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Volume 12, Number 19b
May 11, 2006
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.
Capstone, Here Then Gone back to top 
The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's NewsWire.

In Alaska, where the risks of flying in all that empty space and bad weather are well-known, the Capstone program has been soundly successful, reducing accidents by up to 47 percent. Yet a vital part of that program, the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) surveillance technology, has been taken offline by the FAA at the Anchorage radar center. Controllers now provide separation for IFR flights outside radar coverage zones "procedurally," meaning they have no actual blips on the screen to indicate position. The option is less efficient and less safe than ADS-B. So why was ADS-B, which is due for statewide implementation later this year, and which was recently lauded by the FAA as "the future of air traffic control," taken offline? More...

Sue Gardner, manager of the FAA Capstone program in Alaska, told AVweb on Tuesday that ADS-B was removed from radar screens as of March 24, "because it appeared controllers were operating outside the scope of their authorization to separate the traffic." Why that became a concern at this point, when the system has been in operation since 1999, she wouldn't say. The decision was made after a team from Washington conducted a "safety assessement" in Alaska and "took [ADS-B] off the glass," Gardner said. Geoffrey Basye, FAA spokesman in Washington, D.C., told AVweb last night that "this is a case of growing pains." The project is continuing to expand, and has had temporary bumps in the road before, he said. "The issue remaining has to do with the provision of ATC services in a mixed environment of ADS-B and radar returns. We want to include this as part of the program's authorization but have some short-term (two months) analysis to do. In the interim, we have to limit temporarily the information available on the controllers' scopes." More...

The Alaska Aviation Coordination Council (AACC), an industry group, expressed immediate dismay to the FAA when the system went off the scopes, calling the action "a most serious threat to Alaska aviation safety." Even worse, the loss occurred just as the state was gearing up for its busiest -- and riskiest -- spring and summer season, when long hours of daylight and the tourist influx drive operations. FAA Administrator Marion Blakey responded to their concerns in a letter on Monday. She defended the suspension of ADS-B from radar scopes as "appropriate," pending a review of separation standards. Although Gardner (and the FAA Web site) said there is "no timeline" for the return of service, Blakey said she is "confident" that the issues can be resolved by July. But for Alaskan aviators, the delay has caused problems beyond the immediate operational ones. More...

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Future Flight back to top 

As the FAA struggles with the technology of the present, there is no shortage of ideas for the future of aviation. NASA recently has been testing its latest version of the X-48B, an advanced-concept, fuel-efficient blended-wing body, in the Langley wind tunnel in Hampton, Va. The 21-foot-wide prototype is scheduled to begin flight testing later this year. "The biggest difference between this aircraft and the traditional tube-and-wing aircraft is that this does not have a tail," said Dan Vicroy, a Langley research engineer. The wind-tunnel tests will help determine how to assure three-axis control. Two X-48B prototypes have been built, made primarily of advanced lightweight composite materials. More...

The Solar Impulse project, which aims to build a solar-powered aircraft that can fly around the world, has begun to attract attention from the mainstream press, as a perceived "race" with another solar-powered craft heats up (pun intended). The Solar Impulse group, based in Switzerland and headed by Bertrand Piccard, plans to build a single-seat, solar-powered long-distance aircraft. The design phase is already well underway and first flights are expected as soon as 2008. The Planet Solar project, also based in Switzerland, now has expressed the goal to be the first to get round the planet in a solar-powered craft -- although it would go by water instead of by air. More...

Meanwhile, the Japanese effort to design a next-generation supersonic transport is struggling with setbacks and looking for international partners, The Associated Press reported on Monday. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will enter talks next month with NASA to discuss cooperative efforts. Japan is working to develop a scramjet engine that would be 99 percent quieter than the Concorde, and Boeing would build the airframe, The Associated Press said, though those reports were deemed "premature" by JAXA. Japan does aim to have an experimental hypersonic transport flying by 2025. That aircraft would fly at Mach 5 and cross the Pacific within two hours, according to JAXA's online vision statement. More...

Teledyne-Continental Motors Adam, Cirrus, Columbia, Diamond, Liberty ...
The most respected new aircraft on the market all choose Continental engines. Bring your aircraft up to speed with a genuine Continental engine. Select from factory-new, factory-rebuilt, or factory-backed overhauls by Mattituck. Add value to your aircraft and the peace-of-mind that you're flying behind the best -- Continental. Go here for further details.
News Briefs back to top 

The FAA has backed off (in record time, it appears) on a proposal to charge a Michigan fly-in $3,200 for a temporary tower. As AVweb reported last Monday morning, organizers of the West Michigan Fly-In, at Alleghan Airport, near Grand Rapids, were scraping together donations to cover the charge. However, hours after the story appeared, and after some strategically placed phone calls from an EAA official, the agency withdrew the proposal and agreed to provide ATC services for free. "We're very relieved," said Andy Millin, an organizer whose job it is to arrange for the tower. Millin said the organizing committee was prepared to pay the fee from community sponsorships (Millin's business pledged $500) even though they were convinced it was wrong. "This turned out to be a whole lot more about pilots, the FAA, and user fees than it was about a regional airport holding a fly-in and wanting a temporary control tower," Millen told EAA's online news service. More...

FAA Administrator Marion Blakey testified before the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation last week, to justify her FAA fiscal year 2007 budget. Blakey reiterated her request for a change in FAA funding practices, saying the agency needs "a stable and predictable funding system that provides appropriate incentives to users and to the FAA to operate more efficiently." The future presents many challenges, she said, requiring an upgraded airspace system that can handle the giant Airbus A380, fleets of microjets and everything in between. Blakey asked overall for a lower budget than last year, but would add $8 million for 101 new aviation safety inspectors and 32 new staffers for the Air Traffic Safety Oversight office. More...

LightSPEED's LightFlight Mach 1 Headset Hear the Difference with a LightSPEED Headset
"The audio quality exceeds any headset I've tried," states Bing Lantis, President of Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing. The Mach 1 integrates tiny high-fidelity speakers, giving pilots the best quality sound. Get the rich sound of a concert hall with the Mach 1 or the Thirty 3G. Fly with crystal clarity and full sound, plus improved intelligibility of radio and intercom audio. To order, contact a LightSPEED dealer or call (800) 332-2421 (PST business hours). View the 60-second video clip!
News Briefs back to top 

The FAA has issued a Notice Of Proposed Rule Making to address concerns about brake fires in some Cirrus SR20 and SR22 aircraft. Four brake fires and two reports of airplanes losing directional control have been recorded, the FAA said. Cirrus issued Service Bulletins in December and January to address the problem. The bulletins required owners to upgrade the brakes and modify the fairings to make it easier to monitor brake temperatures. The proposed AD would also require the replacement of brake calipers or piston O-ring seals. The cost of compliance, the FAA estimates, could be up to about $2,700 if brake calipers need to be replaced. More...

The Adam A700 jet is on track to be certified by the FAA by the end of this year, Adam Aircraft President Joe Walker told AVweb on Tuesday. Customer deliveries would start early in 2007. Certification is proceeding swiftly thanks to the commonality with the A500 twin and the well-established working relationship between the company and the FAA. Close to 300 orders have been received, he said, most of them from fleet operators. The jet recently flew to 41,000 feet and achieved a true airspeed of 340 knots, reaching its target. Two more test aircraft will be flying soon, Walker said. 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.
News Briefs back to top 

As China's commercial aviation sector continues to grow at an ever-accelerating pace, the future of private general aviation is less clear. This week, a senior official told China Daily that the commercial fleet would double by 2010, growing to 1,580 aircraft, and reach 4,000 by 2020. Plus, 42 airports will be built in the next four years, and another 30 in the 10 years after that. Yet also this week, China Daily reported that two people were killed and a third critically hurt when their airplane crashed just 10 minutes after takeoff on an "illegal" flight. Since all airspace is controlled and supervised by military authorities, private flying requires a complicated application procedure. More...

If there are unidentified objects flitting around in the airspace, lots of pilots would certainly like to know about it -- and so would the military. In the United Kingdom, a secret government report from six years ago was recently released to a professor who requested it under a freedom-of-information law. The report concludes that UFOs are mainly non-threatening aircraft or unusual weather phenomena. High-altitude plasma clouds, which glow and flit about, were one likely cause of many otherwise unexplained sightings. The report apparently has done little to convince believers. Even neutral skeptics have said the report is flawed. More...

Garmin 396 vs. Flight Cheetah with XM Weather Comparison
How does the Garmin 396 really compare to the Flight Cheetah with XM Weather?  Check out this link to find out.
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News in Brief back to top 

A tandem skydiving jump went awry, both survived...
A helicopter pilot was temporarily blinded by a green laser...
Anousheh Ansari will be the first female space tourist. More...

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...

Coming, Friday: AVweb speaks with the president of Adam Aircraft -- the company with the first VLJ to fly with its production engines. Check AVweb.com Friday to listen.
Online Now: Find exclusive interviews featuring Cirrus Design's Alan Klapmeier, FAA administrator Marion Blakey, and more. AVweb's Podcast index, is available online -- pick and choose your particular interets, or subscribe free to AVweb's podcasts and receive them automatically for listening on your computer, iPod, or while traveling with any MP3 player. You'll hear things you won't find anywhere else. More...

One Product -- Everything You Need! Preflight to Enroute!
The Voyager Flight Software System integrates all the flight information you need into one seamless package. Quickly view weather, winds, airport, fuel and terrain data for pre-flight planning, then fly with enroute moving map and real-time weather. Whether you just need quick pre-flight data, some current charts, or a complete Electronic Flight Bag, this is the affordable solution. Data is updated automatically, and there is NO CHARGE for always-current approach plates! Download a test drive of the complete system here.
Features back to top 

The Savvy Aviator #31: Know Your Oleo
Oleopneumatic shock struts -- commonly known as "oleos" -- use hydraulic fluid, compressed gas and clever engineering to absorb the impact of those occasional less-than-grease-job landings. If your airplane uses one (or three), you need to understand how they work and what maintenance they require.


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...

Test Your Safety Know-How!
Boost your aviation expertise with no-cost online courses available through the AOPA Air Safety Foundation (ASF) Online Safety Center. Select a 20-to-45-minute interactive course and minimize the risk of challenging weather situations, runway incursions, airspace restrictions, and many other situational topics. ASF provides no-cost safety training to all pilots. Test yourself today online.
Your Favorite FBOs back to top 


Nominate an FBO |Rules | Tips | Questions | Winning FBOs

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to AIRFLITE at KLGB, Long Beach, Calif.


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!


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.
QOTW back to top 

This week, AVweb wants to know if you believe the recent U.K. report that UFOs are just unidentifiable (and largely uninteresting) flying objects — or if you think there's more to these phenomena than we're being told. PLUS: Results of last week's question on rising fuel prices and their effect on your flying habits. More...

Attention, Piper Owners and Pilots!
The Piper Flyer Association (PFA) provides parts locating, tech support, a monthly member magazine, online forums, national and regional events, an annual convention, seminars, and more. With a one-year membership for $39, access the needed information to expand your knowledge and get more enjoyment from owning and flying your Piper aircraft. The PFA is located on the Waupaca Municipal Airport in Wisconsin, just 35 miles NW of Oshkosh. For more information, and to request a sample copy of the magazine, click here.
POTW back to top 

It's time once again for "Picture of the Week," a regular feature wherein we select the best and brightest reader-submitted photos and share them with all of you. This week's winning photo is from James Wreyford of Marble Falls, Texas, who kicks things off with a few well-placed explosions. Grab your popcorn and let's check out the rest of this week's runners-up! More...



Avidyne Introduces Large-Format Version of MHAS6000
Avidyne has a large-format version of the MHAS6000 Multi-Hazard Avoidance System featuring the Avidyne FlightMax® EX5000 Multi-Function Display (MFD) and TAS600 Series active surveillance traffic system. It joins the FlightMax EX500 version as a comprehensive situational awareness package available immediately for retrofit installation in most general aviation aircraft with savings of up to $3,000 over individual system purchases. For complete details, go online.

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.

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.

Discover Why Homebuilders Are the Hottest Segment in General Aviation Today
Subscribe to Kitplanes magazine and catch the building excitement. Each issue is packed with flight reviews; building, buying, and flying guidance; and more. And each subscription includes the Kitplanes hands-on, three-issue directory listing over 100 of the latest kits and plans. Order now.

Flying Magazine's May Issue Flys the Liberty XL2 & King Air
Plus: "Real Hypoxia Training at FSI"; "Have Technically Advanced Aircraft Delivered as Promised?"; and "How to Prevent Runway Overrun Accidents." Order Flying at special rates online.

Gas Prices Keeping You Grounded? Share Expenses on Your Next Flight!
Join PilotShareTheRide.com. This unique site is offered at no cost to pilots AND those who love to fly and don't have access to an aircraft. You can share costs on your next flight! Pilot Share The Ride is supported by advertisers, just like AVweb, so there are no membership costs. Check out PilotShareTheRide.com.

IFR Refresher's June Issue Highlights:
"Flying with George" -- are you PIC in IMC with your autopilot?; "One Approach Too Many" -- a Cherokee pilot learns the third time is not charmed in a front; "Armchair Flying" -- make a dry run from home; "More to the Missed" -- GPS is easy, don't learn how to figure it out in the middle of a missed approach; "Degrees of Separation" -- make sure your VOR checks are current; and a thunderstorm avoidance quiz. Order IFR Refresher online.

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 Mary Grady (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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