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Volume 13, Number 16f
April 21, 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
'Chute Happensback to top 

Ballistic Recovery Systems (BRS) aircraft recovery parachutes now are available as an option on the Sport Cruiser light sport aircraft (LSA) built by Czech Aircraft Works, BRS CEO Larry Williams announced at Sun 'n Fun on Friday. "Now that we've had some experience working within the LSA rules, we have a process and procedures in place to quickly develop more systems," he said. "We expect to announce five more BRS systems for LSAs very soon." BRS chutes already are standard on the Flight Design CT light sport aircraft. Also, he announced that the new Diamond DA50 Super Star will offer a BRS chute as an option. The chute for the single-engine Diamond D-Jet is also well along in testing. "We completed some drop tests about six weeks ago, and the chute deployed properly," Williams said. "The canopy is stable and the descent rates are better than expected. We will start more drop tests on May 8, and if all goes well, as we expect, we'll move into the certification phase of testing soon after that." 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
AVweb Exclusive Videoback to top 

Cessna's LSA concept aircraft has undergone changes and may see more. At Sun 'N Fun 2007, Glenn Pew got the story from Cessna's Vice President of single engine piston sales, John Doman. (Click through to watch.) 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
A500 Maturesback to top 

The Adam Aircraft A500 inline piston twin is closing in on full functionality, company CEO Rick Adam said this week at the Sun 'n Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla. The final certification paperwork allowing the A500 to operate at altitudes up to FL250 has been submitted to the FAA and is pending approval. In September, the airplane's type certificate was amended to include night and IFR operations, pressurization, autopilot and operations up to 18,000 feet. In the meantime, Adam Aircraft is adding several avionics upgrades to the A500, including a traffic advisory system, terrain awareness and warning system and XM weather, as well as CMAX Jeppesen chart viewing on the Avidyne multifunction display. 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.
User Fee Fact & Fictionback to top 

Would the FAA's proposed new funding structure force general aviation to pay more than its fair share of the FAA's costs? According to the FAA, that's a "myth." At an "Ask The FAA" session at the Sun 'n Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla., on Friday, the FAA answered questions about user fees and distributed a "fact sheet" that explains the effects of its proposed financing changes on general aviation. The "facts," according to the FAA, are that GA currently drives about 16 percent of the expense of the air traffic system, but pays only 3 percent of the cost. The proposed changes would raise that percentage to 11 percent, with only 1 percent coming from piston-aircraft users. It's also a myth, says the FAA, that the airlines drive the cost of the infrastructure, while GA is only a marginal user. The FAA says it has taken those factors into account in its cost analyses. Will the proposed tax increases "ruin" GA in the U.S.? No, says the FAA. The increased cost would work out to about $500 per year for most piston fliers, according to the fact sheet. More...

Capitol Hill pundits are predicting the compromise on general aviation user fees that will be sent to Congress will spare the piston crowd any increases, but sock business aviation with charges for their use of the airspace. (Hear what Cessna chairman, CEO and president Jack Pelton has to say about aviation user fees. [3.3MB mp3]) A story in The Hill earlier this week quoted unnamed sources as presenting this scenario. “The piston thing is not going to happen,” the source told The Hill. “I do think there’s significant traction on the whole issue of corporate aircraft.” The story also quotes an internal Air Transport Association memo as conceding that the statistics it has widely used to support the airlines' position on user fees are somewhat skewed. The ATA, the strongest proponent of user fees, has publicly claimed that U.S. airlines pay 95 percent of non-general-fund contributions to the FAA's trust fund through ticket taxes, but The Hill says the internal memo admits that the airline portion is more like 74 percent, with cargo companies and foreign airlines picking up the difference. Meanwhile, there's a furor north of the border as Nav Canada has singled out very light jets for inclusion in its second tier (more than 6,600 pounds mtow) of charges. 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
LSAs at Sun 'n Funback to top 

Right by the entrance at Sun 'n Fun in Lakeland, Fla., the pretty little SeaMax amphibian attracted a lot of attention from showgoers this week. The airplane has been in production in Brazil since 2001, company rep Carlos Bessa told AVweb, and 55 copies are flying. Brazil-based AirMax is now working to introduce the airplane in the U.S. as a light sport aircraft. "We hope to have completed the S-LSA process by July or August," Bessa said. The fuselage is all composite, so there is no corrosion issue. Price starts at about $137,000. Also new this year is the Toxo by Composite Aeronautic Group of Spain. The airplane meets the U.S. regs for an LSA, and should be available by the end of the year, according to Director General Juan Carlos Ortiz Villajos. The airplane has flown just 15 hours, and a second prototype is in the works, Villajos said. The airframe is all carbon fiber for "an impressive strength-to-weight ratio," he said, and the interior is roomy and comfortable. Options include a glass panel and ballistic parachute. "And the design, is something they love to see," he added, noting the clean sweeping lines of the fuselage. Price will run about $148,000 fully loaded. From Italy, "only for lovers of old-fashioned airplanes," Aerolab brought an open-cockpit design to Sun 'n Fun. More...

The annual pilgrimage to Lakeland Linder Airport could take on special significance for one aviation buff next April. Sun 'n Fun unveiled its first sweepstakes aircraft on Friday as part of an online promotion. Over the next year, anyone can buy a sweepstakes ticket online and the aircraft, an American Flyer light sport aircraft made by Mountain Aircraft in Idaho. The aircraft is on display in the Sportsplanes.com booth behind the FAA center. However, it will not be exactly the same aircraft that will be delivered a year from now. More...

Meridian. Mirage. Pressurized Comfort. Pure Performance.
Turboprop or piston, your choice in pressurized comfort.
Meridian: 500 hp turboprop; maximum cruise speed - 260 ktas; range - 1,000 nm; useful load - 1,720 pounds; maximum altitude - 30,000 feet.
Mirage: Turbocharged 350 hp piston engine; maximum cruise speed - 213 ktas; range - 1,345 nm; useful load - 1,245 pounds; maximum altitude - 25,000 feet.
Excitement Level: Off the charts!
Up to $150,000 in factory incentives on your way to PiperJet ownership. Call Piper at (866) FLY-PIPER for a dealer near you, or go online.

» Visit Piper Aircraft in booths MD-18C-19B at Sun 'n Fun
AVweb Audio News — Are You Listening?back to top 


If LSA manufacturers are essentially certifying their own aircraft, can consumers have confidence that they are really okay? AVweb's Mary Grady talks with Dan Johnson, chairman of the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association (LAMA), about a new program to verify that LSA airplanes are compliant with required standards. More...

Attention, Piper Owners and Pilots!
Join the fastest-growing and best association for Piper Flyers — the Piper Flyer Association (PFA), since 2004 providing same-day parts locating, faster answers to technical questions, an informative monthly magazine, online forums, national and regional events, an annual gatheringseminars, member discounts, and more for only $39 yearly. The PFA is located in the Blue Hangar on the Waupaca Municipal Airport (PCZ) in Waupaca, Wisconsin, just 35 nm NW of Oshkosh. For more info, visit PiperFlyer.org.
It's All in the Cardsback to top 

If you have kids, know a kid, or ever were a kid, you know somebody who'll probably love the new Aircraft Trading Cards from Alpha Tango Charlie Inc. When company founder Todd Trainor started handing out samples to a group of jaded old aviation reporters at the Sun 'n Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla., this week, they immediately started to trade them. "These are designed to be educational for kids, and encourage their interest in aviation," said Trainor, a long-time pilot. "But adults like them, too." Each $3 packet contains 10 cards, eight of them will full-color photos of aircraft from around the world. The reverse side holds a story and facts about that airplane. The other two cards feature aviation trivia questions. "This is where the adults can engage with the kids, or the older kids can quiz each other," Trainor told AVweb. He said he got the idea when his six-year-old nephew asked for some airplane trading cards, and he couldn't find any. He tried selling some samples at a Young Eagles event and was inspired by the effect they had on kids. 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...

Benefit Aviation and Yourself with the NAA Platinum Visa® Card
In addition to favorable Visa® rates, National Aeronautic Association (NAA) cardholders receive discounted rates on NAA membership and aviation products. Cardholders may qualify for no-cost accidental death and dismemberment coverage and aircraft damage reimbursement. NAA, the first national aviation association, receives a contribution on NAA Platinum Visa® card puchases. NAA preserves aviation heritage with prestigious awards presentations and national aviation record certifications. For more information, visit the NAA web site.
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 Editors Glenn Pew (bio), Russ Niles (bio), and Mary Grady (bio) and Editor In Chief Chad Trautvetter.

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