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If you think about something you spent 18 days doing in your life, chances are you don't envision a completed aircraft at the end of
it. But that's what Texas Sport Aircraft is offering participants in its KwikBild program available when they buy a Texas Sport CUB kit. The 21-day total (Sundays are off) program takes the builder
from scratch through assembly, paint, firewall forward etc. to a complete aircraft in a factory setting with all kinds of helpful advice from the folks who do it for a living. There's also a 14-day
program that gets the project well under way for finishing at home. "Building a Texas Sport Aircraft is an exciting endeavor," says a company news release, noting that KwikBild customers share the
factory floor with others completing their aircraft and the pace is "brisk."
There's some flexibility in the outcome of the project, too. Those who want to fly their aircraft under private pilot privileges can build a plane with a gross weight of 1,600 lbs. If they want to
operate under E-LSA rules, the kit can be made to top out at the required 1,320 lbs."The aircraft is a derivative of the popular American Legend Cub, and is intended for amateur aircraft builders,"
the news release says. A completed kit is on display at the show.
The accident rate in Light Sport Aircraft is "horrid" but it's getting better according to an insurance industry executive. Mike
Adams, vice president of underwriting for Avemco Insurance told AVweb in a podcast interview that experienced pilots continue to underestimate
the challenges of putting lightweight, draggy and low-powered airplanes on the pavement and the majority of claims continue to result from these factors. Adams will be giving a seminar on Saturday at
the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, Fla. on insurance trends for LSA. The trend is headed in the right direction, he said, but it has a ways to go.
Last year, Avemco added a clause to LSA policies requiring a minimum of five hours of dual with a properly rated instructor for any pilot, regardless of experience, before first solo. He said
experienced pilots need the transition time to get used to flying something tiny again and the experience of the past year clearly shows that the instructor time is paying off. He also said Avemco is
revising its business model for the LSA sector and hopes to break even in two years.
Among the dozens of light sport aircraft that will be on exhibit this week at the annual Sebring U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Florida
will be the Roko Aero NG IV, making its U.S. debut. The airplane, designed by Milan Bristela, who also designed the CZAW SportCruiser, has been purpose-built to be "the ultimate training aircraft,"
according to Roko Aero. Pitch sensitivity has been reduced, and lateral stability has been increased, thanks to the addition of new winglets, the
company said in a news release. Also, the landing gear has been beefed up, and the seats are redesigned for improved ergonomics. The panel features the Aspen Avionics EFD 1000 Pilot PFD. Buyers can
choose either the 100-hp Rotax 912 ULS engine or the fuel-efficient 80-hp Rotax 912 UL. Roko Aero also has developed a flight-training program, offering special pricing and student leads to flight
schools that join. The Sebring Expo runs Thursday through Sunday, and reporters from AVweb and our sister aviation publications at Belvoir Media Group will be on site to bring you live
interviews, pictures, and updates.
The event features free EAA forums and a singular opportunity to view a wide array of LSA aircraft up close, with demo flights available, and plenty of expert advice. The show is designed to make
it easier for those who are interested in buying an LSA or learning to fly one to get the information they need to make those decisions. A four-day pass to the event is just $30.
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As the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo 2009 gets underway in Sebring, Florida, Chairman Bob Wood talks with Aviation
Safety Editor-in-Chief Jeb Burnside. A quick preview of this year's show tells attendees what to expect and what they don't want to miss at the nation's premier sport pilot gathering.
Aircraft Spruce Works Hard to Bring You Low Prices!
Found a better price at another authorized dealer? Aircraft Spruce will meet or beat that price. Price matching is applicable if: There are identical conditions of sale; item must be in
stock at other authorized dealer not a floor sample, "open box" item, refurbished, or demo piece; and on new purchases only. Aircraft Spruce offers same-day shipping before 4
p.m. (Pacific), over 60,000 parts in stock, and the lowest prices guaranteed. Call Aircraft Spruce at 1 (877) 4-SPRUCE, or
Most of us learned to fly on small airplanes that felt every breath of wind. Then we went on to bigger, more powerful, and more stable aircraft. Well, it turns out you can go back, but it's best
if you have some refresher training. AVweb's Russ Niles spoke with Avemco Insurance's Mike Adams about mandatory checkout time for LSA pilots, regardless of how many hours they have in
Avemco Insurance Hosts Important Seminar at U.S. Sport Aviation Expo 2009
Accident trends in light sport aircraft and insurance challenges for these pilots will be topics covered during LSA Accidents An Insurance Perspective, a seminar on January 24 (1 p.m.) at Sebring Regional Airport, Florida. U.S. Sport Aviation Expo attendees who are interested in light sport aircraft and accessories, the Sport
Pilot Certificate, and other LSA-related certifications will find Avemco's seminar worthwhile. For more information, call Avemco at (888) 241-7891, or
A Delaware bankruptcy judge has approved the sale of the assets of Eclipse Aviation to EclipseJet Aviation International, a subsidiary
of ETIRC Aviation, which is owned by current Eclipse CEO Roel Pieper and is the largest single investor in Eclipse. Judge Mary Walrath, of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, made her decision Tuesday after
hearing two days of testimony, much of it in opposition to the sale. Pieper's offer is $28 million in cash, plus $160 million in shares and 15-percent equity in the company for secured shareholders.
When it filed for Chapter 11 protection on Nov. 25, it was estimated that Eclipse owed more than $1 billion. Now that the ownership question has been settled, perhaps an even larger question looms,
particularly for the people and politicians of Albuquerque.
Although Eclipse has said that it intends keep its facilities in Albuquerque, built and serviced with considerable public incentive money, fears remain that the company will abandon New Mexico in
favor of Russia and a plant that has already been approved there. The reorganization of the company effectively frees Eclipse from any obligations made under those incentives. EclipseJet has not yet
commented on the court decision.
AVweb has teamed up with one of Europe's most important general and business aviation shows. AVweb is partnering with
Eur-Avia Cannes 2009 at the International Airport of Cannes Mandelieu from April 30 to May 2."Eur-Avia Cannes exhibition brings together the leading protagonists in general and business aviation in
order to offer the possibility to a demanding clientele to discover the latest developments and industrial innovations," said show spokeswoman Samantha Chastang. AVweb readers are encouraged to
preregister and use the invitation code AVWEB 09 to get free admission to the show.
The Cannes show is in its third year and has quickly established itself as a leading venue for GA and business manufacturers to exhibit. Organizers have doubled the show space for 2009 and are
expecting even greater diversity of products and services. The exhibition covers the complete range of aviation products including GA aircraft, very light jets, business jets, ultralights,
helicopters, ground equipment, avionics, financing, insurance and maintenance.
AOPA has scrubbed its annual fly-in at its headquarters in Frederick, Md., in favor of more outreach at flying events and some
non-aviation events in the coming year. In a story on its Web site the organization says the shift is in
keeping with its Let's Go Flying promotion encouraging people to discover flying. "The association will bring the excitement of GA
flying to new venues throughout the year," the AOPA story reads.
Along with Sun 'n Fun and EAA AirVenture, which it has traditionally attended in force, AOPA is making first appearances at the Dayton Air Show and the Reno Air Races. It's also going to display at
"boat shows, motorcycle events and more." Last year's event attracted about 500 aircraft and 5,000 people. AOPA says members don't need a fly-in to visit Frederick. The office is open weekdays and
anyone is welcome to drop by.
A story in the Jan. 21 edition of AVwebBiz gave the incorrect name and dates for the Light Business Airplane
Conference. The event will be held Mar. 13-14 in San Diego. AVweb regrets the errors, and the online archive has been corrected to reflect the correct information.
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
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Aviation Safety: Emergency Services Under
Last week, the NTSB released its probable-cause reports on four of the nine helicopter emergency-medical-services flights involving 35 fatalities that occurred since Dec. 2007, an event that quickly
became somewhat overshadowed, as an A320 ditched in the Hudson River that very same day. The safety board said that flying at night in bad weather was a factor in three of the EMS crashes, which
killed 12 people. In the fourth crash, in which three people died, the pilot flew too low over trees while searching for a lost hunter, the board said. The FAA has still not acted on NTSB
recommendations to require Terrain Awareness and Warning Systems in emergency helicopters, and the board's suggestions to improve training and dispatch procedures also have not been fully implemented.
"It is a big issue and the safety board is very concerned about the alarming increase we've seen over the last 14 months," said board member Robert Sumwalt, according to The Associated Press. "The recent accident record is totally unacceptable." The main
goal is to get the new technology and procedures into the cockpit, FAA spokesman Les Dorr told the AP. "Rulemaking is one way, but it is not the only way." The NTSB's final reports can be read
Click on each accident date to access the newly released NTSB report: Dec. 3, 2007, involving a Eurocopter
BK117C1 helicopter, near Whittier, Alaska; Dec. 30, 2007, involving a Bell 206L-3, near Cherokee, Ala.; Feb. 5, 2008, involving a Eurocopter AS350B2 EMS helicopter, near South Padre Island, Texas; and June 8, 2008, involving a Bell 407 EMS helicopter, south of Huntsville, Texas. The NTSB will hold hearings next month in Washington, D.C., to address the issue of safety in helicopter EMS
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Nation Still Enthralled by "Miracle on the
The NTSB on Wednesday afternoon released new factual information in connection with its continuing investigation of US
Airways Flight 1549, the Airbus 320 that ditched into the Hudson River in New York on Jan. 15. Factual updates from the board are generally considered preliminary information and no conclusions are
drawn from the findings. The right engine has been externally examined and documented, the safety board said. An examination of the first-stage fan blades revealed evidence of soft body impact damage.
Three of the variable guide vanes are fractured and two are missing. The engine's electronic control unit is missing and numerous internal components of the engine were significantly damaged. What
appears to be organic material was found in the right engine and on the wings and fuselage. Samples of the material have been provided to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a complete DNA
analysis. A single feather was found attached to a flap track on the wing. It is being sent to bird
identification experts at the Smithsonian. The left engine has been located in about 50 feet of water near the area of the Hudson River where the aircraft ditched. The NTSB is working with
federal, state and local agencies to recover the engine, which is expected to occur sometime on Thursday.
The NTSB also learned that the right engine experienced a surge during a flight on Jan. 13, and a temperature probe was subsequently replaced. The NTSB's Survival Factors group is interviewing
passengers to learn more about the events surrounding the ditching and the emergency evacuation and rescue, and the Operations and Human Performance group is interviewing US Airways flight operations
training personnel. The on-scene documentation of the airplane is expected to be completed by the end of the week. The aircraft will then be moved to a more permanent storage site where more detailed
documentation of the damage can be performed at a later date.
Along with about 2 million other people who spent Wednesday in Washington, D.C., Captain Chesley Sullenberger, the pilot who just last week deftly steered a crippled Airbus to a safe landing in New
York's Hudson River, made his way to the Capitol for Inauguration Day. Capt. Sullenberger and his family were there at the invitation of President Barack Obama, although so far there have been no
confirmed reports that the two had a chance to meet. They did speak on the phone, however, after last week's ditching, and Sullenberger told the then-president-elect, "Me and my crew, we were just
doing our job." On Monday, Mr. Obama told reporters, "It made me think, if everybody did their job, whatever that job was, as well as that pilot did his job, we'd be in pretty good shape." The captain
attended the inauguration and was spotted by TMZ.com's celeb-watchers later in the day at a district restaurant
called, appropriately enough, "Hudson," dining with some members of his crew and passengers from last week's flight. Sullenberger, who was dubbed by TMZ as "the most famous pilot on the planet," was a
"rock star," according to the report, graciously shaking hands with a steady flow of admirers. On Saturday, Capt. Sullenberger returns to his home town of Danville, Calif., a suburb in the San
Francisco Bay area, where he and his family will attend a ceremony on the Town Green hosted by the town's mayor.
So far, the captain has not spoken publicly about the accident. Bruce Landsberg, of AOPA's Air Safety Foundation, said that GA pilots can learn some lessons from the ditching. Don't try to turn
back to the runway, have options in mind if an emergency occurs close to the ground, and focus on flying the airplane all the way to touchdown, Landsberg suggests. The ASF also offers advice for pilots about bird-strike hazards and how to avoid them or cope with them.
If you're looking for a home with your own runway, this house for sale in the Normandy region of France has it -- plus 100 acres of land, nine
buildings, a six-hole golf course, stables for 20 horses, and more. And as an added attraction, the grass runway itself, nicely mowed and over 3,000 feet long, is sited right at zero degrees of
longitude. According to the current owners, this is "the only place in the world where you can land your airplane exactly on the Greenwich Meridian," which is not quite precisely so -- since the
runway is designated as 060/240 and the Meridian runs directly north-south, the landing roll actually intersects the meridian, rather than being aligned with it. But that's a minor point, considering
that besides the convenience of flying in and out, and the pleasures of golf and horseback riding, the new owners of the property will get an aircraft hangar, a caretaker's house, and a crystal-clear
river for swimming and fishing. The property is about 100 miles from Paris and 9 miles from the beach. The airstrip is equipped with an official international license, the owners say, which permits
flights directly to and from almost every country in Europe.
All the official airport signals are placed, including two windsocks. The runway is specially designed for airplanes such as the PC12, Cessna Caravan, or TBM 850, and it could be paved "without any
problem," the owners say. Click here for all the details.
Many AVwebreaders first heard about the possibilities of online search-and-rescue techniques when Steve Fossett vanished over a year ago, and thousands pitched in to scrutinize aerial imagery
in search of clues. Some of the folks who helped coordinate that effort formed InternetSAR, a nonprofit group working to develop online
search-and-rescue techniques, and currently they need more volunteers to help in a new search. A King Air that launched in November from the Cheddi Jagan International airport in Georgetown, Guyana,
on a geological survey flight with three crewmen on board is still missing. One routine radio call was made 45 minutes into the flight, but nothing more has been heard from the crew since. Local
search efforts were suspended after two weeks, but private firms continued to search for several weeks more, employing a variety of sensors, and limited ground searching continues. InternetSAR is
helping to review high-resolution aerial photographs taken over almost 500 square miles of the search area. "This is about the best imagery we have seen," says InternetSAR founder Ken Barbalace. He
said the terrain is challenging, with trees over 150 feet tall and dense jungle, but he remains optimistic that clues to the fate of the missing crew can be found. During the search mission,
volunteers will scan over 8,000 aerial images that take up 300 gigabytes of computer storage. Anyone who would like to help search for the three men and their missing airplane can click here to sign up online.
Volunteers download the imagery, then scan the image looking for signs of the missing airplane, using techniques developed by InternetSAR. Barbalace talked with AVweb editor-in-chief Russ
Niles about a year ago about the group's efforts; click here to listen to that podcast.
Tom Moon, who was four times Australia's national aerobatics champion, died on
Tuesday when the Extra 300 he was flying crashed on a runway next to the Temora Aviation Museum, in which he played an active
Waco announced it will certify select pre-owned aircraft that meet stringent standards and provide a factory warranty with the sale...
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
So you busted your altitude and ATC scolded you. Should you be worried? IFR magazine editor Jeff Van West talks with aviation law expert John Yodice about what to do and not
to do when you screw up as PIC.
AVweb video editor Glenn Pew has compiled footage and information on the January 15 crash of US Airways
Flight 1549 that successfully ditched in the Hudson River minutes after departure from LaGuardia airport. Piloted by Chesley Sullenberger and Jeffrey Skiles, the aircraft landed safely in the
water, where NY Waterways ferries and emergency personnel then rescued all 155 aboard.
US Airways Flight 1549 was a textbook ditching with the best outcome imaginable. AVweb Editorial Director Paul Bertorelli thinks there's plenty to be learned from the crew, the circumstances,
and the flight path.
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
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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.
Hill Aircraft Parts Department Announces January as Customer Appreciation Month
All Internet orders placed in January are eligible for an additional 10% discount off the total price. $500 maximum discount. (Excludes freight, taxes, and cores if applicable.) To be
eligible for this discount, simply enter code Special 0109 in the "comments" section on the Internet order form.
Click here to save
Due to IFR weather along my route from SAC to ABQ, I spent an extra two days at Boulder City, Nevada. The FBO, Star and Stripes Air Services, not only delivered me to and from the motel, but [they]
made sure I joined them for a very nice Thanksgiving dinner at the FBO office. Sandi, Debra, and Toni all were great and made my unexpected stay a very memorable one!
AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!
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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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 ***
Submissions have dropped off a bit this week, but that's be to expected, given the contrast between the bitter cold (still) assaulting North America and the onset of the U.S.
Sport Aviation Expo in (we hope) warm and sunny Sebring, Florida. Still, many of you did find time to submit your aviation photos to our weekly contest, and for that, we're eternally grateful. (A
good picture here and there throughout the week does a lot to keep us in a warm mindset.)
Mark Madden of Anchorage, Alaska went all the way to a glacier "east of Talkeetna" to secure this week's top "POTW" spot. Turns
out it was part of his ski and glacier training at Don Lee's Alaska Floats & Skis which Mark undertook during Spring Break last
Kevin Nielsen of Lawrenceville, Georgia came so close to landing the top spot this week, but the combination of last week's incredible moon photo* and an overwhelmingly snowy batch of photos in this week's box prompted us to go with the glacier
(It's an inexact science. At least we didn't result to arm-wrestling or a coin those ... this week.)
* Clyde Prichard points out that that full moon photo was taken on January 10, a rare instance of the moon being full while also at it the closest point in its orbit of
the Earth a fact we should've mentioned last week!
Ricky Barnard of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma breaks out the industrial strength crayons actually just a little post-production with PhotoShop to
blend three different exposures of the the same photo for maximum color. Sharp!
Hey, we know those guys! Donald Neuberg of LaGrange, Georgia mixes two of our favorite class acts to mingle with at airshows the USAF and
Dan Gryder's DC-3 crew. How long 'til we get to see 'em again at Sun 'n Fun ... ?
Untouched Photo Distortion Courtesy of the iPhone!
More fun with the iPhone Mike Donahue of Newburyport, Massachusetts shares another
one of these iPhone snaps we've started collecting. As Mike points out, "Note [that] even the shadow of the prop is bent!"
You'll find more reader-submitted photos in the slideshow on AVweb's home page. Don't miss 'em!
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.
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.