AVwebFlash - Volume 15, Number 22a

June 1, 2009

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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.
TSA Says You May Not Need Those Badges, After All back to top 

TSA Changes Restrictions On Transient Pilots

The TSA has enacted a new security directive (SD-8G) that means transient pilots flying into airports with commercial service will not need an airport badge or background check as previously required. The directive takes effect June 1 and instead requires pilots to "remain close to their aircraft" leaving it only for trips to and from the FBO or airport exit, according to AOPA. The TSA is expected to provide future guidance regarding self-fueling and emergencies. The new rules target transient pilots -- those pilots based at commercial-use airports who lease space or maintain a presence will still need to go through procedures and acquire a valid badge if they intend to roam the airport without an escort. Airports looking to avoid the badging will need to approve an alternative like an escort program to remain within the TSA's guidelines. The complication now appears to be what the TSA defines as an airport that offers commercial service and the fact that it hasn't yet released a list.

AOPA says some 400 airports are affected, but the organization will work with the TSA to create a definitive list before starting any rumors. Until better direction is available, pilots are encouraged to call ahead and inquire specifically about security procedures at their destination airports.

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"Fiddling Around America" Comes to a Close back to top 

Back To Reality: Fiddling Tour Ends

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Watch Click to 
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AVweb's Fiddling Around America tour wrapped up at Dan Gryder's home base in Griffin, Ga. after about 3,000 nautical miles and 28.5 hours of flying time on a trip that took the Herpa DC-3 as far north as the upper peninsula of Michigan, as far west as Watertown, S.D. and through the Southeast. Gryder said the trip was outreach from the aviation community in a way that is fading fast from the aeronautical scene. He said the cost of flying and maintaining vintage aircraft will make it prohibitive and while he expects to keep the DC-3 in the air for the foreseeable future, the opportunities to see and touch historic aircraft will diminish.

Fiddling Around America: Round Engines, Big Formations

The wake-up call of choice for those attending the annual Red Star Pilots Association fly-in at Gaston's White River Resort in northern Arkansas is the sound of round engines turning for a flight in the dead-still 6 a.m. air. About 20 Nan Changs and Yaks converged on the picturesque resort where the patrons are usually sinking lures for Rainbow Trout instead of boring holes in the sky. The Herpa DC-3 is a major player in the flying, leading a 13-ship formation through the Ozark foothills that demands plenty of the pilots. There were lots of low passes on the 3,200-foot grass strip and the hundreds of residents of neighboring towns who turned out to see the sights were thrilled with the GA spectacle.

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.
Safety & Security back to top 

Presidential TFR Busted Six Times

Flight restrictions in place Wednesday and Thursday last week relating to President Barack Obama's visit to Los Angeles apparently caught six pilots unaware and they may now all pay for their mistakes. Each one may now face anything from certificate suspension to revocation. During Obama's overnight in Los Angeles (where he attended a Democratic Party fundraiser) the FAA placed temporary flight restrictions on flights near LAX, Santa Monica, Hawthorne Municipal, Van Nuys and Burbank airports. Five pilots managed to violate provisions that allowed them to fly 12 to 30 miles from Santa Monica airport and one pilot violated the 12-mile restriction that surrounded that airport, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said. The TFRs were broadly announced, including non-specific mention in newspapers and local TV news broadcasts ahead of the president's visit.

Each pilot was observed in violation and contacted by air traffic controllers who made the pilots aware that they had entered restricted airspace. Reports were then filed with Flight Standard District Offices, where investigations will be initiated.

Extreme Altitude Bird Strike Prompts Action

The Indian air force has slanted to a more ornithologically conscious approach to flight planning following a bird strike involving one of its aircraft and reported in the flight levels. A huge four-engine IAF IL-76 transport was flying at more than 22,000 feet when it struck a yet-unidentified bird. The aircraft landed safely, but the IAF is now involved with genetics labs to secure DNA testing for tissue samples recovered from the aircraft. The idea, aside from determining what species of bird hit what aircraft, is to develop a better understanding of those kinds of threats based on seasonal migration patterns along with likely conflict altitudes and locations. While more than 70 percent of the nearly 80,000 bird strikes reported in the U.S. from 1990-2007 occurred below 500 feet AGL, about 2,000 occurred above 5,000 feet. One was reported at more than 30,000 feet AGL.

Records that identify bird strikes and bird species indicate that a Ruppell's Vulture was once struck at an altitude of 37,000 feet. More than 31,000 of the 79,972 strikes reported from 1990 to 2007 occurred in August, September and October, with each month collecting more than 10,000 reports.

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Transparency, the Agencies, and Crashes back to top 

NTSB Widens Public Access To Crash Investigation Info

Starting June 1, 2009, the NTSB will begin to release on its public Web site all public dockets regarding to accident investigation. The program helps align the board with the NTSB Freedom of Information Act Improvement Plan and follows closely on the much publicized contortions the FAA went through in considering the withholding of and then providing access to bird-strike data. It also moves the board into compliance with multiple mandates of the legislative and executive branches that are meant to better leverage electronic media to create more transparency in government. Acting NTSB Chairman, Mark V. Rosenker, put the board behind the move saying, "I am proud that the NTSB is taking this enormous step forward by making all accident investigation documents contained in our public dockets available to NTSB Web site visitors." The public dockets will be available in the FOIA electronic reading room.

A link to the list of public dockets may be found here. Files are organized by transportation mode. Additional information about dockets may be obtained via the NTSB records management division.

Flight 93 Memorial Land Plucked From Owners

Eminent domain has been invoked to secure some 500 acres of in Somerset Country, Pa., from seven owners, for a memorial to United Airlines Flight 93, a Boeing 757 that crashed there September 11, 2001, after passengers heeded the call "Let's roll" and attempted to retake the flight from its hijackers. The memorial for the 40 passengers and crew will encompass 1,400 acres, and the Department of Justice has a paperwork deadline at the end of the month. Flight 93 Federal Advisory Commission members, Somerset County Commissioner Pamela Tokar-Ickes and Stonycreek Township Supervisor Gregory Walker, have stepped down in protest of the land grab. Replacements are being sought from a pool of area residents. The National Park Service, which will own the land and could have negotiated for its purchase, was defended by the U.S. Department of Interior. Associate director Steve Whitesell told a local news station "we're at the deadline. We need to start proceeding with construction" to make an opening date of September 11, 2011. Vocal property owners are stating that they were willing to make a less forceful transfer of ownership, but were never engaged in negotiations for the land.

Among those who will lose property is a man whose father had purchased land there during the great depression and a pastor who owns a cottage there where he planned to retire. Landowner Randall Musser told the Associated Press he served on the committee that helped establish the memorial's boundaries and said that back in 2002 landowners were promised that eminent domain wouldn't be used. A spokesman for the park service said of the latest plans, "It's just fitting and right that we get this done in time for the 10th anniversary." Eminent domain eliminates the potential for title challenges, liens and other claims that could delay the project.

Lycoming® — The Engines of Choice
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Navy Sets Engine Service Record back to top 

Navy CFM Engine Marks 19,655 Hours

A CFM56-2A-2 engine has flown 19,655 hours on the wing of an E-6 before its first removal, surpassing the old mark of 15,000 hours and setting a military aviation record, according to the official newspaper of Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center. The engine was maintained regularly throughout its life on the aircraft, but its most recent maintenance was the first ever to require its removal. The Strategic Communications Wing ONE recently celebrated the milestone with an official ceremony at Tinker Air Force Base with representatives from Navy leadership and CFM International. Rear Admiral Mark Skinner told those in attendance that the engine has served the fleet for the last 20 years. The hours flown represent more than six million miles traveled, or enough service to take its aircraft around the world about 250 times. The fleet of engines has, according to FlightGlobal.com, served without in-flight shutdowns over 489,000 hours and 163,000 cycles, and has had only one other removal since 1996. In other words, it's possible the new record-holder could ultimately prove to be among the least impressive of the crop.

As for the current record-holder, Eric Bachelet, president of CFM International, noted that the Berlin Wall was still standing when the engine was produced and many members of the team who removed it were just entering preschool when the powerplant was first mated to its E-6's wing.

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh — The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration
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News Briefs back to top 

Jatropha Oil Biofuel Update

Air New Zealand is coming out in strong support of alternative fuel, saying that more than 3,000 pounds of fuel can be saved on a 12-hour flight if that flight is flown on a jatropha-seed-oil biofuel blend instead of straight Jet A. The airline makes the claim after flying the plant's seed oil in a 50:50 blend with Jet A during December 2008 flight tests, pumping the fuel to one Rolls-Royce RB2111 engine aboard a Boeing 747-400. Though the tests consisted of only a few hours, more than a dozen tests were conducted at various altitudes and under a variety of conditions. From that experience the airline believes it has found potential significant savings for the airline industry in fuel and, therefore, carbon footprint that would result in a 60-percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Air New Zealand aims to fulfill 10 percent of its fuel requirements with alternative sources by 2013, but the airline did not work alone on alternative fuel tests. Boeing Continental, Japan Airlines, Air New Zealand and Virgin Atlantic are among those who have conducted tests over the past year and a half. And it appears there is not necessarily agreement on which alternative source would be best, which may complicate fast-tracked certification.

Boeing supports the use of camelina over jatropha and in the long term is more optimistic about algae-based biofuels. Both jatropha and camelina have short-term appeal for their ability to grow well on marginal lands, but camelina may be better-suited to grow in U.S. climates without competing with other crops. It is currently grown in Washington, Montana, Idaho, and the Dakotas. Aircraft are thought to account for about 3 percent of the U.S.'s carbon dioxide emissions, but lowering emissions and fuel burn will depend on the availability of a certified fuel alternative and there is not yet agreement on even the source of the alternative fuel oil.

Virgin Galactic's $200,000 Space Ride Inches Nearer

Virgin Galactic, the Sir Richard Branson-founded future space tourism provider, Thursday announced that the controllable (on/off) rocket motor to be used in SpaceShipTwo has successfully completed phase-one testing. Virgin believes its hybrid nitrous oxide system is the largest of its kind, capable of propelling payloads (or customers) to more than 2500 mph and heights of more than 65 miles following an aerial launch from its twin-fuselage mothership, Eve. The actual tourism vehicle (SpaceShipTwo) is in the final stages of construction and is expected to embark on its flight test program later in 2009. Virgin is touting the propulsion system as environmentally low-impact, due to the relatively short burn of the rocket motor, thanks to the aerial launch. Going to space via SpaceShipTwo, according to Branson, will involve about 75 percent less pollution per passenger than a trip from London to New York (presumably via airliner). So what's next?

The rocket motor will continue "exhaustive tests" and SpaceShipTwo will begin flight testing. Testing for all key elements -- rocket, spaceship, mothership -- "will be extensive," according to Virgin. If all goes well, Virgin Galactic will offer sub-orbital space flight to "space tourists" within years and may have first flights prior to 2011. The company says that some 300 people have already placed $40 million in deposits to secure their spot on a future (roughly six-minute) sub-orbital space ride. But the company also has its eyes on the prize of commercial use and if the price is right -- and they believe it will be substantially lower than any available competition -- they'll likely find many takers for a wide range of applications.

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New on AVweb back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: Is Stall Training Broken?

If an experienced airline captain can stall an airplane on approach, do we need to rethink how we teach stall awareness? Paul Bertorelli follows that train of thought in the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog — and wonders if reliance on glass panels may be making things worse.

Read more.

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.


Thanks for bearing with us this week as we dug out from under a busy Thursday. The upshot is that we have two batches of reader photos to look forward to during the coming week!

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Used with permission of Doug Bryan

EZ Sunset

Not exactly what you'd expect from a wedding photo, but Doug Bryan of Dallas, Texas tells us he snapped this week's winning shot "outside the Hangar Hotel in Fredericksburg, Texas right after [his] wedding ceremony." Then again, it doesn't sound like a typical wedding: Doug tells us he "had a full day of giving rides to friends, then got married that evening."

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copyright © Eric Cobb
Used with permission

What Is It?

That's the question put to AVweb readers by Eric Cobb of Santa Ynez, California, who sent us a couple of different pics of helicopter first responders in training this week. If you'd like to take a stab at it, e-mail us here.

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Used with permission of Karrie Shank

Portrait of the Pilot in the Wing Mirror

"A friend, Rod Hightower, was nice enough to take me for my first open-cockpit flight in his recently restored low-time (only 3,800 TT) Stearman," writes Karrie Shank of Warrensburg, Missouri. (That's Rod in the wing-mounted mirror, folks!)

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Used with permission of Grant McHerron

Right Place, Right Time

After a hard day of "crewing hot air balloons in the Yarra Valley," Grant McHerron of East Bentleigh, Victoria (Australia) tells us he found himself "in the right place at the right time."

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copyright © Bill Sandifer
Used with permission

New Pitts, Perfect Afternoon

Eric Sandifer of Apex, North Carolina sent us this incredible shot from Bill Sandifer, and we're using it to sign off from this week's edition of "POTW."

Don't forget: There are more reader-submitted photos in the slideshow on AVweb's home page. Check 'em out if you haven't already.

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.

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

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.

Advanced Flight Instruction
Career CFIs Anthony Cirincione and Scott Felton reveal the techniques world-class instructors use to stand out among the best. Over 24 years, they have developed their skills and practice what they preach. Advanced Flight Instruction is organized by the various settings in which they teach, allowing you to refine your individual style to be the best possible. Available in book and eBook format for just $19.95. Click here for more information.
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

Exclusive Video: Fiddling Around America, Part 3 — Revving the Engines in Watertown, SD

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

How many people does it take to start the Pratt 1830s in a DC-3? Three: Two to count blades and one to video it. (And here's that video.)

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.

Exclusive Video: Fiddling Around America, Part 4 — Bamboo Bomber Tour

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

Many a pilot was trained to fly bombers in the famed Twin Cessna T-50/UC-78 Bamboo Bomber. AVweb recently got a tour of one of these unique airplanes from owners Jack Chapman and Richard Smith.

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.

Video Marketplace Spotlight

Lightning LSA
Kitplanes editor Marc Cook talks with Lighning Aircraft's Nick Otterback and discovers how their LSA offers speed, strength, and safety in an American-made light airplane.

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: Fairfield Air Ventures (KLHQ, Lancaster, OH)

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Fairfield Air Ventures at Fairfield County Airport (KLHQ) in Lancaster, Ohio.

AVweb reader Bruce Sturt recommended the FBO after spending a little more time in Lancaster than he'd planned:

The family and I flew into Fairfield County Airport to visit my in-laws for a Sunday afternoon. We were going to fly back to Toledo in the evening, so I left my 182 on the ramp. A few hours (and hamburgers) later, some t-storms started moving in. My brother-in-law drove me to the airport to secure my bird, but when I got there it was not in sight. Then I saw Steve Slater, the airport manager, and he told me he had put the old girl in a hanger for the night. I thanked him and asked him how much I owed him, and he said "not a dime." I will now always look forward to visiting the in-laws and my friends at Fairfield Air Ventures in Lancaster, Ohio.

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"

A few years back, when I only had my VFR ticket with only a few night flights under my belt, I was departing Austin, Texas for Lufkin on a perfectly clear, still night. When getting clearance, I asked the controller for flight following. She told me to talk to departure. It turned out that the same lady was working clearance delivery, ground, and departure — I was her only customer for all three.

"Departure: [I repeated departure instructions.] And could I get that flight following?"

"Cessna Zero Three Quebec, readback correct. But darlin' — there's nobody out there except for you, me, and the owls."

Elena Campbell
Lufkin, Texas

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.