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Volume 12, Number 11b
March 16, 2006
 
Teledyne-Continental Motors PowerlinkTM FADEC Certified on Liberty XL-2; Is It Right for Your Aircraft?
Liberty Aerospace is the first certified piston-powered aircraft with PowerLinkTM FADEC as standard equipment. PowerLinkTM FADEC is now also available for several additional certified and experimental aircraft, including the A-36 Bonanza and VANS RV series. Find out how you can bring your aircraft into the state-of-the-art online.
 
AS3 - The Aviation 
Industry Expo
The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's NewsWire.

PURCHASE OF SUPERIOR AIR PARTS SHAKES UP ENGINE BUSINESS
Aviation insiders are abuzz about what may become one of the most significant developments in the U.S. aircraft engine industry in decades. German-based Thielert AG has announced it has taken over Superior Air Parts, of Coppell, Texas. The $10 million deal gives Thielert, which makes two Jet A-powered diesel engines, an instant manufacturing, distribution and service foothold in North America, something needed to support a sales campaign for the fuel-efficient mills in the world's largest aviation market. "With its outstanding products and established brand name, Superior Air Parts is the ideal acquisition to help us enhance our market position," said CEO Frank Thielert in a news release. "Our acquisition of Superior Air Parts marks our final step along the road into the U.S.-American market for engines and engine components and the expansion of our presence there." More...

DIAMOND DELIGHTED
The announcement came as Diamond Aircraft, of London, Ont., is getting ready to ramp up production and sales of its DA42 TwinStar, which is powered by Thielert 135-hp diesels. "Obviously, Diamond is delighted that [Thielert] is taking this very significant step," Diamond CEO Peter Maurer told AVweb. "The timing coincides perfectly with our ramp-up of deliveries of the DA42 Twin Star to our U.S. customers." Diamond delivered its first diesel twin in the U.S. last summer and interest has been strong in the innovative aircraft, which sips 12.5 gph at 172 knots TAS. And while support for the TwinStar and other aircraft that have supplementary type certificates for the diesel is crucial for the success of this Jet A engine, there is open speculation (as Lycoming retires active crankshafts) that the step might be only the beginning. More...

CHANGES AT SUPERIOR AIR PARTS
In an interview with AVweb, Thielert said the diesel engine training center will be established in Dallas and parts will be stocked there -- but there's no immediate intention to distribute diesel engines and parts through the existing Superior network. In the meantime, Diamond, which is basically the only current and sizeable North American customer for the engines, is creating its own service network among its 54 dealers, with support and parts from Thielert. Thielert also downplayed any speculation about going head to head with Lycoming and Continental. "This is not our core business. We like that Superior has the IO-360 and we support them by making parts for this engine, but we have not planned to make further models," he said. "They will absolutely continue with the certified engine and the experimental engines. Where we see the advantage is to support them on the manufacturing side." More...

 
Visit LightSPEED Aviation at Sun 'n Fun 2006 Mach 1 Headset by LightSPEED: Small, Durable & Ultra-Comfortable
Try it out at the upcoming Sun 'n Fun show (booths D52-53 and D75).
After years of pilot input, LightSPEED introduces the MACH 1, a high-performance in-the-ear (ITE) headset. The "born to be worn" MACH 1 packs a lot for its size. Connect to cell phone and music interfaces. Get supreme comfort with unbelievable noise attenuation. To order, contact a LightSPEED dealer or call (800) 332-2421 (PST business hours). Click here to view the 60-second MACH 1 video.
 
Aviation 
Consumer

ADIZ-BUSTING PILOT PLANS FLIGHT SCHOOL CHAIN
If you believe that it's best to learn from the mistakes of others, Troy Martin has a deal for you. If the name rings a bell it's because the 37-year-old was at the center of one of the most infamous navigational miscues in general aviation history. He was in the left seat of a Cessna 150 when he and Hayden L. "Jim" Scheaffer came within a mile or so of the White House in May 2005. Martin, a student pilot at the time, said the incident showed him that there are big holes in pilot training, holes his company, Martin Aviation Group, hopes to fill with what he says is his new approach to teaching people to fly. "There's just not a lot of structure today with how people learn to fly," he told the Lancaster, Penn., Sunday News, adding that there should be more government oversight to ensure pilots stay sharp. More...

ENVISIONS A CHAIN OF FRANCHISED OPERATIONS
Martin, a "business consultant" from Akron, Ohio, says the fundamental problem with flight training is that it's carried out independently by hundreds of "mom and pop" schools scattered at small airports all over the country. His answer is a chain of up to 250 franchised schools all teaching the same comprehensive curriculum. Martin claims that economies of scale will make his model more efficient and reduce instruction and insurance costs. In a nutshell, his plan is to give students 49 lessons over the course of a year as they simultaneously earn their private certificate and instrument rating. His plans came to light in Lancaster because he plans to build the company's $5 million "world headquarters" at the Lancaster Airport and he needs the approval of local authorities. More...

 
Sino Swearingen's SJ30-2 Business Jet The SJ30-2 Is the World's Fastest Light Business Jet
Not only is it fast; it has intercontinental range — 560 mph and over 2800 sm range. The SJ30-2 is the most advanced light business jet in the sky today — the perfect package of speed, range, and good looks. Click here for details.
 

SPECTRUM'S PLANS TO REDEFINE VLJS
For a company that came out of nowhere at last year's National Business Aviation Association convention, Spectrum Aeronautical LLC seems to be going places fast. Details are slowly starting to emerge about the company's all-composite Spectrum 33 prototype but the fundamental question of how the company can build a 400-knot, 45,000-foot-ceiling, eight-passenger airplane that weighs two and a half tons less than a CJ2 at maximum takeoff weight and gets off the ground in 800 feet (which we understand the prototype does without breaking a sweat) will remain unanswered for now. "It's a proprietary process," says Mark Jones, the jet's project manager, of the aircraft's construction. In a strange combination of circumspectness and unbridled enthusiasm, Jones says he's aware of the implications of this kind of technological achievement, assuming it comes true. "I know it can accomplish things that no other aircraft has ever achieved," Jones said. More...

NEW MATERIALS AND NEW PROCESSES
At the heart of Spectrum process is a composite material and fabrication process called fibeX. Rocky Mountain Composites (RMC), of Spanish Fork, Utah, has been developing the material for 15 years and all Jones will say is that it combines the attributes of hand lay-up with those of pre-impregnated materials and cancels most of their drawbacks. The result, according to Spectrum, has greater strength per pound than any material used for the main structure of any other airplane. "fibeX is a very remarkable material and it's taken an enormous amount of expertise to develop it," Jones said. Spectrum Aeronautical liked it so much they bought RMC (51 percent of it) and the development of the aircraft is very much a partnership between the two. More...

 
Trade-A-Plane: The Aviation Marketplace Since 
1937 Visit Trade-A-Plane's Web Site to see why 96% of Trade-A-Plane subscribers choose Trade-A-Plane as their primary aviation shopping tool. Over 10,000 classifieds (updated daily), product and advertiser indices, NAAA Evaluator, and aviation weather — Trade-A-Plane is everything that keeps you flying! Call Trade-A-Plane at (800) 337-5263, or go online.
 

FAA LOOKING FOR TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS
The FAA is looking for private-sector partners to develop new avionics for use with satellite-based navigation, particularly the Wide Area Augmentation System. In a bid to spur interest from companies in developing the new devices, the agency is invoking a rarely used procurement method called other transaction authority (OTA). Under an OTA, the private company works hand-in-glove with the agency in developing new products and, once they're ready for use, the company retains all the intellectual property rights and can take the devices to market. The agency issued a request for information (RFI) targeting avionics manufacturers earlier this month. "The intent of the RFI is to solicit information from the targeted market to determine interest in partnering with the government to achieve these objectives," FAA spokesman Ted Urda told Federal Computer Week. More...

PILOT SAYS HE WAS A PASSENGER IN CRASH PLANE
An Ohio flight instructor says the NTSB is wrong to assume that just because he was the only one aboard a plane with the proper credentials that he was the pilot in command. Matthew Sullivan, 24, of Dublin, Ohio, was sitting in the right front seat of a Bonanza when it crashed a mile short of Rock Hill/York County Airport in South Carolina in July. "I was strictly a passenger," Sullivan told the Rock Hill Herald. There were two other pilots on board, including the owner of the plane, and both died in the crash. The owner, Dr. Bill Coulman, sat in the back and Eric Johnson, whom Sullivan understood to be an experienced ex-military pilot, was in the left seat. But it was an IFR flight and only Sullivan held the instrument rating. He's also an instructor. And the story could be much more complicated. More...

 
Safe-Light Super Bright Flashlights 
from Aircraft Spruce Aircraft Spruce Carries Safe-Light Super Bright Flashlights
New Safe-Light Super Bright is lightweight and palm-size yet powerful, with an ultra-long battery life (9v battery included). Features emergency strobe plus other essential safety modes, power-save mode for the cockpit, Nichia latest Super Bright LED (for a wide, bright beam), and a removable swivel belt clip with an embedded magnet (for hands-free lighting). Available with white, blue, green, or red LED. Call 877-4-SPRUCE, or go online.
 

FSS OUTSOURCING A LESSON TO BUSINESS
If Lockheed Martin's experience is typical, don't expect private companies to be lining up in droves to take over any future government aviation work through the so-called A-76 outsourcing process. More than a year after winning the $1.9 billion contract to run the flight service station system, company spokesman Joe Cipriano said it's only recently cleared the bureaucratic, legislative and labor-relations hurdles that have dogged implementation of its administration of the system. "It was somewhat disappointing to have all the protests filed after the award," Cipriano told Washington Technology. "But it should not be unexpected, since this was the largest A-76 ever awarded by the government. It was a milestone." More...

KITPLANE BUILT IN 18 DAYS -- LEGALLY
Building an airplane is often a years-long commitment but Marc Cook took less than three weeks to take a Glasair Sportsman from the crate to the sky. The editor in chief of our sister publication Kitplanes was the prototype builder for Glasair's new "Two Weeks To Taxi" program that will be introduced at Sun 'n Fun next month. First customers will go through starting next fall. Cook, who took three years to build his last plane, a Pulsar, said the Sportsman process was "an eye-opener." Working eight hours a day, five days a week, Cook started on the four-place plane on Jan. 9, finished it Jan. 27 and flew it for the first time Jan. 31. "It flies beautifully," he told AVweb. Perhaps more important, Cook says he knows it's perfectly straight, properly built and safe. Cook will chronicle the building process in a series of stories in Kitplanes that starts in the August issue. More...

 
Because Bad Things Happen to Good Pilots!
Legal claims for airspace incursions have increased over 150% -- all requiring legal counsel. The AOPA Legal Services Plan provides protection in a variety of situations where you might need legal support. Plus, the Plan gives you unlimited consultation on most aviation matters covered by the Plan, an annual review of key aviation documents, and one no-cost half-hour consultation with an AOPA Legal Services Plan panel attorney regarding aviation-related matters not otherwise covered. Spend $29 today and get aviation legal protection on your side all year. Call (800) USA-AOPA (800-872-8672) or go online.
 

KID "WITH NOTHING" PLANS ROUND-THE-WORLD FLIGHT
Growing up poor on the streets of Miami, Barrington Irving had no reason to expect to set an aviation record. Later this year, however, he hopes to be the youngest pilot to fly solo around the world. ''A part of me is like there's no way I'm about to do this -- a kid with nothing, on an airplane worth $600,000,'' he told the Miami Herald. "Then a part of me feels like you waited long enough, you busted your butt. I've paid the price for this.'' For a couple of years Irving, who paid for his private certificate by washing airplanes and mowing lawns, has been hitting up anyone and everyone he could think of in aviation to fund his record bid, which he estimates will cost $1 million (including a brand-new Columbia 400 being supplied by Columbia at a "significant discount." More...

BACK TO WORK, BUSHPLANE STYLE
Ever see a plane on standard floats at an airport and wonder how it got there? Or, even better, how it's going to leave? Well, it takes a combination of common sense and air show bravado but, as the video shows, getting a water-equipped Beaver back to work in the spring is a fact of life for bush pilots. Hill Aviation, of Prince George, British Columbia, shot the sequence of the Beaver heading back to its natural habitat. When lakes start to freeze over in the winter, many operators want their planes hangared for the duration of winter -- for maintenance and to keep them out of the weather. The alternative to disassembling the planes and trucking them to their winter home is a visually compelling but relatively common practice. (See NewsWire for the video.) More...

 
The World's Greatest Headset Is the One You Already OwnTM -- with an Oregon Aero (R)Aviation Headset Upgrade. The five components of the Oregon Aero(R) UpgradeTM can eliminate pain, reduce overall sound pressure, improve intelligibility and transmission clarity, and give you cool, dry ears. Oregon Aero offers hand-made, custom Upgrades for more than 150 headset models. Turn your old headset into a comfortable, high-performance piece of equipment. Oregon Aero also offers custom-designed, shock-insulated headset bags to protect your investment. Visit Oregon Aero online to select the right Upgrade for your headset.
 

ON THE FLY...
Game show host died in Angel Flight operation...
Parents died, kids survive New Jersey crash...
Blast ejects roof of ejection seat company...
China urged to encourage GA. More...

AVWEB'S NEWSTIPS ADDRESS ...
What have you heard? There might be something to it. If you've heard something that 130,000 pilots might want to know about, don't be shy. Submit news tips via email to newstips@avweb.com. Our best stories start with you. More...

 
Risk Management Is an Area Often Overlooked when purchasing aircraft hull and liability insurance. CS&A Aviation Insurance specialists excel in risk management, which in turn gives their customers -- YOU -- the best insurance package for their individual needs. Owner or renter, shop around and you'll find CS&A meets your aircraft insurance needs. Call the CS&A pros at (800) 761-2557, or go online.
 

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
COLUMNS
The Savvy Aviator #29: Fix It Now!
If something isn't quite right with your aircraft, don't just live with it; fix it now. Deferred maintenance often winds up being more expensive, and sometimes it's downright dangerous.

More...

 
ASO -- A Better Way to Sell Your Aircraft Share
Finding aircraft share buyers can be almost impossible. FBO bulletin board flyers are too limited, and ads in national publications are too broad. There's a better way with ASO's Partnership Ads. List your share on ASO, the most trusted place for aircraft sales, where interested buyers have the ability to search geographically to easily find your partnership listing. For a limited time, select Partnership Ads are complimentary. To get your share in front of potential buyers tomorrow, call (888) 992-9276 today or visit online.
 

AVWEB'S BUSINESS 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 read. Watch for a Business AVflash regular feature, TSA WATCH: GA IN THE "SPOTLIGHT". Sign up today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/ More...

 
Mike Busch's Savvy Owner Seminar at an Airport Near You!
Aircraft maintenance expert Mike Busch will be offering his acclaimed weekend Savvy Owner Seminar in cities throughout the U.S., including a location within easy flying distance of you. In one information-packed weekend, Mike will teach you how to have a safer, more reliable aircraft while saving literally thousands of dollars on maintenance costs, year after year. For seminar cities, details, and to reserve your space, click here.
 

QUESTION OF THE WEEK
This week, AVweb wants to know how much maintenance you're willing to do yourself. Do you take advantage of provisions that allow pilots to peform certain maintenance tasks on their own aircraft? PLUS: Results of last week's hot-topic question on unions in the aviation industry. More...

 

AVWEB APPRECIATES YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT OF OUR SPONSORS,
WHO BRING YOU TODAY'S NEWS AND FEATURES AT NO COST TO YOU

Attention, CFIs! Renew Your Certificate at Home with ASA!
Flight Instructors, wouldn't it be nice to renew your flight instructor certificate from the comfort of home? ASA's FAA-approved Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic (FIRC) provides everything you need to renew your flight instructor certificate for two more years. Features over 11 hours of professional DVD presentations, supported with internet-based evaluation and course tracking. You don't need to be online for the entire duration of the course. For complete details, visit ASA's web site.

Pilots Know They Need to Protect & Improve Their Eyes
As a pilot, Brian Grote knows that visual acuity is an asset he can't afford to lose. After years of declining vision, he's finally found an all-natural supplement that may help protect and improve the health of his eyes for years to come. Click here to find out more about Claroxan, an all-natural supplement for your eyes.

Low-Cost Digital Replacement Transponders!
Narco Avionics proudly announces the availability of their all-new Value Series plug & play line of digital transponders. The Value Series is designed for the cost-conscious owner. Narco's Value Series plug & play transponders include the AT165/VS (a replacement for the AT50 through AT155), the AT165/KA/VS (a replacement for the KT76A/78A), and the AT165/K/VS (a replacement for the KT76/78). Coming Soon: Narco's AT165/C and AT165/C/VS, plug & play replacements for the ARC (Cessna) RT359A/RT459A. For more information, visit Narco Avionics online.

See What ATC Sees & Then See What They Do with the Information
The AVweb Edition of Flight Explorer is the PC-based graphical aircraft situation display that gives you a real-time picture of all IFR aircraft in-flight over the U.S. and Canada. Whether you're tracking a friend or want to learn more about the system in action, Flight Explorer has the information you want for just $9.95 a month. Subscribe now.

Worried About Busting a Reg? You Should Be!
It's all too easy with today's tightened rules and enforcement. Join the smart pilots who trust Aviation Safety to keep them aware and in the air. Discover this informative, instructive monthly that sharpens your savvy and air readiness. Subscribe now for big savings from the regular rate.

Pilots Comment After Reading IFR: A Structured Approach:
"The GPS chapter alone is worth getting the book. It's the best instrument flying book I have ever read," states Fred Scott. "If one book could help you make the leap from a bit player to a skilled conductor of instrument flight, this is probably it," reads a November 2003 AOPA Pilot review. With the help of this book, you will establish your personal standard of IFR operating practices, including incorporation of checklists, flows, callouts, briefings, and the "fly by the numbers" method of aircraft control. Order online.

Power Flow's Short Stack Approved for Pipers & Grummans
Power Flow Systems, manufacturers of FAA-certified tuned exhaust systems, have introduced a new "short stack" exhaust pipe for Piper PA-28 and Grumman AA5 series aircraft. The new STC'd short stack looks better while still providing up to 23 more available horsepower. For more information on this, and the right tuned exhaust system for your aircraft, go online.

Flying Flies the New Falcon 900DX
Flying magazine's March issue includes: A flight in Dassault's new Falcon 900DX with its revolutionary cockpit design; a datalink weather cockpit overview; a look at Beech's G36 Bonanza with Garmin's complete G1000 flight guidance system; plus all the columnists and writers you've come to know and respect. Save by ordering online.

 

PICTURE OF THE WEEK
Wow! Last week, we mentioned that photo submissions had dropped a bit — to less that 50 submissions for the first time in many months — and you responded with a deluge of new photos! We haven't had time to run an official check, but this is the first time we can remember "POTW" submissions tripling from one week to the next! We're so excited about this influx of new pictures that we're going to run a couple more photos than usual. So settle into your most comfortable chair and break out the reading glasses. This week's winning photo is from Carl B. Jordan of Port Charlotte, Florida. Carl's photo transports us back in time to 1927 for a 90-year-old lady's first flight. Good job, Carl — you (and your dad's photo collection) have managed to top a very significant stack of entries this week. As a reward, we're sending you one of our official AVweb baseball caps. Watch your mailbox! More...

 

AVwebFlash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest news, articles, products, features, and events featured on AVweb, the internet's aviation magazine and news service.

Today's issue was written by news writer Russ Niles (bio).

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.

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Freedom, independence, responsibility.


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