The Countdown Is
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
. If you have not voted, go to
LightspeedAviationFoundation.org and cast your ballot. There is no
obligation but to share your opinion and vote. It will only take a
today and make your vote count for your favorite charities.
Voting closes October 31, 2010.
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.
MANDATES UPGRADE TO ECLIPSE AVIONICS
"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...
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ENDS FOR MISSING BALLOONISTS
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...
PROVIDES UNIQUE VIEW FOR WHALE SCIENTISTS
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."
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ADS-B VIA STC FOR GA IS DOA
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...
SENSING SKIN FOR AIRCRAFT
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.
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.
SURVIVES CRASH INTO BUILDING
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.
"FLYING CAR" LSA-APPROVED
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
Related Content: More...
CHANGE AT FLYING: MAYA CHARLES OUT, GOYER IN
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.
CO Experts Low-Level Carbon
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EUROPEAN RULES TARGET U.S. PILOTS, AIRCRAFT
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...
DROPPING SUIT AGAINST NAFI
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.
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
subscriptions today by clicking
here and choosing "Update E-mail Subscriptions."
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INSIDER BLOG: OLD MYTHS DIE HARD
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
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OF THE WEEK: LAWRENCEVILLE/BRUNSWICK MUNICIPAL AIRPORT (KLVL,
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
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 Best Way to Predict the Future Is to Create
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YEARS AND NOW 15 GRAND GIVEAWAYS ... IT'S YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A
LIGHTSPEED ZULU HEADSET
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
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.)
entries is 11:59pm Zulu time October 15, 2010.
Click here to read the contest rules and
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
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...