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Volume 15, Number 10b
March 12, 2009
Sun 'n Fun — It's Like Spring Break for Pilots
Scheduled for April 21-26 in Lakeland, Florida. Featuring the U.S. Army Parachute Team "Golden Knights." This annual event includes more than 4,500 airplanes, 500 commercial exhibitors, over 400 educational forums, seminars, and hands-on workshops for virtually every aviation interest. Plus a spectacular daily air show. All included in your ticket price. Special online-only discounts. Get your tickets online now at
Airplanes and the Law, Part Iback to top 
Sponsor Announcement

Did the U.S. Department of Justice nix Lycoming's bid to buy the assets of bankrupt Superior Air Parts? Sources in the engine business tell us this may be the case. Several have been contacted by Department of Justice investigators looking into the details of Lycoming's bid to buy Superior, which filed for bankruptcy in early January. Lycoming submitted a bid of $11.5 million through a bankruptcy court, which rejected the offer last week. A second offer from Continental was also rejected. Two engine shops told us that DOJ lawyers contacted them last month inquiring about competitive conditions in the aircraft engine and parts business and one of those investigators mentioned a possible Hart-Scott-Rodino Act probe. More...

"Happy Helicoptering" Offer Extended! Get $100 Off a Zulu for Helicopters
Lightspeed has lowered their price from $900 to $850, plus they will give you a $50 mail-in rebate. Experience unmatched performance, lightweight comfort, crystal-clear audio, unsurpassed quiet, and built-in Bluetooth. Purchase from an authorized Lightspeed dealer between February 1 and March 31, 2009. Click here to see why Zulu is Aviation Consumer's Headset of the Year.
Aviation Safetyback to top 

Many passengers ignore the safety briefing when flying commercial, convinced that the only useful action to take in the event of an emergency is to call your loved ones (flagrantly disobeying the no-cellphone rule) and say goodbye. But a series of recent crashes -- the ditching in the Hudson and the Turkish Airlines accident in Amsterdam, for example -- have reminded us that in fact many accidents are survivable, and it might be a good idea to pay attention after all. And it turns out that there is much that passengers can do to save themselves and others in the event of an emergency. British Airways knows this, and has trained over 9,000 frequent flyers in Flight Safety Awareness courses at its simulator center in West London. CNN's business-travel reporters tried out the course recently, and found the simulated evacuation "unsettling -- almost frightening." CNN lists the main lessons that passengers should remember -- know where the exit rows are, be sure to know how to open the door if you are sitting next to one, avoid wearing high heels and other restrictive clothing, and assume the brace position when told -- and "ignore Internet rumors that the brace position guarantees to break your neck and back to make death as painless as possible." The position has been proven to minimize injury, says CNN. More...

Datatoys Airborne Digital Recording Systems Are Available Now at Aircraft Spruce!
On-Board Video Recording is now easier then ever with Datatoys XM-DVR Pro Systems. The XM-DVR Pro System includes everything you need to record your flight in better-than-DVD quality from one or two cameras. Whether you are an aerobatic pilot, flight instructor, or recreational pilot, the XM-DVR Pro is perfect for capturing the action and sharing the adventure. Call 1 (877) 4-SPRUCE or visit!
Airplanes and the Law, Part IIback to top 

A rare F-82 Twin Mustang that has long been operated by the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) is now being dismantled in Midland, Texas, for shipping to the National Museum of the Air Force (USAFM) in Dayton, Ohio. The CAF has operated the airplane since the 1960s, but its right to do so has been in dispute since 2002, when the CAF said it was going to trade the airplane and the Air Force said it couldn't. A judge ruled in September that the Air Force owns the airplane, but CAF has been pursuing an appeal. This week, the CAF said it had offered to drop the appeal if the Air Force would allow the F-82 to remain on static display in Midland, but that proposal was rejected, leaving the CAF no choice but to hand over the airplane. "I had great hopes that this would be an amicable way to agree to disagree, yet still concede to the USAFM's policy to not fly the F-82, which has supposedly been their concern," said Stephan Brown, president and CEO of the CAF. "This decision to reject our proposal is confusing and disappointing." The response to the CAF proposal by the director of Air Force History and Museum Policies and Programs states: "After a robust and thorough discussion, the voting members of the Heritage Board unanimously decided that, based on the history of this matter and the precedential import of the judicial determination concerning the ownership of the F-82 to the National Museum of the United States Air Force and the other Armed Services, the offer of settlement could not be accepted." Brown said the CAF will now move forward with the appeal process. More...

An ultralight aircraft might not seem the ideal transport for a drug smuggler trying to move contraband across the U.S.-Mexico border -- they can't carry much weight, and flying an overloaded little trike low and slow above dark terrain at night seems like a recipe for disaster. But officials in Arizona know of three such attempts in recent months, The Associated Press reported this week, and all of them ended badly for the pilot. One pilot was killed when the aircraft crashed into a field, another smuggler hit power lines and was paralyzed, and the third flier was caught and arrested. Officials said ultralights were more commonly used about 20 years ago, before smugglers upgraded to bigger airplanes that could carry more bales of marijuana. Officials say the ultralights seem to be coming back because of increased vigilance along the border, which drives smugglers to attempt new strategies. The small aircraft are hard to spot on radar, and they are cheap and easy to fly. Officials were unsure if the recent uptick represents a trend. "If the cartels feel they're successful, they'll go with it," Rick Crocker, a deputy special agent with Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Tucson, told the AP. "If we can shut it down, they'll go with other means." More...

ASF Real Pilot Stories: Snake in the Airplane ... Cemetary Crash ... Power Loss on Takeoff ... and More!
Each Real Pilot Story on the AOPA Air Safety Foundation web site is a true account of a good flight gone bad. In just minutes you can watch, listen, and learn from these multimedia presentations as pilots tell their harrowing tales of survival. The quick thinking and skillful techniques shown in the ASF Real Pilot Stories can help make better pilots of us all. Listen now.
Spotlight on Jobsback to top 

United Technologies, the parent company of Pratt & Whitney and Sikorsky, said this week it will eliminate 11,600 jobs worldwide, or about 5 percent of its workforce. "The outlook for commercial aerospace and global construction markets has continued to deteriorate since UTC's December investor meeting and the economic recovery previously anticipated in the second half of 2009 now appears unlikely," said CEO Louis Chenevert in a news release on Tuesday. "In 2008, UTC anticipated slowing economies for 2009, although not at the severity which has since developed. ... Employment reductions will total approximately 18,000 or slightly more than 8 percent over the two years. These difficult actions will allow us to continue outperforming peers." The company, based in Hartford, Conn., also owns aerospace manufacturer Hamilton Sundstrand and several non-aviation businesses. More...

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What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Weekback to top 

Those in the GA community opposed to the intrusive Large Aircraft Security Proposal (LASP) proposed by the Transportation Security Administration gained some important support, AOPA said on Monday, when U.S. Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, D-Miss., asked the TSA to delay implementation of the program. Congressman Thompson chairs the House Committee on Homeland Security, which has jurisdiction over the TSA. In written comments on the proposed rule, submitted last week, Thompson told the TSA that several critical elements of its plan "appear to be problematic, infeasible, or overly burdensome to industry." He urged the TSA to delay implementation of the proposed regulations until the new TSA leadership has a chance to review the NPRM and discuss it with Congress and industry stakeholders. "Chairman Thompson understands the negative impact the LASP would have on general aviation," said Andy Cebula, AOPA executive vice president of government affairs. "We hope the TSA will stop its plans for the program and address the grave concerns being expressed by the Committee on Homeland Security and so many others who have spoken out against LASP." More...

The spokesman for a group of Eclipse 500 owners says plans by New Eclipse — listen to the New Eclipse podcast here — and one other unnamed group trying to resurrect the failed company are "predatory" on existing owners because of the costs proposed to finish the aircraft already flying. Randall Sanada, of Jet Alliance, told The Associated Press the Eclipse Owners Group hopes to buy the company assets that would allow owners to arrange for their own upgrades and maintenance and the other bids, one of which has not been made public, want to take advantage of the owners. "The idea in both of these plans is to exploit the captive market that the Eclipse customers represent," he said. (Click here for a podcast analysis of the Eclipse situation.) More...


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Over 17,000 Happy GAMIjectors® Customers Can't Be Wrong!
GAMIjectors® have given these aircraft owners reduced cylinder head temperatures, reduced fuel consumption, and smoother engine operation. GAMIjectors® alter the fuel/air ratio in each cylinder so that each cylinder operates with a much more uniform fuel/air ratio than occurs with any other factory set of injectors. To speak to a GAMI engineer, call (888) FLY-GAMI, or go online for complete engineering details.
News Briefsback to top 

Every crisis is an opportunity for somebody, and as the economic news continues to sour, plenty of aviation entrepreneurs are finding ways to adapt to the new markets. This week, Revolution Air, a charter broker based in New York, said it has seen an increase in corporate charter flights from companies receiving government assistance. "It's no secret that corporate flight departments are currently beingregarded as luxury items for businesses, which is rather unfortunate given their necessity in today's worldwide competitive corporate environment," said company President Ron Goldstein. When commercial flights are not an option for time or security reasons, Goldstein's charters offer a cost-effective solution. He added that he is seeing a trend to use charters for business travel only and executives are switching to commercial travel for skiing and golf trips. In Europe, new air-taxi startup Blink, which launched in June 2008 with a fleet of Citation Mustangs, has also seen growth in demand as corporations downsize from larger jets. The company promises the benefits of personal air travel at prices competitive with commercial business class and up to 50 percent cheaper than other corporate jet services. In Boston, Mass., Eclipse 500 operator Linear Air said revenue in February grew 131 percent over the year before, and it is now adding flights between several East Coast airports and the Bahamas. "While the fractionals, major airlines, and even low-cost airlines reported serious declines in February, demand for our unique low-cost personal air service more than doubled in New England," said CEO Bill Herp. The company also operates a fleet of Cessna Grand Caravans. And Hopscotch Air, an air-taxi service based in New York, is moving forward with plans to launch a fleet of Cirrus SR-22s next month. The company promises airline-competitive prices for personal service to convenient airports. More...

AERO Friedrichshafen, Europe's biggest general aviation trade show, is coming up April 2 to 5. This is the first year of the show's switch to an annual event -- in the past it was held every other year -- and also the first year since AERO and EAA announced they would engage in a "strategic relationship" to promote the show. About 570 exhibitors will be on hand, and the crowds are expected to exceed the 2007 total of over 45,000. Exhibit space has expanded from seven halls to 11, featuring a wide variety of GA aircraft and interests, from gliders and ultralights to model airplanes, skydiving and corporate jets. A new Helicopter Hangar will display rotary aircraft and gyrocopters. An E-Flight Expo, billed as a trade show within the show, will showcase aircraft with electrical propulsion, new solar technologies and other innovative propulsion concepts. A hydrogen-fuel-cell-powered trike, a solar-powered motorglider, and other unique aircraft are expected to be on display. The AERO show is also the place where Europe's GA community can discuss issues of common interest, such as fuel supplies, environmental concerns, and the health of the industry. On Thursday and Friday, exhibitors will offer demo flights, and on the weekend, an air show will feature fly-bys and aerobatic performers. More...

Citing two thrust rollback events on 777s, NTSB wants the redesign of a Rolls-Royce engine component...
Mitre received an FAA award for its Universal Access Transceiver digital radio system...
A proposed AD for some Piper airplanes aims to prevent the nose baggage door from opening in flight...
A final AD for the Pilatus PC-12 addresses a possible problem with the elevator control mechanism...
Pilots now can fly in to Sporty's Pilot Shop and orders will be delivered to their airplane, 24 hours a day. More...

TWX670 Color Lightning — A Whole New Way to Look at Weather!
Avidyne's TWX670 is the first highly-accurate and reliable spherics system available for certain composite airframes, including Entegra- and G1000-equipped Cessna/Columbia 350 and 400, on which the TWX670 is now certified. Advanced digital signal processing and greater noise immunity allow the TWX670 to more accurately detect and display weather based on lightning and electrical activity. The TWX670 provides a perfect complement to Avidyne's MLB700 or MLX770 Datalink Weather systems for tactical and strategic weather along your route of flight. Click here for more information.
New on AVwebback to top 

With everyone tightening their budgets, this is a good week to ask about your aviation spending over the last twelve months.

Plus: What would AVweb readers pay for an Eclipse 500 jet? Click through to find out how your fellow readers answered last week's Question. More...

The concept and the numbers more or less add up, although industry experts we've talked to think the claims may err on the side of optimism. In the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli sorts through the clutter. More...

Eur-Avia Cannes 2009 Announces the Conference Program, to Include:
Buying new or second-hand aircraft; security round-up for 2008; technology to help the pilot; how to renovate and modernize your aircraft and interiors; external paintwork; avionics; engine improvements; and interior comfort. This Third International Exhibition will open its doors from April 30 to May 2, 2009 on the International Airport of Cannes Mandelieu (LFMD). Visit for details.
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!back to top 

If you own a glass cockpit aircraft, Aviation Consumer wants to hear from you. We want to know about the real costs of maintaining and upgrading these aircraft for an upcoming article. Please take a moment to fill out a short survey so others can benefit from your experiences. Click here to participate.(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 What have you heard? More...

AVweb Bookstore
Come see AVweb Bookstore — the world's most complete aviation book shop. Whether your interest is flight, maintenance, management, or just having fun with airplanes, we have what it takes to grow your career and get the job done right. Books, eBooks, videos, eVideos, software, pilot supplies, and more — the AVweb Bookstore offers over 500 titles by over 60 publishers, a knowledgeable staff, and the best service in the business. We are your professional source.

Visit us at
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

AVweb's Paul Bertorelli takes you on a detailed cockpit tour of the Collings Foundation B-24J Liberator, the only one of its type still flying. More...


Kitplanes Editor-in-Chief Marc Cook talks with Neal Willford, Cessna Aircraft's project engineer on the 162 SkyCatcher. Neal was kind enough to share the inside scoop on the SkyCatcher's journey to market. (Click through to watch.) More...

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AVweb advertisers receive instant response, tracking, and flexibility in changing their message. Since 1995, AVweb has been the premier internet news source, now delivering over 255,000 pilots, aircraft owners and aviation professionals who use this most comprehensive no-cost online aviation site. Click now for details on AVweb's cost-effective programs.
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Griffing Flying Service, a family-owned FBO at Griffing-Sandusky Airport (KSKY) in Sandusky, Ohio.

AVweb reader Joe E. Greene rents a hangar at Griffing and had plenty of nice things to say about the facilities:

They offer charter services to local Lake Erie islands, including also have two King Airs and other aircraft. They continue to struggle with the existing economy, [but] are very profesional and dedicated.

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!
Reader-Submitted Photosback to top 

We're not sure what brought on the flood of vintage photos our readers have been submitting (maybe it was some begging we forgot that we did?), but we're certainly enjoying them! Jeremy James of Banbury, Oxon (UK) brightened our day with this photo of his mother, Mrs. V. James, doing her part during World War II. According to Jeremy, she "drove a tea truck supplying RAF air fields near London during the Battle of Britain in 1940. Here she is on the wing of a Spitfire, with pilots in between sorties at Biggin Hill. And yes," writes Jeremy, "she is still with us at 95." A tip of the hat and a long-deserved "good show" to Mrs. J.! More...

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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