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Volume 17, Number 48b
December 1, 2011
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AVflash! Safety in the Spotlightback to top 

The European Commission decided in November to ban airport body scanning X-ray backscatter machines after studies found a small number of cancer cases linked to use of the devices. The decision affects all airports in Europe, with an exception for U.K. airports that will be allowed to test them, but not deploy them permanently. According to the European Commission, "only security scanners which do not use X-ray technology are added to the list of authorized methods for passenger screening at EU airports." The commission does approve of full non-X-ray body scanners (radio wave scanners are among those used in the U.S.) when operated under specific guidelines and restrictions. In the U.S., the TSA uses more than 250 backscatter machines at the nation's 100 busiest airports and is unmoved by Europe's position. The degree of cancer risk varies somewhat depending on the source ... as does the degree of usefulness of the machines themselves. More...

More than 2,400 airplanes and helicopters operated by the federal government, known as "public aircraft," are not subject to FAA rules, and this week the NTSB is holding a two-day forum to examine the safety record of these operations. Public aircraft are used for high-risk endeavors such as firefighting, law enforcement, and search and rescue. "We have had accidents in the last few years where we go on scene and we still find confusion and a lack of clarity over who is responsible for oversight," NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman told Bloomberg News. "We are holding this forum to try to create a downward trend when it comes to fatalities and injuries in public aviation." More...

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"Affordable to Acquire, Economical to Maintain"back to top 

While Cessna recently announced a price hike to $149,000 for its Skycatcher LSA, Pipistrel says it plans to introduce a new LSA trainer early next year and sell it for about $83,000. The Alpha trainer aims to be "affordable to acquire [and] economical to maintain," the company said. "We believe no other LSA training aircraft is as cheap to run." The trainer will feature a beefed-up tricycle-gear undercarriage to handle student landings, 400 nm of range, cruise speed of 108 knots, and a fuel burn of 2.5 gallons per hour, Pipistrel said. The panel features conventional flight gauges supplemented by a Garmin GPS unit. The company plans to start U.S. deliveries as soon as April. More... || We're All New!
Experience Trade-A-Plane in a Greater Way!
Our all-new web site is better than ever. Advanced searches, more detailed results, expanded content. Clean, fresh design and easier navigation, too. Exclusive premium benefits for subscribers! Selling? Affordable, online-only listings are now available in many categories, and it's quick and easy to place one. Try it now to reach aviation's active buyers! Visit us today at for everything that keeps you flying or call (800) 337‑5263.
High Court Hears Privacy, Safety, Disclosure Issuesback to top 

Pilot Stanmore Cooper wants to sue the government for the emotional distress caused when the FAA obtained his medical records from the Social Security Administration, and on Wednesday the case was heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. A lower court already has ruled that Cooper's privacy rights were violated, but the Supreme Court will decide whether compensation must be limited to financial losses. Cooper, of San Francisco, was a private pilot until the 1980s, when he was diagnosed with HIV and let his medical lapse. In 1994, he reapplied for a medical certificate, but didn't reveal his diagnosis for fear he would be denied. The certificate was revoked after the FAA checked the medical records. Cooper pleaded guilty to a charge of making a false statement and was fined $1,000. More...

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Like Water Off a Duck's Backback to top 

A new product scheduled to come on the market early next year promises to provide a durable coating on metal surfaces that can make them repel water, providing resistance to icing and corrosion. The coating, called NeverWet, is a "super-hydrophobic" material that causes water and heavy oils to bead up and glide away. "Any object coated with our NeverWet coating literally cannot be touched by liquid," says the Ross Nanotechnology website. "Any liquid placed on this coating is repelled and simply rolls off without touching the underlying surface. Not only is this amazing to see, but it solves a myriad of problems." Although the company hasn't suggested the product has aviation applications, the GA community has already taken note -- EAA said the possibilities seem "endless," from keeping wings clean and ice-free to reducing friction for seaplanes. More...

GAMI - General Aviation Modifications, Inc. 
|| Engineering the Future of General Aviation
Over 20,000 Happy GAMIjectors® Customers Can't Be Wrong!
GAMIjectors® have given these aircraft owners reduced cylinder head temperatures, reduced fuel consumption, and smoother engine operation. GAMIjectors® alter the fuel/air ratio in each cylinder so that each cylinder operates with a much more uniform fuel/air ratio than occurs with any other factory set of injectors. To speak to a GAMI engineer, call (888) FLY‑GAMI, or go online for complete engineering details.
Rethinking the Russian Aviation Systemback to top 

Following a string of Russian aviation accidents, a Russian lawyer says he will ask Russia's Supreme Court to curb the authority of the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC), The Associated Press reported Wednesday. Formed in 1992, the IAC is a post Soviet Union era creation. According to lawyer Igor Trunov, it embodies a conflict of interest that prevents it from operating objectively in the interest of safety. Trunov would like to see the roles of regulatory oversight and investigation currently held by the IAC separated. He also argues that the IAC failed to determine a true cause in its investigation of the September crash that killed an entire Russian ice hockey team. More...

iFly 700 GPS for $549 || Simply Amazing || 
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What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Weekback to top 

An NTSB investigator says he's considering controversial changes to the airspace around Phoenix as a possible contributing factor in the crash of a Turbo Commander last week that killed six people, including three children. Mike Huhn told the Arizona Republic that comments he's heard concerning the role of the airspace design make it a potential consideration in his investigation. "They are all correct statements. Therein lies the finger-pointing," Huhn said. He also told newspaper that the aircraft flew in a straight line at 4,500 feet, 500 feet below the Class B floor in that area directly into a cliff in the Superstition Mountains. Local pilots fought changing the floor from 8,000 feet to 5,000 feet when the FAA proposed it in 2006 and their spokesman didn't mince words on its role in the Thanksgiving Eve crash. More...

Airlines in the U.K. are protesting a government decision to delay application of a passenger tax to business aircraft flights until 2013. The Air Passenger Duty is now paid by all airline passengers leaving a U.K. airport and private aircraft are exempt. It currently adds between $15 and $120 to the cost of an airline flight depending on its duration. It's scheduled to go up steadily over the next six years and the government was also planning to apply a heftier version of it to passengers on private aircraft. It's been nicknamed the "Learjet tax." According to the Guardian, the airlines have been lobbying hard to have the tax killed entirely but Tuesday's announcement that the increases will proceed for them and application of the tax will be delayed for private aircraft brought cries of discrimination. More...


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."


Spidertracks || The Crash-Proof Aircraft 
Location System That Survives Every Crash - So You Can, Too
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Spidertracks confirms your position has been received, in the cockpit. It tracks altitude and location in real time — at the pace of a plane, not a hiker. It sends SOSs automatically when you need help. Give your family peace of mind. Invest in a true aviation tracking system. Call 1 (800) 491‑2895 today or visit us online!
Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

Cessna announced a hefty price increase for the 162 Skycatcher to $149,000 last week, and this week Pipistrel said it can do one for a little more than half that at around $84,000. What's the sweet spot when it comes to LSA pricing?

Plus: Last week, we asked AVweb readers what they thought of D.B. Cooper's infamous skyjacking: Was it a smashing success, or did it end in tragedy? Click through to see the breakdown of answers. More...

This one will cause ripples in the industry because it puts the Skycatcher near the top of the price tier, which is bound to cause some erosion in the company's order book. But in his latest post to the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli notes that Cessna's price hike should come as no surprise. Cessna did essentially the same thing when sales hit the skids 30 years ago, which explains, more than anything else, why Cessna has remained a profitable aircraft company. Read more and join the conversation. More...

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 

Our sister publication, Aviation Consumer, is conducting a survey on owner experiences with early model EFIS systems such as the Garmin G1000 and Avidyne Entegra installed in OEM aircraft no newer that 2007. The magazine is interested in finding out how these systems have held up in the field. For this survey, we're interested only in OEM aircraft, not experimentals or LSAs and not aftermarket glass. Click here to take the survey. 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...

Aviation Consumer - The Consumer Resource 
for Pilots & Aircraft Owners
Like to Save Money?
With Aviation Consumer, you get only the facts — and none of the fiction. We buy products — just like you — and test, test, test. You get the results — right when you need them.

Subscribe now.
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's latest "FBO of the Week" is one that held that honor back in 2010 -- Landmark Aviation at Asheville Regional Airport (KAVL) in Asheville, North Carolina.

AVweb reader Edwin Nass recommended the FBO this time:

The desk and line staff were very friendly and helpful and attentive to our needs. They offered assistance in the return of our rental car, getting our luggage to the aircraft, and [in] securing the aircraft for the duration of our stay.

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!


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

Last summer, Jeppesen rolled out its iPad-based Mobile FliteDeck, a complete chart manager system for owners who already subscribe to Jeppesen's electronic charting products. In this video, AVweb launches the first of three Product Minutes to review the new app. More...

Jeppesen's new Mobile FliteDeck is a route-based app that compiles approach plates and procedures from Jeppesen's charting materials. In this video, part two of three, Paul Bertorelli takes a look at how its route functions work. More...

Reader-Submitted Photosback to top 

This week's winning photo comes from Robert Lesmeister of St. Louis, MO. Click here for the rest of this week's submissions. More...

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.

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.