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Volume 17, Number 11b
March 17, 2011
This Skycatcher, Your Hangar || Click to 
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AVflash! U.S. Counter-Offer for Cirrus?back to top 
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Aviation industry analyst Brian Foley said this week he's hoping to organize a counteroffer from U.S. investors that would tempt Cirrus Aircraft to change its mind about its recent sale to China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co. Foley told AVweb on Wednesday that when he published a report last week about China's recent investment in U.S. general aviation companies (PDF), he got an "overwhelming response" from e-mails and online comments that suggested to him that the U.S. aviation community "wants this company [Cirrus] to be owned and operated on American soil, period." Foley also told AVweb that he had contacted Cirrus officials about his plan to find alternative investors but so far had not had any response. Cirrus spokesman Todd Simmons told AVweb on Wednesday, "We have no comment at this point." More...

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Japan, FAA Collaborate to Protect Air Trafficback to top 

The FAA is prepared to take measures in consultation with Japanese officials to minimize the threat to air traffic posed by radiation from Japan's troubled nuclear power plants. The Japanese civil aviation authority has already established flight restrictions to usher civil aircraft around the Fukushima facility in an effort to control the site and minimize exposure. Tuesday, FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown said, "There is no credible information available at this point indicating the need for further restrictions," but that may change. Wednesday the Japanese response evolved to dropping water on the site from helicopters. If the situation worsens, said Brown, "the FAA is prepared to take air management measures, including the rerouting of air traffic." That possibility now seems more likely. More...

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"World's Fastest Heli Pilot" Honoredback to top 

The 2010 Robert J. Collier Trophy will be officially awarded May 5, 2011, to Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. and the X2 Demonstrator Team "for demonstrating a revolutionary 250 knot helicopter." The National Aeronautic Association, which offers the award, says the aircraft "marks a proven departure point for the future development of helicopters by greatly increasing their speed, maneuverability and utility." The X2 demonstrator combines counter-rotating coaxial rotors, fly-by-wire flight controls, active vibration control and integrated auxiliary propulsion. AVweb got an inside look at the aircraft at HAI Heli-Expo in Orlando -- click through for the video. Sikorksy plans to follow the design with S-97 Raider production models based on the technology. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Collier Trophy and Sikorsky faced tough competition. More...

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Fuel Survey: Your Comments Are Inback to top 

With 100LL threatened by environmental regulation, what do owners think should replace it? An unleaded 100-octane equivalent fuel is the most popular choice, according to a recent survey of more than 3100 AVweb readers. Moreover, many owners also want mogas as a second choice, offering some downside protection against escalating fuel prices that have already curtailed flying for many. More...

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Spidertracks tracks you in real-time and automatically sends SOS alerts within minutes of an accident. Your flights are displayed on the Aviator web site, and your online logbook automatically fills in flight time and distance. You can upload photos, share your flights, "follow" other pilots, and talk flying with other aviators who love flying as much as you do. Get Aviator today — call 1 (800) 491‑2895 or visit
News Briefsback to top 

A recent FAA proposal that suggested a protocol for marking meteorological evaluation towers to make them more visible to low-level aviators didn't go far enough, the NTSB says. "The NTSB is concerned that the application of the [FAA Advisory Circular] is voluntary, and, without mandatory application and marking requirements for METs, many METs will still be constructed without notice to the aviation community and will fail to be marked appropriately," the board said in a Safety Alert (PDF) issued on Friday. Meteorological Evaluation Towers (METs) are used to measure wind speed and direction during the development of wind energy facilities, and many fall just below the 200-foot threshold for FAA-required obstruction markings. At least three fatal accidents have involved MET tower collisions, the NTSB said, the most recent one in January. More...

The National Aviation Hall of Fame is seeking nominations for the 25th annual A. Scott Crossfield Aerospace Education Teacher of the Year Award, which includes a $1,500 cash stipend and an expenses-paid trip for two to the Hall of Fame's annual enshrinement event in Dayton, Ohio. The award recognizes public-school aerospace educators in grades K through 12 for effectiveness, creativity, and the ability to maintain high standards for their students and themselves. The award is named for research test pilot Scott Crossfield (1921-2006), who was the first pilot to exceed both Mach 2 and Mach 3, and the first pilot of the X-15. The deadline for nominations is May 1. Details are posted at the NAHF website. The award is funded by the Scott Crossfield Foundation. More...

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What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Weekback to top 

Relief organizations and business aircraft operators working in the aftermath of Japan's earthquake and tsunami need to navigate a maze of airspace restrictions and airport closures, a challenge that is made a little easier with a list of resources and updates compiled this week by the National Business Aviation Association. Tokyo International Airport is closed to general aviation traffic until Friday, but many other airports are open, NBAA said. Rumors that Japan plans to close all of its airports "have not been confirmed with Japanese authorities," the FAA told NBAA on Tuesday. Aerobridge, an NBAA-sponsored volunteer aviation group that coordinates disaster response, is working to make space available on GA passenger and cargo jets to Japan. The group is also assisting with transportation of small search-and-rescue teams and medical assessment teams. More...

Pilot error was to blame for the crash of a Hawker Beechcraft 125-800A in July 2008, the NTSB said on Tuesday. The airplane, operated by East Coast Jets, crashed when the crew attempted a go-around after landing on a wet runway at Owatonna Degner Regional Airport, in Minnesota. Both pilots and all six passengers were killed. The captain's decision to attempt the go around late in the landing roll with insufficient runway remaining was the probable cause of the accident, the NTSB found. Contributing factors were poor crew coordination and lack of cockpit discipline; fatigue, which likely impaired both pilots' performance; and the FAA's failure to require crew resource management training and standard operating procedures for Part 135 operators. More...


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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.

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Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

Paul Bertorelli has finished compiling the results of our recent avgas replacement survey, and he gives you the skinny on what we've learned in his latest post to the AVweb Insider blog. Among our findings: Owners want to know what it's going to cost — whatever "it" turns out to be. Read more and join the conversation. More...

Fire in flight is such a universally horrible thing to think about that most of us probably just don't think about it much. But two recent accidents highlight how important it is to spend some time taking basic precautions. In the latest installment of the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli (again) stresses why you need a Halon extinguisher and why you need to keep it close in the cockpit. Read more and join the conversation. More...

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

Analyst and investment guy Brian Foley thinks he can attract homegrown investors to outbid the Chinese for control of Cirrus Industries. If you had some investment cash, would it attract you?

Plus: Last week, AVweb readers how they would do if they had to take the FAA written exam right now; click through to see how they answered. More...

One of our sister aviation publications is looking for an associate editor. If you are a savvy, motivated layout master and wordsmith, they would love to hear from you. (Click through for a job description and application instructions.) More...

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...

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

Kevin Bredenbeck took the Sikorsky X2 technology demonstrator to 250 knots and beyond last September. He spoke with AVweb about the aircraft, the program, and what it's like to go that fast in a helicopter in this interview at the 2011 HAI Heli-Expo in Orlando, Florida. More...

Facing ever-growing global competition, Cessna has to find way to make airplanes more efficiently. In this video, Terry Clark explains how the company has done that at the company's Independence, Kansas plant. More...

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Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Rider Jet Center at Hagerstown Regional Airport/Richard A. Henson Field (KHGR) in Hagerstown, Maryland.

AVweb reader John Keller uses RJC on a regular basis and vouches for their dedication, year-in and year-out:

We have been a frequent customer of this fabulous FBO for several years, and their high quality service has never waivered! When the snow was three feet deep and the winds blowing 35 MPH and the temperature 10 degrees, the line and staff personnel were performing at the 110% level. We return on a regular basis because their attitude towards the customer is outstanding.

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!


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"The Best Way to Predict the Future Is to Create It"

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Reader-Submitted Photosback to top 
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.