AVwebFlash - Volume 19, Number 22b

May 30, 2013

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
EAA AirVenture || July 29 - August 4, 2013
EAA AirVenture 2013: You Gotta Be There!
Enjoy daily world-class air shows plus two sensational night air shows; witness the first U.S. public flights by Yves "Jetman" Rossi; see 2,500-plus show planes; camp with 40,000 fellow enthusiasts; rock to the classic sounds of Chicago; choose from hundreds of forums and workshops; peruse what's new from 800 exhibitors ... Only in Oshkosh and all in one week!

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July 29 to August 4
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India May Allow Commercial Pilot Power Naps

DGCA, the regulating authority for Indian aviation has drafted strict rules under which airline pilots may be allowed to nap while on the flight deck.  Pilots' unions had sought changes to flight duty time limitations to combat fatigue associated with flight duty time limitation provisions. DGCA would allow controlled rest only under certain conditions and on flights of three or more hours during cruise in conjunction with added responsibilities for the cabin crew and non-sleeping pilot. Regulators in other parts of the world, including the U.S. and Europe, already regulate controlled rest periods for pilots during certain phases of flight to combat fatigue.

DGCA's draft rules would allow for controlled rest periods not longer than 40 minutes followed by another 20 minute reorientation period prior to resuming duties. Both pilots must remain fully harnessed and the resting pilot's seat must be moved aft. During the controlled rest period the cabin crew would be responsible for calling the on-duty pilot every 30 minutes if the flight is conducted during the day and every 20 minutes at night to make sure that pilot remains actively conscious. The rest will be at the discretion of the captain when weather conditions are benign and deviations are not required. Regulators in the U.S., Canada, Europe, UK, Hong Kong and elsewhere developed controlled rest rules after a 1992 NASA study showed pilots were more likely to be alert after if allowed a short nap during a non-critical phase of flight. Pilots who spoke with TimesOfIndia.IndiaTimes.com said some of their peers already organized non-approved in-flight rest periods and the new regulations would be welcome.

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Training back to top 

Pipistrel's Model-Specific Personalized Online Academy

Pipistrel has developed an online interactive training tool specific to Pipistrel owners or flight students flying Pipistrel aircraft as part of the "Pipistrel Academy Program" for Pipistrel certified flight schools, the company formally announced, Wednesday. The training solutions, which were introduced during AERO 2013, seek to provide "a deep understanding of flight theory with a specific focus on flying PIpistrel aircraft models." The full academy program provides both students and flight schools with training materials, syllabus, a business model and consultation and is for schools certified by Pipistrel.  The company describes its model-specific training as "online mentorship" tailored through interactive programs to meet the needs of individual students. Currently, model-specific training is limited to just one model, but the company says more options will follow.

At the time of Pipistrel's announcement, Wednesday, the website that supports the training syllabus only listed the company's ALPHA Trainer (UL version) and noted that a course for the Virus SW would be available soon. The Academy Program includes an online syllabus that the company calls Computer Based Training (CBT), which it says is organized to reduce learning complexity. Training is tailored through the use of online questionnaires that aim to match the material to each student's "learning rate." Other listed offerings include the "full academy course," for the Pipistrel Academy program, which will be available "only to students of a certified Pipistrel Academy flight training organization." Because it is based online, the course material is available to student pilots via computer, tablet, or smart phone.

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Top Tech back to top 

Pilatus Offers WiFi Connected Panel

Aspen Avionics has been offering a wifi-connected panel interface in the aftermarket for about a year now, and this week Pilatus announced it will offer its own version of the system as a factory option or retrofit for its PC-12 NG turboprops. Pilatus worked with Aspen, Jeppesen and Honeywell to create four customized applications designed for the PC-12 operators' needs. One app will enable the pilot to wirelessly upload chart, navigation and terrain databases to the cockpit. Pilots also can create a flight plan on an iPad or other tablet and wirelessly upload it to the PC-12 NG flight deck. The other two apps provide wireless downloads of maintenance data and a moving map that can show passengers their current location and ETA on their own mobile device. The system can be installed at a retail price of about $16,500, according to Pilatus.

The flight-plan uploads currently work only with the aircraft on the ground, but in-flight connectivity is in the works, according to the Pilatus website. Honeywell also has posted some details about the system on their website (PDF). AVweb's Paul Bertorelli took a look at some of Aspen's wifi products at the Aircraft Electronics Association show in Las Vegas in March; click here for his video report.

MIT Technique Promises Strong, Light Materials

Researchers at MIT recently developed two new methodologies for creating composite materials that are both lighter and stronger than today's materials. Their methods make it easier to create composites of carbon fibers coated with carbon nanotubes, a process that has proved problematic in the past. "Up until now, people were basically improving one part of the material but degrading the underlying fiber, and it was a trade-off," says Brian Wardle, an associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT. Using the newly developed techniques, he said, "you can now get everything you want." The researchers have filed for patents, and they expect that advanced fiber composites incorporating their techniques will be developed for a range of applications, including aircraft.

"There are not a lot of people innovating materials chemistry for advanced aerospace structural applications," said researcher Stephen Steiner. "I think this is particularly exciting, and has a very real possibility to make a large-scale impact on the environment, and on the performance of aerospace vehicles." When arranged in certain configurations, nanotubes can be hundreds of times stronger than steel but only one-sixth the weight, according to MIT's news release. A paper about the research has been published online by the American Chemical Society (the abstract is posted, but access to the full text requires a $35 fee).

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Aviation Safety back to top 

Huerta Reminds Pilots To Fly Safe

In an open letter to the general aviation community sent just before the Memorial Day weekend, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta asked each pilot to "make sure you're ready -- really ready -- to fly." The letter (PDF) noted that GA accident rates have remained "stubbornly flat" in recent years and asked everyone in the GA community, from pilots to mechanics to passengers, to share some simple messages. Huerta's advice includes: Take advantage of all training opportunities, know the weather for every flight, help to grow a safety culture among your local contacts, and intervene if you see someone doing something unsafe.

Huerta added that the FAA is doing its part, making "long-term investments" in safety. Those investments include improvements to training and testing standards, streamlining certification for life-saving technologies, and developing better ways to use data to understand the risks in aviation. "But for this summer," Huerta concludes, "we need you to make a personal commitment to understand your strengths and limitations." The letter was a follow-up to a recent meeting called by Huerta with representatives of all the major GA user groups.

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Celebrating Female Pilots at AirVenture back to top 

AirVenture Offers Programs For Girls And Women

EAA is offering a special four-day program for high-school girls during AirVenture this summer, August 1 to 4, in an effort to "engage, inspire, and educate young women to pursue their dreams in aviation and beyond." The program, called Women Soar You Soar, will introduce 100 girls to 35 women working in a variety of aviation and aerospace fields, from engineers to fighter pilots. The event is "filled with career exploration, discovery, inspiration, and fun," says EAA. Girls in grades 9 to 12 can apply. A fee of $75 covers dormitory lodging at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, meals, seminars, T-shirts, and AirVenture admission. Financial aid and scholarships are available, and EAA can pick up and drop off the girls at the Appleton airport.

Activities include a visit to the night air show, a chance to fly EAA's simulator, small-group discussion sessions with mentors, hands-on airplane-building workshops, and more. This will be the eighth year of the program. Details can be found at the EAA website. Also at AirVenture, Women in Aviation International will expand its WomenVenture program, now in its sixth year. The program provides networking events for women in aviation as well as inspiration and information for women who want to learn more. Events include a breakfast on Friday, August 2; a group photo at Phillips 66 Plaza at the center of the show; and a group lunch at Theater in the Woods with special guest speakers. More information is posted at the group's web site. This year also marks the 25th year of WAI, AVweb's Mary Grady spoke with president and founder Peggy Chabrian about the group's activities and plans for the future; click here to listen to the podcast.

Podcast: 25 Years of Growth for Women in Aviation

File Size 6.6 MB / Running Time 7:11

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

The organization Women in Aviation International launched with a conference in Prescott, Arizona 25 years ago, and members are marking that anniversary with several events in Oshkosh, Arizona, and Florida. Peggy Chabrian, the founder and president of WAI, talked with AVweb's Mary Grady about the group's achievements, her goals for the future, and what's in the works for EAA AirVenture this summer.

Click here to listen. (6.6 MB, 7:11)

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What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Week back to top 

Single-Pilot Airline Operations Studied

A study funded by the European Commission and involving 35 aviation and government groups is taking a serious look at single-pilot operations for airliners. Advanced Cockpit for Reduction of StreSs and workload (ACROSS) will spend more than $40 million studying creating an electronic copilot to keep the human pilot flying correctly. The project is being coordinated by Thales Avionics.

Airbus and Boeing are also taking part in the project. At first, the electronic gear will be aimed at allowing crew rest periods or to take over in case of pilot incapacitation but there seems little doubt about where this is heading according to Forbes contributor Matthew Stibbe. He opines that the initiative may lead to better safety gear for airliners but he wonders whether the flying public is ready for just one warm seat up front.

FAA Asks EAA To Fund Oshkosh Controllers

Every year for EAA AirVenture, the FAA sends a batch of controllers to handle all the extra traffic at the Oshkosh tower, but this year, the FAA is asking EAA to chip in to cover their costs. The FAA wants to collect enough to cover the controllers' travel expenses, per diems, and overtime. EAA is not happy about the change. "This may be an early indication of further efforts by the FAA to charge GA operators for functions in ways that could add unforeseen costs for the average pilot who simply wants to enjoy flying," said EAA, in a news release. Jack Pelton, EAA chairman, called the change "alarming," and AOPA president Craig Fuller said it was "extremely troubling news."

Fuller said it's unfair and unsafe for the FAA to impose these extra charges. "We've warned that the Obama administration wants to hit general aviation with user fees, and that's exactly what it's doing to the EAA and AirVenture," he said. "To depart from previous practice suggests that the FAA has entered a new, pay-as-you-go era with little regard for safety. General aviation already pays for FAA services through substantial fuel taxes. These user fees -- there is no other word for them -- are a double taxation." Pelton added that the issue is about more than just AirVenture. The larger issue, he said, is that the change in policy signals a new direction for the FAA, in charging for an equivalent level of safety that has previously been provided. "If the FAA asks for reimbursement on certain AirVenture operations for which it has always budgeted, where else could the agency unilaterally impose assessments, fees, and other costs on GA?" asked Pelton. "It's a frightening thought." This isn't the first time the FAA has sought reimbursement -- Sun 'n Fun was sent a bill for about $285,000 to cover controllers' expenses, in April.

AVwebBiz: AVweb's Business Aviation Newsletter

Have you signed up yet for AVweb's no-cost weekly business aviation newsletter, AVwebBiz?

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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We Ask, You Answer back to top 

Question of the Week: Should EAA Pay for AirVenture Controllers?

EAA has been put on notice by the FAA that it wants the organization to cover the extra costs of controllers for the annual extravaganza. What do you think?

Who should foot the ATC bill at AirVenture?
(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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Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: Accidents -- The Pilot as the Last Line of Defense

That's how the Australian Senate characterizes its findings in its exhaustive review of the 2009 Norfolk Island ditching accident. But on the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli argues that this is exactly backwards. When your strap yourself into the airplane as PIC, command means you're in charge -- of everything, including being the first line of defense against a wreck.

Read more and join the conversation.

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

Survey: Have You Had Engine Shop Surgery?

The engine shop and overhaul market has changed dramatically in the past few years. Aviation Consumer magazine wants to know about your engine overhaul experience and the experience you had dealing with the shop. We'd appreciate you taking a couple of minutes to answer these questions.

Click here to take the survey.

We've tried to keep it brief. Many of these questions are quick to answer. But feel free to expand your responses beyond the simple questions we're asking. Thanks for taking the time to share your experience with other aircraft owners.

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.

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

Video: Diamond's New DA52

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

Diamond jumped into the aerodiesel market early, and it still leads the industry in the number of diesels flying. This spring, it's deep into certification work on a new diesel twin, the DA52. Based on the DA42 twin, the DA52 is larger, faster, and carries up to seven people. Diamond views it as a high-class, luxury minivan. On a recent visit to Diamond's factory in Austria, AVweb's Paul Bertorelli took a demo flight in the new airplane and shot this exclusive video report.

Don't see a video screen?
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If that doesn't work, click here to watch on YouTube

Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Copeca Jet Center (TJBQ, Aguadilla, Puerto Rico)

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Copeca Jet Center at Rafael Hernandez Airport (TJBQ) in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.

AVweb reader Bruce Huester told us about the FBO:

Copeca Jet Center is a well-run, family-owned and operated FBO on the northwest end of Puerto Rico. We have stopped there several times for fuel and customs. The customs folks are friendly, courteous, and quick! We park right outside the customs office and are typically processed in less than ten minutes. We had a pressurization issue after departure, and when we returned, Copeca was very helpful with lining up a mechanic, arranging accommodations, and providing transportation. I highly recommend Copeca for a tech stop or overnight.

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!

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

Ad Coordinator
Karen Lund

Avionics Editor
Larry Anglisano

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.