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Volume 15, Number 26b
July 2, 2009
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Top News: Aviation Safety Reportback to top 
Sponsor Announcement

The NTSB said this week it is investigating two runway incursions that occurred in June at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport in Cleveland, Ohio, while a controller-in-training was directing the airplanes. On June 26, an Express Jet Embraer 145 was cleared by the controller to cross Runway 24L at a taxiway in order to depart from Runway 24R. About 19 seconds later, the same controller cleared a CommutAir DH8 for takeoff on Runway 24L. The Express Jet flight crew saw the departing airplane and advised the controller they would not cross the runway. The DH8 rotated about 1,500 feet from where the E-145 was positioned. Just three weeks earlier, on June 3, a B-737 was cleared by the same controller to taxi into position on the same runway on which an E-145 was cleared for takeoff. The E-145 crew was entering the runway and saw the B-737, and queried the controller. The two flights came within 500 feet of each other on Runway 6L. The controller is still on duty and is expected to complete his training. More...

Officials searching for an Yemenia Airways A310 that crashed near the archipelago of Comoros early Tuesday have found a 12-year-old girl who survived the accident. She was swimming amidst debris and bodies and is believed to be the only survivor. She is reported to be conscious and stable in hospital. The aircraft was carrying 142 passengers and 11 crew and reportedly went down after an aborted landing attempt at Moroni Airport. Two French military aircraft and a ship departed the Indian Ocean islands of Mayotte and Reunion early Tuesday to assist in search and recovery. Weather in the area at the time of the crash was stormy, with high seas. The aircraft was enroute from Sana'a in Yemen to the Comoros Islands, off the coast of Tanzania. Comoros is about halfway between Madagascar and Africa. More...

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We're Looking Forward to Seeing Both at Oshkoshback to top 

Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnightTwo, also known as "Mothership Eve," was on its way from Scaled Composites in Mojave to fly past the groundbreaking ceremony for Spaceport America in New Mexico on June 19 when the crew noted the failure of a speedbrake actuator as they descended toward the site. Pilot Peter Siebold and his crew made a precautionary landing at Williams Gateway Airport near Phoenix, where they were met by ground crew. They were able to re-launch the next morning and successfully completed several flybys and a low pass over the runway at Las Cruces International Airport for spectators at the Spaceport America event. Systems were evaluated on the high-altitude return leg to Mojave. According to the flight log posted at, WhiteKnightTwo has so far flown more than 29 hours, with some flights lasting as long as 7.5 hours, at altitudes up to 52,400 feet. WhiteKnightTwo is the carrier vehicle for SpaceShipTwo, which will transport passengers to the edge of space. More...

So far, start-up companies aiming to build very light jets have found the going tough (the now-defunct Eclipse Aviation and Adam Aircraft, for example), but that isn't stopping newer companies whose leaders believe they have a better idea. One of those is Stratos Aircraft, a Bend, Ore., company that is moving forward with its concept of a very light personal jet, the Stratos 714, which it announced last May. The four-seat single-engine jet will go 1,500 nm at 400 knots, and it will be easy to manufacture, easy to fly, and easy to maintain, the company says. A full-scale cabin mock-up will be ready for display at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh later this month. "The full-size mock-up clearly demonstrates the level of roominess and comfort we are aiming to achieve," said CEO Michael Lemaire. "No amount of blueprints or renderings can replace actually sitting in the cabin." Company officials also will use the opportunity to gather feedback that can be incorporated into the final design. More...

Visit Aircraft Spruce at the 2009 Arlington Fly-In
Visit the Aircraft Spruce booth in Arlington, Washington (booth #55) on July 8-11 from 9:00am - 6:00pm and July 12 from 9:00am - 3:00pm. Take advantage of some of your favorite products on sale, complimentary ground shipping (does not apply to hazardous or oversize products), and a helpful staff to answer all your questions. The 2009 Arlington Fly-In features 128 acres of "Family Friendly" aviation exhibits plus a fun and spectacular daily air show. Call 1 (877) 4-SPRUCE or visit
Flying 'Fox More Like a Phoenixback to top 

Belite Aircraft, a new company based in Wichita, Kan., unveiled its prototype airplane Tuesday afternoon in the middle of the city's Old Town neighborhood. The aircraft, which flew for the first time just last week, is an extensively modified version of the Kitfox Lite. Entrepreneurs James and Kathy Wiebe acquired the production rights to the aircraft earlier this year and have redesigned it to reduce the weight below the 254-pound limit needed to qualify as an ultralight under Part 103. The wing, struts, spars and ribs are constructed using a proprietary carbon fiber process that James Wiebe says builds faster than aluminum, wood or composite construction. The aircraft will fly at about 55 knots with a range of 200 miles. It will be on display at EAA AirVenture at Oshkosh later this month and Wiebe said he will release further information at that time about pricing and delivery schedules. It will be offered for sale as a kit or fully assembled. More...

Aspen Makes Going Glass More Affordable!
Aspen Avionics offers the most affordable glass cockpit solution on the market today. And until July 31, 2009, Aspen has made going glass more affordable with the Grand Glass Rebate program, offering a $1,000 rebate for all purchases of an EFD1000 Pro PFD. Come see Aspen at EAA AirVenture in Hangar B, Booth 2126. Act quickly to take advantage of this limited time promotion. Act quickly to take advantage of this limited-time promotion.
What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Weekback to top 

The FAA said last week it has reached a "major milestone" in its efforts to help the aviation industry develop sustainable alternative fuels, and this week, the U.S. House exempted aircraft from a major bill that will impose greenhouse-gas emissions standards. The House bill, which was passed last Friday, still must be approved in the Senate and signed by the president before it becomes law. The Senate, however, is not expected to push for limits on aviation emissions, according to Helicopter Association International. Meanwhile, the FAA said an international panel of experts is working to create new guidelines that will allow for the approval of alternative commercial jet fuels. A number of new alternative fuels could be approved within the next few years, according to FAA's Nancy LoBueand, acting assistant administrator for the environment. She said the approval of new fuels will help lower aviation's carbon footprint. More...

Both the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and AOPA said this week that current proposals now in play in Washington are good news for general aviation. One bill introduced in the House would require the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to create a rulemaking committee including GA industry stakeholders, which would have input into new security measures that affect the industry. "This legislation shows that Congress understands that we can accomplish more good if we work together rather than separately," said NBAA President Ed Bolen. The committee would address proposals such as the TSA's Large Aircraft Security Program (LASP), which has been widely opposed by GA operators and pilots. After receiving more than 7,000 comments on its proposed LASP rule, most of them in opposition, the TSA has said it will issue a new NPRM before issuing a final rule. AOPA also noted that a House funding bill that passed last week addresses several issues of interest to GA. The bill urges the TSA to work with GA stakeholders before issuing security mandates and provides $275,000 to train GA pilots regarding security measures. More...

Jerry Comeaux, 69, the proprietor of Quality Aircraft Support in Ninety Six, S.C., pleaded no contest to fraudulently repairing aircraft parts without FAA credentials and is being forced to pay $403,000 to customers who paid more than $2.5 million for them. Before Comeaux copped the plea, prosecutors told a U.S. District Court in Greenville that some of the parts weren't airworthy. Other charges against Comeaux and his wife Vicky, which included money laundering, wire fraud and mail fraud, were dropped in exchange for the no-contest plea. Customers included firms that repaired commercial and military aircraft and centered on Comeaux's lack of credentials to certify the airworthiness of the repaired parts. More...


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Delivered every Wednesday morning, AVwebBiz focuses on the companies, the products and the industry leaders that make headlines in the business aviation industry, making it a must-read.

Add AVwebBiz to your AVweb subscriptions today by clicking here and choosing "Update E-mail Subscriptions."


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News Briefsback to top 

Two active pilots -- Jason Schappert, a CFI living in Florida, and Vincent Lambercy, a Swiss private pilot living in Germany -- were chatting on Twitter recently when they came up with an exciting idea. Why not go flying in Jason's Cessna 150, from the U.S. East Coast to the West Coast and back, to promote general aviation? "While it's not very fast, [the 150] is a very economical and reliable airplane," the two write on their Web site, "Jason opted to own such a plane because it allows for his students to earn their private pilot license for less than 5,000 dollars! Aviation is not restricted to the elite and affluent. This is an integral part of our message." The two plan to launch next summer, and they are looking for sponsors and donors to help make the trip possible. They will fly a southern route from Florida to California, to avoid having to cross the Rocky Mountains. The two say they see the flight as "a mission" that is more than just flying for fun from coast to coast. "We intend to rally people and promote general aviation on a local grassroots level," their Web site reads. More...

A new grass runway is now being built on land owned by the U.S. Forest Service in Montana, after four years of effort by recreational pilots. The strip, which is expected to be ready for next spring, will be 4,000 feet long, stretching across a meadow at an elevation 6,300 feet, surrounded by plenty of open grassland for approaches and climbouts. The site is close to a popular trout-fishing area and a campground in the Lewis and Clark National Forest. Members of the Montana Pilots Association and the Recreational Aviation Foundation worked with federal officials to create the airstrip. The agreement required four years of planning, including an environmental impact statement and an opportunity for public discussion. Several sites were considered and rejected before the final site made the cut. "This decision is significant because until this location was selected at Russian Flat, there were no public airstrips on Forest Service lands east of the Rocky Mountain Front," said Dan Prill, of the RAF. The runway is under construction now but is not expected to open until the grass surface has time to develop. More...

Mike Goulian to recieve this year's Bill Barber Award for Showmanship...
The Air Race Classic has posted the top 10 competitors from this year's race...
Flying to Mexico? The rules have changed. AOPA has a detailed update. More...

New ASF Safety Quiz — Test Your Air Safety Skills Now!
In aviation, you've got a split second to make the right decision. Put your safety skills to the test and take the Air Safety Foundation's online safety quiz. New quizzes are posted every other week — on topics from icing and stall/spin awareness to emergency procedures and more. Quizzes only take minutes to complete — minutes that could save your life. Take the ASF Air Safety Quiz now.
AVweb Audio —? Are You Listening?back to top 

Well, no one has ever accused Cirrus Aircraft Chairman of the Board Alan Klapmeier of backing down from a challenge and he's taken on a big one. Klapmeier announced last week that he's trying to buy the Vision SF 50 jet program from the company he and his brother Dale founded 25 years ago. The news caused a sensation at last week's gathering of Cirrus owners in Duluth and rippled through the industry. Now that the dust has settled some, Klapmeier says he has a picture of the reaction to the news and he's explaining the rationale behind the blockbuster news. In an extensive interview with AVweb's Russ Niles recorded Wednesday for our regular Friday podcast, Klapmeier lays out the history, the plan and what he hopes will be the future of project. Here's a sample of what you'll hear in the 15-minute interview. Look for the full audio podcast on Friday morning. More...

AV8OR™ Handheld
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New on AVwebback to top 

Ever tried to complain to the airport authority at an international hub? Good luck even finding the number. At Tampa, Florida, they actually call you back. Paul Bertorelli's report on that refreshing experience is the subject of our latest AVweb Insider blog. More...

As every business struggles in the current economy — especially aviation businesses — it can no longer be business as usual at the big air shows. In the latest installmment of our AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli argues that the place to start is giving show goers a little break on the price of lunch at these shows. A little consideration could go a long way. More...

JA Air Center, Your Source for the New Garmin GPSMap 696
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The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!back to top 


Alan Klapmeier's dramatic announcement that he's trying to take over the Cirrus Vision SF 50 program has revived interest in the personal jet market. What's the future look like for little jets?

Plus: Last week, we asked AVweb readers to peer into their crystal balls and enlighten us as to the future of electric airplanes; click through to find out how our readership breaks down into dreamers, curmudgeons, and the steadfastly level-headed. More...

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...

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

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 Learnback to top 

Aviation Consumer and AVweb report on the new Diamond DA42 L360, powered by a pair of Lycoming IO-360 engines. More...

Video Marketplace Spotlight

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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 FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to the city FBO at Spartanburg Downtown Memorial Airport (KSPA) in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

AVweb reader Jacquelyn Balish explains how the KSPA FBO staff went above and beyond to bring a smile to her face:

I fly with very young children by myself. This really can be challenging upon landing. I have a plane, kids, and luggage to deal with. The personnel at this airport jump right in to help. They take the children and luggage, [then] take kids to play while I secure my plane. They are Johnny on the spot. On one trip, the birds decided that my plane was a great toilet. [As soon as] I drove up, the plane was being washed for me at no charge!

P.S. The children love all the people at this airport.

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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Reader-Submitted Photosback to top 

Summer is upon us, and your "Picture of the Week" submissions continue to reflect the green grass, sunny skies, and adventures spirit of the season. (We like it when you make it hard to pick a winner each week, so please keep sending in those photos!) John E. Rees of Blacklick, Ohio didn't have far to go to attend the 50th Reunion of the National Waco Club at Wynkoop Airport in Mt. Vernon. In retrospect, that's probably a good thing for all of us, since it allowed John to snap a lot of awesome Waco photos while he was there. More...

We Live in a Fast-Paced World; Use Your Travel Time Wisely
Subscribe to Pilot's Audio Update and you'll receive monthly CDs packed with up-to-the-minute information on topics ranging from "Understanding GPS and WAAS" to the lowdown on "Light Sport Aircraft." Put your in-flight "down time" to work for you. Subscribe now to receive the Acing the Flight Review CD as a gift with your order.
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.