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The Expedition E350, a backcountry single-engine aircraft manufactured by Found Aircraft Canada, has been granted type certification by
the FAA. The type certification includes both day and night VFR and IFR for the E350 with either tricycle gear or with floats. "Certification of the E350 is the culmination of over two years of
development by our dedicated team of employees and suppliers who worked hard to make this day happen," says Drew Hamblin, spokesman for Expedition Aircraft. "The Expedition was designed to be the true
meaning of a high performance, flying SUV and the undisputed heavy-hauler in its class." The aircraft, which seats four to five, has a full fuel payload of over 900 pounds, with a range of 700 nm at
156 knots. "E350 owners will not have to choose fuel over friends when planning long cross-country flights," Hamblin said. The airplane is designed for STOL performance, with rugged landing gear for
operating from unprepared airstrips, and a powerful 315-hp Lycoming IO-580 engine. Production of the E350 has begun and first deliveries are scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2009. The
airplane is built on a steel-tube frame with both carbon fiber and aluminum skins.
The airplanes are built factory-ready for installation of either Aerocet 3500L straight floats or Aerocet 3400 amphibious floats. The company is also developing a taildragger version, the E350XC,
which can be fitted with tundra tires or skis. AVweb spoke with Hamblin about the new aircraft when they were introduced early last year; click
here for the podcast.
Holiday Special Extended! Get $100 Off a Panel Power Zulu Lightspeed has lowered their price from $900 to $850, plus they'll give you a $50 mail-in rebate. So there's still time to give your special pilot everything dreams are made of
performance, comfort, and crystal-clear audio, with more total noise cancellation than any other headset, plus built-in Bluetooth. Purchase from an authorized Lightspeed
dealer by January 31st, 2009.
Click here to see why
Zulu is Aviation Consumer's Headset of the Year for 2008.
It's kind of a tough time to be starting up an airplane business but the folks who have the intellectual property and a potentially
flyable prototype of a rough-strip utility aircraft called the Gavilan are hoping there's someone interested in resurrecting the design. The
Gavilan is described as the "pickup truck of airplanes" and features a cargo area capable of carrying 4x8 sheets of building materials. The type certificate has been revoked by the FAA and what's left
is a slightly used prototype and all the engineering data that went into designing and certifying the aircraft.
The design and engineering material is held by General Aviation Technical Services (GATS), of Lock Haven, Pa. Spokesman John Bryerton said it cost about $7.5 million in 1998 to get the aircraft to
certification and most of what went into that effort is offered for sale. He suggests it would cost far more to mount a similar effort today. GATS did not hold the type certificate. It was held by
another company when it was revoked by the FAA. GATS tried to convince the FAA to reissue the TC based on the existing engineering material but the agency refused. Resolving the TC issues would be the
responsibility of the new owners.
Aircraft Spruce Introduces the New Aircraft Spruce Panel Builder
This online tool allows builders to plan their instrument panel without internet searches, while keeping track of findings. Builders easily search inventory by category. The Panel Builder
displays everything builders need to complete a panel, whether assembling the panel themselves or choosing Aircraft Spruce's ready-to-install custom panel. Avionics sales finalizes layout and
provides final quotation and production time. Call Aircraft Spruce at 1 (877) 4-SPRUCE, or
The NTSB has released its factual report on the Feb. 13 airline flight during which both pilots fell asleep in
the cockpit. The go! Airlines Bombardier CL-600 was bound from Honolulu to Hilo, Hawaii, at about 9 a.m., with 40 passengers. Midway into the flight, the crew failed to respond to repeated radio calls
from air traffic control and other pilots for almost 20 minutes. The aircraft overflew its destination by 26 miles, then the crew turned around and landed safely. Both pilots had flown eight legs in
each of the two days prior to the incident, and had started their workday at 4 a.m. Scheduling glitches and a heavier workload due to a malfunctioning flight management system on several flights added
to their stresses, the NTSB reported. The first officer, age 23, was assigned to fly the leg to Hilo. "Working as hard as we had, we tend to relax," the captain, age 53, told the NTSB. "We had gotten
back on schedule [after a departure delay], it was comfortable in the cockpit, the pressure was behind us. The warm Hawaiian sun was blaring in as we went eastbound. I just kind of closed my eyes for
a minute, enjoying the sunshine, and dozed off." The first officer said he entered a sleep-like state from which he could "hear what was going on, but could not comprehend or make it click." The
captain told investigators that he had often taken naps in the cockpit in the past, but the first officer said he had never dozed off before. The captain was later evaluated and found to suffer from
sleep apnea, which can cause "significant fatigue." The captain called the FAA upon landing, the NTSB said, and told FAA personnel the crew had lost radio communications because they had selected an
incorrect frequency. The captain and first officer then discussed whether they should fly the next scheduled flight, and decided it would be safe "because they were feeling very alert as a result of
During that flight, back to Honolulu, they decided they should not fly for the rest of the day, and notified their scheduling office. The captain declined to provide an explanation on the telephone
to the chief pilot, but a few hours later, he submitted a written report to Mesa Airlines, the parent of go!, stating that he and the first officer had fallen asleep during the cruise phase of flight.
Both pilots were fired by the airline. The FAA suspended the captain's certificate for 60 days and the first officer's for 45
Icing and Precipitation Can Be Deadly Refresh Your Skills Now!
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Do you have an opinion about the FAA's current technology for disseminating Notam information? If you do, and if you can be in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, Jan. 10, then the FAA wants your input. A
one-day focus group for general-aviation pilots will be held to gather feedback on the current Notam system and suggestions for the Notam System Update, now in the works. American Institutes for
Research, an independent research organization, is coordinating the stakeholder input for the FAA, and they are hoping to learn how GA pilots use Notams now, what they like and don't like about the
system, and what changes they would like to see. The GA pilots' input will be considered by the FAA along with input from airline pilots, airline dispatchers, and military pilots. The meeting will
take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 1000 Thomas Jefferson Street NW. Brett Brunk of the FAA Aeronautical Information Management group will give a briefing on the current status of the project.
Registration is free and is open until Tuesday, Jan. 6. Space is limited, so sign up now.
For more information, contact Cori White at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 403-5768. The FAA said in May 2007 that it would modify the Notam system, but full
implementation of the new system is expected to take until 2011 or longer.
Get the Diamond Advantage with the Leaders in Flight Trainings Diamond's DA20 and DA40 CS offer low operating costs, attractive insurance rates, simple maintenance and an industry-leading safety record. No matter what your mission or budget,
there are no better options to update your fleet and customize your training flight line. Diamond's DA20 is now available with optional Aspen Avionics Evolution primary flight display,
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New rules proposed by the Transportation Security Administration would affect only the operators of large aircraft -- over 12,500 pounds -- but the general aviation community, representing pilots of
aircraft of all sizes, is united in opposition to the plan. Public hearings on the Large Aircraft Security Program (LASP) begin next week, Tuesday, Jan. 6, at Westchester County Airport in White
Plains, N.Y. In a briefing paper, EAA said that it "strongly encourages" everyone involved in recreational, personal and business
aviation to participate in the TSA public hearings. EAA is concerned that the proposal would infringe "on the freedom of movement by private U.S. citizens and their family, friends, and business
associates in their own personal or business-use aircraft." Ed Bolen, CEO and president of the National Business Aviation Association, plans to be in White Plains to testify. NBAA has posted a list of concerns with the proposal, which includes a TSA checklist of 80 items that would be prohibited from the
cabin, a requirement for private aircraft to carry federal air marshals on demand, and fees for required "security audits." Anyone who wishes to provide oral testimony can attend the New York hearing,
which begins at 9 a.m., with registration starting at 8. For more information about the hearings, click here for the
complete TSA official notice. Other public meetings are scheduled for Jan. 8 in Atlanta, Ga.; Jan. 16 in Chicago; Jan. 23 in Burbank, Calif.; and Jan. 28 in Houston, Texas.
For the full text of the TSA NPRM, all 260 pages of it, click here. All interested persons may provide written comments,
which must be received by Feb. 27. To post a comment online, click here, and
then click on the "Add Comments" icon.
The NTSB recently issued a Safety Alert advising pilots that the procedures they have been taught regarding the use
of de-icing boots may not be safe, but the National Business Aviation Association said this week that operators
"should continue to base their decisions about de-icing on their experience and judgment." The NTSB alert said that pilots shouldn't wait "for a prescribed accumulation of leading-edge ice before
activating the de-ice boots because of the believed threat of ice bridging." Ice bridging has never been implicated as the cause of an accident, and is extremely rare, and may not exist at all, the
NTSB said, and delaying the use of the boots has been noted in "numerous incidents and accidents." NBAA said it believes "proving the existence of ice bridging after an accident is difficult, and many
documented cases resulted in successful outcomes due to the skill and professionalism of the flight crew." Misuse of the de-icing boots was cited as a factor in the NTSB report on the crash of a Cessna Citation 560 in Pueblo, Colo., in February 2005, in which all eight people on board were
killed. At that time, the NTSB asked the FAA to require all manufacturers and operators of airplanes equipped with pneumatic leading-edge de-ice boots to revise their manuals and training programs to
emphasize that the boots should be activated as soon as the airplane enters icing conditions.
The safety board also asked the FAA to require that all pneumatic de-ice boot-equipped airplanes certified to fly in known icing conditions should have a mode that would automatically continue to
cycle the boots once the system has been activated.
Rumors that other bidders will try to assume control of Eclipse Aviation will either be verified or put to rest Jan. 14 when a Maryland
bankruptcy court holds an auction for the assets of the company. Eclipse filed for Chapter 11 protection on Nov. 25 and a Luxembourg subsidiary of ETIRC Aviation, which is headed by Eclipse's Chairman
of the Board Roel Pieper, has let it be known it wants to buy the company for $198 million. According to an
Associated Press Report carried by Business Week, other potential suitors will have until Jan. 13 to get their bids in.
Eclipse had asked the auction to be set a week earlier but court scheduling problems led to the delay. Although ETIRC has been the only publicly declared bidder to date, there have been persistent
rumors that at least one other bid is in the offing. Court documents indicate the company had more than $1 billion in liabilities when it filed for bankruptcy.
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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.
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A fuel mix of 50/50 conventional Jet A1 and fuel derived from the seeds of the jatropha tree passed its first flight test this week, in an Air New Zealand Boeing 747-400. The flight lasted about two
hours and several tests were conducted, including shutting down and restarting the test engine. "All the parameters that we observed were as expected," said Air New Zealand chief pilot David Morgan.
The engine will be taken apart and examined by Rolls Royce for signs of any problems. The fuel was refined and blended in the U.S. by UOP, a subsidiary of Honeywell, and has a freezing point even
lower than standard jet fuel. It is considered a "second-generation" biofuel because it can be produced more sustainably than earlier alternative fuels based on corn or other crops that require a lot
of farmland and energy to produce. The jatropha tree is easy to grow in a variety of conditions and it's resistant to drought and pests. It is native to Central America, but has spread to South
America, Africa, and Asia, where it grows wild. "Today, we stand at the earliest stages of sustainable fuel development and an important moment in aviation history," Air New Zealand Chief Executive
Rob Fyfe said shortly after the flight. Officials from the airline have said they hope to supply 10 percent of the airline's fuel needs with biofuel by 2013.
Already, the government in India is using jatropha-based biofuel in buses and trucks, and has planted millions of acres of saplings along the nation's railroad tracks. Seeds from the tree's small
round fruits contain up to 40 percent oil. Cost comparisons are difficult since the price of traditional oil is volatile and the jatropha fuel has not yet been produced on a commercial scale, but it
is expected to be competitive. Biofuels emit about the same amount of carbon in flight as standard petroleum-based fuels, but since the plants absorb carbon as they grow, the biofuel is considered
more environmentally friendly overall.
NASA on Tuesday released a comprehensive study of crew safety equipment and
procedures used during the space shuttle Columbia accident, with recommendations for improving the safety of all future crew members in space ...
The USAF Thunderbirds jet aerobatics team has released its 2009 schedule for show appearances across the U.S. ...
FAA has revoked the certificates of four Missouri men involved in operating a skydiving
business that has been the site of three fatalities this year.
Diamond Aircraft Raffle: Great Gift Idea for the Pilot Who Has Everything!
Win a Diamond Star DA40 XLS! Only 5,000 tickets will be sold to benefit Wings of Dreams, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Help Wings of Dreams complete their aviation museum and
warbird restoration facilities at Keystone Heights Airport, Florida (42J). Target drawing date (if 5,000 tickets are sold) is February 22, 2009. Void where
Last week, we asked what sorts of aviation-related gifts our readers received during the holidays and were shocked to see that our option choices were so far off-base! (Either
that, or you were very naughty pilots this year and just got lumps of coal in your stockings.) Just over 10% of those who answered our poll received some flying books and manuals, while only 6% of
you found a new GPS under the tree. A surprising 76% of you said I didn't get any of that stuff.
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 ***
As 2008 draws to a close, we turn to our most trusted news source (that would be you, the AVweb reader) for an opinion on which headline dominated the year.
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.
AERO Friedrichshafen The Best Place for Your Business AERO Friedrichshafen is the premier European trade show for the General Aviation industry. Starting in 2009, AERO will take place annually. Situated in Central Europe, within the
bordertriangle of Switzerland, Austria, and Germany, AERO is the ideal platform for the European General Aviation market. In addition, Messe Friedrichshafen is one of the most
modern fairgrounds in Europe. If you want to do business in Europe, you have to be there!
Go online for
By now, you've seen and heard a lot about Garmin's new GPSMap 696 GPS device. In this video, Jeb Burnside, Editor-in-Chief of Aviation Safety magazine, walks you through four key safety features of the 696.
IFR magazine Editor-in-Chief Jeff Van West spent time in the Tower at Kennedy airport to see what it takes to run the
operation during the evening push and why it takes two years for a controller to reach full qualification at one of the busiest airports in the Northeast.
Economic Challenges Call for Proven Advertising Results AVweb Delivers Results
Since 1995, AVweb has been the most comprehensive no-cost aviation site online. Advertisers reach over 255,000 pilots, aircraft owners, and aviation professionals via a unique and
effective combination of newsletter text messages and web site banner ads. Links send readers directly to advertisers' web sites for instant information.
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on AVweb's cost-effective programs.
Santa makes one final delivery for the holiday season, awarding AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon to Epps Aviation at KPDK in
AVweb reader Steve Shrum has the story of how Epps saved his Christmas:
I was delivering some very special cargo to Peachtree on Christmas. The cargo included a mother, father, son, and daughter who otherwise would not have made it back home to visit with their family
over the holiday. We had to wait out a long line of severe thunderstorms that stretched from Canada to Mexico. After the delay, we arrived in Atlanta just shortly after midnight. Little did we know
that our batteries had made their last start. The kind folks at Epps Aviation were incredibly helpful most specifically, Lymen Fisher. He didn't seem to mind when getting a call at 2 in the
morning. He made the one-hour drive to the airport to help us with a battery change at 4 in the morning. The time for us went extremely fast as he kept us laughing with flying and mechanic stories
that he had accumulated over the years. Needless to say, he is the sole reason I made it back to northern Arkansas with five minutes to spare to save my Christmas morning. In my opinion, this is yet
another Christmas miracle. Thanks, Lymen!
AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!
A Pilot's Look at Life Clear Left, I'll Have the Chicken: An Airline Captain Looks at Life, by Kevin Garrison. What people are saying: "I have spent years and billions of dollars getting into space, only to
find that Kevin already is" NASA spokesperson. "I think he was trying to be funny" Mark Twain.
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 ***
Happy New Year!
Over the last 365 days, we've received an incredible 4,580 submissions to our weekly photo contest. At just over 800 MB of photos, that's more raw images that we could archive on a
single CD. Counting today's entries in our home page slideshow, we've shared 872 photos with you over the last 53 Thursdays.
One of the nice surprises in this week's batch of submissions was the number of photos we saw from submitters who have been AWOL for most of the year!
Jakob Adolf of Herten, Nordrhein-Westfalen (Germany) is still working with the Madagascar Ankizy
Fund building public service facilities on the island. Here, he flies building supplies in to Bekodoka for a future hospital on an air strip that hadn't been used "for over 40 years."
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.
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 email@example.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.
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
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Comments or questions about the news should be sent here.
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