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The FAA is proposing restructuring the low-level VFR airspace around Manhattan in reaction to last
month's collision between a sightseeing helicopter and a PA32 over the Hudson River. The agency says it wants to separate traffic flying over the river from aircraft flying to and from heliports and
seaplane bases by altitude. This will include a new Class B VFR corridor that it hopes will be the preferred choice of pilots flying over the Hudson. This new airspace will go from 1,300 feet to 2,000
feet and aircraft within it will operate under direct air traffic control. Uncontrolled VFR traffic will operate between 1,000 and 1,300 feet and pilots will be required to monitor a common frequency
and announce entry, progress and departure from the airspace. The working traffic below 1,000 feet will monitor the same frequency. New charts will be created to clearly delineate the corridors and
will highlight the hybridized Class B. "These steps will significantly enhance safety in this busy area and create crystal-clear rules for all of the pilots who operate there," said FAA Administrator
Randy Babbitt. The new rule would also formalize some common practices.
Southbound traffic on the river has traditionally stuck to the Jersey side and northbound the Manhattan side and that will become mandatory. Anti-collision and landing lights must be turned on and
the speed limit will be 140 knots. These and the rules requiring entry and position reports will also apply to flights over the East River. The new rules will also create standard procedures for
controllers and pilots for Teterboro traffic using the corridor. The FAA wants the rules adopted in time for them to have new, detailed charts ready to replace existing charts. The agency says the
measures grew out of discussions with the New York Airspace Task Force, which was formed Aug. 14 to look at VFR airspace issues in the area. Last week the NTSB released recommendations on airspace revisions and the FAA says that while those recommendations were not a
factor in the creation of the proposed rules, it believes the FAA proposal meets or exceeds the NTSB recommendations. Both AOPA and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, who were on the
task force, have endorsed the proposed changes.
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Cirrus Aircraft announced on Wednesday that it has set a maximum initial price of $1.39 million for its single-engine Vision Personal
Jet, for owners who already hold current production reservations. This price will be for a Vision Jet delivered in a configuration analogous to the current GTS model SR22, the company said. "With our
pricing announcement today, we have rewarded those who partnered with us since the beginning of the Vision Jet development program by creating substantial and immediate value in their production
position reservations," said Cirrus Aircraft President and CEO Brent Wouters. For new buyers who reserve a production position between now and the end of the year, the maximum purchase price will be
$1.55 million. Buyers must put down a non-refundable deposit of $100,000 to secure that price. "Our commitment to the Vision Jet is absolute and unequivocal," Wouters said. "Cirrus has the personnel,
leadership and conviction to bring the Vision Jet to serial production as quickly as possible."
Beginning Jan. 1, 2010, a new Vision Jet production position reservation will require a non-refundable $50,000 deposit to secure a maximum purchase price of $1.72 million. All prices are in 2009
dollars. Wouters added that several third parties have expressed an interest in investing in Cirrus Aircraft and the Vision Jet program. "While only time will tell whether those inquiries are
fruitful, we will keep the program moving forward with internal resources in the meantime," he said. "This same incremental funding approach brought the SR20, and later, the SR22 aircraft to
Hawker Beechcraft CEO Bill Boisture said this week his company is making good progress on its Beechcraft Premier II program, but will hold off on an entry-into-service date for the new jet until
late 2012 or early 2013, in hopes that the economy will improve by then. "While we remain fully committed to certifying and fielding the class-leading Premier II as designed, we must be prudent in our
evaluation of the current and forecasted global economic environment," Boisture said in a news release.
"Based on these conditions, we have made the decision to extend the entry-into-service date to better align with anticipated rebound of the business jet market." The company has successfully
test-flown the aircraft's new engines on a modified Premier IA and the first Premier II fuselage is now on the assembly line.
"I couldn't be more pleased with the progress on the Premier II program to date," said Boisture. First flight of the prototype is expected to take place in December. The company will continue to
evaluate the best timing for the Premier II's entry into service. The twin-turbofan, swept-wing light jet will feature an advanced composite fuselage and new winglets.
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Prizes have done much through the last 100 years or so to spur aviation innovation, from Lindbergh's Orteig Prize to today's X Prize competitions, but sometimes if the prize is not quite enticing
enough, it doesn't really do the job. That seems to be what the folks at Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. have decided, since they recently announced a dramatic change in the prize money for the Igor I.
Sikorsky Human-Powered Helicopter Competition, from $20,000 to $250,000. The prize, which goes to the first human-powered helicopter that can hover at least 10 feet off the ground for 60 seconds, was
first offered almost 30 years ago and has never been claimed. The best effort so far was by Prof. Akira Naito of Nihon University in Japan, who achieved an altitude of just over 6 inches and flight
duration of 19.46 seconds. (See the video at right.) A team at CalTech got into the air for 8 seconds at a height of 8 inches.
"Igor Sikorsky, founder of Sikorsky Aircraft, believed that individuals provide the spark that moves mankind ahead," said Mark Miller, VP of research and engineering at Sikorsky Aircraft. "This
competition continues his legacy by inspiring ingenuity in the next generation of engineers who will design our industry's future. Our company is built on innovation. We believe strongly in the power
of challenge." While Sikorsky funds the prize, the American Helicopter Society International oversees the competition. Click here for
Got a Minute? Watch Flying Blind, an important Pilot Safety Announcement from the Air Safety Foundation
Take a moment to see this humorous but very serious PSA about the risk of flying VFR into IMC.
A memorial event to celebrate the life of Vicki Cruse will be held Saturday, Sept. 12, at her hangar on Santa Paula Airport in
California, EAA said this week. Cruse, who was president of the International Aerobatic Club, died in the crash of her Edge
540 while participating as a member of the U.S. Unlimited Aerobatic team at the World Aerobatics Championships in England on Aug. 22. She was a former U.S. Aerobatic Champion and Reno racing pilot.
The celebration is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. Those planning to attend are asked to RSVP and indicate whether they plan to arrive by
plane or by car. For more information and contact info, see the flyer created for the event.
Cruse was flying the early-round 'Q' program when "she was unable to recover from a 1 1/4 snap on a downline," according to the team blog.
She had served as IAC president since 2005. EAA President Tom Poberezny said Cruse epitomized professionalism in the sport. "Vicki was an outstanding competitor and was passionate about flying, her
leadership as IAC president, and as an EAA director," Poberezny said. "Her flying skills and enthusiasm were highly valued. This is a tremendous loss for aviation, EAA and IAC. Our condolences go to
Vicki's family and many friends." The championship match continued after the accident, as a tribute to Cruse. "She would most certainly have wanted us to continue, there is no doubt in my mind," Mike
Heuer, president of the Commission Internationale de Voltige Aerienne, wrote in the event blog. On opening day, the U.S. team
paid tribute to Cruse with a traditional "missing man" formation fly-by. "It was a very moving and emotional moment for all of us," wrote Heuer. Three other aerobatics and racing pilots recently were
lost in crashes -- Chandy Clanton, a former U.S. Team pilot, was killed in July while practicing in
Missouri; Reno Air Races pilot Gary Miller died when his SNJ named Mystical Powers crashed and burned near Kiowa, Colo., also in July; and Svetlana Fedorenko, a world champion aerobatics pilot, lost
her life in August while flying a Yak-52 a training flight in Russia. A student also died in that crash.
Piper Hosts Engineering Job Fairs Dallas/Fort Worth (September 16) Meet representatives September 16 at the Hilton Arlington. E-mail your resume to
to be considered for an interview with hiring managers. Wichita (September 23)Meet representatives September 23rd at the Broadview Hotel. E-mail your resume to
to be considered for an interview with hiring managers.
If you have an old aircraft that's due for trading up -- even if it's not airworthy -- American Legend Aircraft Company is willing to take it in
trade in its own new "Cash for Junkers" program, offering $4,500 back on the purchase of a new Legend Cub. "There have been skeptics who weren't sure that now is the time to buy," said Kurt Sehnert,
general manager of American Legend. "Our rebate incentive is good for the economy, good for energy independence and great for pilots. We are giving them a chance to speak with their wallets. We intend
to spur sales in this sluggish economy." The rebate applies to the purchase of any model American Legend manufactures, including the kit-built Texas Sport. The company said it will donate aircraft
collected under the program to museums or schools to be used for educational purposes.
The Texas Sport can be certified to 1,600 pounds gross as an amateur-built aircraft, or it can be certified to 1,320 pounds and flown with Sport Pilot privileges. The S-LSA certified Legend Cub
burns just 4.5 gph. The program is modeled after the government's "Cash for Clunkers" program, which offered $4,500 rebates in an effort to get old, inefficient cars off the roads and spur new auto
At the end of this month, when wind-tunnel tests now under way wrap up, NASA plans to shut down and dismantle the historic Langley Full-Scale Wind Tunnel in Virginia, unless a new letter-writing
campaign and other efforts can change their minds. The deadline, originally set for late August, has been pushed back to Sept. 30. Ken Hyde, president of The Wright Experience, is asking supporters to
write letters to their representatives in Congress to try to boost support for keeping the Langley tunnel up and running. He created a new Web site where information can be found and where updates will be posted. NASA's own Web site notes that
wind tunnels are a national technological resource. "They have provided vast knowledge that has contributed to the development and advancement of the nation's aviation industry, space program, economy
and the national security," says NASA. "Amid today's increasingly fierce international, commercial and technological competition, NASA's wind tunnels are crucial tools for helping the United States
retain its global leadership in aviation and space flight."
Hyde used the tunnel during his research into how the Wright brothers designed and built their early airplanes. Recently, the tunnel has been used by Boeing and for research aimed at making
delivery trucks more aerodynamically efficient. NASA leases the tunnel to Old Dominion University. Hyde said ODU has six months' worth of paying customers in line who are ready to pay $1,600 per hour
to conduct experiments in the tunnel. "Not all wind tunnels are alike, LFST delivers good data," said Hyde. ODU students also benefit from the experience of working with customers, he said. "It costs
NASA nothing," he says. "We need to save this tunnel!"
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Under new rules proposed by the FAA this week, flight schools would be excused from the requirement to have a ground
school space if they offer Internet-based ground-school training, and students would be allowed to apply for both a private pilot certificate and an instrument rating at the same time. The agency also
said it would like to change its definition of "complex airplane" to include airplanes equipped with FADEC engines. Another change would require pilots of single-pilot-certified light jets to pass a
proficiency check. The FAA also said it would like to make it easier to issue U.S. certificates to foreign pilots. "Because of changing technology in aviation, the results of successful research, and
an international agreement, the FAA has determined these proposed changes to the pilot, flight instructor, and pilot school certification rules are necessary," the FAA said in its proposal. The
changes will help to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens, the FAA said.
The proposal also would change the requirements for commercial pilot applicants, both single-engine and multiengine, to replace the current 10 hours of complex airplane aeronautical experience with
10 hours of advanced instrument training. Fewer single-engine aircraft are being produced with retractable landing gear, the FAA said, but more have technologically advanced cockpits. "Many pilot
schools have complained about the necessity to keep 30-year old Cessna 172RGs and Piper Arrows in inventory, which are less technically advanced airplanes, for the sole purpose of providing 10 hours
of complex airplane training," the FAA said. Furthermore, the FAA said, most commercial pilot applicants are simultaneously applying for the instrument-airplane rating, so this proposal would reduce
training costs and align the rules with current training and certification practices. For more details, click here to go to the full text of the FAA's notice of proposed
The FAA needs to do more to regulate helicopter emergency medical services, the NTSB said on Tuesday, and operators also need
to improve their training and procedures. "The pressure on HEMS operators to conduct their flights quickly in all sorts of environments makes these types of operations inherently more risky than other
types of commercial flight operations," said NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman. "Operators need to use every available safety tool to conduct these flights and to determine when the risk of flying is just
too great." The board said the FAA should mandate better pilot training, improve its data collection and monitoring, develop a low-altitude airspace infrastructure, and require crews to be trained to
use night-vision systems. The agency should also require the use of autopilots during single-pilot HEMS operations. Operators should work to improve pilot training and upgrade their equipment, the
The NTSB also made recommendations to two other agencies that are involved with HEMS -- the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at the Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal
Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Systems. CMMS should consider linking Medicare reimbursements to patient transport safety standards, the board said. And FICEMS should look for better ways
to integrate HEMS into local and regional emergency medical systems and ensure that in each case, the most appropriate emergency transportation mode is selected for victims of trauma. HEMS operations
include an estimated 750 helicopters, 20 operators, and 60 hospital-based programs. They transport seriously ill patients and donor organs 24 hours a day in a variety of environmental conditions. For
the HEMS industry, 2008 was the deadliest year on record with 12 accidents and 29 fatalities. In response to this increase in fatal accidents, the NTSB placed the issue of HEMS operations on its "Most
Wanted List" of aviation safety improvements. The FAA is working on a new rule proposal that is expected to be released early next year. Click here for more details about the board's recommendations.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.
Do you own or operate an aircraft equipped with a Rotax engine? Our sister magazine, Aviation Consumer, wants to hear from you
about its reliability, maintenance costs, factory and field support, and about your overall satisfaction with the engine.
Last week, we asked if more manufacturers should be granted the same latitude as Boeing to self-certify parts and processes or perhaps even wider powers of
Judging by the response to last week's Question, reader opinions on this subject run the gamut. A narrow plurality of readers (33% of those who responded) said self-certification is
acceptable for minor engineering and process changes, but anything more needs independent oversight. At the far end, only 7% of respondents said manufacturers shouldn't be able to move an
inch without FAA approval, while 21% said the FAA is just in the way most of the time; manufacturers know their products better than anyone.
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 ***
The FAA is proposing rules that would segregate Hudson Class B Exclusion Area traffic by altitude and mandate common
safety practices already used by many pilots. We'd like to know what you think of them, particularly the Class B VFR designation that is being proposed.
Once again, says resident blogger Paul Bertorelli on the AVweb Insider, the NTSB jumps the gun on the Hudson corridor midair by issuing a round of recommendations before the accident probe is
completed. Although the recommendations make sense (mostly), they also won't fix the problem, because there is no problem to fix.
ALPA would like the FAA to ban lithium batteries from being shipped by air. They're right, says AVweb's Paul Bertorelli on the AVweb Insider blog though he doesn't understand why
the industry won't just refuse to carry them.
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
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more, and download a sample to try it out.
At Edwards Air Force Base, they still test F-16 fighters, because each software upgrade and each new weapons package introduces new parameters. Experimental test pilots need to
identify the aircraft's performance limits, and they need to know how it will perform before their brothers- and sisters-in-arms take upgraded Vipers into combat. This is one of those tests, and Air
Force pilot Desmond Brophy walks us through it step-by-step.
Traditional Tactics Need a Fresh Approach
Doing the same thing and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. Isn't it time to initiate a digital marketing program with AVweb that will deliver traffic and orders
directly to your web site? Discover several new and highly successful marketing options to use in lieu of static print or banner campaigns.
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There's nothing like firsthand experience when it comes to planning a route with great FBOs along the way.
AVweb reader Joseph Barber had been to this week's top FBO, North Star Aviation at Ravalli County Airport (6S5)
in Hamilton, Montana, two years ago and remembered the positive experience:
I first discovered North Star ... when making an ice run during an especially hot camping trip in Moose Creek. The FBO was unusually friendly and helpful then. This past week, during another back
country stay, I discovered a maintenance problem and limped in to Hamilton on a Friday afternoon. Herman, the A & P, efficiently took care of the problem and sent me on my way, at far less cost than
I was anticipating. The following Sunday, on our way back home to Seattle, we stopped for fuel to discover the owner hosting a pancake breakfast.
This is an unusually friendly and capable FBO, as helpful to back country campers as it is to the turboprops and jets it services.
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 ***
As summer begins to wane, "POTW" submissions continue to take our breath away. This week's batch, once again, is full of top-notch submissions, so let's dive in head-first:
Jane Wicker of Bristow, Virginia snapped this image at the Flying Circus Air Show in Bealeton, Virginia. "They have rigged up a hoist," she
explains, "that enables them to load handicapped passengers in the Stearman and give them the ride of a lifetime they would not have gotten anywhere else."
You'll find more reader-submitted photos in the slideshow on AVweb's home page. Don't miss 'em!
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.
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.
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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.