Tell MIT Researchers About GA's Challenges, Your Ideas and Concerns
The International Center for Air Transportation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is conducting a study of general aviation trends. Let them know what you think about fuel
costs, how to advance general aviation and why you fly. It takes ten minutes or less. AVweb will publish the results so will MIT.
Troubled by decreasing volume in a flat aviation economy, Mattituck Services, one of the northeast's longest-established engine shops, will close at the end of May, according to Continental Motors.
Some of the 23 affected employees will move to Continental's Fairhope, Alabama facility, which offers similar services on overhauls and factory service.
"Very simply, we're closing the Mattituck facility and integrating it with our facility in Fairhope, Alabama. Unfortunately, four years of continued bad GA market meant that it was not effective to
keep two facilities open," said Rhett Ross, CEO of Continental Motors. "Very bluntly, I think both us and Lycoming have a done a good job of pointing out the value of factory options and that has made
a contribution across the board to the decline there. It was not an easy decision, but that facility has been marginal for at least the half decade."
Mattituck was founded in 1946 by Parker Wickham, who converted part of the family's Long Island potato farm into a small airport that eventually became known as Mattituck Airbase. The airport is
located on the north shore of Long Island on Great Peconic Bay. The business remained in the Wickham family until it was sold in 1984, then bought back by the family in 1988. Teledyne-Continental
bought Mattituck in 1999 and renamed it Teledyne-Mattituck Services. When Continental was itself bought by the China-based AVIC International, the shop was again renamed Mattituck Services.
Rotax 912 Oil System Priming Kit Available at California Power Systems
If you do your own oil change, you know that just draining the oil reservoir doesn't get all the dirty oil out of the engine. The Oil System Priming Kit provides you with all the needed parts
and instructions to force-prime the entire oil system in just a few minutes. Kit includes adjustable pressure regulator, both automotive- and industrial-style air couplers, feed hose, worm drive
clamps, hose barbs, steel flare cap for tank top, and complete step-by-step instructions. Call 1 (800) AIRWOLF or
Concerns over the system that delivers oxygen to pilots of the F-22 Tuesday led Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to set flight limits for the fighter jet and add safety measures. The jets must now be
flown "within proximity of potential landing locations." The specific restrictions will be drawn by individual pilots and commanders, Pentagon spokesman and Navy Captain John Kirby told the Washington
Post. Panetta added other specific instructions in a letter to Air Force Secretary Michael Donley. Meanwhile, two pilots who appeared on CBS News' 60 Minutes saying they did not want to fly the jet
have reportedly had a change of heart.
In the letter, Panetta told Donley to fit each F-22 with an automatic backup oxygen system and ordered the Air Force to seek guidance from the Navy and NASA. The systems are expected to be in place
before year-end. The action comes roughly one week after two F-22 pilots appeared on CBS News' 60 Minutes and explained that concerns over the aircraft's oxygen system led them to choose to not fly
the jet. A report by AirForce-magazine.com says both men "want to resume flying the jet" now that charcoal filters initially added as a safety precaution have been removed from the jet's oxygen system.
Twelve incidents involving hypoxia-like symptoms were reported between April 2008 and January 2011 by pilots of the F-22. And one fatal crash has been linked to oxygen-delivery problems. The widow of
the crash pilot has launched a lawsuit that names Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Honeywell International and Pratt & Whitney. The suit alleges that the aircraft's systems failed to "safely or properly
provide breathable oxygen" to the pilot as he flew the aircraft.
Lycoming & Continental Aircraft Starters: Aviation-Manufactured, OEM-Endorsed, & Factory-Installed For Over 20 Years
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!
Kickstarter, a crowd-funding site, has reconsidered its rejection of a proposal from Synergy Aircraft, and this week said it would
allow the project to go forward. John McGinnis, the aircraft designer, said on Sunday that he had "received an email from a human being" saying that Kickstarter had reconsidered his "incredibly
ambitious and creative project" and would be excited to host it. "It's quite the ride out here at the end of the whip," McGinnis said. As of Wednesday, Synergy's project had attracted 51 backers and $13,924. At least $65,000 must be pledged by June 4;
otherwise, the donors will get their money back.
McGinnis said the initial goal of $65,000 would help the company complete the engine and landing-gear installation in its prototype airplane. The team, based in Montana, has experimented with a
25-percent flying model and is currently building a full-scale version, with the aim of creating a product for the homebuilt market. The five-place, all-composite airplane features an unusual
double-box tail. McGinnis recently spoke with AVweb's Glenn Pew about the Synergy design; click here for that podcast.
Pipistrel on Monday announced that its Alpha LSA, which the company calls "the perfect training aircraft," is ready to go, at a price of $85,000. The Alpha trainer is equipped with a Rotax 912
80-hp engine and a ballistic chute. The panel features conventional instruments, complemented by a GPS Garmin Aera 500. The Alpha has a "beefed-up" undercarriage to handle rough student landings, and
a full-fuel payload of about 500 pounds. Cruise speed is 108 knots and range is 400 miles. In the training role doing touch-and-goes, the aircraft will burn less than 2.5 gallons per hour, according
to Pipistrel. The all-new airplane represents "a completely new approach to flight training," Pipistrel said, "at a cost nearly half that of our competitors."
The airplane has a new wing design based on the Virus wing, but without air brakes, for simpler controls, and with redesigned flaperons that have 25 degrees of flap travel for easy short-field
landings. In creating the new design, Pipistrel said, "We have noticed over the last several years that customers have evolved from basic entry-level aircraft to more sophisticated glass everything
with autopilot and every other conceivable addition. Great if you can afford it, but with the economy the way it is, most aircraft have been priced from the marketplace for the average person or
Continental Motors' Gold Standard Cylinders Are Manufactured in Our Mobile, Alabama Factory
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There are a number of "catches," but Virgin Atlantic passengers will soon be able to make cell phone calls on the airline's flights from London to New York, the airline announced this week. No
passengers will be allowed to have their phones powered up for takeoff or landing, and only six people will be allowed to talk at once. Each one will pay international roaming rates for the call and
must have access to either Europe's Vodafone or O2 carriers, or the U.S.'s T-Mobile. By year-end, the service should be available on as many as 20 of the carrier's aircraft flying 10 routes. Virgin
Atlantic isn't the first to offer the service, but there may be reason not to expect U.S. carriers to follow suit soon.
Emirates first offered passengers access to their phones while flying in 2008. Oman Air and Royal Jordanian followed soon after. American regulations require that Virgin Atlantic's cell phone
service be turned off within 250 miles of U.S. airspace. Some tech-savvy passengers have reportedly accessed internet-based voice communication through the more common online services provided
aboard other airlines. Not all of those attempts have been well-received by cabin crews. Virgin Atlantic expects to roll our service first on A330 Airbus aircraft and then retrofit its Boeing
747s with the necessary hardware. The limit of six passengers at one time is reportedly a restriction set as a function of bandwidth -- the system doesn't offer enough to cater to large groups.
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If you or somebody you know would like to give flying a try, this Saturday might be a good time. During the third annual International Learn To Fly Day, airports around the world are hosting events
and pilots are offering to take neighbors and friends up for a free introductory flight. EAA spearheads the community-wide effort, and provides information and a list of events online. Informal efforts to just take a friend or neighbor for an introductory flight or even for a visit to the airport also are encouraged. "As
we inspire the next generation of aviators, International Learn to Fly Day is one day where we can make a special effort to invite and welcome those who have always dreamed of flying," said Rod
Hightower, EAA president.
The Learn to Fly website also offers info for anyone who would like to organize an event. Last year, AVweb's Mary Grady spoke with Ron Wagner, manager of field operations for EAA, for more
information about Learn to Fly Day and how pilots can participate; click here for that podcast.
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Evelyn Bryan Johnson, who logged 57,635.4 hours in the air -- more than six years -- during her long flying career, died last week at age 102. Johnson, known as "Mama Bird," taught more than 5,000
students and gave more than 9,000 check rides for the FAA. She ran a small airport in Morristown, Tenn., until she was past 100. "Mrs. Johnson said she would retire when she was old enough, which she
never was," reads her New York Times obituary. "Each time she went up in a
plane -- her last flight was as a passenger in 2009 -- she said she saw something new and beautiful."
"Evelyn was a shining star whose zeal touched countless pilots," former student Peggy Chabrian, president of Women in Aviation International, said this week. "She was one of those lucky people who
found their passion early so she could live her life doing exactly what she wanted to do ... A down-to-earth woman with a great sense of humor, Evelyn was definitely one of a kind, whose legacy lives
on in her thousands of students." Among many awards, Johnson was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame and the Flight Instructor Hall of Fame. She held the Guinness world record for more
hours in the air than any other woman. AVweb contributor Joe Godfrey spoke with Johnson in 1999 as she approached her 90th birthday; click here for that
The Eclipse 550 Twin-Engine Jet: Delivering in 2013 Eclipse Aerospace has received Production Certificate #550 from the FAA, paving the way for production of the new Eclipse 550 twin-engine jet. What does this mean for you? It
means you can fly 375 ktas at 41,000 feet while sipping just 59 gallons of fuel per hour. And you can do it next year. Take a look at the most technologically advanced, fuel-efficient jet on the
The FAA will accept comments until June 8, 2012, on revised rules (PDF) for what used to be called
the Block Aircraft Registration Request program, which allows aircraft owners to prevent public access to information tied to their aircraft N-number. The FAA wanted to all but scrap that ability last
year but was blocked by Congress by an amendment in an appropriations bill. At the time, the FAA said it would present new rules for participation in the program; the Notice of Proposed Process
appeared in the Federal Register May 9. Aircraft already on the list will be automatically included under the new rules but the rulemaking sets out some specific criteria for new applicants.
Only owners or those responsible for aircraft will be able to submit the requests and they must certify their direct interest in the aircraft and provide contact information. "The FAA does not view
associations on behalf of their members to be agents for this purpose," the document says. There will be two levels of blocking. If the owner wants no one, including him or herself, to be able to
track their aircraft, the registration will be blocked at the "FAA level." Those who want to be able to track their aircraft or have others do it for them will block the registration at the "industry
level" and designated contractors will be able obtain and disseminate the information to the selected recipients. The unfiltered information will be available other government agencies through the
Eclipse Aerospace and Sikorsky subsidiary PZL Mielec have signed a deal that will see the major airframe components of the new Eclipse 550 built at the PZL plant in Poland. PZL, which now builds
the international version of the Blackhawk helicopter and the M-28 fixed-wing aircraft, will build the fuselage, empennage and wings for the 550, which is the same airframe as the original Eclipse 500
with updated and enhanced electronics. The parts will be shipped from Poland to Eclipse's plant in Albuquerque for final assembly.
The announcement comes two weeks after Eclipse obtained the production certificate for the 550. The
airframe is built with a process called friction stir welding and that equipment and technology will presumably be sent to Poland to build the parts. The 550 will have auto throttles, synthetic vision
and enhanced vision and will sell for $2.695 million. In a recent podcast interview, Eclipse CEO Mason Holland explained the relationship with
Sikorsky and said the order book for the new aircraft extends to 2014.
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Sometimes the airlines are nothing if not entertaining. In his latest post to the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli examines Spirit Airlines' suit against the DOT, Delta getting into the
refinery business, and cell phones on long-haul flights.
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.
Peter Drucker Says, "The Best Way to Predict the Future Is to Create It"
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changes, monthly tracking reports, and interactive programs. To find out how simple it is to reach 255,000 qualified pilots, owners, and decision-makers weekly,
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AVweb's latest "FBO of the Week" is Maverick Air Center at Sioux Falls Regional Air Center/Joe Foss Field (FSD) 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.
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