AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 16, Number 1b

January 7, 2010

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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Top News: "Last Fighter Pilot Has Already Been Born" back to top 

UND Offers First Degree In Unmanned Aircraft Operations

The University of North Dakota has launched the first-ever bachelor's degree in Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operations, and according to instructor Mike Nelson, it's just in time. "The last fighter pilot's already been born," Mike Nelson, a former fighter pilot, told Minnesota Public Radio. "The last fighter is being built. And these [UASs] are just getting started." About a dozen students signed up for the first year of the program. Ben Trapnell, a professor in the program, told MPR the graduates of the program will help to build a new industry. "What we hope to do is educate and train students with the best available technology that exists right now, but we know that technology is going to change extremely rapidly," he said. "We may even need to teach courses in technology that hasn't even hit the street yet." Jeffrey Kappenman, director of UND's Unmanned Aircraft Center, told Discovery News the program has practical appeal. "College students like to be employable when they graduate," he said. "This market is a growing market."

The school is also working toward FAA approval for a 13,000-square-mile UAV test range in North Dakota. The "Civil UAS Operating Environment" would enable UASs to fly without requiring TFRs. The systems would not be required to have an on-board sense-and-avoid system, but would depend on a ground-based radar system capable of detecting low aircraft such as sailplanes and hot-air balloons so UAS operators could safely maneuver their craft out of the way. Ultimately, UND researchers hope to provide a strategy to allow UAS research and development outside restricted airspace.

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More on Cessna's Call for Inspections back to top 

Cessna Confirms Skymaster Wing Inspections

Cessna Aircraft Company this week confirmed to AVweb it is developing a supplemental inspection document (SID) focused on the wing attachment points of its long out-of-production model 336/337 centerline-thrust piston twins. According to company spokeperson Doug Oliver, the forthcoming SID may be released as early as the third quarter of 2010 and will call for "relatively involved" inspection procedures despite there being no related accident or incident. Although a SID is not mandatory for non-commercial small piston-powered aircraft registered in the U.S., operators in other countries may be required to perform the inspection by their regulatory authorities. Cessna, for its part, would consider the inspection called for under the SID mandatory, according to Oliver. AVweb first reported Cessna was developing the SID late last month.

"We continually look at aircraft still flying in a light driving us toward safe operations," Oliver told AVweb. The company's ongoing effort to develop the new inspection procedure is part of that effort, he said. Although the company is not prepared to state what it has found as part of its continuous airworthiness program for the 336/337 fleet, speculation is additional stress is placed on the wing structure by the types' twin-boom tail configuration. "Using advanced systems and techniques, Cessna has become proficient in fatigue analysis, so when we started looking at our various fleet models, we knew the twin-boom design of the 336/337 had higher loading than a single-fuselage design and it is one of the early aircraft addressed," Oliver told AVweb via e-mail.

UMA TSO'd Vertical Speed Indicators from Aircraft Spruce
New UMA FAA-TSO'd Vertical Speed Indicators Available at Aircraft Spruce
UMA, Inc. is pleased to announce the release of its TSO-Certified 2 1/4" and 3 1/8" Vertical Speed Indicators. Ranges of ±2,000 ft/min, ±3,000 ft/min, ±4,000 ft/min, ±6,000 ft/min, or ±10 m/s. Labeled as: Climb (-x2), Rate of Change (-x3), or Cabin Climb (-x4). UMA strives not only to meet the demands of advancing aviation technology, but also to custom develop products for our customers. Call 1 (877) 4-SPRUCE or visit AircraftSpruce.com.
News Briefs back to top 

First Delivery: Embraer's Phenom 300 Light Jet

Embraer announced this week it delivered the first copy of its recently certified Phenom 300 executive jet on Dec. 29. Executive Flight Services, a subsidiary of Executive AirShare, took possession of the aircraft at Embraer's headquarters in São José dos Campos, Brazil. Executive AirShare, a fractional operator, already has a fleet of Phenom 100 aircraft, which started deliveries about a year ago. "As the world's leading operator of Phenom 100 aircraft, we have been extremely pleased with the performance and low direct operating costs of this entry-level jet, and hold similarly high expectations for the Phenom 300," said Keith Plumb, president and chief operating officer of Executive AirShare. Embraer's training facility in Dallas, Texas, graduated its first four Phenom 300 pilots last month. All four already held type ratings for the Phenom 100.

The Phenom 300 light jet can fly with a single pilot and seats six to eight passengers. It can cruise at up to 453 knots at an altitude up to 45,000 feet, and has a range of 1,971 nautical miles. AVweb's editorial director Paul Bertorelli took a tour of the jet at NBAA 2009; click here for the video.

New Online Service Eases Border Crossings For Pilots

Since last May, general aviation pilots have been required to file flight manifests online with Customs and Border Protection for all international flights. Now a new service available from Air Journey aims to simplify that chore for a fee of $99 per year. The new Web site, called Easy Air Journey, allows pilots to create and file their manifests and also to save their information online to help expedite future filings, while the official e-APIS site (electronic Advance Passenger Information System) requires users to start from scratch for each entry. In addition, Easy Air Journey will automatically generate general declaration forms (in English and Spanish) requested by the Bahamas, Mexico, and other Caribbean islands. The service also includes access to a 24/7 Help Desk that can answer questions or file your manifest on your behalf if Internet access is not available at your location. Pilots can preview the system via a video tutorial, or sample the service with a free trial online, though no filings will take place without a paid subscription. The service has been approved by the Department of Homeland Security.

Air Journey has over 10 years of experience organizing escorted fly-your-own-airplane journeys around the world, to destinations such as the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Canada, Central America, Europe, South America, Galapagos, Hong Kong, Dubai, and many others. NBAA also developed an easy-eAPIS online service last year, which is available to NBAA members for $25 per flight. Pilots who fail to meet the CBP reporting requirements can be fined up to $5,000 for the first violation and $10,000 for each subsequent violation.

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Summer Will Be Here Before You Know It back to top 

Coming Up In 2010, GA Shows Abound

The aviation calendar seems to grow more crowded every year, and 2010 looks to be no exception. First to come up is the annual U.S. Sport Aviation Expo, right around the corner, Jan. 21 to 24, in Sebring, Fla. Just a few years old, this event has established itself as the place to be if you're in the market for a sport aircraft, or just want to learn more about sport flying. The event is still small enough for exhibitors to spend quality time with visitors, but big enough to explore the full range of sport aviation, from fixed-wing to trikes, powered parachutes, motor gliders and gyroplanes. Europe's AERO Friedrichshafen show, from April 8 to 11 in Germany, will focus on environmentally friendly engine developments this year, with examples of electric, hybrid, diesel, and fuel-cell engines on display. Starting this year, the show will be an annual event. Back in Florida, Sun 'n Fun launches in Lakeland, from April 13 to 18, and another European show, this one in Cannes, France, will take place June 4 to 6. The fourth Eur-Avia Cannes International General Aviation Exhibition aims to provide visitors in southern Europe with a showcase of all sorts of GA aircraft, from sport planes to helicopters to executive jets.

The show season continues into the summer with EAA AirVenture at Oshkosh, scheduled for July 26 to Aug. 1. EAA already is posting updates online for visitors, including practical tips on travel and accommodations, plus announcements of a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Piper Cherokee, the 75th anniversary of the DC-3, the return of an "Oshkosh Express" 747 from Australia and New Zealand, and lots more. It looks to be a busy year ahead, with lots more events yet to come, so might as well start marking off those calendars now.

DC-3 Mass Arrival Set

A total of 35 DC-3s and C-47s have been registered for the mass formation arrival at AirVenture Oshkosh to mark the 75th anniversary of the design. The goal is to have a formation of at least 25 aircraft fly over Wittman Regional Airport on the opening day of the show but organizers allowed an extra 10 registrations to allow for the inevitable scrubs. The 35 aircraft that are registered all have the ability and intent to be there and all that are airworthy on that day will be allowed to participate, meaning the formation could be significantly larger than 25 aircraft. Although no more registrations are being accepted for the formation flight, any and all DC-3s and C-47s are invited to the show itself and should contact EAA for arrival and parking information.

The event begins with rendezvous weekend at Rock Falls Airport in Illinois. Aircraft will be on display Saturday and Sunday and there will be a banquet Sunday night. Engine start is 2:30 on July 26 for the flight. There won't be any practice flights and the formation will be built and stabilized during the hour-long flight due north to Oshkosh.

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.
News Briefs back to top 

Another Celeb Joins GA -- Zach Braff Flies Cross-Country

Zach Braff, the longtime star of the Scrubs TV show, got some positive press recently for GA when he flew his Cirrus from New York to California to appear on the Ellen DeGeneres show and talked about it during his appearance (click here for the video). He brought along his dog and an experienced pilot friend as co-pilot, and showed some pictures from the flight on the show, describing it as "just miraculous." Braff wrote about his decision to learn to fly to overcome his fears in an article for BestLife magazine early last year. He said earning his certificate was "one of the coolest moments of my life." Braff now joins Morgan Freeman, Harrison Ford, John Travolta, Angelina Jolie, and other celebrities in helping to convince the masses that it's fun to fly GA.

Freeman bought his first jet last month, an SJ30 built by Emivest Aerospace, and already has flown it to Africa and back while promoting his new movie, Invictus. Freeman said the $7.4 million jet is a "huge time saver." He earned his pilot's certificate in 2002 at the age of 65.

Coming Soon - Telex Aviation Ascend Headset
Ascend to New Heights
Engineered from the ground up, the all-new Ascend headset by Telex is finely tuned to provide superior performance in a bold new design.

Learn more at Telex.com/Ascend.
What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Week back to top 

Piper Selects Aviall For Worldwide Parts Network

Piper Aircraft announced on Monday that Aviall Services, a subsidiary of Boeing, will become Piper's sole global parts distributor, providing supply-chain support for Piper dealers and customers around the world. Piper CEO Kevin Gould said customers will benefit from Aviall's experience as a parts supplier. “Aviall’s extensive experience and excellent reputation in parts management and distribution will give our customers world-class service that is fundamental to the total Piper experience,” he said. The change will mean a "quantum leap" in the ability of customers to get the parts they need, when they need them, at excellent price and quality, said Derek Zimmerman, Piper's vice president of supply chain and aftermarket development. "Aviall's strategically placed distribution centers worldwide, coupled with its ability to stock sufficient inventory to meet customer needs in a timely fashion, make it the logical choice for Piper," he said. Aviall Services, based in Dallas, is one of the world's largest providers of new aviation parts and related services, with more than 2 million catalog items available through 39 customer service centers in North America, Europe, Asia and the Pacific region. Boeing acquired the company in 2006 for $1.7 billion.

"Piper Aircraft has placed its trust and confidence in Aviall Services to fulfill this important role in its business," said Paul Fulchino, chairman, president and CEO of Aviall Inc. "With certainty, we at Aviall can say we will provide to Piper customers, dealers and service centers a level of service that is unmatched in our industry. We look forward to this association with such an exceptional company as Piper Aircraft." In its 72-year history, Piper has brought to market about 144,000 aircraft with more than 160 models certified. About 90,000 Piper aircraft are still flying and are serviced and supported on every continent by Piper's 65 service centers, 40 dealers and 2,500 field personnel. Aviall will provide supply chain support for Piper dealers and service centers and also market and sell Piper parts to the company's individual customers worldwide.

DHL May Donate Airport

Cargo giant DHL Express and authorities in Wilmington, Ohio, are reportedly close to an agreement allowing DHL to donate Wilmington Air Park, the airport it formerly used as a hub, to the community. DHL closed the Wilmington hub over the past year in a cost-cutting move and laid off more than 8,000 workers, which naturally devastated the local economy. There are still about 700 people working at the airport, which the air freight company owns, and the proposal would see it become a publicly owned airport and industrial area. "DHL Express and the Clinton County Port Authority are pleased about the prospects of this solution supporting the region and people of Wilmington, and are very hopeful that such a donation could serve as a stimulus for redevelopment and future commerce in Southwestern Ohio," the two said in a joint news release. Wilmington would gain a pretty capable airport from the deal.

The air park has parallel runways, one more than 10,000 feet by 150 feet and the other 9,000 by 150, each capable of handling the largest aircraft and loaded up with weather equipment and navaids. There are a lot of big buildings and hangars between the two runways, all served by a network of taxiways. There's a massive ramp on the northwest side. The facility was a former Air Force base and is minutes from Wilmington.

AVwebBiz: AVweb's Business Aviation Newsletter

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

Question of the Week: Tougher Security ... Fewer Passengers?

This Week's Question | Previous Week's Answers


Last week, we asked how much flying you plan to do in 2010.

Nearly half of you — 49% of those who took a moment to answer — said I'll just keep doing what I've always done. To our delight, the next most popular answer (accounting for another 20% of responses) came from readers who say they plan to take advantage of a calmer economy to fly a lot more. Could that be the sun we see breaking through the clouds of recession?

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.)


There are more checkpoints, procedures, delays, and red tape than ever involved in flying commercial. This week, we'd like to know if the hoops are changing your reliance on the airlines to get from Point A to Point B.

Will increased airline security change your travel habits?
(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.

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.
Help Us Celebrate AVweb's 15th Anniversary back to top 

15 Years and Now 15 Grand Giveaways ... It's Your Chance to Win a Bose Aviation Headset X

CLICK HERE to Register for All 15 Drawings

Win a Bose Aviation X headset as we celebrate our 15th Anniversary! All you have to do is click here to enter your name and email address. (You only have to enter once, and you'll be entered in our prize drawings for the entire year — so if you've already entered, you're all set.)

And no, we're not going to rent or sell your name, ever. Tell your friends, and invite them to sign up for AVweb so they can qualify for our 15 Grand Giveaways prize drawings, too. (We won't spam them, either — but we hope they will sign up for our newsletters.)

Deadline for entries is 11:59pm Zulu time Friday, January 29, 2010.

Click here to read the contest rules and enter.

Peter Drucker Says, "The Best Way to Predict the Future Is to Create It"
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AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

Exclusive Video: It Takes a Lot of Work to Fly This Badly

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

Come along for the ride as Kyle Franklin explains his entertaining Super Cub comedy act and Ben Wabknoski goes flying. Franklin makes it look easy — but trust us, it's anything but.

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: Georgetown Air Services (GED, Georgetown, DE)

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

Conoco-Phillips WingPoints || Best Rewards in the Business

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Georgetown Air Services at Sussex County Airport (GED) in Georgetown, Delaware.

AVweb reader Mark Galbraith had high praise for the staff and facilities at Georgetown:

I'm in my third year of flying regularly to GED for both business and pleasure, and the guys at Georgetown Air never disappoint. The large ramp assures parking is available. All requested services are done immediately and to high standards. Free long-term vehicle parking is available, as are several courtesy cars. Randy and Greg are like family, giving my daughters rides on the golf cart and, when I'm in on business alone, helping me with all of my belongings and airplane duties. I am always treated as well as the corporate jet folks.

See? We told you Mark gave them high marks all around!

With the new year upon us, there's no better time to tell us about your favorite FBO. Click here to nominate someone. 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.


With everyone making their way back from the holidays, we have a low-key start to 2010. Not to worry, though — we're certain we can count of AVweb readers to pony up to the submission form and send us lots of great photos over the course of the next week — right?

medium | large

copyright © Douglas Abbott
Used with permission

Thrush S2R Spray Pattern Test (Project S.A.F.E. Clinic)

Douglas Abbott of Scottsdale, Arizona zooms in low and slow with this week's top photo. Taken at an Operation S.A.F.E. clinic in Collidge, Arizona, this rig is dropping spray at a rate of 20 gallons per acre.

medium | large

Used with permission of Dennis Vanzella

The Beast and the Beauty

Dennis Vanzella of Pambula, New South Wales (Australia) headed down to Frogs Hollow on the South Coast of NSW to bring back these "hangarmates" — Storch and RV-4.

medium | large

copyright © Gary L. Jones
Used with permission

"Hold It Off ... Hold It Off ..."

Gary L. Jones of Clovis, New Mexico adds just a tiny bit of extra pressure to a pilot's qualification flight, snapping this PZL M-28 preparing to touch down.

medium | large

copyright © Gary Dikkers
Used with permission

Three of a Kind

Gary Dikkers of Madison, Wisconsin lines up 'em in frame, just as they were lined up in a row last summer at EAA AirVenture (where he got the shot).

medium | large

copyright © Pete Howell
Used with permission

Snoozin' While Cruisin'

Pete Howell of St. Paul, Minnesota flies Sully the boxer to his new home, courtey of Pilots N Paws. According to Pete, Sully had been starved by his previous owner "for quite a while until the Boxer rescue group could spring him." After being nursed back to health, Sully boarded Pete's RV-9 and quickly became "the best passenger I have ever had" on the way to his new home.

For Sully's entire story (and a little taste of what Pilots N Paws arranges for pets like him), click here.

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.