AVwebFlash Complete Issue:

October 28, 2004

By The AVweb Editorial Staff

This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by ... LightSPEED Aviation

LightSPEED's new LightFlight L-1 ultra-lightweight aviation headset weighs in at only 0.5 ounces but is a heavyweight in features. Their in-the-ear technology attenuates 35-45dB of noise and features the same standard features as their premium headsets: High-fidelity stereo speakers, electric mic, cell/satellite phone and music input, carry case, and a 3-year warranty. Orders are being taken now for shipping in December. Retail price is $429 USD. For more information and to place an order, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed/L1/avflash.

"They blow my RayBans out of the water!" says private pilot Jason Downs.  A pair of Scheydens will be given away every other week to a lucky AVweb subscriber, with a retail value up to $395! The unique flip-up design has become the #1 choice of pilots who demand quality and function.  Scheydens are handmade of Titanium (Ti) frames with quality lenses. A Rosewood case and plush micro-fiber cleaning cloth are standard equipment. For information and to register to win, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/scheyden/avflash.
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Diamond Delays TwinStar Deliveries

Sometimes when you're on the leading edge you have to put up with a little turbulence. Diamond Aircraft says it has delayed (to individuals) the first deliveries of its innovative diesel-powered DA-42 TwinStar because an adequate support network won't be in place for the Thielert diesels in time. "We have to be able to provide service for those customers," Diamond's North American CEO Peter Maurer told AVweb. While the company had hoped that first deliveries would be made by the end of this year, they've been put off for at least a year. "It's quite realistic that in 2005 there will be Thielert deliveries," he said. Fleet customers (who presumably will have trained service personnel) will get the Thielert aircraft as scheduled. Diamond designed and built the diesel twin in 2002 and it was certified in Europe earlier this year. It made its North American debut at EAA AirVenture last July and the company claims it's redefining fuel-efficiency standards for light twins. The 135-horsepower diesels, based on Daimler car engines, have a one-of-a-kind, single-lever full authority digital engine control (FADEC) system and other features that would be utterly foreign (pun intended) to the average FBO mechanic. Therefore, Diamond wants to ensure that there are enough service centers available in North America to fix the engines to avoid having its customers stranded.

...The Avgas Alternative...

But while many potential customers are drawn to the technically advanced TwinStar, the launch hiccups have shown Diamond that there's also a market for something a little more conventional. Earlier this year, the company flew a Lycoming 0-360-powered version of the TwinStar and is accelerating its development. In fact, said Maurer, he expects the avgas version to be ready about the same time as the diesel and at the same price. "We'll introduce both aircraft and let the customer decide," he said. The gas-powered TwinStar uses more fuel but also has noticeably better performance than the diesel. Maurer said that with all that extra horsepower (360 combined vs. 270 for the diesel) the gas TwinStar makes full use of the high-lift wing and lightweight construction and can climb faster than 2,000 feet a minute on two engines and about 900 fpm on one. One reviewer has described it as a "hot rod." To fly as far as the diesel it has to carry more fuel, but the extra weight is compensated for by the lighter engines and the fact that gasoline is also lighter than kerosene. Aircraft -- they're all about compromise.

...Customers "Understanding"

Maurer said early-position diesel customers are naturally disappointed that they won't be getting their airplanes when they expected but most have been understanding. "Anybody that's acquiring leading-edge technology expects and is very tolerant of teething problems as long as they're dealt with effectively," Maurer said. He said Diamond is committed to the diesel program because the company believes the time is coming when 100LL will be phased out. "The future in fuel is jet fuel or mogas," he said. "We're looking to that future but we're not going to go into it blindly."

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Rudder Inputs Blamed For 587 Crash

The NTSB has blamed the first officer's "unnecessary and excessive rudder pedal inputs" for the crash of American Airlines Flight 587 in Belle Harbor, N.Y., on Nov. 12, 2001. In its final report, released Tuesday, the NTSB said the vertical stabilizer separated from the Airbus A300-605R after the first officer "inappropriately manipulated the rudder back and forth several times" after hitting the wake turbulence of a Boeing 747. The extreme movements exceeded the design loads of the vertical fin, which separated -- 265 people died, including five on the ground. The NTSB also cited peculiarities with the aircraft's rudder-system design and elements of American Airline's pilot-training program as contributing factors. The NTSB said the first officer had a tendency to overreact to wake turbulence and that the airline's Advanced Aircraft Maneuvering Program contributed to the accident "by providing an unrealistic and exaggerated view of the effects of wake turbulence on heavy transport-category aircraft." In fact, the board found that if the crew had simply ridden out the wake turbulence or if the first officer had stopped the rudder inputs at any time before the tail came off, the accident wouldn't have happened. The board made eight recommendations, some of which called for modifying the rudder controls on A300-600 and A310 aircraft to prevent this type of over-control. Another called for airline pilot training to "avoid the kind of negative training found in American Airlines' upset recovery training."

Tax Bill Quashes Bizjet Perk?

Possibly one of the nicest perks of corporate air travel has been quashed in a provision in a corporate tax bill signed into legislation by President Bush last week, and it could put a damper on the bizjet and fractional-ownership industry. While alphabets and manufacturers lauded a provision in the bill that extended the delivery dates on airplanes qualifying for deferred depreciation to the end of 2005 (a perk worth about $250 million) another measure was slipped in at the last minute. That measure drastically decreases the tax deduction corporations can claim when their aircraft are used by officers and employees of the corporation for personal business. According to Forbes Online, the provision, tucked in during the final Senate-House conference on the bill, will save the government $2.2 billion. Under the old rules, the owner of the plane could write off the full cost of a flight as long as the Standard Industry Fare Level (SIFL) was assessed as income against the recipient of the flight. The SIFL is roughly equal to the price of a first-class airline ticket and, depending on the plane, the flight profile and duration, the actual cost would be many times that amount. Under the new rule, the company can only deduct what it reports as income for the personal-use passengers. General Aviation Manufacturers Association spokesman Jeffrey Sural told Forbes that GAMA tried to lobby against the provision but it was steamrolled by public perception of corporate compensation excesses and a Congress trying hard to keep the bill from costing the government any money.


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There's only one thing worse than paying to repair an aircraft — knowing you might not have had to. Avemco Insurance Company offers one of the most comprehensive Renter's Insurance policies in the country.  For as low as $95 covering basic liability — or $155 providing basic liability and $1,000 worth of Aircraft Damage Liability — there is no reason not to have this coverage. Avemco's policy includes loss of use, Civil Air Patrol coverage, and more.  Liability coverage up to $1,000,000 and Aircraft Damage Liability coverage to $150,000 are available.  To bind coverage today, contact Avemco by calling (888) 241-7891 and mentioning this AVflash, or go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avemco/avflash.

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On The Fly...

Small aircraft usually lose in an encounter with power lines but an Ontario pilot is a living exception to that rule. The 19-year-old Pembroke man managed to land his 172 safely after slicing three large lines carrying 230,000 volts each. A power company official termed the incident "a miracle"…

Dudley J. Hill, a well-known Pennsylvania pilot and business owner, died Sept. 28. He established Hill Aviation at Lancaster Airport in 1954 and operated the business until his retirement in 1990. Hill was recognized by various aviation organizations throughout his career. He was 85...

A Finnish pilot has pleaded guilty for intending to fly a planeload of passengers while drunk. Heikki Tallila was pulled off a Finn Air plane by authorities as he was doing the final preflight checks. A breath check and subsequent blood test confirmed he had excessive alcohol in his system when he was readying the plane on Aug. 23. He'll be sentenced Dec. 2...

Civic officials in Minneapolis say an airport has to close to provide better bus service. Crystal Airport is in the way of a new highway project planned by the Northwest Corridor Partnership. The group has asked the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) to consider closing the airport and to give an answer soon so it can plan its Bus Rapid Transit system…

The first flight-training devices featuring Garmin G1000 glass panels have been ordered from Frasca International, an Illinois company. Atlantic Flight Training, in Coventry, England, and the University of Tennessee have ordered the visual display systems for training devices for the Diamond DA42 and DA40 respectively.

AVweb's Newstips Address ...

Drop us a line. If it caught your attention, it will probably interest someone else, too. Submit news tips via email to newstips@avweb.com.


The new Cessna Flyer Association (CFA) provides parts locating, tech support, a monthly member magazine, online forums, national & regional events, an annual convention, seminars, and more. CFA's staff has over 90,000 hours of combined flight experience. For less than a tank of fuel ($39.00 for a one-year membership), you can access the information you need to expand your knowledge and get more enjoyment from owning and flying your Cessna aircraft. Join the Cessna Flyer Association (CFA) today as they build the ultimate Cessna association. Go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/cfa/avflash.


The latest edition of this real-time flight tracking display of all IFR aircraft in-flight includes enhanced tracking of individual flights, surface overlays, terrain and elevation maps, and full-screen mode for a larger picture on your PC.  To subscribe at the AVweb member rate of just $9.95 a month, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flightexplorer/avflash.

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AVweb's Question of the Week ...


Last week, AVweb asked our readers to compare the roles of pilot and controller.  All else being equal, we asked, who's more important — an above-average pilot or an above-average controller?  Our readers' answers were telling, with 71% of you saying the pilot is more important.  (The other 29%, of course, sided with the controllers on this one.)

Hmmm.  Maybe we should start a sister site, ATCweb.

Be sure to check out Monday's AVmail for a sampling of reader reactions to last week's question.


This week, we want to know which very light jet contender you would pick as a winner in the marketplace.

Click here to pick your champion.

Have an idea for a new QOTW? Send your suggestions to qotw@avweb.com.

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.


Avidyne has received a Technical Standard Order (TSO) approval for the XM WX Satellite Weather and Heads Up Technologies XM receiver interface for their FlightMax® Entegra display systems.  Avidyne is the first company to certify XM satellite weather interface for the piston-single through very-light-jet market.  For complete details, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avidyne/avflash.

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We Welcome Your Feedback!

AVflash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest aviation news, articles, products, features and events featured on AVweb, the Internet's Aviation Magazine and News Service. http://www.avweb.com

Letters to the editor intended for publication in AVmail should be sent to mailto:editor@avweb.com.com. Have a comment or question? Send it to mailto:newsteam@avweb.com.

Today's issue written by News Writer Russ Niles:
AVweb's editorial team: http://avweb.com/contact/authors.html.

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Fly it until all the pieces stop moving.

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