AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 12, Number 52b

December 28, 2006

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
Adam, Cirrus, Columbia, Diamond, Liberty ...
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Tornadoes Hit ERAU Daytona Beach Campus back to top 

Embry-Riddle Fleet Ravaged By Tornadoes

About 60 airplanes were damaged or destroyed when tornadoes tore through the Daytona Beach, Fla., campus of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University on Christmas Day. Two tornadoes with winds of about 120 mph tore a 100-foot-wide swath through the center of campus as a line of violent thunderstorms passed across the region. "The maintenance hangar was destroyed and there was damage to a high percentage of the fleet of planes," said a statement posted Christmas night on ERAU's Web site. "There is substantial damage to several buildings on campus, including the administration building, Spruance Hall, and the Student Center. The campus was closed for the holiday, and nobody was hurt. "Thank God," ERAU President John Johnson told the Daytona Beach News-Journal. "It's a real blessing it happened when it did. No one was injured." A few students were staying in dormitories, but they were not hit. "The recovery is already under way and every effort is being made to have everything operational when classes resume in January -- including using rental planes for the flight line," ERAU said. The school operates about 85 aircraft. According to an update posted on Wednesday evening, the start of the spring semester has been delayed from Jan. 10 to Jan. 16 to allow more time to clean up and perform building repairs.

Fire, Fuel Problems Quickly Mitigated

Some of the airplanes were flipped over, some had wings torn off, and some were thrown against a building, ERAU Director of Communications Jim Hampton told Central Florida News 13. Two or three airplanes were inside the maintenance hangar when it collapsed. A piece from an airplane that tore through the wall of a building sparked a fire, but airport firefighters quickly brought it under control, Hampton said. Hazmat teams also dealt quickly with spilled fuel. The campus is currently closed to visitors until it is declared safe by authorities. More than 200 homes in the area were also damaged. About 10 people were reported injured, but nobody was killed.

Christmas Tornadoes Are Rare

The weather system brought at least two confirmed F2 tornadoes to the region, according to the Weather Channel. On the Fujita Tornado Damage Scale, an F2 tornado packs winds of 113 to 157 mph, and can do considerable damage, including tearing roofs off frame houses, demolishing mobile homes, overturning boxcars, snapping or uprooting large trees, generating light-object missiles and lifting cars off the ground. The last time a tornado occurred on Christmas was an F2 in Tennessee in 1982, TWC said. The storm system has moved out into the Atlantic and quiet weather is expected most of this week for the cleaning up. The next threat of bad weather in the region will be Friday night into Saturday, according to TWC.

Complimentary One Six Right 2007 Calendar Available at Aircraft Spruce
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News Briefs back to top 

Industry To Focus On New Pilot Starts

Despite the interest in sport-pilot training, the number of pilots in the U.S. has been steadily declining for the last 20 years, and that has repercussions through all of aviation, The Wichita Eagle reported on Wednesday. Manufacturers worry that the market for their aircraft won't be there in the future. Airlines and other operators worry that they won't be able to find qualified pilots. And with thousands of very light jets expected to join the fleet in the next few years, the demand for professional pilots will likely grow. The trend has not gone unnoticed. AOPA, for example, has recently refocused its efforts on Project Pilot, which recruits current pilots to act as mentors to new students. The project will be a main priority in 2007, spokeswoman Kathleen Vasconcelos told AVweb. Meanwhile, the U.S. airlines are finding plenty of qualified applicants, Aviation Information Resources president Kit Darby told the Eagle, but regional airlines and foreign carriers are having a harder time. Several comments from Eagle readers offered a glimpse into the minds of non-pilots: "Lower the cost of aircraft, get rid of the red tape and give free lessons," was one suggestion.

Sportsplanes.com Expands LSA Training Network

As the sport aircraft sector has ramped up in the last couple of years, one concern has been getting enough qualified instructors and sport aircraft at airports around the country to train eager new students. One company working on a solution is Sportsplanes.com, which has created a network of Sport Aircraft Regional Centers. On Wednesday, CEO Josh Foss said Leading Edge Aviation, of Rutherfordton, N.C., is the latest addition to that network. "It was a perfect fit with our plans for expansion," said Greg Turner, manager of Leading Edge. "Sportsplanes.com is headed in the right direction for the future of aviation and we wanted to be a part of it. The aircraft they represent should do very well in our territory of North and South Carolina." Turner has ordered a Skylark for demonstration flights and will be bringing in an Ikarus C42 for flight training.

Feedback Wanted: CermiNil and Nickel Carbide Cylinder Treatments

Our sister publication, Aviation Consumer, is conducting a research project on customer experiences with ECI's CermiNil cylinder plating process. If you have experience with this product and would like to participate, drop an e-mail to aviationeditorial@comcast.net and we'll send a questionnaire your way.
Receive a New Multimedia Tip Each Week
Take a few minutes each week to improve your pilot skills. It's fun and costs nothing. Top aviation experts share important and practical tips on IFR, emergency handling, risk management, and more. Listen as they explain valuable tactics and strategies to make flying safer. No charge. Click here to sign up.
News Briefs back to top 

Able Flight Awards First Two Scholarships

A new scholarship program that helps people with disabilities learn to fly gave away its first two awards last week in Atlanta. Able Flight chose Brad Jones and Stephany Glassing to take part in an intensive and demanding flight-training program. "Able Flight's goal is to challenge its scholarship winners so that their own achievements will help them become more self-reliant and confident in their abilities,” said Executive Director Charles Stites. Jones, 22, was paralyzed in an automobile accident last summer. Glassing was also injured in an auto accident, 22 years ago, when she was a teenager. "Being in a chair instantaneously makes everyday life and events challenging," said Jones. "The challenge of learning to fly will be a difficult one, but upon successfully completing the training, will bring a renewed sense that anything is possible, no matter what other challenges life might have for me in the future." Sponsors of the program include Jet Aviation, Hansen Air Group and the Shepherd Center, a catastrophic care hospital. "Able Flight epitomizes the true nature of aviation and we fully support its purpose of empowering people with the freedom of flight," said Robert Seidel, senior vice president and general manager of Jet Aviation Business Jets. The students will take a home-study course and about 20 to 25 hours of flight training under Sport Pilot rules.

New York Pilots Caught In Restricted Airspace

Pilots flying above New York City are getting sloppier, according to an analysis by the New York Post based on FAA data. Incidents of pilots flying into restricted airspace in the area in the last year increased 42 percent over the year before, according to the Post. Violations included flying into temporary restricted areas over Yankee and Shea Stadiums during games, and flying into airspace restricted during visits by President Bush, the Post said. Private pilots weren't the only violators -- on Sept. 18 jets were scrambled when a State Police helicopter violated a presidential TFR. The Post analysis doesn't address whether the number and extent of restricted areas increased over the year.

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 Briefs back to top 

Skyhawks Selling In Europe

The venerable Cessna 172 Skyhawk faces a lot of competition these days for spots on the flight school lines where it once dominated. But four European flight schools are upgrading their aircraft fleets with new Skyhawks, Cessna said last week. Flight schools in Romania, Italy, Spain and Germany have ordered a total of 22 new Skyhawks, four of them with G1000 glass cockpits. "The Skyhawk combines safe and economical operation with the best avionics on the market," said Pana Poulios, regional sales manager for Cessna. "The advanced technology and interface of the G1000 helps ease the transition for those who will go on to fly commercial jets, private jets or military aircraft." Cessna also announced last week that John Newton has been named vice president of used aircraft at Cessna's headquarters in Wichita, Kan.

Pilot Convicted In Alaska "Air Rage" Incident

A pilot in Alaska endangered hunters, guides and another pilot when he harassed them with his Super Cub, a jury decided last week. Edward Lamb, 38, a hunting guide, was found guilty of assault for the aerial attacks, the Anchorage Daily News reported. In one incident, Lamb buzzed a competing guide who was scouting in a meadow with two clients, forcing them to run for cover in the trees. Another time, Lamb circled above as another pilot was trying to take off from a lake after picking up the competitor. Lamb told the Daily News that the issue is complicated and he is innocent. The competitor was working in area traditionally used by Lamb, according to The Associated Press. Lamb could be sentenced to up to 10 years in jail and may have to forfeit his airplane.

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 

New Injector Tested For Hypersonic Engine

A team of engineers in Maryland has developed a scramjet engine design that they say solves the problem of how to mix fuel efficiently in an aircraft that might be traveling as fast as Mach 25 (that's not a typo). Faculty members from the University of Maryland teamed with Astrox Corp. to develop the combustor design. Astrox President Ajay Kothari said the engine is shaped like a funnel, with air entering through a circular opening, which develops more thrust and less heating than a rectangular scramjet engine. Kothari and the research team designed an injector resembling a small aerodynamic wing, which enters the engine at an angle in the same direction the air is flowing. Fuel is injected just at the wake where the air, which is moving at supersonic speeds, crosses the injector. The novel design provides both strong thrust and good mixing. The researchers have tested the design at Mach 2 in the university's supersonic wind tunnel. Kothari plans to try out the technology in a small model space plane. "Hypersonic space planes could revolutionize the transportation industry, much like jet planes did for subsonic commercial aviation 50 years ago," Kothari said.

DOT Blocks Virgin America Launch

Virgin America's application to operate in the U.S. was tentatively denied Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Virgin America would have to demonstrate that it is independent of the Virgin Group and other non-U.S. citizens, and that the president of the company and at least two-thirds of the board of directors are U.S. citizens, before it can receive an operating certificate, the DOT said. Just last week, Virgin America said it passed a comprehensive FAA review and all it needed to start operations was the OK from the DOT. The airline had planned to start service in spring 2007 between San Francisco and New York. The airline already has 169 employees and has taken delivery of nine aircraft. Virgin America has 14 days to file an objection to the proposed decision. A spokesman for the airline told The Associated Press on Wednesday that a response to the announcement was being prepared.

Be One of the First to Own the Next Generation of Six-Place Piston Aircraft!
If you are considering trading up to a new 6-place aircraft in the next five years, then we would like your views on a NEW CONCEPT AIRCRAFT. Complete our 15-minute survey, and you will enter a drawing to WIN ONE OF THE FIRST DELIVERY SLOTS for this next-generation aircraft! Closing date: January 16, 2006. Click here to enter.
News In Brief back to top 

On The Fly

A 747-400 with British Prime Minister Tony Blair on board hit some runway lights while landing at Miami International on Tuesday evening. The NTSB is investigating...

Fuel tanks on some Embraer Legacy bizjets could explode if certain harnesses for the tanks create sparks that encounter flammable gasses, says the FAA in a proposed airworthiness directive...

Superior Air Parts has added another 1,000 cylinder heads to its previous recall. The bad cylinder parts could result in loss of power in flight. The company will replace the part and pay for labor...

EAA will host a ski-plane fly-in at Pioneer Airport in Oshkosh on Jan. 27 -- provided there's enough snow by then. If not, come anyway, and enjoy some mid-winter fellowship and hot chili. The event is free and open to all. Fly in or drive; check with EAA for details...

Two lawsuits filed last week allege that a faulty engine cylinder contributed to the 2004 crash of a Piper Aztec in Michigan that killed a family of five...

The captain of an Air India 777 was arrested after he stashed the body of a passenger who died en route in the hold, then left the Birmingham, U.K., airport without warning baggage handlers...

Delays at the Gary, Ind., airport are blamed on the FAA's failure to fix the instrument landing system, says the Post-Tribune.

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. Learn more online.
New On AVweb back to top 

Quiz #115: Beyond Fixed Wing


Quiz #115: Beyond Fixed Wing
We've taken it on the chin for not quizzing much outside the fixed-wing realm. The Brainteaser's response: "You can fly without fixed wings -- who knew?" See what you knew about things that go whump-whump-whump in the night.

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.
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.
AVweb Audio News back to top 

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 NORAD's Stacia Reddish on its Santa tracking project. And AVweb's podcast index includes interviews with Bill Lear, Jr.; NATA President Jim Coyne; 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 the Goldman Sachs/Onex deal to buy Raytheon Aircraft for $3.3 billion, Loran making a resurgence in the UK as a GPS backup, a truly personal jet called Jet-Man, Pratt & Whitney Canada's plans to build more fuel-efficient turbofans and more. Remember: In AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things you won't find anywhere else.

Brought to you by Bose Corporation.

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/.

Avidyne TAS600 — Because Two Antennas Are Better than One!
Whether you're flying in a busy terminal area, navigating a long cross-country, or hovering over a city, seeing and avoiding traffic requires having the right information in real time. Avidyne's TAS600 Traffic Advisory Systems, with dual-antenna technology, provide significantly improved signal coverage and target tracking, enabling faster updates and enhanced performance over single-antenna systems, for maximum safety. Starting at $9,990, Avidyne's TAS600 Series makes premium performance, active-surveillance traffic alerting affordable for virtually every general aviation aircraft. Visit Avidyne online.
Question Of The Week back to top 

Question of the Week: Hearing Aids in the Cockpit

This Week's Question | Last Week's Results


Last week, AVweb asked what type of IFR approach charts our readers prefer to have with them en route.

Nearly half of those who responded (47%, to be exact) said they prefer to use the FAA's NACO paper charts, while only 3% lean toward the FAA's NACO electronic charts.

To find out what our other respondents preferred, view the complete breakdown of answers here.


This week, an AVweb readers asks, "Do you wear hearing aids while flying?  If so, do you have difficulty hearing transmitted messages?"

Click here to answer.

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

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.

If You Live in One of These States, Mike Busch Is Coming to a Town Near You in 2007
Florida, Texas, California, Ohio, Maryland, Massachusetts, Georgia, New Mexico, and Oklahoma are states where Mike Busch will be offering his acclaimed Savvy Owner Seminar. In one information-packed weekend, you will learn how to have a safer, more reliable aircraft while saving thousands on maintenance costs, year after year. For complete details, and to reserve your space, click here.
FBO Of The Week back to top 

FBO Of The Week: Goshen Air Center

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Goshen Air Center at KGSH in Goshen, Indiana.

AVweb reader John Wesley said this FBO has been turned around by its current owners.

"Zane Gillin and Randy Sharkey took over this operation 14 years ago, it was broke and had been on the skids for years. They have developed it into a clean, modern facility that cheerfully serves everyone in aviation from the ultralight through the large corporate jet. They have a courtesy car, wireless Internet, pilot lounge, flight-planning room, meeting room, a large comfortable waiting area and free lunch Friday."

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!

Perform Maintenance Legally & More Easily by Knowing What & How
If you are an aircraft owner, you need to know more than an average pilot about your aircraft's maintenance. Light Plane Maintenance brings you tips and techniques for maintenance procedures you can perform legally and easily. Order your subscription online for savings from the regular rate.
Picture Of The Week back to top 

Picture of the Week

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

Each week, we go through dozens (and sometimes hundreds) of reader-submitted photos and pick the very best to share with you on Thursday mornings.  The top photos are featured on AVweb's home page, and one photo that stands above the others is awarded an AVweb baseball cap as our "Picture of the Week."

Want to see your photos featured?  Submit them here!

A quick note for submitters:  If you've got several photos that you feel are "POTW" material, your best bet is to submit them one-a-week!  That gives your photos a greater chance of seeing print on AVweb, and it makes the selection process a little easier on us, too.  ;)


medium | large

Used with permission of Randy Pike

A Blue Christmas

... is surely just an expression to Randy Pike of Cypress, Texas.  After all, Randy lives in the Dry Creek Airport Community, has enough free time to trim the plane up right for the holiday season, and is today's "Picture of the Week" winner from AVweb!

On the off-chance Randy really is feeling as blue as his holiday lights, we'll be sending an official AVweb baseball cap to brighten his spirits!

Though we probably won't run any more holiday light photos here in "POTW," we'd love to see some more of them!  (Hint.)

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 Jane Carpenter

Oops!  Missed a Spot!

Jane Carpenter of Ft. Collins, Colorado seems to have been caught up in Denver's Christmas travel excitement last week.  She snapped this photo — which has to be seen at full-size to be appreciated — while sitting on the taxiway, waiting "for departure to a much warmer climate!"


medium | large

copyright © Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA)


Frederick Gay of Brookline, Massachusetts didn't say much in his comments — but we thought this photo spoke volumes, especially as families were coming together at airports all around the world this holiday season.

To Frederick and the unbelievable 2,673 other AVweb readers who submitted photos in 2006:  Thank you for making this feature so much fun to do every week.  We'll be back next week to kick off 2007 with a brand-new batch of reader-submitted photos — assuming you send us some.  ;)

In the meantime, don't forget to check AVweb.com for more than a dozen bonus photos from this week's submissions!

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.



Small Business Owners! AVweb's Marketplace Is the Place for You
Showcase your product or service to over 300,000 unique visitors monthly on AVweb. For a small monthly fee, your business-card sized ad, with graphic, will be placed on the Marketplace page. The AVwebFlash newsletter will feature selected ads in every issue. Advertise in AVweb's online Marketplace (PDF).

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 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 Editor Mary Grady (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.

Happy New Year from the AVweb staff.