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Volume 15, Number 8a
February 23, 2009
You Won't Need SVT to See Where No-Cost Fuel Can Take You,
But We're Throwing It in Anyway

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 today.
Top News: Tail Icing in the Spotlightback to top 
Sponsor Announcement

NASA thought enough of the dangers of tailplane icing to flight test it and produce this video, which has eerie content relative to the discussion around Flight 3407.
Online speculation swarming around the Feb. 12 crash of Continental Connection (Colgan Air) Flight 3407 in Buffalo that killed all 49 aboard plus one on the ground has moved well beyond probable causes and now includes full-blown speculation on the deceased crew's thought processes. Armchair pundits and pilots have added the NTSB's reports (that the aircraft's stick pusher engaged) to media reports (that its action was followed by a 2-G pilot-commanded pull) to pilots' insights relevant to the captain's experience. What insights? Captain Renslow's time was earned mostly in the smaller Saab 340. He had only 110 hours in the Dash 8. The Saab 340 is more susceptible than the Dash 8 to an icing-induced tailplane stall. An experienced Saab pilot flying an icy approach, theorists speculate, would have been wary of a tailplane stall. Tailplane stalls involve yoke buffeting (stick shaker) followed by a sudden uncommanded movement of the yoke forward (stick pusher) and for many models are instigated by flap extension. A pilot convinced he was experiencing a tailplane stall would initiate proper recovery by pulling the yoke full aft. Of course, that doesn't seem to be what the NTSB is currently considering. More...

Fly with Bose Aviation Headset X®
Enjoy an unmatched combination of full-spectrum noise reduction, clearer audio, and comfortable fit. Voted the #1 headset for the seventh consecutive year in Professional Pilot's 2007 Headset Preference Survey. Also rated "Best ANR Headset: The Aviation Consumer Product of the Year" by Aviation Consumer. Learn more and order.

Quotes reprinted with permission: Professional Pilot, 2007 Headset Preference Survey, 12/07; Aviation Consumer, 8/07.
See for Yourself ...back to top 
Sponsor Announcement

Click to watch the video alongside this story
We can't count the times we've been alerted to breathless cable news anchors waiting as a pilot burns off fuel for a mechanically-induced gear-up landing. And while they're a heart-stopping event for those on board, not to mention the news-starved anchors, they almost always turn out the same way, with a slide along the runway, bent prop(s) and scraped bellies. Well that's how this one in a Cessna 182 in January of 2007 at Charles W. Baker Airport, near Memphis, turned out too but it's from a decidedly different perspective. More...

Click for larger image
A Colombian policeman obviously didn't heed those signs at the airport with all the diagonal slashes through things you shouldn't put in your checked luggage. The grenade he had in with his skivvies went off while the turbine-upgraded DC-3 he and 26 others were on was getting ready to leave Medellin Airport. Now, the official line from the Colombian government was that it was a tear gas grenade but the damage portrayed in a photo released afterward suggests it might have been considerably more powerful. The aircraft was split in two by the detonation, which also removed most of the aircraft's upper fuselage. No one was killed but eight people were injured. More...

3 Airplanes ... 3 Levels ... 1 Edition ... Ice
New for 2009, Cirrus Aircraft shakes the lineup with a new way to spec out your new Cirrus. SR20, SR22, and Turbo models are now available in three well-equipped trim levels - "S," "GS," and "GTS"; Known Ice Protection is ready to go on SR22 and Turbo models; or choose an all-new premium interior and exterior upgrade package dubbed "X-Edition." Visit CirrusAircraft.com for details.
Following the Moneyback to top 

Congress has approved a tax break stimulus package targeted at airplane buyers as states get ready to apply $1.1 billion intended for airports as part of the stimulus package signed last week by President Barack Obama. The tax break takes the form of accelerated depreciation and, like the one first used post-9/11 to help manufacturers recover from the economic slump that followed the 2001 terrorist attacks, sharply cuts the initial tax bill for companies that buy aircraft for business purposes by allowing larger early year deductions. The industry has already lost about 11,000 jobs to the slump. Todd Tiahrt, a Republican Representative from Kansas, has seen his state account for some 7,000 of those job losses (mostly from Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft). Tiahrt told The Associated Press, "this is exactly the type of financial incentive that should be included in a stimulus bill." Meanwhile, state governors encouraged by industry advocate groups like AOPA to push lists of airport improvement projects as "shovel ready" stand ready to apply government stimulus money to aviation infrastructure projects from sea to shining sea. More...

Do You Have Enough Life Insurance?
According to LIMRA International, a leading industry research firm, 68 million adult Americans have no life insurance. Those who own life insurance have an average of four times their annual income in coverage, considerably less than most experts recommend. Pilot Insurance Center specializes in providing pilots — from student to ATP — with insurance planning at an affordable rate. A+ Rated Carriers – No Aviation Exclusions – Quick and Easy Application Process. Call PIC at 1 (800) 380-8376 or visit online.
Aviation and the Mainstream Mediaback to top 

Cirrus' new CEO Brent Wouters took the case of aviation, specifically Cirrus aviation, to the public in a Fox business news segment Thursday. Treated with kid gloves (one interviewer even described his question as "Mr. Softball being lobbed at you" and asked the CEO to run with it), Wouters' interview and outing to the public (after replacing founding father Alan Klapmeier as CEO) was hardly a trial by fire. It did, however, go beyond the business of Cirrus to make a stand in support of aviation as a tool for small business and framed it as vital to the economy. This is an industry that is "instrumental in job growth and job production in the U.S.," Wouters said. Wouters said general aviation has a "legitimate business" purpose, is safe, and provides "a value proposition" for the business owners "on a day-to-day basis" and noted the specific efficiencies of his company's large-capacity, low- speed Vision jet. The car company CEOs, he said (who notoriously flew to D.C. independently in their own business jets to ask for billions of taxpayer dollars) could have arrived together in one Vision jet operating at "one twentieth" the cost. The argument effectively supports Cirrus' recent strategy that shifts resources from the piston line toward development of the seven-place, single-engine Vision jet. Wouters' also used his visit to Fox to push Cirrus' new marketing plan, which it calls "Flying 2.0." More...

The nightmare scenario sometimes conjured to push for further regulation of general aviation aircraft in the U.S. played out in Sri Lanka Friday and ended with one aircraft crashing into a government building and the other close to an air force camp. Used as weapons of war by rebel forces, two men flew two 1,600-pound Zlin Z-143 light piston single aircraft at night using handheld GPS and "torch light" (presumably flashlights) to guide them in an effort to deliver themselves and about 280 pounds of C4 high explosive to their targets. Sources differ in their reports regarding of the amount of explosives carried -- some cite 215 kg, or close to 473 pounds. According to rebel sources, the men were not meant to return from what they called suicide missions and they were not shot down. Rebels claim the two defense installation targets were hit and both the military and rebel accounts seem to agree that one aircraft struck the Inland Revenue Department building and exploded. The other aircraft crashed into a marsh, according to the Sri Lankan air force, which said both aircraft were turned away from other targets by a darkened city (defensive blackout) and ground fire. The two pilots were killed and more than 40 people were injured in the attacks. The local government claims each aircraft had engaged after the aircraft were spotted on radar and said their destruction, plus that of another aircraft destroyed in September, leave the rebels without any remaining air power. More...

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News Briefsback to top 

Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association President Craig Fuller announced Saturday name and format changes for his organization's annual meeting, formerly AOPA Expo, to be held in Tampa this November. "We want to help you connect to the reasons that you fly," he said, "so you can maximize the value you get from your personal aviation experience." In plain English, that translates to a name change from AOPA Expo to "The AOPA Aviation Summit" (in this case, the first ever) as well as physical changes made most obvious, according to AOPA, by a new exhibitor layout. The new format "will provide opportunities for product demonstrations" and more, "right in the middle of it all." Fuller didn't explain all the changes in great detail, but offered a teaser by saying that the static aircraft display (hosted this year at Peter O. Knight Airport) will showcase aspects of general aviation "that members are not used to seeing." But again, the major differences, according to Fuller, will be on the exhibit floor. Exactly what you should expect is anyone's guess, but with Fuller's comments that "we are expanding our horizons," clearly you're meant to expect "more." More...

Dr. Blue Says, "Be Smart — Carry a PLB!"
Flying, hiking, camping, riding your ATV or bike — accidents happen that can become a life-threatening situation. Be prepared with a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB). It's as easy as pushing a button. PLBs from Aeromedix.com include the ACR MicroFix 406 MHz for pilots when you're enjoying activities in unpopulated areas. Click now to visit Aeromedix.com for complete details.
News Briefsback to top 

Eclipse was holding steady last week that the furlough of 800 employees was temporary and necessary because of an unexpected slowdown in negotiations regarding the company's sale. EclipseJet Aviation International Inc., owned mostly by ETIRC Aviation, is awaiting court approval to buy Eclipse Aviation. Money for the buyout has reportedly already been approved, but the holdup, according to Mike McConnell, president of Eclipse's customer division, is a byproduct of the global financial crisis. To some, that may imply that establishing the existence of the approved funds may have created complications. For the deal to work, investors together will need to see the company that accrued an estimated $1 billion in debts and liabilities as worthy under new management of $160 million in new notes. That -- along with a $28 million infusion from EclipseJet and equity offerings for the largest note holders -- would win the company a new beginning free of the aforementioned $1 billion debt. In the meantime, Eclipse bosses maintain that furloughed employees will receive their next check and retain benefits. The move, according to McConnell, is "not a layoff" and should be "short-term." More...

Carriers have long requested that passengers turn off their cell phones and electronic devices for certain phases of flight to avoid causing interference with flight deck instrumentation, but a recent incident shows that not all carriers have made the same request of their pilots. A Safety Alert for Operations (PDF) issued early this month by the FAA notes that an aviation safety inspector conducting an en route inspection for an unnamed carrier experienced an event that was categorized as extremely dangerous. The event was caused by a pilot's cell phone. According to the alert, the First Officer's ring tone "caused a distraction between the crewmembers during the takeoff phase and could have led the crew to initiate an unnecessary rejected takeoff." The inspector later confirmed that the crew had spoken correctly when they said their General Operations Manual did not prohibit them from leaving their cell phones "on" while performing on station. Digging deeper, the inspector found that the carrier's checklists did not include turning off cell phones as part of crewmember preparations for departure. While that may seemingly allow pilots some wiggle room, the FAA's policies, as outlined in a current Advisory Circular, spell things out more clearly. More...

Rediscover Jet City!
Make King County International Airport/Boeing Field your flight destination! Conveniently located just 5 miles from downtown Seattle, KBFI is positioned in the center of the growing economy of the Puget Sound region, serving as a hub for business travel, private jets, and general aviation travel. Partner with aviation experts when you fly to Seattle. Make your destination King County International Airport/Boeing Field! For more information, visit online.
New on AVwebback to top 

IFR magazine editor-in-chief Jeff Van West joins the AVweb Insider blog with some thoughts on the Colgan crash. While the reasons for are still being sorted out, but crashes like this will continue to happen from time to time, and Jeff speculates that this one may have been a case of doing the wrong thing for the right reasons. More...

It's the question asked by IFR magazine editor-in-chief Jeff Van West in the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog. Rather than spending money to make a free weather service that plays on the ADS-B system, he argues, the FAA should just buy into troubled Sirius XM. More...

Jeppesen Offers New & Innovative VFR+GPS Charts for North America
These charts offer a fresh perspective on what a VFR chart should be, with better color and contrast, coverage areas based on where you fly, and intuitive symbols. Space Shuttle radar data accurately depicts terrain. Jeppesen's VFR+GPS Charts are easier to use in the cockpit or at the kitchen table, and they're designed specifically to help you get more from your GPS. Click here to learn more.
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!back to top 


Letter of the Week: GA Is Vital

As a member of a family that lives and breathes aviation from our daily personal lives to our professional ones, I would like to say your reporting on the fighting back from the corporate world was well said (February 19, 2009). We have watched our freedom of mobility over the years fade away with the changes to general aviation. Small airports being torn down and changes in regulations that require additional instruments and reporting, not to mention the current concerns that TSA is ... make[-ing] flying for fun increasingly more difficult.

However, now we are not only faced with our pleasure flying being interrupted, but those of us in the industry are also facing losing jobs and income, much due to those who don't really understand what aviation really does for this country.

The articles and campaigns by Cessna, GAMA and NBAA are well-written and explain what many need to know: Flying isn't just a means to get to the big game; it also has become part of the competition in business, medical assistance in emergencies, access to towns otherwise remote and many, many jobs. We are now facing the repercussions of a society that just doesn't get it.

I hope these ads and campaigns reach far.

Dianne Huckins

Click through to read the rest of this week's letters.


Our sister publication, Aviation Consumer magazine, wants to hear about your experiences with engine warranties. We'd like to know about warranties of new or remanufactured engines from the factory, field overhauls and "boutique" engine shops. In your opinion, was the warranty sufficient? Did you encounter problems after installation, and were they resolved to your satisfaction? Did any factory, overhauler or installer go beyond their warranty to address any problems?

Please send a note to aviation_safety@hotmail.com and let us know your experiences, including the factory or shop doing the work, the aircraft type and the nature of any problems.

(The results will appear in a future issue of Aviation Consumer. For subscription information, click here.) More...

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...

Hill Aircraft Parts Department Announces February as Customer Appreciation Month
All Internet orders placed in February 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 0209 in the "comments" section on the Internet order form. Click here to save now!
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

Cirrus's Matt Bergwall recently checked out AVweb on the company's new approved flight into known icing package. When you see this video, you'll understand why this system is not just another version of TKS. The airplane is exceptionally well-protected, and the de-icing is cleverly integrated into the avionics suite. This demo is definitely worth the watching. (Click through to watch.) More...

We Live in a Fast-Paced World; Use Your Travel Time Wisely
Subscribe to Pilot's Audio Update and you'll receive monthly CDs packed with up-to-the-minute information on topics ranging from "Understanding GPS and WAAS" to the lowdown on "Light Sport Aircraft." Put your in-flight "down time" to work for you. Subscribe now to receive the Acing the Flight Review CD as a gift with your order.
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to the FBO run by the city of Great Bend at Great Bend Municipal Airport (KGBD) in Kansas.

AVweb reader Chad Crow recommended the FBO, telling us about their "great hospitality, attitude, and all the amenities you could as for." Plus, Chad tells us the fuel prices ain't bad, either ... !

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!


Are Your Company's Sales Stalling?
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The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 

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

While on an Angel Flight into Baltimore, Maryland last fall, the following radio exchanges took place:

"Baltimore approach, Angel Flight is tuned into the localizer, but the needle is all over the place, and we're hearing jazz music."

Airliner in the Vicinity:
"Baltimore, we'd like to hear some jazz, too. We tuned the localizer but can't seem to receive any music."

Karim Houry
New York, NY


Names Behind the Newsback to top 


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:

Timothy Cole

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Russ Niles

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Features Editor
Kevin Lane-Cummings

Scott Simmons

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.

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