Aircraft Spruce Is a Proud Sponsor of the Sebring Expo 2010
Come join Aircraft Spruce in Sebring, Florida (Tent F) on January 21-23 from 9:00am to 5:00pm and January 24 from 9:00am to 3:00pm. Take advantage of some of your favorite
products on sale, complimentary ground shipping (doesn't apply to hazardous or oversize products), and Aircraft Spruce staff on site to answer all questions. Call 1 (877) 4-SPRUCE or
Conflicting reports were flying on Wednesday about an alleged multimillion-dollar deal between Piper Aircraft and Czech Sport
Aircraft, which builds the SportCruiser LSA, one of the more popular models in its segment. A local business daily in the Czech Republic reported that Piper was preparing to get into the LSA
market, and the story was picked up by Flight International, then reported by AOPA Online. A Piper spokesman would neither confirm nor deny the report. But by later in the day, Dan Johnson's Sport
Pilot blog was reporting that a Piper spokesman said no deal has been made. Calls from AVweb to Piper were not returned by our deadline. With the annual Sport Aviation Expo coming up soon in Sebring, Fla., Jan. 21 to 24, we expect to have more on this story, one way or the other, in the
next week or so.
The Czech newspaper reported that under the alleged $30 million deal, the SportCruiser would be re-branded as a Piper product.
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Jason Krul, one of several pilots with the Mission Aviation Fellowship based in Haiti, was home with his wife, Willemien, and their two-year-old
son, Jason, on Tuesday afternoon when the earthquake struck. "I remember hearing what sounded like a heavy dump truck drive past on our street," Willemien wrote in their blog the next day. "Then everything started shaking violently." The family, originally from British Columbia, Canada, came through OK, but their
home was damaged and gas and water lines are broken. "If I walk down the street fifty steps, there is absolute and complete destruction," Jason told the Globe and Mail. [Click here for the podcast interview (MP3).] "There are dead bodies in the streets ... a
lot of confusion and shock ... It's so incredibly overwhelming." The Kruls live just outside the capital city of Port-au-Prince, near the epicenter of Tuesday's devastating earthquake. The MAF plans
to send at least three more pilots and four aircraft to help with relief efforts in the next week or so, spokesman Mark Field told AVweb on Wednesday. Rol Murrow, of the Air Care Alliance, told
AVweb that other public-benefit flying groups in the U.S. have been in contact with relief officials to offer their help.
MAF supports seven families in Haiti, as well as seven Haitian staff members and three aircraft. The pilots fly to 16 remote airstrips from their base of operations in Port-au-Prince. All of the
MAF families reported in safe, but as of Wednesday afternoon the status of the Haitian staffers was unknown, according to the group's Web site. The organization provides assistance to government aid agencies, nonprofit disaster relief
organizations and others. Donations to help the survivors in Haiti are being accepted online via the Red Cross, or via Unicef and Care.
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Houston air traffic controllers now are beginning to use the satellite-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) system to more efficiently and safely separate and manage aircraft
flying over the Gulf of Mexico, where radar can't reach, the FAA said on Tuesday. "This is a
significant, early step toward NextGen," said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt, in a press conference at the Houston Air Route Traffic Control Center. "We're delivering, on time, a system that's not
only more accurate than radar but comes with significant safety and efficiency benefits. This will save time and money for aircraft operators and passengers and reduce our carbon footprint."
Previously, controllers had to rely on an aircraft's estimated or reported -- not actual -- position. About 5,000 to 9,000 helicopter operations to and from oil platforms take place every day in the
Gulf. Under IFR at low altitudes the helicopters were isolated within 20-mile-square boxes to ensure safe separation from other aircraft. Commercial aircraft in the non-radar airspace were separated
by as much as 120 miles.
Aircraft equipped with ADS-B in the region will now know where they are in relation to bad weather and will receive en route flight information including Notams and TFRs, the FAA said. Controllers
now can safely reduce the separation between ADS-B-equipped aircraft to 5 nautical miles. The new technology will also allow the FAA to provide new, more direct routes over the Gulf of Mexico,
improving the efficiency of aircraft operations while using less fuel. A network of ground stations was deployed on oil platforms and the surrounding shoreline, bringing satellite-based surveillance
to an area with almost as much daily air traffic as the northeast corridor. Controllers in Philadelphia will begin using ADS-B in February and the system will become operational in Juneau in April.
ADS-B is expected to be available nationwide by 2013.
Hawker Beechcraft Corp. said on Wednesday its new Beechcraft King Air 350i twin turboprop has
been certified by the FAA and the European Aviation Safety Agency and deliveries have already started. "With the new King Air 350i, our customers are benefiting from the same fuel efficiency and
mission flexibility expected from a King Air, while now also enjoying an ultra-modern, state-of-the-art cabin rivaling that of global business jets costing millions more," said HBC Executive Vice
President Shawn Vick. "We are pleased to have the King Air 350i in operation in the U.S. and Europe and look forward to additional certifications worldwide soon." The 350i is equipped with a new cabin
system by Rockwell Collins that supports various devices such as MP3 players, video-game consoles, and laptop computers. The cabin is also designed to be quiet and easy to reconfigure for various
missions. The 2010 standard equipped price is $6,622,100.
The cabin features a 15-inch swing-out video monitor that can show a moving map and other flight info as well as in-flight video. Screens for each seat can also be added. The updated interior
includes new seat tailoring and tables, electrochromic window darkeners, LED lighting, increased legroom and optional seat warmers. Click here for more details (PDF file).
Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Safe Pilot? Challenge yourself with the Air Safety Foundation's Safety Quiz Spatial Disorientation.
Pilots deprived of visual references can quickly lose control of the aircraft. Are you prepared?
Coming up next week, the Living Legends of Aviation, a group of famous pilots, astronauts, entrepreneurs, and others involved in
the world of flight, holds its 7th annual event to honor those who have made significant contributions to aviation. On Jan. 22, in Beverly Hills, Calif., John Travolta will present awards to actor Tom
Cruise and astronaut Buzz Aldrin. Cruise, an accomplished aerobatic pilot, owns a P-51 Mustang, and inspired generations of moviegoers with his work in Top Gun, the highest-grossing aviation
movie ever. Aldrin is one of the 12 humans who have walked on the moon. The ceremony is open to the public, but be prepared to dig deep -- tickets go for $800 each, or just $250 for the after-party
only. Click here for more info. Also coming up is a one-of-a-kind event honoring the crews of the B-25s that delivered the first
bombing raid on Japan in 1942. Only eight of those crew members remain, and about 40 of the airplanes are still flying. This April, seven of those survivors and 25 of the airplanes will meet in a
one-time event to be held in Dayton, Ohio, to honor the Doolittle Raiders.
The B-25s will rendezvous on April 15 in Urbana, Ohio, where the crew members will be guests of the Champaign Aviation
Museum. The fleet then will fly to Wright Field on Saturday, April 17, for a ceremony and public viewing. The organizers are seeking sponsors to defray expenses; contact Larry Kelley, email@example.com, for more info.
Save Money. Fly Safer.
By insuring with Avemco®, you can save up to 10% off your annual insurance premium with the Avemco Safety Rewards Program. It rewards pilots for
receiving safety instruction and/or new ratings. For more information, call us at (888) 241-7891 or
The FAA could soon implement a changeover from "position and hold" to "line up and wait," to conform with international phraseology standards, NBAA said this week. If approved later this month, the
new terminology could be implemented as soon as this June. It's long overdue, according to NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman. She said the NTSB issued six recommendations in July 2000, asking the FAA to
change various ATC procedures to reduce the risks of runway operations. "In response, we were recently advised that the FAA soon plans to adopt a single change: the use of "line up and wait" instead
of "position and hold" to instruct pilots to enter a runway and wait for takeoff clearance," Hersman said at a runway safety summit in Washington last month. "We needed to wait nine years for that?" Bob Lamond, of NBAA, told AVweb on
Tuesday he doesn't expect too much distress over the change. "Folks are going to stumble over it at first, but we'll get used to it," he said. "It's been talked about for years, so it's really a
non-issue for us."
However, implementation will require an "extensive awareness campaign" to ensure that pilots and controllers are informed, NBAA said. FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt, speaking at the safety summit
last month, said the FAA has done a lot to address runway safety concerns. "The numbers prove we've made a dramatic improvement," he said, nothing that in the past year there were just 12 incursions
out of more than 50 million operations, and only two of those involved commercial carriers. "We've revamped our on-line courses. We've produced public service spots. And we mailed a half-million
runway safety DVDs and brochures to pilots," said Babbitt. "It's been a tremendous joint effort across all parts of the FAA and the aviation industry. It worked." He added, however, that there is
still work to be done in the GA community. "We can make every protection possible, but the human in the loop is the challenge of the future," he said. Click here for the full text of Babbitt's talk.
Washington State aircraft owners are getting ready to fight a new tax that could add hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year to their fixed costs. State Sen. Cheryl Pflug told the Washington
Pilots Association that a citizens' commission on tax preferences has recommended a 1 percent yearly excise tax based on the value of aircraft. An aircraft worth $100,000 would therefore be taxed
$1,000. Pflug told the association that the commission views the tax as a "revenue opportunity" and is recommending the state legislature impose it. She urged the WPA to give her ammunition to fight
the proposed tax in the form of economic impact analyses and the volunteer efforts of pilots in maintaining state-owned airports. WPA spokesman John Townsley told AVweb that aircraft owners now
pay a flat annual registration fee ($65 for a piston single) and that the proposed tax wouldn't benefit aviation.
"Currently state aircraft registration fees and excise taxes collected for aircraft go to the general fund and are not reinvested in airport infrastructure," Townsley said. He also noted that
aviation fuel is the only fuel that has sales tax added and that those taxes also go into the general fund. He noted that there are 138 airport projects pending that have not been funded.
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."
Piper Hosts Wichita Engineering Job Fair
Meet representatives on Friday, February 5 and Saturday, February 6 from 8:00am to 6:00pm at the Broadview Hotel, located at 400 W. Douglas Ave. E-mail your resume to
to be considered for a scheduled interview with hiring managers. For more information and a list of available positions,
visit the careers
page of Piper.com.
Aviation Consumer is conducting a survey to hear your experiences with engine overhaul shops. Whether the experience was propulsion bliss or aggravation of a new order, please take a couple
minutes to let others know how it went. Your response will help inform an article on engine shops for Aviation Consumer magazine.
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.
JA Air Center Your Source for the New Garmin Aera Series!
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Last week, we asked about increasing airline security and whether it will discourage people from traveling commercially.
For once, the most popular answer to our Question was the perennial OTHER. Apparently opinions on the subject range much wider than we could represent with a handful of
answers. Beyond OTHER, the most popular of the four options we presented was I'll look for alternatives, but I think the aluminum tube is still my best option.
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 ***
Washington State is considering a new tax on aircraft ownership, and the fat cat image of private aircraft ownership never seems to change outside the aviation community.
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.
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 Eastern U.S.,
Woods at mwoods[at]mooney.com for information.
Mooney recently celebrated Mark's 125th new Mooney sale. Congratulations, Mark!
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.
Peter Drucker Says, "The Best Way to Predict the Future Is to Create It"
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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.
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,
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!
"POTW" will return on Monday. (We're a little behind this week, but we'll give you a peek at this week's photos Monday. Be sure to check the slideshow on AVweb's home page for a preview over on
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.
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Publisher Timothy Cole
Editorial Director, Aviation Publications Paul Bertorelli
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