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Volume 14, Number 44b
October 30, 2008
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.
You May Want to Bring the Checkbook to AOPA Expoback to top 
Sponsor Announcement

Since early summer we've heard rumblings that Garmin would soon debut a new portable navigator and the company said today it will roll out the GPSMap 695 and 696 at AOPA Expo next week in San Jose, California. These new products end Garmin's longish product intro drought with a pair of large-screen navigators that have Electronic Flight Bag functions but aren't really EFBs. The 695/696 are tablet-size products (5.7 by 7.7 by 2 inches) with the basic functionality of the popular GPSMap 496 navigator. The new products add one intriguing function we can't wait to see: electronic charts and expanded weather capability. More...

Trade-A-Plane, Aviation's Original Search Engine
Back in 1937, Trade-A-Plane was the original — and only — place to look for parts to repair an airplane. Trade-A-Plane is still the best, with everything that keeps you flying — thousands of planes, products, and services updated hourly. Call Trade-A-Plane at (800) 337-5263 or subscribe online.

In print or online, start your search with the world's largest aviation resource — Trade-A-Plane.
Discouraging News Buffets VLJ Sectorback to top 

Two recent reports by analysts in the aviation industry conclude that Eclipse Aviation may not be able to survive, and both predict an end to production by sometime next year. "With numerous lawsuits from suppliers and customers, Eclipse faces the prospect of involuntary or voluntary bankruptcy," says Teal Group analyst Richard Aboulafia in a recent report (PDF) on the company's prospects. "Our forecast calls for production to end in 2009." This week, a study by Forecast International reached a similar conclusion. "We believe that the company will be able to push production out into early 2009 but will be forced to cease production within the first quarter of 2009," said analyst Douglas Royce. The report estimates that only about 12 Eclipse 500s will be produced in early 2009, and "even this forecast may prove too optimistic," said Royce. The Forecast International report, which will be issued in December, cites the current crisis in the credit markets as a factor. Eclipse has said that it needs to find $200 million to $300 million in new equity investment. "Under the circumstances, Forecast International believes that securing new funding, while still possible, is unlikely," said Royce. "Forecast International has cut its forecast for the Eclipse 500 accordingly." Eclipse did not respond to AVweb's requests for comment on the reports. More...

AAI Acquisitions says it still plans to certify the A700 very light jet but the "unprecedented" global economic situation has forced the company to sit tight for now. In a statement, the company said it will come up with a new schedule for certification after things have settled down. "Flight test and other development activity have been suspended," the statement said. "AAIA's workforce is being pared to a size necessary to sustain the company while a new schedule and strategic plan are developed." More...

Aircraft Spruce at the AOPA 2008 Expo in San Jose, California
Come join the Aircraft Spruce team in San Jose, California at the AOPA Expo (Booth #1534) November 6 and 7 from 10am-6pm and November 8 from 10am-4pm. Take advantage of some of your favorite products on sale, complimentary ground shipping (does not apply to hazardous or oversize products) and Aircraft Spruce's helpful staff to answer your questions. For more information, call Aircraft Spruce at 1 (877) 4-SPRUCE, or visit online.
The Price of Air Safety: Constant Improvementback to top 

The NTSB this week issued its annual list of "Most Wanted Safety Improvements," and topping the list for aviation: Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Flights, making the list for the first time. "Although the Board has issued recommendations to improve EMS safety, the FAA has not implemented the changes," the NTSB said. "In the last 11 months, there have been nine EMS accidents, resulting in 35 fatalities." The board also wants to improve runway safety by implementing better information and alerts, and requiring pilots to calculate landing distances based on current information. Other items on the list were better practices for flying in icing conditions, crew resource management training, and crew member fatigue. The board would also like to see widespread use of image recorders in cockpits, even in smaller aircraft that are not now required to have recording devices, to help in post-accident analyses. More...

The FAA released its latest Flight Plan on Tuesday, in which the agency sets out its goals and priorities for the next four years, from 2009 to 2013. Reducing general aviation accidents is one of the agency's top objectives. According to the report, the last three-year period was the safest ever recorded in the history of GA. Over the next 10 years, the FAA aims to reduce GA fatal accidents to no more than one per 100,000 flight hours. Improved technology and infrastructure will help to achieve that goal, the FAA says. Infrastructure enhancements will include 500 new WAAS approaches to be published by mid-2010. GA pilots also can expect to find more unmanned aircraft systems in the national airspace. About 40 experimental certificates for such operations have already been awarded, and the report says the FAA will continue to develop policies, procedures and approval processes to help meet the demand. More...

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News Briefsback to top 

FAA records are full of reports of various pieces of ground equipment coming in contact with aircraft on ramps and taxiways all over the country but an incident at O'Hare International Airport a couple of weeks back was out of the ordinary. As the accompanying photos show, a Skywest Regional Jet and an airport service truck were in a head-on collision. More...

The deadline is nearing to apply for support from the Wolf Aviation Fund, which provides funding for innovative projects that promote and support general aviation. Proposals must be submitted by Nov. 15. The fund provides grants once each year, of a few hundred dollars to a maximum of $10,000. Proposals are easy to prepare, and most of the funding goes to smaller projects. Last year, for example, the fund supported airport outreach events, the publication of a special aeronautical chart showing Idaho's backcountry landing strips, aviation career days at a library in California, the Able Flight Cross Country Tour, and many more worthy programs. "Last year, there were many good ideas that could not receive help due to limited funds," says Rol Murrow, director of the fund. He added that many proposals were offered partial support as challenge grants so the recipients then could seek additional funding. "This approach has proven quite successful," Murrow said. Go to the fund's Web site for complete instructions. The Foundation is working to increase the support available for projects, he added, and potential donors are invited to contact the fund by e-mail. More...

Airship Ventures is now up and running with its German-built Zeppelin, offering sightseeing flights to the general public in an airship, the first time such flights have been available in the U.S. in about seven decades. The company started media flights this week from Moffett Field, just south of San Francisco, and will start passenger operations on Friday. The ship will also fly from Oakland International Airport and from Charles Schultz Airport in the Napa Valley. The Zeppelin is almost 250 feet long. Large windows offer a 360-degree view, and the cabin seats up to 12 passengers, who are free to move around during the flight. The airship flies low and slow, topping out at about 1,200 feet AGL and 35 to 40 mph. Hour-long tours run about $500 per seat. The ship can also be chartered by the hour. More...

Untie Your Dreams at 235 Knots
Leave the runway at 1,400 vertical feet per minute. Climb to 25,000 feet. Cruise at 235 confident knots. Nothing releases a pilot's passion for flight like the Cessna 400, the world's fastest fixed-gear aircraft. It's more than speed that makes the Cessna 400 such a pleasure to fly. There's the sophisticated stylish cabin, glass cockpit, side-stick control, and the head-turning gorgeous looks. Looks like Cessna is in the fast business. Go online for all the details.
News Briefsback to top 

This Sunday, Nov. 2, for the first time, a Red Bull Air Race will be broadcast live over the Internet. The race, to be held in Perth, Australia, is the final event in this year's series. The Red Bull Race is known for spectacular settings -- the Perth race course is set along the banks of the Swan River -- and for high-speed, high-G maneuvers. Over 300,000 people are expected to be there to cheer the pilots on. "It's going to be a very difficult, fast, twisting and turning track which will require a refined race line," said Drew Searle, one of the race organizers. "This should result in a track that's much more about pilot judgment than just pure speed." Going into this weekend's final race, Hannes Arch, of Austria, in his second year of competition, has a strong lead after a fast rise from behind early in the season. Britain's Paul Bonhomme holds second-place overall and U.S. pilot Kirby Chambliss starts the race in third. Click here to go to the live webcast. Remember, the race is live on Sunday, Australian time -- your local time may vary. More...

It may still be over nine months away, but it's not too soon for the folks in Oshkosh -- or for aviators around the world -- to be planning and working and thinking about EAA AirVenture 2009. The date has already been set -- July 27 to Aug. 2 -- and so far several highlights have been announced. WhiteKnightTwo, the carrier ship for the new SpaceShipTwo space tourism vehicle, is expected to fly in; participants from the five visits of British Airways' Concorde to Oshkosh are planning a reunion; and aviation's humanitarian role around the world will be recognized. Special programs saluting international aviation anniversaries and homebuilt aircraft are also being developed. Comedian/ventriloquist Jeff Dunham, who is also an experienced helicopter builder and pilot, drew a crowd of about 10,000 last summer, and he'll be back next year, with a show on Saturday, Aug. 1. More special guests and events will be announced as the schedule fills up. More...

AOPA Expo is coming up next week, Nov. 6 to 8, in San Jose, Calif....
Bell Helicopter will lay off 500 workers, due to the loss of a defense contract...
Boeing and its striking machinists union have reached a tentative agreement...
S-TEC has the FAA OK to add WAAS upgrades to Alliant integrated avionics...
The Polar First pilots, who flew around the world via both poles in a helicopter, have a new book out about their adventure. More...

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

In Monday's edition of AVwebFlash, we incorrectly stated the proposed selling price of the Falx Air VTOL personal aircraft as $1.5 million. The creators actually hope to have a base price of $250,000. We also called the aircraft a tiltrotor. It's more accurately described as a tiltwing. More...

Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something 200,000 pilots might want to know about, tell us. Submit news tips via email to newstips@avweb.com. What have you heard? More...

Aircraft Financing to Fit Your Needs
AirFleet Capital offers a competitive and experienced approach to each and every loan program by focusing exclusively on aircraft financing. AirFleet Capital provides exceptional terms coupled with personal service and a long-term commitment to support the business and shared passion of aviation. From Light Sport Aircraft to VLJs and Business Jets, AirFleet Capital has a loan program to fit your needs. Call an AirFleet Capital financing specialist at (800) 390-4324, or request a quote online.
New on AVwebback to top 

BrainteasersAs winter approaches, days get shorter ... well, not shorter; they're still 24 hours each, but they do get darker. To master nighttime's dark side, shed light on the following questions.

Take the quiz.

Amid troubling new reports on some of the most promising very light jets, we find ourselves wondering what the future holds for AAI (owners of the Adam A700 design) and Eclipse. We imagine our readers are doing some wondering as well, and we're curious what you think. Plus: The results of last week's poll on (over-?)specialized job training in aviation. More...

Does Your Aircraft Insurance Provide $5,000.00 in Legal Costs?
When you insure with Avemco®, you get up to $5,000.00 in legal defense costs if the FAA or civil authority takes pilot certificate enforcement action against you for a covered loss or accident. To get your no-cost quote, call Avemco at (888) 241-7891, or click here to visit us online.
What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Weekback to top 

A Connecticut court has rejected yet another bid by a civic government to chip away at the virtually absolute authority of the FAA in aviation matters. According to Stratford, Conn., lawyer Paul Lange, the town of East Haven was trying to block the Tweed New Haven Airport Authority from proceeding with an FAA-funded runway safety area project. The airport doesn't meet FAA standards for overruns and the FAA is paying 95 percent of the cost of bringing it into compliance. All of the work will take place on land already owned by the airport. In her decision, Judge Janet C. Hall said "the regulation of taxiways and runways is preempted by federal law," meaning East Haven can't pass any ordinance that would prevent the FAA from going about its business, which, in this case, is aviation safety. More...

HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVweb's NO-COST weekly business aviation newsletter, AVwebBiz? Reporting on breaking news, Business AVflash focuses on the companies, the products and the industry leaders that make headlines in the business aviation industry. Business AVflash is a must read. Sign up today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/. More...

Q: What's the Difference Between a $10,000 Annual and a $2,500 Annual?

Mike Busch 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.
Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

Cirrus Design's Alan Klapmeier isn't the only one saying the mainstream media is whipping consumers into a frenzy over recent economic stumbles. AVweb's Paul Bertorelli is on the same page, reminding us in his latest AVweb Insider blog that aircraft sales are the canary in the mineshaft when it comes to leading economic indicators. Thus far, brokers say they haven't seen a major downturn ... . More...

You've probably already seen it by now and made up your own mind, but is the YouTube video of a Red Bull-type race plane losing a wing and then miraculously landing the real deal? AVweb Editor-in-Chief Russ Niles doesn't think so, but he feels obliged to mention it in the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog. More...

Go Green with Diamond: $1.99 Fuel
Buy a DA40 XLS between October 1 and November 30, 2008 and take delivery of your plane by December 31, and the Diamond team will 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.
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Western Aviation Services (WAS) at Rafael Hernandez Airport (TJBQ) in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.

Almost all of this week's nominations came from pilots who experienced Hurricane Omar evacuations firsthand and made it through with the help of outstanding FBOs and careful planning — but the fact that Western Aviation was nominated by a group of some 30 pilots at various airports ("TJSJ, TJIG, TJAB, TSTT, TSTX, and others," according to the form) made it stand above the rest. So did AVweb reader A.B. Ravelo's rundown of everything the team at WAS did for the GA community. Here are some of the highlights of A.B.'s account:

The panic button hit all regional aviation as the storm had projected winds of 105 mph. ... Mr. Ruben Hernandez, owner of Western Aviation Services, and his team went into high gear and offered hangar facilities free of cost to over 60 aircraft and ramp facilities to another 20. BQN controllers saw over 100 flights in less than four hours, as King Airs lined up on the downwind for Runway 8, behind C-150s and others. Overnight, the storm's easterly track pushed it out of range, and it became a non-event. However, the Good Samaritan spirit of WAS and their staff are ... [the reason why] the folks at WAS are your first friends when traveling into the Caribbean USA.

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!


Knowledge Is Power; Knowledge Is Also a Safety Factor When Flying IFR
The IFR environment is constantly changing. You need to keep informed. IFR Refresher is the publication for you if you're serious about flying IFR. No other publication can help maintain your IFR flying and decision-making skills. Order your subscription online for savings from the regular rate.
Reader-Submitted Photosback to top 

Congrats to semi-regular contibutor Doug Gaudette of Xenia, Ohio. Not only will Doug soon be wearing a brand-new AVweb cap for his contribution to "POTW," but he's actually the one doing his gyroplane solo! We can almost hear the deep breath when he writes in his comment, "Now for the tough stuff ... ." More...

Names Behind the Newsback to top 


AVwebFlash is a weekly summary of the latest news, articles, products, features, and events featured on AVweb, the internet's aviation magazine and news service.

The AVwebFlash team is:

Timothy Cole

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Russ Niles

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Features Editor
Kevin Lane-Cummings

Scott Simmons

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.

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