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Volume 15, Number 36a
September 7, 2009
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
AVweb Goes Back to School — On the Zeppelinback to top 

Click for more photos
For pilots, just going for a sightseeing flight along the California coast in Airship Ventures' new Zeppelin NT is nice enough -- but wouldn't it be even better if you could take a turn flying it, and learn about how all the systems work? Pilots kept asking for a chance to sit in the cockpit, says Airship Ventures' spokeswoman Elaine Jumes, but they couldn't allow that while other passengers were on board. So, as AVweb reported last month the company now offers a special day of flying just for pilots, when each one gets a chance not only to maneuver the ship in flight but also to shoot a couple of touch-and-goes. The day-long course starts with a four-hour ground school where experienced pilots explain all the unique systems that make the airship fly, from ballonets to control the pressure inside the gas bag to the three swiveling engines that provide propulsion and control. The airship, which was built at the Zeppelin factory in Germany, has an inner structure built of carbon fiber, fly-by-wire flight systems, and a full electronic panel with sidestick controllers -- and no rudder pedals. Last Friday, Airship Ventures invited AVweb along for the pilot experience. Click here for a photo gallery and more details about the program — and watch for a video of our Zeppelin adventure, coming your way soon. More...

It's an unparalleled experience in aircraft ownership that puts the Cirrus design team at your service to create color schemes, materials, textures, and details that will make your Cirrus as original as you are. Individualized stitching, leather color, embroidery, and embossing are but a few of the options at your command. The choices are as broad as your imagination to create a winged extension of your flying persona. Contact Cirrus at (888) 778-6561 or via the web at
FAA's Hudson Recommendations: All Hands on Deckback to top 

The FAA's reaction to the fatal midair collision that on Aug. 8 killed all nine aboard both a Piper Saratoga and Eurocopter is receiving support from both AOPA and NATCA. "I believe that the FAA's task force recommendations meet or exceed the NTSB's on every issue," wrote Eddie Kragh, NATCA representative to the task force and Newark controller. AOPA president Craig Fuller said, "This is a great example of the government and the industry working cooperatively and acting swiftly and decisively to enhance safety." The task force recommendations rely heavily on new rules for altitude separation, segregating transient traffic by placing it above 1,000 feet while in the Hudson exclusion area (and further segregating IFR and VFR traffic), and relegating the area of 1,000 feet and below almost exclusively to local helicopter traffic. (See the full list of recommendations, here.) NATCA noted that it had identified procedures that are presently deficient, and that "may eventually be found to be contributory to the accident." Moving forward, NATCA's Kragh said, "I am satisfied the FAA invited NATCA to participate, and considered out input at every level." Nonetheless, the recommendations of the FAA's task force may fall short of some critics. More...

Compare and Save at the Pilot Insurance Center
Don't pay more for life insurance coverage just because you fly. Contact Pilot Insurance Center to see how you can save. PIC works with A+ rated insurance companies to provide preferred rates for pilots. Call (800) 380-8376 or visit
Eclipse Aerospace Revving the Enginesback to top 

The former Eclipse went into full-eclipse last November when it entered bankruptcy, and Eclipse Aerospace, which acquired the former manufacturer's assets in a $40 million bankruptcy deal, opened for business Tuesday. The new company hopes to employ more than 500 people, restart production and turn out hundreds of jets per year. That may be the ultimate goal, but in the short term the new company hopes to first perform as a service provider for the roughly 260 Eclipse 500 jets currently operating without the support of an existing parts or service infrastructure. That means Eclipse will be hiring staff and re-establishing contact with key suppliers essential to finishing some 30 aircraft now sitting in various stages of completion. The former Eclipse's Albany, N.Y., service center may not be supported by the new company, which may outsource maintenance to third parties. The longer-term goal of production is currently targeted for the first half of 2011. More...

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Quote reprinted with permission:
Professional Pilot, 2008 Headset Preference Survey, 12/08.
It's a Global Economy, Folksback to top 

Making inroads to the Far East via Brunei, Piper appears to be following through on plans announced earlier this year to expand its influence on the other side of the world. Piper's plan would see it playing a key role in the opening of Brunei's first pilot academy. To move forward, Piper is currently seeking proposals from large training academies with which it could partner to supply initial pilot training for Asian airlines and a new Brunei aviation hub. The company's current owner is the Brunei-backed investment firm Imprimus, so the move is not as far from home as it may otherwise appear. For Piper's part, the venture could supply a new market for its single-engine Warrior. For Brunei, the open airspace could provide an attractive initial training environment for prospective pilots from its own and neighboring countries. Piper will be seeking an Asian-based executive to oversee the new academy's operations and develop other business opportunities. As distant and isolated as the prospective Brunei-based facility may seem, it will have competition ... some of which is already flying Pipers. More...

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Airbus Wrestling with the Cost of Doing Businessback to top 

When Airbus launches a new aircraft design it has, in the past, received government loans that, if the new design does not prove profitable, do not need to be repaid. Now, due to a ruling from the World Trade Organization (WTO), that may change. The Wall Street Journal Friday summarized the words of "a person familiar with the matter," stating that the WTO has found that "every launch aid package given for the A380 passenger jet was an illegal subsidy." The loans have long been a sore point for Boeing, Airbus' main competitor, because they effectively reduce risk and initial costs inherent in bringing a new ambitious design (such as the double-decker Airbus A380) to market. The rift eventually led U.S. trade officials in 2004 to file a case with the WTO to contest the legality of such a program and, according to the Journal, the WTO published its thousand-page report in only two paper copies, delivered to the U.S. and European Union (EU) governments. The papers are only an interim report (a final ruling is expected next year) and there's another side to this story -- the EU's case against Boeing. If the WTO rules against Boeing as well, it may force the two manufacturers to form an agreement regarding acceptable practices. More...

The FAA has issued a final Airworthiness Directive that requires replacement of certain Thales Avionics pitot probes (like that flown on the crashed Air France Flight 447 and 43 other Airbus A330 and A340 model aircraft currently flying) with Goodrich probes in order to prevent airspeed discrepancies that "could result in reduced control of the airplane." Use of the Thales model has resulted in "reports of airspeed indication discrepancies while flying at high altitudes in inclement weather conditions," according to the FAA. Published Thursday in the Federal Register, the final rule does not make mention of the Air France flight that transmitted via its Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) that its pilots were faced with conflicting or unreliable air data while flying at 35,000 feet through weather before they crashed off the northern coast of Brazil in June, killing all 228 aboard. The crash did lead Air France pilots to push for replacement pitot probes after they became aware that other aircraft flying with the Thales probes had also experienced incorrect airspeed indications. According to the FAA, the specific Thales Avionics pitot probe "has not yet demonstrated the same level of robustness to withstand high-altitude ice crystals as Goodrich pilot probes P/N 0851HL," which the agency now requires as a replacement. More...

Relief for Passengers and Pilots Alike: ReliefBands for $124.95!
Every pilot is subject to a passenger experiencing nausea at some point. Alas, an upset stomach needn't ruin a flight and force you to forever fly alone! ReliefBands prevent motion sickness and nausea, providing relief and enabling you to fly in the company of friends and family without the fight. Make friends in-flight and buy today at

Special Limited-Time Offer: $5 off for AVwebFlash subscribers. Enter coupon code AVRELB09 during checkout.
News Briefsback to top 

Robert A. Decatur, who in 1944 was a Tuskegee cadet, served as one of the roughly 960 black pilots who escorted all-white bomber crews over Europe ... or not, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Decatur passed away last month and the Internet offers multiple sources (his obituary, as published in the Sentinel, among them) that detail his long, distinguished and honorable career. But the Sentinel now says it's all a fabrication and a product of Decatur's own embellishments that ranged over decades. The Sentinel says it has records that show Decatur did not complete pilot training at Tuskegee, did not graduate from the Tuskegee flight school program and did not fly in combat with Tuskegee airmen. The man who went on to become Judge Decatur and a civil rights activist may not have been a "judge" at all, the Sentinel suggests. For his war record, at least one Tuskegee Airmen interviewed by the Sentinel takes issue with what the Sentinel says is Decatur's own account and at least one member of Decatur's own family appears to have questions. More...

Girls With Wings is devoted to introducing young women to role models in aviation-related occupations and it's currently seeking scholarship applicants to show their motivation, inspirations and future plans in essay form. The scholarship winner must not yet have received her private pilot's license, must be female, and will be sent a check to be used toward flying lessons at the flight school of her choice. Last year's winner, then-20-year-old Amy Blechman, a student studying aviation management with a pro-pilot minor, wrote a winning essay of less than 800 words. This year's winner will get a flight training boost of up to $1000 made up of donations matched (up to $150) by "K. Jones," according to the Girls With Wings Web site. The funds are made up of donations, and at the time of this writing the pool was $625. There are some requirements for the winner, who will be notified Dec. 1, 2009. More...

Aircraft Financing Available? YES! Powered by AirFleet
Flexible loan programs for new and used aircraft are still readily available, and AirFleet Capital can fix today's low rate for up to 20 years. In this buyer's market with big tax incentives and historically low interest rates, now is a great time to buy and finance the aircraft you've been waiting for! Call (800) 390-4324 or request a quote online at
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!back to top 

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...

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.

Please take a moment to complete this survey and share your operational experience!

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

The industry persists in the notion that small, light jets can be made cheaply. In the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli argues that "cheap" is really around the $2 million mark and not much lower. The idea here is to produce sustainable projects that allow companies to remain in business — profitably. More...

Fly the Engine
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Book $39.95 / eBook $34.95

Check out this and other books at
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

With only two left flying, the Avro Lancaster is among the rarest of the rare of World War II aircraft. AVweb recently toured one when it appeared at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh. More...

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.

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.
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


"Have you ever had to argue with a mechanic over the price of a repair?" asks AVweb reader Dean Herrington. You probably have, but it almost certainly didn't go like the conversation Dean had with a mechanic at Callaway Aviation at Big Bear City Airport (L35) in California:

I had departed about 3:00 in the afternoon and quickly developed an electrical problem that necessitated a return to the airport. I was guided to the nearest repair facility, Callaway Aviation. The only mechanic available, the owner, Brad Callaway, was very busy across the field supporting the warbirds that were about to depart, so I had about a 1.5-hour wait. When the courteous Mr. Callaway arrived he spent over an hour troubleshooting, doing run-ups, troubleshooting some more, then finally recommending that we experimentally replace my one-year old battery with one of his used ones, just to see if we could fully eliminate my battery as a culprit. His used battery immediately cleared up the problem, and further tests and run-ups confirmed that it was completely solved.

When I asked for the bill, he said "Oh, that's OK."

I said, "No way, I've got to pay you for your time and the battery." After considerable pressue he finally agreed to accept $50.

How can this guy stay in business? Unless, of course, he has a large, loyal following of grateful customers, like me. My flight home to Vegas was an uneventful pleasure.

And that, AVwebbers, is why Callaway is this week's very deserving "FBO of the Week"!

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!


The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 

Overheard in IFR 
Magazine's 'On the Air' Section
Overheard in IFR Magazine's "On the Air"

"Cessna One Two Three X-Ray Yankee: Traffic is at your 12 o'clock, 5 miles and 3000 feet — a Saab 340."

Cessna 123XY:
"Looking. Where is he? Over the river?"

"Traffic no factor. He's over the river, through the woods, and on his way to grandmother's house. Contact tower now on 120.7."

Peter Ver Lee
Bangor, Maine


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.