AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 16, Number 11b

March 18, 2010

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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Top Tech: STOVL Lightning Streaks Across the Sky back to top 
Sponsor Announcement
Eur-Avia Cannes || 4-6 June 2010 || Leading GA Exhibition in Southern Europe

F-35B Passes Tests, Readies For Vertical Landings

Two F-35B Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) test jets flew six times on Wednesday, March 10, above Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., clearing the way for the program's vertical landing tests. One aircraft, flown by test pilot Graham Tomlinson, was a Short Takeoff and Vertical Landing (STOVL) variant of the Lockheed Martin design. It flew multiple hops in close pattern work, with each trip flown at a lower airspeed than the one prior, and with "hot pit refueling" (without shutting down the engine) performed between each flight. For this test, each landing was performed at a higher speed than its associated pattern work and culminated in a 40-knot fly-by followed by a 75-knot landing. The test program of the shaft-driven vertical lift fan and aft vectored thrust system will now move on to vertical landings. While the March 10 flights were uneventful, the politics surrounding the aircraft -- the most expensive acquisition in U.S. military history, according to Aerospace & Defense News -- continued on March 11 to be more dramatic.

One day after the flight tests, the Pentagon on March 11 told Senators that the average per unit cost of the aircraft has risen from roughly $50 million (in Fiscal 2002 dollars) to $112 million in today's dollars. Those cost figures presume that more than 2,400 of the aircraft will be purchased, as intended, by branches of the U.S. military. As with any current high-cost government funded project, the JSF program has recently found its share of scrutiny and criticism. Following a recent restructuring of the JSF program, brought on to restore the schedule in the development program, the military now expects to have the jet flying for the Marine Corps in 2012. The Navy's carrier version will follow in 2014. First JSF squadron deployment is expected in 2016. Foreign F-35B customers include the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, and the Italian Air Force and Navy.

Related Content:
Watch the video

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Congress to Tighten Training, Ease Up on TTF? back to top 

Senate Moves To Change Flight Rules

Copilots for commercial flights carrying passengers would be required to have at least 800 hours of flight time under a measure passed by the Senate Tuesday. Current rules require only 250 hours. The 800 hours must include experience working in multiple-pilot environments and training in handling adverse weather and icing conditions. If the legislation becomes law, the FAA would have until the end of 2011 to issue new rules. The measure is just one part of the FAA reauthorization bill, which has been laden with dozens of controversial amendments, some of which have little or nothing to do with aviation, on its way through Congress. It's expected that the FAA will be given another 90-day funding extension on Thursday, moving the deadline back to June 30 for the reauthorization bill to pass.

Relatives of the victims of Colgan Air Flight 3407 have been actively lobbying Congress to include in the bill changes in the training standards for pilots on commercial passenger flights. The House version of the FAA reauthorization bill has already been passed, and it includes a 1,500-hour minimum requirement for right-seaters on commuter airlines. Whatever the Senate passes will have to be merged with the House bill by a House-Senate conference committee that will then vote on whatever compromises they reach. The long-awaited funding bill is expected to provide support for the development of NextGen.

Congress Aims To Change FAA Airport Access Policy

Bills are now under consideration in both the House and Senate to amend a recent FAA policy that restricts airport access. The "Community Airport Access and Protection Act of 2010" addresses the FAA's decision to prohibit "through the fence" access at most public airports. Such access has long been enjoyed by owners of hangar homes and other neighbors who use airports on a regular basis. "Please contact your senators and representatives to support these bills," Brent Blue wrote to AVweb this week. Blue founded a group called Through The Fence to organize opposition to the policy. "No data, studies, or non-FAA-personnel's opinion went into the new order," which was issued last September without any input from the public or advocacy groups, says Blue. Through The Fence is encouraging all pilots and others interested in general aviation airports to contact their senators and representatives to support this legislation.

The House bill is H.R. 4815, sponsored by Representatives Sam Graves and Leonard Boswell. The Senate Bill is H.R. 1586 Amendment #3465, sponsored by Sen. James Inhofe and co-sponsored by Sen. Ron Wyden. The bills would restore access but would also require off-airport users to pay access charges. "Congressmen Graves and Boswell as well as Senator Inhofe deserve tremendous credit for sponsoring legislation which ensures access to general aviation airports and supports their economic vitality through TTF fees," said Blue. "This correction of FAA policy will help maintain the viability of small airports by encouraging use while supporting safety and security."

Related Content:
AVweb's Russ Niles spoke with Brent Blue about these issues in December; click here for the podcast.

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News Briefs back to top 

Canada Eases Entry Rules For LSA Pilots

It's now easier for U.S. pilots to fly their light sport aircraft into Canada, EAA said this week. Transport Canada now will treat LSAs the same as experimental aircraft. Previously, TC required U.S. pilots of LSAs to call ahead and receive authorization to fly in Canada, obtain a validation form to keep in the aircraft, and pay a $100 fee. "Now LSA owners simply have to download the Standardised Validation form, follow customs requirements, and fly," said Randy Hansen, EAA government relations director. "The $100 fee has been eliminated." TC still requires pilots to have a private pilot certificate with a valid medical -- sport pilots without an FAA medical certificate are not allowed. "But we're working on that, too," Hansen said.

The change will benefit Canadians as well as U.S. pilots, said Jack Dueck, a member of EAA's Canadian Council. "This is also good news for Canadians since it indicates a continuing effort to bring LSA to Canadian pilots and owners," Dueck said. To download a copy of the TC Standardised Validation form, go to the EAA Web site.

Martin Jetpack's International Production Venture

New Zealand's Martin Aircraft Company says it has signed a $12 million joint venture with an "international aircraft company" that aims to make the Martin Jetpack a commercially available product, but details remain unresolved. The partner is yet unnamed, but would be licensed to manufacture Martin Jetpacks only in its native country (also yet unnamed). Final details of the deal, like the location of the production facility, intellectual property and branding matters, also must still be finalized. But under the deal, a new company would be formed, and Martin's unnamed partner would hold a 51-percent stake. Martin would become a supplier, selling parts to the joint-venture company. Lauder and Jetpack inventor Glenn Martin would serve as directors of that company. Martin will retain the international patent and is still looking for other international partners. The joint company's near-term goal would be for the sale of 500 units, bringing in $100 million, within three years. Says Lauder, Martin's portion of that (as a supplier) would "give us a lifeline, but it doesn't give us the sort of venture capital we need."

Last December, Martin sought $10 to $25 million in investor support, saying it would need the money within the next three months to develop the Martin Jetpack for commercial production. It found no investors, locally. But the new deal has offered the company hope. "We have somebody who is willing to put $12 million on the table because they believe there is a sizeable market in their country," said Lauder. Martin says the Jetpack is capable of flying at 8,000 feet and reaching speeds of about 60 miles per hour, but "further safety testing is required before it's ready for commercial production." The deal brings some financial relief to the cash-strapped Martin Aircraft Company, but does not provide the cash infusion needed to fund its larger international ambitions.

Related Content:
Video: Martin Jetpack Controllability Demo

The New Meridian G1000 — Commanding
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Click here for more information on the new Piper Meridian G1000.
2010 FAA, Lindbergh Winners back to top 

Awards Recognize Contributions To Aviation

Two major aviation awards programs have announced their winners for 2010. The Lindbergh Award, which honors efforts to achieve a balance of nature and technology, went to FedEx and to Jack Pelton, CEO of Cessna. "Jack Pelton has led the charge to see that the aviation industry focuses appropriate efforts in reducing its environmental impact," said Larry Williams, chairman of the Lindbergh Foundation. FedEx will receive the Corporate Award for Balance, which recognizes business practices that reflect concern for the environment and quality of life. The FAA's General Aviation Awards go to aviation professionals for contributions in flight instruction, aviation maintenance, avionics, and safety. Recipients of this year's national awards are Jeff Moss of Los Angeles, CFI of the Year; Tom Turner of Rose Hill, Kan., FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year; Neil Nederfield of Lafayette, N.J., Aviation Maintenance Technician of the Year; and Kirk Peterson of Larimore, N.D., Avionics Technician of the Year. 

The Lindbergh Foundation awardees will be honored at the 32nd annual Lindbergh Award Celebration to be held at Sun 'n Fun, in Lakeland, Fla., on April 14. The General Aviation Awards program is a partnership involving more than a dozen organizations from the aviation industry. This year's awards will be presented by FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt in July at EAA AirVenture 2010 in Oshkosh. Regional award winners are also named. Click here for more details about this year's winners.

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What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Week back to top 

ADS-B Goes Live In Philadelphia

Pilots of properly equipped aircraft flying through the Philadelphia area can get a glimpse of the future of flight now that ADS-B service has been switched on there. The FAA activated the system on Feb. 26 but didn't announce it until Tuesday. Aircraft with a universal access transceiver can display weather and aeronautical information on their cockpit displays, as well as traffic advisories. Those with a 1090 MHz Extended Squitter (1090 ES) can only get the traffic. The FAA is warning that the information available is advisory only and not a substitute for official sources of weather and NOTAMs or looking out the window.

Like any new and complex system, there are bound to be bugs and the FAA is hoping pilots will pay special attention to the functionality of the system and report any problems. ADS-B is the foundation technology of the NextGen airspace modernization program.

AVwebBiz: AVweb's Business Aviation Newsletter

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."

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Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: Drone Wars — It's Getting Scary Out There

In general aviation, we tend to focus on our insular little world of plodding, incremental progress. But while we're not looking, developments in drone technology are on an exponential curve. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli argues that this has wider implications than many of us imagine.

Click here to read why Paul is of two minds on the robotic flight revolution.

AVweb Insider Blog: EFIS Safety Study — Hardly a Surprise

So glass cockpits don't necessarily improve safety? No surprise there, says Paul Bertorelli in the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog. Maybe we should be grateful the NTSB study didn't connect EFIS to an uptick in accident rates.

Click here to read Paul's comments and add your own.

JA Air Center - Your Source for the Garmin Aera
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The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 

Question of the Week: ADS-B Is Almost Ready for You; Are You Ready for It?

This Week's Question | Previous Week's Answers


Last week, we asked AVweb readers what they thought of the FAA's rosy forecast for 2030. The largest single segment of those who responded (44%) took a much dimmer view of the near future, proclaiming that recreational flying is a sunset industry, and the FAA is just giving false hope. The second largest slice of votes (30%) went to the less bleak option I can understand the bizjet growth, but recreational flying won't keep up.

Want to see a full breakdown of responses? Take a moment to answer the question yourself, and then you can view real-time results.


ADS-B is available over the Gulf of Mexico and was just switched on around Philadelphia. What are your plans to equip?

Is ADS-B equipage on your radar?
(click to answer)

Have an idea for a new "Question of the Week"? Send your suggestions to .

This address is only for suggested "QOTW" questions, and not for "QOTW" answers or comments.
Use this form to send "QOTW" comments to our AVmail Editor.

AVweb's Newstips Address ...

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 newstips@avweb.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.

Peter Drucker Says, "The Best Way to Predict the Future Is to Create It"
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AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

Exclusive Video: F-35B Joint Strike Fighter 40-Knot Fly-By

Original, Exclusive Videos from AVweb | Reader-Submitted & Viral Videos

Test pilot Graham Tomlinson on March 10, 2010 flies the first F-35B Joint Strike fighter (or JSF), BF-1, at 40 knots on its 40th flight, employing the jet's forward shaft-driven vertical lift fan — look behind the nosegear — and the aft-vectored thrust nozzle.

The jet's next test will include vertical landings. The propulsion system can deliver up to 41,000 pounds of vertical thrust and, depending on the jet's configuration, can deliver air speeds from zero to the aforementioned 1.6 Mach. This 40-knot fly-by and the faster, 75-knot landing were the slowest of the day.

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Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

Exclusive Video: Legend's New Amphib Floatplane

Original, Exclusive Videos from AVweb | Reader-Submitted & Viral Videos

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 fly.

If you enjoy this video, be sure to check out our sister publication, Aviation Consumer magazine.

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Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

Help Us Celebrate AVweb's 15th Anniversary back to top 

15 Years and Now 15 Grand Giveaways ... It's Your Chance to Win a WxWorx XM WX Satellite Weather Receiver

CLICK HERE to Register for All 15 Drawings

Win an XM WX Satellite Weather receiver from WxWorx as we continue the celebration of AVweb's 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 April 9, 2010.

Click here to read the contest rules and enter.

Congratulations to Colleen Keller of San Diego, California, who won a Garmin 510 aera handheld GPS in our last drawing! (click here to get your own Garmin aera)

Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Atlantic Aviation (Republic Airport, Farmingdale, New York)

Nominate an FBO | Rules | Tips | Questions | Winning FBOs

Conoco-Phillips WingPoints || Best Rewards in the Business

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. Jeffrey and Lisa write:

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 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!

Reader-Submitted Photos back to top 

Picture of the Week: AVweb's Flying Photography Showcase

Submit a Photo | Rules | Tips | Questions | Past Winners

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.


We know you're busy scanning the internet for vital aviation information, but how about you relax and take a five-minute break with us while we ooh and ahh over this week's top five photos? All work and no "Picture of the Week" makes Jack a dull boy.

medium | large

Used with permission of Suzy Kryzanowicz

Awaiting Another Day

Three colors and a couple of shapes — but what a gorgeous photo.

Suzy Kryzanowicz of Bay City, Michigan downplays her "Picture of the Week" submission, jokingly calling it "my impression of what it would look like if I tripped over the extension cord in my hangar and looked up!"

medium | large

Used with permission of Douglas Johnson

Piedmont Airlines DC-3 Ready to Fly!

We're beginning to think Douglas Johnson of Belmont, North Carolina has a thing for DC-3s. (Maybe it's the name?) As Douglas reminded us, his last entry was a 2009 "POTW" winner and featured a rusty, hulking DC-3 that was definitely not flight-ready. This time, it's the Carolinas Aviation Museum's in-service model, as seen through a fisheye lens.

(Psst — we've also got a link to Douglas's photo stream on Flickr, and it's every bit as worthwhile as you'd expect from the photo you're seeing here.)

medium | large

Used with permission of Alan Wirth

Snowbound Hornet

Alan Wirth of Lexington Park, Maryland explains:

I work at Patuxent River NAS doing F/A-18 flight testing at the Navy test squadron VX-23. We have a 1:18 scale hornet that, on slow days, we dress up to mimic current flight testing. During our recent snow storms, when the air field was buried under two feet of snow, we decided on a snow scene to reflect the current outside condition.

(We are so going to Toys R Us first thing in the morning!)

medium | large

Used with permission of Bob Kennedy

757 on My Tail

Bob Kennedy of Wailuku, Hawaii had just cleared the runway after landing his C-172 when the tower directed this big fella to cross behind him. "My daughter, in the back seat, was alarmed at the close encounter," writes Bob, but our intrepid submitted did exactly what we'd have done — he reached for his camera.

(P.S. Bob writes, "I started to make the caption read, 'Caution: Wake Turbulence from the Departing Cessna.'")

medium | large

Used with permission of James Kleen

Berkley Calls Out Enemy Fighters

Berkley the Airedale navigator just "sighted a Taylorcraft on his way from Asheville to Savannah," according to James Kleen of Pooler, Georgia.

We're tempted to point out that, like James, we love dogs and airplanes — but, c'mon, who doesn't?

Five reader pics just makes you want more, doesn't it? Head on over to AVweb's home page and check out a dozen or so more pics from our submitters.

And when you're done, why don't you submit a photo of your own? (That's how we get 'em, see.)

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.

Names Behind the News back to top 

Meet 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.

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.