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Volume 17, Number 20b
May 19, 2011
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AVflash! Politics, Government, and the D-Jetback to top 

Diamond Aircraft will have to find other ways to get the funding it needs, said President Peter Maurer this week, now that the Canadian government has turned down a request for a $35 million loan. The company has been working to find private investors to keep the company and its D-Jet program going while waiting for a decision from the government, but so far nothing is nailed down. The longer it takes, the harder it will be for the company to stay in its current location in London, Ontario, Maurer said. "There are some good, viable prospects out there" to provide the funding Diamond needs, Maurer told the London Free Press, but "it will take time." He said the delay also means more laid-off workers from the D-Jet program will find jobs elsewhere, making it harder to re-start when funding is secured. More...

Bombshells 'Warbirds' 2012 Pin-Up Calendar 
|| Available at Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Co.
Bombshells Warbirds 2012 Pin-Up Calendar
Available at Aircraft Spruce

It doesn't get any better: Great planes and beautiful girls. Each 2012 Bombshells Warbirds Calendar features 12 months of air-to-air photography and beautiful models decorously dressed and photographed with each plane. The calendar comes individually wrapped and is in full color, 12" x 18" hanging. Sassy, sexy but always classy — all dressed in vintage-type clothing, bringing back that pin-up feel. Call 1 (877) 4‑SPRUCE or visit
Aviation Safetyback to top 

Three crew somehow escaped serious injury when their fully loaded Boeing 707 tanker crashed and burned on takeoff from NAS Point Mugu in California late Wednesday afternoon. The airframe is obviously a writeoff. The aircraft was one of two 707-300 passenger aircraft converted to tankers owned by Omega Air Refueling, which has been contracted to the Navy and the Marines for inflight refueling for seven years. The company also has a DC-10-40 converted to a flying filling station More...

EAA AirVenture 2011 || July 25-31
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh:
The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration

July 25-31

It's gonna be a big year at Oshkosh. We're celebrating 100 Years of Naval Aviation all week long. Plus: Special tributes to Bob Hoover and Burt Rutan, a Monday concert by REO Speedwagon, the return of the Saturday night air show, and innovation in the air with the Electric Flight Prize competition.

For more information or to buy your tickets online and save, click here.
Aviation Safety Follow-Upsback to top 

Investigators have successfully downloaded all the data from the flight recorders from Air France Flight 447 that were recovered two weeks ago, the French accident investigation bureau announced on Monday. The data includes two hours of cockpit voice recordings and all the information stored in the flight data recorder that monitored the systems of the Airbus A330, which crashed into the Atlantic nearly two years ago while en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris. The recorders were found nearly two and half miles deep. An interim report on the analysis of the data should be published sometime this summer, according to BEA, the French accident investigation bureau. More...

Preliminary analysis of the flight data recorder from Air France Flight 447 has not revealed any mechanical malfunctions that would require safety recommendations for the A330 fleet, according to a notice Airbus sent to its customers this week. That notice sparked speculation in the French media that pilot error was the likely cause of the June 2009 crash, but BEA, the French accident investigation bureau, objected to such reports as "sensationalist" and premature. "At this stage of the investigation, no conclusions can be drawn," BEA said in a statement. However, BEA said analysis of the recorders is expected to be key to finding the probable cause of the accident. More...

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The Passion to Fly Knows No Limitsback to top 

The tricky maneuver of re-entry to the atmosphere is a challenge for spacecraft, but Burt Rutan's innovative "feathering" mechanism aims to make it simple and safe -- and now Scaled Composites has successfully tested the technology on its large-scale SpaceShipTwo. The first feathering test was completed earlier this month, and this week, Virgin Galactic posted video footage of the flight. (Click through to watch the video.) "It was a really major milestone for the test-flight program," says Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides in the video. "Today we received confirmation that the basic design of the spaceship is solid." Program manager Matt Steinmetze says, "We dropped it, we folded it in half, and the airplane didn't do anything bizarre, it didn't turn upside down. It did what it was supposed to, so now we've got an entry vehicle. Now we can come back from space." More...

In China it may not always be easy -- or legal -- to fly a general aviation aircraft, but a very small, very select group of Chinese are doing it anyway. There are an estimated 1,000 registered private aircraft in all of China. Among that group, there is a tiny subset of wealthy individuals that chooses to bypass protocol altogether. According to the New York Times, such pilots are called "black fliers" (think "black ops") for their habit of taking flight on the sly. "It's like this -- your family, your wife, won't let you go out and pick up girls. But you went out and did it anyway," Guan Hongsheng, told the Times. "Secret flying is like secret love. You do it, you don't tell people about it." How it works is easy, if imprudent, enough. But not all of the unapproved flights end without consequence. More...

The number of women pilots has increased since 2000 by 18.6 percent and the number of those with ATP certificates is up 35 percent while the number of male pilots has dropped, according to statistics updated Monday by the FAA. There were an estimated 42,218 female certificate holders in 2010, which puts the group at 6.7 percent of the estimated total 627,588 certificated pilots recorded by the FAA. Among the ranks of Airline Transport Pilot rated certificates, women jumped from 10,218 in 2000 to 13,755 in 2010. Over the same period, the estimated number of men holding certificates dropped nearly 1 percent and the number of men holding ATP ratings dropped about 1/2 percent. The numbers also show that the advance of women in aviation goes beyond the flight deck. More...

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International Learn to Fly Day: This Saturdayback to top 

The second annual International Learn to Fly Day, which is organized by EAA, aims to provide free introductory flights and encouragement to adults curious about aviation, with events at airports around the world. This year's event is set for Saturday, May 21, with close to 200 sites participating. Many airports and flight schools host an open house for the day, to reach out to the community and invite those who have always wanted to fly to try going up in a small airplane. Last year's inaugural event drew more than 40,000 people. Sites are easy to find via the Learn to Fly Day web site; just type in your zip code to find events near you. More...

On Saturday, May 21, the second edition of Learn to Fly Day will launch at airports around the world. Ron Wagner, the manager of field relations for EAA, talks with AVweb's Mary Grady about how pilots can get involved and help introduce people to aviation.

This podcast is brought to you by Bose Corporation. More...

GAMI - General Aviation Modifications, Inc. 
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What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Weekback to top 

Early field tests of the effects of LightSquared's 4G signal on GPS-dependent devices showed some disruption of service when tested by first responders in New Mexico. In a letter to federal officials (PDF) last week, Bill Range, the program director for New Mexico's 911 system, says the tests run by police and emergency medical services personnel from two counties "substantiate concerns that the LightSquared network will cause interference to GPS signals and jeopardize 911 and public safety nationwide." In the tests, first responders reported inaccuracies and failures with GPS equipment in proximity to the LightSquared towers that persisted even after the 4G signal was turned off. As we reported Monday, LightSquared began live tests from a transmitter in the Nevada desert near Boulder City. More...

Have you flown through the test area during testing (midnight to 6 a.m.)? If so, have you noticed any effect on your GPS equipment? After telling the FAA, why not drop us a line at and let us and your fellow AVweb readers know what you experienced?

Eurocopter has conducted full-power tests of its hybrid helicopter design and says the X3 maintained 232 knots TAS in straight and level flight for "several minutes" on May 12. The aircraft, with twin outboard propellers augmenting the conventional rotor, first flew last fall but didn't have the final-design transmission on board and was restricted to 180 knots. With all the right gears in place, the aircraft actually beat the target top speed of 220 knots and the test pilot said it provoked no grey hairs. "We were impressed by the ease at which this speed objective was attained," said test pilot Herve Jammayrac. The X3 is intended to grow into a family of aircraft that offer conventional aircraft speed with helicopter versatility. Sikorsky also has a hybrid called the X2 and it's been recognized with aviation's most coveted award. More...

The two pilots who were flying an Embraer Legacy 600 jet that collided with a Boeing 737 at 37,000 feet above the Amazon jungle in 2006 were convicted of negligence in a Brazilian court late on Monday. The judge said the pilots, Joseph Lepore and Jan Paul Paladino, failed to adequately check that their transponder was working. Federal judge Merilo Mendes gave them a four-year sentence, but then suspended it and instead required them to do four years of community service in the U.S., where they have been since shortly after the accident. The two pilots testified during the trial via video link. Mendes also suspended their pilot certificates for four years. It's not clear whether those suspensions can be enforced. More...


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Mike Busch || CEO & Found of Savvy 
Aircraft Maintenance Management || 2008 National Aviation Maintenance 
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Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

This week, a Brazilian court convicted two American pilots in absentia for being negligent in the 2006 midair collision between the Embraer Legacy they were flying and a GOL 737, which crashed, killing all aboard. In his latest post to the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli says this verdict serves no one and only does harm to Brazil's reputation in the world of aviation. Read more and join the conversation. More...

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 

Canada just turned down Diamond Aircraft's request for a $35 million repayable loan. Was it the right decision?

Plus: Last week, AVweb reader Dave Myrick wanted to know what you consider the single greatest threat to general aviation; click through to see the breakdown of answers. 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...

Light Plane Maintenance Toolbox CD
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AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

No one does aviation quite like the Navy, and carriers are only half of the story. In this vodcast, author/photographer Erik Hildebrandt talks about his experiences in shooting and compiling an impressive history of a century of naval aviation. More...

Come ride along on some simulator training in a Cirrus SR22 to see the kinds of things you can do better in the box than in the real world. We'll also give you some tips for getting the most out of your simulator time. More...

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 FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Aircraft Services of New England at Minuteman Air Field (6B6) in Stow, Massachusetts.

We often hear about great FBOs that readers discover during a trip, but AVweb reader Paul MacMelville reminded us how your local FBO can come through in a pinch and save the day when you're busy attending to other matters:

I had flown from Oscoda, Michigan to Minuteman Air Field in Stow, Massachusetts to visit my mother in the hospital before heading down to Virginia to attend my daughter's Air Force retirement ceremony. On Friday, we had a heavy wet snowstorm, and, needing to leave on Sunday, I decided to go out to the airport Saturday to check on the airplane and field conditions. The heavy snow had pulled the tail of my plane down to the ground where it froze overnight, and when it thawed in the morning the fiberglass tailcone stayed stuck to the ground, tearing out the screw holes in the fiberglass as the snow melted and the nose came back to earth. I brought the tailcone into [FBO owner] Bob Booth's shop and asked for help. He not only repaired the cone but reinstalled it on the aircraft while I was back at the hospital with my mother. He called and left a message on my cell phone telling me the bird was ready to go and there was no charge! He saved my trip!

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!


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.