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Volume 15, Number 01b
January 8, 2009
 
Aircraft Spruce Now Carries the New PMA Air-Chamber Door-Seal Kit from Avtek
Avtek's air-chamber door-seal kit is designed and engineered by an engineer at a World Aerospace Jet Manufacturer in Seattle. All models are non-pressure. Select one to four chambers. Results: A warm, dry, and quiet seal like your car door. Air chambers compress on the ground and expand in-flight. Call Aircraft Spruce at 1 (877) 4-SPRUCE, or order online.
 
Top News: Keeping the Aviation World Aloftback to top 
 
Sponsor Announcement

GARMIN AND XM TALKING AGAIN
Users of Garmin's portable datalink receivers—the GPSmap 396, 496 and 696—got their weatherlink back in service by mid-morning on Wednesday, Garmin told AVweb. An undetermined number of users lost access to weather data after New Year's due to technical issues, which Garmin and XM declined to explain in detail. More...

SUPERIOR CHAPTER 11: STILL SHIPPING PARTS, FOR NOW
Superior Air Parts says it's continuing to fill and ship orders following its bankruptcy filing of last week and the acquisition of most of its assets by Textron Lycoming. Superior's Kent Abercrombie told AVweb this week that although the company laid off staff following its Dec. 31 bankruptcy filing, it is maintaining sufficient staff to accept and fill orders.Superior's XP experimental engine program will continue, but its popular owner-build program for homebuilders has been at least temporarily suspended. Lycoming's purchase includes only Superior's assets, meaning its PMAs and STCs for aftermarket parts, production certificates and various approvals, plus all parts in inventory and related intellectual property and equipment. Curiously, it did not buy Superior's Millennium cylinder line for Teledyne-Continental engines that, presumably, represents yet another asset Superior can sell. More...

 
Zero-Down Factory Engine Financing! Guaranteed Lowest Price!
Most Knowledgeable Factory Engine Team!

It's no wonder Air Power is the #1 Factory Engine Distributor, with over 27,000 engines sold! To get a quote and see what everyone is talking about, call Air Power at (888) 759-4295, or visit online.

Air Power
The Best Engines, at the Best Prices, by the Best People!
 
Sturgell Out, Osmus In as Obama Takes Officeback to top 
 

PRESIDENT BUSH SELECTS NEW ACTING ADMINISTRATOR FOR FAA
As his administration prepares to leave office, President George W. Bush on Tuesday announced that he intends to designate Lynne A. Osmus, of Virginia, to be acting administrator of the FAA, effective Jan. 16. The choice was revealed without fanfare near the end of a long list of new designees and appointments to a range of councils and boards. Osmus will replace Robert Sturgell, who has been acting administrator since September 2007. Efforts to confirm Sturgell's appointment languished in the Senate last year, and Sturgell said he would step down before the Obama administration took office. The appointment of Osmus essentially "keeps the seat warm," AOPA spokesman Chris Dancy told AVweb. "It ensures that there is someone accountable at the top of the organization. President-elect Obama is still expected to name a new administrator, and that person, assuming Senate confirmation, will be appointed to the full five-year term." Osmus has been with the FAA since 1979, and is currently the assistant administrator for security. More...

 
Trade-A-Plane, Aviation's Original Search Engine
Back in 1937, Trade-A-Plane was the original — and only — place to look for parts to repair an airplane. Trade-A-Plane is still the best, with everything that keeps you flying — thousands of planes, products, and services updated hourly. Call Trade-A-Plane at (800) 337-5263 or subscribe online.

In print or online, start your search with the world's largest aviation resource — Trade-A-Plane.
 
What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Weekback to top 
 

CIRRUS CALLS MANDATORY STAFF MEETING
Cirrus Design will hold a mandatory staff meeting on Thursday to discuss the company's state of affairs. WDIO TV is reporting that "major staffing changes" are in store for the company, which, like virtually all aircraft manufacturers, is seeing sales drop in the current economic crisis. The TV station quotes vice president of business administration Bill King as saying "huge internal staffing changes" are planned. "If the market conditions continue to soften — and they certainly could, you know, for the first quarter or two of the year here — then we're going to need to be thoughtful about how we respond to that as well," King told the TV station. "We certainly can't allow the business to get put into a situation where we can't sustain it." More...

MORE LAYOFFS AT CESSNA
Cessna is warning its workers to brace for another round of layoffs as the deepening financial crises puts the brakes on aircraft orders. The Wichita Business Journal says Cessna spokesman Doug Oliver confirmed earlier reports that Cessna CEO Jack Pelton had sent an e-mail to employees saying the company's production schedule was being changed in response to economic conditions. He did not detail how each of the various production lines would be affected, nor did he say how many people will be laid off. More...

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/. More...

 
Purchasing an Aircraft in 2009?
AirFleet Capital wants to help you ring in the new year with a new aircraft. With low rates available for new and used aircraft from light sport to light jet, AirFleet Capital helps make aircraft ownership more affordable. Call AirFleet Capital at (800) 390-4324, or request a quote online ... and fly away in a new aircraft in 2009!
 
Forging Ahead in a Tough Marketback to top 
 

FAA CERTIFIES EMBRAER'S LINEAGE 1000 JET
Embraer announced on Wednesday that it has received the type certificate from the FAA for its ultra-large Lineage 1000 executive jet. The aircraft, aimed at the high-end luxury business jet segment, is based on the Embraer 190 commercial jet, which was certified in 2005. It can carry up to 19 passengers in a roomy interior with lots of baggage space, for up to 4,500 nm. The layout features five distinct privacy zones and two lavatories, with a third lavatory and a stand-up shower unit available as options. The cockpit is equipped with a five-screen integrated Honeywell Primus Epic avionics suite. The airplane sells for $43 million and first deliveries are expected early this year. To date, over 20 of the jets have been sold worldwide, according to Embraer. "We are pleased to announce the certification of the Lineage 1000 by the FAA," said Luis Carlos Affonso, Embraer Executive Vice President, Executive Jets. "One of the great achievements of this project regards the maximum range of the aircraft, which was extended to 4,500 nautical miles, giving operators new possibilities for routes and destinations." More...

THIELERT RECOVERING FROM INSOLVENCY, COMPANY SAYS
Despite last year's insolvency and a subsequent drop in production, Thielert Aircraft Engines is now in the black and working to capacity, according to Bruno M. Kubler, the company's insolvency administrator. Kubler also said in a news release on Wednesday that all employees still have their jobs. "The fact that TAE was able to make it back into the profit zone again without any staff cuts is especially gratifying, particularly in these financially difficult times," Kubler said. He added that he is negotiating with new potential investors, including two defense contractors, and he is hopeful that by developing new military applications for the diesel engines and quickly obtaining certifications, the company can ensure its sustainable future. However, Superior Air Parts, a former Thielert subsidiary that got into financial straits following the bankruptcy of its mother company, has not fared so well. Superior filed for bankruptcy last week and laid off much of its staff. Owners of Diamond Twin Stars also are not unscathed, facing several alternatives for dealing with the Thielert problem, none of which will be entirely satisfactory. (Click here for a recent analysis of the Twin Star situation by AVweb Editorial Director Paul Bertorelli.) More...

 
Choose Cutter Aviation PHX for NBA All Star 2009!
Cutter Aviation PHX is your premier FBO for Phoenix, AZ destinations! Make your FBO fuel and ramp reservations today for the NBA All Star Game in Phoenix with Cutter Aviation, and you're automatically entered to win your choice of a Citizen Black Eagle Skyhawk watch or a Coach handbag at tip-off! Reservations must be received by February 8th to be eligible.

Click here to reserve online!
 
News Briefsback to top 
 

PILOTS NEEDED FOR FLIGHT-TRAINING STUDY
Plenty of student pilots and instructors have spent hours of ground time amusing themselves with flight simulator software, but the programs are not generally used as actual training aids. But some researchers at Middle Tennessee State University are working on a study to evaluate the effectiveness of Microsoft Flight Simulator in private pilot training. One of the researchers on that project, Wendy Beckman, began to wonder if the software might also have an effect on students working toward their instrument rating. So she designed an online survey, with just 12 questions, and is inviting instrument-rated pilots to log on and participate. The survey takes only a few minutes to complete, and your input will help Beckman to complete her analysis. "The point of the whole exercise is just to determine if there is some usefulness to the software for pilots," she told AVweb. There are lots of opinions about that, she said, "but it would be nice to have some data." Pilots can participate whether or not they have ever used the program, or if they used it during their training or later to maintain proficiency. Participants are anonymous, and no identifying information is collected. More...

PRIVATIZATION PLAN FOR CALIFORNIA AIRPORT FACES OBSTACLES
Although a new commercial airport due to open soon in Branson, Mo., will be privately run, and hundreds of small GA airfields are operated by private owners, efforts to convert existing government-run airports in the U.S. to private management have met resistance. Since 1997, only six airport operators have applied to an FAA program to privatize airports, and five terminated or withdrew their requests, the Los Angeles Times reported this week. Only a plan to privatize Midway Airport, near Chicago, remains in play. Now, local officials in Long Beach, Calif., are discussing a plan to privatize their municipal airport, but the plan is controversial. "I don't see this as a very attractive target for a takeover by private companies," Councilwoman Tonia Reyes Uranga told the Times. "The airport is close to residential areas, and there's a grandfathered noise ordinance that would be of concern ... I don't know how the airport will be profitable unless there is expansion." And expansion is problematic, since the field is surrounded by densely settled, affluent neighborhoods. Privatization is common in Canada, Europe and Asia, the Times reports. More than 50 airports worldwide have privatized their operations, management or ownership since 1987. More...

FOR AUSTRALIA'S FLYING DOCTORS, OBESITY CARRIES A COST
The Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia, a historic outfit known around the world for providing health care and transport to patients in remote regions since the 1930s, now faces a uniquely 21st-century problem -- the obesity epidemic. Stretchers on new aircraft for air ambulance service in Australia are now required to handle patients weighing up to 570 pounds, almost twice the previous limit. Alan Tippett, spokesman for the RFDS, told the Daily Telegraph that besides upgrading to stronger stretchers, the organization is considering buying two larger airplanes, which would cost about AU$10 million each. "It is alarming to consider that the number of people who are obese has increased so much that special equipment is needed to lift those in a medical emergency to safety," Australia's Acting Health Minister Ian Macdonald told the Telegraph. "This should be a wake-up call to the community to watch what they eat by cutting down on fats and sugars and increasing how often they exercise." The story followed recent reports that more than 7.5 million Australian adults are overweight or obese, representing more than one third of the country's total population. More...

 
Earn 10% Off Your Annual Aviation Insurance Premium!
Want better coverage and better rates? At Avemco®, you'll get up to 10% taken off your annual insurance premium just for completing FAA Wings, dual instruction, or qualified safety courses. To get your no-cost quote, call Avemco at (888) 241-7891 or click here to visit us online.
 
News Briefsback to top 
 

PILOTS HELP TRANSPORT DOGS IN NEED
General aviation got some positive press last Friday when the NBC Nightly News aired a segment about Pilots-N-Paws, an outfit based in South Carolina that helps transport dogs from overcrowded shelters to places where they can be cared for in temporary housing or placed in new homes. The year-old organization doesn't actually arrange the flights, but provides a Web site and discussion forum, a sort of ride board, where those in need and GA pilots who are willing to help can find one another. "Every time I take off, that's a couple more dogs that aren't going to be euthanized," volunteer pilot and co-founder of the organization, John Wehrenberg, told NBC. In an interview last year with USA Today, he said: "Pilots love to fly. I believed that if we created a means for them to discover situations where they could fly and also save animals, many would do it." In just over a year, the Web site has helped to arrange flights for over 200 shelter dogs, flown by about 115 volunteer pilots. Without the pilots' help, dogs that need to be transported to new homes hundreds of miles away are taken by volunteer driver relays, which are difficult to coordinate and can require the animals to be transferred from car to car as often as 12 times in a day. More...

ON THE FLY ...
Flight restrictions have been posted for D.C. on Inauguration Day...
A helicopter crashed on its way to an oil rig, killing eight...
Continental flew a 737 on a second-generation biofuel blend....
Seven airlines sued the FAA to block rules aimed at curbing pilot fatigue. More...

 
Tired of High Fuel Costs? GAMIjectors Are the Answer!
Don't be grounded by sky-high gas prices. Install GAMIjectors and you could see up to a 20% cut in your aircraft's fuel bill. Balanced fuel/air ratios make your aircraft's engine run smoother, cooler, and more efficiently. Call GAMI at (888) FLY-GAMI, or order a kit online for your Continental or Lycoming engine.
 
New on AVwebback 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. More...

 
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 prohibited.

For more information, visit WingsOfDreams.org.
 
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!back to top 
 

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: IS 2009 THE YEAR YOU BUY A LIGHT AIRPLANE?
Tough times for the U.S. economy have slowed predictions of breakout growth in general aviation — but they haven't stalled it. Tell us if this is the year you plan to buy a light airplane.

Plus: Last week, we asked which breaking news story of 2008 deserved the title "Story of the Year"; click through to read what AVweb readers had to say on the subject. More...

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. What have you heard? More...

 
Great Tax Deduction!
Donate your airplane to Build A Plane! This non-profit organization places donated airplanes (all types and conditions) into schools that use the projects to teach students math, science, technology, and engineering. For more information, call Katrina Bradshaw, executive director, at (804) 843-3321, or go online to BuildAPlane.org.
 
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 
 

BONUS VIDEO! AVIATION SAFETY PROFILES THE GARMIN 696'S TOP SAFETY FEATURES
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. (Click through to watch.) More...

BONUS VIDEO! IFR MAGAZINE GOES INSIDE THE TOWER AT JFK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
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. More...

 
Inside the Circle, the New Aviation Novel from
AVweb's "Brainteasers" Quizmaster, Now Available

1937. The Depression lingers, Amelia Earhart is lost, and prohibition is over. Barnstormers who'd once made a living in the bootlegging trade turn to less interesting work. One enterprising flyer, Kate Strauss, can't qualify for the airlines, because "No Women Allowed." With friends and lovers, Kate keeps a small Midwestern flight operation aloft by the numbers — the numbers racket. Go online to order for yourself and as gifts.
 
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 
 

FBO OF THE WEEK: MONTGOMERY COUNTY AVIATION (WINGS FIELD AT KLOM, BLUE BELL, PA)

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to an FBO that's taken the honor once before, back in 2007.

AVweb reader Daniel Stegeman recommended Blue Bell, Pennsylvania's Montgomery County Aviation this time around:

[This] is not a fancy FBO. However, every day of the week — rain, sun, wind — you will be greeted with a smile as soon as you land. They will be at your plane asking how they can help and what you need. I fly in and out of KLOM often ... and every arrival is the same: first class service without exception. From mechanical issues to fuel or directions, [these guys are] always helpful. ... It's not uncommon to have good service at many FBOs, but ... Montgomery County Aviation should be your "FBO of the Week" because they do it right all the time.

Duly noted, Daniel! We couldn't agree more, and that's why MCA gets a second nod from AVweb as this week's leader of the pack.

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!

More...

 
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. Click now for details on AVweb's cost-effective programs.
 
Reader-Submitted Photosback to top 
 

PICTURE OF THE WEEK: AVWEB'S FLYING PHOTOGRAPHY SHOWCASE
The arrival of this student pilot and his instructor (photographed by Victor Pallotto of Passaic, New Jersey) signals the beginning of our weekly photo survey! Grab your specs, and let's spend a little time gawking, shall we? More...

 
Names Behind the Newsback 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.

More...