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Volume 13, Number 3a
January 15, 2007
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U.S. Sport Aviation Expo 2007back to top 

The four-day U.S. Sport Aviation Expo at the Sebring (Fla.) Regional Airport ended Sunday, and this year's show was well attended. This, the third year of the expo, drew record crowds and sold 120 exhibitor slots. More than 100 aircraft were displayed, and probably half that many were flying. Nearly all exhibitors reported solid sales, and every one AVweb asked said they’d be back. The best slogan came from INDus, whose new LoPresti-developed speed mods were teased (with drawings but not hardware) at the show: “If it flew any faster, it would be a federal offense.” More...

New airplanes were everywhere at the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo. The undisputed star of the show was the proof-of-concept Cessna LSA. Expect some changes if it goes into production -- the wing is slated to move down and rearward and engine cooling will be refined (there were a new cowl outlet and NACA inlet duct in evidence at Sebring). Cessna will announce whether it will join the LSA market before Sun 'n Fun. Avia brought its A-16 Sport Falcon tandem-seat trainer and said an amphibious version is in the works. LSA America was there showing its Czech-built Mystique, which is now available in 80- or 100-hp 912 versions. Jim Stewart (S-51 Mustang) showed his new metal twin-boom S-LSA pusher design dubbed The Horizon. More...

Two new engines debuted at the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo. Vulcan Aircraft Engines displayed its Vulcan concept powerplant, which is close to being flight tested. President Kevin Sweeney said the four-cylinder horizontal-inline diesel will be in the air by Sun 'n Fun, with demo flights in the company's CH701 scheduled for Oshkosh. It's an all-new design that fits within the profiles of the Rotax 912 "not accidentally," said Sweeney. Meanwhile, UL Power brought its UL260i, a Belgian product that is ready for delivery. UL Power’s John Pescod said the first 25 customer engines are in production now, with delivery expected in February. More...

In Print & Online, Trade-A-Plane Has Everything That Keeps You Flying
Get 24 issues (two years) for just $24.95 (U.S., standard mail), including no-cost access to Trade-A-Plane's web site, which is updated daily. Subscribe by calling (800) 337-5263 and mentioning this AVwebFlash, or subscribe online.
Drones To Start Canadian Border Patrolsback to top 

That fall fishing trip to Canada might have some unprecedented complications. According to a report in the Winnipeg Free Press, U.S. Customs and Border Protection plans to start patrols of the border between Canada and the U.S. (the longest undefended border in the world, by the way) by Predator unmanned aerial vehicles in September. The Predators will be based in Grand Forks, N.D. And, unless something changes between now and then, that could mean that large blocks of airspace along the northern border of the U.S. will be under temporary flight restrictions when the drones are flying. Because UAVs lack autonomous collision-avoidance capability, similar flights over the Mexican border in Arizona resulted in a TFR that closed a 300-nm stretch of airspace above the U.S.-Mexico border between 14,000 and 16,000 feet. More...

While the Arizona operation was restricted to a relatively small area, it appears the Canadian border patrols will be larger in both scope and frequency. According to the Winnipeg Free Press, “at first one drone, with more to follow, will span much of the 8,900-kilometre [5,500-mile] frontier Canada and the U.S. share between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.” The newspaper doesn’t give a source for that information. It does, however, quote Scott Baker, the chief patrol agent for Customs and Border Protection in Grand Forks, as saying his small community’s choice as the UAV operation’s home base was strategic. “We're dead center on the northern border," he told the Free Press. "So, they can go either way and they're equidistant pretty much." More...

The University of North Dakota is also helping out the effort, and Doug Marshall, director of Project Development at the university’s Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences, told the Winnipeg Free Press the human tide of economic refugees crossing from Mexico to the U.S. is less important to security officials than potential terrorists "finding a way to get into Canada and then finding it relatively easy to get across the [U.S.] border." He added: "And it is easier. That’s just a fact." Canadian officials have, in the past, taken issue with allegations from south of the border that Canada is a breeding ground for terrorist factions just waiting to waltz into the U.S. unchecked. More...

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News Briefsback to top 

A review of audiotapes and computer records from the Gillespie Tower and Southern California Terminal Radar Control Center shows controllers failed to warn the pilots of two Cessnas of a potential collision even though the alarms sounded and displayed visual warnings for 51 seconds before the planes collided over La Mesa, Calif. All three occupants of the two aircraft died when the Cessna 182 and a 172 collided in midair, erupted into fireballs and rained burning debris over a square mile last Feb. 8. NTSB Chairman Mark Rosenker released a letter outlining safety concerns arising from the accident in July and the San Diego Union Tribune recently obtained copies of the audiotapes and computer records through a freedom of information request. More...

Your airplane will have to be equipped with Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) gear by 2020 to have full access to the National Airspace System. According to Flight International, Nicholas Sabatini, the FAA’s associate director for flight safety, told an agency workshop last week that the FAA will soon issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that will make ADS-B a requirement to “assure access to certain airspace.” It’s not clear exactly which class, or classes, of airspace will require ADS-B or whether a new airspace designation is in the works. FAA officials have been publicly touting the benefits of the system for a couple of years, and it’s believed to be the pivotal technology for modernization of air traffic control. More...

New Term Rates Available from Pilot Insurance Center
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News Briefsback to top 

Flight service specialists whose jobs were outsourced or eliminated when Lockheed Martin won the contract to take over the FSS system will get their day in court after all. According to the Federal Times, on Jan. 8, U.S. District Court Judge Ronnie Roberts denied the Department of Transportation's application for dismissal of the case, ruling that his court does have jurisdiction over the age discrimination issues raised in the suit. Roberts is the same judge who, in 2005, refused to delay the transfer of the FSS system to Lockheed Martin pending the outcome of the suit, saying the employees “are not likely to succeed on the merits of the age discrimination claim.” But whether he thinks they'll win the case or not, Roberts ruled they should at least have the chance to try. More...

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University on Thursday announced students will return to classes on Jan. 16 at its Daytona Beach campus, following Christmas Day tornadoes that destroyed or severely damaged a number of aircraft, leveled a maintenance hangar and rendered unusable the main administration building. All the aircraft lost to the storm have been replaced "with others of the same high quality" and flight training has already resumed. "The best way to describe the spirit on campus is: onward and upward," said John P. Johnson, president of Embry-Riddle. Some classes and more than 120 employees have been displaced while repairs are made to the administration building. More...

Carter Aviation Technologies says it has developed a gyrocopter that will land and take off vertically. The company says the gyro, based on a commercially available kit-built aircraft, will evolve into the Personal Aerial Vehicle (PAV) the world has been waiting for. “We feel the [gyro] can now visually demonstrate that the age of true personal flight is at hand,” said Carter President Jay Carter Jr. “We now have a vehicle that can safely take off from your driveway, fly 200 miles and then safely land and take-off from a truck stop to refuel, or a restaurant to eat, or a hotel where you can spend the night.” More...

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News Briefsback to top 

American Airlines says it will apologize to 138 passengers who spent nine hours stuck on the ground in Austin and ended up with overflowing toilets, no water to drink and only pretzels to eat. And the ordeal could have lasted even longer if the captain of the crammed MD-80 hadn’t defied company orders and taxied to an open gate without permission. "The stewardesses desperately tried to keep the tempers and the temperament of the passengers down,” passenger Kati Hanni told NBC News. By the time passengers got off the plane, they’d been on it for 15 hours and they weren’t at their final destination of Dallas yet. More...

A senior officer at a key strategic bomber base says he hopes the Army can stop using his personnel as cannon fodder and let them concentrate on their real job of "putting bombs on target from B-1s." In a commentary that appeared in Air Combat Command's Web newsletter on Wednesday, Lt. Col. Gerald Goodfellow of the 28th Operations Group at Ellsworth AFB in South Dakota says that while he's proud of the job Air Force personnel do when they are assigned "light infantry" positions in the Army, it's not what they signed on for and he's worried it could sap the Air Force's strength. "In America's current wars the Air Force has found itself in a situation where it, in effect, has to pay for and train its Airmen to serve ground duty (a form of 'light infantry,' to quote Gen. Ronald Keys, Air Combat Command commander) and then pay to supply that light infantry with items from bullet proof vests to armored vehicles to keep them safe," Goodfellow wrote. "I believe the Air Force should spend its money on capabilities that will ensure future air dominance." More...

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News In Briefback to top 

Stephen Hawking to get a free flight to space…
Scorpion on a plane stings passenger…
Witness saw open baggage door on Citation that crashed…
Turbine wheel lands in woman’s bedroom. 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...

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...

Tired of the High Cost of Fuel? GAMIjectors Are the Answer!
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New On AVwebback to top 



CEO of the Cockpit #66: Night Flight, Direct Rome
The amazing art and science of navigating an airliner didn't always dwell in the clicking CPU of a black box. Even AVweb's CEO of the Cockpit sometimes has to fly IFR -- I Follow Roads.

AVMAIL: JAN. 15, 2007


AVmail: Jan. 1, 2007
Reader mail this week about a three-engine 747, paper or plastic (certificates) and more. More...

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...

Artful Flying Now Available for Michael Maya Charles Fans!
Artful Flying, written by AVweb columnist Michael Maya Charles, is now available. Readers will learn the secrets to becoming a better pilot — and enjoying it more! Order online and receive ground shipping at no cost.
AVweb Audio Newsback to top 

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 Mikel Boorom at Maule Air. And AVweb's podcast index includes interviews with Professsional Aviation Maintenance Association president Brian Finnegan; aviation forecaster Richard Aboulafia; NORAD; Bill Lear, Jr.; NATA President Jim Coyne; Eclipse Aviation's Vern Raburn; Honda Aircraft's Jeffrey Smith; and Cirrus Design cofounder and CEO Alan Klapmeier. In today's news summary, hear about how the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo drew record crowds and exhibitors, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's planned use of UAVs along the Canadian border, a midair collision that controllers failed to prevent, an upcoming ADS-B mandate and more. Remember: In AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things you won't find anywhere else.

Brought to you by Bose Corporation. More...

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FBO Of The Weekback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Copeca Inc. at TJBQ in Aquadilla, Puerto Rico.

AVweb reader Tami Bream said the FBO makes you feel right at home.

"We have been flying to Puerto Rico for more than 10 years and always land at Aquadilla Airport (BQN/TJBQ). We never found an FBO there, until now. Copeca is first rate and really knows how to treat GA pilots. Upon our arrival, they met our Bonanza with umbrellas due to the rain. This is a rare event, even in the States when arriving in a single-engine piston. Once we got out, they pushed the plane directly into a hangar so we could unload and stay dry. Their facilities are beautiful and clean, and we felt right at home. They should be recognized for their courteousness and knowing how to really treat GA pilots."

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!


Don't Read Aviation Consumer and You Could Spend Foolishly!
Knowing what really works (or doesn't) helps make the right decision when you're ready to spend hard-earned dollars on aviation products. Aviation Consumer isn't supported by advertising like other aviation publications. Aviation Consumer editors can tell you the unbiased truth about products and services. Be fearless. Order online and receive unlimited no-cost use of Aviation Consumer's ratings-packed web archives!
Video Of The Weekback to top 

In the wake of aviation instructor and spin king William Kershner's passing, we thought this would be a good time to share a video AVweb editor Jen Whitley had on hand from a few years ago. In this incredible clip, aerobatics pros Barb MacLeod and Max Bell perform a 52-and-a-half-turn spin in Austin, Texas during the winter of 1994. Click through to watch the video and be amazed. More...

The Lighter Side Of Flightback to top 

Overheard recently at BWI:

Baltimore Tower: Cirrus 123, your remarks section says you're an Indy fan.

Cirrus 123: Well, no not really, I'm originally from Baltimore, and you know how that story goes.

Baltimore Tower: You're a Ravens fan then?

Cirrus 123: No.

Baltimore Tower: Ah. A Colts fan, wherever they happen to be?

Cirrus 123: Yeah, that's a good way of putting it.


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 Russ Niles (bio) and Glenn Pew (bio) and Special Contributor Tim Kern.

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.