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Volume 16, Number 14a
April 5, 2010
Pilots Require a Different Approach When It Comes to Buying Life Insurance
Just because you fly, don't overpay for life insurance. Get the information you need to find the right policy for your family's protection at the Pilot Insurance Center. Call PIC at (800) 380-8376 or visit
Top News: Cockpits and Courtroomsback to top 

An Oregon federal judge has made bedfellows of strangers in a ruling aimed at forcing a partnership between a huge Chinese aviation company and a group of homebuilders, both of whom were trying to buy the assets of Epic Aircraft. Judge Randall Dunn accepted the $4.3 million cash bid for Epic from Aviation Industry Corp. of China on the condition that it sign an agreement allowing the LT Builders Group to run the facility in Bend, Ore. The builders' group is made up of former Epic customers whose unfinished Epic LT turboprop aircraft were stranded inside the builder assist facility in Bend when the company closed last summer. The judge said that if the builders and AVIC can't sign a deal by Thursday, he'll consider selling the whole works to a third bidder, Harlow Aerostructures, of Wichita. Builder Doug King said he and his group have been working since the ruling to try to reach agreement with AVIC but if that doesn't work out it may have to try working with Harlow. "This is a shotgun marriage proposal," King told AVweb. "The judge said 'You're going to get married, you just don't know to whom.'" More...

Cirrus has sought "voluntary dismissal" of a lawsuit it filed in March against L-3 Communications for allegedly spreading rumors about Cirrus' financial stability, but has reserved the right to refile. L-3 had not yet filed a response to the suit. The suit had sought unspecified damages from L-3 and alleged the company was telling suppliers that Cirrus was headed for bankruptcy. Cirrus claimed the rumors were false and could disrupt their supply chain. The development doesn't mean the two will stay out of court. Last May, L-3 sued, claiming Cirrus owed it nearly $19 million per supply agreements. Cirrus then countersued, accusing L-3 of breaching their agreement. The two parties are expected to go to trial in December to settle that earlier suit. More...

Sixth Annual Archie League Medal of Safety 
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.
Spotlight on Mental Healthback to top 

The FAA announced Friday that it will, on a case-by-case basis, consider the special issuance of a medical certificate to pilots using medication for depression and will offer forgiveness for some previously undisclosed conditions. The change will take effect April 5, and applies to pilots using Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, or Lexapro. Special issuance medical certification will be considered only for pilots who have been "satisfactorily treated on the medication for at least 12 months," according to the FAA. Pilots who can't show a history will be grounded for at least that period. The FAA's forgiveness is limited to a six-month window. Pilots who previously did not disclosed to the FAA a diagnosis of depression, or the use of the above listed antidepressants, will not see civil enforcement action from the FAA if they report their condition within that timeframe. From that group, those who "have a medical history of successful treatment" should be able to fly "within a few months." Prior to April 5, pilots suffering from mild to moderate depression were barred from all flying duties. More...

It's already happening, and Dr. Brent Blue applauds the FAA for letting depressed pilots get the treatment they need. More...

The FAA's relaxation of rules for depressed pilots already generating discussion among aviators — and especially those aviators who work in medicine. Dr. Brent Blue joins us on the AVweb Insider blog with his take on the decision. Click here to read more and share your own comments. More...

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
Texas Airspace Goes Post-Presidentialback to top 

The prohibited area (P-49) surrounding former President George W. Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, will shrink, effective June 3. On that day, the three nautical mile radius will reduce to two nautical miles and the ceiling will drop from 5,000 feet to 2,000. "We're doing this per a request from the Secret Service," FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford told the Associated Press. The previously prohibited airspace will be open to public use. Those who violate the remaining no-fly zone are likely to find themselves escorted to an otherwise unplanned landing and, perhaps, penalized. More...

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The Times, They Are A-Changin' (Part I)back to top 

The Solar Impulse HB-SIA prototype, a uniquely solar-powered aircraft, has entered a new test phase, which should see the aircraft taking its first night flights this summer. The carbon fiber aircraft has been built with the intent to ultimately fly around the world, day and night, without fuel other than energy acquired from the sun. The new test phase follows on a successful first takeoff, last December, and will include short circuits and a first flight at altitude. Piloting the aircraft is described by the company as "an extremely difficult high-risk exercise." Two pilots, Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg, will take turns in the test series to familiarize themselves with the plane, leading to the first night flights. According to the company, "never before has such a large and lightweight aircraft left the ground." NASA's Helios was larger and lighter, but did not carry a human being; it broke up in flight and crashed in the Pacific Ocean in June, 2003. More...

There was little ill effect when a Qantas A380 with 244 aboard blew two tires on landing at Sydney, Wednesday night -- except for that felt by passengers watching live on the aircraft's entertainment system. The aircraft is equipped with a tail-mounted camera and a live video feed of the landing was displayed on screens mounted in passenger seat-backs. Passengers engaged with those screens soon saw the orange glow of fire and sparks erupt beneath the left wing as the aircraft touched down, the tires failed, and the wheels began to grind on the runway. At least one passenger shot video of the event, including their own commentary and bleeped concerns. (Video after the jump.) More...

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Bad Day for Aircraftback to top 

Two California Dept. of Fish and Game aircraft were destroyed early Saturday when they were rammed by a runaway pickup. The aircraft (which we can't identify from the picture) were in a hangar at Hemet-Ryan Field in Southern California when the pickup came through the back wall and stacked them up against the hangar door. Before hitting the hangar, the truck sheared off a fire hydrant and went through a wrought iron fence. The mishap occurred at about 2:30 a.m. and the driver was nowhere to be found when emergency personnel arrived. More...

Click for more photos
For the second time in two weeks, Norwood Airport in Massachusetts has been closed by flooding and dozens of aircraft were stranded for the weekend. A storm that dumped six inches of rain on the region caused the Neponset River to flood and the airport was closed last Tuesday. By Thursday, water was up to three feet deep in some areas, local pilot Mike Young told AVweb. "There were actually fish on the runway," Young said. The FAA was scheduled to send engineers to the airport to examine the runways Monday. Meanwhile, a charter company is being criticized for allegedly defying an earlier flood closure to deliver two shipments of donor organs. More...

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The Times, They Are A-Changin' (Part II)back to top 

Although we're sure it's just the beginning, so far a cursory search of the Internet has turned up relatively few aviation apps for the new iPad. Apple's tablet went on sale Saturday and ForeFlight had its Mobile 3 HD setup ready to go for the launch. Since the app is compatible with iPhone, anyone already registered with their iPhone gets a free download for one iPad. ForeFlight says it's reworked the screens to take advantage of the high resolution available on Apple's latest big thing and includes all the usual features from airport diagrams to weather and charts. NavMonster is also launching its navigation package for iPad but the new wonder screen isn't just for the serious business of flight planning, much to the relief of gamers and sim addicts. More...

In ceremonies this week at the company's Corona, Calif., headquarters, Aircraft Spruce & Specialty was recognized by the city for its recent green initiatives. Although the company has worked to streamline its processes and reduce waste, two recent programs are noteworthy. First is that Spruce began using cornstarch-based "packing peanuts" that are completely biodegradable. Second is the addition of an array of 525 solar panels to the roof of the Corona building. (They say the sun always shines in Corona.) Although the investment was $500,000, the immediate payback is a reduction in energy costs by 65 percent, according to company president Jim Irwin. Within four to five years, the panels will have paid for themselves. More...

Rediscover Jet City!
Make King County International Airport/Boeing Field your flight destination! Conveniently located just 5 miles from downtown Seattle, KBFI 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 Airport/Boeing Field! For more information, visit online.
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!back to top 


Letter of the Week: History Lesson

It's exciting that Helldiver wreckage has been found recently, both from the aspect of perhaps identifying some long-lost crewmen and because of the aircraft's rarity. Thanks for bringing us this news; I was just at Tillamook last fall, and the blimp hanger alone was worth the trip from Connecticut.

Helldivers gave short-lived but critical service in the Central Pacific theater, and it was a great pleasure to see the CAF's Helldiver fly recently.


Harold Moritz

Click through to read the rest of our "Letter of the Week" and more mail from AVweb readers.


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...

Online Aircraft-Specific Ground Schools
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, through its Office of Professional Education, now offers a series of aircraft-specific ground schools: Boeing 737 Classic — NG, 747, 757, 767 and 777; as well as Airbus 319, 320, 330 and 340; and the Bombardier CRJ 200. For a complete list, visit Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's web site at
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

If you like your aviation information to come straight out of the AIM, umm — this is not that. In this week's video, Paul Bertorelli takes a somewhat biting look into the heads of CFIs who teach their students to fly traffic patterns that would be too large for a Triple Seven. More...

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.
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


Conoco-Phillips WingPoints || Best Rewards 
in the Business

Our latest "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to the FBO at Emporia-Greensville Regional Airport (KEMV) in Emporia, Virginia.

Laura Hoover made a routine stop at the airport "late on a Saturday afternoon to get our Virginia Aviation Ambassadors passbook stamped." The service she and her passengers experienced, however, was anything but routine:

We were greeted by FBO manager Melvin Vick. When we were about to depart, we found we had a very flat main gear tire. Melvin offered tools and help even though it was closing time, recommended a place to get dinner, gave us the crew car, and met us back at the airport after dinner with more tools to try to get the tire off. We used the crew car overnight to go to a hotel, and the next morning Melvin met us again to lend a hand. The FBO is spotlessly clean and and has everything pilots need. We highly recommended it!

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!


Help Us Celebrate AVweb's 15th Anniversaryback to top 

CLICK HERE to Register for All 15 

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)


The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 


This one may not have come over the radio, but it's a priceless cockpit exchange:

I was flying with a friend and his 7-year-old nephew a few weeks ago. After take-off, I was talking to departure control and was given numerous vectors and altitudes in the busy DFW airspace. After a few minutes, the youngster piped in with, "Would you please stop talking on your phone and pay attention to your flying?"

Ron Rubin
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.