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STEPS UP AS EPIC AIR AUCTION APPROACHES
obtained by AVweb show Harlow Aerostructures is seeking to
acquire the assets of Epic Air, by March 30, for one-tenth of Epic's
estimated value. Under the purchase agreement, Harlow has agreed to
purchase substantially all of Epic's assets for $2 million, payable in
cash on closing. According to the filing, "the Debtor's bankruptcy
schedules value the assets at approximately $20,295,000." An auction is
scheduled for March 26, 2010, at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time that may
preclude the sale to Harlow, but Harlow is seeking approval of the sale
if a "higher and better bidder" does not step forward. Epic's fast
prototype-to-production process saw its Epic LT 6-place jetprop arrive
at AirVenture Oshkosh in 2004, less than one year after it was
announced. The company's subsequent unveilings quickly created a range
of high-profile, high-performance, single- and multi-engine, turbine-
and turbofan-powered experimental aircraft. But that course came to an
end when, on Oct. 23, 2009, Epic filed under Chapter 7 (liquidation) in
a U.S. Bankruptcy Court. More...
What He Didn't Know About His
Life Insurance Cost His Family $500,000
Pilots should take special care when comparing life insurance. Pilot
Insurance Center specializes in providing pilots with insurance
planning. Get the right coverage. Call PIC
"STRONGLY OPPOSES" PROPOSED CVR LEGISLATION
The Coalition of
Airline Pilots Associations (CAPA) has announced its strong opposition
to proposed legislation that would allow use of CVRs to punish pilots
for procedural violations. The bill was introduced Feb. 26, by Senator
Jim DeMint, R-S.C., in part to "improve air safety" by allowing carriers
"limited use" of the information collected by the recorders. Specific
language in the bill would allow use of CVR material "to discipline or
discharge a pilot" and "to evaluate or monitor the judgment or
performance of an individual pilot," among other things. CAPA says the legislation "would turn back the clock on every
safety improvement the industry has attained in the last fifteen years
of voluntary aviation safety programs." CAPA is calling on members of
the Senate to oppose the measure, saying that if it passes, the measure
would "irreparably harm our aviation safety system in America."
Meanwhile, the NTSB has its own take on the matter. More...
STATE AIRPLANE TAX STILL ALIVE
Washington State legislators
estimate they can raise $8.4 million a year on an excise tax increase on
general aviation aircraft. As we
reported in January, a citizens' committee recommended a 1 percent
annual tax on the value of an airplane (as opposed to the current $65 a
year flat tax), calling it a "revenue opportunity." Washington pilots
immediately rallied to oppose the tax and the State Senate dropped the
proposal while the House still includes a modified version in its tax
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NEARS AERIAL MILESTONE
The Army expects to top 1,000,000
total hours in unmanned aviation by April, and sees a need for over
3,000 UAV operators by 2018. The Army plans to recognize the hours-flown
milestone in late May with displays in Washington at the Pentagon and
the Smithsonian Museum. Meanwhile, fiscal year 2010 should see the
addition of about 800 trained operators (UAV pilots). Aside from vastly
reducing the risk to military personnel, the Army's UAV program has
pushed human error accident and incident rates close to the single-digit
mark, according to the military. The military attributes that, at least
in part, to the adoption of automated methods employed for takeoff and
landing. Currently, roughly 90 percent of the hours flown by unmanned
aircraft are done in support of combat, according to Col. Christopher
Carlile, director of the U.S. Army Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center of
Excellence. He added that the Army is ready to both expand use of
unmanned systems and broaden the unmanned aerial system mission set. As
for personnel, a joint training installation operated by the Army at
Fort Huachuca, Ariz., trains soldiers, sailors and Marines.
Cessna announced on Saturday that its new CJ4
received type certification by the FAA. That paves the way for
deliveries to begin later this year. The aircraft is the largest in the
CJ line and seats eight passengers in standard configuration with an aft
lav. It will cost about $9 million. Of course, it comes with the latest
in electronics and flight management goodies, including a four-screen
Collins Pro Line 21 avionics suite with electronic charts and graphical
weather, TCAS II, EGPWS Class A TAWS, Dual Mode S Diversity transponders
with ADS-B out capability, Multi-Scan weather radar, Emergency Descent
Mode, and an essential electrical bus. It's powered by Williams FJ-44A
FADEC engines that were certified Feb. 2.As expected, the aircraft's
performance numbers came in better than the design targets.
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READIES LIQUID-HYDROGEN LONG ENDURANCE UAV
Works has begun construction of a liquid-hydrogen powered high altitude
long endurance (HALE) unmanned aerial vehicle designed to fly for more
than four days at altitudes up to 65,000 feet, while carrying a
450-pound payload. Key to Phantom Eye is its propulsion system, which
after five years of development saw completion of an 80-hour test in an
altitude chamber on March 1 (and about which Boeing offered few
details). The twin-engine Phantom Eye demonstrator aircraft will have a
150-foot wingspan. Successful testing could make it the precursor of a
larger HALE that would carry 2,000 pounds for more than 10 days. A third
design, the Phantom Ray, is also expected to evolve from the program and
may be the first to fly. The Ray will be a fighter-sized UAV designed as
a flying test bed for advanced technologies. Phantom Eye is the
evolution of Boeing's earlier piston-powered Condor, an aircraft that
set records for altitude and endurance in the late 1980s. Boeing
expects first flight of the Phantom Eye UAV to take place early next
GETTING SERIOUS ABOUT LEAD IN AVGAS?
Protection Agency continues to go through administrative motions
suggesting it's serious about removing lead from avgas. Earlier this
month, the agency sent a draft endangerment finding to the White House
as part of its proposed action to address a petition from Friends of the
Earth claiming that lead in avgas represents a public health risk.
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|... And a Pilot Population for the Future, Too||back to
TEACHER AWARD NOMINEES SOUGHT
Teachers who inject a little
aviation into their lessons are invited to apply for an award that can
put them in touch with some of the biggest names in the industry.
Nominations close May 1 for the A. Scott Crossfield Aerospace Education
Teacher of the Year Award. Crossfield, who died in 2006, started the
award in 1986 in recognition of the fact that it was an airplane-savvy
teacher who pointed him on his career path. Crossfield's daughter Sally
Crossfield Farley kept the award going and explained in a podcast
interview that it's now handed out as part of the start-studded
National Aviation Hall of Fame induction ceremony, held each July.
EDUCATION AWARD NOMINEES SOUGHT
Children all over the U.S.
are being shown opportunities in aviation thanks to some enlightened
teachers, and the late famed test pilot Scott Crossfield was one of them
when he was in school. Crossfield established an award to recognize
those teachers' efforts, and AVweb's Russ Niles spoke with his
daughter, Sally Crossfield Farley, about this year's competition.
Phase 1 Is Complete
Including Utilities, Services, and Infrastructure!
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includes the welcome center, underground utilities, city water and sewer
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apron, direct taxiway access, stables, and equestrian center. Join us
April 24-25 for a Spring Weekend
Stay at one of our luxury houses, indulge in a
gourmet meal, and enjoy all of the amenities the Airpark has to offer. A
hangar and rental car are included. All for only $99. Space is limited.
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CHARGED IN CHEROKEE THEFT
A Santa Rosa, Calif. woman, with
about five hours of dual instruction, has been arrested after allegedly
stealing a Piper Cherokee, running it out of gas and landing, at night,
in a hay field in northern California. Authorities believe Susan
Alexandria, 28, took off from Charles M. Schulz/Sonoma County Airport
sometime last Tuesday and flew north until the tanks were empty. That
apparently happened near an ideal spot for an off-airport landing, a
dormant alfalfa field in the appropriately named Surprise Valley, near
Cedarville in the northeast corner of the state. She then walked
three-quarters of a mile to the town of 800 and checked into the local
hotel, telling the owners she was lost but apparently omitting the
airplane part. More...
AOPA CHIEF, JOHN LEE BAKER, PASSES
John L. Baker, former U.S.
Air Force fighter pilot and second AOPA president, passed away March 11.
Baker once served as assistant administrator in the FAA's office of
general aviation affairs and headed AOPA from 1977 through 1990. At
AOPA, he worked for fair distribution of a then $4 billion surplus in
the Aviation Trust Fund, eventually influencing how money was
distributed to some 3,000 general aviation airports. Baker's time at
AOPA saw challenges that arose from the 1978 fatal midair of a Boeing
727 and a Cessna 172 near San Diego, GA issues surrounding the then
newly established Terminal Control Area, and advancement of the first
bills regarding changes to product liability law. In the words of his
successor, Phil Boyer, "He was a highly qualified leader who transformed
AOPA from a large flying club to one of the world's most successful
membership organizations." More...
Make King County International Airport/Boeing Field
destination! Conveniently located just 5 miles from downtown Seattle,
is positioned in the center of the growing economy of the
Puget Sound region, serving as a hub for business travel, private jets,
and general aviation travel. Partner with aviation experts when you fly
to Seattle. Make your destination King County International
For more information, visit
MARCH 15, 2010
Letter of the Week: Revamp Light Sport to
The real world responses to this week's Question of the Week on the FAA's 2030 Aviation
Forecast once again underscore the fact that the FAA's "last great
hope" for aviation, Light Sport, is going to go the way of the
1990s recreational pilot and the Dodo bird. It's high time that everyone
involved "gets" the fact that aviation is a sunset industry
[unless there's] a massive paradigm shift in thinking.
All of the
ongoing positive accolades from FAA and EAA and AOPA aside, Light Sport
has produced only 3,248 Light Sport pilots in just over five years.
That's about one Light Sport pilot per State per month. The total number
of active U.S. pilots is down more than 35 percent since the heyday of
the early 1980s. Something has to be done.
Click through to read the rest of Mr. Stencel's
letter and other missives from our reader mailbag.
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OF THE WEEK: AVWEB'S FLYING PHOTOGRAPHY SHOWCASE
So many great
photos, so little time a lament that's especially true this week,
since we didn't have time to properly pick and format winners before
press time. Not to worry we'll sneak a link into this week's
AVwebAudio and run the top five in Monday's edition of
AVwebFlash. Enjoy starting with this shot from Russell A. McDonald of Nappanee, Indiana!
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OF THE WEEK: ATLANTIC AVIATION (REPUBLIC AIRPORT, FARMINGDALE, NEW
AVweb's latest "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Atlantic Aviation at Republic Airport (KFRG)
in Farmingdale, New York.
AVweb readers Jeffrey and Lisa
Chipetine recently pulled some long hours flying rescued dogs to
their new homes for Pilots
N Paws and the staff at Atlantic were more than happy to help
in their journey. Click
through to read their full story.
The fellows on the line made sure we were all safe [humans and
dogs alike] by escorting the receiving vehicle onto the tarmac and
ensuring everyone was kept clear during the transfer. As Atlantic
Aviation hosts GA traffic that includes jets and turbines as well as
prop aircraft, this was an important consideration. The line staff even
helped disassemble the crates and load the (stubby tail-wagging) animals
into the SUV belonging to the couple receiving the dogs. We all shared a
good moment that night, each of us having a part in sending those
terrific dogs onto the next leg in their journey towards a better life.
Those animals likely got more rubs and hugs that evening than they had
ever received, and they sure returned the love. ... We taxied back to
our tiedown feeling a little better about answering a call from those
two small voices.
Keep those nominations
VIDEO: LEGEND'S NEW AMPHIB FLOATPLANE
American Legend has made a name for itself in the LSA
market with well-made Cub clones. At U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring
in January, it showed a new amphib LSA that attracted lots of eyeballs.
Last week, AVweb flew the amphib, and here's our video report on
this new product. It's not just fun to fly; it's insanely fun to
|Overheard in IFR Magazine's "On the
During my IFR training at Duluth
(Minnesota) International Airport, I'd just declared a missed approach.
Here's the exchange I had with ATC:
Two Three Four Alpha: Fly heading of zero niner zero. Climb and maintain
"Zero niner zero, climb and maintain
"Climb and maintain
"That should be 3,200. We'll get it
"But will I? Climb and maintain
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.
AVwebFlash team is:
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
Have a product or service to advertise
on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's
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
Navigate. Communicate. More...