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Volume 15, Number 38b
September 24, 2009
Trade Up Your Old Lightspeed Headset for a Zulu
If you haven't been quite ready to move up, this program is for you. Your older Lightspeed headset is worth up to $500 when you trade it in for a new Zulu. Different headsets have different trade-up values. (OEM and reconditioned headsets are not eligible.) Available to U.S. customers and only through Lightspeed direct. Find out how much yours is worth now!
Top News: Kitbuilding Rules Back on Track?back to top 

The FAA last week ended its suspension of amateur-built aircraft kit evaluations, which had been in effect since February 2008. The FAA had put the kit evaluations on hold while it worked on a revision of its interpretation of the "51-percent" regulations that govern amateur-built aircraft. In a new policy statement, the FAA outlines its procedures for creating a National Kit Evaluation Team and establishes a standard methodology for evaluating amateur-built aircraft kits. The team will determine if a kit would allow an amateur builder to meet the "major portion" requirements of the FARs, but the team does not certify, approve, or recommend any of the kits, the FAA said. Submission of kits for examination is not required. EAA's Earl Lawrence, vice president of industry and regulatory affairs, welcomed the news and called it further evidence that there will be no surprises when the FAA proclaims its final policy for interpreting and enforcing the amateur-built aircraft regulations -- a policy that the experimental/amateur-built community has been anxious to see for some time. More...

Aircraft Spruce West Coast Super Sale October 3, 2009!
Aircraft Spruce West will be holding their annual Super Sale and Fly-In on Saturday, October 3, 2009 from 7:00am to 3:00pm in Corona, CA. Come and join the Aircraft Spruce Team and vendors for lunch, special pricing, vendor demonstrations, and educational seminars. Lots of opportunities to win raffle prizes from some of your favorite vendors. A no-charge shuttle will be offered to and from Corona Airport (KAJO). Call 1 (877) 4‑SPRUCE or visit
NATCA, FAA Talks Move Forward Againback to top 

National Air Traffic Controllers Association members have ratified work rules that will form part of a collective agreement set to be in force on Oct. 1. Mediation earlier resolved pay and the FAA and NATCA negotiators had earlier agreed to the work rules and other provisions. Although there wasn't much doubt about the outcome of the vote, it's a symbolic event in that it was the final step in eliminating a hated set of rules that were imposed by the FAA and upheld by Congress in 2005. "Today, the members of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association overwhelmingly approved a collective bargaining agreement with the FAA," said outgoing NATCA President Patrick Forrey, who has presided over the union for much of the period under the imposed work rules. " It is a testamentb to our membership that they have endured the worst time in our union's history, working towards and holding out for a contract that was negotiated in a fair process and agreed to by the parties." More...

Precisely Engineered for Your Flying Experience: The Remos GX
The Remos GX is changing aviation. The culmination of legendary German engineering, best-in-class performance, and industry-leading safety features, the Remos GX combines the best of tomorrow's aerospace technology with the simplicity of your love of flying. Innovative design and technically superior, yet uncomplicated and easy to fly, the Remos GX handles all the equipment you and your companion will need in an affordable, flexible, and fun flying experience. Click now for details ( or call 1 (877) REMOS-88.
Congress Interested in Regional Airline Safetyback to top 

Regional airlines focus too much on the bottom line at the expense of safety, according to John Prater, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, who testified before the House Aviation Subcommittee on Wednesday during an examination of commuter airline safety. Among the worst of the airline practices are punitive policies that discourage pilots from refusing to fly if they are sick or fatigued, he said. Managers at some commuter airlines "are insisting they're going to beat their pilots into submission," Prater told the panel, according to The Wall Street Journal. Roger Cohen, head of the Regional Airline Association, told the panel that he didn't know of any cases when pilots were punished for calling in sick. The purpose of the hearing was to follow up on the industry's response to the fatal crash of a Colgan Air Dash-8 in Buffalo in February, in which 50 people died. Besides Prater and Cohen, the panel heard from FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt; Air Transport Association President James May; John Loftus, representing the families of the people who died; Tim Brady of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; and Jeff Skiles, vice president of the Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations. Their written testimony and a video of the hearing are available online. More...

Safe Insurance for a Risky Economy
Do you wonder whether your insurance coverage will be there when you need it? You won't have to wonder with Avemco®. We've been rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best every year since 1977. And we're still going strong. For a NO-COST quote, call (888) 241-7891 or visit us online.
Forewarned Is Forearmed: Aviation Info Techback to top 

The FAA has installed a stopgap system in Colorado that allows air traffic controllers to track aircraft in remote, mountainous regions where radar can't reach, while waiting for the NextGen satellite-based ADS-B system to become operational in 2013. "The new system, called Wide-Area Multilateration, lets us see aircraft we couldn't see before due to the rugged terrain," said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. "It improves the safety and efficiency of those flights and saves time and money for passengers and operators." The Colorado Department of Transportation estimates an average of 75 aircraft are delayed each day in the region between November and April. The WAM system, which went online Sept. 12, uses a network of about 20 small sensors deployed in remote areas. The sensors send out signals that are received and sent back by aircraft transponders. The precise location of aircraft is determined by triangulating the time and distance measurements of those signals. Controllers can see these aircraft on their screens as if they were radar targets. More...

The latest set of glass panels from Aspen Avionics is now FAA-certified, the company said this week. The EFD500 Multi-Function Display, the EFD1000 MFD and the EWR50 Evolution Weather Receiver now are all TSO-authorized and ready to ship. Aircraft owners can install all the Evolution Flight Displays and options at once, or one by one, as their needs and budgets permit, the company said. The new MFDs are built on the same hardware and software platform as the Evolution EFD1000 PFD. The displays feature moving maps and terrain awareness. With the appropriate sensors, the system can also provide traffic displays, Stormscope WX-500 and XM WX aviation weather products. The EFD500 MFD is priced at $4,995, the EFD1000 MFD lists at $7,995, and the EWR50 Weather Receiver goes for $2,495. More...

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

Click here for more information on the new Piper Meridian G1000.
What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Weekback to top 

Paul Rinaldi will be the next president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association after a runoff vote. Rinaldi narrowly beat former Executive Vice President Ruth Marlin with a 53 percent majority in the vote. Rinaldi gathered a total of 5,023 votes. He will take over as president from Patrick Forrey on Oct. 19. "We've had a difficult last three years, but we've persevered. I look forward to ensuring that our members always have a voice and, just as important, that the FAA always listens. More...

The FAA on Tuesday issued an airworthiness directive that affects certain Teledyne Continental Motors reciprocating engines with TCM EQ3 cylinders installed. The AD applies to engines in the O-470, IO-470, TSIO-470, IO-520, TSIO-520, IO-550, and IOF-550 series, which are found in a variety of GA airplanes, including many Beech and Cessna models. TCM shipped engines with EQ3 cylinders and shipped individual EQ3 cylinders from Nov. 1, 2007, through Jan. 30, 2009. Also, TCM produced a group of about 300 EQ3 cylinders in August and September of 2006. The AD requires initial and repetitive visual inspections of TCM EQ3 cylinders for cracks. The EQ3 cylinders must be identified and initially inspected within 20 flight hours after Oct. 7, 2009, the effective date of the AD. Also, the AD requires that the cylinders must be removed from service within 1,300 hours total time of operation. This AD results from reports of 35 EQ3 cylinders found cracked, the FAA said. More...

Getting lots of attention from potential new pilots, hopefully. Mark Bennett, New England regional sales rep for Cirrus Aircraft, parked himself outside the entrance to the Newport (R.I.) International Boat Show last weekend, one of the largest events of its kind in the country. Bennett brought along a full-scale mockup of a Cirrus SR-22 and invited all comers to climb aboard and check it out. The mock-up is an actual aircraft off the production line, only lacking an engine. The wings have been altered to make them easily removable, so the mock-up can travel up and down the East Coast on a truck, helping the sales staff troll for new customers at a variety of non-standard venues. "This airplane has been to boat shows, car dealer's showrooms, in hotel lobbies, you name it," says Bennett. All in all, the airplane and its fully equipped cockpit host about 25,000 potential buyers per year. More...


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."


Big South Fork Airpark is located 50 miles north of Knoxville, Tennessee, and boasts an asphalt runway 5,500 feet in length, with four instrument approaches. The airpark grounds, totaling 450 acres, offer 1-to-3+ acre home sites starting at $89,000. Personal hangars are also available and start at $95,000. Each home has convenient runway access and is in the immediate vicinity of the 125,000-acre Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. For more information, visit
News Briefsback to top 

The Iowa Children's Museum, in Coralville, Iowa, this week opened a new exhibit to introduce kids ages 8 to 12 to the science of aviation. The 5,000-square-foot Take Flight! exhibit features flight simulators built into kid-sized airplane mockups, an air traffic control tower, a real hot-air balloon basket, pedal planes for younger children, an area for flying paper airplanes, a parachute experiment, and more. Children can sit in the cockpit of a real Cessna 150 and talk on the radio. "This exhibit makes science, technology, engineering, and mathematics more fun than is imaginable!" according to the museum Web site. The six flight simulators are sure to attract kids. "Everything really works in them," said Jim Delaney, one of many local pilots and air traffic controllers who helped design the exhibit. "They have a control stick and instrument panel. Through the software, kids can take the airplanes anywhere they want." More...

NTSB reports on uncommanded pitch-up aboard an MD-81 carrying then-Sen. Obama...
A helicopter was used in a cash heist in Sweden...
The online reporting system for pilots crossing the U.S. border has improved, says AOPA...
The Idaho Aviation Hall of Fame will induct new members Nov. 4. More...

Sensenich Expands Its Revolutionary Line of Propellers for Light Sport and Experimental Aircraft
Lighter in weight, easier to navigate and less expensive to fly, Sensenich's composite props are also stronger than similar props. Their carbon construction allows the propeller's weight to aerodynamically optimize flight and minimize its susceptibility to harmonic vibration damage. Pitch-adjustable, their built-in stops ensure selection of the most efficient pitch. Click here to check 'em out.
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!back to top 

Congress is looking into concerns over safety on commuter airlines. We'd like to know if you're concerned.

Plus: Last week, we asked what AVweb readers would be willing to pay to fly the Martin Jet Pack; click through to see the answers. More...

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...

Become a Mooniac Now
There has never been a better time to own the fastest single-engine piston plane available. Mooney Airplane Company is offering generous incentives, low interest rates, the best warranty in the industry, and immediate delivery from current inventory. In the Eastern U.S., contact Mark Woods at mwoods[at] for information. Mooney recently celebrated Mark's 125th new Mooney sale. Congratulations, Mark!

Click here for the top 10 reasons to buy a Mooney now.
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

With its new Austro engines, the new DA42 NG is a strong performer and a bit more economical than the previous version of this aircraft. AVweb editorial director Paul Bertorelli took a spin in one last month, and here's his report. 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.

Garmin Glass for the Diamond DA20!
Diamond Aircraft is celebrating the introduction of the lowest cost certified glass cockpit airplane with a time-limited spectacular introductory offer. Every purchaser of a new DA20 equipped with Garmin G500 will receive a no-charge avionics upgrade and free SVT (Synthetic Vision Technology), a $9,685 value!* Visit or call (888) 359-3220.

* Some terms and conditions apply.
Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

He's got that exactly right, says Paul Bertorelli on the AVweb Insider blog — and it's nice to hear someone actually say it. After a decade of psychobabble business speak, maybe Babbitt gets that the FAA's job is oversight and regulation on the public's behalf. More...

USA Today writer Thomas Frank apparently thinks airport funding should go to the 139 "well-known" airports that handle commercial traffic. In the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog, Russ Niles points out the danger in that thinking: "Let's hope he doesn't have a heart attack somewhere else." More...

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. Click now for details.
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


As much as we love stories where a pilot discovers a great new FBO because of an unplanned (and often maintenance-related detour), we've featured quite a few of those as "FBOs of the Week" lately. This week, turn our attention instead to an FBO that was nominated by one of its regular patrons. AVweb reader Peter Lehnen laid out the benfits of Monadnock Aviation at Dillant-Hopkins Airport (EEN) in Keene, New Hampshire on their first anniversary:

Beth and Rick Bendel, who started their business one year ago today, have single-handedly revitalized the Keene airport. I just returned from one of their bi-weekly free cookouts, where many people fly in and many local pilots get together. They sponsor safety seminars, lectures, comunity outreach, and comfortable and functional facilities for transient pilots. The improvements they have brought are too numerous to list, but the city of Keene and the pilots in the area are far better off than at any time in the previous ten years that I have used this airport.

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 Photosback to top 

Long-time readers already know that we choose our "POTW" winners from a blind pool, then we peek at the names of submitters to make sure we're not giving the same yahoo five spaces in this week's installment. It's always a nice surprise we unveil the names to find one we recognize — and this week, it's the name of scholar, outdoorsman, and occasional AVweb commentator Brent Blue, of Jackson, Wyoming! More...

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.