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RESUMES AIRCRAFT KIT APPROVALS 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
RATIFIES DEAL 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...
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SAFETY ISSUES RAISED BEFORE CONGRESSIONAL PANEL 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...
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GROUND-BASED SYSTEM PROVIDES RADAR-LIKE COVERAGE IN
ROCKIES 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...
ASPEN MFDS NOW FAA CERTIFIED The latest set of glass panels
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.
The New Meridian G1000
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.
TO LEAD NATCA 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...
REQUIRES INSPECTIONS FOR SOME TCM CYLINDERS 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...
AN AIRPLANE DOING AT A BOAT SHOW?" 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...
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
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MUSEUM INVITES CHILDREN TO "TAKE FLIGHT!" 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."
THE FLY ... 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
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.
Become a Mooniac
There has never been a better time to own the fastest single-engine
piston plane available. Mooney Airplane Company is offering
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mwoods[at]mooney.com for information.
Mooney recently celebrated Mark's 125th new Mooney sale.
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
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INSIDER BLOG: USA TODAY BLOWS IT ON AIRPORT
FUNDING 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."
Traditional Tactics Need a
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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.
OF THE WEEK: AVWEB'S FLYING PHOTOGRAPHY SHOWCASE 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,
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.
AVwebFlash team is:
Publisher Timothy Cole
Aviation Publications Paul
Editor-in-Chief Russ Niles
Contributing Editors Mary Grady Glenn
Features Editor Kevin
van West Mariano
here to send a letter to the
editor. (Please let us know if your letter is not
intended for publication.)
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about the news should be sent
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