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Volume 12, Number 40b
October 5, 2006
Fly in Ultra-Comfort with LightSPEED Headsets
"Custom ear molds made my Mach 1 as quiet as any headset I've tried." — Bing Lantis, President of Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing. Discover what thousands of pilots already have: the most comfortable headsets in the industry. The in-the-ear Mach 1 weighs less than 1 oz.; the full-size Thirty 3G, just under 16 oz. and uses soft conform-foam ear cushions. Try a LightSPEED headset with a 30-day money-back guarantee. To order, contact a LightSPEED dealer or call (800) 332-2421 (PST, business hours). View the 60-second video clip!
Got Jet?back to top 

Cirrus is planning to build a single-engine jet that will cruise faster than 300 knots, up to 25,000 feet, with a range of 1,000 nm and cost less than $1 million. In an interview with AVweb Wednesday, Cirrus VP of sales John Bingham said about 1,500 people worldwide (many of them Cirrus owners) will receive a package this week that will give them some of the goods on the aircraft, called the-jet (that's what they said). No pictures are being distributed but Bingham said the plane is "very, very unique" in an appealing way. If they break the $1 million price barrier, they'll be the first, but Bingham said that, based on the company's track record, he's confident the figure will stand. He's not saying how much less than $1 million it will be. It will have a full airframe parachute but Bingham wouldn't say how many people it will seat. "It has a very large comfortable interior," he said. The company will formally announce the-jet at the National Business Aviation Association convention in Orlando (Oct. 17-19) but there will be no aircraft or mock-up there. The engine manufacturer will be announced at NBAA. More...

As we reported from EAA AirVenture in July, Piper will unveil its entry in the VLJ market at the NBAA convention a week and a half away, too. CEO Jim Bass recently told last month's annual convention of Meridian owners that the jet will be a step up for them. Since the Meridian is a $2 million, six-place airplane, it seems likely the jet will be larger, fly higher and faster (otherwise, why bother?) so it will not be aimed at the same market as Diamond's D-Jet (mockup only will be at NBAA) or the Cirrus. However, Piper, which will be doing sales and service for the $4 million HondaJet, isn't likely to compete directly in that market, either, which is on the high end of the VLJ market. More...

With a type certificate (announced Sept. 30) that allows operation everywhere except in known icing and over water, Eclipse Aviation can now begin tackling its order backlog for the $1.52 million Eclipse 500 very light jet. There should be more about this at the National Business Aviation Association convention (Oct. 17, 18, 19) but, according to Sharecast, a financial markets Web site, Eclipse is aiming for "an annualised level of 750 planes by the end of 2007" and is reporting an order book of 2,500 aircraft. Eclipse has never released much about its business operation (it's privately held and doesn't have to) but some of its suppliers are publicly traded and are obliged to tell shareholders what's going on as it relates to Eclipse. More...

Aircraft Spruce West Holds Their Annual Super Sale on October 7th
Aircraft Spruce will be holding their annual Super Sale in Corona, CA on Saturday, October 7th from 7:00am – 3:00pm. Vendors will be on site demonstrating their products. Raffle prizes will be given away hourly. Seminars will include Garmin, Zaon Flight, and the FAA. Numerous discounts, hot dogs, and lots of fun! Complimentary shuttle service available throughout the day from the Corona Airport (AJO). For more information, please call 1-877-4-SPRUCE or visit online for complete details.
NBAA Talking Toughback to top 

The political gears will be turning in earnest at this year's NBAA convention as GA groups resume their unified posture against a user fee system currently under consideration by the FAA. NBAA President Ed Bolen, General Aviation Manufacturers Association President Pete Bunce, EAA President Tom Poberezny, National Air Transportation Association President Jim Coyne and AOPA's government specialist Andy Cebula will be on a panel to discuss what Bolen maintains is a brazen attempt by the airline industry to not only dump $2 billion of its costs on GA, but to gain effective control of the National Airspace System in the bargain. The airlines, through their lobby group, the Air Transport Association (ATA), claim they're subsidizing GA. More...

There appears to have been a change of tune in the FAA's attitude toward very light jets (VLJs). Earlier this year, the agency was using the potential influx of hundreds of VLJs to justify its move toward a user-pay system. But top officials seem to be now downplaying the impact of VLJs. According to a news release issued by NBAA last week, both FAA Administrator Marion Blakey and associate director for aviation safety Nicholas Sabatini have apparently abandoned that tack. "The system is in place today to accommodate the entry of new aircraft into the National Airspace System. ... This is nothing new for the FAA. It is our day-to-day business," Sabatini is quoted as telling the Senate Commerce Committee. However, the ATA still seems to believe that VLJs pose some sort of threat to the system, something the NBAA is vigorously refuting. More...

PowerLink™ FADEC Certified on Liberty XL-2; Is It Right for Your Aircraft?
Liberty Aerospace is the first certified piston-powered aircraft with PowerLink™ FADEC as standard equipment. PowerLink™ 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.
Mysterious Midairback to top 

Brazilian authorities are contemplating manslaughter charges against two U.S. pilots after details of their aircraft's collision with a GOL Airlines Boeing 737 emerge. The U.S. pilots were able to land their Embraer Legacy 600, which sustained visible damage to a winglet and horizontal stabilizer, at an air force base after the collision at 37,000 feet over the Amazon. The 737 crashed, killing all 155 aboard. Reports out of Brazil Wednesday said authorities in that country are alleging that the Legacy's transponder was turned off (foiling collision-avoidance systems on both aircraft) and the crew did not comply with an air traffic control directive to descend to 36,000 feet. Authorities seized the passports of the American pilots, Joe Lepore and Jan Paladino, as the investigation continues. More...

Joe Sharkey, a weekly business travel columnist for The New York Times, was on the Legacy as part of his research for a freelance assignment. He told NBC's Today Show that the plane was jolted and then recovered and flew normally. "It was more like a car that hits a pothole rather than 'boom!'" he said. Then he looked out the window and saw that the winglet was shorn off. The plane also suffered some damage to its tail. It's not clear where it struck the 737, which reportedly spiraled into the ground. When the wing started peeling back, Sharkey said he and the four other passengers (executives from Embraer and a charter company called ExcelAire) were afraid the aircraft would crash. His written account was made available through The New York Times. More...

Adam Aircraft Designs & Manufactures the A700 AdamJet & A500 Centerline Piston Twin
Adam Aircraft's A700 features twin Williams FJ-33 engines, state-of-the-art avionics, and comfortable seating for eight (or seven with an aft lavatory). The A700 is currently undergoing flight test and development. Adam Aircraft's A500 centerline piston twin has been Type Certified by the FAA, and offers superior safety, range, and performance, along with the pressurized comfort of a roomy six-seat interior. For complete details on both aircraft, go online.
News Briefsback to top 

While aviation safety has generally improved over the years, it appears the homebuilt sector is making the biggest gains. Granted, it had the farthest to go, but stats released by EAA this week seem to show it's getting there. In a news release, EAA says the number of fatal homebuilt crashes from Oct. 1, 2005, to Sept. 30, 2006 (49) is 21 percent lower than in the previous year. "This is excellent news, especially since the number of homebuilt aircraft continues to rise each year," said Earl Lawrence, EAA's vice president of industry and regulatory affairs. "While one fatality is always one too many, the trend continues toward increasing safety by those who build and fly homebuilt aircraft." More...

If the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) now in the air are such a danger to other aircraft that they have to fly in restricted airspace, how potentially dangerous would an "invisible" drone be? That's not likely one of the factors being considered as VeraTech, a Minnesota company, continues work on an aircraft that uses the principle of "persistence of vision" to make the drone appear to be nothing more than a blur against the sky. (Persistence of vision is described as what makes spinning propellers seem to disappear before our eyes.) More...

Introducing New AeroShell® Oil W 80 Plus
The newest member of the AeroShell® family, AeroShell® Oil W 80 Plus is designed to provide excellent protection for pilots who fly in colder weather or less frequently. With the same anti-wear and anti-corrosion additives found in AeroShell® W 100 PLUS, new AeroShell® W 80 Plus provides pilots with a lighter single-grade oil they can trust. Learn more online.
News Briefsback to top 

An Australian court is being asked to rule whether a man who placed a last-minute bid on a vintage airplane presented on eBay should be its rightful new owner. Peter Smythe says Dr. Vin Thomas didn't abide by the rules of eBay when he sold the plane, a 1946 Wirraway (a variation of the T-6 built under license in Australia) to someone who didn't bid through eBay. Thomas had a reserve price of $150,000 on the aircraft and Smythe matched it with just 20 seconds left in the sale term. But Thomas had already sold the plane to someone who saw the eBay listing but contacted him privately and offered $250,000. Smythe says the whole entrepreneurial foundation of eBay is at stake in the case. More...

Mary Peters, the new Secretary of Transportation, hadn't even been officially put on the job before AOPA President Phil Boyer had had a "frank discussion" with her. "Mary Peters reached out to me before the Senate vote, and we began the dialogue on the future funding of the FAA and AOPA's opposition to user fees," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "I'm sure that will be just the first of our many frank discussions of issues important to AOPA members and GA pilots." Peters was confirmed by the Senate but hasn't been sworn in yet but there are plenty of people who want to talk to her. Pete Bunce, of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, noted "There is important work to be done in the coming months and years," and he said Peters should be able to handle the job. More...

If Brokers Say They Cover the Whole Market, Why Can't They Get a Quote from Us?
The fact is brokers can't get a quote from Avemco, the only direct provider of aviation insurance. On top of that, only Avemco lets you talk directly to the aviation underwriter for fast, accurate answers in one simple phone call. Plus, Avemco offers consistent rates and coverage as well as short, easy-to-understand policies. So if a broker tells you he covers the whole market, he's only telling you half the story. Call Avemco at (888) 241-7891 or visit online to hear the rest of the story.
News in Briefback to top 

Analysts say Boeing may have to speed up production of Boeing 747s in light of the latest production delay of the Airbus A380. Airbus recently told customers the program has been delayed another 10 months and customer patience is wearing thin. Emirates, which has 45 of the 555-passenger jets on order, says it's considering "all options" and Virgin Atlantic is threatening to cancel its six-plane order. Singapore Airlines wants compensation for the delay. An all this makes the tried and true Jumbo, which is going through a makeover aiming to make it 21 percent more efficient, an appealing alternative. More...

Next year's U.S. World Aerobatic team has been chosen...
Quest Aircraft has earned Type Inspection Authorization...
Raytheon has won a contract to modernize radar installations. More...

Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something that 130,000 pilots might want to know about, tell us. Submit news tips via email tonewstips@avweb.com. What have you heard? More...

The 2006 New Piper Mirage Offers Serious Sophistication
Avidyne's Flightmax Entegra Integrated Flight Deck is standard equipment on the New Piper Mirage. Three flight displays, moving map, Garmin GNS 430, autopilot, color radar system, and dual Air Data/Attitude and Heading Reference System (ADAHRS) combine to provide serious sophistication for a higher level of confidence. Click here for complete information on the New Piper Mirage.
Featuresback to top 


Quiz #112: Take a Commercial Break
The transition from Private to Commercial pilot begins when you give yourself an "F." Subpart F of FAR Part 61 clears you to fly for hire. So get your Lazy-8 off the couch and ace this quiz. More...

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 horse's mouth.

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.


Attention, Cessna Owners and Pilots!
The Cessna Flyer Association (CFA) 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 Cessna aircraft. The CFA is located on the Waupaca Municipal Airport in Wisconsin, just 35 NW of Oshkosh. Click here to request a sample magazine and more information.
Your Favorite FBO'sback to top 

For local prices, enter your U.S. ZIP Code or Airport Identifier:
Fuel prices provided weekly by AirNav,
based on prices from the past 2 weeks.
Changes are relative to last week.

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Regent Aviation at KRST in Rochester, MN.

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.

AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!


DA40 Diamond Star a Fleet Favorite
Airline Transport Professionals, Beijing PanAm, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Empire Aviation, Middle Tennessee State University, Utah Valley State College, and Utah State University — all have selected the G1000-equipped DA40 Diamond Star. For value, efficiency, and safety, the Diamond Aircraft DA40 is the fleet favorite. For more information, click here.
AVwebBizback 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...

Avidyne TAS600 — Because Two Antennas Are Better than One!
Whether you're flying in a busy terminal area, navigating a long cross-country, or hovering over a city, seeing and avoiding traffic requires having the right information in real time. Avidyne's TAS600 Traffic Advisory Systems, with dual-antenna technology, provide significantly improved signal coverage and target tracking, enabling faster updates and enhanced performance over single-antenna systems, for maximum safety. Starting at $9,990, Avidyne's TAS600 Series makes premium performance, active-surveillance traffic alerting affordable for virtually every general aviation aircraft. Visit Avidyne online.
QOTWback to top 

This week, AVweb wants to know how much flying our instrument-rated readers are packing into each year.

Plus: Results of last week's Question on how the major airlines might fare under more government regulation. More...

The Used Aircraft Guide Can Save You Thousands When Purchasing an Aircraft
It's taken a long time to get to this point — purchasing an aircraft. Don't waste time and money, use Aviation Consumer's Used Aircraft Guide to puchase your dream. Go online to order your copy.
POTWback to top 

Welcome to AVweb's "Picture of the Week"!  Longtime readers are no doubt aware that we enjoy this feature as much (maybe even more?) than our readers — and we love to play our own little games with the photos you submit to our informal contest  each week.  One of our favorite games is spotting the themes in reader submissions for a given week.  Sometimes there will be a lot of sunset photo, or lots of photos of twin engine planes, or lots of air show photos.  This week, we could help noticing a very simple (but powerful) theme that doesn't crop up all that often: scale.  Most of the photos we get tend to linger over airplanes in close-up, intense detail — but this week, we had several photos that pushed the airplane a little further back, to show us the awesome majesty of the landscapes you were flying over (or through).Picking a top photo was tough this week, but when all was said and done, we thought this image from Gert Coetzee of Cape Town, South Africa captured all the wonder and scale that seemed to be a prominent theme of this week's submissions.  We were tempted to make it a four-way tie, but in the end, Cert takes home an official AVweb baseball cap as this week's "POTW" winner! More...



Cessna Single & Twin Owners: Learn to Save Thousands on Maintenance!
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.

Don't Read Aviation Consumer and You Could Spend Foolishly!
Knowing what really works (or doesn't) helps make the right decision when you're ready to spend hard-earned dollars on aviation products. Aviation Consumer isn't supported by advertising like other aviation publications. Aviation Consumer editors can tell you the unbiased truth about products and services. Be fearless. Order online and receive unlimited no-cost use of Aviation Consumer's ratings-packed web archives!

Flying Takes a Sneak Peek at the New Cessnas in the October Issue
Plus: an Oshkosh photo tour, a report on the roomy and hefty Pilatus PC-12, strategy and tactic tips to earn a pilot's license, and much more. Order your special-savings subscription online.

Retention Can Be Increased by 70% with Auditory Learning!
Welcome to your instructor in an audio book! The complete Rod Machado's Private Pilot Handbook is presented in a warm, conversational manner on 30 professionally recorded CDs. Rod's tried-and-true method of instruction can turn wasted freeway time into learning time. One pilot commented, "I felt like a flight instructor was there in the car with me." Reviewing or learning, take the easy road with Rod Machado's Private Pilot Handbook. Order online.

Names Behind the Newsback 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 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.

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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