and Horizon Air confirmed to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that they are
investigating possible cockpit violations in which pilots allowed
personal electronic devices to be used to record takeoffs and landings.
The trouble is that not only are such devices not supposed to be
operating during that phase of flight, but the taping also might violate
rules about sterile cockpits -- that is, when flying at less than 10,000
feet, no idle chatter or other distractions are allowed. The HorizonAir
YouTube video, which has recently been taken down, showed a takeoff from
Boise and was apparently taken by somebody riding in the jumpseat, but
Horizon Air spokeswoman Jen Boyer told the P-I that would still be
OK'S EIGHT ADDITIONAL SCHOOLS FOR ATC TRAINING
The FAA has added eight schools to its list of colleges and
universities approved to train students for careers as air traffic
controllers. In the past five years, schools that are part of the FAA's
CTI program -- the Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative -- have
graduated more than 4,000 students from their aviation programs. Three
thousand of those graduates were hired by the FAA. The agency plans to
hire more than 2,000 additional new controllers in fiscal year 2009.
"These schools are an excellent jump start for a job in air traffic
control," said Robert Sturgell, the FAA's acting administrator. "These
institutions will give thousands of future controllers an inside track
on a great career." The addition of the eight new schools increases the
number of CTI schools to 31. All of the schools are accredited and offer
a non-engineering aviation degree. More...
WRIGHT B FLYER UNVEILED
Well, product development is
important--even if the design is almost 100 years old. The Wright "B"
Flyer Inc. has built a new replica of the aircraft that "really
introduced the country to aviation," said Amanda Wright Lane,
great-grand-niece of Wilbur and Orville and trustee of the Dayton-based
nonprofit group behind the project. The "Silver Bird" was on display at
the National Business Aviation Association convention in Orlando this
week and its portability is one of its main features. More...
Precise Flight: Hidden in
With design capabilities as varied as the number of aircraft models
available, it's easy to find at least one device manufactured by
in the cabin, cockpit, or body of any aircraft on
the market. In fact, integration is a key characteristic of Precise
's operating code.
Learn more online
When the rules say to fly a procedure turn, ATC may
have other ideas. Here's why you should stand your ground and do the
right thing. More...
INSIDER BLOG: NBAA 2008 A COLLECTIVE HOLDING OF
AVweb Editorial Director Paul Bertorelli is at
the National Business Aviation Association's annual convention and trade
show this week, where the gathering financial and credit crisis is Topic
Number One (as it is in most other sectors). While he wouldn't describe
the mood as "gloomy" (at least not as gloomy as in some of those other
sectors), the word "spooked" does come to mind. More...
INSIDER BLOG: MAKING BELIEVERS OF LIGHT JET BUYERS
Acquisitions showed up at this year's NBAA Convention to flog their
revival of Adam Aircraft's A700 jet. Are they serious about getting it
to market? AVweb Editorial Director Paul Bertorelli is having a
hard time answering that question, but even if they are, he says, the
window on new VLJ rollouts may be closing fast. More...
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
can be completed in less than an hour, and completion
qualifies towards AOPA Accident Forgiveness
and the FAA Wings
. Plus, ASF
's downloadable Runway Safety Flash
help pilots better understand runway signage and markings.
Click for your runway safety
OF THE WEEK: GENERAL AVIATION AND THE TROUBLED ECONOMY
the doors seemed to be falling off the global economy this week, we
didn't see much evidence of hardship inside the Orange County Convention
Center in Orlando, where the National Business Aviation Association held
its annual convention and trade show. In fact, quite a few businesses
seemed to have sunny
at least for the forseeable future. But what about GA? How will the
current economic conditions affect general aviation? Plus: Find
out what AVweb readers said about foreign operators running U.S.
airports, last week's "Question of the Week." More...
Q: What's the Difference
Between a $10,000 Annual and a $2,500 Annual?
and his team of seasoned maintenance professionals are
saving their aircraft-owner clients thousands of dollars a year in parts
and labor not to mention hours of hassle by providing
professional maintenance management for owner-flown singles and twins.
Learn how they do it
NBAA CONVENTION 2008 VIDEO ROUND-UP
In case you missed any of our videos
from the 2008 NBAA Convention & Trade Show in Orlando, Florida, you can
watch all eight of them (plus two shorts you may find interesting) right
here. (Click through to watch.) More...
Go Green with Diamond: $1.99
Buy a DA40 XLS
between October 1 and November 30, 2008 and take
delivery of your plane by December 31, and the Diamond
buy down your fuel cost to $1.99 per gallon for the first 200 hours or
18 months, whichever comes first. The DA40 XLS
is the savvy and
responsible choice in this day and age of high fuel prices.
For complete details, go online
OF THE WEEK: NORTHERN SKY AVIATION (KCOE, COEUR D'ALENE,
Not all great
"FBO of the Week" recommendations start with a mechanical problem, but
sometimes it's just such a problem that makes an AVweb reader
realize how important good support can be when something goes awry
during a trip. Case in point: Jim Dunn recently found himself
repeating a maintenance misadventure that had befallen one of his
buddies and decided to handle it the same way, by seeking help from the
staff of Northern Sky Air Center at KCOE in Coeur
I was hundreds of miles away when a
Bonanza owner told me how Jay lent him a mag to get his sick Bonanza
home. My experience has been the same. Jay Burdeaux and all the staff at
Northern Sky Air Center always treat me like I'm a long-lost friend.
They have great prices, experienced staff, and will greet you with a
smile that extends from Idaho to
AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon
goes to Jay and the staff of Northern Sky.
Keep those nominations
coming. For complete contest rules, click
AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in
the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here
next Monday! More...
Understanding Your Airplane's
Mechanics Could Save Your Bank Account
Light Plane Maintenance
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OF THE WEEK: AVWEB'S FLYING PHOTOGRAPHY SHOWCASE
Lots of great photos this week
and while we'd love to talk about the recurring themes (lots of
helicopters, in particular), we're a little behind the eightball
following the NBAA Convention, so let's just dive right in! Kevin Stahl of Ft. Wayne, Indiana climbs
all the way to the top of this week's pile almost on sheer volume alone.
(No kidding, folks that's a lot of hot air balloons!)
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.
AVwebFlash team is:
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
Have a product or service to advertise
on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's
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
Navigate. Communicate. More...