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UNITED VLJ TRAINING PACT DISSOLVED On Tuesday night, Eclipse
Aviation president and CEO Vern Raburn confirmed in a letter to
customers that the start-up aircraft manufacturer and United Airlines
have mutually agreed to terminate their training program partnership for
Eclipse 500 pilots. This change comes right on the heels of a supplier
switch for the very light jet's Avio avionics system. Raburn advises
customers to take the latest news in stride: "We are currently in
negotiations with an exceptional new training partner that will deliver
on the Eclipse vision of comprehensive, scenario-based flight training
through the curriculum we co-developed with United we are in the
final stages of a detailed multi-month selection process [and] plan to
announce our new training partner within the next few weeks."
BETTER BRAIN FOR THE ECLIPSE 500 One week after revealing a
divorce from Avidyne, Eclipse Aviation on Monday announced that Innovative Solutions & Support
(IS&S), Chelton Flight Systems, Garmin, Honeywell and PS Engineering
will be its new partners for the Eclipse 500's improved avionics system.
Dubbed Avio NG (for next generation), the upgraded version of the very
light jet's deeply integrated avionics system has been in development
"for many months and is scheduled for production and delivery this
summer." A hot-bench Avio NG suite is currently being evaluated, and a
test Eclipse 500 will fly with the new system in "about 35 days."
Eclipse promises a faster timeline for Avio NG functionality; according
to Eclipse, it was Avidyne's failure to deliver functionality on time
that caused the rift between the two companies. Aircraft delivered with
the Avidyne avionics will be retrofitted with Avio NG by year-end. The
retrofit is expected to take less than 10 days to install.
FIRST FLIGHTS 90 DAYS AWAY Bolstered by a $50 million infusion of new funding, DayJet said
this week it expects to start offering air-taxi jet service in five
Florida cities by the end of June. This funding is the keystone to
the operational launch of our Per-Seat, On-Demand jet
service, said Ed Iacobucci, president and CEO of DayJet.
With the necessary capital now in place, we are just months away
from delivering regional business travelers something they have never
had -- accessible and affordable mobility between difficult-to-reach
regional destinations. The infusion of cash means that
construction of DayJet's facilities at Tallahassee Regional Airport's
Flightline Aviation will begin within the next 30 days, the Tallahassee Democrat reported Wednesday. The
on-demand, per-seat operators reservation system will be online
within the next 30 days, and DayJets fleet of Eclipse 500 jets
should start arriving about that same time, according to company COO
John Staten. More...
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REVEALS 10-YEAR CONTROLLER HIRING PLAN The FAA on Wednesday
released its updated plan to hire air traffic
controllers over the next 10 years. According to the FAA, it will hire
and train more than 15,000 controllers over the next decade, starting
with nearly 1,400 new controllers this year. Instead of listing a fixed
optimum staffing number for each of the FAA's 314 facilities, as in the
past, the new plan provides a range of numbers to give the agency
greater flexibility. "Air traffic levels are very dynamic," said FAA
Administrator Marion Blakey. "It is critical that we staff facilities
based on actual and forecasted traffic demands. We are confident that
the new controller hires will be able to meet the needs of the future."
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) was quick to
dispute the plan. More...
CRUNCHES THE NUMBERS FOR FAA FUNDING PLAN Staffers at AOPA have been sorting through the FAA's funding
proposal to figure out exactly what all the proposed changes would cost.
They've found that if the FAA gets its way, fliers of piston-engine
aircraft would see their fees increase $100 million per year -- more
than triple what they pay today. Fees for turbine-powered GA aircraft
would also more than triple, adding up to an extra $868 million per
year. The big winners would be the "legacy" airlines, whose taxes would
be cut by more than one-fourth, saving them about $1.7 billion a year.
The low-cost airlines would see a 15-percent cut, saving about $286
million per year. "It's no wonder the airlines love this proposal so
much," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "Not only would they pay less,
they'd have more control over who uses the air traffic control system,
and they'd have the majority vote in setting the fees they charge
themselves and others." More...
HAI JOINS RANKS AGAINST USER FEES The Regional Air Cargo
Carriers Association (RACCA) and Helicopter Association International
(HAI) recently joined ranks with other aviation groups to take a stand
against the FAA's proposed change to a system funded by user fees. In a
statement to members of Congress, RACCA said the
proposal would triple the fuel taxes paid by its members. The group also
said the cost of collecting new fees for GA operations and services
would be prohibitive. "If implemented, the proposal puts the FAA in the
position of being a tax collector, diluting its mandated focus on
aviation safety issues," according to RACCA. Meanwhile, last week at
Heli-Expo HAI President Matthew Zuccaro said his organization is
"strenuously opposed" to the FAA's user-fee proposal, charging that the
fourfold fuel tax increase and other additional untold fees are "not
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AIRCRAFT TO UNVEIL TWO NEW DESIGNS Epic Aircraft will
introduce two new aircraft at the Sun 'n Fun air show coming up in
Florida next month, the company said on Wednesday. One will be a
single-engine jet and the other one a prop airplane, but the company is
releasing few other details as of yet. "We'll have two wind-tunnel
models, each about 10 feet long" at the show, company spokeswoman
Francoise Labbe told AVweb. The company will also reveal drawings
and other details then. "One of the aircraft will be flying into Oshkosh
in July, and the other one should be flying sometime in the third
quarter," Labbe added. Both new aircraft models, which began as
clean-sheet designs in December 2006, will first be sold as experimental
kits "for market verification and systems testing," Labbe said, and
later will follow Epic's twin-engine jet through the certification
process, starting with Transport Canada and then the FAA.
SPORT-JET IN PROGRESS "We're building the next plane same as
the last," Sport-Jet founder Bob Bornhofen told AVweb Tuesday. With the
fuselage currently in construction, that aircraft should be in the air
"in 10 or 11 months." The project to produce a $1 million certified
four-seat single-engine jet that would cruise at 340 knots at 25,000
feet suffered a major setback when the original proof-of-concept
aircraft on June 22, 2006, crashed after 25 hours of otherwise
"virtually flawless" flight testing. Test pilot James Stewart survived
the crash without injury and has stayed on with the project. "We had to
convince some financial types that it wasn't the airplane," Bornhofen
said, but while the program could always use more money, funding has
been secured to see the build of the second aircraft through to
completion. The new aircraft will incorporate the design's originally
intended aluminum wings and further optimize cabin space. (The original
proof-of-concept aircraft flew with composite wings due to a problem
with a supplier, according to Bornhofen.) "We haven't found anything
that would prohibit the plane from gaining certification," said
Bornhofen, who aims to reach that goal in two to three years.
AVIATION EDITOR AND WRITER Belvoir Media Group is seeking an
aviation editor/writer to join the staff of our Sarasota-based print and
online magazine division, including Aviation Consumer, Aviation
Safety, IFR, IFR Refresher and Light Plane Maintenance. We're
looking for a CFI or CFII with a proven track record in writing,
reporting and editing to assume editorship of one of our titles.
Electronic page make-up and Web skills plus higher flight ratings are a
plus, but we offer training to the right individual. If you are that
individual, contact us by clicking here. More...
Safety Alert: Do You Know How
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Get a complete, no-cost guide to airspace designations, restrictions,
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FATHER'S AIRPLANE CRASH BELIEVED DELIBERATE Investigators are
treating an airplane crash on Monday as a murder-suicide. Eric Johnson,
47, of Bedford, Ind., a student pilot, rented a single-engine Cessna
from his local airport, took his eight-year-old daughter, Emily, with
him, and crashed into the roof of his ex-mother-in-law's house. Nobody
in the house was hurt. Johnson and his wife had divorced last year. The Indianapolis Star reported that he had taken the
girl on a vacation to Cancun, and was supposed to drop her off at school
Monday morning, where her mother would later pick her up. Instead, he
called his ex-wife and said he planned to keep the girl, the ex-wife's
mother told reporters. "I've got her, and you're not going to get her,"
he reportedly said. More...
AIRLINER CRASHES IN INDONESIA Investigators recovered the
flight data and cockpit voice voice recorders from a Garuda Airlines
Boeing 737-400 that crashed and erupted in flames while landing at
Jogyakarta Airport in Indonesia on Wednesday. At least 23 people trapped
inside the burning wreckage were killed, while more than 115 others on
board escaped through emergency exits, authorities and witnesses said.
Survivors said the narrowbody "shook violently" as it approached the
airport at a high rate of speed. The 737 overran the runway and bounced
three times before plowing through a fence and coming to rest in a rice
PUBLIC VIEW OF GA, VIA C-SPAN When the general public thinks
about general aviation, we know what they usually think first -- weekend
fliers in dangerous little airplanes, crashing into buildings and making
useless noise. But now there is a new icon for GA -- thousands of
dangerous little jets, darkening the skies and clogging up
already-overloaded airports. Those concerns were lobbed to FAA chief Marion Blakey on C-SPAN's Sunday-morning "Newsmakers"
show this week. "Can the system handle 5,000 more planes?" asked
Alan Levin of USA Today. Blakey said she hopes that very light jets will
make good use of smaller airports that now are underutilized. She also
explained that congestion will be relieved by the next-generation air
traffic control system now in the works, and argued that her proposed
changes in revenue collection are the best way to fund it.
If Brokers Say They Cover the Whole Market, Why
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direct provider of aviation insurance. On top of that, only
Avemco 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
at (888) 241-7891 or
visit online for the rest of the
TECHNOLOGY TO ASSIST NORTH SEA HELICOPTER OPS Flying
helicopters to offshore oil rigs is known around the world as a
dangerous undertaking. Weather, heavy loads and rough seas all create a
challenging task for pilots. That task will now be a little easier for
pilots in the North Sea, known for stormy weather and strong winds, and
home to an active offshore industry that supports more than 25,000
helicopter flights per year. New technology from Sensis Corp.
will enable air traffic services to track helicopter traffic to and from
oil platforms from close to the helicopter deck up to 10,000 feet,
covering 25,000 square miles of airspace off the coast of Scotland. The
new system will locate and identify helicopters using sensors placed on
oil platforms. "It is a less expensive yet more effective solution than
traditional radar," said Marc Viggiano, president of Sensis Air Traffic
CHARGES HELICOPTER A moose that had been shot with a
tranquilizer dart by a wildlife biologist in a hovering helicopter
charged the aircraft, damaging the tail rotor, The Associated Press reported on Monday. "The moose
would start to move, and then the helicopter would back off and try to
keep the moose out in the open," Doug Larsen, regional supervisor for
the Division of Wildlife Conservation in Anchorage, Alaska, told the AP.
The intent was to use the helicopter to keep the moose out from the
water so that it wouldn't drown when the tranquilizer kicked in. But
instead of moving away from the helicopter, the moose suddenly charged.
The pilot landed safely. The moose was badly hurt by the spinning rotor,
and the biologist euthanized it. More...
TECHNOLOGY SOLUTION TO AVIATION POLLUTION? A former Canadian
defense minister, worried about pollution of the atmosphere by
fossil-fuel emissions, has asked governments around the world to stop
hoarding their secret alien technologies and use them to stem global
warming. "We need to persuade governments to come clean on what they
know," Paul Hellyer, 83, told theOttawa Citizen. "Some of us suspect they know
quite a lot, and it might be enough to save our planet if applied
quickly enough." Presumably, the advanced technology, gleaned from
captured UFOs, would help airplanes to fly with less pollution, and
maybe save money, too. More...
DA40 Diamond Star a Fleet
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Tennessee State University, Utah Valley State College, and Utah State
University have all selected the G1000-equipped DA40 Diamond
Star. For value, efficiency, and safety, the Diamond Aircraft
DA40 is the fleet favorite.
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THE FLY Final AD requires seat modifications on single-engine
Cessnas... The mysterious wreckage of a Cessna 180 has been
identified... A fire destroyed aircraft belonging to Iowa's Aviation
Museum... AOPA's ASF has updated its online Skyspotter
course... FAA needs better data on air-ambulance safety, says the
GAO... What's your favorite aviation movie? EAA wants you to vote.
Tired of the High Cost of Fuel? GAMIjectors Are
Don't be grounded by sky-high gas prices. Install GAMIjectors,
and you could see up to a 20% cut in your aircraft's fuel bill. Balanced
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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...
Merge the Real and Virtual Worlds, and Have Fun
Using ASA's Microsoft® Flight Simulator as a Training
Aid book, student pilots can enhance book-learning, review concepts
and skills, and prepare for lessons. Certificated pilots can use the
book to complement real-world flying with hours in virtual skies. Flight
Instructors will discover new ways to use Flight Simulator as a
ground-teaching tool and in pre- and post-flight briefings.
Go online for complete details.
AUDIO NEWS 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 LoPresti's R.J. Siegel. And
AVweb's podcast index includes
interviews with Eclipse Aviation's Vern Raburn; 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
newscast, hear about the highlights of Heli-Expo2007, production
problems looming at Eclipse Aviation, lawsuits flyingin wake of the Cory
Lidle crash, Jacksonville reconsidering its ban onbuilding kit airplanes
in garages and more. Remember: In AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things
you won't find anywhere else.
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,
Plus: What's the biggest problem faced by
local airports? Results of last week's QOTW poll. More...
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AVweb's "FBO of
the Week" ribbon goes to Premier Jet at KCRQ in Carlsbad,
AVweb reader Douglas Roberson said the staff gets
what it takes to have a successful FBO.
"When I arrived they gave
me the red carpet treatment and parked me right up front and met me when
my door opened, with a friendly smile and a welcome. Then the service
began: they asked me what I needed for my overnight, and within a few
minutes they had me a hotel room and a ride for me. The next morning
they picked me up, without a phone call, at the time I requested. When I
arrived, my aircraft was positioned up front ready to load. They treated
me as if I was flying a jet. They get it!! They know with the advent of
the very light/personal jets that a lot of their future customers will
be buying jet-A. But in my opinion I believe the staff truly desires to
treat there customers the way they themselves would like to be
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."
our electronic mailbag is full to overflowing with reader-submitted
photos of planes, airports, pilots, passengers, gliders, RC gizmos, and
pretty much anything else that you could get off the ground and into the
air. Donald Reid of Bumpass, Virginia
has submitted photos to us before, but this serene (if damp) morning
photo from last year's 10th Annual Virginia Regional EAA Fly-In makes
him an official "POTW" Contest winner. Thanks, Don watch your
mailbox for a hat package in the next few days! More...
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 Mary
and Glenn Pew (bio)
and Editor In Chief Chad
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