AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 15, Number 18b

May 7, 2009

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
UMA Vertical Speed Indicators Available at Aircraft Spruce
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Top News: New Rules for Border-Crossing Trips back to top 

Compliance Deadline Near For New DHS Border-Crossing Rules

The FAA sent out a notice this week reminding pilots that the deadline is May 18 to comply with a new rule from the Department of Homeland Security that requires the pilots of private aircraft on international flights to submit reports with Customs and Border Protection. The rule requires GA pilots to submit crew and passenger manifests at least 60 minutes before departure. The information must be submitted using the CBP's Electronic Advance Passenger Information System (eAPIS) Web site, or through an authorized third-party vendor. Pilots who fail to meet these reporting requirements can be fined $5,000 for the first violation and $10,000 for each subsequent violation.

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.
Crowdsourcing Search-and-Rescue Operations back to top 

New "Missing Aircraft Search Team" Helps Find Lost Cessna 182

A group of volunteers who met while working on the Steve Fossett search in 2007 have formed an ad hoc group called the Missing Aircraft Search Team (MAST), and this week they announced their first recovery -- a Cessna 182 that was lost near Sedona, Ariz., in September 2006, with two souls on board. "Our team is made up of about 14 people from around the country, and we meet online or over the phone," spokesman Lew Toulmin told AVweb on Wednesday. "One of our volunteers in California, Chris Killian, was checking fire reports, and found a report that had been overlooked, from the day that the airplane disappeared." That clue was the turning point, as the hikers who filed the report were tracked down and they were able to pinpoint the site of the fire. Their curiosity piqued, the hikers returned to the woods the next weekend, and found the wreckage of the airplane. Authorities confirmed that it was the 182 that went missing with pilot Bill Westover and passenger Marcy Randolph. Toulmin said MAST is working to organize as a nonprofit group and take on more projects, and also to develop new search strategies using Google Earth and other tools.

Toulmin added that MAST also will examine the way that searches are conducted and lobby for improvements. "The data are so scattered," he said. "We found in both cases [Fossett's disappearance and the 182 case] that there were myriad problems with coordination, funding, insurance, standards, routine destruction of vital search data, search command and control, and lack of 'lessons learned' analysis." Another group, InternetSAR, was formed after the Fossett search to promote the use of Internet resources for aerial searching. Toulmin said MAST also will organize ground searches. Two ground searches had already been planned for Arizona this month. The group is now looking at a couple of other cases and will take on another project soon, Toulmin said. He said about 100 light aircraft have gone missing since 1962. For more information about MAST, click here for the news release.

Aircraft Financing Available
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A Welcome Relief: Some Economic Good News back to top 

Lopresti Aviation Seals Deal For New Facility

While some aviation companies wait anxiously for the economic turnaround, other companies have found ways to benefit, and Lopresti Aviation is one of those. People who don't want to spend the money for a new airplane will spend to improve their current airplanes, chief operating officer Arjay Siegel told TCPalm this week -- and that's good for the company, which sells products that help boost airplane performance. But the company also has been working on a side project, to build Fury airplanes, and now they have found another way the downturn can help them out. The city of Sebastian, Fla., eager to bring in new business, has offered Lopresti a 15-year lease on a hangar at the municipal airport, in the hope that will create 45 jobs in the next 18 months as they ramp up work on the Fury program. The deal has been in the works for a while but now the lease is signed and the company hopes to move in and get to work by mid-June. Development and flight testing of the conforming prototype are first on the agenda. With a 240-hp engine, the Fury will top out at 278 mph and stall at 54 mph and is fully aerobatic.

Piper Sold For Profit

In this market it might be assumed that American Capital, the company that owned Piper Aircraft until last Friday, was bailing on a troubled industry. In fact, the company made a healthy $31 million profit on the sale and the premium paid by Imprimis is indicative of the strength of the company. "We are extremely delighted with the impressive results of our sale of Piper. The sale of Piper during such challenging economic times demonstrates that the market is still receptive to the acquisition of strong assets," American Capital spokesman Steve Price said in a news release. "We are excited for Piper as it moves forward with new ownership under Imprimis and expands in new geographic markets, especially Asia, with its comprehensive product line."

Rumors of a sale had been around for months but the announcement on Friday still surprised many because of the timing. Piper is among the majority of airplane companies that have laid off staff and cut production in response to market conditions. Imprimis intends to sink capital into Piper and take advantage of opportunities it sees in Asia. The range of products was also a selling point. With the addition of the PiperJet, the company covers the spectrum of GA aircraft applications.

New Company Offers Ride-Shares For Jets

Maybe those auto execs would have suffered less of a thrashing if they had shared a ride to Washington in one jet instead of three -- that's part of the idea behind Greenjets, a new Florida-based company that aims to fill empty seats on private jets, to save money and reduce the environmental impact of the flight. The company said this week it already has 40 jets signed up in its network and plans to start service this summer. Travelers can book a seat online or over the phone, or buy a jetcard that offers discounts and freebies. "The Greenjetcard provides the most cost-effective private jet travel solution available today," the company said in a news release. Special-offer membership starts as low as $1,400 for a year and trip prices from NY-Florida can be as low as $1,800 per person. The company plans to start with service between New York and Florida, and later this year will add service for Chicago, Boston, Washington, and Atlanta. Over the next two years, another 27 markets will be added across the U.S. "Greenjets comes at a time when companies and individuals are looking to save money while maintaining productivity through flying private," the company said.

The arrangement also offers environmental benefits. If three passengers share one flight instead of three, the carbon emissions are reduced by two-thirds.

AOPA's Aviation Summit
Don't miss the AOPA Aviation Summit, the premier annual aviation exposition — a completely new take on AOPA's annual gathering. Come to Tampa on November 5-7, 2009 to experience everything general aviation has to offer: hundreds of exhibits, aircraft on display, expanded training opportunities, and great social events! This event has something for everyone: aviation enthusiasts, student pilots, private pilots, and professional pilots. If you have a passion for flight, you won't want to miss it! Visit AOPA.org/summit for details.
What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Week back to top 

Canada Backs Off 406 ELTs

Canada's Minister of Transport, John Baird, has overruled his bureaucracy and suspended implementation of a controversial rule that would have required almost all aircraft to have certified 406 Mhz emergency locator transmitters installed by February of 2011 in order to fly legally in Canada. The rule would have applied to aircraft trying to enter Canada from other countries. In an interview with AVweb at Canadian Aviation Expo in Hamilton, Ontario, earlier this week, Kevin Psutka, president of the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA), said the minister refused to sign the rule as presented by Transport Canada because it didn't include any viable alternatives to 406 ELTs, even though it included language that indicated an alternative method of compliance was possible. "There is no technology that exists today that could meet those (alternative) requirements," Psutka said. He said the minister has ordered his staff to draft a rule that gives new technology a fighting chance for acceptance.

Psutka and COPA have been fighting the mandatory equipage with 406 ELTs for 10 years, arguing the new ELTs, while somewhat improved in the level and types of information they provide rescuers, suffer from the same operational flaws as the old-style 121.5 units. The vast majority of ELT signals are accidental and do not announce any kind of emergency. On the other hand, when a plane does go down, they fail to trigger more than half the time, according to COPA's research. Psutka was urging Transport Canada and the Canadian Forces (which handles search and rescue) to consider new GPS-based systems that leave a "bread crumb" trail of position reports for rescuers to follow but the rule, as written, excluded all of them, he said. TC's position was that 406 ELTs meet International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards that changed when the satellite constellation that monitors search and rescue alerts stopped receiving 121.5 signals. The U.S. did not adopt mandatory 406 equipage, but the military and Civil Air Patrol are recommending aircraft owners install the new ELTs.

GA Deliveries Decline 41 Percent In First Quarter

Shipments of general aviation aircraft fell by 41 percent in the first three months of 2009, compared to the same period a year ago, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association said on Tuesday. "This is an extremely difficult time for our industry," said GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce. "We are dealing first and foremost with the severe negative effects of a worldwide economic downturn, but also with unwarranted criticism focused on the industry. The result has been the cancellation of orders for new airplanes and the loss of more than 15,000 high-paying jobs for American workers over the last several months." The piston segment was down 55 percent in the first quarter, with 179 airplanes delivered, compared to 399 in the first three months of 2008. Business jet shipments fell 36 percent, with 191 deliveries, compared to 297 in the first quarter of 2008. The turboprop segment was the only bright spot, showing a 3 percent increase, with 92 units delivered, up from 89 a year ago. A total of 462 GA airplanes were delivered, and industry billings totaled $4.34 billion, down 18 percent.

But while the numbers may seem grim, the industry has always been somewhat volatile, and a look back in the GAMA records shows the last time total deliveries sank this low was not that long ago -- in the first quarter of 2004. Growth trended upward each year from 2004 to 2007. Bunce said on Tuesday that the U.S. general aviation industry leads the world in innovation, and is one of the few U.S. industries that maintains a positive balance of trade. "We will continue to work with governments around the world to recognize that general aviation can play a key role in propelling the economic recovery," he said. Click here for the full text of GAMA's report.

AVwebBiz: AVweb's Business Aviation Newsletter

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."

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News Briefs back to top 

Aviation Summit Focuses On Funding, NextGen

About 200 industry leaders met in Washington, D.C., last week for the 8th Annual Aviation Summit. The summit, hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, brings together experts from government agencies, airlines and aviation advocacy groups. NextGen was a hot topic on the agenda, as was the future of aviation funding and the impact of economic uncertainty. NBAA President Ed Bolen was among those advocating for quicker progress on NextGen. "The general aviation community has been a tireless advocate for modernization of the aviation system," he said. "Accelerating the transition to NextGen will advance important national objectives like expanding system capacity and reducing congestion, reducing long-term costs to the FAA, enhancing safety and even reducing the industry's environmental footprint. We come together recognizing that a unified industry presents a great opportunity to make that a reality." AOPA President Craig Fuller led the summit's panel discussion on NextGen. He said system modernization is crucial, and he added that under the Obama administration's budget plan the general-fund contribution to the FAA would be reduced and about $7 billion a year in user fees would be added.

Bolen said modernization should be funded through the proven, efficient fuel tax, and no new funding mechanisms or user fees are needed. "All great economies in the history of the world have achieved greatness because of mobility," Bolen said at the summit. "In these difficult economic times, everyone in the industry must work together to ensure that mobility is understood to be a national priority." The summit included a new Aviation Showcase, featuring the latest innovations and technologies from the commercial, cargo, business, military, and space aviation industries.

Airshow Legend Sean Tucker Makes "Precautionary Landing" On California Highway

Aerobatic pilot Sean Tucker has issued a statement concerning his off-airport landing Sunday evening. Tucker was flying a photo shoot near his King City, Calif., home base around 7 p.m. when his engine hiccuped and he realized that if it quit altogether, he couldn't stretch a glide back to the airport. With a long empty stretch of Highway 101 nearby, he decided to get the airplane on the ground and check it out. "We did not put a scratch on the airplane and did not jeopardize any vehicles," Tucker said in a statement on Wednesday. "It was a precautionary landing because of a malfunction in the fuel computer." Tucker's crew came and checked out the airplane, and the highway police stopped traffic so he could take off and fly home. Earlier reports by a California television station quoted Tucker as telling California Highway Patrol officers that he had run out of fuel and that fuel was added to the aircraft before taking off. Tucker did not respond to AVweb's request for clarification of the television report.

Tucker flies a custom-built biplane in airshows across the country, and last year was named to the National Aviation Hall of Fame. He also operates the Tutima Academy of Aviation Safety in King City.

On the Fly ...

Pilots planning to fly in to EAA AirVenture at Oshkosh this summer can now download the FAA Notam online...

The FAA is reviewing the hours flown by Colgan Air flight crews, The Associated Press reported Wednesday; hearings are less than a week away into the fatal February crash of a Colgan Air flight...

Airports in Mesa, Ariz., and Alexandria, La., will benefit from funding that helps transform military airports to civilian use, the FAA said on Wednesday....

Socata now offers an onboard potty option to help pilots and pax take advantage of the TBM 850's max range.

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

Share Your EBACE News

Europe's biggest business aviation show, the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) is almost here and AVweb is inviting companies attending to submit their news releases to us for possible publication in our show coverage. Send your news to editor@avweb.com.

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.
New on AVweb back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: "Is Sun 'n Fun, Like, Over?"

In the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog, Editorial Director Paul Bertorelli takes the question of whether Sun 'n Fun faces a dire future. In a nutshell, his answer is yes — but if you've turned on the TV lately, you know times are tough all around.

Read more.

Over 17,000 Happy GAMIjectors® Customers Can't Be Wrong!
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Enough of Us; We Want to Hear Your Voice back to top 

Question of the Week: 406 MHz ELTs — Will You Upgrade?

This Week's Question | Previous Week's Answers


Everyone's watching the budget these days, including many AVweb readers who are foregoing new airplane purchases to spruce up their existing planes.

So what was the most popular category of purchases? Routine items to just stay safe, according to 31% of those who participated in last week's poll. (It's worth noting that 14% said nothing — and if that means I can't fly, so be it.)

For a complete (real-time) breakdown of reader responses, click here.
(You may be asked to register and answer if you haven't already participated in this poll.)


In February, satellite monitoring for 121.5 ELTs ended, and the military, Coast Guard and Civil Air Patrol are strongly recommending installation of 406 ELTs, which are monitored. Canada has backed off on mandatory equipage. AVweb wants to know how you feel about installing the new gear.

Have you installed a 406 MHz ELT?
(click to answer)

Have an idea for a new "Question of the Week"? Send your suggestions to .

This address is only for suggested "QOTW" questions, and not for "QOTW" answers or comments.
Use this form to send "QOTW" comments to our AVmail Editor.

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.)

eBooks & eVideos
Most titles on the AVweb Bookstore (including Jeppesen, McGraw-Hill, ICAO, and many others) are also available as electronic downloads. Why not consider an eBook in Adobe .PDF format? Instant delivery. No shipping costs. Fully searchable, bookmarked, and hyperlinked. Hundreds of reference titles at your fingertips, in your laptop computer. Environmentally friendly. And no import taxes to international customers. Are you sold yet? Click here to learn more, and download a sample to try it out.
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

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.

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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!

Reader-Submitted Photos back to top 

Picture of the Week: AVweb's Flying Photography Showcase

Submit a Photo | Rules | Tips | Questions | Past Winners

Each week, we go through dozens (and sometimes hundreds) of reader-submitted photos and pick the very best to share with you on Thursday mornings. The top photos are featured on AVweb's home page, and one photo that stands above the others is awarded an AVweb baseball cap as our "Picture of the Week." Want to see your photo on AVweb.com? Click here to submit it to our weekly contest.


Submissions dropped off just a bit in this week (perhaps in the wake of our oddball Sun 'n Fun schedule), but thankfully the quality of reader photos is as high as ever. We realize we say this a lot, but it bears repeating: You really are missing some terrific photos if you don't visit AVweb's home page and check out all the bonus photos that don't fit here. (And for those who may not have realized it: You can see large-size versions of all the pics in the slideshow by clicking on them.)

medium | large

copyright © Rene Benzonana
Used with permission

Air and Water Festival

Rene Benzonana of Grand-Lancy, Geneva (Switzerland) must surely be related to frequent "POTW" contributor Gilbert Benzonana — and even though he didn't mention it in the comments for this photo, we'll be tucking an extra hat into this week's shipment for Gilbert, who's come oh-so-close to being in the top spot too many times to taunt him by sending a hat to the same address without including an extra!

("Taken during the 'Bol d'or' race on the Lake of Geneva," Rene tells us.)

medium | large

copyright © Phillip Gower
Used with permission

Yak 18T at Sunset

The RA-Aus fly-in at Narromine, NSW had been a great event, but Phil Gower of Toowoomba, Queensland (Australia) was ready to leave after bad weather delayed departures for a day or two. "Finally, on the Tuesday afternoon after Easter, a westerly came up and blew it all away to the east," writes Phil, leaving his Yak "pointed to a getaway on Wednesday morning."

medium | large

Used with permission of Rusty Eichorn

Sunrise Supercub

What better way to follow a sunset than with a sunrise? Rusty Eichorn of Grand Rapids, Minnesota delivers quite ably, serving up this shot of his '76 Supercub sitting patiently while the morning fog clears.

medium | large

copyright © Dennis Karoleski
Used with permission

Wassercapi Memorial to Fallen Airmen

We weren't familiar with this monument before this photo from Dennis Karoleski of Portsmouth, New Hampshire showed up in our submission box — but what a tribute. This shot was taken on "a cold, windy December day on the Wassercapi," Dennis tells us.

We got quite a bit of mail about this photo of the "Wassercapi Memorial to Fallen Airmen." We weren't familiar with the monument, but (like many of you) we were immediately captivated by its design and stark surroundings. AVweb reader (and frequent "POTW" contributor) Gary Dikkers was the first to put us on the trail of more information, telling us that "Wassercapi" is a variant spelling and the mountain plateau to which it refers is more commonly spelled "Wasserkupe." Armed with Gary's info (and Wikipedia link), we were able to find quite a few German-language pages about the memorial, also known as the Fliegerdenkmal at Wasserkupe. For those who want to know more, here's the German Wikipedia page (and Google's English translation). And, courtesy of Gary again, a photo of the memorial's dedication in 1923.

medium | large

copyright © Daniel Valovich
Used with permission


Daniel Valovich of Hot Springs, Arkansas flies us home this week with a wildlife photo that could almost be mistaken for a painting — a "great blue heron landing on foggy Lake DeGray, Arkansas."

You'll find more reader-submitted photos in the slideshow on AVweb's home page, many of which we really do wish we could've run here. It's a great crop this week, so please — go look!

And click here to submit your own photos to "POTW."

A quick note for submitters: If you've got several photos that you feel are "POTW" material, your best bet is to submit them one-a-week! That gives your photos a greater chance of seeing print on AVweb, and it makes the selection process a little easier on us, too. ;)

A Reminder About Copyrights:
Please take a moment to consider the source of your image before submitting to our "Picture of the Week" contest. If you did not take the photo yourself, ask yourself if you are indeed authorized to release publication rights to AVweb. If you're uncertain, consult the POTW Rules or or send us an e-mail.

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:

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.