AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 18, Number 20a

May 14, 2012

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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AVflash! Cessna Longitude Debuts at EBACE back to top 

Cessna Unveils New Citation Longitude

Cessna introduced a full-size cabin mockup of it newest, biggest jet, the Citation Longitude, at EBACE in Geneva on Monday morning. The swept-wing Longitude will have the roomiest cabin and the longest range of any Citation jet. "It does a lot of things well and will appeal to customers in all corners of the world," said Cessna director of marketing Mike Pierce. In a first for Cessna, the jet will be driven by engines from Snecma, a French manufacturer. Snecma's new-generation Silvercrest design, still in development, will provide up to 11,000 pounds of thrust on takeoff, Cessna said. Longitude will have a range of 4,000 nm at Mach .82 and sell for $25.9 million, with first deliveries scheduled for late in 2017.

The new engines will not have a set number of hours before overhaul, Cessna said. Instead, maintenance requirements will be determined by data collected by the engine systems and monitored by mechanics. The cabin will have a flat floor and six feet of headroom, and will seat eight in double club seating. The cabin also features a galley, a spacious lav, and a large baggage area. Avionics have not yet been selected, but certain requirements have been set: pilots will have three large-format displays and touch controls. Cessna said it expects strong global demand for the jet, and it should enter the market around the time that China's airspace begins to open up. The Longitude will be built in Wichita.

Video: Cessna's Largest Jet Yet, the Longitude

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

On the first day of the European Business Aviation Convention and Expo in Geneva, Switzerland, Cessna Aircraft announced its largest jet yet — a new version of the Citation dubbed "Longitude."

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The Dawn of the Diesels? back to top 

Video: How Austro Engines Are Made

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

Daimler-Benz makes about 1,500 OM640 diesel engines a day, and Austro diverts about 15 minutes worth of production to its factory in Wiener Neustadt, Austria, where it forms the core of the AE300 aerodiesel. In this video, Austro's Peter Lietz takes us through how the company turns a car engine into an airplane engine.

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AVweb Insider Blog: Doing the Numbers -- Diesel vs. Mogas

And avgas need not apply. Although they're heavy and expensive, diesel engine economics bear up to at least short-term scrutiny because of their efficiency, which adds up over the life an engine. But if the mogas/Jet A fuel price spread gets to be around $3, mogas engines hold their own. Long-term, diesels' longer TBOs may tip the balance.

Read more and join the conversation.

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Aviation Safety back to top 

Canadian Midair Kills Five, Beaver Also Down

As more details become clear the mystery of how two airplanes could collide in the middle of rural Saskatchewan has Canadian officials puzzled. We also received word late that a DeHavilland Beaver on floats went down with five aboard on a highway in southern British Columbia with near Peachland. Meanwhile, police, Transport Canada and the Transportation Safety Board are investigating how a Lake Buccaneer and a Piper Cherokee came together near the tiny town of St. Brieux, Saskatchewan (population 492) on Saturday, killing both occupants of the Buc and all three on the Cherokee. St. Brieux is a small rural community about 125 miles northeast of the nearest large town, Saskatoon. St. Brieux has an airport, however, and that's where the Cherokee was headed from Nanton, near Calgary in the adjacent province of Alberta. Initial reports said the collision occurred near the airport.

The Lake was en route from Regina, about 150 miles south of the crash scene, to La Ronge, about 150 miles north. The region is sparsely populated farmland with lots of wilderness and lakes and not much air traffic. The wreckage sites were about a mile apart.

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Babbitt Charges Thrown Out back to top 

Babbitt Cleared Of DUI Charges

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A judge has dismissed drunk-driving charges against former FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt, ruling the Fairfax, Va., police didn't have a good enough reason to pull him over. Although a police statement after his arrest said Babbitt had been observed driving on the wrong side of the road the night of Dec. 3, 2011, WJLA reported that dashboard video from the police cruiser showed what Judge Ian O'Flaherty described as a "normal" left turn, even though it does not appear Babbitt used his turn signal. Nevertheless, the judge called the traffic stop "a hunch" and ended the proceedings there without hearing evidence that Babbitt wasn't legally impaired when he was pulled over.

According to Babbitt's lawyer, Peter Greenspun, Babbitt's initial breath sample showed a reading of .07, just under the .08 limit in Virginia. On subsequent tests (when he was safely off the road in a parking lot) the reading nudged over the limit but Greenspun said the police don't have the right to keep testing DUI suspects until the limit is exceeded. Babbitt said he didn't fault the officer in the case. "He was certainly acting in good faith," he is quoted as telling reporters outside the courthouse. "I am thrilled the charges against me have been dismissed at trial and I have been found not guilty," he added. Babbitt also doesn't sound like he misses his old job, from which he resigned a couple of days after the charges were made public. He said he intends to return to work in aviation as a consultant.

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News Briefs back to top 

GAMA First Quarter Report

The first three months of 2012 saw total billings for aircraft fall 8 percent, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), but piston-powered airplane shipments dropped by a smaller margin. Piston aircraft shipments totaled 184 units for the first three months of 2012, versus 188 shipments over the same period last year. The figures account for a 2.1 percent decrease that matched the decrease in total worldwide general aviation shipments. GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce offered a theory and some legislative advice.

"One continuing concern is the lack of available financing around the world," Bunce said. "An important step forward would be for the U.S. Congress to quickly reauthorize the Export-Import Bank." According to Bunce, the bank's lending authority stimulates sales. The first three months of 2011 saw 377 general aviation aircraft delivered while this year saw 369. Total billings fell from $3.68B to $3.39B. Business jet deliveries fell by 4.7 percent from 128 to 122. Turboprops were an area of relative strength, showing a 3.3-percent increase made manifest by the delivery of two more aircraft in 2012 than 2011. Find the full report online (PDF).

Navy's Great Green Fleet

The U.S. Navy's participation in a 22-nation exercise this summer will include a two-day demonstration of the "Great Green Fleet" carrier strike group, operating in part on alternative non-fossil fuels. The demonstration group will operate aircraft and non-carrier ships on 50/50 blends of biofuel and conventional fuels. The Navy has set a goal of 2020 to meet half of its energy needs with non-fossil fuels. The Great Green Fleet's two-day demonstration during the Rim of Pacific exercise is meant to precipitate a larger months-long deployment of a similarly fueled group set to deploy in 2016. Increases in fuel costs have pushed Defense Department spending $3 billion over budget in 2012 due to rising fuel costs.

The Great Green Fleet includes a nuclear-powered carrier and submarines. The Navy hopes use of non-fossil fuels will create more supply-side stability for its energy requirements -- both in cost and availability. The Defense Logistics Agency already has commitments for 450,000 gallons of biofuel purchased on behalf of the Navy. The directive comes from the top. According to Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the president offered the challenged in March 2011 "to work with the private sector to cultivate a competitively-priced -- and domestically produced -- drop-in biofuel industry that can power not just fighter jets, but also trucks and commercial airliners."

Volunteer Pilots Help Save Whales, Turtles

Marine scientists in Belize conducted a count of offshore marine animals for the first time recently, thanks to help from volunteer pilots flying with LightHawk. Government fisheries staff have surveyed marine mammals along the shore for 18 years, but in April, they were able to extend those efforts up to 50 miles off the coast. The aerial surveys found two sperm whales and 33 dolphins, as well as 11 turtles and 4 crocodiles. The sperm whales were seen at the southern end of Belize's barrier reef, swimming south towards Honduras. "This was not the first recording of sperm whales in Belize, but very little is known of their ecology here," said LightHawk's news release. Eclipse Aerospace also pitched in recently to help out when eight sea turtles needed a lift.

Eclipse CEO Mason Holland happened to be in the Boston area for a company event in January when the New England Aquarium rescued a group of endangered Kemp's Ridley sea turtles that had been found stranded on Cape Cod. The South Carolina Aquarium was willing to take them in, but they needed a ride south. Holland volunteered to deliver the turtles in his Eclipse jet. Four months later, the turtles were released into the wild, and Holland was invited to attend. "It was pretty fortuitous," Holland said. "A sea turtle rescue is a cool thing to be part of. Some people needed to get something done, and we were able to pitch in and help."

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Looking Back back to top 

Last Flight For Boeing 720

Check out AVweb reader Jean-Pierre Bonin's gallery of photos from the ceremony on Flickr.

We're not sure, but this might be the first "last flight" of an aircraft type that helped usher in the modern jet age of airliners. The last flying Boeing 720 took off from Saint-Hubert, Quebec, Canada for its presumably long-term stay at the National Air Force Museum of Canada at Royal Canadian Air Force Base Trenton, Ontario, on Wednesday. The airplane spent more than two decades as a test bed for Pratt & Whitney Canada, which mounted turboprops on the elongated nose, making it effectively the only five-engine four-engine aircraft flying. Pratt & Whitney moved to more modern Boeing 747SPs as test aircraft last year. They're primarily engaged in testing the company's new PurePower ultra-efficient turbofan engines.

The P&WC 720 was a 23B model built in 1961 and delivered to American Airlines. The 720 was a smaller, short-range version of the 707 and 154 were built. Pratt & Whitney Canada started using it as a test bed in 1988 and since the company makes a lot of turboprops the long nose was added as a spot to test their in-flight performance. The aircraft is officially on loan to the Trenton museum thanks to an agreement by P&WC and the Canada Aviation and Space Museum.

P-40 Discovered After 70 Years

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An early model RAF Curtis P-40 Kittyhawk (Warhawk) wearing markings from the 260 Squadron and likely lost in 1942 was found last month largely intact in western Egypt's Al Wadi al Jadid desert, and researchers may now have identified its last pilot. The aircraft has been photographed sitting on its belly with the canopy nearly closed. It is suspected to be that of Flight Sergeant Dennis Copping, who went missing while ferrying a damaged Kittyhawk with markings "HS-B." If so, it could be associated also with Canadian ace James Francis "Stocky" Edwards. The aircraft's resting place is 200 miles from the nearest town and no evidence of the pilot's remains have been found. A museum may now attempt to recover the aircraft, but there are complications.

The RAF Museum in Hendon, North London, reportedly has plans to recover the fighter and efforts are being made to trace any surviving members of Coppings' family. The aircraft is reportedly located near a known smuggling route between Sudan and Libya. If so, recovery efforts may be coordinated with the Egyptian military. The UK's Daily Mail has credited discovery of the warbird to a Polish oil-company worker who was exploring the region.

International Association of Flight Training Professionals (IAFTP)
IAFTP Has Been Invited by the
U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)

... to participate on the "Content, Quality, and Consistency of Pilot Training" panel of its 2012 General Aviation Safety Forum during June. Our focus will be the sharing of best training practices and some of the issues involved. Add your comments here:

What Should We as a Global Industry Do to Remedy the Inconsistent Way That Pilots Are Trained?
Upcoming Events back to top 

EAA Statement Sparks Concerns

AirVenture Cup race organizers are seeking to clarify a communication they received Thursday from EAA that they say could put the future of the race in question. An email sent Thursday from Chad Jensen, EAA homebuilt community manager, to Eric Whyte, chairman of the race's contest committee, reads in part, "EAA will no longer be associated with air racing in any form going forward." However, Kandi Spangler, who handles public relations for race organizers, told AVweb Friday that "EAA wants us to have the race and we want to have the race." She added, "If EAA is pulling out and not giving us the support we need, the race will likely be cancelled. But as it sits now, I feel good about the direction we're heading and the possible outcome." As of late Friday, the official public position from all parties was that the 2012 race had not yet been cancelled, as EAA officials and race organizers sought to clarify the nature of their relationship.

Race organizers Friday told AVweb they had scheduled a meeting with EAA officials to clarify the race's needs, EAA's position, and in what capacity EAA would, or would not, support the event. EAA communications director Dick Knapinski told AVweb Friday afternoon that he was not yet aware of such a meeting. At issue are differences between EAA officials and race organizers in their understanding of the role EAA will play in the race going forward. Race organizers told AVweb they have never seen themselves as a separate organization, but believed they were working as a volunteer group within EAA. And that volunteer group's understanding is that it has for the past 14 years organized the AirVenture Cup experimental aircraft race as an official EAA event. A statement released by EAA Friday said in part, "Since last year, there have been discussions with race organizers on better defining the event and its relationship to EAA, including clarifying name and branding elements." Race organizers hope to have a better understanding of that relationship, soon, and will then consider how, or if, the race will continue.

Aviation Legends Gather For Lindbergh Foundation

The Lindbergh Foundation marks its 35th anniversary on Friday, May 18, with a gala event at the Explorers Club in New York, featuring special guest speakers Apollo astronauts Neil Armstrong, Jim Lovell, and Gene Cernan, and airshow legend Bob Hoover. "I can't think of a more compelling roster of speakers to help us celebrate our anniversary," said Larry Williams, chairman. "All of them encourage us to remember the significance of the contributions made by Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh to our lives today, 85 years after the historic New York-to-Paris flight." A few tickets are still available for the black-tie event, Williams told AVweb this week, at a suggested donation of $1,000 each.

Reeve Lindbergh also will join the speaker roster, Williams said, citing her own personal recollections about her parents' work and the importance of the foundation in carrying on their vision. The foundation works to promote the use of innovative technology to help address aviation's environmental challenges, offering award programs, Lindbergh Grants that support promising and creative technologies, and public education through its newsletters, website, symposiums, forums, and workshops. AVweb's Mary Grady spoke with Williams at Sun 'n Fun in March; click here for that podcast. For tickets to the event, call (763) 576-1596 or email info@lindberghfoundation.org.

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New on AVweb.com back to top 

Podcast: EBACE Begins with Europe in Turmoil

File Size 8.3 MB / Running Time 9:02

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Teal Group analyst Richard Aboulafia offers his thoughts on the show, Hawker Beechcraft's many options and how Cessna and Embraer are matching up. He spoke with AVweb's Russ Niles.

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Podcast: OpenAirplane Reinvents Aircraft Rentals

File Size 10.5 MB / Running Time 11:28

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AVweb speaks to OpenAirplane's Rod Rakic for more details about his company's plan to make renting aircraft easier and more affordable for pilots — and more profitable for aircraft owners.

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Click here to listen. (10.5 MB, 11:28)

Forty-Seven Years in Aviation: A Memoir; Chapter 13: Tankers Revisited, Ohio State University, and 'The Barge'

Returning with his family to Ohio, Richard Taylor gets back into KC-97s in the Ohio Air National Guard ... this time the KC-97L, with two jet engines added to the four piston engines. After losing a major client in his non-aviation job, Richard fortuitously finds an opening as a faculty member in the Department of Aviation at Ohio State University.

Click here to read the 13th chapter.

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Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Maverick Air Center (FSB, Sioux Falls, South Dakota)

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

AVweb's latest "FBO of the Week" is Maverick Air Center at Sioux Falls Regional Air Center (FSB) in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

AVweb reader Lynn Erickson recommended the FBO:

My wife and I were traveling from Madison, Wisconsin to Sioux Falls for our godson's confirmation and had decided on Maverick because of the rental car avialablility. The weather was a challenge, and after dodging around a line of storms and landing ahead of another, we were greeted by a very accomodating, experienced line crew who hustled our 182 into their brand-new hangar. The entire facility is new, with obvious attention to what makes a full-service FBO without the pretense. The people working there are an outstanding compliment to the surroundings. Bruce and his crew kept our airplane in for two nights, charged us for one, and gave us a very good price on fuel. This is definitely a GA-of-all-sizes-friendly stop.

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

AVweb's Newstips Address ...

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.

The Lighter Side of Flight back to top 

Short Final

Flying an Army OH58 in the early '80s, we determined that we would not have the fuel to make our planned destination. Passing Kessler Air Force Base, we called the tower for landing instructions.

Kessler Tower:
"Do you have PPR?" [PPR = "prior permission"]

OH58 (not knowing what "PPR" stood for) :
"No. [pause] All we have is a transponder and an ADF."

Kessler Tower:
"Clear to land."

Mike Friel
via e-mail

Heard Anything Funny on the Radio?

Heard anything funny, unusual, or downright shocking on the radio lately? If you've been flying any length of time, you're sure to have eavesdropped on a few memorable exchanges. The ones that gave you a chuckle may do the same for your fellow AVweb readers. Share your radio funny with us, and, if we use it in a future "Short Final," we'll send you a sharp-looking AVweb hat to sport around your local airport. No joke.

Click here to submit your original, true, and previously unpublished story.

Names Behind the News back to top 

Meet the AVwebFlash Team

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

Scott Simmons

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Kevin Lane-Cummings
Jeff Van West

Ad Coordinator
Karen Lund

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.