AVwebFlash - Volume 15, Number 37b

September 17, 2009

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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FAA: New Rules for Hudson, Not for Homebuilders back to top 

FAA Publishes Plan For Modifications To Hudson Corridor

The NTSB has released a new animation depicting the collision.

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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.

FAA On "51-Percent" Rule -- Not Yet

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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Sold! To the Gentleman Who Wants to Go First ... back to top 

Jetpack First Flights On eBay

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.

Related Content:
Listen to our conversation with Martin at EAA AirVenture 2009 in this podcast.

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From Moscow to Michigan back to top 

Russian JetExpo Attracts Business Aviation

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.

Soviet Transport May Be Sold In Marquette

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 against.

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Got a Brilliant Aviation Idea? Start Typing ... ! back to top 

Lindbergh Foundation Seeks Applicants For Aviation Grants

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.

Click here to watch.
News Briefs back to top 

Quest Aircraft Receives Production Certificate

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 option.

On the Fly ...

The NTSB on Wednesday released its docket of documents related to the fatal crash of a firefighting helicopter in California in August 2008...

A story in Air & Space Smithsonian laments the impending loss of Langley wind tunnel, as advocates rally to prevent its destruction...

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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What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Week back to top 

DOT: ADS-B To Launch In Gulf In December

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.

Public Service Award Goes To Corporate Angel Network

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.

AVwebBiz: AVweb's Business Aviation Newsletter

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.

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Night Flying Will Never Be the Same!
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The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 

Question of the Week: Next Up for Bid — Jet Pack Flights

This Week's Question | Previous Week's Answers


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.)


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?

How much would you pay to be the first of the public to fly the Martin Jetpack?
(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.

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.

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AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

Exclusive Video: Why Did This Landing Go Wrong?

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

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.

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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: Dave Carroll and Sons of Maxwell Deliver on Their Promised Follow-Up to "United Breaks Guitars"

Recommend a Video | VOTW Archive

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.)

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

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."

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.

eBooks & eVideos
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Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: "Bang, Bang"

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.

Read more.

AVweb Insider Blog: The Victor Dustup

Whether the takeoff of a cold-war era Victor bomber was an accident or not, it seems to AVweb's Paul Bertorelli that such a thing ought to be avoidable. And blaming it on the co-pilot is ... tacky.

Read Paul's comments (and add your own) at the AVweb Insider blog.

Peter Drucker Says, "The Best Way to Predict the Future Is to Create It"
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Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Henderson Executive Airport (KHND, Henderson, NV)

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to the FBO at Henderson Executive Airport (KHND) in Henderson, Nevada.

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 like?

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!

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.


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!

medium | large

copyright © William D. Vogel
Used with permission

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."

medium | large

Used with permission of Thomas Auerbach

Truman J. Smith, Lt. Colonel, USAF (Retired)

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.

medium | large

copyright © Errol John Hand
Used with permission

Lawn Ornament

Errol John Hand of Taylorsville, Kentucky reports that he's "finally found an acceptable lawn ornament" to fit his personal taste. "Beats a bird bath or flag pole!" he writes.

medium | large

Used with permission of Andrew Morrison

Clouds Bathe an Alaskan Cub

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."

medium | large

copyright © Contributor #5
Used with permission

Cable Car for "Star Wars"

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 Europe."

(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?

Click here to submit your own photos to "POTW."

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.