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SPN DESTROYED IN CRASH, PILOT DEAD
One of the two Grob SPn
Utility Jets flying prototypes was destroyed during a
demonstration flight near the company factory in
Tussenhausen-Mattsies, Germany on Wednesday, Grob CEO Niall Olver
confirmed to AVweb. Chief SPn test pilot Gerard Guillaumaud, 45,
the sole occupant aboard the aircraft, was killed. Guillaumaud was a
former French air force pilot and a graduate of the National Test Pilot
School in Mojave, Calif. The crash occurred at 1:20 p.m. local time
shortly after takeoff, according to witnesses. Guillaumaud was
demonstrating the aircrafts flight performance to a group of
invited company guests on the ground. More...
INVOLVED SECOND GROB SPN PROTOTYPE
The aircraft destroyed was
the second and newer version of the two prototypes. Before the crash,
certification and customer deliveries of the $7.1 million,
eight-passenger jet had been anticipated for the third quarter of 2007.
Grob had expected that the aircraft would be certified for single pilot
operation. So far, Grob has issued only a very brief statement
confirming the crash and chief SPn test pilot Gerard Guillaumauds
Aircraft Spruce Carries the
Piper PA-28 Wings in Focus DVD
Wings in Focus: Piper PA-28 Series
is the first in a collection
that will profile popular light aircraft. As well as this beautifully
paced program, the DVD has other interesting and informative special
features: A detailed video guide informs the viewer what to look for
when buying a pre-owned PA-28, there is a quick video tour of New
Piper's Vero Beach factory, and much more. For more information, please
visit Aircraft Spruce
AVIATION CEO EXPLAINS DELIVERY DELAYS
In a letter to
customers and investors, Eclipse Aviation CEO Vern Raburn on Monday
addressed concerns that the company has not yet delivered its first
aircraft -- an event that has been anticipated for weeks. "That
important milestone event has not yet taken place and in turn, this may
be impacting your confidence that Eclipse can perform, and more
importantly, meet the schedules we have projected for delivering your
aircraft," Raburn wrote. "Some of you have specifically asked whether it
will still be appropriate for us to invoice for the upcoming 60-percent
progress payment due for aircraft scheduled to be delivered through June
30, 2007." In a lengthy letter, Raburn explains the complexities
addressed by the company as it evolves from development to production,
and assures customers that they will still get their airplanes on time.
NOT WITH ECLIPSE 500, BUT WITH CONFORMITY PROCESS
FAA issues a production certificate for an aircraft, the company must be
able to ensure that every airplane that comes off the line conforms
exactly to the type design that the FAA approved. The FAA's review
process to ensure conformity is "very well defined, detailed and
unforgiving," Eclipse Aviation CEO Vern Raburn says. The FAA found
problems with Eclipse's conformity process -- not the airplane itself --
and the company must rectify those issues before it can start
deliveries. Eclipse is working closely with the FAA to create a plan of
action to address all of the concerns. "We will work our way through
this issue," Raburn wrote. To read the full text of Raburn's letter,
click here. More...
Adam Aircraft Designs &
Manufactures the A700 AdamJet & A500 Centerline Piston
'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
For complete details on both aircraft, go
GROUP ASKS BRAZIL TO RELEASE PILOTS
Brazil should immediately
release the two U.S. pilots who have been denied permission to leave the
country since late September, when the Legacy jet they were flying
collided with a Gol Airlines 737 over the Amazon jungle, the
International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers' Associations
(IFATCA) said in a statement. IFATCA also found fault with some of the
methods used by Brazil's ATC system, and was "surprised and
disheartened" by remarks by a Brazilian official that implied a
controller was in error. IFATCA also raised concerns about the "tone" of
an interim report released last week, and said parts of it were
ambiguous and incomplete. More...
WITH BRAZIL ATC, COCKPIT SYSTEMS, IFATCA SAYS
software is badly designed, contributing to an "unsafe and dangerous"
system, the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers'
Associations (IFATCA) alleges. The radar display will automatically
indicate a change in altitude to the assigned flight level, without
confirmation from a controller, it says. Thus, the screen apparently
showed the Legacy jet at FL360, as assigned, even though no
communications between the pilots and ATC confirmed the change in
altitude, IFATCA says, and the jet never made that change. "Information
we have gathered tells us that this 'discrepancy' happens several times
a day and is a 'common scenario' for ACC Brasilia...IFATCA believes that
operators in the air (the pilots), and on ground (the controllers), fell
victim to unacceptable systems traps brought on by non-error
tolerant and bad system design of air traffic control
and flight equipment in use." More...
ATC CHIEF REPLACED
With an ongoing investigation inviting
scrutiny, 10 controllers off duty while that investigation continues,
ongoing staff disputes, and commercial flights plagued by delays, the
head of Brazil's air traffic control system has been dismissed. Paulo
Roberto Cardoso Vilarinho, director of Brazilian airspace control, was
relieved of his post Friday, according to The Associated Press. Vilarinho is being replaced by
Maj. Brigadier Paulo Hortensio Albuquerque Silva. More...
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BLAKEY: BETTER ICING INFO COMING SOON
General aviation pilots
will soon have access to new icing forecasts, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey said on Tuesday. The
Product Severity tool, which has been in testing and development for
a few years, will be fully operational in two months or less, she said,
in time for much of this icing season. "This product combines
observations from satellite, radar, surface, lightning networks and
pilot weather reports with model output to provide a detailed, hourly,
three-dimensional diagnosis of in-flight icing conditions and potential
for super-cooled liquid droplets," Blakey said. Speaking at the
Washington, D.C., Aero Club on Tuesday, Blakey also described other
weather-enhancement programs in the works. More...
SEMANTICS OF "KNOWN ICING CONDITIONS"
AOPA on Monday reported that wording contained in a
June 6 letter from the FAA's Eastern Region counsel attempting to
clarify the legal interpretation of "known icing conditions," would, if
literally applied, "unnecessarily ground many safe general aviation
flights" this winter. A sentence in the counsel's letter reads, "Reduced
to basic terms, known icing conditions exist when visible moisture or
high relative humidity combines with temperatures near or below
freezing," and thereby introduces "high relative humidity" as a factor
that contributes to structural icing in flight, according to AOPA.
Cryogenics aside, the association argues the wording would place anyone
flying any aircraft not equipped for known icing in conditions of high
relative humidity and temperatures at or near freezing in violation of
federal regulations. More...
DETECTOR COULD ENHANCE AVIATION SAFETY
Ash from volcanic
activity can be a real hazard aloft -- over the last 20 years, more than
200 aircraft have reported encounters with ash, and seven lost engine
power. Now a new method of sonic detection may help to predict where the
ash will occur, so airplanes can have advance warning to avoid the area.
Milton Garces of the University of Hawaii has developed a prototype system known as ASHE (Acoustical
Surveillance for Hazardous Eruptions). In January, his team deployed the
system in Ecuador, and it detected distinctly different infrasound
signals between ash-rich eruptions that occurred in July and August and
an eruption in May that injected very little ash into the atmosphere.
Life Is 3D Now, So Is
Your Flight Log
Share the thrill with others, or gain a new perspective on your flight.
Perfect for students and CFIs, AS Flight Lite
GPS tracks into stunning 3D Flight Logs with realistic terrain and
high-resolution satellite imagery.
View the demo online
CHANCE FOR TAYLORCRAFT
A few weeks ago, Taylorcraft President
Harry Ingram, facing Chapter 11 bankruptcy, was told he would have to
vacate his hangar at the Brownsville/South Padre Island (Texas)
International Airport. A city attorney at the time said "the outcome is inevitable," but
that just goes to prove how the future defies prediction. This week, the
city and Ingram reached an agreement that will allow the airplane
manufacturer to stay. The opportunity doesnt happen
ordinarily, City Commissioner Ricardo Longoria Jr. told Ingram,
the Brownsville Herald reported. But it happened
this time, and that gives Taylorcraft another chance. More...
DESIGN EXPANDS GLOBAL SALES, SETS NEW RECORD
Corp. hit a new record for aircraft orders in the third quarter, the
company announced on Monday. As reported in the General Aviation Manufacturers (GAMA) third-quarter
report, Cirrus has sold 529 airplanes so far this year. The company
credits the creation of a worldwide sales network for the increase.
International orders accounted for 24 percent of all business through
October, up from 5 percent in 2002. John Bingham, vice president of
sales, says the Cirrus strategy of shipping airplanes overseas for local
reassembly is paying off. Cirrus aircraft are distributed from the U.K.
for European sales and from Australia for buyers in that country and
Asia. Once again, our factory-direct-to-the-consumer sales model
has proven itself," Bingham said. In 2005, we anticipated a
26-percent increase in overall international sales, and we are on target
to make and exceed that goal. More...
AIRCRAFT SEEKING PEACE IN PHOENIX
The potential for a new
vintage aircraft museum housed at Phoenix's Sky Harbor International
Airport has all but evaporated after Councilman Dave Siebert (the
project's main proponent) withdrew the motion from the City Council
agenda. Mayor Phil Gordon told Tucson's KVOA news that Siebert withdrew
the item to defuse division between veterans and arts groups, which may
have squabbled over the source of the funds. Siebert may yet seek
alternative methods of funding, including community support through the
city's next bond program and/or corporate sponsorship, but the proposed
$9 million vintage aircraft museum plan has already been countered by a
feasibility study setting the mark at $50 million for a "premiere
museum," according to KVOA. More...
Introducing New AeroShell® Oil W 80
The newest member of the AeroShell®
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Holiday special and more information
TOUR FINAL RULE DUE SOON, SAYS EAA
When the FAA published its
proposed Air Tour Safety rule back in 2003, it was met with just about
universal opposition from the aviation community. Comments and hearings
went on through 2004, and since then, the FAA has quietly been working
on its final version of the rule. EAA has been carefully watching the progress of the
rule through the bureaucratic maze, and says it should be published
sometime in the next month or so. The FAA is not giving any hints about
what to expect. We usually get some sort of an indication as to
what a final rule will look like, but not this time, says EAA's
Earl Lawrence, vice president for industry and regulatory affairs.
DEMONSTRATES AUTOMATED AERIAL REFUELING CAPABILITY
flight systems took another step forward in August, when Boeing's Automated Aerial Refueling test program
successfully demonstrated for the first time an unmanned air vehicle's
ability to autonomously maintain a steady refueling station behind a
tanker aircraft, the company said this week. The idea is to develop UAVs
that will be able to fly up to a tanker and refuel themselves. "This can
enable a quicker response for time-critical targets and will reduce the
need for forward-staging refueling areas," said David Riley, manager of
the program for Boeing Phantom Works. "Another benefit is increased
in-theater military presence with fewer military assets."
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/
If Brokers Say They Cover the Whole Market, Why
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visit online to hear the rest of the
Scott Crossfield was posthumously awarded the Engen
A helicopter in Oregon crashed while hoisting Christmas
EAA's Sport Pilot Tour goes to Flabob Dec. 2, San Diego,
Airborne spotters credited for record marijuana catch in
LoPresti Fury selling at rate of two per hour, says Rj
Tiger Aircraft is looking to sell its W.V. plant for $5
If You Think "Bargains" Are Something
Alien to Aviation Think Again!
Spending hard-earned money on your aircraft and its avionics can be
expensive. But don't think good deals aren't available in today's
marketplace. Bennett Avionics
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anywhere else, check out Bennett Avionics
You'll be glad you did!
AVweb posts audio news on Mondays, plus a new
in-depth interview each Friday. In last Friday's
podcast, you'll find an interview with Honda v-p Jeffrey Smith, who
talked everything HondaJet with AVweb at Honda Aircraft's open house
last Monday. And AVweb's podcast index
includes interviews with Cirrus Design cofounder and CEO Alan Klapmeier;
Cessna chairman, president and CEO Jack Pelton; Spectrum Aeronautical
chairman Linden Blue; Adam Aircraft chairman Rick Adam; and New Piper
CEO Jim Bass. In Monday's news
summary, hear about who's bidding for Raytheon Aircraft, another
Lycoming crankshaft lawsuit, a smaller turbofan engine that could spawn
more personal jets, Project Pilot gift-giving idea and more. Remember:
In AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things you won't find anywhere else.
Use the Best ASA's 2007 FAR/AIMs and FAA
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OF THE WEEK: UPGRADING YOUR GPS TO WAAS
For this week's
Question, we turn to an AVweb reader at the FAA, who wonders how many of
his fellow readers are planning to upgrade their GPS units with WAAS
capability. Plus: How did AVweb readers rate Lockheed Martin's
performance as a private provider of AFSS last week? More...
Reserve Your Advanced Order Now for Kevin
Garrison's New Book!
's "CEO of the Cockpit," Kevin Garrison
has a new book coming out in two months. Clear Left, I'll Have the
, published by ASJA press, will be Kevin's third humor
book and his first about flying.
Reserve your copy online today
OF THE WEEK: MILLION AIR KSLC
AVweb's "FBO of
the Week" ribbon goes to Million Air at KSLC in Salt Lake City,
AVweb reader Harlan Ribnik said he was treated, well,
just like a millionaire at the facility, even though he didn't pull up
at the ramp in a jet aircraft.
"From the instant I taxied to their
ramp, I was met with the friendliest line crew I've ever met. The
atmosphere was incredibly friendly, service-oriented. I was made to feel
an honored guest, rather than just somebody bringing business to the
store. I have been at many FBOs who so clearly tailor their service to
the type of aircraft being serviced, that it was a very welcome surprise
to be treated as well as the G5 pilot, even though I flew a Mooney. Even
when things did not go as smoothly as might be optimal, the staff made
me feel comfortable and confident that I and my airplane would be well
cared for. And we were!
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!
IFR, the Magazine for the Accomplished
presents readers with monthly doses of
straightforward, irreverent, pull-no-punches articles and advice and
hair-pulling, pencil-breaking, skill-sharpening quizzes all to
add to your confidence and renewed proficiency for today's flying in the
complex IFR system.
Order your subscription online for
savings from the regular rate
OF THE WEEK
Welcome to another
installment of AVweb's "Picture of the Week" the
feature that showcases our readers' keen eyes and impeccable taste in
aerial photography. Normally, we see a little bit of decline in
the number of submissions over the week of Thanksgiving, but our
submission box was pretty full this week, in spite of the
It's been a while since a head-on plane-to-plane shot
made it all the way to the top spot and took home the coveted top prize
(an official AVweb baseball cap and our eternal gratitude, for the
record). Jim Wilson of Allen, Texas
breaks that streak and shows us F-15 pilot Scott Perdue in
a different setting than he's used to having his picture taken, piloting
his Extra 300. Thanks for the photo, Jim. We'll be sending that
AVweb cap out to you in a day or so watch your
Remember: If you want to be featured in
"Picture of the Week" (and maybe win some high-quality,
sharp-looking headgear of your own), you've gotta send us your
AVWEB APPRECIATES YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT OF
WHO BRING YOU TODAY'S NEWS AND FEATURES AT NO COST TO YOU
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"The GPS chapter alone is worth getting the book. It's the best
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"If one book could help you make the leap from a bit player to a
skilled conductor of instrument flight, this is probably it," reads
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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 Contributing Editors Mary Grady (bio) and
Glenn Pew (bio).
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
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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
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Aviate, navigate, communicate.