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Volume 16, Number 6a
February 8, 2010
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Top News: AVweb Burns "Fuel of the Future"back to top 
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After years of searching for a replacement for the lead in 100LL, is the solution upon us? General Aviation Modifications thinks so and demonstrated the new fuel to AVweb in a test flight and engine test cell run last week. The new fuel is called G100UL and has essentially come out of nowhere as a developmental fuel to replace 100LL. More...

For nearly three decades, general aviation has been struggling to find an unleaded replacement for 100LL avgas. General Aviation Modifications Inc. (GAMI) in Ada, Oklahoma says they've found it. AVweb's Paul Bertorelli recently took a test flight to see how the new fuel works. More...

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News Briefsback to top 

The huge snowstorm blanketing the mid-Atlantic has reportedly collapsed the roof of an FBO at Dulles and may have damaged or destroyed four aircraft, according to WTOP. It's also been reported that snow caused damage at Manassas Airport in Virginia. The roof of Dulles Jet Center collapsed about 8 a.m. Saturday after the D.C. area was buried under almost three feet of snow in some areas. Dulles Airport Manager Rob Yingling said there were five people in the building but no one was injured. He also confirmed four "private jets" were inside and that damage to the building was significant. Photos and video on the NBC Washington Web site show the front of the building distorted under the weight of the snow. More...

Three people died in a midair collision between a Cirrus aircraft and a glider towplane Saturday near Boulder, Colo. Two of the dead were in a Cirrus SR20 and the other was the pilot of a Piper Pawnee glider towplane. The pilot of the glider was able to release the aircraft and had to fly through the flaming debris from the collision before landing safely at Boulder airport. The pilot and two passengers in the glider, a woman and her 11-year-old son, were shaken but uninjured. The Pawnee went out of control and crashed immediately after the collision. The SR20's whole airframe parachute deployed and the vigorously burning aircraft settled slowly to the ground. It's not known whether the pilot pulled the handle or the crash or fire detonated the explosive charge that deploys the chute. Witnesses told various news organizations they saw the occupants of the Cirrus falling separately from the burning aircraft. The horrific descent of the Cirrus was caught on video from various angles but none that we've seen shows anyone falling from the aircraft. There were pieces of the airplane falling separately, however. More...

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Safety & Securityback to top 

Reports surfaced Friday that the TSA is backing off of plans to create regulations proposed in 2008 that would have required operators of general aviation aircraft to provide special security measures and screen people and cargo. The agency is now said to be leaning toward leaving security mostly to the judgment of pilots and operators. According to NPR, the general aviation industry, an industry "worth $150 billion a year," sent regulators "thousands of complaints." As a result, the TSA has concluded it will make better progress working with the industry than moving ahead with a "combative back and forth." In a revised security plan expected this fall, the TSA is now expected to increase the size of aircraft that must adhere to stricter regulation (presumably above the previously suggested 12,500 pound limit) and leave the security of smaller aircraft largely in the hands of the pilots who fly them. News reports Friday stated that the changes would spare hundreds of smaller airports from the burdens of costly security programs, personnel and equipment. More...

In the wake of Colgan Air's Continental Flight 3407 that crashed outside of Buffalo last year, reporter and pilot Miles O'Brien has stepped up to front an investigative documentary, "Flying Cheap," to air on PBS and online, Feb. 9, 2010. In the report, O'Brien looks into the regional carrier culture through interviews with past Colgan pilots. He compares those pilots to the pilots of carriers under whose name regionals like Colgan frequently fly ... such as Continental. In a written preview, O'Brien writes that, for regional pilots, they are "less experienced, the hours are longer, the pay is much less and the training is not as extensive." They are also, in his opinion, "flying the most demanding routes in the airline business -- lots of time in the weather, in high traffic areas -- and lots of segments." In a preview of the documentary, one former Colgan pilot tells O'Brien he was flying eight, nine or ten flights a day. "Since 2002 the last six fatal commercial airline accidents have all involved regionals," writes O'Brien, who then asks, "An unfortunate coincidence?" More...

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Every Journey Starts with a Single Stepback to top 

A lot of pilots are active supporters of general aviation, but few of them put their money where their mouth is like Gary Bradshaw, founder of and a major contributor to the May 15, 2010 "Learn To Fly Day" initiative. Bradshaw has made it his work and his mission to initiate new pilots into the world of aviation by connecting them with quality flight schools in their area, then following up on their progress and experiences. For Learn To Fly Day, Bradshaw, along with AOPA, EAA, Remos Aircraft and a host of others, is mobilizing to create literally hundreds of learn to fly seminars across the country (hosted by pilots and aviation enthusiasts) that will be presented to future pilots and aviation enthusiasts across the country. According to Bradshaw, thanks to their collective efforts, on May 15 he expects at least 300 seminars (and possibly many more) to launch in a wide range of venues nationwide. And you can be a part of it through More...

Tyler Whitney, of Fenwick, Mich., has become the first EAA Young Eagle to pass his FAA private pilot written test by using Sporty's innovative Online Pilot Training Course, free of charge. EAA and Sporty's Pilot Shop joined forces last April to offer the training course free to all young pilot aspirants who are introduced to flight through EAA's Young Eagles Program. Participants earn a logbook and an access code to the online course, which would otherwise cost almost $200. The joint-forces approach was seen by both Sporty's and EAA as a natural fit that immediately mates the excitement of a first flight with a clear path forward. All of it, at no cost. Whitney, who's family does not have an aviation background, was hooked at first flight. "After my Young Eagles flight I knew I had to fly. It's what I want to do," he said. Thanks to EAA and Sporty's, it appears he's now on his way, with next steps already in place. More...

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News Briefsback to top 

It's not every day that a film crew flies into the Alta Sierra residential airpark east of Sacramento but Michael Graves had been so thoroughly lured into the story, he didn't have a clue that he would be the star of the show. Graves was the victim and beneficiary of an elaborate ruse that ultimately resulted in him flying away in a 2005 Cirrus SR22 as the winner of AOPA's annual Let's Go Flying Sweepstakes. "It's a fantastic flying airplane," Graves said. "It's going to take some getting used to, but I already know we're going to love it." Graves owns a Cessna 180 and is a FedEx captain on A300s overseas. More...

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AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

What the has been reported to be the only amateur film in existence of the January 28, 1986, Space Shuttle Challenger disaster has become public after nearly 25 years spent in a Florida basement. Retired optometrist Jack Moss shot the video from his home in Winter Haven, Florida, about 80 miles from Challenger's Cape Canaveral launch site. Moss, who passed away in December from Cancer, reportedly told his pastor that he could have the tape when he died. "It took a while to find someone with an old Betamax video player," Moss's pastor told a reporter at the Guardian newspaper, "but when I found the Challenger film my reaction was that people really have to see this." As fate would have hit, Moss's pastor was Marc Wessels, who is also executive director of the Space Exploration Archive, a Kentucky-based group that collects space memorabelia for the purpose of education. Wessels' reaction to the film was acute and the film was quickly made public. More...

Twenty-four years after the event, what may be the only amateur video shot of the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion has gone public. A Presidential commission resolved the accident took place on a day that was 15° colder than any previous launch ... and that the 36° launch-time temperature was a contributing factor. More...

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


Letter of the Week: Female Flight Challenge


To celebrate the Centennial of Licensed Women Pilots and Women's Day, women pilots from around the world will attempt to set a worldwide flying record: the most women pilots introducing a woman to flying in one single day, March 8, as well as within one single week, from March 6 to March 12.

To participate, women pilots must hold a pilot's license, be current, fly an aircraft certified for the carriage of passengers, and register free of charge at to be counted.


Mireille Goyer

Click through to read the rest of Mireille Goyer's letter and more from this week's mailbag.


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 What have you heard? More...

Q: What's the Difference Between a $10,000 Annual and a $2,500 Annual?

Mike Busch and his team of seasoned maintenance professionals are saving their aircraft-owner clients thousands of dollars a year in parts and labor — not to mention hours of hassle — by providing professional maintenance management for owner-flown singles and twins. Learn how they do it.
Help Us Celebrate AVweb's 15th Anniversaryback to top 

CLICK HERE to Register for All 15 

Now's your chance to win 100,000 Air BP Bravo Rewards Points as we celebrate our 15th Anniversary! All you have to do is click here to enter your name and e-mail address. (You only have to enter once, and you'll be entered in our prize drawings for the entire year. If you've already entered for the previous Bose Headset drawing, you're all set — no need to register again.)

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 February 19, 2010.

Click here to read the contest rules and enter.

Congratulations to Ron Goin of Idaho Falls, ID, who won the Bose Aviation Headset X! (click here to get your own from Bose Corporation)


Traditional Tactics Need a Fresh Approach
Doing the same thing and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. Isn't it time to initiate a digital marketing program with AVweb that will deliver traffic and orders directly to your web site? Discover several new and highly successful marketing options to use in lieu of static print or banner campaigns. Click now for details.
New on AVwebback to top 

When 15-year-old Eric Schultz was killed in a Texas flight training accident, public opinion could have soured. But long-time columnist Bob Ray Sanders took a stand in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Star-Telegram. "For their own sakes," he wrote, "and in the memory of Eric, these students should still have the chance to spread their wings." AVweb's Glenn Pew spoke with Sanders to learn his motivation and how best you can approach your hometown paper and other media outlets to advocate general aviation. More...

If you've been wondering what Paul Bertorelli's up to this weekend — and really, who isn't? — we've got an interesting answer. AVweb's Editorial Director spent some time flying on G100UL, the unleaded 100LL alternative GAMI's George Braly calls "the future fuel of general aviation." Read about Paul's trip and post your own comments at the AVweb Insider blog. More...

User fees are off the table — for now, at least — but how did the GA community manage it? On the AVweb Insider blog, Editor-in-Chief Russ Niles says the victory was won with an uncommon weapon in GA's arsenal — unity. Click here to read his comments and add your own. More...

Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


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National Jets in Ft. Lauderdale & Score 10,000 Points

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Airbound Aviation at Essex County Airport (KCDW) in Caldwell, New Jersey.

AVweb reader Mike Kenny described the FBO as "a hidden gem" in his comments and told us the team at Airbound took care of him on a recent trip into New York City. "The service was exceptional, and they also arranged minor service on our PC-12 on very short notice," wrote Mike.

AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!

Keep those nominations coming. For complete contest rules, click here.


The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 


With Super Bowl XLIV about to kick off as we prepare this week's AVweb stories, we can't resist the temptation to delve into our mailbag and serve up a "Short Final" that's been holding for over a year:

It was a Friday afternoon in November when we were departing OSU airport in the company King Air for our home base in Grand Rapids. The huge college rivalry between OSU and U of M was to be played tomorrow. Since the OSU fans can be quite literally fanatical about their team, my co-pilot and I were pretty quiet all day about our allegiance to the Michigan football squad.

As we were taxiing out to the busy runway, we changed over to tower, and the pattern was full of OSU students and their instructors. The frequency was busy. It was my leg, so the co-pilot was on the radio. My voice had not been heard yet.

After my copilot responded to our takeoff clearance, I couldn't help myself and keyed the mike, saying in a deep and serious voice, "Go Blue!"

We enjoyed a takeoff roll in complete radio silence. All communications stopped dead for about ten seconds!

The shocked silence was broken with the words "Who said that?!"

I knew we had gotten away with it when we were handed off to Columbus departure and didn't have to enter a hold! That ten seconds of silence was almost as good as the beating we gave them in the next day's game!

Doug Downer
via e-mail


Don't forget to check out the "Picture of the Week" slideshow on AVweb's home page this week. We had some terrific photos that didn't make it into last week's edition, and you won't want to miss them! More...

Names Behind the Newsback to top 


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.