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Volume 15, Number 17b
April 30, 2009
Aircraft Spruce East Coast Annual Super Sale
Aircraft Spruce East will be holding their Annual East Coast Super Sale and Fly-In on Saturday, May 16, 2009 from 8am to 4pm in Peachtree City, Georgia. Come and join the Aircraft Spruce Team and vendors for lunch, special pricing, vendor demonstrations, and educational seminars. Lots of opportunities to win raffle prizes from some of your favorite vendors, and a complimentary shuttle will be offered to and from Falcon Field Airport. Call Aircraft Spruce at 1 (877) 4-SPRUCE, or visit
Top News: Eye on New York P.R. Mishapback to top 
Sponsor Announcement

An FAA memo (PDF) floating around the Internet Wednesday suggests that if the FAA didn't originate the secrecy surrounding Monday's White House photo op over New York, it certainly supported it. The memo—authored by James J. Johnston of the agency's security operations branch—clearly indicates the FAA was notified well ahead of the planned flyover and that it recognized the kind of reaction it might cause. The memo begins by saying: "The information in this document is considered FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY, and should only be shared with persons with a need to know. Information in this document shall not be released to the public or media." The document then details the flight planning and the schedule, including the intent to fly around as low as 1000 feet in the Hudson River Corridor in the vicinity of the Statute of Liberty. The flyover occurred on Monday morning and raised a considerable ruckus in lower Manhattan and mid-town, as hundreds of workers panicked and evacuated buildings in the city, fearful of another 9/11-type terrorist attack. Also circulating the news sites are recordings of hysterical calls to New York's emergency services numbers. The FAA did not respond to email and telephone requests for comment and, interestingly, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association told AVweb that it was declining comment because it didn't normally comment on security issues. More...

Complete Lightspeed's Survey and You Could Win a Zulu!
Lightspeed Aviation would like to know more about how you use tech and the web. It will only take a quick minute. If you win and you already own a Zulu, you could make a passenger very happy. You do need to be at least 18 to participate. One entry per person to make it fair. U.S. residents only. Just click here to participate.
Cessna Continues to Tighten Beltback to top 

In response to a dismal first-quarter earnings report, Cessna's parent company Textron said on Wednesday the Citation Columbus program will be put on hold. Also, the former Columbia factory in Bend, Ore., where the Cessna Corvalis models are built, will be closed, and those airplanes will be built in Kansas instead. The company will lay off 1,600 workers, including all 150 staffers in Bend, plus up to 700 workers in the Columbus program, and will shut down for four weeks this summer. Just last October, Cessna CEO Jack Pelton had said the company would invest $780 million into development of the Columbus, its largest business jet ever, and add up to 1,000 new jobs. The 10-passenger, $27 million jet was expected to start deliveries in 2014. About $50 million in deposits will be returned. "Don't write the Columbus off your radar screen," Textron CEO Lewis Campbell said on a conference call on Wednesday. "Until we know much more about the market we're going to be selling into, we thought it was prudent to suspend it and redirect all of our efforts to reinvest into our core products in Bell and Cessna." More...

AV8OR™ Handheld
The AV8OR Handheld is the portable and affordable MFD built specifically for pilots, by a company that knows pilots. With navigation routing, planning, and weather information for the aircraft and the automobile, the AV8OR Handheld uses aviation software and symbology you understand. Its 4.3-inch touch screen is larger and easier to read than competing GPS systems, with an intuitive interface derived from the pilot-friendly, panel-mounted Bendix/King multi-function display systems. For more information, visit
Looking Beyond the First Quarter Reportsback to top 

Things might be grim still in the business jet world (see today's Cessna news), but at least one company in the GA piston world is starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel. Cirrus Aircraft announced on Wednesday that it is increasing its production rate to six aircraft per week starting immediately. The increased rate follows nearly six months of significantly reduced production rates that averaged about three to four airplanes per week. "We continue to see very encouraging trends in sales activities and interest from sales prospects domestically and around the world," the company said in a news release. The market has responded well to new upgrades including FIKI and Cirrus Perspective by Garmin avionics across the line, according to Cirrus. "Clearly, this is an upward move and is indicative of a stronger bias toward growth in aircraft orders," the company said. Yet Cirrus is not ready to claim that the worst is over. The company will continue to determine output on a month-to-month basis, in response to market fluctuations. More...

Well, Bloomberg got most of its predictions about the state of business aviation right in its pre-first quarter analysis predicting a bloodbath in their numbers. But it included Gulfstream's parent General Dynamics in the doom and gloom and the iconic planemaker actually did quite well. In fact, Gulfstream's margins dipped only slightly from 18.5 percent in the same quarter last year to 17.7 percent in the first four months of this year on new aircraft and that revenue in the aerospace division, which includes Gulfstream, newly-acquired Jet Aviation and General Dynamics Aviation Services, was up 13.8 percent, a Gulfstream spokesman said in an email to AVweb. More...

New ASF Safety Quiz — Test Your Air Safety Skills Now!
In aviation, you've got a split second to make the right decision. Put your safety skills to the test and take the Air Safety Foundation's online safety quiz. New quizzes are posted every other week — on topics from icing and stall/spin awareness to emergency procedures and more. Quizzes only take minutes to complete — minutes that could save your life. Take the ASF Air Safety Quiz now.
Helicopter Safety Updateback to top 

Last week, during a hearing convened by the House Aviation Subcommittee to address safety issues regarding the use of helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS), an FAA spokesman said the FAA has reversed its previous stand that the current rules were adequate, and new rules will be forthcoming soon. "We recognize that relying on voluntary compliance [with suggested safety standards] alone is not enough to ensure safe flight operations," said John Allen, the FAA's director of flight standards. "The FAA Rulemaking Council has given approval to begin drafting a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which we are aiming to have published in late 2009 or early 2010." Allen also said the FAA does not support new legislation now in play in Congress that would empower states to impose more regulations on HEMS or require HEMS operators to comply with Part 135 procedures. "The FAA does not believe that new safety legislation is needed at this time," he said. Matt Zuccaro, president of Helicopter Association International, also testified at the hearing, and said FAA action is too slow. "Congress should direct the FAA to review its current rulemaking procedures and revise same to expedite implementation of beneficial safety initiatives, when appropriate," Zuccaro said. More...

Entegra Release 9 the Very Best Flight Deck System in Aviation
Avidyne's Entegra Release 9 Integrated Flight Deck System represents the next generation of integrated flight deck systems for light general aviation. The Entegra Release 9 retrofit for Cirrus SR20 & SR22 includes dual XGA high-resolution IFD5000 displays, dual-redundant FMS900w systems with a QWERTY-style control/display unit, next-generation fully-digital VHF radios, and dual WAAS/RNP-capable GPS receivers. Find out more about The Best Flight Deck in Aviation at
News Briefsback to top 

Bernard Laferriere, 56, president of Explorer Aeronautique, was killed on Tuesday when he crashed while en route to Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, in an Ecoflyer, the pudgy-looking LSA that his company has been developing. The Ecoflyer, which aims to be a kind of flying RV, was hard to miss at Sun 'n Fun all last week, on display close by the main entrance to the show, and it also attracted attention at its debut at EAA AirVenture last summer. Laferriere had stopped in Norwich, N.Y., on Monday afternoon, where he fueled the airplane and took a two-hour break, telling airport workers that he had landed because of "abnormal wind conditions" aloft. His next stop was Quebec, but he never arrived, and a land owner found the wreckage near Hamilton, N.Y., on Tuesday afternoon, about two miles from the nearest road. The airplane was broken into several pieces. More...

One trend we noticed at Sun 'n Fun last week -- more and more LSA manufacturers are finding that flight schools are interested in their products. The LSAs are less expensive to acquire and operate, and they can be used for flight training right up to ATP. Now that the aircraft have been around for a few years, and have a track record and some maturing of designs, flight schools are finding them hard to resist. Case in point was the decision, announced last week, by the Florida Institute of Technology's FIT Aviation program to utilize new Remos GX 2009 light sport aircraft not only for its flying club but also for primary flight training and time-building in its professional pilot curriculum. "We were very impressed by the useful load factor in the Remos," said Nick Frisch, director of FIT Aviation. "The fact that we could fill it with fuel and take up two large adults with room for plenty of baggage, spoke highly of the aircraft's capability." Copies of various LSA designs were flown by the flight training staff and students at FIT Aviation. "We asked everyone who flew the airplanes for their overall impressions, their response to the ergonomics, the layout of the aircraft, its performance and handling. ... In the end, nine out of ten picked the Remos GX," said Frisch. 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.
News Briefsback to top 

Flying to Cuba from southern Florida could be an appealing trip for a GA pilot -- it's only about 80 miles away, and the beach resorts and Cuban cigars still have the romantic appeal they had in Hemingway's time. But while flying your private airplane into Cuba is not expressly forbidden, it's not easy to do, and restrictions on spending make it impractical. But Thierry Pouille, CEO of Air Journey, is working to change that, by organizing escorted trips where his company will handle all of the bureaucracy and paperwork. The educational trips, which include meetings with Cuban officials to learn about their aviation system, will depart on a Thursday and return on Monday, with time to visit Old Havana, a cigar factory and more. The journey is pending approval by federal officials, but Pouille said he is hopeful that the first trips will be launching by this summer. More...

Alan Edgar Bristow, founder of Bristow Helicopters, died on Sunday, at age 85...
The CDC has released guidance for flight crews arriving from areas affected by swine flu...
A plan to privatize Chicago's Midway Airport has failed...FAA says Linear Air can provide recurrent training for owners of Eclipse jets. More...

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.
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!back to top 

Vendors at Sun 'n Fun reported surprisingly brisk sales this year, which indicates owners are tarting up their existing airplanes. What are you buying this year?

Plus: Wayyy back in the days before Sun 'n Fun, we ran a couple of stories that promised improvement on the economic horizon and asked AVweb readers if they really believed there were brighter days ahead for GA; click through to find out if AVweb readers see the light at the end of the tunnel. More...

Have you installed an Aspen Avionics PFD/MFD? Our sister magazine, Aviation Consumer, wants to talk to you about the experience and your satisfaction with the system. Please take a moment to fill out this survey and share your experience with other potential buyers.(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...

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 

Before we close the door on Sun 'n Fun 2009, we have one final treat for our readers — three exclusive AVweb desktop wallpapers from photographer Mariano Rosales! Click here to view & use the wallpapers. More...

In the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli asks the same questions you've been thinking: "Who's in charge at the White House? What idiot authorized the New York flyover of Air Force One?" 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 

At last year's AirVenture, the Martin Jetpack was easily the most anticipated and hyped product. But the sort-of jetpack only sort of flew, with spotters keeping a close eye on it. Martin has shown the vehicle will fly without external assistance in this latest video, but as AVweb Video Editor Glenn Pew explains, the latest demonstration may not answer all those questions from Oshkosh. More...

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Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Magnolia Aviation at Eaker Field (DUA) in Durant, Oklahoma.

AVweb reader Laura Stephens, of Nolan Avionics, had plenty of great things to say about Magnolia:

The Airport manager is a very caring and sweet individual. He would do anything for you and doesn't mind going above and beyond the call of duty. Although Durant's terminal building is old ... Dwayne keeps it nice. His father and brother are the mechanics on the airport, so if you have any problems, they are always there to help. Also he helps out the local Avionics shop by allowing their overflow to be stored in the community hangar at no charge. If Nolan Avionics ever needs a plane moved, he jumps right on it. The airport is home to a local University flying program, and so the traffic is heavier than normal at a small airport, but he handles it with grace and professionalism.

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!


Reader-Submitted Photosback to top 

Time flies when you're having (Sun 'n) fun! It seems like just the other day we ran our "pre-show" edition of "Picture of the Week," but now we're back with our regular Thursday-morning feature. With one difference: We'll be leaving up the current slideshow for a couple of extra days to give those photos the exposure they deserve. Be sure to check back for more photos on Saturday, when we'll update the home page with this week's batch of reader-submitted photos. In the meantime, let's enjoy this week's Top Five, including our winning photo (seen here) from Zach Lickerman of Wildwood, Missouri. 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
Mariano Rosales

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.