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FINAL RULE -- REPLACE THOSE CRANKSHAFTS
The FAA on Friday
published its final version of a controversial rule affecting
crankshafts in 3,774 Lycoming 360- and 540-series engines. The
Airworthiness Directive (AD), effective Nov. 3, requires owners to
replace the crankshaft either at normal overhaul, when the crankcase is
split for any reason, or within 12 years of the time the crankshaft was
put into service. Replacement parts will cost about $16,000 per engine.
Lycoming is offering to reduce that price to $2,000 for three years. If
the routine overhaul is done at the Lycoming factory, the crankshaft
will be replaced with no additional charge. But that hasn't satisfied
all owners, who note that in a previous crankshaft AD, the company bore
the entire cost of repair. And, so, there's the court system.
The Cessna Pilots Association (CPA)
objected to the proposed AD, saying there should be no calendar time
mandated and compliance should be determined based on the type of
operations for which the aircraft is used. The FAA did not agree. The
CPA also said "the FAA has been used by Lycoming to spread out over time
the costs to the company for the removal of their flawed parts." John
Frank, CPA executive director, wrote, "The crankshafts that the FAA will
require to be replaced at owner expense under this NPRM are equally and
identically as flawed as those that were replaced at Lycoming's expense
under AD 2002-19-03." More...
AOPA also argued that aircraft owners should be
allowed to continue to use their engine until reaching time-for-overhaul
based on hours, without any "arbitrary" calendar deadline. Some owners
may have only a few hours on their engine and reach the 12-year limit
well before an overhaul is needed, AOPA said. The FAA disagreed with
that one, too. "We re-evaluated the risk that this unsafe condition
presents to aircraft and have determined that adequate risk mitigation
can only be achieved by establishing an end limit for crankshaft removal
based on years since a crankshaft enters service," the FAA said.
Variations in the crankshaft anomalies make it impossible to predict
when failure might occur, according to the AD. More...
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FUNDING CRISIS QUESTIONED BY CONGRESS
The FAA position that
user fees are the answer to declining resources in the Aviation Trust
Fund found little support on Capitol Hill last week, according to AOPA. At a hearing held by the House
aviation subcommittee on Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello
(D-Ill.) said the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects a growing
surplus in the fund. "This new information raises questions about the
administration's claims that there is a revenue crisis at the FAA,"
Costello said. The FAA is saying it expects to need as much as $15
billion over the next 15 years to get the Next Generation Air
Transportation System (NGATS) up and running. According to the FAA, that
means more money must come from somewhere. But the CBO report suggests
that the current revenue streams will cover it. More...
Witnesses at the hearing said it's not
certain how much it will cost to modernize the system. According to a
report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, "No comprehensive
estimate of NGATS costs has been developed." The result, said Rep. Sam
Graves (R-Mo.), is that the discussion "is putting the cart ahead of the
horse when we don't know what we need." Donald Marron, acting CBO
director, testified that based on conservative assumptions, the aviation
trust fund will have a surplus of "$2 billion at the end of 2006,
increasing to $19 billion by the end of 2016." Costello said he
disagrees with FAA Administrator Marion Blakey's frequent assertion that
there is a gap between revenue going into the trust fund and the FAA's
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
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which is updated daily. Subscribe by calling (800) 337-5263
mentioning this AVwebFlash
, or subscribe online
CRASHES, BIZJET DAMAGED
Searchers who parachuted in on
Saturday to the crash site where a Boeing 737-800 went down Friday
afternoon found no sign of survivors. The wreckage was located in a
remote jungle area in the Amazon region of Brazil. The 737, with 155
souls on board, was en route from Manaus to Brasilia when it crashed.
Seven people aboard an Embraer Legacy 600 executive jet flying the area
felt a jolt, and the pilot found the airplane was damaged. He made a
safe emergency landing at Cachimbo air force base. Early reports said
the two jets had collided in the air, but later reports said those on
board the Legacy saw only a shadow, and the jet may have been hit by debris (we recognize that is an
unusual collection of words). An online photo shows damage to the left
wingtip and stabilizer on the Legacy. More...
OF SOLAR FLARES, GPS DISRUPTION
As GA pilots become
increasingly dependent on GPS signals not only for navigation but for
instrument approaches, it now appears that it may be possible for the signals to be disrupted by solar flares. Right now
that's not a problem because the sun is in a quiet phase, but it's
expected to get active again in 2011. That seems a long way off, but it
will be here before you know it. The intense solar flares could cause
GPS signals used by aircraft navigation and emergency location systems
to degrade by up to 90 percent, for hours at a time. GPS has become
ubiquitous during a quiet solar period, and no easy fix for the problem
is immediately apparent. More...
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WIND FARMS' IMPACT ON ATC RADAR MINIMAL
In a long-awaited study that was released last week, the Department of
Defense said its tests have shown that large wind farms degrade the
effectiveness of military radar if they are located within the line of
sight of the installation. However, Air Traffic Control radar systems
used by the FAA are much less prone to such interference. According the
report, "ATC radars can rely on both primary radar returns and
[transponder] returns to ensure safe airspace operations. ... The
presence of a wind farm does not appear to significantly affect the
performance of [those] systems." However, the report notes that
decisions about wind-farm impacts on ATC radar are up to the FAA.
A500 OK'D FOR NIGHT, IFR, AND PRESSURIZATION
of Englewood, Colo., last week received an amended Type Certificate from the FAA for its A500
piston twin. The TC now OKs the airplane for night and IFR operations,
for single-pilot operation, and for cabin pressurization up to 12,500
feet. Operating altitude expansion to 25,000 feet is on hold until
de-icing certification tests are completed over the winter. The TC was
originally handed over in May 2005, but with numerous limitations. Adam
was recently awarded an FAA Production Certificate, allowing it to ramp up
its production process. The company has a two-year backlog of orders for
the airplane. More...
Mike's Mechanic Must Be a MENSA
Mike says that multi-grade Exxon Elite
is mandatory for a
Mooney's motor. But can one brand of oil really work more effectively
than another to combat rust? The answer is "absolutely"
and by a large margin. But to arrive at that conclusion, you need to
disregard intuitive myths to examine some hard evidence that has come
out of "humidity cabinet" testing protocols. To learn more, click here
GETS ITS CURTAIN CALL
Richard Branson, the U.K. airline mogul
who has joined with Burt Rutan to build spaceships for tourists,
unveiled a mockup of SpaceShipTwo last week at the Wired NextFest event
in New York City. The ship, as expected, is a larger version of
SpaceShipOne. It's designed to carry six passengers and two pilots. It
will be carried aloft to about 60,000 feet on a carrier named White
Knight Two, then detach and rocket into space at about Mach 4. Virgin
Galactic has also launched a spiffy new version of its Web site, with lots of new
movies and information about the project. According to the site, flight
testing of the prototype is expected to start next year. It was also
reported last week that Branson is negotiating with British TV networks
to develop a reality show where six contestants will compete for
a spot on a ride into space. More...
WILL EXAMINE AGE-60 RULE
The FAA last week established a forum of airline, labor and
medical experts to review the long-debated rule, established in 1959,
that requires airline pilots to retire at age 60. The forum will
recommend whether the U.S. should adopt the new International Civil
Aviation Organization (ICAO) standard, due to take effect in November,
that will allow one of the two pilots on the flight deck to be over age
60. The forum also will determine what actions would be necessary if the
FAA were to change its rule. "The FAA must ensure that any future rule
change, should it occur, provides an equal or better level of safety to
passengers," said FAA head, Marion Blakey. More...
Just Tell Oregon Aero Where It
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Upgrades for any production aircraft and homebuilts are available. Learn more about Seat Cushion Systems for
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Columbia Simplifies Buying & Selling All
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
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OF THE WEEK: REGENT AVIATION
AVweb's "FBO of
the Week" ribbon goes to Regent Aviation at KRST in Rochester,
AVweb reader Mervyn R. Broadway offered excellent marks
and simple praise for theservice and facilities.
"This has to be
the best FBO I've visited in years."
Keep those nominations
coming.For complete contest rules, click here.
actively seeking out the best FBOs in the country and another one,
submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!
ASO A Better Way to Sell Your Aircraft
Finding aircraft share buyers can be almost impossible. FBO bulletin
board flyers are too limited, and ads in national publications are too
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List your share on ASO, the most trusted place for aircraft sales, where
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For a limited time, select Partnership Ads are complimentary. To get
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Don't trust reporters? AVweb posts audio news on
Mondays, plus a new in-depth interview each Friday. Check AVweb's
audio news index to hear the news straight from the
Find exclusive interviews featuring Cessna's Jack
Pelton on his company's LSA, TCM president Bryan Lewis, NATCA president
John Carr, New Piper CEO Jim Bass, Hal Shevers for Sporty's Pilot Shop,
Light Sport guru Dan Johnson, Excel Jet's Bob Bornhofen, Adam Aircraft's
Joe Walker, FAA administrator Marion Blakey, Cirrus Design's Alan
Klapmeier and more. AVweb's Podcast index, is online, now. You'll hear
things you won't find anywhere else. More...
WingX 2.0 Now Available With NACO
Approach Charts, SmartTaxi, Online Weather, and
Hilton Software LLC
has just released WingX 2.0 for the Pocket
now with approach charts, weather images, podcasts,
N-number search, helicopter W&B, and SmartTaxi to help prevent
runway incursions. Of course, this is in addition to WingX's great
Weight and Balance, Route Planning, FARs, color-coded weather reports,
and superb E6B capabilities. Excellent A/FD with auto-dial. WingX is now
GPS-enabled! Learn more and download WingX at HiltonSoftware.com
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/
Tired of the High Cost of Fuel? GAMIjectors Are
Don't be grounded by sky-high gas prices. Install GAMIjectors
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Got Safety? It's More Important than
At least for pilots. No other aviation publication can keep you updated
on safety issues like Aviation Safety
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The sound of cooperation.
Departing out of
Edmonton AB, CYXD, Friday 27 Sept 06 I was talking to departure and
after getting north a way...
City Center: Grumman
RGG, I see you over [pause] I forgot the name of the
center: Right. Cleared enroute, radar service is
Everybody on frequency pretend they didn't hear
AVWEB APPRECIATES YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT OF
WHO BRING YOU TODAY'S NEWS AND FEATURES AT NO COST TO YOU
Join NAA and Help Shape the Next Century of
It's a great time to join the National Aeronautic Association
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Award-Winning VFLITE Computer-Based
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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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