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Volume 16, Number 40b
October 7, 2010
Lightspeed Aviation Foundation
The Countdown Is On!
Don't miss your last chance to vote for your choice as to which aviation charities will receive the $10,000 grants from the Lightspeed Aviation Foundation. If you have not voted, go to and cast your ballot. There is no obligation but to share your opinion and vote. It will only take a minute. Again, go to today and make your vote count for your favorite charities.

Voting closes October 31, 2010.
AVflash! Topping the News: IOUs, ADsback to top 

Those who might have thought they were fractional owners of aircraft managed by OurPLANE are finding out, the hard way, that they are now little more than creditors in the bankruptcy of the company. Although it was apparently billed as a fractional, instead, OurPLANE maintained sole ownership of the planes (mostly Cirrus SR22s) and entered into contracts with "owners" promising to pay them their share of the depreciated value of the aircraft when the five-year terms of the contracts were over. When OurPLANE filed for Chapter 7 (liquidation) bankruptcy last week, it appears all the aircraft had been sold and instead of a check in the mail, "owners" are getting an invitation (PDF) to a bankruptcy hearing in Buffalo where they have status as creditors. Several have contacted AVweb to outline similar tales in which aircraft sat unmaintained for up to a year after the five-year contract ended and then suddenly were sold without the payment they were promised. AVweb has e-mailed OurPLANE CEO Graham Casson for his take on the events but he hasn't returned the message. He has, however, been in correspondence with some of his clients and in one of those e-mails said he and his director of operations Mike Huffman were "getting on with our lives." The new life appears to be Exclusive Jetz, which is offering access to Embraer Phenom 100 aircraft. More...

"Uncommanded changes" to radio frequencies, altitudes and transponder codes by the electronic flight information systems in some Eclipse jets have been reported, the FAA says, and an Airworthiness Directive issued this week mandates upgrades to the system. The AD affects approximately 168 aircraft in the fleet, the FAA said, and depending what kind of system the airplane has, the fix could cost as little as $770 to $1,670, or as much as $249,950. The FAA said it has "no way of knowing" how many airplanes would need each type of upgrade. In a statement sent to AVweb on Wednesday, Eclipse Aerospace said the AD is related to a three-year-old Service Bulletin originally issued by Eclipse Aviation. "Eclipse Aerospace has verified that 90 percent of the fleet has previously complied with the service bulletin," the statement said. "By issuing this AD, the FAA is ensuring that the other 10 percent of the fleet complies ... Eclipse Aerospace supports the FAA's adoption of this AD and encourages all remaining operators to comply with its requirements." More...

Sennheiser HMEC 460 Headset from Aircraft 
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Over the Oceansback to top 

After six days of searching, the Italian Coast Guard on Monday called off its efforts to find missing U.S. balloon pilots Richard Abruzzo and Carol Rymer Davis. The two, who were competing in the Gordon Bennett International Gas Balloon Race, went missing on the morning of Sept. 29 while flying over the Adriatic Sea. An analysis of radar data has shown that the hydrogen balloon appeared to be plummeting toward the sea at a rate of 50 mph before contact was lost. Rough seas and thunderstorms were reported in the area at the time. No ELT signals or other distress signals have been received. Searchers scoured the presumed impact area with boats, aircraft, divers and an underwater robotic vehicle, but failed to turn up any sign of the aircraft or its crew. More...

The Airship Ventures zeppelin, the only one of its kind in the U.S., recently helped out some scientists by providing a platform for their study of whales in the Pacific Northwest. "The flight took a lot of planning," airship pilot Katharine Board told AVweb. "Whales don't recognize international borders, so we had to be prepared to deal with Canadian airspace." The airship provides the scientists with a vertical perspective they can't gain from boats. "Seeing them from the air is just a completely different picture," researcher Erin Heydenreich told the Associated Press. "Watching the way they move together under water is just incredible. That's something you definitely don't see and can't very much capture from a perpendicular photograph." More...

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Tomorrow's Aircraft Today (Or Pretty Soon, Anyway)back to top 

FAA guidelines that require ADS-B equipment to be installed under the supplemental type certificate (STC) process will derail efforts to provide low-cost solutions for general aviation aircraft, the Airline Electronics Association said this week. The FAA policy, stated in a memo (PDF) sent out on Aug. 30, would "stall early equipage, delay early implementation, and, at the extreme, cause the failure of ADS-B implementation all together," AEA said in an Oct. 4 letter (PDF) to FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. STC rules would at least double the cost of installing a single ADS-B system in a business or corporate aircraft, and for light GA aircraft, the costs would increase by as much as 700 percent, the AEA said. The FAA said the STC installation rules may relax over time, but the AEA says that will only discourage the adoption of ADS-B avionics by GA owners. More...

Researchers at Stanford have created a fine mesh of sensors they say could wrap around an aircraft to provide nerve-like sensory information about the aircraft's structural integrity, skin temperature and even map air pressure. The material can expand up to 265 times its original size while still remaining strong and durable, according to scientists. That means one square foot of the material could stretch to cover an average car, without breaking. Scientists believe the material could provide real-time information on a variety of parameters defined by the sensors fitted to the material. Aside from skin strain and temperature, sensors are currently in development that would scan the aircraft internally. Of course, weight matters, but scientists believe they've addressed that. More...

Take the 'Dreading the Weather' Safety 
Quiz || AOPA Air Safety Foundation (ASF)
Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Safe Pilot?
Challenge yourself with the Air Safety Foundation Safety Quiz, underwritten by the AOPA Insurance Agency.

Quiz Topic: Dreading the Weather
In the age of Google, we're still using coded weather that dates to the teletype era. However, pilots still need to be able to decode this ancient form of communication. Click here to take the quiz.
News Briefsback to top 

Lloyd McKee and his wife Maureen survived when their aircraft (identified by the FAA as a Piper PA-32R but also by "friends" as a Beechcraft), Wednesday at noon, crashed through the wall of a fitness club located in Naperville, a suburb of Chicago. The crash aircraft is reportedly not directly registered to either McKee, but is registered to a Holdings Company in Delaware, according to the Chicago Sun Times. The two occupants had departed nearby Aero Estates for a trip to Pittsburgh. During the crash, the aircraft passed through corner wall near the top of the the roughly four-story building and then became lodged in that corner's adjacent wall. When it came to rest, the aircraft was visible from outside of the building and was leaking fuel into the building. No one inside the building, which includes a day care center, was injured. The McKees survived with minor injuries, but were trapped in the aircraft. More...

The Maverick "flying car" has received ASTM approval as a Special Light Sport Aircraft, the company said this week. I-tec, based in Orlando, Fla., has been working on the vehicle for about six years, with the goal of creating transportation for indigenous people who live in roadless areas. The vehicle also has commercial potential for sport flyers, search and rescue, fire spotting and other uses, the company says. The Maverick looks like a rugged off-road vehicle but it can reach highway speeds and in most U.S. states it can be driven on public roads under "kit car" rules. It can be quickly transitioned to flight mode by erecting a mast that carries a wing similar to those on powered parachutes. The pilot can control the vehicle in flight with the gas pedal and steering wheel, the company says, so controls are intuitive and easy to learn even for novice pilots.

Related Content:


Michael Maya Charles, a former AVweb columnist, was named editor-in-chief of Flying magazine in July, but on Tuesday he was out and longtime staffer Robert Goyer stepped into the job. "It was a mutual decision" for Maya Charles to leave, publisher Dick Koenig said. "We certainly wish him success in his next endeavor." Goyer has been with the magazine since 1994 and said this week he plans to take the magazine to "new heights." Koenig cited Goyer's "skill with new media" along with a track record of success in the magazine industry and a wide breadth of aviation knowledge. Maya Charles had taken over the job from J. Mac McClellan, who had been editor-in-chief since 1990. More...

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What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Weekback to top 

AOPA says a new regime of rules proposed by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) "has potentially devastating implications for the U.S. general aviation manufacturers and for the U.S. flight training industry." EASA intends to adopt a wide-ranging series of amendments to rules that appear to particularly affect those holding U.S. pilot certificates and aircraft registered in the U.S. but resident in Europe. "It would render FAA pilot certificates and instrument ratings issued to pilots living and operating in Europe (including U.S. citizens based in and flying in Europe) effectively worthless, requiring them to essentially start over and retrain and recertify," AOPA spokesman Chris Dancy told AVweb. "It would also eliminate any advantage to owning and operating an N-number-registered aircraft in Europe." More...

Master Instructors LLC owners Sandy and JoAnn Hill say they've agreed to abandon their copyright lawsuit against the National Association of Flight Instructors "in exchange for a waiver of fees and costs." NAFI has confirmed it has accepted the Hills' offer and will continue to use the material in dispute. "NAFI will continue to grow this valued program along with other services that we provide to the flight-instruction community," said NAFI Chairman Ken Hoffman. The Hills, who were leading members of NAFI until they were removed from the board of directors two years ago, sued NAFI for continuing to use the training materials they say they developed. NAFI countered that since the programs were developed under NAFI's banner, they were free to use them. Regardless of the legal intricacies, the Hills said their customers have spoken. More...


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.

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Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

Richard Abruzzo and Carol Rymer Davis were equipped with the latest in tracking technology when they disappeared over the Adriatic Sea. On the AVweb Insider blog, Mary Grady asks the question on many minds: Shouldn't we be able to build this stuff so it survives a crash and tells us where it happened? Read more and join the conversation. More...

One of them is that the only real pilots are taildragger pilots. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli says he never really believed that. But what's this? He's changing his tune? And now he thinks the ideal trainer is a Cub with a glass panel? Go read the blog and help reel this man back to reality. More...

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The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!back to top 

The Maverick, the first "flying car," has been approved for production as a Light Sport Aircraft. It's essentially a dune buggy with a parasail. It begs the question: What is an airplane?

Plus: Last week, we asked AVweb readers about their plans to prepare for 2013's ADS-B requirements; click through to see how they answered. More...

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 What have you heard? More...

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 Learnback to top 

Chuck Aaron is an FAA-certified aerobatic helicopter pilot. And he flies for Red Bull. The helicopter is a modified Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm BO-105. Aaron can be seen flying at Red Bull events. More...

Light Plane Maintenance Toolbox CD
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Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


Cris Methvin describes our latest "FBO of the Week" as "a quiet and picturesque airfield in rural Virginia where you will not find a luxury crew car or a maze of cubical crash pads." So what does Lawrenceville/Brunswick Municipal Airport have to offer instead? "A huge amount of coustomer service and great southern hospitality." Cris reports, "I was met by the president of the airport and the field manager, a warm greeting, breakfast, low fuel prices and great conversation. Very relaxing atmosphere and accomidating staff attended to my aircraft and made it a memorable visit."

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!


Peter Drucker Says,
"The Best Way to Predict the Future Is to Create It"

It's easy for your company to be more proactive, flexible, and entrepreneurial with AVweb's cost-effective marketing programs. Discover the benefits of instant response, quick copy changes, monthly tracking reports, and interactive programs. To find out how simple it is to reach 255,000 qualified pilots, owners, and decision-makers weekly, click now for details.
Help Us Celebrate AVweb's 15th Anniversaryback to top 

CLICK HERE to Register for All 15 

Win a Lightspeed Zulu aviation headset 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 October 15, 2010.

Click here to read the contest rules and enter.

Congratulations to Ronald C. Hanna of Independence, Oregon, who won our last prize, a PMA6000B audio panel! (click here to get your own from PS Engineering)


Reader-Submitted Photosback to top 

That's some crosswind, isn't it? Not really — but this shot from Eric Cobb of Santa Ynez, California still got a rise out of us. "Airports are among my favorite places," writes Eric. "KIZA Airport is the best." More...

Names Behind the Newsback to top 


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.