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Volume 15, Number 23b
June 11, 2009
Precisely Engineered for Fun: The Remos GX
The Remos GX's legendary German engineering, quality and performance give you an affordable, proven airplane with competitive operating costs. The new full-carbon-fiber wing system combines low weight and high strength for an almost unlimited lifetime. The new slotted flaps allows steeper descent rates and safer short-field landings. Technically superior but uncomplicated and easy to fly, our best-in-class useful load handles all the equipment you need for a unique, fun flying experience for years to come. Click now for details ( or call 1 (877) REMOS-88.
Top News: Safety & Securityback to top 
Sponsor Announcement

FAA inspectors have been told to immediately focus their efforts on training programs at regional airlines to ensure that they are in compliance with federal regulations, the agency said on Tuesday. "It's clear to us in looking at the February Colgan Air crash in Buffalo that there are things we should be doing now," said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. "My goal is to make sure that the entire industry -- from large commercial carriers to smaller, regional operators -- is meeting our safety standard." The agency will host a "call to action" summit in Washington, D.C., on Monday, June 15, to review airline safety and pilot training. Representatives from national and regional airlines as well as industry and labor groups are expected to participate. Officials expect the meeting to result in commitments to act in four key areas: crew education and support, professional standards and flight discipline, training standards and performance, and mentoring relationships between mainline carriers and their regional partners. Two congressional committees this week also are investigating aviation safety issues related to regional airlines. More...

A total of 454 airports will be subject to the TSA's latest Security Directive (SD-8G) restricting the movements of transient pilots, EAA said this week. The list includes airports in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Guam as well as in the U.S. Click here for the full list (PDF). The directive took effect June 1 and requires pilots to "remain close to their aircraft," leaving it only for trips to and from the FBO or airport exit, according to AOPA, although some airports may also offer escorts to transient pilots. Since individual airports may develop a variety of programs that would satisfy the TSA directive, pilots need to call ahead to their destinations and ask the airport operator or an FBO on the field for information about that airport's security requirements, EAA says. More...

Has Zulu Changed Your Mind?
If so, we'd sure like to hear your story. We've extended our offer. Just go to the Zulu Change Your Mind web site and fill us in by June 30, and we may post it on our web site. Plus — We'll give you another way to share your Zulu experience: All stories will be entered in a drawing for a headset. Win and make a passenger very happy. For the details, go to
Where GA Meets USAback to top 
Sponsor Announcement

The FAA said this week it is working with the U.S. Air Force to find ways to allow civilian flights to regularly use airspace that is normally reserved for the military. The effort would help to relieve delays on commercial and general aviation flights when thunderstorms, traffic, or other constraints limit the number of planes that can pass through commercial airspace, the FAA said. Over the last year, the Department of Defense has already let the FAA use portions of special use airspace during a few high-traffic times, such as last Thanksgiving. "Express lanes" allowed commercial flights to transit military airspace in busy regions across the country. The FAA said it is now working to develop a more permanent way to use this airspace. More...

A spokeswoman for the Washington headquarters of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) says the drawing of weapons in the ramp inspection of an aircraft in Long Beach, Calif., last month was justified but not "normal." Kelly Ivahnenko also told AVweb that general aviation pilots can expect more ramp checks by CBP agents thanks to the newly-instituted Electronic Advance Passenger Information System (eAPIS). She stressed it's unlikely many of the checks will have the level of intensity employed May 22 with Long Beach, Calif., pilot David Perry and his three passengers. Ivahnenko said in an interview on Tuesday that there was a "heightened alert" involved in the Long Beach operation but she also said she could not discuss the circumstances that led to a more aggressive posture than normal by the CBP and local police. She also said that while eAPIS had nothing to do with the Long Beach inspection, information provided through eAPIS could result in more frequent GA inspections. The system, which involves the online filing of flight and passenger information for transborder flights, became mandatory on May 18. In an interview and podcast with AVweb, Perry said he and his passengers were put in unnecessary peril by gun-wielding enforcement officials. Ivahnenko stressed Perry's experience is not what most pilots should expect if they're checked by the CBP. "This I would not classify as common or routine," she said. She said the Long Beach action was justified, even though the search turned up nothing illegal. "While the involvement of more than one law enforcement agency and the heightened alert of the situation were slightly unusual, it is within (CBP's) authority to inspect inbound and outbound travelers, vehicles, planes, cargo, etc.," she told AVweb. She also said that only the Long Beach police officers assisting the operation actually drew weapons and CBP agents kept theirs holstered, something Perry vehemently disputes. "Every one of them had their weapons out," Perry said. More...

Aircraft Spruce at the 2009 Golden West Regional Fly-In
Visit the Aircraft Spruce exhibit in Marysville, CA on June 12-14, 2009. You'll find them in booths 8 & 9 from 9:00am to 5:00pm on June 12-13, and 9:00am to 4:00pm on June 14. Take advantage of special pricing, no-charge ground shipping (most products), and meet the Aircraft Spruce Air Show Team. Call 1 (877) 4-SPRUCE or visit
Executive Shift at Piperback to top 

James Bass, who has been CEO of Piper Aircraft since 2005, will step down on June 26, the company announced on Wednesday. "All things come to an end," Bass said in remarks to Piper employees. "I have successfully completed my mission at Piper and am leaving the company in very capable hands. What I was brought in to do has been done, and it is now time for me to move on to other challenges." During his four years at the helm, Bass led the development of the PiperJet and initiated a new business alliance with Honda. He also oversaw the introduction of the Meridian G1000 and the popular Piper Matrix, and negotiated $32 million in incentives from the state and county that kept the company in Vero Beach, Fla. "My primary focus when I came to Piper in 2005 was to turn the company around, create a strong, highly competitive business, and make Piper a compelling choice for potential buyers," Bass said. "Now with the sale of Piper to Imprimis, we have achieved that major milestone." Imprimis, a corporate finance and investment management firm, bought Piper on May 1. The next CEO will be Kevin Gould, who is now Piper's VP of operations. More...

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 and buy one today!
Staying Safeback to top 

Air France has accelerated its effort to replace pitot tubes on its Airbus aircraft after members of one pilots union threatened to refuse to fly the unmodified airplanes, the New York Times reported on Tuesday. The airline had said over the weekend it would replace the sensors on all Airbus A330 and A340 airplanes over the next few weeks. But on Monday, Alter, a union representing about 12 percent of Air France pilots, posted a notice on its Web site urging its members to "refuse any flight on an A330/A340 which has not had at least two pitot sensors modified," according to the Times. SNPL-ALPA, which represents the largest share of Air France pilots, made no such suggestion, but union spokesman Eric Derivry told the Associated Press: "What we know is that other planes that have experienced incorrect airspeed indications have had the same pitots. And planes with the new pitot tubes have never had such problems." More...

The NTSB this week is holding a three-day hearing on the January ditching of US Airways Flight 1549 in New York's Hudson River. On Tuesday, the board heard Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger recall his decision-making process on that day. After considering all the possible choices, "The only option remaining in the metropolitan area that was long enough, wide enough and smooth enough to land was the Hudson River," he said. "I couldn't afford to be wrong." Passenger Billy Campbell, who was the last passenger off the airplane, told the NTSB that the jolt when the airplane hit the water was violent, and water immediately began to rush into the cabin through a broken window. After everyone got out of the airplane, the life raft that some were in began to sink, because it was still tethered to the airplane, but somebody on a nearby boat tossed them a knife to cut the rope. Campbell said there was not just one lucky break that day but many that allowed everyone to survive. "There were 14 or 15 miracles that had to occur," he said. More...

Aircraft Financing Available
Purchasing an aircraft but wondering about available financing? AirFleet Capital is dedicated exclusively to aircraft and has flexible financing programs available to meet your needs for new and used aircraft. From Light Sport to Light Jet, please call (800) 390-4324 or visit us online for a quote today!
What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Weekback to top 

Onex Corp., one of the parent companies of Hawker Beechcraft, is reportedly making a play for International Lease Finance Corp., the world's largest aircraft leasing company. ILFC is now owned by American International Group (AIG), which is busy shedding assets to pay off the loan portion of its $182 billion government bailout. ILFC leases airliners to most of the world's airlines and has been a reliable cash cow for AIG since it purchased the company from founder Steven Udvar-Hazy in 1990. Onex, which bought Raytheon's general aviation division in partnership with Goldman Sachs and renamed it Hawker Beechcraft in 2008, is a Toronto-based investment company that frequently delves into aerospace enterprises. Onex President Gerry Schwartz is characteristically tight-lipped about the ILFC bid. More...

The FAA and American Airlines have wrapped themselves in the eco banner in selling the benefits of the NextGen airspace system. The agency and airline are promoting the environmental benefits of the system with the announcement that the latest technology and techniques will be used for a "green" flight from Paris to Miami on Thursday. But what it really comes down to is that the 767 will go GPS direct rather than following the airways and use gradual rather than stepped climbs and descents. In other words, it will operate like general aviation has for more than a decade. The flight has earned a remarkable amount of attention from the mainstream media. More...


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Become a Mooniac Now
There has never been a better time to own the fastest single-engine piston plane available. Mooney Airplane Company is offering generous incentives, low interest rates, the best warranty in the industry, and immediate delivery from current inventory. In addition, you may qualify for significant tax advantages with 50% bonus depreciation this year. Click here for the top 10 reasons to buy a Mooney now.
News Briefsback to top 

Using new tests that have been developed by researchers in London, 35 percent of pilot applicants who now fail color-blindness exams would pass, the UK's Civil Aviation Authority said recently. "The CAA intends to promote this research internationally with a view to gaining acceptance of the [new] test and its incorporation in worldwide medical standards for pilots," said Dr. Sally Evans, chief medical officer at the CAA. The research, which was co-sponsored by the FAA, was conducted at City University London. Under current guidelines, pilot applicants with minimal color deficiencies will often fail traditional tests, the CAA said. However, researchers found that some of these individuals may be able to perform safety critical tasks just as well as those with normal color vision. About 8 percent of men and fewer than 1 percent of women have some level of color vision deficiency. [more] Current color vision requirements are open to interpretation and often vary between countries. The new test developed in London is accurate and thorough, the CAA said. Click here for a copy of the full report, published by the UK's Civil Aviation Authority. More...

Click for more images
The fifth annual XLTA event, held recently in Amherst, Mass., attracted the pilots of 27 lighter-than-aircraft, most of them experimental homebuilts, for a weekend of flying and fellowship. "This is not a public event, not a spectator event, but entirely participatory," organizer Dan Nachbar told AVweb this week. "There is no pressure on the pilots to fly -- but everyone wants to fly as much as they can." This year's 70-plus attendees included pilots and crew from as far away as Wisconsin and Washington state, and five pilots from the UK. They brought with them a variety of creative and colorful projects, from a spectacular tetrahedron-shaped balloon to a hot-air blimp (though the blimp is not a homebuilt but manufactured by Thunder & Colt). About half of the aircraft were "cloudhopper-style," featuring just a harness to hold the pilot aloft, and half had baskets of various kinds to allow passengers. And most satisfying to Nachbar, five of this year's pilots were under 30. "We're generally a gray-haired crowd, not just the lighter-than-air folks, but experimental aircraft in general," Nachbar said. "So it's great to see the whippersnappers get involved." More...

At least one survivor in New Mexico helicopter crash...
President Obama nominated NTSB member Deborah Hersman for NTSB chairman...
Red Bull pilot Peter Besenyei made an emergency landing in a Canada field...
AeroExpo, one of the UK's largest GA events, is on this weekend near London...
An SR22 pilot landed safely in North Carolina after pulling the chute...
A second facility to train pilots to carry guns will open next week in Dallas...
The annual Biplane Expo held its grand finale event in Oklahoma last weekend...
This Saturday, June 13, is EAA Young Eagles Day; check for a rally near you. More...

It's Thunderstorm Season — Take ASF's New Thunderstorm Safety Quiz!
Airplanes and thunderstorms don't mix. These convective beasts can produce airframe-shattering turbulence, damaging hail, sudden and dramatic wind shear, blinding downpours, and strong, gusty winds — sometimes as much as 20 miles from the edge of a cell. Understanding thunderstorms is the key to avoidance. Put your knowledge to the test in ASF's new graphics-rich interactive safety quiz.
New on AVwebback to top 

Security badges, rules about where you can go on the ramp, submitting passenger manifests, being held at gunpoint without any apparent cause — it's getting tougher to enjoy the freedom of flight these days. Is it giving you second thoughts about your flying activities?

Plus: Last week, we asked AVweb readers to rate the health of their local airport and its perceived value in the community at large; click through to see how they responded. More...

When David Perry and his passengers got ready to leave for a brief vacation in Mexico, they were detained, searched and interrogated at gunpoint Long Beach, Calif., Now, the Customs and Border Protection Agency won't say precisely why. In the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog, Editor-in-Chief Russ Niles wonders if this could be a glimpse of the future of GA security and if there is really a good reason to keep the circumstances of this incident secret. More...

You and Your Dollars Go Further in a Diamond
When smart pilots compare safety statistics and resale values, plus maintenance, insurance and operating costs, it's clear that investing in a Diamond pays big dividends. Top that off with Diamond's outstanding performance, luxurious interior and cutting-edge technology, and there's no question — you'll go further in a Diamond.
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!back to top 

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 What have you heard? More...

Rediscover Jet City!
Make King County International Airport/Boeing Field your flight destination! Conveniently located just 5 miles from downtown Seattle, KBFI is positioned in the center of the growing economy of the Puget Sound region, serving as a hub for business travel, private jets, and general aviation travel. Partner with aviation experts when you fly to Seattle. Make your destination King County International Airport/Boeing Field! For more information, visit online.
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

Thanks to seismic shifts in the news business, many local television outlets can no longer afford their own turbine-powered eye-in-the-sky. As a result, Robinson is doing a brisk business selling its R44-based ENG camera ship. AVweb visited Robinson in Torrance, California for a closer look. More...

Video Marketplace Spotlight

Bendix/King AV8OR Demo
When Bendix/King rolled out its AV8OR portable GPS last summer, the $749 retail price — about $675 discounted — caught GPS buyers by surprise. So did the AV8OR's feature set, which includes a touchscreen interface and automotive navigation as built-in standard capability. In this video, AVweb's editors took the AV8OR out for a spin to wring out its major features.

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

27 Years of the RVator
Over half the airplanes at GNB are Vans homebuilts. In fact, over 6,100 have been completed and are flying. If a 200 mph, 9 gph airplane intrigues you, this is where to learn more. It's 500 pages of builder and flyer advice written by Vans Aircraft, specifically on the RV-3 through RV-10. Nothing will describe the building experience better, and nothing will be more useful once you start. Buy the book, CD, or eBook at for $29.95.
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to First Aviation Services at Teterboro, New Jersey's KTEB.

AVweb reader Stan Ross tells how he and his Lifeguard transplant flight team "were treated like VIPs from touchdown to take-off":

"Outstanding customer service" is truly an understatement for the quality of service, level of attention, and extremely detailed efforts to meet and/or exceed our every need. ... We arrived near midnight, and the team at First Aviation was absolutely the best I have ever seen in every regard. I eagerly look forward to a return visit for more of their great hospitality and suggestions for local amenities like the Meadowlands Diner. Top shelf in every respect.

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!


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

Pete Ouellette of Easthampton, Massachusetts snapped this week's winning shot "after an early morning rain" at Sun 'n Fun. And he wisely held onto it for five years — which means he can move a few precious dollars out of his summer hat budget and put 'em toward his next $100 hamburger. Wise move, Pete — we'll be getting an AVweb ball cap in the mail to you post-haste. More...

Names Behind the Newsback to top 


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.