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
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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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.
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.
Have You Seen the Future of Aviation? Remos Aircraft has reinvented personal aviation by combining the best features of the LSA class with real-world utility and adventure. Featuring the best of German precision engineering and
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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.
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).
Same Price. Better Warranty. Best Value.
TCM now offers a longer factory warranty for the same fixed engine price.
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.
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.
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.
Diamond Has Your Training Needs Covered
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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.
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.
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."
Peter Drucker Says, "The Best Way to Predict the Future Is to Create It"
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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.
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.
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
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 ***
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.
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?)
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.")
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.
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.)
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
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.
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
editor. (Please let us know if your letter is not intended for publication.)
Comments or questions about the news should be sent here.
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