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The first PiperJets should be rolling off the production line and into owners' hands around the middle of 2013, company spokesman Mark Miller told AVweb on Wednesday. The company had
previously announced a target date of 2011 to 2012, but Miller said a new analysis has enabled the staff to better assess the market and pinpoint a completion date. PiperJet position holders were
notified of the delay this week. (Sample letter in PDF format.) Miller said the project is healthy and the company's new owner, Imprimis, which took over in May, has been providing an influx of resources and capital for the jet.
"We're in the process of hiring 50 new engineers to work on the project," Miller said. Piper had announced at NBAA last week that the jet will feature the new Garmin G3000
touchscreen-controlled three-screen integrated flight deck.
The G3000 aims for intuitive operation with an icon-driven interface, and enhances Piper's goal to make the jet user-friendly, the company said. The PiperJet proof-of-concept aircraft has so far
logged more than 230 hours of flight time and 160 flights. Click here for a video introduction to
the G3000 from NBAA last week.
Join Aircraft Spruce at the AOPA Aviation Summit in Tampa, Florida!
Visit Aircraft Spruce in Tampa, Florida at booths 1202, 1204, & 1206 on November 5-6 from 10:00am to 5:00pm and November 7 from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Take advantage of some of your favorite products
on sale, complimentary ground shipping (does not apply to hazardous or oversize products), and a helpful staff to answer your questions. Pick up the new Aircraft Spruce Pilot Shop Catalog
today! Purchase $250 or more and receive a complimentary Aircraft Spruce LED flashlight (one per customer). Call 1 (877) 4-SPRUCE, or
The type certificate for the MS760 Paris Jet, a four-seat twin-engine light jet originally certified in France, has been bought by new owners who
will license it to MS760 Corp., based in Florida. The company plans to provide engineering, sales and other related services for the MS760 platform. MS760 Corp. has already acquired the manufacturer's
drawings and tooling, spare parts and a fleet of over 30 MS760 aircraft. They plan to offer avionics upgrades, as well as a turbofan engine option. Additionally, a new two-ship airshow team, led by
Capt. Dale "Snort" Snodgrass, USN (Ret), will showcase the aerobatic and precision flight capabilities of the MS760, which is certified in the U.S. in the "Utility" category. The Paris Jet was
designed, manufactured and originally certified in France by aviation pioneer Morane-Saulnier (now Socata). The jet cruises at about 350 knots and has a range of 1,000 miles.
The MS760 was awarded FAA certification in 1958 and was introduced in North America by Beech Aircraft Corp. A standard equipped MS760, with flight training and other special 2009 incentives
included, will sell for about $550,000, the company said. JetSet Aviation Holdings SAS, a subsidiary of JetSet International Ltd., will be the new owner of the type certificate. JetSet International
is a Bermuda-based company founded by Edward Furtak, a Canadian private pilot and entrepreneur who recently purchased an MS760. Furtak transitioned from a Mooney TLS Bravo into the MS760 and has now
accumulated approximately 200 hours in type.
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The Delta branch of the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), the union that
represents the pilots of Delta Air Lines, has issued a statement
concerning the NTSB investigation into Northwest Flight 188, in which two pilots flew past their destination and did not respond to messages from ATC and dispatch. "To date, all crew statements
related to this case have been voluntary," said Lee Moak, chairman of the Delta branch. "We are disappointed that these voluntary statements are being used without regard for the breach of trust and
confidence their use will cause." Taking disciplinary action against the crew, Moak said, could cause pilots to question the integrity of voluntary safety programs. "The continued viability of these
programs themselves will be placed at risk. That will, in turn, cause irreparable harm to the safety of our nation's aviation system," Moak said.
"In any aircraft incident, there is always more to the story than first appears in the press," he added. "We do not condone the abandonment of due process that will result from a rush to judgment;
instead we implore all interested parties to move with deliberate and unemotional professionalism as the events surrounding this incident are investigated." At no time during the incident were the
passengers, crew or aircraft in danger, the union said. The statement also was critical of the NTSB actions so far. "The NTSB is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable
cause of transportation accidents and promoting transportation safety," Moak said. "They are not charged with prematurely releasing self-disclosed information to be sensationalized in the
The NTSB this week found the pilot at fault in a fatal medevac flight in Maryland in September 2008, but cited a lack of help from air traffic controllers as a contributing factor. The Aerospatiale
helicopter, operated by the Maryland State Police, descended too quickly while on a nonprecision instrument approach in fog, and hit the ground. The pilot, a paramedic, a volunteer, and one of the two
teenage car-crash victims on board were killed. The safety board said inadequate handling by controllers at the Potomac Tracon and the Reagan National Airport tower contributed to an increased
workload on the pilot. The flight had originated at night in VMC, but on the way to the hospital the pilot encountered IMC and diverted to Andrews Air Force Base. The board said the pilot likely
became preoccupied with looking for the ground while on final approach, after failing to intercept the ILS glideslope. The pilot's limited recent instrument flight experience and a lack of adherence
to effective risk management procedures of the Maryland State Police contributed to the crash, the NTSB said.
The board said "poor ATC services" caused an increased workload and distraction for the pilot. Another contributing factor was the pilot's initial inadequate assessment of the weather, which led to
his decision to accept the flight. After the diversion to Andrews, the pilot was given a five-hour-old weather report for his destination. The pilot had logged just 1.9 hours of actual instrument time
in the two years prior to the accident, according to the NTSB. Fatigue may have also been a factor. It was almost midnight and the pilot, who suffered from sleep apnea, had been awake for 16 hours at
the time of the accident. An NTSB animation of the flight path is posted online. Click here for the full text of the NTSB synopsis.
Three Things You Should Never Say to ATC
Listen as two ATC pros share tips on better communication with ATC. Avoid these common mistakes and make your interactions more efficient and accurate. This is a sample from PilotWorkshops'
Tip of the Week.
Click here for this
Boeing confirmed months of speculation Wednesday by announcing a second 787 assembly plant will be built in North Charleston, S.C. instead of the traditional home of its commercial aircraft in
Washington State. The Puget Sound Business Journal reported that tax breaks and $170 million in low-interest bonds were approved by the South Carolina legislature this week while politicians in
Washington State tried to resurrect negotiations between Boeing and the Machinists Union, which had broken down and scuppered Washington's chances for the plant. Boeing was demanding a no-strike
clause from the union. "This is obviously a very disappointing day for all Washingtonians," Gov. Chris Gregoire said in a statement. The announcement caused some in Washington to wonder if enough had
been done to keep the 787 a purely Evergreen State product.
State Sen. Mike Hewitt (R-Walla Walla) said the Washington legislature should have met in special session, like South Carolina's did, to try and keep the plant in Washington. Gregoire replied that
Boeing officials had told her that there was nothing the State could have done to prevent the decision. Sen. Paddy Murray (D-Wash.) suggested Boeing would regret the decision. "Washington state has
fought for Boeing from day one. The dedication and quality of product Washington state provides is not something you can build overnight," Murray said in a statement. "The passion and history of
grandparents passing knowledge, know-how and skills to the next generation is not something that can be reflected on balance sheets."
It's a Great Time to Buy (And Finance)!
With low prices, motivated sellers, big tax incentives, and historically low interest rates, now is a great time to buy! For new and used aircraft from piston-single to light-jet, AirFleet
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Two unique events for pilots are coming up -- in Texas, the Flying Musicians Association hosts a fly-in music fest on Saturday, Nov. 7, and
in Florida, Fantasy of Flight offers Roar 'n Soar, a weekend full of racing machines for land, sea, and air, Nov. 7 and 8. The MusicFest runs all day, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., at Spinks Airport (KFWS), in Fort Worth, Texas. Admission is free ($10 per carload for parking), and the event features five music
venues with over 20 acts, a play area for kids, free Young Eagle flights, a pancake breakfast, "bodacious bbq" and an FAA Wings seminar. Performances range from jazz to country to folk to "open
jam/anything goes." The Fantasy of Flight event will feature aerial demos of rare vintage aircraft from Kermit Weeks' unique collection, as well as speedboats, a car show, large-scale RC aircraft
demos and tandem flights in hang gliders towed aloft by an ultralight.
Roar 'n Soar is a "celebration of speed," says Weeks. "It's a family occasion, it's the kid in all of us coming out."
Fantasy of Flight is in Polk City, Fla., about halfway between Orlando and Tampa. Other flying events coming up soon include a B-17 "fantasy camp" at EAA headquarters in Oshkosh, Wisc., Dec. 18-20.
Got a Minute? Watch School Daze, an important Pilot Safety Announcement from the Air Safety Foundation
Watch this quick PSA to be reminded of the importance of the basic maneuvering lessons you learned in ground school.
The FAA has revoked the certificates of two
Northwest Airlines pilots who overflew their destination airport last week while en route from San Diego to Minneapolis, the agency announced on Tuesday. The pilots were out of contact with air
traffic controllers for an extended period of time and told NTSB investigators they were distracted while the first officer was showing the captain how to use a new crew scheduling procedure on their
laptops. Air traffic controllers and airline officials repeatedly tried to reach them through radio and data contact, without success.
The FAA said the emergency revocations cite violations of a number of FARs, including failure to comply with air traffic control instructions and clearances and operating carelessly and recklessly.
The revocations are effective immediately. The pilots have 10 days to appeal the emergency revocations to the NTSB.
Two Northwest pilots who overflew their destination and went silent for over an hour last week were working on their laptops, in violation of company policy, the NTSB said on Monday. The first officer was showing the captain how to use a new crew flight scheduling procedure, and both
pilots said they lost track of time. During their discussion, they did not monitor the airplane or notice calls from ATC. Neither pilot was wearing a headset, but both said they heard conversation on
the radio. Also, neither pilot noticed messages that were sent by company dispatchers. Neither pilot was aware of the airplane's position until a flight attendant called about five minutes before they
were scheduled to land and asked for an ETA. The captain said at that point, he looked at his primary flight display and realized they had passed their destination, Minneapolis-St. Paul International
Airport (MSP). They then made contact with ATC and were given vectors back to MSP. The flight had originated in San Diego.
Northwest was recently acquired by Delta, which prompted the change in rules that the pilots were discussing. In a statement issued on Monday, Delta said the two pilots in command of Northwest Flight 188 are suspended until the conclusion of the investigations, but
added that using laptops in the cockpit is strictly against the airline's flight deck policies, "and violations of that policy will result in termination." The NTSB said the captain, age 53, has been
with Northwest since 1985 and has a total flight time of about 20,000 hours. The F/O, age 54, was hired in 1997, and has a total flight time of about 11,000 hours. Both pilots said they had never had
an accident, incident or violation; neither reported any ongoing medical conditions, and both said they were not fatigued. They were both commuters, but they had a 19-hour layover in San Diego just
prior to the incident flight. The Safety Board said the cockpit voice recorder was only a half-hour long, began during final approach, and continued while the aircraft was at the gate. The board will
analyze data from the flight data recorder to see if any information regarding crew activity during the portion of flight where radio contact was lost can be obtained.
Engineer Richard Whitcomb, whose innovative ideas are incorporated in the design of most aircraft flying today, died in Newport News, Va., on Oct. 13. Whitcomb "was the most important aerodynamic
contributor in the second half of the century of flight," according to historian Tom Crouch, of the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum. Whitcomb won the Collier Trophy in 1954 for his development of the
"transonic area rule," which reduces the shock wave drag that occurs near the speed of sound. "We built airplane models with Coke-bottle-shaped fuselages and lo and behold the drag of the wing just
disappeared," said Whitcomb. "The wind tunnel showed it worked perfectly." In the 1960s, Whitcomb's supercritical wing design was revolutionary, according to NASA. The airfoil design was flatter on the top and rounder on the bottom with a downward curve
on the trailing edge. That shape delayed the onset of drag, increasing the fuel efficiency of aircraft flying close to the speed of sound.
In the 1970s, Whitcomb developed his third significant innovation -- winglets. Other engineers had suspected that end plates added to the wingtips could reduce drag. But Whitcomb showed that the
structure would work best if it was an airfoil. Winglets are found on a wide range of aircraft today and improve fuel efficiency. Whitcomb worked at the NASA Langley Research Center, in Virginia, from
1943 until he retired in 1980. "Dick Whitcomb's three biggest innovations have been judged to be some 30 percent of the most significant innovations produced by NASA Langley through its entire
history," said Langley chief scientist Dennis Bushnell. "That's from its founding in 1917 to the present. He is without the doubt the most distinguished alumnus of the Langley Research
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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Despite valiant efforts from NBAA, GAMA, and others, business aviation is still a tough sell for much of the recession-battered general public. Last week, we asked how AVweb
readers might defend the use of airplanes for business if they found themselves deep in conversation with a skeptic.
Most of you said you simply wouldn't do it, with 42% of those who responded choosing it's up to individual businesses and their leaders to decide how aircraft are used as their
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 ***
Opinion on the fate of the pilots who overshot Minneapolis last week seems to range from "hang 'em high" to "slap them on the wrist." Where do you fit?
According to the Air National Guard, the F-16s stayed on the ground. If that's true, AVweb's Paul Bertorelli thinks it's good thing, showing a level of restraint that may mean things are going
in the right direction with regard to aviation security.
Each week, we run a sampling of the letters received to our editorial inbox here in AVmail. One letter that's particularly relevant, informative, or otherwise compelling will headline this section as
our "Letter of the Week," and we'll send the author an official AVweb baseball cap as a "thank you" for interacting with us (and the rest of our readership). Send us your
comments and questions using this form. Please include your mailing address in your e-mail (just in case your letter is our "Letter of the
Week"); by the same token, please let us know if your message is not intended for publication.
Letter of the Week: Safety or Punishment?
Yes, the pilots of NW 188 made a mistake. However, it is a shame that we are so focused on blame and punishment. What ever happened to "learning from our mistakes"? Given their experience (and
especially their most recent experience) and previous records, I can think of no other flight crew I would rather have in the cockpit the next time I fly.
I know they would be on top of their game because they know it can happen to them. But, no, I'll be riding with a low time, marginally qualified crew who may have never seen ice and doesn't know
what to do if it is encountered, or a crew that can't tell they are lined up on the wrong runway, while these two highly experienced pilots are looking for a new career. Is it about safety or about
I had to chuckle when I read this article. Seems like there was a similar incident out in Hawaii a few months ago.
Back in 2003 we added a feature to our autopilots that recognizes the last waypoint in a flight plan and will cause the airplane to circle that last waypoint if this feature is enabled. We did
this because we had a couple customers in a short timeframe pass their last waypoint and didn't become aware of it until sometime down the road. Not sure if they winked off but they sure did like it
when we added the feature. I cannot recall if they worked for NWA.
Chuck Busch President, Trio Avionics
Cessna may run afoul of airport regulations regarding commercial maintenance with its ServiceDirect Program. Virtually all
airports have some form of restrictions on outside service providers. Permission must be granted by the airport manager for a through-the-fence service. Any maintenance performed inside an airport
boundary must conform to the local rules. Most of those rules require a lease, a fixed place of business on the field, and local or state registration of the business enterprise.
When Cessna comes calling at my local airport they will be turned away until they gain approval from the airport manager. That is no easy task, in light of the rules, which are designed to keep out
moonlighters and to fill the local tax coffers. Cessna may circumvent the rules by contracting through established FBO's, but how many are going to give up their prime customers that way?
Balloon Boy Math
I would like to raise one point about such calculation that your story doesn't cover -
the profound effect of scaling on balloon lift.
A difference of plus or minus 10% in the scale of a balloon yields a near doubling of its gross lift. (For balloons, gross lift goes as the cube of scale.) Thus, the 65 lbs of gross lift calculated
for your story, could have been anywhere from 47 to 87 lbs with only a 10% error in estimation of scale. That difference in gross lift makes all the difference in the world when trying to make a
first-order plausibility assessment.
I am acutely aware of this particular scaling issue because during the time that the balloon was aloft, I and several of my fellow balloon builders were contacted by members of the press. Each of
us considered the gross lift question at the time. Given what we know about balloon construction, we were deeply skeptical of the idea that the balloon on our TV screens could lift a six-year-old.
Although we all very much wanted to allay public fears at the time, we found it impossible to make a full-throated hoax/no-hoax call before the balloon had landed and before the launch video and other
size-related hints were available. And the thing holding us back was the effect of scale described above.
I'm glad to see someone finally did some math. (I did, but I heard about it well after the fact) If someone had done it in the first place we could have avoided all the fuss, drama, and charges
other than possibly shutting down DIA. (Seems someone else in a balloon shut down LAX and suffered some penalties.)
A quick calulation would have saved a lot of unnecessary emergency activity. Anything you needed to calculate the lift of a balloon is readily available on the internet except for the ability to
estimate the volume which is actually less since it was not cake shaped. The lift at 5,000 feet should have been enough to eliminate the chance that the boy was on board and the lack of deformation
of the gondola should have been another.
I'm glad you pointed it out, and I hope someone is listening.
Read AVmail from other weeks here, and submit your own Letter to the Editor with this form.
Aviation Consumer would like to know. We're most interested in hearing about successful long-term aircraft partnerships.
What works for you? How have you sustained group ownership? And what effect has the current economic downturn had? Contact the editorial staff directly at email@example.com and we'll respond with our questions.
(The results will appear in a future issue of Aviation Consumer. For subscription information, click here.)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.
Q: What's the Difference Between a $10,000 Annual and a $2,500 Annual? A: SAMM Mike Busch and his team of seasoned maintenance professionals are saving their aircraft-owner clients thousands of dollars a year in parts and labor not to mention hours of hassle
by providing professional maintenance management for owner-flown singles and twins.
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Bendix/King by Honeywell is helping us give away one last AV8OR handheld MFD unit this year! All you have to do is click the image at right to enter your name and e-mail address. And no,
we're not going to rent or sell your name, but Bendix/King by Honeywell may send you information on the AV8OR. You may also forward this newsletter to friends and invite them to sign up for
AVweb so they can qualify for the AV8OR prize drawing, too. (We won't spam them, either, but we hope they will sign up for our AVwebFlash and AVwebBiz newsletters.)
Deadline for entries is midnight EST on Wednesday, November 4, 2009.
AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Montgomery Aviation at Indianapolis Executive Airport (KTYQ)
in Zionsville, Indiana.
AVweb reader James Shobert does a lot of flying in the area and told us how Montgomery never forgets the little guys while serving all those executive jets:
I fly several aircraft in and out of KTYQ, but most often an LSA used to commute to work. [Montgomery] give[s] me the same service as they do someone flying a Lear or King Air. They really focus on
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 ***
Looking at all the reader submissions that find their way into our "POTW" contest is always fun but picking a winner rarely is. This week presented some especially tough
choices, as you'll see when we dive in. We did manage to pick a winner, but we think you'll agree that any of this week's top five contenders would've filled the bill.
The advent of PhotoShop has ushered in a golden age of artificial lens flares but sometimes you just need to see natural light bent around by glass, and this week's top shot
from Richard Lawrence of Ottawa, Ontario (Canada) is just what the doctor ordered. Richard took this great shot at the 2009 Classic Air Rally at Ottawa's Canada
Red Bull Air Race "3-D" Image of Pete McLeod's Aircraft
Click through to the full-size version of this photo from Lars Hjelmberg of Sollentuna, Sweden to see the "3-D" effect created by shooting the
highlight on the wing. Lars explains that he "locked the focus on the wing tip and then [aligned it] ... to the corner of the picture."
We return to Ottawa for this week's sign-off pic, from Graham Wight, who "shot [this] during the course of an epic across-northern-Canada trip in
2006." With "Norman Wells Airport in the background and tundra on the horizon," Graham says, "the $35,000 in fuel was worth the experience."
You'll find more reader-submitted photos in the slideshow on AVweb's home page. Don't miss 'em!
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.