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SOON: ERA OF UAS?
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
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BUDGET WOULD CUT AIRLINE, AIRPORT FUNDING
The new Obama
administration budget proposal, released on Monday, had general aviation
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.
DRAWS CROWDS AND BUYERS TO DALLAS
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...
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SPITFIRE BUILDERS ATTRACT SUPPORT
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...
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TO SUSPEND LIGHTSQUARED PLANS
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.
LAUD ASIA'S AEROSPACE FUTURE
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...
BUDGET PLAN INCLUDES AVIATION USER FEES
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.
AVWEB'S BUSINESS AVIATION NEWSLETTER
Have you signed up yet for AVweb's
no-cost weekly business aviation newsletter,
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
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
OF THE WEEK: PILOT CONFIDENCE AND COMPETENCE
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
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...
Find Out Why Leading Flight
Fly Diamond Aircraft!
offers the only complete modern fleet of
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training devices and a safety record that is second to none. Call now to
find out why leading flight training schools around the globe fly
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,
Safelog Is the World's Most
Electronic Pilot Logbook System!
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
WHERE'S MY FLYING CAR?
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...
CTLE LIGHT SPORT POLICE AIRCRAFT
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...
Fly More for
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.
OF THE WEEK: SHELBY COUNTY AIRPORT (ALABASTER,
Our latest "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to the FBO at
Shelby County Airport (KEET) in Alabaster,
AVweb reader Joe Barnhart shared his recent
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
AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in
the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here
next Monday! More...
WANT TO SEE YOUR VINTAGE PHOTOS
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...
Traditional Tactics Need a
Doing the same thing and expecting different results is the definition
of insanity. Isn't it time to initiate a digital marketing program with
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your web site? Discover several new and highly successful marketing
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THE AVWEBFLASH TEAM
AVwebFlash is a twice-weekly summary of the
latest news, articles, products, features, and events featured on
world's premier independent aviation news resource.
AVwebFlash team is:
Jeff Van West
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,
here or contact Tom Bliss,
e-mail or via telephone [(480)
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
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
Navigate. Communicate. More...