AVwebFlash - Volume 15, Number 18a

May 4, 2009

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
Lycoming® — The Engines of Choice
Lycoming® produces the most complete line of horizontally opposed, air-cooled four-, six-, and eight-cylinder certified aircraft engines available, with power ranging from 100 to 400 HP. For homebuilders, air race and aerobatic pilots, and others looking for non-certified engines with Lycoming dependability, Lycoming offers custom-built Thunderbolt Engines. Lycoming piston engines have a reputation for reaching or exceeding TBO. For more information, please visit Lycoming.com.
 
Top News: 'Don't Call the Cops' back to top 
 

Cub Survives Crash, Pilot's Career May Not

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.

 
3 Airplanes ... 3 Levels ... 1 Edition ... Ice
New for 2009, Cirrus Aircraft shakes the lineup with a new way to spec out your new Cirrus. SR20, SR22, and Turbo models are now available in three well-equipped trim levels - "S," "GS," and "GTS"; Known Ice Protection is ready to go on SR22 and Turbo models; or choose an all-new premium interior and exterior upgrade package dubbed "X-Edition." Visit CirrusAircraft.com for details.
 
Minding the Gap Between Labor and Management back to top 
 

Obama Acts, Controllers React

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 And Union Avoid Layoffs

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.

 
Fly with Bose® Aviation Headset X®
Enjoy an unmatched combination of full-spectrum noise reduction, clearer audio, and comfortable fit. Voted the #1 headset for the eighth consecutive year in Professional Pilot's 2008 Headset Preference Survey. Learn more and order.

Quote reprinted with permission:
Professional Pilot, 2008 Headset Preference Survey, 12/08.
 
New Owners for Piper Aircraft back to top 
 

Piper Has Been Sold

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 focus lies."

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.

 
A Life Insurance Policy That Returns All of Your Premiums? — YES
The Return of Premium Term policy available through Pilot Insurance Center features fixed premiums and guarantees to return the total of all premiums at the end of the policy. No aviation exclusions. Call (800) 380-8376 or visit PICLife.com.
 
Looking Ahead on the Calendar back to top 
 

Boeing Floats Date For 787 Dreamliner Test Flight

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 Announces Delays, Blames Suppliers

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.

Click here for more information on the Piper Meridian.
 
Any Landing You Can Walk Away From ... back to top 
 

No Full Plane Parachute? No Problem

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.
 
News Briefs back to top 
 

WASP Seeks Your Voice And Recognition

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.

Lucky AV8OR Winners

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.

 
JA Air Center, Your Source for the New Garmin GPSMap 696
JA Air Center is YOUR source for Garmin equipment, including the new GPSMap 696 with Victor Airways, Jet Routes, XM Weather, Terrain, AOPA Airport Guide, and Safe Taxi. JA Air purchases used GPS units, avionics, and aircraft.

JA Air Center is now open in Sugar Grove, IL (KARR) providing the finest avionics installations, turbine/piston maintenance, avionics/instrument service, mail order, and aircraft sales. Call (800) 323-5966, or click for more information.
 
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 
 

Aviation Consumer's Aspen Avionics Survey

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.)

AVweb's Newstips Address ...

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 newstips@avweb.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.
 
Opinion & Commentary back to top 
 

AVweb Insider Blog: FAA's Turn Toward Secrecy

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.

Read 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 Release9.com.
 
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 
 

New President at Air Care Alliance

File Size 6.0 MB / Running Time 6:31

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

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.

Click here to listen. (6.0 MB, 6:31)

Exclusive Video: Aviation Consumer Reviews Jeppesen's Visual Charts

Original, Exclusive Videos from AVweb | Reader-Submitted & Viral Videos

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.


Don't see a video screen?
Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

Want to see more shots of the Transition in flight?
You can view the raw video footage here.


Video Marketplace Spotlight

Glasair — Two Weeks to Taxi
Your own Glasair, built by you (with professional assistance) in only two weeks. It sounds too good to be true, but it's not. Kitplanes editor Marc Cook went through the program and has more info.

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

 
Economic Challenges Call for Proven Advertising Results — AVweb Delivers Results
Since 1995, AVweb has been the most comprehensive no-cost aviation site online. Advertisers reach over 255,000 pilots, aircraft owners, and aviation professionals via a unique and effective combination of newsletter text messages and web site banner ads. Links send readers directly to advertisers' web sites for instant information. Click now for details on AVweb's cost-effective programs.
 
Your Favorite FBOs back to top 
 

FBO of the Week: Jet Air Systems (Gillespie Field, KSEE, El Cajon/San Diego, CA)

Nominate an FBO | Rules | Tips | Questions | Winning FBOs

"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.)

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!

 
The Lighter Side of Flight back to top 
 

Picture of the Week: Don't Forget to Check Out Our Bonus Pics

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.

Don't forget to upload your own photos for the current week's contest!

Short Final

The following actually happened on April 24, 2009. (N12345 is a Piper Archer with headphones.)

Tower:
"All aircraft, ATIS information Victor is present."

N12345:
"WB Approach, 12345 is inbound with Victor, full stop."

N12345 Passenger:
"There are four people on board, and no one is named Victor. Where is Victor on this plane, or did you forget him?"

 
Names Behind the News back to top 
 

Meet the AVwebFlash Team

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

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.