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This is a re-send today's issue of AVwebFlash. The original mailing experienced technical
difficulties that caused the issue to appear mangled in some e-mail clients and to be cut short in others. This edition should display without either of those problems. Our thanks to everyone
who sent screenshots, forwarded their copy of the newsletter, and otherwise notified us of the display bug this morning!
A notice from the Environmental Protection Agency concerning the future of 100LL is expected to be published within the next few weeks, EAA's Doug Macnair, vice president for government relations,
told AVweb on Tuesday. The advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, or ANPRM, has already gone through the Office and Management of Budget, and publication in the Federal Register is the next
step. According to the EPA Web site, the notice's regulatory review has been concluded and publication is
projected for sometime this month. "This action will describe the lead inventory related to use of leaded avgas, air quality and exposure information, additional information the Agency is collecting
related to the impact of lead emissions from piston-engine aircraft on air quality and will request comments on this information," according to the EPA Web site. The ANPRM is not expected to set a
final date for the end of 100LL, but will likely seek input from the industry and the public to develop a transition plan so the fuel can be phased out, Macnair said.
The ANPRM publication is expected to energize efforts to address the lingering issue of finding a viable replacement for 100LL, which has been a topic of concern in the GA world for two decades or
more. A lot of input from advocacy groups and manufacturers will have to be worked through to come up with a consensus standard and produce a fuel that will reliably meet the needs of general aviation
airplanes, Macnair said. "It's going to be a painful process," he added. "There's no way around it." Plenty of contenders are already at work on a solution, including Swift Fuel, General Aviation Modifications (GAMI) and
some engine and airframe manufacturers. The EPA has said it would like to see leaded fuel phased out as early as 2017, EAA's Earl Lawrence said in a February update. The issue was a topic of discussion last November at the AOPA Summit, and with the publication of the ANPRM, activity toward finding an alternative is expected to
intensify in the coming season. AOPA, EAA, GAMA, NBAA and other aviation advocacy groups already have been at work on the issue as well.
Aircraft Spruce Renews Sponsorship of the Annual Sun 'n Fun Fly-In
Visit Aircraft Spruce in Lakeland, Florida at Sun 'n Fun (Hangar B, Booths 1-9) April 13-18, 2010. Sun 'n Fun brings together pilots from all around the world and from all
segments of the aviation community. Place your order at the Aircraft Spruce booth and receive complimentary ground shipping. (Does not apply to hazardous or oversize products.) Call Aircraft Spruce
at 1 (877) 4-SPRUCE or visit
Wednesday night, a man with diplomatic ties was reportedly subdued by a federal air marshal after he tried to light something on fire aboard United Flight 663, a Boeing 757 inbound to Denver from
Washington Reagan, according to early (still vague) reports. Later reports suggested the man may simply have been trying to sneak a smoke before landing. ABC reported that the suspect, Mohammed al
Modadi, held a position as 3rd secretary and vice-consul at the Qatar embassy in Washington and that the FBI said the position gave Modadi "full diplomat immunity." Two F-16 fighters were scrambled
from Buckley Air Force Base to meet the flight as it flew its final 40 miles to a landing at Denver. The aircraft landed safely.
After the landing, the airliner was reportedly directed to a remote area of the airport and a team of explosives experts were summoned. First reports had suggested the episode may have been an
attempted shoe bombing and that the air marshals restrained the man until landing. No conclusive determination regarding the event was available at the time AVweb went to press, but The
Associated Press reported that no explosives were found on the man.
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NASA announced April 6 that its X-48B blended wing body remotely piloted scale model successfully met the challenges of low-speed controllability tests, bringing the quieter, more-efficient
transport closer to full-scale reality. The most recent tests of the 8.5 percent scale (21-foot wingspan) 500-pound airplane follow some 80 previous flights and prove its flight computer can handle
deliberate excursions from controllability at low speeds. The program is part of NASA's new Environmentally Responsible Aviation (ERA) project. The project's manager, Fay Collier, said, "The team has
proven the ability to fly tailless aircraft to the edge of the low-speed envelope, safely." Compared with conventional airliners, NASA believes similar manta ray-shaped aircraft could one day provide
operators with higher volume for passengers or cargo, a lower fuel burn and lower noise signature. Tests with the X-48B will continue later this year, as will tests of the X-48C, which has an even
lower noise profile than the X-48B.
Key to the latest tests was the aircraft's flight computer and its programmed limiters. Those limiters were tested with deliberate excursions from defined boundaries of controllability at high angles
of attack, sideslip and acceleration limits. Eight test flights convinced NASA that the limiters could provide "robust, versatile, and safe control" for blended wing body tailless aircraft. NASA's ERA
project hopes to help further the technology before it is transferred to the industry. The X-48B first took flight on July 20, 2007.
The solar-powered aircraft Solar Impulse, which aims to fly around the world in 2012, was flown Wednesday over Switzerland by test pilot Markus Scherdel to an altitude of 1,200 meters (3,937 feet)
in a successful test flight. The aircraft's previous flight was limited to a 350-meter flight flown about one meter above the ground. On April 7, the 1600-kg aircraft stayed aloft for nearly 1.5 hours
driven by four electric motors fueled (this time) by batteries alone. The motors generate a maximum output of 10 hp. The aircraft left the ground at about 28 knots, climbed to altitude and executed
basic maneuvers designed to simulate the aircraft's first approach. Scherdel said the aircraft "behaved just as the flight simulator told us" and "the aircraft's controllability matches our
expectations." The project plans to see its first day-night flight this summer and hopes that flight will last a full 36 hours flown on solar and battery power. There will be more testing, first.
Prior to a night flight, Solar Impulse will see a series of flights of increasing distance and duration. The effort's ultimate ambition is to fly the aircraft around the world on solar and battery
power. The plan would see the flight made in a series of five hops flown in quick sequence, weather permitting. Led by Chairman Bertrand Piccard and CEO Andre Borschberg, the Solar Impulse project is
as much of a demonstration of available technologies as it is a pursuit of a rapid transition to renewable energy sources, according to Piccard. Solar Impulse employs extensive use of carbon
composites in its construction and has roughly 12,000 solar cells on its wings.
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The FAA needs to do a better job co-ordinating its search and rescue responsibilities, the NTSB said recently, to ensure that survivors of aviation accidents get help as quickly as possible. "The
whole process needs to get nailed down a lot tighter than it is," NTSB radar expert Scott Dunham told the Associated Press. In a letter (PDF) to FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt, the safety board cited several cases when information readily available to
FAA staffers was not communicated to the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center as quickly or as clearly as it should have been. In one of several cases cited by the NTSB, a 2007 accident in Georgia,
the pilot survived the crash of his Piper Tomahawk and activated an emergency transponder code. Due to miscommunications between the FAA and AFRCC, no search was launched until after the pilot's
family reported him missing the following day. When the wreck was found, the pilot was dead. Four other cases cited, from 2006 to 2008, all involved general aviation aircraft.
The NTSB issued nine recommendations to the FAA for improving its search and rescue response, mainly to improve training and clarify procedures. Also this week, the FAA got some positive press for
a safety program that is working well, in a USA Today story. The FAA's new no-fault error-reporting program for air traffic controllers has collected more than 14,000 reports since June 2008 that have helped to
identify and address safety issues, the story says. Analysis of the reports has helped to reveal trouble spots in routings, procedures, and airport surface markings. "This [program] is a way for us to
get new sets of eyes and ears in a lot of places," FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said. "I think everybody agrees there will be a safer system in the long run."
The operator of a chartered Learjet 60 failed to properly maintain its tires, starting a chain of events that ended with a deadly crash in Columbia, S.C., in September 2008, the NTSB said on Tuesday. All four of the main gear tires were severely underinflated, which compromised their integrity. The first
tire failed about 1.5 seconds after the airplane reached V-1, the maximum speed at which the takeoff could be safely aborted. The captain's decision to then attempt a high-speed rejected takeoff "went
against standard operating procedures and training," the NTSB said. Making things worse, the tire failure damaged a sensor, which caused the jet's thrust reversers to return to the stowed position.
While the captain was trying to stop the airplane by commanding reverse thrust, forward thrust was being provided at near-takeoff power because the thrust reversers were stowed, contributing to the
severity of the accident. "This entirely avoidable crash should reinforce to everyone in the aviation community that there are no small maintenance items because every time a plane takes off, lives
are on the line," said NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman.
After the airplane left the departure end of Runway 11, it struck airport lights, crashed through a perimeter fence, crossed a roadway and came to rest on a berm. The captain, the first officer,
and two passengers were killed; two other passengers were seriously injured. The Safety Board also found that neither the FAA nor Learjet adequately reviewed the airplane's design after a similar
uncommanded forward thrust accident that occurred during a landing in Alabama in 2001. As a result of its investigation, the safety board made 14 recommendations to the FAA, suggesting changes in
maintenance procedures, pilot training, and manufacturers' methods of safety analysis.
As if they didn't have enough troubles already dealing with excessive costs and a manufacturer in bankruptcy, owners of Thielert diesel engines now must cope with a proposed new Airworthiness Directive that could cost them another $1,600. The FAA posted the proposed AD on Monday, citing a problem with
an oil separator that could fail, leading to an in-flight power loss or possible shutdown due to excessive gas pressure. The problem was found in servicing, and the FAA didn't note any cases of actual
failure. About 250 of the Thielert engines have been installed in Diamond twins, some Piper Cherokees, and Cessna 172s in the U.S. Owners must take care of the problem within 110 flight hours of the
effective date of the AD. Comments will be accepted on the proposal until May 20.
The Thielert engines proved to be expensive to maintain, and service was slow and difficult. Some of the fleet has been effectively grounded. Diamond, based in Austria, recently reintroduced its
twin-engine DA42 with a choice of its own Austro diesel engines or a traditional Lycoming IO-360. Owners of the Thielert versions can trade them in for new engines, but at a cost of over
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Advisors Topic: Collision Avoidance
Collision avoidance is one of the most basic responsibilities of a pilot operating in VFR conditions. Learn strategies and tactics to minimize risk both in the air and on the ground.
Trouble has been brewing for a while in the administration of Angel Flight Northeast, but now the organization's survival appears at risk, according to a Boston Globe story. The story details a conflict
between the nonprofit organization's board of directors and Lawrence Camerlin, the group's founder and executive director. After Camerlin hired his daughter as a community outreach worker, he later
fired a director who had raised questions about her duties and pay. The daughter was eventually taken off the payroll, but in January, Camerlin fired the entire board. He told the Globe he did so
after the directors raised the possibility of lawsuits. "We felt they were in violation of their fiduciary responsibilities," he said. "They wouldn't give us information about claims likely to be
filed against us." The directors were stunned, according to the Globe. Although the group is continuing to organize charitable flights, donors now are skittish about funding the group and both sides
have complained to authorities that the other side acted improperly, the Globe reported.
Angel Flight Northeast has been operating since 1996, and is based at Lawrence Municipal Airport in North Andover, Mass. Since its inception, volunteer pilots have flown over 8 million miles,
completing an average of 100 missions per week, according to the group's Web site. According to Charity Navigator, an independent charity evaluator, the group raised about $1.2 million in 2007,
and earned the highest rank, a four-star rating.
An aerobatic flight with the legendary Sean Tucker or a ride with Kermit Weeks in his P-51 are two of the unique experiences available to bidders in this year's Lindbergh Foundation online fundraising auction. Other prizes include a 10-day African safari, a day at King Schools with John and Martha
King, aviation gear from Garmin and Forward Vision, and a bronze sculpture donated by Erik Lindbergh. Bidders can send in bids via e-mail until Tuesday, April 13. On the 14th, a
live auction will be held at the foundation's annual award celebration at Sun 'n Fun, in Lakeland, Fla. The highest price from the online bidders will be announced at the live auction, and if no
higher bid is received, the online bidder will win.
"We are extremely grateful to our thoughtful and generous donors for making these extraordinary opportunities available to Lindbergh Foundation supporters around the world," said Honorary Chairman
Reeve Lindbergh. "The combination of the award event, Lindbergh Foundation Day (April 15th), and the Sun 'n Fun venue will create excitement in the aviation community, and will serve to generate
additional interest in Foundation mission and programs." The auction raises money to support the foundation's work supporting research and education aimed toward promoting a balance of technology and
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New York City's "fourth" airport, Stewart International, is getting a temporary Customs and Border Protection facility as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey looks for ways to expand
service. Stewart International is a former air base about 60 miles north of the city in the Hudson Valley. It
has the runways to handle any size aircraft but airline service is limited to a few flights to mainly Northeast destinations. The Port Authority hopes the availability of Customs service will attract
overseas charter service.
The Customs station will be set up in the current baggage claims area but plans call for a permanent facility by 2012. The Port Authority is already in discussions with charter operators with an
eye to bringing shopping and spring break tourists to the city. The facility will only be staffed when flights are scheduled to arrive but could lead to a regularly staffed inspection station as
A British environmental group says business aircraft should pay a fuel tax currently charged airline passengers. The Air Passenger Duty is part of every airline ticket but the Campaign for Better Transport says business aviation passengers don't pay it even though they have a
much larger environmental footprint than the average airline passenger. Although bizav is a soft target for the environmental movement, pronouncements such as this might carry a bit more weight as the
U.K. heads to the polls May 6.
In the organization's aviation blog, the writers call on the government to close the "loophole" and note that 67,000 fuel tax-free business aviation flights occurred last year. EasyJet, Britain's
largest budget carrier, is jumping into the fray and commissioned a study last year, that, to no one's surprise, found the majority of its passengers think private operations should be subject to the
tax. The Campaign for Better Transport says the tax should be imposed for environmental reasons, claiming that business aircraft passengers create as much as 30 times the pollution, per capita, as
airline pax. "Charging fuel duty on these ultra-polluting aircraft wouldn't raise enormous sums of money, but it would make sure that all flights were held accountable for the damage they cause to the
environment," the group says.
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."
Mooney: We Love to Fly. Fast. Fly faster. Fly farther. In the powerhouse advancement of the best-selling single-engine rectractable on the market.
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From the ashes of the old Eclipse, a new company is emerging. AVweb's Paul Bertorelli is as cautiously optimistic about Eclipse Aerospace as anyone. In the latest installment of our
AVweb Insider blog, he explains why. (Hint: The company's different, but the jet is the same.)
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.
There are plenty of examples of bad aviation reporting in the mainstream media, but AVweb's Mary Grady came across one of the worst recently a mish-mash of inaccuracy made worse by
bad timing and a poor understanding of airplane stalls. Mary shares the details on the AVweb Insider blog.
Diamond Has Your Training Needs Covered
Getting your license or upgrading your rating? Operating a flight school? Diamond offers the only complete modern fleet of technically-advanced training aircraft, along with model-specific flight
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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.
Got a Moment? We'd Like to Hear from You
At AVweb, we rely on our readers to assist us in making all different kinds of decisions. We greatly appreciate your input and could use it now. Please take a moment to help by participating
in this anonymous readership survey.
Click here to
answer a few short questions.
If you've already responded to the e-mail we sent to all AVwebFlash subscribers, no action is
needed. Thank you for your participation!
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!
Last week, we asked AVweb readers if they'll be attending either of the major U.S. summer aviation shows (Sun 'n Fun and AirVenture), just local air shows, or some combination
of the two. We'd like to report a seismic shift in air show attendance plans from the last time we aked this question, but there isn't one. Your choices rant the gamut though we were a little
disappointed that only twelve readers (at press time) had indicated they would be attending both major shows and as many local events as they could get out to.
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.
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.
*** THIS WEEK'S WINNERS ***
This time next week, we'll be at the Sun 'n Fun Fly-In and may in fact be too busy gawking at real airplanes to get in our normal quota of drooling over your photos. But don't
let that discourage you! Keep sending those photos, because we may actually find time to squeeze in "POTW" next Thursday and if not, we'll catch up on
the following week.
Some weeks, picking a single photo is downright painful. Martin Traverso of Menlo Park, California landed in our top spot today, but only after
numerous second guesses and at least two coin flips. Despite stiff competition among the top three photos, this one dutifully noses ahead and yes, it is currently our desktop wallpaper
"Fisheye view of the cockpit of a KC-97 training rig," courtesy of Belmont, North Carolina's Douglas Johnson. (See what we meant about the stiff
competition?) "It is an actual cockpit" writes Doug, "but is now separate from the rest of the aircraft ... on display at the Carolinas Aviation Museum at CLT."
Kelly Dickens of Houston, Texas capture this image at the Wings Over Houston air show last October and man, does it ever get us in the mood
for Sun 'n Fun! (Thanks for being the unofficial harbinger of summer around the AVweb offices, Kelly.)
Don't panic! No A&Ps were harmed in the making of this photo. Gilbert Benzonana of Grand-Lancy, Geneva (Switzerland) was shooting a few routine
photos while the mechanic checked out this sailplane. When he went back through the pictures later, he discovered this rather grisly scene caused by some paint "left by chance" and which, we
notice, matches the aircraft's detailing.
"Caught another Delta flying by the moon tonight," Ricky Barnard of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma tells us in his journal-like comments. "I get bored a
'S O.K., Rick your boredom helps fight off ours!
We'll have some bonus pics up in the slideshow AVweb's home page Thursday afternoon. (We're running a little slow this week, with all the prep
work for Sun 'n Fun.) Think of it as one last chance to check out the current batch before we swap 'em out with the new ones.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.
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:
Publisher Timothy Cole
Editorial Director, Aviation Publications Paul Bertorelli
Editor-in-Chief Russ Niles
Contributing Editors Mary Grady Glenn Pew
Features Editor Kevin Lane-Cummings
Webmaster Scott Simmons
Contributors Jeff van West Mariano Rosales
Click here to send a letter to the
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Comments or questions about the news should be sent here.
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