AVwebFlash - Volume 15, Number 25a

June 22, 2009

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
Business Aviation Will Help Companies Not Only Survive
But Prosper During the Current Financial Crisis

To be your most productive, and your most efficient, you must keep flying. Because in so doing, you will emerge from these times even stronger than before. And you will replace the uncertainty that surrounds many, with the confidence and courage to light the way for all. Visit CessnaRise.com.
 
Death of Natural Causes Reigniting Age Debate? back to top 
 
Sponsor Announcement

APA Uses Continental 61 To Support Age-60 Rule

Speaking for the Allied Pilots Association, spokesman Scott Shankland told WFAA TV in Dallas/Forth Worth, Thursday, that incidents like the Thursday death of a pilot aboard Continental Flight 61 will be more likely, and he knows why. Shankland told the TV station, "this is the reality of what we're going to be dealing with on an increasing bases as a result of the increase of retirement age to 65." Pilot Craig A. Lenell died at the age of 60 while serving as captain aboard the Continental flight. He was examined on the flight by a 72-year-old cardiologist who attempted to revive the captain with the aid of an onboard defibrillator (mandatory since 2004). Of the multiple events involving a pilot's incapacitation or death while piloting a commercial airliner that AVweb reviewed for this story, none resulted in additional fatalities as a direct result of the flight losing a pilot -- a point with which Shankland concurs. He did, however, point out that losing one pilot on a domestic airline flight would more often than not leave the flight in the hands of a sole remaining pilot who would be required to then declare an emergency and land soon as practical. But, for Shankland, and presumably APA, there are other considerations.

Speaking of the benefits of a two-pilot flight deck and multiple systems redundancy, Shankland said that "when you lose one of those pilots, you've lost some of that redundancy." About two years ago, the FAA increased the mandatory retirement age for pilots from age 60 to age 65. The rule also requires that the other pilot be under the age of 60. Shankland had been publicly speaking out against the change since at least mid-2007, when another Continental pilot died while en route from Houston to Puerto Vallarta. As he told PBS then, "It is a statistical fact that, as people get older, you start having more of these events, both the sudden catastrophic events and the subtle effects of aging. So it's not maybe these things are going to occur. I mean, these already are occurring, and they will occur with more frequency as people continue to fly for a longer age."

 
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.
 
Tomorrow's Top Tech, Part I back to top 
 

Forward Vision Earns Broad Cessna STC

Forward Vision announced last week that most single-engine Cessna pilots may now fit Forward Vision's infrared thermal-imaging camera system to their aircraft with the full blessing of a supplemental type certificate (STC). For about $15,000 uninstalled, the system penetrates haze, fog, smoke and precipitation eight to ten times better than the human eye, according to the company. And because the STC covers some "158 models" of Cessna 100- and 200-series aircraft, it may now be installed on upward of 40,000 Cessnas. The list currently excludes the 208 and P210, but Forward Vision expects the P210 to be covered by a separate STC soon. Forward Vision's EVS systems have been available for business jets for some time. The company's EVS-100/600 systems are designed specifically for light aircraft and are already STC'd on Cirrus models. Forward.Vision.® is the exclusive distributor of the EVS-100 and EVS-600 product line designed, certified and manufactured by Max-Viz, Inc. and refined to Forward Vision specifications under a private label agreement. Check Forward Vision's Web site for more details.

Related Content:

Group Offers Aviation Biofuels Timetable (Best Guess)

With at least four biofuel test flights flown by leading airlines over the past 12 months, reports say they perform as well or better than traditional jet fuel and that some of the next generation fuels could cut emissions by 84 percent, so what's the hold up? Some hope to see commercial-scale production within the next few years, but the problem is economics. In the short term, serious hurdles exist, including the price and availability of second-generation feedstocks (there may not be enough raw material to supply the entire aviation industry) like camelina, which are used to produce the fuels. Camelina's oil in particular has been championed by Boeing as a drop-in jet fuel replacement, capable of utilizing existing jet fuel infrastructure without the need for component modifications. Still, those growing pains aren't likely to overcome any economy-induced short-term shortfalls in government support for mid- and long-term value. A report by Pike Research cited last week by the Wall Street Journal forecasts that the combined biodiesel and ethanol markets could climb from about $76 billion in sales in 2010 to nearly $250 billion by 2020. The market research and consulting firm has mapped the key milestones it expects to drive aviation biofuel progress over the next few years, but industry groups may have more conservative goals.

According to Pike Research, the first fuels on the market in 2010 will be based on waste greases. In 2014, biofuels based on plants like camelina will start to have an impact on the market. Following that, in 2016, algae-based fuels introduced commercially in 2012 will gain stronger footing, according to Pike. While there is broad agreement that commercial-scale production of biofuels could by 2013 have a substantial impact on the aviation industry, the International Air Transport Association has set a target of employing alternative fuels as 10 percent of the aviation fuel supply by 2017.

 
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Quote reprinted with permission:
Professional Pilot, 2008 Headset Preference Survey, 12/08.
 
Tomorrow's Top Tech, Part II back to top 
 

Economy Of Scale May Make F-35 Only Game In Town

Lockheed Martin last week said it is seeing growing demand for its F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. As a joint development project in a severely crippled world economy, those countries that can afford to be involved may realize big benefits from joint collaboration. Lockheed Martin believes the aircraft's characteristics will make it a viable replacement for some 13 models currently used by partner countries worldwide. And the company hopes that the vast amount of F-35s to be produced (possibly more than 2,400) will push down the per-unit costs of the aircraft to about $80 million per copy (not including research and design costs), making it ever more alluring when compared with competing designs. Critics claim the aircraft is not as maneuverable as some other available aircraft and not especially stealthy while carrying the munitions that make it particularly lethal. But the aircraft's economics and joint technology mean long-range targeting capabilities and mission versatility at a price that's hard to dismiss. And then there's the support the aircraft is seeing from the U.S. government.

The Obama administration's budget prioritizes the F-35's massive production numbers and moderate cost over the F-22's massive abilities and massive costs. In May, the Office of Management and Budget proposed to terminate the F-22 after production of 187 aircraft. With orders for more than 1,500 F-35s and a planned fleet of nearly 2,500, Lockheed Martin hopes to within six years have automated production lines capable of turning out F-35s at a rate of one per day (the current rate is about one per month). And where history has seen other aspiring manufacturers wrongly rely on the economy of scale to allow them to maintain initially low price targets, that doesn't seem to be a factor here. With the cancellation of the F-22 and the support of the U.S. government, there's little reason to think the F-35 won't make its projected numbers. And if it does, there will be little room for other aircraft. As Teal Group analyst Richard Aboulafia recently told the BBC, "It's quite likely that after 2020, the market will comprise the F-35 family and some Russian planes."

 
A Life Insurance Policy That Returns All of Your Premiums? — YES
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Making Time, Raising Awareness back to top 
 

Brits Take Contiguous 48 States In Record Time (For Diabetes)

Saturday, Diabetes Flight 48, piloted by Douglas Cairns and James D'Arcy, two British pilots living with diabetes, broke the record time for landing in all 48 contiguous states with their final landing in Kenosha, Wis. At the time this was written, the two men had not yet blogged their final time (they had to beat 131 hours, 5 minutes) but noted that they had until 9:45 p.m. Central Time on Sunday evening if they were to succeed. The trip was flown in a Baron starting from Council Bluffs, Iowa, on June 16, and the men aimed to use the trip to raise awareness and funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, UK (see video, here.) By Saturday the pair had raised more than $4,500 (donations are always welcome). The trip was originally scheduled to begin June 16, in Iowa, running counter-clockwise after an initial jog from Nebraska. But the best laid plans are changed by weather and the crew reported on June 16 that they began their trip from Iowa, made it to Nebraska and then turned for Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas, later configuring a figure-eight pattern to hit all the states. Aside from the record time, the flight included at least one segment that covered eight states in less than 12 hours, detours around storms and "some tremendous low-level flying in the Rocky Mountains." Of course, then there were the tornadoes.

One night the two set down in Council Bluffs south of Caroll to ride out weather. Morning news reports the next day informed them that their original alternate of Des Moines had suffered storm damage with tornadoes touching down in the state during the night. The flight was flown with an official NAA observer onboard and official NAA recognition to follow.

Video of the flight captured by AVweb reader Butch Weaver, who caught the flight over Southern Colorado and enjoyed a stint of formation flying, is available online here.

Able Flight's Same Day Coast-To-Coast LSA Flight

Earlier this month, Matt Hansen (23) and Jessica Scharle (24) flew From Jacksonville, Fla., to El Cajon, Calif., in an LSA within a single day and believe they set a record in the process, with a couple of twists. The June 8, transcontinental flight in a Light Sport Plane logged five stops along the way. It departed Cecil Field at 6:01 a.m., and arrived at Gillespie Field at 10:22 p.m., totaling 19 hours and 21 minutes en route with a little more than 17 in the air. The Peregrine FA-04 LSA they flew was equipped for night flight (legal when flown by a properly rated pilot) and managed just under 4.9 gallons per hour when the two were able to fly at 8,500 feet. As for the twists, one is that Hansen, a commercial pilot and flight instructor, participates with the nonprofit Able Flight Scholarship program that earned private pilot Scharle her spot on the trip. Able flight helps facilitate flight instruction for physically disabled pilots. Scharle was born with a condition that essentially works to fuse her body's joints, but her battle with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita did not stop her from becoming the first female Able Flight Scholarship recipient from earning her private pilot certificate. The second twist is that the National Aeronautical Association isn't yet equipped to deal with the LSA category ... but then there's the Guiness Book.

The pilots equally split responsibilities through the 1813.5-nm flight with the exception of the last leg, which Hansen flew in the dark. The southern route from Florida to California in June is fairly light-aircraft friendly when the weather cooperates and the team's biggest complaint was Texas where the two were abused by turbulence. They have applied to the Guinness Book of World Records for an official record.

 
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 — Airbus A380 — overtaking AeroShell Square; 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. Hurry — savings end soon! Buy your tickets online through June 30 and save $5 on every weekly ticket and $2 on every daily ticket. Visit AirVenture.org/tickets today.
 
News Briefs back to top 
 

WASP To Receive Top Civilian Honor

Legislation honoring the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) who flew more than 60,000,000 miles from 1942 to 1944 on every type of assignment but air combat has passed both houses of Congress. The Hutchison-Mikulski Bill on June 16 passed the House, sponsored by 334 representatives. It had passed the Senate in May, co-sponsored by 75 senators. Upon the signature of President Barack Obama, the bill will award the women with the Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of their service. The medal, awarded by Congress, is the highest honor a civilian may receive, along with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and is bestowed for exceptional acts of service to the United States. Said Senator Hutchison of the Bill's passage, "The day that surviving WASP, and the families of those who have passed, get to hold these medals in their hands is at last on the horizon." During their service, the women were never awarded full military status, were ineligible for officer status and afterward were not granted veterans' status until 1977. Some 300 of the women have lived to see the bill pass.

The medal will be custom-designed to uniquely represent those being honored. Once minted, the medal will leave its first copy on display at the Smithsonian Institution. Congressional Gold Medals will be awarded to all 1,102 pilots or, in their stead, surviving family.

 
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Staying Safe back to top 
 

Angel Flight Groups Increase Volunteer Pilot Hour Requirements

After decades of safe operation, last summer Angel Flight organizations had by August seen three fatal crashes; this summer some of their volunteer pilot requirements will change. A recent letter co-signed by Angel Flight Mid-Atlantic Chairman (AFMA), Steve Craven; president of Mercy Medical Airlift, Ed Boyer; and Executive Director for Airlift Hope America, Jim Smith written to volunteer pilots listed new pilot qualifications/safety standards effective July 15, 2009. Pilots wishing to participate with those organizations must now have a minimum total time of 500 hours (unchanged) with no less than 400 hours (up from 250) as Pilot in Command with a minimum 50 hours in make and model. Other qualifications for any aircraft to be used for Angel Flights include a minimum of $1 million liability insurance with no less than $100,000 per seat. (There are other requirements, check with the specific groups you're interested in joining.) Contacted Friday for comment, AFMA's Craven told AVweb, "While we had been contemplating increased pilot qualifications and insurance requirements for some time, we were motivated by the fact that after 30+ years, millions of miles and hundreds of thousands of needy patients flown safely, last year the Angel Flight world experienced its first fatal accident." The letter also announced future steps intended to establish a "culture of safety" within the participating organizations.

Mandatory annual recertifications, plus mandatory affirmation that all qualifications are met prior to an accepted flight, will be "built into our flight coordination system," states the letter. The letter also outlines a series of programs intended to develop a "culture of safety" within the Angel Flight community. Safety programs to include an online safety forum, a separate online safety page and a pilot mentorship program to help initiate new pilots into the organization with an emphasis on safety. "We intend to create a positive culture of safety in our organizations with experienced safety focused volunteer pilots," said Craven.

DHS OIG Says GA Not Much Of A Terrorism Threat

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Homeland Security says general aviation poses a "limited and mostly hypothetical" tool for terrorists. In a report released last month, but first reported by GovernmentExecutive.com this week, the OIG says GA airplanes are too small and the terrorists know that. "Although [TSA's Office of Intelligence] has identified potential threats, it has concluded that most [general aviation] aircraft are too light to inflict significant damage, and has not identified specific imminent threats from [general aviation] aircraft," Inspector General Richard Skinner said. In a podcast interview with AVweb, AOPA spokesman Chris Dancy said the message from the OIG is one that his group has been delivering for years. AOPA President Craig Fuller said the findings validate his and other groups' contentions but that doesn't mean GA can let its guard down. "The report notes that while the threat is minimal, it is not non-existent and that constant vigilance must be maintained, which is why AOPA coordinated with the TSA to develop and implement the Airport Watch program," Fuller said. "We have always done our part and will continue to do so."

The report was requested by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee after a Houston TV crew was able to get into three GA airports and approach aircraft without being challenged. The resulting segment (undoubtedly an "investigation") was entitled "Is Houston A Sitting Duck For Terrorism?" A portion of the OIG's report is titled "Houston Is Not A Sitting Duck For Terrorism." What the TV crew didn't know was that they were under video surveillance, the planes were locked or disabled and access to fuel was controlled. Just to make sure, the OIG investigators went to other GA airports and found the issues raised by the TV report were "not compelling." He said TSA monitoring, normal airport security and voluntary programs created by the GA community provide "provide baseline security for aircraft based at general aviation sites."

Related Content:
Podcast interview with AOPA's Chris Dancy

 
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.

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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.

 
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.
 
New on AVweb back to top 
 

AVweb Insider Blog: Light Sport Amphibs — It Doesn't Get Any Better

If you've forgotten why it is you started flying in the first place, Paul Bertorelli and Jeff Van West suggest you pay a visit to Progressive Aerodyne and fly the SeaRey amphibian. If there's not a law against having this much fun, maybe there ought to be.

See why it's all Paul can talk about in the latest installment of the AVweb Insider blog.

IFR Magazine's NEXRAD Audio Primer

File Size 9.0 MB / Running Time 13:06

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

IFR magazine's Jeff Van West talks with Paul Devlin of WSI and Bob Dreisewerd of WxWorx about what makes cockpit NEXRAD different from what you see on an average web site. The datalink weather experts also discuss some of the shortcomings of cockpit weather and some tips for using it more effectively.

To read the related article, subscribe to IFR magazine.

 
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.
 
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 
 

Exclusive Video: Which Tiedown Gadgets Work Best?

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

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.

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

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.

 
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: Ideal Aviation (St. Louis Airport, Cahokia, IL)

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Ideal Aviation at St. Louis Downtown Airport (KCPS) in Cahokia, Illinois.

To explain why Ideal is so great, we need to invoke a couple of very similar acronyms: First up is NIFA, the National Intercollegiate Flying Association, which held their 2009 SAFECON event in May, and second is NAFI, the National Association of Flight Instructors, whose Executive Director Jason Blair visited Ideal during SAFECON. Jason writes:

During the last two weeks in May, Ideal got "bombed" by over 100 aircraft from 30 university flight schools from all over the country. Ideal allowed the [SAFECON] competitors to park their aircraft across their ramp, and provided fuel and maintenance services to schools that required it. (Western Michigan University brought 2 Cirrus SR-20 aircraft to the event, one of which suffered a small alternator issue during the course of the week. The mechanic from Ideal had the issue rectified, and the aircraft tested and returned to service within a matter of hours.)

When I arrived to attend the final banquet, not only was a ramp space waiting for me in front of the building, but I didn't even have to put my plane in it. I parked in front of the door, and their capable line staff put my plane into a spot later and fueled it for me.

Ideal Aviation showed a great amount of patience, support, and help, to all of the students, advisors, and coaches who attended the 2009 SAFECON event. They deserve a huge round of applause for their amazing efforts during a time in which they were swarmed ... not only the company owners and reception employees, but the two line gentleman that choreographed a safe, efficient, and safe ramp environment, as well.

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

I was on Salt Lake Center frequency at FL380 when ATC told us to do something odd:

Salt Lake Center:
"Piaggio 123 [this is not our call sign or flight number], turn right, heading 3-7-0; maintain FL 380."

Me:
"Umm, say again for Piaggio 123?"

Salt Lake Center:
"Piaggio 123, turn right heading 3-7-0, maintain FL380."

Me:
"Sir, my compasses generally stop at 3-6-0."

Salt Lake Center:
"Oh! I meant fly heading TWO seven zero. Sorry about the confusion."

Linda Becker
via e-mail

 
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.