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mentioning this AVwebFlash
HELPS AVIATION USER-FEE FIGHT
The massive shift in the
political winds in Washington is a major boost to the fight against
general aviation user fees, delegates to AOPA Expo in Palm Springs were
told on Saturday. "The election says we're in much better shape," AOPA
President Phil Boyer told those attending the morning general session.
Boyer said the political dynamics might result in the FAA's proposal to
replace taxation with user fees to fund most of the agency's operation
being shelved. "There will be gridlock in Washington for at least a
year," he said. Since Congress must reauthorize the FAA funding formula
by the end of next September, a frozen Congress might not be able to
deal with it in time and that could mean the current system will just be
rolled over for another 10 years. But even if Congress does become
unstuck enough to deal with a new funding proposal, Boyer said the
user-fee option now has powerful opposition in Washington.
OTHER ISSUES, OTHER VICTORIES
Although the user-fee issue
dominated the political discussions in Palm Springs, there were some
other victories being heralded in the host state of California. Earlier
this year, the FAA, with some prodding from AOPA, emphatically denied a
request from the city of Bakersfield that it be released from its
obligations to the FAA so the airport could be closed in favor of
residential and commercial development. Since federal funds were used to
buy the land for the airport in the 1980s, the site must remain an
airport in perpetuity, unless the FAA says so. In a 10-page denunciation
of Bakersfield's rationale for closing the airport, the agency made it
clear that option wasn't on the table. The Oceanside, Calif., battle
wasn't as simple. Andy Cebula, AOPA's government relations expert, said
pilots, with AOPA help, got directly involved in local elections.
EXPO ENDS ON A HIGH NOTE
This year's AOPA Expo reached an
all-time record high of 12,973 attendees by the time the show closed on
Saturday afternoon. Later that evening, AOPA paid tribute to Rep. Harold
"Hal" Rogers, R-Ky., for his dedication to general aviation, awarding
him with the prestigious J.B. "Doc" Hartranft Award for 2006. Rogers is
responsible for funding and oversight of the Department of Homeland
Security as chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee On
Homeland Security, and he's been an advocate for reasonable approaches
to GA security. As a senior member of the House Appropriations
Committee, Rogers has ensured that resources paid into the aviation
trust fund reach GA airports across the country. More...
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REVIVED AFTER NEARLY 30 YEARS
The project that started the
very light jet movement almost 30 years ago might be revived in a modern
form. Millennium Aerospace earlier this year purchased the rights to
manufacture the rakish little jet that Tony Fox predicted would
revolutionize air travel when he introduced it in 1977. Although there
are plenty of opinions about why the project never progressed beyond the
mockup stage (it still hasn't), Fox says it was just too far ahead of
its time. His plan was to use modified cruise missile engines from
Williams International (sound familiar?) but the federal government
wasn't keen on having the technology released to the public at that time
and there were no suitable substitutes. Fox, now 85 and promoting his
latest invention, talking garbage cans for fast food restaurants, said
times have changed and the world is ready for his jet, even though he
considers himself too old to take it the rest of the way. "I just want
to see it take off," he told AVweb last week at AOPA Expo.
SAFETY REPORTING SYSTEM TURNS 30
NASA's Aviation Safety Reporting
System (ASRS), which is widely used by pilots and other airline
employees to identify potential safety hazards, last week marked its
30-year anniversary. Established under a memorandum of understanding
between NASA and the FAA, the system collects, analyzes and responds to
voluntarily submitted aviation safety incident reports to reduce
aviation accidents and improve safety. The confidential reports are also
used to identify deficiencies and discrepancies in the National Aviation
System that need to be remedied. More...
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TOOK LOW-ALTITUDE ROUTE TO EXPO
One of the first high-tech
American-built light sport aircraft (LSA) made the trip to Palm Springs
for AOPA Expo on a trailer, but it should be flying freely soon. The
Nexaer LS1, with its distinctive swooping fuselage, has flown a couple
of hours at home base at Meadow Lake Airport near Peyton, Colo., but its
experimental research and development designation with the FAA prevented
it from being flown to the show, said spokesman Scott Belliveau. The
plane, which is surprisingly large for an LSA, made its first flight in
October but then the emphasis switched to getting it painted and in show
condition in time for Expo, Belliveau said. The aircraft is only being
flown a few feet above the runway at first to assess its flying
qualities and the FAA restrictions will keep it within a few miles of
Meadow Lake when it does put some air under its wings.
ISSUES UPDATE ON COMAIR CRASH
Late last week the NTSB said
its investigation of Comair Flight 5191 continues to make progress. The
board will not hold a public hearing on this investigation, but the
public docket is expected to open in January. According to the NTSB, the
docket will contain the cockpit voice recorder transcript, flight data
recorder information and the other group factual reports, including
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Van's Aircraft's entry in the LSA category
had its first flight last Thursday. The mini-RV, which sports many of
the characteristics of its larger stablemates (bubble canopy and a big,
fat wing), was flown by company founder Dick VanGrunsven, who put it
through a variety of speed profiles and basic handling tests. "Its
far too early to make any statements about what the airplane is like or
what it will do, or what the performance numbers may eventually be,"
said Van's Web site. "We can report that when Van taxied in and opened
the swing-up canopy, he was grinning." More...
AIRCRAFT INTRODUCES NEWEST MODEL
Hayden Lake, Idaho-based
Aerostar Aircraft unveiled its latest model, the Aerostar 702P, at AOPA
Expo. The company holds the type certificate of the venerable recip
twin, but is now only modifying previously manufactured Aerostars to
this new model. Aerostar vice president Jim Christy told AVweb at
the show that the 702P recently completed extensive FAA flight testing
that allows for an increased max takeoff weight of 6,850 pounds, a
2,200-pound useful load and a 6,850-pound max landing weight. To handle
the extra loads, Aerostar beefed up the landing gear and brakes on the
Precise Flight to Supply
Fixed Oxygen as Standard Equipment on Cirrus Turbo® SR-22 &
November 9, 2006
announced it has received STC approval for its Fixed Oxygen
System for Cirrus Design Corporation's SR-22 aircraft. This follows
Cirrus' selection of Precise Flight
at Oshkosh to provide the
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SR-22 and SE-22 and as an option on the SR-22 and SE-22.
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ON THE ROPES?
The media around Martinsburg, W. Va., are
chronicling the fortunes of Tiger Aircraft and the implication is that
the company can't last much longer. According to a story in the Martinsburg Journal, the
latest nail in the coffin is that the company owes $115,000 in back
taxes. It has, however, paid its lease to the airport through next April
for a building that, according to the Journal, houses only two employees
at the moment. The company hasn't shipped any airplanes for at least
three months and civic politicians are now pondering the potential
demise of the company. "You sense it's coming," noted Bob Crawford,
executive director of the Berkeley County Development Authority. The
Journal says a company employee declined comment. A phone message left
by AVweb this weekend was not immediately returned.
MAKES PUBLIC DEBUT AT AOPA EXPO
With some 1,100 hours of
flight testing logged, the Epic Dynasty -- the $1.9 million certified
version of the owner-assisted-built Epic LT -- made its first public
display last week at AOPA Expo in Palm Springs, Calif. With a high-speed
cruise of up to 340 knots and an 1,874-nm NBAA IFR range, Epic said the
single-turboprop pressurized Dynasty is very competitive with very light
jets. AVweb had the opportunity to conduct a short demo flight of
the Dynasty on Saturday at the show, and the airplane appears to be a
solid performer. More...
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A court denied Aviace's request for a preliminary
Mooney Airplane is launching a multi-city "Lead with Speed" tour this week...
Ninety-Nines are seeking donations of aircraft to preserve its Museum
of Women Pilots...
Another lawsuit was filed against Honeywell in the
aftermath of the Brazilian midair...
The use of ultralights to lead
migrating whooping cranes to Florida is succeeding...
synthetic vision EFIS approved for Eurocopter EC 120B.
AVweb posts audio news on Mondays, plus a new
in-depth interview each Friday. In Friday's
podcast, you'll find an interview with Cessna chairman, president
and CEO Jack Pelton, covering the company's light sport aircraft and
next-generation piston family. And AVweb's podcast index
includes interviews with Spectrum Aeronautical chairman Linden Blue,
Adam Aircraft chairman Rick Adam and New Piper CEO Jim Bass. In today's news
summary, hear about how the elections will affect the user-fee push;
the FAA takes a hard stand on preserving airports; AOPA Expo sets record
attendance in Palm Springs; Foxjet revived after being on the shelf for
nearly 30 years; the Aviation Safety Reporting System celebrates 30
years; and more. Remember: In AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things you
won't find anywhere else. More...
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FEATURES THIS MONTH
NEW FOR NOVEMBER
This month AVweb's survey of the latest
products and services for pilots, mechanics and aircraft owners brings
you diesel engines for new Skyhawks, glass-cockpit flight training
devices, an electric folding bike and more. More...
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OF THE WEEK: MONTGOMERY AVIATION
AVweb's "FBO of
the Week" ribbon goes to Montgomery Aviation at KTYQ in Indianapolis,
AVweb reader Justin Klump simply said that the FBO is
tops and deserves to be highlighted in AVweb.
Aviation is a first class facility operated by first class people. You
are always greeted with a smile. They are definitely deserving of the
FBO Of The Week award."
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
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WingX 2.0 Now Available With NACO
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runway incursions. Of course, this is in addition to WingX's great
Weight and Balance, Route Planning, FARs, color-coded weather reports,
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Heard at Lawrence, Massachusetts:
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Arrow: "Roger, duck
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Knowledge Is Power; Knowledge Is Also a Safety
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The IFR environment is constantly changing. You need to keep informed.
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Power Flow Is Now FAA-Approved for the Diamond
The Power Flow Tuned Exhaust System is now standard equipment on
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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 Editor In Chief Chad Trautvetter and Newswriter/Editor
Russ Niles (bio).
here to send a letter to the
editor. (Please let us know if your letter is not
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Comments or questions about the news should be sent
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