AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 15, Number 46b

November 19, 2009

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
Remos GX
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Top News: "Future" to the Fore, Says DOT back to top 

High-Level Committee Addresses "Future of Aviation"

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood last week hosted the first meeting of a new advisory committee on the future of the country's aviation industry. "This is not going to be just another advisory committee," LaHood said in his blog post. "I am not commissioning some report to fill space on my bookshelf. This committee will make a difference." The group includes representatives from airports, air carriers, management, labor, manufacturers, general aviation and consumer groups, who are to address the industry's challenges and map the way forward. "This country has an aviation system that is losing billions of dollars, shedding jobs, and using an aging infrastructure," said LaHood. "It's time to get to work fixing it."

Craig Fuller, president of AOPA, attended the forum. "While the details of the committee have not yet been formalized, AOPA is pleased to be included in the process," he said. "We remain committed to being at the table to represent the interests of the GA community as the administration develops its agenda." At the first meeting, Fuller took part in three sessions: assessing the current state of the industry with representatives from the airlines, airports, labor, aviation analysts, and consumer groups; shaping the future of the industry, focusing on the environment, financial viability, outsourcing, and globalization; and areas for future work.

Three Things You Should Never Say to ATC || Click for a No-Cost 
Workshop from PilotWorkshops.com
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 quick tip.
Pacific Ditching Ends Well back to top 

No Injuries In Westwind Ditching

The crew, a medical team. the patient and the patient's spouse aboard a medical evacuation flight from Samoa to Australia were uninjured after the Pel-Air Westwind jet ditched in the open ocean in weather that prompted the pilot to ditch rather than trying for the airport at Norfolk Island. In a news release Pel-Air Chairman John Sharp said weather deteriorated as the aircraft commander, Capt. Dominic James, made several tries to get on the pavement. for a scheduled fuel stop at Norfolk, As his fuel dwindled he made the hard decision and it worked out. "They performed an intricate landing on water in darkness resulting in the evacuation of everyone safely and quickly," he said.

A boat was on the scene quickly and while everyone aboard was taken to Norfolk Island hospital to be checked, they were all unhurt. The medical team resumed care of the patient in the hospital and arrangements are being made to get the patient back to Australia.

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!
News from the North back to top 

Winter Olympics A Trial For Canadian Aviators

Click for a larger image

When the 2010 Winter Olympics launch in Vancouver next February, associated flight restrictions, termed by locals as the Olympic Rings, will keep many local GA operators grounded for up to eight weeks, with losses of up to $5 million, CanWest News reported on Tuesday. "We don't dispute the fact there is an issue of security, we just find this is very long," said John McKenna, CEO of the Air Transport Association of Canada, which represents about 200 operators. Flight schools will have to ground students, passengers for charter flights and floatplanes will be diverted to sites with security gates, sightseeing and banner-towing flights will be restricted, and more. About two dozen small airports are affected, including several just across the border in the U.S. The restrictions will last from Jan. 29 to March 24, to accommodate both the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and will be enforced by U.S. and Canadian fighter jets. ATAC is asking the government to compensate the affected businesses. But meanwhile, the operators of the Official Olympics Airport at Vancouver are thrilled that they can expect an additional 231,000 passengers during the event.

"We want every passenger to have a great experience in our airport as their first and last impressions of our city, province and country," said Paul Levy, of the Vancouver Airport Authority. The airport will benefit from upgrades to its snow removal and de-icing equipment. March 1, the day after the end of the Olympics, is expected to be the busiest day ever for the airport, with 39,000 people and 77,000 pieces of luggage departing. Pilots who may be considering flying into the area during the Olympics can find flight-planning information at the NavCanada Web site.

C-46s Keep Working

photo by Ralph Pettersen

There's no more dangerous type of word in journalism than the superlative and since aviation is full of the biggest, fastest, oldest, and coolest things on the planet you'd think we'd know better. Our inbox filled Tuesday with readers pointing out that Buffalo Airways does not operate the last C-46 Commandos as our Monday story on the Ice Pilots NWT television series incorrectly stated. By far the majority pointed to the four workhorses toiling for Fairbanks-based Everts Air as cargo and fuel haulers. Interestingly, we didn't hear from anyone at Everts but we got dozens of emails from their friends and airport neighbors. A quick check of the FAA registry turns up 25 C-46s but it's not clear how many are airworthy. We also heard that there might be some Commandos working in South America, perhaps even in passenger service.

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Fuel & Performance back to top 

Embraer, GE Plan Biofuel Flight

Embraer and General Electric will flight-test a renewable jet fuel by early 2012, the companies said on Wednesday. They plan to use a renewable biofuel made from sugar cane, developed by Amyris Biotechnologies, which is based in California and operates a subsidiary in Brazil. The test will be flown using a jet owned and operated by Azul Linhas Aereas, a new Brazilian airline. The goal is to accelerate the introduction of a renewable jet fuel with significantly lower carbon emissions and to provide a long-term sustainable alternative to petroleum-derived jet fuel, Embraer said in a news release.

Brazil has the world's largest crop of sugar cane and a history of expertise in ethanol production. Amyris produces its renewable fuel by synthetically altering the metabolic pathways of microorganisms, such as yeast, to engineer "living factories" that transform sugar into products such as diesel fuel and jet fuel. "This is a landmark project for air travel," said Amyris CEO John Melo. "It demonstrates that a united industry can usher in an era of cleaner air travel, while using sustainable resources."

Lycoming Gets IO-390 STC For Legacy Mooneys

Owners of older Mooneys now have a new option when it's time for an engine overhaul. Lycoming recently received the FAA OK to replace the original IO-360 Lycoming engine in Mooney M20E, M20F and M20J models with a new or remanufactured IO-390-A3A6 engine. The engine provides more horsepower as well as improved climb and cruise performance, while maintaining the same footprint as the IO-360 engine, Lycoming says. The new STC shows the company's commitment to legacy aircraft, says Dennis Racine, Lycoming director of marketing and program management. About 50 service centers across the country have been authorized to complete the installations.

The STC includes a new or rebuilt IO-390-A3A6, the Slick Start System and required documentation. In addition, Hartzell has certified both two-blade and three-blade propellers for the STC. List price of the new IO-390 is $48,500, or $36,100 for the rebuilt engine, according to AOPA. Meanwhile, Mooney is trying to entice new buyers with financing at 2.99 percent for the first four years, for those who qualify. The company is also offering a leaseback option.

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Hudson River Redux back to top 

Sullenberger Finds Fault With Langewiesche Book

US Airways Capt. Chesley Sullenberger said the new book Fly By Wire, by William Langewiesche, "greatly overstates how much it mattered" that the Airbus A320 he ditched in the Hudson had some automated systems, according to The New York Times. Sullenberger told the Times, "There are some situations where the automation will protect a pilot, but at the same time a highly automated airplane makes possible other types of errors, so it's a mixed blessing. And greater knowledge is required to fly a highly automated aircraft." He added, "Others in the industry knowledgeable about these technical issues know there are misstatements of fact in 'Fly by Wire.' " Langewiesche said he was mystified by Sullenberger's reaction, according to the Times. "There have been some characterizations of the book that are wrong," he said. He added that he didn't think the role of fly-by-wire was "critical" to the outcome, "but it was functioning, it's part of the story."

Dan Sicchio, a US Airways pilot who represented the pilots union in the NTSB investigation, told the Times the safety board's final report may show that in regard to the fly-by-wire system, "there were things that helped Sully and things that hurt him." He added: "There are things that I hope will come out that will show problems with the control system in this airplane." Click here for AVweb's story about Langewiesche's book and click here for the blog post written by Editorial Director Paul Bertorelli after he read it.

FAA's New Hudson River Rules Take Effect Thursday

Click for the FAA's PDF

On Monday, the FAA issued its final version of new flight rules for the VFR corridor above New Yor's Hudson River. The new rules, which take effect on Thursday, Nov. 19, create two separate levels for VFR traffic, with the aim to prevent another midair like the one in August that killed nine people. Also, while it was reported early in the day on Monday that FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said the agency had fired an air traffic controller and a surpervisor on duty at the time of the crash, FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown later said that was not accurate. The two remain on paid leave and no final detemination about their fate has been made, Brown told Bloomberg News.

The new rules separate low-altitude flights above the Hudson from aircraft that are transiting the airspace. Click here for the FAA's news release and two graphics showing the current flight plan and the new one that goes into effect this week.

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What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Week back to top 

Textron Subsidiary To Develop Carter Rotor Technology

The Carter Copter folks have been developing their unique rotary aircraft technology for years, powering through setbacks and making slow progress, and this week they announced their first customer agreement. Carter's deal gives 40-year exclusive use of their technology for unmanned aircraft systems to AAI Corp., a subsidiary of Textron Inc. Textron is no stranger to aviation -- the corporation also owns Bell Helicopter, Cessna, and Lycoming Engines. In a news release, AAI said it will provide guidance, support and resources to Carter for continued development of its Slowed Rotor/Compound (SR/C) technology. Their goal is to build an unmanned, turbine-powered aircraft that could deliver 3,000 pounds of cargo across 1,300 nm at 250 knots, or that could be deployed for surveillance missions with up to 24 hours' endurance.

Carter's SR/C technology is a fixed- and rotary-wing hybrid that delivers high speed, long endurance and off-airport vertical/short takeoff and landing capability at low cost, said AAI. "These features are well suited for unmanned aircraft that serve multiple mission roles," said AAI. Carter President Jay Carter Jr. said the deal is a turning point for his company. "As an R&D company we have been focused on developing and defining our technology and the systems that would enhance its capability. We now have a viable SR/C platform that has the ability to compete in both manned and unmanned sectors with vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) and high-speed flight, and a trusted partner in AAI. This partnership enables us to combine the unique capabilities of SR/C technology with AAI's unmanned expertise."

Emergency AD Affects TCM Lifters

Anyone who's bought a new Continental engine, had theirs rebuilt or had top end work done since June 19, 2009 could be affected by an emergency AD requiring replacement of the hydraulic lifters installed in those engines. There have been at least three cases in which the lifters wore out in as little as five hours. Teledyne Continental Motors issued a mandatory service bulletin (PDF) Nov. 3 and the FAA issued the emergency AD after assessing the MSB. The AD includes part numbers 657913, 657915, or 657916, in Model 240, 360, 470 and 520 engines. Although 550-series engines are not mentioned in the AD, there are reports that they are also affected. The lifter problems have also delayed rebuilds that were on the bench when the problems became known.

AVweb heard from at least two owners whose rebuilds were stopped because lifters weren't available. It's not clear when the supply of lifters will return to normal.

AVwebBiz: AVweb's Business Aviation Newsletter

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."

Online Aircraft-Specific Ground Schools
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, through its Office of Professional Education, now offers a series of aircraft-specific ground schools: Boeing 737 Classic — NG, 747, 757, 767 and 777; as well as Airbus 319, 320, 330 and 340; and the Bombardier CRJ 200. For a complete list, visit Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's web site at ERAU.edu/professionaleducation.
Repair Stations and Security back to top 

TSA Rule Targets Repair Stations

The Transportation Security Administration has prepared new regulations governing security procedures at repair stations. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) (PDF) will require repair stations to establish security protocols to guard against unauthorized access to the facility, aircraft and parts. The new rules would affect 4,227 FAA-certificated shops in the U.S. and 694 in other countries that work on U.S. aircraft. There will be a 60-day comment period on the rule.

In announcing the proposed NPRM, TSA Office of Security Operations Assistant Administrator Lee Kair said the rule will augment existing FAA security rules in place at certificated repair stations. "By enhancing repair station security, this rulemaking guards against the potential threat of an aircraft being destroyed or used as a weapon," he said. The rule, if adopted, will require strict access control and implementation of security awareness training programs and, of course, allow for TSA inspections and audits.

Question of the Week: Repair Stations as a Security Concern

This Week's Question | Previous Week's Answers


Last week, we asked if historic aircraft should be flown by groups like the Commemorative Air Force — or if some one-of-a-kind birds are just too rare for the air.

Most of the readers who took a moment to answer thought historic aircraft should be flown — 31% of you offering no restrictions and another 33% saying pilot qualifications, weather, and safety-of-flight issues should be squarely at the forefront. (11% of you said such flights should be limited to special occasions to keep them in flying condition, but no more.

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.)


The TSA has announced plans to impose stricter security requirements on FAA-certificated repair stations in the U.S. and in other countries. This week, we'd like readers to gauge the security threat posed by repair stations.

How big a security threat are repair stations?
(click to answer)

Have an idea for a new "Question of the Week"? Send your suggestions to .

This address is only for suggested "QOTW" questions, and not for "QOTW" answers or comments.
Use this form to send "QOTW" comments to our AVmail Editor.

Night Flight Training CBT
This high-quality multimedia CD-ROM from Oxford Aviation Academy provides the private pilot with a complete interactive night time training course. In it, the pilot will learn about the physiological aspects of night flying, basic instrument flying techniques, airport lighting, night navigation, and emergencies specific to night flying. The course concludes with a detailed account of a night flight.

CBT/CD $71.50

For more information, call (800) 780-4115 or click this link for an online demo (and to check out other items at AVwebBooks.com).
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

Exclusive Video: Product Minutes — New Products at AOPA Summit

Original, Exclusive Videos from AVweb | Reader-Submitted & Viral Videos

Our cup did runneth over AOPA Summit last week, but we managed some time to shoot another brief video on cool products we saw, including a Cirrus engine modification from Next Dimension, Flightline Systems' new AuRACLE Engine Monitor for legacy twins, a nifty flashlight that's really a glove, and a new Cessna 210 inspection guide from the Cessna Pilots Association.

Don't see a video screen?
Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Kansas Air Center (Manhattan Regional Airport, KMHK, Kansas)

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

Our latest "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to the facilities at Kansas Air Center at Manhattan Regional Airport (KMHK) in Manhattan, Kansas.

AVweb reader Wade Logan explained how KAC exceeded his expectations from start to finish while he was in Manhattan:

As I pulled into the ramp, I was immediately greeted by three line technicians: The first parked me, the second cleaned my windscreen before I even was out of the plane, and the third had a placed a purple K-State Wildcat rug at my door. The facility was top-notch (exceptionally clean), and the fuel prices are the lowest I have come across in a long while. The founder/owner is extremely courteous, and I even saw him cleaning some windscreens himself!

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 Photos back to top 

Picture of the Week: AVweb's Flying Photography Showcase

Submit a Photo | Rules | Tips | Questions | Past Winners

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.


We're back, with the usual outstanding assortment of photos. This week saw another uptick in contributions — hey, thanks! — so let's see what your fellow AVweb readers have in store for us.

medium | large

Used with permission of Douglas Johnson

Retired DC-3 Dreaming of Flight

Douglas Johnson of Belmont, North Carolina serves up a high-contrast shot with great perspective that's practically mesmerizing as our latest "Picture of the Week." The boneyard's never looked so good as in the photos Douglas sent us this week. (Look for another in this week's slideshow on the home page.)

medium | large

Used with permission of Todd Bohlman

Now That's Scary!

Todd Bohlman and Chuck Hlavac of Ramona, California brought a little high-flying spirit to the Halloween pumpkin a few weeks back. No doubt inspired by the glow of the afterburners, Chuck did the carving, and Todd made sure we got to enjoy it after the fact.

medium | large

copyright © Walt Barkley
Used with permission

Erickson Aircrane 734

We got a kick out of this photo from Walt Barkley of Claremont, California, who caught a fellow shutterbug (one of the Brackett Airport tower controllers) stepping outside to capture the moment for himself.

(The lame joke we skipped here involved the controllers' outrageous water bill last month.)

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copyright © Gary Dikkers
Used with permission

SpaceShipOne — AirVenture Museum

Gary Dikkers of Madison, Wisconsin puts his ground time to good use, dreaming of the stars — and when you've got a camera and regular access to the AirVenture Museum, you can really make that time pay off. It's the next best thing to being there ... !

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copyright © Ryan Grantonic
Used with permission

Jumper on Final

Those of you who've been closely following the bonus pics slideshow (on AVweb's home page) may recognize Ryan Grantonic of Dayton, Ohio. Ryan's contributed some great photos recently, and we're looking forward to seeing more in the weeks to come.

Where do we get all these great photos? From readers like you!
Click here to submit your own shots to "POTW."

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.

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.

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:

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.