AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 15, Number 21a

May 25, 2009

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
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.
 
Top News: Join Us as We 'Fiddle Around America' back to top 
 
Sponsor Announcement
All Major Aircraft Manufacturers on Display at Spirit of St. Louis Airport 
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AVweb Fiddling Around America, Part 1: Pulled Pork And Tornado Warnings

Click above and below for video of the DC-3 landing at Moontown

Moontown Airport, near Huntsville, Ala. is one of the busiest grass strips anywhere but necks were craning at the new sound in the air late Saturday. The Herpa DC-3, making its first stop on the Fiddling Around America Tour landed with room to spare on the 2,200-foot field in front of a healthy crowd of GA enthusiasts. "It's so big," yells one woman in one of the accompanying videos shot by folks on the ground who waited through periods of warm rain for the big aircraft's arrival late Saturday. Although 2,200 feet is short by anyone's standards, Dan Gryder's pride and joy needed only one firm tap on the brakes to slip into the picturesque airport, which is owned by George Myers and is a privately owned, public use airport. Well fed and well entertained the DC-3 crew, made up of six of Gryder's type certificate students, a fiddle player and an AVweb correspondent took off in search of better weather on Sunday morning and found it, for awhile.

After a gas and food stop, plus numerous cockpit tours and plenty of photos at General Dewitt Spain Airport in Memphis, the goal was a leisurely trip up the Mississippi to Hannibal, Mo. Some creative deviations and heavy reliance on XM Wx Works got the crew as far as northern Arkansas but certain laws of nature prevailed. A line of nasty weather put Hannibal beyond reach and the folks at the airport Jonesboro, Ark. were surprised by a visit from the red and silver heritage piece. The crew was also surprised to find out that they'd landed at about the same time a tornado warning was issued for the area. The goal for Monday is to break through the intense weather covering the southeast and get into that nice dry pattern to the northwest. Follow along and see how we do.

Click here for the live cockpit video feed.

Live Video Feed: AVweb 'Fiddling Around America' DC-3 Tour

AVweb and Verizon Wireless are taking readers where they've never been before — to the cockpit of the Herpa DC-3 in flight through America's heartland. What's more, it'll be interactive. Text us at (678) 371-6293 (or just use the form below) and we'll answer your questions live through the headset audio that will play along with the video. We usually launch around 11 a.m. Eastern and fly for a couple of hours before lunch and couple of hours after, weather (and the airplane) willing. Join us in a new interactive experiment in web media!

Send a message to the DC-3 Cockpit
If we're online, we'll answer as many of you over the headset audio as we can!

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Event Sponsors
Herpa Miniatures | Verizon Wireless | Cessna Pilot Center Network
Gaston's Resort | Advanced Aircraft Refinishers | Precision Avionics
Freeman's Just Plane Hardware | The DC-3 Network

 
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.
 
Randy Babbitt Takes the Helm of FAA back to top 
 

New FAA Administrator -- Babbitt Confirmed

The Senate Thursday confirmed Randolph Babbitt to sit at the helm of the Federal Aviation Administration. Babbitt, a former president of the Air Line Pilots Association and an aviation consultant, now faces the immediately popular concerns of pilot training scheduling and fatigue, along with the enduring problems of labor relations (particularly those between the FAA and the air traffic controllers union) as well as air traffic control modernization. Among early congratulatory notes, the Air Transport Association (ATA) "heartily" congratulated Babbitt. "With the right leadership, we know we can begin to see real benefits from NowGen/NextGen within a few years," said ATA president James C. May.

 
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.
 
Paying for Our Swanky New Air Space Technology back to top 
 

House Passes NextGen Funding, No User Fees (Sort Of)

The House of Representatives Friday passed the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2009, which would provide funding for the FAA and NextGen development in part through an increase in general aviation fuel taxes. The action brought praise from some camps -- the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and the National Air Transportation Association (NATA). Funding through aviation fuel taxes (not other user fees) is also supported by AOPA. The bill is very similar to the last proposed reauthorization bill, which was introduced in 2007, passed by the House and then stalled in the Senate. The FAA has been operating under a series of funding extensions ever since. The new long-term funding afforded by the reauthorization bill currently avoids user fees other than fuel taxes. It also attempts to address concerns about foreign-based Part 145 repair facilities by requiring two annual inspections by FAA representatives. While NATA had concerns that inspections might jeopardize some trade agreements with foreign carries all the groups mentioned here have generally positive comments when it comes to fuel and ticket taxes.

Said AOPA president Craig Fuller, "Aviation fuel taxes collected at the pump and ticket taxes collected at the counter, combined with a healthy contribution from the general tax fund, remain the best way to pay for the nation's aviation system." Speaking for NBAA, President and CEO Ed Bolen said, "We commend the House of Representatives for passing this legislation to fund the FAA and accelerate NextGen using the long-established aviation fuel tax to help pay for system modernization." NATA president Jim Coyne "applauded" the House for approving a bill "void of user fees" that provides "a fair jet fuel tax increase" while applying required NextGen funding.

 
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 OverhaulYourThinking.com.
 
Safety & Security back to top 
 

NY Arrest Turns Up Heat On Missile Defense For Airliners

The arrest in New York last week of four people who allegedly planned (among other things) to fire shoulder-launched missiles at aircraft happened at almost the same time a cargo jet was flown by Homeland Security over Memphis to test onboard missile-defense equipment. The New York foursome's alleged plot was to fire missiles at Air National Guard C-5A or C-130 refuelers operating at Stewart Airport in Newburgh, N.Y., but the idea that the missiles could be used on commercial airliners has clearly not left the minds of U.S. authorities. Dozens of terrorist organizations are thought to have, or potentially have access to, shoulder-launched stinger missiles. Defensive systems are already deployed on specific aircraft in this country (usually aboard aircraft that serve government officials) and are more widely used abroad, specifically in Israel where new aircraft will be armed with defensive systems. Saab, which is developing a civil anti-missile system, includes in its promotional brochure that there have been more than 35 attempts to shoot down civilian aircraft in the past 10 years, resulting in at least 24 crashes and the deaths of some 500 people. Homeland Security Program Manager Kerry Wilson says the agency is now flying real-world test scenarios with similar systems to check the response of defense systems amidst the active interference of radio signals and other technological clutter.

The Department of Homeland Defense's program is a response to a 2003 directive from Congress that the agency adapt the technology to commercial aircraft use. In light of recent events, Long Island Congressman Steve Israel pushed the case by publicly stating that anti-missile protection systems cost less money than an advanced onboard entertainment system. Saab's flight trials for its civil anti-missile detection system, dubbed CAMPS, are about to begin and aims to become the first local system certified by EASA.

 
You Won't Need SVT to See Where No-Cost Fuel Can Take You, But We're Throwing It in Anyway
If you buy one of a limited number of 2008 Cessna 350 or Cessna 400 aircraft from existing inventory, Cessna will supply you with $25,000 in fuel at no cost to you and upgrade your state-of-the-art Garmin G1000 integrated flight deck with new Synthetic Vision Technology. Supply of eligible aircraft is limited, so act fast and contact your Cessna representative today.
 
Buffalo Crash Raises Profile on Other Safety Issues back to top 
 

The Stamp Of Colgan Air Flight 3407

The fatal crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407 has commuter air transportation in the public hot seat and hot on freshly minted FAA administrator Randy Babbitt's personal plate. Just last week, and all related to the crash: One carrier was fined, four senators called for an independent investigation into federal oversight of carriers, and a then pre-confirmation Babbitt kept safety high on his list of talking points. Babbitt at a Tuesday hearing told senators, "I think we need to look at the training" and "safety will be my number-one priority." Citing growth as the driving factor that was pushing less experienced pilots to fly more commuter aircraft into unfamiliar airports, Babbit said it all adds up "to make an environment that exposes them to a lot higher risk levels." Senators who heard testimony about the February Colgan crash that killed all 49 aboard and one on the ground near Buffalo are pushing the Transportation Department's inspector general to see if regulations and oversight enforcement and compliance are having their desired effect. And a $1.3 million federal fine was issued against Gulfstream International Airlines, which once trained the Colgan flight's captain, for falsified records that allowed pilots to fly beyond regulated limits.

Babbitt's comments Tuesday imply that he will hold the agency accountable to NTSB recommendations. "We have an obligation to either adopt, modify and adopt or explain why we didn't adopt any particular recommendation," Babbitt told senators. A relative of one of the crash victims of Colgan Air who earlier had the chance to interact with Babbitt and then witnessed the Tuesday hearing was optimistic about Babbitt's potential influence on the FAA, but "it will depend with how well he deals with the bureaucracy."

 
Nonin Pulse Oximeter for Only $99 Now at AeroMedix!
Nonin's new GO2 Achieve Pulse Oximeter is now available at AeroMedix for only for $99! Now you can accurately measure your oxygen saturation and heart rate as you ensure the safety of you and your passengers, all at a new affordable price. Made in the U.S.A. by industry leader Nonin Medical. Dr. Brent Blue says: "Now there is no excuse for anyone to fly without knowing their oxygen levels." Visit AeroMedix.com and buy one today!
 
News Briefs back to top 
 

Aircraft Becomes Historic Place

Well, if they're going to charge property tax it might as well be a "place," and Indiana's Historic Preservation Review Board has apparently found sufficient ground to deem "Hot Stuff" -- a very rare Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon -- worthy of the National and State of Indiana Historic Registers. The aircraft may now be listed on the National Register of Historic Places, according to the group that maintains the aircraft, an honor normally reserved for historic homes, buildings or neighborhoods. The Lockheed PV-2 operated by the Indianapolis based American Military Heritage Foundation Inc. (AMHF) is thought to be one of only two currently in flying condition and the AMHF believes Hot Stuff is fit for the honor. PV-2s served during WWII as submarine hunters along the eastern seaboard and in the South Pacific. They were also used in the Empire Express bombing raids launched from the Aleutians after the Japanese occupation there (spring of 1942 to June 1943), which targeted the Japanese-held Kurile Islands, according to the AMHF. "Hot Stuff" served in an Empire Express squadron and served in the reserves but never saw combat as she was delivered to the Nave in March of 1945. Purdue graduate Ralph Johnson later saved the aircraft when he purchased a fleet as surplus from the Navy and redeployed the aircraft as crop dusters. As a flying aircraft, Hot Stuff will be making public appearances.

The aircraft will be on display at the 13th annual Indianapolis Air Show, June 5-7 at Mt. Comfort Airport. Anyone interested in becoming an AMHF supporter/member and volunteer may contact Penny Litz at (760) 835-7529, or go to AMHF.org.

BuildAPlane, Teachers' Day, AirVenture 2009

BuildAPlane, the non-profit organization that gets kids hands-on with aircraft, will this year sponsor Teachers' Day at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, educating educators on ways to weave aviation into their curricula from kindergarten to high school. Attendees can earn complimentary admission to EAA AirVenture after attending Teachers' Day and also one graduate credit through Viterbo University. With programs to motivate children through their learning of science, math, technology and engineering, BuildAPlane's Teacher's Day sponsorship hopes to spark interest in traditional subject matter while also infusing an appreciation for aviation and potentially beginning a lifelong connection.

Teachers will learn about products and services that expose students to all aspects of aviation both as a vocation and avocation and they will be encouraged to take materials home with them at no charge. Programs at AirVenture's Teachers' Day sponsored by BuildAPlane will include presentations by the FAA, AOPA, EAA, GAMA and more. Both EAA and GAMA are generous financial supporters of BuildAPlane's Teachers' Day at AirVenture. Like a cross-section of AirVenture's other attendees, teachers from across the country are expected to participate.

 
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.
 
Opinion & Commentary back to top 
 

AVweb Insider Blog: Why Did The Feds Seize Claude's Skyraider?

The federal government has seized Claude Hendrickson's 60-year-old airplane, and it's not saying why. AVweb Editor-in-Chief Russ Niles has been trying to figure out what the feds were thinking, but he admits in the latest installment of the AVweb Insider blog that he's as stumped as anyone.

Read more.

 
Jeppesen Pilot Training
Smart pilots never truly fly solo. For 75 years, pilots have taken their aviation partner along for the journey — Jeppesen. Pilots (and future pilots) look to us for the tools and training they need to fly safely and effectively. Throughout your career flight path, you can count on Jeppesen. Choose the learning tools best for you with our integrated system. Learn more at Jeppesen.com/pilottraining.
 
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 
 

Attention, Aircraft Owners/Operators: Aviation Consumer Wants to Hear About Your Experiences with Electronic Tachometers

Our sister magazine, Aviation Consumer, wants to hear about your experiences with aftermarket electronic tachometers. We'd like to know why you installed an electronic tach; which one you chose and why; how easy or complicated the installation and paperwork were; how well you like the product; and whether you'd do it again. We'd also like to know about any warranty work you may have had and if you're happy with the tach's internal lighting, if any. Please also tell us where you mounted the electronic tachometer and a rough idea of how much you spent, including installation.

Please send a note to aviation_safety@hotmail.com and let us know your experiences, including the nature of any problems.

(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.

 
Q: What's the Difference Between a $10,000 Annual and a $2,500 Annual?
A: SAMM

Mike Busch and his team of seasoned maintenance professionals are saving their aircraft-owner clients thousands of dollars a year in parts and labor — not to mention hours of hassle — by providing professional maintenance management for owner-flown singles and twins. Learn how they do it.
 
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 
 

Exclusive Video: F-16 Fighting Falcon Cockpit Tour

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

At Edwards Air Force Base, AVweb's Glenn Pew had the chance to take a quick look around the cockpit of an F-16 Viper — F-16 folks never use the official name of "Fighting Falcon" — courtesy of military test pilot Desmond Brophy.

If you're wondering what test pilots are doing in a relatively senior and proven airframe, the answer lies in continuous improvement and the fact that the airframe itself is far from the only thing that changes the flight characteristics of a modern fighter. These aircraft are inherently unstable, and, though they are flown by pilots, it's computers that keep them in the air. When changes are made to the hardware, software, or weapons systems that give these aircraft their edge, test pilots are sent up to evaluate the effects of those changes on the aircrafts performance, capability, and controllability.

But enough with the big picture — click the "play" button for your guided tour of the front office.

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


Video Marketplace Spotlight

RANS S-7 Light Sport Aircraft
Dave Martin from Kitplanes magazine visits RANS founder Randy Schlitter for the lowdown on the S-7 light sport aircraft kit and all the ways consumers can get their hands on it.

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

 
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.
 
Your Favorite FBOs back to top 
 

FBO of the Week: Utah Jet Center (KLGU, Logan, UT)

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

We love to hear stories about FBOs going above-and-beyond to make things happen for pilots and their passengers, and our latest "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Utah Jet Center at KLGU in Logan, Utah, where "above and beyond" are just another day at the office. AVweb reader Bruce Spencer tells the tale:

My wife and I ... landed at Logan for the evening, and I noticed that the left brake was inoperative. We taxied to the Utah Jet Center where a ramp attendant guided us in to park. He asked about out flight and then asked what they could do for us. I explained that we needed fuel, would like to have the brakes looked at, and that we were looking for a place to stay in Logan for the night. ... [H]e immediately called a mechanic, offered us a very nice courtesy car, gave us some bottled water, and called three different hotels to check availability and get us a corporate rate. Before we left for the night he gave us the cell phone number of the mechanic and asked for ours so that the mechanic could contact us. He said they would top off the tanks and tie the plane down for the night.

About an hour later, we got a call from the mechanic explaining the brake problem, the cost to fix it, and telling us that he would fix it that night and that the plane would be ready in the morning. When we arrived back at the airport at 7:30 am the plane was fully fueled, the brakes were repaired and the plane was ready to go. ... We were 100% satisfied with our experience with the Utah Jet Center at Logan airport and would highly recommend them to anyone flying into Logan or stopping there en route to another destination.

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!

 
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The Lighter Side of Flight back to top 
 

Short Final

Overheard in IFR Magazine's 'On the Air' Section
Overheard in IFR Magazine's "On the Air"

Overheard at Augusta (Georgia) Regional Airport:

Bonanza:
"Bonanza Three Seven November, ready to taxi."

Ground:
"Taxi to runway 17. Contact tower, 118.7."

Bonanza:
"Uh, taxi to runway 17, and contact tower on, uh — 123.4?"

Ground:
"Contact tower on 118.7."

Bonanza:
"Contact tower on, uh, 7 17.8?"

Ground:
"No, but you're getting close."

Frank Dougherty
Chapin, South Carolina

 
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.