Portable Multi Flight Display Available at Aircraft Spruce
The VistaNav multifunction flight display is the first portable MFD with 3D synthetic vision. VistaNav generates and displays dynamic, realistic, synthetic 3D imagery, providing a
cockpit-like view regardless of external conditions. In ground mode, the mobile computer can be used as a tablet PC, running Microsoft Windows-based aviation software. You can use it to plan your
route, download weather, generate or modify flight checklists, and more. Call 1-877-4-SPRUCE or
On Monday, Raytheon Company finalized the sale of wholly owned subsidiary Raytheon Aircraft Company to Hawker Beechcraft
Inc., a new venture formed by Goldman Sachs affiliate GS Capital Partners and Onex Partners, for approximately $3.3 billion in cash. Announced on Dec. 21, the transaction includes Raytheon Aircraft
facilities and other assets in Wichita and Salina, Kan. Little Rock, Ark. and Dallas, Texas, in addition to the Raytheon Aircraft Services (now Hawker Beechcraft Services) FBO network across the U.S.,
U.K. and Mexico. The sale does not include Raytheon's ownership in either fractional provider Flight Options or Raytheon Airline Aviation Services. In a letter to customers, Hawker Beechcraft Chairman
and CEO James Schuster said the new name celebrates the company's "rich" heritage, achievement and innovation. "For the first time in more than a quarter of a century we are an independent, private
company," he noted. "I am pleased to say that today our company is stronger than ever as is our commitment to our many valued customers worldwide." Asked where the aircraft manufacturer is
headed over the next five years, Onex managing director Nigel Wright said, "We'd like to see the Hawker 4000 become the super-midsize market leader. Over time there is an aggressive plan to continue
to develop derivative products from existing aircraft platforms. We also want to continue focusing on productivity, cost improvement measures and to make sure that the company is operating as
efficiently and profitably as it can."
On Tuesday, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman James L. Oberstar, D-Minn., on Tuesday released
a committee oversight report that identifies "widespread fraud" among pilots who
hide serious medical conditions from examining physicians to retain medical certification for their FAA pilot certificates. The report notes that "in July 2005, the DOT Inspector General found
'egregious cases' of airmen lying about debilitating medical conditions on their applications" for FAA medicals. The DOT watchdog sampled 40,000 airman's records and found more than 3,200 held current
medical certificates while simultaneously receiving Social Security benefits, some for medically disabling conditions that voided their FAA medicals. Forty people were prosecuted, but the committee's
oversight and investigations staff believe hundreds more could have been pursued if not for limited resources. Further, the research team found "toxicology evidence" of serious medical conditions in
nearly 10 percent of all pilots involved in fatal accidents during a 10-year period, though less than 10 percent of these medical conditions were disclosed to the FAA. "Despite these findings, FAA
managers argue that the problem of airmen falsifying medical applications is negligible," the report notes. Committee staff concludes that the FAA's response is unacceptable and reiterates the DOT
IG's previous recommendation that the agency "coordinate with Social Security and other providers of medical disability to identify individuals whose documented medical conditions are inconsistent
with sworn statements made to the FAA." The committee researchers opine that this action would create "incentive for airmen to be more forthcoming about their existing medical conditions." Per FAR
67.403, "Falsification of the airman medical application form 8500-8 may result in adverse action including fines up to $250,000, imprisonment up to 5 years and revocation of medical and all pilot
A letter to customers and investors sent on Monday by Eclipse
Aviation President and CEO Vern Raburn says that the Eclipse 500 performance modification certification program has moved into the final stage and is "on schedule" for completion by mid-April. "In
addition, the Avio NG development program is making great progress and moving toward the scheduled completion this summer," he adds. Raburn also addresses the very light jet's weight since Avio NG is
marginally heavier than the original system, and the performance improvements have added some bulk as well. "While these enhancements have increased weight in the aircraft full fuel payload and
useful load, remain unchanged," he says. Besides the product improvements, "we have made significant progress on weight reductions throughout the aircraft. From the moment we received our Provisional
Type Certification at AirVenture last summer, we have had a corporate commitment to constantly improve the Eclipse 500, and one significant area of improvement has been weight reduction." The weights
for the final Eclipse 500 configuration with the complete performance modifications (extended tiptanks and drag-reduction mods) and Avio NG are as follows: max ramp, 5,950 pounds (a 79-pound
increase); max takeoff, 5,995 pounds (up 75 pounds); basic empty, 3,629 pounds (a 79-pound increase); max fuel, 1,686 pounds (no change); zero fuel, 4,992 pounds (up 116 pounds); full-fuel payload,
714 pounds (no change); and useful load, 2,400 pounds (no change). Raburn emphasizes "that these weight increases will not affect operations the performance improvements have actually resulted
in improvements in virtually all areas of performance, not just in the area of speed and range." The letter does not address which serial number will be the first final-configuration Eclipse 500 to
come off the production line, but it does commit to retrofitting airplanes delivered before the switchover.
Announcing the Online MBA for Aviation Professionals from Daniel Webster College
Did you know that professionals with an MBA earn an average of $10,000 to $30,000 more per year? Within 27 months, you can be one of them!
Daniel Webster College MBA for Aviation Professionals is a fully-accredited, 100%-online program built for the busy schedule of the aviation professional. Being "on the road" is no
longer a barrier to career advancement. Call (866) 458-7525 or
click here for more
The NTSB hosted a Runway Safety Forum on Tuesday
in Washington, D.C., on the 30th anniversary of the worst aviation accident ever -- the runway collision in 1977 between two 747s at Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, that killed 583 people. "We must
do something to begin the process of preventing these incursions," NTSB Chairman Mark Rosenker said. "The NTSB has investigated several near collisions in the past few years that could have been
catastrophic if it hadn't been for sharp-eyed flight crews and luck." Several panelists were critical of the FAA for being too slow to incorporate safety technologies at airports. Last week, the FAA said it would fast-track its approval process to get GPS ground-navigation devices into cockpits by the end
of this year. The units show pilots exactly where their airplane is on a moving map of the airport surface. "This device is a game changer," FAA Administrator Marion Blakey said about these devices.
"We're confident that it's ready for prime time. I'll say it plainly: it needs to be in our cockpits." The moving maps are part of many electronic flight bag devices, such as those produced by Advanced Data Research and Flight Deck Resources. The runway
safety forum included participants from the FAA, Department of Defense, Flight Safety Foundation, Air Line Pilots Association International, AOPA and the National Air Traffic Controllers
The U.S. House Transportation Committee held a hearing on Wednesday
on the status of the Airport Improvement Program. The long-standing
program delivers a minimum of $150,000 per year to every general
aviation airport. The FAA wants to eliminate that guarantee. Busier
airports would get $400,000 every year, airports with 10 to 49
aircraft based there would get $100,000, and airports smaller than
that would get no guaranteed allotment. Gerald Dillingham, of the
Government Accountability Office, told the hearing that the FAA's
proposed changes would have an "uncertain" impact on smaller
airports, which are more reliant on AIP funds. Charles Barclay,
president of the American Association of Airport Executives, told the
committee his group was "dismayed" by the proposal to cut AIP
funding, and asked for an increase instead. The complete
testimony from the hearing is available online at the House Transportation Committee Web site.
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,
Boeing researchers in Europe plan to conduct manned flight tests this year of a single-engine airplane powered only by a fuel
cell and lightweight batteries, the company said on Tuesday. Flight testing will take place in Spain. The
demonstrator aircraft is a highly modified Dimona motorglider built by Diamond Aircraft. With a wingspan of 53.5 feet, the airplane will cruise at about 54 knots on fuel-cell power. The
fuel-cell/lithium-ion battery hybrid system will power an electric motor coupled to a conventional propeller. The fuel cell provides all power for the cruise phase of flight. During takeoff and climb,
the system draws on lightweight lithium-ion batteries. Fuel cells are emission-free and quieter than conventional engines. "Given the efficiency and environmental benefits of emerging fuel-cell
technology, Boeing wants to be on the forefront of developing and applying it to aerospace products," said Francisco Escarti, managing director of the project. "While Boeing does not envision that
fuel cells will provide primary power for future commercial passenger airplanes, demonstrations like this help pave the way for potentially using this technology in small manned and unmanned air
Thielert's diesel engines recently were FAA
certified for installation on Cessna 172s, and now the Germany-based
company has received the OK from EASA, the European Aviation Safety
Agency, for several more models. The Centurion 2.0 is now certified
by EASA for the Piper PA28. "A validation in the USA is expected
soon, because the Centurion 1.7 and its installation in the PA28 are
already certified," according to Thielert's Web site. The Centurion
4.0 was recently certified by the EASA for the Cirrus SR22, and
approval for the Cessna 206 is expected soon, Thielert says. "These
two certifications will open the market for deliveries of the 4.0
engine," according to the company. Thielert engines currently
are used on Diamond aircraft, and are especially popular in Europe,
where the price differential between avgas and diesel (i.e., jet-A)
is substantial. Thielert has been expanding its service network in
the U.S. in anticipation of more sales in the region. In a statement sent to AVweb on Wednesday, Cirrus
Design said: "Cirrus is always interested in supporting the
development of new technology and expansion into growing market
segments. There have been several new engine options that have been
evaluated over the past few years. We understand that Thielert has
been developing a SR22-G2 STC to advance its knowledge of how best to
adapt their product to this type of application. We will continue to
evaluate their progress with interest, but also with a keen awareness
of the lengthy road to mature new technology to the level of
refinement our customers have come to expect."
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
FAA Administrator Marion Blakey has been spending a lot of time on Capitol Hill the last few weeks, trying to build support for her
new aviation user-fee funding plan. And she's getting a little tired of all the criticism it's been getting. "In recent weeks, the rhetoric about our finance reform bill has become very, shall I say,
animated and aggressive?" she told a meeting of airport executives on Tuesday. "It's mighty frustrating ...
If the FAA really wanted to kill GA, as our critics claim, we'd just sit back and do nothing. We'd leave the air traffic system just the way it is, and let congestion slowly squeeze them out." Blakey
asked the executives to support the FAA's efforts, and said some of the agency's proposed changes would be beneficial to airports. "No matter how you slice it, our bill allows airports to meet their
capital needs," she said. "If Congress fails to act on our bill by September, airports will immediately feel the pinch. That new runway you're hoping for may start late in the construction season or
be lost for the entire year."
Embraer, which is currently developing two new light jets, the Phenom
100 and 300, is also reportedly working on two more new models,
which would each seat 8 to 11 passengers. If the two projects get the
green light, expect to hear details this September at the annual
convention of the National Business Aviation Association, set for
Atlanta, Ga., in September. On Wednesday, Pratt & Whitney Canada said
it has delivered the first two PW617F engines for flight testing on
the Phenom 100. Certification of the engine is expected by the end of
this year. "These engine deliveries represent an important
milestone for both Pratt & Whitney Canada and Embraer," said Dan
Breitman, vice president of turbofan development for PW&C. "The PW600
family is the leader in the emerging very light jet market, and we
are very pleased with the progress of the PW617F engine program."
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.
A roofing project at the FAA tower and Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) in Jacksonville, Fla., has driven seven controllers to
complain of illness from fumes, including dizziness, nausea and chest pains, according to the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA). "The majority of controllers currently are being
forced to work six-day weeks and/or 10-hour days due to the tight staffing," according to NATCA. "The
response from management regarding the exposure to this chemical is abhorrent," said NATCA spokesman Victor Santore. "The employees feel that the FAA does not care about their safety, health and
welfare." FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen told AVweb on Tuesday that the FAA "takes very seriously the health and safety of all its employees." She said FAA managers "immediately took steps"
when fumes were reported. FAA staff vented the TRACON, moved workers to an adjacent building, suspended the roofing project and called in experts to gather air samples. "Results of the air quality
tests revealed levels well below OSHA standards," she said. Employees who report they have been affected by the odor have been permitted to take necessary leave, she said, adding that the FAA "will
take any and all necessary steps to ensure the safety, health, and comfort of all employees."
RotorWay International, based in Chandler, Ariz., has sold more than 900 kits for
small homebuilt helicopters, and now is starting development of a certified version. "We see a large opening in the market for a larger, two-seat, 21st-century helicopter with a sensible price," said
CEO Grant Norwitz. The project is underway at RotorWay's facility in South Africa. The company will seek European certification first, then move on to the FAA. "We know there are many steps toward
certification, and we know we are taking only the first step," Norwitz said. "We also know how important it is to take that first step. We have committed, here and now, to pursuing that goal." Changes
expected on the certified RotorWay, besides a larger interior space, might include more power and more-robust gear. RotorWay already builds a FADEC engine, and has announced upgrades to avionics such
as a glass-cockpit display in the newest kits. Additionally, the certified RotorWay will incorporate engineering changes intended to make the machines easier to maintain, the company said.
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
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.
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/.
When It Comes to Aircraft Insurance, the Choice Is Easy
The AOPA Insurance Agency is the only agency that offers the built-in expertise of AOPA's 66+ years' commitment to general aviation and the only one qualified to carry the AOPA
name. 410,000+ pilots trust AOPA for their aviation needs, so for aircraft insurance, why call anyone else? One call to (800) 622-2672 and you'll have multiple quotes from major A-rated
underwriters in minutes, or
Why is it that when a company has developed the world's "greenest" light aircraft at a time when environmental issues are a political hot potato, it
is effectively penalized for its work? Sweden's Lars Hjelmborg couldn't tell you. His company, Hjelmco Oil, has led worldwide unleaded fuel development and production for decades. Hjelmco's 91/96
avgas is approved for use in most Textron-Lycoming engines up to 180 hp, as well as the 235- and 260-hp O-540s and all Continental 100- and 145-hp engines.
Other than environmental considerations, there are compelling reasons the GA community should investigate using unleaded avgas. Says Lars, "Avgas is the only leaded fuel amongst unleaded fuels in the
modern world. Companies have to isolate all of its handling, which increases costs. It is inconvenient to hire a ship to transport 100LL. You have to find a tanker where the next cargo can accept
lead, e.g., a lubricant. You may not find a lubricant producer at the destination and have to return an empty ship. This pushes fuel prices up."
Lars is now chairing a committee set up by the American Society of Testing and Materials Standards (ASTM), the body which introduced the avgas D910 standard, to investigate flying on ethanol
derivative ethyl tertiary butyl ether (ETBE). He's also very open to anyone willing to work with him on new fuel development. "I have grey hair now and when I stop, the secrets will go with me."
There's another legal imperative to research greener avgas. Lars continues: "In 1987 the United Nations agreed in Montreal to ban various chemical compounds that dilute the ozone layer. One of the
banned agents is the scavenging agent for lead in avgas (ethylene dibromide) that converts lead into lead oxide, which is emitted from the exhaust. Without this scavenger the engine would seize. It
could only be a matter of time before, at 4 p.m. one Friday afternoon, a bureaucrat realizes this and campaigns against its use. No parliamentary approval is required."
Lars has reason to be wary of bureaucrats. Because of his pioneering work, more than
70% of the Swedish light aircraft fleet now runs on unleaded avgas, leading to no tax or VAT on avgas in Sweden. However, in my last column, I wrote
about the fuel tax hike effecting EU member states. Lars comments: "The EC [European Commission] has refused to make any distinction between leaded or unleaded or bio fuel. We have to pay the same
taxes as super-polluting fuel. We have approached the Commission, but it has not responded." The galling thing is there is no legal way to challenge the decision. He continues: "The EC report on
aviation fuel contains so many errors. Based on those errors, the decision is illegal. But no one can challenge it. One hundred seventy million European citizens have elected governments. These legal
governments applied to the Commission to grant them the right to handle the issue in their national parliaments. This decision was taken by low-level bureaucrat." Lars sent a letter two months ago
requesting a meeting, but has still heard nothing ...
GA IFR in Europe
I had a request from an AVweb reader to write about the difficulty of obtaining an instrument rating (IR) in Europe. It's a complex and expensive affair. The best resource to go for information and
action is PPL/IR Europe, which offers practical advice and a forum to meet other pilots undergoing the same difficulties. Leland Vandervort has written
an excellent article outlining the troubles he has encountered and offering useful solutions. The essence of the problem is that European pilots wishing to extend their privileges and fly in
instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) must spend copious amounts of time and cash to obtain a JAA IR. The major flaw lies at the heart of JAA regulations, which do not distinguish between using
an IR for private or commercial flights, thus automatically lumping small Cessna and Beechcraft aircraft with the heavy metal traversing Class A.
European PPLs have to study at an approved ground school and pass their ground exams before even starting their IR flying training ... which, incidentally, is frequently only available at
full-time residential organizations catering to commercial students. Often these schools only offer the rating in conjunction their commercial training. Even distance learning courses require a
one-week residential course per module. The time and cost required are a huge deterrent for many PPLs who would otherwise move swiftly to obtain the rating.
Several pilots have got 'round the rules by obtaining an FAA Restricted PPL, to which they add an FAA IR. They then either fly IMC on only U.S. registered aircraft in Europe or convert their FAA IRs
to JAA IRs. There are also several European national ratings allowing some IMC flight. These ratings are easier to acquire, but sadly are only valid in the airspace of the issuing country. PPLs
without a full IR cannot fly IFR across country borders, even outside controlled airspace. For more than a decade the JAA touted the idea of an "All Weather Rating" for Europe, which seems to be a
dead in the water since the JAA metamorphosed into the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
Enough already! Although things are looking glum on some fronts, it's not all doom and gloom over here across the pond. Airshow season starts in earnest this month with the 16th International Trade
Exhibition for General Aviation (a.k.a., AERO 2007) kicking off in at Friedrichshafen, Germany. From April 19 to 22, 2007, the best of the world's GA offerings will descend on the biannual Europe show
for four days of serious enterprise. Over 500 exhibitors from 30 countries will show off their wares in seven huge halls. The show takes place on the shores of Lake Constance with easy access to
Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Italy, France and Eastern Europe. There's a static display and the famous Zeppelin airship hangar will be open to the public. There'll be offerings from general and
business aviation, ultralight/microlight and light-sport aircraft, gliders, maintenance and avionics.
"The large number of exhibitors underscores the importance of this aviation trade show for Europe," says Messe Friedrichshafen CEO Klaus Wellmann. For the first time every manufacturer in the glider
industry will be
exhibiting. It's an important sector in Germany. Of the Deutscher Aero Club's 70,000 flying members almost 37,000 are sports pilots with gliders. The ultralight/microlight industry and very light
aircraft (VLA) segments also continue to gain popularity and all the top European manufacturers will be showcasing their products at the show. There's also a strong American presence, with 34 U.S.
exhibitors and an American pavilion. Admission costs EUR 25 for two days or EUR 13 for one day at AERO 2007
Flying to Friedrichshafen with PPR regulations or on a foreign license: Should you wish to fly yourself to AERO, you'll need to book a slot. Book online and find out approach procedures at this Web site. To obtain a "holiday license," you need to have a valid foreign ICAO license. You have to submit proof to
the competent aeronautical authority (depending on where in Germany you are going to stay) or the local Luftaufsichtsstelle of the following: your license, its validity (if it is proven by a special
document and not entered into the license itself like medical certificates) and not less than three take-offs and three landings with the type of aircraft concerned within the last 90 days before
filing an application. Recognition of pilots' and helicopter pilots' licenses is restricted to airplanes and helicopters up to 2000 kg (4400 lbs) licensed to a minimum flight crew consisting of one
PIC, as well as to VFR flights by day. Go to AOPA Germany for more info.
Hawker Beechcraft's British Move
Another positive move comes from Hawker Beechcraft (formerly Raytheon). The manufacturer has moved its international sales office to Broughton in the U.K. Sean McGeough, Vice President of
International Sales, will head up the operations. For the past five years he has managed Hawker and Beechcraft sales directors in Europe, Africa, India and the Middle East. Since joining the company
in 1999, he has worked through the Beechcraft and Hawker product lines -- from selling Beechcraft products across the United States to directing Hawker and Beechcraft sales in South Africa and India.
He explains the rationale behind the transfer: "The move of the international sales office was made to centralize sales and support in one location. As our international market grows we also want to
be closer to our customers. We plan on having a world-class sales office in Chester similar to what we have in our other locations like Little Rock and Wichita."
Europe is a key part of Hawker Beechcraft's future business and Sean says, "We are building long lasting relationships with our new and repeat customers. In the end, they have always been the backbone
of our success in any region and we know it's just as important in Europe to do the same. We have added resources such as salesmen, pilots, tech reps and support personnel. Chester will be a big part
of that future growth in what our facility there will have to offer. It will be our European and International headquarters."
The company has publicly stated it intends to bring its international sales up to about 50% of its market. Sean affirms: "We are seeking to increase sales in all markets worldwide. The dynamic
fluctuations in world markets necessitate a flexible approach in maximizing sales wherever they may be. Europe will continue to be a big percentage of our growth and this year we expect our total
sales to be over 20 percent going to mainland Europe. Markets such as Russia and Turkey have really been bright spots in our overall growth in the region. Our entire turbine product-range in Asia,
Africa, the Middle East and South America have done very well and we are very bullish on future sales in these regions." Go to their Web
site to find out more.
Sussex Flying Club
I also promised to let you know of great places from which to fly. Sussex Flying Club (SFC) operates out of Shoreham Airport on the southeast coast of England (see terminal photo above). Not only can
you go touring in the U.K., but also cross the English Channel and do some sightseeing in France. Opened in 1936,
Shoreham is the U.K.'s oldest licensed airport. The main terminal building is a glorious Grade-II listed art deco monolith, housing a few flying schools and a restaurant overlooking the apron and
A word of caution: There are at least 12 pleasure-flight providers and training schools at Shoreham, making it especially busy at weekends. Both fixed-wing and helicopters are constantly practicing
circuits -- fixed-wing aircraft at 1100 feet and helicopters at 600 feet above the airport. There are three runways, only two of which are in general use. Runway of choice is 1000-m, paved runway
02/20, with grass runway 07/25 in occasional use.
Sights to see around the area range from Arundel Castle (the Dukes of Norfolk's country seat), Bognor Regis, Brighton with its famous seaside piers and Beachy Head, the celebrated beauty spot,
unfortunately renowned as much for its suicides as its loveliness. SFC also boasts a genuine French instructor. Elise Marin arrived 18 months ago on a work placement, liked the place so much that she
stayed and is now a permanent fixture.
Regular club members frequently fly over to France, which is also a possibility open to temporary members, too. Says CFI James Crabbe, "We put out a notice on the board and people go over in Cessnas
and Warriors. It's great as it involves short hops, not a long trip touring France. It offers people the chance to fly with an instructor at reduced or no cost, plus the experience of flying with
other members. We have enjoyed many long weekends. People swap crews when they fly back for the return leg." Elise laughs: "Pilots love to have the 'exotic' travel of going to France. French clubs are
really happy to welcome us. It's quite different arriving at a foreign field knowing there's someone waiting for you there."
For details of how to obtain a temporary membership or hire an aircraft go to SFC's Web site.
For more aviation news and information from Europe, read the rest Liz Moscrop's columns.
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.
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
Craig Sincock of Avfuel. And AVweb's podcast index includes interviews with Comp Air's Ron Lueck; 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; and Bill Lear, Jr. In Monday's news summary, hear
about what panelists said at the FAA
forecast about Columbia Aircraft's
restructuring, the FAA's continued attempt to link user fees with ATC
modernization, how much NextGen avionics will cost operators, the
latest on DayJet and more. Remember: In AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things you won't find anywhere else.
Featured AVweb Marketplace Ad: Biennial Flight Review Flashcards
These flashcards provide more than 290 questions and answers from current the FAR, AIM, and other sources. Includes a comprehensive review of sectional charts, all shown in color. Download
immediately for just $12.95 from AJ Publications, LLC.
information regarding this ad and to view more ads, click here.
Last week, AVweb reported on the FAA Forecast, which predicted
(among other things) a growth of the very light jet population by 5,000
planes over the next decade. In our previous "Question of the
Week," we asked whether you agreed with the FAA.
It seems AVweb readers are a little more conservative when it comes
to VLJ growth, with only 8% of those who took our poll expecting to see
5,000 (or more) VLJs delivered in the next ten years. The biggest
segment of our respondents (37% of you) put the delivery number in the
For a complete breakdown of reader responses to last week's Question,
THIS WEEK'S QUESTION ***
A House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee report released
this week maintains there is "widespread fraud" among pilots who hide
serious medical conditions from examining physicians in order to retain
medical certification for their FAA pilot certificates. Do you
know anyone (yourself or others) who has purposely omitted any health
information on his or her aviation medical application form?
(Responses are not tracked by user name or IP address. This
survey is entirely anonymous.)
Have an idea for a new "Question of the Week"? 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.
Michael Maya Charles Fans Unite! Artful Flying, Michael Maya Charles' new book, will show you secrets to becoming a better pilot and enjoying it more! This is no ordinary text of course not! It's written
by an extraordinary pilot and writer.
Order online and
receive ground shipping at no cost.
AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Jet Aviation at KBED in Bedford, Mass.
AVweb reader Paul Tollini says the FBO provides the same level of service, regardless of airplane size.
"Unlike some other FBOs, at Jet Aviation BED all customers are valued regardless of the size of the aircraft that they arrived in or how much fuel they purchase. When I had passengers that insisted
on using the other FBO on the field, I felt like a traitor and received much worse service at a much higher price."
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 ***
We love spring! And (quite frankly) it doesn't
have much to do with warm weather, air shows, or sunny Saturday
afternoons. Nope. For Team POTW, the best part of spring is
the flood of new airplane photographs that make their way to our
submission box. This week, we had 112 new images to rifle through.
(That's usually good for about 30 wows, 15 giggles, and 10 or so
Share your photos with the rest of us who love
flying! Submit them
we'll drool all over them, then run the best of the batch on AVweb.
Bengt Olson of Hindås, Sweden
brought a smile to our faces with this shot of "King Carl XII trying to
direct a Finnair A321." Despite some rather amazing photos that
trickled in this week, we couldn't stop snickering over Bengt's creative
image, and (at the end of the day) that made this our "Picture of the
Bengt, we were tempted to send you an extra cap for King Carl there
but with your sense of humor, we couldn't trust you not to put it
Dirk Meinecke of Milson's Point, New
South Wales (Australia) sent in
amazing shots of this Royal Australian Air Force F-111 (and
showing off at the Avalon 2007 Air Show but, being overgrown kids, we
decided to go with the photos that featured fiery afterburners!
(Settle down, Beavis.)
Jimmy Wedell with One of His Wedell-Williams Racers, 1933
"This picture was taken by my dad [Richard
Muething] at Lunken Airport, Cincinnati in 1933," writes
Joe Muething of St. Petersburg,
Florida. "Dad was a pilot in the '40s and has been an aviation
buff all his life. At 94, he is still watching planes and keeping
abreast of the latest aviation news."
Want more? We had far too many great pics this week for you
to miss the regular "POTW" slideshow on our home page.
See the other photos
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,
send us an e-mail.
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
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
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.