Number 43b — October 27, 2005|
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The Top Headlines From
AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
Cirrus Design spokeswoman Kate Dougherty says the company has "not
been shy" about prospects for a personal jet but we have to wonder if
navel-gazing is giving way to a nuts-and-bolts (or
fiberglass-and-epoxy) reality, since middle managers are now talking
to reporters about the company's future jet-fuel needs in Duluth. In
what strikes us as an offhand remark to a writer from the Duluth News
Tribune concerning controversy over the replacement of Cirrus Design's
home-airport fuel dealer, Cirrus's Executive Vice President of
Business Administration, Bill King, says Cirrus, which maintains its
own avgas facility, may well be a customer of the new FBO "because 100
LL won't be our only fuel in the future." More...
WINS OVER SR-22 IN MINNESOTA BID...
Perhaps of more immediate concern (irritation might be a better word)
to Cirrus is how to get more respect at home. It was revealed last
week that the Minnesota Department of Transportation recently bought a
brand-new $727,000 Beech Bonanza to replace the 27-year-old Bonanza it
had been using for airport safety inspections. A top-of-the-line
Cirrus SR-22, fully decked out with just about every type of
electronics available in light aircraft -- and built at Cirrus
Design's headquarters on the field at Minnesota's own Duluth
International Airport -- comes in almost $300,000 less at $434,000.
That interesting collection of facts prompted charges by several
Minnesota politicians that the bidding rules were set to ensure only
the larger Bonanza fit the requirements. "Everything went wrong and I
think they rigged the bid," Sen. Wes Skoglund told WCCO-TV. "We bought
an inferior product." More...
UNIVERSITY WELCOMES CIRRUS TRAINING FLEET
Of course, losing a single sale to your home state is a lot easier to
take when the rest of the world can't seem to get enough of your
airplane and some customers buy them by the dozen. Western Michigan
University's College of Aviation was so excited about the
arrival of the first of its 30 SR20s and SR22s it invited the local
media to share in the oohs and aahs. "Everybody in the college has
been buzzing about it," senior Brian Swintal told the Kalamazoo
Gazette. That buzz was undoubtedly heard in Wichita, since the Cirrus
aircraft are replacing a fleet of 39 Cessna 172s. More...
KIND OF ADMITS IT WAS WRONG...
Faced with overwhelming evidence, it seems even the FAA can admit it's
wrong ... sort of. In September, AVweb brought you the strange
tale of Arizona pilot Dale Mooneyham, who was facing the FAA's wrath
for alleged violations in the Washington Air Defense Identification
Zone (ADIZ) on the same day that he was actually flying his G-model
Mooney from Chandler, Ariz., to Tucson to visit his ailing parents.
Thanks to his devotion to Mom and Dad, Mooneyham was able to assemble
fuel receipts and tower tapes in a veritable mountain of evidence
showing that he and his Mooney were indeed in Arizona on the day of
the alleged ADIZ bust. As Mooneyham speculated, it was some kind of
error that (virtually) placed his plane near Washington. Although he
didn't hear that from the FAA, they did send him a letter.
ON ADIZ PERMANENCE BY TUESDAY
Mooneyham told AVweb it was a lucky thing he decided to fly to
Tucson that day because it provided irrefutable evidence of his
airplane's whereabouts. "What if I hadn't flown that day? How would I
have proven that the airplane didn't leave Arizona?" he wondered.
Those questions may be pertinent for all pilots as the future of GA
access to the airspace around Washington, D.C., faces its toughest
test. On Nov. 2, the comment period closes on a Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking that would make the D.C. ADIZ permanent. Making a comment (docket number 17005) on the proposed rule is straightforward and takes only a
few minutes but could have a lasting impact on the right to fly in
that area ... and perhaps others. More...
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SMILES ON AOPA EXPO
Although it's one of the biggest aviation extravaganzas anywhere, AOPA Expois
getting competition for attention from the weather. However, according
to the 10-day forecast from Intellicast, there doesn't appear to be much to
worry about as thousands (including one very un-hurricane-savvy
AVweb reporter) descend on Tampa for AOPA's big show starting
next Thursday. So far, the weather calls for sun and temperatures in
the low 80s (isn't that why God created Florida?) and we can't think
of a more pleasant thing than looking at, flying and writing about
airplanes for three days. Our AOPA wrap-up will appear in the Nov. 7
edition of AVweb's NewsWire and AVflash. More...
AIR BALLOON RECORD EYED
An Indian adventurer hopes to take hot air ballooning to new heights
in November. Vijaypat Singhania, an Indian clothing magnate, plans to
pilot the balloon from Mumbai to a height of 70,000 feet. The current
record is 64,900 feet. And it's not just a matter of packing some
extra propane. "This is a very complex and dramatic undertaking. The
higher you go in a balloon, the less air there is to fill it," Flight
Director Alan Noble told New Kerala.com. "You can encounter a myriad
of other problems. It's also very demanding physically." A
custom-built balloon is being used in the attempt. More...
LIGHTSPEED'S THIRTY 3G HEADSET COMBINES
TO DELIVER THE BEST VALUE
The Thirty 3G headset,
known for supreme comfort and hearing protection, offers 28-30dB of
Active Noise Reduction (ANR) and weighs in at just 16 ounces.
LightSPEED integrates top accessories as standard equipment
including cell phone/music adapter with patch cords, auto shut-off,
treble/bass controls, stereo/mono capabilities, independent volume
controls, and up to 30 hours of ANR with only two AA batteries. The
Thirty 3G is retail-priced at $599 and comes with a padded LightSPEED
headset bag and a five-year warranty. To discuss your headset
needs, contact a LightSPEED dealer or call (800)
332-2421 during business hours (PST). For more information, go
online to LightSPEED's web site at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed/avflash.
MOVES ITS TAIL
The tail section of the Eclipse 500 will be built in Grand Prairie,
Texas, from parts made in England. Grand Prairie-based Hampson
Aerospace, a subsidiary of U.K.-based Hampson
Industries PLC, has won the exclusive contract to build the tail
sections, which will be shipped to Eclipse's final assembly facility
in Albuquerque. Hampson manager Scott Wargo said the tail might be
just the beginning for the Grand Prairie plant, which will hire 135
people for the Eclipse contract. "We are in other business
negotiations as well," he said, adding that "there's going to be a lot
of other work." More...
HAMPER FLEDGLING GA MARKET
As we consider the impediments of TFRs and the potential impact of
newly permanent restricted airspace around Washington, a little
perspective might lift your spirits ... if not the rules. In China,
there are 200 private pilots and thousands who'd like to be if not for
government regulations so restrictive that even legally licensed
aviators are lucky to actually get airborne. "The application process
is complicated," said Li Linhai, who became China's first private
aircraft owner in 2003. Since then he's been able to fly his aircraft
twice. The government apparently sees the potential for GA. "The
potential demand is huge as many people evinced interest in buying
planes at the business aviation fair held in Shanghai two months ago,"
Guo Youhu, an official with China's civil aviation branch, told the
Shanghai Daily. But the wheels of government grind slowly and even Guo
admitted his agency is the problem. More...
|AVEMCO IS COMMITTED TO SAFETY AND
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SLOW TO SIGN UP FOR PHOTOGRAPHIC LICENSES
Australian pilots are being urged to "get their skates on" and get
their applications in for credentials that become mandatory on Jan. 1.
Officials are now worried they won't be able to process the
last-minute influx of applications before the deadline. Only about
half of Australia's 30,000 pilots have applied for either an aviation
security identification card or a photographic license. There are two
options. Those flying into security-controlled airports need a police-
and security-agency background check while others can get by with the
photo license alone. "There's still half out there who have got to get
their skates on and start deciding which one they need and put in the
application," Peter Gibson, of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority,
told The Australian. More...
TACKLES NATIVE PILOT DEVELOPMENT
A Bethel, Alaska, flight school is tackling an apparent shortage of
home-grown pilots in the state. Yuut Yaqungviat LLCsays its graduates save charter
and air taxi operators money because they're happy to work full-time.
Flight school director William Johnson told the Alaska Journal of
Commerce that many operators hire pilots from "outside" to fly two
weeks on and two weeks off. The pilots usually head to their southern
homes during their time off. Johnson said Alaska residents consider
the $50,000 paid to part-time pilots to be good money and suggest
they're willing to work regular hours. More...
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Pennsylvania plans statewide ADS-B coverage...
apologizes to carriers for "bad taste" ads...
"Father of the Boeing
747" interviewed online...
Radio interference hits three air nav
sites in Japan...
Cernan, Crossfield and Hoover to present NBAA
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 ... often, the best part. More...
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
The Savvy Aviator #24: Making Metal Behave
parts must satisfy a mind-boggling variety of physical properties:
weight, strength, hardness, toughness, springiness, temperature and
corrosion resistance, just to name a few. Here's a glimpse at how it's
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from Garmin, FAA, and top CFIIs, the program builds confidence on a
wide variety of complicated IFR procedures. The solution for both
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on PC- and Mac-compatible CD-ROM. Learn more at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/vflite/avflash.
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 ...
You can get a new Bonanza for $700,000. Diamond hopes to (one day)
offer you its single-engine jet for "well under" $1 million. What if,
when little jets (and their engines) are mass produced, prices fall?
What price point would allow you to buy? PLUS: Results of last week's
question on Docket #17005 the proposal to make the D.C. ADIZ a
permanent feature of Eastern U.S. airspace. More...
DON'T WISH YOUR AIRPLANE HAD ALL THE BELLS AND
Bennett Avionics makes that wish affordable! Used
avionics is Bennett Avionics' only business. Bennett stocks a complete
line of used avionics that will add tremendous capability to your
aircraft at a price that makes sense. Bennett also purchases used
avionics equipment and will work out an exchange for newer
electronics. Bennett Avionics is your one-stop used avionics
specialist. HOLIDAY SPECIAL: Till
December 31st, Bennett will upgrade domestic ground shipping to 2nd
Day. Call the Bennett Avionics specialists at (860) 653-7295 (PCT), or
go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/bennett/avflash.
PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
We're always amused when a theme crops up in any given batch of
"Picture of the Week" entries. Since (presumably), our dozens of
submitters aren't in cahoots, it's interesting to note when a large
percentage of our photo entries share a similar feature. Some weeks,
for example, we'll get a selection that's heavy on warbirds or
hot-air balloons or (yes, it's happened) pilots in funny hats.
This week, there was only one clear theme almost every picture
we considered for the top spot left us asking, "Now what's the story
on that?" Some we could figure out, but others left us guessing
and making up our own fantastic back stories. You'll see what we mean
when you dive into this week's top submissions but first, take
a gander at our Official-AVweb-baseball-hat-winning photo from Jeffrey
Burke of San Francisco. Ironically, his winning submission is the only
one that didn't inspire us to concoct a tale ... . More...
|Sponsor News and
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|NEW MOUNTING SYSTEM FOR HAND-HELD ELECTRONIC DEVICES
If you carry electronic devices afield,
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|FLYING THE LEGENDARY DC-3, A NEW DVD, PUTS YOU IN
Flying the Legendary DC-3 DVD
puts you in the cockpit of one of the world's best-known and
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|LOW-COST DIGITAL REPLACEMENT
Narco Avionics proudly announces the
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transponders includes the AT165/VS (a replacement for the AT50 through
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|SEE WHAT ATC SEES AND THEN SEE WHAT THEY DO WITH
The AVweb Edition of Flight Explorer is the
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|SUBSCRIBE TO AVIATION SAFETY AND
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stay ready for the realities of today's demanding flight environment
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Subscribe online and save at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avsafe/avflash.
TO SHARE EXPENSES ON YOUR FLIGHT (OR NEED A RIDE) TO AOPA
Join PilotShareTheRide.com. This unique
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|FROM BUYERS GUIDE HEAVEN COMES KITPLANES 2006
Kitplanes will publish
three issues focusing on the three parts of the kitplane industry.
December's issue includes "Homebuilt Aircraft" with a buyer's guide to
kits, plans, rotorcraft, and light-sport aircraft designs. Other
articles include: "The Excalibur II"; "Aerotek Aviation of Quebec's
T-Moose Floatplane"; "Build Your Skills Metal, Part 4" making a
mess with new tools; "Shopping for an Engine"; XCOM's 760 radio
review; and the Kitplanes 2005 Reader's Choice Awards
are counted, with the results are in the December issue. Order your
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