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PITCHED UP 31 DEGREES BEFORE CRASH
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."
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SHIFTS FOCUS TOWARD JET DEVELOPMENT
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.
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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. If you
have an opinion on the matter, and are interested in voicing it with
them, click through. More...
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. More...
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.
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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. More...
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. More...
You Won't Need SVT to See
Where No-Cost Fuel Can Take You,
But We're Throwing It in
If you buy one of a limited number of 2008 Cessna 350 or Cessna 400
aircraft from existing inventory, Cessna will supply you with $25,000
in fuel at no cost to you
and upgrade your state-of-the-art Garmin
G1000 integrated flight deck with new Synthetic Vision Technology.
Supply of eligible aircraft is limited, so act fast and
contact your Cessna representative
CROSSFIELD TEACHER AWARD SEEKS ENTRIES
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. More...
THE FLY ...
Aircraft back at airport, owner in hot
Shark-mutilated bodies found after Puerto Rico
Southwest's cheesecake conundrum. More...
Thousands of pilots will receive certificate actions this year. You
could be the pilot whose certificate is suspended for 180 days because
you flew past the 100-hour inspection. Or you may discover the aircraft
you rented is past due for its annual, putting your certificate at risk.
By enrolling in the AOPA Legal Services Plan, you can receive aviation
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|The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!||back to
FEBRUARY 16, 2009
Letter of the Week: Careful What You
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
Therefore, all I can say is: "Brother, you asked for
Click through to read the rest of this week's
Put AeroExpo Europe - Prague
and AeroExpo Europe - London on Your Show Schedule
AeroExpo Europe - Prague
(May 22-24, 2009) will showcase
everything from ultralights to helicopters to business aircraft in the
heart of Europe, marketing to the European and emerging Eastern European
and Russian markets. AeroExpo Europe - London
(June 12-14, 2009)
includes aircraft from light aircraft, pistons, and turboprops through
to VLJs (very light jets) and all parts and services for these general
Go online for exhibitor and attendee
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VIDEO: JETLEV-FLYER WATER-POWERED JET PACK
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. (Click through to watch.) More...
VIDEO: 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. (Click through to watch.) More...
Most titles on the AVweb Bookstore
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
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OF THE WEEK: BAY MINETTE AVIATION (1R8, NEAR MOBILE,
"FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Bay Minette
Aviation at 1R8 in Bay Minette, Alabama (near
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
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
AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in
the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here
next Monday! More...
|Overheard in IFR Magazine's "On the
After several practice instrument
approaches into Lakeland, Florida, I stopped and headed to the
restaurant. Later, when ready to leave, I called ground
"Control, ready to taxi VFR to
Ground (chuckling) :
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
Me (somewhat embarrassed)
"Ah ground, Cessna Three Four Five cleared by Bravo
to Alpha Three. And I think we'll fly."
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AVWEB'S BUSINESS AVIATION NEWSLETTER
Have you signed up yet for AVweb's no-cost weekly
business aviation newsletter, AVwebBiz?
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." More...
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),
there's also a text-only version of AVwebFlash. For complete
instructions on making the switch, click
Navigate. Communicate. More...