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SEEKS MORE DETAILS ABOUT FAA ANTIDEPRESSANT POLICY
Line Pilots Association says it has "a substantial number of questions"
about how the FAA will implement its new policy
to allow pilots to continue to fly while taking certain antidepressants,
so the FAA has reopened its comment period to give ALPA another 30
days to file its comments. The original 30-day comment period closed on
May 5, and the FAA said ALPA "has not formally submitted to the public
docket its specific questions about the policy's practical
applications." Randy Helling, an ALPA vice president, said recently (PDF) that the organization supports the change in
policy, which "marks a significant, positive impact for pilots who may
be suffering from depression ... and we are committed to seeing this
practice implemented." However, he added that Dr. Quay Snyder, with
ALPA's Aeromedical Office, had submitted a list of questions about the
implementation of the policy to the FAA and the FAA has not responded.
NABS FLIGHT SCHOOL FOR VISA FRAUD
Two individuals who
operated a San Diego-area flight school entered guilty pleas last week
to charges that they issued false visa documents that allowed at least
53 foreign students to enter the country illegally for flight training.
Andrew Burr and Christopher Watson faced misdemeanor charges stemming
from a two-year U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) probe
that also found the men's flight school illegally hired 11 foreign
students as flight instructors between 2001 and 2008. "The actions by
the defendants in this case not only undermined the integrity of our
nation's legal immigration system, they also posed a significant
national security risk," lead investigator Joe Garcia said. According to
ICE investigators, even though the FAA had revoked the school's
certification to train commercial pilots, school officials issued visa
documents for more than 100 foreign students. More...
Have You Seen the Future of
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SALES SLOW TO RALLY
Despite generally upbeat reports
from light sport aircraft vendors at Sun 'n Fun last month, sales
reported for 2010 from January through the end of April were slow, even
slower than in 2009, Dan Johnson reported on his industry blog
last week. In 2009, which was an extremely slow sales year across all
aviation segments, LSAs sold at the rate of about 20 per month. But in
the first four months of 2010, sales averaged just 15 a month, Johnson
said. That's a decline from about 45 per month just three years ago. Why
the sluggish response to what is generally considered to be the start of
a recovery? "No one has a crystal ball," says Johnson, "but common
suspects are: an oscillating stock market... government budget
problems... and a widely held feeling that LSA are still proving
themselves." The industry is addressing the perception issues, he said,
but the rest are beyond their control. And there is one bright spot, he
COMPANY FOR SALE, SADLER VAMPIRE
Sadler Vampire, which
produces a mid-wing, twin-boom pusher that's been in development in
various incarnations since the 1980s and had been gearing up for LSA
certification, is now up for sale -- including a prototype and parts --
for $50,000. As a light sport aircraft, the two-seat Vampire would have
folding wings and fly with a Jabiru 3300 burning 5 gph for a 500-nm max
range, according to the company. In a May 24 blog post, company vice
president David Littlejohn expressed disappointment and blamed the
economic downturn for the sale. Without enough interest translating into
escrow deposits, "We failed to meet the required pipeline commitments
needed to receive second-stage capital from our investors," he said. The
prototype has flown, and the company was operating out of Roseburg, Ore.
The $50K OBO sale price includes that aircraft, plus parts for three
more under construction, along with a Jabiru 3300. The previously
developed air-to-ground attack version of the aircraft was not listed as
part of the sale. More...
2011 Warbird Pin-Up Calendar
Available at Aircraft Spruce
The 2011 Warbird Pin-Up Calendar
is a collaborative effort to
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back the classy authentic pin-ups, as produced by such famous artists as
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preserve the beautiful WWII aircraft that appear in the 2011 edition of
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TECHNOLOGY IN TRANSITION
As U.S. pilots slowly begin to phase
out old 121.5 MHz emergency locator transmitters and upgrade to 406 MHz
units, NASA already is starting to bring the next generation of
distress-signal technology online. The Search and Rescue Mission Office
at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., has developed a
satellite-based system that will be able to almost instantaneously
detect and locate distress signals generated by 406 MHz beacons
installed on aircraft. NASA said this week it is now testing the system and
it will begin the transition to it in 2015. Under the current system,
ELT signals are received by weather satellites, but the new system will
be incorporated into two dozen GPS satellites, which fly in higher
orbits. "With a mid-Earth orbit search-and-rescue capability provided by
GPS, one emergency signal goes off, and six satellites will be in view,"
said Mickey Fitzmaurice, space systems engineer for NASA. "Almost
instantly, I can begin processing the signal to determine its precise
location. Right now, it can take an hour or more before we can even act
on a signal." More...
SAYS: REPLACE OLD MUFFLERS
If the muffler on your
reciprocating aircraft engine is more than 1,000 hours old, you should
replace it to help minimize the chance of getting carbon monoxide in the
cockpit, according to a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin released
by the FAA. The recommendation is not mandatory. The FAA based its
suggestion on the results of a technical study by Wichita (Kans.) State
University that was completed last year. The researchers surveyed
accident data from the NTSB and found that when CO was a factor, the
muffler system was the top source. In 92 percent of the muffler-related
accidents, the muffler had been in service for more than 1,000 hours.
Diesel-powered engines are not affected by this recommendation,
Centurion Aircraft Engines said this week, because that combustion process
produces hardly any excess CO. More...
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G500H HELICOPTER PANEL STC'D
The features and convenience
fixed-wing operators take for granted with their Garmin glass panels are
now available to the helicopter market. Garmin announced today that its
has received a supplementary type certificate from the FAA for Bell 206
and 407 models. The dual screen PFD/MFD was specifically designed to fit
the limited panel space available in many helicopters but it maintains
all the features that are now expected in new-release avionics.
PILOTS, YOUR INPUT WANTED
Researchers working on NextGen are
looking for general aviation pilots to contribute to a study on weather
technology in the cockpit. The brief online survey aims to collect
information about how GA pilots use weather technology now and what
options they would like to have available in the future. The data
collected will help researchers at the University of North Dakota to
assess user needs for different phases of flight. The UND team will
report their results to the FAA to help in designing and implementing
the Next Generation Air Transportation System. The survey is short and
completely anonymous. Click here to take the survey now.
AIRCRAFT INVENTORY DOWN SLIGHTLY
Business aircraft use is up
and used aircraft inventories are down but both are a long way from the
heady days of early 2008, according to a study released by JETNET. There are still 2,700 used business jets on
the market and 1,400 turboprops for sale in the U.S. but both figures
are down slightly compared to the same time last year. The number of
jets for sale represents 15.5 percent of the fleet, down from 17.7
percent at its peak in July of 2009. Proportionately fewer turboprops
are on the market. As of the end of April, about 11 percent were
available compared to the high of 12 percent last summer. Meanwhile,
perhaps one of the most encouraging signs is the increase in business
aircraft use. More...
GA ENGINE DEBUTS IN SOUTH AFRICA
A South African company has
introduced a new engine for general aviation aircraft that the company
says will run on a range of fuels, including unleaded mogas with an
octane rating as low as 85, standard avgas, liquid petroleum gas (LPG),
or biofuel. The 320-hp Adept Aviation engine "sets new standards for
performance and low life-cycle costs," according to the company's news
release. The liquid-cooled engine with electronic engine management was
rolled out last week in an SA Ravin 500 airplane. The engine features
low emissions and noise levels, the company said, and weighs about 348
pounds. "It is roughly 30 percent lighter than traditional piston
engines of comparable horsepower and offers fuel efficiencies of up to
30 percent better than conventional GA powerplants," the company said.
AVWEB'S BUSINESS AVIATION NEWSLETTER
Have you signed up yet for AVweb's
no-cost weekly business aviation newsletter,
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
Add AVwebBiz to your AVweb
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here and choosing "Update E-mail Subscriptions."
JA Air Center When It
Comes to Avionics, Go with a Name You Can Trust!
Need an avionics repair? Ship your radio in for top-notch repair
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Mooney: We Love to Fly.
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CONSUMER'S DIAMOND MOTOR GLIDER GLIDING TRIAL
'n Fun, AVweb took
a look at Diamond's reintroduced HK36 motor glider. In this
follow-up video, we tried it out in extended glider operation, and (no
suprise) it's a great performer. If you want to learn soaring and still
want a powered airplane, the HK36 is a remarkably well-executed
MAGAZINE SHARES GPS TRICKS FOR VOR CLEARANCES
Handling clearances with that panel-mount GPS is a
snap until they throw some rogue radial off a VOR into the mix.
IFR editor Jeff Van West unlocks the insider techniques that make
clearances like this just another day plying the airways.
Fly Safely. Reduce Your Work
Load. Increase Your Fuel Economy.
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|The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!||back to
Is Your A&P Keeping
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OF THE WEEK: SKY HARBOR AVIATION (KCRG, JACKSONVILLE,
AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Sky
Harbor at Craig Municipal Airport (KCRG) in Jacksonville,
Florida. Here's how they saved AVweb reader Gerry McMunn's
bacon a few weeks back:
departing Winter Haven, we could not retract our gear on our Piper
Arrow. We diverted to Craig Muni because of the maintenance facilities.
... Sky Harbor welcomed us in their beautiful office/pilot's lounge and
connected us with Northeast Florida Aircraft Maintenance Inc., ... [who]
immediately made space for our aircraft and got to work on the problem.
John and Duane conducted an extremely thorough and professional
investigation, found a broken wire, and repaired it. [They] got us
underway within 2 hours after having removed all luggage, back
seats, and interior panels. Their fee was very reasonable. ... This was
a very fortuitous stop at a very pleasant FBO and airport. We were under
stress upon arrival, but quickly were made to feel welcome and treated
very well. Terrific people all of them.
Keep those nominations
coming. For complete contest rules, click
AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in
the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here
next Monday! More...
Peter Drucker Says, "The
Best Way to Predict the Future Is to Create It"
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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.
AVwebFlash team is:
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
Have a product or service to advertise
on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's
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
Navigate. Communicate. More...