AVwebFlash - Volume 17, Number 31b

August 4, 2011

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
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First Flight For Korean GA Airplane

The KAI KC-100, a four-seat general aviation aircraft that is the first of its kind to be designed and built in South Korea, is now in flight testing, the company announced recently. The airplane, called the Naraon, aims to be 10 percent more fuel-efficient than others in its class, with a top speed of about 210 knots and a range of about 1,000 nm, which is enough to reach most major cities in Japan and China from South Korea. It's expected to be FAA certified and will sell for about $575,000. The first flight took place on July 20, the company said. The airplane is expected to be available in the market in mid-2013.

The Naraon is powered by a FADEC-controlled TCM TSIOF-550-K turbocharged engine. It's constructed of carbon fiber, with a cabin that's an inch or two wider than Cirrus and Corvalis designs, with gull-wing doors for entry. It is expected to be finished with an Avidyne Entegra II panel, standard TKS ice protection, air conditioning and oxygen. A full-plane parachute is expected to be offered as an option.

Icon A5 Flies With New Wing, RC Version Introduced

Icon this week announced the first flight of its A5 amphibious LSA with the new spin-resistant wing that will go on the production model. The flight took place last Thursday, following "many months … [of] development and fabrication," according to the company's Facebook page. The airplane will remain wings-level in a stall, the company said, helping the pilot to maintain control. The wing also is without flaps, which Icon said will simplify operations and increase safety for new pilots. Deliveries are set to start in the fourth quarter of next year. Those who can't wait can now order an RC model of the A5, ready to start shipping next month.

The models, created by Horizon Hobby, have a 52-inch wingspan and removable landing gear for amphibious operations. They're available in various configurations at prices from $199 to $340. The models are for sale on Icon Aircraft's web site and at Horizon's web site. Icon also announced recently that it has narrowed down its choices for the location of its future headquarters. The new facility will consolidate engineering, production, corporate and flight training, and will be located in Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada or Texas. The company currently works from a facility in Tehachapi, Calif.

 
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All Eyes on the FAA as Congress Takes a Break back to top 
 
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DOT, FAA Furious Over Congressional Inaction

Congress adjourned on Tuesday night without taking action to fully fund the FAA, leaving 4,000 workers on furlough, and officials were not happy. "It's a sad day for America," said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt, according to CNN. "I've been around this business a long time. I've never seen anything like this," Babbitt said. "And I find it appalling, candidly." He added that some of the furloughed workers will leave to find other jobs, setting back airport construction projects for months. President Barack Obama described the shutdown as "another Washington-inflicted wound on America," and called on Congress to break the impasse. Various issues have stalled efforts to reauthorize FAA funding, including disputes over subsidies to rural airports and language that would make it easier for workers to unionize. The failure to act before the recess means another five-week delay before FAA funding is addressed.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood also addressed the press on Wednesday, demanding that Congress should come back to Washington and pass a bill. "Leave your vacations!" he said. "Get off the beach … come back to Washington, pass a bill." LaHood added that about 40 FAA safety inspectors around the country are continuing to work for free. On Monday, Babbitt and LaHood had joined together to "demand that Congress pass an FAA funding bill before getting on airplanes to fly away for vacation," according to an FAA news release. Besides the 4,000 FAA employees, an estimated 70,000 workers in construction and related fields are out of work due to project delays. The U.S. government will also forfeit about $1 billion in uncollected taxes from airline tickets during the recess. LaHood and several other guests spoke about the issues on Wednesday on NPR.

Related Content:

FAA: Controllers Can Return To Cockpits

Until 2001, air traffic controllers were welcome to ride jump-seat in airline cockpits under a program that aimed to familiarize them with flight-crew procedures. This week, the FAA said it is reviving that program. "This [Flight Deck Training] gives our new generation of air traffic controllers a chance to see and hear what the pilot is experiencing so they know exactly what is happening on the other end of the microphone," said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. "As a pilot, I think this important training will give controllers a richer picture of the airspace system." The program aims to improve safety by giving air traffic controllers a greater understanding of the pilots' experience and workload in the cockpit. Controllers can take up to two trips per year, and cannot take the training in conjunction with any leave.

A controller must have advance approval to participate and must also submit an itinerary, as well as medical and security information, the FAA said. Foreign travel is not permitted. Once approved, the controller must present unique identification to access the cockpit. During the flight, the controller must complete pre-approved training objectives, such as observing pre-flight aircraft preparation, taxi instructions and procedures, departure delays and ground stops, types of approaches, en route weather and flow constraints. Flight Deck Training is a pilot program that the FAA will evaluate and monitor over the next six months.

 
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The Truth About Dan Cooper? back to top 
 

"D.B. Cooper Was My Uncle"

An Oklahoma woman who was eight years old when the man popularly known as D.B. Cooper made his famous 1971 hijacking has come forward to say she is the man's niece, that he was really L.D. Cooper, and he's been dead since 1999. D.B. Cooper is the name that has stuck with a man who identified himself as Dan Cooper when he hijacked a Boeing 727 on Thanksgiving-eve, 40 years ago. He ultimately left the aircraft with $200,000 in cash and a parachute after opening the rear airstair. At the time, the aircraft was flying at night through weather en route from Seattle for Reno at approximately 10,000 feet as directed by the hijacker. He was never found. Marla Cooper says she's working on a book on the subject and her memories have come rushing back over the past few years.

Marla Cooper says her family lost touch with her uncle L.D. in 1972 one year after the famous hijacking. She says she recently remembered her family planning something prior to the hijacking, seeing her uncle (badly injured) shortly after the hijacking and being told by her father never to talk about the event. She says she called the FBI two years ago and has since passed a lengthy lie detector test, which may suggest that she believes what she's saying. The niece supplied an old guitar strap worn by her uncle to the FBI for DNA testing. She told CNN Wednesday that, to her knowledge, the FBI had been unable to retrieve any relevant evidence from the strap. For the FBI's part, they have not yet been able to rule out the possibility that L.D. Cooper was D.B. Cooper or if he was completely unconnected to the event.

 
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Another Hurdle for F-35 Joint Strike Fighter back to top 
 

F-35 Testing Suspended

Officials have ceased all flight and ground operations for the Joint Strike Fighter after the integrated power package (IPP) on a U.S. Air Force variant test aircraft failed, Tuesday, during a ground maintenance run at Edwards Air Force Base. No injuries were reported as a result of the unit's failure and developers are working to source the cause. The particular aircraft is an AF-4, which is a conventional takeoff and landing version of the multi-role aircraft. The IPP combines functions performed by an auxiliary power unit, emergency power system and environmental controls. It's failure isn't the only electrical problem to ground F-35s this year.

The cessation or limiting of specific operations during the test program is not particularly unusual, but putting a halt to ground operations is less common. Overall, the F-35 is ahead of its latest schedule, which was put in place in January. The F-35 has previously suffered delays this year. In March the fleet was grounded due to a dual generator failure on this same test aircraft. In June, the Navy's F-35C variant was grounded due to a software problem that could have caused the control surfaces to freeze in flight. In both cases, the problem was sourced and resolved, and aircraft were returned to testing shortly thereafter. Developers are aiming for a similar result now.

 
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What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Week back to top 
 

GA Groups File Protests Over LightSquared

AOPA, GAMA, and Garmin added their comments to a roster of more than 2,700 on Monday to protest FCC plans that would allow LightSquared to broadcast over frequencies that would interfere with GPS signals. Garmin said the "laws of physics prevent the results LightSquared desires," adding that "no workable filters currently exist" that would eliminate the problems with LightSquared interference. AOPA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association issued a joint commentary, strongly urging the FCC to rescind the conditional waiver it granted to LightSquared. "The evidence is clear: LightSquared's proposal puts the entire GPS system at risk," said AOPA President Craig Fuller in a news release. A recent FAA report also showed that the LightSquared plan would cost the aviation sector $70 billion over the next 10 years, and would "severely impact" NextGen.

The FAA assessment, according to The Wall Street Journal, also said LightSquared's plan could hurt U.S. leadership in international aviation by eroding confidence in commitments made to ICAO to maintain the GPS system's safety and availability. "Study after study has shown that LightSquared's plan is simply 'incompatible' with GPS," said AOPA's Fuller. "At the same time, the company's proposed solutions rely heavily on technology that doesn't exist. That's why we are joining with GAMA to ask the FCC to revoke LightSquared's waiver immediately, and to begin a rulemaking process that will protect the integrity of the GPS system into the future." The full text of all comments to the FCC regarding LightSquared can be found online at the FCC web site; insert Proceeding Number 11-109 to reach the list.

Vendors Report Robust Sales At AirVenture

Reports are trickling in that visitors to EAA AirVenture last week were in a buying mood. Piper Aircraft spokesman Jackie Carlon told EAA the show was "fantastic." Leads were up 90 percent over the year before, according to Carlon, and the company sold two twin-engine Seminole trainers, two Meridian turboprops, and took two orders for the Altaire jet. FlightDesign took 40 orders for its new four-seat fully certified C4 airplane, which isn't even flying yet. "These orders reported are real product requests with money changing hands," said company spokesman John Gilmore. According to Dan Johnson, president of the Light Aircraft Manufacturing Association, other LSA manufacturers saw an uptick in sales, with a half dozen companies reporting two to six orders, and Icon taking about 50 deposits on delivery positions for its amphibious LSA.

"This was a vast improvement over 2010," Johnson wrote in his blog. "I had easily 30 conversations [at AirVenture] revealing either outright positive successful results or varyingly robust mood indicators such as, 'Looks like aviation has life in it again.' " In a show wrap-up, EAA President Rod Hightower said attendance for the week was 541,000, an increase of about 1.3 percent over 2010. "Opening day was a tremendously successful day, while Friday was very close to a record and Saturday -- with the superb lineup and night airshow -- was a big draw. Only some rainy weather in the middle of the week prevented the increase from being even greater," Hightower said. Next year's show, the 60th annual fly-in, will feature a celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Piper Cub and tributes to the Tuskegee Airmen, Van's Aircraft founder Dick VanGrunsven, and Paul and Audrey Poberezny. Also, Hightower added, EAA will be working to "improve the visitor experience" by offering improved features and attractions, better ways to minimize dust and mud, and new ways to manage traffic for fewer backups.

AVwebBiz: AVweb's Business Aviation Newsletter

Have you signed up yet for AVweb's no-cost weekly business aviation newsletter, AVwebBiz?

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 a must-read.

Add AVwebBiz to your AVweb subscriptions today by clicking here and choosing "Update E-mail Subscriptions."

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

Question of the Week: What Happened to D. B. Cooper?

A woman in Oklahoma says D. B. Cooper, the name associated with the man who hijacked a Boeing 727 40 years ago and parachuted out the airstair door, was her uncle and he died in 1999. What do you think?

Has D. B. Cooper been identified at long last?
(click to answer)

Last Week's Question: Results

Want to see the current breakdown of responses? Take a moment to answer the question yourself, and then you can view real-time results.

What's On Your Mind?

Have an idea for a new "Question of the Week"?
Send your suggestions to .

NOTE: This address is only for suggested "QOTW" questions, and not for "QOTW" answers or comments. (Use this form to send "QOTW" comments to our AVmail Editor.)

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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Opinion & Commentary back to top 
 

AVweb Insider Blog: How Aviation Got the Short Stick This Time

The debt deal may have avoided default, but the FAA is still without authorization for the same bloody minded, no-compromise reasoning. This time, the snit is over Essential Air Service. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli notes that Congress adjourned until after Labor Day with this issue left on the table and thousands without jobs as a result.

Read more and join the conversation.

AVweb Insider Blog: Eclipse — The Inside Story

Our AirVenture coverage included a podcast interview with Dennis Maxwell, whose new book, The Great Eclipse, details the most costly business failure in general aviation history: The bankruptcy of Eclipse Aviation. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli reviews the book and offers his own views on Eclipse's demise.

Read more and join the conversation.

 
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EAA AirVenture 2011 Round-Up back to top 
 

EAA AirVenture 2011: Complete Coverage Round-Up

Click here for all our news stories from AirVenture — both for 2011 and previous years. And our AVwebAudio newsletter has the complete run-down of this year's multimedia coverage:


Want to get AVwebAudio in your inbox every Friday? Just log in to AVweb (or create a free account in the upper right corner of this page) and visit AVweb.com/profile. Choose "Update E-mail Subscriptions" in the profile center, and from there, you can add or drop any AVweb newsletters.

 
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Your Favorite FBOs back to top 
 

FBO of the Week: Metro North Flight Support (Newton Airport, Newton, KS)

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Metro North Flight Support at Newton Airport (KEWK) in Newton, Kansas.

AVweb reader Andy Hill explains how Metro North made into our short list with a perk that's often overlooking — service for furry pax:

They are pet-friendly and will make sure your dog has water before they fuel your plane! That's why we will stop there again! Oh, and they have really clean bathrooms for humans, too.

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 Photos back to top 
 

Picture of the Week: AVweb's Flying Photography Showcase

This week's winning photo comes from Kevin Lewis of North Beach, WA. Click here for the rest of this week's submissions.


 
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:

Publisher
Timothy Cole

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Editor-in-Chief
Russ Niles

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Features Editor
Kevin Lane-Cummings

Webmaster
Scott Simmons

Contributors
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.