AVwebFlash - Volume 14, Number 53b

January 1, 2009

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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Top News: Expedition Type-Certification back to top 
Sponsor Announcement

Canada's Expedition E350 Gets FAA OK

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.
If You've Got the Savvy, They've Got the Vision back to top 
Sponsor Announcement

Gavilan Project For Sale

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 order online.
NTSB Reports on Go! Airlines Pilot Fatigue Case back to top 

NTSB Reports Details Of Sleeping Pilots Incident

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 the incident."

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 days.

Icing and Precipitation Can Be Deadly — Refresh Your Skills Now!
Icing and precipitation are among the top causes of fatal weather-related accidents. Learn how to recognize the hazards and create a strategy for avoidance with the newest interactive course from the AOPA Air Safety FoundationWeather Wise: Precipitation & Icing. Check out this no-cost online course now!
Volunteers, Step Forward back to top 

GA Pilots Wanted For Notam Study

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.

Click here to register. Parking will be provided.

For more information, contact Cori White at cwhite@air.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.

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What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Week back to top 

LASP Hearings Start Next Week

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.

NBAA Counters NTSB Icing Alert

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.

Eclipse Auction Jan. 14

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.

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/.

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

Mike Busch and his team of seasoned maintenance professionals are saving their aircraft-owner clients thousands of dollars a year in parts and labor — not to mention hours of hassle — by providing professional maintenance management for owner-flown singles and twins. Learn how they do it.
News Briefs back to top 

New "Second-Generation" Biofuel Passes Airliner Test

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.

On the Fly ...

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. ...

Several major airlines are continuing to refuse to take part in the FAA's aviation safety reporting program, the Washington Post reports ...

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!

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For more information, visit WingsOfDreams.org.
New on AVweb back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: Avgas Prices — Why Aren't They Cheaper?

Your corner service station is offering 2001 prices; why isn't your FBO? Actually, a few are, and Paul Bertorelli explains why in the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog.

Read more.

Question of the Week: 2008 Aviation News Year-in-Review

This Week's Question | Previous Week's Answers


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.)


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.

What was the big aviation story of 2008?
(click to answer)

Have an idea for a new "Question of the Week"? Send your suggestions to .

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 border—triangle 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 complete information.
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

Bonus Video! Aviation Safety Profiles the Garmin 696's Top Safety Features

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

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.

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.

Bonus Video! IFR Magazine Goes Inside the Tower at JFK International Airport

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

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.

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.

Economic Challenges Call for Proven Advertising Results — AVweb Delivers Results
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Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Epps Aviation (KPDK, Atlanta, GA)

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

Santa makes one final delivery for the holiday season, awarding AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon to Epps Aviation at KPDK in Atlanta, Georgia.

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!

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!

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.

Available online for only $10.95.
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.


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.

As long-time readers know, we're never satisfied — so let's try to top those numbers in '09! Click here to kick off the new year with a photo submission to AVweb.

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copyright © Stuart Toomey
Used with permission

Helo at Morro Rock

Stuart Toomey of Paso Robles, California looks back on 2008 from atop Morro Bay's dormant volcano.

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Used with permission of Kent Barnes

LTA Canyon Flying

Did someone say "majestic natural scenery"?

If so, Kent Barnes of Murray, Utah delivers, in a big way. Antelope Canyon (near Lake Powell) is the setting for Kent's backcountry adventure.

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Used with permission of Mike Parry

Staggerwing Bendy Prop

What the — ?!

Mike Parry of Hockessin, Delaware explains that this is the result of an "interesting effect the iPhone camera has capturing prop action."

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Used with permission of Jakob Adolf

Technology Transfer

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."

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Used with permission of Michael Matthews

Red Bull Gives You Floats, Too!

Michael Matthews of Mooresville, North Carolina bids a fond adieu to 2008 with this shot from Lake Norman.

You'll find more reader-submitted photos in the slideshow on AVweb's home page. See you next year!

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.

The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 

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.

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:

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.