AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 16, Number 12a

March 22, 2010

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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Top News: Companies May Meet in Court back to top 

Cirrus, L-3 Legal Wrangle Takes A Twist

Cirrus Aircraft has gone to court to stop a former supplier from allegedly telling other suppliers that Cirrus is headed for bankruptcy. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune Cirrus filed suit Thursday against Grand Rapids, Mich.-based L-3 Communications and also claims L-3 has been encouraging other suppliers to stop doing business with Cirrus. Cirrus wants the court to stop L-3 from contacting suppliers and is also seeking unspecified damages. Cirrus claims that if suppliers act on the alleged advice from L-3, it would be forced out of business and that the bankruptcy allegations could scare off potential customers. L-3 was closed on the weekend and officials could not be reached for comment. The suit is the latest wrinkle in legal wrangling between the two companies that began last May.

L-3 launched a suit against Cirrus last year alleging non-payment of $18.7 million for development of a flat panel electronics for Cirrus aircraft. Cirrus has countered that L-3 broke the supply contract. The suit is expected to go to court in December. Last week Cirrus issued a news release saying it believed that the aircraft market is going to be stronger than predicted in the coming year. It said it had weathered the severe downturn and that the resulting restructuring will allow the company to take even better advantage of the business upswing.

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Paying the Piper back to top 

FAA Requests 32 Percent More Money For 2011

FAA chief Randy Babbitt was in Washington Thursday to explain why the FAA wants $1.14 billion for fiscal 2011. The administrator defended the request to the Transportation and Housing and Urban Development subcommittee, explaining that the move to NextGen involves a "complex series of programs" and inter-related initiatives. If granted, the funding would be a 32-percent increase from fiscal 2010, and only part of the $20 billion that full NextGen implementation is expected to require. The NextGen project is already behind schedule and Committee Chairman John Olver, D-Mass., suggested some of the blame rests with leadership. "Early implementation efforts have been hampered by unclear roles," he said, asking if that had yet been addressed. But there will be other future complications, not the least of which involves how aircraft will come to be equipped and who will pay for it.

In Salt Lake City, where the technology is currently operating, the system was recently taken offline to correct software and interface problems. Aside from infrastructure funding, the matter of equipping aircraft, how that might be regulated and who will bear the costs remains unclear. Babbitt told the committee Thursday that, "the more aircraft are equipped, our entire system runs better." He added that upgrading those aircraft would cost billions, but did not include a per-aircraft figure. The House voted Wednesday to extend FAA funding until early July. As of Thursday, the Senate had yet to follow. Babbitt has made clear that passage of a multiyear reauthorization would help clarify the agency's priorities and long-term planning. The FAA has been working with short-term reauthorization "extensions" since 2007.

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Policy & Procedure back to top 

APIS Guide Updated To Help Pilots With Border Crossing

The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) has updated its guide explaining the required electronic Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) used by pilots flying into the U.S., with consideration given to suggestions from EAA. The new guide clarifies certain requirements first published in 2008 and adds instruction designed to help pilots deal with real-world complications they may encounter. Added sections include details on what to do if weather or other issues prevent a pilot from arriving at their planned border crossing location, or cause them to miss their planned crossing time. It clarifies what to do when departing from an airport not designated by the CBP as an airport of entry. And it also adds direction for pilots who encounter APIS system problems or, for other reasons, can not provide complete information through the system. Previously, the guide indicated those problems were the sole responsibility of the pilot, regardless of whether the APIS system itself (through an interface or other problem) was at fault. A link to the guide follows after the jump.

EAA says its "real-world experience" recommendations were incorporated into the revised guide thanks in part to the working relationship EAA and the CBP developed through AirVenture. The CBP attended AirVenture and was an AirVenture Federal Pavilion partner in 2009. The event put CBP members in direct contact with AirVenture employees and the CBP facility allowed visiting international pilots to file with APIS, directly. EAA says APIS experts will again be in attendance at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, this summer. EAA says it worked closely with the CBP on the modifications and looks forward to continuing cooperative efforts.

Related Content:
Revised CBP Private Air APIS Guide (PDF)

Court Backs Attendants' Concerns About Suicidal Pilot

The Federal Court of Canada has backed flight attendants who refused to work a flight because they believed the pilot was suicidally depressed. It's not clear if the attendants, as part of the ruling, would have to tell passengers on the flight about their motivation to deplane. The court challenge arose when four Air Canada flight attendants in the summer of 2008 refused their assignments after one of them met the flight's pilot. The attendant, Hugh Bouchard, called in sick after the meeting and told another attendant the pilot had, on a previous flight, threatened to fly a plane into the Atlantic, according to the Montreal Gazette. Subsequent investigations found no support for that exact wording, but when the story was shared among the crew three other flight attendants (scheduled to work under Bouchard on the Toronto to Paris flight) also opted out. The airline found a backup crew and the flight went on without additional drama. Legal complications followed.

Advised of the situation on Aug. 24, 2008, Transport Canada had sent a federal health and safety officer to investigate. That official made a preliminary inquiry, but refused to launch a formal investigation based on information gathered during interviews with the flight attendants, operations manager and other character witnesses for the pilot. The official found Bouchard's precise claim was that the pilot had on a flight one month prior said, "If I lose my job, I have nothing to lose." (The pilot is still flying for Air Canada.) Transport Canada found no one other than the attendants who would speak critically of the pilot, the Montreal Gazette reported. Advised of Transport Canada's decision, the flight attendant's union appealed the findings to the Federal Court of Canada, which decided in favor of the attendants. The Canadian Press reports that Air Canada is not planning an appeal and that no disciplinary action has been taken. Under the Canada Labour Code, employees are protected from workplace danger.

Sixth Annual Archie League Medal of Safety Awards
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association Proudly Salutes the Winners of the Sixth Annual Archie League Medal of Safety Awards
Named after America's first air traffic controller, these awards honor instances of exceptional skill, professionalism and dedication by our nation's air traffic controllers. From alerting aircraft to dangerous situations in the sky to expertly guiding private aircraft pilots in distress to safe landings, each of these winners has contributed to ensuring the safety of others. Click here to see the 2010 winners.
Aviation Safety Report back to top 

Florida Midair Kills Three

Three people died in a midair collision near Williston, Fla., on Saturday. Lee Sentman, 73, has been identified as the lone occupant of an aircraft that was arriving at the Williston Airport on a flight from Ocala when it was in collision with an aircraft that was departing Williston. The names of the two occupants of the departing aircraft have not been released. The departing aircraft was identified as a single-engine Piper and the inbound plane was reportedly a homebuilt.

The aircraft came down relatively close to on another in a field behind an unoccupied house. No eyewitnesses have come forward but nearby residents reported hearing a bang. Williston is about 30 miles west of Gainesville and Ocala.

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News Briefs back to top 

Seawind's Bid On Again For Certification

The on-again, off-again, on-again, four-plus-one place Seawind 300C has received its flight permit, flown over Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Canada, and is heading for certification, according to company chief, Richard Silva. The aircraft is marketed by Seawind as both "the world's most versatile land plane" and "the world's fastest seaplane." Flight testing will be performed by the National Research Center, Canada, over three months finishing in June, Silva told AVweb. Silva says that, after successful testing, his priorities will shift to production of the first five customer aircraft, and flight tests and certification work with the autopilot. Silva says he has secured funding through certification and is working to set up the next phase for production. He forecasts demand in excess of 120 aircraft per year, looking at amphib pilots alone, but Silva adds that most of his early orders came from non-amphib pilots.

Silva says the latest incarnation of the aircraft will fly with a Continental IO-550 310-hp FADEC equipped engine and the company will offer a turbo-normalized option. It will carry G600 synthetic vision-equipped glass cockpit avionics and, says Silva, it will fly faster than a Mooney, while offering more shoulder room than a Beaver. According to Silva, 70 percent of his order holders were not amphib pilots when they grabbed a slot. Having been down a rough road, including a 2007 crash that killed test pilot Glenn Ralph Holmes, the company that once held 94 orders now retains more than 50. And some of those remaining belong to investors now funding the project. Seawind plans to produce its 300C at an 82,000 square-foot facility, located off of Lake Champlain.

Apollo 13 Checklist On Auction

Click to view full-size image

An auction in Manhattan on April 13 will feature an annotated checklist used to power down damaged parts of Apollo 13, other space memorabilia and a complete 93-year-old Curtiss MF flying boat. The auction by Bonhams will be held on the 40th anniversary of the oxygen tank explosion that nearly killed three astronauts while they were halfway to the moon and includes notes made by the crew just after the tank blew up, heavily damaging the service module of the spacecraft. The checklist is expected to fetch up to $30,000. The flying boat, a demilitarized version of the F model used by the U.S. Navy, will be on public display starting April 3 at Sculpture Garden Atrium at 590 Madison Ave.

The flying boat was an upgraded version of the Navy surplus plane with bigger engines and more creature comforts. It spent its civilian life in Cleveland and flew regularly until about 1945. The owner, William H. Long, refurbished and donated it to a museum. In recent history it has been at the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland but has been retired from public view. It's expected to fetch from $300,000 to $500,000.

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New on AVweb back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: CAP, Sheriff's Office Pull Off Stunning Rescue

It's not often that the crew of a downed airplane is yanked out of the wilderness in under two hours, but that's what the CAP and Bonneville County, Idaho authorities pulled off last week. In his latest post to the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli notes that the takeaway is to carry appropriate survival gear, which the couple in the Cessna 172 appears not to have done.

Read more and add your own comments.

Any Landing You Walk Away From ...

File Size 5.8 MB / Running Time 6:20

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Paul Schafer had a nasty cut on his head but was otherwise hardly hurt in an off-airport landing on a logged-off area of an Oregon mountain. He says he planned for it and that made all the difference.

Click here to listen. (5.8 MB, 6:20)

Related Content:
Preparation pays; Paul Bertorelli blogs about another incredible landing on the AVweb Insider

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

AVmail: March 22, 2010

Each week, we run a sampling of the letters received to our editorial inbox here in AVmail. One letter that's particularly relevant, informative, or otherwise compelling will headline this section as our "Letter of the Week," and we'll send the author an official AVweb baseball cap as a "thank you" for interacting with us (and the rest of our readership). Send us your comments and questions using this form. Please include your mailing address in your e-mail (just in case your letter is our "Letter of the Week"); by the same token, please let us know if your message is not intended for publication.

Letter of the Week: Light Sport's Future Is Bright As Is

Last week, Larry Stencel submitted a letter entitled "Revamp Light Sport to Save GA."

His letter suggested that the Light Sport movement has failed to be the "last great hope" for aviation. Mr. Stencel's view of the light sport industry is far different than our experience. This letter is submitted on behalf of the owners and managers of Chesapeake Sport Pilot. We opened our doors in January 2007 with one aircraft, two instructors, a handful of students, and a pilot's lounge as a pre-flight/post-flight briefing area. Fast forward to today: We have eight light sport aircraft and seventeen instructors. We have over 60 active students and many more active renters. We built a 6,000-square-foot hangar facility this past fall. All of this was built on the shoulders of light sport aircraft and sport pilots.

When our school first opened, nearly all of our clients were retirees, as Mr. Stencel discusses; however, we have seen a major demographic shift as the industry has matured. By the end of our second year, the working-age professionals significantly outnumbered retirees among our customers. And in this past year, we have seen an influx of young pilots. Just in the past two weeks, during spring break at the local school districts, we had nearly half a dozen teenagers come by the school to take introductory flights as they (and their parents) evaluated sport pilot training for the summer break.

As for Mr. Stencel's comment that only 1,000 SLSA aircraft have been sold in the past 5 years, those numbers are misleading. You must remember that during the first two years of the light sport rules, there essentially were no SLSAs, as the industry was still drafting its consensus standards for "certification" of new aircraft. During the last year of that period, we were in a major recession, and nothing was selling in this country, whether it was houses or airplanes. In reality, SLSAs have only been selling for two years. A thousand aircraft in two years for a brand-new fledgling industry is pretty good!

Regarding his proposal to change the rules to allow a higher gross weight, thats undercut a stable and growing industry. There are many aircraft that have been designed for the 1,320-lb. limit and perform exceptionally. Technology has improved vastly since the Cessna 150 first rolled off the production line in 1957. For example, one of the main training aircraft at our flight school, a Tecnam Echo Super, a plane that looks much like a Cessna 150, consistently takes off in well under 1000', climbs like a bat out of hell being close to TPA by the end of our 3000'-foot runway, and sports a 13:1 glide ratio and a 600-lb. useful load. Its engine, a Rotax 912ULS, sips fuel at about 3GPH in a training environment, automatically adjusts its mixture, requires no carburetor heat, and has a 2000-hour TBO without requiring a top overhaul to make TBO. That's certainly no Cessna 150!

Modern safety features are certainly available on new LSAs. Our Tecnams feature a steel roll cage surrounding the cockpit, and nearly all LSAs offer a BRS as optional equipment. The accident statistics also show that many of the accidents in LSAs that people have survived were those that would not have been survivable in older and heavier (more mass and momentum) training aircraft not built to modern design standards.

This industry is new, growing and evolving. It is not fair to compare the cost of a new LSA to that of a 30-year-old Cessna, nor is it fair to say what we see now is what we will always have in the light sport industry. What we need to look at are trends, and those trends are positive. Not only are more people staying in aviation through light sport, but as the younger generation slowly discovers the industry, more people are getting into aviation, as we had hoped. As a used market for SLSAs is slowly developing, the cost of purchasing a used LSA is slowly going down. More and more flight schools are becoming receptive to adding an LSA leaseback to their fleet, providing yet another way to make LSA ownership affordable.

Rome was not built in a day, nor will the light sport industry be. As more flight schools offer sport pilot training and light sport aircraft rentals, we will see more pilots stay in aviation (those that would have stopped due to medical concerns), and we will see more individuals become pilots (due to the lower cost to get a license). Our experience over the past three years has shown that the trends in the LSA industry are positive. With more pilots and more planes, general aviation is getting a boost.

The Owners and Management of Chesapeake Sport Pilot

Here in Australia we have the RAAus (Recreational Aviation Australia). There has been huge growth as older pilots move out of the PPL/certified aircraft world into RAAus and corresponding decreases in the number of private licence holders.

The requirements are similar to LSA, but only recently has the weight limit gone from 540Kg to 600Kg to align with LSA. Of course, they just used to fly overweight, illegally, a fair bit of the time.

I've been aghast at the amount of time and effort the EAA has put into Light Sport when lobbying for no medical for day VFR [with] only one passenger would have resulted in much the same effect for less effort. There's no shortage of airframes.

While we are at it, FAR23 is way overkill for certifying small single-engine aircraft used for private purposes. I can buy a complete uncertified aircraft and fly it. It just has to be built by an amateur in his garage, instead of by professionals in a factory. Think about it!

Mike Borgelt

About Larry Stencel's letter: Finally there is someone who voiced his views about the light sport movement and us old pilots with general aviation planes that all but fit into the category. I feel we should be allowed to fly as light sport pilots with our present planes. I'll pull my back seat out, and with the exception of a few hundred pounds, what's the difference? I hope someone at the FAA sees Larry's letter and, like the rest of us, thinks it's a good idea and about time to change the rules.

Greg Hill

I agree with much that Larry said in his letter. However, there are several things that existed in the past that do not exist now. Both boosted flying and aircraft ownership to record levels. I believe that the downward slide began in 1986 with the change in tax law that had been friendly to aircraft ownership.

The tax law that existed prior to 1986 encouraged aircraft ownership through leaseback arrangements. Also, the VA Bill allowed all existing veterans to go for advanced pilot ratings and licenses. I was a flight instructor when benefits where going to run out for many veterans. They came out of the woodwork to fly those benefits off.

I think Larry is correct that the gross weight limitation for LSAs is too low. However, I think it just missed existing low-end aircraft on purpose. The powers-that-be wanted innovation and progress in new aircraft. Now that we know that was only partially successful, it is time to raise the max gross weight limit.

In addition, I believe that we also need a stimulus for GA. This could be done as it was in the past, by making it advantageous to own an aircraft — or maybe a tax credit for first-time buyers (new aircraft only). Politicians are probably leery of anything that benefits GA, because the populace at large views aircraft ownership as something only the rich can do. What they fail to understand is that while aircraft ownership is expensive, beneficial tax treatment creates jobs.

Airplanes are not built like cars. You do not see rows of robots overseen by a few employees. Airplanes are still mostly hand-built, and it takes an army of people. Also, these are good-paying manufacturing jobs that are so scarce today (subject for another letter).

It could also be said that the FAA is part of the blame for a 35 percent drop in total pilots. The FARs are too complex and not well written. They are also not friendly to the business use of aircraft. Charitable flying is hard to do while staying within the letter of the law. Since when did the FAA become an ancillary arm of the IRS?

You may ask why any of this is important. Isn't the promotion of aviation one half of the FAA's mandate?

David Eberling

Reading Larry Stencel's "Letter of the Week," I've long wondered why the LSA weight limit of 1,350 pounds stands. I'm 6'2" and weigh just over 200 pounds. I've yet to find an LSA that will allow me to take another adult with me, unless we take half fuel (or less).

I don't care about the hour limits, but if someone could put in a good word for pilots who aren't 170 pounds it would be great.

Don Weber

I enjoyed reading Mr. Stencel's letter about LSA, but I thought it was rather one-sided. Here is a look at the other side of the same coin.

The new SP/LSA rules had many effects on the GA world. If only new sport pilot students were desired, then his analysis would be great. However, I believe there were two other goals: Establishing a brand new aircraft type, mostly modeled after the European ultralight standards, and starting down the path of eliminating FAA medical certificates for some or possibly all pilots.

There are indeed some new SLSA models in the $50,000 to $60,000 price range. They have not generated a lot of interest or sales. Many of the lower-priced models generally appear similar to part 103 ultralights with an extra seat and more fuel. The higher-end models of SLSA have generated most of the 2,000 or so new SLSA aircraft sales. Some of the popular new models provide appearance and performance similar to Piper Cubs, while others have a more modern look and performance somewhere above a Cessna 172. There have also been an undocumented number of kitplane sales as well as homebuilder plans for planes that could meet the LSA definition.

Many of the new SLSA models are manufactured in Europe. The price required to buy one of these planes in U.S. dollars has suffered greatly from the demise of the dollar's value in world trade. When the Euro was established, you could buy a Euro for 85 cents. Today the same Euro costs around $1.40. That means the price of European goods, including new airplanes, has nearly doubled as a result of the U.S. dollar's weakness. If the folks in Washington, D.C. get their act together and stop spending money faster than they can print it, we can expect the prices of those sleek European planes to come down a great deal.

The LSA rule also provides for two-seat weight shift aircraft (trikes), powered parachutes, and gyroplanes. These new aircraft provide alternatives for recreational flying with a single passenger. Indeed, all of LSA provides a wonderful set of solutions for flying where business is not involved.

The elderly Cessnas and Pipers were designed for commercial and IFR flight. They are more expensive to operate than the new planes, even though they tend to be at least 30 years old. As fuel prices go up, the penalty for flying elderly type certificated planes will increase. It is not clear how the prices for certified spare parts for these planes, which are no longer being made, will increase with time.

Mainteance and annual inspection of type-certificated planes requires an A&P license. All parts must be certified, and owners cannot do much more than change oil. With an E-LSA airworthiness certificate and a three-day course, anybody can work on an LSA and perform annual condition inspections for their own aircraft. If they want to do the same thing commercially on aircraft owned by others (and include SLSA certified planes), only a three-week course is required. This all works because the LSAs are much simpler aircraft than the old Cessnas and Pipers.

I am currently flying a Tecnam Echo Super Deluxe. It easily reaches 118 KIAS at less than maximum continuous power and climbs at well over 1000 FPM solo. It burns something less than 5 gallons per hour and has cross-country range that is much farther than my old body can last on a single flight. The instrument panel is mostly glass, including Dynon EFIS and EMS units as well as Garmin GPS, comm radio, and transponder. This plane is currently for sale under $100,000 with just over 100 hours total time. It was initially assembled less than 2 years ago.

I think the SP/LSA rules are a roaring success when you look at the increased single-engine airplane sales. While the new Sport Pilot students are not a huge crowd, this could change if there is a real effort to promote aviation among ground-pounders. We just don't have as much promotion today as there was in the period after the Second World War. A single fighter pilot movie from the post-war period could generate thousands of pilot wannabes. Today's military environment just doesn't generate that kind of interest in aviation.

The new sport pilot rules that allow any pilot to fly with only a state driver's license for medical qualification have allowed a lot of older pilots (including me) to be active again. If the FAA wants to promote flight of elderly planes, this could be accomplished by eliminating the Class 3 medical entirely. There are plenty of older pilots who are already well-qualified to fly these older planes but are limited by the (sometimes arbitrary) medical certificate rules. If this step is a little too big for the feds to swallow, a middle-ground solution would be to eliminate the need for the FAA medical for single-engine planes with MTOW under 6,000 pounds. That would get a lot more hours of flight on those planes in the fleet that are most appropriate for recreational flying while still requiring the (mostly useless) medical certificate for heavier transport-oriented planes. While initial safety records for the new LSA are a little shaky, there is no indication that this is related to the medical qualification requirements.

Paul Mulwitz

AVweb Replies:

We got many letters on this subject and tried to select those that represented the full range of points of view.

Russ Niles

Aviation-Friendly States

How about an article — or list — on those states that are the most friendly to general aviation in terms of taxation? Your Washington State piece, which prompted this comment, was very interesting.

AVweb Replies:

We don't have time to do that kind of research, but we'll welcome feedback from readers on how your state treats GA.

Russ Niles

The Future of Pilots

Boeing sure seems to be making progress on their UAVs. With 20-25 years for me to go until retirement, I have to wonder if I'll actually make it or if pilots will be superfluous artifacts in the near future. If the travelling public can visit Orbitz and save $5 by selecting an unmanned flight instead of having to pay for pilots, they'll take the cheaper alternative every time.

Brookes Wolf

Get Your Bids Ready

There's an old adage that says, "If an airplane looks good, it will fly good." With that in mind, how long before the F-35 fleet will be on eBay?

T. Golden

You're Welcome

No one single item prompts this note. Just consider it a unit citation for the work you folks do so consistently every week.


Lorne Moore

Read AVmail from other weeks here, and submit your own Letter to the Editor with this form.

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AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

Exclusive Video: Finessing the Rudder (An Exercise from Aviation Safety Magazine)

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

Aviation Safety is continuing its series on basic flying technique. We've looked at the aerodynamics of coordinated turns. In this video, Paul Bertorelli follows up with a simple rudder exercise that he can't seem to master — but you'll have no trouble with it.

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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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Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Blackhawk Aircraft Maintenance (Janesville, WI)

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

Conoco-Phillips WingPoints || Best Rewards in the Business

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Blackhawk Aircraft Maintenance at Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport (JVL) in Janesville, Wisconsin.

AVweb reader Bill Foraker tells us how a good FBO is always there for you, even when you don't expect to need them:

I was there ... dropping off a buddy who had just purchased an aircraft. Upon my departure, I had smoke in the cabin of my '58 Comanche, so I returned quickly to the airport. Nick and Joe at Blackhawk are fabulous. They went right to work and corrected my problem, a small hole in my oil pressure line. They had me back in the air and home to Terre Haute that evening. ... If every operation was like this one, we would have a much better aviation community.

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!

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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.)

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The Lighter Side of Flight back to top 

Short Final

I was flying right seat, giving instruction in a Cessna 210 VFR over New York asking for advisories. The left-seat pilot owned the aircraft and was proficient. After bouncing around with several different controllers, we found one that would talk to us:

NY Approach:
"Squawk 1238."

The left-seat pilot pushed 1-2-3 on the transponder and then stopped and looked at me.

"Did she say '1-2-3-8'?"

"Yes ... ."

Pilot (to NY Control) :
"Did you say '1-2-3-8'?"

NY Approach:
"Yes. Squawk 1238."

(I was laughing.)

"I can't."

NY Approach:
"You can't squawk 1238?"

Pilot (definitively) :
"That's right. I can't."

Ten long seconds went by.

NY Approach:
"Try squawking XXXX. [It was a good number this time.]"

123.8 is a common Philadelphia approach frequency that New York often hands people off to. Of course, there is no 8 on a transponder.

Michael McNamara
via e-mail

Names Behind the News back to top 

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