AVwebFlash - Volume 17, Number 7b

February 17, 2011

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
Aircraft Spruce at the WAA Northwest Aviation Conference &
Trade Show
Aircraft Spruce at the WAA Northwest
Aviation Conference & Trade Show

Come join Aircraft Spruce in Puyallup, Washington (booths 233, 234, 235) on February 26 from 9:00am-5:30pm and February 27 from 10:00am-4:00pm. Take advantage of some of your favorite products on sale, complimentary ground shipping (doesn't apply to hazardous or oversized products), and Aircraft Spruce staff on site to answer all questions. Join our Avionics Specialist February 26 at 10:30pm and February 27 at 10:15am for a GPS Handheld Comparison seminar. Call 1 (877) 4‑SPRUCE or visit AircraftSpruce.com.
AVflash! Putting Sport Pilot Hours to Work back to top 
Sponsor Announcement
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GA Groups To FAA: Count Sport Pilot Training Hours

The FAA should change its rules so hours logged by students flying with sport-pilot instructors will count toward later ratings, says a coalition of general aviation advocacy groups. Under the current rules, some instructors are certified to teach only sport pilots and only in light sport aircraft. The FAA doesn't allow dual time logged with those instructors to count toward the private pilot and higher certificates. A letter from EAA, AOPA, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association and the National Association of Flight Instructors asks the FAA to change that rule. "Experience begins to accrue the very first day that a student pilot sits behind the controls of an aircraft," they wrote. "The aeronautical experience obtained in pursuit of a sport pilot certificate should not be discredited, in essence resetting the clock on aeronautical experience as if that sport pilot was an initial student with no previous experience."

The FAA has argued that allowing hours of training provided by a sport-pilot instructor to count toward the aeronautical experience requirement for a private certificate "would be the functional equivalent of permitting that instructor to provide flight training for the issuance of the private pilot certificate." The GA groups argue that by not allowing the hours to count, the FAA is discouraging students from pursuing further training. If sport pilots could count those hours, it would give them greater incentive to work toward higher certificates and ratings, enhancing safety, they said. "The experience gained in pursuit of the sport pilot certificate relates directly to the experience needed to obtain a recreational or private pilot certificate and should not be disregarded," the groups said.

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The Future of Avgas: We Want to Hear from You back to top 

Avgas: Your Turn to Speak

As the FAA prepares to set up a committee to tackle the leaded avgas replacement issue, no one really knows what current buyers of aviation fuels really think. Now's your chance to tell us.

In our most exhaustive survey on aviation fuel yet, we're asking detailed questions about aircraft owner preferences for a future fuel. Do you think the replacement should be a 100-octane drop-in? Should mogas have a role in the market? Do you think 94UL is realistic? How do you think price figures into these considerations? Click here to take a short survey and share your thoughts. We'll tabulate these results over the next few weeks and post a summary as part of AVweb's continuing coverage of everything related to the 100LL replacement effort.

Spidertracks || The Crash-Proof Aircraft Location System
That Survives Every Crash - So You Can, Too
Get Spidertracks Aviator, the Aircraft Location System That Survives Every Crash — So You Can, Too
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F-35 Engine Targeted by Budget Cuts back to top 

F-35 Second Engine Program A "Waste"

During a House committee hearing Wednesday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates called the plan to provide an alternate engine for the F-35 "unnecessary and extravagant" and a "waste" of $3 billion, and the House voted to cut funds. The House voted to cut $450 million for the engine program from funding for the remainder of the fiscal year. That move doesn't take effect unless the spending bill to which it is attached is approved by the House and then makes it through the Senate. The alternate engine being produced by GE-Rolls Royce would serve as a backup for the Pratt & Whitney unit, which is expected to be the primary F-35 engine. Halting the GE-Rolls Royce program and removing competition from the program has raised some concerns.

"We will continue to press the case for competition," Rick Kennedy, a GE aviation spokesman, told Bloomberg news. The broad argument is that lack of competition could raise the price of the primary engine while also removing the backstop of alternative technology in the case that there is a problem with the Pratt & Whitney. The Pratt & Whitney engine is already years behind schedule due to development issues. Because the F-35 is scheduled to ultimately replace nearly all manned U.S. fighter aircraft, removing GE from the program may also remove GE from that $100 billion market.

Cannes AirShow || 9-11 June 2011 || The Only GA Expo in
The Only General Aviation Exhibition in France
The Cannes AirShow brings together the leading protagonists in general and business aviation to allow a demanding clientèle discovery of the latest developments and industry innovations in a geographically logical and appealing setting. This professional exhibition is designed for owners and pilots, whether passionate fans or professionals, in general and business aviation throughout Europe, Africa, and Russia — offering visitors a large and representative palette of the aeronautics industry. The Cannes AirShow is southern Europe's leading exhibition in general and business aviation. Click here for details and registration info.
News Briefs back to top 

Pipistrel Launches Electric Motorglider

Pipistrel said this week its electric-powered, two-seat self-launching glider, the Taurus Electro G2, is now available for sale. The company, based in Slovenia, is also offering a solar trailer for the airplane, which can charge it up in about five hours. The 40-kilowatt motor is powered by lithium-technology batteries that are monitored by Pipistrel's own battery-management system, which features data-logging and battery health forecasting. The electric motor can be retrofitted into existing gas-powered Taurus gliders, the company said, and it will be offered for integration into third-party platforms as well. The system provides power for up to 17 minutes. Once the airplane is gliding, the propeller retracts into the fuselage with the push of a button.

The Electro G2 is the first version of the company's electric glider ready for production, but the "G2" or "second generation" appellation reflects substantial changes made from the original prototype to this production-ready design, the company said. After extensive testing of the prototype, the company decided to "rethink, redesign and implement completely new solutions" to create the G2, resulting in "much better reliability, handling and performance." Both the airplane and its solar trailer will debut in April at Aero 2011 in Friedrichshafen, Germany. The aircraft will compete for the 100,000-Euro Berblinger Prize, which will reward an aircraft that incorporates innovative ideas with regard to environmental sustainability, economy, safety and/or construction.

Safety Protocols For Pets On Jets

General aviation aircraft are great for those who want to bring their pets along when they fly, and now a pet-services company is offering a special training program to ensure that pets' in-flight safety is protected. Sit 'n Stay Global offers a training program for cabin crews or pilots who deal with pets aboard private jets or personal aircraft. "We found, after several inquiries from corporate jet owners, that there was a real need to understand how to make sure any pets on board were properly secured in the event of an emergency," said Carol Martin, spokesperson for Sit 'n Stay. The training program shows how to cope with pets during turbulence, ditching and evacuation.

The company also provides a pet nanny service, with trained caretakers who will go along on trips and take care of pets in flight and on the ground. Specially designed seat-restraint systems for pets, as well as oxygen masks, flotation devices, and a fleece blanket for emergency evacuation, also are available at the company's web site.

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What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Week back to top 

Garmin Says 4G System A Threat To GPS

Garmin is standing by its position that a proposal to build a network of 40,000 broadband transmission towers around the U.S. could severely disrupt GPS service. As we reported last week, LightSquared has received conditional FCC approval to install the massive system to carry 4G signals, the conditions being that it restrict its signals to their assigned frequencies on the L Band 1 (1525 MHz—1559 MHz) and test existing GPS devices to see what kind of interference the transmitters might cause. GPS uses the a frequency range of 1159-1610 MHz, which is right next to the LightSquared signal. Garmin's Jessica Myers told AVweb in a podcast interview that Garmin has done testing on its own and determined there's no practical way for the two systems to coexist.

Myers said even if the LightSquared signals stay within their boundaries, they will be so strong compared to the very low-power GPS signals that reach Earth from the satellites that the GPS equipment will simply be overwhelmed. She said it may be technically possible to build filters that will block the LightSquared signals but they would be cost-prohibitive. Myers said that because the transmitters are ground-based, the biggest impact on GPS will occur in critical phases of flight like approach. She also noted that there are millions of marine and auto GPS units that could be affected. LightSquared says Garmin's tests are suspect because it didn't use the actual equipment that will be installed on the broadband towers. Real-world testing is expected to begin this month.

Related Content:

Embraer Opens Florida Plant

Embraer will open its first U.S. factory next week in Melbourne, Fla. The 90,000-square-foot assembly plant for Phenom business jets will be officially opened with a ribbon-cutting Feb. 21. The factory project was announced shortly after the Phenom 300 prototype started flying in May of 2008. Both the Phenom 100 and the Phenom 300 will be assembled at the $50 million plant and about 200 people will work there. The company will also conduct flight testing and do delivery preparation at the Melbourne facility. Last year the company delivered 100 Phenom 100s and at least 11 Phenom 300s. Embraer may not be finished building U.S. factories, it was learned last week.

Embraer announced in early February that it would partner with Sierra Nevada to assemble Super Tucano light attack aircraft in Jacksonville, Fla., if it wins a $950 million contract with the Air Force. It's competing with Hawker Beechcraft's AT-6 for the contract, which will initially supply about 35 single-engine turboprops capable of carrying a wide variety of weapons, including precision guided stores. Embraer would renovate an existing 41,000-square-foot hangar in Jacksonville at a cost of $3.8 million. Embraer met with city and state officials Feb. 6.

AVwebBiz: AVweb's Business Aviation Newsletter

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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."

Thanks for JA Air Center || Vote for Us in the AIN FBO Survey
Thanks from Chicago's Best Arrival Option, JA Air Center!
Thanks to all the Flight Crews who made us their first choice for Chicagoland arrivals in 2010! Whether it's the best location in Chicago with direct tollway access, our giant arrival canopy, or our world-class facilities that brought you here, we know it is our warm, friendly service that keeps you coming back! We would greatly appreciate your vote in the AIN FBO survey! Vote now.
We Ask, You Answer back to top 

Question of the Week: We've Seen the President's Budget; Now Show Us Yours

Times are tough, and funding decisions will be hard. Regardless of what those on the Hill think, what's your number one funding priority for aviation? Remember, we're asking about funding priorities.

What's the most important aviation expense for Congress to fund?
(click to answer)

Last Week's Question: Results

Want to see the current breakdown of responses? Take a moment to answer the question yourself, and then you can view real-time results.

What's On Your Mind?

Have an idea for a new "Question of the Week"?
Send your suggestions to .

NOTE: This address is only for suggested "QOTW" questions, and not for "QOTW" answers or comments. (Use this form to send "QOTW" comments to our AVmail Editor.)

AVbuys || AVweb Stories About Great Deals in Aviation
Fly More for Less
Visit the AVbuys page for discounts, rebates, incentives, bargains, special offers, bonus depreciation, or tax benefits to help stretch your budget. We're helping you to locate and view current offers instantly, with a direct link to sponsors' web sites for details.

Click for the resource page.
Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: Pilot Fatigue — Bunk or Real?

That's the question for the latest installment of our blog, as ABC reports that pilots too poorly paid to afford hotels are bunking in the pilot lounge or concourse and showing up in the cockpit exhausted. But FAA Adminstrator Randy Babbitt says it's not happening. Who's right? You tell us, says Paul Bertorelli, on the AVweb Insider.

Read more and join the conversation.

AVweb Insider Blog: If Your Airplane Flies Itself, Is It Still Fun to Fly?

A fully autonomous GA airplane could launch the next great era of flight. We've all heard that the last fighter pilot may already have been born, but in the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog, contributing editor Mary Grady wonders if GA pilots are as much of an endangered species.

Read more and join the conversation.

AVweb Insider Blog: Inhofe Incident — Did the FAA Cave?

Did the FAA let Sen. Jim Inhofe get away with a slap on the wrist following his landing on a closed runway? Not exactly, says Paul Bertorelli on the AVweb Insider blog — but it could have been more aggressive.

Read more and join the conversation.

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The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 

Have You Used Oil Additives? 'Aviation Consumer' Could Use Your Insight

Have you added more than oil to your engine? If you've tried oil additives like CamGuard or AVblend, Aviation Consumer wants to know how it worked out. Whether your experience was good, bad or of no consequence whatsoever, they want to know. Please take a moment to fill out their survey to help the research effort for an upcoming, in-depth review.

Click here to take the survey.

The results will appear in a future issue of Aviation Consumer. For subscription information, click here.

AVweb's Newstips Address ...

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 newstips@avweb.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.

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.
Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Island City Flying Service (EYW, Key West, FL)

Nominate an FBO | Rules | Tips | Questions | Winning FBOs

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Island City Flying Service at Key West International Airport (EYW) in Key West, Florida.

AVweb reader Neal Carbaugh told us how ICFS brought GA love to the airport last week:

EYW hosted their first ever Southernmost Open House & Aviation Review (SOAR) on February 5. This FBO donated fuel for the last remaining B-25Hs still flying in the world today and an original Eastern Airlines DC-7, neither of which would have been able to be there without it and both of which were the stars of the show. Additionally, they gave up one of their four rows for static display aircraft and waived their normal overnight fee. Most of all, their ramp controller, the girls behind the counter, and their maintenance guys handled the most number of aircraft ever in a single day and did so in superb fashion with favorable comments from many! SOAR was a big success, but [it] would not have been possible without Island City Flying 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!

AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

Jade Schiewe on Surviving (and Landing During) an In-Flight Cockpit Fire

File Size 18.8 MB / Running Time 20:33

Bose® A20™ Aviation Headset

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

On September 28, 2010, a Cessna 172RG was flying in good weather over Oklahoma when fire broke out behind the instrument panel. The flames quickly spread to the rug and seats and filled the cockpit with thick black smoke. AVweb's Glenn Pew spoke with that flight's pilot, Jade Schiewe.

This podcast is brought to you by Bose Corporation.

Click here to listen. (18.8 MB, 20:33)

Video: Is Carbon Monoxide About to Kill You?

Original, Exclusive Videos from AVweb | Reader-Submitted & Viral Videos

Probably not, but you may still want to consider a cockpit carbon monoxide detector. In this video, AVweb and Aviation Consumer take a look at these relatively inexpensive safety gadgets. They have steadily improved in recent years, and there are more choices than ever.

Don't see a video screen?
Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

Video: Navy X-47B Unmanned Combat Aircraft Flies

Original, Exclusive Videos from AVweb | Reader-Submitted & Viral Videos

Friday, Feb. 4, 2011, the tailless, strike-fighter-sized unmanned system, the X-47B, under development by Northrop Grumman, completed its first flight at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB), California. The flying wing took off at 2:09 p.m. PST and flew for 29 minutes. The UAV climbed to an altitude of 5,000 feet, flew several racetrack-type patterns, and landed safely at 2:38 p.m. Northrop says the flight provided test data to verify and validate system software for guidance and navigation and the aerodynamic control of the tailless design. The aircraft will remain at Edwards AFB for flight envelope expansion before moving its test program to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., later in 2011. There, the system will undergo tests to validate its readiness to begin testing in the maritime and carrier environment. The X-47 is being prepared for carrier trials in 2013.

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Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

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Reader-Submitted Photos back to top 
Names Behind the News back to top 

Meet 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.

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.

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