AVwebFlash - Volume 17, Number 13d

March 31, 2011

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
Bose Pavilion
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Online Flight Planning: Coming to Terms back to top 

RunwayFinder, FlightPrep Settle Lawsuit

RunwayFinder owner Dave Parsons says he'll return contributions made to a legal defense fund now that he and the owners of FlightPrep have settled a patent infringement lawsuit out of court. He's also clearly signed a confidentiality agreement with FlightPrep, which was the flashpoint in his well-publicized battle against the suit, launched by FlightPrep late last year. "Sorry, but I can't comment," he said in response to an AVweb e-mail inquiry about the settlement Tuesday. "I will say that if anybody feels upset by the outcome, I'm refunding donations by request." As we extensively reported in December and January, RunwayFinder was initially determined to fight the infringement suit and try to dismantle the patent itself. The lawsuit has now gone away but the status of RunwayFinder's application to the Patent Office to revisit the patent is not clear. FlightPrep did not respond to our request for comment by our deadline.

The FlightPrep/RunwayFinder ruckus touched a chord in the GA community and inspired the creation of an online boycott site that has since been deactivated. Now Parsons has had a change of heart about the boycott. "RunwayFinder does not ask for or support any further boycott of FlightPrep, its services, products, or owners," Parsons wrote on his site. "This is a big win for RunwayFinder and the pilots who depend on its services!" Parsons is now working on updating the charts on his site and hopes to be back in business, under license to FlightPrep, soon. Meanwhile, anyone interested in the blow-by-blow legal battle from the perspective of a patent attorney can view Lionel Lavenue's analysis here (PDF).

More Comfort - More Quiet - More Clarity || See the New Zulu at 
Lightspeed Aviation's Booth at Sun 'n Fun (Booth #D51)
Get Ready, Get Set, Vote!
Join us at the AOPA LIVE stage today at 10:30 to hear the names of the finalists chosen for the Lightspeed Aviation Foundation Grants! The names will be posted at LightspeedAviationFoundation.org. It's also a great time to stop by the Lightspeed booth (D51) and find out about the generous trade-up program and unbelievable show specials! Learn more at LightspeedAviation.com.
Cirrus Addresses Chinese Ownership, Jet Plans back to top 

Cirrus Updates On Jet, China Deal

Cirrus is showing off its limited edition SR22 at the Sun 'n Fun show this week, with a spiffy paint job and every imaginable option, but what everybody wanted to know about at Wednesday's news conference was, what's up with the China deal? "Is Cirrus going to move to China?" asked co-founder Dale Klapmeier, rhetorically. "Not gonna happen." China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co., which intends to become the new owner of Cirrus pending federal approvals, is made up of "real businessmen," Klapmeier said, and it doesn't make sense economically to ship parts to China to build airplanes for the U.S. market. Moving forward with the Vision jet is the top priority both for Cirrus and CAIGA, he said. He expects it will take up to three to six months for the deal to close. After that, he expects it will take about three years to bring the jet to market. Cirrus posted its latest update on the jet online this week.

Klapmeier said he doesn't see any obstacles ahead for getting the China deal approved, "but there are politics involved," so that brings an element of uncertainty. He said it was "disappointing" for the company when a Minnesota congressman, Chip Cravaack, raised questions about the deal due to national-security concerns. "His concerns are unfounded," Klapmeier said, adding that Cirrus doesn't have any unique technology that would be of use for military applications. Klapmeier also said both CAIGA and Cirrus share a vision to build up the company's offerings into a full line of aircraft. "We need multiple airplanes for multiple markets," Klapmeier said. "That's the best way to survive hard times in the future." He mentioned several possibilities for future development -- a trainer, a six-seater, something to fill the gap between the SR22 and the jet -- but later told AVweb that so far those plans are far in the future.

Aspen Avionics Evolution 2K Package Now $2,000 Off for a 
Limited Time
Aspen Offers the Only Fully Redundant PFD
Solution on the Market — At an Affordable Price

With the Evolution 2000 or 2500 Package installed, a single button push turns the MFD 1000 into a fully functional backup PFD. No other GA glass cockpit system gives owners and operators this level of redundancy and confidence at any price. Ask about our 2K Savings special on the Evolution 2000 Package.
What's Coming in the Cockpit back to top 

Eclipse: Avio FMS Is Ready To Go

Eclipse Aerospace said at Sun 'n Fun on Wednesday it has received a Supplemental Type Certificate from the FAA for its Avio Integrated Flight Management System. The system was developed by Innovative Solutions & Support. "We at Eclipse Aerospace are very proud to be able to now offer a fully integrated FMS system not only for our factory-sold Total Eclipse aircraft but also as additional functionality for our existing fleet," said Eclipse CEO Mason Holland. The company is now taking orders for Total Eclipse jets with the new Avio system, with delivery time averaging about two months, Holland said.

The Avio system provides pilots with instant data and feedback on all operations of the aircraft in one location, Eclipse said. It also provides a range of navigation functions, including coupled LPV approaches, holding patterns and procedure turns, and airway navigation. Eclipse Aerospace, located in Albuquerque, N.M., provides engineering, service, and support for the fleet of 260 Eclipse twin-engine jets. The company has a jet on display this week in the main exhibit area at Sun 'n Fun.

Aspen Takes On Retrofit Partners

Aspen Avionics sees a big opportunity in the light aircraft retrofit market and it's moving aggressively to stake out its market share through joint ventures with at least three other avionics companies. At the top of the list is Bendix/King, whose long-delayed KSN770 has buyers waiting for competitive choice against Garmin's dominant panel-mount products. Aspen and Bendix/King are pooling resources and talent to complete the KSN770 certification, which Aspen CEO John Uzekacy sees as a natural third-party interface for its popular aftermarket Evolution EFD systems. At Sun 'n Fun on Wednesday, John Uczekaj said the 770 project is "a very big deal" for Aspen because virtually every Aspen installation includes a WAAS-capable GPS navigator and heretofore, Garmin has been nearly the only choice, so a customized interface opens up considerable market potential for both Aspen and Bendix/King. Uzekacy expects the 770 to be available by year's end.

The retrofit autopilot market may have just as much potential, if not more, according to Uzekacy, who explained in this podcast that another joint effort with Avidyne will certifiy Avidyne's sophisticated DFC90 digitial autopilot both or use in more aircraft and with a dedicated interface with Aspen's displays. Uzekacy said many owners would upgrade to more sophisticated autopilots if they had more produces to chose from and the D90 will offer just such a choice. The DFC90 is full-featured, digital attitude-based autopilot which will get its attitude inputs from the Aspen system and the EFD will, in turn, provide the autopilot's mode annunciations. The DFC90 has high-end capability such as low and high speed envelope protection to guard against upsets and overspeeds and it's capable of unusual attitude recovery.

Aspen is also joining with S-TEC to provide cutting-edge interfaces for its well-regarded rate-based autopilots, of which there are thousands in field. Many owners have chaffed at the lack of interface options for those products, but Aspen now says it will provide them, including flight director options and altitude pre-select for S-TEC's 55 and 60 series autopilots.

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Tense Situation in Congo Winds Down back to top 

Cash, Gold And A GV: Congo Situation Resolved

Passengers and flight crew of an Arcadia Aviation-managed Gulfstream V held against their will in the Democratic Republic of Congo since Feb. 4 have been released after an investigation by authorities there. The event began with reports that attached the flight to a business transaction involving significant quantities of gold and cash. That was followed by reports that the crew and passengers had been stopped on the runway and directed from the aircraft at gunpoint, by officials. The copilot and flight attendant had been freed earlier, and with the rest of the participants heading home, Arcadia is now calling the event a "misunderstanding."

In the end, no charges were filed against any of the passengers or crew, all were released and by now, most should be home. Arcadia, which operates long-range, large-cabin international flights, was directly involved in supporting its client. The company says it worked with authorities in the U.S. and Congo to work toward the release and return of passengers, crew and aircraft. Resolution involved the U.S. State Department's Overseas Citizens Service and Arcadia was not quick to provide further details.

WX WX Satellite Weather || Vital as Vision
As Vital As Vision
Never fly blind again when you sign up today for one of XM WX Satellite Weather's Aviator LT, Aviator, or Aviator Pro data packages. Enhance your situational awareness with products like Radar, Lightning, Winds, and more when you make XM WX a permanent part of your cockpit today. Come see the latest from XM WX Satellite Weather at booth C-024 during Sun 'n Fun 2010 or visit us online at XMWXweather.com/aviation.
News Briefs back to top 

Barron Thomas Faces Fraud Charges

Well known Arizona-based aircraft broker, Barron Thomas, 55, and his mother, 78, are facing charges after allegedly receiving more than $8 million over 16 years by way of fraudulent short term investment programs. A pre-trial conference has been set for May 11. State attorney general Tom Horne says Thomas placed an ad in Trade-a-Plane soliciting contributions of no less than $25,000 from investors. The investors thought they were taking part in short-tern investment or loan programs. But a cease and desist order that included an order for restitution and penalties, filed January 4, alleges it was more of a ponzi scheme.

Investors believed their money would be used to flip aircraft (buy old used aircraft and refurbish them to be sold for profit) and that the money would be returned plus 12-percent interest. So far, at least 60 investors have come forward to claim they have not received payments promised them under the deal. According to the cease and desist papers, "An Arizona investor purchased a $50,000 12% Investment from BT and BTA on or about March 14, 2005. On April 22, 2005, BT and BTA used the Arizona investor's money to repay the prior Texas investor." For more details, read the document in full, online (PDF).

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AVweb Media: Flight Training back to top 

Podcast: Reforming Flight Training

File Size 5.1 MB / Running Time 5:33

More Comfort - More Quiet - More Clarity || See the New Zulu at Lightspeed 
Aviation's Booth at Sun 'n Fun (Booth #D51) XM WX Satellite Weather Aviator Pro Data Package || As Vital as Vision

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

The Society of Aviation Flight Educators (SAFE) has some ideas about how to make flying safer and keep student pilots interested. Do you? AVweb's Russ Niles spoke with SAFE Chairman Doug Stewart about a symposium in early May in which you can help find the answers.

This podcast is brought to you by Lightspeed Aviation and WxWorx XM WX Satellite Weather.

Click here to listen. (5.1 MB, 5:33)

Video: Cessna's New Training Idea

Aspen Avionics Bose® A20™ Aviation Headset

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

No single company has created more pilots than Cessna, and to continue its tradition in training pilots, the company has teamed up with Red Bird flight simulations and King Schools to offer a unique new training program that takes advantage of computer self-learning technology.

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.

This video is brought to you by Aspen Avionics and Bose Corporation.

iPad Kneeboards || Available at AircraftSpruce.com
Aircraft Spruce Now Carries the iPad Kneeboard
Being able to bring a vast amount of information with you on every flight in a secure, easy-to-use, and easy-to-carry device is simply amazing! The iPad Kneeboard Pro™ makes all of this possible. The Pro C includes a specialized clipboard that adheres on the outside or inside of the case. For those not wanting the clipboard, purchase the iPad Kneeboard Pro alone. The iPad Kneeboard Pro C Bundle includes the Pro C and a slipcase. Call 1 (877) 4‑SPRUCE or visit AircraftSpruce.com
AVweb Media: Top Tech at Sun 'n Fun back to top 

Podcast: Aspen Avionics Attracts Heavyweight Partners

File Size 5.5 MB / Running Time 5:19

Aspen Avionics Bose® A20™ Aviation Headset

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

Aspen Avionics has carved out a big niche with its retrofit glass products, and now it's forming alliances with long-established avionics companies like Honeywell, Avidyne and S-TEC to add more products and capabilities. AVweb's Paul Bertorelli spoke with Aspen CEO John Uzekacy at Sun 'n Fun.

This podcast is brought to you by Aspen Avionics and Bose Corporation.

Click here to listen. (5.5 MB, 5:19)

Video: Green Flight Challenge

More Comfort - More Quiet - More Clarity || See the New Zulu at Lightspeed 
Aviation's Booth at Sun 'n Fun (Booth #D51) XM WX Satellite Weather Aviator Pro Data Package || As Vital as Vision

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

NASA's Green Flight Challenge challenges engineers and flight students to conceive (and fly) an aircraft capable of 200 passenger miles per gallon of fuel — meaning it has to go fairly fast, but not burn much fuel. At Sun 'n Fun, AVweb took a look at Embry-Riddle's entry, based on a Stemme motorglider.

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.

This video is brought to you by Lightspeed Aviation and WxWorx XM WX Satellite Weather.

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JP Instruments Cash Rebate Offer:
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JPI, the EDM & Fuel Flow leader, is running an incredible rebate offer, directly for AVweb readers. Outfitting your aircraft with our EDM monitor is like having a flight engineer aboard every flight. Back on earth, download your in-flight data with our no-cost EZTrends software to spot any future problems. From the classic EDM 700 to the bright-LCD EDM 830, nothing compares to the accuracy and quick response of JPI Systems. Click here for more info.
Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Gregg Flying Service (Animas Air Park, Durango, CO)

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Gregg Flying Service at Animas Air Park (00C) in Durango, Colorado.

AVweb reader Paul Leadabrand discovered how great Gregg can be when, "flying a 100mph Kitfox after a considerably long day, [he found] mountain passes closed and strong headwinds." That meant Paul wouldn't be able to make the FBO until long after they'd closed, but he couldn't just camp out overnight; his schedule was too tight. Here's what happened next:

To get an early morning departure for another long day, we would need a hangar, fuel, transportation, lodging — and dinner. I was able to relay to another aircraft landing, asking them to ask the FBO to stay open for our arrival. That was the last conversation I had for the next hour. Upon arrival — after dark and with the temperature below freezing — we were warmly met by FBO owner Del Gregg. He immediately squeezed into an already full hanger, gave us his extra vehicle, made us a hotel reservation using his locals-only discount at a wonderful downtown hotel (with a wide variety of late-night restaurants). The following morning, arriving at the FBO, we found our aircraft pulled out in the sun, engine heater plugged in, and fueled. Not to mention low-price fuel (as compared to the nearby commercial airport), this FBO offered the warmest welcome and professional service I've ever had, even driving a $10 million jet.

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!

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

ICAS Foundation's Kyle & Amanda Franklin Fund

Kyle & Amanda Franklin Fund || Click to Donate via the ICAS Foundation

The aviation community is coming together to help Kyle and Amanda Franklin get back on their feet and eventually back in the air after their mishap at Air Fiesta at the Brownsville/South Padre Island Airport. If you'd like to contribute, click on the banner at right to visit the ICAS Foundation web site.

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.

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Reader-Submitted Photos back to top 
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.
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.

Aviate. Navigate. Communicate.

Where to Find Our Sponsors at Sun 'n Fun 2011

B-001-009Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Co.
Aspen Avionics
C-055-056Avemco Insurance
SNF-009Bose Corporation
Cessna Aircraft
N-083, N-088Conoco-Phillips Aviation Lubricants
Diamond Aircraft
Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA)
A-065General Aviation Modifications, Inc. (GAMI)
D-082Hilton Software (WingX)
B-042JP Instruments
D-051-053Lightspeed Aviation
D-039-042Lycoming Engines
A-020-021RMS Technology
C-024WxWorx XM WX Satellite Weather