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|Top News: Safety Starts in Your Garage, Says FAA||back to
CITES SAFETY CONCERNS FOR CERTAIN HOMEBUILTS
Pilots who fly
high-performance amateur-built aircraft need to be aware of their
slow-flight and stall characteristics, the FAA said last week. In an
"information for operators" bulletin (PDF), the FAA said Lancairs and other amateur-built
aircraft with high wing loading and stall speeds higher than 61 knots
have prompted concern due to a "large and disproportionate" number of
accidents. Most of the accidents were due to inadvertent stall/spins
while at slower airspeeds in home airport traffic patterns. Joseph
Bartels, owner of Lancair Intl., based in Redmond, Ore., told the Bend Bulletin proper training is the key to
improving the safety record. He said pilots who fly Lancairs should
train with instructors who are familiar with the aircraft and practice
how to "avoid any adverse flight characteristics ... no matter what the
speed." The FAA suggested four steps that pilots should take to improve
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OF THE BOEING 777 CRASH AT HEATHROW
Even though everyone had
survived, for Peter Burkill, captain of the British Airways Boeing 777
that in 2008 crashed short of the runway at Heathrow, the drama was in
many ways just beginning. The crash was, in Burkill's words,
"unprecedented" as was, for Burkill, the personal impact it had on his
life. The airliner had suffered a double-engine rollback on short final.
With everyone alive, and the plane's voice and flight data recorders in
the hands of investigators, answers should have been quick in coming.
But they weren't. Burkill found that along with the absence of answers
came speculation and he quickly found himself as a target at its center.
Last week, AVweb's Glenn Pew spoke with Burkill in a podcast
about the captain's experience of the crash itself. This Friday's
podcast will cover the story of what happened next. More...
PILOTS' RECORD: 310 FIRST FLIGHTS
Organizers of the Centennial of
Women Pilots, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first pilot
certificate awarded to a woman, set a record this month by introducing
310 girls and women around the world, ages 2 to 70, to their first
flight in a general aviation aircraft. The flights took place in eight
countries on three continents, in 20 different kinds of aircraft,
including balloons, gliders, ultralights, airplanes and helicopters,
during the week of March 6 to 12. The group now plans to extend the
effort for the rest of this year, with the goal to introduce 2,010 girls
and women to aviation in 2010. In the last 100 years, the percentage of
women who are doctors and lawyers has increased significantly, noted
Mireille Goyer, a Canadian pilot who is spearheading the challenge. "Our
goal is to grow the women pilots' population to at least [a comparable]
level within the next 100 years," she said. More...
LEAVES EPIC AIR FUTURE UNRESOLVED
At a contentious hearing on
Tuesday, an Oregon judge said he will decide on Friday who can take over
the bankrupt Epic Aircraft company. After five hours of testimony,
"there was a sense that any of the three contestants could still walk
away with Epic's remains, either alone or in some combination,"
according to a report in The Oregonian. The Aviation Industry Corporation of
China (AVIC) entered the highest bid for the company in last week's
auction, $4.3 million in cash, but the final decision on the company's
fate is up to the judge. The LT Builders Group, formed by seven owners
of Epic airplanes, pressed their case, and though Judge Randall Dunn
critiqued their business projections as "pathetic ... incompetent ...
unacceptable ... useless," he said he found the testimony from group
leader Daryl Ingalsbe "very credible." The third bidder, Harlow
Aerostructures, based in Wichita, Kan., has been a supplier to the
aerospace industry since 1954. On Friday, the three bidders will have
another chance to present their arguments and to explore new ways to
perhaps make deals among themselves or to split up various assets of the
ECLIPSE" VLJS NOW FOR SALE
Less than a year after they took
over the type design for the Eclipse very light jet, the owners of Eclipse
Aerospace say they are ready to offer a limited number of fully
functional copies to new owners. "The EA500 is a sophisticated,
high-performance, economic twin jet with low operating costs, low
environmental impact and uncompromised safety," said Mason Holland,
president of Eclipse Aerospace. "In their rush to deliver the aircraft,
the former manufacturer of the EA500 [Eclipse Aviation Corporation]
delivered to owners an aircraft that was only about 85 percent complete.
These aircraft were great performers, but still lacked several important
features. We now have completed the design and engineering of the
EA500." The "Total Eclipse" jet now includes FIKI (Flight Into Known
Icing) and a GPS-coupled autopilot. The company had acquired unfinished
jets during the bankruptcy, and bought some back from owners. It is
offering the jets ready-to-fly, with a factory warranty, at $2.15
million. Owners who took delivery of the original Eclipse jets can trade
theirs in for a credit of up to $1.7 million. More...
The New Meridian G1000
The new Meridian G1000
with Garmin G1000 avionics and GFC 700
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commanding as the airplane, and a million dollars less than its closest
competitor, "Pilot in Command" means precisely that.
Click here for more information on the
new Piper Meridian G1000
182 CLOSE ENCOUNTER OVER SAN FRANCISCO (CORRECTED,
The NTSB is sending an investigator to San
Francisco to figure out how a United Boeing 777 and an Cessna 182 came
within 300 feet vertically and 1,500 feet laterally of one another over
the city on Saturday. An earlier NTSB news release said the light
aircraft was an Aeronca Chief and that it came "within 300 feet" of the
777. The NTSB has since issued a corrected release. The FAA is also
involved and appears to be blaming the SFO tower controller for the loss
of separation. In a comment to the Associated Press, FAA spokesman Ian
Gregor told AP the controller should have noticed the potential conflict
earlier and is taking "strong measures to make sure something similar
does not occur in the future." More...
TO THE ATC TAPES: TOWER, "WE NEED TO TALK"
On Saturday, the
crew of United Flight 889, a Boeing 777 with 251 passengers and 17 crew,
reported they came close to a Cessna 182 while on initial climbout from
San Francisco International. As the airliner took off, the tower
controller warned the pilot of the 182, who reported having the 777 in
sight, to get behind the airliner. The encounter set off the TCAS in the
777, and the crew was clearly not amused. The exchange is in the same
order, but we've edited out extraneous transmissions and gaps.
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ISSUES GLASS-COCKPIT SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS
Pilots need more
training in the use of glass cockpit technology, the NTSB said this
week. The safety board issued six recommendations (PDF) to the FAA as a follow-up to a recent
report that found advanced cockpits are not helping to prevent
accidents in the general aviation fleet. "Advanced avionics and
electronic displays can increase the safety potential of general
aviation aircraft operations," the NTSB says, "...but more effort is
needed to ensure that pilots are prepared to realize that potential."
The safety board said the FAA can take several steps to help improve the
impact of the technology. More...
ONLINE: FINAL COLGAN AIR REPORT, CARIBBEAN UPDATE, SUN 'N FUN
Several new items of interest to pilots are now
available on the Internet. The NTSB has posted its complete
probable-cause report (pdf) on last year's fatal Colgan Air crash. The
285-page document details the board's findings and analysis, as well as
the conclusions and recommendations that were announced
at a hearing a few weeks ago. A transcript of the cockpit voice
recorder is included in the appendix. For pilots who fly into the
Caribbean, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has posted an update of
its policy regarding screening of passengers (PDF). And the FAA has issued a Notam (PDF) detailing a number of special procedures in
place April 11 to 18 in the central Florida region during the Sun 'n Fun
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PUSHING 787 DELIVERY DEADLINE
Boeing insists the first 787
Dreamliner will be delivered to launch customer All Nippon Airways by
the end of this year even though it hasn't started certification flight
testing yet. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Jim Albaugh,
head of Boeing's commercial airplane unit, said snags in
pre-certification flight testing, one of which resulted in the shutdown
of an engine, have caused delays but he said there was some cushion in
the schedule. Four of the six test aircraft are flying and have
accumulated about 400 hours, but Albaugh agreed there is much to do
before Dec. 31. "Some people said that when the first plane actually
flew we could breathe a sigh of relief because we had retired the
technical risk," Albaugh told the Journal. "Nothing could be further
from the truth." More...
MAKES $3.9 BILLION DEAL WITH CHINESE BANK
reached a $3.9 billion deal with China Development Bank Corporation's
(CDBC) leasing department that could give it an important edge in
selling aircraft in China. The bank has agreed to make the money
available to airlines interested in buying aircraft from Bombardier.
Although the financing will be available to overseas carriers, the
funding will make it easier for domestic carriers to finance purchases
from Bombardier, which is developing the 100-to-130-seat CSeries
airliners. The fuselage for the aircraft will be built by Shenyang
Aircraft Corp., which broke ground on the new factory last week.
AVWEB'S BUSINESS AVIATION NEWSLETTER
Have you signed up yet for AVweb's no-cost weekly
business aviation newsletter, AVwebBiz?
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." More...
Over 18,000 Happy
GAMIjectors® Customers Can't Be Wrong!
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|The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!||back to
OF THE WEEK: AIR SHOW SEASON PLANS
Where are you headed and
what will take you there? Air show season begins in earnest in two weeks
with Sun 'n Fun going from April 13-18. We'd like to hear your aviation
event travel plans for 2010.
Plus: Last week, we asked
if the time has come for an overhaul of the flight training system;
click through to see how AVweb readers answered.
Peter Drucker Says, "The
Best Way to Predict the Future Is to Create It"
It's easy for your company to be more proactive, flexible, and
entrepreneurial with AVweb's cost-effective marketing
. Discover the benefits of instant response, quick copy
changes, monthly tracking reports, and interactive programs. To find out
how simple it is to reach 255,000 qualified pilots, owners, and
click now for details
YEARS AND NOW 15 GRAND GIVEAWAYS ... IT'S YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A WXWORX XM
WX SATELLITE WEATHER RECEIVER
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
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.)
entries is 11:59pm Zulu time April 9, 2010.
Click here to read the contest rules and
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)
OF THE WEEK: PAI AERO (BATON ROUGE METROPOLITAN AIRPORT, KBTR,
AVweb's latest "FBO of the Week" is one we're
adding to our own charts PAI Aero at Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport
(KBTR) in (where else?) Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
reader Dave Beckwith calls PAI simply "the best" FBO in the area.
Sure, they have great customer service and good prices, but what made
Dave take a moment to nominate them as an FBO of the week was something
we don't normally hear about FBOs: "There's so much to see! Especially
the FW190 restoration project."
A World War II warbird restoration
to check out and gab about while refueling? It's true learn more and
watch video here and probably quite the attraction at
Have you visited an FBO that was first class all the way? Click here to nominate it
as an "FBO of the Week." For complete contest rules, click
AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in
the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here
next Monday! More...
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...