AVwebFlash - Volume 12, Number 50b

December 14, 2006

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
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"Sustainable Flight" Is More Than Straight And Level back to top 
 

Private Jet Operators Offer Carbon Offsets

Creating sustainable technologies that will lessen the human impact on the natural environment is becoming more and more of a concern, especially in Europe, where public pressure to clean up the atmosphere is intense and growing. In response, companies are offering "carbon offsets" that, for a price, will neutralize the carbon emissions from aircraft in various ways, either planting trees to absorb carbon dioxide or investing in alternative forms of energy to prevent more emissions. Whether or not this is actually effective is open to debate, but the concept has caught fire, and now the offsets are being offered not just to airline passengers but also to those who use private jets. “The issue of climate change has arrived in the aviation sector,” Jonathan Shopley, CEO of The CarbonNeutral Company, told the London Times. “Every company is thinking about what they are going to do about it." Air Partner, an air charter company operating a Cessna Citation XLS for celebrity clients, is the first charter operator to offer “carbon neutral” flights, according to the Times. Customers can buy the Carbon Neutral JetCard for an extra 2-percent premium over the regular cost. A report released this week by Clean Air - Cool Planet ranks carbon-offset companies according to their effectiveness.

U.K. Consortium Working On Efficient Wing Technology

Cleaning up emissions is one approach, but another way to get cleaner air is to be more efficient in the first place. Toward that end, a consortium of 17 leading U.K. organizations is working on a slate of new technologies related to development of wings, wing systems, landing gear and fuel systems. After completing their assessment, the intention is to go on and develop a large-scale technology demonstrator for a test program. The research aims to cut in half aircraft fuel burn, emissions and noise by 2020. The effort is not just a do-good project, though. The goal is also to improve efficiency and enhance the bottom line of the companies involved. Among the consortium members are Airbus and Bombardier. "We are delighted to be involved in a program that not only allows us to demonstrate our innovation, but which could lead to a completely new way of designing aircraft, and indeed potentially change the very look of aircraft of the future," said Michael Ryan, general manager of Bombardier in Belfast, Ireland, in a news release this week. "The program will also play an important part in helping the UK aerospace industry meet its commitments to sustainable aviation."

 
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News Briefs back to top 
 

FAA: Deactivate Thermawing Deicers

Some owners of Columbia aircraft who were looking forward to flying through the winter with heated wings will have to put those plans on ice, at least for now. The FAA says all Thermawing (aka E-Vade) systems on Columbia airplanes must be deactivated and a placard must be installed in the cockpit that clearly says the deicer is offline. The compulsory Airworthiness Directive (AD) follows up on a recent Service Bulletin issued by Kelly Aerospace, which builds the wing deicing system. The deicer, which has been STC'd for some Columbia models, can short circuit if it's not installed correctly, says the FAA, causing possible burning of the wings and horizontal stabilizer, as well as a possible reduction in structural integrity. The short circuit can be caused by insufficient removal of copper mesh when the deice heater connectors are installed. The copper material is embedded in the composite airplane structure for lightning protection. Robert Simmons, a customer service representative at Kelly Aerospace, told AVweb on Wednesday that a fix is in the works and aircraft owners should receive a kit and instructions to remedy the problem by mid-January. About two dozen Columbia aircraft are affected, Simmons said.

NTSB: Crews Should Check Runway Heading Before Departure

When a Comair CRJ-100 crashed in August while trying to depart from the wrong runway at Lexington (Ky.) Airport, killing 49 people, it was one of those error chains that gave pause to many pilots. While most aviators will say that checking the runway heading is part of their pre-takeoff routine, many admit they don't always do it, and many checklists don't include it. Now the NTSB wants that to change, at least for airline crews. In recommendations issued on Tuesday, the safety board asks the FAA to require all Part 121 operators to establish procedures for flight crews to positively confirm and cross-check the airplane's location before crossing the hold-short line for takeoff. The NTSB also wants those operators to provide specific guidance to pilots regarding the runway lighting requirements for takeoff operations at night. The safety letter cites several other accidents in which flight crews used an incorrect departure runway, including the October 2000 crash of a Boeing 747 in Taiwan, in which 83 people died. Further, NASA's Aviation Safety Reporting System found 114 reports of incidents from March 1988 to September 2005 in which flight crews lined up on the wrong runway for takeoff, the NTSB said.

 
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.
 
News Briefs back to top 
 

End Of The Line For EAA Sport Pilot Tour

The last scheduled event of the EAA's Sport Pilot Tour took place this past weekend at Brown Field in sport-pilot-friendly San Diego and capped a 13-stop run that began in 2005. AVweb was there to collect a summation from industry advocate Dan Johnson, who told us enthusiasm for the category (mostly from an estimated 100,000 pilots nearing or already enjoying their golden years) currently has demand outpacing supply. Deliveries for aircraft ordered today have, for many manufacturers, backed up until next March or April, said Johnson, and the small, local events that often included less than 20 static display aircraft seduced about 500 to 800 enthusiasts per stop.

The automall-style layout of the events placed competing manufacturers of very similar aircraft side by side, but Johnson says the format also produced a surprisingly open and inviting environment and sense of community. According to Johnson, there are more buyers than aircraft. Interested aviators and enthusiasts will watch for the US Sport Aviation Expo scheduled for Jan. 10 to 14 in Sebring, Fla. As yet there is no schedule for continuation of the Sport Pilot Tour.

Click here for a gallery of AVweb photos from the event.

Forget Flying Cars -- Personal Blimp Is Flying Today

It might not be the perfect vehicle for everyone -- and its usefulness is yet to be proved -- but for the pilot who yearns to simply launch from the backyard and tool around for fun, the personal hot-air blimp could fit the bill. Dan Nachbar of Amherst, Mass., launched his homebuilt airship for the first time in late October, and recently completed its first 10 hours of test flights. Unlike other hot-air blimps, Nachbar's design has a rigid internal frame. And unlike helium blimps, it can be deflated and stored between flights, without the need for a hangar. The internal frame also can be folded for storage. "Our team's mission has been clear -- to create a unique aircraft capable of quiet, steerable, safe and affordable flight," Nachbar said Tuesday. "We have succeeded beyond our wildest imagination." The blimp, which is 102 feet long and 70 feet in diameter, is capable of slow, low-level flight as well as "turn-on-a-dime" steering, according to Nachbar. And it's a joy to fly, he claims: "It's what I imagine it would be to fly like Mary Poppins, cruising through the sky." Nachbar plans to further develop the prototype aircraft and seek FAA approval to produce the airship for sale. A blimp would probably cost between $100,000 and $200,000 depending on configuration, he said. The ship could prove useful for tasks such as forest canopy research, wetlands survey/management, eco-tourism, aerial photography and filmmaking, among others.

 
Starlite Notes Windshield-Mounted Note Holder Available at Aircraft Spruce
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News Briefs back to top 
 

Report: Raytheon Aircraft May Sell For $3 Billion

An offer to buy Raytheon Aircraft Company may reach $3 billion, Bloomberg reported on Monday. Citing an unnamed source "with knowledge of the agreement," Bloomberg said Onex Corp., a buyout firm based in Toronto, and Goldman Sachs Group would each acquire stakes of under 50 percent in the company, with the rest being held by the current management team. The deal is expected to be publicly announced by the end of the month. Raytheon Aircraft, based in Wichita, Kan., manufactures the Beechcraft Bonanza G36, Baron G58, King Air series and Premier IA and Hawker 400XP, 850XP and 4000, as well as the T-6A/B military trainer. "Onex sees the potential for this aircraft business to do well in a fairly strong market for general aviation,'' said Paul Nisbet, an analyst at JSA Research in Newport, R.I.

Learjet Loses Part Of Tail, Lands Safely

A Learjet 36 was flying off the coast of San Diego on Friday, Dec.1, when it sustained "an in-flight loss of the right elevator," the NTSB says. In its preliminary report, the Safety Board said the flight had departed from the North Island Naval Air Station in San Diego at about 9:30 a.m. On board were an ATP-rated pilot, a commercial-rated second pilot and one passenger. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. "The operator reported that the airplane joined up with another airplane, and was doing a cross-under maneuver," says the report. "The pilot lost sight of the other airplane due to sun glare, and turned away. When the pilot reacquired his visual acuity, he discovered that the airplane was in a 70-degree angle-of-bank to the right and 50 degrees nose low. He reduced power, and leveled the wings." The airplane returned to base and landed safely. A post-flight examination then revealed that the right elevator was gone, and the left elevator was permanently deformed.

 
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 Briefs back to top 
 

WSJ: FAA Likely To Retire Age-60 Rule

Citing unnamed sources in government and industry, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that the FAA is likely to propose a rule change to raise the mandatory retirement age for airline pilots to 65 early next year. The report said FAA Administrator Marion Blakey "is crafting the new position slowly but steadily." Pressure for a change has grown since the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recently implemented a rule for airline crews that allows one pilot to be over age 60, but not more than 65, as long as the other pilot is under 60. The WSJ also cited a tight labor market and the lack of data to substantiate safety concerns as adding to the impetus for change. Some airlines have started to express interest in keeping its older pilots, as the costs of training and pensions rise, the WSJ said, although the Air Line Pilots Association remains opposed to any change. Under the current rule, an estimated 30,000 pilots would have to retire over the next decade, according to the WSJ.

A380 Gets Joint FAA-EASA Certification

The world's largest commercial airliner, the 555-seat Airbus A380, received joint European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and FAA Type Certification on Tuesday in a ceremony held at the Airbus facilities in Toulouse, France. FAA Administrator Marion Blakey was there, and said it was "a great day for aviation." It was the first-ever concurrent certification between EASA and FAA, Blakey said. The A380 is also the first aircraft to which 21st century certification standards were applied, according to Airbus. The company said it has 166 orders for the A380, with the first copy due to be delivered to first operator Singapore Airlines next October. The A380 is 300,000 pounds heavier than the next-largest passenger commercial airplane, Blakey said, and in its largest configuration, it also carries roughly 200 more passengers than any other aircraft on the market. To date, the test fleet has accumulated more than 2,600 hours over 800 flights, and more than 80 pilots have flown the megaliner. During its flight-test campaign, the A380 landed at 38 airports around the world.

 
If Brokers Say They Cover the Whole Market, Why Can't They Get a Quote from Us?
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News In Brief back to top 
 

On The Fly

Liberty's XL2 single-engine two-seater has received its Australian certification...

Any reciprocating engine crankcases serviced by Crankcase Services of Tulsa, Okla., should be checked, says the FAA's Suspected Unapproved Parts Program Office...

Two European airlines have told their crews to follow special defensive procedures while in Brazilian airspace, Reuters reported this week...

Need a stocking stuffer for the pilot on your list? Sporty's offers its in-flight icing CD bundled with a NASA DVD for just $10...

Congress has approved a bill that will create a task force to address the shortage of skilled aerospace workers...

If you bought a copy of the "One Six Right" DVD last summer, $5 of that was earmarked for Young Eagles. Last week, the filmmakers gave $15,395 to EAA...

Check your passport -- January 23 is the deadline to have it for Western Hemisphere travel. If you fly to Canada, the Caribbean, Bermuda or Mexico, your birth certificate won't cut it anymore. AOPA has more details...

Banyan Air Service has opened a new 26,000-square-foot FBO facility with an attached 20,000-square-foot hangar at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE). Pilot amenities include pilot's lounges, bunk room, mailboxes, shower facilities, wireless Internet and more.

AVweb's Newstips Address ...

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. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.

Find all of today's stories in AVweb's: NewsWire

 
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.
 
New On AVweb back to top 
 

New Articles and Features on AVweb

COLUMNS

Probable Cause #21: No Pulling Over
When the tanks run dry, there's no stopping on the side of the road. Yet some pilots are willing to push the limits, even when they had ample warning.

AVweb Audio News

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 NATA President Jim Coyne. And AVweb's podcast index includes interviews with Eclipse Aviation's Vern Raburn; Honda Aircraft's Jeffrey Smith; Cirrus Design cofounder and CEO Alan Klapmeier; Cessna chairman, president and CEO Jack Pelton; and Spectrum Aeronautical chairman Linden Blue. In Monday's news summary, hear about what's next for the Legacy midair pilots now that they're back home, the possible acquisition if Raytheon Aircraft by Onex, safer ATC in Europe, China's proposed GPS system and more. Remember: In AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things you won't find anywhere else.

Brought to you by Bose Corporation.

 
Pilot Journey Isn't Just for Students & Instructors; There's Something for Everyone
You know Pilot Journey's Discovery Flight program converting leads to students. However, all pilots can find something at Pilot Journey: Pilot e-mail accounts, pilot eCards; a pilot cruise with seminars; AvCareers, where position wanted and positions available are listed; and much more. Pilot Journey is the pilot's choice online.
 
Get More From AVweb back to top 
 

AVweb Daily News Coverage

You can now get the latest general aviation news from AVweb -- the world's premier independent aviation news source -- as it happens at AVweb.com. Or sign up for our news feed and have the most recent headlines pushed directly to your RSS-based news reader. Either way, you'll be able to read the same concise, but comprehensive, news stories that you've come to expect from AVweb. And for major breaking general aviation news, AVweb will send out news alerts via e-mail to keep subscribers informed. Don’t worry -- you'll also continue to receive AVwebFlash every Monday and Thursday.

AVweb's Business AVflash

HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVweb's NO-COST twice monthly business newsletter, AVwebBiz? 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. Sign up today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/.

 
Limited Quantities of Collier Trophy Collectible Medallion Series
NAA's Collier Trophy Centennial Medallion Series 1 and 2 are now available for gift-giving or for your own collection. A commemorative card encases a heavy metal medallion showing the Collier Trophy on one side and an image of SpaceShipOne on the reverse of Series 1, and the image of the Eclipse 500 in formation on the reverse of Series 2. Visit NAA's merchandise section to view and order.
 
Question Of The Week back to top 
 

Question of the Week: Paying at the Pump

This Week's Question | Last Week's Results

PREVIOUS RESULTS ***

Last week, AVweb asked readers how their local government officials (as a rule) view the community airport.

Happily, most of our respondents told us that their representatives have either a very positive or somewhat positive view of the local airport. (48% of reader responses fell into one of those two categories.)

It was a close vote however, with all five options along the spectrum of answers getting similar votes.

For a complete breakdown of answers, click here.

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION ***

This week, we're thinking about a story on aviation credit cards that will run in the next issue of our sister publication, Aviation Consumer — and we'd like to know how AVweb readers pay for their avgas. Do you use cash, an organization co-issued credit card, a plain ol' Visa card — or something else entirely?

Click here to tell us.

(The next issue of Aviation Consumer will carry the full story on aviation credit cards. If you don't want to miss it, click here to subscribe to Aviation Consumer.)


Have an idea for a new QOTW? Send your suggestions to qotw@avweb.com.

NOTE:
This address is only for suggested QOTW questions, and not for QOTW answers or comments.
Use this form to send QOTW comments to our AVmail Editor.

 
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 Week back to top 
 

FBO of the Week: Hutchinson County Airport

Nominate an FBO | Rules | Tips | Questions | Winning FBOs

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Hutchinson County Airport at KBGD in Borger, Texas.

AVweb reader Mack Secord said he received real Southwestern hospitality at the county-run facility.

"After more than nine hours of flying in our Skylane, we were ready to call it a day when we selected Borger, Texas, as our overnight stop. Almost before the prop stopped turning, Ronnie Wood and his crew had chocked and tied down the airplane, unloaded our baggage and positioned the fuel truck for a load of 100LL at $3.05 per gallon. When we asked about a place to stay, they promptly made us reservations at a new nearby motel, suggested three local restaurants and gave us the keys to a Crown Victoria sedan (at no charge). On departure the next morning, they arranged for a simply stunning sunrise as they wished us farewell. (I'll be submitting the photo of that sunrise for 'Picture of the Week!') This was Southwestern hospitality at its finest."

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!

 
You Pay More for the Unbiased Truth ... To Ultimately Save More
Yes, Aviation Consumer costs more than other aviation magazines. Aviation Consumer is supported by you, the subscribing consumer, not by advertising. So the editors can be completely truthful, to help you make the right decisions on products and services. Order online and receive unlimited no-cost use of Aviation Consumer's ratings-packed web archives!
 
Picture Of The Week back to top 
 

Picture of the Week

Submit a Photo | Rules | Tips | Questions | Past Winners

Welcome back to AVweb's "Picture of the Week" — the feature wherein we share the best reader-submitted photos from the past week with all our fellow AVwebbers.  This week, you'll notice a few changes in the "POTW" — most notably, that we're going to back to our old habit of sharing only the top three reader photos.

But don't panic!  This is actually part of a clever scheme on our part to share more photos with you.  (Read on!)

Over the past couple of years, we've been sneaking in extra photos here and there whenever we could.  (To be honest, we were mostly doing this because there were too many cool photos that went unseen when we featured only the top three.)  But the more photos we show, the more photos our readers submit.  Lately we've been running 8 to 10 pictures each week and feeling that we could easily keep going to another 8 or 10!  So, in an effort to get more photos out there, we're trimming the feature down to the Top Three photos once again — and posting a dozen or so bonus pics on the AVweb home page every week!

Feel free to browse through our top photos while you glance at the day's headlines — and don't be surprised if we sneak a couple of extra images in there throughout the week.  (We're devilish that way.)

And while you're gawking at your fellow readers' photos, why not send us one of your own?

A quick note for submitters:  We're going to try to limit it to one photo per reader per week, so if you've got several photos that you feel are "POTW" material, your best bet is to submit them one-a-week!  ;)

*** THIS WEEK'S WINNERS ***

medium | large

copyright © Jim Wilson Photography
Used with permission of Jim Wilson

Don't Try This at Home!

Jim Wilson of Allen, Texas writes, "A passing thunderstorm almost dissuaded me from shooting this aircraft.  Turns out the storm and mist made the shot!"  We couldn't agree more — and so Jim's photo is our "Picture of the Week" for December 14.

Watch your mailbox for an Official AVweb Baseball Cap, Jim!

 
AVweb continues to receive a large number of excellent images for our POTW contest. Here are some of the runners-up.  Due to privacy issues, AVweb does not publish e-mail addresses of readers who submit photos.
 

medium | large

Used with permission of Ron Lee

Learn to Fly Here

The cheeky headline from Ron Lee of Peyton, Colorado made us wince and smirk — but not enough to counter the shock of seeing someone's dream wrapped up in a tree like a wayward kite.  Ron tells us the plane lost power while flying night-time T&Gs and crashed into this tree near Ron's FBO.  Thankfully, the pilot walked away.

 

medium | large

copyright © Eric Cobb
Used with permission

Three of a Kind

Eric Cobb of Santa Ynez, California has shown up in "POTW" before.  This time he treats us to a gorgeous shot of EZs sailing over the California coast.


Hankering for more reader-submitted photos?  There are a dozen more waiting for you at AVweb.com today!

To enter next week's contest, click here.

A Reminder About Copyrights: Please take a moment to consider the source of your image before submitting to our "Picture of the Week" contest. If you did not take the photo yourself, ask yourself if you are indeed authorized to release publication rights to AVweb. If you're uncertain, consult the POTW Rules or send us an e-mail.

 

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WHO BRING YOU TODAY'S NEWS AND FEATURES AT NO COST TO YOU

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Going Off to Visit Friends and/or Family This Holiday Season?
Get there by sharing a ride. Pilot or passenger, long cross-country or short hop, PilotShareTheRide.com is for you! No cost to sign up, and you will save by sharing expenses! Check out the web site today.

Better than an IFR Refresher, This Manual Is Real-World Flying!
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Names Behind The News back 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.