AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 15, Number 31b

August 6, 2009

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
FlashPass eApis Software Is Available Now at Aircraft Spruce
FlashPass is much more than a tool to make your eApis manifests a breeze; it's robust, powerful, and has many key features that will make your border-crossing rule compliance as simple as it ever was. FlashPass has a built-in feature that will notify you whenever changes are updated into the software or whenever new features are available on new releases. Call 1 (877) 4-SPRUCE for more information or download your 15-day trial at no charge from the Aircraft Spruce web site.
Top News: The Green That Drives Green Innovations back to top 

NASA Announces $1.5 Million Prize For 200 Person-mpg Flight

NASA announced last week that as part of its Centennial Challenges program, it will fund a $1.5 million prize for the first aircraft that can average at least 100 mph on a 200-mile flight while achieving greater than 200 passenger miles per gallon. A competition is scheduled for July 2011 in Santa Rosa, Calif., which will be hosted by the Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency (CAFE) Foundation. A variety of innovative experimental aircraft using electrical, solar, biofuel or hybrid propulsion are expected to enter, NASA said. Several major universities and aircraft builders have expressed their intention to enter teams in the challenge. The competition is expected to advance the development of technologies that will promote efficiency, conservation, and the use of zero-carbon energy sources, according to NASA's news release. This is the largest prize ever offered for a general aviation competition, according to CAFE.

A $150,000 prize for best score by a bio-fueled aircraft is also offered, as well as an honorary achievement prize of $153,000, which may be awarded to the top competitor if nobody takes the top prize. Teams must pay a fee of $4,000 to $8,000 and submit a design proposal to register for the competition with CAFE. Team leaders must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. CAFE said a maximum of 18 competitors will be accepted. Wingspan for competing aircraft is limited to 44 feet, so they can fit inside the CAFE Flight Test Center hangar for weighing (wing folding or tip removal is an option). The hangar parameters also restrict aircraft height to 13 feet and length to 23 feet.

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FAA Regs and Safety back to top 

FAA Requires Automated Icing Systems On Transport Airplanes

The FAA on Tuesday changed its certification standards for transport category airplanes to require either the automatic activation of ice protection systems or a method to tell pilots when they should be activated. "We're adding another level of safety to prevent situations where pilots are either completely unaware of ice accumulation or don't think it's significant enough to warrant turning on their ice protection equipment," said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. The new rule requires that airplanes must have an effective way to ensure the ice protection system is activated at the proper time. The FAA has previously required the activation of pneumatic deicing boots on many aircraft models at the first sign of ice accumulation, a rule that has been controversial among pilots, some of whom believe they should wait for ice to form before activating the boots. Dan Hubbard, spokesman for the National Business Aviation Association, told AVweb: "NBAA supports efforts to increase a pilot's awareness of hazardous weather conditions and to alert the flight crew of necessary corrective action to prevent the degradation of aircraft performance." The new certification standard avoids relying on the pilot alone to observe whether the airplane is accumulating ice, the FAA said, and it applies to all types of ice-protection systems, not just the boots.

The new rule applies to new designs. There is no requirement to modify existing airplane designs, unless they undergo significant changes. However, the FAA is considering a similar rulemaking that would cover aircraft not affected by this rule. Under the revised standards, new transport aircraft designs must have one of three methods to detect icing and to activate the airframe ice-protection system: an ice-detection system that automatically activates or alerts pilots to turn on the ice protection system; a definition of visual signs of ice buildup on a specified surface (e.g., wings) combined with an advisory system that alerts the pilots to activate the ice protection system; or identification of temperature and moisture conditions conducive to airframe icing that would tip off pilots to activate the ice protection system. The standards further require that after initial activation, the ice protection system must operate continuously, automatically turn on and off, or alert the pilots when the system should be cycled. Click here for the full text of the new rule.

FAA Issues Final AD On TCM/SAP Cylinders

It took a while -- the proposed airworthiness directive was out over a year ago -- but this week, the FAA issued a final rule requiring inspections and compression tests for some 8,000 engines built by Teledyne Continental Motors with cylinders by Superior Air Parts, if they have logged more than 750 flight hours. The FAA said its rule aims to prevent the separation of the cylinder head, which could result in immediate loss of engine power, possible structural damage to the engine, and possible fire in the engine compartment. The cost of compliance is estimated at about $1,550 per airplane. The AD becomes effective Sept. 9. For the full text of the final rule, click here.

The FAA's final rule provides details about several comments that were made and considered, but in the end, no substantial changes were made to the AD as it was originally proposed. The AD affects a wide variety of Cessna and Beechcraft models, as well as a few Bellancas and Navions, and the Rockwell 200D.

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GAMA's Bleak Numbers — What Do They Mean? back to top 

GAMA Numbers Show Continued Decline In GA Sales

Sales of piston aircraft dropped 58 percent in the first half of 2009, compared to the same period a year before, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) reported in their quarterly update on Tuesday. Shipments fell from 1,034 airplanes last year to just 434 units in 2009. Business jets were also down, by 38 percent (from 663 to 412), and turboprops showed a relatively upbeat trend, with a drop of only 14 percent (221 to 191). "These are extremely challenging times for all general aviation manufacturers and suppliers," GAMA CEO Pete Bunce said in a news release. "Layoffs continue and our industry has been forced to slow, and in some cases, temporarily halt production lines." However, Bunce added that he is seeing some encouraging signs. "The overall economic picture is showing some signs of improvement, which is a crucial condition for recovery in the general aviation market," he said. "Flight hours are stabilizing, used inventories are beginning to shrink, and our manufacturers are seeing signs of renewed interest in airplane purchases."

Bunce added that he is also encouraged by reports that accelerated depreciation, passed by Congress earlier this year, is stimulating some new orders, and he's hopeful that positive momentum will continue through the end of the year. The total shipments, for pistons, turboprops, and business jets in the first half of this year came to 1,037, a drop of 46 percent from last year's total of 1,918 for the first six months. Total billings fell from $12 billion to $9.26 billion, a drop of 23 percent. Some manufacturers have had to cope with dramatic changes -- Cirrus, for example, delivered 549 airplanes in 2008. In the first half of this year, the total was 121. Mooney delivered 65 airplanes in 2008, and so far this year the total is 5. For the full text of GAMA's news release and a PDF copy of their complete report, click here.

Precisely Engineered for Fun: The Remos GX
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News Briefs back to top 

Advocate Seeks Reprieve For Historic Wind Tunnel

NASA's Langley Full Scale Wind Tunnel (LFST), in Hampton, Va., is scheduled to be shut down and demolished later this month, and Ken Hyde, president of The Wright Experience, thinks that would be a mistake. Hyde and his team used the tunnel to help create a reproduction of the first Wright Flyer for the Centennial of Flight, and he thinks it has a lot of useful life ahead. "The tunnel can still provide us with invaluable research and information, especially in areas of national importance like energy independence," he wrote to AVweb last week. The tunnel recently has been used to test trucks, resulting in design changes and fuel savings of up to 20 percent. "The LFST is costing taxpayers no money to keep in existence; however, its destruction is costing every taxpayer money. ... [It] holds a unique place in our country's past, but its most valuable contributions to our country are yet to come, but only if we can find a way to keep the tunnel open," said Hyde. The wind tunnel is currently being operated by Old Dominion University, but their lease runs out on Aug. 18, and NASA plans to close down and demolish the aging structure, according to Hyde. It is currently being used for research on blended-wing structures.

Hyde said he believes the wind tunnel could operate for another decade or more if only modest investments were made to protect the facility from occasional flooding. "Urgent help is needed to help preserve this National Historic Landmark," he said.

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News Briefs back to top 

Hundreds Fly The Channel To Honor Bleriot

A short video of the July 25 takeoff, posted by the Associated Press to YouTube. Note that the XI has no ailerons; it was controlled using wing warping.

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It was 100 years ago, in 1909, that Louis Bleriot piloted the first airplane to cross the English Channel, and early in the morning of July 25, 2009, two French pilots marked the anniversary by completing the same flight in two Bleriot XI monoplanes, one of them a replica and one a restored original. Later in the day, however, several other pilots, from Sweden, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, who hoped to make the same flight in their own Bleriot aircraft, were grounded by French authorities, who said the wind was too strong. The grounding caused some to complain that the French had favored their own pilots, but others agreed that the winds were dangerous for the fragile aircraft. At least one of the grounded pilots, Mikael Carlson, of Sweden, was able to make the flight successfully the following morning. About 300 French, British and Belgian pilots also made the flight throughout the day in a variety of small aircraft, sometimes despite dark clouds and rain. Bleriot's flight from Les Barraques, France, to Dover, England, took just 37 minutes.

He won a prize of a thousand pounds, offered by the Daily Mail, and became an instant celebrity. The event startled British military leaders, who had to cope with the fact that they now were vulnerable to attack from the air, as well as by sea. Bleriot went into business building airplanes, and many copies of the XI were built, several of which are still flying or in museums.

It's Thunderstorm Season — Take ASF's New Thunderstorm Safety Quiz!
Airplanes and thunderstorms don't mix. These convective beasts can produce airframe-shattering turbulence, damaging hail, sudden and dramatic wind shear, blinding downpours, and strong, gusty winds — sometimes as much as 20 miles from the edge of a cell. Understanding thunderstorms is the key to avoidance. Put your knowledge to the test in ASF's new graphics-rich interactive safety quiz.
We Want to Hear What You Think back to top 

Question of the Week: The GAMA Report — Have We Hit Bottom Yet?

This Week's Question | Previous Week's Answers


In the week leading up to EAA AirVenture, we asked which of the four major attractions at this year's show you were most excited about seeing.

The most-anticipated attraction among AVweb readers turned out to be WhiteKnightTwo/Mothership Eve, which cornered 24% of your responses. Least anticipated? The crew of U.S. Airways Flight 1549, who were the major draw for only 6% of those who participated in our poll.

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.)


Earlier this week, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) revealed order and cancellation figures that show an industry in crisis. Our question this week is about how soon you think that might change.

When will the aircraft market bottom out?
(click to answer)

Have an idea for a new "Question of the Week"? Send your suggestions to .

This address is only for suggested "QOTW" questions, and not for "QOTW" answers or comments.
Use this form to send "QOTW" comments to our AVmail Editor.

The New Meridian G1000 — Commanding
The new Meridian G1000 with Garmin G1000 avionics and GFC 700 autopilot suite, business jet luxury and turbine simplicity for 30% less than any comparable six-place turbine-powered aircraft. With a panel as commanding as the airplane, and a million dollars less than its closest competitor, "Pilot in Command" means precisely that.

Click here for more information on the new Piper Meridian G1000.
Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: Sometimes Only a Business Jet Will Do

When the federal government needed Bill Clinton in North Korea to broker the release of two captive American journalists, it sent him there the only way it could: on a private business jet. In the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog, Russ Niles wonders if this may drive home the point that bizjets are good for more than golf junkets.

Read more.

AVweb Insider Blog: AirVenture — The Day After

So, did everyone at AVweb enjoy AirVenture? Paul Bertorelli did. Even though he's been to a couple dozen of these and didn't get far from his laptop, he still managed to recapture a little of that air show excitement this year. Read all about the cool things he saw (and tire-kicked) at EAA AirVenture 2009 in the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog.

Read 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.
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.

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 ratio in each cylinder so that each cylinder operates with a much more uniform fuel/air ratio than occurs with any other factory set of injectors. To speak to a GAMI engineer, call (888) FLY-GAMI, or go online for complete engineering details.
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

Complete Coverage of EAA AirVenture 2009

Looking for coverage of EAA AirVenture 2009? Here's where to find it:

EAA AirVenture 2009 Video Series: In the Pattern Over Oshkosh

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

Sitting in front of your computer thinking how awesome it would be if you could at least get up in the air for a few minutes and fly around the patch at Oshkosh? We feel ya — and that's why we strapped on some cameras for this bonus video, which gives you an aerial tour of the EAA AirVenture grounds.

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Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

Video Marketplace Spotlight

Classic Cockpits DVDs
Rick Searle Productions takes you behind the stick of some of the world's most incredible classic airplanes — the Douglas DC-3, the PBY Catalina, the de Havilland Vampire, and the Avro Lancaster — in a series of Classic Cockpits DVDs.

Click here to watch the video (and discover other great products) at AVweb's Video Marketplace.

Night Flying Will Never Be the Same!
GloveLite® solves the cockpit flashlight issue — a neoprene cover for the index finger and thumb that has two 3mm LEDs integrated into the fabric. Read a map or an approach chart? No problem. Write on your kneepad or find a switch? The LEDs are amazingly effective. Turbulence? This is The Flashlight You Can't Drop®. LEDs available in red, green, and white. Replaceable batteries. $29.95; available only from the web site, GloveLite.com.
Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Royal FBO (Silvio Petirosi Airport, Asunción, Paraguay)

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Royal FBO at Silvio Petirosi in Asuncióon, Paraguay.

AVweb reader Fabian Miño brought Royal to our attention, noting that "since there are very few FBO services in Paraguay, I believe the competition is much tougher. ... Royal FBO has made great efforts to be one of the few really high-quality FBOs in Paraguay today."

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!

Peter Drucker Says, "The Best Way to Predict the Future Is to Create It"
It's easy for your company to be more proactive, flexible, and entrepreneurial with AVweb's cost-effective marketing programs. Discover the benefits of instant response, quick copy changes, monthly tracking reports, and interactive programs. To find out how simple it is to reach 255,000 qualified pilots, owners, and decision-makers weekly, click now for details.
Reader-Submitted Photos back to top 

Picture of the Week: AVweb's Flying Photography Showcase

Submit a Photo | Rules | Tips | Questions | Past Winners

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.


And we're back! Major thanks to everyone who kept the photos flowing during our AirVenture "POTW" hiatus — and a tip of the hat to the handful of readers and submitters we met in Oshkosh this year.

medium | large

Used with permission of Todd Louis Bohlman

One Man's Ceiling Is Another Man's Floor

Todd Louis Bohlman of Lemon Grove, California helps us back to form with a photo shot by Chuck Hlavac. That's Todd flying his '69 Citabria 7GCBC in a breakfast flight with a group he calls the "Ramona Gaggle." (Todd also gives shout-outs to Matt Hlavac in the photo plane and Dave Leedum, who remembered to bring along his camera.)

Nice job, guys!

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copyright © Robert Collins
Used with permission

Titusville (Fla.) Air Show, March 16, 2008

Robert Collins of Ormond Beach, Florida 'fesses up to using PhotoShop to spruce up this heritage flight photo from the Titusville Air Show — but say what you will about photo manipulation, it makes a great desktop wallpaper.

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Used with permission of Edgar Tello

Seabees Over Fantasy of Flight

Edgar Tello of Catawba, North Carolina brings us this shot of "Ed 'E. T.' Tello" and Mike Gilroy performed this fly-by at Sun 'n Fun '09.

We're not quite sure if Edgar and Ed are the same person or just a matched set, like these Seabees.

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copyright © Veronica von Allwörden
Used with permission

Close-Up of John Mrazek

Far be it from us to offer photo suggestions to submitters like Veronica von Allwörden of Langley, Washington — who rocked our socks with several great submissions this week; look for another in the slideshow on AVweb's home page this week — but there are easier ways to get a close-up, like having your subject step out of the plane first.


Yeah, on second thought, it's much better Veronica's way.

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copyright © Nigel Thompson
Used with permission

Oshkosh Double Rainbow

Nigel Thompson of Ann Arbor, Michigan draws things to a close with the perfect signature photo — a rainbow over the North 40 camp at OSH.

We've already mention the "POTW" slideshow on AVweb's home page once today. Trust us when we say you don't want to miss this week's bonus pictures, since many of them were so close to bumping these five out of the top slots. (Paul Oor and Christopher Zavatson, we're looking at you.) What are you waiting for? It's just the contest tips below, and you're read those a thousand times already. Go!

(Unless, of course, you want to submit a photo. In that case, you can look at those slideshow photos later. Right now you need to click here, O.K.?)

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.

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:

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.