AVwebFlash - Volume 15, Number 51b

December 24, 2009

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
'2009 Pilot's Guide to Mexico's Gulf Coast & Yucatan 
Peninsula' from Aircraft Spruce
Pilot's Guide to Mexico's Gulf Coast & Yucatan Peninsula Available at Aircraft Spruce
The popular 2009 edition of Caribbean Sky Tours' (CST) Pilot's Guide to Mexico's Gulf Coast & Yucatan Peninsula now offers pilots even more information for planning a trip to Mexico. The guide contains aeronautical procedures, airport information, aerial pictures, and a section covering eAPIS. Valuable destination information including history, culture, and sightseeing recommendations is also included. Based in Mexico, CST provides products and services for pilots flying to Mexico, Central America, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean. Call 1 (877) 4-SPRUCE or visit AircraftSpruce.com.
Top News: Cessna Wings Under Scrutiny? back to top 
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Wing Inspections Eyed For High Wing Cessnas

The president of the Cessna Skymasters Owners and Pilots Association says thousands of Cessna high-wing aircraft could be affected by a potentially expensive new wing inspection procedure proposed by the company. Herb Harney told AVweb the Supplemental Inspection Documents (SIDs) now being prepared by Cessna will require the removal of the wings of Cessna 336 and 337 push/pull twins, to check wing attach and strut attach bolt fittings for cracks and corrosion. In the U.S., the inspections will be voluntary but those in Part 135 service will be guided by the standard operating procedures of the operator. Harney said that in other countries, however, recommendations by the manufacturer must be met and Skymasters are scattered all over the world. The process is complicated and could cost as much as $60,000 per airplane, more than many Skymasters are currently worth. But the Skymaster shares the same basic wing hardware with all the other Cessna high wings and, under Cessna's current thinking, any aircraft more than 20 years old would be subject to the SIDs, Harney said. AVweb contacted Cessna for comment but the company was unable to respond by our deadline. Harney said U.S. operators may not necessarily escape the inspections.

Harney said Cessna is currently planning on rewriting the aircraft service manuals to include the inspection recommendations. He said maintenance companies, with their normal abundance of caution, may require the inspections before signing off on the aircraft because of the service manual amendments. If that became a common practice, more than 140,000 aircraft could be affected. Harney stressed that the SIDs are still being developed and could be changed but he also said that Cessna is planning implementation of the first SIDs by July of 2010, starting with Cessna 336 models.

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Others Weigh in on Through-the-Fence Agreements back to top 

EAA, AOPA Critical Of Through-The-Fence Ban

EAA and AOPA have weighed in on the FAA's new policy on through-the-fence agreements and both are asking the agency to back off. The new policy effectively outlaws the deals, in which property owners on land adjacent to an airport are granted access, usually via a gate that leads to a taxiway. Although the FAA has always officially frowned on such arrangements, it has given local authorities latitude to approve them in cases where it helped the airport and paid its own way. That changed in September with the release of the new policy, which includes the line that "there are no acceptable residential through-the-fence agreements." What's especially troubling to AOPA is that the directive appears to order any FAA-funded airports to cancel existing agreements that don't have end dates, something that could result in expensive litigation. EAA, however, says there's a place for the agreements and they should be allowed in some circumstances.

"The prior FAA policy, which allowed adjacent residential property through-the-fence agreements on a case-by-case basis based on the economic and operational needs of the public airport, and when safety, security, and equitable compensation issues were addressed, must be continued," wrote EAA's Government Relations Director Randy Hansen. Brent Blue, who has founded an organization, told AVweb the FAA has failed to justify its move to ban through-the-fence arrangements. When he first found out about the looming policy through dealings with his local airport in Driggs, Idaho, he said he was told that noise complaints from people living in the adjacent hangar homes were behind the move. A Freedom of Information Act request (delivered five days late by the FAA) showed no record of noise complaints from hangar home residents.

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News Briefs back to top 

Cherokee At 50

An iconic airframe that's stood up to decades of punishment at the hands of students and new pilots and always kept a kind of jaunty air about it is celebrating its 50th birthday this year and EAA is helping celebrate. The first Piper Cherokee rolled out in 1950 and next year's AirVenture Oshkosh is holding events to commemorate the aircraft that changed everyone's perception of the prolific planemaker. "The design has been a part of aviation history for those learning to fly, enjoying the freedom of flight or using an aircraft as part of their business," said EAA President Tom Poberezny.

Among the festivities will be a mass arrival of 50 aircraft and there are various gatherings being planned by Cherokees2Osh. The design was certified in 1950 and first deliveries were the following year. Since then more than 30,000 Cherokees and its derivatives, the Arrow and Warrior, have been built.

American 737 Leaves Kingston Runway

There appear to be no life-threatening injuries among the 156 people aboard an American Airlines Boeing 737 that left the runway on landing at Kingston, Jamaica, late Tuesday. Reports say 90 people had bumps, bruises and broken bones. Three remain in hospital. The flight from Washington, D.C., via Miami was trying to land in heavy rain and turbulence. It left the runway, went through a sand bank and stopped a few feet from the Caribbean. FAA and NTSB investigators were on the scene by Wednesday afternoon.

View Trade-A-Plane's New Edition at No Cost on Your Mobile Device!
Just enter Trade-A-Plane.com/mobile. Search for aircraft (hourly updates). Find companies, products, and services. Locate dealers/brokers. Call or e-mail sellers, and click directly to their web sites. With our web and mobile editions, you can view all of our ads at no cost, all the time! Call (800) 337-5263, or visit us online.
A Holiday Tradition back to top 

First Santa Tracker Misses This Flight

For the first time in its 54-year history, the annual NORAD tracking of Santa Claus around the world will do so without the good-humored officer who started the whole thing. Col. Harry Shoup was the guy who picked up the "hotline" deep in the underground command center at Colorado Springs on a December afternoon only to hear a child ask to speak to Santa. The local Sears store had set up a phone line to accept calls to Santa but the newspaper mistakenly published the secret number intended to alert a very nervous North American military of pending Armageddon. Shoup rolled with it and began a tradition that has lightened the load of heavily burdened NORAD staff and given a human perspective to the grim purpose of NORAD itself. Shoup died in March of this year but his decision to keep the light of the season burning in the shadow of some pretty intense geopolitical gamesmanship has evolved into a tradition that's keeping up with the times.

The original tracking of Santa was done on the radio with NORAD staff calling the position reports. That turned into squiggly lines on a television screen and today we can follow the jolly old elf on Google Earth.

The New Meridian G1000 — Commanding
The new Meridian G1000 with Garmin G1000 avionics and GFC 700 autopilot suite, business jet luxury and turbine simplicity for 30% less than any comparable six-place turbine-powered aircraft. With a panel as commanding as the airplane, and a million dollars less than its closest competitor, "Pilot in Command" means precisely that.

Click here for more information on the new Piper Meridian G1000.
What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Week back to top 

Got A Paper Certificate? Replace It Now

If your FAA pilot certificate is printed on paper, it's going to expire on March 31, unless you replace it with a new plastic certificate. To get the new counterfeit-resistant certificates, you have to fill out a form and mail it to the FAA in Oklahoma City along with $2 for each certificate you want to replace, or you can do it online. Either way, the new certificate won't list your original date of issue, so you might want to keep that old dog-eared piece of paper to prove your longevity. If you apply by mail, it's going to take four to six weeks, and up to 10 days for online processing, so don't put it off till the last minute or you could find yourself grounded. Some non-pilot certificates, such as those for flight engineers and mechanics, are good for another three years but then they will also have to be replaced. Student certificates are not affected.

While you're at it, you can also ask the FAA to issue you a new certificate number that is not your social security number. There is no additional charge to make this change. Click here for more info and the forms you need, or to make your request online.

Four Named To Aviation Hall Of Fame, NBAA's Work Recognized

An astronaut, an icon of business aviation, an engineer and an Arctic flyer have been named to the National Aviation Hall of Fame's Class of 2010. Capt. Alan Bean, the pilot of the lunar module for Apollo 12, was part of the second crew to land on the moon. Clay Lacy, a 50,000-hour pilot, founded Clay Lacy Aviation at Van Nuys Airport. He holds 30 type ratings, has flown over 2,500 air-to-air photo flights, and shot film for many Hollywood pictures including Top Gun and The Right Stuff. Warren Grimes, the "father of aircraft lighting," produced his first airplane lights in his garage in 1933, and created the familiar red, green and white nav lights still found on aircraft today. Noel Wien was an Arctic flight expert who founded Wien Alaska Airlines, one of the oldest airlines in the U.S., in the 1920s. Click here for a 2002 interview with his son Merrill Wien by AVweb's Joe Godfrey. The Hall of Fame also awarded its 2010 Milton Caniff Spirit of Flight Award to the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), in recognition of its achievement in advancing aviation.

The awardees were announced on Dec. 17 at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. They will be honored in an NAHF ceremony on July 17 at the Dayton Convention Center. Tickets to the event are available at 937-256-0944 ext.10.

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."

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 Capital can fix your low rate loan for up to 20 years. Please call (800) 390-4324 or request a quote online at AirFleetCapital.com.
Share Your Opinions back to top 

Question of the Week: Shopping for an LSA in 2010?

This Week's Question | Previous Week's Answers


Last week, we asked AVweb readers for their opinion on the 1,500-hour minimum requirement proposal.

Your answers formed a neat curve, with the bulk of respondents choosing the measured opinion that training is an essential component, but it can't cover every scenario. 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.)


It's been a while since we last asked about light sport airplanes. Are you planning to buy one during the coming year? Or have you already taken the plunge?

What are your LSA buying plans?
(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.

Aviation Consumer Survey: Wanted — Cirrus SR20 Reader Feedback

If you own a Cirrus SR20, our sister publication, Aviation Consumer, would like to hear about your experiences with it. We would like to know about operating and insurance costs, performance, factory support and your overall satisfaction with the airplane.

Send comments to jeb.burnside@belvoirpubs.com.

(Look for the results of the survey in a future issue of Aviation Consumer. Click here to check for special subscription offers for AVweb readers.)

Aviation Consumer Survey: Portable GPS Performance

Do you own a portable GPS? Aviation Consumer magazine wants to know how it has held up for you. Does it do everything you need? Was it a good value for the money? Have there been issues with service and support?

Follow this link to our brief online survey and let your voice be heard. It will only take a few minutes, and your comments can be anonymous if you want.

Thanks for helping out, and look for a round-up review of portable GPS products in the February issue of Aviation Consumer. (Click here for subscription deals for AVweb readers.)

Become a Mooniac Now
There has never been a better time to own the fastest single-engine piston plane available. Mooney Airplane Company is offering generous incentives, low interest rates, the best warranty in the industry, and immediate delivery from current inventory. In the Central U.S. and Canada, contact Wayne Fischer at wfischer[at]mooney.com for information. As a Mooney owner himself, Wayne can guide you through the purchase process.

Click here for the top 10 reasons to buy a Mooney now.
Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: 'Dear Idiots' — Cirrus Stall Revisited

In the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli dips into the mailbag and answers some concerns about his recent video on Cirrus stalls for Aviation Safety magazine.

Click here to see what others had to say, read Paul's rebuttals, and add your own voice to the mix.

AVweb Insider Blog: The Pilot Experience Conundrum

AVweb's Paul Bertorelli comments on the proposed 1,500-hour requirement in the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog. "If nothing else," he says, "we are shockingly predictable in our reaction."

Read the full blog and add your own comments.

JA Air Center - Your Source for the Garmin Aera
JA Air Center — Your Source for the New Garmin Aera Series!
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AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

Exclusive Video: Aviation Safety Dissects the Anatomy of a Cirrus Stall Accident

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

So-called over-the-top or cross-control stall accidents have been common among general aviation pilots for years. But no one has ever really documented what happens in one — until now. Thanks the widespread use of glass cockpits, this fatal stall accident has been extraordinarily well-documented by accident investigators and includes a video re-creation. Aviation Safety magazine walks you through the accident in this video.

Related Content:
As part of its detailed coverage in the January 2010 issue of Aviation Safety, the editors also interviewed John King and Rich Stowell, two veteran flight instructors who discuss the stall and spin training. Listen to the podcast.

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.

World Class Service Since 1951
Crownair Aviation is offering lower labor rates and fuel discounts through 2009 when you combine services. Crownair Aviation has a history of customer satisfaction that spans more than five decades and provides a wide range of aircraft services, including a dedicated fuel station, pilot and passenger amenities, personalized concierge service, hangar space, and two class-leading maintenance and avionics service centers. As one of the most experienced and respected names on the West Coast, Crownair has been serving the aviation community since 1951 with integrity and professionalism. For more information, visit CrownairAviation.com.
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.

Gift Certificates from the AVweb Bookstore
AVweb Bookstore Gift Certificate
The perfect gift for any aviator. Good for how-to books, training manuals, or any printed or eBook from AVweb Bookstore, the world's most complete aviation educational catalog. Order one now in any denomination, and an attractive certificate will be mailed to you for your giving pleasure.
Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Thomaston-Upson County Regional Airport (OPN, Thomaston, Georgia)

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Thomaston-Upson County Regional Airport (OPN) in Thomaston, Georgia.

AVweb reader Kenneth Breier told us about the FBO and its stellar services, including a courtesy SUV, jump school, long runway, great fuel prices, and brand-new facilities — not to mention great service from the folks who work there.

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!

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.
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.


Now that the holidays are here, AVweb staff and readers alike are enjoying quality time with their families and wrapping up loose ends from 2009. This has meant a slight drop-off in submissions to our "Picture of the Week" contest, but thankfully there are some dedicated souls out there who've kept the photos flowing in while the rest of us have been fretting over gifts and recipes.

medium | large

copyright © Joe McBride
Used with permission of Mathew Hlavac

Ho, Ho, Ho — Here Comes Santa Claus!

Mathew Hlavac of Ramona, California kicks off this Christmas Eve edition of "POTW" with a Santa sighting captured on film by Joe McBride.

(Todd Bohlman is piloting, and that's Mat himself playing Santa.)

medium | large

copyright © Paul T. Gernhardt
Used with permission

AirVenture 2009

Paul T. Gernhardt of Ashburn, Virginia reminds us that the sunny summer skies of Oshkosh will be here again before we know it. Heck, we're almost halfway there already! While you wait, why not check out some more of Paul's photos? He was kind enough to include a link in the comments on his submission.

medium | large

copyright © Robert Baillio
Used with permission of Carl Hennigan

Air Show Legend Marion Cole Celebrates His 85th Birthday Flying a Super Decathlon

Robert Baillio and Carl Hennigan of Benton, Louisiana soar high with this photo that's currently serving as our desktop wallpaper here at "POTW" HQ.

medium | large

Used with permission of Lee Hockman

120+ MPH Boat

"What's the aviation connection," you ask?

Lee Hockman of Doraville, Georgia explains that this Russian Boat "was built to rescue downed pilots in the Arctic Circle ... [and] sounds amazing when fired up!" According to Lee, that's largely because of the unique fixed four-blade prop "that we were told develops 30% more thrust than a regular four-blade [configuration]."

medium | large

Used with permission of Ralph Lacomba

Riding a Broom Can Be a B—Er, a Witch
(G1000 182T with SVT — Much Better!)

We don't have the heart to tell Columbia, South Carolina's Ralph Lacomba that Halloween isn't one of the traditional mid-winter holidays — but hey, he looks like he's having as much fun as anyone trimming a tree, doesn't he?

You'll find more reader-submitted photos in the slideshow on AVweb's home page. Don't miss 'em!

Click here to submit your own photos 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.

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.