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Volume 12, Number 14
April 5, 2006
Workshops IFR Pilots -- New Online Workshop Getting Rave Reviews
Thousands of pilots have experienced this new training program from PilotWorkshops.com. Take this no-cost workshop and see for yourself. "Fly Single Pilot IFR With Confidence" is taught by 2004 National Certified Flight Instructor of the Year Doug Stewart. Click here for instant access.
What A Difference Two Years Makes back to top 
FlightMax EX500
The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's NewsWire.

AVweb's special coverage of the Sun 'n Fun air show in Lakeland, Florida, continues. Watch for more, Friday.

Once the undisputed leader in high performance, Mooney was not too long ago sent to the canvas by that vexing mix of product liability, recession and management unable to overcome the challenges of the day. It soon re-emerged as the bastard child of a promoter's nightmare, and seemed destined to fall again and maybe for good. But now it's back ... Bigtime. Mooney CEO Gretchen Jahn made clear that her team believes Mooney is a manufacturer for the ages and is no longer content to rest on the laurels of 130 speed records and 11,000 aircraft sold. We told you Monday there were rumors of a new Mooney. Tuesday we found out what that meant. Mooney has mated its basic planform with a new engine and says the offspring leaves composite upstarts wallowing in its slipstream. Simply put, if Jahn wasn't reading the glass displays wrong on the way to Sun 'n Fun, the new turbonormalized Mooney Acclaim may soon look to claim title as the fastest certified piston single out there. It may also have the longest legs. More...

236 KTAS, 25,000 FEET, 20.6 GPH
Jahn flew the plane from Kerrville, Texas to Lakeland, Florida and told the large crowd of media (and the just plain interested) that those were the numbers she got. She also said that because the plane is a prototype, they expect performance to improve once the 280-hp, Continental TSIO 550G is tweaked to make the most of its new home. The speed is important because it's exactly one knot faster than Columbia Aircraft's posted maximum cruise for its fixed-gear turbo 400 model. AVweb has received several unconfirmable emails from obvious Mooney fans who claim Jahn is actually soft-peddling the performance of the Acclaim and that 250 KTAS is closer to its real enroute speed. But wait for this one to play out. The aerodynamically inclined will tell you that kind of math is very hard to achieve. More solid is the fact that Mooney packs the Acclaim with a built-in plumbing for oxygen and plans to offer the the aircraft with what it says is the only FAA-approved flight into known icing package in its class. More...

Avidyne Avidyne Offers Complimentary XM WX Subscription with EX500 MFD Purchase
Avidyne is offering a 12-month subscription to XM's Aviator LT satellite weather service at no additional cost with the purchase of an Avidyne EX500 multi-function display (MFD) between April 1 and June 30, 2005. The offer provides further incentive for pilots to upgrade their aircraft panels with Avidyne's popular MFD featuring full-overlay moving map, multi-channel datalink, and the highest resolution display available. Stop by Avidyne's Sun 'n Fun booth (#D-043-044), or go online for complete details.

   Visit Avidyne at Sun 'n Fun Booths #D-043-044
Piper Digs Out back to top 
Bose® Aviation Headset X

There are fewer more compelling hard-luck stories out there than Piper's recent history. But with "concrete bunkers" to replace its hurricane-ravaged buildings, new airplanes on the way (including -- somewhere in the distance -- the long-awaited jet), a seemingly re-energized de-unionized and united front office and factory floor, and a healthy increase in sales, Jim Bass, the company's new CEO, told a news conference Tuesday at Sun 'n Fun that the death watch for Piper is over. "This is a great American story," he said without a hint of corniness to a jaded press corps that had dutifully covered previous pronouncements of this sort with a healthy dose of skepticism. But Bass, in his "first outing" since taking over the company six months ago, gave some rapid-fire reasons for optimism as he touted his Piper as "the grand old lady of the ball." More...

Bass, who replaced the popular Chuck Suma as CEO last fall (there was a bomb scare at the plant on the day of the announcement) said his first priority was to "concentrate on the employees and management." Whatever he did seemed to strike a chord with the workers and last week the National Labor Relations Board accepted a vote to decertify from their union. "We are coming together as one Piper team," the energetic Bass told the news conference. In fact, he repeatedly called the sprawling Vero Beach facilities the "Piper campus" The company is back to full production strength with more than 1,000 employees and sales are up between 25 and 30 percent. As if to hammer the stake through the heart of any remaining doubters Bass added with gusto, "and we're hiring!" More...

Bass told the news conference that Piper is revamping its product line. For the past couple of years, the sole topic of news conferences has been the announcement that one or two Piper models was being outfitted with Avidyne Entegra glass cockpits. True to form, Tuesday's press conference started with the announcement that the Seminole, the last(?) of the steam gauge Pipers, was getting glass. But Bass also detailed Piper's aggressive winter recruiting campaign (depicting palm trees on the beach) aimed at attracting engineers and designers from Detroit and Wichita. It seems the next generation of Piper aircraft, needs another thirty design engineers, another 10 manufacturing engineers and some fifty production workers. More...

Bose® Aviation Headset X Fly with the Bose(R) Aviation Headset X
Enjoy an unmatched combination of benefits. Full-spectrum noise reduction, clear sound, and comfortable fit. Voted the #1 headset for the fifth year in a row by readers of Professional Pilot magazine. (Professional Pilot, Headset Preference Survey, 12/05.) Buy yours today and receive a TriPort(R) CD music system -- a $219 value -- as our gift to you. Learn more or order.

   Visit Bose at Sun 'n Fun Booths #E-014 & SNF-009
News Briefs back to top 

Details were still sketchy at our deadline, but yesterday morning at about 10:30 Sean D. Tucker was practicing a routine in Red River Parish, La., when the airplane had a problem, and he had to bail out. Expected to fly the Columbia 400 at the Sun 'n Fun this weekend, at least one early report said Tucker "flew out of the Red River Parish Airport to practice his routine for a weekend air show." The same report identified the crash aircraft as "the Challenger Aerobatic Bi-Plane." According to early reports, Tucker experienced a loss of elevator control not long after takeoff. He was able to establish a climb with trim and troubleshoot for about 10 or 15 minutes. Once the decision was made that a safe landing wasn't possible, he "flew until it was empty," according to Karl Koeppen who was quoted by local news as a spokesman for Tucker. The performer abandoned the airplane at about 8,500 feet over an uninhabited area. Tucker's exit didn't go smoothly and he momentarily got hung up on the tail of the airplane, but freed himself and landed safely under canopy. At our deadline, there was not yet confirmation or cancellation regarding his plans to fly this weekend. More...

The first "zero-time" Navion to be built in 30 years is expected to be on the grounds at Sun 'n Fun today. According to an email from Navion Aircraft International's Wes Sanda, the plane was to have arrived in Lakeland last night from the factory (yep, that's the right word) in St. Paul, Minn. Details are a little sketchy about the aircraft and we're not sure what the company's definition of "zero time" is since the FAA registry gives the manufacture date of the aircraft as 1947 but we'll track it down today. More...

Trade-A-Plane: The Aviation Marketplace Since 
1937 In Print & Online, Trade-A-Plane Has Everything That Keeps You Flying
Get 24 issues (two years) for just $24.95 (U.S., standard mail), including no-cost access to Trade-A-Plane's web site that is updated daily. Subscribe by calling (800) 337-5263 and mentioning this AVwebFlash, or subscribe online.

   Visit Trade-A-Plane at Sun 'n Fun Booths #A-001-003
News Briefs back to top 

Somewhat Navion-like but altogether new, the Cobra is a 4/5 place very roomy, very comfortable looking aircraft that may also offer great visibility a 1000nm range and 155kt cruise speeds. Useful load for the 200hp version is 1105 pounds (there's a 315hp version that can carry 1260 lbs at 175kts). Evektor America is billing the all-metal retractable low-wing as a luxurious cruiser with the "widest cabin in its class" (51.1 inches). The Vut 100 Cobra is slated for full FAA Part 23 certification my next summer's (2007) AirVenture, but the company says positions for first U.S. deliveries are available, now. "Deliveries should start early next year, with FAR-23 certification approximately 6 months later," according to the company. If absolute room and comfort are your game, this may be one to watch. More...

Avidyne Corp. made the most of this week's aviation gathering to announce a slew of new products and services. The company's TAS600 series of Traffic Advisory Systems is now approved for retrofit installation in the Garmin G1000 flight deck. The TAS provides verbal alerts on the position of other transponder-equipped aircraft within a range of up to 21 nm. The TAS is also available in new packages with a multifunction display that incorporates a moving map with lightning, terrain, obstacles, and weather info. The company also announced a new warranty option that will give customers a replacement unit when products are returned for service. And there's more. More...

Visit LightSPEED Aviation at Sun 'n Fun 2006 Mach 1 Headset by LightSPEED: Quietness of a Full-Size Headset
LightSPEED introduces the MACH 1, an in-the-ear platform with tiny digital speakers giving you the rich sound of a concert hall. The "born to be worn" MACH 1 packs a lot for its size. Featherweight boom contours to your face, picking up your voice with crystal clarity as you talk with ATC or on your cell phone. To order, contact a LightSPEED dealer or call (800) 332-2421 (PST business hours). Click here to view the 60-second MACH 1 video, or (better yet) try it out at Sun 'n Fun booths D-052-053 and D-075.

   Try it out at Sun 'n Fun Booths #D-052-053 & 075
News Briefs back to top 

One after another, squeaking onto the runway under the hot Florida sun, a seemingly endless stream of bright yellow Cubs arrived at Sun 'n Fun Monday afternoon. They kept coming.... for half an hour... then another half hour.... and finally, after an hour and a half, all 108 Cubs had landed neatly, and taxied off to park wingtip-to-wingtip on the grass next to the warbird ramp. Cubs have always had their fans, but they seem to be growing ever more popular, with several manufacturers bringing out new designs inspired by the original Piper classic. This week at Sun 'n Fun, American Legend Cub is showing off for the first time its Legend Cub Special, a variant of of its two-place sport aircraft. More...

Garmin's 396 offers an uber-impressive handheld color moving-map gps in a unit that is terrain-aware, capable of imitating a full panel of flight instruments, and brimming with more features than most average pilots might safely use while attempting to concurrently control an aircraft. An offering for those who tend to shop in another price point entirely (under $500) Lowrance's Airmap 600c brings color and terrain awareness to the less indulgent masses. Shown off at their booth at Sun 'n Fun, the brightly colorful screens of Lowrances latest offerings drew crowds in the middle of the afternoon, on a Tuesday. For those who believe the best isn't always the most capable, but simply what's best for your needs the range of handheld gps offerings is growing fast. Not good enough? How about synthetic vision for your pda? More...

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.

   Visit TCM at Sun 'n Fun Booths #N-093-102
Images We Remember back to top 

AVweb's Sun 'n Fun Image Gallery, Day 1 More...

From 2004:
Thunderbirds Crash -- Truth In Images -- a collection of still and video images.
DHL Airbus Hit By SAM Over Baghdad -- images of the stricken aircraft as it lands.

From 2005:
Standard Floats, Dry Runway Departure -- video of a water-only equipped Beaver departing a land base with some creative piloting. More...

Columbia Simplifies Buying & Selling All Aircraft Brands
Selling an aircraft can be a challenging odyssey. Aircraft owners need to: locate a broker with national resources to sell for top dollar; select and utilize the most effective advertising; access no-cost, no-obligation finance pre-qualification; consult aviation tax experts; and obtain insurance quotes with higher liability limits. Columbia Aircraft has created a tool to assist pilots and aircraft owners of all brands. Check out their web site.

   Visit Columbia Aircraft at Sun 'n Fun Booths #MD-020B & C
AVweb Audio back to top 

Coming up, Friday: Don't miss the first part of our interview series with FAA administrator Marion Blakey.

Online, now: Hear FAA spokesman Greg Martin in his own words as air traffic control contract negotiations reach new levels of dissonance. Listen to an update on the possibility of user fees for general aviation as Jane Garvey talks to Senators, hear Columbia's plan to stir up the air show this week at Sun 'n Fun; NTSB's call for action as CRJ's show a potential for fire; the passing of The Great Escape pilot, and more. AVweb's latest audio newscast is available today. Click here to listen.

If you missed AVweb's Friday interview with Diamond Aircraft's Peter Mauer, find it online, here.

Subscribe to AVweb audiocasts and receive them automatically, or check this spot each Monday and Friday to download them individually for listening on your iPod, while sitting at your computer, or traveling with any MP3 player. More...

FAA-Approved Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic (FIRC) from ASA
Attention, 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 2 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.

   Visit ASA at Sun 'n Fun Booths #B-059-061
Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" contest is sponsored by Aviation Safety magazine, the monthly journal of risk management and accident prevention.

Thanks to all the pilots and AVweb readers who took time to nominate their favorite FBOs in our "FBO of the Week" contest. Today's ribbon finds its target in Florida.

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to BANYAN AIR SERVICE at FXE in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.


Keep those nominations coming.

Click here to nominate your favorite FBO and here for complete contest rules

AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBO's in the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday! More...

Tired of the High Cost of Fuel? GAMIjectors Are the Answer!
Don't be grounded by sky-high gas prices. Install GAMIjectors, and you could see up to a 20% cut in your aircraft's fuel bill. Balanced fuel/air ratios make your aircraft's engine run smoother, cooler, and more efficiently. Call 888-FLY-GAMI, or order a kit online for your Continental or Lycoming engine.

   Visit ASA at Sun 'n Fun Booth #A-065
AVwebBiz back to top 

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...

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.

   Visit ASA at Sun 'n Fun Booth #B-082
NewsTips back to top 

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...



Attending Sun 'n Fun This Week?
Plan on Visiting AVweb's Sponsors!

Our sponsors help us bring you the news -- twice a week -- at no cost to you. Please stop by their Sun 'n Fun booths to say "thank you" for their support. Click here for a list of AVweb sponsors attending the show and where to find them.

Stop Wondering -- Or Worrying -- Where Your Friends and Family Are!
Do you have friends or family flying in tonight? A business colleague coming in for a meeting? Will your partner get back before you need the airplane? Find out where in the air they are with the AVweb Edition of Flight Explorer. AVweb subscribers can sign up for Flight Explorer at the special price of $9.95 a month. Sign up.

Light Plane Maintenance Magazine Saves Owners Big Money!
With your subscription to Light Plane Maintenance, you will join thousands of savvy general aviation owners who are saving big by doing it themselves! Each monthly issue brings tips and techniques for maintenance procedures you can perform yourself, legally and easily. Order online for big savings from the regular rates.

Order a CO Guardian CO Detector in the Hope You'll Never Have to Use It!
Models from portable to panel-mount units. Order online.
   Visit CO Guardian at Sun 'n Fun Booth #D-060

Power Flow's Short Stack Approved for Cessnas, Grummans, & Pipers
Power Flow Systems, manufacturers of FAA-certified tuned exhaust systems, has a new "short stack" exhaust pipe for Skyhawks, Cardinals, Piper PA-28s, 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 the right tuned exhaust system for your aircraft, visit Power Flow's booth at Sun 'n Fun or go online.
   Visit Power Flow Tuned Exhaust Systems at Sun 'n Fun Booth #A-044

Names Behind The News back to top 

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 AVweb's Newsteam (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.

Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's sales team.

If you're having trouble reading this newsletter in its HTML-rich format (or if you'd prefer a lighter, simpler format for your PDA or handheld device), there's also a text-only version of AVwebFlash. For complete instructions on making the switch, click here.

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