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Top News: "Last Fighter Pilot Has Already Been
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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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.
AVwebfirst 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
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
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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
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
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Avialls 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
"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.
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.
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Add AVwebBiz to your AVweb subscriptions today by clicking here and choosing "Update E-mail Subscriptions."
Over 18,000 Happy GAMIjectors® Customers Can't Be Wrong! GAMIjectors® have given these aircraft owners reduced cylinder head temperatures, reduced fuel consumption, and smoother engine operation. GAMIjectors® alter the fuel/air
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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
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.)
THIS WEEK'S QUESTION ***
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.
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.
Peter Drucker Says, "The Best Way to Predict the Future Is to Create It"
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AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Georgetown Air Services at Sussex County Airport (GED) in
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!
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.
*** THIS WEEK'S WINNERS ***
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?
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.
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.
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.
AVwebFlash is a weekly summary of the latest news, articles, products, features, and events featured on AVweb, the internet's aviation magazine and news service.
The AVwebFlash team is:
Publisher Timothy Cole
Editorial Director, Aviation Publications Paul Bertorelli
Editor-in-Chief Russ Niles
Contributing Editors Mary Grady Glenn Pew
Features Editor Kevin Lane-Cummings
Webmaster Scott Simmons
Contributors Jeff van West Mariano Rosales
Click here to send a letter to the
editor. (Please let us know if your letter is not intended for publication.)
Comments or questions about the news should be sent here.
Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's sales team.
If you're having trouble reading this newsletter in its HTML-rich format (or if you'd prefer a lighter, simpler format for your PDA or handheld device), there's also a text-only
version of AVwebFlash. For complete instructions on making the switch, click here.