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Volume 15, Number 39b
October 1, 2009
Your Engine Just Died and You've Got Three Choices
Water? Road? Trees? Get this 20-minute program with tactics on handling emergency landings. Listen as safety expert Bob Martens examines factors such as off-field landing choices, stretching the glide, landing pattern, wind and flap management, landing long or short, and more. Click here to listen online or download.
Top News: Impatience Grows with FAA Billback to top 

The aviation community has had a tough time this fall getting Congress to focus on the issue of FAA reauthorization, but patience -- and time -- are running out. The FAA budget was due to expire this week, on Sept. 30, but has now been extended to Dec. 31. Aviation advocacy groups are pressuring the Senate to use that time to come up with a comprehensive reauthorization package, instead of simply continuing to grant extensions, as it has done seven times in the last two years. In a letter (PDF) sent to senators last week, 32 industry groups representing air carriers, GA, pilots, air traffic controllers and many others said the new legislation is "critically overdue." A comprehensive bill is needed to provide funding for airport and airway system improvements. "The strength of our aviation system and the ability to meet future demands is dependent upon the federal government's success in meeting its obligations to provide adequate infrastructure," the group's letter reads. "A critical step in meeting those obligations is for the Senate to advance a comprehensive, multi-year bill that will help provide the resources necessary to help our country meet the demands being placed on the aviation system." More...

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Just enter Search for aircraft (hourly updates). Find companies, products, and services. Locate dealers/brokers. Call or e-mail sellers, and click directly to their web sites. With our web and mobile editions, you can view all of our ads at no cost, all the time! Call (800) 337-5263, or visit us online.
Mr. GA Goes to Washington?back to top 

Two senators this week said they have formed a General Aviation Caucus and invited other senators to join them (PDF) to ensure support for pilots, aircraft owners, and the aviation industry in the U.S. "General aviation has a presence in every state, and plays a significant role in our economy," said Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, one of the caucus founders. "We're hopeful many of our Senate colleagues will join us in learning more about the importance of this industry." Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., said GA is a critical component of his state's transportation infrastructure. "It helps keep our state connected, supports economic development, and helps our businesses operate efficiently," he said. The two said they plan to hold their first meeting later this fall. So far, Senators James Inhofe, R-Okla., Sam Brownback, R-Kans., and Pat Roberts, R-Kans., have joined the caucus. GA advocacy groups responded positively to the announcement. 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
"Hudson Heroes" Succeed Movie Icons at YE Chairback to top 

For the last five years, Harrison Ford has acted as chairman of the EAA's Young Eagles program, but this week he ended his term and handed over the job to Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger and First Officer Jeffrey Skiles, known for their expert handling of an emergency landing in the Hudson River in January. The two pilots visited EAA during AirVenture last summer, where they drew huge crowds and rediscovered their GA roots. "I'm grateful to EAA and the AirVenture Oshkosh convention for allowing me to fall in love with aviation for a second time in my life," said Skiles during a news conference on Tuesday. "I'm eager to share this passion with young people and encourage participation in aviation." Sullenberger also recalled this summer's visit as a pivotal moment. "After having the opportunity to learn more about the EAA Young Eagles Program while I was in Oshkosh, Jeff and I were inspired to get involved," he said. "Co-chairing the program is an opportunity that I welcome. Jeff and I are honored to take the stick from Harrison Ford." Click here to listen to audio interviews with Ford, Sullenberger and Skiles at the EAA Web site, or click here for video of Sullenberger and Skiles at AirVenture. 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.
Aviation Safetyback to top 

A Mooney crashed Wednesday morning near Muncie, Ind., after the pilot, who was alone on board, became disoriented and then failed to respond to ATC. Two F-16s from the Indiana National Guard intercepted the airplane, which was flying erratically, [see FlightAware tracklog] and provided an escort until the airplane lost altitude and crashed in a cornfield about an hour after takeoff. Military officials told The Associated Press the pilot appeared to be suffering from hypoxia or perhaps a health problem. The airplane had launched in Grand Rapids, Mich., after having maintenance done, and was traveling at about 23,000 feet when ATC lost contact. Officials would not comment on the condition of the pilot, according to the AP. More...

Got a Minute?
Watch Real Aviation Heroes, an important Pilot Safety Announcement from the Air Safety Foundation
Don't be like this guy! Enjoy this short humorous PSA that addresses a common safety issue.

Click here to watch.
News Briefsback to top 

Cessna released its new Cessna Sport/Private Pilot Course this week to its Pilot Center network, in anticipation of starting deliveries of the Skycatcher light sport aircraft later this year. "The new training program is a key component of Cessna's effort to make flying more accessible and to re-energize pilot training," said Tom Aniello, Cessna's vice president of marketing. The Web-based training, developed in partnership with King Schools, makes it easy for students to access training materials from any location, Cessna said in a news release. The program can be customized by instructors to reflect the local training environment, and it can be used with either a full-glass cockpit or analog steam gauges. Features include scenario-based lessons, videos, full-motion diagrams, and exam reviews. More...

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What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Weekback to top 

Gulfstream rolled out the first example of its ultra-large G650 Tuesday in front of about 7,000 people at its plant in Savannah, Ga., and announced the program is on schedule with first deliveries planned for 2012. The aircraft has been spotted several times in recent weeks as it underwent engine start and low-speed taxi tests. The rollout on Tuesday presumably marks the beginning of the flight test program, although no date has been announced for a first flight. The rollout comes about two months after Cessna announced it was shelving its large-cabin Columbus intercontinental jet. "Simply put, the Gulfstream G650 is in a class by itself," said Joe Lombardo, the executive vice president of General Dynamics' aerospace group. More...

The NTSB on Tuesday released its annual compilation of transportation fatalities, and reported that in 2008 aviation-related deaths increased slightly to 572, from 550 in 2007. Nearly 87 percent of those fatalities occurred in general aviation accidents (495), which was almost unchanged from the previous year (496). The other deaths occurred in air taxi operations (66), airlines (3), and foreign or unregistered aircraft (8). Commuter airlines were fatality-free in 2007. "We at the NTSB will continue to press hard advocating improvements in all modes of transportation to keep this trend moving in the right direction," said NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman. "Every transportation fatality is an unnecessary tragedy." Also on Tuesday, the board issued several safety recommendations asking the FAA to take action to prevent bird-strike accidents. The FAA should ensure that GA airports near woods, wetlands, or water comply with the wildlife-hazard assessments they are required to perform, the NTSB said. Also, aircraft manufacturers should be required to develop guidance for pilots to minimize bird-strike damage, such as airspeed charts that show the safest speeds to fly when in areas of known bird activity. More...

General aviation airports and private aircraft have taken a beating in the press lately (click here if you missed it), but the industry is not taking it without a fight. This week, the Alliance for Aviation Across America unveiled a new tool for the defense of GA -- an online compilation of data from each of the 50 states detailing the jobs, businesses, and other economic activity generated by all those little airports and aircraft. "We've been working for about six months to collect all this data," AAAA spokeswoman Selena Shilad told AVweb on Tuesday. "So it's not a direct response to the recent USA Today stories -- but it is particularly important in light of that." She said AAAA aims to communicate to the public, to lawmakers, and to the media that GA is a crucial element in our communities, supporting thousands of jobs and small businesses. Click here to view the new map, which allows users to look up local airports by state or by Congressional district. More...


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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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Rediscover Jet City!
Make King County International Airport/Boeing Field your flight destination! Conveniently located just 5 miles from downtown Seattle, KBFI is positioned in the center of the growing economy of the Puget Sound region, serving as a hub for business travel, private jets, and general aviation travel. Partner with aviation experts when you fly to Seattle. Make your destination King County International Airport/Boeing Field! For more information, visit online.
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!back to top 

Quite a few groups and individuals are tired of waiting months and years for the new FAA reauthorization bill. Others are in no particular hurry to set up the new status quo. This week, we'd like to know where you stand.

Plus: Last week, we asked AVweb readers about safety on the regional airlines; click through to see what they had to say on the subject. More...

If you've ever had to make an emergency landing on a road, we'd like to hear more about it. As part of sister publication Aviation Safety magazine's new podcast series, we're looking for pilots who have had the combined misfortune and good luck to make a forced landing on a road. Especially if your event includes a "teachable moment," we may ask you to help inform other pilots about the lessons you learned by participating in an upcoming podcast, moderated by Aviation Safety magazine Editor-in-Chief Jeb Burnside.

If you've "been there, done that" and would like to share your experience with other pilots, please drop us a note at briefly describing what happened. Please also include your name, e-mail, and telephone number. We'll take it from there! 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...

Over 18,000 Happy GAMIjectors® Customers Can't Be Wrong!
GAMIjectors® have given these aircraft owners reduced cylinder head temperatures, reduced fuel consumption, and smoother engine operation. GAMIjectors® alter the fuel/air ratio in each cylinder so that each cylinder operates with a much more uniform fuel/air ratio than occurs with any other factory set of injectors. To speak to a GAMI engineer, call (888) FLY-GAMI, or go online for complete engineering details.
Opinion & Commentaryback to top 


Letter of the Week: Internet Ground School a Mistake

Your remember yours. I remember mine. Every pilot remembers ground school.

Mine was in a dingy and dark corner of the low-rent district of our Florida airport. The three-classroom facility smelled like stale coffee and mildew. The air conditioning worked fine; at least when the owner the Part 141 pilot school felt like turning it on. There is nothing like sweating over a whiz wheel.

This familiar scene could, however, become a thing of the past. The FAA is considering requests by several "on-line" universities. They want to offer Internet-based flight training. Students would satisfy the ground school requirement by logging into their computers, grabbing a beverage, and "attending" on-line classes.

As an aviation attorney and college professor, I do not buy into the hype surrounding Internet education. I never have. Online education is not effective. It is unsupervised. It lacks the give and take among students and instructors that makes a classroom environment successful.

Also absent from online classes is confrontation. A classroom environment should put students on the spot. They must be required to defend their positions, the facts they believe, and their views on issues. Instructors should be able to engage them, to question them, and to confront them when appropriate. The flight deck is not a passive, docile, and forgiving place. Nor should be the classroom.

Kent Grayson, CFII, ATP, and the dean of Morton Aeronautical University agrees. Despite the excellent revenue potential of online flight training, Mr. Grayson said his institution will not consideri it. "Flight training needs personal interaction between the student pilot and instructor," he says.

"Our purpose is not just to impart facts and figures. The job of the institution is to build a student pilot's confidence and character. This is not an easy job and we are not willing to entrust it to impersonal and unsupervised online classes," Mr. Grayson said. Dean Grayson specifically mentioned lessons relating to flight planning, critical thinking, aviation weather, emergency procedures, and go-no-go decision-making. "These do not lend themselves to an online format. These areas deserve narrative, discussion, personal context from the instructor, and a hands-on approach."

Indeed, if your flight training experience was anything like mine, you probably learned as much from your CFI's war stories and bull sessions as during formal study. Internet-based ground school students will miss a lot of that.

As a college professor myself (I teach contract law at Holmes College), I am very sour on Internet-based programs and curricula. Online education has not lived up to its billing. Such programs usually attract the lowest quality instructors. And it should therefore be no surprise that they attract the least qualified and least ambitious students; ones not willing to dedicate the necessary amount of time or money to a proper educational experience.

The FAA is accepting comments on this proposal until November 30, 2009. You can send the FAA your comments by logging into You will need to enter the docket number for the proposal:


J. Christopher Robbins

Click through to read the rest of this week's letters.


Aviation Consumer's survey of EFIS owners and users revealed widespread satisfaction with the technology. Some readers even described glass panels as having saved their lives. Consumer editor Paul Bertorelli chuckled a bit at the thought, gave the pilot a little more credit that he did himself, and started thinking about how much the definition of "flying" has changed in a short time. Read his latest musings on the AVweb Insider blog. 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 Western U.S., contact Jennifer Mitchell at jmitchell[at] for information. As a Mooney owner herself, Jennifer can guide you through the purchase process.

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

The Austro aerodiesel, based on the Mercedes-Benz A-class sedan automotive engine, is now certified in the U.S. and Europe. As part of AVweb's flight trial of the new DA42 NG, we did a detailed video tour of the engine. 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.

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Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


Reporting on your favorite FBOs is usually a feel-good occasion, but this week we found a story in our inbox from one couple who had to rely on an FBO as their lifeline when they encountered a terrible situation while traveling. Bryan Liang explains what happened and how Pacific States Aviation at Buchanan Field Airport (KCCR) in Concord, California helped him cope:

My wife and I flew to CCR, hangared our plane with PSA, and borrowed its crew car. During our stay, we were carjacked. I suffered broken wrists and head wounds, and my wife spent eight days in ICU and twelve days in hospital literally fighting for her life.

The PSA folks were our main support the whole time. They came to the ER with flowers Saturday night. On Sunday they rented, paid for, and delivered a rental car to the hospital for me. They paid for my hotel, waived fuel/hangar fees, waxed our plane, talked with me daily, and then drove us 1.5 hrs to a commercial flight home. All because it was the right thing to do.

PSA's generosity and kindness lifted a heavy burden from us. They cared. Words cannot describe how much they opened their hearts to us and helped us feel we weren't alone. We are deeply grateful for all Greg, Shari, Jennifer, Marcy and the line guys did for us. They represent the best in aviation and the best in human beings. They deserve to be not only "FBO of the Week," but of the year, of the decade, and of the century.

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 

Reader submissions to our weekly photo showcase are up well above average for this time of year. (We've ogled more than 600 photos since the beginning of September!) This week's batch is particularly interesting, featuring more gold, orange, and red than we've seen in a single week's submissions in the last two or three years. (Yep, lots of gorgeous skyscapes and sunrises/sunsets.) Plus, we had quite a few reflection-themed photos, like this week's top photo, from Joseph Barber of Seattle, Washington. 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.