AVwebFlash - Volume 14, Number 47b

November 20, 2008

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
POLYFIX™ Thermal Fusion Plastic Repair Kits Available at Aircraft Spruce
This process results in a shrink-free repair that's strong and durable, combining a mil spec for a cyanoacrylate, mil spec for an "O"-flammable accelerator, and cas no. for a catalytic filler. Repairs for ABS, Royalite, Lexan, Glare Shield, interior parts, wingtips, and cowlings. Cessna Aircraft Company-approved for cosmetic repairs. No mixing. Comes with 33-page manual. Call Aircraft Spruce at 1 (877) 4-SPRUCE or visit online.
 
Top News: Eye on Washington back to top 
 

Former FAA Chief Jane Garvey Next Transportation Secretary?

Jane Garvey, who served as FAA administrator from 1997 to 2002, will accept a position on the transition team for President-elect Barack Obama, it was announced on Wednesday. She will leave her current post as a board member for Bombardier, where she has served for about a year. "I would like to thank Jane Garvey for her sound advice and guidance during her tenure," said Bombardier Chairman Laurent Beaudoin. "We wish her great success." Garvey will take charge of reviewing transportation agencies' decisions and policies for the Obama transition team, according to the Montreal Gazette. She is also widely considered to be a top candidate for Secretary of Transportation in the new administration, which takes office in January. When she was appointed by President Bill Clinton, Garvey was the first woman to head the FAA and the first to serve a five-year term.

Garvey, 63, lives in Maine. Before joining the FAA, she was acting administrator of the Federal Highway Administration. AVweb's Liz Swaine spoke with Garvey in 2002 as she prepared to step down from her FAA post; click here for that exclusive report.

FAA Invites Comment On Changes In HEMS Rules

The FAA has revised its rules that govern the operation of helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS), and has invited comment on the changes. The changes were made because the FAA determined "that safety in air commerce and the public interest requires additional hazard mitigation for HEMS operations," according to the FAA notice published on Friday. The revisions specify that HEMS pilots must determine a minimum safe cruise altitude during pre-flight planning by identifying and documenting obstructions and terrain along the planned flight path. HEMS pilots must also determine in pre-flight planning the minimum ceiling and visibility required to conduct the flight. The revised rules allow HEMS operations under IFR at landing areas without weather reporting only if an approved weather reporting source is located within 15 nm of the landing area or if an area forecast is available. The full text of the changes can be viewed in PDF files: Click here for Operations Specifications A021 and click here for A050. Comments must be received by Dec. 15. For more details, click here for the full text of the FAA notice.

The NTSB has also expressed concern about the safety of HEMS operations, and recently announced plans for a public hearing on the issue, Feb. 3-5, 2009, at its Washington headquarters. The board said the hearing is aimed at educating the board on the operational challenges of EMS services and helping members figure out how to stem the rising tide of accidents. "We have seen an alarming rise in the numbers of EMS accidents and the Safety Board believes some of these accidents could have been prevented if our [previous] recommendations were implemented," says member Robert Sumwalt, who will chair the hearing. "This hearing will be extremely important because it can provide an opportunity to learn more about the industry so that possibly we can make further recommendations that can prevent these accidents and save lives." The proceedings will be webcast live. For more info, and a link to the webcast, go to the NTSB Web site.

 
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Runway Skid Marks Photo: Star of NTSB Report back to top 
 

NTSB Issues Update On Near-Collision On Pennsylvania Runway

The NTSB on Wednesday issued an update into its investigation of a September incident when a Canadair CRJ-700 regional jet taking off with 56 passengers had to swerve to avoid a Cessna 172 that was on the runway. Nobody was hurt, but the jet crew said they cleared the Cessna by only 10 feet, and their flight was cancelled so the jet could be checked for damage. It was about 7:30 at night when the incident took place, and according to the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, both controllers in the Lehigh International Airport, in Allentown, Pa., at the time were trainees. The NTSB's factual report says the Cessna pilot contacted the tower while about 8 miles east of the airport, and was cleared to land on Runway 6. The Mesa jet was then cleared to hold short of Runway 6. The Cessna landed, and the Mesa crew was told to taxi into position and hold. The Cessna pilot was told to exit the runway at taxiway A4, and the Mesa crew was then cleared to take off. However, the Cessna pilot missed the turn, and called the controller asking to exit at another taxiway; the controller responded "...no delay, turn immediately," which the Cessna pilot acknowledged. Mesa Air then radioed the tower controller: "We got it, tower - we're going to need to go back to the gate." Following the incident, both aircraft taxied to a parking area. The tire marks created by the Mesa Air regional jet as it veered around the Cessna can be seen on the left side of the centerline in this image, released by the NTSB.

"The FAA is so desperate to staff its towers they are forced to work trainees by themselves without adequate numbers of experienced controllers there to work with them," said NATCA President Patrick Forrey, when the incident took place. "This has exposed the inexperience of our new workforce. It's unfair to these trainees and should be unacceptable to the flying public."

 
Attention! The Zulu Is Available with Panel Power
The Lightspeed Zulu: P headset raises 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 utilizes the same panel-powered LEMO plug used in Bose headsets and comes with built-in Bluetooth for wireless cell phone or music interface. Click to see why Zulu is Aviation Consumer's Headset of the Year 2008.
 
Sagging Economy, Top-Notch Bargains back to top 
 

GA Manufacturers Cut Prices To Attract Buyers

With many buyers putting their plans on hold in an uncertain economy, manufacturers are offering deals to tempt them into taking the plunge. "Turbulent markets may make today seem like the wrong time to buy an airplane -- [but] there has never been a better time to buy," said Diamond Aircraft in a news release this week. Any new owner of a new DA40 who takes delivery by Dec. 31 will get maintenance, insurance, fuel and flight training all free for a year, a $13,250 value. U.S. buyers also can qualify for a special bonus-depreciation tax incentive that allows buyers to write off up to $300,000 of the purchase price. Also this week, the U.S. distributor for the Euro-Fox light sport aircraft lowered its base price by $10,000, to $58,950. The company said the price cut is possible "due to the recent improvement in the dollar-to-Euro exchange rate." The two-seat EuroFox burns just 4 gph, the company said, making it an economical choice for the private pilot or sport flyer, and the wings fold back for easy trailering and storage.

Diamond's offer is limited to new U.S. or Canadian-registered DA40 aircraft in current inventory at Diamond distributors.

 
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.
 
Safety & Security back to top 
 

President Bush Orders Priority Action On ATC Modernization

President Bush on Tuesday signed an Executive Order to mandate that modernizing our national airspace system remains a leading priority for federal agencies. "At an age when teenage drivers use GPS systems in their cars, air traffic controllers still use World War II-era radar to guide modern jumbo jets," Mr. Bush said. "That doesn't seem to make any sense to me ... Modernizing our aviation system is an urgent challenge." He also called on Congress to "help make our transportation system worthy of the 21st century," by providing incentives for the private sector to develop new technologies and investing in infrastructure upgrades. According to a White House fact sheet, the Executive Order will "help transform the national air transportation system and effectively implement the NextGen Initiative (Next Generation Air Transportation System) that utilizes satellite-based guidance technology, which is safer, more secure, affordable, and environmentally friendly." The action aims to strengthen the DOT's coordination with other federal agencies. But according to Doug Church, spokesman for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, "[The executive order] certainly appears like yet another new red bow on the same old box, which remains empty. Is the administration now saying modernizing our aviation system was NOT a leading priority up until today?"

Mr. Bush also announced a package of proposals aimed at relieving delays and congestion in commercial air travel during the holiday season. Military airspace will be opened for certain areas, three new runways at major airports will open this week, and more TSA workers will be on duty to prevent long waiting lines for passengers.

DHS Finalizes GA Border-Crossing Rule

A final rule issued by the Department of Homeland Security this week is not as bad as it might have been for GA pilots, but it still will have an impact on all across-the-border operations. That's the bottom line from AOPA's analysis of the rule published Tuesday by the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, which is part of the DHS. As initially proposed last year, the rule would have required pilots to file passenger manifests and other information via the Internet an hour before the flight, a problem for pilots who operate from remote and undeveloped airports where Internet access is not available. More than 2,900 comments were filed. "Thanks to pilot input, the CBP better understands the nature of GA operations and the remote areas that pilots often travel," Andy Cebula, AOPA executive vice president of government affairs, said on Tuesday. The final rule offers various options for pilots to file the required information. "Pilots didn't get everything they wanted," Cebula said. Concerns remain over the type of information required and possible delays in approving flights. But, Cebula said, the revisions in the final rule are "proof of how influential general aviation pilots can be when they unite."

The rule will take effect on Dec. 18, and pilots will be required to comply with the new regulations starting May 18, AOPA said. DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff said on Monday that GA pilots can also expect further rulemaking that will require GA flights to be screened and scanned for radioactive material at an airport outside the U.S. Although such screening is now required upon landing in the U.S., doing it on departure instead will prevent an attacker from flying a bomb into the country and detonating it in the air, Chertoff said.

 
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Getting a handle on aerodynamics doesn't have to involve dry textbooks and dense equations. AOPA Air Safety Foundation's no-cost interactive online course, Essential Aerodynamics, provides need-to-know concepts to help you upgrade your aerodynamics skills quickly and easily. Complete this fun, challenging course in less than an hour on the AOPA Air Safety Foundation web site. Click to get started.
 
What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Week back to top 
 

Eclipse Employees Paid, Back At Work

Eclipse Aviation employees who have contacted AVweb this week are back at work and say they've been paid for the first half of the month. There has been the inevitable speculation about what will happen on the next payday, but Eclipse's usual spokesperson has not responded to repeated e-mail and phone requests for comment on the current situation. Last week the company told employees that it would not meet its biweekly payroll but it did arrange funding in time to pay workers on Tuesday. Meanwhile an increasing number of disgruntled customers are filing lawsuits to get refunds of deposits.

According to KDBC News there are now a total of 10 such suits against the company, three of which were filed on Friday. Eight companies and two individuals have filed the suits and the total of the claims tops $7 million. When Eclipse raised the price of the EA500 earlier this year it offered deposit refunds to some position holders. Eclipse declined to comment to the TV station about the deposit suits.

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/.

 
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.
 
News Briefs back to top 
 

Finally, A Sensible Flying Car ... Maybe

In our years in aviation, we've seen countless variations on the "flying car" theme, from rickety jalopies with wooden wings bolted on to high-tech dream machines with folding wings and James Bond-level slickness. But a recent report from the fringe strikes us as something so simple that it might actually work. The Parajet Skycar is a variation on the powered parachute. Beneath the canopy flies a small two-seat, dune-buggy-style off-road car with a powered fan on the back. After landing, the pilot can simply pack up the chute and drive away three minutes later. A lightweight design, advanced aerodynamics and a Yamaha motorcycle engine (which runs on biofuel) make it work, says the company. The Skycar is easy to fly, impossible to stall, and features an emergency ballistic parachute system. The aircraft can launch in less than 700 feet, fly at about 70 mph, and has a range of about 200 miles. In "road mode" it can travel 250 miles at speeds over 100 mph. The company plans to prove the Skycar's capability by traveling from London, above the English Channel and the Straits of Gibraltar, and across the Sahara Desert to Timbuktu, a journey of almost 4,000 miles, in January 2009.

The Skycar "will be the first high-performance, road-legal, bio-fuelled flying car capable of providing sports and rally car performance on or off the road and light-aircraft performance after just a few minutes of wing preparation," says the company. They are already working on a "next-generation road sport model" that could be available by 2010. No word yet on what the vehicle will sell for.

On the Fly ...

The FAA has extended the required repacking interval for certain types of parachutes from 120 days to 180 days...

An FAA Airworthiness Directive requires owners of Diamond DA42 airplanes to replace certain bolts with wire-secured bolts to ensure they don't get loose in the engine compartment...

A flight student in California died on Saturday after being struck by the prop of a Cessna 152 while exiting the aircraft, apparently hurrying to escape being seen flying with another student, which is not allowed...

Cessna's Citation Mustang is now certified in Canada and Japan.

 
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 AVweb back to top 
 

AVweb Insider Blog: Need Help Finding an Airplane Partner? APA Wants to Help

We're not sure how many airplanes are in partnerships, but anyone who has tried to form one will tell you that the hard part is finding like-minded people to set things up. A new organization called the Airplane Partnership Association aims to use the power of the Web to do just that. APA launched its first efforts last spring and is soon to roll out a full-featured Web site that will collect some basic data about airplane wants and needs from would-be partners and connect them with compatible candidates. APA's Dave Kruger told AVweb at AOPA Expo last year that partnerships knock down — or at least greatly reduce — the major barrier to aircraft ownership: purchase cost. For a podcast on this topic, hear Dave Kruger here and read Paul Bertorelli's views of this idea in today's AVweb Insider blog.

Read more.

AVweb Insider Blog: Recessionary Paradox — GA Innovates As It Shrinks

People who think GA's piston segment is dying are the same ones who think there's growth to be found in what's a long downward slide. According to AVweb's Paul Bertorelli, arguing that GA is dying is like saying a fat man on a diet is committing suicide. The game isn't over, but first we have to accept some basic facts. Paul takes a hard look at those facts in the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog.

Read more.

 
Escape the Storm ... Invest in Diamonds
With bonus depreciation (write off over $300K), low long-term interest rates, low insurance rates (best in the industry), a no-cost fuel subsidy program, and complimentary flight training, there has never been a better time to buy a Diamond DA40 XLS. For complete details, go online.
 
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 
 

Question of the Week: The Next FAA Administrator

This Week's Question | Previous Week's Answers

PREVIOUS RESULTS ***

Last week, we asked which issue should top the U.S. government's list of general aviation priorities in 2009.

The most popular answer was user fees, which garnered 44% of the vote. Coming in a distant second, FAA reauthorization accounted for 16% of the answers. The least popular choice — airport infrastructure.

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 ***

With the new administration preparing to take office in the U.S., appointments and high-profile positions are on everyone's mind. This week, we'd like to hear what you think of aviation's top office.

Who should be the next FAA Administrator?
(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.

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

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

AVweb's AOPA Expo 2008 Video Round-Up

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

At the 2008 AOPA Expo, our video team brought you exclusive interviews with outgoing AOPA president Phil Boyer and the incoming president, Craig Fuller — plus a demo flight with Cirrus Design's new EVS system and an in-depth profile of Garmin's hot GPSMap 696. If you missed any of those, you can watch all eight of our show videos right here. Just use the arrows at the right and left sides of the player to choose your video.

Video coverage of AOPA Expo 2008 has been brought to you by Lightspeed Aviation, WxWorx XM WX Satellite Weather, and Bose Corporation. (Videos by Glenn Pew.)

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.

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

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

 
Look Around Your Hangar and Office!
Build A Plane needs items for their annual eBay auction. Avionics, parts, electronics, headsets, books, videos/CDs, software, leather jackets, even special airplane rides — well, you get the idea. Anything Build A Plane can sell will benefit school-building projects offering students an exciting way to learn science, engineering, and math and building a new generation of aviation enthusiasts. For complete information, contact Katrina Bradshaw at (804) 843-3321, or go online.
 
Your Favorite FBOs back to top 
 

FBO of the Week: Triangle Aviation (Leesburg, Florida)

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Triangle Aviation at KLEE in Leesburg, Florida.

AVweb reader Dave Wilson had a top-notch experience there recently and wrote to share the details:

[Owner] Neil Fisher was on the ramp to assist in parking my Bonanza; his friendly and courteous attitude was a welcome change for some of the FBOs, where, if you are not a turbine-powered aircraft, you are treated with indifference. The lineman, D. J. Alexander displayed the same courteous, helpful attitude in helping with a courteousy car and local telephone business numbers, along with topping off the fuel tanks with 100LL; the price of the fuel was the lowest I have seen in the Southeast U.S. at $2.95 (for both full service and self-service) with an additional discount for Angel Flight pilots. Receptionist Bristy Jones, while being very busy, was also extremely efficient and courteous; her being there assisted in making this stop a very enjoyable experience.

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!

 
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.
 
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 ***

Another week has come and gone, it's time for another installment of our weekly photo contest. Let's dive in and get started!

medium | large

Used with permission of Carl Pascarell

Playing

Brian Thorpe of St. Augustine, Florida takes home this week's top honors, in a photo submitted to our weekly contest by his subjects, Carl Pascarell and Missy Fohl.

(Not to worry — we'll be sending hats for both of you guys!)

medium | large

copyright © Garrett Nievin
Used with permission

Portable Wind Storm

Garrett Nievin of Ashburn, Virginia braved the breeze to capture this Hughes Loach on arrival at EAA AirVenture.

medium | large

Used with permission of Walter Dierick

Matterhorn Seen from ASH25 Glider at 4000m

Walter Dierick of Rupelmonde, Oost Vlaanderen (Belgium) took this shot "during a 500+ kilometer trip ... with a 25m wingspan German Schleicher's double-seater."

medium | large

copyright © Jim Bryant
Used with permission

Shooting Rays

Jim Bryant of Los Angeles, California "captured these interesting rays while taking a picture of the T-33 Shooting Star at the Aviation Nation 2008 air show at Nellis Air Force Base."

In a word, Jim: Wow.

medium | large

copyright © Gary Dikkers
Used with permission

July 2008 — $5.44 per Gallon

Hey, it's Gary Dikkers of Madison, Wisconsin filling up during EAA AirVenture! Suddenly $5.44 and July both seem like a long time ago ... .

(Er, not that that's Gary filling up — or is it?)


You'll find more reader-submitted photos in the slideshow on AVweb's home page. Don't miss 'em!

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.

 
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.