Looking for the Perfect Gift for Your Favorite Pilot? (Maybe You?)
Just visit any Lightspeed Aviation dealer between now and December 24 and receive $50 off the retail price of any Lightspeed headset. Not only will this be a
happy holiday; this is the gift that will keep on giving on every future flight. For more information about all Lightspeed Aviation headsets,
Volunteer pilots flying with Bahamas Habitat, in partnership with Servants in Faith and Technology, are actively fighting the cholera epidemic in Haiti and seeking new recruits. The group is
delivering water filtration and purification systems that serve as a front-line effort to stem the tide of the disease. Cholera has already taken more than 1,700 lives in Haiti since an outbreak began
there Oct. 21, according to the United Nations. Bahamas Habitat pilots have so far delivered enough purification units to clean water for more than 34,000 people. Larger, community-oriented
purification systems weigh about 26 pounds each and, due to their size, multiple units can be loaded on most small aircraft. Each aircraft also usually carries multiple one-pound single-dwelling
filtration units. The flights are funded by donations and the organization is seeking volunteer pilots (and aircraft) to continue the work.
Bahamas Habitat describes itself as a U.S.-based Christian nonprofit that supports housing and disaster relief work in the
Bahamas and Caribbean. In 2010, the National Aeronautic Association recognized the organization with the Public Benefit
Flying Outstanding Achievement Award. The organization says it flew more than 400 missions to Haiti following the earthquake there. It plans to support the water-purification delivery program
throughout 2011 and is seeking contributions and volunteer pilots. (Contact Cameron@bahamashabitat.org.)
Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Co.: Your Holiday Superstore! Aircraft Spruce has an excellent selection of portable GPS, pilot supplies, headsets, avionics, instruments, wheels, tires, oil, filters, books, DVDs, and aviation software. Within the Pilot
Supply section of their web site, a gift section is available to help with your holiday purchases. View in dollar increments of $30, $50, $100, $200, or $500 or view based on product type to
select from desk pen sets, headsets, clocks, apparel, games, and more. Aircraft Spruce gift cards are also available in any denomination and can include a custom note for your recipient. Call
1 (877) 4‑SPRUCE or
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DCGA), India, has recommended "appropriate action" against the crew of an Air India Express Boeing 737-800 after a copilot's seat adjustment led to the
rapid loss of 5,000 feet and his own panic. No one was injured in the May 26 incident that involved 113 passengers, but the DCGA report states the copilot was not trained for the situation. The
situation was that the aircraft was cruising at 37,000 feet in fully automated flight en route to Pune out of Dubai, when the 39-year-old captain stepped out of the cockpit for a trip to the restroom.
The 25-year-old copilot then adjusted his seat forward and inadvertently pushed the control column. That initiated the descent and, according to the DCGA, the copilot's subsequent actions (which may
have involved adjustments to the autopilot) did not correct the situation but instead caused the aircraft to roll from level. Meanwhile, the captain was locked outside of the cockpit trying to gain
The copilot later told the DCGA that he "got in a panic situation." At that point, he was unable to correct the flight condition and unable to open the cockpit door. Finding the copilot
unresponsive, the captain used an emergency code to gain access to the cockpit. The captain then initiated steps to recover the aircraft, but the DCGA found some of his inputs (pulling back on the
yoke) conflicted with those being applied by the copilot (who was pushing forward). According to ExpressIndia.com, the DCGA concluded that "the incident occurred due to inadvertent handling of the control column in fully automated mode by the copilot, which got compounded as
he was not trained to recover the aircraft in automated mode."
A Cessna M337B Skymaster that crashed in Avon Park, Fla., last month while on a military training exercise lost its right wing prior to hitting the ground, the NTSB said this week. All three on board, who were civilian pilots, died in the crash. In its preliminary report,
the NTSB said the crew was returning to the Avon Park airport, which serves as an auxiliary field for MacDill Air Force Base, at about 9 p.m. local time, after the weather began to deteriorate. Rain
and clouds were reported near the accident site. The airplane was originally built in 1967 as an O-2A for the U.S. Air Force. In February, a 337 crashed in New Jersey after a wing separated shortly after takeoff, killing all five on board.
The February crash prompted the FAA to issue an Airworthiness
Directive about a wing-modification kit that had been used on that airplane. FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen told Tampa Bay Online that investigators have not yet determined
if the Avon Park aircraft had been modified. At Avon Park, two sections of the right wing were found northwest of the impact crater, the outboard wing tip and aileron about 800 feet away and another
section of the wing with part of a flap at a distance of about 330 feet. William Waldock, who teaches crash investigation at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, told Tampa Bay Online the weather
didn't seem to be violent enough to cause structural failure. The NTSB investigation is continuing.
Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Safe Pilot? Challenge yourself with the Air Safety Institute Safety Quiz, underwritten by the AOPA Insurance Agency.
Thielert Aircraft Engines GmbH says it has returned to profitability, improved its engines and is now seeking investors to continue its revival. "It is a very good time to start seeking a new
investor," said Bruno M. Kubler, the government-appointed bankruptcy administrator who took over Thielert in 2008 when the company went under due to financial mismanagement and, in part, deteriorating
aircraft market conditions. But now, says Kubler, the market is improving "and the big players are starting to invest again in order to take part in this upswing." Kubler was evidently referring to
world credit markets, not aircraft sales, which continue in the doldrums worldwide. Thielert, by the way, has a separate marketing arm called Centurion and this company and name has become the brand
nameplate of the engines. But we're told that Thielert GmBh continues to operate under its original name.
After its initial reorganization in 2008, Thielert's attempt to find investors yielded no results because of the global financial crisis. Further, the company's sales dipped as Diamond Aircraft,
the principle civil buyer of its engines, turned to its own engine supplier, Austro, to provide engines for the popular DA42 light twin. Thielert has a significant military market in supplying engine
for UAVs, but it's not known if this is sufficient to sustain the business.
As of last September, said Thielert, 3000 of its engines were operating worldwide, making it the most successful aircraft diesel in history. The lifetime of the Centurion 2.0 engine was recently
increased to 1500 hours and clutch and gearbox lifespans were extended to 600 hours. Although the gearbox and clutch lifespans still fall short of what Thielert promised two years after the engine was
introduced, the company now claims net operating costs and efficiency are better than ever.
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The FAA has approved the TKS ice-protection system for Quest Aircraft's Kodiak turboprop, just in time for winter flying. The TKS system, which is approved for flight into known icing (FIKI), is
manufactured by CAV Aerospace. "Ice protection ... will greatly enhance the aircraft's safety and dispatch reliability," said Quest CEO Paul Schaller. "We have seen interest from all of our key market
segments, including personal use, Part 135 operations, government, corporate, special operations and humanitarian organizations." The TKS system works by "weeping" glycol-based fluid through
laser-drilled microscopic holes. It protects wing leading edges as well as tail surfaces, landing gear, struts, and the windshield and propeller. The system can be retrofitted to any of the Kodiak
The Kodiak is a 10-seat single-engine turboprop designed for rugged backcountry use, and can fly with wheels or floats. Powered by a Pratt & Whitney PT6 turbine engine, the Kodiak can take off in
less than 1,000 feet at full gross weight. Three-panel Garmin G1000 avionics are standard equipment. Quest Aircraft Co., based in Sandpoint, Idaho, was established in 2001 and started deliveries in
2007. CAV Aerospace, based in Salina, Kan., has installed more than 6,000 icing systems on a variety of aircraft.
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If you're looking for unique holiday gifts for the aviator on your list, or compiling a list of your own, plenty of options have been flowing into the AVweb inbox. Bonham's auction house in
Oxford is selling a pair of wooden photograph cases made from one of the main spars of the tri-plane flown by Manfred Von Reichthofen, known as the "Red Baron," in World War I. The airplane was shot down in April
1918. The two cases will be auctioned on Dec. 7 and are expected to sell for about $600 to $900. Build A Plane is holding an online auction to support its efforts to help kids learn about aviation and science by building their own
airplanes. Bidders can find special passes to EAA AirVenture, a Garmin GPS, a Bahamas weekend and more. The auction continues until Dec. 17, with new items listed every day.
Memberships to your local aviation museum make great gifts while supporting a worthy cause. The National Air & Space Museum offers memberships from $35 up to $10,000, including a magazine subscription, and at the upper levels, private tours and
invitations to special events. Airship Ventures offers special prices this month on gift certificates for flights aboard its
California-based Zeppelin. The company also has a pilot-for-a-day program coming up Dec. 7 and 8 at Moffett
Field, near San Francisco. Participants must have a pilot rating and a current medical. They will attend ground school and take a turn flying the giant airship.
A Canadian landing-gear manufacturer may have spilled the beans that Dassault is moving forward with a new business jet design. Montreal-based Heroux-Devtek announced to the Canadian Press
last week that it had won a contract to design, build and help certify gear for the as-yet unannounced bizjet. "It's a recognition by another world leader that Heroux-Devtek can design, develop and
build aircraft landing gear so it's a great win for us," company CEO Gilles Labbe told CP. Dassault has not yet confirmed the project but it's likely a revival of the super midsize SMS project that
was announced in 2007 and shelved in 2009.
The SMS would compete in the $20 million to $30 million bracket and is a replacement for the out-of-production Falcon 50. Aviation analyst Richard Aboulafia, of the Teal Group, said the
announcement is another indication that a long-awaited recovery is coming and called the contract a "nice win" for Heroux-Devtek, which has earned several prestigious deals recently. It will build the
gear for the Learjet 85, Embraer Legacy 450 and 550 as well as Sikorsky's CH-53K heavy lift helicopter.
Not many business jets that collide with airliners at 37,000 feet are repaired and returned to service but that appears to be the outcome for the Embraer Legacy 600 that contacted a GOL Boeing 737
over Brazil on Sept. 29, 2006. The collision resulted in the loss of the 737 and the deaths of all 154 on board but the Legacy pilots, who were on a delivery flight from the Embraer factory to New
York, managed to land the damaged bizjet safely at a military airfield in the jungle. The tragedy resulted in a protracted legal and diplomatic squabble that might not be over yet. The Legacy,
however, lives on. It was flown to Cleveland, Ohio, on Nov. 19, minus the winglet it lost in the collision, where it will
undergo extensive repairs.
The aircraft has been re-registered N965LL from N600XL and is owned by a Delaware company called Cloudscape, Inc. The aircraft was flown to the U.S. in the livery of its former owner Excelaire, of
Long Island, N.Y. Unconfirmed reports say the otherwise brand-new Legacy will get a new wing and a thorough check before returning to service. In the collision, the Legacy's left winglet hit the
leading edge of the left wing of the 737, resulting in the failure of the wing and loss of control, followed by in-flight breakup.
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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!
information, visit online.
That's what the F-35 has been, but it may not stay that way. The Pentagon will certainly take some cuts, and the F-35 is a $382 billion target of opportunity. But it's also something else: Very
likely the last major manned fighter we'll see for a while and maybe forever. Paul Bertorelli has more in his latest post to the AVweb Insider blog.
This environmental group is seen as the main heavy in the struggle to find a replacement for 100LL, but it is in fact just one of many players. On the plus side, the Friends' petition and
maybe a lawsuit against the EPA may finally push the lead issue in one direction or another, ending the uncertainty over future fuels. That, says Paul Bertorelli on the AVweb Insider
blog, is not a bad thing.
If so, AVweb and Aviation Consumer would like to talk to you about your experiences using unleaded mogas. Also, if you're an FBO and you're already selling mogas or you're thinking
about it, we would like to hear from you.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.
Get Them While They're Hot!
Order the Light Plane Maintenance Toolbox CD now and get over two years of issues in searchable PDF format! Find out how much money you can save on annuals and overhauls!
AVweb reader Howard Schur discovered the value of a good FBO when he paid a visit to ProJet Aviation at Leesburg
Executive Airport at Godfrey Field (KJYO) in Leesburg, Virginia recently:
I was arriving after hours (10pm), and they told me to take my time. I needed a rental car, [and] when I landed, Mike was there with flashlights to show me where to park, and the rental car was
waiting on the tarmac. By the way, I have a Cessna 340, not a Gulfstream but was treated like I had a jet.
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"
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Where has the time gone? Our 15th anniversary year is almost over, and that means we've come to our 15th (and final) "Grand Giveaway." If you haven't already, register for one final chance to
win as we give away a Garmin aera 510 handheld GPS. All you have to do is click here to enter your
name and e-mail address. (You must be a registered AVweb user; if you've entered any of our previous 15 Grand Giveaways drawings, you'll automatically be considered for the aera no
need to enter again.)
Remember: We won't rent or sell your name, ever. Tell your friends, and invite them to sign up for AVweb so they can enter this final 15 Grand
Giveaways drawing. (We won't spam them, either but do we hope they will sign up for our newsletters.)
Deadline for entries is 11:59pm Zulu time Sunday, December 19.
Each week, we go through dozens (and sometimes hundreds) of reader-submitted photos and pick the very best to share with you on Thursday mornings. The top photos are featured on
AVweb's home page, and one photo that stands above the others is awarded an AVweb baseball cap as our "Picture of the Week." Want to see your photo on
AVweb.com? Click here to submit it to our weekly contest.
Jay Tolbert of Everett, WA
Keith Langdon of Lawton, MI
Oops! We meant to mention this last week, but our "POTW" of November 18 had two very different photos transposed. Thanks to everyone who pointed it out and hearty discouragement
to everyone who suggested aerobatic pilot Jeff Boerboon swap out his Extra for a Ford trimotor.
We're still digging out from under a backlog, but our regular "POTW" feature will return on Monday. Watch for a slideshow update over the weekend.
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.
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Publisher Timothy Cole
Editorial Director, Aviation Publications Paul Bertorelli
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