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Volume 12, Number 48b
November 30, 2006
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.
Tragedy At Grob Aerospaceback to top 

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 aircraft’s flight performance to a group of invited company guests on the ground. More...

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 Guillaumaud’s death. More...

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 call 1-877-4-SPRUCE, or visit Aircraft Spruce online.
More Problems Plague Eclipse 500 Programback to top 

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. More...

When the 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 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.
Brazil Midair Aftermath Fallout Continuesback to top 

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...

Brazil's ATC 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...

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...

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!
News Briefsback to top 

General aviation pilots will soon have access to new icing forecasts, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey said on Tuesday. The Current Icing 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...

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...

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. More...

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 software converts GPS tracks into stunning 3D Flight Logs with realistic terrain and high-resolution satellite imagery. View the demo online.
News Briefsback to top 

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 doesn’t 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...

Cirrus Design 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...

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 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. Holiday special and more information online.
News Briefsback to top 

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. More...

Automated 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." More...

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...

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 

Scott Crossfield was posthumously awarded the Engen Trophy...
A helicopter in Oregon crashed while hoisting Christmas trees...
EAA's Sport Pilot Tour goes to Flabob Dec. 2, San Diego, Dec. 9...
Airborne spotters credited for record marijuana catch in Ky....
LoPresti Fury selling at rate of two per hour, says Rj Siegel...
Tiger Aircraft is looking to sell its W.V. plant for $5 million. 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 to newstips@avweb.com. What have you heard? More...

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 provides pilots with quality avionics to meet their needs and maintain their budget. Before you buy anywhere else, check out Bennett Avionics at (860) 653-7295 or online. You'll be glad you did!
New On AVwebback to top 


Quiz #114: Aerodynamically Speaking
When airfoils slam into enough innocent air molecules at just the right speed, lift results. Seems like magic, but there is a little science involved. So let's explore a few basic tenets of aerodynamics.


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. More...

Use the Best — ASA's 2007 FAR/AIMs and FAA Exam Prep Now Available
ASA's 2007 FAR/AIMs, Test Preps for pilots, and Fast-Track Test Guides for AMTs are now available. Prepware combines all the information in the Test Prep and Fast-Track Test Guide series in computer-based training. Contains all FAA Knowledge Exam questions. Virtual Test Prep lets students study from their TVs or computer DVD players. For complete details about these products, visit ASA's web site.
Question Of The Weekback to top 

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!
AVweb's "CEO of the Cockpit," Kevin Garrison, has a new book coming out in two months. Clear Left, I'll Have the Chicken, published by ASJA press, will be Kevin's third humor book and his first about flying. Reserve your copy online today.
FBO Of The Weekback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Million Air at KSLC in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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.

AVweb is 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 Pilot
IFR magazine 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.
Picture Of The Weekback to top 

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 holiday.

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 mailbox!

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 photos. More...



Better than an IFR Refresher, This Manual Is Real-World Flying!
With Rod Machado's Instrument Pilots Survival Manual, private pilots can learn: mimicking pro pilot thinking strategies; developing IFR self-talk skills; managing cockpit resources; planning for unanticipated changes; a three-step instrument scan; IFR charting secrets; insights into flying GPS approaches; and techniques for avoiding thunderstorms and handling icing conditions. Pilots claim, "You can't find some of this information anywhere else!" Order online.

Ensure Yourself and Your Passengers' Safety for Under $149!
CO Guardian has reliable and proven CO detectors in both portable and panel-mount models starting at $149. You can't afford not to purchase from CO Guardian. Order online.

Pilots Comment After Reading IFR: A Structured Approach:
"The GPS chapter alone is worth getting the book. It's the best instrument flying book I have ever read," states Fred Scott. "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 a November 2003 AOPA Pilot review. With the help of this book, you will establish your personal standard of IFR operating practices, including incorporation of checklists, flows, callouts, briefings, and the "fly by the numbers" method of aircraft control. 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 Contributing Editors Mary Grady (bio) and Glenn Pew (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.

Aviate, navigate, communicate.