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. In the
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It still has a long way to go, but Tuesday's approval by a key Senate committee was seen as a major step toward getting a new FAA
funding bill passed. The bill would fund the FAA for two years, giving the Obama administration time to come up with its own plans for how to fund the agency (which some suspect will include a fresh
push for user fees). The OK from the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee was a major step, but the bill also must go through the Finance Committee before going to the full Senate for
a vote, AOPA said on Wednesday. That committee will decide whether to extend fuel taxes at their current
level or approve the increase that was included in the version of the bill adopted by the House. The House measure would raise taxes from 19.3 cents per gallon to 24.1 cents for avgas and from 21.8
cents per gallon to 35.9 cents for noncommercial jet fuel, AOPA said.
The Senate bill also would authorize a study of pilot fatigue and require that the findings be considered by the FAA in its coming rewrite of the flight and duty time rules. If it passes, it will
be reconciled with the House version and then sent to the White House for consideration.
The FAA said this week it is ready to change the way it deals with air traffic controllers, but the
controllers union is skeptical. On Monday the agency took what it calls "another step toward a new safety culture," by reducing the emphasis on blame in the reporting of operational errors. "We're
moving away from a culture of blame and punishment," said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. "It's important to note that controllers remain accountable for their actions, but we're moving toward a new
era that focuses on why these events occur and what can be done to prevent them." Effective immediately, the names of controllers will not be included in reports sent to FAA headquarters about
operational errors, which occur when the proper distance between aircraft is not maintained.
Necessary training will be conducted and disciplinary action taken, if appropriate, the FAA said. Both will be recorded in the controller's record. Patrick Forrey, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, told AVweb the FAA change doesn't go far enough. "We are puzzled by the press release in which the
Administrator claims to be moving towards a safety culture absent blame, yet at the same time, states that controllers could still be disciplined for their actions," he wrote in an e-mail. "This
philosophy is exactly the opposite of a safety culture. A safety culture doesn't look to 'blame'; rather it looks to be proactive in finding problems before they happen."
Forrey said there is already a program in place, the Air Traffic Safety Action Program, to do that. "A key component of a safety culture is
to make controllers feel comfortable in reporting problems so that we can learn and develop procedures to avoid these problems in the future," he said.
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With the start of EAA AirVenture just a few days off, our inbox is flooded with updates and announcements. On Tuesday, an unmanned Predator B landed at Oshkosh, its first landing ever at a civilian
airport. Click here for the video. The folks at the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association are excited about
the new location for the LSA Mall, along one of the main throughways on EAA's redesigned grounds. "Putting many of the top-selling LSA wingtip-to-wingtip has definitely been a winner with [visitors],"
said Dan Johnson, president and chairman of the board for LAMA. Anyone in the market for a new LSA can check out and compare nearly two dozen different models in one stop.
Build A Plane will be debuting the Glasair Sportsman 2+2 that was built last summer by high school kids at Glasair's Two Weeks to Taxi
Program. "All of us at Build A Plane are very excited to show off what kids can do!" said Lyn Freeman, founder of the organization. "When we tell people that this gorgeous airplane was built by high
schoolers, their jaws drop!" Also, EAA this week urged pilots who are flying to Oshkosh via the Lake Michigan shoreline near Milwaukee to watch out for temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) in the area
from July 23 to 26. The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds are performing at the Milwaukee Air & Water Show, scheduled to take place July 24-26 at the Lakefront. The Thunderbirds' air show box extends out
over the lake and officials are cautioning Oshkosh-bound pilots to be aware of the TFRs. "We are very concerned in case there are pilots flying to OSH who may not see the NOTAM and may be flying up
the shoreline on Thursday through Sunday," said Wanda Adelman, of the FAA-Milwaukee ATC. "We don't want anyone to inadvertently get into the air show box."
Click here for more info and maps showing the TFR locations. The Thunderbirds will fly on to Oshkosh after the
show and appear at AirVenture on opening day, Monday, July 27.
Click for video of the Yuneec electric airplane's first flight
The e-Spyder, a single-seat electric-powered ultralight built by Flightstar Sportplanes of South Woodstock, Conn., flew for the first
time last weekend. Company president Tom Peghiny, the test pilot, said the aircraft was a pleasure to fly. "Without the bulk of a two-stroke engine out front, there's much less drag," he told EAA. "This little machine flies very well." Peghiny mounted a Yuneec electric motor, built in China, on the nose of a modified Spyder ultralight, with the controller attached to the
side of the airframe.
Meanwhile, officials from Yuneec are in California this week test-flying their own e430 electric-powered two-seater. The company is working with the FAA to attain experimental exhibition
certification in time for next week's EAA AirVenture at Oshkosh. Peghiny also plans to bring his e-Spyder to Oshkosh, and said he hopes to announce prices then for the kit. He told Wired.com the
aircraft may be for sale by the end of the year, with a price tag under $25,000. Even with two 28-pound lithium-polymer battery packs, the aircraft still fits within the weight restrictions of Part
103. The 20-kilowatt motor produces about 27 hp and can fly for about 40 minutes on a full charge, and the batteries will last for about 250 hours of flying before they have to be replaced. The Spyder
is sold as an easy-to-assemble kit. It's not the only ultralight to fly on electric power -- Randall Fishman built an electric-powered trike a couple of years ago, and others are likely out there or in the works -- we expect to see more at Oshkosh.
Lightspeed Invites You to Celebrate Aviation
... at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2009 (July 27 - August 2, Oshkosh, WI). Come visit our tent outside Hanger B for demos, t-shirts, show specials, free refreshments, video presentations, and more.
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We first saw the Private Explorer back in 1999, when a copy turned up on the experimental flight line at Oshkosh, and recently we heard of a pair that are
working their way across Canada, fitted out for cross-country travel with PT6 turbine engines and amphibious floats. The airplane's cabin is over 7 feet wide and tall enough to stand up in, and in the
rear is a platform for a full-size bed. The interior is fitted out like a camper, complete with galley and a dining area, and screened windows that open wide for ventilation. For complete autonomy in
the backcountry, the airplane also includes a toilet, shower, water pump, and heater. The fuel tanks hold up to 200 gallons for a range of up to 13 hours. The kit was designed by Dean Wilson, who also
designed the Avid Flyer. Explorer Aeronautique, based in Quebec, sells the kits.
The price starts at about $118,000 for the basic kit, firewall back. An engine, propeller, instruments, floats, and interior fittings are extra. The company's owner, Bernard Laferriere, 56, was killed in April as he was flying home from Sun 'n Fun in an Ecoflyer, the pudgy-looking LSA that his company had been
NexAir Avionics, based in Mansfield, Mass., this week introduced the Saratoga NX, a spinner-to-tail modernization of Piper's single-engine
six-seater. The NX features an Avidyne Integra Release 9 integrated flight deck and a zero-time factory remanufactured engine. The interior has been spiffed up with added soundproofing, leather
seating, a center-console drink cooler, a DVD entertainment system for the back seats, and a fold-down work table. Other new features include AmSafe airbag seatbelts and improved ergonomics.
The result is an airplane that is "better-than-new," says NexAir President David Fetherston, at a fly-away price of less than $400,000. Owners of Saratogas from model years 1980 to 2004 can
transform their airplanes into an NX for less than $250,000, he said. New features from LoPresti include a cowling that improves engine cooling, flap gap seals that add knots to cruise speed, and
exterior lighting. And it's all wrapped up in a sleek new paint scheme. The program "essentially creates a new aircraft that's better equipped and costs far less than a new or late model version,"
Fetherston said. Depreciation and insurance costs also are less than for a new airplane. Owners interested in the upgrade can keep their current engines if they're low-time and in good condition,
NexAir said. The Saratoga NX will be on display at EAA AirVenture at Oshkosh next week, in Booth No. 354. Piper is no longer building the Saratoga.
Aircraft Spruce at EAA Airventure Oshkosh 2009!
Visit the Aircraft Spruce booths at AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin in Hangar A (Booths 1022-1029), on July 27 - August 2 from 9:00am to 5:00pm. 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. Don't forget to pick up a copy of the new
2009-2010 Aircraft Spruce Catalog! Call 1 (877) 4-SPRUCE or
In an online news conference on Monday, Virgin Galactic president Will Whitehorn said the WhiteKnightTwo space launch
vehicle is ready to launch and will arrive at Oshkosh for the EAA AirVenture opening airshow at about 2:30 p.m. on Monday July 27. "It's an amazing vehicle," he said. The aircraft, which is the
largest aircraft ever built by Scaled Composites, has a wingspan of 140 feet and is capable of lifting 17 tons to altitudes of 50,000 feet and more. So far it has flown 14 times and accumulated about
45 hours of flight time. Besides the plane's initital space-tourism mission, it will also be used for space science and to launch satellites into orbit. "What we're seeing is the dawn of a new
industrial revolution in space," Whitehorn said. WhiteKnightTwo will also fly on Tuesday and Thursday, and will remain on static display all week until it heads home to Mojave at roughly 10 a.m.
Scaled Composites President Doug Shane said everyone at the company is excited about bringing the aircraft to Oshkosh. "We'll be sending along a large team from Mojave," he said. Whitehorn said the
construction of SpaceShipTwo is nearly complete and he expects it to fly for the first time by the end of this year.
Sadler Aircraft Company, of Roseburg, Ore., will be at EAA AirVenture next week showing off the latest version of their Vampire airplane. The
company has spent three years on research and development to develop a new interior and prepare the design, derived from military aircraft, for the LSA market. "We're really excited to go from R&D to
delivering airplanes," said company VP David Littlejohn. "This has been a long road, especially in a challenging economy. I think light sport aircraft are going to emerge as true value leaders in the
aviation community, and the Vampire should really deliver on that front."
The Vampire is not your typical LSA. It's built on a scaled-back air-to-ground fighter plane airframe, stressed to more than plus-or-minus 6 g's. It's powered by a pusher prop that sits between
twin tail-booms. The wings double-fold vertically, to make it easy to transport on a trailer or to store between flights. And the cabin doors are wide with a low entry point, which the company says
makes entry more like stepping into a sedan than climbing into a cockpit. The Vampire LSA will be on display at space 77 at AirVenture. "We took a lot of our cues from the automotive industry when it
came to designing the interior of the Vampire," said Littlejohn. "So wherever we could add creature comforts we tried to do that. We wanted the interior to attract both pilots and potential pilots.
And we also wanted to keep it on the lower end of the LSA price spectrum." While a fully loaded Vampire reaches well into the six-figure price range, you can get a well-equipped model for under
$100,000, the company said.
Make JA Air Center Your EAA/Oshkosh Fuel Stop and You Could Win a Garmin GPS
Visit the new JA Air Center FBO at Chicagoland's convenient Aurora Municipal Airport (KARR) and enjoy the finest FBO amenities and your discounted fuel purchase
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Why bother knowing about celestial navigation? No reason, says IFR magazine editor Jeff Van West except that it's part of being a better pilot all around. Jeff makes the case (and
shares his insights on a recent article from IFR) in the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog.
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Last week, we asked which aviation trade shows you'd be attending (or have already attended) in 2009.
We were a bit surprised by the responses mostly by the fact that 63% of those who responded aren't attending any trade shows this year. The next largest segment of
respondents (18%) said they won't be attending any of the four major shows we listed (AOPA, NBAA, AEA, and Heli-Expo) but they will be going to other trade shows.
For a complete (real-time) breakdown of reader responses, click here. (You may be asked to register and answer if you haven't already participated in this poll.)
THIS WEEK'S QUESTION ***
It's time for EAA AirVenture, and we want to know which big-name attraction is the most highly anticipated by AVweb
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 email@example.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.
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Now that he's tidied up the mess he made over this global warming thing, Paul Bertorelli has some comments on 40th anniversary of
the lunar landing. He's actually old enough to remember that what was most impressive about it is how quickly the program progressed.
Competition leads to innovation, but it can also lead to secrecy and self-interest that may just slow down the development of new technologies. In the latest installment of our AVweb Insider
blog, AVweb's Glenn Pew wonders if the fractured race for electric airplane supremacy may actually be slowing development of the necessary technology and costing the U.S. its dominance in this
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
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VAL Avionics Introduces the Thinnest COM Radio on the Market: At 1" High The COM 2000!
We are proud to introduce the smallest panel-mounted COM radio available today. The COM 2000 features active and standby frequency, push-button flip-flop, and 15 memory
locations with user-defined alphanumeric channel identifiers. Its 3/8" character display is easy to read from any angle and in any lighting condition. Come see us at AirVenture Oshkosh
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Bendix/King by Honeywell is helping us give away another AV8OR handheld MFD unit to celebrate EAA AirVenture Oshkosh! All you have to do is click the image at right to enter your name and
e-mail address. And no, we're not going to rent or sell your name, but Bendix/King by Honeywell may send you information on the AV8OR. You may also forward this newsletter to friends and invite them
to sign-up for AVweb's EAA AirVenture 2009 coverage and qualify for the AV8OR prize drawing, too. (We won't spam them, either, but we will send them our e-mail news Flashes.)
Deadline for entries is midnight EST on Sunday, August 2, 2009.
(There's nothing to buy. All you need to do is be registered with AVweb.)
Over 18,000 Happy GAMIjectors® Customers Can't Be Wrong! GAMIjectors® have given these aircraft owners reduced cylinder head temperatures, reduced fuel consumption, and smoother engine operation. GAMIjectors® alter the fuel/air
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It's not just the little guys struggling for attention who provide great FBO experiences out there. This week, AVweb reader Ron McCormick tells us about Waynesville-St. Robert Cities Aviation, serving Fort Leonard Wood and the surrounding Missouri community.
"They are the only FBO on the field but do no act like it," writes Ron. "The manager was very helpful in negotiating this military/civilian airport ... and helped carry luggage in loading and
unloading the plane. ... If you need to go to Ft. Leonard Wood or are in the St. Roberts/Waynesville area, stop in at TBN; it is easy to in out of the miliary base [if] you just show your driver's
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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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.
*** THIS WEEK'S WINNERS ***
We're gearing up for EAA AirVenture even as we prepare this week's edition of "POTW" and so, apparently, are many of you! If you're coming to Oshkosh, we look forward
to meeting you (or seeing you again) at the show. And if you're not, you can keep the home fires burning by submitting a few photos for possible inclusion in
our post-AirVenture edition. (As is traditional, "POTW" will be on hiatus next week as we bring you the sights and sounds of Oshkosh.)
James M. Payne of Grand Blanc, Michigan took this photo at Thunder Over Michigan, but it's just as evocative of Oshkosh. James notes that he
"got tired of shooting around this umbrella" and decided to "include it in a couple of shots." We think the contrast of storm clouds with the Angels is brilliant!
And don't forget that we'll be on hiatus next week, with "POTW" returning the week following AirVenture.
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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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.