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Volume 13, Number 16c
April 18, 2007
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
Avionics for the Massesback to top 

At the Sun 'n Fun Fly-In, Avidyne said it plans to expand its reach into the lower end of the general aviation market, a segment that includes more than 70,000 airplanes. With this goal in mind, the company has teamed with Southern Star Avionics to offer the Envision integrated flight deck in most Cessna 300 and 400-series airplanes, as well as pre-2003 Cirrus Design SR20s and SR22s. Avidyne said the retrofit includes an EXP5000 primary flight display (PFD) and EX500 multifunction display (MFD), and will be able to interface with "popular" autopilots, GPS, terrain, traffic and other systems. There are more than 12,000 Cessna twins and 700 Cirrus piston singles that are eligible for the roughly $39,000 (plus installation) glass cockpit upgrade. Going even further down market, Avidyne is now offering the Envision system for experimental aircraft. More...

Oregon Aero® Aviation Headset Upgrade Kits End Pain and Noise
Oregon Aero now offers the complete solution to painful, noisy aviation headsets with its new, convenient upgrade kits. The complete aviation headset upgrade kits eliminate pain and pressure, improve intelligibility, and keep the head and ears cool and dry. Visit Oregon Aero in Building A (#40) and get complimentary installation when you purchase a headset upgrade kit during Sun 'n Fun. Visit online for a complete catalog of Oregon Aero products

» Visit Oregon Aero in booths A-040-042 at Sun 'n Fun
All Hail Columbiaback to top 

Fallout from last year's devastating hail storm at the Columbia factory in Bend, Ore., has yielded some encouraging information. After the storm, Columbia did some structures testing that convinced the FAA the planes were safe to repaint and ship to customers. But the FAA also wanted the long-term durability of the hail-pummeled airframes put through a full fatigue analysis. An airframe was dotted with more than 200 simulated hail strikes that were inflicted with twice the force of the actual storm. The company's vice president of engineering, Tom Bowen, told the press at Sun 'n Fun that the airframe was put through the equivalent of 25,000 flight hours at loads greater than the utility category in which it is certified. "The airplane didn't care," Bowen said. "This test should unequivocally quell any lingering misconceptions that somehow a composite airframe is less durable than an aluminum one." More...

Fly with the Bose® Aviation Headset X
Enjoy an unmatched combination of benefits: Full-spectrum noise reduction, clear audio, and comfortable fit. Voted the #1 headset for the sixth consecutive year in Professional Pilot's 2006 Headset Preference Survey.

Buy today and receive a complimentary Garmin® Geko 201 handheld GPS. Learn more and order.

» Visit Bose Corporation in booth SNF-009 at Sun 'n Fun
Piper Thrivingback to top 

James Bass, president and CEO of Piper Aircraft, this week revealed that the Vero Beach, Fla.-based aircraft manufacturer plans to announce a new airplane later this year. "We can't tell you much about this new airplane, but it will be very, very special," he said at the Sun 'n Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla. "It will take the market by storm." Meanwhile, Piper continues to make progress on its single-engine PiperJet. According to Bass, the program has "come a long way" since the $2.2 million very light jet was announced in October at the National Business Aviation Association convention. Wind tunnel testing will conclude this summer, with first flight of the PiperJet expected in early 2008. Bass said that there are firm orders for more than 186 of the Williams FJ44-3AP-powered jet single. More...


The aircraft company that practically defined general aviation for decades faded for a while as it switched owners and battled the same demons afflicting other manufacturers, but Piper is here to tell you that not only has it survived, it's starting to thrive. AVweb's Russ Niles sat down with the company's executive vice president of sales Bob Kromer to talk about progress on the jet, a new avionics option and the feeling in Vero Beach. More...

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
Some Bad News from Lakeland ...back to top 

Police have identified two Ohio men as those who died in the crash of a Wheeler homebuilt on final approach to Lakeland Linder Airport on Monday. Terrence Albert Sack, 61, of Dublin, Ohio, the pilot, and his passenger, Roger L. Caldwell, 56, of Blacklick, Ohio were killed when the aircraft hit a barn just east of the arrival runway for Sun 'n Fun. Meanwhile, a Newton, Ala. man is in a Lakeland hospital after his Hummelbird homebuilt crashed into the parking lot of an insurance company office building about a mile from the field on Wednesday. Jim Goodyear, 47, broke some bones but is expected to make a full recovery. There were no injuries in a strange taxiing accident at Sun 'n Fun. More...

There will likely be one less entry in the light jet market as Comp Air has all but abandoned its jet project. "It's not dead," said President Ron Lueck but he said the prototype has languished in Bowling Green, Ky. since last July when Lueck dead sticked it after an engine failure. "We have an engine for it we just have to get up there and get it," said Lueck. But Lueck admits he's lost interest in the project because of some relatively stark realities. He said the aircraft is too big to be flown with the relatively inexpensive new generation of engines made by Williams and Pratt & Whitney Canada for the very light jet market. Larger engines are significantly more expensive and would price the Comp Air jet out of the market. "It's just not a viable product," Lueck said. More...

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 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
Cirrus, Diamond Shine at Sun 'n Funback to top 

Avemco Insurance has announced that rates for Cirrus aircraft will drop from 10 to 30 percent depending on model, and the insurance cost for Diamond DA42 Twin Star will be cut by 30 percent thanks to a better than expected loss record. Vice president of aviation insurance underwriting Jim Lauerman said at Sun 'n Fun that the rates were likely artificially high to begin with because they're new aircraft and there was no data to base them on. Now that the fleets have significant hours on them, the company has determined the rates are unnecessarily high. The company is also reducing the qualifications needed before pilots can even buy insurance, particularly in higher performance, more complex aircraft. For instance, he said, as long as the required training is taken, the company will underwrite a student pilot in a Cirrus SR22. More...

Diamond Aircraft launched its long-awaited Diamond Flight Center (DFC) program this week the Sun 'n Fun Fly-In at Lakeland, Fla. "We have heard for some time that flight schools wanted a fresh alternative to the status quo," said Diamond Aircraft Industries President Peter Maurer. "There were several key elements we wanted to have in place before launching the program, and we are delighted that today is the day that we can confidently say we have a very comprehensive and competitive program." The Diamond Flight Center program includes all the elements of current pilot centers, as well as additional enhancements. Interestingly, the DFCs are allowed to operate competitive-brand airplanes, even though Diamond offers a full line of ai rplanes, including the two-place DA20, DA40 series, DA50 Super Star DA42 Twin Star and D-JET. Jeppesen has also developed online Diamond-specific flight training materials for the DFCs. More...

Safety Alert: How to Avoid Aviation's Most Preventable Accident
Get a complete, no-cost guide to managing your fuel from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. Reduce your risk with detailed information on estimating your fuel consumption, understanding your fuel system, and managing fuel. Download your no-cost Fuel Awareness Safety Advisor now.

» Visit Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association (AOPA) in booth SNF-010 at Sun 'n Fun
News Briefsback to top 

"The federal government has taken billions of dollars from the taxes and fees paid by airline passengers every time they fly and awarded it to small airports used mainly by private pilots and globe-trotting corporate executives." That was the opening line in an Associated Press story that was reprinted widely in newspapers and distributed online this week. General aviation advocates did get a say. "Not all aircraft are the same nor do they impose the same costs on the system," Ed Bolen, president of the National Business Aviation Association, told the AP. "If we were grounded tomorrow, the system would cost the same." But as the story makes clear, the number of people who fly on airlines far exceeds the number who utilize GA airports. More...

Viper Aircraft Corp., which has been selling kit versions of its personal jet for several years now, will showcase its new ViperJet MKII Executive edition on May 17 at the Porsche Aviation Jet Preview in Van Nuys, Calif. “We listened to our target audience and created the ViperJet MKII Executive to meet and exceed their expectations,” said Scott Hanchette, president of Viper Aircraft. The jet’s interior features integrated glass-cockpit flight systems by OP Technologies, adjustable front and rear seats upholstered in Italian leather, and overlay accents of layered Brazilian burl wood. The cabin design has been optimized for interior spaciousness and comfort, the company says. More...

Columbia Introduces 2007 Models
The 2007 Columbias have arrived. Fresh for this year are new, dynamic paint schemes for both the Columbia 350 and 400, as well as a host of thoughtful and unique features for the discerning aircraft owner. See how your new Columbia will look with the interactive online Paint Selector. Just go online and click on the "Paint Your Passion" icon.

» Visit Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing in booths MD-020B-021C at Sun 'n Fun
News Briefsback to top 

Miles Hilton-Barber landed in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Sunday, having launched on March 7 from London, heading halfway around the world in a microlight aircraft. Barber has been blind for 25 years, and is flying with a co-pilot. The team hopes to raise $1 million for Seeing Is Believing, a charity that aims to restore the sight of millions of people around the world who are afflicted w ith cataracts and other forms of curable blindness. Barber is flying a Mainair Quick GT450 equipped with "talking" instruments that tell him heading, bank angle, and other information he can use to control the aircraft. More...

NTSB's Mark Rosenker wants the FAA to prevent incursions ...Second Spirit of St. Louis donated to St. Louis Science Center...Avidyne offers MX20 trade-up program...Unapproved parts were sold by a dealer in Fla., says FAA. More...

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. What have you heard? More...

Tired of the High Cost of Fuel? GAMIjectors Are the Answer!
Don't be grounded by sky-high gas prices. Install GAMIjectors, and you could see up to a 20% cut in your aircraft's fuel bill. Balanced fuel/air ratios make your aircraft's engine run smoother, cooler, and more efficiently. Call 888-FLY-GAMI, or order a kit online for your Continental or Lycoming engine.

» Visit General Aviation Modifications, Inc. (GAMI) in booth A-065 at Sun 'n Fun
Question of the Weekback to top 


Now that Honda is firmly committed to the general aviation market, it stands to reason that arch rival Toyota will follow. Which GA market segment would you like to see Toyota enter? Plus: Is the FAA doing enough to reform medical certification by extending the validity of medical certificates for pilots under age-40? — your answers to last week's Question. More...

Names Behind the Newsback to top 


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.

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