AVwebFlash - Volume 13, Number 12b

March 22, 2007

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
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Top News back to top 
 

Congressional Hearings On FAA Continue

The U.S. House of Representatives aviation subcommittee on Wednesday held another in its recent series of hearings about the FAA and its plans for funding the future airspace system. AOPA President Phil Boyer was there and said the FAA has spent the last two years "manufacturing a funding crisis" to justify a change to user fees. He asked the committee to reject the FAA's funding proposal. "Then we can all get on with the real issues at hand through a productive, meaningful discussion on how to strengthen the nation's airports and modernize ATC," he said. Ed Bolen, CEO of the National Business Aviation Association, also spoke. "This proposal is an effort by the FAA and the airlines to reduce Congressional authority and move toward commercialization," Bolen said. "No one should mistake aviation user fees [for] a modernization plan." Helicopter Association International President Matthew Zuccaro also testified. He told the committee the FAA's proposed financing program would have an "extremely detrimental economic impact on HAI members," and said Congress should continue to provide a general fund contribution to the FAA under the current funding system to pay for Next Generation modernization efforts. On Thursday, the subcommittee will review FAA operational and safety programs.

NATA: A Broader Look At FAA Reauthorization

National Air Transportation Association President Jim Coyne spoke candidly about the FAA's proposed reauthorization bill at a regulatory and legislative panel on Wednesday afternoon at the Aviation Industry Expo in Orlando, Fla. "It would be a misnomer to just call it a user fee-fight," he noted. "The broader context is the FAA reauthorization, which happens every four or five years, and the trust fund reauthorization, which occurs about every 10 years." Both reauthorizations are aligned this year, and Coyne said the White House planned to take advantage of this situation to push forward its user-fee agenda. However, last fall congressional control shifted to the Democrats, "who don't have any interest in doing any favors for the Republicans," according to Coyne. While it appears the White House won't be able to jam through the FAA reauthorization in its current form, "the airlines still want to shift taxes to general aviation's shoulders." NATA's take, he said, "is that it's not right to grow one segment of aviation at the expense of another." Coyne believes that a 50-cent fuel tax increase would kill GA, while an eight or nine-cent increase would have "no impact."

 
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News Briefs back to top 
 

Dubai Firm Eyes U.S. Aviation Companies

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise has proposed a $1.5 billion deal to buy Landmark Aviation, an FBO network with 35 locations, and Standard Aero, a provider of overhauls and maintenance for turbine engines. The proposed deal has raised some eyebrows in Washington, where the deal is expected to be subjected to scrutiny. A proposal from Dubai interests last year to manage some U.S. ports was derailed amid security concerns. DAE is a fairly new company, established in February 2006, with plans to expand into all sectors of aerospace over the next 10 years -- from training to manufacturing to aircraft leasing and maintenance -- investing $15 billion and employing 30,000 workers. It's owned by the state and chaired by Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of the Emirates airline group. Robert Johnson, formerly the CEO of Honeywell Aerospace, was named CEO last summer. If the deal goes through, Johnson told Bloomberg News on Tuesday, "We have no intention of moving them [Landmark and Standard Aero] from where they are. But as the market becomes more global we think there's an opportunity to extend them into regions of growth,'' such as Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The deal would be subject to congressional review, but Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who led the opposition to the Dubai Ports deal, told the Financial Times: "This purchase is not as much of a security risk as Dubai Ports World, but because it deals with maintenance of aircraft, it certainly raises security questions." According to Bloomberg, Schumer also said that following proper security reviews, "the deal is unlikely to have problems in Congress."

DOT IG Tower Staffing Report

The FAA needs to communicate its air traffic policies relating to staffing in writing, according to a report from the Department of Transportation's Office of Inspector General (OIG) that was released last week. The report was conducted to consider the staffing issue as it related to the August 2006 crash of a Comair regional jet in Lexington, Ky. According to the report, the FAA had issued verbal guidance in August 2005 reiterating that two controllers should be on duty during midnight shifts at facilities with both radar and tower functions. But the OIG found that the guidance, because it was communicated orally, was misinterpreted and inconsistently applied, with more than 11 percent of midnight shifts not in compliance. Since the Comair accident, FAA has formalized the verbal guidance into a written order. The OIG recommended that in the future, the FAA should communicate changes in air traffic policies in writing and it should also develop and implement procedures to ensure that facilities are complying those orders. The FAA concurred with those recommendations and said it would take action. “The FAA is charged with maintaining the highest standards of safety in aviation, not safety at the margins,” said U.S. Rep. James Oberstar, chair of the House Transportation Committee. “Rep. [Peter] Costello and I have asked the Inspector General to do a follow-up study to ensure that the FAA is enforcing its own rules, and that directions to tower personnel are properly communicated and followed.”

 
PowerLink™ FADEC Certified on Liberty XL-2; Is It Right for Your Aircraft?
Liberty Aerospace is the first certified piston-powered aircraft with PowerLink™ FADEC as standard equipment. PowerLink™ FADEC is now also available for several additional certified and experimental aircraft, including the A-36 Bonanza and VANS RV series. Find out how you can bring your aircraft into the state-of-the-art online.
 
News Briefs back to top 
 

NTSB Asks For Cessna 150/152 Rudder AD

The National Transportation Safety Board on Wednesday recommended that the FAA issue an Airworthiness Directive requiring Cessna 150s and 152s owners to comply with Cessna Service Bulletin No. SEB01-1 specifying a one-time inspection of the airplanes' rudder bumpers. If mandated, the check would need to be done at the next 100-hour or annual inspection to verify that the rudder bumpers are correctly installed on the rudder horn assembly. The Safety Board's recommendation stems from an April 11, 2005, crash of a Cessna 152 (N24779) in a field near Williamsburg, Ohio, after the rudder jammed during spin recovery training, killing the flight instructor and student pilot. According to the Safety Board, examination of the wreckage revealed that the rudder was jammed approximately 35 degrees, which is beyond its left travel limit. Further examination revealed that the two rudder bumpers had been installed inverted and that the right rudder bumper had traveled beyond the rudder stop and had locked behind it, the NTSB said. NTSB investigators could not determine whether the incorrect installation of the rudder bumpers occurred at the time of production or during the airplane’s maintenance history, prompting the Safety Board to ask the FAA to issue the AD.

Senate Bill Would Require TSA Plan For GA Security

The Senate last week passed a bill on aviation security that would require the Transportation Security Administration to develop a "standardized threat and vulnerability assessment program" for general aviation airports within one year. If the bill becomes law, the TSA would also be directed to consider providing grants to GA airports for security upgrades. The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) said it likes the idea of federal grants for security upgrades, but it worries that the TSA will impose new rules on GA airports without the funding to pay for them. Similar legislation was passed by the House earlier this year. The two versions now must be reconciled and then go to the White House. President Bush has threatened to veto the legislation if the final version allows TSA screeners to unionize, which the Senate bill does. NATA said if that happens, Congress is not likely to override the veto and the bill would die.

 
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News Briefs back to top 
 

Barrington Irving's World Flight Adventure

On Friday morning, Barrington Irving, a 23-year-old college student in Florida, will launch on the first leg of a five-week flight, aiming to become the first African American and the youngest person ever to fly solo around the globe. Irving hopes his quest will inspire other young people to follow their dreams. Born in Jamaica, Irving grew up in a poor neighborhood in Miami, where he says "there was little incentive for me or my classmates to get off the streets and pursue real careers." His life changed at age 15 when an airline pilot offered him a tour of a 777 cockpit. Irving has already launched a nonprofit venture, the Experience Aviation Learning Center in Miami, where school kids can go to learn about aviation careers. Flight simulators there will enable visitors to fly a Columbia 400 and learn about Irving's global trip. His Web site will feature a flight blog during the trip, and a tracking system will enable students to virtually join Barrington's flight in real time.

First Flight For Second Quest Kodiak

Quest Aircraft has successfully flown its second Kodiak turboprop single, which is the first fully conforming production prototype. The aircraft launched last Friday from Quest's facility at Sandpoint (Idaho) Municipal Airport and joins the initial Kodiak prototype that is engaged in FAA certification flight tests, the company said Tuesday. "With our second aircraft now flying, we're entering the final flight-testing phase of the Kodiak and its systems under a variety of rigorous conditions," said Quest CEO Paul Schaller. Changes from the first prototype include an environmental control system, oxygen for all seats and a new split cargo door with integrated steps. Several new interior options will also be introduced for production flight testing. The Kodiak is a 10-place single-engine turboprop utility airplane, with aluminum construction, STOL performance and a Garmin G1000 glass cockpit. It's designed to be float capable. The first customer aircraft is currently on the production line and expected to be rolled out in late spring. FAA certification is expected by this summer, and the company said it has a three-year backlog of orders in hand.

 
Safety Alert: Do You Know How to Transit through Class B and A TRSA?
Get a complete, no-cost guide to airspace designations, restrictions, and minimums from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. Get details on TRSAs, Class D, Class C, and Class B airspace, plus VFR transition routes, SUAs, TFRs, ADIZ, and more. Bonus one-page Airspace Reference Guide and one-page Intercept Procedures Guide. Download your no-cost Airspace Safety Advisor now.
 
News Briefs back to top 
 

Embry-Riddle's Twin Star Fleet Fast-Tracked

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Daytona Beach, Fla., campus already had been planning to add 10 new Diamond DA42 Twin Stars to its fleet, but now their delivery has been fast-tracked to help replace airplanes lost in December's tornado. The diesel-powered, twin-engine Diamonds will start to arrive on campus this summer and all 10 will be in place by the end of this year. "The DA42 Twin Star will give Embry-Riddle a complete glass-cockpit fleet, starting with our single-engine aircraft and culminating with our Canadair regional jet simulator," said Tim Brady, dean of the College of Aviation. The DA42 features a Garmin G1000 electronic display and autopilot and is designated a "technically advanced aircraft" by the FAA.

Europe's First Flying Car?

If you're eager to invest in the flying car of the future -- which is always just about ready to launch -- you have plenty of options, and a new one was added this week. PAL-V Europe on Tuesday announced its start-up in the Netherlands, showing a concept of a three-wheel fly/drive vehicle that it says is as comfortable and stable as a luxury car with the agility of a motorbike, thanks to its patented "tilting" system (check out the movie of a tilting ride at its Web site). In the air, it switches to gyrocopter mode. The rotor and propeller fold up on the ground. The PAL-V will be fuel-efficient, quiet, and fly or drive at about 125 mph, the company says. A sport-pilot certificate will be required to fly it. PAL-V says it has been researching the design for six years and is ready to start building the prototype now, and investors are welcome. First deliveries are projected for 2009. Here in the U.S., Larry Neal of Texas has been flying a similar design for a few years now. His "Super Sky Cycle" flies as a gyrocopter and drives in three-wheel motorcycle mode with a folded rotor.

 
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, the only 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 story.
 
News In Brief back to top 
 

On The Fly

Virgin America has attained tentative approval to fly in the U.S. after making changes in leadership and structure to distance itself from Richard Branson and his British Virgin Airlines...

A computer glitch that affected six new F-22 Raptors as they crossed the International Dateline in the Pacific Ocean caused all systems -- navigation, communications, weapons, and fuel -- to fail simultaneously, CNN reported. The error has been found and corrected...

Astronaut James Lovell, who commanded the near-disastrous moon mission that became a model of crisis ingenuity, will be at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh on July 27 to introduce Apollo 13, the popular movie based on his book...

Continental and American Airlines are resisting FAA rules that require longer rest periods for pilots on international flights...

An experimental WindWagon was hit by a Ford Focus after making an emergency landing on a Florida freeway Monday morning. Nobody was hurt but the aircraft was wrecked...

Nesting bald eagles are causing concern at an airport in Orlando, Fla. The birds are endangered and can't be harmed, but their nests may be moved, a strategy that worries bird advocates.

AVweb's Newstips Address ...

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. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.

AVwebBiz: AVweb's Business Aviation Newsletter

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/.

 
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. Avidyne's TAS600 Series makes active-surveillance traffic alerting affordable. Visit Avidyne online.
 
New On AVweb back to top 
 

Quiz #118: Cleared ILS Approach

Columns | Features | What's New | Calendar | Brainteasers

"Four from the marker, maintain 2000 until established on the localizer, cleared ILS 22 approach." Readback correct. In a GPS world, the ground-based Instrument Landing System still breathes. See if you can keep the needles crossed.

Welcome To The New Face Of AVweb

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.
 
If You Live in One of These States, Mike Busch Is Coming to a Town Near You
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.
 
AVweb Audio News -- Are You Listening? back to top 
 

AVweb 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 Ron Lueck of Comp Air. And AVweb's podcast index includes interviews with Expedition Aircraft's Andrew Hamblin; Eclipse Aviation's Vern Raburn; NBAA's Ed Bolen; Open Air's Michael Klein; Air Excursions' Cable Wells; Stephen Brown; NATCA's Paul Rinaldi; AOPA's Kathleen Vascouselos; Maule Air's Mikel Boorom; Professsional Aviation Maintenance Association president Brian Finnegan; aviation forecaster Richard Aboulafia; Bill Lear, Jr.; and NATA President Jim Coyne. In Monday's news summary, hear about what panelists said at the FAA forecast about general aviation and very light jets, new suppliers for the HondaJet, Saab's airborne missile defense system, Hartzell's homegrown prop deicers and more. Remember: In AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things you won't find anywhere else.

 
Attention, Piper Owners and Pilots!
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Question Of The Week back to top 
 

Question of the Week: The FAA Predicts 5,000 VLJs in the Next 10 Years; How About You?

This Week's Question | Previous Week's Answers

PREVIOUS RESULTS ***

Last week, AVweb asked what factor is the most important in choosing an FBO.

You won't be surprised to hear that fuel price topped our list of decision-tipping factors, followed closely by customer service.  Find out what's really important to AVweb readers in the complete breakdown, here.

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION ***

The FAA's forecast predicts 5,000 very light jet deliveries over the next decade.  If you'd written the forecast, how many VLJs would you have predicted to be delivered in that same time frame?

More?  Fewer?  Tell us!


Have an idea for a new QOTW? Send your suggestions to .

NOTE:
This address is only for suggested QOTW questions, and not for QOTW answers or comments.
Use this form to send QOTW comments to our AVmail Editor.

 
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FBO Of The Week back to top 
 

FBO Of The Week: Rexburg Air Service

Nominate an FBO | Rules | Tips | Questions | Winning FBOs

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Rexburg Air Service at KRXE in Rexburg, Idaho.

AVweb reader Scott Brooksby says the FBO's owner bent over backwards to accommodate him.

"I landed last weekend for a mother’s weekend at BYU Idaho. I was fueled quickly, and a courtesy car was offered. The next day was so cold that I could not even get the engines started to take friends flying. Craig Frisby, the FBO owner, put the plane in the hangar overnight, serviced the struts and charged the battery, all at no charge. He met us Sunday afternoon and helped get the airplane out and ready to go. We had a brake failure on taxi out, and he came out immediately to service the brakes. He then waited to make sure we were off OK before going home to his family."

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!

 
Kevin Garrison's New Book Now Available!
Clear Left, I'll Have the Chicken (An Airline Captain Looks at Life) is a collection of columns, humor pieces, satires, piloting advice, and memories from 26 years of airline flying. Now available online.
 
Pictures Of The Week back to top 
 

Picture of the Week: AVweb's Flying Photography Showcase

Submit a Photo | Rules | Tips | Questions | Past Winners

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."

*** THIS WEEK'S WINNERS ***

It's spring! And although half the AVweb staff are climates too cold to notice, we're breaking out the sunblock and jams to celebrate. Yes, we still have a few pairs of jams — but what do you care? You don't have to look at us when we've got all these great reader-submitted photos to shuffle through!

Add your photos to the mix! Submit them here, and you might see them on AVweb next Thursday morning!

medium | large

copyright © Richard Rice
Used with permission of Larry Portman

Where Are We?

Richard Rice of North Texas Skydiving Center in Garland, Texas asks the question — and answers it in the full-size version of this week's winning photo.

Larry Portman sent this photo in to our contest on Richard's behalf, telling us Richard isn't quite as caught up in the 'Net as the rest of the world. For making time to send it in, Larry, we're sending you two hats — one for Richard and one for yourself.

Or two for yourself, if Richard really isn't on the Web. (Just sayin'...)

medium | large

Used with permission of Chris Lucas

"Saratuga"

Y'know, we've been doing this site just long enough that we could almost run a feature story on airplane owners and their lawnmowers. Dr. David Miller of Newburgh, Indiana has taken the parallel to new heights by refurbishing his "old Sears Craftsman riding lawnmower ... to look like the Saratoga II HP." (Too bad you can't replace engine parts for free at Sears for the life of the plane!)

medium | large

Used with permission of Werner Spier

Purple Lady Waiting for Spring

Duncan Marshall of Chelsea, Québec (Canada) jokes, "The lake may be long enough — but is it wide enough?"

(After eyeing Duncan's photo, we're ready and rarin' for Sun 'n Fun.)

medium | large

Used with permission of Vincent Murrah

Sunset over the Black Forest

Brad Marzari sees us out this week with a spectacular shot taken at 3,000 feet. Kudos to Brad and the balloonist for all the hard work they put into getting the awesome shots we found in our submission box this week.

Want more? You'll find more than a dozen bonus pics at AVweb's home page, in our "POTW" slideshow. Check it out!


To enter next week's contest, click here.

A quick note for submitters: If you've got several photos that you feel are "POTW" material, your best bet is to submit them one-a-week! That gives your photos a greater chance of seeing print on AVweb, and it makes the selection process a little easier on us, too. ;)

A Reminder About Copyrights: Please take a moment to consider the source of your image before submitting to our "Picture of the Week" contest. If you did not take the photo yourself, ask yourself if you are indeed authorized to release publication rights to AVweb. If you're uncertain, consult the POTW Rules or send us an e-mail.

 
Names Behind The News back to top 
 

Meet 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 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.