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SHOW CONTINUES TO GROW
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
theyd 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...
LIGHT SPORT AIRCRAFT ABOUND AT EXPO
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.
LSA PROPELLERS AND ENGINES, TOO
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 Powers John Pescod said the first 25 customer engines
are in production now, with delivery expected in February.
In Print & Online,
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mentioning this AVwebFlash
TFRS BE FAR BEHIND?
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...
AIRCRAFT, BIGGER OPERATING AREA
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 doesnt 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 communitys
choice as the UAV operations 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."
THE THREAT IS?
The University of North Dakota is also helping
out the effort, and Doug Marshall, director of Project Development at
the universitys 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. Thats 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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IGNORED ALARMS BEFORE FATAL COLLISION
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...
AIRSPACE IN PLACE BY 2020
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 FAAs 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. Its 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 its
believed to be the pivotal technology for modernization of air traffic
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SERVICES SUIT AGAINST FAA PROCEEDS
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...
FLIGHT TRAINING CONTINUES AFTER CHRISTMAS STORM
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...
AVIATION ENTERS FLY-FROM-THE-DRIVEWAY SWEEPSTAKES
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.
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AIRLINES PASSENGERS TRAPPED ON DIVERTED PLANE
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 hadnt
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, theyd been on it for 15 hours and they werent at
their final destination of Dallas yet. More...
FORCE OFFICER WANTS HIS AIRMEN BACK
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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Stephen Hawking to get a free flight to
Scorpion on a plane stings passenger
open baggage door on Citation that crashed
Turbine wheel lands
in womans bedroom. 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
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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.
Artful Flying Now Available for Michael
Maya Charles Fans!
, written by AVweb
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 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
Brought to you by Bose Corporation. More...
OF THE WEEK: COPECA INC.
AVweb's "FBO of the Week"
ribbon goes to Copeca Inc. at TJBQ in Aquadilla, Puerto
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
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: BARB MACLEOD & MAX BELL'S 52-1/2-TURN AEROBATIC
In the wake of aviation instructor and spin king William
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...
Overheard recently at BWI:
Tower: Cirrus 123, your remarks section says you're an Indy
Cirrus 123: Well, no not really, I'm originally from
Baltimore, and you know how that story goes.
You're a Ravens fan then?
Cirrus 123: No.
Tower: Ah. A Colts fan, wherever they happen to be?
123: Yeah, that's a good way of putting it.
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.
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
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Aviate, navigate, communicate.