AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 13, Number 14b

April 5, 2007

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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.

» Visit Teledyne-Continental Motors in booths N-093-102 at Sun 'n Fun
Top News back to top 

Pilots Sue FAA Over Age-60 Rule

The FAA is dragging its feet on changing the Age-60 rule, say three airline pilots who are about to see their careers come to what they believe is a premature end. But the trio is doing more than just griping about the situation – they filed a lawsuit against the FAA in a federal court late last week to fight the age rule. The three pilots -- Lewis Tetlow of Bedford, N.H.; Richard Morgan of Charlottesville, Va.; and Joseph LoVecchio of Lancaster, Pa. -- are backed by the newly formed Senior Pilots Coalition, a group about 300 strong that is seeking a change to the Age-60 rule. FAA Administrator Marion Blakey said early this year that the rule likely will change to harmonize with new international rules that allow airline pilots to fly until age 65, but that process could take up to two years. During this period, the pilot group says U.S. airlines will lose about 5,000 experienced pilots thanks to the rule. Blakey has said that pilots who turn 60 before a new rule is finalized will be out of luck -- there will be no requirements for airlines to hire them back. The FAA is aware of the lawsuit and is reviewing it, spokeswoman Alison Duquette told AVweb. According to the lawsuit, the FAA has allegedly refused to consider the pilots' requests for exemptions from the rule, and "the FAA's intentional failure to act on the waiver applications threatens Petitioners with irreparable harm."

Boston Air Taxi Service Expands To D.C.

Linear Air, which has been operating an air-taxi service from Bedford, Mass., since 2004 with a fleet of Cessna Grand Caravans while it awaits delivery of its Eclipse very light jets, is now expanding to Manassas (Va.) Regional Airport just outside of Washington, D.C., the company said this week. Linear Air has ordered 30 Eclipse 500 VLJs and expects to begin taking delivery of them this summer. "With our base at Manassas, we now offer contiguous service from New England all the way down to the Southeast," said Linear Air President and CEO William Herp. "We've seen tremendous demand among business travelers for day trips, as well as leisure travel to second homes and out-of-the-way resorts." The expansion will serve a "pent-up demand for more affordable and accessible short-hop private air service" in the region, said Ann Moseley, general manager of Next Flight Aviation, which is providing a terminal for the operations at Manassas. "Linear Air's Caravans fit this need perfectly."

Report Debunks Tuskegee Legend

The legend that says the escorts flown by the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II never lost a bomber to enemy aircraft fire is just that -- a legend, according to a report by an historian at the Air Force Historical Research Agency. The preliminary findings of the research became known last year, but the final report was coincidentally released last week, just as the Airmen were awarded a Congressional Gold Medal. Historian Daniel Haulman's research was based on reports filed by the bomber units and fighter groups, as well as air-crew records and reports from eyewitnesses. He documented 25 aircraft that were lost on five days. The legend seems to have grown from an unsubstantiated newspaper story that was published in 1945, Haulman said. "All of these records have been here all along," he said. "It was just a matter of putting them together." William Holton, national historian for the Tuskegee Airmen, did not dispute the findings, saying the discovery of lost bombers in no way tarnishes the Airmen's record. "Our outreach is always to younger people," he told the Montgomery Advertiser. "If we're going to get them in to support the legacy that was built up during the war, that legacy should be perpetuated by truthful methods, rather than by believing in myths."

Aircraft Spruce at the 33rd Annual Sun 'n Fun Fly-In
Aircraft Spruce will be at Sun 'n Fun in Lakeland, Florida for the annual fly-in. Visit their location in Hangar B, booths 4-9 for show specials and vendor demonstrations. Promotions will apply to a vast selection of products, including Bose, Flightcom, J.P.I., Tempest, LP Aero, Sennheiser, LightSPEED, Rosen Sunvisor, and Unison. No-cost shipping available on show orders (doesn't apply to oversize or hazardous goods). Call 1-877-4-SPRUCE, or visit Aircraft Spruce online.

» Visit Aircraft Spruce & Specialty in booths B-004-009 at Sun 'n Fun
News Briefs back to top 

Chaos Continues In Brazil's ATC System

Talks between air traffic controllers and the Brazilian government broke down Tuesday when the controllers refused to say they wouldn't strike, Reuters reports. The controllers had walked off the job over the weekend, and thousands of passengers were stranded when the government closed down the airports. They were back at work the next day, after the government finally agreed to negotiate. The civilian controllers, who are employed by the air force, have complained that they are underpaid and their jobs should be under civilian control. Brazil's president was expected to sign an order this week to create a new civil aviation agency to oversee the country's airspace, which would have addressed one of the controllers' main concerns. That change now is uncertain. The strike over the weekend was prompted by complaints from controllers that the air force had transferred workers to remote facilities to punish them for taking part in work slowdowns that have been part of recent protests. The system has been dealing with an ongoing crisis since last September's fatal midair collision between an airliner and a corporate jet. It was the nation's worst air disaster.

More Brazil Midair Lawsuits Filed

At least 16 lawsuits filed Friday in federal court are seeking financial compensation for the loss of 154 people killed when a Gol airlines 737 made airborne contact with an ExcelAire Legacy business jet over the Amazon rain forest last September 29. The suits filed in Miami name New York-based charter provider ExcelAire and the U.S. pilots of the Legacy -- Joseph Lepore and Jan Paladino -- who were previously detained for more than 70 days in Brazil following the accident. It claims the pilots did not maintain proper altitude, failed to properly maintain communication with air traffic control and didn't operate the aircraft properly. Defects in the air traffic control system, which was developed and maintained by Honeywell, Lockheed Martin and two other companies, also factor into the crash and the lawsuit, according to the Associated Press. A lawyer representing affected families said they would be asking for millions of dollars, though no exact dollar figure has yet been released.

Socata Tries Hand At Composites

EADS Socata hopes to revolutionize its manufacturing processes through the use of new advanced composites manufacturing techniques that could provide it lighter parts, for less money, built in less time. In partnership with other private-sector entities it would provide 32 percent toward a EU$9.3 million FUSCOMP, short for fuselage composite, program for the manufacture of a composite fuselage demonstrator based on the turboprop-single TBM 850 fuselage design but developed through vacuum infusion. The research-and-design-focused program is based on using vacuum pressure to inject liquid resin into dry fiber in a closed mold -- as opposed to working with pre-impregnated fiber materials cured in an autoclave. The new manufacturing method will allow for use of new materials and reduced production cycles, materials and manufacturing costs. The program's approval this week by the French Government paves the way for backing by government and local funding, which would make up the remaining 68 percent of the program's cost.

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 information.
News Briefs back to top 

FAA, NATCA Debate SoCal ATC Staffing

The airspace in Southern California is busy and complex, and according to the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), a staffing crisis is eroding the margin of safety to "dangerously low levels." A shortage of qualified staff is forcing many controllers to work overtime and six-day weeks, while more controllers are retiring and new hires are not being trained quickly enough, NATCA said on Tuesday. FAA spokesman Ian Gregor disputed NATCA's claims, telling NBC4.tv that the agency is actively training new recruits and planning for retirements. He acknowledged, however, that Long Beach controllers are working overtime. He said the FAA will bring five new hires on board in the next year. NATCA said continuing staff shortages could cause delays at Los Angeles International Airport, as well as result in higher numbers of runway incursions and controller errors. NATCA says the rate at which new hires can qualify as fully trained is inadequate to replace the coming wave of retirements of veteran controllers.

New CEO At Liberty Aerospace

Melbourne, Fla.-based Liberty Aerospace promoted Keith Markley to the president and CEO position. Markley formerly was the airplane manufacturer's chief operating officer. "Liberty Aerospace has grown significantly over the last two years, moving to a full production Part 23 aircraft manufacturer," said former CEO Anthony Tiarks, who founded the company in 2000. "This appointment, which has been planned for some time, will now allow me to strategically focus on Liberty's growing presence in international markets, an area the company sees as high growth." Tiarks will remain on the company's board of directors. Liberty sells the two-seat XL2. The airplane has recently been certified in Indonesia and Australia.

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

» Visit LightSPEED Aviation in booth N-099 at Sun 'n Fun
News Briefs back to top 

Expedition Will Seek Resolution Of Earhart Mystery

A diary that was kept by a journalist who was covering Amelia Earhart's round-the-world flight when she disappeared has recently resurfaced and is fueling new speculation about her fate. Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, vanished over the South Pacific 70 years ago in July 1937. The diary raises questions about the early hours of the search and what transmissions were sent from the aircraft. The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) is planning an expedition this summer to return to Nikumaroro, a tiny island where they believe Earhart and Noonan may have landed when their Lockheed Electra ran out of fuel. The investigators will search for artifacts, and they also hope to find human remains that could be used for DNA testing.

American Legend Expands Into Restoration Services

American Legend Aircraft Company of Sulphur Springs, Texas, manufactures and sells the popular Legend Cub Light Sport Aircraft. Now the company has formed a new subsidiary, American Legend Aircraft Services, that will restore vintage tube-and-fabric airplanes. The new company will offer repair, overhaul, upgrades, annual inspections and showroom-quality complete restorations. Aircraft that can be worked on at ALAS include the Piper J-3, PA-11 and Super Cubs; Aeronca Champ, Chief and Citabria; Luscombe Monocoupe through 8 series; Taylorcraft; Waco; Stearman; and more. The company offers upgrade options to vintage aircraft owners, including avionics, engines, interiors and a wide range of STCs. Repair and overhaul services can include mechanical systems, top-quality upholstery, airframe structural work and new cover and paint.

If Brokers Say They Cover the Whole Market, Why Can't They Get a Quote from Us?
Actually, brokers can't get a quote from Avemco, the only direct provider of aviation insurance. Only Avemco lets you talk directly to the aviation underwriter for fast, accurate answers. So if a broker tells you they cover the whole market, they're only telling you half the story. Call (888) 241-7891, or visit online for the rest of the story.

» Visit Avemco Insurance in booths C-055-056 at Sun 'n Fun
News Briefs back to top 

FAA Improves Polar Oceanic Routes

Aircraft crossing the Arctic Ocean can now fly more direct routes, save fuel and achieve better on-time performance, the FAA said this week. The Alaska Air Route Traffic Control Center has completed the installation of Advanced Technologies and Oceanic Procedures (ATOP). The technology enables controllers to safely separate aircraft in areas outside radar coverage or direct radio communication. The system has already been deployed at FAA centers in New York and California to provide enhanced air traffic service over the Atlantic and Pacific. "As we move toward the Next Generation Air Transportation System, we will continue to introduce procedures and technologies that help system users better serve their customers while maintaining the highest levels of safety," said FAA Administrator Marion Blakey. ATOP detects conflicts between aircraft and provides satellite data link communication and position information to air traffic controllers. With greater transoceanic capacity, more aircraft will be able to fly preferred routes, the FAA said.

Canada Targets Aerospace For Growth

The Canadian government will invest about $800 million in aerospace and defense research and development over the next five years, Industry Minister Maxime Bernier announced on Monday. Companies based in Canada that are expected to benefit from the project include Bombardier, Pratt & Whitney Canada and training provider CAE Inc. The government will require companies to invest three to four dollars of their own capital for every federal dollar received. "Aerospace is a major contributor to wealth and job creation," said Don Campbell, chairman of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada. "Government partnerships with industry serve a valuable purpose in stimulating technology development which would not otherwise occur." Canada's aerospace sector employs more than 75,000 workers, with annual sales of about $19 billion.

DA40 Diamond Star a Fleet Favorite
Airline Transport Professionals, Beijing PanAm, Empire Aviation, Middle 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. For more information, click here.

» Visit Diamond Aircraft in booths MD-023B-024C at Sun 'n Fun
News In Brief back to top 

On The Fly

Fuel selectors on Diamond DA40 aircraft must be modified under a new Airworthiness Directive proposed by the FAA...

A new lightweight four-stroke engine for sport aircraft has been successfully tested and will go into production this year, says AirScooter Corp....

Some Columbia airplanes must be inspected to prevent jamming of the ailerons and elevator, according to a final FAA Airworthiness Directive issued this week...

FlightSafety is now offering simulator training for the Cessna Mustang at its Wichita, Kan., Learning Center...

A former FAA safety program manager must pay $1,000 and serve three years probation for failing to report disqualifying prescription medications on his 2004 airman medical application.

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/.

Merge the Real and Virtual Worlds, and Have Fun Learning
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.

» Visit ASA in booths B-059-061 at Sun 'n Fun
New On AVweb back to top 

Pelican's Perch #84: Don't Set Mixture with CHT

Some pilots think the "new wave" in engine management is not to use EGT to set the mixture but instead to keep the CHTs under some generic maximum. Their engines won't last very long.

Click here for the full story.

Probable Cause #29: Freezing Up On Approach

Ice claims another victim as a twin Commander crashes miles short of the runway. But could the accident have been avoided?

Click here for the full story.

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.
It's Not What You Know, but Who You Know that Can Save You Money!
Avionics. Next to your airframe and engine(s), avionics are the most expensive items you will purchase for your aircraft. Don't spend more than you need to! Before you buy anywhere else, call Bennett Avionics at (800) 653-7295, or visit online. It's not rocket science, just good business!
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 Jim Schuster at Raytheon Aircraft. And AVweb's podcast index includes interviews with Avfuel's Craig Sincock; 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 special podcast, Jeff Simon talks with AVweb about synthetic vision systems for general aviation airplanes. Remember: In AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things you won't find anywhere else.

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.
Question Of The Week back to top 

Question of the Week: Now That You've Seen the Eclipse (or a Few of Them), What Do You Think of It?

This Week's Question | Previous Week's Answers


Last week, in light of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee report identifying "widespread fraud" in the pilot medical certification system, AVweb asked if any of our readers knew of anyone who had concealed a health issue on his or her medical application form.

Most of you said that no, you didn't know of anyone who had willfully omitted health information — but 35% of those who responded to our anonymous survey said that yes, they did know of an omission committed by a friend, colleague, or perhaps even by himself.

How did those omissions break down?  For the actual results of last week's poll, click here.


Now that Eclipse has delivered five Eclipse 500s and released preliminary performance data for the final configuration of the $1.55 million very light twinjet, how would you classify the airplane overall?

Click here to answer.

Have an idea for a new "Question of the Week"? Send your suggestions to .

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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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.
For contact information regarding this ad and to view more ads, click here.
FBO Of The Week back to top 

FBO Of The Week: Phazar Flight Support

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Phazar Flight Support at KFTW in Fort Worth, Texas.

AVweb reader James Knox says the facility staff are attuned to customer's every need.

"Phazar is a relatively new FBO, and they are just puppy-dog eager to please. (Or else it's a plot to make you feel guilty about asking for anything.) They parked my little plane under the wing of the biggest Gulfstream and gave me the same treatment they gave them. Everything is done quickly and on time."

Keep those nominations coming. For complete contest rules, click here.

AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!

Pictures Of The 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."


Aw, we knew it was too good to be true.  After a month or so of living the high life (visually-speaking), we're starting to see a dip in "Picture of the Week" submissions.  With Sun 'n Fun barely two weeks away, we can only guess that the shutterbugs among you are cleaning your lenses and making hotel reservations.  (That's what we're doing.)  But, thanks to the generous spirit of this week's 70-some-odd submitters, we don't have to spend the next two weeks in an artistic drought.  On with the pictures — !

Let's get those numbers back up!  Share your favorite aviation photos with us by submitting them here.  We'll examine them carefully and (after much scientific scrutiny) run the best of the bunch right here on AVweb.

medium | large

copyright © Aerochutes SW
Used with permission of Steve E. Rambo

Early Morning Preflight

Ready for a fresh desktop wallpaper image?  Try this one, courtesy of Aerochutes SW's Steve Rambo in Chehalis, Washington.  This stark image was hard to resist, and we can only hope an AVweb hat will look as good on Steve as his image does on our monitors.


medium | large

Used with permission of Charles Mueller

Happy Pilot

Charles Mueller of Chico, California is the titular pilot in this photo — and who wouldn't be happy, flying a 1928 GL over the Sacramento Valley on a sunny summer day?


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Used with permission of Dale Schneider

New Zealand Helicopter Travel

Dale Schneider (and wife Kathy) of Durham, North Carolina offered to send us a version of this photo without them in it.  Don't worry, guys — that may be a pretty whirlybird, but we can still peek around you (and it) to appreciate the gorgeous New Zealand coastline.

We've spoken with several New Zealanders this week, further cementing our conviction that we have got to get down there sometime!


medium | large

copyright © Dean Heald
Used with permission

Dusty Takeoff for Barney

Dean Heald of El Segundo, California had us coughing up dirt in the wake of this C-17 Globemaster's take-off.  "I don't think that it will be invited back next year," writes Dean.

That may be the case — but you, Mr. Heald, are always welcome here at "POTW."  Great photo!

Like what you see?  You can find more bonus pictures in the "POTW" slideshow on our home page.

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 Editors Mary Grady (bio) and Glenn Pew (bio).

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.