AVwebFlash - Volume 15, Number 30f

August 1, 2009

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
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Booths at EAA AirVenture: 283, 284, 285
 
Klapmeier's Bid for Cirrus Jet Is Off — Or Is It? back to top 
 

Klapmeier Jet Deal Collapses

Cirrus Design founder Alan Klapmeier announced Friday that negotiations with Cirrus Aircraft over his proposed purchase of the VisionJet program have collapsed and, at this point, there is little likelihood of them resuming. Klapmeier told AVweb there were a number of sticking points in the negotiations, including price, that couldn't be settled. "It appears that we're not going to be able to come to an agreement," he said. AVweb left a voice message with Cirrus CEO Brent Wouters but he did not immediately return our call. Klapmeier said he was disappointed by the outcome. "It's sad, but life goes on," he said.

Klapmeier announced a month ago that he had formed a group to purchase the jet program, which has been delayed by a shortage of funding. Earlier this week, Cirrus officials said the negotiations were ongoing and that they would only consider Klapmeier as purchaser of the program because the jet would then remain a natural next step for Cirrus piston owners. Cirrus has repeatedly said that the jet program will proceed regardless of the outcome of the negotiations with Klapmeier.

Cirrus Says More Jet Talks Possible

Cirrus Aircraft CEO Brent Wouters opened the door to future negotiations with former CEO Alan Klapmeier to buy the VisionJet program. Wouters said Klapmeier's decision to suspend talks "doesn't mean our conversations are over with Alan" but added that he also wasn't sure why Klapmeier made that decision. He said there had been numerous discussions about a potential deal and it was his impression that they were getting close to an agreement. Wouters stressed Cirrus will continue to develop the jet as part of its product line. "All I can do is continue to run the business," he said.

In an earlier interview, Klapmeier was not optimistic that a deal could be reached. "We felt that we really tried to stretch our offer to something that would work but it doesn't appear that it would work," he said. Klapmeier remains chairman of the board of Cirrus.

 
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.
Booths at EAA AirVenture: 78-80, 100-116
 
Light Sport Aviation at AirVenture back to top 
 

EAA Previews New, Less Controversial, "51% Rule" Changes

The FAA's proposed changes to the so-called "51-Percent Rule" drew just about universal opposition from the kit aircraft industry and homebuilders over the last year or two, but on Friday at AirVenture Oshkosh, the EAA's Earl Lawrence outlined the latest overhaul of that proposal, and it got a warm welcome from the forum audience. Past forums on the issue have been contentious, but this one -- which was perhaps helped by the fact that no FAA representatives were present -- was collegial and calm. Lawrence said that after receiving 2,300 comments on the proposed policy changes, 98 percent of them negative, the Aviation Rulemaking Committee was reconvened early this year and came up with a revised FAA Advisory Circular, which he expects to be published on Aug. 17 or thereabouts. Under the new plan, some of the more troublesome details of the previous proposal have been dropped, including a widely reviled "20/20/11" rule that created a quagmire of questions about what qualifies as "fabrication" or "assembly." (Click here for a detailed analysis of those issues by Kitplanes editor Marc Cook.)

The newly revised policy will require checklists for all kits that will clarify which tasks are completed by the builder, or the manufacturer, or commercial assistance; and all kits now in progress will be grandfathered, so they will be assessed according to the rules that were in place when the kit was purchased. The FAA also will create a National Kit Evaluation Team, Lawrence said, and as of August, the moratorium on approving new kits will be lifted. He noted that such approvals have never been a requirement, but in practice, it makes final approvals much easier. Lawrence also said that the FAA has made clear that once they have the clarified policy in place, they plan to step up enforcement efforts. Dick VanGrunsven, of Van's Aircraft, who was a member of the ARC, also spoke at the forum, and expressed overall satisfaction with the new proposals.

For much more about this issue, and continuing coverage, visit the Kitplanes web site.

Vampire LSA Debuts At Oshkosh

Click for video of the Vampire in our series of "Product Minutes" from AirVenture

"The idea was to be elegantly simple," Sadler Aircraft Co. co-owner David Littlejohn told AVweb this week at AirVenture Oshkosh, as he talked about the neat folding-wing design on the company's new Vampire LSA. "You just remove the bolts, fold once, then fold again. One person can do it." (To see the folding-up in action, click here for a minute-long video with AVweb's Jeff Van West.) The company, based in Oregon, has worked for three years to bring their LSA design to market, and now they are hoping that ASTM certification is just a few weeks away. The Vampire is built on a scaled-back air-to-ground fighter plane airframe, stressed to more than plus-or-minus 6 g's. The Jabiru 120 hp engine turns a pusher prop that sits between twin tail booms. Wide gullwing cabin doors allow for easy entry and egress, and a 50-pound baggage compartment in the nose has an easy topside access port. Littlejohn said the company is taking orders now, with a base price of $96,900.

When folded, the wing is about 8 feet high. Some of the available options include glass-panel avionics, a custom trailering system, and a ballistic parachute.

 
AV8OR™
The AV8OR is the portable and affordable GPS built specifically for pilots, by a company that knows pilots. With navigation routing, planning, and weather information for the aircraft and the automobile, the AV8OR uses aviation software and symbology you understand. Its 4.3-inch touchscreen is larger and easier to read than competing GPS systems, with an intuitive interface derived from the pilot-friendly, panel-mounted Bendix/King multi-function display systems. For more information, go online.
Booths at EAA AirVenture: 259, 2083-2086, S-22
 
Meanwhile, Outside of Oshkosh ... back to top 
 

NATCA President Out; Runoff For Successor

Patrick Forrey, who has served as president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association since September 2006, has lost his bid for re-election, and the group will hold a runoff to decide between two candidates, NATCA said on Friday. Former Executive Vice President Ruth Marlin and current Executive Vice President Paul Rinaldi will compete in the runoff. It will take at least a month for the association to complete its runoff procedure and name a new president, and perhaps longer. Forrey will remain in office until Aug. 31, the end of his term, but if no successor has been named by then, he will stay in office until the next president is named, NATCA spokeswoman Alexandra Caldwell told AVweb. "If there is no challenge to the election results, the ballots for the runoff election will go out on the 16th day [after July 31]," she said. "If there is a challenge, the ballots will go out 16 days after the resolution to that challenge." Then, a 30-day period will pass after the ballots go out, and the ballots will be counted on the 31st day. Presuming a winner is named, another 30 days will pass until he or she takes office.

Marlin was executive vice president during former President John Carr's tenure. Rinaldi, of Manassas, Va., was an air traffic controller in Washington, D.C., for 15 years before taking on the job of executive vice president in 2006.

Two Eclipse Owners Submit Bid For Company Assets

Two owners of Eclipse E500 jets, Mason Holland and Mike Press, have submitted a bid of about $40 million to take over the assets of the bankrupt Eclipse Aviation in Albuquerque, N.M. Holland told AVweb that he and Press have formed a company called Eclipse Aerospace that would be based in Albuquerque, and would offer sales and service for the fleet. In a letter to E500 owners, Holland and Press said they have been working hard to put together a business plan, solid financial backing, and a strong support team. They are expecting that the auction will take place in August, and if they are successful, they could take ownership within a few weeks.

In their letter to owners, the two said their first priority would be to return AOG E500s to service. Eclipse Aerospace also would provide training and modifications such as FIKI and avionics upgrades.

Special Counsel Accuses FAA Of Wrongdoing

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel has written President Barack Obama and Congress alleging that there's a "substantial likelihood that FAA officials and employees engaged in violation of law, rule or regulation, gross mismanagement and an abuse of authority, all of which contributed to a substantial and specific danger to public safety." The Special Counsel also accuses the Department of Transportation of foot-dragging in its investigation of the allegations, which originated with a whistleblower complaint from FAA inspector Rand Foster on July 8, 2008. Forester contends that the FAA decided, for political reasons, against enforcing certification standards on more than 300 emergency medical services helicopters that had non-compliant night vision systems installed on them. The Office of Special Counsel initially gave DOT and the FAA 60 days to answer the allegations and has granted several extensions. On July 20 the Special Counsel decided enough was enough and notified the government.

In his complaint, Foster says the FAA initially decided to declare the affected helicopters unairworthy via a Notice of National Policy. In his complaint, Foster alleged FAA brass decided against issuing the notice because of negative publicity that arose over alleged safety concerns at Southwest and American Airlines. "The information disclosed by Mr. Foster reveals a substantial likelihood of wrongdoing and raises concerns regarding the airworthiness of hundreds of emergency medical services helicopters."

Related Content:
Special Counsel's letter to the President (PDF)

NORAD Tracks Unresponsive SR22

Two NORAD F-16s were scrambled over the Midwest on Thursday after the pilot of a Cirrus SR-22 apparently became incapacitated at the controls and the aircraft flew over its destination of Eagle Creek, Indiana. The FAA asked for the fighter escort after they lost contact with the aircraft as it flew over. The plane continued, apparently on autopilot, for more than two hours before crashing near Henderson, West Virginia. The pilot did not survive.

Along the way the military pilots tried to raise the Cirrus with radio calls, hand signals and even flares but all to no avail. The aircraft is registered to Sequoia Airways, of Avon, Indiana. The flight originated in York, Nebraska. Name of the pilot has not yet been released.

 
Remember to Come by the Lightspeed Booth Just Outside Hangar B and tell us how Zulu changed your mind about who makes the world's best headset. We're continuing to add wonderful stories to our web site: Some talk about comfort, others focus on the Bluetooth capability and the Front Row Center audio, and some like having either battery or panel power to choose from. But for most, it's the whole package. Remember to check all of the stories at ZuluChangeYourMind.com.
Booths at EAA AirVenture: 260, 2029-2030
 
News Briefs back to top 
 

Another Yuneec Product — The Electric Paraglider

Along with various electric-powered aircraft that were on display at AirVenture Oshkosh this week, down on the Ultralight flight line, Yuneec was displaying a sporty "electric paramotor" called the E-Pac, for the first time in the U.S. The motor/propeller system is designed to be worn like a backpack by a pilot -- or just about any brave soul, since no pilot certificate is required -- who flies beneath a powered-parachute-type canopy. The pack weighs about 65 pounds, about the same as a similar gas-powered unit, said Eric Dufour, an experienced paraglider (and winner of the U.S. national paramotor competitions in 2003 through 2006), who helped Yuneec to develop the product. "It's very quiet and smooth to fly," Dufour said, "so if you fly for only 30 or 40 minutes, it is worth the same as flying for two hours with noise and vibration."

It takes about an hour and a half to recharge the batteries. Then, according to the Yuneec Web site, "Operation is simplicity itself. .... Press the power switch, inflate your wing, squeeze the throttle and the sky is yours." The paraglider system comprises the engine, battery pack, and a canopy, which would total somewhere around $11,000. The entire system is very compact and easily fits in the trunk of a car, or it can be transported by train or airplane.

Able Flight Pilots Get Their Wings

Able Flight, the nonprofit group that provides flight-training scholarships for people with physical disabilities, honored their three latest scholarship winners in a ceremony at Aeroshell Square at AirVenture Oshkosh on Tuesday morning. "These wings are symbolic of their dedication and will power," said Able Flight executive director Charles Stites. The honorees, all of whom have earned their sport pilot certificate, were Jeremy Maddox, Mal Zackery, and Jessica Cox. Maddox, of Georgia, was paralyzed in a motocross accident, and soloed after only 11 hours. Zackery, also of Georgia, earned his certificate in early July. He was paralyzed less than two years ago when a robber shot him as he was making the night deposit for a store he managed. And Cox, of Arizona, who was born without arms, became the first person to earn a pilot certificate by flying an airplane entirely with her feet. Special guests who pinned on their wings were aerobatic pilots Mike Goulian and Patty Wagstaff, and aerospace reporter Miles O'Brien.

Stites invited anyone in the aviation community who knows a disabled person who would benefit from flight training, to encourage them to apply. For more information, or to donate to the cause, go to AbleFlight.org.

 
EFB Charts & Plates Cost Less and Are Easier to Update Than Paper!
FlightPrep™ ChartBook™ EFB shows your position directly on charts, plates, and airport diagrams, far ahead of the simple stick maps on handheld GPS devices. ChartBook™ EFB makes it easy to add XM™ in-cockpit weather now or later. Now displays Zaon™ Traffic, too! FlightPrep™ ChartBook™ systems start at $1,595. Full VFR/IFR charts just $357! To demo ChartBook™, see us in Hangar C, Booth 3119/3120 or buy online at FlightPrep.com/AVweb.
Booths at EAA AirVenture: 3119-3120
 
The Sights and Sounds of Oshkosh back to top 
 

EAA AirVenture 2009 Galleries: Day Six

Click for more photos

For us, EAA AirVenture is beginning to wind down — but for many attendees who are just now arriving for the weekend, the fun has only begun. Intern Adam is on his way home today, but he did manage squeeze out a few more photos before hitting the road. (Watch for his final batch of show photos tomorrow!)

Click here to view photos.

EAA AirVenture 2009 Galleries: Our Day at the Seaplane Base (2 of 3)

Click for more photos

On Thursday, we sent Aviation Safety editor-in-chief Jeb Burnside out to the Seaplane Base at EAA AirVenture. In exchange for his freedom, we demanded pictures — and Jeb brought back three galleries' worth of awesome snapshots. This is the second of these galleries.

Click here to view photos.

This Week, Live from Oshkosh: The AVwebCam (Live Video Feed)

Watch for live video coverage of EAA AirVenture throughout the web, via our AVwebCam. We'll be broadcasting live from 9am to 6pm local (Oshkosh) time each day of the show. Look for the webcam player on our home page to enjoy the sights and sounds of the show — and maybe catch a glimpse of the AVweb team in action.



Don't see a video screen?
Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to watch at Justin.TV.

 
As Vital As Vision
XM WX Satellite Weather provides comprehensive in-flight weather data directly to your cockpit. Never fly blind again when you sign up today for one of XM Weather's Aviator LT, Aviator, or Aviator Pro weather data packages. Enhance your situational awareness with data products like Radar, Lightning, Winds, and more. Come see the latest from XM WX Satellite Weather at Booth C-3030 to C-3032 during EAA AirVenture 2009 or visit us online at XMWXWeather.com.
Booths at EAA AirVenture: 189, 3030-3032
 
AVweb Audio — Are You Listening? back to top 
 

EAA AirVenture 2009 Podcast Series: Experimental Glass

File Size 7.1 MB / Running Time 7:47

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

Dynon Avionics has become a popular single-unit EFIS solution for light sport and experimental aircraft. The company has grown to include engine management systems and autopilots. Now, with synthetic vision just a few months away, Dynon's Mike Schofield says affordable highway-in-the-sky moving maps and weather are in the queue. If you fly certified aircraft only, this is what you're missing.

This podcast is brought to you by Lightspeed Aviation and WxWorx XM WX Satellite Weather.

Click here to listen. (5.6 MB, 6:07)

EAA AirVenture 2009 Podcast Series: New Ways to Train

File Size 5.6 MB / Running Time 6:07

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

When Cessna decided to build the 162 Skycatcher, it also decided to change the way new pilots are trained. It gave that task to King Schools, and John King spoke with AVweb's Russ Niles about the focus on scenario-based training.

This podcast is brought to you by Bose Corporation.

Click here to listen. (5.6 MB, 6:07)

 
Cirrus Flying 2.0
There is something vastly better than the status quo of Flying 1.0. At Cirrus, we reject the status quo — and offer you the achievement of vastly higher standards of technology, reliability, and performance. With unique features like Cirrus Known Ice Protection, Cirrus Perspective by Garmin™ avionics, the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS™) and now the new standard in airplane individualization, Xi, Cirrus continues to reinvent the lifestyle of flying. We call it Flying 2.0.

CirrusAircraft.com
Booths at EAA AirVenture: 183-188, 199-204
 
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 
 

EAA AirVenture 2009 Video Series: Bear 360

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

If this airplane looks like a 2:3 scale Bearcat, that's exactly the idea. The Russian-made Bear 360 is aimed at pilots who want a high-performance sport recreation aircraft but can't afford a real warbird. In this video, Skip Holm explains what the Bear 360 is all about.

This video is brought to you by Bose Corporation.


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.

EAA AirVenture 2009 Video Series: Armless Pilot Jessica Cox at Oshkosh

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

Jessica Cox, the first person with no arms to be granted a light sport pilot license by the FAA, met with AVweb at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2009. As you watch the video, be prepared to never complain about anything ever again. (For more on Jessica, visit her web site, RightFooted.com.

This video is brought to you by Bose Corporation.


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.

 
TCM AirVenture and Web Specials!
Come see Teledyne Continental Motors for our show specials, seminars, new engines, and innovation in booths 229-234. Can't make it to AirVenture? Read TCM's exciting news and get exclusive web discounts on factory-new and rebuilt engines for the first 50 engines ordered from July 27 to August 2. For any engine owner unable to attend AirVenture, please click here to find out more information or call (888) 221-6442 for a quote.
Booths at EAA AirVenture: 229-234
 
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.

How Do You Like That Glass Panel? Take Aviation Consumer's User Survey

Virtually every new airplane these days has an electronic flight display system of some kind. Our sister publication Aviation Consumer would like to hear from users of these systems.

Click here to take the survey.

(The results will appear in a future issue of Aviation Consumer. For subscription information, click here.)

 
Like a 696 on Steroids
GPS moving map & XM Weather. The most advanced system anywhere.

For more information and live video demonstrations, click here.
 
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.