AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 14, Number 42a

October 13, 2008

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
JA Air Center Moving to Chicagolands Aurora Municipal Airport (KARR)
Opening December 1st, the four-building campus will feature a 20,000-sq.-ft. arrival/departure canopy, 90,000 sq. ft. of hangar space, 60,000 sq. ft. of offices, and a separate VIP arrival terminal. The FBO will feature an impressive list of amenities and Conoco Phillips aviation products. Rental space for corporate flight departments will be available. For more information, go online. (PDF)
 
Top News: ADS-B Is Your Friend back to top 
 
Sponsor Announcement

U.S. Public Waking Up To Benefits Of NextGen ADS-B?

Late last week, The Associated Press wrote in multiple short articles (and at least one long one) that implementation of the FAA's proposed satellite-based NextGen air traffic control system could save aircraft operators (and U.S. airlines in particular) roughly $10 billion per year, and newspapers across the country noticed. From the Chicago Tribune to USA Today, major news outlets spread the articles and their contents that the $35 billion (projected) program (due for completion sometime in the 2020s, at the earliest) would allow savings in time, reduce delays, increase efficiency and save fuel through more direct routing (read: it makes more sense) -- but also that the program has been virtually stalled "for more than a decade." The shorter widely spread articles did not touch on the complications of funding the program, but the longer one cites systemic logistical and political complications. For pilots, FAA reauthorization delays, the potential impact of user fees, or cost to users in equipment upgrades may still ultimately act as motivation to slow the changeover and delay the realization of user costs.

That said, the NextGen system isn't expected to be fully operational until sometime in the 2020s at the earliest and potentially long after the current financial crisis and spike in fuel costs have been otherwise addressed. If nothing else, the timing gives us all pause to figure out how we're going to pay for the little black wonderboxes that we'll all install in our aircraft (some estimates put the cost to airlines at about $200,000 per airplane) as essential pieces to the overall puzzle of more efficient air traffic control.

 
Cessna Caravan
Introducing the perfect union of brains and brawn. With more than 10 million fleet hours under its heavy-lifting wings, the Cessna Caravan now has brains to match. The standard Garmin G1000® glass cockpit combined with the WAAS-certified GFC700 automated flight control system integrates all primary flight, engine and sensor data to provide intuitive, at-a-glance situational awareness and precise flight guidance and control. For complete information, go online.
 
New Aircraft back to top 
 

Ramping Up The Unmanned Air Force

"Off we go into the wild blue yonder" will take a significant turn as the military plans to grow its fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles from about 100 to about 370, and its roster of non-flying pilots from about 450 to 1,100, by 2011. Those figures will make UAV pilots a major stakeholder in the Air Force's campaigns, ahead of the group of C-17 pilots and second only to F-16 drivers. Attracting applicants to ground-based piloting offers its own challenges, as does the required volume of personnel, the proposed three-year window for applicant acquisition and training, the training methodology that will create pilots that meet FAA standards without ever being trained in aircraft, and formal details of the non-flying pilot position itself. The Air Force will open two new training centers next year in hopes of producing 300 qualified drone pilots over a four-month period and is developing all-new channels for the new career path and a new way of waging war. Any of those non-flying pilots might one day attack targets in Afghanistan during the day and eat dinners at home in Nevada each evening. Hopefully, their enemies won't follow them there.

Where previously the military had rotated flying pilots from manned to unmanned aircraft duty, a first batch of 20 applicants is now being sought from officers ranking at least captain with four to six years' commissioned experience for non-flying pilot positions. The Air Force is already working out the details (from what wings they'll wear to what pay) for a drone pilot career track available to non-pilot officers who have never flown in an aircraft that is under their command. So far, enlisted airmen will not be considered for larger Predator and Reaper drones, but they may be responsible for smaller "micro" air surveillance vehicles, like the Desert Hawk and Scan Eagle.

Comp Air Attracts Dollars, Heads For Certification

Comp Air, the manufacturer known for its sturdy back-country-capable, turbine-powered kit aircraft, has announced that it has been granted $150 million to develop, certify and produce the 310-knot, eight-plus-two, near-standup cabin (with lavatory) Comp Air 12 composite pressurized turboprop single. With this cash infusion from MercMed investment company, Comp Air has set target dates for flight testing and certification as July of 2009 and year-end 2010, respectively, and plans to build the aircraft at a new facility in Melbourne, Fla. According to Comp Air CEO Ron Leuck, the production aircraft will be born of the currently flying prototype, which has accumulated 200 hours in the air and will be stretched by 42 inches and gain four more in girth (here, fuselage diameter). The tail will be changed from its current cruciform configuration to a conventional design and the main door may also be enlarged, according to Leuck.

Comp Air is now accepting $100,000 deposits on the $2.95 million Honeywell TPE331-14GR-powered airplane, and hopes the aircraft's 5,000-pound useful load, 900-foot takeoff roll and 2,500-nm range will appeal to air taxi and corporate interests, among others.

 
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.
 
Signal and Noise back to top 
 

Qantas Probes Laptop Link After Painful Altitude Deviations

The rapid altitude change last Tuesday of an Airbus A330-300 cruising at 37,000 feet with 303 passengers aboard resulted in injuries to at least 74 people, a potential compensation bill for the airline (Qantas) and new concerns about potential conflicts between laptop computers and commercial aircraft systems. In July, manipulation of a wireless mouse was blamed for the course deviation of a Qantas jet, according to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB). This more recent deviation (from altitude) resulted in fractures, lacerations and suspected spinal injuries for passengers who became in-cabin lotto balls while bound for Perth from Singapore. According to the flight's data recorder, the jet dropped 650 feet in about twenty seconds, then dropped another 400 feet in 16 seconds. Those drops reportedly followed a climb of about 300 feet and crew reports that they observed "some irregularity with the aircraft's elevator control system," according to the ATSB. The aircraft made an emergency landing at Learmouth air force base near Exmouth.

Passengers are now being asked if they were using any form of personal electronic device at the time of the incident. The ATSB has said an "irregularity" in one of the aircraft's flight system computers may have caused the altitude change.

In Indy, $200 Million For Home Owners May Have Helped

An investment of nearly $200 million federal and local dollars spent over 20 years has purchased roughly 2,900 acres and 1,200 homes and has, according to one study, made Indianapolis International Airport a friendlier (read: quieter) neighbor. The impact of airplane noise has diminished, according to consultants for the airport authority, but that may have just as much to do with improved jet engine technology as it does with the aforementioned airport-area expenditures. Federal noise studies began at the airport in 1985, soon after FedEx opened a hub there and began sending waves of departures into the night skies. Since then, a series of five-year studies has found that the size of the officially designated noise impact zone continues to shrink. On one side of the airport, the zones have receded nearly two miles closer to the airport. Even some homes no longer in the noise area can qualify for free sound insulation, windows and repairs that are paid by the airport.

That, plus land claimed by the airport and homes purchased from noise-afflicted residents, has helped and so have the efforts of FedEx. Airport Director Robert Duncan told the Indianapolis Star that "FedEx has been replacing its fleet with newer, quieter aircraft." The improvements don't mean that all residents are happy but, at least over 23 years, $200 million can be correlated with an improvement.

 
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.
 
Safety & Security back to top 
 

AOPA ASF Launches Free Online Safety Course

AOPA Air Safety Foundation Friday announced the launch of a free online course called "Do The Right Thing" designed "to help pilots improve their decision-making skills" and reduce accidents by preventing the formation of poor decision strings. Based on its seminar titled "Do The Right Thing: Decision Making for Pilots," the online course presents pilots with five scenarios and a succession of decisions, each of which alters the outcome of the adventure. At the end, pilots "experience the consequences" of their decisions graphically through "innovative use of Microsoft Flight Simulator X." Decision trees built into the scenarios allow pilots to clearly see the virtual results of their decisions and how a break in the chain can successfully avert an accident that could otherwise be set in motion.

The course takes about an hour to complete, but may be stopped at any point (your progress is saved) and completed at your convenience. Completion of the course, which also involves a separate ten-question quiz, makes you eligible for credit in the FAA Wings proficiency program and potential insurance benefits for pilots who carry insurance through AOPA.

TSA Issues GA Security NPRM

First impressions of a massive proposed rule aimed at beefing up general aviation security are that parts of it will put an outsized burden on GA operators compared to the security benefit of those measures. "...our initial read of the NPRM concerns us in that some very burdensome requirements may not provide commensurate security benefits to an already safe and secure industry," General Aviation Manufacturers Association President Pete Bunce said in a statement. National Business Aviation Association President Ed Bolen said his group also has concerns. "Based on an initial review, we expect to file substantial comments on the proposal," said Bolen. The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) is also reviewing the document as is AOPA.

The NPRM will affect only aircraft with a maximum takeoff weight of 12,500 lbs but it will also affect airports that handle aircraft that size and larger, which is likely a substantial number of GA airports throughout the country. Among the measures contained in the complicated document are security training for flight crews, audits for operators and requirements for airports that serve the so-called "large aircraft." The groups haven't had time to digest the full document but they are saying they appreciate the chance to. The TSA has the power to simply impose the rule but , after months of discussions with various GA groups, decided to issue a standard NPRM that includes a 60-day comment period.

 
When Is the Last Time You Reviewed Your Life Insurance?
Annual reviews of life insurance needs can help determine if you lack important coverages — or if you can save on existing policies. As a pilot, you are likely paying more for life insurance than you should be. Pilot Insurance Center specializes in providing pilots — from student to ATP — with insurance planning at the most affordable rates available. A+ Rated Carriers – No Aviation Exclusions – Quick and Easy Application Process. Call PIC at 1 (800) 380-8376 or visit online.
 
News Briefs back to top 
 

Boeing And Machinists To Resume Talks

The month-long strike has already further delayed the 787 Dreamliner, is starting to affect airlines' expansion plans, is disrupting the business of metal makers around the world and may (according to some analysts) last through December, but both the company and the Machinists Union have agreed to resume talks. The two sides continue to be at odds over pay, benefits and the use of outside suppliers. No firm dates have been set, but the two sides have agreed to "pursue talks through the federal mediator," according to a statement on the company's Web site. The union's Web site added that "we are working out the details of the return to the table." Boeing is expected to lose about $100 million per day in revenue while its production facilities remain closed. The company's last firm offer, a three-year contract, was rejected followed by a worker walk-out (that consists of 27,000 employees) Sept. 6. Boeing's third quarter deliveries of 84 aircraft were down 23 percent from 2007, well below the pre-strike forecast of 119 aircraft. The associated drop in revenue for Boeing's commercial plane unit is likely also close to 23 percent. On the demand side of the equation, airlines will feel the effects of the 21 aircraft Boeing is no longer building every two weeks.

Grand Opening Of Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site

Friday, Oct. 10, 2008, marked the grand opening and recognition of the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site at Moton Field, Tuskegee, Ala., now officially a national landmark. The site serves as testament to the all-black 99th Fighter Squadron and 332nd Fighter Group of World War II whose combat performance and civilian struggles have earned them legendary status. The weekend's ceremonies were free and open to the public and saw the attendance of thousands, including a few of the surviving airmen.

The event recognized the first phase of the site's overall development -- phase two is due next April when the full site, including an iMax theater in a restored second hangar, is scheduled to open to the public. The progress is the result of legislation passed by Congress in 1998 and signed by the president, appropriating $29.1 million for phase one development. From 1941 through 1946, more than 990 pilots graduated from the flight training program at Tuskegee, with 450 going on to serve their country overseas. The men were the nation's first black military pilots and flew more than 700 bomber escort missions and, according to the Tuskegee Airmain Web site never lost a bomber to enemy fighters.

 
Between Wheels Up and Wheels Down, There Is One Important Word: How
As the team managing the FAA AFSS system, Lockheed Martin serves nearly 90,000 general aviation pilots every week. Providing timely, accurate information and helpful service 24/7. From weather forecasts to en route information, from Hawaii to Puerto Rico, ensuring flight safety in the National Airspace System is all a question of how. And it is the how that makes all the difference. Click here for more.
 
Reader Voices back to top 
 

AVmail: Oct. 13, 2008

Reader mail this week about hangar fees, FSS, FusionMan and more.

Click here to read this week's letters to the 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.

 
AOPA Worldpoints Credit Card Rewards You With Every Purchase
By choosing the AOPA Worldpoints Credit Card, you will be providing valuable revenue to AOPA, which helps fund AOPA's daily efforts to maintain the freedom, safety and affordability of General Aviation. For every dollar you spend, you get a point and double points at over 4,700 FBOs. Then redeem your points for great rewards like cash, merchandise and travel. Limited time offer — $75.00 statement credit! Click here to apply today!
 
New on AVweb back to top 
 

The Pilot's Lounge #131: Spin Training

Student pilots don't have to prove they can recover from a spin, but AVweb's Rick Durden knows the training advantages that come from near-spins.

Click here to read Rick Durden's column.

Probable Cause #65: Bad Conditions, Poor Planning

It's hard to imagine an instrument-rated pilot flying into a Midwestern winter without checking the destination weather.

Click here for the full story.

AVweb Insider Blog: Why Falling Oil Prices Aren't Good News

In the current economic gloom, oil prices are in retreat. That's a good thing, right?

No, it's not. And here's why: Higher gas prices may be the only way out of our distastrous dependence on imported oil.

Read more in our latest AVweb Insider blog.

 
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.
 
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 
 

RAIM Prediction: You'll Need It Next Year, and Jeppesen Has It

File Size 3.4 MB / Running Time 3:45

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

When TSO 129 IFR GPS first appeared, it had onboard software called receiver autonomous integrity monitoring to keep track of the nav solution's reliability. The advent of WAAS diminished RAIM's importance, but now that many operators are using GPS as primary navigation when operating RNAV, RAIM is again important. Beginning next summer, any aircraft operating RNAV with GPS as primary nav — and many business aircraft are — will need a means of predicting RAIM availability.

As part of its popular JetPlan online flight planning system, Jeppesen has recently added a module that essentially makes RAIM prediction a menu-choice item. You plan your route, altitude and departure as usual and ask the system to calculate RAIM availability over that route. If there are gaps in the plan, the software will find them, and you can plan accordingly. The system is entirely online-based and, as Jeppesen's Mike Cetinich describes in this podcast, the calculation takes mere seconds.

This podcast is brought to you by Bose Corporation.

Click here to listen. (3.4 MB, 3:45)

Video of the Week: Radio-Controlled F-18 Cam

Recommend a Video | VOTW Archive

Here at AVweb's video-watching department, we see plenty of radio-controlled aircraft, in addition to the full-size ones. Our latest "Video of the Week" is something we don't see every day, however — an RC F-18 with carrying a tiny camera on its journey.


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.

Don't forget to send us links to any interesting videos you find out there. If you're impressed by it, there's a good chance other AVweb readers will be too. And if we use a video you recommend on AVweb, we'll send out an official AVweb baseball cap as a "thank you."

AVweb's NBAA Convention 2008 Video Round-Up

Original, Exclusive Videos from AVweb | Reader-Submitted & Viral Videos

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. Just use the arrows at the right and left sides of the player to choose your video.

Video coverage of the 2008 NBAA Convention & Trade Show has been brought to you by Bose Corporation and WxWorx XM WX Satellite Weather.

More AVweb exclusive videos can be found at http://www.avweb.com/video.


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.

Related Content:
Want more AVweb media from the show?
Click here for podcasts from NBAA 2008.

 
New! Jeppesen Avionics Knowledge Library — Garmin G1000 IFR Training
The Jeppesen Garmin G1000 — IFR Procedures training is an advanced, extensive computer-based training program developed with Garmin teaching skills to master the operation of and confidently fly the G1000 in IFR conditions. Learn: How to pull up and fly instrument procedures; how to load and activate approaches including RNAV and GPS; all the new WAAS-enabled approaches; and how to perform course reversals, fly holding patterns, and execute missed approaches. Call Jeppesen at (303) 328-4274, or visit online for more information!
 
Your Favorite FBOs back to top 
 

FBO of the Week: Showalter Flying Service (KORL, Orlando, FL)

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Showalter Flying Service at KORL in Orlando, Florida.

AVweb reader Jim Thomas recommended the FBO for exceptional performance "amid the hubbub of NBAA":

Despite nearly 500 aircraft on static display, the great crew at Showalter are still delivering high-quality service with a smile. All fees are waived with a minimum fuel purchase, even as little as a gallon! Showalter has hosted EAA Chapter 74 since the new terminal was built and also provides facilities for the Orlando Youth Aviation Center's "Introduction to Aviation" class series for kids 10-16. I've always found them to go above and beyond on any request. Bob & Kim Showalter run a class act.

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!
 
The Lighter Side of Flight back to top 
 

Short Final

On Friday, October 10, Qantas's first Airbus A380 visited Auckland, marking the first visit of the type to New Zealand. It did a press junket promotional flight across the city and environs, filmed by a news helicopter, ZK-HST. This was heard on Auckland control 124.3:

ZK-HST:
"Auckland Control, Hotel Sierra Tango. We've filmed the takeoff, and we'd like to track to the city to film the flyover."

Auckland Control:
"Hotel Sierra Tango, do you have the A380 visual?"

ZK-HST:
"Affirm, Boeing in sight!"

 
Don't Purchase or Sell an Aircraft Without the Used Aircraft Guide
Aviation Consumer's Used Aircraft Guide can pinpoint the aircraft that best fits your needs and budget, resulting in savings when you buy and more when you sell. Buying the right aircraft can minimize maintenance and operating costs, too. Go online to order your copy.
 
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
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.