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STUMPS FOR USER-FEE PLAN
The FAA's new financing proposal may
have gotten a cool reception in Congress last week, but that's not
daunting FAA Administrator Marion Blakey, who is continuing to push for
the plan's acceptance. Speaking before the Royal Aeronautical Society in
Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Blakey acknowledged that "a bit of a stick
fight" greeted the release of her proposed legislation, but said she's
convinced that it's on target and needs to get passed. "The people who
have never paid a user fee still don't want to," she said. "If you think
that a user fee is troublesome, try an air traffic system that's totally
gridlocked. When that happens, the argument about who flies most or who
pays what isn't going to matter." More...
A STEP CLOSER IN EUROPE
Any pilot who's tried to communicate
on a busy frequency can appreciate the value of having a datalink option
in the cockpit, where controllers can send instructions directly to a
computer screen. This week, Europe's airspace system moved a step closer
to implementing a universal datalink system, announcing the choice of a contractor to build the infrastructure.
The project will be led by a consortium comprising Sita, which is
already providing air/ground service to most airlines, and Sofreavia,
which provides the hardware. New rules that are expected to be adopted
this year will require aircraft that fly in Europe's airspace to be
datalink-ready by 2010. More...
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NEW BACKCOUNTRY FLYERS FROM EXPEDITION AIRCRAFT
A company in
Canada is working on a pair of beefy new single-engine backcountry
aircraft that should be certified soon. Expedition Aircraft of Toronto
said on Wednesday that both of its multi-mission aircraft, the E350 and
the E350XC, have already completed 90 percent of the work required to
obtain certification. Both aircraft will be powered by a 315-hp Lycoming
IO-580 engine and have a rugged design, with four doors and four seats
(fifth seat optional). The E350 has tricycle gear while the E350XC is a
taildragger, ready for optional tundra tires or skis. Both aircraft will
be available for floatplane conversions. The airplanes will be on
display at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh this July, the company said.
SEEKS RETURNING VETERANS FOR AVIATION JOBS
Veterans who are
leaving the service are looking for good jobs, and the aviation
companies in Wichita have good jobs in need of ready workers. So this
week union leaders and company executives jointly launched the "Hire A
Hero" project to entice those vets to come to Wichita and start a
training program. "We believe that this program that we are launching
... is truly the answer to many of the problems we seek to resolve," Tom
Buffenbarger, president of the International Association of Machinists
and Aerospace Workers, told The Associated Press. More than 225,000 military
personnel leave active duty every year, and unemployment among them is
twice as high as the general population, according to hiring consultant
Dan Caulfield. "They are going to be trainable, drug-free and eager to
take the jobs you are offering," Caulfield told the Wichita group. Hire a Hero is a
nationwide program managed by the Armed Forces Support Foundation.
COMPANY LAUNCHES NEW LSA
Aircraft last week celebrated the first flight of its first
U.S.-built copy of the Storm Rally special-light sport aircraft. The
Rally is an Italian design now being manufactured in Jackson, Mich.
Prestige began with the idea of importing the airplanes, but soon
decided that it would be a better idea to just build them here. The
high-wing Rally has the biggest cabin in its class, the company says,
with gull-type doors and 300-degree visibility. Prestige already has
started production of the Rally and plans to start on a second LSA
model, the low-wing Century, next month. A third LSA, the SeaStorm
amphibian, will be added in the future, but it will require a redesign
to meet the weight restrictions of the U.S. sport-aircraft rules.
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AIRLINES AT ODDS OVER OPERATING FEES
advocates are not the only ones crying foul when it comes to the
airlines' ideas about who should pay for what. While AOPA, NBAA and
others last week protested the airlines' claim that GA needs to shoulder
a bigger share of the expense for the National Airspace System, this
week a California airport agency said the airlines are not paying enough
for terminal space. Seven airlines that occupy terminals at Los Angeles
International Airport have refused to pay their fair share of the
operating costs, according to Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), the
city agency that operates LAX. "As a result, much-needed airport
improvements have not been made," the agency said in a news release on
Tuesday. Further, the airlines want to "continue to force LAWA to
subsidize their operations at LAX in order to boost their bottom lines,"
the agency said. More...
AIRPLANE WRECK -- ACCIDENT OR CRIME?
A hunter tramping
through a Louisiana swamp last week in search of rabbits stumbled onto a
wrecked airplane, half-buried in the muck. "The wings are broken off.
The plane burned," Harold Schoeffler of Lafayette told The
Advocate. "You can see the path of plane parts where it came through
the trees." Schoeffler poked around a bit, recorded the GPS coordinates
of the site and reported his find to the NTSB. He didn't find any sign
of human remains, and estimated the wreck at about 30 years old. It was
a white Cessna 180 with pontoon floats, he said, but he couldn't find
any registration number or other identifying marks. The NTSB said no
lost airplanes had been reported in the area, which led to speculation
that the 180 may have been on an illicit mission, perhaps smuggling
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AVIATION STARTS MOVE TO DOUBLE EAGLE AIRPORT
Aviation will build a new 41,585-square-foot, two-story facility at
the Double Eagle II Airport, on the west side of Albuquerque, the
company said Tuesday. Once it's up and running by the end of this year,
the new facility will house about 100 workers in a variety of roles,
including training, flight support and administrative support. About
half will be existing employees moved from the company's present
facility, while the rest will be new hires. Eclipse now operates out of
rented facilities at Albuquerque International Sunport, but plans to
eventually build a complete campus of its own at the Double Eagle site,
where the company owns 150 acres bordering the airport's technology
REPORTS ANOTHER RECORD YEAR
Cirrus Design on Monday announced
that it delivered 721 airplanes last year, a 20-percent jump compared
with the previous year. This total includes 565 copies of the SR22,
making that model the best-selling single-engine airplane in the world.
The world beyond North America seems to be ready for more GA airplanes,
and Cirrus has been making the most of that growth potential. "Cirrus
has continued to make great strides in opening new international
markets; in fact 25 percent of our deliveries were to these markets,"
said Cirrus spokesman John Bingham. Cirrus also started a new Cirrus
Certified program last year, which factory-certifies used airplanes for
resale. That program sold 30 airplanes in the last few months of the
Chicago-Based JA Air Center
Announces Expansion Plans
JA Air Center
is proud to announce a new 108,000-square-foot
facility to be built at Chicagoland's Aurora Airport (KARR). Slated to
open in 2008, the $20M expansion project includes hangar space to fit
Gulfstream 550-size aircraft, a roomy FBO terminal, rental space for
aviation tenants, and a spacious ramp. JA Air Center
is a Part
145 Repair Station and also operates the FBO at nearby DeKalb Airport
(KDKB). Call (800) 323-5966
click here for more information
OF CRACKED WINDSHIELDS A MYSTERY
The NTSB has brought in a
glass specialist to try to figure out why 14 airplane windshields
cracked during an hour-and-a-half at Denver International Airport last
Friday afternoon. "We believe it is very remarkable to have this number
of events in the same area at the same time," FAA spokesman Allen
Kenitzer told The Denver Channel. Some of the aircraft were taking
off, some were landing and some were parked at various locations on the
airfield. Weather at the time was variable, with temperature changes,
some snow and high winds gusting over 50 mph, the Denver Post reported. However, no damage was found
to airframes, which seems to rule out windborne debris as the culprit.
"It's baffling," DIA spokesman Chuck Cannon told The Denver Channel.
ETHICS RULES LEAVE CONGRESSMAN GROUNDED
Minnesota is a big,
spread-out state, and Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson's district covers
35 counties. He's found his Beech Bonanza beats out any other way to
travel, but new ethics rules have left him grounded. "It's a pretty
stupid deal," Peterson, 62, told the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star-Tribune. House officials
have said the new rules are intended to limit the use of private jets by
members of Congress, but don't apply to members who fly their own
airplanes. However, Peterson said the Ethics Committee has a different
interpretation, and until it can all be ironed out he can't fly his
Bonanza. "They didn't know anything about airplanes, the people who were
writing this [new legislation], and they didn't talk to me," Peterson
told the newspaper. More...
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
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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
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visit online for the rest of the
Columbia offers online "white papers" about aircraft
"Doc," the B-29 Superfortress, was moved out its hangar
Golden Knights will salute Project Mercury at the World
A Minn. airline pilot won a $25,000 jackpot two days in
FAA's Bobby Sturgell will serve as Acting COO of the
Ohio TV news shows impact of FAA rule changes on charity
XM and Sirius satellite radio companies to merge.
Monday's AVwebFlash, we incorrectly identified the source of a story on
the Alaska Capstone program. The story originated with the Alaska
Journal of Commerce, not the Business Journal of Alaska as stated. We
apologize for any confusion.
Also in Monday's issue, a photo in the
lighting story was inadvertently published without permission of
copyright owner XeVision. We apologize for the oversight.
Merge the Real and Virtual Worlds, and Have Fun
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TO THE NEW FACE OF AVWEB
AVweb.com, the worlds best Web site for
general aviation news and information, is now even better thanks to a
redesigned home page. The revamped home page has more content, easier
navigation, a more user-friendly podcast interface and better graphics
to complement AVweb's real-time general aviation news, incisive
commentary and unparalleled feature reporting. More...
It's Not What You Know, but Who You Know that
Can Save You Money!
Avionics. Next to your airframe and engine(s), avionics are the most
expensive items you will purchase for your aircraft. Don't spend more
than you need to! Before you buy anywhere else, call Bennett
at (800) 653-7295
It's not rocket science, just good business!
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 Cliff Gaston, manager of a
B-29 restoration program. And AVweb's podcast index includes interviews
with NBAA's Ed Bolen; Alaska pilot Cable Wells; NATCA's Paul Rinaldi;
AOPA's Kathleen Vascouselos; Maule Air's Mikel Boorom; Professsional
Aviation Maintenance Association president Brian Finnegan; aviation
forecaster Richard Aboulafia; NORAD; Bill Lear, Jr.; NATA President Jim
Coyne; and Eclipse Aviation's Vern Raburn. In Monday's
podcast, AVweb interviews EAA's Earl Lawrence about how the
new air-tour rule will affect the Young Eagles program. Remember: In
AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things you won't find anywhere else.
Brought to you by
Bose Corporation. 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
GPS-enabled! Learn more and download WingX at
Kevin Garrison's New Book Now
Clear Left, I'll Have the Chicken (An Airline Captain Looks at
is a collection of columns, humor pieces, satires, piloting
advice, and memories from 26 years of airline flying.
Now available online
OF THE WEEK: CITY OF WAUCHULA
AVweb's "FBO of the Week"
ribbon goes to City of Wauchula at KCHN in Wauchula,
AVweb reader Jerry Carbaugh said the personnel at the
city-run facility focus on pleasing customers.
"The folks running
the FBO are great. They have the lowest fuel cost around and believe in
satisfying the customer."
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 one photo that stands above the others is awarded
an AVweb baseball cap as our "Picture of the Week."
Terry Bock of Encinitas, California capped
off a 29-year career as a commercial pilot on February 10, arriving at
Philadelphia's KPHL underneath rainbows and beautiful skies. Terry's
kicking off retirement in style, taking the top spot in week where
"POTW" submissions numbered nearly 200! (After looking at the first
hundred photos, we've got more stellar shots that we can possibly size
and post before press time, so we may end up saving a few of the best
for next week unless, of course, you decide to deluge us with
photos next week, too, which would be a good problem to have!)
THE AVWEBFLASH TEAM
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
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.