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FAA'S BABBITT CONTRADICTS EPA STATEMENT
FAA administrator Randy Babbitt
appeared to contradict Tuesday's statement by the EPA that it doesn't
have the authority to regulate or control the use of tetraethyl lead in
avgas. In answering a question at a press conference at
EAA AirVenture on Wednesday, Babbitt said, in part, "We have some
pretty good studies undergoing ... ATSM process is developing the
standards for new unleaded fuel and we've had some pretty good
discussions with the EPA. They've been cooperative and helpful. The EPA
of course has the ability and they have the statutory authority, in
fact, to say there will be no more lead in fuel. We have asked them to
please don't get ahead of us. Let us develop the standards so that we
will have an easily deliverable safe efficient fuel that performs just
like 100 leaded fuel does today and let us get that in place and, the
time track that we're both on, I'm very comfortable that we will have a
suitable deliverable alternative fuel long before the EPA says no more."
The EPA earlier this week offered a different understanding of its role.
OCTANE COALITION: NO EXCUSE FOR SLOW MOVING FUEL PROGRESS
recently formed grassroots coalition to press the FAA and industry
groups forward met with high-level FAA officials Monday and delivered an
unambiguous message: Any new fuel under consideration to replace avgas
should be of at least the equivalent of 100 octane and to make that
happen, the FAA needs to clarify the fuel certification rules and level
the playing field. Jon Sisk, who's president of the Malibu/Mirage Owners
Association and also a principal in the Clean 100-Octane coalition,
described the meeting with agency officials as positive and encouraging.
But he urged the FAA to assume its rightful role in clarifying the fuel
certification process and he explained that the coalition's position is
that while the alphabets and the industry's FAST fuels group have an
appropriate role, developing fuels and setting the certification rules
for them to be approved isn't one of them. More...
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SAYS HOMEBUILT SAFETY NEEDS IMPROVEMENT
Randy Babbitt said at EAA AirVenture on Wednesday that the homebuilt
community needs to do a better job of preventing accidents. "Last year,
amateur-built aircraft accounted for 25 percent of all general aviation
accidents," he said. "But the troubling number here is that they
represent only 10 percent of GA aircraft. We're trying to change that
trend." Many accidents seem to happen in the transition time after a new
owner buys an aircraft from the original builder, Babbitt said, and he
would like to see an effort to ensure that new owners get thoroughly
trained in the performance and characteristics of the aircraft. He also
said the GA numbers overall are not where they should be, with 120 fatal
accidents already this year. More...
SAFETY ALERT ARCHIVE IN THE WORKS
The members of the Light
Aircraft Manufacturers Association will work with EAA to produce a new
website where safety alerts -- the LSA equivalent of airworthiness
directives -- will be posted to ensure that all owners, mechanics and
pilots have timely access to the information, LAMA announced at EAA
AirVenture on Wednesday. The site will also provide an archive for the
data to ensure it remains available for aircraft owners even if the
manufacturer is no longer in business, LAMA chairman Dan Johnson told
AVweb. "The FAA was extremely keen on that," Johnson said. The
information mainly is already available online at manufacturers'
websites if you know where to look, Johnson said, but having a central
site should be useful to shoppers, mechanics and others. He said the
site should be up and running by September. More...
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BENEFIT FLYING GROUPS, NTSB MEET AT OSHKOSH
morning, about 20 representatives of various public benefit flying
groups met with representatives of the NTSB at EAA AirVenture to talk
about how they plan to address the concerns expressed by the safety
board in a letter
issued last month. Rol Murrow, chairman of the Air Care Alliance,
told AVweb the meeting was productive, and the NTSB was
responsive to the group's suggestions. "They are not recommending new
regulations," Murrow said. "They believe the solution lies in working
with the groups." Murrow said three main areas were addressed at the
meeting, and response from NTSB representative Timothy Burtch was
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ELECTRIC AIRCRAFT ARE HERE, NOW
As regulatory authorities in
the U.S. decide how to handle commercially manufactured non-ultralight
electric-powered aircraft, Yuneec International is growing and improving
its stable of electric-powered aircraft. The company's two-place
high-wing E430 debuted at AirVenture Oshkosh in 2009 and Wednesday,
AVweb spoke with Clive Coote, Yuneec International's managing
director, about improvements to the design, the company's progress and
its coming offerings for an
exclusive podcast. More...
LOOK AT SIKORSKY'S ALL-ELECTRIC HELICOPTER
company that does gas-electric auto conversions in California, a
technology integration company, and Sikorsky have teamed up to prove the
manned electric helicopter by way of Project Firefly. The Firefly is
actually an S300C two-seat bare-bones helicopter. Sikorsky has had the
S300C's original Lycoming HIO 360 engine swapped out for a permanent
magnet electric motor from U.S. Hybrids -- a company that will gladly
convert your automobile, too. Systems integrated by Eagle Technologies,
LLC, help the Firefly's motor deliver about 10 hp more than the
Lycoming's 190 hp but has the helicopter carry 1,000 pounds worth of
lithium ion batteries to do it. The batteries put the Firefly within
about 150 pounds of the S300C's 2150-pound max gross weight and offer
about 15 minutes worth of flying time in return. But that's not the
point. We spoke to Jonathan Hartman of Sikorsky's innovations division
to further explain. More...
Bendix/King by Honeywell KFD
The KFD 840 Primary Flight Display
is now certified and available
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set at an unprecedented $11,995 MSRP. The KFD 840 makes flying easier
with features like an expansive 8.4" diagonal LCD and wide horizon, much
larger than other systems. It includes a solid-state attitude sensor
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investment with ongoing upgrade capability.
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NIXES FLAPS, NAMES MANUFACTURING PARTNERS
Icon Aircraft has
announced that structural composite assemblies for the folding-wing
amphib LSA will be provided by Liberty Aerospace of Melbourne, Fla., and
Flytech, a Hungarian company. Icon plans to outsource the major
composite work then assemble the airplanes and install all the systems
at their facilities in southern California. The company also announced
some significant design changes. More...
As Vital As
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weather data packages. Enhance your situational awareness with data
products like Radar, Lightning, Winds, and more. Come see the latest
from XM WX Satellite Weather at booths #3037-3039 during EAA AirVenture
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SURVIVORS IN AIRBUS CRASH IN PAKISTAN
All 152 souls on board
an Airbus A321 were killed on Wednesday when the aircraft crashed into a
hill while trying to land at an airport near Islamabad in clouds and
rain. Fire and smoke was visible at the scene, the Associated Press
reported, and the wreckage was strewn widely across the hillside of
broken trees. No distress calls were heard from the pilots, according to
the AP. The flight was operated by Airblue, a private service based in
Karachi, where the flight had departed from. One witness told the AP the
airplane appeared to have "lost balance" in the air, and then went down.
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OF THE WEEK: ST. CLAIR COUNTY AIRPORT (PELL CITY,
AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to the FBO at
St. Clair County
Airport (KPLR) in Pell City, Alabama.
Randy Martin put PLR to the test when he decided to change his
go-to airport for trips to Birmingham. Having already spoken with the
airport manager (Larry), Randy expected thins to run smoothly when he
arrived. What Randy didn't expect was an experience he called "Southern
hospitality at its finest."
Upon my arrival, a silver van was planeside before the prop
stopped spinning, and Heath [a lineman] ask me if I needed a ride to the
motel. ... [After finding myself stranded at the motel later on, I
reluctantly called Larry and asked for a ride.] Bill arrived at the
motel within half hour and happily drove me over, offering several local
attractions to visit my next time in, and would not take any money for
gas or even a tip. ... A very big thank you for all the
guys at KPLR. I will definitely be back.
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...
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...
Where to Find Our
Sponsors at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh (booth numbers)