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The FAA on Wednesday published its proposed new rules that would modify the VFR airspace above the Hudson River in New
York, in response to a fatal midair collision in August in which nine people were killed. The proposal formalizes the plan announced last
month, which was supported by both AOPA and NATCA. The proposed changes would restructure the airspace,
mandate pilot operating rules, create a new entry point into the Hudson River airspace from Teterboro, standardize New York area charts and develop new training for pilots, air traffic controllers and
businesses that operate helicopters and aircraft in the area. The only cost to pilots, the FAA says, would be $5.25 for new aeronautical charts, which they must carry on board while flying in the
corridor. Comments will be accepted on the proposed rules until Oct. 16.
The FAA says pilot training regarding changes in procedures is voluntary, and the changes are expected to improve airspace safety. Therefore, the FAA said, the new rule will have minimal impact.
Also this week, both houses of Congress heard testimony about the crash and its repercussions. On Tuesday, the Senate Aviation Subcommittee heard testimony from representatives of the NTSB, FAA, the
National Air Traffic Controllers Association, and the National Air Transportation Association. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J., who chaired the Senate hearing, asked if additional radar installations could provide air traffic controllers with better information about
aircraft movements, but Newark controller Edward Kragh said even if controllers were able to see all those aircraft on their scopes, there is not enough ATC staff to provide the same level of safety
that pilots can provide for themselves. The full text of all testimony and a video archive of the hearing are posted online at the committee's Web site. And on Wednesday, the U.S.
House Subcommittee on Aviation also reviewed the event, hearing testimony from representatives of the NTSB, FAA, NATCA, AOPA, NATA and also the Helicopter Association International. A summary of the
issues and a Webcast of the hearing are available online.
The FAA on Wednesday published the findings of its Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) on amateur-built aircraft --
which essentially reiterates what was reported in August at EAA AirVenture -- but the actual new
policy documents, which have been in the works for about three years now, are still not in sight. "Contrary to previous indications from the FAA, the agency has yet to publish or pronounce a
comprehensive final policy," said EAA this week, adding that "the homebuilding community's frustratingly protracted wait for a
definitive declaration of policy from the FAA continues." More information may be coming soon, however. "Several official documents and actions [are] anticipated from the FAA in the weeks ahead," EAA
said. This week's report is an "encouraging sign," added EAA's Earl Lawrence, vice president of regulatory affairs and co-chair of the ARC. Amateur builders have been waiting for the FAA to publish
the results of its re-interpretation of the "51-percent rule," which sets guidelines for their construction projects. The FAA has said it won't revise the current rules, but will clarify its policies
and practices in a new advisory circular and issue new guidance for its designated inspectors.
Kitplanes editor Marc Cook told AVweb on Wednesday he is also anxious to see more definitive action soon. "While it's
obviously good news to see some movement on this important topic, I'm not sure why it has taken the FAA so long to produce this document and have to wonder when the final 'rulemaking' will be put in
place," he said. "A lot of builders have been figuratively holding their breath as this issue has been hashed out. In all, though, what I see proposed will be good for the Experimental/Amateur-Built
community and will allow legitimate builders to go on about their business unmolested by the kind of draconian, completely unnecessary rules that were first offered." Until the long-awaited new
documents are published, EAA recommends that all amateur aircraft builders follow current policies and accepted practices.
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If Glenn Martin has gauged his market correctly, there should be lineup of adrenaline junkies bidding to become the first "test pilot" of the Martin Jetpack. The always-innovative Martin is auctioning off
the first six flights of the piston-powered, ducted fan contrivance available to the public on eBay. The winning bidder can take the prize on their own or invite up to three friends to take part in
the historic occasion. The winner will be responsible for their own expenses in getting to New Zealand for the three-days of training and flying. Martin says anyone who can strap into the device can
submit a bid. "Whoever wins this auction, whether it's a highly qualified pilot or someone who has never flown before, we will be able to tailor a testing program for the jetpack that matches their
skill," he said.
Martin said a lot of improvements have been made since the tentative flight, watched closely by spotters, at EAA AirVenture in 2008. In fact, Martin is building his business around making the
experience available to virtually anyone in an adventure tourism sort of enterprise. He insists the thrill seeker version of the Jetpack will be safe and fun. "Our aim is to make the easiest-to-fly
aircraft in the world," he said. "Because of the fly-by-wire systems we have developed in the last year, we recently had a novice pilot fly solo quite safely with 12 minutes of flight time." The
auction ends Sept. 24 and there's a minimum bid of $30,000. There were no bids in the first six hours.
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The global economy may still be struggling, but that didn't prevent aviation manufacturers from attending the fourth annual JetExpo
International Business Aviation Exhibition this week in Moscow -- and getting business done. Cessna announced at the show it has sold 12 new 172S Skyhawks to an aviation university in St. Petersburg, Russia, which has about 7,500 students from 25 countries studying all areas of
aviation. The Skyhawks are scheduled to be delivered by the end of this year and will be the first Western-built aircraft to be used at the school, Cessna said. Cessna also announced it has received Russian type certification for the Citation Mustang, which is
now certified in 60 countries. "The Mustang's entry into service has been extraordinary around the globe and interest from the market continues to grow, including a fleet order announced in 2008 from
a Russian operator," said Cessna Vice President, International Sales, Trevor Esling. Also at the show, Daher-Socata's TBM 850 turboprop made its
Russian debut. Victor Kuklyaev, the Russian representative for the aircraft, said the market there is ready for it.
"In today's challenging economic conditions, the TBM 850 is just the type of aircraft that Russian business travelers are seeking for their personal transportation needs," he said. The show also
hosted exhibits and static displays from the major business jet manufacturers such as Hawker Beechcraft, Embraer, Gulfstream, Bombardier, Dassault, and many more.
It's not something you'll likely see in the classifieds, but the only U.S.-registered Ilyushin
IL-78 could go on the block in a court-ordered sale next week in Marquette, Mich. The Mining
Journal reports the massive former Ukrainian Air Force four-engine transport/tanker made what was supposed to be a refueling stop at Sawyer International Airport on July 17 but some of the crew
didn't have their paperwork in order and Customs and Border Protection officials detained them briefly before deporting them. The hulking Soviet-era aircraft, which is owned by Tactical Air Defense
Services Inc. of Florida and leased by Air Support System of Delaware, has been there ever since, accumulating ramp charges and a sitting duck for the $62,000 claim that a Texas company has against it
for fuel and other services. Marquette courts have issued judgments over the past couple of months but there has been no response from the owners and Circuit Court Judge Thomas Solka says he'll order
the plane put up for sale no later than Sept. 25 if someone doesn't come forward. And who on Earth would want it? Well, Tactical Air Defense Services certainly had big plans, according to a series of news releases issued by the company over the past couple of years.
The company intended to try to provide air-to-air refueling service for U.S. and other military aircraft. The plane is apparently outfitted for firefighting as well and can drop 18,000 gallons of
water or retardant. CEO Mark Daniels said in a May news release that he already had some business tentatively lined up. "The interest in our IL-78 that we are receiving from both government and
private entities is significant, and we are currently pursuing a number of service contracts for both mid-air refueling and aerial fire-fighting services, and we believe that a contract will be
forthcoming in the near future." An earlier release from the company said it also had a couple of MiG-29 fighters that it was hoping to offer as aggressor aircraft for military pilots to practice
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The Lindbergh Foundation has extended its deadline for submissions of aviation-related grant applications until Oct. 30. "Anyone
conducting an aviation/aerospace research project that balances technological advancements with the preservation of our environment is encouraged to apply," the foundation said. The grants are given
to individuals, who are not required to be associated with a university, business, or nonprofit group. Awards are made for up to $10,580 -- the amount that Charles Lindbergh spent to build the Spirit
of St. Louis. In recent years, grants have gone to help develop electric-powered airplanes, to increase fuel efficiency by reducing drag, and to reduce noise pollution by using high-frequency sound
waves from ultrasonic actuators. The grants aim to support innovative ideas at earlier stages of development and establish pilot projects that often subsequently receive funding from other sources,
the Foundation said.
Those receiving grants will be notified in April 2010, with funding available in July 2010. Since 1978, the Lindbergh Foundation has awarded nearly $3 million in grants to 300 men and women around
the world. For more info and a grant application, click here.
Got a Minute? Watch Rundown Feeling, an important Pilot Safety Announcement from the Air Safety Foundation
Don't let complacency, distraction, or unfamiliarity give you that rundown feeling. Take a moment to watch this PSA for a powerful reminder of the importance of runway safety.
The FAA has granted a full production certificate to Quest Aircraft Co., of Sandpoint, Idaho, manufacturer of the 10-seat Kodiak
single-engine turboprop utility aircraft. The company has been in business since 2001 and employs more than 300 workers, who are currently producing about three airplanes per month. "Achieving this
final step in the process of designing, producing, and delivering a brand-new aircraft is an important milestone for Quest," said CEO Paul Schaller in a news release this week. With the production
certification in hand, the company now can issue standard airworthiness certificates for each of its airplanes. "[This] will allow us to streamline the production and delivery process over time, as we
take responsibility for inspections and coordinate changes with the FAA's Seattle Manufacturing Inspection District Office," Schaller said. The company has so far delivered 22 copies of the airplane,
for a range of customers -- charter operators, government agencies, individuals, and mission and humanitarian groups.
The Kodiak is built of aluminum and powered by a Pratt & Whitney PT6 turbine engine. It can take off in less than 700 feet at full gross takeoff weight of 6,750 pounds and climb at over 1,500 feet
per minute, the company says. Floats can be added without structural upgrades. A three-panel Garmin G1000 integrated avionics suite is standard. Quest also offers Synthetic Vision Technology as an
Friends of aerobatic pilot Vicki Cruse, who died recently in a crash, have established a scholarship fund in her honor. The Vicki Cruse Memorial Scholarship will provide women pilots with financial
assistance for emergency maneuver and aerobatic training. It will be administered by the Ninety-Nines Amelia Earhart Memorial Scholarship Fund. For more info click here.
A free interactive course about mastering radio communications for pilots is now posted online at AOPA's Air Safety Foundation.
It covers both VFR and IFR communications, and takes about 45 minutes to an hour to complete.
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NextGen satellite technology will go online in the Gulf of Mexico in December, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said at a news conference on Monday. The ADS-B system will cover 240,000 square
miles. Helicopters that provide services to more than 9,000 oil rigs in the Gulf now must operate VFR only when they fly more than 150 miles offshore, beyond the reach of radar services, said LaHood.
The NextGen system will enable them to fly IFR. Aircraft flying from Florida to South America also will benefit, he said. Air traffic controllers now must allow a 100-mile buffer for each aircraft
crossing the Gulf on an IFR flight plan. The ADS-B system will make that unnecessary, allowing for less hold time between takeoffs. In an update on Tuesday, FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said, "NextGen is a success story waiting to happen." The FAA
is ready to commit to "giving it the juice it needs," he said, adding that he has the support of LaHood and President Barack Obama. "They want this up and running, and they are fully supportive. The
green light can't get any greener than that."
LaHood said he's "not the kind of guy to
lose his head over every technology that comes down the pike. But a program that delivers safety improvements, fuel conservation, and delay reductions -- that just makes sense." The FAA plans to
deploy the system nationwide by 2013; however, not all aircraft will have the onboard gear they need to make use of it. Some airlines are lobbying for federal aid to pay for the expensive avionics
upgrades, arguing that the cockpit gear is an essential part of the new infrastructure.
The Corporate Angel Network was honored for "outstanding achievement in public benefit flying" at an awards ceremony
in Washington, D.C., last week. The award was presented by the National Aeronautic Association in partnership with the Air Care Alliance. The Network was recognized for its work in finding empty seats
on corporate aircraft to transport cancer patients to treatment centers nationwide. The program, which began in 1981, now has more than 500 corporate participants who contribute 3,000 flights per
year. Awards also went to Mack Secord, who has volunteered for more than 23 years with Angel Flight of Georgia, and Robert Munley, one of the founders of Wings of Mercy, in Michigan.
The Public Benefit Flying Awards were created to honor volunteer pilots, other volunteers, and their organizations engaged in flying to help others, and those supporting such work. Since 2003
dozens of awards have been presented at the Above and Beyond Awards Ceremony, held each fall in the U.S. Capitol Building. To nominate someone for a 2010 Public Benefit Flying Award, go to the NAA site or the ACA site.
Have you signed up yet for AVweb's no-cost weekly business aviation newsletter, AVwebBiz?
Delivered every Wednesday morning, AVwebBiz focuses on the companies, the products and the industry leaders that make headlines in the business aviation industry, making it a must-read.
Add AVwebBiz to your AVweb subscriptions today by clicking here and choosing "Update E-mail Subscriptions."
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Last week, we asked AVweb readers if they were personally contributing to the spike in air show attendance reported by ICAS (the International Council of Air Shows).
45% of those who took a moment to answer told us they'd attended one or two shows so far this year. Only 4% of you have made it to more than five shows. And a
sad-face-inducing 34% said you'd attended none. :(
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 ***
New Zealand inventor Glenn Martin is launching his jetpack business with an eBay auction for the right to be the
first member of the public to fly the machine. What's that worth to you?
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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Another YouTube star is born. This time, it's a runway overshoot on St. Barthélemy's notoriously short runway 10/28. Several readers drew our attention to this video, and we've
done an analysis on what went wrong. St. Bart's is short, all right, but really not that different from a hundred other runways cluttered up with trees, towers, and close-in terrain. This is a
stark, metal-bending lesson in airspeed control.
Sons of Maxwell front man Dave Carroll is back in the spotlight with a follow-up to his "United Breaks Guitars" music video. Carroll made news back in July with a YouTube video
describing how United Airlines had failed to help him make good on a $3,500 Taylor guitar damaged during a commercial flight. The video quickly became a sensation, and the Canadian singer-songwriter
promised a series of three songs about his experience with United. The second installment has now hit the web and, at last look, had almost 400,000 views. (The original has more than five million.)
Don't forget to send us links to any interesting videos you find out there. If you're impressed by it,
there's a good chance other AVweb readers will be too. And if we use a video you recommend on AVweb, we'll send out an official AVweb baseball cap as a "thank you."
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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Being first to break a story isn't always the best way to be first in service to your audience. AVweb's Glenn Pew reflects on the pressures that led a major and respected news outlet like CNN
to misreport a training exercise as potential terrorist activity on the anniversary of the World Trade Center attack.
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AVweb reader Michael Gibbs explains how some things that happen in Vegas don't stay in Vegas they end up on AVweb as beaming accolades:
As I pulled into a transient parking space at Henderson airport, a van pulled up before I had the engine shut down. Before I got out of the airplane, it was tied down, and the driver [of the van] was
asking if I needed ground transportation. "A cab to the strip would be nice," I mentioned, noticing that my luggage was already in the van. At the terminal, I was pleased to learn that they'd fill
my O2 bottle for less than half what I'm charged at home. I came out of the restroom to find the cab waiting, and I was on my way. When I returned to the airport, the plane was topped off, the O2
was filled, and they gave me a lift back to the plane. A warm welcome, a friendly, helpful staff, beautiful facilities heck, even Las Vegas approach rolled out the red carpet. What's not to
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 ***
Reader submissions dropped off just a bit this week, but not enough to dampen anyone's spirits here at "POTW" world headquarters. We've still got more reader-submitted photos than you
can shake a stick at which means plenty of variety to share with our readers. Strap in and let's have a look!
Skycrane Aerial Tanker at the Southern California Station Fire
We were immediately taken with this photo from William D. Vogel of Yorba Linda, California but when we realized it was a recent, timely photo
of the ongoing firefighting in California, we knew it was our "Picture of the Week."
Nothing beats a candid moment when it comes to photographing airplanes or the people who fly them. Thomas Auerbach of Ponca City, Oklahoma
caught Truman Smith, author of The Wrong Stuff, "in an unguarded moment at the Ponca City Aviation Booster Club Flight
Breakfast" last week.
Andrew Morrison of Collegeville, Pennsylvania takes satisfaction in life's simple pleasures, and this photo is his reward: "No manipulation, no
PhotoShop just a beautiful day, a beautiful plane, and good timing."
Does everyone in aviation know each other? Some days it seems that way like when we peeked at the names on this photo submission and discovered that Peter Maurer had been traveling with Swiss "POTW"-contributor-beyond-compare Gilbert Benzonana when he snapped this shot. All credit
goes to Peter, but Gilbert did explain what we were looking at the "top of the 'Aiguille du Midi,' 12,605 feet over the Chamonix valley with one of the highest cable cars in
(Yes, this does feed our paranoia that you're all traveling the world and having great fun while we're stuck here working on AVweb. Not that we mind as long as you keep the photos coming!)
Want more? There's a dozen bonus photos up in the slideshow on AVweb's home page. Why don't you cruise over there and have a look?
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.
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.