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Volume 17, Number 4a
January 24, 2011
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AVflash! PiperSport at Sebring? Checkback to top 
Sponsor Announcement
Cannes AirShow || 9-11 June 2011 || The 
Only GA Expo in France

Piper Aircraft isn't looking for an immediate replacement for the PiperSport but the company is also not completely ruling out a return to the light sport aircraft sector. A week before the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo began in Sebring, Fla., Piper announced it was dropping the PiperSport arrangement with the manufacturer Czech Sport Aircraft. Then, the distributors of the aircraft got together to continue selling and supporting it in cooperation with U.S. Sport Aircraft, which is the sole importer for the design. Meanwhile, Piper showed up in force at Sebring with aircraft painted in PiperSport livery along with promotion material and even show tents emblazoned with the Piper brand. Piper spokeswoman Jacquie Carlon told AVweb Piper had made a commitment to attend and support the show but the decision to drop the PiperSport remains firm. More...

Bose® A20™ Aviation Headset
Introducing: Our Best Pilot Headset Ever
NEW Bose A20™ Aviation Headset
Bose was the first to introduce active noise reducing headsets to aviation more than 20 years ago, forever changing the way pilots fly. Now the Bose A20™ Aviation Headset sets an entirely new standard, providing significantly greater noise reduction than currently available. It also features an improved level of comfort, clear audio, Bluetooth® connectivity, auxiliary audio input and priority switching. Learn more.
Aviation Safetyback to top 

The FAA's formal reporting system in 2010 recorded a sharp increase in laser-related incidents at the same time that much more powerful handheld lasers began entering the market at significantly lower price points. The FAA recorded 2,836 laser-related complaints in 2010, which almost doubles the 1,527 incidents reported in 2009. Meanwhile, Class 4 lasers have become more affordable and more portable. One review of a sub-$300 handheld laser that was first made available last year says the device is "capable of blinding and/or burning someone almost instantly." Shining a laser at a commercial aircraft is a federal crime that can earn an offender up to 20 years in jail per charge and a $250,000 fine. Based on the FAA's figures, that's not having the desired effect. And pilots reportedly may now be in danger of more than very temporary vision loss. More...

Although there were some remarkably close calls (including the engine explosion in a Qantas A380), 2010 passed without a single fatality caused by a crash involving an airline based in what MIT considers "developed" countries. "In the entire First World, fatal crashes are at the brink of extinction," Arnold Barnett, a professor who specializes in air crash statistics at the prestigious school, told USA Today. For the U.S., 2010 was the third fatality-free year out of four. The streak was broken by the Colgan Air crash in Buffalo in early 2009 that killed all 49 people on board and a person on the ground. It's not clear by what criteria the appointment of "First World" countries is judged but one of the worst crashes in 2010 happened in Russia when a plane carrying Poland's president and his entourage went down in bad weather while trying to land at Smolensk.

That crash killed Lech Kaczynski, his wife and 94 others and has resulted in a diplomatic tiff between the two countries over the alleged cause of the crash. The Russians say a drunk Polish military commander was on the flight deck and pressured the crew into trying to land in unflyable conditions. The Poles say Russian controllers are to blame. Regardless, airline carnage continued unabated in the so-called developing world, with fatal crashes throughout Africa, Asia and South America. More...

What He Didn't Know About His Life Insurance Cost His Family $500,000
Pilots should take special care when comparing life insurance. Pilot Insurance Center specializes in providing pilots with insurance planning. Get the right coverage. Call PIC at (800) 380-8376 or visit
Headed Back to China: President Hu, New Businessback to top 

A standing order for 200 Boeing commercial aircraft worth $19 billion has been approved by the Chinese government, paving the way for delivery to begin later this year. The deal includes 185 Boeing 737 and 15 Boeing 777 jets. Large international orders like this one are sometimes part of a broader relationship and Boeing has recent history with China. In 2005, Boeing announced it would buy $600 million worth of Chinese-made aircraft components and the company has contracted with Chinese manufacturers to produce certain parts for the 787 Dreamliner. This year, the White House said that Boeing, Honeywell International and Pratt & Whitney will be providing Air China with technical support to begin biofuel flights, according to China is expected to represent a growing market for aviation businesses. Boeing isn't the only major manufacturer seeking inroads. More...

An agreement between Groen Brothers Aviation International LLC (GBA) and China's Guangzhou Suntrans Aviation Science and Technology Co. Ltd. will see light gyroplanes produced in China for sales worldwide. The deal creates a cooperative joint venture under a new entity, Foshan Suntrans-Groen Aviation Co., and creates infrastructure to produce and support GBA's SparrowHawk III, GBA's company's most advanced offering. GBA says the venture allows them an opportunity to introduce a safe and easy-to-fly product to the Chinese public as China opens up airspace below 3,000 meters and ushers in "a new generation of private pilots." It will also transfer GBA's technology into the joint entity and ultimately seeks to introduce new aircraft to the U.S. and world markets. The details of the arrangement appear to leave GBA with less influence in the long run. More...

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Santa Monica vs. Airplanes, Round ... Eight?back to top 

A Circuit Court has ruled that because Santa Monica has accepted millions in federal grants it cannot ban the business jets that make up roughly 7 percent of its operations. The court found that, between 1985 and 2003, the city accepted $10.2 million in federal funds under the airport improvement program, and terms of that acceptance included making the airport available "to all types kinds and classes of aeronautical uses." The airport, which serves as a reliever for LAX, has been embroiled in controversy since the city council tried to close it in 1981. That fight led to a 1984 resolution that will keep the airport open until at least 2015. The effort to ban jets began in 1998 and, in spite of the latest ruling, there may be challenges ahead. More...

Lightspeed Optics
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Designed and made in Italy, the lightweight frames of Lightspeed Aviation's sunglasses fit gently against your head, assuring a solid seal with your Zulu headset. Removable flip shaded lenses allow you to quickly transition from un-obscured sunlight to reading maps in a dark cockpit. No more hassles with changing from prescription glasses to sunglasses. And — if you order by January 31, you'll save $50. For more information, go to
News Briefsback to top 

Non-scheduled airlines and air taxis operating under Part 135 will have two years to create crew resource management (CRM) training programs for their roughly 24,000 pilots, plus flight attendants, according to a final rule announced Thursday. The FAA said analysis showed that CRM training helped reduce the rate of fatal accidents caused by pilot error by 25 percent. The agency believes the new training will reduce pilot error by improving decision-making, reducing stress and increasing awareness about the impact of fatigue. The rule addresses recommendations from the NTSB and becomes effective 60 days after its coming publication in the Federal Register. It was introduced as an NPRM in May of 2009, and received just seven comments. More...

Gobosh Aviation has been sold to Aerospace Capital Partners LLC, which operates a flight school in Denver using three Gobosh aircraft. The announcement came during the annual U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, Fla. Gobosh was formed by Tim Baldwin and Dave Graham four years ago and imported the Gobosh 700, a Polish design aimed at the training market, and the Gobosh 800, a Czech product described as a luxury LSA aircraft. The new owner, headed by Chris Dillis, is taking aim at the training market, which he says is now underserved by LSAs. More...

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Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

Sport Aviation Expo 2011 had some bright spots, says resident AVweb Insider blogger Paul Bertorelli — although big sales remain elusive. And what about Piper? They say they're still committed to light sport, but they terminated their relationship with their Czech supplier and they aren't looking for a replacement. Read more and join the conversation. More...

AVbuys || AVweb Stories About Great 
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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 255,000 pilots might want to know about, tell us. Submit news tips via email to What have you heard? More...

Aviation Consumer is researching an article on TKS performance in the real world and could really use your help. If you fly an aircraft equipped with a TKS system, please take just a few moments to complete this online survey. Information about how you use the system and how it performs will be kept anonymous, but the general findings will be reported in a future issue of Aviation Consumer. More...

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AVweb Audio — Are You Listening?back to top 

IFR magazine's Jeff Van West caught up with King Schools' John King to ask how successful his company's efforts have been in improving pilots' management of risk. There's progress, but King says he's not happy yet but he has a plan for the next step. More...

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

If there aren't enough iWidgets in your life, here's one more: the iCub. It's basically a Cub clone LSA built around the network and display capabilities of an iPad and an iPhone. The iPad serves as the airplane's main navigation device, plus it also receives and tracks data from the Rotax 912 engine. At the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, AVweb talked with the company's Bill Canino, and this brief video offers a tour of the airplane. More...

The Phoenix motorglider is two airplanes in one, and just about anyone can fly it, regardless of his medical status. AVweb took a tour at U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring over the weekend. More...

Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


According to AVweb reader Ken Knopp, our latest "FBO of the Week" is a posh destination. Heritage Aviation at Burlington International Airport (KBTV) in Burlington, Vermont "is by far the nicest FBO I have ever visited," writes Ken:

Service was top-notch. Entire staff was very friendly and provided an impeccable service. Pilot lounge included a ping pong table and Wii. Separate rooms were available for flight planning. Additional rooms included a theater, sleeping rooms, and even a gym. I could easily spend more time at this quality FBO.

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 Lighter Side of Flightback to top 

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

I'm a First Officer for TMC Airlines, a small freight airline operating Lockheed Electras based at Willow Run Airport in Detroit, Michigan. We use the call sign Willow Run Three Forty-Six, and we'd just picked up a load of freight at Muskegon, Michigan and were en route to Oakland, California. The time was about 07007. As we reached our final cruising altitude of FL220 at the west side of Lake Michigan, we got this message from Chicago Center:

"Willow Run Three Forty-Six, descend and maintain 6,000."

After exchanging looks of amazement with my captain, I replied:

"Chicago, ah — if you really need us at 6,000 we'll start down. But it's way early for our descent into Oakland, California."

Walt Speck
Center Valley, Pennsylvania


Heard anything funny, unusual, or downright shocking on the radio lately? If you've been flying any length of time, you're sure to have eavesdropped on a few memorable exchanges. The ones that gave you a chuckle may do the same for your fellow AVweb readers. Share your radio funny with us, and, if we use it in a future "Short Final," we'll send you a sharp-looking AVweb hat to sport around your local airport. No joke. Click here to submit your original, true, and previously unpublished story. 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.