AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 16, Number 18a

May 3, 2010

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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 CessnaRise.com.
AVflash! CTLS Has a Long Trip Ahead back to top 
Sponsor Announcement
Great Plains Air Expo || May 13, 2010 in Tulsa, OK || May 14, 2010 
in Oklahoma City, OK

Light Sport Circumnavigation Launched

Two Swiss airline pilots left their home base of Sion Friday on an around-the-world flight intended to promote "ecological and economical general aviation" and encourage young people to take up flying. Yannick Bovier and Francisco Agullo are also marking the 100th anniversary of the first flights in Switzerland by taking a pair of Flight Design CTLS aircraft on the challenging westward circumnavigation. Within a couple of days of their departure they were scheduled to face their first major test with a 2,000-mile mid-Atlantic crossing from West Africa to Brazil. They'll spend a couple of days in the U.S. likely next week.

The pair is scheduled to land in Miami, Dallas, Las Vegas and Monterey, Calif., before island-hopping across the Pacific. The aircraft have extra fuel tanks and are equipped with extra navigation and communications gear.

What He Didn't Know About His Life Insurance Cost His Family $500,000
Pilots should take special care when comparing life insurance. Pilot Insurance Center specializes in providing pilots with insurance planning. Get the right coverage. Call PIC at (800) 380-8376 or visit PICLife.com.
Controlling Costs back to top 
Sponsor Announcement
Spidertracks || Sales Agents Wanted to Sell the New Aircraft 
Safety Location System

State Supports Slashing Aircraft Fleet

The state General Assembly of North Carolina has supported a report that recommends it sell 25 of 72 aircraft, plus five hangars, operated by state aviation programs, to save millions of dollars. The sale of the aircraft, according to the report, would yield up to $8.1 million and save the state $1.5 million in operations, annually. The North Carolina General Assembly initiated the study to determine the number, use, and effectiveness of state aircraft as well as their associated operational efficiencies. It found that "aircraft are risky and expensive to own, operate, and maintain" and that half of the state's aircraft were flown less than 100 hours per year. The study's recommendations, which include cutting more than a third of its fleet, were approved in a meeting of the state's General Assembly, but not without dissent.

Among the activities of the state's aircraft are crime fighting and fire fighting. Representative David Lewis expressed concern that the elimination of aircraft could impair the state's ability to defend itself against forest fires. And the State's Bureau of Investigation said it needed planes for crime-fighting activities and to transport suspects. North Carolina employs 89 full-time staff to operate its aircraft at a cost of $10.8 million in Fiscal Year 2008-2009. Nearly 80 percent of those aircraft flew fewer than 200 hours per year and 36 flew less than 100 hours while eight could not or did not fly at all during the period. The report recommends that the General Assembly establish an authority to oversee management of all state aircraft. Find the report online, here (PDF).

Group "Outraged" Cost Analysis Applied To Flight Safety

The Buffalo News printed Friday that the group Families of Flight 3407 is "outraged" that regulators may be concerned about the potential cost of rules being developed to address pilot fatigue. The group is eager for change to flight crew duty and rest requirements and the Buffalo News reported that the rulemaking has "hit a snag." The FAA, it says, "is informally consulting with the Office of Management and Budget" and "sources close to the talks said that some at OMB are concerned the FAA will write a proposal that will cost the airlines too much money." One member of the group said that suggests "cost-benefit analysis is getting in the way" of "crucial safety reform." The NTSB did not list crew fatigue as a central factor in the crash, but discovered that neither member of Flight 3407's cockpit crew had slept in a bed the night before the crash. The FAA says its new rules are currently under administration review and the OMB says it hasn't yet been formally involved.

Laura Brown, spokeswoman for the FAA, said "the flight and duty proposal is under administration review" and the agency's "main priority is completing a rule that will help pilots avoid fatigue and keep air travelers safe." Brown added, "this is a complex issue, and we want this done right." FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt has said the rules are being fast-tracked and could be ready by spring, but also that the review may take six months. Tom Gavin, spokesman for the OMB, said the FAA has not yet submitted a formal proposal to the OMB. Families of Flight 3407 exists because of the February 2009 crash of Continental Connection Flight 3407 that killed all aboard. It is seeking the expedient application of safety improvements to address issues it believes were avoidable factors that contributed to the crash.

National Air Traffic Controllers Association || The Safety 
Professionals Who Guide You Home
Keeping Our Airspace Safe
Over 14,000 strong, the members of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association are aviation safety professionals whose skill and professionalism help keep our National Airspace System moving safely and efficiently.

Find out more at NATCA.org and read about our annual Archie League Medal of Safety award winners, many of whom assisted general aviation pilots who needed help to land safely.
The Wheels of Commerce back to top 

Video Shows European Airspace Reboot

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A video available on Vimeo.com shows the visual representation of air traffic over Europe as it is affected by and recovers from flight restrictions imposed in the wake of Iceland's April volcano eruption. The video covers, in 54 seconds, the six-day span from April 16 to April 21 as the region dealt with a traveling volcanic ash cloud overhead. It does have a few gaps in coverage due to lack of data from France and over the Atlantic. But the imagery creates clear visual contrasts between the virtual shutdown of activity on the 16th and its slow resumption thereafter that, by one analyst's account, helped cause the disruption of8 percent of global trade. As the region's activity begins to ramp up to its roughly 25,000 flight per day norm it's also easy to see the relative inactivity as days turn to night.

Flight data for the video was provided courtesy of flightradar24.com, which shows live aircraft traffic above much of Europe. It was produced by itoworld.com, a firm that provides online presentation, analysis and data management to services in the transport sector, with support from ideasintransit.org. The information is organized over CC-by-SA openstreet.org map data.

View the video at right, or find it here.

787 Supply Chain Interrupts Production

Problems with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner's far-flung supply chain are now causing parts shortages that have translated into an early delay in the airliner's production. The company has announced that Dreamliners number 23 and 24 will be held up for about 24 days as it attempts to resolve production or delivery problems at a small number of the program's many, often distant, small parts suppliers. Boeing did not indicate that the interruption would result in any short-term layoffs. There are currently 866 of the jets on order and Boeing was, until this interruption, answering that with two finished Dreamliners per month even as flight testing continues. The manufacturer didn't name names, but last year bought Vought Aircraft Industries in Charleston, S.C., after that supplier failed to meet the 787 program's demands. The Wall Street Journal reported that the former Vought facility and a Dreamliner parts supplier in Italy have been involved in recent supply chain kinks.

Unlike its other popular jet lines, Boeing does not build 787s from scratch at Everett, Wash. Dreamliners arrive to the production line in largely completed sections flown in every 10-or-so days, via modified 747s. It completes the large component assemblies with parts that originate from suppliers as far off as Italy and Japan. A second production facility, expected to go on line in 2012, is being built in Charleston, S.C.. The state is giving Boeing $270 million raised from bonds to help build the $750 million plant. Boeing hopes to step up production to about seven per month before hitting a goal of 10 per month in 2013.

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Keeping Legal back to top 

Canadian Pilot License Deadline Looming

About 30 percent of Canadian pilots haven't applied for a new style of license that becomes mandatory June 30. Transport Canada officials speaking at Canadian Aviation Expo in Hamilton, Ontario, are urging pilots to get their paperwork in as soon as possible to help the agency process the almost 18,000 outstanding renewals as smoothly as possible. Those who meet the June 30th deadline will get a 90-day temporary license while their new passport-style document is being prepared. However, those who miss the deadline will be without a valid license until their new one is ready as the old-style paper licenses will become invalid on July 1 and no temporary licenses will be issued after June 30.

The new licenses meet ICAO standards with a swipeable security strip on the bottom of the main page and room inside for all the ratings and endorsements that also have security features. Transport Canada officials remind pilots and others with aviation certificates to be careful and follow all the directions on the application form as improperly submitted forms are sent back. Official passport photos are also required for the application.

Pilot Sold Drug Test Blocker

A regional airline pilot whose side business was selling a drink powder that effectively defeats urine drug tests has pleaded guilty to a federal charge. Stephen Sharp, of Port Orange, Fla., was flying for PSA, which operates as US Airways Express, while he ran a website called yourintheclear.com offering a product that somehow masks the presence of illegal drugs in the urine. "You simply mix the powder with a large glass of cranberry juice 1-5 hours before your test and then just relax!" the Associated Press quoted Sharp's website as saying. While the claims have all the hallmarks of an Internet scam, what alarmed authorities in this case is that Sharp's potion actually worked. But Sharp told AVweb the powder was never intended to be directly marketed to pilots or anyone else who might be subject to government-mandated drug tests and that it is essentially a diuretic meant for "cleansing" the urinary tract. He said he pleaded guilty to the charge after three years of investigation to spare his family further inconvenience and legal complications.

The court was told that the powder has been evaluated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. "There is public testimony by SAMSHA officials to Congress that these products are very effective," Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary McKeen Houghton said. Sharp has been on unpaid administrative leave from PSA since the airline became aware of the charges. He will be sentenced Sept. 3 and faces a maximum of five years in jail.

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The Ultimate DC-3 Gathering (Literally) back to top 

DC-3 People Reunion At AirVenture

The DC-3 has touched the lives of millions in its 75-year history and those drawn to the celebration of the venerable airliner and military transport at AirVenture Oshkosh this year have a way to renew old ties. Organizers of The Last Time, a mass arrival of 40 aircraft planned for AirVenture, have set up an online searchable database (click on the red Reunion tab on the web site) where anyone who has had any connection at all to the DC-3 can register and allow themselves to be found by likeminded souls they may have lost contact with over the years. Organizers says the arrival and the subsequent week of festivities at Oshkosh are as much a celebration of the people associated with the DC-3 as the aircraft itself. Registering will be especially useful for those attending AirVenture this year.

Registrants are asked if they'll be attending the big show and to include the number of the cellphone they'll be carrying at Oshkosh. Those who visit the database can search for old friends and if they happen to be at AirVenture at the same time, they can contact one another. Organizers say registration is open to anyone who has had any affiliation with the aircraft, whether they were pilots, cabin crew, ground workers or even frequent fliers aboard the planes.

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EBACE Coverage Coming Up in AVwebBiz back to top 

Send Us Your EBACE News

The European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition is on this week at Palexpo in Geneva, Switzerland, and it's always a busy show in terms of announcements and new products. To help us make sure we cover the big news at the show, we're inviting companies to send us their announcements for inclusion in our AVwebBiz this week.

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."

AERO EXPO EUROPE 2010 - Prague, 28-30 May || 
AERO EXPO UK 2010 - London, 25-27 June
AeroExpo UK: 25-27 June 2010
Established, proven, and successful! It is the exhibition to attend in the U.K., whether you are interested in learning to fly or are already a pilot and want to view the latest products available! Showcasing ALL sections of the market, including the latest aircraft available — from light aircraft, or pistons and turboprops from all the major manufacturers, to gliders and power gliders; AeroExpo UK at Wycombe Air Park (EGTB) has them covered.

Click here for more information.
Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: Oil Slicks and Avgas

If BP doesn't get it under control, the growing slick in the Gulf of Mexico could become a major disaster that will reset attitudes and policies toward offshore oil production. None of that is necessarily good for the price of avgas, and Paul Bertorelli breaks down some of the potential consequences in the lastest installment of our AVweb Insider blog.

Click here to read more (and share your own opinions).

AVweb's Newstips Address ...

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 newstips@avweb.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.

Q: What's the Difference Between a $10,000 Annual and a $2,500 Annual?

Mike Busch and his team of seasoned maintenance professionals are saving their aircraft-owner clients thousands of dollars a year in parts and labor — not to mention hours of hassle — by providing professional maintenance management for owner-flown singles and twins. Learn how they do it.
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

"How We Did It" — Red Bull Glider Skydiver Transfer

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

Say, how did those guys pull off that skydiver glider-to-glider transfer that's getting some much attention on YouTube and Red Bull's site? Here's the inside story from Ewald Roithner, the lead pilot. He spoke with AVweb's Paul Bertorelli.

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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 a King Schools Get-It-All Training Kit

CLICK HERE to Register for All 15 Drawings

Win a Get-It-All Training Kit from King Schools 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 May 21, 2010.

Click here to read the contest rules and enter.

Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: SpanaFlight (Pierce County Airport, Puyallup, WA)

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

Conoco-Phillips WingPoints || Best Rewards in the Business

Our latest "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to the Pacific Northwest, where AVweb reader Calvin Wilkinson has been relying on the services of SpanaFlight for the last 25 years. Wilkinson spent eight of those managing the maintenance schedules of Civil Air Patrol craft in Washington state, and then (as now) he counted on SpanaFlight — located at Pierce County Airport (PLU) in Puyallup, Washington:

I have had considerable contact with the owners, receptionists, and mechanics (all A&Is) who are all consistantly knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful. On a few occasions, when an emergency has arisen, a SpanaFlight mechanic has worked late or come in on a weekend to get a plane into the air. In my book, SpanaFlight deserves to be the "FBO of the Week" every week.

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!

The Lighter Side of Flight back to top 

Short Final

Years ago, my co-pilot and I were flying a Beech 90 at FL220 and encountered moderate icing. ATC granted our request for FL240, where we found lighter ice, but we decided to try FL200 in an attempt to exit the icing. The icing was again moderate at FL200. FL180 was not available due to the altimeter setting, and we did not have quick-donning oxygen masks to go above FL250, so we decided that the light icing at FL240 was our best option. My co-pilot prepared to radio the tower:

"The controller is going to be mad at you if you ask him to go back to where we were."

"No, he won't be mad at me."

[Co-pilot calls ATC.]

"Tower, the captain wants to go back to 240."

Name Withheld

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.

Aviate. Navigate. Communicate.