AVwebFlash - Volume 18, Number 37b

September 13, 2012

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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AVflash! Regulatory Burdens for Instructors back to top 
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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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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.

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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.

The final act of "My Life in the Blue Suit" began in June 1974 with the Fairchild C- 123K "Provider," an airplane with a most unusual lineage. In 1943 the Chase Aircraft Company contracted to build assault gliders for the Army Air Forces; their first prototype was the XCG-14A, an all-wood glider with 24 seats (note the lift-producing shape of the fuselage).

Several years later Chase switched to all-metal construction, made major changes in the airframe and bolted a pair of 1425-hp Wright Cyclone radial engines to the wings; the result was the YC-122, only eleven of which were built.

The Chase folks didn't give up on assault gliders; the largest was the G-20; it never got off the ground, but it was the airframe that evolved into the C-123.

(As you might suspect, the big-glider concept didn't work out well, but one of its unique structural features was retained in all the C-123s that would follow: Remove the nose cap of a Provider and you'll find four large, steel tubes converging just inside the skin, held in place by a steel plate with a large threaded nut in the center -- that's where the tow hook was installed.)

Not willing to write off their expenditure at this point, Chase proceeded to develop two powered versions of the glider ... the XC-123 (two Pratt & Whitney R-2800s) and the XC-123A (four J-47s). The C-123A was a beautiful aircraft, but the Army had concerns about foreign-object damage to the low-slung jet engines when the airplane was operated on unimproved airstrips and said, "No, thank you."

The next-to-last version of the airplane went back to the big recips, making the C-123 perhaps the first aircraft that was powered by internal combustion engines, turbojet engines ... and gravity.

Henry Kaiser, the legendary WWII shipbuilder, bought the Chase Aircraft Co. in 1953 and transferred C-123 production to his plant in Michigan. Unfortunately, Henry's personal political problems were such that he was denied further government contracts and the company was sold to the Fairchild Engine and Airplane Company, whose name was attached to the airplanes built to fulfill the contract.

In its final configuration, the Fairchild C-123K (with a pair of J-85 jet engines hung beneath the wings, just outboard of the piston engines) won its combat spurs as an assault transport in Vietnam, beginning in 1962. The airplane was able to take off and land in relatively short distances even when fully loaded (maximum takeoff weight: 60,000 pounds). A max-performance takeoff could be accomplished in about 2000 feet and it was possible to land and stop in 1500 feet at maximum landing weight -- this was a requirement for Air Force operational-readiness tests.

My C-123 transition training in 1974 was administered in large part by young pilots fresh from duty in Southeast Asia who were well-versed in short-field takeoffs and very steep approaches to landing, procedures that reduced the possibility of taking ground fire from the bad guys in black pajamas hiding in the bushes.

The 156th Tactical Airlift Squadron at Lockbourne AFB in Columbus, Ohio -- my final billet as a reservist -- was equipped with a fleet of war-weary C-123Ks, most of them still wearing their jungle camouflage from service in Vietnam.

One of the airplanes we inherited from Vietnam served as the personal transport for Lt. General William Westmoreland during his tour as commander of U.S. forces in Southeast Asia in 1964-1968. Based on its solid light-gray paint and the Moby Dick shape of its fuselage, AF 56-4375 became known as the "White Whale." It featured a custom-built room in the cargo compartment intended to provide office space for the general and reduce the noise of two R-2800s and two jets. (The jets were used almost exclusively for takeoff and added a measure of security should one of the recips quit.) If the noise level was indeed lower in the general's airborne office, it was a small decrease ... the C-123K generated 100-plus decibels on takeoff and not a lot less in flight. Ear plugs were required equipment on all C-123s (passengers were issued wads of cotton) but even so, the airplane had to be one of the noisiest in the Air Force inventory.

Our missions were a mix of instrument and general flight proficiency for the pilots, cross-country practice for the navigators and occasional trips to points of interest such as Florida, especially in the winter ... all routine training missions, of course. The big drawback to cross-country flights in the C-123 was its low cruise speed; we seldom saw more than 140 knots on the airspeed indicator.

Aside from the instrument work, my favorite mission was practice landings on the assault strip adjacent to Lockbourne's 12,000-foot main runway. Only 3400 feet long and 50 feet wide, it was a small target. We were expected to put the rubber on the runway in a very small box at the approach end and come to a complete stop in not more than 1500 feet. The remaining 1900 feet of pavement accommodated the stream of C-123s landing at 15-second intervals when the entire squadron was participating; it was a "land and get off the runway" exercise because there was another Provider close behind.

When it came to handling characteristics, the C-123 flew much like the glider it might have been ... a generous amount of rudder was required to counteract the adverse yaw when you rolled into a turn. This was a basic flying technique that called for some refresher training, especially for pilots who had never flown anything but feet-on-the-floor jets.

I flew with the 356th until the summer of 1979, when my university obligations once again began to get in the way of Air Force requirements. Knowing I would not be able to maintain both activities for the several years I needed to move up another grade, I retired as a Major in June. I still miss flying big airplanes.

In 1981 I was appointed Director of Flight Operations and Training for the Department of Aviation at Ohio State; I now had responsibility for all our student flight training and the university's Air Transportation Service (ATS).

With the military commitment off my plate I was able to devote more time to flight training and the duties of a designated pilot examiner, most of which involved students in the Ohio State aviation program. For the next several years I was flying almost every day ... no complaints, although there were days when I didn't really want to fly; but once in the air, the negative thoughts melted away.

One of our Piper Aztecs was equipped with a used flight director that was almost state-of-the-art, thanks to a gift from the Sperry Corporation. A group of young Air Force pilots stationed at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio, found us in their search for a training facility offering an Airline Transport Pilot course in a light twin with more than bare-bones avionics. We were happy to help them out: I flew nearly 400 hours in the Aztec with these highly motivated students. Can you guess where they were headed when they left the Air Force?

The flight training program was operating in administrative and operational grooves worn deep by years of traditional procedures. I incorporated some changes in the program, most of them dealing with flight safety and improved training standards; but in general, I let sleeping dogs lie.

The ATS was a different story in 1981 because our equipment was seriously outdated. With corporate-aviation hand-me-downs a thing of the past, the ATS stable had shrunk to a pair of Aztecs and a Piper Navajo ... not the kind of equipment people expected for business travel. Enter a university President who was a pilot and a Vice President who appreciated the value of in-house air transportation; they worked their financial magic and pried loose the funds to revitalize the OSU ATS. We moved into an office in one of the corporate hangars on the airport, leased a Beech C-90 King Air, hired two more pilots and got back into business. The university bought a King Air 200 in 1983, followed somewhat later by another B-200.

To help justify the expense of these airplanes and maintain the Aviation Department's status as a teaching laboratory, we instituted a program in which the cream of our aviation-student crop served as copilots on the King Airs; we also developed a ground-school course that dealt with the systems and flight-crew procedures of modern turboprop airplanes. Several years after I retired from the university in 1988, the folks in the head shed on campus decided to use a commercial operator to transport OSU personnel and the entire ATS program was deep-sixed. I was very disappointed when these two opportunities for advanced practical aviation training were discontinued.

Now I need to turn back the calendar several years. You will recall that my first book -- Instrument Flying -- was published in 1971 and enjoyed a good reception in the general-aviation community. In 1975, I was contacted by an attorney who had read my book and asked if I would be interested in testifying as a pilot expert in a pending aviation-accident case; after considerable discussion with the attorney and a lot of thought regarding the time involved, I agreed to give it a go ... and my third career -- as a part-time consultant -- was launched. After 37 years in that business, I am still active as a consultant and expert witness, having investigated the piloting aspects of 550-plus aircraft accidents. Much of what I learned from pilots' mishaps has been shared over the years with aviation students in flight training and classroom courses at Ohio State, aviation magazine articles, 13 more aviation books and The Pilot's Audio Update, a monthly audio magazine on CDs that began in 1978 and was published continuously for 33 years.

Now, fast-forward to October 1987. A letter from the OSU Board of Trustees announced my eligibility to participate in the university's early-retirement incentive program. I was 54 years old, happy with what I was doing and fully expecting to continue working for Ohio State until the customary 65th birthday. The letter included a deadline for applications, so with nothing to lose, I completed the forms and returned them with little interest in following through. But the more I thought about this proposal, the better it looked. After comparing the facts and making income projections for both scenarios, I bit the bullet and decided to hang out my shingle as a consultant. My official retirement from OSU took place in June 1988 after 22 years of faculty service.

With all of my working time now available for consulting, I was able to increase my income considerably and continue flying in the bargain. I used light airplanes to travel to jobs all over the country, many times flying directly to small towns not served by airlines. I was fortunate to have a good friend whose A-36 Bonanza was my always-available airplane for several years, followed by his purchase of a Cessna 414, then a King Air C-90. When the King Air was sold, I stepped down a notch to a Piper Seneca that provided my business transportation for the next 10 years.

Many investigations required "re-creation" flights, the information from which was used to help juries understand how an accident occurred. These flights frequently involved flying at the edges of the performance envelope in a number of different airplane types, often in the presence of video cameras, strain gauges and other custom instrumentation. Because most light-twin accidents take place following an engine failure, I did a lot of simulated engine-out flying.

Every now and then someone asks, "What is your favorite airplane?" Following is a condensation of a story I wrote about that several years ago for IFR magazine, one of the Belvoir group of aviation publications.

This used to be a tough call for me. During 47 years and nearly 12,000 hours as a military and civilian pilot, I have experienced the good and the not-so-good features of many different types of aircraft. Choosing a favorite was difficult until one night in January 1986 when I was still working at Ohio State. With one of our student copilots in the right seat, I had flown a passenger from Columbus, Ohio, to Detroit, planning to return a couple of hours later. It was IMC all the way on the northbound leg, and during the approach to Detroit we encountered heavy snow that stopped falling soon after we parked at the terminal. The temperature was well below freezing and none of the snow adhered to the cold-soaked airframe.

Our passenger showed up on time (a rare occurrence in the charter business) and we were on the way home shortly thereafter. Detroit to Columbus is at most a 30-minute trip, so I climbed to 15,000 feet, a convenient altitude considering weather, passenger comfort and airplane efficiency. At about the halfway point, flying in clear air between cloud layers, I had just started the descent when the loudest sound I have ever heard in an airplane and a blinding flash of light took place in a split second. I do not use the term "blinding" lightly; my field of vision was completely obscured for perhaps 10 seconds by what I can best characterize as a bright, yellow phosphorescence, then a dark spot appeared in the center and grew slowly until my normal sight returned. There was no bump, no turbulence, no indication that we had hit anything, ergo something must have hit us. Lightning? Now wait a minute ... lightning doesn't strike airplanes flying in clear air in the middle of winter over central Ohio ... or does it?

I thought first of the engines because of the bad history of turbines vs. lightning strikes; no problem there, those two PT-6s were humming along as advertised. A quick, visual scan outside showed no apparent structural damage, nor was there any vibration or abnormal flight characteristics. The autopilot was still engaged and was holding the airplane steady in the descent. The flight instruments and the electrical system showed no indications of trouble, no lights had gone out, no circuit breakers had popped and the three of us appeared to have no problems. (I looked back to see if our passenger was OK; he gave me a thumbs-up, although I'm sure he was more than a little concerned.)

At this point we were only 10 or 15 minutes from landing; the airplane and all its systems appeared to be working normally and I decided to continue the descent for home -- in the dark of night, that seemed the best option. The copilot cancelled IFR and advised approach control we had taken a lightning strike and would land on Runway 27 from a right base-leg. The wing flaps extended as they should, the landing gear came down and locked, the engines and props responded properly ... the only abnormality I noticed was some extra pressure required to move the ailerons when I rolled into and out of the turn from base to final. A completely normal landing followed and, not knowing what damage the airplane might have suffered, I was very glad to be on the ground.

I've read a lot about lightning strikes and experienced another one many years ago in the Air Force. Airplanes are designed to shed most of the energy from a strike and the damage is usually minor -- pitted metal, maybe a few small holes in the skin, avionics sometimes fried -- but this strike was industrial strength. The after-accident inspection showed a couple of dime-sized holes burned in the underside of the left nacelle, the apparent entry point of the lightning bolt. From there we were able to trace the energy path through the left engine mounts, through the prop blades as they passed close to the fuselage, around the radome to the right prop blades, then through the right engine and right wing to the exit point on the right wingtip. The damage there was so severe I had our chief mechanic cut off the outboard twelve inches of the right aileron, a memento I keep in my office as a reminder of the event. Notice the large round hole, which is obviously entry damage. The lightning charge probably sought out and destroyed the static wick then plunged back into the aileron structure and blew out the corner.

The amount of energy dissipated at the exit point is evident in this end view of the aileron -- probably the source of the loud bang that occurred when the strike took place.

When the flight control system was checked, the mechanics discovered the bearings in the aileron pulleys had been welded by the surge of electricity and the cables were being dragged around the pulleys instead of turning them ... no wonder the ailerons felt heavy.

Without a doubt, the most significant bullet we dodged that night was failure of the prop reduction-gears in both engines. The 30,000 RPM of the power section is reduced to the prop speed of 1900-2200 RPM by a multi-tooth gear system. Every time the teeth engage and disengage in the presence of a strong electrical field (such as a lightning strike), high-voltage arcing takes place and particles of gear metal are blown away, resulting eventually in a gear case full of loose metal and a prop system guaranteed to fail sooner or later. In this case, it was estimated that the reduction gears would probably have gone belly-up within 20 minutes or so after the lightning strike ... we didn't get on the ground a moment too soon.

Needless to say, the mechanics went through the entire airplane, checking and testing for subtle damage. The airplane was out of service for four months and the bill for repairs, replacements and repainting was nearly $100,000.

Ever since, I've had no problem coming up with an unequivocal answer to the question "What's your favorite airplane?" Considering crew and passenger comfort, handling qualities and overall performance, the King Air B-200 was already near the top of my list of favorite airplanes. But all that praise takes a back seat to the King Air's stamina that night in 1986; how could I not select as my all-time favorite airplane the one that saved three lives by taking a huge hit and holding together long enough to get us on the ground safely? Thank you, Walter Beech.

On that positive note, I bring this memoir of 47 years in aviation to a close. Nine years after I gave up flying because of a malfunctioning heart valve, I had the offending part repaired and the surgeon told me the fix might extend my life expectancy 10 years. If the doc speaks the truth, I plan to spend some of that extra time recalling memories -- nearly all of them good, a few of them forgettable -- and should I get involved in hangar-flying sessions with other elderly eagles, I'll bide my time, because the first liar doesn't stand a chance.

To send a note to Richard and AVweb about this story, please click here.
More articles, stories and fiction about the joy of aviation are found in AVweb's Skywritings section.
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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.

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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 

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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

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