View Online | View Extended Version | View Printer-Friendly Version (recommended for mobile devices)

Volume 15, Number 15b
April 16, 2009
Trade-A-Plane Features Thousands of Classifieds, Updated Hourly
With thousands of hourly updated Classifieds, a Product & Advertiser Index, Forums, NAAA Evaluator, Performance Database, Spec Sheets, and Aviation Weather, Trade-A-Plane gives you everything that keeps you flying. Order your Trade-A-Plane subscription by calling (800) 337-5263, or go online.
Zodiac Grounding? Not at the Moment, Says FAAback to top 
Sponsor Announcement

In an unusual move on Tuesday, the NTSB issued an "urgent safety recommendation" asking the FAA to prohibit further flight of the Zodiac CH-601XL, which has been involved in six in-flight structural breakups since 2006. The board cited four accidents in the U.S. and two in Europe in which a CH-601XL broke up in flight, killing a total of 10 people. According to the NTSB, there is a problem with the airplane design that makes it susceptible to aerodynamic flutter -- a phenomenon in which the control surfaces of the airplane can suddenly vibrate, and if unmitigated, can lead to catastrophic structural failure. The NTSB wants the U.S. fleet grounded until the FAA can determine that the problem has been solved. "The NTSB does not often recommend that all airplanes of a particular type be prohibited from further flight," said NTSB Acting Chairman Mark Rosenker. "In this case, we believe such action will save lives. Unless the safety issues with this particular Zodiac model are addressed, we are likely to see more accidents in which pilots and passengers are killed in airplanes that they believed were safe to fly." More...

The FAA is already looking into concerns about all versions of the Zodiac CH-601XL aircraft, which were raised at an industry meeting back in February, FAA spokeswoman Laura J. Brown told AVweb on Tuesday, but she added that the agency has no immediate plans to call for the airplanes to be grounded. "The manufacturer already has told owners to check the aileron control cable tensions," she said. The FAA has formed a special review team with members from the FAA and the industry to investigate the problem. Brown added that the FAA has told the ASTM that it should conduct a review of its LSA standards regarding aerodynamic flutter. The CH-601XL airplane is sold in a kit version by Zenith Aircraft, which is run by Sebastian Heintz, and is also sold as an S-LSA by AMD (Aircraft Manufacturing & Design), which is run by Matthew Heintz. The CH-601XL was certified as an S-LSA in 2005. In the six accidents cited by the NTSB, two of the aircraft were experimental amateur-built (one in California and one in Utah), one in California was an S-LSA manufactured by AMD, and one in Florida was an S-LSA built by the Czech Aircraft Works. The other two crashes were in the Netherlands and in Spain, and it is not clear what version of the aircraft was involved. On Wednesday, Zenith Aircraft posted a notice online stating that the company first learned of the NTSB's safety recommendation on Tuesday, when the press release was issued. "We continue to believe wing flutter will not occur if the control cables are adjusted properly," the notice reads. More...

Aircraft Spruce Is a Proud Sponsor of the 35th Annual Sun 'n Fun Fly-In
Come join Aircraft Spruce in Lakeland, Florida at Sun 'n Fun (Hangar B, Booths 4-9) April 21-26, 2009. Sun 'n Fun brings together those from all around the world and from all segments of the aviation community. Take advantage of some of your favorite products on sale, complimentary ground shipping (does not apply to hazardous or oversize products), and Aircraft Spruce's helpful staff to answer questions. Call Aircraft Spruce at 1 (877) 4-SPRUCE or visit
Top Techback to top 

Every pilot likes to see a new version of a favorite product, but what really gets attention is something completely new. At Aero Friedrichshafen earlier this month in Germany, there was plenty of innovation going on -- as AVweb's contributor Graeme Peppler reported from the scene -- and this week, EAA created a list of the show's hottest new ideas. Whether any of these will stand the test of time, or even make it into the U.S. market, remains to be seen. EAA's choices include the Isatis LSA, which has moved the engine behind the cabin to allow for helicopter-like visibility. The Alatus-ME self-launching motorglider is electric-powered and folds up small enough to carry on your car's roof rack. Flight Design's hybrid engine made the list, as well as a Swiss anti-collision warning system for small aircraft. A line of electric airplanes from Yaneec International, a joint British-Chinese venture, include a quiet powered parachute and plans for a small twin. Many of these designs will make their U.S. debut later this year at EAA AirVenture, but we'll also be on the lookout for new ideas and innovation next week at Sun 'n Fun. More...

For aircraft owners looking to upgrade to the latest new panel, or shoppers ready to buy a new airplane, the big shows like Sun 'n Fun and AirVenture provide great opportunities to check out all the options. But now, buyers who can't be at the show in person can have the next-best thing — an online Webinar, complete with graphics, live audio, and a Q&A session, to get a rundown on all the details in the latest products. This month, Avidyne is making the most of the Webinar format to get the word out about their latest glass-panel upgrade, Release 9. The new system was unveiled late last year — click here for Paul Bertorelli's video tour of the system at AOPA Expo — but with the spring flying season now upon us and FAA certification approaching, the company is offering the hour-long Webinars to show off the system to potential buyers. Avidyne says Release 9 aims to provide "true single-pilot IFR" capabilities while making it easy and simple to use. Click here for a list of the dates for Avidyne's Webinars and to sign up. More...

Ever Wish You Could Flip a Switch and Turn IFR Visibility into VFR?
The new Flight Cheetah FL 210-S is the most advanced GPS Moving Map system available today. The Flight Cheetah incorporates the most powerful and comprehensive list of features that you will find anywhere. For more information and live video demonstrations, click here.
Eye on the Economyback to top 

NTSB Acting Chairman Mark Rosenker told the Wichita Aero Club this week that private aviation has unfairly become a "political punching bag" and he believes the industry will rebound quickly and decisively from the current hard times. "The world's economy depends upon a robust air transportation system and general aviation and airline travel is absolutely a vital component of that global system," he said. "It is for this reason that I believe aviation will soon fly out of the turbulence that surrounds it today." He advised the industry leaders to get out and lobby for their cause. "Everyone in this room knows the benefits of business aviation, but many outside this room don't get it, so I would advise that you increase your outreach to the public, and Washington, D.C., to heal that black eye." He said that he believes in working in partnership with industry, rather than imposing regulations, to improve safety. He also said he expects to establish minimum performance requirements for lightweight flight recorders for GA aircraft by sometime this summer. "If recorder systems that captured cockpit audio, images, and parametric data had been installed on the Butte accident airplane [the Pilatus PC-12/45 that crashed on March 22], the recorders would have enabled us to quickly determine information about the accident scenario, including precise locations, altitudes, headings, airspeeds, and pilot actions," he said. More...

The folks who launched the first tour-by-zeppelin business in the U.S. couldn't have had much worse luck with timing -- Airship Ventures launched last October, after two years of planning, just in time for the depths of economic doldrums. With seats selling for $500 each for an hour flight, business has been slow. Toss in the rain and wind of winter in the San Francisco Bay area, and it's even tougher. But Brian Hall, who runs the company with wife Alex, is not discouraged. "It comes with its stresses, there's no big pot of cash, and we're working seven days a week," he told CNN recently. "But if you can ride this out, you can last through anything." He added that he hopes to find sponsors who will pay to paint their logos on the zeppelin, and he may add winery tour weekends, or move to sunny southern California for the winters. The CNN/Money reporter who took a demo flight found the business plan dubious but the view mesmerizing: "We fly over the Golden Gate Bridge just as the sun dips below the horizon. A massive container ship has run aground on the rocks just west of the bridge, and we watch in awe as a Coast Guard boat tows it out to the Pacific," he wrote. "Then we turn and drift back over the Bay as the city lights up and the bright sliver of a new moon rises above it." But will the project prove to be economically viable? More...

Aircraft Financing Available
Purchasing an aircraft but wondering about available financing? AirFleet Capital is dedicated exclusively to aircraft and has flexible financing programs available to meet your needs for new and used aircraft. From Light Sport to Light Jet, please call (800) 390-4324 or visit us online for a quote today!
What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Weekback to top 

Click for more images
photos by Chris Hibben
Arguably one of the most iconic pieces of aviation-related architecture anywhere came tumbling down recently. The old tower at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wis., for a week each year the "World's Busiest Tower" was pulverized late last week by Miron Contracting, the company that built the new tower. According to the Oshkosh Northwestern, Airport Director Peter Moll said the contractor decided there was no economically feasible way to provide souvenirs from the old tower.

Related Content:
AVweb's video tour of the new tower. More...

Every private pilot thinks about it but for Doug White, a passenger on a King Air last Sunday, the fantasy/nightmare came true. The self-described low-time single pilot stepped into the cockpit of the big turboprop twin when the pilot collapsed, and a short time later, died at the controls. "It's just me and the Good Lord flying this by hand," the passenger/pilot told Fort Myers approach controllers as he got the feel for the powerful aircraft and set it up for landing. As you can hear in this podcast, he didn't know much about flying a turboprop twin, but he also knew what he didn't know. More...


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."


Safe Insurance for a Risky Economy
Do you wonder whether your insurance coverage will be there when you need it? You won't have to wonder with Avemco. We've been rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best every year since 1977. And we're still going strong. For a NO-COST quote, call (888) 241-7891 or visit us online.
News Briefsback to top 

The greatest lineup of the big names in air shows ever assembled will be at Cecil Airfield in Jacksonville, Fla. April 18-19 in a special benefit for Alan Henley, the leader of the Aeroshell team who was paralyzed in an accident at home almost a year ago. All of the almost 30 performers at the are donating their time and expenses to help the Henley family get through the transition to a new life. Admission prices are reasonable and the entertainment value can't be beat. AVweb will be there, and we hope you will be, too.

Related Content:
We spoke with organizer Bobbi Thompson in a podcast interview late last year. More...

An Airbus A380 will visit EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh this summer...
NPR reported on the FAA problems that administrator nominee Randy Babbitt will face...
Accidents in Hawaii air tour operations have decreased over the last 10 years, the AP reported...
An FAA AD affects the Socata TBM 700 turboprop...
Samson Motorworks has updated its "flying motorcycle" design. 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.
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!back to top 

Pundits are saying general aviation has hit bottom and it's all improvement from here. Do you agree?

Plus: Last week, we asked AVweb readers how tightly airplanes should be locked down at flight schools; click through to read their answers. 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...

Online Aircraft-Specific Ground Schools
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, through its Office of Professional Education, now offers a series of aircraft-specific ground schools: Boeing 737 Classic — NG, 747, 757, 767 and 777; as well as Airbus 319, 320, 330 and 340; and the Bombardier CRJ 200. For a complete list, visit Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's web site at
Register to Win an AV8OR!back to top 


All you have to do is click the image at right to enter your name and e-mail address. And no, we're not going to rent or sell your name, but Bendix may send you information on the AV8OR. You may also forward this newsletter to friends and invite them to sign-up for AVweb's Sun 'n Fun coverage and qualify for the AV8OR prizes also. (We won't spam them, either, but we will send them our e-mail news Flashes.)

Deadline for entries is midnight, Monday, April 27, 2009.

Click here to read the contest rules and enter.

(There's nothing to buy. All you need to do is be registered with AVweb.)


Video Marketplace Spotlight

Bendix/King AV8OR Demo
When Bendix/King rolled out its AV8OR portable GPS last summer, the $749 retail price — about $675 discounted — caught GPS buyers by surprise. So did the AV8OR's feature set, which includes a touchscreen interface and automotive navigation as built-in standard capability. In this video, AVweb's editors took the AV8OR out for a spin to wring out its major features.

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

Get the Diamond Advantage with the Leaders in Flight Training
Diamond's DA20 and DA40 CS offer low operating costs, attractive insurance rates, simple maintenance and an industry-leading safety record. No matter what your mission or budget, there are no better options to update your fleet and customize your training flight line. Diamond's DA20 is now available with optional Aspen Avionics Evolution primary flight display, making it the industry's most affordable certified glass cockpit aircraft. For complete details, go online.
New on AVwebback to top 

Want to ace your check ride? Pay attention, stay sharp, and read Rick Durden's latest installment of "The Pilot's Lounge" to increase your chances. More...

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.
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

Marc Cook and Paul Bertorelli continue their Sportsman odyssey with a look at this unique aircraft. More...

Gearing up for the Sun 'n Fun extravaganza in Lakeland, Kitplanes editor Marc Cook and AVweb editorial director Paul Bertorelli are motoring around the west in Cook's Glastar Sportsman visiting companies prior to the show. Here's their first video blog report. More...

Are Your Company's Sales Stalling?
Advertise Here to Reach Over 255,000 Aviators Worldwide

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 Atlantic Aviation at Elmira/Corning Regional Airport (KELM) in Horseheads, New York.

AVweb reader Sandra Fox recounted her stellar experience at Atlantic:

My commercial instructor and I flew to KELM for my day dual cross-country (and lunch). ... On arrival, there was someone there to marshall us to parking and someone else to chock the wheels. They immediately asked if we needed gas and were on the way to the truck before we were inside the FBO. While registering the plane I mentioned we had been told the terminal had a small restaurant. The lady behind the desk pulled out the keys to the courtesy van, gave us directions to the terminal and told us how to get the parking ticket validated. When we got back I asked where I could look up the weather. She didn't just direct me down the hall, but escorted me to the room. Everyone at the FBO was friendly and accomodating. They were proactive in asking if I needed anything rather than waiting for me to ask first. I've already recommended KELM as a standard cross-country destination for the flight school.

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!


No Cute Cartoons, No Fancy Covers, IFR Magazine Brings You the Facts
IFR magazine has insightful facts to polish your proficiency, updates on changing regs, and articles that help keep your decision-making skills sharp in the demanding IFR environment. Order your subscription online for savings from the regular rate.
Reader-Submitted Photosback to top 

Being neck-deep in prep work for Sun 'n Fun, we're saving this week's crop of photos for a special Monday edition of "POTW." As usual during the major shows, we'll be skipping next Thursday and returning to our usual routine the following week. So keep those submissions coming! 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.

Aviate. Navigate. Communicate.