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Volume 18, Number 7b
February 16, 2012
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AVflash! FAA Makes Way for Dronesback to top 

The new FAA reauthorization bill that was signed into law this week by President Obama (PDF) creates a fast track for the integration of civil unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace. The legislation states that the FAA and the UAS industry must work together to develop a "comprehensive plan" by mid-November that will safely achieve the full integration of UAS by Sept. 30, 2015. Deadlines for certain smaller systems are set even sooner. For example, first responders will be allowed to fly small UAS weighing 4.4 pounds or less within 90 days. And within six months, the FAA must designate six test ranges where the UAS can fly to develop their sense-and-avoid capabilities. More...

Hartzell Aircraft Starters || 
Aviation-Manufactured, OEM-Endorsed, Factory-Installed - For Over 20 
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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 ...
Lean Times Ahead for Air Travel?back to top 

The new Obama administration budget proposal, released on Monday, had general aviation advocates worried about user fees, but other aviation sectors have also found cause for concern. The Air Line Pilots Association was unhappy about proposed cuts of $36 million from the Federal Air Marshal Service and $13 million from the federal flight deck officer program, which trains volunteer pilots to carry firearms on board. Lee Moak, president of ALPA, said funding for the FFDO program is already "minimal," and any further reduction "could very well lead to its ultimate demise." Airlines would face increased security fees, as well as a $100 departure fee to help cover the cost of the air traffic control system. Funding for improvements at medium and large airports would be cut by 27 percent. More...

Buy Today and Ship Tomorrow - Over 50 
Engines in Process || Continental Motors
Stock Engines Expanded on Continental
Factory-Rebuilt and New Engines

Many models are available for immediate shipment. Others will ship within 1-2 weeks. Over 50 engines in process. Visit CMI's stock engine list daily for updates at
Rotor Rodeo Wrapsback to top 

Heli-Expo, the annual event for vertical aviators, closed out on Tuesday with record attendance, reporting more than 19,000 visitors to the four-day show in Dallas. More than 650 exhibitors filled the show floor, and 60 helicopters were on display. Eurocopter announced sales of 191 aircraft at the show, valued at $1.44 billion. "For the whole of last year we sold 170 helicopters," Eurocopter CEO Lutz Bertling told Agence France Presse. "This year, we sold 191 in just three days." Of those sales, the newly upgraded EC130 T2, designed for tourism and transport, counted for 105. Russian Helicopters showed its new medium-lift aircraft, the Mi-171A2, a heavily upgraded version of the popular Soviet-era Mi-8. The new design features modern avionics, new engines, composite rotor blades, and seats for up to 26 passengers. Deliveries are scheduled to start in 2014. More... || The Easiest Way to Find 
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History Comes Alive — At 9:10 Scaleback to top 

A group of aviation enthusiasts in the U.K. is steadily moving ahead with an ambitious plan to build a fleet of 90-percent-scale Spitfires, and the interest sparked by the project may have helped to save their local airport. Paul Fowler, owner of The Enstone Flying Club, attracted a lot of publicity with his plan to build a squadron of Spitfire replicas. The project drew visitors to the airport, and the local support to keep the field active seems to have been a factor in thwarting a proposal to build a solar powerplant on the field that would have interfered with flying. "It would be a tragedy if we lost this airfield, as it's one of the few places left like this in the country, and the chances of finding a place like this again are zero," Fowler told the Banbury Guardian. More... || Scott Horton, Attorney & 
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What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Weekback to top 

The FCC will indefinitely suspend LightSquared's authority to carry terrestrial broadband signals on frequencies close to GPS frequencies after receiving a report that concludes the two systems cannot currently coexist. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) wrote the FCC on Tuesday (PDF) saying there was no immediate solution to interference problems found in testing GPS units in the presence of the types of signals that LightSquared is proposing. The FCC conditionally allowed LightSquared to use frequency bands it owned adjacent to the GPS bands provided it could prove the broadband wouldn't step on GPS. A year of testing demonstrated serious and widespread interference according to NTIA. LightSquared says it "profoundly disagrees" with those findings and was fighting to have the FCC rule in its favor right up until the decision was announced. The battle isn't officially over yet. More...

Cessna says China will be in the top ten of business jet markets by 2025 and other Asian countries will combine to take a significant share of production. In a presentation at the Singapore Air Show, Trevor Esling, Cessna's VP of sales for the region said the performance of of the Asian market through the global recession has positioned it for major growth in medium to long term. "The region's economic resilience during the global financial crisis, rising national prosperity and Chinese liberalization make it likely that the business aviation market will mature at quite a rapid pace," Esling said. "Cessna, therefore, expects demand for light and mid-size aircraft to rise accordingly." If the bizjet OEMs are optimistic, the airline side is downright bullish. More...

The Obama administration's 2013 budget proposal, released on Monday, includes a fee of $100 per flight for some general aviation aircraft, which drew a quick response from GA advocacy groups. AOPA, the National Business Aviation Association, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, and EAA all protested the plan. The proposal exempts all piston aircraft, military and public aircraft, air ambulances, aircraft operating outside controlled airspace, and flights that begin and end in Canada. Nonetheless, "AOPA finds little solace [in the piston exemption]," said AOPA President Craig Fuller. "In nations where user fees have been introduced, the fees have grown." However, in the bigger election-year picture, the proposal may not get far, anyway. More...


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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.

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

This week's question comes from an AVweb reader who wants to know about your confidence as a pilot. Dave Coriaty asks, "At what point in your flying career did you honestly feel to be at your peak of competence in all piloting situtations?"

Plus: Last week, we asked AVweb readers which aviation innovation should take home this year's Robert J. Collier Trophy; click through to read what AVweb readers had to say on the subject. 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...

Diamond Aircraft
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New on AVweb.comback to top 

Assigned to a like-new KC-97 Stratotanker at MacDill AFB in 1956, Dick Taylor learned much about the plane just from flying it in front of thirsty B-47s: from the trivial (it never spent much time in its namesake, the stratosphere) to the essential (take lots of engine oil on a long trip). More...

The Eclipse Jet Experience
Eclipse Aerospace Invites You to the Eclipse Jet Experience
Come see and fly the world's most fuel-efficient twin-engine jet at The Eclipse Jet Experience. Enjoy one hour of ground school on the Eclipse's avionics systems. Then take to the skies with an Eclipse pilot to truly see what the Eclipse Jet is all about: getting to your destination quickly, safely, and efficiently. For more information, or to schedule your Eclipse Jet Experience, click here.
Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

Drones are much in the news lately, and it seems that each new story we publish describes remarkable progress, some of it a little on the creepy side. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli examines two developments that could just as easily tip toward the dark side. Read more and join the conversation. More...

Building out its base, that's what. And the only way to go is toward a broader, more general interest aviation audience that's not interested only in homebuilding. But on the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli asks if that doesn't make it look just like AOPA? And do we need to belong to both? Read more and join the conversation. More...

Safelog || The World's Most Trusted 
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Suitable for student pilots through senior captains, Safelog features legendary flexibility and ease of use. Available for PC, iPhone, iPad, Android, web, Mac (through emulation), and more. Stuck with some underperforming other logbook? Join thousands of others by taking advantage of our complimentary transition service and step up to the power, value, stability, and professionalism of Safelog. Try a demo or learn more at
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

A practical flying car with everyman usability has so far eluded the public, but we may have already been introduced to a design that could lead to a breakthrough. Some of the major challenges of producing a point-to-point simple and safe to operate vehicle are technological in nature. Autonomous navigation (enter the destination, press a button, and allow the vehicle to navigate, communicate with, and autonomously avoid other aircraft) may be one key to safely organizing masses of flying vehicles in the same airspace. And as society progresses, the gap between the dream and reality may be shrinking. More...

There's a new eye in the sky over Tulsa these days, and it's keeping an eye on things for the local sheriff's office for about 10 percent of the cost of a helicopter. AVweb's Russ Niles spoke with Roger Crow of Echo Flight Resources about the Flight Design CTLE law-enforcement platform based on a light sport aircraft. 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.
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


Our latest "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to the FBO at Shelby County Airport (KEET) in Alabaster, Alabama.

AVweb reader Joe Barnhart shared his recent experience there:

My daughter and grandkids recently moved to Birmingham, Alabama. On our first trip to visit, I chose Shelby County Airport because of the low fuel price and the relative proximity to my daughter's home. Upon arrival, not only did I find the best fuel price in the Birmingham area but a first-class airport and FBO facility. On top of that, everyone was as friendly as I've ever encountered. Not only did the FBO bring a tug to park my Bellanca Viking; they put it under a covered tie-down at absolutley no charge! I'll definitely be back.

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!


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Reader-Submitted Photosback to top 

Hearty thanks to everyone who saw our editor's footnote in a recent installment of "Picture of the Week" noting that we haven't seen many vintage submissions lately — and made time to send us some! We don't have many (just a handful), but we've spent the last couple of weeks squirreling them away, hoping we'll get enough to photos from the days before digital cameras to do an "all-vintage" installment. If you've got some classic photos lying around you'd love to scan and share with a 100,000 or so of your closest friends in aviation, please — submit them here. (As always, you'll have to be a registered AVweb user to upload photos.) More...

This week's winning photo comes from Allan Davies of Helens, Merseyside (U.K.). Click here for the rest of this week's submissions. 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.
Names Behind the Newsback to top 


AVwebFlash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest news, articles, products, features, and events featured on AVweb, the world's premier independent aviation news resource.

The AVwebFlash team is:

Tom Bliss

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Russ Niles

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Scott Simmons

Kevin Lane-Cummings
Jeff Van West

Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? Your advertising can reach over 225,000 loyal AVwebFlash, AVwebBiz, and AVweb home page readers every week. Over 80% of our readers are active pilots and aircraft owners. That's why our advertisers grow with us, year after year. For ad rates and scheduling, click here or contact Tom Bliss, via e-mail or via telephone [(480) 525-7481].

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.

If you're having trouble reading this newsletter in its HTML-rich format (or if you'd prefer a lighter, simpler format for your phone or handheld device), there's also a text-only version of AVwebFlash. For complete instructions on making the switch, click here.

Aviate. Navigate. Communicate.