Avidyne Selected by Symphony Aircraft as Active Traffic
Avidyne has announced that Symphony
Aircraft Industries has selected Avidyne
as the exclusive
supplier of traffic advisory systems (TAS), including the TAS600 system
as a factory option for the Symphony 160 aircraft. The TAS600 system
gives pilots the added safety benefits of Ryan Active
Heads-Up Audible Position AlertingTM
, and patented top-and-bottom antennas
for enhanced performance. Go online for complete details
The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News
Coverage At AVweb's
SPORT AIRPLANES, ONE YEAR LATER
It was just a year ago that
the first Light Sport Aircraft were introduced here at Sun 'n Fun, and
now the number of fixed-wing Special-LSAs is up to 30, with four new
models approved just the week before the show. Sun 'n Fun added 28
spaces in a new southeast exhibit area this year, close by the main
entrance, and most of those spots were taken by sport aircraft dealers.
By all accounts from the manufacturers we spoke to, interest was high
and folks weren't just looking -- they were buying. "We've sold two
airplanes already, and it's just the second day of the show," Evektor's
Scott Andrews told AVweb early in the week. By later in the week,
Tim Elliott, founder of American Legend Aircraft, couldn't stop beaming.
"We're very happy with the show," he said. "We've had quite a few
MODELS, NEW FEATURES
While many of the first S-LSAs were
imports from the European "microlight" class, which is restricted to
about 950 pounds gross weight, more of the newer models are designed
from the ground up to meet the U.S. rule, with a limit of 1,320 pounds.
This allows for bigger, roomier models with more features. Danny
Defilici, president of Sport Aircraft Works in Florida, imports the
newly approved Sport Cruiser from Czech Aircraft Works (CZAW). He says the Cruiser is
a "clean-sheet" design built to the U.S. rules, with a 660-pound useful
load and excellent low-speed performance. It's easy to handle for a
low-time pilot or a flight-school environment, he said. Interest also
was high at the show in the CZAW amphibious Mermaid, which recently got
its S-LSA approval despite some FAA consternation over the
repositionable gear. More...
ON TRAINING, OUTREACH
So far, many buyers of LSAs are already
pilots, but a lot of effort is going into expanding the market by
finding and training new pilots as well. Jeff Parnau, who is working
with Sportsplanes.com in Wisconsin, said the company
recently brought an Ikarus C42 S-LSA to an outdoor-sports show in Milwaukee and hung it from the ceiling. Interest was "phenomenal,"
he said: "We got hundreds of leads, and signed up 40 new students." CZAW
is reaching out to new pilots by offering 20 hours of free flight
training with its Sport Cruiser. And EAA's Charlie Becker told
AVweb yesterday that 150 new student sport pilot certificates
were issued at the show. The certificates are free to EAA members, and
also are available at all stops of the Sport Pilot Tour,
he said. More...
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AOPA PRESIDENT KILLED IN CRASH
Ron Bertram, president of the
Aircraft Owners and
Pilots Association of Australia, died in a crash near Sydney on
Wednesday. Bertram was taking a Lancair 360 homebuilt for a check flight
at Bankstown Airport after some routine maintenance work, according to
news reports. Bertram reported engine trouble on takeoff, then crashed
near the runway. The aircraft was destroyed. AOPA Australia said in a
statement: "His comrades at AOPA are stunned by his loss and are very
aware of how difficult it will be to follow in his footsteps. AOPA under
his leadership had achieved significant milestones." Airservices
Australia Chief Executive Officer Greg Russell praised Bertram's work.
"The association has lost a true reformer and a person dedicated to
making AOPA more relevant and valuable to the aviation industry," he
SPORT PLANES CRASH EN ROUTE TO SUN 'N FUN
Two LSAs were
missing from show exhibits due to accidents that occurred as they were
heading to Lakeland. Aviation writer Dan Johnson, who
has been working with EAA on the Sport Pilot Tour, was taking off in a
CZAW Parrot from Palm City, Fla., on April 2 when engine trouble
developed. CZAW CEO Chip Erwin was there, and later told AVweb
that Johnson tried to get the airplane down on the airport, but hit hard
off the side of a runway. Johnson suffered back injuries and has already
undergone surgery with a prognosis for full recovery, Erwin said. The
Parrot was badly damaged. In Walhalla, S.C., on April 2, Just Aircraft
co-owner Gary Schmitt also had problems on takeoff and was unable to
make a safe landing. Schmitt was flying a Highlander, which was just
approved the week before as an S-LSA. The aircraft was destroyed and
Schmitt was seriously hurt. No further details were available at our
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CHIEF BLAKEY MAKES FIRST LAKELAND VISIT
administrator of the FAA, received a warm welcome at Sun 'n Fun on
Friday afternoon, in her first appearance at the show. "Sun 'n Fun ...
it sure sounds a lot better than most of the things I get invited to,"
she said. In the hour-long "Meet the FAA" session, she recounted the
progress of the Sport Pilot movement. In the last year, the FAA has
authorized 254 LSAs, 54 new sport pilot examiners, and 43 new designated
airworthiness representatives for light-sport aircraft. "The build-up of
the sport pilot infrastructure still has a ways to go, but we're clearly
off to a good start," Blakey said. She also recounted the funding woes
of the FAA and the need for a stable revenue stream. More...
(SORT OF) SYNTHETIC VISION
Mercury Computer Systems normally
makes imaging equipment for military and medical applications but there
are a lot of pilots in the company and, well, you know the rest of the
story. The Massachusetts company showed off its Vista Nav
synthetic vision system, which, at about $4,000 for the complete system
(weather's an option), the company is hoping will be an affordably more
capable alternative to high-end GPS systems. The system shows a
database-derived real-time depiction of terrain and ground features
(including runway markings) on a tablet PC. The clear color display
shows a variety of moving map views that include terrain and there's a
target point on the screen that shows the aircraft's projected position
nine seconds in advance. More...
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LSA, TURBINE PROTOTYPE, COLUMBIA 400 AIR SHOW
prototype for what could be a future LSA was on exhibit by AviaDesign, a
California company that provides mods for business aircraft. At first
glance, with its round belly and top-mounted pusher prop, the A-16 Sport
Falcon looks like a seaplane, but the fixed gear nixes that concept.
Mark Ward said future versions of the aircraft will come with optional
floats. The all-metal bird has flown twice so far, Ward said, and he's
hoping for S-LSA approval by September. Also showing nearby was the Envoy, a
six-seat cabin-class kitplane. An earlier prototype was on exhibit at
Oshkosh last year, but the design is still evolving, spokesman Rienk
Ayers told AVweb. He said it's about three months away from first
flight. Sean D. Tucker debuted his air show program with the stock Columbia 400SL.
RAPTOR MAKES CIVILIAN AIR SHOW DEBUT
Two of the newest U.S.
fighter aircraft, the Stealth fighter "Raptor," visited Sun 'n Fun
Friday through Sunday, and there was no missing them ... they make a bit
of noise. Tracks stopped and heads turned each afternoon when the two
roared past, showing off with low-level steep turns and power climbs.
Designed to replace the F-15, the F-22A combines stealth technology with
supercruise capabilities, maneuverability, and advanced integrated
avionics and sensors. "It's a big deal for the Air Force. This is the
first time out of the nest," Lt. Col. Michael Shower told The Tampa Tribune. The Raptor had never before
traveled to or staged from a civilian air show. More...
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CHUTE FOR EVERY PLANE, EVEN A JET?
The folks at BRS, the
ballistic parachute company, seemingly won't be happy until everything
that flies comes with a BRS chute installed. The systems so far have
saved a documented 188 lives. A Symphony SA 160 set for delivery this week will be
the first certified aircraft other than the Cirrus to have a BRS chute
installed at the factory. Other certified aircraft have been approved
for the chutes, but as an aftermarket retrofit. John Gilmore, BRS vice
president of sales, told AVweb in Lakeland the company also is
continuing its research into creating parachutes for the light-jet
market. (And AVweb has learned BRS part-owner Cirrus may have a
working name for its light-jet concept.) More...
OWNERS FOR KITFOX
John McBean, owner of Sport Plane LLC
in Idaho, is now also the new owner of the Kitfox kitplane. Skystar, the
former owner of the model, declared bankruptcy last October, leaving some homebuilders
stuck. Some had already ordered and paid for their Rotax engines through
the company, but that money never made it to Rotax. McBean said he bought
the assets of the company out of the bankruptcy, noting that is not the
same as buying the company itself -- he incurs none of the obligations
of Skystar. However, McBean has a long association with the Kitfox, and
said he plans to do all he can to provide support to the existing Kitfox
community. "The Kitfox legacy now will continue on," he told
AVweb yesterday. More...
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Pilots and families protested release of Flight 93
Delta pilots preparing to strike if arbitrator voids
their contract. More...
Now: Today's news, plus exclusive interviews not included in
AVweb's Flash or NewsWire. Click here to
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.
Find AVweb's Podcast index, here. Friday, AVweb spoke with FAA
administrator, Marion Blakey. More...
The SJ30-2 Is
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Video: Sean Tucker described getting "stuck on
the tail" when he jumped from his crippled Challenger Biplane, Tuesday.
AVweb captured Sean's story live in two-part video at Sun 'n Fun.
Watch Part 1 and Part 2 of his compelling story, online.
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OF THE WEEK: MILLION AIR, NEW ORLEANS
AVweb's "FBO of the
Week" contest is sponsored by Aviation
Safety magazine, the monthly journal of risk management and
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 MILLION AIR, NEW ORLEANS at NEW in New
RICK STOUDER wrote us to say, "I AM BASED AT
MILLION AIR (NEW). HOWEVER, WITH THE AIRPORT BEING COMPLETELY DESTROYED
BY HURRICANE KATRINA I THINK WHAT MILLION AIR HAS DONE IS PHENOMINAL.
EVEN THOUGH THEY HAVE LOST A TON OF MONEY, THEIR COMMITTMENT TO THE
AVIATION COMMUNITY AND THEIR ..."
Keep those nominations
here to nominate your favorite FBO and here for complete contest
AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBO's in the country and
another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!
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"I´ve overheard this at the tower frequency at
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (EHAM) in The
Tower: KL123 you are cleared to land on
KL123: (with a loud background noise) Thank
you sir, KL123 cleared to land runway 24
what is that high noise on the background?
just normal cockpit noise
Tower: You sound like a
Fokker 50 cabriolet
KL123: Fine, I'll close the window
AVWEB APPRECIATES YOUR CONTINUED
SUPPORT OF OUR SPONSORS,
WHO BRING YOU TODAY'S NEWS AND FEATURES AT
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See What ATC Sees & Then See
What They Do with the Information
The AVweb Edition of
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Flying magazine's March issue
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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 Mary Grady (bio).
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