AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 17, Number 14a

April 4, 2011

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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AVflash! Gulfstream Crash Details back to top 

G650 Crash Update: Crew Was Doing Takeoff Tests

The crew of a Gulfstream G650 test aircraft that crashed at Roswell, N.M., on Saturday morning had been conducting braking tests, according to Gulfstream. All on board -- two pilots and two flight engineers -- were killed. The aircraft had been in the pattern for a couple of hours, FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford told EAA over the weekend. Skies were clear and winds were light from the southwest. "The plane had just lifted off when the right wing struck the concrete. The plane hit the ground again and the landing gear collapsed," Lunsford said. The airplane skidded for some distance and slid to a stop about 40 feet from the control tower. The aircraft was destroyed by fire. Gulfstream released a brief statement on Saturday confirming the crash. On Sunday evening, the company released the names of the four men who died. "We mourn the loss of our colleagues and friends and extend our deepest sympathies to their families," said Joe Lombardo, president of Gulfstream Aerospace.

Killed in the crash were experimental test pilots Kent Crenshaw, 64, and Vivan Ragusa, 51, and technical specialists David McCollum, 47, and Reece Ollenburg, 48. All four were residents of Savannah, Ga. The G650 is the largest jet in the Gulfstream line, and aims to be the fastest civil airplane, with speeds up to Mach 0.925. The company has been flying the test fleet since November 2009, accumulating hundreds of hours. About 200 orders are on the books for the $65 million jet, which seats up to 18 and can fly up to 7,000 nm nonstop. Deliveries are expected to start sometime next year.

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Narco Avionics: End of an Era back to top 

NARCO Avionics In Liquidation

NARCO, an iconic company that started making avionics long before they were called avionics, has closed and is apparently in bankruptcy. The company, which started in 1945, has darkened its website except for one page, which contains this message: "Due to circumstances beyond our control, we regret to inform you that after over 65 years in business, Narco Avionics, Inc. has closed. A trustee will be appointed shortly to oversee liquidation of assets and assure return of Customer's property, such as Customer's Radios sent to Narco for service, as soon as possible. We are extremely sorry for the inconvenience this causes and thank all loyal Narco Customers, around the world, for their loyalty over all of these years! Please monitor this web site as informational updates will be provided as soon as possible."

There are tens of thousands of NARCO radios in use around the world and NARCO also built hardware for other companies to sell under their own nameplates. Since the company is being liquidated, it raises the question of whether another avionics firm will snap it up or if it will be sold in bits and pieces, raising serious questions about future support of existing products.

Security Interests in Commercial Aircraft || 
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Aircraft to Be Explored in New York

The Legal Aviation Workshop (LAW) "Security Interests in Commercial Aircraft" will take place on April 13, 2011 in New York. This major event is hosted by Kaye Scholer, LLP, and it will cover the following main themes: Introduction to Security Interests in Commercial Aircraft; Cross-Border Matters; Multiple-Aircraft Transactions: Warehouse Agreements and Enhanced Equipment Trust Certificates; Cape Town Update; Repossession and Remarketing; and the event will conclude with a Practical Exercise. Click here to learn more and register.
Aviation Safety back to top 

Pilots Dodged Busy Street In Emergency Landing

Witnesses say the pilots of a CASA 212 appear to have made a last-second decision to avoid landing on an a crowded commuter route and instead hit a brick sound barrier next to the freeway in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada last Friday. One man on the plane died but the two pilots survived with relatively minor injuries. One engine on the aircraft, a highly specialized mineral and oil exploration platform owned by Toronto-based Fugro Airborne Surveys, was reported to have failed when the aircraft was about 12 minutes out from Saskatoon. Fugro spokesman Terry McConnell told the Postmedia News the second engine also failed and there was plenty of fuel onboard. Saskatoon Deputy Fire Chief Dan Paulsen said the pilots apparently did all they could to avoid further injuries. "Where he put the aircraft down it was certainly a great deal of airmanship to avoid any other injuries on the ground, because there certainly was potential for that," said Paulsen.

The aircraft had been in the air for more than three hours when the first engine failed. The crew was on its way to Saskatoon when the second engine failed and they set up for the emergency landing. "They picked the best possible location to try and put the aircraft down," McConnell said. The plane, which is a substantial aircraft used as a commuter airliner, cargo and military transport, was removed over the weekend and investigators are now looking at it.

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Innovation and Announcements from Lakeland back to top 

Belite Introduces Fuel-Water Probe

A small probe that can fit into an aircraft fuel line, detect water in the system, and alert a pilot was introduced at Sun 'n Fun last week by Jim Wiebe, CEO of Belite Aircraft. The system is still undergoing testing, he said, and he intends to have test and reliability data available at EAA AirVenture later this summer. "It will be for sale at Oshkosh, at a price to be announced," he said. The price will be affordable for the homebuilt and ultralight market, he said, and he expects the probe will also be available for light sport and certified aircraft. Wiebe said he came across the water-detection technology by accident while working on another problem.

The system could be designed into future airplanes by manufacturers, he said. "You could screw this into a fitting near the sump in a fuel tank, or redesign the fuel tank to have this sensor at the bottom of the tank, if you were an OEM," Wiebe said. "Ideally, we'd like to see one of our OEM partners design a system whereby the detection of water in the line triggers an auto-switching system that selects another fuel tank and warns the pilot at the same time, thereby preventing the water from ever getting to the engine and causing an engine-out situation." The probe does not detect dissolved water in fuel, but is sensitive to drops of liquid water, Wiebe said. He is working to patent the technology, he added.

Flight Design Updates Four-Place Progress

Flight Design executives said at Sun 'n Fun last week they will introduce a mock-up of their four-seat fully-certified airplane at the Aero show in Friedrichschafen, Germany, later this month, and will also show it at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh in July. They showed renderings of the design to the press corps at Lakeland. The fuselage shares the high wing and wide cabin of the current CT designs, but with a less dramatic taper toward the tail. It will have fixed gear and "a lot of commonality with the CT," said Matthias Betsch, managing director of Flight Design International. "It will be big and quiet, quite an elegant airplane," he said. The price point should be between $200,000 and $250,000, with a range of about 1,200 nm and 150 kts cruise speed, according to Betsch. Targets are to have a prototype flying next year, with FAA certification by the end of 2012 and production starting in 2013. Betsch said the European version will have a diesel engine, and he will have more information later about engine choices for the U.S. market.

Betsch was upbeat about the market overall and said he is seeing signs of a strong recovery in Europe. He expects an EASA type certificate to be issued for the CTLS design within the next month or two, he said. Flight Design also introduced a hand-control-only retrofit kit that is ready for the market at $4,000. At Sun 'n Fun, the company donated one of the units to Able Flight for use by students with disabilities. The company also "accidentally" let the press corps glimpse a sketch of a CT with jet engines -- in honor of April Fool's Day.

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Sun 'n Fun: After the Show back to top 

"I Survived Sun 'n Fun" T-Shirts For Sale

The Sun 'n Fun tornado last week was certainly a dramatic enough event, and affected enough people, that a T-shirt to commemorate it was inevitable. By Saturday, show-goers were turning up with gray T-shirts that proclaim, "I survived Sun 'n Fun 2011," with a graphic of a spinning tornado tossing tents, airplanes, and various critters into the air. The actual tornado that hit the airport, while it was certainly damaging, was not quite so dramatic as the one on the T-shirt, but for those who were there, it's now officially a t-shirt-worthy event.

The shirts are for sale online at PilotMall.com for $25.

For a look at dramatic tornado-force winds flipping an airplane end over end, click here for AVweb's exclusive video of the storm. The National Weather Service confirmed on Friday that a tornado struck the field, with top wind speeds of 95 mph; click here for the details from their report.

AVweb Insider Blog: Sun 'n Fun 2011 — Green Shoots

In the latest installment of the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli has a novel idea for discussing Sun 'n Fun: Let's banish the word recovery and just talk about what we liked — which was plenty, actually. Frankly, there was more new stuff and market vitality than anyone expected.

Read more and join the conversation.

Southeast Aerospace (SEA)
Southeast Aerospace —
Leading Avionics Resource Now More Effective!

The newly designed industry-leading web site SEAerospace.com has been released! Get to know all of SEA's services: Part Sales, Repairs, Installations, Special Missions and Engineering. Each online department provides detailed information on services, capabilities, experiences and contact information. Save time and go directly to the resources you need. And, as always, you can find real-time inventory pricing and delivery on the part sales site, SEA-Avionics.com.
Pilots, Test Your Knowledge back to top 

Brainteasers Quiz #158: We Need More Pilots


As the pilot population declines, the Department of Transportation might consider listing Pilotus americanus on the endangered species list. Reverse this decline by recruiting new students who will marvel at your score on this quiz.

Take the quiz.

More Brainteasers

Mike Busch || CEO & Found of Savvy Aircraft Maintenance Management || 2008 
National Aviation Maintenance Tech of the Year
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AVweb Audio — Are You Listening? back to top 

Podcast: Volunteer Pilots for Patient Transportation

File Size 4.1 MB / Running Time 4:25

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

Most pilots are familiar with Angel Flight, and quite a few have volunteered their airplanes and time. Now there's a new organization called Patient Air Lift Services, or PALS. In this podcast from Sun 'n Fun 2011, the organization's CEO, Joe Howley, gave us a briefing on how the new group — organized just 10 months ago — works.

Click here to listen. (4.1 MB, 4:25)

Podcast: Mach 5 Bluetooth Headset

File Size 2.3 MB / Running Time 2:31

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

We wondered how long it would be before someone developed a Bluetooth headset that drops the wires from the audio jack to the headset — and now someone has. Jake Carlson of Air Gyro Aviation showed us the Mach 5 headset at Sun 'n Sun 2011, and he describes it in this podcast recorded at the show.

Click here to listen. (2.3 MB, 2:31)

AVbuys || AVweb Stories About Great Deals in Aviation
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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 

'Aviation Consumer' Hangar Survey

Do you hangar your aircraft? Do you wish you could hangar your aircraft? Do you wish someone would rent that #$^% empty hangar you still own? Please take a moment to share your thoughts (or rants) in Aviation Consumer's survey. Thanks.

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.

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Strap in now.
Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Lake Texoma Jet Center (KGYI, Dennison, TX)

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Lake Texoma Jet Center at North Texas Regional Aiport/Perrin Field (KGYI) in Dennison, Texas.

A little common courtesy (not just a car) from LTJC impressed AVweb reader Daniel Dorgan on a recent unscheduled stop:

Flying a friend for his first flight from McKinney, Texas to the Sherman/Dennison [area]. My friend became airsick and needed a break from the airplane. This FBO provided a courtesy car knowing we would not be refueling there or having any repairs made to the Arrow. No financial incentive whatsoever — and yet they treated us with respect, as if we were a kerosene-powered aircraft providing a significant amount of revenue.

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!

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.
The Franklins: How to Help 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.

The Lighter Side of Flight back to top 

Short Final

I overheard the following tower transmission after a King Air made a particularly short landing at Metro Airport near Denver. The King Air landed in less than a thousand feet and cleared the runway much earlier than the tower anticipated.

Controller (obviously stunned — and in good humor) :
"King Air, would you mind telling the tower exactly what was wrong with the other 9,000 feet of our runway?"

Ryan Lunde
via e-mail

Heard Anything Funny on the Radio?

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.

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.