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Volume 14, Number 48b
November 27, 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.
Top Tech and Classic Contoursback to top 

FAA Acting Administrator Robert Sturgell said this week the agency will move forward rapidly to implement nationwide deployment of the Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast (ADS-B) system. ADS-B, which will replace radar-based services with data disseminated via satellite, will reduce the risk of midair collisions and weather-related accidents, provide more efficient routes in adverse weather, and improve situational awareness for pilots, the agency said in a news release on Monday. "ADS-B is the backbone of the future of air traffic control," Sturgell said. "NextGen is real and, as of today, NextGen is now. President Bush just last week stated that modernizing our aviation system is an urgent challenge, and today's announcement demonstrates that the Department of Transportation and the FAA are taking concrete steps to do just that." The ADS-B system is now being installed in Florida. By 2013, it will be deployed nationwide, with 794 ground stations, the FAA said. ADS-B will provide services everywhere there is radar coverage today, and will also cover areas that currently lack radar service, including the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska. More...

One lucky bidder on Jan. 17 will get to be the new owner of a completely restored 1929 Ford 4-AT-E Tri-Motor, after an auction to be held in Scottsdale, Ariz., during a car show, EAA said on Wednesday. It's not very often an airplane of this pedigree becomes available on the open market, according to EAA. The airplane, NC9612, is one of only six in the world that is known to be airworthy. It has flown many different missions in several different mission configurations, including a stint as a transport in Hawaii in the early 1940s, and was hit by bullets during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. It was fully restored in 2005, with a reworked airframe and an all-new interior. The fuselage and wings were completely re-skinned. The landing gear is complete and original. A special buyer's preview and inspection is scheduled for Dec. 6 and 7 at Goldsboro-Wayne Municipal Airport in North Carolina. The airplane will not be on site at the January auction in Arizona. More...

Rapco Brake Discs & Brake Linings Available at Aircraft Spruce
Rapco offers a complete line of FAA/PMA-approved replacement linings and brake discs for Cleveland & McCauley. The linings exceed OEM performance standards and meet the airworthiness requirements. Order now and receive a $50 Aircraft Spruce gift card when you purchase over $750 of Rapco Products.

Now available: Rapco rivets and rivet tools, only at Aircraft Spruce. Call (877) 4-SPRUCE or visit Aircraft Spruce online.
Location Is Everythingback to top 

With no parachute and no safety net, Eric Scott flew under jet-pack power across the 1,053-foot-deep Royal Gorge, in Colorado, on Monday. The 24-second flight carried him safely across the 1,500-foot-wide gorge to a gentle stand-up landing. Scott, 45, had previously flown the JetPack International system but never for more than a few hundred yards. "I had no idea how fast I could get here, and I just found out," Scott said after landing. "The winds were blowing out there. I tell you, concrete never felt so good." He has been piloting various forms of jetpacks for 16 years. The Jet-Pack device weighs about 135 pounds and carries about 33 seconds worth of hydrogen-peroxide fuel. The company developed it to be used for stunts and promotional events. Click here to see a video of the flight, from The Denver Post. More...

It's springtime in Antarctica, and for the hundreds of researchers and support staff stationed there, it's the time when annual re-supply flights arrive, bringing much of the food, clothing, and scientific supplies that are critical for operations. But before those flights can begin, an FAA Aviation Systems Standards team must go in and certify the navaids that help pilots land their aircraft on the icy airfields at the National Science Foundation's McMurdo Station — America's primary Antarctic research center — and other South Pole outposts. In the past, those crews have hitched a ride on military C-130 transport planes. This year, however, the agency made history by flying a fully equipped FAA Challenger 601 to the South Pole, and conducting the entire flight inspection on its own. "The cost of a C-130 is way more than one of the FAA jets," said mission pilot Bill Geiser. "Secondly, whenever we used a C-130, it takes an airplane away from doing its primary mission of supplying the South Pole." More...

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Research & Trainingback to top 

Pilots who have some extra time over the holiday weekend might want to spend 45 minutes to improve their understanding of the weather and enhance their safety. The latest free course in the online Weather Wise series offered by AOPA's Air Safety Foundation addresses icing and precipitation, two of the worst weather-related dangers pilots face. "An alarming number of pilots become accident statistics because too many of them underestimate the dangers of precipitation and icing," said Bruce Landsberg, executive director of the ASF. "This course will remind them how to recognize the hazards... develop a strategy for avoidance, and react appropriately if and when they encounter unexpected conditions." You must create an account to log on and take the course, but it's free and available to all pilots, not just AOPA members. Those who pass the quiz at the end can qualify for the FAA Wings proficiency program. More...

NASA is conducting a study using sophisticated imaging technology to track how blood flows in the brains of airline pilots as they interact with the sophisticated electronic gear that clutters today's cockpits. "What we hope to achieve by this study is a way to sensitively -- and, ultimately, unobtrusively -- determine when pilots become mentally overloaded," said Angela Harrivel, a NASA biomedical engineer who is leading the research project. "No matter how much training pilots have, conditions could occur when too much is going on in the cockpit." Her project aims to determine the best methods for monitoring brain activity, as part of a study designed to help airplane pilots recognize when they are operating under dangerous levels of stress, fatigue and distraction. The study employs functional near-infrared spectroscopy, also know as fNIRS, to measure blood flow in the brain's cortex and the concentration of oxygen in the blood as the test subjects work in a full-motion flight simulator. This emerging technology offers a non-invasive, safe, portable and inexpensive method for monitoring indicators of neural activity, according to NASA. More...

Trade-A-Plane Features Thousands of Classifieds, Updated Hourly
With thousands of hourly updated Classifieds, a Product & Advertiser Index, Forums, NAAA Evaluator, Performance Database, Spec Sheets, and Aviation Weather, Trade-A-Plane gives you everything that keeps you flying. Order your Trade-A-Plane subscription by calling (800) 337-5263, or go online.
Signs of the Timesback to top 

Eclipse Aviation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today and it appears ETIRC, the company controlled by current CEO Roel Pieper, is moving to consolidate its hold on the troubled planemaker. According to a news release from Eclipse, the company is "seeking court approval for debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing and procedures for the sale of substantially all of its assets under Section 363 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code." At the same time, it announced it has a buyer for the assets, described as "an affiliate of ETIRC Aviation S.a.r.l., Luxembourg" and that the deal is subject to "higher offers." According to court documents filed by Eclipse in support of the petition, the company owes investors about $577 million and has racked up about $135 million in debt to vendors and suppliers. "In the face of unprecedented economic challenges, it is clear that the sale of the Eclipse business through the Chapter 11 process is the right course of action to maximize the value of the business, secure its future and protect the best interests of Eclipse's stakeholders, including customers, suppliers, employees and creditors," Pieper is quoted as saying in a release. "The successful sale will position the business for aggressive global expansion, allowing the company to fulfill its promise and solidify its position as the world's leading manufacturer of VLJs." And to address the current cash crunch, Pieper has cut a deal with existing shareholders and lenders to keep the company alive in the interim. The company is asking the Delaware court, where the petition was filed, to approve the interim financing package quickly so Eclipse can honor its commitments. Once approved, this financing along with other relief requested from the Court, will position Eclipse to pay wages and salaries, honor employee benefits, service customer aircraft and continue manufacturing operations throughout the sale period. The company also announced that Peg Billson, president and manager of the company, has resigned "to pursue other career opportunities." More...

About 500 production employees at Cirrus Design will be furloughed for about a month each as the company cuts production to clear out built up inventory. Bill King, Cirrus's VP of Business Administration told AVweb in a telephone interview staff were told of the move on Tuesday. Only production employees are affected and not all them will be off at the same time. Those at the beginning of the build cycle will be off first and will return first on Jan. 5. As the airplanes on the floor progress through completion, those farther down the line will be furloughed as they complete their part of the process. Last to be furloughed will be the painters. Each worker will be off for about 30 days. "We don't want to add to the bad economic news but we just think this is the prudent thing to do so we can hit 2009 hard," he said. King said the company is retaining all the workers and will be topping up their unemployment insurance and paying medical and other benefits during the shutdown. King said the company is strong and its financial backers, Arcapita, are solidly behind Cirrus. "We're very well positioned and the truth is that if we weren't well positioned we wouldn't be able to pay these benefits," he said. More...

Ballistic Recovery Systems, which supplies the all-aircraft parachutes used by many manufacturers of general aviation and sport aircraft, said late last week that "in light of recent cutbacks from two of its major customers," about 25 percent of its workforce has been laid off. Most of the staff cuts were made at the BRS headquarters in South St. Paul, Minn. The company said the layoff may last several weeks to several months, depending on when its customers see their own sales improve. "The ups and downs of the marketplace, especially with this most recent and current economic downturn, require us to make difficult choices with regard to the labor component of our business," said BRS CEO and President, Larry Williams, in a news release. "The general aviation and sport aviation markets have taken a substantial nosedive recently (off 18 percent this year) with a potential further erosion of sales through at least the 1st half of 2009." Williams noted that BRS has other customers from outside of aviation to keep the company going, but nonetheless, "our core business lines are taking a substantial hit and we need to react proactively to this reality," he said. Cirrus Design and Flight Design are BRS's major aviation customers, according to AOPA. More...

Business Executives! Mark Your Calendars for February 3 & 4, 2009 in London, England
Active Communications' Efficiency in Aviation forum will provide a unique platform for senior aviation executives to discover, consider and discuss innovative management, operational and technical strategies to achieve greater cost and fuel efficiency. AVweb is a media partner for this forum. As an AVweb subscriber, sign up by December 12, 2008 and receive a special 15% discount. Call Melanie Mulazzi at +44 (20) 7981-2504, or click here to contact her via e-mail.

Details online.
News Briefsback to top 

Diamond Aircraft is advising its customers to continue fueling their diesel-powered aircraft with jet fuel in spite of a recommendation from ExxonMobil to dealers to stop selling jet fuel to diesel aircraft owners. Diamond CEO Peter Maurer told AVweb he's unaware of any service issues that might have led the oil giant to issue the letter sent to dealers last week. "It looks like they've come up with a solution to a problem that isn't there," Maurer said. He said he's in the process of arranging a conference call with ExxonMobil officials to discuss the decision, which he said caught his company by surprise. "We're frankly a little perplexed," he said. Diamond is also sending a letter to customers outlining the company's position. In the letter to fuel dealers, Martin Tippl, ExxonMobil's U.S. General Aviation Operations Manager, says the company has determined that jet fuel may not meet the technical requirements for safe operation in piston engines and the company "does not support or endorse the supply of jet fuel to aircraft powered by diesel engines." The letter is posted on the Thielert Owners Group Web site. Dealers are asked to sign an agreement not to pump jet fuel into diesels. There is a provision for diesel owners who insist on fueling with jet fuel, however. There's a waiver they can sign indemnifying ExxonMobil from liability if something goes wrong. "We're recommending [diesel aircraft owners] sign the waiver and continue using jet fuel," Diamond's Maurer said. More...

FAA will build an Aviation Research and Technology Park in Atlantic City, N.J....
A homeowner allegedly attacked the operator of an RC airplane, after the airplane flew over the man's house...
Tattoos in Flight blog features an online gallery of aviation-themed works of tattoo artists...
The pilot of a Piper Navajo who ran into icing chose to land on a frozen lake. More...

Win This Glass Panel-Equipped Piper Archer II! — Enter by Dec. 31st
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.
What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Weekback to top 

With a new administration preparing to take over in Washington next January, AOPA's incoming president, Craig Fuller, met with members of the Department of Transportation transition team on Monday to press the case for GA. Fuller, along with AOPA Executive Vice President of Government Affairs Andy Cebula, met with Mortimer Downey, head of the DOT transition team; Duane Woerth, former president of the Air Line Pilots Association (and touted as the next FAA administrator); and Jane Garvey, former FAA administrator (and maybe the next Secretary of Transportation). Fuller told the team that priorities for general aviation pilots include quickly naming a well-qualified FAA administrator; investing in aviation infrastructure; addressing proposed regulations that target aviation gasoline, emissions, and noise; modernizing the Air Traffic Control system without placing undue burdens on GA aircraft owners; and ensuring that aviation taxes (not user fees) pay for the FAA. 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...

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.
Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

As Eclipse Aviation's biggest investor, CEO Roel Pieper has the most to lose in the company's collapse. Does that mean he's the right person to try and save it? AVweb's Russ Niles still has high hopes for Eclipse's future, but in the latest installment of the AVweb Insider blog, he tries to wrap his head around the restructuring plan. More...

Earn 10% Off Your Annual Aviation Insurance Premium!
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Share Your Opinions with Usback to top 

Everyone's talking about it; we've blogged about it — now we want to hear what you think of Eclipse filing for Chapter 11. What should happen to Eclipse? Plus: What are AVweb readers looking for in a new FAA Administrator? More...

Our sister magazine, Aviation Consumer, wants your opinion on aircraft maintenance. If you'd like to participate, click here to complete a short, confidential survey.

(The results will be used in an upcoming Aviation Consumer article on managing your maintenance. For subscription information, click here.) 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...

Virtual Flying in Some of the World's Great Airplanes
Classic Cockpits is a series of high-quality DVDs that put you into the pilot's seat of some of the world's great airplanes. Be there for engine start, checklists, taxi, take-off, climb, cruise, descent, landing, and more. Titles currently available are: Flying the Legendary DC-3, Flying the PBY Catalina, and Flying the de Havilland Vampire. Makes the perfect holiday gift!

Click on the individual titles for complete descriptions, and click here to order all DVDs online.
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

The footage of an aerobatic aircraft landing safely after losing its right wing is amazing — or, perhaps more appropriately, it's unbelievable. Have another look at the video that caused all the fuss, courtesy of AVweb's Glenn Pew. (Click through to watch.) More...

CrownAir makes Cessna 210 Centurions new again. The company modernizes the old aircraft, upgrading its oxygen system, its avionics, its internal airflow and more. AVweb's Glenn Pew has the details. (Click through to watch.) More...

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 FBOsback to top 


This week, we stretch the definition of "FBO of the Week" just a tiny bit to allow for a nomination we couldn't resist. AVweb reader Abbott de Rham couldn't say enough about his experience at Palmetto Aviation Repair on St. Simons Island, Georgia (SSI). While he gives high marks to the local FBO (Golden Isles Aviation), it was his diehard praise of the team of PAR that made this nomination stand out.

We tried trimming Abbott's story down a bit, but the feeling of warmth and (quite appropriate) Southern hospitality is best appreciated in his blow-by-blow account of the visit, which you'l have to click through to read in its entirety.

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!


Win a Garmin GPSMap® 696! Complete a Survey by December 10th
We want to collect the views and opinions of aircraft owners and potential owners in purchasing new aircraft over the next 3-5 years. This is your opportunity to influence how the General Aviation industry should develop in the future. Click here for an opportunity to win!
Reader-Submitted Photosback to top 

Happy Thanksgiving, to those of you reading AVweb in the United States! Here at "POTW" world headquarters, we have plenty to be thankful for — including the steady flow of reader contributions that arrive in our inbox each week. Semi-regular contributor Don Parsons of St. Peters, Missouri tops this week's list with a photo we can't get out of our head. (What a clever composition!) 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.

Aviate. Navigate. Communicate.