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Volume 16, Number 50a
December 13, 2010
Gifts for Pilots || Sporty's Pilot Shop
The Best Holiday Gifts for Pilots
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Special Reportback to top 

As aviation's leading member organization, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association has become the unchallenged defender and guardian of everything to do with general aviation. But it's also a multi-faceted $60 million business run, in part, as a non-profit organization owned by its members. Thus its tax filings are in the public record. This allows members to access at least some financial data to try to answer this question: Do we get our money's worth? Does the association spend the money wisely? And has it trimmed its balance sheet and expenses to reflect the severe contraction in the industry it advocates? To illuminate this, AVweb obtained and analyzed the association's public IRS tax filings and compared its salary expenditures to the association universe in general. We also posed a series of detailed questions to AOPA senior management, which association president Craig Fuller answered for us in writing and in an extensive interview. He also reacted with sharp postings on his own blog criticizing AVweb's original story on executive salaries, which appeared in early November. More...

AOPA President Craig Fuller says members need easier access to information about the organization's governance and finances and has pledged to make that possible. In direct response to AVweb's enquiries about AOPA finances over the past month and member reaction to his blogs on the subject, Fuller has promised to establish a governance section on the AOPA Web site. "Until now, I thought most people who were interested in AOPA's finances had no trouble finding the information they sought," Fuller wrote. "However,.. a good case has been made for having a "governance section" on our Web site where such information can be easily accessed. We will set that up." More...

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Safety and Securityback to top 

A Canadian human rights panel has ruled that Bombardier violated the rights of a man who was denied flight training because he was on a U.S. list of suspected security threats. One member of the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal said Bombardier should have ignored warnings from the U.S. about Javed Latif, a Canadian of Pakistani origin, and conducted its own assessment of whether Latif posed a threat. Bombardier was ordered to pay Latif $319,000 CAD in compensation. Latif applied in 2004 to train on Challenger 604 business jets at Bombardier's Montreal facility under his U.S. pilot certificate and was rejected after background checks revealed his status as a suspected security threat. He then applied under his Canadian pilot's licence and was rejected again because of the U.S. designation. That's when the rights violation occurred, according to the tribunal. "Those rules do not apply here in Canada, were not adopted here in Canada by Canadian law," said Athanassia Bitzakadis, the lawyer who represented the Quebec Human Rights Commission, which brought the case before the tribunal. "So Bombardier cannot simply refer to those rules to justify a discriminatory decision to refuse to someone a service, a service that they offer to everyone here in Quebec." Latif was taken off the security list in 2008 and has since trained at Bombardier three times. More...

The FAA's mandated re-registration of the civil aviation fleet has caught the attention of the mainstream media, who are reporting it as a response to a security threat. As we reported Oct. 19, all aircraft owners have to re-register. In its notice, the FAA characterized the move as an administrative housekeeping chore because it has lost accurate track of about 100,000 registrations. The FAA now seems to be going along with the security theme offered by the mainstream media. More...

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Cessna Delaysback to top 

Cessna has suspended deliveries of the Corvalis line of high-performance singles after the composite structure of the wing of a newly built aircraft unbonded during the plane's shakedown flight. "During a production flight of a new Corvalis 400, a wing fuel leak was detected," Cessna spokesman Doug Oliver told AVweb. "Working closely with the FAA, we took immediate steps to understand the root cause. We now fully understand the cause and a solution." The FAA issued the emergency airworthiness directive Friday and said seven feet of skin disbonded from the upper forward wing spar. More...

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Meanwhile, in China ...back to top 

A Chinese company has opened an FBO that will focus on Cirrus aircraft but offer traditional services to transient and based aircraft at Zhuhai Airport. The Zhuhai Cirrus FBO is aimed at promoting general aviation activities as China's rules regarding private aviation relax. Zhuhai Tianyi Aviation Trading Co. also bought three SR22s to use at the FBO. The deal, which was a year in the making, will become the focus of Cirrus's activities in that area of China, be a Cirrus Sales Center and offer flying club and Cirrus service, training and import services. "We expect the Zhuhai region to become the center of Cirrus activity in Guangdong Province and the surrounding area," said Scott Jiang, Cirrus's China Director. More...

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News Briefsback to top 

Boston authorities said Friday that at a teenager whose body was found in a Boston suburb last month appeared to have stowed away inside the wheel well of a 737 arriving from Charlotte, N.C. The remains of Delvonte Tisdale, 16, were found in Milton, Mass., below the approach path to Boston's Logan Airport, according to a report in The New York Times. Tisdale was believed to have gotten on the flight in Charlotte, although authorities -- including the TSA -- had no idea how he breached airside security to get to the aircraft. More...

Let's Talk Planes! - U.S. Corporate 
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Explore the latest developments in the U.S. corporate aviation sector. Debate the future of corporate aviation, discuss the latest developments in light jets, explore the air taxi market in the U.S., and network with leading experts as well as business aircraft operators. Meet operators, manufacturers, consultants, bankers, lawyers, airport executives, leasing and financing companies, and other senior professionals with an interest in the development of corporate aviation in the U.S. Learn more.
Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

AVweb recently undertook a review of AOPA salaries and expenses. We're curious how the numbers parse out, but as Paul Bertorelli explains in the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog, that doesn't mean we're at odds with the associatoin. In fact, we think critical reviews make for a stronger association, and that's something we can all benefit from in the current climate. Read more and join the conversation. More...

If ever the stars were aligned for success, Eclipse Aerospace is an example. The investors bought the bankrupt wreckage of the previous company for four cents (or less) on the dollar, they're well on their way to sorting out the EA500's shortcomings, and aerospace giant Sikorsky has bought into the action. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli concedes he may be a kook for thinking this ought to work. Read more and join the conversation. More...

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...

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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...

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...

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Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Executive Air Transport at Muskegon County Airport (KMKG) in Muskegon, Michigan.

AVweb reader Alex Anderegg recommended the FBO for its "excellent service (baggage help, fuel, courtesy car, catering, charter services, etc.)" and told us the folks at EA Transport "deserve to be 'FBO of the Week' because of their deep commitment to great customer service and pilot training."

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!


Traditional Tactics Need a Fresh Approach
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.
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 Lighter Side of Flightback to top 

Gary Dikkers of Madison, Wisconsin always makes it out to the Seaplane Base during EAA AirVenture — and while that always makes us jealous, since we're lucky if we can manage a whirlwind visit in between press conferences and interviews, at least Gary is kind enough to snap some incredible photos. This one earns our latest blue ribbon and leaves us pining for the warm, long afternoons of summer. More...

Overheard in IFR 
Magazine's 'On the Air' Section
Overheard in IFR Magazine's "On the Air"

A student pilot finally spotted the airport after getting multiple vectors.

"Tower, I'd like to make this a touch-and-go and then depart the pattern."

"Oh no! It took so much effort for us to get you here, and now you want to leave right away."

Paul Scott
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.

Aviate. Navigate. Communicate.