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DELIVERS ITS FIRST CUSTOMER VLJ
Eclipse Aviation beat Father Time again -- even if
just by a hair. On New Year's Eve two years ago, the redesigned Eclipse
500 with Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F turbofans flew as promised by the
end of 2004. This time it was the promised delivery of an Eclipse 500 to
a customer before the end of 2006, an event that took place on Sunday
(New Year's Eve). In the coming days, Eclipse will hold a formal
delivery ceremony at the company headquarters in Albuquerque, N.M.
For many years, the promise of this day has fueled the passion and
perseverance of everyone associated with Eclipse, said Eclipse
President and CEO Vern Raburn. As we deliver the first Eclipse
500, our dream of opening up the world of private jet travel to a new
realm of customers has become a reality. The first customer
Eclipse 500 was delivered to co-owners David Crowe, a private owner, and
Jet-Alliance, a shared jet ownership company in Westlake Village, Calif.
AVIONICS CLOSES ITS DOORS?
Direct-To Avionics has reportedly
ceased operations as of late last month, leaving potentially dozens of
kitbuilders without equipment or immediate support for experimental
versions of the Chelton EFIS. Chelton sold experimental versions of its
EFIS systems to dealers exclusively through Direct-To. While some
builders claim to have paid for components that have not been delivered,
Cheltons official release said, Chelton has received various
inquiries from persons who have alleged that they were told by D2A
[Direct-To Avionics] that parts for which they claimed to have paid D2A
were back ordered. Chelton currently has no purchase orders
from D2A and there are no back orders to be filled. Chelton
has also suspended taking any further purchase orders from D2A and has
suspended D2A's status as an authorized distributor." More...
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WONT WORK ON AIRPLANES 18 YEARS OR OLDER?
owners in Kansas and parts of the Southwest are worried about a policy
adopted by one and possibly two aircraft maintenance providers to refuse
to work on aircraft that are 18 years or older. A customer of Kansas
City Aviation Center in Olathe, Kan., who asked not to be identified,
told AVweb that officials of KCAC, a Piper dealer, told him they
would no longer lift a wrench on anything beyond that age, including
Piper products. He said he was told by company officials that its
an insurance issue. A phone message and an e-mail request for an
interview left Friday with KCACs maintenance supervisor were not
returned by our deadline, nor was an e-mail request for comment from
Piper Aircraft. More...
TREND IN THE WORKS?
After word spread on Web forums about the
Kansas situation, at least one other instance of a similar policy was
reported in a chain of FBOs that operates in the Southwest. The firm,
said to be Cutter Aviation on the Malibu Mirage Owners and Pilots
Association online message board, hasnt returned telephone or
e-mail message requests for an interview. The Kansas pilot we did speak
with told us his main fear is that the policy will spread and could
result in owners of older aircraft being unable to obtain service or
repairs while traveling. Meanwhile, Kevin Mead, the owner of a shop in
Hutchinson, Kan., says he doubts the insurance industry is driving the
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RADIO BAN THREATENS SAFETY
According to the National Air
Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), the FAA's decision in early
September to ban "commercial" AM/FM radios and cellphones from ATC
facilities placed Daytona Beach Airport (Fla.) controllers -- as well
the crew and passengers aboard a landing Comair regional jet -- in
"extreme danger" last Monday. One of the two tornadoes that ripped apart
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's on-airport
campus came within 150 yards of the ATC tower on Christmas
afternoon, and without an emergency weather radio the six controllers in
the facility had no forewarning, NATCA said. FAA spokeswoman Kathleen
Bergen confirmed that the agency in September banned, and removed,
"commercial" radios in ATC facilities because "most were tuned to music
stations during tours by FAA officials, which is a distraction to
on-duty controllers." She also verified the cellphone ban.
WILL THE PIPERJET BE BUILT?
The hot topic in political
circles around Vero Beach, Fla., these days is the future of its largest
manufacturer, Piper Aircraft, and it appears some local officials are
ready to use taxpayers' money to ensure that the company's latest
project -- the PiperJet -- is built there. A proposal is being floated
that would involve Indian River County becoming Piper's benevolent
landlord. "I'd like to see them build the jet here in Indian River
County," County Commission Chairman Gary Wheeler told Scripps News Service on Thursday. "I'd like
to see something worked out where the county buys the land and leases it
back for $1." On Dec. 20, Piper CFO Michael Kelley wrote Vero Beach City
Manager Jim Gabbard to let him know Piper had hired a Boston consultant
to scout potential locations for the jet plant. Among the options
consultant BDO Siedman has been told to consider is an expansion of the
existing facilities at Vero Beach. More...
PILOT, PASSENGER PULLED FROM PLANE
A Cincinnati couple is in
an Indianapolis hospital after apparently being overcome by exhaust
fumes while taxiing their aircraft at Delaware County Airport in Muncie,
Ind., on Wednesday. Thomas and Marilyn Kroll were pulled from their
aircraft by another pilot after the airplane was seen taxiing off the
edge of the pavement. Gene Marlin was also taxiing nearby and pulled up
beside the Krolls' plane to see what was going on. "Whenever I got
there, the line-boy had the door open but the gentlemen and the lady
were still in the airplane and the airplane was running," Marlin told
Indianapolis television station WTHR. "I just shut the engine off and
pulled the people from the airplane out." As AVweb reported in November, the FAA issued
a safety bulletin reminding mechanics to be especially careful in
checking exhaust systems and heat exchangers as the cold weather
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HELP BRS BACK INTO THE BLACK
Ballistic Recovery Systems
increased sales by 13.3 percent in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30 and
recorded a small profit of about $45,000. And while that might not seem
much for a company that sold almost $10 million worth of airframe
parachutes last year, its a major improvement over the $1.76
million loss it recorded in the previous year. "We are pleased with our
fourth quarter and full year performance as well as our ability to
achieve consistent growth in revenue and a return to
profitability, said CEO Larry Williams in a news release. Fueling that growth was a
47-percent increase in sales to the Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) sector.
FIGHT FOR MARS
Built in Baltimore in the early 1940s, the
last two remaining four-engine Martin Mars seaplanes, now owned by TimberWest of
Vancouver, British Columbia, are up for sale -- but the owners may be
among a local minority that would like to see the aircraft go. And so it
is that while the Glenn L. Martin Maryland Aviation Museum seeks your
support for a fundraising effort to "bring one home," governments of more combustible
provinces in Canada have maneuvered to seek funds to retain the immense
and unique water bombers. The fully operational Martin Mars
airplanes can each carry 60,000 pounds of water, and that puts them in a
very elite (and hard to replace) class of water-hauling aircraft. But at
65 years of age, their abilities may not be the only thing that's hard
to replace. More...
Angel Flight Georgia (AFGA) has won a court battle
for exclusive use of the name Angel Flight in the Southeast after a
judge ruled that Florida-based Angel Flight Southeast (AFSE), which is not
affiliated with the Georgia group, had not only inappropriately taken
the name but had exploited the confusion that resulted from having two
similarly named volunteer pilot organizations operating in the same
general area. In his Nov. 20 ruling, U.S. District Judge Jack Camp says
AFSE siphoned donation money away from AFGA by contacting known
supporters of AFGA (gleaned from an AFGA pamphlet) and asking for
donations without drawing a distinction between the two groups.
The record evidences that AFSE has intended for the public to be
confused and to benefit from that confusion, Camp wrote.
AFSE contacted AFGA donors that AFSE would not have normally
contacted due to the donors size and location, except that they
were known AFGA donors who could be expected to donate to 'Angel
Flight.' Neither AFGA nor AFSE officials returned AVweb's
phone and e-mail messages requesting comment. More...
Doc Blue's Emergency Medical Kit Don't
Leave Home Without It!
Do you carry a first-aid kit in your airplane or car? AVweb's Dr. Brent
Blue says drugstore first-aid kits are packed with mostly useless stuff.
Dr. Blue has assembled a traveling medical kit for dealing with all
sorts of medical problems, based on his long experience as an emergency
room doctor, frequent traveler, pilot, outdoorsman, and dad. It would
cost more than $500 to duplicate this kit, but it's available on sale
for $333. Order by calling (888) 362-7123
AROUND WITH THE WRIGHTS
Although the big anniversary
associated with the Wright brothers has passed, a potentially more
significant milestone in the development of practical aircraft comes up
in 2009. Thats when the Wrights sold a wary U.S. military its
first aircraft. The original Wright Military Flyer is hanging from the
ceiling of the National Air and Space Museum. Significant though it
might be, however, thats not the airplane Ken Hyde and his crew
Wright Experience want to replicate. The 1909 plane was an evolution
of a 1908 aircraft that crashed during a demonstration flight for the
Army and has the same engine. Its an important link to the 1908
aircraft and one that Hyde wants to get right. After erecting
scaffolding and lighting inside the museum, Hydes engine expert
Greg Cone was allowed to measure the parts inside the engine after its
cover was removed by museum staff. It was the first time the cover had
been removed since the Signal Corps transferred the aircraft to the
Smithsonian in 1911. More...
Lessons learned in the wilds of Alaska may
soon be applied at an airport near you. The FAA has announced that the
experimental Capstone program, which implemented automatic dependent
surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) service in some of the most challenging
flying environments on earth, will be rolled into the national program
to exploit the technology in the Lower 48. But the FAA says Alaskans
need not fear the advances in safety and convenience theyve
pioneered will be somehow diluted as they join the national effort. In a
Dec. 22 news release, the FAA promises that
combining the programs will advance the national ADS-B deployment
while it accelerates safety improvements in Alaska.
FUND TO HELP REBUILD EMBRY-RIDDLE FLEET
AVweb has set up a
"Rebuild the Fleet Fund" to help Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's
Daytona Beach, Fla. campus get back in the air following its devastation from two F2 tornadoes on Christmas day.
University President John Johnson estimates that the Daytona Beach
campus suffered between $50 million and $60 million in damage, $11
million of which is from the 40 airplanes that were destroyed and
another 10 that were damaged.
To kick-start the "Rebuild the Fleet
Fund," AVweb's parent company, Belvoir Media Group, is donating $1,000.
AVweb subscribers will soon be able to donate online to the fund, but
for now those wishing to help can send checks to:
The AVweb Rebuild
The Fleet Fund
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
600 S. Clyde Morris Blvd.
Daytona Beach, FL
Attn.: Jamie Belongia More...
WingX 2.0 Now Available With NACO
Approach Charts, SmartTaxi, Online Weather, and
Hilton Software LLC
has just released WingX 2.0 for the Pocket
now with approach charts, weather images, podcasts,
N-number search, helicopter W&B, and SmartTaxi to help prevent
runway incursions. Of course, this is in addition to WingX's great
Weight and Balance, Route Planning, FARs, color-coded weather reports,
and superb E6B capabilities. Excellent A/FD with auto-dial. WingX is now
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Bonanza pilot said he was disoriented before fatal
Atlantic Aviation gets FBO slot at future NYC
Onex Corp. and Goldmann Sachs test drove before they
FAA approved new LSA designations
runway incursion and debris system patented
FAA moved to block
Tallahassee approved new HondaJet
Rescuers found ice coating downed Rockwell
Kansas City is looking for a home for an American
Berlin broke ground for new international
Griswold Airport in Connecticut closed permanently over
TFR announced for Super Bowl
Congress and Exhibition taking submissions until Jan.
Anousheh Ansari guest at AirVenture Women Soar event July
NASM launches new flight simulators. More...
Use the Best ASA's 2007 FAR/AIMs and FAA
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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. Dont worry --
you'll also continue to receive AVwebFlash every Monday and Thursday.
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 aviation forecaster Richard
Aboulafia. And AVweb's podcast
index includes interviews with NORAD; Bill Lear, Jr.; NATA President
Jim Coyne; Eclipse Aviation's Vern Raburn; Honda Aircraft's Jeffrey
Smith; Cirrus Design cofounder and CEO Alan Klapmeier; and Cessna
chairman, president and CEO Jack Pelton. In today's news
summary, hear about how two shops in the Southwest are refusing to
work on airplanes that are more than 18 years old, the FAA's ban on
"commercial" radios endangers safety, the Wright Experience's quest to
replicate the Wright Military Flyer, Ballistic Recovery Systems'
turnaround year, the FAA's push to roll out ADS-B throughout the entire
U.S. and more. Remember: In AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things you
won't find anywhere else.
Brought to you by Bose Corporation. 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...
Pilot Journey Isn't Just for Students &
Instructors; There's Something for Everyone
You know Pilot Journey
's Discovery Flight
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: 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
OF THE WEEK: KAISERAIR
AVweb's "FBO of the Week"
ribbon goes to
KaiserAir at KOAK in Oakland, Calif.
AVweb reader Carl
Lindros praised the facility for not just catering to jet
"KaiserAir is the best big-city FBO in the nation. They
are friendly, fast and thorough, and they're as nice to the small plane
guy as they are to the G5 crew. Their prices are very competitive with
other big city airports, and they give free van service to the BART
station so you can easily get into San Francisco in less than 45 minutes
after you check in."
Keep those nominations
coming. For complete contest rules, click here.
actively seeking out the best FBOs in the country and another one,
submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!
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Returning to Republic Airport in Farmingdale, N.Y.,
on New Year's Day, I heard the following exchange between the tower
controller and the pilot of a Piper Arrow:
"Republic tower, Arrow Three Four Five, eight miles north, inbound with
Tower: "Arrow Three Four Five, report right downwind
Arrow: "Any chance we can get a straight
Tower: "You said you were north didn't
Arrow: "Yes, seven miles north."
Three Four Five, the only way I can give you a straight in for Runway 32
is if you turn north and continue for about 24,000
Arrow: (momentary silence) "Uh, okay, sorry, Happy New
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 Russ Niles (bio),
Glenn Pew (bio)
and Marc Cook and Editor In Chief
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
Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? A question on
marketing? Send it to AVweb's
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
Happy New Year from the AVweb staff.