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TERMINATES PIPERSPORT RELATIONSHIP
Wednesday, Piper Aircraft
Inc., announced that it will no longer be marketing the PiperSport LSA,
citing "differences in business philosophies," with Czech Republic-based
Czech Sport Aircraft (CSA), the PiperSport's manufacturer. The two
companies had worked together for roughly one year in an arrangement
that had Piper brand a version of CZA's SportCruiser Light Sport
Aircraft as the PiperSport. Piper had created a stand-alone distributor
network to market the plane, but now says its long-term interests are
best served without ties to CSA. Dissolution of the arrangement had
nothing to do with the aircraft, itself. According to Piper, "The
aircraft we were distributing is a good one." More...
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TRAINING INCLUDED IN NEW G.I. BILL
A new version of the G.I.
Bill, which was signed into law last week by President Barack Obama,
could provide funding for veterans who want to pursue flight training,
according to AOPA. "This bill is a big step forward for both active-duty
members of the armed services and for veterans," said Melissa Rudinger,
AOPA's senior vice president of government affairs. Effective Oct. 1,
flight students may be eligible for up to $10,000 per academic year.
However, AOPA noted, Congress will have to pass an additional
appropriation bill before any money is made available for veterans, and
that may not be easy. More...
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GROUPS: AVIATION IS NOT A "MENACE"
NBAA and NATA have both
responded to claims in the current issue of The Atlantic magazine that
private aviation is a "public menace" due to inadequate security
safeguards. In his commentary, Atlantic correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg
says anyone who is rich enough, including a terrorist, can "buy [their]
way out of airport security." Eric Byer, vice president of the National
Air Transportation Association, called the piece "outlandish," with conclusions
based on the writer's "ignorance of general aviation security." NBAA
President Ed Bolen sent a letter to The Atlantic, calling the story
"sensationalist." A "host of initiatives" are in place to protect GA
against terrorist threats, Bolen said. More...
757 IN OVERRUN MISSING A BUSHING
Investigators poring over
the American Airlines Boeing 757-200 that ran off Runway 19 while
landing at Jackson Hole, November 19, have so far found that a bushing
was missing on part of the auto speed brake mechanism. During testing,
investigators found "no discrepancies" in the aircraft's air/ground,
autobrake, and thrust reverser systems. They found the linear actuator
of the auto speed brake mechanism had been "improperly installed." The
actuator resides in the cockpit pedestal and without the bushing, a cam
and switch could become misaligned. The NTSB is investigating system
operation with consideration to that condition. The CVR data has been
transcribed and will be released when the NTSB's public docket is
opened. The NTSB's FDR group has begun the process of mining data and
has released some information. More...
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TEST-FLIES ELECTRIC-POWERED CONTROLS
The Gulfstream G650
flight-test aircraft recently flew for the first time using only an
electrically powered, fly-by-wire backup flight-control actuation
system, the company said this week. "There was no difference in handling
qualities between the electrically and hydraulically powered modes,"
said Pres Henne, of Gulfstream. The flight, on Dec. 21, evaluated the
electric backup system for over two hours, performing five landings with
the system engaged. "It flew so well that unless pilots were told they
were in backup actuation mode I don't think they would notice," said
test pilot Gary Freeman. More...
AVIATION CELEBRATES CENTENNIAL IN 2011
The U.S. Navy launched
its flight program in 1911, and a number of events will mark the 100th
anniversary this year. The official kick-off is set for Feb. 10-13 in
San Diego. On Saturday the 12th, hundreds of historic and current Navy
aircraft, including the Blue Angels, will take to the skies for a Parade
of Flight above Naval Air Station North Island, which will host an Open
House for the event. Visitors can view more than 75 historic aircraft
displays, take tours of the Navy ships (including the USS John C.
Stennis aircraft carrier), and enjoy live entertainment and food
vendors. The event is free to the public, but visitors must carry
identification and meet other criteria to enter the base; click here for a PDF with details. Other events
planned for the weekend include a kick-off gala aboard the USS Midway
museum ship. For more events and details, visit the Centennial
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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
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EYES REPEALING PLANE TAX
While it may have seemed like a good
time when it was introduced, Maine legislators on both sides of the
house now seem unified in getting rid of a controversial "use tax" on
private aircraft. The difference between then
and now is that Maine is trying to build an aerospace industry and the
tax will almost certainly get in the way of that. "Maine's got a big
black star over it, because we're the only state in New England that
still charges this tax," Sen. Stan Gerzofsky told the Times Record. Under the law, anyone who's purchased
an airplane in the previous year in a state that doesn't charge sales
tax on airplanes and has it Maine for more than 20 days will be sent a
bill for 5 percent of the value of the aircraft by the state. "I've seen
some pretty tall sales tax bills go out to people who didn't know the
law and brought their planes here to get service or to go on vacation,"
Gerzofsky said. But what may have brought the issue more into focus for
Maine's lawmakers is the chilling effect it is having on the fledgling
aerospace industry. More...
SHOULDER HARNESSES: NTSB
The NTSB is recommending
the FAA require retrofitting shoulder harnesses in all general aviation
aircraft that don't have them as the "cheapest and simplest" way of
improving crash survivability. In a study that was mainly focused on the
potential safety benefits of airbags in GA aircraft, the board
determined that while airbags will probably help, installation of
shoulder harnesses in lap-belt-equipped planes would make the biggest
difference. "Based on an analysis of over 37,000 GA accidents, the Board
concluded that the risk of fatal or serious injury was 50 percent higher
when an occupant was only restrained by a lap belt as compared to the
combination lap belt and shoulder harness," the board said in a
statement. The NTSB could only find 10 survivable accidents with which
to assess the value of airbags and found that of the 12 occupants of
aircraft involved in those accidents, at least two of them avoided more
serious injury or death because of the airbags. The board stops short of
recommending that airbags be made mandatory and actually makes some
safety recommendations about the design and installation of the bags,
which deploy from the shoulder harness of specially equipped
AVWEB'S BUSINESS AVIATION NEWSLETTER
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OF THE WEEK: YADKIN VALLEY AVIATION (KZEF, ELKIN, NORTH
Our latest "FBO of the Week" story may seem awfully
familiar to readers coping with snowfall today. AVweb reader
Anse Windham recently dealt with similar weather at Yadkin Valley Aviation, located at Elkin
Municipal Airport (KZEF) in Elkin, North Carolina:
[Manager] Sandy Shore called to inform me
that there was eight inches of snow on my Cessna. The tail was on the
pavement, and the snow needed to be removed before the night's freeze so
I could leave next morning. I could not get there, so Sandy removed the
snow, placed the airplane in a hangar, and, next morning, towed it to
the fuel pump and helped fuel it at the self-serve
Hmm you don't suppose Sandy would be willing
to shovel some sidewalks for good old AVweb, do you ...
nominations coming. For complete contest rules, click
AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in
the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here
next Monday! More...
THE AVWEBFLASH TEAM
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.
AVwebFlash team is:
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
Have a product or service to advertise
on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's
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
Navigate. Communicate. More...