AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 13, Number 16a

April 16, 2007

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
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» Visit Bose Corporation in booth SNF-009 at Sun 'n Fun
 
Sun 'n Fun Preview back to top 
 

AVweb Is Your Pass To Sun 'n Fun

It’s hard to preview an event like Sun 'n Fun -- to be held tomorrow through Sunday in Lakeland, Fla. -- because it’s hard to know where to begin. And while AVweb has been flooded with advance notice of numerous announcements, press conferences and product launches, the best way to stay on top of what will be hot in the coming year for aviation is to keep checking your inbox. We’ll be publishing a roundup of each day’s activities, supplemented with audio and video files to capture the full essence of a great event. If you see us on the grounds, please say hello. If you can’t make it this year, we’ll be your eyes and ears.

Cessna Aircraft At 80

Those attending Sun 'n Fun in Lakeland, Fla., starting tomorrow will be among the first to get a close look at Cessna’s proof-of-concept Next Generation Piston (NGP) aircraft. Dealers and prospective fleet customers have already given the flashy high wing a good going over, but the company has always kept it away from the masses since its surprise debut at EAA AirVenture last year with a flyby. The curious at AOPA Expo in Palm Springs had to be satisfied with a mock-up display, but the actual airplane will be at the Cessna pavilion at Lakeland. In fact, the company will have an example of every production model on display to help mark Clyde Cessna’s brave venture that started in 1927. In case you’ve lost track of the Wichita-based manufacturer's current offerings, that’s nine Citation models, the Caravan and three piston singles. The NGP, the proof-of-concept light sport aircraft, the Mustang entry level jet and a Grand Caravan will be on view outside. There will also be exhibits from Cessna’s trophy case, including the 1996 Collier Trophy it won for the Citation X.

Sun 'n Fun's Serious Side

It's probably not a coincidence that the guts of the FAA's proposal to impose user fees came out when much of the GA population was dodging the winter, but spring is here and you can expect a major push against the plan starting at Sun 'n Fun this week in Lakeland, Fla. AOPA is launching a anti-user-fee petition campaign at the official start to the air show season. AOPA President Phil Boyer will hold a pilot town hall meeting at Lakeland April 19, and you can guess what the major topic will be. But while all that is to be expected, there’s opposition to the funding proposal coming from a variety of quarters, some of it substantial. Nothing less than the State of Alaska is ready to battle the proposal via a formal resolution from the state legislature. The resolution, sponsored by state Rep. Kyle Johansen, is expected to be taken up soon and, given the mood up there, it seems sure to pass. A group representing a broad cross section of the cities, towns, charitable groups and businesses that might be affected by the proposal has formed, calling itself the Alliance for Aviation Across America, and the National Association of Counties has also chimed in.

Hawker Beechcraft Marks Old And New

It has a new name but it also has a product line that traces its roots to the 1940s. Can you believe the Bonanza turns 60 this year? Beechcraft itself is also celebrating its 75th birthday, so the newly privatized company that was hived from Raytheon’s considerable corporate bulk last month is pulling out all the stops at Sun 'n Fun. "It is an exciting time for our customers, our employees and our business. For the first time in 25 years, we are a private company and with two of the strongest brands in aviation in our new name, we’re quite bullish about our future," Brad Hatt, the company’s president of commercial sales, said in a news release. A special-edition Bonanza will be on display at Sun 'n Fun this week. Also competing for attention at the show will be a new Baron as well as a King Air C90 GT and a Beechcraft Premier IA.

 
Reason #31 — Look Ma, No Hands
The new Garmin GFC 700 autopilot gives you more hands-free flying control than ever. The flight director is seamlessly integrated into the G1000 glass cockpit and standard on new Skylanes and Stationairs. Letting go never felt so good. For more great reasons, visit CessnaReasons.com.

» Visit Cessna Aircraft in booths SNF-003-007 at Sun 'n Fun
 
News Briefs back to top 
 

Comp Air 12 Flies Just In Time

The Comp Air 12 turboprop single achieved first flight on Saturday at 6:10 p.m. from the Merritt Island (Fla.) Airport, where Comp Air is based. Ron Lueck, owner of Comp Air Aviation, was behind the controls of the all-composite, Honeywell TPE331-14GR-powered airplane. According to the aircraft manufacturer, the maiden flight was "a complete success" and ensures Comp Air will deliver on its promise to fly the Model 12 to the Sun 'n Fun fly-in this week in Lakeland, Fla. In a press release, the company said, "After shutting down the turbine, Ron Lueck emerged from the cabin door with a smile that told it all. Ron and his team did what some had questioned and this Comp Air 12 will be the first aircraft to enter FAA certification from a well known builder of experimental turbine aircraft kits." The airplane will be on static display for the duration of Sun 'n Fun at booth MD-012B.

First Look At Cirrus' "the-jet" June 27

The long-awaited (and excruciatingly foreshadowed) unveiling of a mockup of Cirrus' "the-jet" will occur at a June 27 private event for the hundreds of people who've put up $1,000 to secure positions on the aircraft. The public gets a peek the next day as the company uses the unveiling to kick off its annual "migration" of Cirrus aircraft back to the plant in Duluth, Minn. In an e-mail sent to members of the Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) late last week, COPA President Mike Radomsky said the unveiling will be the highlight of the weekend of seminars, discussion groups and parties that Cirrus hosts each June. And in keeping with the coy nature of the PR campaign that's building hype for the aircraft, anyone who wants to see the mock-up firsthand will have to make the trek to Duluth. Radomsky says in the e-mail that the mock-up will not be displayed at EAA AirVenture a few weeks later. Cirrus didn't really announce that it was working on a jet -- it waited until something slipped out in the media and then merely confirmed the project. The first concrete evidence of that was the collection, at last year's migration, of names of those who would be interested in the aircraft. They all got a "grey box" with a drink coaster and some very basic details about the plane and, based solely on that, were asked to send a $1,000 refundable deposit. Hundreds sent in their checks and they'll be rewarded with the first look at the plane. In the meantime, Cirrus is sending them, piece by piece, a jigsaw puzzle of an image of the jet. Just how much of the picture they'll have before June 27 isn't clear.

VLJ Makes Phenomenal Progress

Right on schedule, Embraer on Friday afternoon quietly showed off its first fully assembled Phenom 100 to a group of journalists at its headquarters in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil. First flight of this airplane is scheduled for the end of June, with Brazilian certification and first delivery expected a year later. The very light jet's Pratt & Whitney Canada PW617F engine is currently being flown on a test bed, and Embraer has also made the mating check with the wing and the fuselage and says the assembly program is going "very smoothly." A second Phenom 100 is now in construction at Botucatu, and a total of three development aircraft will be used for certification flight testing. According to Embraer, the VLJ is mostly metal construction with 20 percent composite parts. The projected range of the $2.85 million twinjet is 1,100 to 1,160 nm with IFR reserves. Embraer said it will increase the price of the Phenom 100 after the European Business Aviation Convention and Expo next month in Geneva, though it declined to give that figure today. The company says it has combined orders for more than 350 Phenom 100s and derivative Phenom 300s. The Brazilian manufacturer is also actively looking at two new bizjets in the super-light and midsize categories and is gaining feedback for such airplanes from its advisory boards.

 
Meet the Oregon AeroSM SkyDancer Duo at Sun 'n Fun
Make sure to visit Building A (#40) to meet Oregon AeroSM SkyDancer pilots Steve Oliver and Suzanne Asbury-Oliver, one of the most thrilling and unique aerobatic and skywriting teams. While you're there, pick up autographed hero cards and SkyDancer trading cards, and check out Oregon Aero's wide range of Painless, Safer, Quieter™ aviation upgrades. For more information, visit Oregon AeroSM SkyDancer.

» Visit Oregon Aero in booths A-040-042 at Sun 'n Fun
 
News Briefs back to top 
 

Controller Recruiting Drive In Full Swing

With ads everywhere from college counseling offices to Craigslist, the FAA would appear to be serious about finding replacements for the thousands of air traffic controllers who will retire in the next 10 years. The armed forces-style recruiting campaign is playing up the free training and importance of the job while downplaying the stress, shift work and relatively low pay as it tries to hire an average of about 1,400 controllers per year. In addition to conventional and Internet advertising, the agency is also working with the Department of Veterans Affairs to train disabled veterans to become controllers. As always when controllers are the topic, whether the program is working depends on which side of the negotiating table you occupy. Ventris Gibson, who heads up the recruiting drive for the FAA, says she’s already found 1,300 prospects and the program is in its early stages. But the National Air Traffic Controllers Association says the campaign makes the FAA look desperate to accomplish something at the last minute that it should have been working on for years. "If they had this huge list, then why are they advertising on places like MySpace?" union spokesman Mike Conely told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "I don't think it's working worth a plumb nickel."

Nav Canada Cuts User-Fee Rates

Nav Canada, the private company that runs Canada’s airspace system, is making money, and since it isn’t supposed to it’s giving the profits back in the form of rate reductions. Effective Sept. 1, rates charged for its services will be cut by 3 percent, which is in addition to the 1.8 percent cut made last Sept. 1. "Increased traffic growth together with the company's continued focus on cost control, provide the opportunity to offer lower service charges to our customers while meeting our essential safety and service obligations," CEO John Crichton said in a news release. Nav Canada took over air traffic services 10 years ago and rates have fluctuated according to traffic levels. They took a significant jump in the doldrums following 9/11, but traffic is up about 5 percent this year and that makes the whole operation more efficient. The company has also built an $86 million war chest in case there’s another unexpected downturn.

 
Dual Antenna Traffic Systems Simply Perform Better
Avidyne's dual-antenna TAS600 Systems detect other aircraft sooner and more accurately, avoiding the shadowing effects inherent with single-antenna systems. TAS600s actively interrogate other aircraft, providing timely alerts and precise locations of conflicting traffic. Starting at just $9,990, the dual-antenna TAS600 provides full-time protection and higher performance. When it comes to safety, you want to see the whole picture. Go online for details.

» Visit Avidyne in booths D-069-070 at Sun 'n Fun
 
News Briefs back to top 
 

Mars To Keep Toiling In Canada

An international bid to preserve the last two remaining Martin Mars flying boats in museums in British Columbia and Maryland has failed. Instead, the massive aircraft will continue to be used as heavy-lift firefighting aircraft throughout western North America by Coulson Aircrane, which bought the aircraft from forest company TimberWest in a deal finalized Friday. Coulson is a helicopter logging and firefighting company based in the Mars’ current hometown of Port Alberni on Vancouver Island. "This is a positive outcome as the water bombers will be operated by a local company that is experienced and focused on aviation firefighting," said TimberWest CEO Paul McElligott. "TimberWest takes great pride in having operated the Martin Mars over the last several years and we know that Coulson will continue that tradition." When TimberWest put the aircraft up for sale late last year, there were controversies on several fronts. British Columbia cities and towns that have watched the 64-year-old aircraft at work on wildfires near, sometimes in, their communities passed resolutions aimed at keeping the Mars in the air. Others wanted the Mars replaced with more modern aircraft. An aviation museum in Maryland, where the aircraft were built, and a group of British Columbia aviation enthusiasts were promoting a joint bid for the aircraft that would have seen one housed in the Maryland museum and another in a museum built on the site of their current home base on Sproat Lake. The deal with Coulson included the Sproat Lake base, facilities, spares and infrastructure, and the aircraft will likely stay where they are.

Cessna Fuel Line AD Clarified

The FAA has enacted an Airworthiness Directive (AD) concerning the tightness of fuel line fittings on various Cessna 172, 182 and 206 models after the same problem kept cropping up after the first AD was issued last August. The original AD was intended to ensure that the fittings were all tightened properly to prevent them from separating from various fuel system components. However, the FAA now says it wasn’t specific enough in the first AD and there have been at least four engine failures due to fuel line separation since it was issued. [more] The original AD didn’t specify that the torque settings of the fittings be checked and some aircraft got only visual inspections. “This AD clarifies that the torque values need to be physically established and visual inspection only is not sufficient,” the AD reads. It comes into effect on May 2 but why not beat the rush.

 
Upset Recovery Training: Are You Prepared?
APS Emergency Maneuver Training, the leading provider of upset recovery and spin avoidance/recovery training, delivers enjoyable turn-key programs. Fixed-wing pilots will recognize, avoid, and recover from any upset scenario. Courses directly address Loss of Control In-Flight, the leading cause of aviation accidents worldwide.

Sun 'n Fun Special: Book a 3- or 4-day course April 17-23 to receive one complimentary add-on training session ($750 value). Call (866) 359-4273 or go online.

» Meet APS President B. J. Ransbury at the NAFI booth (E-032) APRIL 20th at Sun 'n Fun
 
News Briefs back to top 
 

Orenda Rises Again

A Midland, Texas, company has received FAA approval to take over the engine type certificate for the Orenda OE600A, a Canadian-developed, 600-hp V-8 based on a big-block Chevy engine. The granting of the type certificate transfer from the former Canadian owners allows Trace Engines to begin shipping engines, including the 10 finished mills it inherited in the takeover of the project. Two engines were shipped, ironically, to Canada last week and are expected to be flying by the end of the month. The Texas plant won’t likely build its first engine until September. "Because this is a start-up, we have the opportunity to do things right the first time," spokesman Craig Hoover told the Midland Reporter-Telegram. "We have an active research and development program. There are things we want to improve on the engines even before we begin production." The big recips are aimed at replacing far more expensive small turboprops on a variety of light and business aircraft. They were developed about 20 years ago in Canada, but despite gaining certification were not widely installed. Hoover said his company aims to change that and he expects a lot of foreign orders. There are 12 people working at Trace now, but plans are to increase that tenfold and incorporate a college training program into the factory.

Wings And Prayers

The concept of prayer is not lost on most pilots, but it’s usually the result of something that happens in the air and not the reason for being up there in the first place. But 10 pilots from various states weren’t involved in the usual type of cockpit entreaties -- instead they were aiming their message at the state of Ohio on Good Friday with sort of a blanket blessing from on high. The volunteers crisscrossed the state invoking their message on 11 million unsuspecting Ohioans. "A plane is a good way to cover a lot of ground," Kenneth Wortman, 73, a pilot from Lima, Ohio, told The Cincinnati Enquirer. "In the Bible, God tells us the fields are ripe for the harvest. From the air, a person can see a lot of fields." Wortman came up with the idea for PrayerFlight last fall as he was trying to dream up more efficient ways to spread the Word. He found a couple of other pilots willing to give it a try and, after a shakedown flight, the decision was made to try and cover the whole state. It seems everyone had their own style of high-flying prayer; some were silent, some expressive and others a mix. But they all had a similar goal in mind. "You see rows and rows of houses, and you know they are full of people you are praying for," Samantha Ciminillo, 18, a member of Teens for Christ, told the newspaper. With Ohio now "successfully redeemed," the group hopes to take the effort national.

 
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News In Brief back to top 
 

On The Fly

Xerion Avionix recently received technical standard order (TSO) authorization for its AuRACLE I & II engine management system. The system replaces old-style engine instrumentation with digital tapes, and STCs are being sought for most types of light aircraft…

AVweb freelance contributor Tim Kern has earned the Certified Aviation Manager certificate. The program was set up by the National Business Aviation Association to enhance the level of professionalism and expertise in flight departments. There are fewer than 100 people with the certification…

Neighbors and a sympathetic council in Sheffield, Ohio, will likely end a local man’s plan to convert an old Convair airliner into a bed and breakfast suite. Ed Guidicelli thinks it would be just the thing to put his depressed area on the map, but the local council recently passed an ordinance against having such “eyesores” on private property.

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/.

 
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» Visit Trade-A-Plane in booths A-001-003 at Sun 'n Fun
 
New On AVweb back to top 
 

Probable Cause #30: Extra Attention

Despite warning signs of course excursions, controllers failed to give a pilot the extra attention he obviously required while shooting an approach in a technically advanced aircraft.

Click here for the full story.

Stupid Pilot Tricks

Gather 'round, boys and girls. It's time for your annual smug fix, wherein we harvest the perplexing and peculiar from a year's worth of NTSB accident reports.

Click here for the full story.

 
JA Air Center, Your Garmin GPSMap 496 Source, Is Looking to Purchase Used GPS Units, Avionics, and Aircraft
Call (800) 323-5966 for current value, with no purchase required. JA is your source for Garmin GPS and Avionics, including the popular GPSMap 496 with XM Weather, Terrain, AOPA Airport Guide, Taxiway Database, and built-in StreetPilot Auto GPS.

JA Air Center [Dupage Airport (KDPA) in West Chicago, IL] provides the finest avionics installations, turbine/piston maintenance, avionics/instrument service, mail order, and aircraft sales. Call (800) 323-5966, or click for more information.
 
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 Ed Iacobucci of start-up air-taxi DayJet. And AVweb's podcast index includes interviews with AOPA's Andrew Cebula; Hawker Beechcraft's Jim Schuster; 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; and Maule Air's Mikel Boorom. In Monday's special podcast, hear part two of DayJet's Ed Iacobucci interview with AVweb on the on-demand, per-seat operator's plans. Remember: In AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things you won't find anywhere else.

 
FBO Of The Week back to top 
 

FBO Of The Week: Bergstrom Aircraft

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Bergstrom Aircraft at KPSC in Pasco, Wash.

AVweb reader Richard Ciccone says the FBO blends old-fashioned service with modern facilities.

"It's easy to see why Bergstom Aircraft has been Central Washington's foremost full service FBO for 35 years. They offer a highly regarded maintenance facility, as well as efficient and friendly office and line staff that supports an extended and loyal customer base. A consistent population of primary and advanced students is also supported by a dedicated staff of professionals in a very modern facility. This family's strong commitment the aviation community is reflected in everything they do, everyday."

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!

 
Video Of The Week back to top 
 

Video of the Week: Heritage Flight at Sun 'n Fun 2006

Recommend a Video | VOTW Archive

Sun 'n Fun 2007 kicks off today, but before we roll out the carpet on this year's fun, let's take a quick look back at last year's with a video montage of the 2006 air show heritage flight, courtesy of YouTube's mig8769. (Music: Coldplay's "Clocks," from A Rush of Blood to the Head. [Amazon link])


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Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

Don't forget to send us links to any interesting videos you find out there. If you're impressed by it, there's a good chance other AVweb readers will be too. And if we use a video you recommend on AVweb, we'll send out an official AVweb baseball cap as a "thank you."

 
The Lighter Side Of Flight back to top 
 

Short Final

Overheard in IFR Magazine's 'On the Air' Section
Overheard in IFR Magazine's "On the Air"

The following exchange took place en route to opening day at Sun 'n Fun last April

Bonanza: Jacksonville Center, Bonanza Four Seven Two Zero Yankee. 11,000.

Center: Bonanza Four Seven Two Zero Yankee, Roger, Jacksonville altimeter 30.12.

Bonanza: Are you working a lot of traffic to Lakeland this afternoon?

Center: I'll tell you what -- if you fell out of your airplane right now, you'd never hit the ground.

 
Names Behind The News back to top 
 

Meet the AVwebFlash Team

AVwebFlash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest news, articles, products, features, and events featured on AVweb, the internet's aviation magazine and news service.

Today's issue was written by Contributing Editor Russ Niles (bio) and Editor In Chief Chad Trautvetter.

Click here to send a letter to the editor. (Please let us know if your letter is not intended for publication.)

Comments or questions about the news should be sent here.

Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's sales team.

If you're having trouble reading this newsletter in its HTML-rich format (or if you'd prefer a lighter, simpler format for your PDA or handheld device), there's also a text-only version of AVwebFlash. For complete instructions on making the switch, click here.

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