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|Top News: U.S. Sport Aviation Expo Starts Today||back to
DAYS TO A CUB
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."
ACCIDENT RATE IMPROVING AND NEEDS IT
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.
LSA DESIGNED FOR TRAINING COMES TO SEBRING EXPO
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. More...
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SAFETY RECORD SLOWLY IMPROVES
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 other planes. More...
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
, a seminar on January 24
) 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
's seminar worthwhile. For more information, call
at (888) 241-7891
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. More...
PARTNERS WITH CANNES SHOW
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. More...
SCRUBS FREDERICK FLY-IN
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.
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
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|Aviation Safety: Emergency Services Under
RELEASES HELICOPTER CRASH REPORTS
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 online. More...
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|Nation Still Enthralled by "Miracle on the
UPDATE ON HUDSON RIVER DITCHING: FEATHER FOUND
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. More...
SULLENBERGER GOES TO WASHINGTON
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. More...
OWN LANDING STRIP, AT ZERO DEGREES LONGITUDE
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.
NEEDED IN INTERNET SEARCH FOR MISSING AIRPLANE
AVweb readers 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. More...
THE FLY ...
Tom Moon, an Australian national aerobatics
champion, died on Tuesday when his Extra 300 crashed...
announced it will certify select pre-owned aircraft and provide a
The National Aviation Hall of Fame will host
Film Festival of Aviation March 12-15 in Dayton.
The Best Place for Your Business
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
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
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|The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!||back to
OF THE WEEK: YOUR IDEAL PILOT'S GETAWAY
We've tackled some
pretty heavy topics in this section in the last little while, so (given
the upbeat mood of this week), let's engage in a little desert island
thinking: If you could get in your airplane (assuming unlimited
capabilities by the pilot and the aircraft) and go anywhere you wanted
right now, where would it be?
Plus: Last week, we gave
AVweb readers the hypothetical opportunity to decide how federal
aviation stimulus money should be spent; click through to see where your
fellow readers' priorities lay. More...
Hill Aircraft Parts
Department Announces January as Customer Appreciation
All Internet orders placed in January are eligible for an additional
off the total price. $500 maximum discount.
(Excludes freight, taxes, and cores if applicable.) To be eligible for
this discount, simply enter code Special
in the "comments" section on the Internet
Click here to save now!
OF THE WEEK: STARS AND STRIPES AIR SERVICES (BOULDER CITY,
"FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Stars and Stripes Air Services at 61B in
Boulder City, Nevada.
AVweb reader Richard Woodsum
recommended the FBO:
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
Keep those nominations
coming. For complete contest rules, click
AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in
the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here
next Monday! More...
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OF THE WEEK: AVWEB'S FLYING PHOTOGRAPHY SHOWCASE
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. 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
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.
AVwebFlash team is:
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
Have a product or service to advertise
on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's
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),
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Navigate. Communicate. More...