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Eclipse Aviation and Avidyne have decided to terminate their relationship, Eclipse spokesman Andrew Broom told AVweb on
Sunday. The troubles between the two companies go back to December 2005 when Eclipse announced a three-month delay for its Model 500 very light jet due to problems with an avionics vendor, which last
summer was identified as Avidyne. Since then, the relationship soured further and the delays became longer. "Avidyne will no longer supply components for the Avio Total Aircraft Integration system in
the Eclipse 500. We have agreed it is in the mutual best interest of both companies, and our customers, to wind down our relationship and go our separate ways," Broom said. An announcement revealing
Eclipse's new suppliers and detailing its specific plans for Avio will be made within the next two weeks, he added.
"This change has no effect on Eclipse 500 production or delivery. All near-term
customer aircraft will have the Avidyne components installed, and Eclipse will be retrofitting these early deliveries with the new components," noted Broom. "The exact timing of the production cut-in
is currently being finalized. Avio will continue to be an integral part of the Eclipse 500, and we are confident in our ability to deliver all of the promised functionality to our customers on an
aggressive schedule. To this end, we have partnered with an impressive new team of proven, reliable suppliers to deliver Avio functionality. Our team has been working closely with this group
behind-the-scenes for a number of months, and has already made significant progress. We expect the change to be seamless for our customers from a standpoint of Eclipse 500 functionality, look and
Controllers at Dallas-Fort Worth International's regional TRACON have been given a refresher on the meaning of the words "we need to get on
the ground right away, please" after they denied an American Airlines 757 priority handling, despite the fact that the crew declared an emergency. According to ABC News, which broke the story last
week, the incident happened on Aug. 31 when the crew reported a fuel shortage, possibly due to a leak. When the crew asked for a straight-in approach to runway 17C to get the airplane and its
passengers on the ground quickly, the TRACON controller twice denied the request. In the end, the aircraft circled to Runway 31R and landed uneventfully. But the tapewhich we review in today's podcast has been used as a training aid to remind controllers of the nuances of pilot phraseology. According to FAA
spokeswoman Laura Brown, the controller in question was unclear just how sweaty-browed this pilot was. "This was a situation where there was confusion about the term 'minimal fuel' and 'fuel
emergency,'" Brown told the Houston Chronicle. "The controller was confused about the distinction."
An article recently printed by the Examiner.com takes critical aim at Cirrus Design, picking from a recent NTSB report regarding the Cory Lidle crash in New York city and citing crash statistics it says give the
SR20 and SR22 a "spotty record." While the article notes that Lidle had time in type that most insurers would find anemic and that the NTSB cited he was not trained by nor was he flying with a Cirrus
qualified instructor, it adds that the SR20 and 22 have suffered "more than 40 incidents [in sum] since 2001." As is often the case in the popular press, the Examiners article fails to put its
reporting in context. Exhaustive research by AVweb sister publications Aviation Safety and Aviation Consumer found that the Cirrus fleet has a relatively good overall accident
record 4.1 accidents per 100,000 hours versus 6.2 for the entire GA fleet. The Cirrus fleet fatal accident rate is 1.4 per 100,000 hours, only slightly higher than the GA average of 1.2. In its
upcoming March 2007 issue, Aviation Safety reports that the Cirrus fleet accident pattern is quite different from airplanes of like
performance and it also finds that the Cirrus owners group is having a profound effect on improving training for new owners.
Referencing a recent promotional mailer sent by Cirrus to Maryland residents, the Examiner article also states, "Despite at least 42 deaths involving these planes, the company continues to market
the aircraft as if they are as easy to drive as a car." When contacted for comment, Cirrus Vice President of Business Administration Bill King told AVweb, "We have made a business out of
designing and manufacturing the safest aircraft in the world in our class." He didn't stop there. "When our aircraft are used in accordance with the proper training and within the design standards, we
believe they represent a new standard for efficient and safe flight," said King. Regardless of either position, there are more than a few people who attribute their lives to the full-plane emergency
parachute system provided aboard Cirrus' aircraft. And speaking specifically of the Lidle crash, "The NTSB is the only entity that should be commenting upon the probable cause of any incident and they
will in time use the information to derive a probable cause," said King. "We clearly understand this role of the NTSB and await their comments."
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FAA brass have approved nationwide deployment
of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast as the cornerstone of the Next Generation Air Transportation System. The agencys Joint Resources Council (JRC), which reviews major acquisitions,
believes full implementation of ADS-B will give pilots the in-cockpit information they need to play a role in maintaining separation from other traffic and that, combined with the more accurate
position data available to controllers, will, theoretically at least, allow more airplanes in the same amount of airspace. "With real-time situational awareness in the cockpit, aircraft will be able
to fly closer together, resulting in a significant increase in airspace capacity," the FAA says. The JRC decision sets in motion the second phase of the NGATS deployment and covers the years from 2009
to 2014. In addition to installing the system in the Lower 48, it guarantees that the Capstone Program will continue in Alaska. Capstone also uses ADS-B as part of a suite of avionics aimed at
reducing accident rates. The accident rate has fallen but not because of separation issues, which aren't much of a problem in the sparsely populated areas. The GPS and synthetic vision systems that go
along with them are credited with most of the accident-rate reduction.
ADS-B deployment will be a massive undertaking, requiring new gear to be installed in ground facilities all over the U.S. But while the FAA
is big on sweeping statements about how the government and the successful bidder will create this entirely new way of doing business, its short on detail about a key component of the plan. To
work, every airplane using airspace under ADS-B control must be equipped with the avionics that receive and transmit the position data. That gear currently costs thousands of dollars per installation,
and so far all that has been offered to mitigate those costs are unverifiable assumptions that the price will drop as demand increases. It also appears that not all airspace will require ADS-B
equipage, at least not at first. As AVweb reported last month, the FAA is contemplating what looks like a phase-in of ADS-B, starting with the busiest areas. There has also been discussion that
some airspace will be set aside for wind-in-the-hair operations but details have been sketchy. The agencys Joint Resources Council has also determined that the backup system for ADS-B will be 50
percent of the current secondary radar system.
The ADS-B undertaking is so massive that only three companies have been selected to bid on the contract after an initial proposal screening. ITT, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin have been invited to
throw their hats in the potentially lucrative ring. With all other things being equal, the inside track would have to be given to Lockheed Martin, which now runs flight services in the U.S. outside of
Alaska. The successful bidder for ADS-B will build and maintain the system and the FAA will be its customer, paying subscription charges. The three bidders have been told to finalize their
bids in anticipation of negotiations in July that will lead to the award of the contract. In the meantime, the FAA itself is installing the first phase of ADS-B deployment with more
coverage on the East Coast, and new coverage in the Southwest, North Dakota and at Philadelphia, Louisville and Juneau airports.
As preparations continue for modernization of the airspace system, the recently privatized flight service station (FSS) system reached a milestone last week when the switches were flicked at the first of three "hub" FSSs at
Dulles Airport near Washington, D.C. The others will be in Prescott, Ariz., and Dallas. The hubs will act as regional command posts that will allow Lockheed Martin to reduce the number of actual field
stations from 58 to 16. In fact, with the opening of the Washington hub, a so-called heritage site in Oxford, Ala., was shut down and communications shifted to the Dulles site. Within minutes,
according to Lockheed Martin, the 20 flight service specialists in Washington were handling routine requests, including one that would normally have been fielded by the Alabama station.
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The FAA has issued an Airworthiness Directive
that takes effect March 12 and covers 1,354 Superior Air Parts cylinder assemblies used in new Superior engines and as replacement parts in Lycoming four- and six-cylinder mills and Continental sixes.
The affected cylinders didnt get proper heat treating and can come apart, as nine have done so far. Since that would ruin your day in a hurry, the FAA has gone straight to final rule on this AD
and it becomes effective in two weeks. Compliance is pretty straightforward. If you have any of the documented cylinders on your engine and theyve accumulated more than 150 hours of service, you
either have to pull them immediately or take up to 10 hours to fly to another location to have the work done. Even though the rule will become effective March 12, comments are invited until April
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has named Brig. Juniti Saito to take over the countrys air force, and along
with that comes the unenviable task of sorting out its increasingly troubled air traffic control system. The air force oversees ATC there and, since the collision between a Gol Airlines Boeing 737 and
a U.S.-bound Embraer Legacy last Sept. 29, problems with the system seem to be escalating. Flight delays are common and the controllers, who are civilian, are complaining about workload and conditions
as the government investigates the role of controllers in the crash, which killed all 154 people aboard the 737. The two American pilots of the Legacy are also under investigation. They were able to
land the damaged business jet, with five passengers on board, safely at a military base in the Amazon jungle. The accident seemed to be the flash point for controllers, who have apparently been
complaining about their jobs for a long time. There were some work disruptions, resulting in hundreds of flight cancellations, shortly after the crash and the system is reportedly still plagued with
problems. The former head of Brazil's air force, Lt. Brig. Gen. Paulo Roberto Cardoso Vilarinho, was fired in late November for not fixing the problems.
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says Grob Aerospace conducted a test flight of the first prototype of its SPn light business jet last Friday, marking the resumption of a program halted three months ago when the second prototype was
lost in a crash in Germany, killing the sole-occupant pilot. German authorities have since speculated that the crash was caused by elevator flutter, which led to separation of some of the control
surface and part of the horizontal stabilizer. Test pilot Gerard Guillaumaud, 45, a former French air force pilot, was killed. The first test aircraft, which has flown about 300 hours since 2005, has
been fitted with a belly fairing and larger ailerons and a third prototype is under construction. This third airplane will be a copy of the crash airplane and will fly in May. A fourth and final
prototype has been started, and the first production model will follow it.
As expected, Comair has filed suit against the FAA for alleged negligence in the crash of a Bombardier regional jet that killed 49
people last August in Lexington, Ky. After the crash, in which the pilots mistakenly took off on a runway too short for the CRJ, it was revealed that only one controller was on duty at the time
instead of the required two. The controller cleared the aircraft to the correct runway, but had turned away from the windows to do other work as the CRJ rolled. The airline has not specified damages
sought in the suit. The accident was enough for Forbes to put LEX on a list of the U.S.s 21 most dangerous airports. The magazine analyzed data for ground incursions at 452 airports and, based
on the editors criteria, decided that North Las Vegas is the countrys most dangerous, followed by Long Beach and Charlotte, N.C. The story didnt say where LEX landed.
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EAA and the FAA have reached a deal
that will allow Young Eagles flights to continue unhindered by the new rules affecting sightseeing flights. Some parts of the rule (like the one that bans charity flights in uncertified airplanes)
naturally raised concerns at EAA but it all got ironed out in meetings in Washington, D.C., that included FAA Administrator Marion Blakey. "Everyone we met with at FAA assured us that there was no
intent to harm the Young Eagles program in any manner through the air-tour rule," EAA President Tom Poberezny said. The crux of the resolution to the issue was the FAA's declaration that Young Eagles
flights are non-compensation flights and therefore exempt from the air-tour rules (assuming, of course, that no money is changing hands). The FAA has put it in writing and that comfort
should be in EAA hands by March 15. Poberezny said the FAA understands the value of the program, which has introduced more than 1.3 million kids to aviation, and continues to be a supporter.
The pilot of an Ohio Air National Guard two-place F-16 with Lt. Gov. Bruce Johnson as a backseater broke several FAA regs in his high-speed
tour of Columbus last summer. According to the Columbus Dispatch, the
unidentified pilot buzzed the city at speeds as high as 500 knots and altitudes as low as 2,100 feet last Aug. 17. FAA regs restrict speed in that area to 250 knots and, according to the agency's
report on the flight, the pilot did not have clearance to fly below 10,000 feet. That, says the FAA, means the pilot violated a regulation banning careless or reckless flying. But the report will
likely be the end of the matter. [more] The FAA has no jurisdiction over military pilots and the Guard has already dealt with the pilot, although it's not saying how. The flight, billed as a demo
flight for Johnson to show him the capabilities of the aircraft, sparked calls to 9-1-1 and a few complaints to the FAA.
Columbia Introduces 2007 Models
The 2007 Columbias have arrived. Fresh for this year are new, dynamic paint schemes for both the Columbia 350 and 400, as well as a host of thoughtful and unique features for the
discerning aircraft owner. See how your new Columbia will look with the interactive online Paint Selector.
Just go online and
click on the "Paint Your Passion" icon.
New Zealand planemaker Alpha Aviation has hired former Mooney CEO Gretchen Jahn as general manager to take resurrection of the French-designed Robin series to the next level.
The Alpha 160, a low-wing trainer, is made in Hamilton, N.Z. and recently gained FAA certification...
Dayton, Ohio, is the heart of a new aviation tourism marketing program. Although the Wright brothers achieved their goal in North Carolina, Dayton lays claim to the title because it was where
much of the development work was done
The Big Bear, Calif., Airport Board is being urged to buy a park off the end of the runway so the local park board can buy property for another park. The park has been largely unused and
unmaintained for more than 20 years following a plane crash there
The Department of Homeland Security is considering basing a Predator unmanned aerial vehicle in Puerto Rico to keep an eye on the Caribbean. Other potential locations include San Diego and
somewhere along the Gulf Coast
The U.S. Air Force has chosen Columbus, Ohio, as the location of its Air Force Heritage Week celebration marking the 60th anniversary of the Air Force. The event will be held in conjunction
with the Gathering of Mustangs and Legends Sept. 27-30.
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 email@example.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.
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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/.
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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.
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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 Eclipse's Vern Raburn on aviation user fees. And AVweb's podcast index includes interviews with B-29 restoration program manager Cliff Gaston; 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.; and NATA
President Jim Coyne. In today's podcast, Aviation Safety's Paul Bertorelli examines an August 2006 botched emergency handling at
Dallas Fort Worth Airport. Remember: In AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things you won't find anywhere else.
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Pilot Journey Isn't Just for Students & Instructors; There's Something for Everyone
You know Pilot Journey's Discovery Flight program converting leads to students. However, all pilots can find something at Pilot Journey: Pilot e-mail accounts, pilot eCards; a
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is the pilot's choice online.
There are two videos we receive (and stumble across) more often than any others on the web. Both videos are testaments to human ingenuity and technical achievement and they never fail to
raise a giggle when we see them. We've held them in reserve for a while, just in case we needed them to brighten a particularly rough Monday morning. (Plus, we were afraid that it we ran these
videos, people would stop sending them to us. And that would ruin the pleasant surprise of watching these videos at 4:00 on a Thursday afternoon and laughing our heads off.)
But the time has come, at last, to unveil the first of our Two Most-Submitted Videos: the flying lawnmower!
Originally posted by YouTube user KIor but we never tire of seeing new videos of this contraption, so please don't stop
Don't forget to send us links to any interesting videos you find out there. If you're impressed by it,
there's a good chance other AVweb readers will be too. And if we use a video you recommend on AVweb, we'll send out an official AVweb baseball cap as a "thank you."
Cessna: Gainesville tower, Cessna Three Four Five, seven west with Tango.
Tower: Cessna One Two Three Four Five, cleared to land Runway six.
Cessna: We'd prefer Runway one zero, we have some passengers to drop off at the terminal.
Tower: Cessna Three Four Five, you can't do that, you have to use the general aviation FBO.
Cessna: We called ahead and they said we could drop them off as long as we stayed clear of the gate.
Tower: I don't know who told you that, but I'll ask the airport manager.
Tower (a short time later): Cessna Three Four Five. I'm sorry, but you can't taxi to the terminal. However, if you'd like I can clear you for a low approach, and your passengers can jump out as
you fly by.
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 Russ Niles (bio) and Editor In Chief
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