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IS YOUR PASS TO SUN 'N FUN
Its hard to preview an event
like Sun 'n Fun -- to be held tomorrow through Sunday in Lakeland, Fla.
-- because its 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. Well be publishing a roundup of each days 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
cant make it this year, well be your eyes and ears.
AIRCRAFT AT 80
Those attending Sun 'n Fun in Lakeland, Fla.,
starting tomorrow will be among the first to get a close look at
Cessnas 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. More...
'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, theres opposition to the funding proposal coming from a
variety of quarters, some of it substantial. More...
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
Raytheons 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, were quite bullish about our future," Brad Hatt, the
companys president of commercial sales, said in a news release. A
special-edition Bonanza will be on display at Sun 'n Fun this week.
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» Visit Cessna Aircraft in booths SNF-003-007 at Sun
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
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.
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. More...
Meet the Oregon
AeroSM SkyDancer Duo at Sun 'n
Make sure to visit Building A (#40)
to meet Oregon
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
visit Oregon AeroSM SkyDancer
» Visit Oregon Aero in booths A-040-042 at Sun 'n Fun
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. More...
CANADA CUTS USER-FEE RATES
Nav Canada, the private company
that runs Canadas airspace system, is making money, and since it
isnt supposed to its 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. More...
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» Visit Avidyne in booths D-069-070 at Sun 'n Fun
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." More...
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
wasnt 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 didnt 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.
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(E-032) APRIL 20th at Sun 'n Fun
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 wont 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." More...
The concept of prayer is not lost on most pilots,
but its 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 werent 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.
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Xerion got TSO for digital engine management
AVweb freelance contributor Tim Kern earned Certified
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Council ended dream of converting
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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.
OF THE WEEK: BERGSTROM AIRCRAFT
AVweb's "FBO of
the Week" ribbon goes to Bergstrom Aircraft at KPSC in Pasco,
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,
those nominations coming. For complete contest rules, click here.
actively seeking out the best FBOs in the country and another one,
submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!
|Overheard in IFR Magazine's "On the
The following exchange took place en
route to opening day at Sun 'n Fun last April
Jacksonville Center, Bonanza Four Seven Two Zero Yankee.
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
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
and Editor In Chief Chad
here to send a letter to the
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intended for publication.)
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