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The 59th National Business Aviation
Association (NBAA) annual meeting and convention starts tomorrow, some
version of the PiperJet is there (under wraps), a SATSair (Cirrus'
recently acquired air taxi company) SR20 is on static display, HondaJet
is on site, and AVweb will be there with daily coverage delivered
to your inbox on Tuesday and Wednesday morning. Exhibit floor and static
display space at the convention is sold out in advance for the first
time ever, with some 1,150 exhibitors and more than 115 aircraft on the
grounds at the Orlando Executive Airport. More...
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YORK TFR "REASONABLE"
After about 36 hours of defending
general aviation in the wake of the Cory Lidle crash on Wednesday, AOPA
President Phil Boyer found something good to say about the FAA's imposition of flight restrictions in the
narrow East River VFR corridor from which Lidle and his instructor Tyler
Stanger strayed when Lidle's Cirrus SR20 hit an apartment building.
"Considering all of the possible overreactions to the Lidle accident
being demanded by some, the FAA's safety response is reasonable," AOPA
President Phil Boyer said in a statement. "This provides some breathing
room while the NTSB gathers the facts and arrives at an accident cause
determination." The TFR doesn't ban light aircraft from the Hudson River
corridor or the East River. More...
BLOOMBERG TEMPERS GA CRITICISM
New York Mayor Michael
Bloomberg has distinguished himself amid a chorus of
panic-button-pushing politicians by, in diplomatic terms, urging them to
get a grip. Bloomberg, a pilot who's been in a couple of emergencies
himself, was among the first on the scene of the crash (he lives in the
neighborhood) and identified parts of the aircraft to rule out
involvement of a helicopter. When the smoke had cleared, he told
reporters he considered [pre-TFR] New York airspace safe. "We have very
few accidents for an awful lot of traffic," he said. "Every time you
have an automobile accident, you're not going to go and close the
streets or prohibit people from driving." Bloomberg was effectively
drowned out (and pushed to the end of most news stories) by the
I-told-you-so invective of state and federal politicians.
URGES CHICAGO GA BAN
The tragedy played perfectly into
Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's long-standing belief that GA traffic
should be banned over his city's downtown area and he wasted little time
exploiting it. "Remember: a single- or two-engine plane can kill as many
people as possible if they want to," he told reporters in a news
conference filled with similar comments directed at small aircraft and
the supposed dangers they pose. It was all more than AOPA President Phil
Boyer could take. In a rare signed editorial on the AOPA site, he
accused Daley and other naysaying politicians of "pandering to
uninformed public fears, posturing from the soapbox of demagoguery,
screaming security for your own political ends." ABC News may be adding
planks to that soapbox through an
online poll that asks for viewers' opinions on the VFR corridor.
STANGER, SITUATIONAL AND LOCAL AWARENESS
Lidle and Stanger
were evidently trying to follow the rules of the corridor when they
crashed (who was flying still hasn't been determined). The corridor ends
at the point where the aircraft went into a left turn and pilots are
required to make a relatively tight (2,000-foot) U-turn to avoid going
into airspace controlled by the La Guardia Airport tower, or breaching
the sides of the corridor by wandering over Manhattan or Queens. Media
reports on Friday suggested pilot inexperience may have been a factor.
The plane was relatively new to Lidle (and his 88-hour total time) and
Stanger -- Cirrus told The Washington Post that Stanger had not taken
the company's five-day instructor course " that the company requires for
those who teach students how to fly its airplanes." More...
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READER PLEDGES $2 MILLION FOR B-29 ENGINE JOB
A news item in
AVwebFlash has resulted in a major boost to a fundraising campaign that
may put what was once the world's only flying B-29 back in the
air. Texas inventor and industrialist Joe Jamieson has pledged $2 million toward a $3 million project
to install more reliable engines in Fifi, owned and operated by the Commemorative Air Force. The plane has suffered
engine problems since she rolled off the Boeing assembly line. The
aircraft has Wright R-3350-57AM engines and last June, after discovering
metal shavings in the oil, the CAF decided, for safety reasons, to
ground the big bomber until more reliable engines could be installed.
Jamieson, a former military and transport pilot, develops safety-related
equipment for the transportation industry, so the donation is a good fit
for him. More...
Cessna's proof-of-concept entry into the light
sport aircraft category flew for the first time last Friday (the 13th).
The 33-minute flight originated at McConnell Air Force Base and ended at
Mid-Continent Airport in Wichita. The plane was put through various
flight maneuvers and got up to a speed of more than 110 knots, according
to a company news release. The aircraft, which is mostly aluminum, was
unveiled at EAA AirVenture last July. It was announced in January. And,
although comparisons to the discontinued 152 are inevitable, Cessna
appears to be making an effort to draw distinctions. More...
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ISSUES ALERT ON THUNDERSTORM AVOIDANCE
The NTSB says pilots
and air traffic controllers need to cooperate better to keep airplanes
from flying into extreme weather. In a safety alert issued last week,
the NTSB says avoiding thunderstorms is mainly the pilot's
responsibility but air traffic controller training and briefings "have
not been sufficient to ensure that pilots receive the weather advisories
needed to support good in-flight weather avoidance decisions." The alert
cited four fatal accidents in which the aircraft involved were flying
IFR and under ATC control when they hit the weather. Among the accidents
cited was the one that killed former test pilot Scott Crossfield in
Georgia last April. More...
CALLS FOR LEAD-FREE AVGAS
The Bluewater Network (a division
of Friends of the Earth) has filed a petition with the EPA calling for the reduction
or elimination of lead from aviation's gasoline. The group says leaded
fuel threatens the health of airport workers, pilots, passengers and
communities next to airports. It also claims that 70 percent of aircraft
can use unleaded automotive fuel and the remaining 30 percent can use
ethanol-based fuels. It didn't say where this information came from but
the authors of the petition, David Zizmor and Damir Kouliev, seem pretty
convinced of their data. "Safe unleaded alternatives to aviation
gasoline already exist," said Zizmor. More...
Columbia Simplifies Buying & Selling All
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TO EARTHJET (ANOTHER AIR TAXI)
Things are moving fast in the
very light jet and air taxi business but a company called Earthjet
seems to have arrived on the scene in a split second. In a news release
issued last Friday, the company says it's guiding the development of a
"purpose-designed" air taxi aircraft with a stand-up cabin and a fully
loaded range of 1,000 miles. It says the plane will be certified and
built by an unnamed established aerospace company and provide an
unheard-of level of service and convenience for customers -- at "airline
prices." Although the aircraft hasn't been built, the company is set up
to take reservations on the point-to-point service. It's also
offering franchises for sale. The office was closed Sunday when we tried
to reach someone for comment. More...
SUES FAA OVER LEX CRASH
Comair is claiming that the FAA was
at least partly responsible for the crash of one of its regional jets in
Lexington, Ky., that killed 49 people, according to The Associated Press. In a suit filed
on Friday, the airline claims that signs and lighting that would have
led the pilots of the aircraft to the correct runway were missing
because of a construction project. It claims that other aircraft had
made the same mistake recently and had been redirected by air traffic
controllers. And it also notes in its suit that the Lexington tower was
manned by a single controller when it should have been staffed by a
minimum of two. The controller on duty had his back turned to the
runway, doing paperwork, when Flight 5191 lined up on a 3,500-foot
general aviation runway instead of the 7,000-foot runway it should have
been on. More...
Mike's Mechanic Must Be a MENSA
Mike says that multi-grade Exxon Elite
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Mooney's motor. But can one brand of oil really work more effectively
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and by a large margin. But to arrive at that conclusion, you need to
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Just Tell Oregon Aero Where It
If you experience headaches from your headset or helmet, Oregon
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OF THE WEEK: HILL AIRCRAFT
AVweb's "FBO of
the Week" ribbon goes to Hill Aircraft at KFTY in Atlanta,
AVweb reader Brett Justus offered comments and a few
reasons to stop by.
"I visit 20-30 FBOs a week. Hill has the best
service I've experienced, ever. Came in late at night in chilly rain
after a long day of flying. They had the fuel truck and my rental car at
the plane in minutes. Rental car GPS was programmed with instructions to
my Hotel. I was on my way to a warm room and comfy bed within a few
minutes of landing!"
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!
DA40 Diamond Star a Fleet
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
value, efficiency, and safety, the Diamond Aircraft DA40 is the fleet
For more information, click here
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...
Flight Explorer Personal Edition® Is a
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OF THE WEEK: HELICOPTER TAKE-OFF ACCIDENT
frightening, funny, and cool videos continue to trickle in throughout
the week since we've set up a special
address for you to send us video recommendations! Thanks for keeping
us entertained throughout the week and please keep the videos
This week's clip is a take-off close call guaranteed to
raise the hair on the back of your neck, courtesy of YouTube's
scottuh1. Click through to watch ... . More...
Visit AVweb's Sponsor
Companies at the 2006 NBAA Convention
AVweb is in Orlando, Florida for the annual NBAA Convention and
this week. If you're attending the show with us, please
take a moment to stop by our sponsors' booths. Their patronage of AVweb
makes it possible for us to deliver the high quality of news, reviews,
and information you've come to expect in your inbox twice a week
at no charge to readers. We encourage you to visit with them at the show
and thank them for their support of AVweb.
Click for a complete list of AVweb
sponsors and where to find them at the show
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"On a clear, crisp day, after a particular strong
Southern California winter storm dropped the Jet Stream well south and
at a low altitude, I flew my Mooney 231 from Santa Monica, California,
to Scottsdale, Arizona. After Landing, I was sitting in the FBO talking
about the 100-plus knot tailwind at 19,000 feet when another pilot told
me he too had just flown from California in his Mooney 252. He said that
he was going so fast that the DME kept going above VNE ... so he had to
keep the landing gear down most of the way to keep below the "Never
Exceed" speed limitation of his plane."
"I couldn't close my mouth
long enough to ask if he was kidding." More...
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).
here to send a letter to the
editor. (Please let us know if your letter is not
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