AVwebFlash - Volume 13, Number 16d

April 19, 2007

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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» Visit Bose Corporation in booth SNF-009 at Sun 'n Fun
AOPA to FAA: Read the Sign back to top 

Thousands Sign on to AOPA Petition Opposing User Fees

The Sun 'n Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla., is where many pilots are this week, so AOPA is making the most of it to collect signatures on its anti-user fee petition. Giant boards posted at three sites on the field are staffed by volunteers handing out Sharpies to all comers, and they keep coming and coming. "It shows the intensity of feeling on this issue," said AOPA President Phil Boyer as he arrived at AOPA's big yellow tent on Thursday afternoon. "We've already filled up one petition, with 4,700 names, and a second one will be full by the end of today," added Sue Walitsky, AOPA's public-relations director. Boyer said he's hopeful that Congress will have worked out a position on the issue within the next few weeks. Since the current FAA authorization bill expires September 30, some kind of new plan needs to be in place by then. "We're just in Round 3 or 4 of a 10-round fight," he told AVweb, "and we're a bit bloodied, but in better shape than I thought we'd be."

He added that AOPA is not opposed to change: "The current tax has been in place since 1993, but there is no need for user fees in any segment of aviation."

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
More Exclusive Audio from Lakeland back to top 

AVweb's Sun 'n Fun Podcast #3: Cessna President Jack Pelton Reflects on the Company's Past, Present, and Future

File Size 14.2 MB / Running Time 15:31

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

AVweb sat down with Cessna chairman, president and CEO Jack Pelton at the Sun 'n Fun Fly-In this week in Lakeland, Florida. While the Wichita manufacturer is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year, it is clearly focused on the future.

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
Online Training FITS Jepp back to top 

Jeppesen Takes Training to the Web

Jeppesen has teamed up with Diamond to create a Web-based private pilot curriculum specific to DA20 and DA40 aircraft. Being online "provides access to all the resources of the Internet," says Jeppesen's Kert Thielen. "It also means we can constantly update the content." The format will also make it easy for Jeppesen to re-design the course to be compatible with other aircraft types. The course follows the FAA's FITS training guidelines, which are scenario-based. The private pilot version will be available in November via Diamond Flight Centers, Thielen said. More courses for advanced ratings also are in the works.

The package also includes a suite of tools to help the flight school keep track of student progress. "Aircraft -specific ground training helps students to better retain knowledge and apply it to their flight training," said Jeppesen's Kevin Collins. "And Internet-based delivery will make the courses convenient for both students and instructors."

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
Adam Ramps Up back to top 

Adam Prepares for Production Ramp-Up

Englewood, Colo.-based Adam Aircraft admittedly has delivered only seven copies of its A500 inline piston twin since receiving type certification in May 2005. While it gained a production certificate in October, deliveries still have been slower than planned. To remedy the situation Adam aircraft has shifted its resources to production, but it also is engaged in "knowledge sharing" with Cirrus Aircraft, according to Adam Aircraft CEO Rick Adam. Under this arrangement, Adam Aircraft is sharing its composite lay-up know-how for pressurizedvessels, which Cirrus will need to manufacture its jet single. In return, Cirrus is sharing its expertise in volume production of aircraft with Adam Aircraft. The relationship makes sense since the two companies' products don't overlap and their respective airplanes are constructed entirely of carbon composites.

Adam Aircraft expects to deliver A500 S/N 11 soon, and is improving production tooling this year to achieve high-rate production next year. Asked if the knowledge sharing exercise between Cirrus and Adam and the lack of overlapping products could eventually result in a merger of the two companies, Rick Adam told AVweb that the two companies arequite happy the way they are. "When a Cirrus customer approaches themfor a piston twin, Cirrus quite often refers them to us to buy an A500," he said. "We have a great relationship with Cirrus."

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
Sun 'n Fun, Big 'n Small back to top 

Texas Turbines Soups Up Caravan

photo by Virgil Peachey

Texas Turbines says it can get more utility out of the world's best-selling utility aircraft. Company President Bobby Bishop told AVweb at the Sun 'n Fun Fly-In that the installation of a 900-shp Honeywell turbine to replace the 675-shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 installed at the factory not only enhances performance, the more efficient Honeywell engine uses less fuel than similarly-sized powerplants. The performance improvements are impressive -- the plane takes off faster on wheels and floats, climbs faster and the Grand Caravan prototype they are testing cruises at 199 knots, about 30 knots faster than a stock airplane. The extra performance is especially welcome in icing conditions, where the Caravan has come under scrutiny in recent years. The Caravan project grew from Texas Turbines' popular turbine conversion of the de Havilland Otter.

The same Honeywell turboprop that is in the Caravan conversion is used to replace the Otter's old radial engine. The performance improvements on the Otter are considerable, adding speed and agility to a bushplane already revered for its STOL capability. But there are only about 60 piston Otters still flying, and Texas Turbines isn't the only turbine conversion vying for that business. Bishop says the Caravan will eventually replace Otters for much of their work and, since they are still in production, offer a longer-term market opportunity for the company.

LAMA Awards First LSA Audit Verifications

"How can a buyer have confidence that Light Sport Aircraft manufacturers are really in compliance with the ASTM standards? Who's guarding the hen house?" EAA's Bob Warner said his staff is asked that question "every hour of every day," and he's glad that now he has an answer. On Thursday morning at the Sun 'n Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla., the first four independent audits of LSA manufacturers were announced. IndUS Aviation, Jihlavan Airplanes/Kappa Aircraft, Flight Design and Aeropro all recently completed the audit process. These manufacturers have complied with a program developed by the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association (LAMA) for third-party verification that all of their data actually meets the ASTM standards. Adam Morrison of Streamline Designs is a member of the verification committee, and said the process is very thorough. "We review all of their calculations and methodology," he told AVweb. For example, in one audit, questions arose as to whether the data in fact proved that the airplane met the G-force requirement to withstand a hard landing. "We said the data didn't seem convincing to us, and they were able to show us the actual testing data that in fact did show that it was all okay," Morrison said.

More audits are under way, LAMA Chairman Dan Johnson told AVweb. Manufacturers that have completed the audit can place a numbered decal on each aircraft showing that it is in compliance.

Announcing the Online MBA for Aviation Professionals
from Daniel Webster College

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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.
You Really Can Get Everything at Sporty's back to top 

Sporty's Auctioning Off Mustang

Here's your chance to buy one of the very first Cessna Mustangs and help a great cause. Hal Shevers of Sporty's Pilot Shop got position number 13 when Cessna began taking deposits on the much-anticipated entry in the entry-level jet market, and since he already has a Citation it was natural to assume that he would be flying it himself. He's apparently happy with his current ride and will, instead, auction off the $2.7 million airplane online to support The Sporty's Foundation, which supports youth-oriented aviation education and safety programs. "This is an exciting airplane and a unique chance for on of our customers to own a Mustang right now," said Shevers. The bidding begins June 4 and ends June 8, and bidders must pre-register.

The Sporty's Mustang is white with charcoal gray metallic, black metallic and coral red pearl accents and the cabin has platinum accents. The airplane cruises at 340 knots up to 41,000 feet and features the Garmin G1000 system with the largest-format glass cockpit displays available.

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
Features & Columns back to top 

Brainteasers Quiz #119: Those Who Can — Teach

As a pilot racks up aerial experience, thoughts turn to passing along that largesse. Let the quest for the flight instructor's ticket begin. And, there will be a quiz. All FAR questions, here, are based on Part 61.

Click here to take the quiz.

Say Again?: A Note to Readers

Each month, AVweb publishes about a half-dozen columns on a range of aviation topics. If we do things right, these simply appear on the site, for all to read free of charge. What's less obvious is the behind-the-scenes work and thought that goes into these columns. That's another way of saying producing a monthly column isn't easy, nor is it sustainable forever. In that context, effective this month, Don Brown has ended his long-time popular column, Say Again?.

As most loyal readers of AVweb know, Don has contributed some 70 columns in the course of his nearly seven-year relationship with AVweb. That body of work represents an unparalleled inside glimpse into the workings of ATC and his column enjoys a loyal following. Don recently retired from a long career in ATC, his last assignment as a controller at Atlanta Center. AVweb is honored to have published his observations, and we wish him the best in his retirement from the FAA. Meanwhile, his columns will remain accessible through our index and search engine.

Adam, Cirrus, Columbia, Diamond, Liberty ...
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» Visit Teledyne-Continental Motors in booths N-093-102 at Sun 'n Fun
Our Best Source Is You back to top 

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.

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
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.

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