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Volume 16, Number 8a
February 22, 2010
Business Aviation Will Help Companies Not Only Survive
But Prosper During the Current Financial Crisis

To be your most productive, and your most efficient, you must keep flying. Because in so doing, you will emerge from these times even stronger than before. And you will replace the uncertainty that surrounds many, with the confidence and courage to light the way for all. Visit
Top News: GA in the Security Spotlight (Again)back to top 
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A pair of GA-related incidents in the past few days has raised the profile of small aircraft security concerns but even the loudest advocates for a federal review of the topic admit it probably wouldn't prevent future events of this kind. Within hours of the Austin incident, Texas Republican Rep. Mike McCaul was calling it an act of terrorism. "When you fly an airplane into a federal building to kill people, that's how you define terrorism," said McCaul, who is the ranking Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee. McCaul is calling for congressional hearings on the security of federal buildings with an emphasis on protecting them from attacks from the air. But he also said "no amount of security can prevent a man in a plane from taking his own life." The Austin incident and the theft of a Cirrus SR22 in California a day later may bring fresh scrutiny of the TSA's decision to back off implementation of the Large Airplane Security Program, which it announced two weeks ago More...

A. Joseph Stack's slow burn may have started more than 20 years ago when he learned that federal law virtually forbade him from pursuing his career as a software engineer as an independent contractor rather than an employee. It's now considered fact that Stack deliberately flew his Piper PA-28-236 Dakota into an IRS office in Austin, TX last Thursday, killing himself and one person in the building and injuring two others. Although Stack's specific problems with the IRS may have been more complicated (reports say an audit revealed $12,700 in undeclared income by his wife), in his suicide note, he cited a 1986 law that specifically targets computer industry workers. The law was intended to ensure that highly-paid freelancers didn't escape paying mandatory tax and social security deductions and has also been described as a favor to certain high tech companies by powerful Washington insiders. The FAA briefly closed Georgetown Airport, where Stack launched on his apparent suicide mission after a note was found in his car saying a bomb had been left at the airport.

Related Content:
The final transmissions to Georgetown Tower from N2889D, believed to be the crash aircraft, were recorded. (Click to listen).


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Shady Goings-On Down at the Airportback to top 

23-year-old Skye Turner has been charged after reportedly flying from Montgomery Field, San Diego, with an expired student pilot certificate, in a stolen Cirrus SR22, and landing (after a side trip to Palm Springs) safely at LAX. The landing took place at about 3 a.m., Friday, on a second attempt. By that time, Turner had been with the aircraft for more than six hours, a source close to the investigation told the Contra Costa Times. It had not even been a day since Joseph Stack's apparently intentional crash into an Austin office building helped raise concerns about airport security. Concern in Stack's case arose when early reports inaccurately claimed Stack had stolen his aircraft. A day later, in San Diego, operators of the Coast Flight School were left answering questions about how Turner gained access to an aircraft that belonged to one of their clients and was left in their charge. As for Turner, his first contact with controllers took place at about 2:25 a.m., while he was flying above 11,000 feet and 40 miles out, according to authorities. A spokesman for the controllers union told the Los Angeles Times the young man seemed "confused and disoriented, but could follow instruction." Because of his location, controllers working the tower at LAX transferred Turner to Southern California Terminal Radar Approach Center in San Diego. And for simplicity those controllers stayed with him throughout the event and guided him to his landing. More...

An Australian parliamentary committee has been told that organized crime has walked through gaping holes in the country's aviation and marine security apparatus to become entrenched participants in all aspects of security operations, from baggage handlers up to and including customs agents. Representatives of unions, airlines and ground support service companies told the committee that, essentially, criminals have the run of airports in Australia and use them as key elements of their smuggling and distribution efforts. "The potential for a trusted insider (airport/airline employees, contractors, security personnel, retailers and so on) to circumvent security measures and use their knowledge of the environment is an ongoing consideration for aviation industry participants," Qantas, Australia's largest airline, said in its submission. More...

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Your Next Hybrid May Not Be a Priusback to top 

Bye Energy's George Bye (formerly of ATG) tells AVweb that some of Thursday's general media news coverage regarding his company's future electric hybrid aircraft propulsion plans may have been misleading. Thursday Bye Energy announced "The Green Flight Project" and Bye displayed a mockup of what he described as a 90-pound, 168-hp electric propulsion unit and said his company was working to produce a proof of concept model. Completion of that design, according to local reports, would take about eight months and a roughly $1 million investment. Friday, Bye told AVweb that the potential products he described the prior day may be different from the proof of concept model he hopes to produce by year-end. In the long term, Bye hopes to organize technological partners that could one day produce an aircraft that collects solar energy from photovoltaic wing panels to supplement the future aircraft's battery/fossil fuel hybrid powerplant. But by year-end, he expects to have a product with specifications dictated by its development. That said, Bye believes hybrid technology could one day significantly lower operating costs while reducing emissions, noise and maintenance requirements. And that thinking has not been unique to Bye Energy. More...

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Only Weeks Away: Sun, Fun, and Skilesback to top 

The annual Sun 'n Fun International Fly-In and Exposition will this year play host to US Airways' Flight 1549 co-pilot, Jeff Skiles, who will participate in scheduled activities during the week. Sun 'n Fun will be held this year from April 13 through April 18 at its normal venue, Lakeland Linder Regional Airport in Lakeland, Fla. Skiles will host an evening program to be held Wednesday, April 15, to be held at the Florida Air Museum's outdoor pavilion. He will also deliver a lecture (also at the museum) Friday at 2 p.m. Organizers say Skiles will play a part in "a host of other activities during the week." More...

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Giving Backback to top 

The Sporty's Foundation last year donated $200,000 to programs that support youth in aviation, bringing its total investment in that cause to more than $500,000 over the past three years, according to the Foundation's annual report. The formally stated goal of the Foundation is "to fund initiatives that ensure a healthy future for the general aviation community by providing young people with information about the many careers that are available in aviation." Last year, the Foundation's largest grant went to EAA for the youth aviation initiative, dubbed "Next Step," that grants Young Eagles guidance and access to Sporty's Complete Flight Training Course, online (otherwise, a $200 product). Other grants went for flight training and maintenance training scholarships, the Boy Scouts, Build A Plane, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation and others. Sporty's operates the Foundation as a 501(c)(3) organization and welcomes contributions, which are tax-deductible. More...

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Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

When we meet the enemy, he is sometimes us, or so it would seem. The day after the tragic crash in Austin, a stolen SR22 surfaces and is corralled in, of all places, Los Angeles International Airport. In the latest installment of the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli ponders that and grinds his teeth over the rise of push-button cable talking heads who are ever-willing to stir the public's fears. Click here to join the conversation. More...

Another lone kamikaze pilot with a grudge has crashed an airplane into a building, this time in Austin, Texas. AVweb's Paul Bertorelli is watching the news coverage with interest. Will this be reported as another instance of "domestic terrorism," or have we crossed back into the realm where such crimes are — well, just "crimes"? Click here to read Paul's thoughts and voice your opinion. More...

Lead in auto fuel has already become a memory, and it seeems that day may be coming for avgas, too. In the latest installment of the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli asks whether the scientific data supports a crusade to remove lead from aviation fuels. Click here to read Paul's thoughts and add your own. More...

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

If so, Aviation Consumer would like to hear from you for the magazine's next Used Aircraft Guide. We would like to know what your ownership experience has been like, what it costs to operate the airplane, how much insurance and annuals cost, and what the airplane will haul. Tell us about cruise speeds and fuel burns, too. Contact More...


Letter of the Week: Austin Aftermath

After reading nine or 10 blogs referencing the intentional crash into some IRS offices in Austin, I noticed comments ranging from the advocacy of more restrictions on general aviation to an outright ban on GA.

The only relief here is the fact that Joseph Stack did not steal the Cherokee but was the owner.All pilots and others involved in general aviation need to be proactive in this matter. Be polite, but to the point, pointing out that there is no way to prejudge when any individual is going off the deep end and will take his plane, car, or truck and commit mayhem.

There undoubtedly will be many calls from our lawmakers and others to further hobble general aviation well beyond what is reasonable.

Ray Laughinghouse

Click through to read the rest of this week's letters.


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...

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Help Us Celebrate AVweb's 15th Anniversaryback to top 

CLICK HERE to Register for All 15 

Win a Garmina aera 510 handheld GPS 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 — 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 March 12, 2010.

Click here to read the contest rules and enter.


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

AVweb's online videos are closing in on the 10 million views mark. With more than 200 videos currently online, and more posted each week, AVweb videos now consistently attract more than 10,000 views per day from a global audience. Covering everything from breaking news to product reviews and aviation-related topics of interest, AVweb videos have been featured online by everyone from bloggers to major news organizations, worldwide. Browse the collection online, here. Pause your mouse over an image to reveal the video's full title and click on it to play. Click the yellow "Subscribe" button if you want to be among the first to know what's next. Thanks for watching. We'll keep them coming. More...

Wouldn't it be great if the modern primary flight display integrated the attitude indicator with the HSI? You'd have only one point to scan. Advanced Flight Systems' new EFIS does exactly that. Rob Hickman gives us a tour. More...

Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


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Air to Get Treated Like a Champion

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Rectrix Aviation & Aerodrome at Cape Cod/Southeast Massachusetts Barnstable Municipal Airport (HYA) in Hyannis, Massachusetts.

AVweb reader Vicente Collazo-Davila told us how Rectrix came to his rescue recently:

On preparing for an early evening departure, I was unable to turnover the right engine on my Navajo. The FBO tried to locate a mechanic at that late hour, but were unable to do so. They then offered to tow my airplane into their hangar at no cost to avoid frost and to provide a warm environment in the event that I was able to find a mecchanic. They went out of their way to make sure that I and my passengers were taken care of. This was no isolated event: I fly up there every 7 to 8 weeks, and the service is always outstanding. Jim the GM does an outstanding job of hiring and training the best personnel. From the linesmen to the ladies working behind the counter they are without exception totally dedicated to giving unparalleled customer service.

Keep those nominations coming. 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 Flightback to top 


"Ground, Cessna 12345 is at the restaurant, ready to taxi for north departure."

Ground Control:

A minute later ...

Ground Control:
"Cessna at the Outer Marker, please repeat your request."

The pilot of N12345 doesn't respond, but is surely wondering why grouns is calling on aircraft on the ILS.

Ground Control:
"Cessna at the Outer Marker, do you have a request?"

Another long pause, until the pilot eventually looks up at the name of the building in front of him, the Outer Marker Restaurant, and realizes, "That would be me he's talking to!"

"Ground, Cessna 12345 is ready to taxi for north departure."

Bob Joye
via e-mail


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.