AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 15, Number 45a

November 9, 2009

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
New aera Series Touch-Screen Garmin || Sporty's Pilot Shop
New Touch-Screen Garmin, from the World's Largest Garmin Dealer
The new aera™ series of touch-screen GPSs from Garmin is packed with cutting edge aviation and auto navigation features. You can even add XM Weather to get the most advanced touch-screen yet. Buy yours today from Sporty's Pilot Shop, the Garmin experts. Four models available, at just $799. Watch our exclusive video demo here.

To order, visit Sportys.com or call 1 (800) SPORTYS.
 
Top News: Professional Conduct at the Fore back to top 
 

Babbitt Hits Lack Of Cockpit Professionalism

FAA administrator Randy Babbitt spoke last week at a meeting of the International Aviation Club, calling for improved standards in the cockpit, making examples of pilots who demonstrated poor professionalism, and punctuating it with the statement, "Fly right or don't fly at all." Babbitt cited Flight 188's overshoot of MSP and the crash of Flight 3407 near Buffalo, N.Y., as examples, citing unprofessional behavior in the cockpit. Specific to Flight 188, Babbitt said in part, "It doesn't matter much whether they were using their laptops, or re-enacting the Lincoln-Douglas debates," adding "there is no substitute for situational awareness." Speaking of the pilots of Flight 3407, Babbitt said "the one thing those two were supposed to do is the one thing they didn't: pay attention." Babbitt did not mention last month's other major oops -- Flight 60, the loaded 767 that landed on an active taxiway at Atlanta Hartsfield -- but said that when it comes to safety, "'close enough' is never good enough." Babbitt then used the platform to push for cooperation and partnership with regard to rapid implementation of NextGen air traffic control technology and hardware.

"We've already begun transitioning to NextGen with the introduction of performance-based navigation, and with the acquisition phase of ADS-B," Babbitt said, and operational improvements will be ongoing through 2018. The hardest part, he said, is commitment, focus, and continued harmony between players here and abroad. Click here for the full text of the administrator's speech.

1549's Jeff Skiles Takes On 3407 And Pilot Standards

Jeff Skiles was serving as first officer to Sully Sullenberger when US Airways Flight 1549 successfully ditched in the Hudson and last week he sat beside Scott Maurer, father of a victim of Continental Connection (Colgan) Flight 3407, to push for changes in minimum federal standards for pilots. While 1549 ended relatively well, all aboard Flight 3407, plus one on the ground, perished when that commuter flight fell into a Buffalo suburb early this year. Skiles said the cockpit transcript from Flight 3407 indicated to him that the pilots of that flight "had no idea what they were doing and shouldn't even have been there," GoUpstate.com reported. Skiles and Maurer held a press conference at the Maurers' home Thursday, asserting that standards for commercial pilots should be similar, regardless of how many passengers they're flying. "You used to have five years or more in the industry before you could even look at getting a job at a regional airline," said Skiles, who added that the "fast-food wages" at commuters means "you cannot get trained professional pilots" to fill those jobs. Skiles and Maurer are urging legislative action, and some feel there's more to the problem.

James Ray, media spokesman for the US Airline Pilots Association, argues that commuter carriers fly under the radar in that they don't compete for customers. They earn passengers through contracts with major airlines, which Ray says often go to the lowest bidder. Skiles told reporters that his paycheck and benefits account for less than $3.50 of each ticket's price, adding, "Would you pay that to have Sully and me up there in the cockpit?"

 
Business Aviation Will Help Companies Not Only Survive
But Prosper During the Current Financial Crisis

To be your most productive, and your most efficient, you must keep flying. Because in so doing, you will emerge from these times even stronger than before. And you will replace the uncertainty that surrounds many, with the confidence and courage to light the way for all. Visit CessnaRise.com.
 
EAA Joins FAA in Expressing Zodiac Concerns back to top 
 

EAA Recommends Grounding Zodiacs Until Fixed

The FAA's special review of the Zodiac CH601XL and CH650 has implicated "several areas of concern" within the aircrafts' design that may couple with operational aspects to cause in-flight structural failures. EAA is now urging operators to not fly the aircraft until operators comply with a forthcoming Safety Directive/Safety Alert from the Zodiac's manufacturer. The FAA determined that stick force characteristics, airspeed calibration, structural stability, wing structure and flutter all conspire to the detriment of the design's overall safety. The agency studied five in-flight structural failures in the U.S. involving two S-LSA aircraft, one E-LSA experimental, and two experimental Zodiacs.

For more information the FAA is asking operators to contact either Wes Ryan at the FAA Small Airplane Directorate (wes.ryan@faa.gov); Zenith Aircraft Company (Zenithair.com); or AMD, which manufactures the S-LSA version, at Newplane.com.

 
Pilot Insurance Center
Save at the Pilot Insurance Center
Don't pay more for life insurance just because you fly. Compare at the Pilot Insurance Center to see how you can save. A+ rated policies. Complete coverage — no aviation exclusions. Contact the Aviation Life Insurance Experts at (800) 380-8376 or PICLife.com.
 
Middle East Eyes Supersonic Jet back to top 
 

Middle East Interest Strong In Aerion Supersonic BizJet

Aerion, which aims to deliver the first supersonic business jet, has been delayed in that goal by the state of the economy, but presently claims 50 letters of intent that represent an order backlog of $4 billion -- nearly 25% of which comes from customers in the Middle East, Pakistan and India. The U.S. restricts overland flight speeds to below Mach 1 for aircraft like the Aerion, but other countries do not have the same restrictions. The company is still in discussions with potential partners and says interest in the program "has not lessened" and it is "encouraged by our discussions." Aerion expects to be the first company to bring a supersonic business jet to market with what it expects to be its own $80 million offering. Still, Aerion says it will be another nine to 12 months before a technical assessment phase that will look at everything from the jet's aerodynamic design to plans until successful certification is complete. The target is to reintroduce supersonic commercial flight by the middle of the next decade.

The jet will have fuel consumption that is "far below any other proposed supersonic jet," according to Aerion, thanks in large part to its key enabling technology, supersonic natural laminar flow. Aerion formed in 2002 to reintroduce supersonic flight to the commercial segment and currently expects a five-year development and certification program to culminate in deliveries well before the end of the next decade.

 
AV8OR ACE™ from Bendix/King by Honeywell
AV8OR ACE™
The new AV8OR ACE from Bendix/King by Honeywell is the latest in paperless, full Electronic Flight Bag solutions — a highly affordable, portable system for the cockpit. Its compact, lightweight design includes airborne navigation, all FAA charts, airport diagrams, weather, traffic, automotive, and multimedia capabilities. With its geo-referenced charts and large, easy-to-use touchscreen, the AV8OR ACE lets you clearly read your charts as you stay on course. For more information, go online.
 
Tough Times Aren't Over Yet back to top 
 

GAMA: General Aviation Airplane Shipments Down

Year over year, general aviation airplane shipments fell by nearly half, with pistons leading the way, over the first three quarters. Year-over-year totals show 2,982 total units (all general aviation shipments) in 2008 to 1587 units in 2009, with industry billings down 23.5 percent. GAMA released the figures along with a statement from its president and CEO Pete Bunce, who said that aside from the economy, "unwarranted negative attacks on business aviation" were a "contributing factor" leading to the disappointing figures. Bunce's statement did not offer evidence other than the correlational evidence of falling figures, but added that "90 percent of the identified S&P 500 companies are business aircraft users," which GAMA suggests shows a powerful connection between well-run companies and those that use business aviation. That says little of piston aircraft shipments, which fell from 1646 units delivered in the first three quarters of '08 to 679 units delivered for the same period in '09. That's a negative change of 58.7 percent. The other segments -- business jets and turboprops -- were more fortunate.

Turboprops dropped 15.8 percent in GAMA's year-over-year figures and business jets fell 37.8 percent. Total billings over the first three quarters of 2009 amount to $13.771 billion worldwide.

NetJets To Lay Off 495 Pilots

The slowdown in corporate flights has forced NetJets Inc., which early this year initiated voluntary unpaid leaves of absence and early retirements, lay off up to 495 pilots early next year. NetJets currently owns more aircraft than demand warrants as business clients seek to cut expenses. The pilots could see pink slips as early as mid-January 2010. The company has contacted the NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots (NJASAP), which has for nearly a year been working to create pilot assistance initiatives should mass layoffs come to pass. Affected pilots will be provided a Web-based resource center that includes guides for financial, unemployment and retraining benefits along with insurance options. Dues collected from the pilots for the past seven months will be refunded and subscriptions to two aviation job Web sites will be provided for a period of one year.

NetJets also has plans to keep in touch with its furloughed pilots by connecting them with active pilots. The idea is to keep avenues open that might best facilitate the return of furloughed pilots to the line when conditions prove the move would be economically sustainable.

 
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.
 
News Briefs back to top 
 

The Fight For Hangar Homes

The reason the FAA now prohibits hangar homes next to publicly funded airports is based on noise considerations, but no data exists to back that position, according to ThroughTheFence.org (TTE) which seeks to "stop the FAA insanity." Airports all over the U.S. have so-called "through-the-fence" agreements with adjacent landowners that allows them to taxi their aircraft from their homes to the airport. But the FAA is now officially discouraging the practice as set forth in the most recent Airport Compliance Manual dated Sept. 30, 2009. TTE says the FAA's noise concerns are based on anecdotal information and that the FAA acted without seeking public comment or input on the topic. TTE believes that one benefit the FAA is removing by prohibiting hangar homes near airports the FAA is the potential security benefits of placing on airport property people with a vested interest in that property. The group put FAA administrator, Randy Babbitt, on the spot at the AOPA Summit.

When asked about the issue, Babbitt responded that the FAA is waiting to hear from the alphabet groups, according to TTE. Until then, what TTE calls a "stealth" and "wholesale directive" that may be better evaluated on a case by case basis remains in place.

 
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AVweb Audio — Are You Listening? back to top 
 

Trace Engine: Thunder and Orenda Live On

File Size 4.6 MB / Running Time 5:04

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

Students of piston engine development will probably recall the Thunder engine, a big honking V-8 aircraft engine adapted from a GMC truck engine. The project floundered and was picked up by Canada's Orenda and eventually by a Texas company called Trace. In this podcast recorded at NBAA Orlando, AVweb's Paul Bertorelli got an update on the Trace engine from Kevin Brower.

Click here to listen. (4.6 MB, 5:04)

 
Get Glass at This Special Seminar || Cutter Aviation || November 
10, 2009
Get the Scoop on the Best Panel Upgrade for GA — The Garmin G500/G600 — November 10 — Phoenix, AZ
Join Cutter Aviation on November 10, 2009 at 6:00pm at Cutter Aviation Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (PHX) for an up-close look at the Garmin G500 and G600 PFD/MFD glass panel upgrades for General Aviation, along with the new GTS Traffic Systems by Garmin. Learn how to transform your cockpit with the latest technology in situational awareness and safety at an incredible value. Refreshments, door prizes, and discounts for attendees will be available! Visit CutterAviation.com for details and to RSVP.
 
Bonus Content from AOPA Summit 2009 back to top 
 

AOPA Summit 2009 Photo Gallery

Click for more photos

The AVweb staff have packed their bags and are on their way home from the first AOPA Summit in Tampa, Florida — and guess what editor Mary Grady found on her digital camera? If you said "a bunch of great photos that AVweb didn't get a chance to share with us during the show," you'd be right. Let's have a look at some of our favorite snaps from the show.

Click for photos.

AVweb Insider Blog: AOPA's Tampa Summit — Random Observations

Leading with: Should it be called that or something else? Big plusses, says Paul Bertorelli in his show-closing installment of the AVweb Insider blog, include the Inescapable Dave Hirschman, Joe Shepherd's Electra, and a lot more going on than you might have expected — not the least of which were the babes in the Dominican Republic booth.

Read more.

 
Jeppesen Pilot Training
Smart pilots never truly fly solo. For 75 years, pilots have taken their aviation partner along for the journey — Jeppesen. Pilots (and future pilots) look to us for the tools and training they need to fly safely and effectively. Throughout your career flight path, you can count on Jeppesen. Choose the learning tools best for you with our integrated system. Learn more at Jeppesen.com/pilottraining.
 
AOPA Summit Round-Up back to top 
 

AOPA Summit 2009 Complete Coverage Round-Up

A complete recap of our podcasts, videos, blogs, and news reports from the 2009 AOPA Summit in Tampa, Florida.

Click here.

 
WingX GPS-Enabled Terrain-Aware Moving Map for iPhone!
Just released — Moving Map for your iPhone! Also: File flight plans and obtain and view legal weather briefings. View any NACO chart or airport diagram — entire USA stored right on your phone. A/FD, AOPA Directory, Route Planning, FARs, Animated RADAR, METARs, TAFs, winds and temperatures aloft, TFRs text and graphics, an E6B, and much more. WingX is also available for Windows Mobile and Blackberry. Click here for more information.
 
Your Favorite FBOs back to top 
 

FBO of the Week: Wells Aircraft (KHUT, Hutchison, Kansas)

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

AVweb readers did a lot of traveling last week, and we heard about some pretty terrific FBOs. Topping the list is Hutchison, Kansas FBO Wells Aircraft, located at KHUT and recommended to us by Bill Lavender. Here's Bill's story:

Traveling to a trade show, the prop started surging. [We] landed at [the] destination, and the good folks at Wells stopped all work and pulled the aircraft into the shop. Realizing I needed to be back in the air the next day, my aircraft was put front in line, the prop governor replaced, and we departed on time. There were no overnight hangar fees, and the courtesy car took us to the hotel and picked us up. (Again, no fees.) We did not need any gas, so all was done [under the auspices] of good service to the customer. The owner greeted us at the door and waved goodbye as well!

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!

 
If You Own a Cirrus, Or If You Are Considering Purchasing a New or Used Aircraft, Consider This:
Avidyne and leading Cirrus sales and maintenance facilities have launched the G3-R9 program combining the purchase of a late-model, low-time Cirrus and the Avidyne Entegra Release 9 avionics suite for much less than purchasing a new aircraft. G3-R9 — combining the best airframe, best engine, and best avionics for the best value. Click here for more information.
 
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 
 

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.

 
Ho, Ho Holiday Gift Guide Offer
It's time to promote your gift items and stocking stuffers to AVweb's 255,000 readers worldwide. Display your items starting now for one low price to generate instant orders until 12/31. We'll promote the Holiday Marketplace in every newsletter. Click here to visit the Gift Guide and have your product featured on AVweb.
 
The Lighter Side of Flight back to top 
 

Short Final

Yellowknife Tower:
"British Airways, this is Yellowknife Control."

[No response.]

[Long pause.]

Yellowknife Tower:
"Cherokee XYZ, this is Yellowknife Control."

Cherokee XYZ:
"Yellowknife, this is XYZ."

Yellowknife Tower:
"We gave you the wrong transponder code on takeoff; please change to 1234."

[Pause.]

Yellowknife Tower:
"We mistook you for British Airways."

Cherokee XYZ:
"Easy mistake."

Chris Holloway
via 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:

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.

Aviate. Navigate. Communicate.