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Volume 16, Number 41b
October 14, 2010
Aircraft Spruce at the Copperstate Regional 
EAA Fly-In || October 21-23, 2010
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AVflash! How Many Hours Does a Co-Pilot Need?back to top 
Sponsor Announcement
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The FAA's aviation safety bill passed earlier this year, but a new report suggests the included prerequisite 1,500 hours flight experience for commercial airline copilots may not be necessary. An FAA advisory committee led by a regional airline official has proposed that 500 actual flight hours may be enough. Language in the safety legislation says that the FAA Administrator "may allow specific academic training courses ... to be credited toward the total flight hours required." The committee suggests that through an elaborate structure of training courses, up to two-thirds of the safety law's required 1,500 flight hours could be satisfied with other credited training. The proposal is merely a recommendation and it is not clear that there is any wiggle room in other language that specifically imposes the flight hours requirement. Meanwhile, the proposal has reignited the total hours versus quality-of-training argument. And pilot groups, industry voices and safety advocates are weighing in. More...

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Amazing Aviation Around (and Above) the Worldback to top 

As recently as last weekend, a Red Bull Stratos team member told AVweb all was going well and the jump was planned for this year, but on Tuesday the team said the project is on hold pending the resolution of a lawsuit. The Stratos team announced early this year that it would launch a helium balloon to 120,000 feet, where Felix Baumgartner would jump out and return to Earth by parachute, to beat the longstanding free-fall record held by Col. Joe Kittinger. On Tuesday, a brief news release said that "Red Bull GmbH and Red Bull North America, Inc., have decided to stop the Red Bull Stratos program with immediate effect." A lawsuit was filed in April in Los Angeles Superior Court by Daniel Hogan, who says that in 2004 he pitched the idea to Red Bull to break Kittinger's record, and the company talked with him about the project for a year before backing out. In its statement, Red Bull said it has "acted appropriately ... and will demonstrate this as the case progresses."

Red Bull's statement continues: "Despite the fact that many other people over the past 50 years have tried to break Colonel (Ret.) Joe Kittinger's record, and that other individuals have sought to work with Red Bull in an attempt to break his record, Mr. Hogan claims to own certain rights to the project and filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit earlier this year in a Californian court. ... Due to the lawsuit, we have decided to stop the project until this case has been resolved." According to Courthouse News, Hogan claims he pitched the idea to Red Bull as a "marriage of daredevil, record-breaking 'stuntsmanship' and cutting-edge technology." He assembled a team including balloonist Per Lindstrand, a Russian company that would develop the spacesuit, two medical professionals and a filmmaker. Red Bull spokesperson Maddy Stephens told AVweb on Tuesday: "It is not a unique idea to beat an existing world record (especially when it is 50 years old). The challenge is to actually beat it. Otherwise, we do not comment on pending litigation." More...

An I.T. specialist in Kenya, Gabriel Nderitu, spent six months researching aircraft on the Internet and one year building what he hopes may become a true Kenyan homebuilt flying machine. 42-year-old Nderitu cites a boyhood interest in aviation and says, "So maybe it was a missed career, which I'm trying to re-create." He employed five men to help with welding and assembly. In the end, Nderitu mounted a Toyota engine to his modular airframe. The strutted wing and ailerons are skinned with aluminum sheet. The engine itself turns up to 4,000 rpm, driving a 74-inch wooden propeller through a simple reduction belt drive. Nderitu says "a bit of it was a bit of reinventing the wheel ... not really looking and trying to copy." The aircraft is not yet finished and there is no guarantee Nderitu's craft will ever be licensed, or allowed to fly, or that it is even capable of flight (which seems unlikely). But that may not be the point. (Click through for more and video.) More...

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Event Reportsback to top 

Landing on a dry lakebed can be challenging but exciting, and 98 general aviation pilots got to have that experience this month, thanks to the first-ever GA fly-in at Edwards Air Force Base. "This is a uniquely Edwards event. Only Edwards has lakebed runways," said Maj. Gen. David Eichhorn, Air Force Flight Test Center commander, as he welcomed the arrivals on Oct. 1. Most of the pilots lived in the area, but James Simmons flew in from Connecticut in his Mooney M20, and others arrived from Texas and Michigan. More than 2,000 pilots entered the lottery to win the 100 fly-in slots for the chance to land on the same kind of runway as aviation icons like Scott Crossfield, Chuck Yeager and the space shuttle crews. With passengers and drive-in visitors, the Air Force hosted about 800 people for the all-day event. More...

The America's Challenge gas balloon race launched from Albuquerque last weekend after a tribute to the two pilots lost over the Adriatic Sea last month, and by Monday afternoon all six of the teams had landed safely. The top three teams were all led by female pilots. Race organizers said, "While we haven't had time to do the research, it's almost certain that this is a first in the annals of competitive distance gas ballooning." Barbara Fricke and copilot Peter Cuneo flew the farthest, landing on the east shore of the Detroit River in Windsor, Ontario, on Monday after flying 1,350 miles from their launch point. Unofficial results place Danielle Francoeur and Linda Ellis in second place, with 1,223 miles, and Cheri White and Mark Sullivan third, with 938 miles. One team, Troy Bradley and Shane Robinson, made a precautionary landing in Texas, just 266 miles from the start, after someone on the ground with a rifle fired at them several times. More...

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Pilots 'n Paws 'n — Talons?back to top 

A steppe eagle named Mitch that was wounded in Afghanistan in June and rescued by Navy Seals was delivered via Cirrus SR22 to a bird quarantine site in upstate New York last week. "It was an interesting experience," Cirrus pilot John Williams told AVweb. "It took almost an act of Congress to get this bird back to the U.S." Mitch had been hit after landing on a rifle range, and a wing was damaged so he couldn't be returned to the wild. The Seals and other soldiers at the site adopted him, but knowing they would soon be re-deployed, they worked for several months to find him a new home. Williams picked up Mitch at a general aviation airport near Norfolk, Va., where the bird had hitched a last-minute ride to the U.S. via military transport. "The bird arrived in a dog crate and luckily it fit just perfectly on the back seat of the Cirrus," Williams said. "It was an absolutely stunning, gorgeous bird. Two soldiers had flown over with him to make the handoff, and then had to go straight back to Afghanistan. I was honored to help out." After spending 30 days in quarantine, Mitch will move one more time, to a permanent home with the Berkshire Bird Paradise Sanctuary. More...

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What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Weekback to top 

The European Parliament is expected to vote today or Thursday on whether to essentially cancel some of the privileges of pilots holding FAA certificates in European Union countries. Proposed regulatory changes put forth by the European Aviation Safety Agency would also make it more difficult to operate American-registered aircraft in Europe. In a special edition podcast interview with AVweb, Emmanuel Davidson, vice president of AOPA in France, said the proposals put forth by EASA "represent the greatest threat to general aviation in Europe in the last decade" and virtually all pilot groups and many companies and industry groups are trying to get it derailed. One of the difficulties with that is the measures are hidden in a larger bill of changes deemed positive by most in GA in Europe and the American issues will have to be separated from them. More...

Piper Aircraft has hired a contractor to renovate a 75,000-square-foot building at its Vero Beach headquarters that will become the PiperJet factory. The news is welcome in Vero Beach, where there have been persistent rumors that the company was planning to move. It was purchased by the government of Brunei 18 months ago and now has a presence in that country. The recent announcement of a European sales office further fueled speculation but the announcement of the factory work may quell those fears, even if repeated assurances from Piper brass haven't. "We're committed to Vero Beach for the long haul," Piper VP Randy Groom told TCPalm. More...


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Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

Or was it Oregon? With two moving maps, it all looks the same, says Paul Bertorelli in his latest post to the AVweb Insider blog, in which he explains why the steely-eyed aviator confidence vanishes when the XM WX Satellite Weather stops working. Were we always such wimps, or is this something new? Read more and join the conversation. More...

Normally, we're the first to squawk about heavy-handed and unnecessary FAA regulation, but the agency's proposed rules to tighten down EMS operations is probably a good thing, especially if it gets the industry thinking out how these services are used and, unfortunately, overused. Paul Bertorelli has more thoughts on the AVweb Insider blog. Read more and join the conversation. More...

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

FAA credentials are widely accepted throughout the world, regardless of the requirements of other countries. The European Union is considering invalidating U.S. certificates and aircraft certification standards. Is this a trend, and what should be done about it?

Plus: Last week, we asked AVweb readers what makes an airplane an airplane; click through to view the breakdown of answers. More...

The business aviation world is collectively shining its shoes and pressing its suits for the largest convention dealing specifically with bizav. The National Business Aviation Association Meeting and Convention will be held at the Georgia World Congress convention center from Oct. 19-21 and AVweb will be there to provide a full package of news, video and audio reports on the big show, which, despite the economy, is still a big show. This one is shaping up to be a battle of the heavyweights.

Related Content:

  • We've already heard from many of the exhibitors at NBAA 2010, but if you're planning to be at the show and have announcments you want us to know about, please send your news to

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...

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AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

In the next day or two, the European Parliament will vote on whether to effectively eliminate the flight privileges of pilots holding FAA certificates. AVweb's Russ Niles spoke with AOPA France's Emmanuel Davidson on the impact of the rules being proposed.

This podcast is brought to you by Bose Corporation. More...

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...

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)


Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb reader Bob Klee recently benefited from top-notch service at London-Corbin Airport (KLOZ) in London, Kentucky — and that's why we're naming the facility at L-C our "FBO of the Week." Bob wrote:

[I] called them to say I might not be able to get there before they closed on a Sunday night [and asked], if possible, could they leave a hangar open and keys to the courtesy car hidden somewhere for me. John stayed till I arrived at 7:30, led me to my hangar and helped me with my stuff! ... I've always had good service here, but this was above and beyond. [There are] always friendly, helpful people at this small airport, and they deserve to be recognized. They just flat understand putting the customer first!

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!


Reader-Submitted Photosback to top 

Matthew Kiener of Pottersville, New Jersey tells us the gent traveling on this, um, luxury business jet is "my boy Bobby, on his trip from Maryland to Montana — and my wife got to fly with him!" Click through for more incredible reader-submitted photos. 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.

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