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Volume 15, Number 24b
June 18, 2009
Centennial Cash from Goodyear Available at Aircraft Spruce
As part of Goodyear's 100th Anniversary celebration, we want to give you a chance to receive money back on all Flight Custom III™ or Flight Special II™ tires. It's called Centennial Cash — and if you buy Flight Custom III™ or Flight Special II™ tires during June 2009, you can submit a mail-in rebate coupon to receive $20 on each Flight Custom III™ or $10 on each Flight Special II™ tire you buy. Call 1 (877) 4-SPRUCE or visit
The Future Is Looking More Electric All the Time ...back to top 
Sponsor Announcement

Experimenters have made great strides in recent years with electric power for small aircraft, and a step forward took place last week in Italy when a new battery-powered airplane flew for the first time, then two days later reached 155 mph, which is expected to be a new world record for the category. The SkySpark project is a joint enterprise between engineering company DigiSky and Turin Polytechnic University. The two-seat Pioneer Alpi 300 is powered by a 75-kW electric motor using brushless technology and lithium polymer batteries. Electronic control systems make it possible to modulate RPM and torque, "with dynamics which are far beyond what it is attainable in reciprocating engines," and the engine is very reliable and long-lasting, according to the SkySpark Web site. More...

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.
FOI, Business Interests Collideback to top 

Generally, data about the movements of airplanes using the federal airspace system is open to the public, but owners of business aircraft can ask the FAA to block their tail numbers, citing security concerns and competitive considerations -- and now a federal court will decide if those requests should be open to the public. The FAA said recently that it would release the list, after a Freedom of Information request from a nonprofit journalism group, but the NBAA has challenged that decision. "The Blocked Aircraft Registry Request (BARR) Program was established over a decade ago," NBAA said in a statement. "NBAA has long supported the BARR program and believes the reasons for its creation remain relevant today, given that access to information about certain flights can be used to inappropriately impact the competitive landscape." NBAA spokesman Dan Hubbard told AVweb the organization wouldn't comment further since the matter is pending in court. ProPublica, the group seeking the release of the list, says some companies are using the system to avoid bad publicity about excessive use of their corporate jets. More...

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Shopping for a New Airplane? Here Are Some Ideasback to top 

While the civilian aviation market is depressed at the moment, military representatives from all over the world are at Le Bourget kicking the tires of hardware they might be able to use. Companies whose market is traditionally civilian are obliging by reworking their passenger and cargo planes. As we reported 18 months ago, Viking Air of Sidney, British Columbia, has resumed production of the Twin Otter and it announced a military variant, called the Guardian 400, in Paris. "By offering a customized version of the Series 400 Twin Otter tailored for military and government operations, namely the Guardian 400, Viking is able to provide its customers with a modern and economical solution for their infrastructure requirements," Viking President Dave Curtis said.

Related Content:
Get up close and personal with the new Otter in this video from NBAA 2008 (5:39)


The trouble with warplanes is they are so darned expensive, but at this week's Paris Air Show, bargain hunters found a new option -- the affordable Air Truck, a modified two-seat cropduster, built by Air Tractor of Olney, Texas. The turboprop can carry up to four tons of bombs and missiles and machine guns, and can stay aloft for up to 10 hours to provide support to troops on the ground, or to easily hop across the North Atlantic. The Air Truck's speed tops out at 210 mph, but the ability to maneuver low and slow could be an advantage in many combat situations. The airplane is expected to sell for about $5 million, according to the Associated Press, about half the price of today's military-version turboprops such as the Embraer Tucano or the Beechcraft T-6, and significantly less than the tens of millions that is the usual bracket for even the lowliest jet fighters. More...

$50 Rebate for ACR Personal Locator Beacons! Hurry: Limited-Time Only!
From now until July 31, ACR is offering a $50 rebate for every MicroFix or AeroFix PLB. With or without passengers, no pilot should ever fly without a personal locator beacon. And now AeroMedix and ACR are making it more affordable than ever before. Fly safely this summer and from here on out with a new PLB from ACR. Visit and save today!
From the Desk of the Administratorback to top 

Speaking before a House appropriations committee on Tuesday, FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt asked for a 24-percent boost in funding for NextGen projects, a total of $865 million. Babbitt also said that negotiations with the air traffic controllers union, which were stalled and contentious for several years, now are making progress. "I'm optimistic," he said. "The talks are proceeding well, both sides are at the table, and I think we'll reach an agreement. The best agreements are reached when everyone wants an agreement, and right now there is both that desire and a positive atmosphere." Babbitt said the agency will hire more than 1,700 new controllers in fiscal year 2010. "We're hiring more controllers faster than ever," he said. "We are providing them with quality training." He also asked for $3.5 billion to fund airport projects, including runway safety area improvements, runway incursion reduction, and aviation safety management. The FAA's total budget request was $15.9 billion. More...

FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said on Monday that airlines can expect new rules soon regarding flight and duty hours for pilots, and also that rules will be clarified to ensure that airlines can get data on every checkride a pilot applicant ever took. Babbitt spoke at a high-level closed-door meeting of industry executives, pilot union reps and government officials held in Washington to discuss concerns about safety at regional airlines and what can be done to improve it. "Our job is to deliver and ensure safety, and recently we've seen some cracks in the system," Babbitt said, referring to the publicity about hiring practices and standards at regional airlines during the investigation of the Colgan Air crash in Buffalo. He said he also wants airlines to have a process to ensure that senior captains mentor new pilots as they build experience. Babbitt and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood hosted the "Call to Action" to identify immediate steps that could strengthen and improve pilot hiring, training and testing practices at regional airlines as well as at the major air carriers. More...

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 

Veterans Retreat, a Miami Beach-based charity that helps enrich the lives of veterans wounded in the Iraq or Afghanistan wars, recently brought retired Army Capt. Mark Brogan and his wife, Sunny, to Florida for a free weekend of flying. "Mark has wanted to fly since he was a kid," Sunny told a local reporter. Capt. Brogan was injured in a 2006 suicide bombing that left him with brain and spinal cord injuries and nearly severed his right arm. Doctors at first told Sunny to be prepared to "pull the plug," he said, but today he is walking and talking, against the odds. "My wife and I have been through quite a lot," he said, in an Air Force Times story about his recovery. "This has mostly been a journey of blind exploration for us." Veterans Retreat offers vets a chance to spend a few days in Florida and try flying, scuba diving, or sailing. Each aviation student receives introductory instruction, their own logbook and advice on how to continue their flight training at a hometown airport, seek a career in aviation or simply fly with an instructor whenever they want an adventure. "A lot of these guys surf the Internet all day long with nothing to do," Tim Sureath, founder of the group, told a local TV reporter. "We want to help them find some purpose." More...

Share Your Thoughts on Aviation Headsets
What's important to you when choosing an aviation headset? Please take a few moments to complete an online survey. Help influence the headset industry.

Go to survey.
News Briefsback to top 

SATSAir and ImagineAir, two of the new generation of air-taxi operators flying Cirrus SR22 aircraft, said on Tuesday they have entered a "flight networking" or "code-share" agreement, effectively expanding their combined network across a 10-state area in the Southeastern U.S. "Customers of both companies will benefit from the increased aircraft availability immediately," said Steve Hanvey, SATSair president and CEO. "From an operational standpoint, this will also create an opportunity for both companies to route their aircraft in an even more efficient manner." Both operators offer on-demand flights to over 1,000 airports in the Southeast. Each company will retain its own pricing structure and operate its own flights. "While code-shares have been common practice in the airline industry for years, 'flight networking' is really an innovative 'first' for the next-generation air-taxi industry," said Aaron Sohacki, CEO of ImagineAir. More...

L-3 Avionics sued Cirrus for $18 million...
AD deadline for Bonanzas and Barons extended...
This year's women's Air Race Classic launches June 23...
Evektor aims to get flight schools to use LSAs...
AirVenture tickets online discounted through June 30. More...

Business Owners: AOPA Business Credit Card Offers WorldPoints® Rewards
The AOPA WorldPoints credit card rewards you and fights for GA with every purchase. By choosing this product, you will be providing valuable revenue to AOPA, which helps fund AOPA's daily efforts to maintain the freedom, safety, and affordability of GA. For every dollar you spend on purchases, you get a point — and double points at over 4,700 FBOs. Then redeem your points for great rewards like cash, merchandise, and travel. Limited time offer — $50 statement credit! Click here to apply today!
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...

There's been a lot of talk about the way young airline pilots are trained and treated after they're hired. This week, we want to know: Is flying the line still a career you'd recommend to young people?

Plus: Last week, we asked if flying was becoming too much of a hassle (what with the badges and the passenger manifests and the customs check horror stories); click through to see how AVweb readers answered. More...

Save Money. Fly Safer.
By insuring with Avemco®, you can save up to 10% off your annual insurance premium with the Avemco Safety Rewards Program. It rewards pilots for receiving safety instruction and/or new ratings. For more information, call us at (888) 241-7891 or visit us online.
Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

That's the way it was on Monday when the Transportation Department held a closed-door session with the airline industry to discuss issues related to the Colgan crash in Buffalo. "What's up with this?" wonders Paul Bertorelli in today's AVweb Insider blog. Shouldn't the sun shine in on such governmental meetings? The new administration said it would. TranspoSec Ray LaHood said the meeting was too urgent to wait for the NTSB's full report in another eight months. More...

Used to be, we reclined in smug professionalism in being sophisticated enough to know aircraft accidents take months to investigate. But these days, the information comes at you a mile a minute from dozens of sources, so in the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli argues that it's actually a healthy thing to offer your own theory or suggestions on crash causes. Not to worry; the NTSB won't pay you the slightest bit of attention. More...

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.
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

In this video, Aviation Consumer's Jeb Burnside tests three of the popular commercial tiedown products against a $3 doggie auger. The results proved surprising. More...

Video Marketplace Spotlight

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Peter Drucker Says, "The Best Way to Predict the Future Is to Create It"
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Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Lane Aviation at CMH in Columbus, Ohio.

Apparently AVweb reader Josh Johnson didn't get much exercise on his visit to Lane, but he seemed pretty happy with that:

We were in town for two days of business meetings in a nearby hotel. Immediately after landing, we were met at the door of our airplane by a friendly line guy ... . We were planning to take the hotel bus to our hotel; however, the line guy insisted on taking us there himself! He also said that they would gladly pick us up after our meeting and drop us off at the plane. We arrived for departure and found our airplane a decent walk across the ramp, [but once again] the line guy dropped us off at the door to the FBO to use the restrooms and file our flight plans. When we walked out to go back to the plane, he motioned us to get back in the van for a ride back to our plane! Excellent!

By the way, we arrived in a Cessna 172, and they were taking care of a large jet for a celebrity at the time we arrived. We certainly felt special getting such excellent treatment!

Keep those nominations coming. For complete contest rules, click here.

AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!


Reader-Submitted Photosback to top 

How can you not love this photo of Panchito from Stephen Jones of Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey? Stephen caught up with the B-25 at World War II Weekend in Reading, Pennsylvania and preserved the experience to share with the rest of us. (A big thanks to everyone who showed pity on us after last week's transparent attempt to guilt-trip readers into submitting more photos. Your kindness gave us a little more eye candy to help us through the hot, stormy afternoons!) 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.