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Volume 16, Number 49b
December 9, 2010
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AVflash! It's a Whole New World Out Thereback to top 

FlightPrep, an Oregon company that received a patent for online flight planning, has apparently started charging royalty fees to other services doing the same thing and the result may be that some of the most popular services will shut down rather than pay the fees or try to fight them. At least one online chart and planning service, SkyVectors, has decided to eat the unspecified costs and continue business as usual, with a note on its charts referencing a licensing agreement with FlightPrep. Other providers are reportedly in the process of being contacted by FlightPrep. The patent appears to cover the basic functions of every online flight planner we've come across and FlightPrep's apparent willingness to enforce it raises inevitable questions about their future availability and cost. After-hours calls and e-mails to FlightPrep were not immediately returned but we hope to talk to them. More...

The age of truly private access to space arrived Wednesday as SpaceX's Dragon capsule was launched from Cape Canaveral, orbited twice and splashed down on target in the Pacific west of Mexico. After many delays, the California company's Falcon booster appeared to perform flawlessly in a many-billion-dollars gambit that is predicted to lead to the routine commercialization of space launches. "It's just mind-blowingly awesome. I apologize, and I wish I was more articulate, but it's hard to be articulate when your mind's blown - but in a very good way," said an apparently pleased SpaceX CEO Elon Musk after the capsule, which eventually may carry up to 20,000 pounds of astronauts and cargo to the International Space Station settled comfortably into the Pacific under three parachutes. More...

View Trade-A-Plane's New Edition
at No Cost on Your Mobile Device!

Just enter Search for aircraft (hourly updates). Find companies, products, and services. Locate dealers/brokers. Call or e-mail sellers, and click directly to their web sites. With our web and mobile editions, you can view all of our ads at no cost, all the time! Call (800) 337-5263, or visit us online.
Talking Trainingback to top 

The FAA held a two-day meeting this week to hear the public's views about the biennial renewal process now used for certified flight instructors to maintain their currency. The current process, which requires that instructors must either meet certain training criteria or complete a flight-instructor refresher course every two years, "may lack sufficient effectiveness in ensuring that CFIs are being provided the best information in the most useful manner," the FAA said. At this week's forum, the FAA said it doesn't expect to change its rules anytime soon, according to Jason Blair, executive director of the National Association of Flight Instructors. "The discussion was focused on continually improving the quality of material that flight instructors encounter in their renewal process," he said. More...

Save $50 on What You Really Want This Year 
... A Lightspeed Aviation Headset
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, go to
Aviation Safety Reportsback to top 

The operators of a helicopter working under contract for the U.S. Forest Service provided falsified weight documents and performance charts to their flight crews, the NTSB said on Tuesday. As a result, a Sikorsky S-61N helicopter was more than 1,000 pounds overweight when it tried to take off from a mountaintop clearing at about 6,000 feet near Weaverville, Calif., in August 2008. The helicopter was airborne less than a minute when it crashed and caught fire; one pilot and eight firefighters were killed and four others on board were seriously injured. Carson Helicopters, based in Grants Pass, Ore., now faces a federal criminal investigation, according to the Wall Street Journal. "Carson engaged in a bargain that violated the trust of their crewmembers, the firefighters that they carried onboard, and the aviation industry," said NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman. More...

John Taylor, a Continental Airlines worker who installed a piece of titanium on a DC-10 that later allegedly fell off and punctured a tire on a Concorde jet, was found guilty on Monday of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to 15 months jail time by a French court. The suspended sentence is "absurd," Continental said in a statement. "We strongly disagree with the court's verdict regarding Continental Airlines and John Taylor and will of course appeal this absurd finding," the statement read. The court also fined the airline $268,000 and ordered it to pay $1.3 million to Air France. Taylor's former supervisor and three French officials were also tried on charges of involuntary manslaughter, but were found not guilty. More...

Fishermen have found the wreckage of a balloon basket with the remains of missing U.S. balloon pilots Richard Abruzzo and Carol Rymer Davis, more than two months after they went missing while crossing the Adriatic Sea. An Italian trawler brought the basket up in a net while trawling, about 12 miles from shore and six miles from the balloon's last known location. The two pilots were competing in the Gordon Bennett international balloon race when contact was lost on September 29. Rough seas and thunderstorms were reported in the area at the time, and radar data showed the hydrogen balloon plummeting toward the sea at about 50 mph. The Italian Coast Guard searched for the team for six days. More...

Prop Strike? Contamination? Lightning 
Strike? When the Unexpected Requires Engine Teardown, Rely on TCM 
Factory Services
Prop Strike? Contamination? Lightning Strike?
When the unexpected requires engine teardown, rely on TCM Factory Services.

Click here for more information.
News Briefsback to top 

GE Aviation's new H80 turboprop engine has completed its first flight on the Thrush 510G crop duster, the company announced this week. The flight took place Nov. 23, in Albany, Ga. "This is a historic moment, with the Thrush 510G being the first application for the new H80 engine, and the first North American new engine installation for the M601 engine family," said Brad Mottier, general manager of the company's business and general aviation division. The first flight lasted 30 minutes. The aircraft has already logged an additional five hours and has achieved experimental certification from the FAA, the company said. More...

Piper Meridian || (866) FLY-PIPER
The New Meridian G1000 — Commanding
The new Meridian G1000 with Garmin G1000 avionics and GFC 700 autopilot suite, business jet luxury and turbine simplicity for 30% less than any comparable six-place turbine-powered aircraft. With a panel as commanding as the airplane, and a million dollars less than its closest competitor, "Pilot in Command" means precisely that.

Click here for more information on the Piper Meridian G1000.
What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Weekback to top 

The Middle East Business Aviation show got under way in Dubai on Tuesday and organizers are expecting a 30-percent increase in attendance from the 2008 edition. About 7,000 people are expected to attend. There are about 250 exhibitors and most of the bizjet OEMs are there. Bombardier has five aircraft, Cessna eight, Hawker Beechcraft four, and Embraer brought its new Legacy 650 along with a Lineage 1000 and a Legacy 600. Embraer released a report saying the Mideast business jet fleet will double to 600 in the next 10 years and be worth $11 billion to the industry. Al Bateen, the region's only executive airport, is getting ready for the increased traffic. More...

Although some forecasters predicted a long-awaited recovery in the business aviation industry sometime in 2011, Forecast International's latest analysis says the decline will continue through the coming year and not turn around until 2012. "The business jet market is not yet in recovery, but the worst of the market downturn is over," said Raymond Jaworowski, the firm's senior aerospace analyst. "Order intake remains sluggish, but the massive wave of order cancellations and delivery deferrals experienced in late 2008 and much of 2009 has receded. The market is no longer in freefall." He said backlogs have declined sharply due to cancellations and deferrals but there are orders to keep the scaled-back operations at most OEMs on life support. 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.

Add AVwebBiz to your AVweb subscriptions today by clicking here and choosing "Update E-mail Subscriptions."


GAMI - General Aviation Modifications, Inc. 
|| Engineering the Future of General Aviation
Over 19,000 Happy GAMIjectors® Customers Can't Be Wrong!
GAMIjectors® have given these aircraft owners reduced cylinder head temperatures, reduced fuel consumption, and smoother engine operation. GAMIjectors® alter the fuel/air ratio in each cylinder so that each cylinder operates with a much more uniform fuel/air ratio than occurs with any other factory set of injectors. To speak to a GAMI engineer, call (888) FLY‑GAMI, or go online for complete engineering details.
Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

For reasons never very clear, government agencies drag their feet when asked to release the most mundane information. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli relates the experience of one owner trying to do his own due diligence in following the FAA's fuel approvals policy. If you're guessing he hit a brick wall, you'd be right. Why aren't government agencies kinder to and more cooperative with their citizens they're supposed to serve? Read more and join the conversation. More...

WingX Pro 7 || Moving Map for the iPad || 
Hilton Software
WingX Pro7 Moving Map for iPad!
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.
We Ask, You Answerback to top 

SpaceX has successfully launched, orbited and recovered a space capsule. Is the privatization of space a good thing?

Plus: Last week, we asked AVweb readers if they've ever lied (white or otherwise) on their medicals; click through to read how they answered. More...

Bonus Depreciation Stories and Resources 
Fantastic Pricing and Tax Incentives make 2010 an ideal time to buy or upgrade an aircraft. We've compiled special offers on new or used planes, avionics, engines and more on the resource page. The pricing, rebates or incentives are available to everyone. Consult your tax advisor regarding the potential bonus depreciation benefits, and check our resources page for stories, podcasts, and videos related to bonus depreciation.
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

Everyone complains that light sport aircraft are too expensive, but Kitfox is doing something about it. AVweb recently went to Homedale, Idaho to try out Kitfox's new moderately priced LSA. Here's a full video report. More...

Light Plane Maintenance Toolbox CD
Is Your A&P Keeping Secrets?
Learn to recognize maintenance issues and take action before they turn into something big. The Light Plane Maintenance Toolbox shows you how.

Click here to order now.
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Eagles of America at Moultrie Municipal Airport (KMGR) in Moultrie, Georgia.

AVweb reader Larry King thought "Alan Mathis and his people deserve this recognition," and after reading Larry's account of his trip, we agree:

Upon my arrival at Moultrie on November 27, I was greeted by name by the lineman with an offer to refuel and place my plane in their hangar for my overnight stay. They had my rental car waiting on the tarmac, and when they felt they had delayed my departure the next morning, they insisted on giving me three quarts of Aeroshell Oil for any inconvenience. Even though I was flying a Cessna 170, I received Citation service.

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 

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.

Click here to read the contest rules and enter.

Congratulations to Robert Yocum of Blain, Pennsylvania, who won an iFly 700 GPS from Adventure Pilot in our previous giveaway! (click here to get your own iFly 700)


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...

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.