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Volume 15, Number 11b
March 19, 2009
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Top News: TSA Wants to Hear Your Opinionsback to top 
Sponsor Announcement

The Transportation Security Administration has created a new position for a general aviation liaison, and named Juan Barnes to the post. Barnes will be available via e-mail to address the public's concerns about security measures that impact GA operations. AOPA says questions may be submitted to Barnes via the e-mail address AOPA will automatically be carbon-copied. "General aviation stakeholders are encouraged to submit inquiries regarding TSA programs, policies and security directives," wrote Barnes in a letter to GA stakeholders. "Your inquiry will be reviewed, and forwarded to the appropriate office and personnel within TSA to ensure a prompt and accurate response. Our goal is to provide responses to inquiries within two business days." The TSA also will address concerns in monthly teleconferences with stakeholders beginning this Friday, March 20, at 1 p.m. AOPA said it will participate in the teleconferences, during which TSA officials will answer questions submitted previously by e-mail. More...

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
And Now ... The Airplanes of Tomorrowback to top 
Sponsor Announcement

The Aero Friedrichshafen aviation show coming up in Germany April 2-5 will feature an E-Flight Expo showcasing aircraft with electric motors and other alternative propulsion systems, but if you can't make it there, another opportunity is coming up soon on this side of the pond to catch up with all the latest advances. The 2009 Electric Aircraft Symposium, hosted by the CAFE Foundation, is set for Friday, April 24, in San Carlos, Calif., near San Francisco. A new hydrogen-fuel-cell-powered two-seat aircraft from Germany is expected to be on exhibit. Top innovators who are developing new ways to make lithium batteries that can hold more energy and charge faster will be in attendance. Another topic on the agenda is the development of GA airplanes that can fly themselves. The conference will explore "the latest technologies ... toward a green mobility solution to our climate, energy and transportation needs," Brien Seeley, president of the CAFE Foundation, told AVweb. Seeley also expects to introduce the NASA Aviation Green Prize, a CAFE flight competition to produce two-seat aircraft capable of 100+ mpg for emission-free commuting at 100+ mph, to be determined by a 200-mile race. 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.
The Helping Part of Flyingback to top 

Officials in Montana are searching for a Cessna 180 flown by Sparky Imeson, author of the Mountain Flying Bible; the plane has been missing since Tuesday afternoon. Imeson was reportedly alone aboard the airplane, and his last known radar position was about 18 miles north of Bozeman, Mont., at about 2:23 p.m., over the Big Belt Mountains. He had taken off from Bozeman with a destination of Helena, about an hour's flight away. An aerial search was conducted on Tuesday evening but no sign of the airplane was found, and no ELT signal was received. Snow in the mountains made it more difficult to spot the airplane, which is white with a blue stripe, officials said. More...

Since charitable contributions have been sinking across the board, and the endowment funds that many nonprofit groups depend on have shrunk, we expect that the challenging economy will be a major topic of discussion at the upcoming Air Care 2009 national conference, scheduled for April 17-18 in Kansas City, Mo. Leaders of volunteer pilot groups from around the nation will discuss strategies for fundraising, lobbying and organizing. A keynote talk and discussion with Bruce Landsberg, executive director of AOPA Air Safety Foundation, will address safety issues affecting public benefit flying. The annual event is organized by the Air Care Alliance, a nationwide league of humanitarian flying organizations whose volunteer pilot members are dedicated to community service. Volunteer pilots support missions for health care, patient transport, disaster relief, educational experiences for youth, environmental support and other types of public service. For more information about the conference, or to register, click here. More...

Trade-A-Plane Features Thousands of Classifieds, Updated Hourly
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Safety & Performanceback to top 

The FAA has given up on an effort to mandate enhanced crew-rest rules for airline pilots flying legs over 16 hours long, according to a recent report in The Wall Street Journal. The FAA had proposed new rules that would have allowed some pilots on such legs, which require two crews, to work more than eight hours in a single workday as long as they were assured extra-long rest periods before and after each extra-long flight. But last week, the FAA said it was dropping the proposal based on industry comments. "We remain committed to addressing the issue of fatigue ... but believe additional data is necessary" before new rules are imposed, the agency wrote in an e-mail to stakeholders, the Journal reported. The new rule would have also required some carriers to provide more sleeping areas on board. More airlines are scheduling extra-long legs, such as a Continental Airlines route from Newark to Hong Kong and American Airlines flights from Chicago to Delhi. When it proposed the new rules last fall, the FAA had cited "scientific evidence and studies" that show such long legs can induce fatigue at levels that can impair safety. Several airlines sued in court to block the FAA's proposal, arguing that the restrictions would be unnecessary and ineffective. More...

Older air traffic controllers can head off midair collisions at least as well as younger controllers, using experience to compensate for age-related declines in mental sharpness, according to a report published this month by the American Psychological Association. Controllers in the U.S. face a mandatory retirement age of 56, which the report suggests should be reconsidered. "Given substantial experience, older adults may be quite capable of performing at high levels of proficiency on fast-paced demanding, real-world tasks," wrote Ashley Nunes and Arthur F. Kramer, researchers at the University of Illinois. However, while airline pilots lobbied for years to raise their mandatory retirement age of 60, no such movement has been seen among controllers. "Only 2 percent of all controller retirees the past three years reached the mandatory retirement age of 56," Doug Church, spokesman for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, told AVweb on Tuesday. "So it's irrelevant and foolish to raise the issue of mandatory retirement in any discussion of this kind. Controllers in this country are not staying to 56." Church blames hostile working conditions and pay cuts for destroying morale and removing any incentive to stay even until 56, never mind beyond. More...

Aircraft Financing Available
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What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Weekback to top 

Timing is everything, and VLJs are the right product for a recession, claim, well, VLJ salesmen. Cyrus Sigari of JetAVIVA and Randall Sanada of Jet Alliance claim the exodus from big business jets is filling the seats of the smaller aircraft. "It is still cool to own a VLJ," Sigari told the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. "It is not so cool to own a $20 million, $30 million jet." But busy execs still need to get around, and when current political correctness doesn't allow them exclusive access to an aircraft, charters are filling the void, Sanada said. He started Jet Alliance as a fractional ownership business but has expanded to provide charter service. More...

The Terrafugia Transition, the "roadable aircraft" that's attracted considerable attention at aviation shows in the last year, flew for the first time on March 5 at Plattsburgh, N.Y., and its makers say they've changed aviation as a result. "This breakthrough changes the world of personal mobility. Travel now becomes a hassle-free integrated land-air experience. It's what aviation enthusiasts have been striving for since 1918," said Carl Dietrich, CEO of Terrafugia. While most "flying car" concepts to date have incorporated detachable or trailerable wings, the Transition has electromechanical folding wings that convert the vehicle in 30 seconds. The company says production models will meet Light Sport specifications and be street legal. More...

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has certified the Diamond DA42 NG, which is powered by Diamond's own 170-horsepower Austro diesel. The certification came less than a year after Thielert, whose engines powered first generation Twin Stars, became insolvent, resulting in serious maintenance issues for DA42 owners. The EASA certification means Diamond can start delivering Twin Stars again in Europe (it has 40 on the line) and also start turning its attention to retrofits for existing owners who want to swap out their Thielerts. "We are focusing our efforts to achieve the certification of the optional upgrade of all delivered DA42s with the Austro Engine, such that all customers can benefit from these improvements along with comprehensive customer support for their engines," said Diamond CEO Christian Dries. Although the EASA certification is valid only in Europe, it should be fairly straightforward to get it recognized everywhere else, and Dries said Diamond is working on it. More...

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has certified the Diamond DA42NG with Diamond's own Austro engines, marking the beginning of the end of a challenging period for the company. AVweb's Russ Niles talks with Diamond's Peter Maurer about what the certification means to new and existing customers. More...


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


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News Briefsback to top 

"We think we're probably close to the bottom" may not seem like the most optimistic words about the global economy, but the upside is that the sooner we get to the bottom, the sooner we start back up. That was the take from Roger Whyte, Cessna's senior vice president for sales and marketing, on Monday as he delivered two new Citation XLS+ jets to a customer. Whyte told the Wichita Eagle that a little historical perspective helps in keeping a positive outlook -- the bizjet business has been through slow times in the past, he said, before it boomed in the last 10 years or so. And even with the projected decline in deliveries for the next couple of years, the numbers aren't expected to fall below where the industry was in 2005, he said. Meanwhile, SATSAir has found an aviation business model that works, with record growth last year despite a slight downturn in the fourth quarter. The South Carolina air-taxi company operates a fleet of Cirrus SR22s, serving hundreds of airports in the eastern U.S. "We're extremely pleased with the strong 2008 numbers and the expanded presence in the Southeastern growth corridor that they represent," said Steve Hanvey, SATSAir president and CEO. "2008 was a landmark year for our business concept from a financial perspective and signals a growing acceptance of this innovative approach to business and personal air travel." More...

Persistent aviation radio problems in the Bahamas are finally solved, AOPA said...
TCM has expanded its recall of certain piston cylinders to include an additional 300...
Canada has listed events celebrating its Centennial of Flight all this year...
An FAA memo about issues with new airspace procedures over Denver caused alarm. More...

Piper Meridian — Exhilarating
Piper Meridian. Power. Pure and simple. Relax in business jet luxury with turbine simplicity for 30% less than any comparable six-place turbine-powered aircraft.

Click here for more information on the Piper Meridian.
New on AVwebback to top 

The TSA has appointed Juan Barnes as a liaison on general aviation security, and he says he wants to hear from GA pilots and others involved in the industry. What would you tell him?

Plus: Last week, we asked AVweb readers how much they spent on flying in the past 12 months; click through to see how they answered. More...

The Air Force has gotten itself into quite a snit over the CAF's rare F-82 Twin Mustang. It wants the airplane back. In the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli wonders why there wasn't just one starred officer to say, "Ya know what, let's not do this. We'll look really dumb, and, anyway, we already have a Twin Mustang in the museum." Too bad it didn't happen that way. More...

Cut the Cost of Aircraft Ownership by At Least 50% — Or More!
With most pilots flying under 75 hours out of 8,766 yearly hours, co-ownership is the smart-money way to own. The Aircraft Partnership Association helps find co-owners for any type of aircraft, anywhere, for any reason: to purchase, to add to an existing co-ownership, or to form any kind of co-ownership — partnership, cooperative, fractional, or club. Individual memberships are at no-cost! For more information, call (972) 334-0403, or visit online.
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!back to top 

AVMAIL: MARCH 19, 2009

Letter of the Week: Dangerous Interpretation?

Although AOPA and certain Cessna aircraft owners consider the new FAA interpretation of the definition of "current" as a good thing, I believe that this is not the case. As a NDT inspector at a repair station that performs "invasive" inspections of Cessna 441 and 425 aircraft, I can attest that the "invasive" inspection program has turned up some serious issues. A partial list would include: disbonded horizontal stabilizer structure, cracked main landing gear trunions, cracked main landing gear trailing links, cracked cabin pressure bulkheads, disbonded wing spar webs, cracked nose gear trunions, cracked horizontal stabilizer attachment bulkheads, and corrosion issues that would not normally be detected in the original inspection program.

There is a valid reason for performing the inspection. While a few owners feel that it is worth the risk to save the money that these inspections cost, most should feel that it is a potential saving in the large investment of their safety and finances.

Leonard Lentz

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


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...

Jeppesen Pilot Training
Smart pilots never truly fly solo. For 75 years, pilots have taken their aviation partner along for the journey — Jeppesen. Pilots (and future pilots) look to us for the tools and training they need to fly safely and effectively. Throughout your career flight path, you can count on Jeppesen. Choose the learning tools best for you with our integrated system. Learn more at
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

Not a flying car, but a roadable aircraft — the Terrafugia Transition took flight for the first time March 5, 2009. More...

So you think TV is easy? Take a look at AVweb's hilarious blooper reel, in which the staff unmasks the ugly side of the exciting world of web video. (And this is the G-rated version.) More...

Video Marketplace Spotlight

EDM700 Engine Monitor from JPI
Do you want to save avgas (and money) by running your engine lean-of-peak? If so, you'll need a reliable engine monitor. AVweb's Liz Swaine highlights the features of and functions of the EDM700, from JP Instruments.

Click here to watch the video (and discover other great products) at AVweb's Video Marketplace.

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.
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Eufaula Jet Center at Weedon Field Airport (KEUF) in Eufaula, Alabama.

AVweb reader Bill Johnson made an unscheduled stopover at Weedon Field to fuel up and "wait out some ground fog" when he discovered the FBO, much to his delight:

What a lucky break for me. Not only did I meet some of the nicest people in aviation at the Eufaula Jet Center run by Eric Langham, [but Eric also] took care of the airplane, helped us keep our appointment on time, and, when we returned to the airport, my associate and I ate lunch at one the best country buffets in the South, right there on the airport. If your route takes you near Eufaula, I highly recommend you take advantage of their service and hospitality. If you are looking for a place to go, I hear the fishing is great, and, if the airport is any example of the rest of the city's hospitality, I'm certain you will be well taken care of. As a businessman, I know the value of good ambassadorship, and Eufaula, Alabama has one of the best in Eric Langham.

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!


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Reader-Submitted Photosback to top 

Look for a special edition of "Picture of the Week" in Monday's issue of AVwebFlash — or find it online later in the day Thursday if you can't wait for this week's photos.

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.

Aviate. Navigate. Communicate.