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The leaders of several of general aviation's main advocacy groups came together this week to discuss the challenges expected in the year ahead, set priorities, and commit to cooperation. At a
leadership conference hosted by the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) in San Antonio, Texas, on Tuesday, NATA President James Coyne joined AOPA President Craig Fuller, NBAA President Ed
Bolen and GAMA President Pete Bunce in an effort to find ways to coordinate lobbying efforts on behalf of GA. "We cannot forget what we did in 2009 when it comes to standing up for GA," Fuller said. The groups have been working together this year more than they used to. "By working together a
lot has been accomplished, and we got more people to the table to discuss our issues," Fuller said. AOPA listed several priorities that the groups plan to work on this year: securing long-term funding
for the FAA, fighting the prospect of user fees, facilitating air transportation modernization, recovering from a recession, and correcting public misconceptions about the value of GA.
Fuller said the key to success in 2010 will be to get outside Washington and reach out to the rest of the country. "This year, we will be holding events around the country telling our members that
if they care about GA, they must get engaged," he said. Coyne agreed that individual engagement is crucial to effect change. "Authority is going back to the grassroots, and our memberships are more
important than ever before," he said. Both AOPA and NATA plan to have a special focus on state and local issues in 2010.
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The Vision jet is the highest priority at Cirrus Aircraft, CEO Brent Wouters said in a webcast on Wednesday, but as of now, there is
no timeline for its completion. "When will it be done? We don't know," Wouters said. "It's a function of cash flow ... We will get the program done as soon as humanly possible." The company will
accelerate its efforts this year to raise external capital for the project, he said, but in the interim, progress will continue, funded by internal cash flow. For now, that means a focus on nailing
down the design elements, with higher-cost parts of the project pushed forward in the timeline. The price, effective this month, is $1.72 million, Wouters said. So far the company has 428 position
holders, and orders continue to come in at a pace of one or two per week. Buyers who fly a SR22 while waiting for the jet can benefit from learning the avionics package, sales director Gary Black
said, and then Cirrus will take the SR22 as a trade-in when their jet is ready.
Various company officials reported on recent milestones in the jet development program. The jet will be certified to FL280, said engineer Dave Rathbun. A new hybrid ice-protection system, with
pneumatic boots made of long-lasting urethane, is in development. A single-piece carbon shell has been designed for the cabin pressure vessel. Also, the user interface of the panel has been evolving,
with an emphasis on fewer controls that are simple, logical and intuitive. About two-thirds of the supply chain has been finalized. Baggage areas are being designed with ergonomics in mind, and the
cabin will be roomy and easy to move around in. The jet itself is expected to fit in a standard 40-foot hangar. There will be an optional onboard lavatory. The test program has accumulated about 236
flight hours, with positive results from stability and control checks and a full stall matrix. A series of flight demonstrations are set for airports in the Western U.S. over the next few weeks; click here for the schedule. The full text of Wednesday's update will be posted on the Cirrus jet Web site after Feb. 15. Black said training programs for the jet will be the focus of the second-quarter update, and he added
that he expects the Vision will be "the jet trainer of the future."
Kannad 406 AF-Compact ELT Available at Aircraft Spruce
The Kannad 406 AF-Compact is designed for all light aircraft requiring a very compact automatic fixed ELT that is fully FAA TSO-C126-approved. The robust and reliable shock sensor will
automatically activate the ELT in the event of a crash. The pilot can also manually activate the ELT in case of emergency. The Compact is the smallest and lightest ELT combined into an
"all-in-one" kit with all installation supplies and required instructions. Call 1 (877) 4-SPRUCE or
Disasters tend to ebb from the headlines after a few weeks, but in Haiti, where the devastation is widespread and the desperate need for help persists, general aviation continues to play a major
role in the response to the Jan. 12 earthquake. In the immediate aftermath, private pilots were widely advised that the best way they could help was to send money, but in the ensuing days, pilots have
found ways to pitch in with their skills and aircraft to make a difference. "The best thing is if a pilot can connect directly with a grass-roots group that has experience working in the region," Rol
Morrow, president of the Air Care Alliance, told AVweb on Wednesday. However, many of those small groups are too overwhelmed to deal with the logistics of getting aircraft where they are
needed, he said. Also, smaller single-engine airplanes might not be best suited to the current needs, especially since long over-water legs are needed to get to Haiti. But larger airplanes that can
move groups of people, or high-performance large-cabin aircraft, such as Pilatus PC-12s or Cessna Caravans, that can carry a lot of supplies into smaller, outlying runways, are needed. Also, Morrow
added, some groups may have needs to transport volunteers or supplies between sites in the U.S., and that's another opportunity for GA pilots to help.
Pilots who would like to pitch in can get more details and information from the ACA Web site. NBAA also is hosting a registry for aircraft that are available, and has made that list available to volunteer groups that need help.
Also, pilots may find connections via local relief groups or state emergency management agencies. An MU-2 pilot in Massachusetts, Scott Martin, has posted a YouTube video asking for pilots to contact
him to help with moving supplies from the Dominican Republic to Haiti (click here for a
local news story about his work). Martin can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Bahamas Habitat relief group also is looking
for pilots, according to AOPA; click here for more info.
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.
Since 1960, nobody has beat USAF Col. Joe Kittinger's record for jumping from 102,000 feet and landing safely with a parachute. Now Col. Kittinger is helping a Red Bull team to break that record, with skydiver Felix Baumgartner hoping to set four world records in a single jump. The team plans to send
Baumgartner aloft in a spacesuit inside a pressurized capsule carried by a helium balloon. It will take about two and a half hours to reach at least 120,000 feet. Baumgartner then will jump, and he
expects to reach speeds in excess of Mach 1 within about 30 seconds, making him the first person ever to break the speed of sound with his own body. The team plans to launch from a site in North
America sometime this year, and will broadcast the attempt live over the Internet. "This is truly a step into the unknown," Baumgartner said. "No one can accurately predict how the human body will
react in the transition to supersonic speeds. But we've got to find out. Future aerospace programs need a way for pilots and astronauts to bail out at high altitude in case of emergency."
Baumgartner, born in Austria, is best known for flying across the English Channel in freefall in 2003, using a custom-made carbon-fiber wing to stretch his glide. If the Stratos attempt is
successful, he will set four new world records: altitude record for freefall, distance record for longest freefall, speed record for fastest freefall, and altitude record for the highest manned
balloon flight. While it has been speculated that Col. Kittinger in fact exceeded the speed of sound on his descent in 1960, he wrote in National Geographic that his speed peaked at 614 mph, Mach 0.9
at his altitude. Col. Kittinger told Matt Lauer on the Today Show that he was glad to be helping out with the effort, though it
could mean the end of his own longstanding record. "Records are meant to be broken," he said. "It's human nature to go faster, higher, deeper." The data captured by the mission's science team could
promise new standards in aerospace safety and enhanced possibilities for human flight, according to Red Bull. Several previous efforts to break Kittinger's record have failed. A 2008 attempt in Canada went awry when the balloon tore from its moorings prematurely and was lost. Click here to visit Red Bull's video page for the project.
A rare 1929 Hamilton Metalplane, which was expected to sell for about $1 million, went to the highest bidder for just $710,000 at an auction in Scottsdale, Ariz., last week. The aluminum airplane
is No. 22 of only 29 that were built, and it's the only one in flying condition. The collector who made the winning bid was not identified. After a long useful life in Canada, Alaska, and Washington
State, the Metalplane was fully restored in Minnesota in the 1970s. It was flown to airshows and won several awards, including Grand Champion trophy at the Antique Airplane Association National
Convention in 1975 and the Silver Age Champion award at Oshkosh in 1976. No. 22 was mainly used a floatplane, and accumulated just over 5,000 hours before its restoration. Since then, it has logged
less than 50 hours in the air. It last flew in June 1978.
Though the high bid was less than expected, the Metalplane was still the highest seller at the six-day auction, which mainly featured classic cars. The only other Metalplane in existence is in
pieces at the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum in Anchorage.
Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Safe Pilot? Challenge yourself with the Air Safety Foundation's Safety Quiz, underwritten by the AOPA Insurance Agency
In the Jan. 18 edition of AVwebFlash, we ran a story headlined "Flight 1549-Inspired Tow Plane Crash Lands Near
Hudson." Based on reader input and our own reflection, we've decided the headline is misleading and doesn't reflect the events of that day, which included a successful off-airport landing with no
damage to the aircraft. The headline has been changed. AVweb regrets the error.
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Last week, we asked AVweb readers whether they'd train in an LSA if they suddenly found themselves back at the beginning of their pilot training.
We got some interesting letters on the subject, and your answers were scattered across all five of the options we
described. At 30% of reader response, the one choice that edged out above the others was that modern LSAs are the obvious choice.
AVweb's Paul Bertorelli believes that's a distinct possibility but since he's a little too busy to start writing apps for a device he hasn't seen yet, he's cooling his heels and
waiting for the iPad to change the way he uses plates and charts.
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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The air show season opened on a high note for 2010 with a healthy turnout of both exhibitors and patrons at the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, Fla. The four-day show wrapped up Sunday and
AVweb's Paul Bertorelli and Jeb Burnside were there to capture the highlights on video. The first five videos are now ready for viewing and there will be more in coming days as we continue to
review what has become an integral part of the air show calendar in its few years of existence.
Don't see a video screen?
Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to view this playlist directly on YouTube.
Watch all of our Sebring videos in the player above or click these thumbnails for individual videos:
Every market needs a good trade show, and AVweb's Paul Bertorelli is here to tell you the light sport segment of aviation has a solid one in Sebring, Florida. Just back from the U.S. Sport
Aviation Expo 2010, Paul shares his thoughts on the AVweb Insider blog.
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 email@example.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.
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.
(The results will appear in a future issue of Aviation Consumer. For subscription information, click
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.
AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Aero Premier Jet Center at Lakefront Airport (KNEW) in New Orleans,
AVweb readers Bill and Linda Coltharp arrived at Lakefront under less-than-ideal conditions:
... [A]t night, in the rain and clouds, after the tower was closed, [we found] the Aero Premier angels waiting for us. They hangared our plane (not a jet), helped unload our luggage, called a taxi
and had it drive into the hangar so we wouldn't get wet, [then they] helped load the taxi all with genuine friendliness. When we returned two mornings later, as planned, the airplane was on
the flight line all ready. Our special thanks to Bethany on the desk, and the extremely helpful Clay, Admond, and Rolando. What a great experience!
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 ***
Another week with a great assortment of photos, so let's get straight to the staring and not waste any time gabbing.
We were a little reluctant to run a second air show opener photo hot on the heels of last week's winner, but after seeing
this entry from Don Thun of Topeka, Kansas, we could resist. Besides, we don't get to see the Skyhawks in action nearly enough around here.
We're going to break e-mail confidence with Alan Lochner of Cloudcroft, New Mexico just a bit to tell you our favorite thing about this photo.
Before MSgt. Lochner (USAF ret.) dropped any photos in our submission bucket, he wrote to ask if we thought anyone would be interested in old military photos, as he had some from his days as an aerial
photographer. Naturally, we told him to knock himself out and send us whatever he wanted, figuring that we would at least get a kick out of them. As we were going through the submission box
this week, we can across this breath-taking shot and wondered where it came from; when we finished picking the winners and went back to the database report for submitters' names, we were delighted to
see this is one of the photos MSgt. Lochner thought we might like to see.
Just another day in the office for an aerial photographer, we suppose but it made our Wednesday afternoon.
You know how we're always putting on the pity hat and talking about how much more fun our readers seem to have than we do? We get called to task on that from time to time, but
here's our latest piece of evidence:
Diana Richards of Jasper, Missouri writes:
A good friend, Bill Lynch, brought his hot air balloon Sizzler to my birthday party at our farm. He gave rides in his balloon while several of us gave rides in our different
airplanes. It was the perfect party balloon on a perfect day to fly in and out of the corn with our friends and family.
Apparently Jasper, Missouri is some kind of GA heaven.
Peter Zabriskie of Bloomington, Indiana stuck close the runway for the EAA Chapter 650 Fly-In a couple of summers ago and collected some impressive
take-off shots. This one features the B-24 Witchcraft.
Danny Linkous of Mooresville, North Carolina caps off this week's installment of reader-submitted photos. Danny tells us he hadn't intended to
shoot photos when he brought the Tiger Moth out of its hangar that morning, but the fog was a little thicker than he expected, so he decided to keep himself busy while waiting for the morning sun to
burn it off.
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.