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Volume 13, Number 9b
March 1, 2007
Fly in Ultra-Comfort with LightSPEED Headsets:
Discover the most comfortable headsets in the industry. The in-the-ear Mach 1 weighs less than 1 oz., and the full-size Thirty 3G just under 16 oz. and uses soft conform-foam ear cushions. Try a LightSPEED headset with a 30-day money back guarantee. To order, contact a LightSPEED dealer or call (800) 332-2421 (PST, business hours). For more information and to view a video clip, click here.
Top Newsback to top 

Anytime Cessna Chairman, President and CEO Jack Pelton reveals what's on his mind, you can be sure that plenty of people will be paying close attention. Last Friday, he delivered a lengthy speech at the University of Northern Colorado in which he outlined what he sees as the assets and obstacles to growth in the GA industry. Topping the list of obstacles are user fees. Defeating the FAA's proposal is "critical to the future well-being" of the GA industry, Pelton said. If user fees are imposed, "instead of growing to meet the global demand and retaining our national leadership in general aviation, we will retreat and ultimately lose out to Japan, to Brazil, to Canada." More...

Researchers studying the impact of aging on performance found that older pilots performed better over time than younger pilots, the American Academy of Neurology reported on Monday. The results show that expert knowledge may offset the impact of old age. The report is sure to be warmly embraced by those now lobbying for a change in FAA rules to raise the mandatory retirement age for airline pilots from 60 to 65. "These findings show the advantageous effect of prior experience and specialized expertise on older adults' skilled cognitive performances," said researcher Joy Taylor of the Stanford/VA Aging Clinical Research Center in California. More...

Adam, Cirrus, Columbia, Diamond, Liberty ...
The most respected new aircraft on the market all choose Continental engines. Bring your aircraft up to speed with a genuine Continental engine. Select from factory-new, factory-rebuilt, or factory-backed overhauls by Mattituck. Add value to your aircraft and the peace-of-mind that you're flying behind the best — Continental. Click here for further details.
News Briefsback to top 

The Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 executive-jet programs are moving forward on schedule, Embraer said Tuesday. Final assembly of the Phenom 100 prototype is ready to start within the next few weeks at the company's main plant in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The jet will be powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW617F turbofan engines, which are now being tested and are expected to be certified by the end of this year. First flight of the Phenom 100 very light jet is expected by mid-year, with certification and first deliveries set for mid-2008. The Phenom 300 light-jet program is also advancing on schedule, Embraer said. Mock-ups of both jets are now on tour, with stops scheduled in North America and Australia. More...

Pilots depend on accurate weather forecasts, and many of those forecasts originate with NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This week, NOAA is launching an effort to improve the accuracy of forecasts released 24 to 96 hours before a winter storm. A high-altitude Gulfstream IV jet will fly out of Honolulu to acquire atmospheric data from severe winter storms that originate over the Pacific Ocean. The jet will fly extended patterns over the north Pacific and drop meteorological instruments into developing winter cyclones and snowstorms. Data from these instruments will be used in NOAA's most sophisticated forecasting models to improve warnings of severe weather events. More...

Although windborne debris was at first dismissed as a cause for the 14 cracked aircraft windshields last week at Denver International Airport, investigators now are saying FOD, or foreign-object debris, was indeed to blame. Microscopic analysis showed fine particles caused pitting that in turn caused cracking, NTSB investigator Jennifer Kaiser told the Denver Post. The runways had been sanded during recent snowstorms, and it's suspected that the winds, gusting up to 48 mph, drove the fine sand particles into the windshields. The fractures affected six passenger jets as they were taking off, seven on the airport surface, and one at 19,000 feet. The NTSB offered no explanation regarding that high-altitude incident. More...

Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Co. a Full-Line Distributor of Lamar Technologies
Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Co. now stocks a complete selection of Lamar products, including starters and alternators for Teledyne-Continental and Lycoming engines, master control units, turbine generator control units, voltage regulators, over-voltage relays, and low-voltage sensors. Lamar components are original equipment on many single- and twin-engine aircraft. For more information, please call 1-877-4-SPRUCE or visit online.
News Briefsback to top 

If you think you've heard it all when it comes to air-taxi concepts, think again. West Palm Beach, Fla.-based Earthjet is adding its own twist by using a franchise business model for per-seat Part 135 service, in addition to conceptually designing the roughly 14,000-pound light jet to be used by the franchisees. "We believe the franchise model is a very effective way to structure an air-taxi service. Essentially, Earthjet will provide pilot and business training to franchise owners to ensure consistency of service," company President and CEO Dean Rotchin told AVweb. As for the air-taxi aircraft, Earthjet presented a conceptual design package that includes performance data and supplier bids to several "leading" aircraft manufacturers, and two are interested in building the six-seat (in air-taxi configuration) jet. More...

According to the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, an ABC News story -- cited in Monday's AVwebFlash -- regarding a controller's emergency handling on Aug. 31 of an American Airlines jetliner at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport "left out huge gaps." NATCA Dallas TRACON representative Mike Conely maintains that it was the "operational supervisor in charge's" decision, not that of the controller heard on the tapes, to require the low-on-fuel Boeing 757 to land on Runway 31R instead of the requested Runway 17C. An FAA Quality Assurance Review obtained by AVweb states that the supervisor "advised" the controller to clear the airplane to 31R, which corresponded with the general flow of traffic that day. However, Conely says "advised" is code for "required," insisting that if the controller had issued other instructions to the crew then he would have faced actions for insubordination. More...

Meridian. Mirage. Pressurized Comfort. Pure Performance.
Turboprop or piston, your choice in pressurized comfort.
Meridian: 500 hp turboprop; maximum cruise speed - 260 ktas; range - 1,000 nm; useful load - 1,720 pounds; maximum altitude - 30,000 feet.
Mirage: Turbocharged 350 hp piston engine; maximum cruise speed - 213 ktas; range - 1,345 nm; useful load - 1,245 pounds; maximum altitude - 25,000 feet.
Excitement Level: Off the charts!
Up to $150,000 in factory incentives on your way to PiperJet ownership. Call Piper at (866) FLY-PIPER for a dealer near you, or go online.
News Briefsback to top 

A flight instructor who was held in a British prison without bail for five months awaiting extradition to the U.S. on suspicion that he had trained some 9/11 hijackers doesn't qualify for compensation, a British court has ruled. The court said that since the U.S. eventually abandoned its case against Lofti Raissi, he was never "exonerated," and thus the case can't qualify as a "miscarriage of justice." Raissi has said that he and his family were "traumatized" by his time in prison, and he has abandoned his ambition to become an airline pilot. Raissi's lawyer says there was "not a shred of evidence" to support the accusations against his client. More...

Pathfinder-Plus, a pioneering solar-electric flying wing that set several altitude records, has become the fourth AeroVironment aircraft to land in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution. The flying wing, which spans 121 feet, is now on display in the National Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles Airport. Pathfinder-Plus set a world altitude record for propeller-powered aircraft by climbing to more than 80,000 feet in 1998. The technology used in Pathfinder-Plus led to the development of Helios, which holds the current world altitude record for propeller-driven aircraft in level flight of 96,863 feet, set during a flight above Hawaii in 2001. More...

FAA Enforcement Actions Are on the Rise!
Legal claims for airspace incursions have increased over 150%, requiring legal counsel. The AOPA Legal Services Plan provides protection in situations needing legal support. Plus, the Plan offers unlimited consultation on most aviation matters, an annual documents review, and one no-cost half-hour consultation with an AOPA Legal Services Plan panel attorney regarding aviation-related matters not covered. Spend $29 today and get aviation legal protection all year. Call (800) USA-AOPA (872-8672) or go online.
News Briefsback to top 

There's nothing new about ab initio training programs that start flight students off from zero time with the goal of an airline job. But ICAO, the International Civil Aviation Organization, is now developing that track into a completely separate certification path, with a drastic cut in the required flight time to get to the right seat in a passenger jet. Alteon Training, a Boeing subsidiary, announced this week that it's launching a "beta test" of a training program for the ICAO Multi-Crew Pilot License in Brisbane, Australia. "The world's airlines will need more than 17,000 pilots each year for the next 20 years to fill the seats of the airplanes on order," said Marsha Bell, a spokeswoman for Alteon. "The world needs a better training solution for those pilots." More...

Don't waste another minute making "tedious" logbook entries, says fboweb.com. Now, it may be hard to justify calling a two-minute-or-so chore "tedious," but plenty of pilots find their logbooks getting behind, or just give up altogether on keeping them up to date. Fboweb.com will take care of that recordkeeping for you, but with a few caveats. First, it's for IFR flights only, and you have to file the flight plan via the fboweb service, though later versions should make that unnecessary. Also, the system is not foolproof, but an easy double-checking system is built in. You can edit the information after each flight. More...

Avidyne TAS600 — Because Two Antennas Are Better than One!
Whether you're flying in a busy terminal area, navigating a long cross-country, or hovering over a city, seeing and avoiding traffic requires having the right information in real time. Avidyne's TAS600 Traffic Advisory Systems, with dual-antenna technology, provide significantly improved signal coverage and target tracking, enabling faster updates and enhanced performance over single-antenna systems, for maximum safety. Starting at $9,990, Avidyne's TAS600 Series makes premium performance, active-surveillance traffic alerting affordable for virtually every general aviation aircraft. Visit Avidyne online.
News In Briefback to top 

Piaggio will announce a new jet design by the end of this year...
Cirrus and Jeppesen join on training...
Alaska Airmen are raffling off a Cubcrafters LSA Cub at $50 perticket...
Approach Systems cockpit software now includes approach charts...
A floatplane landed on a freeway in Oregon and taxied for two miles...
Airbus will cut 10,000 jobs and may sell off three plants in Europe...
Petition aims to save the Red Arrows, the RAF Aerobatic Team...
Low-flying aerial tours of D-Day beaches now offered...
Liberty XL2 now certified in Indonesia and delivered in Australia. 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 weekly 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...

If You Live in One of These States, Mike Busch Is Coming to a Town Near You
Texas, California, Ohio, Maryland, Massachusetts, Georgia, New Mexico, and Oklahoma are states where Mike Busch will be offering his acclaimed Savvy Owner Seminar. 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, click here.
New On AVwebback to top 



Across the Pond #1: Dysfunctional EU Family
This week AVweb introduces a new columnist, Liz Moscrop, whose monthly Across the Pond column will explore GA issues in Europe. This month she looks at the challenges of multiple aviation authorities.

AVweb.com, the world’s 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...

Featured AVweb Marketplace Ad: Eckalbar's New Book
Ready to upgrade to WAAS? Eckalbar's new book, Instrument Flying Update, picks up where his well-regarded IFR: A Structured Approach ended and explains WAAS, WAAS-enabled approaches, and the rules applying to WAAS — plus other recent changes in IFR.
For contact information regarding this ad and to view more ads, click here.
AVweb Audio News -- Are You Listening?back 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 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 Monday'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.

Brought to you by Bose Corporation. More...

The 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.
Question Of The Weekback to top 

What's the biggest source of problems at your local airport? Everyone's situation (and opinion) is a little different, but this week, AVweb wants to hear which of four major issues is the biggest in your area.

Plus: Results of last week's Question on rising avgas taxes and how they might affect your GA flying. More...

FBO Of The Weekback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Executive Flight Center at KMDQ in Huntsville, Ala.

AVweb reader Breck Hopkins said the personnel at the FBO made his literally messy situation better.

"Executive offered the best and most helpful service I have experienced in 49 years of GA travel. I had a bird strike en route, and though it was frigid and gusty, they cheerfully spent more than a half hour scrubbing the remains off the windshield and wing. We met someone there to look at an airplane, and they offered to put the airplane in a hangar to make the inspection more comfortable, shuttled us back and forth to the hangar and let us use the crew car. The facilities are first rate, too. I will go out of my way to stop at MDQ."

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!


Pictures Of The Weekback to top 

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."

Bud Struck of Garrison, New York, takes his this week's top honor with a photo his two-year-old son Tomas. Bud writes, "I'm doing an A&P course at the Teterboro School of Aeronautics, and while studying the AC-43.13, my two-year-old son Tomas comes up and starts taking apart (and putting back together) his toy airplane. So I put the book on his lap and took the shot. ... It's only a little bit set up!"

Mike Busch, eat your heart out. More...

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 Editor Mary Grady (bio) and Editor In Chief Chad Trautvetter.

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.