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Volume 17, Number 37b
September 15, 2011
Aircraft Spruce at the AOPA Summit || 
September 22-24, 2011 || Hartford, CT
Join Aircraft Spruce at the
AOPA Aviation Summit in Hartford, CT!

Visit Aircraft Spruce in Hartford, Connecticut in booth #626 on September 22-23 from 9:00am to 5:00pm and September 24 from 9:00am to 4:00pm. Take advantage of some of your favorite products on sale, complimentary ground shipping (does not apply to hazardous or oversize products), and a helpful staff to answer your questions. Call 1 (877) 4‑SPRUCE or visit
AVflash! FAA Funding O.K.ed -- For Now -- Againback to top 
Sponsor Announcement
Abu Dhabi Air Expo || 6-8 March 2012 || 
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It seems likely that the FAA will get yet another funding extension by the end of this week, with the U.S. House on Tuesday unanimously OK'ing expenditures through Jan. 31, 2012. That bill now is in the Senate, which must act by Friday to avert another shortfall like the one in July that forced the agency to lay off nearly 4,000 workers. The bill doesn't include any retroactive pay for those furloughed workers, although leaders in both parties had said they would support such a measure, according to The Associated Press. More...

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Rules and Regulationsback to top 

The FAA says it will not impose new regulations on the operators of weight-shift-control aircraft in Hawaii but will keep a close eye on them to ensure they are in compliance with existing regulations. Six people died in three crashes in the islands over the last year and a half, raising questions about the safety of the aircraft, also known as trikes. Two of the fatal flights apparently involved operators taking passengers for sightseeing tours, which is not allowed under FAA rules. Pilots can, however, offer introductory flight training. "It appears some operators are trying to get around the air-tour provision by offering scenic flights under the guise of introductory flying instructions," Nick Reyes, an FAA flight standards manager, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser last week. More...

The FAA has issued an airworthiness directive, effective Sept. 29, 2011, for a number of Lycoming reciprocating engines; the specific number of engines is two. The agency has decided that an unsafe condition exists that caused the failure of a crankshaft after 440 hours of operation. The cause of the failure was determined to be an improperly counterweighted crankshaft installed by a repair station. The FAA says it is issuing the AD because it has determined the unsafe condition is likely to exist "in other products of the same type design" ... specifically Lycoming model IO-720-AIB engine serial numbers L-1457-54A and L-1458-54A, which it has been unable to locate. More...

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Electric Heli with "Raging Tiger Under the Seat"back to top 

Pascal Chretien of France flew his own electric-powered helicopter design untethered for two minutes and 10 seconds last month, beating out Sikorsky's Firefly for the first flight of its kind. Chretien, an aerospace engineer and helicopter pilot, spent about a year working on the project, mostly on his own, according to Gizmag. He devised several innovative solutions to simplify the design and minimize the weight and power needs. He used two counter-rotating rotors to eliminate the tail rotor, weight-shift control for steering, and a simple frame welded from aluminum tubing. The system is tricky to fly, according to Chretien: "This machine looks like a toy, and flies like a toy, but there is a raging tiger under the seat, waiting to bite at the first mistake," he told Gizmag. "In case of crash I stand good chances to end up in kebab form." More...

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TCM supplier Hartzell Engine Technologies introduces the zero back torque M-Drive starter — the best lightweight starter designed to start even the hardest-cranking large-bore TCM engines while safely disengaging from the starter adapter. Lycoming-chosen E-Drive starters from Hartzell Engine Technologies are unaffected by kick-backs, saving hours of service time and replacement costs along with the best warranty available — two-year unlimited!

More on Hartzell Engine Technologies' aircraft starters ...
Too Much Transparencyback to top 

The U.S. has reportedly filed a protest with the Japanese government after learning that a Japanese air traffic controller posted, online, details of the U.S. President's November 2010 flight plan in the region. The information is said to include two pages of details that the controller apparently made available through his blog. Details reportedly included speeds, altitudes, route of flight and pictures of computer screens -- the last of which may present information in a manner difficult for a layman to understand. Precise information about when that information was posted online (before or after Obama's visit) has not been made available. The controller has also allegedly posted other information about U.S. activities, raising larger concerns about the controllers' union and management. More...

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Remembering Recent Losses to the Communityback to top 

The aviation community recently lost three accomplished pilots -- an actor, an aerobatics competitor, and a test pilot. Cliff Robertson, best known for his film career, died on Sept. 10 at age 88. He started flying at age 14 and owned several airplanes. He served as the first chairman of the EAA Young Eagles program when it launched in 1992. He also funded a program that offered summer internships to youth at the EAA Aviation Center. Betty Skelton, who won the international women's aerobatic championship three times, died on Aug. 31 at age 85. And Mort Brown, who logged over 14,000 first flights as head of flight testing at Cessna, died on Sept. 10 at age 103. More...

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What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Weekback to top 

At AOPA's Summit event in Hartford, Conn., next week, Garmin will roll out its newest portable GPS navigator/plate reader, the aera 796. The 796 is a follow-on product to both the GPSmap 696 and the aera product line, which brought touchscreen control to Garmin's lineup. The new navigator features capacitive-type touchscreen control similar to the iPad and some smartphones, so it can be finger scrolled and pinch scaled. It will be available in two versions, the $2199 aera 795 without weather link and the $2499 aera 796, which includes an XM receiver for both weather datalink and entertainment. More...

The Obama administration appears to be following through on its earlier anti-business aviation rhetoric by recommending Congress lengthen the depreciation schedule for business aircraft. According to NBAA, the administration's proposed American Jobs Act contains a measure to change a 25-year-old depreciation schedule established by the IRS. That's a separate issue from the current "bonus depreciation" of 100 percent of the acquisition cost of business-related goods in the first year that was passed last year. That measure runs out at the end of this year. More...


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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 

It's AOPA Summit next week. What should be the organization's main priority?

Plus: Last week, we asked if 9/11 and its aftermath have affected the flying habits of AVweb readers; click through to see how they answered. 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...

Traditional Tactics Need a Fresh Approach
Doing the same thing and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. Isn't it time to initiate a digital marketing program with AVweb that will deliver traffic and orders directly to your web site? Discover several new and highly successful marketing options to use in lieu of static print or banner campaigns. Click now for details.
Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

Actor Cliff Robertson was a fixture around Oshkosh because, besides acting, he was an accomplished pilot, too. Robertson died over the weekend, a day past his 88th birthday. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli reveals a couple of interesting coincidences about Robertson's intersection with history. Read more and join the conversation. More...

We got through 9/11 unscathed, more or less. But the tsunami of reporting on the anniversary revealed some new detail. In his latest post to the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli explains how a couple of incidents revealed that the flying public, or at least the security agencies, are still nervous. Read more and join the conversation. More...

AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

At AOPA Summit in Hartford, Garmin will unveil its latest portable, the touchscreen aera 796. Take a video tour of the navigator's features, which include synthetic vision, enhanced chart functions, and a new touchscreen interface. More...

Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's latest blue ribbon goes to the FBO at Capital City Airport (KFFT) in Frankfort, Kentucky.

AVweb reader Graeme Lang has been going there for a while and sung Cap City's praises:

Having been involved with this FBO for some time now, I have always seen a complete commitment to the highest in customer service and overall standards. Their manager, Jay Vedelli, has just recently retired, but I have seen no decrease in the service provided. They stay very competitive on fuel prices, have on-site maintenance, will run you anywhere you need to go in their van, and will do all of this with a smile! I highly recommend Capital City Airport in Frankfort!

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 

Will return on Monday. We were a bit tied up with prep work for next week's AOPA Summit today and didn't get to pack this space with your top-notch photos. Watch for them in Monday's issue -- or check our home page on Friday if you can't wait that long.

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.

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