AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 15, Number 7a

February 16, 2009

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
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Quotes reprinted with permission: Professional Pilot, 2007 Headset Preference Survey, 12/07; Aviation Consumer, 8/07.
 
Top News: Latest Details on Buffalo Crash back to top 
 
Sponsor Announcement

Q400 Pitched Up 31 Degrees Before Crash

Click for larger image

The crew of the Bombardier Q400 that crashed in Buffalo on Thursday got a stall warning and the stick pusher engaged but still the aircraft pitched upward 31 degrees before turning almost 180 degrees and dropping onto a house in the Buffalo suburb of Clarence Center, near the outer marker for Buffalo Niagara International Airport. The sequence of events, which included a 45-degree dive with a 106-degree right bank ended 26 seconds later in the fireball on the ground, killing 49 people on the plane and one on the ground, the owner of the house. Although icing continues as a theme in the investigation, reporters were told at an NTSB press briefing on Sunday that the aircraft's anti-icing system had been on for most of the flight and, while both pilots discussed the "significant" icing their aircraft was experiencing, at no time did they use the "severe icing" descriptor that is the official notification of flight-threatening buildup. "We don't know that it was severe icing," NTSB member Steve Chealander told reporters. "They [the crew] didn't say that it was severe icing....The weatherman didn't say that it was severe icing."

Initial reports suggested the aircraft, flying as Continental Connection Flight 3407 dove on the house but later reports said it crashed in a flat attitude. According to data released at the press conference, the last radar hit showed the aircraft with a forward speed of only 100 knots and it lost 800 feet in five seconds. The autopilot was on for part of the sequence and the engines were set to full power just before impact.

 
3 Airplanes ... 3 Levels ... 1 Edition ... Ice
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SJ-50 Top Priority at Reorganized Cirrus back to top 
 
Sponsor Announcement

Cirrus Shifts Focus Toward Jet Development

Click for video of the Cirrus Vision SJ-50's first flight

Under its new CEO, Brent Wouters, Cirrus Design announced last week that future workforce cuts are likely coming to the company, but its push for development of the Cirrus Vision SJ50 very light jet would help retain some jobs. The company is aiming for FAA certification of the Vision by year-end 2011 and is targeting a $1 million price point. Cirrus is currently holding more than 400 orders for the aircraft, each backed by a $100,000 deposit. Its piston single production has fallen to 20 percent of its former 16 aircraft per week capacity, leading Wouters to characterize present demand as "awful." Cirrus is currently operating on about 655 employees in Duluth, with 150 more at Grand Forks, N.D., and a few dozen scattered elsewhere. The company has vacated 350 positions since September 2008, with 250 dismissals and 100 more officially on furlough. "We are increasing our focus on the jet, because that is going to be our future engine for growth in my estimation," Wouters told the Duluth News Tribune, adding that he did see opportunities, even now.

Cirrus is presently pursuing business opportunities in Indonesia and the Far East, where it hopes fleet deals in the works could translate into orders for up to 100 aircraft. Until then, some Cirrus employees may find themselves repositioned to work on the jet program, and many more may be happy to survive the next round of cutbacks with any sort of job at all.

 
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Recalls, Restrictions, and Runways back to top 
 

Ban Experimental Homebuilt Aircraft At Las Vegas?

A state senate and local assembly joint resolution in Las Vegas is urging Congress to authorize a ban on flights of experimental homebuilt aircraft to and from the North Las Vegas Airport. The resolution points to increased residential density in the neighborhoods "directly in the flight paths" of aircraft arriving and departing at North Las Vegas and states that experimentals have "higher accident rates" than other aircraft groups. Experimental aircraft account for "more than 12 percent of airplane accidents nationwide in 2007," according to language in the resolution, which also states that in the area surrounding North Las Vegas, "several persons" on the ground were killed due to experimental aircraft crashes in 2008. As federal law grants the U.S. government exclusive sovereignty of airspace, the senate and assembly of the state of Nevada is jointly requesting the Congress of the United States to enact legislation granting Clark County authority to ban flights of experimental homebuilt aircraft. Sponsors of the proposed legislation are Senator Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, and Assemblywoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick.

Interested parties may find the full content of the joint resolution here.

Readers interested in sharing their insights with the proposed legislation's sponsors may contact the office of Senator Steven Horsford here and find contact for Assemblywoman Kirkpatrick here.

Continental Recall Affects 9,600 Cylinders

Piston cylinders produced by Teledyne Continental Motors (TCM), installed in certain Model 470, 520 (including turbo-normalized models) and 550 engines shipped since November 2007 are the subject of the manufacturer's voluntary recall. The company expects to replace some 9,600 cylinders currently in the field. According to TCM, "new cylinders will be provided at no cost to the affected customers." Owners have found cracks in the affected cylinder's head castings -- 36 cylinders so far, installed in engines with more than 400 hours on them. The company has issued an a Mandatory Service Bulletin (MSB09-1) [PDF] to direct owners in identification and replacement procedures. Affected aircraft include Bellanca Super Vikings; Beechcraft Debonair, Bonanza and Barons; Commander, Meyers and Navion aircraft; as well as a slew of Cessnas ranging from 180s to 414s. The company has traced the problem to a specific production tool and castings from that tool may be subject to cracking "at the top of the cylinder head near the fuel injector and spark plug bosses." Both new engines and those fitted with replacement parts (top-end overhauls, aftermarket sales, rebuilt engines) are affected.

TCM has established dedicated service numbers, 888-200-7565 (U.S.) or 251-436-8665 (International), and a web-based inquiry management center http://www.tcmlink.com/cylinders (which was not yet active at the time this report was filed) to help customers learn if they're affected and what steps to take if they are.

FSS Shares Blame In Closed Runway Accident

The NTSB says Flight Services is partly to blame for the surprise the two occupants of Cessna 310 got when they landed at Lake Placid, N.Y. last Sept. 9. Although the pilot got an FSS briefing while en route from Iowa, the briefer didn't tell him that a runway was closed for construction. On final for the closed runway, the pilot was able to activate the runway lights with his radio and didn't notice the unlit X at the approach end, the cones or the flashing markers at the middle. The plane ran over several foot-deep gaps in the runway surface during the landing roll and the gear was ripped off but the pilot and his passenger weren't hurt.

Although the pilot apparently did everything correctly, pilot responsibility is just that and the NTSB puts the blame mainly on him for the accident but it does note the FSS briefing as a contributing factor and lists the probable cause as "the pilot's failure to observe the ongoing construction to the closed runway while landing. Contributing to the accident was flight service's failure to brief the pilot of the closed runway." The National Air Traffic Controllers Association suggests the mishap is a result of the privatization of the flight service station system which has "gutted the staffing and service while putting business ahead of safety."

 
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Safer, Cleaner Skies back to top 
 

Airline Group Proactive On Aviation Emissions Plan

Four airlines in conjunction with a British airports operator last week announced formation of the Aviation Global Deal Group (AGD), which supports a "fair and effective global policy solution" for aviation emissions not currently managed by any existing global agreements. Air France, British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Virgin Atlantic, along with the UK airport operator BAA, are seeking a plan that offers real "environmental benefits" enacted in a manner that is both operationally sensible and economically feasible. The group recognizes that the effort must seek to avoid unbalanced market impact so as to maintain fair competition between carriers. AGD's active participants are clearly aiming to alter the perception of commercial aviation as an emissions contributor and make it instead an active part of an emissions solution. The group hopes to offer effective realistic emissions solutions from inside the industry and seeks to recruit other airlines and industry players to the cause in offering a compelling plan. The United Nations climate summit will be held in Copenhagen in December and an agreement referred to as the "new climate deal" will be negotiated there.

Global CO2 emissions earn a 2-percent increase from international aviation, according to the IPCC, and were not included in the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. Speaking on behalf of AGD, Tony Tyler, CEO of Cathay Pacific, said, "We hope the work of our group will offer a practical industry-led solution that creates a level-playing field and appeal to policy-makers, environmental groups and businesses alike." AGD has already found an ally in The Climate Group, an international NGO working to develop a global climate agreement. Steve Howard, the Climate Group's CEO, said, "The launch of the AGD Group is an important and welcome step towards helping countries to agree an environmentally robust approach to the sector's international emissions."

Jeppesen Puts Private Pilot Course Online

Jeppesen has launched a new online training product with interactive content the company says was enhanced directly by customer feedback "to create the most comprehensive online private pilot training course on the market." The $240 training and test preparation course is the first in a series of courses the company plans to release. The already available Private Pilot course "fully prepares students to take the FAA written knowledge exam," and provides detailed flight and animated maneuvers lessons Jeppesen hopes will be used by both students and instructors. The online program is actually based on Jeppesen's private pilot textbook content and, through Jeppesen's Learning Center, tracks each user's progress so that a student's instructor can have access to the student's lesson work. That feature, according to Jeppesen, allows the instructor to examine the student's performance from the standpoint of specific questions to overall results. Jeppesen says its Private Pilot online course is available in three versions in an attempt to best match a student's learning environment.

According to the company's press release the three versions of Jeppesen's course are: a Part 61 Enhanced Ground School, Maneuvers, and Test Preparation version; a Part 61 with Stage Exams and Flight Lessons version; and a Part 141 with Stage Exams and Flight Lessons version. Find the Private Pilot online course here. Jeppesen says it will soon offer Sport Pilot and Instrument Pilot courses online, too.

 
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News Briefs back to top 
 

Scott Crossfield Teacher Award Seeks Entries

Recognizing and rewarding teachers for "outstanding achievement in aerospace education," the National Aviation Hall of Fame is accepting submissions for the annual A. Scott Crossfield Aerospace Education Teacher of the Year Award. Founded by Crossfield in 1986, the award is open to active K through 12 teachers from any public, private or parochial school. The winner, as judged by a committee of aerospace industry and education professionals, will be granted a $1,500 stipend plus an all-expenses-paid trip to Dayton for the 48th Annual Enshrinement Ceremony, to be held July 18.

Deadline for nomination is May 1, 2009. Forms and instructions can be found here (PDF).

On the Fly ...

The owner of a fuel-starved Cessna 152 that landed on an interstate in Utah last week is under investigation after the aircraft ended up back at its home base of Spanish Forks Airport. Local authorities apparently expressly denied permission to fly the refueled airplane from the interstate but likely would have known about it being towed home ...

Shark-mutilated remains of two people believed to have been on board a Cessna 206 that crashed off Puerto Rico have been found. There were six people on the aircraft, which went down Feb. 8 ...

Southwest Airlines' decision to put a 737-long decal of Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition model Bar Rafaeli reclining from economy section to, well, economy section has prompted some ironic observations from some. Southwest did, after all, bar a young woman from a flight after staff deemed her dressed immodestly.

 
Why Take Chances?
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The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 
 

AVmail: February 16, 2009

Each week, we run a sampling of the letters received to our editorial inbox here in AVmail. One letter that's particularly relevant, informative, or otherwise compelling will headline this section as our "Letter of the Week," and we'll send the author an official AVweb baseball cap as a "thank you" for interacting with us (and the rest of our readership). Send us your comments and questions using this form. Please include your mailing address in your e-mail (just in case your letter is our "Letter of the Week"); by the same token, please let us know if your message is not intended for publication.

Letter of the Week: Careful What You Wish For?

Vikram Pandit of CitiGroup acknowledges the new reality: Business aviation is no longer acceptable in Washington. I hope no one is surprised.

Rather than defending the freedom of individuals and businesses to make decisions in their own self-interest (and profit or fail by them), everyone, including the aviation community, is asking for handouts. This is the inevitable result.

Therefore, all I can say is: "Brother, you asked for it."


Bizjet Use

The business community is taking a beating on the use of corporate jets. And the aircraft manufacturers are dramatically cutting jobs. In response, Cessna and others have initiated an ad campaign urging executives to maintain the use of corporate aircraft. The reality is that both actions are needed, but I would offer that the next time a Senator or Representative needs a "lift," they take a commercial flight, train, bus or car and not seek a seat on a corporate aircraft. (This also applies to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who, I believe, has access to and regularly uses a USAF Gulfstream to commute to and from D.C. and her home base in California.)

Lastly, does the President need to take the B747 every time he takes a quick flight in the U.S. without a large entourage? Wouldn't the smaller and more fuel efficient Gulfstreams do the job just as effectively? Surely the "football" that accompanies him everywhere can fit in that aircraft. If security is a concern, then have the flight with a military escort. That builds up military flight training time as well.

Ronald Price

AVweb Replies:

Although the 747s get the most press coverage as Air Force One, Presidents typically use a variety of aircraft tailored to the missions they are on. President Bush often used a Boeing 757 on less formal trips, which is also what Pelosi regularly uses on her trips to San Francisco, but it's been mistakenly referred to as an unwarranted perk. As she is third in line for the Presidency, the administration deems it necessary for her to have access to everything needed to fulfill that role.

Russ Niles
Editor-in-Chief


Liberty Stands Firm

With regard to the 22.45 mpg claim made by Guy Edwards for his LAX-SPF flight in his 1977 Mooney 201:

I think it's obvious that equating the efficiency of a one-way flight versus an out-and-back exercise has no comparison. In that case, the man with the highest tailwind wins, other factors being equal.

We'd be happy to challenge Mr. Edwards to a documented round-trip exercise and then determine the results. And we maintain the claim that we are the world's most fuel-efficient Part 23 IFR-certified two-seater in current production, period!

Paul Everitt
Business Development Manager
Liberty Aerospace Inc.


Read AVmail from other weeks here, and submit your own Letter to the Editor with this form.

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.

 
Put AeroExpo Europe - Prague and AeroExpo Europe - London on Your Show Schedule
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New on AVweb back to top 
 

Spectrum Freedom S.40: A True Next-Gen Jet?

File Size 11.9 MB / Running Time 8:41

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

Linden Blue's Spectrum Aeronautical may be the first non-Honda company to fly the GE Honda HF-120 fanjet, and, when they do, it may be in the most structurally advanced design available. Mr. Blue recently accepted the Aviation Entrepreneur of the Year award, and it's the particulars of his company's Freedom S.40 jet that may carry his company through the economic downturn and land it in the winner's circle on the other side. Find out why in this podcast.

Click here to listen. (11.9 MB, 8:41)

AVweb Insider Blog: Buffalo Flight 3407 Crash — FAA Better Hope It's Not Icing

For years, the NTSB has complained that the FAA hasn't done enough to improve flight-in-icing requirements in the airline industry. If the Buffalo crash is icing-related, AVweb Editorial Director Paul Bertorelli thinks there will be hell to pay.

Read more in the latest installment of the AVweb Insider blog.

 
Can You Believe Avemco® Will Not Exclude Coverage Even If ...
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AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 
 

Exclusive Video: JetLev-Flyer Water-Powered Jet Pack

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

Fly on water thrust — this new jet pack idea may not be the best way to get to work, but it sure does look like a good time. The German company MS Watersports GmbH is marketing the JetLev-Flyer and selling it (lessons included) for about $128,000 — or just about what a brand-new two-seat 120-mph light sport aircraft costs. Video Editor Glenn Pew has the skinny.


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.

Exclusive Video: Are LED Lights Bright Enough?

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

Are LED lights bright enough? Judge for yourself by viewing AVweb's latest product report video. Editorial director Paul Bertorelli demonstrates traditional incandescent bulbs, HIDs, and new-age LEDs. The results are revealing.


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.

 
eBooks & eVideos
Most titles on the AVweb Bookstore (including Jeppesen, McGraw-Hill, ICAO, and many others) are also available as electronic downloads. Why not consider an eBook in Adobe .PDF format? Instant delivery. No shipping costs. Fully searchable, bookmarked, and hyperlinked. Hundreds of reference titles at your fingertips, in your laptop computer. Environmentally friendly. And no import taxes to international customers. Are you sold yet? Click here to learn more, and download a sample to try it out.
 
Your Favorite FBOs back to top 
 

FBO of the Week: Bay Minette Aviation (1R8, Near Mobile, Alabama)

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Bay Minette Aviation at 1R8 in Bay Minette, Alabama (near Mobile).

AVweb reader Al Airey tells us he "actually had to go back and research the 'FBO of the Week' archives because I could not believe they had not previously been recognized":

[I] had to stop in both directions between Texas and Florida because of the pleasant service and fair price. The all-girl line crew make this a must-see FBO, and the facilities are first class, as well. You can do a quick turn, but you will probably want to stay and chat with the staff and maybe purchase one of their newly available photo calendars. This has to be the most unique FBO in all of aviation. The spacious facilities are spotless, prices are the best in the Mobile area, and did I mention the gorgeous crew that makes this a most memorable fuel stop? You should consider a wide deviation in your routing if needed to make a fuel stop at this amazing FBO.

We have to admit: This is the first nomination we've seen where the line crew drew 'em in and the prices brought 'em back ... .

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!

 
Aviation Consumer, the Only Magazine with the Guts to Tell the Truth
Truth about the gear you buy and the planes you fly. Aviation Consumer is packed with in-depth and uncompromising ratings of equipment, avionics, accessories, mods, services, aircraft, and much more. Order online and receive unlimited access to Aviation Consumer's ratings-packed web information database!
 
The Lighter Side of Flight back to top 
 

Short Final

Overheard in IFR Magazine's 'On the Air' Section
Overheard in IFR Magazine's "On the Air"

After several practice instrument approaches into Lakeland, Florida, I stopped and headed to the restaurant. Later, when ready to leave, I called ground control:

Me:
"Control, ready to taxi VFR to X39."

Ground (chuckling) :
"Cessna Three Four Five, it would be quicker if you flew, but if you would rather taxi, I-4 is just up the road. Cleared via taxiway Bravo to Alpha Three for departure."

Me (somewhat embarrassed) :
"Ah — ground, Cessna Three Four Five cleared by Bravo to Alpha Three. And I think we'll fly."

Rick Stapleton
via e-mail

 
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More AVweb for Your Inbox back to top 
 

AVwebBiz: AVweb's Business Aviation Newsletter

Have you signed up yet for AVweb's no-cost weekly business aviation newsletter, AVwebBiz?

Delivered every Wednesday morning, AVwebBiz focuses on the companies, the products and the industry leaders that make headlines in the business aviation industry, making it a must-read.

Add AVwebBiz to your AVweb subscriptions today by clicking here and choosing "Update E-mail Subscriptions."

 
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:

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.