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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
ECLIPSE'S NEW MATH
Eclipse Aviation officials say they expect few takers for a limited
time offer that allows any customers unhappy with the latest variable
(dependent on time of order) price increase to bail out of their deal
and get a full refund on their previously non-refundable deposit. As AVweb told you earlier this month,
Eclipse, while forging on with new technology and essentially creating
an entire market segment, has (again) raised the price of the 500 mini
jet. The plane, introduced with fanfare in 2000 with a price below
$900,000 will now cost a new customer $1.43 million (in today's
dollars). For a 30-day period ending in about two weeks, customers who
thought they'd put down a non-refundable deposit can claim the full
amount back if they prefer to opt out. Spokesman Andrew Broom says the
hit on the order book should be minimal. More...
COSTS, DESIGN CHANGES
Time will tell whether Broom is correct about the fallout from the 10
percent price increase but Eclipse CEO Vern Raburn said in an email to
customers that without the extra money the company simply can't fly.
Raburn said the cost assumptions that were valid in 2003 (when the
price was raised to $1.175 million) are no longer accurate and the
company has no choice but to raise the price. He said the price of
aluminum alloys has jumped (in some cases by 75 percent) and costs
associated with design changes necessitated by the switch to Pratt and
Whitney Canada engines were greater than anticipated. But Raburn
maintains the 500 remains the groundbreaking bargain the company
always envisioned it would be. More...
ACTION -- PILOTS, MECHANICS
One man's recklessness is another's heroism and striking the balance
isn't always easy. Such was the dilemma facing the FAA in the case of
Jeremy Johnson, a young Utah helicopter pilot who saved a family from a raging river, helped
local officials control the flooding by ferrying supplies and even
raised $20,000 in relief funds by donating money charged for
sightseeing flights over the flood-ravaged area. Many of those flights
were in violation of one regulation or another but the FAA has given
Johnson the benefit of the doubt, and a "letter of admonishment" on
his file is the only price he'll pay. "There were no sanctions, as
such, in this case due to the guy's track record and his intent," said
FAA spokesman Mike Fergus. More...
FINDS FAA ACTED WITHOUT PROOF...
In New York, four A&Ps who worked for Air East Airways can go back to
work after an NTSB Administrative Law Judge overturned emergency
orders suspending the tickets of the mechanics, three of whom were the
sons of Air East Airways owner Michael Tarascio. In a news release,
their lawyer, Gregory Winton, said the judge dismissed the revocation
orders for "failure of proof" but he also said testimony indicated the
FAA had it in for the company. In the release, Winton said that FAA
officials had testified under oath that the Tarascios were victims of
an FAA "witch hunt" and that they were told to deal with family
BUZZING SUSPECT FOUND
Meanwhile, in Santa Cruz, Calif., the FAA says it now knows who was
flying a Cessna 172 that allegedly "buzzed" a couple of local beaches.
They won't say who the pilot is but they have confirmed it's not the
registered owner of the plane, whose tail number was caught in photos
supplied by complainants. As AVweb told you a couple of weeks
ago, witnesses claimed the plane flew at an altitude of a few feet --
low enough that one woman was worried it would hit her nine-year-old
nephew. The local newspaper described the flight as an "attack" on the
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SATS EXPO -- THE FUTURE, IN REVIEW...
Making air taxi service a reality from the nation's 5000-plus small
airports will take more than a bunch of very light jets (VLJs). NASA's
Small Aircraft Transportation System (SATS) project has spent the past five years
developing technologies to support that system -- the final
demonstration occurred Sunday through Tuesday, in Danville, Va. SATS
was a partner program between NASA, six regional "SATS labs," state
agencies and private business to develop technologies enabling
single-pilot air taxi and other light aircraft operations. The vast
collection of participant-friendly technologies at Danville included
multiple highway-in-the-sky guidance systems (note the unfortunate
acronym: HITS). Of a pilot's interface with future technology, Orion
Technologies' Paul Hamilton said, "Paradoxically, solid stick and
rudder skills are actually more important than a good IFR scan."
Controllers may have another surprise coming. More...
COCKPITS ON DISPLAY...
The Maryland SATS lab demonstrated a combination of technologies in a
modified Cessna 402B with a new lightweight heads-up display (HUD)
combined with synthetic vision from a camera system mounted in the
nose. The final system will qualify under the new FAR 91.175 (l) and
(m), eventually allowing pilots with enhanced flight visibility
(viewed on a cockpit display) to descend to 100 feet AGL -- with no
outside visual references. Below 100 feet you need (as currently
written) the required visibility with the unaided eye to land. "That's
by the regulations," says Dr. Noris Krone Jr. of the Maryland SATS
team. "The truth is that I've landed [the 402] over 200 times using
nothing but the display ..." See AVweb's NewsWire for full
coverage, including challenges still facing the SATS program and the
bridges being built to meet them. More...
ONLY AT AUCTION! LAKE AIRCRAFT WILL BE SOLD AT
The owners of the Lake Aircraft line of
amphibious airplanes have chosen the auction method of marketing to
select a new owner for their Lake Amphibian production line.
This comprehensive sale will include the FAA Type Certificate and
associated STCs, engineering data, all documentation, historical
information, fleet support inventory, and manufacturing capacity. The
inventory (in its entirety) will be sold as a comprehensive package to
one able buyer for the purpose of resuming full production capacity.
The auction will be held at 4:30pm July 27 at the EAA Aviation
Center's Vette Theater in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. For additional
information and a complete list of assets to be conveyed, call
Higgenbotham Auctioneers at (800) 257-4161, or visit their web
site (Higgenbotham.com) at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/hig/avflash.
TALKS TO SENATE COMMITTEE
AOPA will make a pitch today to a Senate committee suggesting it
either scrap the Washington Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) or
at least modify it so it is less intrusive on GA operations. Andy
Cebula, AOPA's senior vice president for government and technical
affairs, will speak on pilots' behalf to the Senate Committee on
Commerce Science and Transportation in a hearing on GA security.
Cebula will tell the committee that the ADIZ, in its current form,
doesn't work as a security measure and actually victimizes pilots who,
because of equipment failures, inadvertently violate its strict
talk-and-squawk provisions. "Operationally, the ADIZ has been a
disaster affecting pilots and slowly smothering the businesses that
employ people in the National Capitol Region," he said in his prepared
The Nepalese government says a French pilot who claimed to have landed
a helicopter on the 8,850-meter (29,000-foot) peak of Mt. Everest was
telling a tall tale. According to Asian news agencies the Civil
Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) said last week that pilot Didier
Delsalle has since admitted he couldn't actually set down on the peak
and made an emergency landing 1,000 meters lower on the South Col. But
the Nepalese announcement is at odds with the triumphant media release
(including a poetic quote from Delsalle) issued by EADS, which makes
the Ecureuil/AStar 350 B3 Delsalle was flying, and their submission on
the alleged flight in the Federation Aeronautique Internationale
record book. More...
A NEW RELEASE OF THE BEST AVIATION WEATHER SERVICE FOR
Version 6 of WxServer just hit the 'Net,
and it's chock full of new features. A simpler, more powerful
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WxServer takes maximum advantage of whatever screen size your phone
has available. Put NexRad maps centered on every US airport,
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METARs, TAFs, and even Winds Aloft maps in your pocket. Aviation
weather that's ready when you need it on the tarmac, in the
run-up area, or at unattended grass strips. SPECIAL:
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WOULD MAKE FAA AN AVIATION ADVOCATE
The aviation industry needs a strong voice of support in Washington
and some loud voices are nominating the FAA. Flanked by the CEOs of
the country's three largest GA companies (Cessna, Raytheon and
Bombardier) Rep. Todd Tiarht (R-Kan.) announced he intends to
introduce legislation that would restore cheerleading status to the
FAA. Congress removed the FAA's mandate to promote the aviation
industry in 1996 out of fears the agency was getting too chummy with
the industry it regulates. But Tiahrt said the U.S. government's
hands-off approach to aviation is hurting the industry. "I believe it
is imperative that the U.S. government is engaged in promoting an
industry that has lost ground to government-subsidized companies
throughout the world," said Tiarht. More...
THREAT LANDS PILOT IN JAIL
A distraught man who allegedly threatened to crash the Cessna he was
flying "if he saw any police around" is now a guest of the boys in
blue. According to the Albany Times Union, the man apparently called
his wife from the air on his cellphone saying he had a gun and
intended to hurt himself. He also said he would crash the plane if he
saw police. Operations were halted at Albany Airport for about 10
minutes and there were plenty of police around when he landed the
plane. He was arrested after a foot chase and later charged with
felony reckless endangerment and resisting arrest. No gun was found.
LANCAIR COLUMBIA 400 NOW CERTIFIED TO
The Columbia 400's twin turbochargers can now be put
to full effect with the aircraft's recent certification to 25,000
feet. With the added altitude to play with, the Columbia
400 gives pilots even more flexibility than before. Set the
throttle to 80% power and cruise at 235 knots that's faster
than any other piston-powered aircraft in production today. Or ease
the power back and increase range to standard-setting
levels. A company official recently flew an unmodified
Columbia 400 non-stop from Bend, Oregon to Fort Worth, Texas (a
distance of more than 1,300 nm) while averaging 200 kts.
Find out what a Columbia 400 can do for you. http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/lancair/avflash
RULES FIRE-STARTER CAUSED FATAL MIDAIR
California's First District Court of Appeal has upheld the homicide
conviction of a man who started a forest fire that a jury ruled caused
the death of two air tanker pilots called to fight the fire. The
pilots died after their planes collided near Hopland, south of Ukiah,
in 2001. According to the Metropolitan News-Enterprise, a Los Angeles
newspaper that specializes in legal matters, the court rejected
Franklin Neal Brady's claim that the original judge in the case
improperly excluded evidence proving one of the pilots had more than
the legal limit of alcohol in his system. Brady was sentenced to
thirteen years in prison after his conviction of recklessly causing a
fire resulting in death, and of manufacturing methamphetamine. The NTSB preliminary report on the accident
doesn't establish a probable cause. More...
FIT CHOPPER PILOTS SOUGHT
Let's see, in the past year we've accomplished privately funded space
flight, a man has circled the globe solo on a single tank of gas and
airliner that can carry up to 800 people has successfully flown.
Although the frontiers of flight seem to be pushed further each year,
there are still a few seemingly primitive milestones that have not
been achieved. For instance, the American Helicopter Society appears
to be seeking takers for a $20,000
prize to be awarded for the first controlled, human-powered
helicopter flight. To take home the check, all the winner has to do is
hover for a minute, rise at least three meters above the ground and
stay within a 10-meter square. More...
PILOT GETAWAYS YOUR FLIGHT PLAN FOR
Pilot Getaways starts their May/June
adventure in Ashland, Wisconsin (Lake Superior's hometown); stops for
horses and history in Saratoga Springs, New York; lands in peaceful
Priest Lake, Idaho; spends some time on the beach in Marathon, Florida
(Heart of the Keys); enjoys fly-in dining at the Outrigger Restaurant
in Palacios, Texas; and makes a final touchdown in Oroville,
California for some lakeside activities. Plus, this issue reviews
"Choosing a Propeller." With your subscription to Pilot
Getaways, you too can plan your flying adventure. Order online
Alphabets fight move to charge for weather...
Body parts fall from
America West pilots guilty of trying to fly
Russian pilot's "hooliganism" cited in crash.
NEWSTIPS ADDRESS ...
Drop us a line. Heard something that 130,000 pilots might want
to know about? If it caught your eye, it will probably interest
someone else, too. Submit news tips via email to email@example.com. You're a part
of our team. More...
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
The Savvy Aviator #19: Thwarting
We have a double dose of Mike Busch's column this
week. Many of our GA aircraft were not very well corrosion-proofed
during manufacture, so it's up to us as owners to keep our airframes
corrosion-free. Regular application of corrosion preventive compounds
can protect the parts of our airframes that the factory didn't.
Wings is an aviation-related cartoon. The cartoonists try to keep it
not too technical, yet accurate enough to amuse aviators and aviation
fans alike. So if you're a professional pilot or just an air-show
visitor, you should be able relate to these stories. A new strip every
HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVweb's NO-COST twice monthly Business
AVflash? Reporting on breaking news, Business AVflash also focuses on
the companies, the products and the industry leaders that make
headlines in the Business of Aviation. Business AVflash is a must
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IN THE "SPOTLIGHT". Sign up today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/
QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
This week, AVweb wants to know whether you prefer round gauges or flat
panels. PLUS: The results of last week's poll on homebuilts.
DA40 DIAMOND STAR A FLEET FAVORITE
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PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
In mid-May, when "Picture of the Week" submissions were lagging, we
put out the call for you to send us your best aviation photos
and you answered with a flood of brand-new pictures that were so
exciting, so lively, we almost started that week's column with these
words: "Best week ever." Man, are we glad we didn't. Because this
week's submissions might be even better! There were slightly fewer
submissions than in the previous landmark week, but the variety
couldn't be beat. We laughed; we marvelled; we turned green with envy
once or twice; and we even gasped once! Join us for a quick tour
through this week's vibrant submissions starting with the photo
that made us gasp, from Max Haynes of Maple Grove, Minnesota. (Max
will be getting an Official AVweb Baseball Cap for placing first in
this week's contest. Submit your aviation photos today, and you might
be the next reader sporting an AVweb cap around your FBO!)
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|AGAIN IFR REFRESHER BRINGS PILOTS CLOSER TO BEING
THE BEST THEY CAN BE|
In the July issue of IFR
Refresher, the editors look at: "Fuel and the IFR Pilot"
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getting to the goods is hardly an easy task; "Practicing in Actual"
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We Welcome Your
AVflash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest aviation news,
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