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PILOTS REPORT MAINTENANCE PROBLEMS
AVweb's stories (1, 2) on Monday about some maintenance and repair
shops turning away work on older airplanes brought in more reports from
pilots who have run into similar situations. Readers in Maryland, Texas
and Utah said local operators have told them they can no longer work on
aircraft over 18 years old due to insurance and liability concerns.
Brian Finnegan, president of the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association
(PAMA), told AVweb on Wednesday that the 18-year limit on
manufacturer liability set by the 1994 General Aviation Revitalization
Act (GARA) does raise concerns that the focus of litigation in the case
of an accident involving an older aircraft could shift to the
maintenance shop. But so far no troubling trends have been noted, he
HINT OF THINGS TO COME?
The concern is that if enough lawyers
in search of "deep pockets" go after maintenance shops, the cost of
defending against that trend could put insurers on the defensive.
Professional Aviation Maintenance Association President Brian Finnegan
said the FAA's Aging Aircraft Committee, of which he's a member, has
been carefully monitoring litigation relevant to mechanics and
maintenance providers to keep on top of any changes. "I'm not aware of
any maintenance being turned away at this point" due to such concerns,
he said. Peter Tulupman, a spokesman for aviation insurance company AIG,
told AVweb on Wednesday that the company has no policy
restricting shops from working on aircraft over a certain age.
ON THE LOOKOUT
"AOPA has been following this for a number of
months now," spokesman Chris Dancy told AVweb on Wednesday
afternoon. "In fact, Phil Boyer had a brief face-to-face meeting with
Bill Cutter last August after the story first surfaced. Now that another
shop has apparently made the business decision to keep their insurance
premiums in check by declining to work on aircraft 18 years old or more,
it raises the question of whether these are only a couple of isolated
incidents or the beginning of a very disturbing trend." Dancy said AOPA
is still investigating the situation. "Is this truly the beginning of a
trend? If so, what action is appropriate? Will it require legislation?
What type of legislation? All of these questions and others need to be
answered before AOPA can take any action." More...
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LIGHT SPORT AIRCRAFT ON DISPLAY AT EXPO
The third annual U.S. Sport
Aviation Expo will take place next week in Sebring, Fla., from Jan.
11 to 14. The user-friendly event has been growing every year, and this
time will host about 70 outdoor booths and another 50 or so exhibitors
in tents. "We'll have a number of new aircraft to show this year," event
chairman Bob Wood told AVweb on Tuesday. "The Cessna LSA
[light-sport aircraft] prototype will be here flying," he said,
providing the first public showcase flights of the new aircraft. Cessna
confirmed that it will bring its prototype LSA to the event, but the
airplane will not be available for visitors to try out unlike most
aircraft at the show. More...
LSA ENGINES, SEMINARS AND EVENTS
Next week's U.S. Sport
Aviation Expo aims not just to show off the LSA products but to
introduce the masses to the whole concept of sport flying and get them
up in the air for a free demo flight. Entrance fees are low, with $40
buying a four-day pass including parking. Fly-ins are welcome, and
camping is just $5 a day. Besides lots of LSAs to look at and try out,
UL Power-Aero from Belgium and Vulcan both will be introducing new
engines at the show, Wood said. EAA staffers provide free seminars about
how to choose the right LSA and how to earn a sport pilot certificate.
Current aviators can also learn about becoming an LSA instructor or
repair technician. More...
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AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS PROTEST PRIVATIZATION
With the new
year, the administration of Iceland's air traffic control system shifted
to a new public corporation, Flugstodir ohf, and controllers are
apparently not happy about the change, which affects salaries and
pension funds. About 60 of the controllers said they would resign on
Jan. 1, which an Iceland Express official said would have "catastrophic"
effects on the aviation system. But the two sides have been in talks
since Sunday, trying to resolve the issues. More...
SETS AGENDA FOR 2007
"We must increase the number of student
pilots," says AOPA President Phil Boyer, in setting out his
priorities for the coming year. "For our own survival, we must grow the
pilot population ... [or] general aviation will become here what it is
in much of the rest of the world -- something enjoyed only by some
businesses and the wealthy few," he said. At one time, there were more
than 800,000 active pilots in the U.S., but now this number has dropped
below 600,000. To encourage more people to start flying, Boyer is asking
all pilots to step forward and mentor a newcomer. He also encourages
pilots simply to fly more often, which not only keeps skills sharp, but
creates more opportunities to bring passengers aloft and introduce them
to the benefits of general aviation. More...
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2006 A SAFE YEAR FOR AVIATION
Around the world, 1,292 people
died in plane crashes in 2006, according to the Geneva-based Aircraft Crashes Record
Office (ACRO). That was the lowest total since 1963, and a drop of
11 percent from the year before. The group keeps track of crashes
involving commercial airplanes that seat at least six people, plus the
crew. About one-third of the accidents occurred in North America, with
45 accidents in the U.S., according to ACRO, and about three-quarters of
the crashes involved piston-powered aircraft. Among airliners, two
Airbus jets crashed, five built by Boeing and 16 Antonovs built in the
ALERT SYSTEM CITED IN FATAL CRASH
The "inadequate design and
function" of the Minimum Safe Altitude Warning System in an FAA airport
tower was cited as a contributing factor by the NTSB in its final report on the fatal crash of a Mitsubishi
MU-2B-60 in Colorado in August 2005. The approach controller handed off
the flight to the tower when it was about 10 miles out, but the tower
controller's radar display issued an aural alarm to warn of terrain
conflict only within five miles of the airport. The discrepancy meant
the tower controller was not warned until it was too late. The
commercial pilot, who was flying cargo, was attempting a precision
instrument approach at about 2 a.m. in instrument meteorological
conditions when the airplane collided with terrain about four miles
short of the runway. More...
Why Not Get Rewarded for Your
AOPA's WorldPoints Rewards
credit card program features two
points for every net retail dollar spent at thousands of FBOs, on select
products and services, and at participating aviation
retailers, including Sporty's
, Pacific Coast Avionics
, Aircraft Spruce & Specialty
, and Gulf
. There's no limit on the number of points, and points
can be redeemed for cash, travel, event tickets, and more. For more
information, call (800) 932-2775
TAKES A LOOK AT O'HARE, RETREATS
If a spaceship were to
travel across the vast emptiness of space, enter Earth's atmosphere, and
then find itself hovering above the busy ramp at Chicago's O'Hare
Airport, can you blame those astronauts for deciding to just turn around
and leave, without even stopping to say hello? According to about a
dozen United Air Lines workers, including some pilots, that's just what
happened one overcast night in November. The observers said they saw a
flying elliptical object, dark gray and about 20 feet across, that
hovered about 1,000 feet or so above the airport for several minutes
about 4:30 p.m. They told their story to the FAA and the airline, who
kept it quiet until a Chicago Tribune reporter got a whiff recently and
started asking questions. The FAA at first denied any knowledge of the
event, but after the Tribune filed a request for documents a record of a
telephone call from a United supervisor surfaced. More...
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 a direct hit from two devastating 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. We've been assured that any
donations to Embry-Riddle will be devoted to the flight line, and to
help students continue their training. Contributions will be allocated
to meet the school's significant insurance deductible, we're told, but
also to help defray the cost of flying in leased replacements and to
reduce losses by fixing repairable damage. The bottom line is that AVweb
wants to support any mission that helps build tomorrow's pilots, so we
consider a donation as an investment in the future.
To kick-start the
"Rebuild the Fleet Fund," AVweb's parent company, Belvoir Media Group,
is contributing $1,000. AVweb subscribers will soon be able to donate
online to the fund, but for now those wishing to help can send checks
The AVweb Rebuild The Fleet Fund
Office of Development
600 S. Clyde Morris
Daytona Beach, FL 32114
Attn.: Jamie Belongia
The 2006 New Piper Mirage Offers Serious
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the New Piper Mirage
A 737 that went missing in Indonesia Monday remains
Cessna has received FAA type certification for the Encore+
F-16s scrambled to intercept a Maule M-7 in a TFR above
Adam Aircraft update: Certification on the A700 jet now
expected in 2007...
A horse was killed by an airplane in
Flying-car company Terrafugia closed its first round of
Steven Chealander was sworn in Wednesday as a member of
David E. Jackson was named CEO of King Schools.
Monday's "On The Fly," an item about an Eaglet in Kansas City looking
for a new home contained a link to Marty Reichelt's Eaglet Web page.
While his airplane is indeed an Eaglet, it is not the specific one
mentioned in the item. AVweb apologizes for any confusion this might
have caused. More...
If You Live in Florida or Texas, Mike Busch Is
Coming to a Town Near You
Mike Busch will be offering his acclaimed Savvy Owner Seminar at Ft.
Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE) on February 24-25 and near
Dallas/Addison Airport (ADS) on March 3-4. 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,
2006 Year In Review
Brisk sales, new airplanes,
no hurricanes -- despite troubles in the towers, some tragic flights,
and worries about the future, overall a pretty good year for general
aviation. Here's our year-end review of the news.
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.
DA40 Diamond Star a Fleet
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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 Monday'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...
Introducing AVweb Bookstore, the Most
Complete Aviation Bookstore Anywhere
Over 400 titles representing 52 publishers are in stock and ready for
immediate delivery, as books, videos, or CDs. 100+ titles available
instantly as fully searchable e-Book downloads. Whether you are a pilot,
an A&P technician, or a kit airplane builder, if it's worth reading,
it's available from the AVweb Bookstore
Click here to visit online
If You Have a Calendar Event, AVweb Wants to
Hear from You!
AVweb's no-cost Calendar of Events
is available to everyone who
has an event to post! Remember, over 160,000 subscribers turn to AVweb
for their news. Make sure they know about your upcoming event:
Post it online!
OF THE WEEK: KAISERAIR
AVweb's "FBO of the Week"
ribbon goes to KaiserAir Center at KOAK in Oakland,
AVweb reader Carl Lindros praised the facility for
not just catering to jet clients.
"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!
OF THE WEEK
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 the one photo that stands above the others is
awarded as our "Picture of the Week" while an AVweb baseball cap is sent
to the submitter. While most of our readers were bundling up and
fighting the cold weather last week,
of Vienna, Va., was spending the first days of
winter in the Bahamas. While he didn't have the foresight to invite us
along, he did take his camera and submit a handful of gorgeous photos.
By happy circumstance, this particular photo was not only our favorite
reader photo this week; it also featured the two motifs that dominated
the post-Christmas week of submissions sunsets and seaplanes.
(You'll find more of both at AVweb's home page during the first week of
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).
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
Aviate, navigate, communicate.