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Civil fines and a possible court injunction that would prevent future acquisition of a pilot certificate may be sought for
26-year-old Edwin Stoltenberg, who crashed his father's Super Cub on a sand bar in Alaska last weekend. Stoltenberg may have been at the controls, but he is not a certificated pilot, nor does he hold
a valid medical, according to Alaskan NBC affiliate KTUU. The channel reported Thursday that Stoltenberg was denied his
medical in August of 2008 because the FAA found he had three convictions for drunken driving and has since acquired a fourth. According to the NTSB preliminary report, witnesses say the young man made several passes on the river, maybe as many as five or
six, touching the aircraft's wheels to the water before contact with a sand bar flipped the aircraft. Although on a river in Alaska, the precise area of the flight was populated at the time with at
least one family and two other children who were fishing. After the wreck, one young man approached the inverted aircraft saw Stoltenberg inside and heard his first words, "Don't call the cops." But
the drama doesn't end there.
After extracting himself from the aircraft, Stoltenberg reportedly called friends to the site; they used an off-road vehicle to flip the aircraft and tow it to the trees before police arrived.
Later on, the young un-certified "pilot" returned to the scene and allegedly flew the aircraft home ... which is an excellent testament to Piper, but has different consequences with the FAA and for
the NTSB. The FAA is investigating a number of violations represented by the incident and it appears action may also be sought against the young man's father, if authorities can prove he had any
knowledge of his son's intentions prior to the incident.
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The Obama administration Thursday announced that it will create a mediation team to immediately address the FAA/NATCA contract
dispute and NATCA President Patrick Forrey was quick to respond with praise. Controllers have been dissatisfied with work conditions since contract negotiations broke down and the FAA imposed
non-negotiated work rules on the union nearly three years ago. NATCA understood the president's comments and action to indicate that the administration's resolve to stabilize the controller workforce
and restore a collaborative work environment is a top priority. Said Forrey, "With this bold step, President Obama is fulfilling his commitment to the safety and modernization of the air traffic
control system and to the dedicated men and women safety professionals who run the system each day." Forrey added thanks to Transportation Secretary LaHood "for his leadership and commitment to
resolving this issue."
For nearly three years NATCA has publicized its view that controller attrition and inadequate training rates have created staffing shortages and an experience deficit that leaves air traffic
control in an unsafe and deteriorating condition. Forrey's latest comments suggest, at the very least, a shift toward optimism.
NetJets Aviation Inc., the Berkshire Hathaway owned and largest fractional jet ownership operator in the U.S., has agreed with its pilots
union on voluntary measures to avoid layoffs. Since December, declines in the use of fractional jets have ranged up to 50 percent in monthly year-over-year figures. NetJets specifically had to contend
with that as a reduction in revenue while also writing down the value of its fleet by $54 million to reflect the falling value of its fleet. Faced with that, NetJets executives and union leaders for
the NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots cooperatively devised cost-cutting measures that would avoid layoffs during the business decline. NetJets pilots have been encouraged by their union
leaders to choose either reduced work hours, leaves of absence or early retirement. In a letter to its members, the union called the measures, "unparalleled in the aviation industry and reflective of
a genuine labor-management partnership," and encouraged pilots to select one of the proposed options.
In an industry hit hard by recession and political pressures, NetJets remains one example of a company that has not yet laid off pilots and still employs about 3,000. NetJets last year confirmed
its plans to maintain its operations in Columbus, Ohio, and to invest $200 million in a new campus at Port Columbus, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
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The new owner of Piper Aircraft Inc., is Imprimis, "a corporate finance and investment management firm that operates from its offices in
Bangkok, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam," according to an Imprimis press release. Production and product development facilities will remain in Vero Beach, Fla., according to the new owners. Imprimis
stated in a Friday press release that it fully supports PiperJet development and intends to aggressively expand Piper's activities, especially in Asia Pacific, targeting pilot training and both
commercial and private flying clubs. Speaking for Imprimis, managing partner Stephen W. Berger said his company is dedicated to growing Piper in existing markets and Asian markets "where much of our
He said Piper was, in spite of the worldwide recession, "strong and well-run, with a strong balance sheet" and backed by a "comprehensive product line." Piper currently manufactures seven models
from the Warrior III to the Meridian, with a proof-of-concept PiperJet VLJ flying but still in development.
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About 60 percent of the required certification work is in the hands of the FAA and the aircraft itself is in the paint shop, but Boeing is
setting expectations for first flight of the 787 Dreamliner, saying it anticipates liftoff prior to July 1. First test flights had once been expected in late 2007 with deliveries to begin in mid-2008,
but with that development (and those delays) in the past, chief project engineer Michael Delaney told reporters the pace of certification has been "far superior to anything we've ever done before."
Prior to certification, six aircraft will be built and deployed for testing. Two will have GE engines and four will run Rolls Royce engines. Customer aircraft will likely be powered by more efficient
engines developed as a joint venture by GE and Snecma of France. Flight tests should last nearly 9 months, followed soon thereafter with FAA airworthiness certification and first delivery in 2010. If
times then are anything like times now, fuel conservation will be a lead element in airlines' ability to prosper, or survive.
In recent years, fuel has surpassed labor as the number one cost for airlines. But improved aerodynamics and more efficient engines are only part of the 787's push for market share. Until some
breakthrough comes along, there's only so much efficiency that can be gleaned from aerodynamic changes not already incorporated in today's commercial aircraft and more efficient engines can always be
swapped for less efficient ones ... at least that's the argument made by Boeing's competitors within the 787's market segment. And it may be so. Airlines are already working with the FAA to optimize
flight paths and climb and descent patterns to reduce fuel requirements for all flights and optimize natural efficiencies. So marketing the Dreamliner these days includes further emphasis on ergonomic
changes designed to appeal to passengers who may not make travel plans based on pounds per hour. According to Boeing, among the creature comforts offered by the 787 is increased cabin space that
should allow nearly all humans to stand at their seat without crouching due to overhead baggage compartments ... provided an airline's spacing between the seats doesn't force passengers to bend at the
knees. For a project so publicly promoted and so long delayed, for now, the outcome remains unchanged -- it's still unknown.
HondaJet conforming aircraft will probably not fly before January 2010 with customer deliveries now projected for fourth quarter 2011 --
a year later than originally hoped. Honda Aircraft Company Thursday released the news with the explanation that "ongoing global aerospace industry business challenges" have delayed the arrival of
critical components. Honda is working with "leading industry suppliers" in the manufacture of many major subassemblies and says that delays in delivery of some critical components forced the company
to push back its schedule. The company said in a news release it remains "confident we will deliver to our customers the best-performing and best-valued light jet in the industry." HondaJet is
currently priced at $3.9 million and claims "significantly lower fuel consumption than any light jet of its size."
HondaJet has so far accrued orders for "well over 100 aircraft," according to the company. The proof-of-concept aircraft has flown more than 425 test hours while demonstrating a top speed of 420
knots and maximum altitude of 43,000 feet. Powered by GE Honda HF120 turbofan engines, Honda expects the jet aircraft to achieve superior efficiency and performance when compared with its closest
competitors. The aircraft can seat up to seven and has a maximum IFR range of more than 1,100 nm cruising at FL410 with one pilot plus three passengers aboard. Honda Aircraft Company recently
completed its world research and design center on the grounds of its Greensboro, N.C., headquarters. That facility houses the world delivery center for all HondaJet aircraft.
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.
A Cessna 182 crashed Friday after departing Thun Field, Wash., when the aircraft reportedly lost power and the pilot tried to turn back
for the runway -- a move that often puts pilots in a world of ... excrement. Things were no different in this case, but as fate would have it, that world may be exactly what saved the pilot from
substantial injury. The aircraft fell short of the runway, clipped a fence and flipped upside-down into a stand of porta-potties. Fortunately for the pilot, the portable toilets had what it took to
absorb or dissipate the remaining kinetic energy of the crash and the pilot "walked away apparently unhurt," according to the Associated Press. Fortunately for everyone else (including, we assume, the
NTSB), the porta-potties were not deployed in service at the time, but were sitting idle and empty (we pray, of everything) in a storage yard.
A local Sheriff's spokesman said the aircraft had gained about 150 feet before the engine quit. Further details were not available at the time AVweb went to press and the pilot's identity
was graciously not made available.
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration July 27 - August 2 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin
This year is too BIG to miss. Literally. Witness the world's largest airliner the Airbus A380; see the first world public debut of Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnightTwo; attend appearances
by the U.S. Airways Flight 1549 cockpit crew; and enjoy performances by the Doobie Brothers on opening day and comedian Jeff Dunham Saturday night.
Save time and money
when you buy your tickets online now.
The Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) are the subject of Bill S614 that would recognize, with the award of a Congressional Gold Medal,
their service during World War II, and they are asking that supporting voices speak up and be heard. The intent of the WASP program was to free up male combat pilots from stateside duty during the
war but ultimately it "served as a catalyst for revolutionary reform in the integration of women pilots into the Armed Services," according to the bill. From 1942 to 1944, WASPs instructed,
transported cargo and personnel, ferried aircraft and more, but they were never commissioned or given active duty status and only earned veteran status decades later. Those interested in supporting
the congressional award should check the position of their representatives, here, which offers "not" and "on
board" lists and suggests simple actions you can take to convey your interests to your representatives.
More than 25,000 women applied to serve, 1,830 were accepted and 1,074 completed Army Air Force flight training before becoming WASPs. Those women flew more than 60,000,000 miles on every type of
assignment but air combat -- 38 lost their lives in (unrecognized) service. The bill recognizing their service was initiated by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-TX, and Senator Barbara Mikulski, D-MD,
and was co-sponsored by the fifteen other female members of the Senate prior to its introduction. Read the text of the bill here.
Almost 10,000 people entered our contest, sponsored by Bendix/King by Honeywell, for a chance to win one of five
AV8OR GPS units. The lucky winner of the unit given away at AERO Friedrichshafen in Germany in early April was Nikolaus Gable from Memingham, Germany. In conjunction with our daily show coverage at
Sun 'n Fun, we gave away four AV8ORs and the winners are:
Brian Catchpoole Lincolnshire, UK
Marianne Blair Waynsboro, VA
Andrew Vlack Westmont, IL
David Joseph Lakeland, FL
Our thanks to those who entered online and stopped by to see us at our booths at both shows. If you weren't one of the lucky ones this time around, you'll have another chance starting July 13 for
AV8ORs that will be awarded after AirVenture 2009. Stay tuned for more details.
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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 email@example.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.
Put AeroExpo Europe - Prague and AeroExpo Europe - London on Your Show Schedule AeroExpo Europe - Prague (May 22-24, 2009) will showcase everything from ultralights to helicopters to business aircraft in the heart of Europe, marketing to the European and emerging Eastern
European and Russian markets. AeroExpo Europe - London (June 12-14, 2009) includes aircraft from light aircraft, pistons, and turboprops through to VLJs (very light jets) and all parts and
services for these general aviation aircraft.
Go online for
exhibitor and attendee details.
Between bird strike data and the disastrous photo op for Air Force One over New York City, the FAA seems to be relying more and more on secrecy in public affairs. In the latest installment of our
AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli wonders what this may mean for the larger issue of aviation safety.
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
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Lindy Kirkland, who retired from the Marine Corps in 2006 as the pilot of Marine One, is the new president of the Air Care Alliance, a national organization of public benefit flying groups.
He spoke with AVweb's Russ Niles about his goals for the Alliance.
Does the world need an alternative to the government's section charts? Jeppesen thinks so, and Aviation Consumer's Jeff Van West finds that these new products from Jeppesen are
well-designed and well-executed, with a just a couple of small shortcomings.
Economic Challenges Call for Proven Advertising Results AVweb Delivers Results
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"It's easy to look good when things go smoothly," writes AVweb reader Jim Wholey, "but Jet Air [at KSEE in El Cajon/San Diego] still looks good when problems arise." Jim
explains the stellar service that makes Jet Air our "FBO of the Week":
I arrived [at Gillespie Field] early in the evening but after rental car agencies were closed. Due to a mix-up on dates, I did not have a car waiting. The staff at Jet Air patiently investigated
various options and were able to arrange a temporary loaner car. But more significant, they proved their high level of customer service to me! (Thanks, Missy.)
Don't forget that we've got quite a few bonus photos up in the "Picture of the Week" slideshow on AVweb's home page. When you're done browsing the latest aviation news, be sure to cruise on over there, scroll about halfway down the page, and check out the reader-submitted pics.
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:
Publisher Timothy Cole
Editorial Director, Aviation Publications Paul Bertorelli
Editor-in-Chief Russ Niles
Contributing Editors Mary Grady Glenn Pew
Features Editor Kevin Lane-Cummings
Webmaster Scott Simmons
Contributors Jeff van West Mariano Rosales
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