AVwebFlash - Volume 14, Number 50a

December 8, 2008

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
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Quotes reprinted with permission: Professional Pilot, 2007 Headset Preference Survey, 12/07; Aviation Consumer, 8/07.
 
Top News: Pistons and Pollution back to top 
 
Sponsor Announcement

Leaded Fuel, Emissions, The EPA And AOPA

In October, AVweb found that new standards set by the EPA and meant to "slash the amount of the toxic metal [lead] in the nation's air by 90 percent," may affect the pilots of small aircraft and now AOPA has reviewed the matter and taken action. Formal comments filed by AOPA in response to the EPA notice state that piston-powered aircraft account for roughly "one-tenth of 1 percent" of total emissions and within the transportation sector accounts for just 0.55 percent. AOPA is urging the EPA to consider both cost and safety issues that could arise from further regulation of a sector with such a small lead footprint, noting also that the industry employs over 1.3 million people and has a "direct and indirect effect" on the economy that "exceeds $150 billion annually."

Going one further, AOPA is separately asking that aviation be included in any economic stimulus package that may be launched by the Obama administration. That aside, the EPA is acting upon a Supreme Court ruling that forces the administration to regulate greenhouse gases. But for now, AOPA has judged that the EPA's notice, itself, will not bring any changes to general aviation operations.

 
Smart Safety ... Leave Anxiety Out of Your Flight Plan
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First Flights back to top 
 

Nepal's First Aircraft Flies

Eight engineering students of the Pulchowk Engineering Campus Institute of Engineering in Kathmandu formed Danfe Aircraft Fabrication Group and used $12,500 worth of locally available materials (plus a Rotax) to build Nepal's first aircraft, dubbed Danfe. The two-seat aircraft -- Nepal's first aircraft -- has a maximum takeoff weight of 880 pounds and successfully flew Saturday at Pokhara city. Danfe most closely resembles an ultralight trike, is powered by a 65-hp Rotax 582 and was actually built last year based on two years of research and development as an academic project, but the aircraft only received permission to fly last week. Lacking local pilots, the group allowed a Russian pilot the honor of first flight. The ride reportedly lasted a little more than one minute and was witnessed by a crowd of onlookers that included the Minister of Science and Technology. After the flight, the minister declared that the government would cover research and design expenses, and would immediately create a fund for research and development in science and technology.

New Presidential Helicopters

AgustaWestland is responsible for the basic airframe design, production and vehicle support and Lockheed Martin is handling systems integration for the VH-71 presidential helicopter replacement program that has now produced its second production aircraft. The first VH-71 began testing Nov. 24 and the new aircraft, which Nov. 29 flew for the first time, is due to arrive at Patuxent River later this month. The first phase of the program involves production of five production helicopters and four others to be used for testing.

The new helicopters are scheduled to begin replacing the current fleet beginning in 2017. Two of four test aircraft will see flight testing with a joint test team made up of pilots from the Navy, Marines and industry. Two others are currently being fitted with mission systems at Lockheed Martin's Oswego, N.Y., facility. The first production helicopter is currently undergoing ground vibration testing.

 
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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.
 
Shaping the Agencies back to top 
 

Will Woerth Lead FAA?

Former pilot union president Duane Woerth is among the names said to be at the top of the list, but reports over the weekend suggested both Woerth and Robert T. Herbert are among those who might be selected to lead the FAA. While Woerth is a familiar name for many longtime aviators (Woerth was president of the Air Line Pilots Association from 1999-2007), the less familiar Herbert has worked as a longtime aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Herbert's aviation experience spans both military and civilian piloting and he has "advised Reid on transportation, defense and homeland security issues," according to the Washington Post. Reid has backed Herbert, sending a letter to President-elect Barack Obama's transition team, the Post said, while Herbert has recently sought the audience of "aviation-related unions." Meanwhile, Woerth carries the clout of union experience and some insiders believe that positions him as the one best able to navigate the maze of contract issues and labor disputes that frequently complicate matters between the FAA, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) and the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (PASS).

Voluntary Error Reporting Dropped

Pilots at American Airlines, Delta (the nation's two largest carriers), and Comair have opted out of the Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) that allows them to self-report mistakes without disciplinary action, because it might not be working that way. Safety advocates believe the program has helped uncover and resolve potentially dangerous situations before they caused damage or loss of life. But according to The Associated Press, at American, the company has broken faith with the program's intent and has punished pilots who inadvertently allowed lapses in safety and then reported them through ASAP. So, the pilots, backed by the Allied Pilots Association, sought changes to the program's language to assure their protection. Union representative Kevin Cornwell told the AP that his members will not accept a system that "labels our pilots as reckless." Meanwhile, a representative from AMR (American's parent company) has said management prefers to leave the provisions programs as is, saying that NASA's safety reporting system, ASRS, already addresses the pilots' concerns. The short-term result is lack of participation in ASAP by the pilots and a heap of criticism for both the airlines and pilots from a slew of safety experts.

Acting FAA Administrator Bobby Sturgell called it "disheartening," while Bill Voss, president of the Flight Safety Foundation, told USA Today, "There are at least two sides to every story, but I couldn't care less about either. Safety systems do not belong on the bargaining table. There is simply no excuse."

 
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News Briefs back to top 
 

Boeing Hits Turbulence With Engineers And 787

Fresh off a now-resolved machinists strike that cost the company an estimated $100 million per day, and a prediction of layoffs in 2009, Boeing has now hit an impasse with 700 of its engineers and is expected to announce further delays for its 787 Dreamliner. The company has announced a halt to its contract negotiations with its engineers at the Wichita Integrated Defense System plant, where the company produces 767 tankers and E-737 aircraft. Some 20,400 members of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA) have recently resolved contracts, including 20-percent wage increases over four years. But at the Wichita Integrated Defense System plant, where Boeing saw third-quarter profits of $845 million, up 4 percent from 2007, according to SPEEA, a different offer fell short. Fallout from the recent machinists strike is expected to result in an announcement of further delays to Boeing's 787 Dreamliner program. First flight of the aircraft was previously delayed until 2009 and first deliveries aren't expected by industry analysts until 2010 at the earliest. That's already two years late and cancellations, or order deferrals, may be coming.

 
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 Briefs back to top 
 

General: Military Needs To Fly Lower

The Massachusetts Air National Guard (ANG) is hoping to file a proposal with the FAA next spring that would lower the floor of their training flights from 2800 to 500 feet over the hills of western Maine and is using 9/11 to counter public opposition. Brig. Gen. Leon Rice told residents that the terrorist attacks of September 2001 showed the military was ill-prepared to defend against a low-level air attack and the pilots stationed in Vermont and Massachusetts who'd respond to those attacks need training. The last time the ANG sought to expand low-level training in Maine the proposal was rejected. But that was 1992. The 3,600-square-mile Condor Military Operation Area (MOA) is used by F-16 and F-15 drivers flying for the ANG out of the 104th Fighter Wing in Westfield, Mass., and 158th Fighter Wing in Burlington, Vt. The Guard has extended the public comment period to allow residents who just recently became aware of the proposal to chime in. Critics are concerned about the potential of noise, safety and quality of life issues affected by low-level maneuvers and Governor John Baldacci has called for a full environmental impact study. Rice has said that the military ultimately doesn't need the permission of local authorities, but rather sought to include state officials in its deliberations.

On the Fly ...

Four people, two students and two instructors, were killed in a midair collision between a Piper Seminole and a Cessna 172 late Saturday in southern Florida Saturday afternoon. The wreckage was found early Sunday in a practice area and authorities confirmed both aircraft were from flight schools ...

Timothy McCormack spent 10 months fixing Qantas 747s and signing off on work done by others but he'd never had any training as a maintenance engineer. He was exposed last year, charged in September and will be sentenced Dec. 17 to what the judge in his personation case indicated will be a long stretch ...

Reuters says Sao Paulo newpaper O Estado de S. Paulo will publish a report this week blaming the American pilots of a Legacy 600 business jet for a collision with a Gol airliner that killed all 155 people on the airliner in 2007. It cites a Brazilian Air Force report that says one of the bizjet pilots turned off the Legacy's transponder. A spokesman for the owner of the business jet says the report is more complicated than that.

 
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.
 
Reader Voices back to top 
 

AVmail: December 8, 2008

Each week, we run a sampling of the letters received to our editorial inbox here in AVmail. One letter that's particularly relevant, informative, or otherwise compelling will headline this section as our "Letter of the Week," and we'll send the author an official AVweb baseball cap as a "thank you" for interacting with us (and the rest of our readership). Send us your comments and questions using this form. Please include your mailing address in your e-mail (just in case your letter is our "Letter of the Week"); by the same token, please let us know if your message is not intended for publication.

Letter of the Week

Perhaps selling off senior managment and keeping the jets would make more sense. The time of a senior executive that is effectively managing a company is very valuable. The vision shown by GM and Ford (Chrysler is privately held, kind of) would indicate that the transportation they used for the latest visit was just about right.

Richard Jenkins


Big Three Travel Plans

Why has no one stepped up to defend why it is useful for a CEO of major company to use a corporate jet. Do companies really want their $1000 per hour CEO's waiting in airline termianals waiting for commercial flights and possibly sitting for hours because flight was canceled or have to leave one day early because there is a 10 AM meeting in another city and no flights early enough for him to make it, then maybe stay another day because there is no flight out after the meeting. I think the flap about the CEOs going to D.C. in private jets was grossly misunderstood. It again shows that John Q. Public does not understand corporate aviation and its contribution to the American way of life.

Albert Ricciardi

Nancy Pelosi wasn't happy with the small private jet that comes with the Speaker's job. No, she was aggravated that this little jet had to stop to refuel, so she ordered a Big Fat 200 seat jet that could get her back to California without stopping! Since she only works three days a week, this gas guzzling jet gets fueled and she flies home to California with a cost to the taxpayers of about $60,000, one way! Pelosi wants you and I to [reduce] our carbon footprint. She wants us to buy smaller cars, and Obama wants us to get a bicycle pump and air up our tires. Some of these people are hypocrites.

Edward Toner

AVweb Replies:

Actually Ed, as we reported at the time, Pelosi said she didn't need any kind of government jet and that she was happy to fly commercial. However, the administration decided that for security and communications reasons, as third in line for the presidency should anything happen to the president and the vice president, she needed non-stop transportation to and from her San Francisco home in a government aircraft. Only the Gulfstream and C-32 (757) fill that bill.

Russ Niles
Editor-in-Chief


Google's New Jet

Regarding Google's claim that a certified aircraft cannot be modified with test electronic equipment and still carry passengers (Google Adds Military Trainer To Fleet): That is an inaccurate statement. I have personally been involved in acquiring FAA certification of testbed aircraft that were also certified in Normal Category to carry passengers, without de-modding.

Ian Hollingsworth


Speed Control

Regarding Short Final on Dec. 1: I thought all (civil) aircraft were limited to max 250 KIAS below 10,000MSL. Why would the pilot expect no speed restriction at 8,000?

Don Desfosse


Read AVmail from other weeks here, and submit your own Letter to the Editor with this form.

Got a Moment? Make Your Voice Heard with Aviation Consumer's Maintenance Survey

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.)

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.

 
Download No-Cost Runway Flash Cards Now!
Landing a plane is tough. Flying into unfamiliar runways makes it even tougher — and more dangerous. Ensure you and your crew's safety by downloading these no-cost flash cards today. Each of the 23 flash cards displays an airport sign or pavement marking as well as the required pilot action. Use them as quick reference before your departure or during your flight. Download the Runway Safety Flash Cards now.
 
New on AVweb back to top 
 

AVweb Insider Blog: Buying a Position vs. Assuming It

A reader recently wrote AVweb complaining that Eclipse hasn't refunded his EA400 deposit. In the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli wonders if aircraft buyers are paying any attention.

Read more.

Video of the Week: Ark Royal Traps

Recommend a Video | VOTW Archive

Landing on an aircraft carrier may be an experience (and a skill) few of us share, but thanks to this video from DailyMotion, we can learn a little about it without having to leave our computer chairs.

Thanks to AVweb reader Pete Madden for sending us the link.


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."

Oh, and for those who may have missed it: We've seen the one-wing landing video that's been circulating, and you can read our comments (and watch the video if you're not one of the dozens who've e-mailed it to us) on the AVweb Insider blog.

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

Fractional Ownership for BizJets? The Time Has Come, Says Magellan Jets CEO Joshua Hebert

File Size 9.8 MB / Running Time 10:43

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

The aviation market is changing, and that affects everyone. Joshua Hebert of Magellan Jets explains how businesses, under increasing pressure from shareholders to scale back their flight departments, are turning to alternatives like jet membership programs. In this interview with AVweb's Russ Niles, he discusses what may soon become "the new normal" for corporate travel.

Click here to listen. (9.8 MB, 10:43)

Exclusive Video: Avidyne Entegra Integrated Flight Deck (Release 9)

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

Avidyne has upgraded its Entegra Flight Deck. Join us as we have a look, courtesy of Paul Bertorelli and Glenn Pew.

For more on the new Entegra, click here.


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.

 
Why Not Get Rewarded for Your Purchases?
AOPA's WorldPoints™ Rewards credit card program features two points for every net retail dollar spent at thousands of FBOs, on select AOPA products and services, and at participating aviation retailers, including Sporty's, Pacific Coast Avionics, King Schools, Aircraft Spruce, and Gulf Coast Avionics. No limit on the number of points earned, and points can be redeemed online for cash, travel, event tickets, and more. For more information, call AOPA at 1 (800) 932-2775, or go online.
 
Your Favorite FBOs back to top 
 

FBO of the Week: Don Davis Aviation (KEHR, Henderson, KY)

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Don Davis Aviation at Henderson County Airport (KEHR) in Henderson, Kentucky.

AVweb reader George Samara recommended this week's winner, writing:

This airport team goes out of their way to please and accommodate a visiting pilot ... [everyone from] the girls on the desk, Christa and Sarah ... [to] the manager, Nancy, who stay[ed] late one evening to make sure my passenger got his rental car through the security gate to load equipment and to make sure we got off OK ... [to. the line personnel ... [who] help[ed] chock and tie down the plane. They volunteered to put the plane into a heated hanger when it iced up overnight and did not charge for it! This FBO makes you feel inportant and well taken care of, including a well-equipped flight-planning room with a personal computer to use!

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!

 
Avidyne Delivers Worldwide Datalink Graphical Weather and Two-Way Messaging
Avidyne's new MLX770 Iridium®-based two-way datalink transceiver brings strategic datalink weather services to Entegra- and EX500-equipped aircraft operating worldwide. The MLX770 allows pilots to more easily make go/no-go decisions on the ground and fly more strategically while en route. Additionally, the MLX770 provides convenient two-way SMS text messaging from an airborne MFD to any ground-based SMS-capable mobile phone or e-mail address, allowing pilots to communicate in-flight. Click here for more information.
 
The Lighter Side of Flight back to top 
 

Short Final

Overheard in IFR Magazine's 'On the Air' Section
Overheard in IFR Magazine's "On the Air"

Missed the beginning of this exchange, but you'll get the point, I hope:

Airplane 345:
"We carry the University of XYZ men's basketball team."

Center:
"Ah, roger. I was just wondering about your call sign ... ."

345:
"We don't like it any better than anyone else."

Center (laughing) :
"Do [your players] wear pink uniforms?"

345:
"Don't go there, Center."

Center (resuming a serious tone) :
"Roger."

[pause]

"Twinkles Three Forty Five, fly heading 230, descend and maintain 4,000."

Don Copley
via e-mail

 
Sensenich: Right on the Nose ... Again!
For more than 75 years, Sensenich has been the industry's fixed-pitch prop leader. No surprise Sensenich leads the way again with new composite propellers for light sport and homebuilt aircraft. Proven on 5,000 airboats over the last eight years, plus Rotax- and Jabiru-powered planes, the new lightweight, precision composite props are now available for Continental- and Lycoming-powered planes. Call (717) 569-0435, or click here to learn more.
 
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.