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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.
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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.
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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.
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.
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!
AOPA.org/summit for details.
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.
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.
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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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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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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.)
THIS WEEK'S QUESTION ***
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.
(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.
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.
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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.)
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.
*** THIS WEEK'S WINNERS ***
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.)
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.)
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.