AVwebFlash - Volume 13, Number 15b

April 12, 2007

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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Top News back to top 

FAA's Blakey Backpedaling?

It appears that FAA Administrator Marion Blakey is backing off on her claim that "one hundred percent of our major capital programs are on schedule and on budget," a statement she delivered in testimony to the House appropriations subcommittee on March 22. During a speech last Thursday at the Pratt & Whitney Women's Leadership Forum, Blakey watered this statement down to "90 percent of our major capital projects" being on time and on budget. In her carefully crafted speech last week she also said, "Let me tell you this: under our proposal, the majority of general aviation will never pay a user fee for air traffic control." The key word here is "majority," which might be a misnomer since AOPA has discovered that the FAA's proposal would impose user fees for general aviation aircraft flying in Class B airspace. While pilots could fly around this airspace to avoid such fees, it would add inconvenience and extra flying time, possibly resulting in additional operating expenses that could make the user-fee option more cost-effective.

Meanwhile, Blakey continues to link ATC modernization with the proposed funding plan, even though the Government Accountability Office has previously debunked this relationship. In testimony before the House aviation subcommittee late last month, GAO Physical Infrastructure Director Gerald Dillingham said, "The current funding structure has supported FAA as FAA's budget has grown, and it can continue to do so to fund planned modernization." Despite this Blakey last Thursday maintained that "a stable revenue stream [i.e., user fees] is the only thing that'll fix [the aviation system] and the only thing that will enable us to make the kind of investments we need to." Perhaps acknowledging the growing opposition in Congress for the FAA's funding overhaul plan, last week she promised to "push hard to reach a compromise." However, even a compromised bill on FAA reauthorization could include $1 billion in tax increases per year "at a minimum," according to House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Republican chief of staff Jim Coon.

Alliance Takes Aviation User-Fee Fight Beyond Choir

The Alliance for Aviation Across America announced its arrival on Tuesday morning, launching an effort to expand beyond the aviation community and include small businesses and rural areas in opposition to the FAA's proposed changes to its funding system. "Community airports that serve small towns are critical to our security, our mobility during national emergencies, and to our local economies," said Niel Ritchie, president of the League of Rural Voters, at a press conference. "General aviation is a lifeline. The FAA's proposal would impose severe economic hardship." The new Alliance aims to build support by working to publicize and explain the issues as well as by direct lobbying on Capitol Hill. The group's Web site outlines the issues and invites readers to write to Congress.

Rol Murrow of the Air Care Alliance said that if expenses go up, the first thing many pilots will have to cut are their public-service flights. He added that pilots shouldn't have to make safety-of-flight decisions influenced by cost. Like others at the conference, he emphasized that the FAA's proposal would essentially hand over all power over the air traffic control system to the airlines and the FAA, cutting out GA and Congress. "Any scheme permitting one class of users to run the system is bound to be unfair to all the others," Murrow said. Ken Meade, former inspector general for the Department of Transportation, added that there is no justification for the FAA to propose such a drastic change in its funding mechanism. "I think the FAA has it precisely backwards," he said. "Existing funding streams are more than adequate to support modernization. They should be spending their time defining exactly what this next-generation system is going to be."

Sun 'n Fun Coming Up Next Week

If you're heading to Florida for the annual Sun 'n Fun air show starting on Tuesday, the FAA has the flight planning info you need. The Notice to Airmen, available online, includes detailed arrival and departure procedures for Lakeland Linder Regional Airport and for Lake Parker, the seaplane destination. Special rules are listed for ultralights, warbirds and instrument flights. Don't leave home without it! Also, don't leave home without bringing a friend who is new to aviation. Prospective pilots who sign up with a mentor from AOPA Project Pilot will get into the show for free. "What better way to get a prospective pilot hooked on aviation than taking them to one of the first great air shows of the spring flying season?" said AOPA President Phil Boyer. The newbies will also have a chance at winning up to $5,000 for flight training from AOPA during the show. The free admission offer is available Tuesday through Friday, April 17 to 20. Limit one free student admission per current pilot/mentor. And if you can't make it to the show, AVweb will be there with daily reports and podcasts to bring it all to your desktop.

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News Briefs back to top 

Eclipse 500 VMC Only For Now

According to Eclipse Aviation President and CEO Vern Raburn, the Eclipse 500 fleet (five customer and five test airplanes) has been temporarily restricted to only visual meteorological conditions flight operations after a teething problem was found with the very light jet's pitot/static system. In a letter to customers sent Monday night, Raburn outlined the problem: "Eclipse 500 aircraft have experienced three in-flight events in which pitot pressure was lost on both left and right primary air data sources, resulting in the loss of airspeed indications on the Primary Flight Displays (PFDs). The standby airspeed indication was not affected, and continued to function properly." Since all aircraft regained the function of both air data systems when at warmer temperatures, Eclipse believes the problem lies in internal condensation, due to departures from high-humidity environments, collecting and freezing in -- and thus blocking -- the pitot tubing. The start-up manufacturer plans to modify the pitot-heat system to increase the temperature and work to mitigate moisture collection in the tubing. Raburn didn't say when the fix would be ready, but he did promise an update in two weeks. In an accompanying customer letter, Raburn gave another update on the overall Eclipse 500 program. He noted that the five VLJs delivered to date was below Eclipse's goal, though he expressed optimism that deliveries will accelerate by the end of June, with seven Eclipse 500s in the FAA inspection pipeline. All's well on the Avio NG front, Raburn says, and a testbed has begun using "production configuration hardware and software to validate functionality and systems integration." Meanwhile, Raburn said the company will soon have "major news" to announce regarding a new flight-training vendor.

FAA Proposes Aviation Medical Extension

The FAA hasn't reviewed the duration of aviation medicals since extending the duration of third-class medical certificates from two years to three years for individuals under age 40 in 1996, and it believes it's time to do so again. On Tuesday, the agency issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would increase the duration of validity from six months to one year on first-class medical certificates for individuals under age 40 and from 36 months to 60 months on third-class medical certificates for individuals under age 40. However, there would be no change for the second-class validity standard since the "existing U.S. medical certificate validity standards for commercial pilots under age 40 in a multi-crew setting currently are the same as" those of the International Civil Aviation Organization. According to the FAA, the changes to the first- and third-class medical renewal periods reflect the "FAA's assessment of the current, appropriate interval for younger airmen," as well as "decrease routine workflow thereby allowing the FAA to focus on the most safety-critical certification cases and provide more efficient service to other applicants waiting to be processed." At the same time, the FAA notes that the rulemaking action also provides an "opportunity to make certain minor, but necessary, amendatory modifications." There appear to be no showstoppers in these "minor" modifications, which would remove a reference to a nonexistent FAR 67.5, delete a specific section to address military flight surgeons holding the AME designation and change the words "give the examination" to "perform the examination" in FAR 67.405, among other alterations.

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.

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News Briefs back to top 

NTSB Cites Controller Fatigue As Safety Factor

The NTSB said on Tuesday it wants the FAA to modify the way it schedules air traffic controller work shifts to minimize disrupted sleep patterns and fatigue. The Safety Board said controller fatigue has been an ongoing concern, but the issue was raised again after last August's fatal crash of a Comair regional jet on takeoff from Lexington (Ky.) Blue Grass Airport. The controller who cleared the Bombardier CRJ-100 for takeoff had worked from 0630 to 1430 the day before the accident, took a two-hour nap in the afternoon, then returned to work from 2330 until the accident occurred at 0607 the next morning. "Such limited sleep can degrade alertness, vigilance, and judgment," the NTSB said. While the Comair accident remains under investigation and the role of controller fatigue is unresolved, four other recent incidents "provide clear and compelling evidence" that controllers suffer fatigue due to their work schedules and that fatigue has contributed to errors, the Board said. The solution, says the NTSB, is for the FAA to train managers about the dangers of fatigue so they can devise better schedules. Also, the NTSB has asked the FAA and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association to work together to ensure schedules provide rest periods long enough for controllers to obtain sufficient sleep and minimize disrupted sleep patterns. The Safety Board also believes the FAA should require air traffic controllers to be trained in resource management skills that will improve controller judgment, vigilance and safety awareness. NATCA welcomed the NTSB's report and said, "This initiates a discussion that we must have regarding the overall tired, overworked and understaffed workforce that controls the nation's air traffic."

Airliners Circle While Controller Takes A Break

For most workers, taking a break to visit the restroom is not a big deal. But if you are an air traffic controller, and you've been at your post over two and a half hours, and the only other worker on duty is a trainee not qualified to take over for you, well, it could mean that two Southwest 737s will have to fly holding patterns for 18 minutes. That's what happened at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport last Friday, according to the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA). Before leaving the tower to go to a restroom, the controller called the Boston Tracon and asked them to hold incoming flights, NATCA said. The controller was scheduled to work alone from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Also, while the controller was away, the trainee answered a call from a pilot of a Lifeguard Flight that was requesting to taxi for takeoff to Teterboro, NATCA said. The trainee told the pilot he would have to wait 10 minutes for the controller to return. The pilot said he had lungs on board. "Is there anything you can do?" The trainee said no.

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News Briefs back to top 

ADIZ Update Still In The Works

An update to the Air Defense Identification Zone over Washington, D.C., is due by July, but the details are continuing to be worked out and that date might be extended, AOPA said on Monday. At a briefing for local pilots held last week, some FAA officials suggested the final ADIZ could end up smaller than the current one. A circle extending for 30 nautical miles from the VOR at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport was one scenario discussed, which would exclude four Maryland airports -- including Martin State and Baltimore-Washington International -- from the ADIZ. The circle might include some "notches" to ease access to other general aviation airports within the zone. Pilots and controllers at the meeting expressed concerns about the radio procedures that would be required to navigate the airspace. However, no decisions have yet been made. "At this point, we have no official or even unofficial word that this is the final alternative," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "Our staff continues to maintain close contact with the FAA, Transportation Security Administration, and the Department of Defense, just a few of the many agencies involved in the ADIZ decision making." The FAA is still reviewing more than 22,000 comments to its ADIZ proposal, AOPA said.

FAA Determines 9/11 Reimbursement Rules

The FAA on Monday published its final rule regarding how it will compensate aviation businesses in the Washington, D.C., area that suffered financial losses due to airport closures following 9/11. Congress has provided up to $17 million for reimbursements, with no more than $5 million to go to the three Maryland airports: College Park, Potomac Airfield and Washington Executive/Hyde Field. Also eligible for funds are Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) and Washington South Capitol Street Heliport. Signature Flight Support's DCA facility has claimed more than $5 million in losses in the 9/11 aftermath. The procedures take effect on May 9. The businesses can be reimbursed for the difference between the income they could have reasonably expected during the shutdown period and the income they actually earned. A number of commenters from businesses at Hyde Field asked that they also should be reimbursed for losses when the airport was shut down due to a violation of post-9/11 security rules. They argued that most of the delay in reopening was due to slow government response, not the violation itself; and in any case they were not responsible for the violation. The FAA, however, said the closure was caused by the violator, not by the government, and denied reimbursement.

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News Briefs back to top 

NTSB Unsure Of Cause In Fatal Piper Crash

On a clear morning in July 2004, a Piper Navajo flown by a retired airline pilot who had more than 32,000 hours of logged flight time hit a forested ridge in Ticonderoga, N.Y. The airplane was torn apart and burned, and the pilot and his passenger both died. The NTSB said in its recently released final report that it cannot find a cause for the crash. No pre-crash mechanical or structural failures could be documented, and the cause of death for both on board was listed as "undetermined." However, the NTSB notes that in the days before the crash, the passenger, who was under investigation by the FBI on suspicion of fraud, unsuccessfully tried to obtain millions of dollars in life insurance. He had also been "acting in an increasingly unusual manner," according to an FBI agent quoted in the NTSB report. "He began to take less care in his personal hygiene and attended work less often. His business appeared to be suffering increasing financial difficulties prior to the crash." The pilot was president of the air-charter company that operated the Navajo. He had an agreement with the passenger to provide flight service as an alternative to repaying a loan.

Advisors To Oversee GPS

NASA has established the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing Advisory Board, and AOPA President Phil Boyer has been appointed as a member. "GPS has become a public utility like electricity or water," Boyer said. To help oversee that infrastructure, the board brings together experts to provide advice on policy, planning, program management and funding. Boyer is the only board member from the general aviation sector. The board had its first meetings last week in Washington, D.C. "I left with a new understanding of how ... so many industries and consumers across the board now depend upon GPS," Boyer said. "Nearly 90 percent of our members tell us they use GPS when they fly, and many GA pilots are flying instrument approaches to smaller airports using the enhanced vertical and horizontal guidance from the GPS-WAAS system," said Boyer. He added that GPS is "a silent utility that must be protected, continue to be government funded and remain freely available without user fees."

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News In Brief back to top 

On The Fly

EAA AirVenture has confirmed that the Beach Boys will return to Oshkosh on July 23...

A Swiss team has flown their model of a small lifting-body aircraft powered by a fuel cell...

NOAA is taking its Hurricane Hunter aircraft on tour in the Caribbean this month, where it will be open for public tours...

The Air Care Alliance national conference, Air Care 2007, is coming up in Albuquerque April 27-28, last call to register...

A security bill now pending in Congress could impact GA flying, AOPA has the details...

Ballistic Recovery Systems this week logged the 200th and 201st save thanks to its whole-airplane parachute recovery systems. A Cirrus SR22 pilot pulled his BRS chute over New Mexico, marking the 200th life saved, and a German Ultralight pilot became the 201st such save...

The first RQ-4 Block 20 Global Hawk unmanned aerial system has successfully completed its first flight.

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

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AOPA Aircraft Finance Program Lowers Rates
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New On AVweb back to top 

The Savvy Aviator #43: High-Altitude Misfire

If your turbocharged engine runs fine down low but gets real rough up high, the problem is usually ignition-related.

Click here for the full story. to me like a classic case of high-altitude misfire.

Paschen's Law

Flying at high altitudes places extraordinary demands on our ignition system, particularly up in the flight levels. To understand why, we need to brush up on the physics of electrical sparks.

Our engines employ magnetos that generate high-voltage pulses. Each pulse is directed to a particular cylinder by a mechanically driven distributor in the magneto. The pulse is conducted through a wire in the ignition harness to a spark plug. It then jumps the air gap between the spark plug's center and ground electrodes to produce a spark that ignites the fuel-air mixture in the cylinder's combustion chamber.

How much voltage does it take to jump the spark plug's air gap? Well, that depends on two things: the size of the gap and the pressure of the air.

The relationship between dielectric breakdown voltage, gap size and pressure is described by Paschen's Law (after a German scientist F. Paschen who discovered it in 1889). For small air gaps in the millimeter range, the relationship can be approximated as:

V = 3000 x P x D + 1350

where V is the breakdown voltage (in volts), P is air pressure (in atmospheres) and D is the air gap distance (in millimeters).

If you were to test a aircraft spark plug on a bench at sea level, and if the spark plug at a normal gap size of 0.016 to 0.021 inch (0.4 to 0.5 mm), you'd find that it takes about 2000 to 3000 volts to fire the plug.

Everything changes when we install that same spark plug in an aircraft engine running at high power. That's because the air pressure inside the combustion chamber at the time that the spark plug fires is on the order of four times as much as sea-level atmospheric pressure, thanks to compression by the turbocharger and the piston. To fire the plug in this higher-pressure environment can require 7000 to 8000 volts. That's why our magnetos are designed to produce up to 20,000 volts at maximum RPM.

High-Altitude Misfire


When a magneto generates a high-voltage pulse, we want that pulse to jump the air gap between the electrodes of the spark plug. What we don't want to happen is for the spark to occur anywhere else in the system -- such as inside the magneto. Such an undesirable spark is called an "arc-over" and results in what we call "misfire" (see graphic at right). To ensure that the spark occurs where we want it to occur, we must make sure that the spark plug's gap represents "the path of least resistance" for the high-voltage pulse generated by the magneto.

Here's the problem: As we climb to higher altitudes in a turbocharged aircraft, the air pressure in the combustion chamber remains relatively constant (thanks to the turbocharger), but the air pressure in the magneto decreases. Paschen's Law tells us that as the air pressure in the magneto decreases, it becomes easier and easier for the high-voltage pulse to arc-over inside the magneto rather than across the spark plug gap. If we climb high enough and the air pressure in the magneto becomes low enough, we'll eventually reach the point where arc-over will occur inside the magneto, causing high-altitude misfire.

Trust me, if this occurs, it will really get your attention! (Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.)

If you ever experience high-altitude misfire in flight, the first thing you should do is reduce manifold pressure. This will reduce the combustion-chamber pressure, and make it easier for the spark to jump the spark plug gap rather than inside the magneto. Your next move should be to descend to a lower altitude, thereby increasing the air pressure inside the magneto and raising the breakdown voltage.

When you get back on the ground, ask your mechanic open up the mags and inspect the inside of the distributor gears and blocks for signs of burning and carbon tracking. Carbon tracking must be cleaned off, and components that exhibit signs of burning or overheating should be replaced.

Prevention Strategies


To prevent high-altitude misfire, we need to make it easier for the high-voltage pulses to occur where they're supposed to occur (at the spark plug), and more difficult for them to occur where they aren't supposed to occur (inside the magneto). How can we accomplish this?

To make it easier for the spark to occur at the spark plug, we need to keep the spark-plug gaps tight. Most aircraft spark plugs have specs that call for a gap between 0.016 and 0.021 inch. Keeping the gaps at the tight end of that range (0.016 inch) reduces the voltage required to fire the plug and provide increased margin against high-altitude misfire. Of course, the spark plug gaps get bigger as the plugs wear in service, so it's important to clean and re-gap the plugs on a regular basis. I suggest you do this at least every 100 hours; if you regularly fly into the mid-20s, you might need to do it every 50 hours.

There are two ways to make it harder for the spark to arc-over inside the magneto. One is to use magnetos that are as physically large as possible, reducing the chance of internal arc-over because the electrodes in the distributor are so widely spaced. For example, the huge TCM/Bendix S-1200 "tractor mags" that I use on my airplane have distributor block electrodes that are spaced 1.2 inches apart, so they're much more resistant to high-altitude misfire than the smaller TCM/Bendix S-20/200 mags and the even-smaller Slick 6300 mags also approved for my engines.

The big S-1200 mags also produce a hotter spark, and seem to be more durable and trouble-free than Slicks. Of course, they're heavy, and physically too large to fit some engine installations.

The other way to minimize the chance of arc-over is to pressurize the mags by pumping bleed air from the turbocharger into them (see figure above right). RAM Aircraft, for example, fits pressurized Slick mags on all its TSIO-520 engines. For really high altitudes, a pressurized version of the big TCM/Bendix S-1200 mag -- the S-1250 -- is available, and used by RAM on their GTSIO-520 engines used on the Cessna 421 that flies up to FL280.

Pressurized mags are a mixed blessing, however. Although the pressurization is an effective way to eliminate the high-altitude misfire problem, it also creates a new problem -- internal contamination of the magneto -- particularly when flying through moisture (rain or clouds). As a result, pressurized mags need to be opened up and cleaned a lot more frequently than do non-pressurized ones. In fact, Slick Service Bulletin SB1-88A recommends a teardown and internal inspection of pressurized mags every 100 hours (compared with 500 hours for non-pressurized mags).

If you do have pressurized mags installed, make sure they receive frequent inspection and maintenance, and change the filter in the magneto pressurization line often. Both TCM and RAM offer improved green in-line filters that are more effective than the older clear filters in keeping moisture and contaminants out of the mags. The newer filters also include a sump and drain line for improved moisture elimination.

Problem Solved!


I emailed the owner of the Cessna 340, suggesting that he ask his mechanic to check the spark plug gaps on his left engine, and adjust them all down to 0.016 inch. Since the 340's engines were RAM overhauls equipped with pressurized Slick magnetos, I also suggested that the mechanic inspect the pressurization lines to the mags to make sure that they weren't disconnected or leaking.

Two days later, the owner emailed me back to report what his mechanic had found. All spark plugs had gaps in excess of 0.021 inch, and the in-line filter for the magnetos on the left engine had broken, causing both mags to become unpressurized. One of those mags had arced over so badly that the distributor gear was badly burned and had to be replaced (see photo below right).


No wonder the left engine was so unhappy at FL240! Fortunately, the fix was quick and relatively inexpensive. After re-gapping all the plugs to 0.016 inch, replacing the broken in-line filter and replacing the burned magneto distributor gear, the owner reports that the engines are now running smoothly at FL240 and LOP.

See you next month.

Want to read more from Mike Busch? Check out the rest of his Savvy Aviator columns.

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.
Avidyne TAS600 — Because Two Antennas Are Better than One!
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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 part one of an interview with AOPA's Andrew Cebula on aviation user fees. And AVweb's podcast index includes interviews with Hawker Beechcraft's Avfuel's Craig Sincock; Comp Air's Ron Lueck; Expedition Aircraft's Jim Schuster; VistaNav's Jeff Simon; 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; and aviation forecaster Richard Aboulafia. In Monday's special podcast, hear part two of AOPA's Andrew Cebula discussion with AVweb about aviation user fees. Remember: In AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things you won't find anywhere else.

If You Live in One of These States, Mike Busch Is Coming to a Town Near You
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.
Question Of The Week back to top 

Question of the Week: Third-Class Medical Certificates and Minimum Age, According to the FAA

This Week's Question | Previous Week's Answers


Last week, AVweb asked readers what they think of the Eclipse 500, now that five of the VLJs have made their way into the hands of customers.

Readers' opinions were varied, with 36% of you saying it was mostly hype (no different than any other airplane), with a very comparable 34% of readers calling it somewhat revolutionary (based on our answer options).

For the full breakdown of last week's poll answers, click here.


The FAA proposed this week to raise the validity of third-class medical certificates from 36 months to 60 months for airmen under 40 years of age. In your opinion, does this action go far enough?

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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FBO Of The Week back to top 

FBO Of The Week: Dillon Flying Service

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Dillon Flying Service at KDLN in Dillon, Mont.

AVweb reader Benjamin Marsh liked the service so much at the FBO that he dreams of going back.

"Dennis and Jean, the owners, offer extremely personable service and genuinely care about their customers. Dennis, a high-time tailwheel pilot, welcomes everyone from cub pilots to jet jockey's at the FBO. Dillon's does get trainsient traffic; however, most is recreational due to its world-famous fishing and hunting. Yet prices are extremely low unlike other recreational airports. The FBO even offers a beautiful C172 for rental at only $82/hour wet. Overall, this FBO is a dream come true for any fisherman planning a trip this summer to the Beaverhead, Big Hole, Ruby or Madison Rivers, but still wants to stick to his budget. I can only dream of a flight back to Dillon."

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!

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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."


Picture submissions crept back up to more comfortable territory this week, and with more pictures came a tougher time of choosing our favorite.  As always, we resorted to a top-secret and very scientific algorithm — flashing reader-submitted pictures in front a select group AVweb editors at 3-millisecond intervals and charting the increase in electrical impulses across the surface of the skin.  It's a method that never fails, and the photo that made us tingle the most this week came from Lisa Salazar of Port St. Lucie, Florida.

We'll be away from the submission box next week, on assignment at Sun 'n Fun in Lakeland, Florida — but that doesn't mean you should stop hitting that submit button!  While we're out seeing the sights, we'll be counting on AVweb readers to send us photos of their airborne antics and fancy flyers.

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copyright © Lisa Salazar
Used with permission

AeroShell Team in Action

With Sun 'n Fun just around the corner, there's no better way to kick off the air show season than with a "Picture of the Week" featuring the AeroShell Aerobatic Team — thanks to Lisa Salazar of Port St. Lucie, Florida.

Lisa, we'll be dropping one of those coveted (and official!) AVweb baseball caps into the mail — but if you stop by the booth at Sun 'n Fun, I'm sure we can scare one up to give you in person!


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copyright © Movin' Pictures
Used with permission of H.B. Wise

Play Ball!

H.B. Wise of Arlington, Texas snapped this pic at the Texas Rangers' home opener.  "What could be more inspiring than opening day baseball and low-level jet noise?" asks H.B. — to which, frankly, we have no answer.

(Unless you count "weather warm enough for opening day," which applies in places a bit north of Texas this week.)


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Used with permission of Christopher Starr

Hookin' Up over Jacksonville, NC

Refueling photos never fail to get a woo-whee out of us.  Christopher Starr of Grand Rapids, Michigan submitted this one on behalf of "a gentleman I work with [who] took a familiarization flight recently on a KC-135."  The 135 in question was from the 927th Air Refueling Wing, and the F-15 from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.



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Used with permission of Jerry Malin

The Fighting Lady

Jerry Malin of Matthews, North Carolina sent us a couple of shots from Charleston, South Carolina's perennial tourist destination, the USS Yorktown.  Strangely, we chose the one with the fewest planes ... .

Want more?  Visit the "POTW" slideshow on our home page for more reader-submitted photos!

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.

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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.

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