AVwebFlash - Volume 18, Number 25a

June 18, 2012

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
Lycoming || Factory-Rebuilt: The 
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AVflash! The Future of HBC back to top 
Sponsor Announcement
Arlington Fly-In || July 11-15, 2012

Hawker Beech Survival Plans Revealed

Hawker Beechcraft plans to hang on to its piston and turboprop business but will shed at least some of its turbine production under three reorganization scenarios presented to bankruptcy court last month. The Wichita Eagle reported that a common thread of the reorganization plans is the demise of the Premier jet and the Hawker 200, which is under development. One plan eliminates jet production entirely, another retains the Hawker Beechcraft 900 and flagship 4000 while the third sacrifices the 4000 and keeps only the 900.

Of course, if another company buys Hawker Beechcraft, a possibility we reported last week, the bankruptcy navel-gazing is moot. But if Hawker Beech emerges as an independent company, the document gives a vision of what it might look like. Of the three options, the most financially attractive is eliminating jet production and concentrating on the highly successful King Air line and further development of the AT-6 light air support aircraft. That one also closes the most plants and eliminates the most jobs. Even under the scenario that keeps the 4000, its continuation is contingent on a reduction of 20 percent of its material costs, something the company admits is not likely. The 900 appears to be management's pick as the most viable jet option but even it has some future problems looming. By 2016 new aircraft from Cessna and Embraer will be direct competitors and Hawker Beech would have to invest heavily to modernize the 900 to meet that competition.

Compare and Save at the Pilot Insurance Center
Don't pay more for life insurance coverage just because you fly. Contact Pilot Insurance Center to see how you can save. PIC works with A+ rated insurance companies to provide preferred rates for pilots. Call (800) 380-8376 or visit PICLife.com.
Profit, Probability, and Safety back to top 

Boeing, Cargo Carriers Fight Cost Of Compliance

Cargo carriers and manufacturers oppose a proposed fix for a problem the NTSB says likely caused the in-flight explosion of TWA Flight 800 near Long Island, N.Y., in 1996. That event killed all 230 aboard. The FAA has applied a fix for passenger aircraft and now wants to apply changes to cargo jets. The NTSB has estimated that the problem (faulty wiring in a fuel tank) would cause similar events every four years. And in 2001 a 737-400 suffered an explosion while on the ramp at Bangkok, and in 2006 a 727-200 suffered an explosion while on the ground in India. But Boeing says the risk for cargo operators is "less than extremely improbable," the Seattle Times reported Friday. The manufacturer has found support from Airbus, the airline trade group A4A, UPS and FedEx. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking in more ways than one.

The NTSB's estimate does not include certain safety measures already put in place across much of the affected fleet. And the remaining service life of affected cargo jets may be running out. Boeing estimates that because of that, the probability of an accident is "unlikely to occur in the operational life" of the affected cargo fleet. That fleet is currently made up of roughly 352 cargo aircraft flying in the U.S. Timing might not be the only concern. The FAA's proposed fix would require Boeing to change certain fuel-tank wiring. It estimates the cost of that fix at $100,000 to $200,000 per airplane. Boeing says the figure would be much higher and has instead offered a different solution -- fitting the jets with nitrogen-generating systems that displace flammable vapors. The system is fitted to all Boeing aircraft made today. But that solution would cost carriers $323,000 per aircraft to retrofit. Carriers have balked at the figure and have asked the FAA to run a thorough cost-benefit and risk analysis prior to requiring any mandatory fix. If the FAA takes them up on it, most of the affected fleet could be retired before new regulations roll out.

Bose® A20™ Aviation Headset
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Rewards Still Outweigh the Risks for F-22 Pilot back to top 

F-22 Whistleblower Wants Job Back

The lawyer for one of two F-22 pilots who went public with their concerns about breathing the air supplied by the aircraft is calling for his full reinstatement and the withdrawal of a letter of reprimand on his record. The Newport News Daily Press is reporting Virginia Air National Guard Capt. Josh Wilson complained to his superiors that a charcoal filter installed in the fighter's oxygen system to combat other contamination issues was actually making matters worse. Shortly after he told his commanders that an Air Force doctor had recommended he not fly the aircraft, the superior officers refused to renew his orders to fly with Air Combat Command, dropping his pay by 90 percent and chopping benefits. At the same time, Boeing was concluding a study that led to recommendations the charcoal filters be removed. That recommendation was made on April 2. The Air Force took the advice and started removing the filters about the same time Wilson and Air Force Maj. Jeremy Gordon went on 60 Minutes to publicly complain about the issue. Virginia Sen. Mark R. Warner and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., released the study publicly on Friday.

Wilson has been off active duty for more than two months and his lawyer Frederick M. Morgan Jr. is calling for the withdrawal of the letter and Wilson's reinstatement "a critical first step" to resolving his client's situation. Wilson has responded to the letter of reprimand but has not had his hearing before the Flying Evaluation Board. Guard officials had not commented to the Daily Press on the latest developments by the weekend but military officials up to and including Defense Secretary Leon Panetta have said Wilson and Gordon are protected against reprisals under the military whistleblower provisions.

Bendix/King by Honeywell
A New Day at Bendix/King by Honeywell
Bendix/King Avionics has established new business operations in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Soon, we'll have an all-new product line. We have renewed our brand — and our promise — to design, build and support the best-performing, most innovative and cost-effective avionics products available for general aviation. Visit us online by clicking here.
Aviation Safety back to top 

Five Survive Osprey Crash

All five aboard survived the crash of an Air Force CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor during a Wednesday evening gunnery training run in the Elgin Range over the Florida panhandle. Initial details were provided by the 1st Special Operations Wing to which the aircraft was assigned. The crash aircraft had been trailing a lead Osprey that initiated search and rescue when it reversed course and found the second aircraft was no longer in trail. The crashed tilt-rotor was found inverted with significant damage. A post-crash fire did not consume the aircraft. The crash led the wing to stand down operations for the day.

According to a spokesman for the Air Force, there is no reason to suspect that any fundamental design flaws led to the accident. The military does not expect to suspend CV-22 operations and planned Thursday to continue gunnery training. The last Osprey accident involved an MV-22 Osprey flown by the Marine Corps during a training exercise in Morocco. That accident took the lives of two Marines. Safety concerns put forward earlier this month by local officials have stalled plans to deploy Marine Ospreys to a Japanese city. The aircraft costs $89 million per copy and can carry up to 32 troops or 10,000 pounds of cargo, according to an Air Force fact sheet.

L-39 Crash Pilot's Certificate Also Previously Revoked

Two pilots who had previously had their certificates revoked are related to the fatal crash of an L-39 jet on May 18 near Boulder City airport, Nev., the FAA said Wednesday. Douglas Edward Gilliss was killed along with his passenger in the crash. Investigators now say Gilliss had previously had his certificate temporarily revoked for falsifying the checkride of a pilot involved in the fatal 2009 crash of an L-29. On his own fatal flight, Gilliss flew an L-39 alongside another piloted by David Glen Riggs, who, as AVweb reported Monday, has also once had his certificate temporarily revoked. The FAA is also pursuing evidence of possible violations during the Boulder City crash.

Riggs lost his certificate for one year after buzzing California's Santa Monica pier in 2009. Investigators are also following up on reports that the fatal flight was flown while breaking more regulations. The FAA is trying to determine whether Riggs and Gilliss were illegally flying passengers for hire in the experimental aircraft, according an anonymous source "close to the investigation" cited by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The NTSB has already released a report that said the passenger who was killed was part of a group of eight people who were taking flight tours in the jets. Both Gilliss and Riggs held appropriate ratings at the time of the Boulder City crash. FAA regulations generally prohibit the pilots from charging for flights on the L-39s. The FAA is currently considering changes to rules that could make such flights legal in the future, or ban them altogether. AVweb has covered that story, here

'The Aviators' || Weekly on PBS - Also on iTunes & Hulu
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The award-winning hit television series airing across the US weekly on PBS (contact your local station), in Canada on Travel+Escape, and overseas on Discovery. The Aviators covers all-things aviation, as our pilot/hosts take you flying with the Blue Angels, on $100 hamburger runs, or exploring aircraft from warbirds to airliners. Seasons 1 and 2 now on iTunes and Hulu. Season 3 coming this fall ... and premiering at AirVenture 2012!

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Sentimental Journey This Week back to top 

Cubs Fly Home

Organizers say they're expecting the grass next to the runway at William T. Piper Airport in Lock Haven, Pa., to be a sea of yellow starting Wednesday as the Sentimental Journey to Cub Haven Fly-In settles near the birthplace of the J-3 Cub. Although this is the 27th time Cub owners have flocked to Piper's original home, this is expected to be an especially busy year because it's the 75th anniversary of the iconic aircraft. Up to 300 aircraft, many of them painted in "Lock Haven Yellow," will be there, assuming good weather. "Hearing the hum of the planes' engines and seeing the airport filled with planes again brings back memories for many of us who had relatives and friends working for Piper," fly-in coordinator Carmen Banfill told The Morning Call.

The fly-in has been held since Piper closed in Lock Haven and operations were centralized at the current facilities in Vero Beach, Fla., which Piper has occupied since the 1950s. Piper also had a plant at Lakeland Linder Airport in Florida to build Navajos. The Cub was introduced in 1937 after Bill Piper had parted ways with C.G. Taylor, whom he'd financed in the development of the original Cub. The J-3 had several improvements, including a steerable tailwheel, redesigned tail and new window shapes. More than 19,000 were built before production ended in 1947.

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Cleared to Depart from the Stop and Go Parking Lot back to top 

Pair Set July 14 For Record Lawn-Chair Flight

Cluster balloonist Kent Couch has a new partner and a goal to set a new Guinness World Record for longest two-man cluster balloon flight when he sets out from Bend, Ore., for a landing somewhere in Montana. Couch, who has since 2007 made no less than four public cluster balloon flights, will be joined on this adventure by Fareed Lafta. The pair expect to set off from a Stop and Go Mini Mart at about 10 a.m. on July 14 (weather permitting) and fans will be able to follow the trip online. Regardless of the outcome, the pair is already talking about another arguably much more adventurous trip -- in Iraq.

Couch met Lafta through his preparations for a future flight over Baghdad. Lafta is a pilot and diplomat from Iraq, currently living in Dubai. He has more than 1,000 skydives under his belt. The men are still in the planning stages for the Baghdad flight, which includes the acquisition of funding. The planned Oregon-to-Montana flight will use about 350 specially made helium-filled balloons, expected to carry the two men through the night. Weather and other factors will determine the trip's specific destination. For their Iraq flight, "other factors" may prove more formidable and offer a more decisive impact on the flight. Couch's previous adventures led to a world record for longest cluster balloon flight, which he set at 235 miles flying under 250 balloons back in 2008.

Eclipse 550 || Delivering in 2013
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 planet by CLICKING HERE.
Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: How Do You Do a Go-Around?

Do you push the throttle up to max, nudge the pitch and worry about the trim later? Or do you prefer to modulate the power to see if you can handle the pitch change forces? On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli discusses the pros and cons of each approach.

Read more and join the conversation.

International Association of Flight Training Professionals (IAFTP)
Is Technology Eroding Pilot Skills?
The issue of eroding flying skills was a topic of discussion and concern in the early 1990s but fell off the radar screen. Now, due to some high-profile accidents, the question has re-surfaced. Apparently no one hand-flies the aircraft anymore, including in the simulator. Should training refocus on manual flying expertise to avoid automation dependency? Add your comments to our international discussion here:

Is Technology Eroding Pilot Skills?
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 

Survey: What's That LSA Costing You? 'Aviation Consumer' Wants to Know

If you're operating a light sport aircraft -- either a legacy or late-model new airplane, our sister publication, Aviation Consumer, would like to know what it costs.

Click on this link to take the survey and leave comments.

We're interested in all kinds of light sports, but we especially want to know what costs are like when the airplanes are in partnerships.

The results will appear in a future issue of Aviation Consumer. For subscription information, click here.

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.

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 FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Tiffin Aviation (KOLS, Nogales, AZ)

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

"Best green chile hamburgers I have even had!" raves AVweb reader Randy Williams of the food at our latest "FBO of the Week," Tiffin Aviation Services at Nogales International Airport (KOLS) in Nogales, Arizona.

Oh, and he also reports that they offered "very fast Customs clearance." But let's not forget those hamburgers.

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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AVweb Video: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

Video: Viking Air Twin Otter Factory

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

Viking Air is quickly ramping up production of its new build Twin Otter 400 series. AVweb's Russ Niles toured the Victoria, British Columbia factory with VP of Operations Dan Tharp, a Wichita aircraft production veteran recently hired by Viking to boost production.

Don't see a video screen?
Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

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.
The Lighter Side of Flight back to top 

Short Final

About ten airplanes from a local air park descended on the usually quiet Grand Prarie Muni (Texas) for Sunday breakfast. Afterward, we heard this exchange:

Controller (somewhat exasperated) :
"Did you guys all take off together?"

Unidentified Pilot:
"No. We actually took off one at a time ... ."

Steve Wilson
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.