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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." More...
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." More...
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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. More...
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 More...
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
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. More...
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.
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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.
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. More...
Safety Alert: Do You Know How
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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.
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. More...
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
THE FLY Virgin America has attained tentative approval to fly
in the U.S... Computers on six F-22s failed as they crossed the Intl.
Dateline... Astronaut James Lovell will introduce Apollo 13 at
Oshkosh... Airlines are resisting FAA rules for longer rest periods
for pilots... A WindWagon was hit by a Ford after landing on a
Florida freeway... Bald eagles are causing concern at an airport in
Orlando, Fla. More...
Avidyne TAS600 Because Two Antennas Are
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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
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"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.
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...
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,
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 FAAforecast about
general aviation and very light jets, new suppliers forthe HondaJet,
Saab's airborne missile defense system, Hartzell'shomegrown prop deicers
and more. Remember: In AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things you won't
find anywhere else.
Attention, Piper Owners and
Pilots! Join the fastest-growing and best association for Piper Flyers
the Piper Flyer Association (PFA), since 2004 providing
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events, an annual gatheringseminars, member discounts, and more for only
$39 yearly. The PFA is located in the Blue Hangar on the
Waupaca Municipal Airport (PCZ) in Waupaca, Wisconsin, just 35 nm NW of
Oshkosh. For more info, visit
OF THE WEEK: THE FAA PREDICTS 5,000 VLJS IN THE NEXT 10 YEARS; HOW ABOUT
YOU? We've asked for your predictions on the light bizjet
boom in the past; this week, we want to know whether you agree with the
FAA's predictions. 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 over the next 10 years?
Plus: What single factor is the most important to AVweb
readers when choosing an FBO? More...
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AVweb reader Scott Brooksby says the FBO's owner
bent over backwards to accommodate him.
"I landed last weekend for
a mothers 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
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.
OF THE WEEK: AVWEB'S FLYING PHOTOGRAPHY SHOWCASE 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." Richard Rice of North Texas Skydiving Center
in Garland, Texas pins down our location in ths week's winning photo.
Larry Portman sent this one 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' ... .)
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
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