AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 15, Number 48b

December 3, 2009

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
Lightspeed Zulu || Change Your Mind
Lightspeed Aviation Has an Easy Way for You to Cross a Big Gift Off Your Shopping List ... And Make Your Favorite Pilot's Greatest Wish Come True
For the first time ever, Lightspeed is teaming up with its dealers to offer a special holiday discount on the Zulu. Just talk to your nearest authorized dealer for all the details. And hurry — this offer ends on 12/24/09. Go to ZuluChangeYourMind.com to see what the Zulu excitement is all about.
Top News: The FAA, Flight Training Rules, and You back to top 

GA Reacts To FAA's Proposed Changes In Pilot Training

The time to respond to the FAA's latest proposed changes to flight-training rules closed on Monday, and nearly 400 comments were logged. The National Association of Flight Instructors said that while overall the 16 proposals are on the right track, they still had issues. "Some of [the proposed changes] lack the detail needed to fully allow their implementation," said NAFI Executive Director Jason Blair. "Others, instead of enhancing safety, actually decrease the level of flight proficiency and experience students will gain through their training activities. We also believe that further research on a number of these proposals is needed before final rules can be finalized." AOPA also commented on the changes, and said they would like to see some of the proposals go even further. For example, while the proposal would tweak some requirements for the commercial pilot certificate, AOPA said it would like to see a thorough review of those requirements. EAA said it was OK with most of the proposals, but raised a red flag regarding certain changes aimed at operators of jet aircraft. The changes were clearly intended to address operators of VLJs, EAA said, but would potentially impact the operation of warbirds and other vintage and homebuilt jets operated under Experimental rules.

Among the proposed changes in the FAA NPRM: Commercial pilot applicants, both single-engine and multiengine, would replace the current 10 hours of complex airplane aeronautical experience with 10 hours of advanced instrument training; flight schools would be excused from the requirement to have a ground school space if they offer Internet-based ground-school training; students would be allowed to apply for both a private pilot certificate and an instrument rating at the same time; the definition of "complex airplane" would change to include airplanes equipped with FADEC engines; and it would become easier to issue U.S. certificates to foreign pilots. The changes would help reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens, the FAA said. Click here for the full list of comments at the FAA Web site. Click here for the full text of the NPRM. Click here for NAFI's full review.

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Hellcat Rises from the Water for a Second Life back to top 

WWII Hellcat Recovered From Lake Michigan

A Navy Grumman F6F-3 Hellcat fighter plane that sank more than 60 years ago was lifted from the muddy waters of Lake Michigan on Monday. "Relatively speaking, having been down there since 1945, it's in pretty darn good shape," Mark Kish, a worker for the marine retrieval company, told The Navy Times. The lettering on the side could still be read and gauges in the cockpit were intact, Kish said. The airplane was found in water about 260 feet deep, where it sank after a mishap during a training flight for carrier landings. The pilot of the airplane, Lt. Walter Elcock, survived the crash and is now 89 years old and living in Atlanta. His grandson, Hunter Brawley, was present for the event and was the first to sit in the cockpit. "He told me to look for a pack of Lucky Strikes he left [behind]," Brawley told the Lake County News-Sun. "That's his sense of humor." The airplane will be moved to the National Naval Aviation Museum in Florida, where it will be restored for display. Click here for a video of the recovered airplane on a local news site.

Elcock said he remembers the accident like it was yesterday, according to The Daily Mail. During a training landing on the carrier deck, the aircraft's tail hook became entangled in a safety cable, and the airplane went out of control. "My right wing went out from under me and I went over the side," Elcock said. The cable snapped, and Elcock had to escape the cockpit from 10 feet under water. Brawley called his grandfather while sitting in the cockpit, and told him he suspects not many people get to sit in the cockpit of an airplane their grandfather flew. "It's made my year," he said.

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Flight Design in China back to top 

Flight Design LSAs Approved In China

Flight Design is the first LSA manufacturer to obtain type design approval and a production certificate from the Civil Aviation Administration of China, the company said this week. The approval for the CT design will make it easier for the company to deliver airplanes in the growing GA market there. "Up to now, LSA airplanes [sold in China] have been brought into service on the basis of a manufacturer's self-declaration alone, without any kind of certification," said Matthias Betsch, CEO of Flight Design, which is based in Germany. "This is a completely new level of qualification the CTLS has obtained with this step." Flight Design has sold more than 1,500 airplanes in 39 countries, and the CT has led the U.S. LSA market for five years. "We congratulate Flight Design Germany on this success," said Tom Peghiny, president of Flight Design USA. He added that sales are picking up in the U.S., with better sales numbers in September and October 2009 than in those months of 2008. "A market recovery can be seen," he said.

Cessna is also building the 162 Skycatcher in China, but so far at least, those LSAs are destined for the U.S. market. Meanwhile, researchers in China have been working on developing their own light aircraft technologies.

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.
Piper Glass — Just in Time for the Holidays back to top 

Piper Offers G1000 For Mirage And Matrix

Piper's Mirage and Matrix single-engine aircraft can now be ordered with Garmin G1000 glass cockpits, the company announced this week. "The G1000 takes our premier aircraft to a new level of performance," said Dennis Olcott, Piper's VP of engineering. "The G1000 deployed in the Meridian -- and now the Mirage and Matrix, as well -- [provides] sophisticated avionics that give pilots the feel and capabilities experienced in larger, business-class aircraft." The G1000 flight deck comes with three large-format, high-resolution displays as well as synthetic vision, the company said. The Meridian, Mirage and Matrix currently feature Avidyne's FlightMax Entegra Integrated glass avionics as standard equipment. That option will continue to be offered.

"By adding Garmin's G1000 to all of the PA-46 series of aircraft, we are providing our customers with a wider array of options than they have ever had on our flagship aircraft," said Piper CEO Kevin Gould. In October, the company announced that it will install Garmin G3000 avionics in the PiperJet.

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News Briefs back to top 

Operation Migration's Wisconsin Hangar Vandalized

While the staff of Operation Migration was working at a wildlife refuge in Florida last month, helping to establish a migrating flock of endangered whooping cranes, their hangar in Necedah, Wisc., was broken into by vandals who stole and destroyed thousands of dollars worth of gear and slashed the fabric wings of four ultralights. "A few minutes of senseless destruction means we're looking at a bill for $20,000 to replace the wings," Joe Duff, CEO of the nonprofit group, wrote in the group's blog last week. There was no insurance on the hangar contents. A vintage ultralight that was used in the filming of Fly Away Home was damaged, artwork created by one of the staffers was destroyed, and tires were slashed on two cars stored in the hangar. "All of us lost something in that willful destruction of property, but mostly we lost faith," wrote Duff. "Who knows what motivates such unrepressed anger. ... Instead of lashing out, we will redirect our anger at this cowardly act of destruction into more resolve." Supporters of the group have started a fundraising drive to try to replace some of the damaged goods.

Besides the vandalism, several items were stolen. One staffer who worked on the road had stored personal belongings at the hangar, which were taken or destroyed. Local officials so far say they have no suspects in the investigation. Volunteer pilot Jack Wrighter said on the group's blog that he will match up to $1,000 in donations that come in marked for wing replacement. Click here to contribute. Operation Migration has been working since 2001 to help endangered whooping cranes establish migration routes, by leading them in flight with ultralight aircraft.

'It's a Drag' - An Important Pilot Safety Announcement from the AOPA Air 
Safety Foundation
Got a Minute?
Watch It's a Drag, an important Pilot Safety Announcement from the Air Safety Foundation
Don't let airframe icing drag you down. This quick PSA shows pilots that it makes no sense to fly into icing conditions.

Click here to watch.
What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Week back to top 

FAA Mandates: Don't Buff Frost, Remove It

The FAA this week published a final rule prohibiting takeoffs with "polished frost," which it defines as "frost buffed to make it smooth," on the wings, stabilizers and control surfaces of aircraft operated under fractional or charter rules. The rule requires operators to remove any frost adhering to critical surfaces prior to takeoff. Since most such operators already were prevented from using the procedure under FAA operating specs, the change mainly affects operators in Alaska, FAA's Les Dorr told AVweb on Tuesday. Out of 188 aircraft affected by the new rule, 177 are in Alaska. FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said the FAA has advised pilots not to take off with frost or ice contaminating their wings for years, "because it made good sense. Now, it's the law." The change, however, does not apply to non-fractional operators flying under Part 91, although of the 12 frost-related accidents the FAA identified, 9 involved such operations. Those accidents, the FAA says, would not have been prevented by this new rule. "Nevertheless," the FAA said, "these accidents illustrate the risk involved in flying with polished frost."

The new rule also clarifies that aircraft operating under Parts 125, 135, or 91 subpart F (fractionals and some large aircraft), must have functioning deicing or anti-icing equipment to fly under IFR into known or forecast light or moderate icing conditions, or under VFR into known light or moderate icing conditions. The new rules take effect Jan. 30. Previous FAA guidance recommended removing all wing frost prior to takeoff, but allowed it to be polished smooth if the aircraft manufacturer's recommended procedures were followed. But manufacturers never published standards of acceptable smoothness for polished frost, and the FAA said it has no data to determine exactly how to polish frost to satisfactory smoothness. The new rules include four alternatives to removing frost: use wing covers to prevent frost accumulation, wait for frost to melt, store the aircraft in a heated hangar, or de-ice the wing surface. Frost can affect the aerodynamics of wings and control surfaces, and the safest action is to completely remove it, the FAA said.

FAA Fatigue Rules Delayed Till Next Year

The FAA is behind schedule on its proposal for new rules addressing pilot fatigue, and they won't be out until sometime early next year, Peggy Gilligan, the FAA's associate administrator for aviation safety, told a Senate panel on Tuesday. Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., chairman of the Senate aviation subcommittee, said lawmakers were running out of patience with the FAA, which had said earlier this year the NPRM would be out by this fall and then extended that to the end of the year. Gilligan also told the aviation subcommittee the new rules will not allow pilots to take naps in the cockpit as a fatigue-fighting strategy, as some other countries allow. "The crew has to come to work prepared for the schedule they are undertaking," she said. "We can manage and mitigate their fatigue through the regulations sufficiently that they should be alert throughout that flight." John Prater, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, raised the issue of long commute times for pilots. "The regional carriers, especially, they lose a contract and all of a sudden, people who lived in Cincinnati for 20 years, flying out of their home base, now have to commute overnight," said Prater. But Gilligan said that issue may be addressed by FAA guidance to operators rather than in the new rules. "How to do it is hard," she said. "But we know we do need to address it."

The rules will address such issues as the time of day that pilots work and the number of takeoffs and landings they execute, Gilligan said. Besides Prater and Gilligan, the panel heard from Basil Barimo of the Air Transport Association and William Voss of the Flight Safety Foundation. The statements of each witness and an archive of the webcast can be found online.

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."

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The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 

Question of the Week: Your 2009 Log Book

This Week's Question | Previous Week's Answers


Last week, the TSA dropped some hefty fines against thee airlines involved in a notorious ramp delay. We asked AVweb readers what they thought of the fines.

The clear majority of you (53% of those who took a moment to respond) said it's about time airlines were held accountable for these incidents. At the other end of the spectrum, only eight respondents (barely 1% of the total) called the fines ridiculous for a six-hour delay, even if it caused some discomfort.

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.)


2009 is winding down, and that's our cue to get nosy about our readers and their flying habits. We'd like to know how much air time you've logged this year.

How much flying did you do in 2009?
(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.

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.

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New on AVweb back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: Ed Stimpson a Modest Giant in GA

Guest blogger Drew Steketee remembers Ed Stimpson in the latest installment of AVweb Insider.

Read and add your own comments.

AVweb Insider Blog: Let the Captain Take Charge on the Ramp

If the Captain could make the call — he's the PIC, right? — then we might not need passengers' rights groups to protect the pax from unreasonable treatment and epic delays. That's the argument put forth by AVweb editor-in-chief Russ Niles on the AVweb Insider blog.

Stop by to see what he has to say and add your own comments.

Gift Certificates from the AVweb Bookstore
AVweb Bookstore Gift Certificate
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AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

Exclusive Video: IFR Checks Out the Garmin G600 for Instrument Approaches

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

IFR Magazine's Jeff Van West flew Garmin's corporate Mooney to see how the G500/600 retrofit glass cockpit performs for instrument approaches. He also looks at how the unit stacks up against fully-integrated systems like the G1000.

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.

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.

Find the Perfect Gift (Or Sell Your Gift Item) Here!
Ho, Ho Holiday Gift Guide
It's time to shop for special gift items and stocking stuffers for every pilot or aircraft enthusiast on your list. Click now to visit AVweb's Holiday Marketplace.
Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Lebanon Aviation Services (Floyd W. Jones Airport, Lebanon, MO)

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Lebanon Aviation Services at Floyd W. Jones Airport (KLBO) in Lebanon, Missouri.

AVweb reader Bill Lanman stopped in over the holiday and tells us how LAS rolled out the Thanksgiving welcome for a weary traveler:

A full course buffet of homemade food and freshly baked pie made my stop at LBO a real treat — all for a small donation! Last year I stayed overnight, and they paid for my cab to and from the hotel. The pilot is truly king here! Great people and service. I stop here whenever in the area, and I recommend any pilot flying through do the same.

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.


As you might expect, reader submissions to our weekly photo cornucopia dropped a little bit over the week of Thanksgiving — but don't panic. We've still got plenty of terrific shots to make your eyes bug out of your head today.

medium | large

copyright © William Derrickson / TarmacPhotos.com
Used with permission

C-17 Arrival at Dayton International Airport

William Derrickson of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania kicks things off with a simply incredible shot that begged to be this week's top photo.

Before anyone asks: Yes, William did some post-production work here, compositing several different exposures into one image with super high-contrast colors. In our opinion, this is the digital equivalent of being a master of chemical developing from the old days — but maybe you disagree. If so, feel free to drop us a line and let us know.

medium | large

Used with permission of Dave Oberg

Summer at Crescent Lake

Dave Oberg of Anchorage, Alaska captured the U.S. Forest Service taking a break from their duties on Crescent Lake, Kenai Peninsula back during the summer months. We think it's safe to add Alaskan Forestry Service pilot to your list of dream jobs.

medium | large

copyright © Ryan Grantonic
Used with permission

L-4 Grasshopper

Ryan Grantonic of Dayton, Ohio turns a final approach into sheer poetry.

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Used with permission of
Dominic Mark Nicolai

Flight of Color

Dominic Mark Nicolai of Portage, Michigan brings the orange and yellow in this shot of "a Western Michigan University Cirrus SR20 on the ramp at W.K. Kellogg Airport in Battle Creek, Michigan."

medium | large

Used with permission of Timothy O'Connor

"You Just Never Known What Ohio People Will Have in a Backyard Shed ..."

We sign off this week with a photo from Timothy O'Connor of Batavia, Ohio that speaks for itself. (You may need to click through and see the the large-size version.)

Even though it was a light week, there are still some not-to-be-missed photos in this week's bonus slideshow on AVweb's home page!

Click here to submit your own photos to "POTW." Think of it as a way to give back to your fellow AVweb readers (and keep AVweb staff awake in front of their computer monitors).

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.

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.