AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 16, Number 2a

January 11, 2010

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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Top News: Beginning of the End for LORAN-C back to top 

LORAN-C Phase-Out Starts Feb. 8

The Coast Guard says LORAN-C isn't necessary for maritime navigation and the Department of Homeland Security says it's not needed as a backup for GPS, so by Feb. 8, you may not have it available to you, either. That has some pilots very concerned about the lack of a land-based redundancy for GPS. That doesn't seem to concern authorities who call it "an antiquated system no longer required by the armed forces, the transportation sector or the nation's security interests." The decision considers that LORAN-C is only used by "a small percentage of the population," and that those users "will have to shift to GPS or other systems." The bottom line is this: "LORAN-C is no longer prudent use of taxpayer funds and is not allowed under the 2010 DHS Appropriation Act," according to the Coast Guard.

Officially, "In accordance with the DHS Appropriations Act, the U.S. Coast Guard will terminate the transmission of all U.S. LORAN-C signals effective 2000Z 08 Feb 2010," writes the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard's Federal Register announcement clarifies that the Feb. 8 date is just the beginning of the shutdown and some signals may still be floating around after the date. According to the Federal Register notice, LORAN stations are expected to cease all LORAN-C transmissions by Oct. 1, 2010.

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Additions to the "What to Report" List back to top 

NTSB Amends Accident Reporting Requirements

The NTSB has published a final rule amending its regulations and reporting requirements regarding aircraft accidents and specifying the sort of accidents that must be reported immediately. Incidents making the list now include specific EFIS system and PFD or PND failures, and specific collision avoidance system advisories received while operating on an instrument flight plan or in class A airspace. Also included are powerplant issues including turbine component failure resulting in debris thrown anywhere other than out the exhaust path, and propeller failure resulting from anything other than a ground strike. Along with all that, air carriers will be required to report any landing or departure from a taxiway or use of the wrong runway. There is more.

The complete final rule is available online as published in the Federal Register, here. It includes information regarding reporting of overdue aircraft and preservation of aircraft wreckage. The provisions detailed in the rule will become effective March 8, 2010.

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Parts and Safety back to top 

ECi Announces Proposed AMOC For TITAN Cylinder AD

ECi has submitted to the FAA an alternate method of compliance (AMOC) that addresses inspections required by an FAA AD affecting some 18,000 ECi parallel valve "TITAN" cylinders available for Lycoming 320, 360 and 540 engines. The AD was issued on the last day of 2009 and the inspections aim to spot cracking at the head-to-barrel joint. ECi's approach has not yet been approved by the FAA and there's no guarantee that it will be, but ECi president Glen Golden believes the company's fix will leave owners with a reworked cylinder that "will never" cause owners worry again. ECi will provide the rework free of charge for affected TITAN cylinders installed on experimental aircraft. However, the process does cost time.

ECi is estimating three weeks to rework the cylinders and solve the problem -- pending FAA approval of the company's AMOC. The company will supply boxes for shipping if you call them at (800) ECi-2FLY or make the request via their Web site.

FAA: CVR/FDR Upgrades Delayed

The FAA says it has delayed until December a deadline originally set for April 10 that requires manufacturers like Boeing and Airbus to install upgraded cockpit voice and flight-data recorders, because manufacturers failed to plan ahead. Manufacturers petitioned for additional time in what the FAA calls a "decision by the industry not to comply" on time with a final rule that announced in March of 2008 the April 2010 compliance deadline. The rule requires cockpit voice recorders to have 10 minutes of backup power after aircraft systems are lost and requires flight data recorders to provide better collection of flight control movement data. The FAA says the manufacturers' petitions appear to have been motivated by the manufacturers' failure to plan ahead for the acquisition of the equipment necessary for compliance. According to the FAA, the manufacturers said they simply can't get the parts on time to meet the original deadline.

The FAA's motivation for the rule was to be able to provide investigators with improved data and resources that may help better determine an accident's causal factors. The NTSB has been pushing for similar upgrades since 1997. Now, manufacturers have until December to comply, with some operators granted until April 2012 to meet the 10-minute power backup requirement.

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On the Cutting Edge back to top 

Pipistrel LSA Expands, Hints At "Revolutionary" New Design

2009 was the "most successful year in Pipistrel's 22 year history," seeing increased production and sales, plus the hiring of new employees, the company announced this week. Translated into numbers, Pipistrel's production and sales increased by more than 50 percent when compared to its 2008 numbers. It completed its 300th aircraft from the Sinus-Virus light sport aircraft family and the 50th Taurus model. That boom led the company to hire 11 new employees in 2009, building the company's total personnel to 60. Looking ahead, the company says its order positions for 2010 "have already been sold out to around June." It has distributed as profit sharing to employees some of the 10 million Euros it generated last year "as a reward for their outstanding performance and service." The company has also invested about 1 million Euro into an all-new project that it calls "revolutionary."

Pipistrel has previously mentioned its "revolutionary 4-seat aircraft project" before, but has so far shared almost no details. In May of 2009, it said the project was already under way and that "this new aircraft concept will trigger an unexpected large-scale revolution in the field of aviation." Pipistrel is known for highly efficient, environmentally friendly two-seat light sport aircraft. Its Sinus 912 very long-range-capable motorglider made an around the world flight (with stops) in 2004, which Pipistrel claims as a "first" for its category of aircraft. More recently, in 2008, the company's Virus SW won the NASA General Aviation Technology Challenge for exhibiting exceptionally low noise emissions. That year also saw introduction of the Taurus Electro two-place side-by-side electric-motor-powered glider.

First Airliner WAAS Approach

The passengers aboard a Horizon Air flight to Portland in late December got there on time and made history in doing so. They were aboard the first Part 121 passenger flight to complete a WAAS Localizer Performance with Vertical Guidance (LPV) and without the satellite-based gear they would likely have ended up somewhere else. It was a typical winter day in the Pacific Northwest and the ILS was out in Portland so only aircraft with WAAS-capable GPS gear aboard were getting in. Horizon, which flies in some of the most challenging terrain and weather anywhere as the regional arm of Alaska Airlines, is equipping all its 40 Bombardier Q400s with Universal Avionics' WAAS-enabled flight management systems, enabling them to fly any WAAS approach, improving accessibility to airports on their routes and giving greater flexibility in picking alternates.

The STC for the WAAS gear (Universal Avionics UNS-1Ew WAAS/SBAS-FMS) in the Q400 was obtained by Canard Aerospace Corp. on Nov. 23 and the first revenue flight was flown the morning of Dec. 30. The Portland approach happened that afternoon. There are now 1,884 published WAAS approaches and it's expected the gear will become a fixture in airline cockpits as part of the NextGen program.

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News Briefs back to top 

Boeing Saves Lockheed Constellation

A Lockheed Constellation whose history includes flying in Canada, life as a restaurant in Toronto and twenty years in the elements has found salvation and a new life at Boeing Field's Museum of Flight in Seattle, Wash. Currently, the Connie is undergoing restoration at Boeing's Plant 2 building thanks in part to a large financial contribution from an anonymous donor but also because of a bureaucratic victory. The restoration prompted a two-year bureaucratic fight over ownership of the aircraft. At that time, the project was in the U.S., but Canada stepped forward to claim the much-neglected Connie as "a priceless piece of Canada's heritage," according to the Seattle Times. Ultimately, however, no Canadian institution stepped forward to buy the plane and the restoration project was kicked into high gear. The aircraft is set to go on display at the Museum of Flight later this year.

The plane has been repainted in its original Trans-Canada Air Lines colors. It has had skin replaced on its belly, new window frames installed in the cockpit and more. The project has been the baby of former Boeing executive Bob Bogash and the final product will reflect the work of hundreds of people -- both professionals and volunteers. Bogash intends to make his next obsession the resurrection of the Boeing B-314 Flying Boat dubbed the "Honolulu Clipper," which currently rests at the bottom of the Pacific somewhere near Hawaii.

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

AVmail: January 11, 2010

Each week, we run a sampling of the letters received to our editorial inbox here in AVmail. One letter that's particularly relevant, informative, or otherwise compelling will headline this section as our "Letter of the Week," and we'll send the author an official AVweb baseball cap as a "thank you" for interacting with us (and the rest of our readership). Send us your comments and questions using this form. Please include your mailing address in your e-mail (just in case your letter is our "Letter of the Week"); by the same token, please let us know if your message is not intended for publication.

Letter of the Week: eAPIS Is Easy

I had the opportunity to fly my GA aircraft with three passengers from Key West to Grand Cayman for the holidays this past December. I had completed the eAPIS tutorial six months ago and felt more than a little intimidated by it. I was reading this week's issue of AVwebFlash and noticed an article indicating a commercial firm would now do the work for you for $99 a year as well as customs declarations.

I confess that until I actually did the online eAPIS for the real thing, I might have considered the fee. Now I can honestly say it was very easy, intuitive, and it saved everything to complete at another time, just the way I'd left it. I had completed both the departure and arrival manifests before I left the country and had CBP approval literally within several minutes of submitting them. Pleasantly, the agents did not want the old 1380 arrival form and said eAPIS had replaced it. I was also told that they plan to upgrade it soon so that you will be able to store recurring passengers and trip manifests for future use. All in all, it was an unexpectedly pleasant experience.

Bruce Elliott

Instructors Must Spin

I don't know where Pat Bartlett got the idea that, as he says in his letter, "many instructors have not experienced an actual spin." I would direct his attention to 61.183(i) [or, for sport pilot CFIs like me, 61.405(b)(1)(ii) and 61.405(b)(2)(iii)], which mandate that a CFI receive instruction and demonstrate proficiency and instructional proficiency in spins and spin recoveries.

I'd never done an actual spin until I went for my CFI-SP. I had to get it, though, so I went and rented a DA-20, and an instructor took me through it. Not my idea of fun, but I do feel more confident about the situation — and that I can teach students how to avoid the situation in the first place.

Jay Maynard

When I learned to fly in 1948 at the Royal Aero Club of Western Australia, the instructors were all ex-Royal Australian Air Force. My particular Instructor had flown Typhoons with the RAF in Europe, some squadrons of which lost three times the squadron strength in two months. One day, when I had logged three hours, he said, "Stalls today." One day and another 45 minutes later he announced, "Right - today we do spins," and away we went for 45 minutes of seemingly wild gyrations.

We accepted it as a normal requisite of learning to fly and mostly never turned a hair. My log book is certified (at 9 hours, 45 minutes total) that "he has been instructed in and found competent to recover from spins," dated 20 April 1948. Later, in the early 1950s, people started complaining about having to learn spinning, mainly due to the influx of the mostly high-wing light aircraft built to resemble the motor car. So they started to push the teaching of incipient spins, to recognize the approach to the stall which could lead to the start of a spin.

By this time, some of us were flying DC-3s with the airlines, and we'd never heard of an incipient spin. Why would we want to, when we already had been trained to stall and to spin, and so knew from experience that we would never ever allow that situation to develop? I and some of my peers went on to retire with over 21,000 hours on pistons, turbo props and jets and never came anywhere near a stall, because we'd been there, done that and knew what it entailed.

But commercialism won through, and some flying schools went soft; otherwise, the pupil would take his money somewhere else. And that is why we have the situation that we have today. The world grows older, but the people in it never learn!

Reg Adkins

Green BS

I read with some interest your article on windpower at Burlington International Airport. I work professionally in the utility industry and did some research on the claims in your article. The article claims that this turbine with solar panels will save approx $14,600 a year and will pay for itself within five to 10 years. Near as I can tell, the installation of the turbine costs $200,000 to $240,000 to produce 100 Kw of power, which my company sells for 10¢ per Kw.

We've seen this dog and pony show before, and the simple facts are that wind power is only viable through extensive tax credits and grants. In 1987, when the tax credits were halted, wind power tanked due to it being non-competitive with traditional power producers.

How about telling the whole story and skip the "green" BS that the administration is trying to shove down our throats?


J. M. Mount

Not Freeman's First

According to your story, "[Actor Morgan] Freeman bought his first jet last month, an SJ30 built by Emivest Aerospace ... ."

I believe Mr. Freeman owned a Citation II. (Reference BJTOnline.)

Dan Michael

Read AVmail from other weeks here, and submit your own Letter to the Editor with this form.

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: Films You Gotta Watch

What is it about World War II pilot training films that make them so interesting to watch? Paul Bertorelli offers no answers in his latest post to our AVweb Insider blog — but he does have plenty of links, so you can watch a few and develop your own theories.

Click here to revisit the golden age of training films.

Jet Market Stabilizing

File Size 5.6 MB / Running Time 6:10

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

There are still lean times ahead for aircraft manufacturers, but the freefall of the last 18 months seems to be ending. AVweb's Russ Niles spoke with the Teal Group's Richard Aboulafia about where the market is headed in the next 18 months.

Click here to listen. (5.6 MB, 6:10)

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AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

Exclusive Video: SMA's Cessna Conversion — One Club's Experience

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

Despite good fuel specifics and power-to-weight ratio, SMA's Jet A-fueled SR305 hasn't made major inroads into the aircraft engine market. The Paramus Flying Club in New Jersey converted one its 182s to diesel power nearly a year ago, and in this joint report by AVweb and Aviation Consumer magazine, we report on the club's encouraging operational experience.

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

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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.

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Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Business Jet Center (Oakland, California)

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With the holidays behind us, AVweb readers are criss-crossing the skies with their usual fervor once again — and telling us about the outstanding FBOs they encounter along the way. Our latest "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Business Jet Center at Oakland International Airport (KOAK) in Oakland, California.

Student pilot Erika Amir tells us why BJC is a favorite destination:

[T]he service can't be beat! They have beautiful facilities, and I'm always greeted with a smile. There have been many days that I've enjoyed a cold drink after a hot afternoon in the plane and have always been glad for the air-conditioned lobby. The folks who work the line are professional and friendly and are always willing to go the extra mile. I definitely recommend Biz Jet!

Click here to tell us about your favorite FBO. 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!

The Lighter Side of Flight back to top 

Short Final

Heard a funny one from NorCal Approach last Saturday.

"Cessna 1234Z, you have traffic at 2 o'clock, about 1,000 feet below you."

"Roger, NorCal. I see the traffic; it's a red helicopter."

"O.K., but they're all green to me."

Terry Blumenthal
via 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.