AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 18, Number 37b

September 13, 2012

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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AVflash! Regulatory Burdens for Instructors back to top 
Sponsor Announcement
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NAFI: States Try To Regulate Flight Training

The National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) says it is concerned that specific states may increase the burden on flight training providers by attempting to regulate their operation, and the latest state to enter that mix could be Tennessee. California and Arizona have both recently initiated efforts to regulate and/or license flight training operators, says NAFI. Now, the group says a NAFI member in Tennessee has received notification from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission that the state's Division of Postsecondary School Authorization seeks to regulate fight schools there. NAFI is currently seeking to assess whether that notification was sent to a broad base of operators, one specific location, or if it was somehow mischaracterized. Whatever the case, the organization is seeking relevant input and is hopeful that a positive outcome can be reached.

In instances where states attempt to further regulate flight training activity, NAFI argues that "flight training is a federally regulated activity that is conducted by federally certificated instructors or training providers, and in most cases at federally funded airports." The organization notes that states may have the right to apply regulation to commercial activities within their borders but is wary that it may have a negative effect on the ability of flight training providers to do business. NAFI "is hopeful" that collaboration between the aviation community and state officials will mean that any new rules will pass will relatively little impact to flight schools, student pilots, instructors, and their ability to do business together. Providing an environment that facilitates business could serve the state's own interests as well. Parties in Tennessee that can contribute information relevant to this concern should contact NAFI at NAFI@NAFINet.org or by phone at 866-806-6156.

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The Clock Is Ticking back to top 

Deadlines Loom For Pilot Action

Your chance to comment on the proposal from EAA and AOPA asking the FAA to change its medical requirements for some private pilots ends on Friday, the groups said this week. "EAA especially encourages the 39,000 pilots who will be directly affected by the FAA's ultimate decision on this proposal to indicate their support for the exemption request," said Randy Hansen, EAA government relations director. The proposal would allow pilots to fly some GA aircraft without a third-class medical if they take an online course, self-certify, and hold a driver's license. Friday is also the last day for comments on FAA's through-the-fence policy draft. The FAA also reminded GA pilots this week to take part in their annual safety survey, which is open until Nov. 30. The Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association encouraged LSA pilots especially to respond to the FAA survey.

"Because of the newness of LSA, it is essential to improve the statistics, which LAMA believes will reinforce the acceptable safety record of the sector," the association said in a news release this week. "The data from the GA survey is used by the FAA, NTSB, and even Congress in their oversight of recreational aviation," said LAMA director Tom Peghiny. "It is crucial that owners in our segment (SLSA, ELSA and Experimental Amateur-Built light aircraft) make the effort to respond. Only by having accurate operational statistics can we know how our safety record compares to other parts of general aviation." NBAA also "strongly encourages" all users of business aircraft to respond to the survey.

Question of the Week: How Active Are You in Aviation Politics?

Various groups this week sent out reminders of government initiatives whose comment period deadlines are looming. How often do you submit comments?

How active are you in aviation politics?
(click to answer)

Last Week's Question: Results

Want to see the current breakdown of responses? Take a moment to answer the question yourself, and then you can view real-time results.

What's On Your Mind?

Have an idea for a new "Question of the Week"?
Send your suggestions to .

NOTE: This address is only for suggested "QOTW" questions, and not for "QOTW" answers or comments. (Use this form to send "QOTW" comments to our AVmail Editor.)

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NextGen: "Worth the Investment in the Long Run" back to top 

Report: NextGen Progress Improving

The FAA was slow getting NextGen up and running, Transportation Department inspector general Calvin Scovel told the House aviation committee on Wednesday, but he said the program has improved and will be worth the investment in the long run. In a hearing to examine the progress of NextGen initiatives, FAA officials told the House panel they have learned from their mistakes and expect the system to deliver major benefits. The agency will spend $2.4 billion over the next five years to move from a radar-based system to a system using satellite technology, according to the Washington Post. The increased efficiency is expected to save billions of gallons of fuel.

Paul Rinaldi, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, told the House panel that NextGen will transform the national air transportation system. "Collaboration is the key to a successful transformation," he said. "Because of current collaboration efforts among industry leaders and stakeholders, NextGen is moving forward in many areas." Rinaldi also said that streamlining the FAA rulemaking process would help to better implement the new efficiencies being developed by the new technology. The panel also heard from FAA acting administrator Michael Huerta and several other government and industry officials. A video of the hearing and the full text of the witness testimony are posted online.

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First-run factory engine core discount offers $1,500 off the price of a factory-new or $750 off the price of a factory-rebuilt engine when you return a "first-run" engine core and log book on exchange for the purchase of a Continental Motors' factory-rebuilt or factory-new engine. Call (800) 326-0089 or click here for details.
Aviation Safety back to top 

AD Addresses Cessna In-Flight Fire

The FAA has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) affects nearly 3,000 of Cessna's retractable-gear aircraft and seeks to prevent the possibility of in-flight fire on the cabin side of the firewall. Affected aircraft are models R182, TR182, FR182, 210N, T210N, 210R, T210R, P210N, P210R, and T303 airplanes. The agency acted based on a report of an accident involving a Cessna 172RG. In that case, a fire "rapidly accelerated" inside the cabin, caused injuries to the aircraft's occupants, and ultimately resulted in a complete hull loss for the airplane. That description closely matches the experience of Jade Schiewe, who was interviewed last year by AVweb's Glenn Pew (podcast). Compliance with the AD, which involves the placement of terminal lug caps at each aircraft's hydraulic power pack, is estimated to have relatively little impact on owners.

The FAA estimates that inspection of the aircraft's hydraulic power pack should take about an hour and cost about $85. If the terminal lug protective cap installation on the hydraulic power pack requires work, the FAA estimates the total cost at $114. Improper installation of the terminal covers and associated wiring could result in ignition of a fire that could spread rapidly in the presence of flammable materials near or in contact with the hydraulic power pack system. Read the full NPRM, here.

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News Briefs back to top 

Gamera Project Crashes Short Of Goal

A human-powered rotorcraft built by a team of students in Maryland was damaged in a hard landing recently during a test flight, after setting a new (unofficial) altitude record of 9.4 feet. Pilot Henry Enerson was not hurt. The altitude was only 5 inches from the required height to win the elusive Sikorsky Prize. The $250,000 prize, first offered in 1980, requires a human-powered helicopter to hover for one minute and reach an altitude of 3 meters while remaining under control within a constrained box, all in the same flight. The University of Maryland team has so far attained a duration of 65 seconds with its Gamera II rotorcraft. The team is repairing the damage from the Sept. 1 crash and plans to try again soon.

The accident, which occurred on descent, was caused by the failure of a joint that had been repaired after an earlier crash. The aircraft is about 105 feet across and weights about 75 pounds. It has been flown only indoors. AVweb's Glenn Pew spoke with the team advisor Dr. Inderjit Chopra about the project in June; click here for that podcast.

Help For Aspiring Pilots

EAA said this week that Sporty's has made its new Learn To Fly course available to all Young Eagles free of charge. Sporty's has previously offered its recreational and private pilot courses free to Young Eagles, and more than 15,000 students already have accepted that offer. The new Learn To Fly course helps students to focus on the first step -- the first solo -- and then choose whether to pursue a sport, private, or recreational pilot certificate. The upgraded course is available for iPads and other mobile devices as well as desktop computers, EAA said. EAA also said it will provide a free first flight lesson and will pay for the FAA knowledge exam for all Young Eagles who complete the Learn To Fly course. Also this week, the Flying Musicians Association and the 99s announced programs to help those seeking an aviation career.

Focus on the Future, a project of the Flying Musicians and the Wolf Aviation Fund, is hosting its inaugural event on Saturday, Sept. 22 in Atlanta, Ga., for youth interested in pursuing a flying career. The daylong conference will offer meetings with representatives from schools around the country and seminars on topics such as how to finance an education and how to develop a career plan. The event is free for students and their parents, guardians, and counselors, but pre-registration is required (scroll down for the free student and parent registration option). Similar events are planned for locations around the country, including Las Vegas, Boston, Chicago, Orlando, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Honolulu. Also this week, the Eastern New England Chapter of the Ninety-Nines announced that it has four $1,500 scholarships open to those training for a career in aviation. Applicants must be a resident of one of the six New England states or studying in New England. Two of the scholarships are for women only, but two are open to all. The deadline to apply is Jan. 31, 2013.

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Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: Crashworthiness and Moral Responsibility

If manufacturers have a moral obligation to build in crashworthiness, are journalists equally obligated to opine when they fall short? In a mea culpa posted to the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli says the answer is yes. But you read the blog and tell us what you think.

Read more and join the conversation.

AVweb Insider Blog: Time Flies

In her latest post to the AVweb Insider blog, editor Mary Grady polishes off her crystal ball for a quick look into the future — and then packs it away to make room for the real thing.

Read more and join the conversation.

Aerial Tribute || Every Cloud a Monument
Ascension Scattering™: A Dignified Final Tribute for Any Aviator
Using a high-performance sailplane, Ascension Scattering™ releases cremated remains into strong thermals over the Rocky Mountains. The ashes are carried heavenward, making them part of the sky. Your family is invited to personalize the release to create an individualized memorial event. Optional video of the release serves as a lasting memorial. Contact Aerial Tribute to book an eternal flight, either as an advanced arrangement for yourself or as an arrangement for a loved one. Click here for a video overview.
New on AVweb.com back to top 

Forty-Seven Years In Aviation: A Memoir; Chapter 17: The C-123K, Two Retirements And A New Career

For his final years with the Air Force, Dick Taylor flew a Fairchild C-123, an aircraft whose parentage included both glider and jet versions. After retiring from the Air Force and then later from Ohio State, Dick began yet another career, consulting for aviation-accident cases.

Click here to read the 17th and final chapter.

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What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Week back to top 

U.S. Investors Buy 200 Of New Brazil GA Design

Ledyard Capital Management, an investment firm that in the past has specialized in transport aircraft and the marine industry, announced this week that it is buying 200 copies of a new four-seat general aviation carbon-fiber aircraft from Novaer, in Brazil. Douglas Brennan, a partner in the company who is also a GA pilot, told AVweb on Tuesday that his firm plans to partner up with an existing distributor network to market the airplanes in the U.S., Europe, and China. "We plan to do the final assembly here in the U.S., just like Embraer does," he said. He added that the airplanes will be eligible for financing from the Brazilian government, which he believes will give them an edge in the U.S. market. The airplane, which is all carbon-fiber and derived from a military-trainer design, should be certified around mid-2013, Brennan said. A prototype has already flown. A price has not yet been set.

The purchase of 200 aircraft is essentially the first two years of production, Brennan said. In a news release, his firm said the TXC aircraft "represents the leading edge of aeronautical design and manufacturing technologies that deliver a level of safety and performance previously unattainable." The original military version was designed by Joszef Kovacs, former chief designer of Embraer's Tucano trainer. Brennan told AVweb the aircraft performance makes it possible to fill all four seats, add full fuel, and fly. "Every aspect of the airplane is brilliant," he said. A ballistic parachute will be available as an option, but the aircraft "can recover from spins without the need of a parachute," the news release said. The TXC will have retractable landing gear, air conditioning, and an optional pressurized cabin. A Lycoming AEIO-540 powerplant will drive the airplane to a maximum cruise speed of about 202 knots. The aircraft company is fully backed by the Brazilian government, Brennan said, "so it's different from a start-up company … all the financing is together."

Embraer Expands U.S. Production Line

Embraer now will assemble the Phenom 300 light jet in Melbourne, Fla., the company said this week, in addition to the Phenom 100, which has been produced at the Florida plant since last year. Both aircraft are on the same assembly line, the company said, with an ultimate capacity of eight aircraft per month. Twelve Phenom 300 jets are scheduled for production at the plant next year, with the first delivery in March. The production certificate recently granted by the FAA for the Phenom 100 will be expanded to include production of the 300, the company said.

The Melbourne assembly facility has hired and trained more staff for the expanded production line, bringing the total employment for both the assembly and customer centers to 233. Embraer is also developing an engineering and technology center at the Melbourne site. The center will be completed next year and will provide another 200 jobs over the next five years. The high-tech Florida plant has been delivering Phenom 100s in Melbourne since last December.

AVwebBiz: AVweb's Business Aviation Newsletter

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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.

Add AVwebBiz to your AVweb subscriptions today by clicking here and choosing "Update E-mail Subscriptions."

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Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: GTO Aviation (KM33, Gallatin, Tennessee)

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

Our latest "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to GTO Aviation at Sumner County Regional Airport (M33) in Gallatin, Tennessee.

AVweb reader Ronald Goro explains how GTO has worked tirelessly to promote aviation at their airport:

GTO Aviation is a relatively new FBO at Sumner County Airport. In the last year, they have done more for the area and promoted aviation to its fullest. They have put on a Warbirds Aviation Day — a big sucsess — and also an RV Aircraft fly-in. Lots of great-looking planes.

In June, [they held] an all-Tennessee fly-in, [which drew] lots of vendors as well as new and old aircraft, light sports, and biplane rides. At all of these events, gas prices are very cheap — like, $4.99 a gallon!

The EAA has their great breakfast at all the events, and lunch is usually catered. They also have two bands going. It is just a great friendly atmosphere all the time, and anyone can check out all the planes and really get close to aviation like the old days. Hopefully it will just keep on growing.

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!

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.

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.