Aircraft Spruce at the 2011
Visit the Aircraft Spruce
booth in Arlington, Washington (booth
#52) on July 6-9 from 9:00am to 6:00pm
July 10 from 9:00am to 3:00pm
advantage of some of your favorite products on sale, complimentary UPS
ground shipping on most orders, and Aircraft Spruce's helpful staff to
answer questions. Call 1 (877) 4‑SPRUCE
FAA SHOULD ADDRESS PILOT COMMUTES
A report released Wednesday
by the National Research Council found that commuting practices among
airline pilots "could potentially contribute to their fatigue," and
since fatigue can reduce performance, pilots, airlines, and the FAA
should take steps to reduce the chance that commuting will pose a safety
risk. The report stopped short of recommending new regulations, and said
a lack of data hampered the analysis. "Some commutes have the potential
to contribute to fatigue in pilots, and fatigue can pose a safety risk,
but at this point we simply don't know very much about actual pilots'
commuting practices," said Clint Oster, chair of the research committee.
"Airlines and FAA should gather more information on pilots' commutes,
and also work with pilots to lower the likelihood that fatigue from
commuting will be a safety risk." The report also offers suggestions to
commuting pilots about best practices that could help to minimize
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FUNDING SAGA CONTINUES
In May, Congress agreed to extend the
FAA's funding through June 30, and as that date loomed last week, they
passed yet another extension that expires on July 22. It was the 20th
such short-term measure since the last comprehensive funding bill
expired in 2007. The uncertainty and lack of long-term planning has not
been good for the FAA, according to Administrator Randy Babbitt. "It's
very difficult to run an agency when you're budgeting for weeks, not
years," he said in a recent speech. "We need the restoration of predictable
long-term funding for aviation programs." Both houses of Congress passed
reauthorization bills earlier this year, but so far they have been
unable to reconcile their differences. More...
GRANTS MILLIONS FOR AIRPORT IMPROVEMENTS
The FAA has
announced its annual grants to support airport improvements around the
country. To find out what to expect at your local airports, click here to download the official FAA spreadsheet
(XLS). Most of the awards are for well under a million dollars, and
fund projects such as resurfacing a runway or acquiring snow-removal
equipment. Some are more ambitious, such as $218,719,008 for a new
runway at Chicago O'Hare, and $64,400,000 to build a fire and rescue
building at the Marshall Islands International Airport. The grants also
will fund construction of three new airports, two in Alaska and one in
The FAA's Airport Improvement Program provides grants to be
used for the planning and development of public-use airports, heliports,
and seaplane bases, including some that are privately owned. For general
aviation airports, the grant covers 95 percent of eligible costs.
Projects that enhance airport safety, capacity, security, and
environmental concerns are eligible for funding. Early versions of
federal airport grants date back to 1946, but the current program was
established by the Airport and Airway Improvement Act of 1982. Funds for
the grants are drawn from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, which is
supported by user fees, fuel taxes, and other similar revenue sources.
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INTRODUCES "PILOT'S BILL OF RIGHTS"
Senator James Inhofe,
October landed on a closed runway that had vehicles and people
on it for which he received a remedial training order from the FAA,
Wednesday introduced a bill to protect pilots from "agency overreach."
Inhofe's remedial training was supplied by an instructor who he'd once
taught. The bill would address items ranging from medical certification
issues to Inhofe's concern that he waited four months to get voice
recordings related to his episode. "I was never fully appreciative,"
said Inhofe, "of the feeling of desperation until it happened to me." Recordings of the
manager whose workers were on the runway as Inhofe landed suggest they
also might have felt desperation, but of a different sort. EAA and AOPA
are among supporters of Inhofe's bill. Click through for details.
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TO AIRLINES: BEWARE IMPLANT BOMBS
Federal officials Wednesday
briefed airline executives on the possibility that terrorists may try to
deliver explosive devices onto commercial airliners by surgically
implanting them into suicide bombers. British officials in 2010
reportedly found evidence that al-Qaida was trying to do just that, but
the new warning has not been attached to a specific threat. "This is
something we've been concerned about for quite some time," security
consultant J. Bennet Waters, and former TSA official, told the San
Francisco Chronicle. While some experts believe it would be relatively
easy to conceal an explosive in a body, others see flaws in the method.
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COMPETE ABOVE NEW YORK
In a rare event last staged 25 years
ago, three blimps competed in a race above New York's Hudson River,
launching on July Fourth. The race took place about 5 p.m., with fair
blue skies and balmy weather, covering about three miles from start to
finish. The three ships rendezvoused at about 1,000 feet above the
Statue of Liberty, then raced up the river to the finish line at 59th
Street, near the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. The blimp sponsored
by Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, which has a top speed
of about 36 mph, came in first, followed by Hangar 1 Vodka and DirecTV.
Three blimps in one place may not seem like a large field, but since
there are only two or three dozen airships in the world, they
represented a significant gathering. More...
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SELLS 50 BIZJETS TO CHINA
A Chinese leasing company has
confirmed it intends to order 50 high-end Gulfstream business jets in a
deal worth more than $2 billion. The deal with the China Minsheng
Banking Corp.'s leasing arm involves an unspecified number of G650, G550
and G450 jets, the most modern in Gulfstream's line. Order confirmations
and deliveries will take three to five years, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The leasing company
expects to have more than 100 business aircraft under its control by the
end of the year, making it the biggest player in Chinese business
aviation. Gulfstream was an early participant in the Chinese bizjet
market and another of its big customers there, Deer Jet, is advancing
its business plan. More...
POISED FOR EXPLOSIVE BIZJET GROWTH
The U.S. still operates
about 80 percent of the world's business jets but if recent trends
continue, that dominance will end. At a conference in Shannon, Ireland,
last week, delegates to the Financial Solutions for Business Aircraft
event were told that the business jet market has shifted considerably in
the last five years, with 72 percent of business jets going to U.S.
customers in 2006 and just 42 percent in 2010. The so-called BRIC
countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) are taking up much of the
slack and European sales have also been strong. But like virtually every
other economic forecaster, guest speaker Oliver Stone, of Colibri
Aircraft, said China is the country to watch in terms of business
aviation expansion. More...
AVWEB'S BUSINESS AVIATION NEWSLETTER
Have you signed up yet for AVweb's
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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
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Fly More for
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.
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AVIATION CONSUMER'S TIEDOWN SHOOTOUT
tornado at Sun 'n Fun in April didn't get your attention, it should
have. With EAA AirVenture looming and storms hammering the midwest, it's
time to think about portable tiedown systems for the show. In this brief
video, AVweb and Aviation Consumer wring out three
systems, and the walkaway winner is a product you've never heard of.
OF THE WEEK: WESTERN AIRCRAFT (GOWEN FIELD, KBOI, BOISE,
While many pilots in U.S. and Canada were celebrating
their national birthdays with family trip, AVweb reader Deb
Price discovered the value of a good FBO when she made an
unscheduled stop at Western Aircraft at Gowen Field (KBOI) in
Boise, Idaho our latest "FBO of the Week." Deb
On Saturday of the
July 4 weekend, the Cirrus SR20 we were flying developed a problem with
one of its alternators. Melissa gave us bottles of water while she
called around to find a mechanic even if it was at a competitor!
She lent us the crew car to get lunch while she waited for a response.
There was no one around to look at our problem, so we decided to
continue, since the weather was VFR to our destination. Melissa even
waived fees, since we just stopped for a maintenance issue and didn't
need fuel. She was friendly and professional throughout. What a good
Keep those nominations
coming. For complete contest rules, click
AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in
the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here
next Monday! More...
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.
AVwebFlash team is:
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
Have a product or service to advertise
on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's
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
Navigate. Communicate. More...