AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 17, Number 30e

July 29, 2011

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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Booths at EAA AirVenture: 2145-2148
Ask the Administrator: 4G vs. GPS Cause for Concern? back to top 

Babbitt Says GPS Safe

FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said Thursday he's convinced GPS signals will be safe despite a potential interference threat from a broadband company that appears to be ramping up for a full-scale launch in the next few years. Babbitt told the annual Meet the Administrator session at AirVenture Oshkosh Thursday that the issues regarding LightSquared's plan to create a nationwide broadband network and its potential effect on GPS are well known in Washington and he expects GPS to be preserved. "I'm very comfortable in saying that we are going to protect the GPS signal," he told the AirVenture crowd of hundreds. His comments come on the heels of a report (PDF) written by the FAA's navigation section that predicts LightSquared's plan will essentially destroy GPS reception in much of the U.S. "In the next ten years, it would result in an estimated impact to the aviation community of at least $70 billion and an additional 30 million tons of CO2...," the report, obtained by the Coalition to Preserve Our GPS, and released to the media says. LightSquared says it wants to talk to the FAA about the report and it also slams the GPS industry for failing to build safeguards into its products to prevent interference from signals in other frequency bands. It also announced a blockbuster deal with Sprint Nextel that doesn't look like it takes any regulatory hiccups into account.

In comments to AVweb, LightSquared's Jeff Carlisle, the director of regulatory affairs, said the company looks forward to discussing the report with the FAA and also repeated the assertion that the GPS industry reaction "shows that GPS manufacturers want to continue to avoid responsibility for selling equipment that was not designed to accommodate longstanding FCC rules." In a news release Thursday, LightSquared confirmed our report that it has reached a deal with Sprint Nextel that will allow it to use Sprint's 40,000 towers to mount its transmitters. In return, Sprint gets $4.5 billion in credits to tap into LightSquared's 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network

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Booths at EAA AirVenture: 78-82, 100-116
"Meet the Administrator" Fireside Chat back to top 

Babbitt Reassuring Despite Tough Times

FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt made a quick visit to EAA AirVenture on Thursday and spent an hour talking with the Oshkosh crowds in the show's big forum pavilion. He gave a short update on FAA issues, answered a list of questions from EAA president Rod Hightower, and fielded a few queries from the audience. He said he was "deeply troubled" by the failure of Congress to extend a funding bill, forcing the agency to furlough 4,000 workers. "I had no choice," he said. "I personally regret having to take this action." Getting those workers back on the job is his number-one priority right now, he said. Regarding the future of avgas, Babbitt said, "I think we are on track to come up with workable solutions. But is there a solution that (1) is a drop-in solution, and (2) is affordable? I hope so, but I don't have clarity on it."

Asked about the cost for general aviation pilots to install the equipment required to operate in the NextGen system -- Hightower said airplane owners are looking at a $15,000 investment or more -- Babbitt said he expects the prices to come down as the market expands. "By 2020, you need ADS-B-out, which has a lot of advantages for pilots," he said. Pilots will save money by getting traffic and weather data for free, he said, and those savings on subscription fees will go a long way to offset the cost of equipment. Also, he said pilots will pay those costs incrementally as they upgrade to new equipment over the next nine years, since that new equipment will have the required capabilities. The system provides a lot of value for GA pilots, he said. "Once you get it and use it, you're not going back," he said.

Hightower also asked for Babbitt's views on the FAA's change of policy regarding protecting the identity of private aircraft owners, known as the BARR program. Babbitt said the change resulted after the agency had to respond to a Freedom of Information Act request and decided there was no good reason the data shouldn't be public. "This is one of those cases where we need to distinguish between a right and a privilege," Babbitt said. Flying in the national airspace system qualifies as a privilege, he said.

He added that he was sorry the FAA doesn't have as robust a presence at AirVenture this year as it usually does. "This is not business as usual -- I need all hands on deck in Washington," he said. "Since 2007, FAA funding has been extended 20 times," he said. The short-term extensions make it difficult for the agency to manage long-term projects. "This is not the way to run an aviation system," Babbitt said. He added that he appreciates the efforts of EAA, AOPA, and other GA advocacy groups that have been helping to lobby for secure funding for the FAA.

In answer to a question from the audience, Babbitt said he wasn't aware of any plan in the works to replace airman medicals with a driver's license. He also didn't seem too concerned about user fees, saying the current administration doesn't support that funding mechanism for the FAA. EAA had announced that Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood would also be visiting the show on Thursday, but he had to cancel. "He's busy at the White House today," an FAA spokesman told AVweb. Babbitt also had to return to Washington shortly after his forum and was not available for further interviews.

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Booths at EAA AirVenture: 476
F-16 Off the Runway at KOSH Thursday back to top 

F-16 Runway Overrun at Oshkosh

click for photos

An F-16 rolled off the end of Runway 36 at Wittman Regional Airport after landing about 11:40 a.m. Thursday. The aircraft did what appeared to be a normal landing with a high alpha rollout, but it failed to stop, and it appears the nosegear was collapsed when it hit the grass. In the accompanying photos, the engine nozzle appears to be in the fully open position during the landing roll, and a small fire can be seen in the aircraft's tailpipe after it stops. The photos were taken by AVweb intern Adam Cutler. (The airport was temporarily closed at the time of the incident.)

Click for photos.

Zulu.2 || More Quiet, More Comfort, More 
Lightspeed Aviation Announces the Availability of Zulu.2
Lightspeed is pleased to announce the availability of the new Zulu.2. Stop by the Lightspeed Pavilion across from Hangar B at Oshkosh and give it a try. Improving in the areas of quiet, comfort, and clarity, Zulu.2 once again sets the standard in the premium headset market. Zulu.2 is currently the only aviation headset offering full-function Bluetooth™ technology for both phone and music applications. Learn more at LightspeedAviation.com.
Booths at EAA AirVenture: 259
WAI Reaches Out to Next Generation back to top 

Women In Aviation Invite Daughters To 2012 Conference

The 2012 Women in Aviation Conference, coming up next March in Dallas, Texas, will include a day-long program designed for the daughters of those who attend, the group announced this week at EAA AirVenture. "Bring Your Daughter to the Conference Day" is aimed at girls age 10 to 18 and will take place on Saturday, March 10. A remark by EAA President Rod Hightower was the inspiration for the new program, said Peggy Chabrian, president of Women in Aviation International. When Hightower told her he was planning to bring his own daughters to the WAI conference, the idea of others bringing their daughters was put in motion. Programs are also in the works to reach out to local Girl Scout groups to invite girls who might not otherwise be introduced to aviation. About 200 girls are expected to participate.

WAI has an active presence at AirVenture every year, with a variety of events designed to promote women in aviation. This year, a panel of accomplished women spoke at Theater in the Woods, including Kay Hire, a Navy pilot and astronaut, and Lt. Col. Maryse Carmichael, commander of the Canadian Snowbirds. The group also hosts a breakfast with speakers and an annual group photo shoot at the center of the show grounds. The 2012 conference is scheduled for March 8-10 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. Invited speakers include Gerard Arpey, CEO of American Airlines; EAA President Rod Hightower, and astronaut Sandra Magnus. Events will include tours of some local American Airlines facilities. A highlight of every conference is the announcement of dozens of scholarship awards -- in 2011, 76 scholarships valued at $691,750 went to WAI members at every stage of life from university students to older people seeking a new career. So far, 64 scholarships with a value of more than $455,500 have been pledged for the Dallas conference.

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Booths at EAA AirVenture: 283-287
Remembering Dave Sclair back to top 

Dave Sclair, Aviation Publisher, Has Died

Dave Sclair, who for many years was the publisher of the General Aviation News until he retired about 10 years ago, died on Tuesday. He started to fly in the 1960s, and soon started publishing news for the general aviation and the ultralight community. In 1990, he started General Aviation News, a large-format newspaper distributed across the U.S. His wife, Mary Lou, became his co-publisher, and his children Ben and Robyn now are co-publishers of the publication, which is based in Lakewood, Wash. "Dave Sclair has left an indelible mark of journalistic excellence on the general aviation industry," said Phil Boyer, former president of AOPA. "The fruit of his hard work will be harvested well into the future because he built a family business that will carry his mark for decades to come."

Sclair's contributions were recognized by AOPA in 1991, when he earned the Max Karant Award for Lifetime Excellence in Aviation Coverage. He and his wife also published a blog, Living With Your Plane, which aims to provide useful information to anyone who lives on an airpark, or would like to, or would like to build one.

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Booths at EAA AirVenture: 190, 3037-3039
Photos from Oshkosh back to top 

EAA AirVenture 2011: Photo Gallery — Day Five

click for photos

Today we sent intern Adam out to crawl into a few cockpits and check out some airplanes on display. Enjoy the fruits of his labors.

Click for photos.

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... Or see an FL 650 at Val Avionics' booth (#3074) in Building C at AirVenture.
Booths at EAA AirVenture: See it at Val Avionics' booth (#3074)
Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: OSH Notebook

As AirVenture 2011 shifts into cruise mode, AVweb is on-site at Wittman Field in Oshkosh. Paul Bertorelli uses the AVweb Insider blog to share some random observations, not the least of which that Congressional hijinks on the FAA budget is causing real ramifications in the aviation industry.

Read more and join the conversation.

AVweb Insider Blog: OSH Notebook — More FAA Theatre

On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli has some more observations on this year's EAA AirVenture. Despite some major players and major shake-ups, the most interesting developments are the low-key. Maybe that's what happens when a good chunk of the FAA is on furlough during aviation's big week.

Read more and join the conversation.

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AVweb Audio — Are You Listening? back to top 

Podcast: Eclipse Cleared to 410

File Size 4.0 MB / Running Time 3:53

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After problems with carbon fouling in compressor vanes, the Eclipse 500 was limited to 30,000 feet, a fuel-inefficient altitude that saps its range. But now, says the company's Mason Holland, Pratt & Whitney has come up with a fix that involves a new burner can design. Eclipse's Ken Oden told us this week at AirVenture that the Pratt modification will extend the EA500's range to beyond 1,000 miles with NBAA reserves.

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Click here to listen. (4.0 MB, 3:53)

Podcast: Electroair's Electronic Ignition System

File Size 4.4 MB / Running Time 5:29

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Every ounce of fuel matters these days. Electroair has taken their electronic ignition system for experimental aircraft and certified it for four-cylinder Lycoming engines in most Cessna 152, 172, and 177 (Cardinal) models. The company's testing shows a 10- to 15-percent fuel savings in most applications. In addition to just supplying a hotter, longer-duration spark, the system advances the spark timing for more efficient combustion at altitude.

Electroair's president, Michael Kobylik, says four-cylinder Lycomings on Pipers are next up, with other common airframes such as Mooneys after that. Continental engines and bigger Lycomings are on the way. The certified system is $3,400. Experimental aircraft and LSA systems are available for less. The company web site is Electroair.net.

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Click here to listen. (4.4 MB, 5:29)

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One Step Closer to Star Trek back to top 

Video: Controlling Your GPS with Your Voice

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Voiceflight has a system to tell your Garmin 430 or 530 what waypoints you want in your flight plan. It can even turn a vector airway into a series of waypoints. AVweb's Jeff Van West took a closer look.

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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 Bose Corporation and WxWorx XM WX Satellite Weather.

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Charts, Plates, and GPS on Your iPad back to top 

Video: Jeppesen's New Mobile App

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Jeppesen has added en route charts and GPS position to its iPad app. They say these features are just the beginning.

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If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

This video is brought to you by Lightspeed Aviation and Phillips 66 Aviation.

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

Survey: Have You Had Your Airplane Painted Recently?

If so, Aviation Consumer would like to hear about the results. Did the shop do a good job? Did it deliver on time? And what about the price?

To take our survey, just click here, and it will take you right to our survey page.

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.

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 EAA AirVenture Oshkosh (booth numbers)

476, 1022-1029, 4066Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Co.
2145-2148Aspen Avionics
1159-1160Avemco Insurance
293-294, 2098-2101Avidyne
283-287Bose Corporation
78-82, 100-116Cessna Aircraft
3005General Aviation Modifications, Inc. (GAMI)
1040-1042Hartzell Engine Technologies
3083Hilton Software/WingX
1071-1072JP Instruments
259Lightspeed Aviation
277-282Lycoming Engines
476Phillips 66 Aviation
2065Pilot Insurance Center (PIC)
229-234Teledyne-Continental Motors (TCM)
3118Travers Aviation
3074True Flight (at Val Avionics' booth)
190, 3037-3039WxWorx XM WX Satellite Weather