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Volume 12, Number 50b
December 14, 2006
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"Sustainable Flight" Is More Than Straight And Levelback to top 

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." More...

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. More...

Fifty Dollars Off the Reconditioned 25XL from LightSPEED
For a limited time, you can purchase the reconditioned 25XL for $300. This headset normally sells for $350, but order between now and December 31, 2006 and get yours for just $300. All reconditioned headsets are tested to original factory specifications and are covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee and a One-Year full warranty. To order yours, call (800) 332-2421, or e-mail sales@lightspeedaviation.com.
News Briefsback to top 

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. More...

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. More...

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 Briefsback to top 

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.

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


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." More...

Starlite Notes Windshield-Mounted Note Holder Available at Aircraft Spruce
Stylish and functional, the Starlite Notes Windshield-Mounted Note Holder is specially designed for 3"x5" notes. Equipped with a heavy-duty clip, firm writing surface, formed aluminum base, pen tray, and a firm-hold suction cup. This is a perfect gift that includes a stainless steel pen and handy note pad. For more information, please call 1-877-4-SPRUCE, or visit Aircraft Spruce online.
News Briefsback to top 

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. More...

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. 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 

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. More...

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. 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 

Liberty's XL2 now certified in Australia...
FAA says parts serviced by Crankcase Services should be checked...
Two European airlines told crews to fly defensively in Brazilian airspace...
Sporty's in-flight icing CD plus a NASA DVD is just $10...
Bill passed to address the shortage of skilled aerospace workers...
"One Six Right" filmmakers gave $15,395 to Young Eagles...
Jan. 23 is deadline to have a passport for Western Hemisphere travel...
Banyan Air Service has opened a big new FBO facility at FXE. 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...

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 AVwebback to top 



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 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. More...

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 AVwebback to top 

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. More...

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/. More...

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 Weekback to top 

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. (The full story will appear in the next issue of Aviation Consumer. If you don't want to miss it, click here to subscribe.)

PLUS: Results of last week's question on local government officials and their attitudes toward community airports.


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 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 Weekback to top 


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!  ;)




Choose the Flight Explorer Edition Right for You
Flight Explorer is an information system tracking commercial and general aviation flights. With the Personal Edition, view air traffic for the U.S., Canada, or New Zealand and monitor and display real-time delay information, TFRs, SUAs, and more. With the Pilot Edition, view weather along a route, receive alerts with your preliminary flight plan, and have an e-mail sent to someone on departure or arrival. Click here for more information and to subscribe.

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!
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.

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.