AVwebFlash - Volume 16, Number 16b

April 22, 2010

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
East Coast Super Sale from Aircraft Spruce
Aircraft Spruce Annual East Coast Super Sale & Fly-In!
Aircraft Spruce East will be holding their Annual East Coast Super Sale and Fly-In on Saturday, May 22, 2010 from 8:00am to 4:00pm in Peachtree City, Georgia. Come and join the Aircraft Spruce Team and vendors for lunch, special pricing, vendor demonstrations, and educational seminars. Lots of opportunities to win raffle prizes from some of your favorite vendors, and a complimentary shuttle will be offered to and from Falcon Field Airport. Call Aircraft Spruce at 1 (877) 4-SPRUCE or visit AircraftSpruce.com.
Top News: EPA Says Lead's Days Are Numbered back to top 
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EPA Advances 100LL Rulemaking Process

Industry efforts to find a replacement for 100LL are expected to intensify now that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released its advance notice of proposed rulemaking regarding the need to eliminate lead from fuel. The ANPRM does not set a date for eliminating the fuel, but invites interested parties to send comments on the issue for the next 60 days. "Converting in-use aircraft/engines to operate on unleaded aviation gasoline would be a significant logistical challenge, and in some cases a technical challenge as well," the EPA said. The EPA also acknowledged that a joint effort with the FAA will be critical in case engine modifications will need to be developed and certified, AOPA said. "Given the potentially large number of affected aircraft and the potential complexities involved," the EPA said, "a program affecting in-use aircraft engines would need careful consideration by both EPA and FAA, and the two agencies would need to work together in considering any potential program affecting the in-use fleet."

AOPA said in a news release on Wednesday that industry advocacy groups have been working for 20 years to identify a viable alternative to 100LL. "The industry stakeholders look forward to continuing their work with the EPA and the FAA on establishing a realistic standard to reduce lead emissions from GA aircraft along a transition timeline which balances environmental benefit with aviation safety, technical feasibility and economic impact upon the GA industry," AOPA said. AOPA, EAA, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) all signed on to a joint news release about the ANPRM Wednesday afternoon, and all are working together toward a solution to the problem.

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Volcanic Ash — Now and Then back to top 

Volcanic Ash Brushes North America

Shifting winds gave North America a taste of what Europeans have been enduring for five days as volcanic ash reached the easternmost point of the continent, canceling flights from the Newfoundland and Labrador capital of St. John's. At least nine flights were cancelled in a precautionary move by airlines. Transport Canada has not imposed airspace restrictions but a spokesman told CBC News they're a possibility of the department believes safety is at risk. The ash cloud had dozens of celebrities scrambling to get out of the normally quiet city on the edge of the North Atlantic.

The Juno Awards, Canada's equivalent of the Grammies, was held in St. John's Sunday and rockers, crooners and comedians lined up with fans for last-minute flights out. Among them was comedian Bill Maher, who learned late Sunday that his Monday morning flight to Tampa had been cancelled. "If the cloud comes in and hangs around for days, we could be here a week for God's sake," he said. Singer Michael Buble cut media interviews short when the pilot of his private aircraft told him they had to leave. Meanwhile, conditions in Europe are improving slightly and some flights may operate today. Airlines continue to operate test flights into the ash cloud, with no apparent damage, and are calling on authorities to lift the restrictions that have paralyzed air travel for five days.

NASA's Unexpected Volcanic Ash Encounter Flight

Ten years ago, a NASA DC-8 unintentionally flew through a diffuse ash cloud generated by Hekla, a volcano in Iceland, and upon first inspection showed no damage -- key words "unintentionally" and "upon first inspection." What the event showed is that the most up-to-date information on ash cloud location could be misinterpreted and significant damage could be incurred in spite of a vigilant, well-briefed flight crew. What's more, that damage can be very expensive and hard to detect. Then NASA propulsion engineer Tom Grindle worked the case and co-authored a paper on his findings.

AVweb's Glenn Pew caught up with Grindle in this week's podcast for a better understanding of the threat, the potential for hidden consequences, and what's changed since February 2000.

Related Content:

Remos GX || Obsession with Precision
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Tecnam's P2006T at Sun 'n Fun back to top 

Tecnam Twin Update

Tecnam's four-seat twin-engine airplane, the P2006T, made an appearance at Sun 'n Fun last week, and CEO Phil Solomon told AVweb the FAA type certification for the airplane is expected shortly. "It's been certified in Europe for about a year now," he said. The FAA paperwork is now fully complete and he expects to have the P2006T officially certified in time to make the first U.S. delivery in June. A Garmin 950 version should be certified by this summer. Solomon added that the company recently announced a fixed-gear version of the airplane, at the Aero show in Germany, that he expects will be popular with the owner-flown market. First deliveries for the fixed-gear airplane are still over a year away. Jeff Van West, of AVweb and Aviation Consumer, flew the P2006T at AOPA Summit last November; click here for his video report.

The fixed-gear version will cost 4 knots of speed, but gains 40 pounds of useful load, Solomon said. Also, the insurance premiums will be lower. Other new products in the works include a turbo version of the twin and a de-icing option. Besides its efficient operation, Solomon said, the P2006T is popular with flight schools for its docile single-engine handling qualities and durable all-metal construction. The engine is water-cooled, so shock cooling during single-engine training operations is less of a concern. It can climb 300 fpm on a single engine. The twin sells for about $420,000 up to $520,000 fully loaded.

The New Meridian G1000 — Commanding
The new Meridian G1000 with Garmin G1000 avionics and GFC 700 autopilot suite, business jet luxury and turbine simplicity for 30% less than any comparable six-place turbine-powered aircraft. With a panel as 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.
Latest Flying Car Effort: More than Meets the Eye back to top 

DARPA Seeks "Transformer" Roadable Aircraft By 2015

DARPA is seeking "innovative solutions" and is offering financial rewards for work that would by 2015 lead to a roadable/flyable VTOL vehicle prototype capable of carrying up to four persons and their gear. Dubbed the "Transformer (TX)" program, the end result may not lead to production of such a vehicle, but DARPA intends to "at a minimum" create the technologies necessary to build the prototype. Multiple awards are anticipated, with $9 million set to support Phase 1 development. The vehicle is intended for military use, to provide combatants with "terrain-independent mobility" that better avoids improvised explosive devices and ambushes, while offering operators more options for approaching targets. Key ingredients include easy operation by a non-certified pilot, a combat range of at least 250 nm, a maximum payload of about 1,000 pounds, and flight capability to 10,000 feet MSL.

DARPA's full list of requirements is included in its Vertical Takeoff and Landing Roadable Air Vehicle broad agency announcement solicitation, dated April 12. In the announcement, DARPA details possible roles like ship to shore insertion, out and back resupply missions, and medical evacuation. A successful product will demonstrate capability in those roles along with affordability in both production and operation. The TX timetable lays ground and flight demonstrations for such a flying car-like product in early 2015. Find DARPA's announcement, here (PDF).

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News Briefs back to top 

Arizona Flight School Disputes FAA Fine

The FAA on Tuesday announced that it would levy a $330,000 fine against North-Aire Aviation, an Arizona flight school, for allowing at least 18 unqualified students to graduate, but North-Aire on Wednesday disputed the action, calling the FAA's news release "inflammatory." In a statement posted on its Web site (PDF), the school's management states that it "was not aware that the FAA was poised to take this punitive action, nor does North-Aire agree with the discrepancies that the FAA suggests occurred." The alleged infractions cited by the FAA took place between April and August of 2008, and new management took over the school in April 2009. "It is the understanding of North-Aire's current management that the matter was remedied and resolved favorably with each of the students receiving their appropriate certificates," according to the North-Aire statement. The FAA said on Tuesday it has suspended the certificates of the 18 former North-Aire students it says were improperly trained.

"It is unclear why the FAA would just now release information on an alleged infraction that is almost two years old, giving the impression that this is a new investigation of an alleged ongoing infraction," reads the North-Aire statement. "North-Aire Aviation intends to fully exercise its rights in discussing the matter with the FAA in the hope that the matter may be favorably resolved before any further unnecessary and inflammatory information is disseminated." The FAA said that between April 18, 2008, and August 29, 2008, North-Aire issued graduation certificates and recommended students for pilot certificates and ratings even though the students failed to complete the training specified in the school's course of training, failed to pass the required final test and failed to complete all the curriculum requirements of the course. North-Aire also failed to correct the discrepancies after they were pointed out, the FAA said. North-Aire has 30 days from the time it receives the FAA's civil penalty letter to respond to the allegations.

Airplane Auction Debuts At Sun 'n Fun

For the first time, visitors to Sun 'n Fun last week had a chance to bid on airplanes for sale at a live auction, and the organizer of the event told AVweb on Wednesday that he and his partners will be back next year. Wes Lutz, the president of Flight Level Auctions, said the event was his company's first try at organizing an aircraft auction. "We had a great time, and we learned a lot," he said. He said the company also plans to hold a two-day auction in Fond du Lac, Wisc., this summer, during the week of AirVenture. The auction is not affiliated with EAA's event, he said, but he hopes that aviators who are going to Oshkosh will consider a visit if they are shopping for a used airplane. "We sold nine aircraft at Sun 'n Fun," he said, "ranging from $30,000 to $100,000." About 45 airplanes were offered for sale, he said, mostly single-engine pistons and a few light twins.

Lutz, who is a pilot, said he and his partners just formed the auction company earlier this year. Most of the airplanes that sold in Lakeland went for prices "in between wholesale and retail," Lutz said, which was about what he expected. A mechanic was available at the site to inspect aircraft if the buyers requested. For next time, Lutz said, he hopes to do a better job of helping people who may not be experienced with the auction process to understand how it works.

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 ERAU.edu/professionaleducation.
New on AVweb.com back to top 

Brainteasers Quiz #149: On Other Than Fixed Wings

BrainteasersWhat if airfoils spun to produce lift? What if a gas that makes your voice sound like Alvin and the Chipmunks lifted an aircraft? And what if someone wrote a quiz about it? You'd ace it, right?

Take the quiz.

More Brainteasers

Question of the Week: Loran-C in the Age of WAAS/GPS

This Week's Question | Previous Week's Answers


Welcome back to AVweb's "Question of the Week," where we take the pulse of the aviation community on the news topics of the day.

Back before our Sun 'n Fun polling hiatus, we asked readers for their opinion on the FAA's decision to allow more tolerance in active pilots' use of antidepressants under "special issuance" certificates. 39% of those who responded said yes, they support the FAA's decision, which is actually long overdue. At the other end of the spectrum, 21% of respondents said absolutely not; no mental incapacity has any place in the cockpit.

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


With the failure of one of two satellites providing WAAS service, how's the government's decision to shut down Loran-C looking to you?

Should Loran-C be revived?
(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.

Sun 'n Fun 2010 Coverage Round-Up

Time for a quick round-up of coverage from this year's Sun 'n Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Florida. Look for a full run-down of this year's videos, podcasts, and news in a special edition of AVwebAudio that can be found here.

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What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Week back to top 

One Of Two WAAS Satellites Failed

The Wide Area Augmentation System, which broadcasts GPS corrections used by aviators across North America, is powered by just two satellites, and one of them has failed. Intelsat, the company that provides the satellite service to the FAA, lost control of the satellite on April 3. The satellite will "drift out of orbit over the next two to four weeks," the FAA said on April 12. The most immediate impact will be felt in northwestern Alaska, where service will be unavailable at 16 airports. However, the FAA said that due to the lack of redundant coverage, WAAS users across North America may experience temporary service interruptions. Also, a "single-point failure situation exists until redundancy [is] restored," the FAA said. A replacement satellite should launch by the end of this year; meanwhile, the FAA is looking at other options to mitigate the impact.

The Government Accountability Office raised questions last year about the lack of redundancy in the GPS system. "It is uncertain whether the Air Force will be able to acquire new satellites in time to maintain current GPS service without interruption," the GAO report warned. "If not, some military operations and some civilian users could be adversely affected." Click here for more details about the outage, in an FAA PowerPoint presentation.

At Sun 'n Fun last week, AVweb raised the issue of satellite redundancy with AOPA President Craig Fuller; click here for that podcast.

FAA Proposes More Light Jet Testing

The FAA has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (PDF) that could significantly complicate the certification process for several small jets currently in development and future aircraft weighing less than 6,000 pounds with turbine engines. The FAA is proposing that all turbine-powered aircraft be put through function and reliability tests. Function and reliability testing is real-world testing of airframes and engines in the full spectrum of weather, missions and flight envelopes the planes are expected to encounter in service and is designed to catch snags that tend to show up soon after the aircraft are put into service. It can add as much as 300 hours to the certification flight testing. In 1950, the FAA exempted aircraft weighing less than 6,000 pounds from that type of testing since the small aircraft of the day were aimed at the private market and were exclusively powered by piston engines. New piston designs weighing less than 6,000 pounds and gliders will continue to be exempt. In the NPRM, the FAA cites problems with freshly certified Eclipse 500 aircraft as part of the foundation for the proposed rule. "This reconsideration was driven in part by difficulties encountered with the voluntary application of the requirement during the FAA type certification of the [Eclipse 500] and the subsequent problems experienced during that airplane's entry into service," the NPRM states.

The FAA says it likely would have spotted five problems that developed with the Eclipse if they'd done the function and reliability tests, including pitch and rudder trim issues, pitot system moisture trap, engine surges caused by carbon buildup on the static vanes, brake problems and tire problems. The comment period for the rule ends July 8. The rule, if made final, would affect Piper, Cirrus and Stratos jet programs. Diamond's D-Jet is being certified in Canada so the effect is less clear. Calls placed to Piper and Diamond were not immediately returned.

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

Ride-Along with Dale Snodgrass

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

Famed air show and fighter pilot Dale Snodgrass took an AVweb camera along on his Paris Jet afternoon air show at Sun 'n Fun. In this unique video, he gives us the details about his routine.

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

IFR Magazine Shows You How to Get More from a Portable GPS in IFR

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

That gadget you bolted to the yoke can do a lot more than show pretty moving maps. Come along with IFR magazine editor Jeff Van West to see how correct use of track (and several other features) on your portable GPS can improve all aspects of your IFR flying.

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

Don't see a video screen?
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 Scheyden Frames and Flight Gear

CLICK HERE to Register for All 15 Drawings

Win Scheyden Dual RX frames and Flight Crew Ensemble flight gear as we celebrate our 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 30, 2010.

Click here to read the contest rules and enter.

Congratulations to Jack Feiden of Wichita, Kansas, who won an XM WX Satellite Weather Receiver from WxWorx in our last drawing! (click here to get your own from WxWorx)

Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Rabbit Aviation (KSQL, San Carlos, CA)

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

Conoco-Phillips WingPoints || Best Rewards in the Business

AVweb reader Alejandro Galioto recommended our latest "FBO of the Week," Rabbit Aviation at KSQL (San Carlos Airport) in San Carlos, California. He writes:

This FBO is likely smaller than most due to the fact that it's a physically small airport with a 2,600-foot runway, but I bet it is busier than a lot of bigger FBOs, and with excellent efficiency and customer service.

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.


Having taken last week off from "POTW" for the fresh air, sunshine, and afternoon air shows of Sun 'n Fun, we've accumulated a hefty backlog of reader-submitted photos. And take our word for it: Your fellow readers have been busy while we were at the show! Submissions might have been a little lower than usual while we were gallivanting in the Florida sunshine, but the photos that did come in are outstanding. This week, we're tackling most of the backlog and rolling a few (sight unseen) into next week's batch. So let's get started.

medium | large

copyright © Daniel Valovich
Used with permission


Daniel Valovich of Hot Springs, Arkansas knows we have a weakness for big weather events and aircraft — and he uses that knowledge to great effect this week, topping our list of favorite photos (by a hair's breadth!) in a very competitive week.

(And come on, isn't that a great paint job on this helo?)

medium | large

copyright © Rob Neil, Pacific Wings
Used with permission

Still Going Strong

Rob Neil of Porirua (North Island), New Zealand got this incredible long-exposure, high-contrast photo at Queenstown International Airport, South Island — where, he writes, this DC-3 is still in regular service for charter flights!

(Dutifully filed under "further evidence that New Zealand is some kind of Earthly paradise for aviators.")

medium | large

copyright © Juergen Thiesen
Used with permission

Ready for Departure

Juergen Thiesen of Jossa, Germany didn't tell us how this bird made her way into the garden (or how she gets out), but we've gotta say — this is one way to make do while you're waiting for a hangar to open up at your local airport.

medium | large

Used with permission of Joe Daniel

Worth Waiting For

Currently working in Afghanistan, Joe Daniel "got this shot while sitting on the edge of the loading zone waiting for our ride to another camp." Stay safe, Joe — and thanks for contributing to our collection of amazing cell phone photos. (Yes, it was shot with his mobile phone.)

medium | large

Used with permission of Eric Fogelin

GA Security

Eric Fogelin of Langley, Washington assures us that the wind (particularly strong on the day this photo was snapped) was "the only practical jokester" involved in this overturned port-a-john. The personnel at Whidbey Island have their eyes on you, wind — this had better not happen again.

There are more photos from our readers on AVweb's home page — and, trust us, you don't want to skip this week's bonus pics. Go check 'em out.

Submit your own photos to "POTW" by clicking here.

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.

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