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Volume 16, Number 42
October 18, 2010
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AVflash! What to Watch for in the Skies of the Futureback to top 
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Bombardier didn't wait for NBAA to announce two new aircraft aimed at the ultra-long-range, large-cabin market. The Global 7000 and Global 8000 aircraft are extensions of the Global series that currently rests with the XRS model. Bombardier announced Saturday that the 8000 model, due for delivery in 2017, will be the longest-range aircraft in its class. The eight-seat aircraft will have a 7,900-nm range, making Hong Kong-New York and L.A.-Sydney flights available nonstop. The larger cabin (10-seat) 7000 will be available in 2016 and go 7,300 nm. Top cruise is listed as .9 Mach for both, slightly less than the Gulfstream G650, which is projected to do .925 in hurry-up mode. More...

As unmanned aerial vehicles inevitably find their way into the National Airspace System, both the FAA and other airspace users worry that these remotely piloted aircraft can't see other traffic the way a human pilot can. The reality, says the Air Force, is that the current generation of UAVs may be able to see traffic better than a human pilots because of sophisticated sensors that operate in both the visual and infrared spectrums. Recall that in a previous story, we reported that the Air Force and FAA are jousting over how best to fit UAVs into the airspace system, especially in North Dakota, where the service has six Predators stationed awaiting deployment for training. The Air Force proposed a 35- by 45-mile restricted area in which to operate the drones, but the FAA has pushed back against the airspace grab, arguing for more deliberation. Brig. General Leon Rice told AVweb that the Air Force actually doesn't favor a restricted area as a means of integrating UAVs into the airspace, but would like to eventually move to a more normal "file-and-fly" stance, something the FAA isn't ready to approve. Specially designated UAV MOAs are also on the table. Rice says that those who worry about the see-and-avoid issue may not know that the current generation of UAVs have two sensor balls, one for ground scanning and one for scanning the airspace. Each has a dedicated human operator. More...

Pilatus PC-12 NG
Exhilaration: Found
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Pilatus. Destination: Found
Welcome to the Working Weekback to top 

Machinists employed by Hawker Beechcraft have rejected a new seven-year contract, raising questions about the company's future in Wichita. The workers voted 55 percent against the deal, which would have cut their pay by 10 percent and raised their health insurance premiums. "It was just a bad contract. Everything. Wages, insurance and everything else was just bad," sheet metal worker Gerald Church told the Wichita Eagle A new contract was a condition of a state incentive package aimed at keeping the company and its 6,000 employees in Wichita in the face of an attempt by Louisiana to lure the company there. However, some employees leaving the voting said it was their belief that the contract would just delay the inevitable and that Hawker Beechcraft has already decided to move. Hawker Beechcraft CEO Bill Boisture didn't directly address the company's future in Wichita. "The company will continue exploring all options and making a series of business decisions in order to remain profitable and competitive in this smaller market," Boisture said. More...

Nine major U.S. airlines could collectively post $2.4 billion in profits, a record for the third quarter, according to, while the DOT's workforce figures through August haven't recorded much positive change. AirlineFinancials predicts the airlines will post average net profit margins of 7.2 percent in the third quarter, with combined revenue figures near $33 billion. Those would be the second-highest revenue figures in history. Delta Air Lines will lead the pack, according to the analysts, with $8.8 billion in revenue, translating to roughly $740 million in profits. Meanwhile, preliminary data generated by the Department of Transportation showed a reduction of 1 percent in U.S. airlines' overall workforce from August 2009 to August 2010. Employment figures were up slightly from July to August of this year, when they grew from 563,570 to 564,055, but were down from August '09's figure of 569,477. As with their profits, Delta stood out for workforce growth -- but there are other very significant factors to consider. More...

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Trials and Travails of Flying Abroadback to top 

European pilots flying under FAA certificates and with N-registered aircraft have a couple of months of breathing room in which to press their case against proposed rule changes they believe will seriously damage general aviation in Europe. A conciliation committee between the European Union Commission and the national governments has delayed until December a decision on rule changes put forth by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The rules would have essentially eliminated the longstanding practice of thousands of pilots maintaining and operating GA aircraft under American regulations. The meeting was held in private and there are no transcripts or minutes available to the public, but the delay itself is seen as a hopeful sign. More...

Reports from China Friday state that authorities there have approved guidelines to reform low-altitude airspace management over the next five to 10 years with the goal of encouraging the development of general aviation. Under the guidelines, low altitude is defined by airspace below 1,000 meters (general aviation advocates had pushed for a 3,000-meter boundary). The reform would provide non-military aircraft access to that airspace with relaxed restrictions. Other than on specified commercial routes, non-military and non-airline flights over mainland China are otherwise controlled by the air force. Shanghai Securities News reported that the new guidelines call for two trial flight control zones to "be deepened," first -- one near Shenyang and one near Guangzhou -- followed by a staged nationwide rollout of low-altitude airspace reform beginning in 2011. Details about precisely how pilots would gain access to the airspace, and through what governing body, are still scarce, and there are lingering skeptics among the hopeful. More...

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News Briefsback to top 

Six companies, including Lockheed Martin and a division of Pratt & Whitney, have won 12-month contracts for early phase development studies of a semi-autonomous "Transformer" vehicle that aims to combine the "HumVee" with the helicopter. The Transformer, or TX program, aims to develop a "robust ground vehicle" that has vertical takeoff and landing capability and is good for 250 nautical miles of air, land or combined air/land travel. It also aims to do that while carrying 1,000 pounds of troops and gear (roughly four soldiers) and being non-pilot friendly. According to DARPA, such a vehicle could escape "trafficable terrain," making vehicular troop movement less predictable and more flexible. Such an aircraft will require the incorporation or development of significant technologies, and that's what the program's first-phase contract winners will set out to research. More...

Charges were brought against pilot Warren Saunders after he admitted to police that he dropped from his aircraft three rolls of toilet paper that landed near the active athletic fields of a New Jersey middle school, Wednesday evening. The toilet paper rolls were not dry when they reached the ground, though authorities seem to believe they were dry when they left the aircraft. "They apparently got wet on the way down," Westwood Police Chief Frank Regino told local newspaper the Cliffview Pilot. Parents of soccer players who were using the field for practice at the time of the incident called police. Sixty-year-old Saunders' drop was meant to be a practice run for a second drop he'd planned for Saturday. More...

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The $99 Moving MapWingX Pro7 Moving Map for iPad is now available for your iPad. See your location on the approach chart; Approach Charts and Airport Diagrams are now geo-referenced*, and all are stored right on the iPad! WingX Pro7's interactive moving map displays Class B, C, and D airspaces; animated weather images; A/FD; AOPA Directory with Yelp integration; route planning, FARs, METARS, TAFS, winds, and temperatures aloft; TFRs' text and graphics; an E6B; and more. WingX is also available for Windows Mobile, Blackberry, and Android. Click here for more information.
Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

The iPad ought to be the best cockpit gadget ever — and although there are some great apps out there (and more coming), it somehow falls short. On the AVweb Insider blog, iPad lover wannabe Paul Bertorelli explains why. Read more and join the conversation. More...

Rediscover Jet City!
Make King County International Airport/Boeing Field your flight destination! Conveniently located just 5 miles from downtown Seattle, KBFI is positioned in the center of the growing economy of the Puget Sound region, serving as a hub for business travel, private jets, and general aviation travel. Partner with aviation experts when you fly to Seattle. Make your destination King County International Airport/Boeing Field! For more information, visit online.
AVweb's NBAA Coverage This Weekback to top 

National Business Aviation Association President Ed Bolen says this year's convention will be "upbeat" with some major announcements and a growing sense of optimism. He spoke with AVweb's Russ Niles. 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

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

Aviation Consumer's Jeff Van West took a closer look at the descendant to the Found Aircraft Bushhawk XP. More...

Light Plane Maintenance Toolbox CD
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Help Us Celebrate AVweb's 15th Anniversaryback to top 

CLICK HERE to Register for All 15 

Now's your chance to win 100,000 Air BP Bravo Rewards Points — there are more than 45 million reward options available through the Bravo program — 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 Friday, November 5.

Click here to read the contest rules and enter.


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Doing the same thing and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. Isn't it time to initiate a digital marketing program with AVweb that will deliver traffic and orders directly to your web site? Discover several new and highly successful marketing options to use in lieu of static print or banner campaigns. Click now for details.
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb reader Charlie Tipton attended Edwards Air Force Base's recent GA fly-in on the Rosamond Lakebed — and while he didn't get us the proverbial "lousy t-shirt," he dropped a fantastic gift on us when he mentioned his trip blog in this week's FBO nominations. (In fact, we'd better stop reading and get back to work!)

Having visited 29 airports in 37 states on his cross-country flight to Edwards, you could say Charlie conducted his own version of our "FBO of the Week" contest. "There were other FBOs who are also did a super job," he writes, but "my personal, hands-down winner is" — drumroll, please — American Airports at Gen. William J. Fox Air Field (KWJF) in Lancaster, California.

Charlie writes:

Within minutes of our first meeting, manager Steve Irving gave me unsolicited complimentary hangar space to ensure that my [L-16A] warbird didn't get rained on with the unexpected storms that were brewing in the area the night before the big event. At the time, I didn't even know there was a potential threat, but it sure came to pass that night. He also provided personal transportation to a Lancaster hotel when I unexpectedly arrived the second time after weather forced me to return there following the fly-in — and he again offered the hangar space. His staff, including Mark, Rick, Ken and others, went out of their way to ensure that all my needs were met. ... They were available 24/7, and, no matter what shift was on duty, their service was uniformly consistent. Perhaps the most enjoyable aspect was sharing in the aviation camaraderie that was pervasive throughout the operation and particularly evident at lunch or breaks taken in the wonderful Foxy's airport restaurant, where waitress Brandy and others quickly made me feel like one of the long-time regulars.

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!


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

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...

The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 


Overheard flying into Reno for the air races this year, about a TFR for a fire about 100 miles east of the city:

Cessna Pilot to Oakland Center:
"Cessna XXX checking in. VFR 8,500."

Oakland Center:
"Be advised your present route will take you into a TFR about 20 miles ahead of you."

Cessna Pilot:
"O.K. We're looking —"

Art Andersen
via e-mail


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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