AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 17, Number 34b

August 25, 2011

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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AVflash! Aviation -- It's Not Just for Kids back to top 
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Young Eagles For Grownups To Launch Next Year

EAA this week released more details about their plans to develop a new first-flight program for adults, similar to Young Eagles. The program will launch in January, will provide the same insurance protections as Young Eagles, and will be driven by the organization's local chapters, EAA said. "The new program will have a lot of the same trappings as Young Eagles," Charlie Becker, EAA director of member programs, told AVweb this week. "It will preserve the rally format. We really want it to be a one-on-one flight experience." That is, it's important that every adult participant gets to ride up front and handle the controls, Becker said. "They'll get to experience being at the yoke and trying out some maneuvers," he said. The new project was announced by EAA CEO Rod Hightower last month at AirVenture.

The details of how the program will work and what kind of follow-up will be offered are still under discussion, Becker said. "We really hope some mentorship relationships can develop," he said. "And even if these participants don't go on to be pilots, you've made a friend for aviation. It's another way to break down barriers at the airport, to get people beyond the fence, and develop good will for the airport in the community."

Another detail still under discussion is the name for the program. "It won't be 'old buzzards' or anything like that," he said. "But we're open to suggestion. If any AVweb readers have any ideas for the name or any other aspects of the program, they are welcome to email me."

AVweb's Paul Bertorelli gave his take on the idea in a recent blog post; click here to join the discussion.

Aviation Camp For Adults

The Florida Air Museum, at the Sun 'n Fun campus in Lakeland, Fla., is offering a weekend aviation experience to introduce new pilots to their first flight in the left seat. The program, called Destination Aviation Seminar, is designed for adults, and aims to prepare prospective students with the confidence and knowledge they need to get the most from their first flight lesson. It starts on Friday evening with an introduction and flight simulator instruction. On Saturday, students learn about aerodynamics, aircraft systems, controls, and instruments, plus more simulator time and lots of discussion. Sunday, the students go flying. The curriculum is "fast-paced but down to earth for the non-aviator," according to the Museum. The program will be offered Oct. 21-23 and Feb. 24-26, for $350.

The fee includes basic dorm-style lodging and breakfast and lunch, though participants can choose to stay at nearby hotels if they prefer. The program is "essentially a condensed version of our week-long summer camp for kids," according to the Museum.

AVweb's Paul Bertorelli recently wrote about a kids' aviation camp and suggested that the concept could work for adults as well; click here to read his blog post and comments.

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Tighter Regs for Inspectors and Government back to top 

FAA Restricts "Revolving Door" For Inspectors

Under a new FAA rule published on Monday, certain aviation safety inspectors who work for the agency must wait two years before they can be offered a job from air carriers and other certificate holders. "The flying public can rest assured that our aviation safety inspectors will remain focused on protecting the flying public without any conflicts of interest," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. The new rule aims to address concerns raised by Congress and the DOT Inspector General in 2008 about the FAA's oversight of Southwest Airlines. An analysis by the inspector general's office found that FAA staffers overseeing Southwest had developed an "overly close relationship" with the airline, the FAA said.

The rule applies to airlines and many other operators, but exempts most general aviation operations under Part 91. One exemption is fractional programs that operate under subpart K of Part 91. The FAA says the rule should minimize any potential public perception that: (1) An ASI could compromise current aviation safety if that individual were to be promised post-FAA employment by an operator over which that individual has direct oversight responsibilities; and (2) a former FAA employee working for an operator could attempt to exert undue influence on current FAA employees with whom that former employee had established close working relationships. This post-employment prohibition also applies to the more likely case of former ASIs who would become consultants to the operator. "By prohibiting such relationships, the public will have greater confidence in the FAA's independence from the aviation industry and in the integrity of the FAA inspection system," the FAA said. "Such benefits from this increased public confidence in the integrity of the FAA inspection process cannot be quantified."

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Rethinking Part 23 back to top 

GAMA Welcomes New Part 23 ARC

The FAA has formed a new Aviation Rulemaking Committee to overhaul the old Part 23 rules that govern the manufacture of most light aircraft, a move welcomed this week by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. "The increasing cost of certification and manufacturing oversight ... has led to a lack of cost-effective, entry-level products which attract new pilots," said GAMA President Pete Bunce on Monday. "GAMA believes the FAA's vision for the new Part 23 rules will enhance the vitality of GA for future generations of pilots and aircraft owners." The updated rules should be easier for manufacturers to follow and will result in safer, less expensive aircraft, according to GAMA. The overhaul of the rules has been under discussion for a couple of years already, but the formation of the ARC is a major step forward.

As the FAA has dealt with the increasing complexity and performance of light aircraft, the certification process has become over-burdensome, says GAMA. The rewrite of the certification rules will align the requirements to address simple products with equivalent rules while eliminating the need for special conditions on high-performance and complex aircraft such as light jets. This makes certification and manufacturing for a particular product more efficient, thereby decreasing the cost of these airplanes and acting as a catalyst for the resurgence of the light end of the market, says GAMA. "We could not be more pleased that the FAA has taken on this initiative," concluded Bunce.

AVweb's Mary Grady spoke with GAMA's director of engineering and manufacturing, Greg Bowles, for more details about how this process will work and what it all means to general aviation pilots. Click here for that podcast.

Podcast: Greg Bowles, GAMA Director of Engineering & Manufacturing

File Size 9.3 MB / Running Time10:05

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

The FAA is ready to sit down with the light aircraft manufacturers and figure out how to update Part 23, the standard that governs the design of general aviation aircraft. Greg Bowles explains to AVweb's Mary Grady how this process will work and what it all means to GA pilots and aircraft buyers.

Click here to listen. (9.3 MB, 10:05)

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Where the Wound Carbon Fiber Meets the Road back to top 

LoPresti Debuts Flat-Free Aircraft Tires

LoPresti Aviation Engineering introduced their new "NeverFlat Lifesaver" aircraft tires recently at the Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association annual fly-in, held in Colorado Springs, Colo. "We named it the NeverFlat because that's what it does -- it never goes flat," RJ Siegel, LoPresti's CEO said. "It's the first  aviation tire with a wound carbon fiber band embedded in the circumference of the tire. It's just about impossible to puncture this tire, and even if you could, it still wouldn't go flat. It's an unpressurized system with load and suspension characteristics matched to the aircraft's needs." Siegel told AVweb this week the introduction was met with enthusiasm by Cirrus owners. "We had 20 orders in the first five minutes," Siegel said. "We were kind of blown away."

Siegel said the new tires are in their final design stages and the company expects them to be available to Cirrus SR20 and SR22 owners in late December. A pair of mains cost $1,299, he said, and the nosewheel tire, which is not yet available, will be about $450 to $500. The tires will come with a 10-year warranty. The company also is working with Cessna to develop never-flat tires for their line of jets. Siegel said he expects the jet market to be the biggest customer for the tires, since the avoidance of downtime and labor costs to deal with flat tires will justify the price. But the primary motivation for developing the tires is safety, Siegel said. Flat or under-inflated tires have been a factor in fatal accidents. The tires are specifically designed for individual aircraft, he added, so the Cirrus tires can only be used on the SR20 and SR22. He said the next market the company is targeting is the Cessna jet line, but the 172 is another possibility.

This video from LoPresti explains the development of the technology.

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News Briefs back to top 

A Pentathlon For Pilots

Military pilots need lots of skills besides just flying the airplane -- for example, if shot down in enemy territory, it's handy to be ready to shoot, run over obstacles, swim, and find your way with a map and compass -- and the aeronautical pentathlon, which was held last month in Brazil, tests all of those skills. Fewer than 100 pilots worldwide compete in the elite sport. The pentathlon also includes a flying contest, in which the competitors act as navigator and fly a course over five checkpoints, trying for the best time and distance. Five Embraer Super Tucano airplanes were used at this year's event. The Brazilian team won, beating the often-victorious Finns. The U.S. did not compete.

The event, which dates back to the post-World War II era, is held every year at the World Military Games. It also includes competition in fencing and basketball, which may seem less useful to today's pilots, but according to the Wall Street Journal, "basketball dribbling and shooting require the hand-eye coordination crucial to flying a plane [and] fencing represents combat." All together, these tasks round out the pentathlon to a full seven competitions. When asked why the pentathlon has more than five events, "its organizers shrug," says the Journal.

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More AVweb for Your Inbox back to top 

Sukhoi Takes Superjet Bizjet Order

An Indian company has placed the first major order for the business jet version of Sukhoi's new Superjet 100 regional airliner. Aviotech Corporate Jet Services signed an a agreement last week to buy 10 of the corporate variants of the 100-seat airliner. The Superjet is being developed jointly by Sukhoi and Italy's Alenia. Aviotech says the aircraft will be decked out in the finest "seven star" style and deployed according to its customers' travel requirements. Although the airline versions of the Superjet have a maximum range of about 2,800 miles, the business variants are much longer-legged.

Sukhoi is putting fuel tanks where the largely unused baggage compartments would normally be, giving the corporate jet an intercontinental 5,000-mile range. Aviotech says it will partner with hotels, resorts, clothing companies and other purveyors of luxury wares to provide a "boutique of rare exclusive and extraordinary experience." The Superjet 100 airliner is already in service in Russia. The business version was announced at EBACE earlier this year.

Pilot Who Falsified Flight Logs Gets Prison Time

A pilot for Platinum Jet, the now-defunct charter company whose illegal practices came to light after a crash at Teterboro Airport in 2005, has been sentenced to six months in prison. Francis Vieira, 61, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., pleaded guilty to fraud. In addition to the prison term, he will serve six months of home confinement and three years of supervised release. Vieira, who was not on board for the accident flight, admitted in court last September that on various occasions he had changed weight and balance calculations and knew that a captain was not fit to fly and said nothing. Three others who were involved with Platinum Jet have been convicted and are scheduled to be sentenced in the coming weeks.

The investigation began in September 2005, after a Bombardier Challenger CL-600-1A11 jet that was carrying too much fuel failed to take off at Teterboro, skidded through an airport fence, and ran into a warehouse, injuring 11 people in the airplane and 3 on the ground. The captain on that flight is among those facing charges. The court found that Vieira and his co-conspirators falsified flight logs by indicating that certain flights were private flights instead of charter flights, to conceal Part 135 violations such as pilot qualifications and rest requirements. On more than two dozen occasions, Vieira altered the weight and balance graphs for the jet that crashed at Teterboro by changing the weight and center of gravity printed on those graphs. Vieira and his co-conspirators altered the graphs so pilots could top off the fuel tanks with discounted fuel in order to save money, although it would exceed the maximum forward COG limits.

AVwebBiz: AVweb's Business Aviation Newsletter

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

Question of the Week: Can Adults Fill the Pilot Training Gap?

EAA is launching a Young Eagles-type program for adults. Will it help?

Can an EAA outreach program for adults bridge the pilot training gap?
(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.)

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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: Sukhoi's T-50 -- The End of U.S. Dominance?

Maybe, says Paul Bertorelli in his latest post to the AVweb Insider blog -- but the real threat isn't whether the T-50 is competitor to the F-22 but whether the panic that is could set off a cascade of political overreaction.

Read more and join the conversation.

AVweb Insider Blog: Innovation, Cooperation, and Prognostication

The road to aviation's future is winding and unpredictable, and the slow way forward is not always the worst way. In her latest post to the AVweb Insider blog, Mary Grady explains how our biggest challenges aren't likely to be solved by quantum leaps in technology or thinking.

Read more and join the conversation.

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AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

Video: Aviation Consumer's Remos NXT Flight Trial

Original, Exclusive Videos from AVweb | Reader-Submitted & Viral Videos

Remos has a successful line of light sport aircraft, and now they've introduced a new and improved model, the NXT. Aviation Consumer's Paul Bertorelli flew the airplane recently, and here's his video report.

Don't see a video screen?
Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: AvCenter (Nampa Municipal Airport, KMAN, Nampa, ID)

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to AvCenter at Nampa Municipal Airport (KMAN) in Nampa, Idaho.

AVweb reader Neal Wright recommended the FBO:

Car rental company promised a car would be waiting on arrival. Got there, no car. AVcenter called [the] rental agency, [and] they said they had a computer glitch and had no cars available. AVcenter gave us a courtesy car and said we could keep it for the four days if [the] rental agency couldn't find us a car. They called about four hours later and said the rental agency found a car for us. Fuel was reasonable, and [there was] no tie-down charge for the four days.

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 
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.

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