AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 13, Number 17b

April 26, 2007

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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Top News back to top 

Diamond, Thielert Disagree On Cause Of DA42 Crash

Both engines of a DA42 Twinstar quit shortly after takeoff in Germany last month, and now Diamond is saying it was caused by an engine problem while Thielert says it was an airframe issue, Flight International reported this week. The accident airplane's battery had drained overnight and the pilots had apparently started both engines using an external power unit, which is contrary to the published operating procedure that requires one engine to be started by the onboard battery alone. Both Thielert Centurion 1.7 engines stopped when the pilot retracted the gear, which took all available electrical power to accomplish. This caused a very brief interruption in electrical voltage to the two engine control units, and in turn the diesel engines simultaneously quit on climbout. The crew made a belly landing in a field adjacent to the airport. The European Aviation Safety Agency has ordered the companies to work it out and come up with a solution to prevent the problem from occurring again. Germany's Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Investigation is looking into the incident.

AERO Friedrichshafen Wraps Largest Show Yet

Germany's AERO show, held every other April, has grown into Europe's premiere general-aviation event, and this year's show from April 19 to 22 set a new record with 533 exhibitors from 30 countries. The U.S. was represented by 44 companies, twice as many as at the last show. Four days of perfect weather helped boost attendance, with 45,000 visitors from 40 countries on six continents. "Exhibitors reported making top-notch contacts, meeting international customers, and concluding a large number of business deals," according to a press release from AERO. The Eclipse 500 very light jet and Cessna's Mustang made their European debuts at the event. AVweb's European correspondent, Liz Moscrop, was there. Watch for her complete report, coming soon. The event featured a conference about VLJs in Europe, a daily air show, an AOPA session about regulation and more. The next AERO will take place in Friedrichshafen in spring 2009.

Exclusive Video: Our Ride-Along with Aerobatic Pilots Michael Mancuso and Matt Chapman at Sun 'n Fun 2007

Recommend a Video | VOTW Archive

AVweb (and you) ride along with Michael Mancuso as he flies his precision formation routine with Matt Chapman. The video includes narration by Mancuso, who briefed us after the show.

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Would you like to see more original video content from AVweb? Do you an idea that would make a great video? Let us know.

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News Briefs back to top 

Can That Airplane Burn Autofuel? Buyer Beware!

Recently, some aircraft sellers have told buyers that certain aircraft can use auto fuel when they're not certified to do this, EAA said last week. A records check failed to confirm that one such aircraft had an autofuel supplementary type certificate (STC), and there were no placards on the aircraft. Only EAA and Peterson Aviation are authorized to issue the autofuel placards. If you are buying an aircraft that you were told has an autofuel STC, EAA recommends that you check to make sure the aircraft does indeed have it. The best way to do that is to look for autofuel placards on the wings next to the fuel inlets, and also contact both STC holders. Petersen Aviation can be contacted via its Web site and EAA can be reached by e-mail, or call 920-426-4843 to see if the records are on file. An autofuel STC can save you a lot of money over the years and can add to the value of your aircraft when you want to sell, says EAA. An autofuel STC can save you a lot of money over the years and can add to the value of your aircraft when you want to sell, says EAA. "There has been a slight uptick on new STC applications recently, which has been brought on by a combination of the threat of new fuel taxes and higher aviation fuel prices in general," EAA spokesman Dick Knapinski told AVweb on Tuesday. "We're seeing an increased interest in including the addition of an autofuel STC prior to the sale.

Cessna Delivers First Mustang To Retail Buyer

Cessna on Monday delivered a Citation Mustang very light jet to Goode Ski Technologies, the first delivery to a retail customer. It's the third production Mustang to leave the factory, but the first two are being used by Cessna as demo aircraft. "We plan to fly our Mustang to extreme ski locations to test our newest line of snow skis," David Goode said. "Having short-field capability will allow us to land at smaller, remote airports near some of the best ski resorts in the world." Goode completed his single-pilot Mustang type rating on March 1, becoming the first customer to be rated in the aircraft. Before the small jet, he flew a Cessna 310. Cessna said it plans to deliver 40 Mustangs by the end of the year.

PowerLink™ FADEC Certified on Liberty XL-2; Is It Right for Your Aircraft?
Liberty Aerospace is the first certified piston-powered aircraft with PowerLink™ FADEC as standard equipment. PowerLink™ FADEC is now also available for several additional certified and experimental aircraft, including the A-36 Bonanza and VANS RV series. Find out how you can bring your aircraft into the state-of-the-art online.
News Briefs back to top 

NBAA Takes User-fee Fight Online

The Internet can be a powerful force for organizing, and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) this week unveiled the NBAA Online Advocacy Center, an effort to harness that force in opposition to the FAA's user-fee funding proposal. "When people in the general aviation community hear about the user fees and a tripling of taxes included in the airlines' FAA scheme, their first question is 'What can be done to oppose it?'" said Ed Bolen, president of NBAA. "NBAA's new Online Advocacy Center will literally put information and ways to take action against the FAA bill at people's fingertips." Among the resources available at the site are a link to contact Congress, sample e-mail messages and talking points, pointers for writing a letter to your local newspaper, a "Contact Congress" banner for use on Web sites throughout the industry, and other news and information. "I urge everyone in general aviation to visit NBAA's Online Advocacy Center to learn more and take action against user fees, in support of keeping our air transportation system the world's largest, safest and most efficient," Bolen said.

FAA Asks Workers Why They're Unhappy

The FAA surveyed its employees last year to find out how they felt about their jobs. It might not be a surprise that most workers -- especially those in air traffic control -- revealed a bit of discontent. Only 9 percent of workers in ATC said they trust FAA managers, and the overall workforce didn't have much more faith -- the best score the agency could get was 17 percent. Now the FAA is conducting focus groups across the country to ask workers why they feel the way they do, The Washington Post reported on Monday. "We do have some more work to do," said Ventris Gibson, the FAA assistant administrator in charge of personnel management. "It takes a lot to change and turn an organization and improve it significantly." Patrick Forrey, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, told the Post that last year's contract dispute upset many controllers. "They don't feel like they are being treated with respect for the job they do," he said.

Aircraft Spruce Now Carries SunBlock For Tires
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News Briefs back to top 

The Latest From Jim Bede: An LSA

Exosphere Aircraft of Seattle on Tuesday threw its hat into the light sport aircraft market, offering the BD-22 created by storied aircraft designer Jim Bede. The company's initial offering will be the BD-22 signature edition, which will be limited to 22 aircraft, each serialized with a special numbered placard signed by Mr. Bede and sold with a suite of limited-edition accessories. "The signature edition BD-22's will incorporate state of the art equipment and are intended to redefine the top end of light sport aircraft," according to Exosphere. Regular versions of the LSA will be available starting with S/N 23. Bede, Exosphere's director of aeronautical design, told AVweb that the BD-22 is an all-metal, low-wing airplane with a wide cabin and a roomy baggage compartment that can accommodate up to two sets of golf clubs. The fuselage will be of metal honeycomb construction, while the wings are to be mostly metal bonded, "with rivets used as necessary," notes Bede. Exosphere is considering the Continental IO-240 engine for its LSA, according to Bede. Right now, tooling is being built for the BD-22, after which a prototype will be constructed and flown. Price and certification estimates have not yet been determined, though Bede said he expects these details to be announced at AirVenture in July.

FAA Fixes LSA Rule For Amphibians, Lighter-Than-Air Aircraft

The FAA has issued a direct-to-final rule that fixes two unforeseen glitches from its complex light sport aircraft rule. The original rule prohibited retractable landing gear, which caused a problem for amphibious aircraft. Under the rule, pilots who took off from the water weren't allowed to lower their landing gear in flight for a runway landing. Two models were given exemptions -- the Czech Aircraft Works Mermaid and LSA-Aero's S100 Freedom -- but the consensus was that the rule should be changed. Under the revised rule, no exemptions will be needed. "We're very pleased this has been done," said Earl Lawrence, EAA vice president of industry and regulatory affairs. The other change affects lighter-than-air balloons and airships, which were restricted to 660 pounds under the original rule.

That limit was found to be too low, and no lighter than air (LTA) aircraft have been developed that could qualify as an LSA. Under the revised rule, LTA aircraft will be held to the same 1,320-pound max takeoff weight limit as other LSAs. This weight includes the structure, uninflated envelope, engine, burner system, fuel, installed equipment and systems and two occupants. This increased weight limit permits LTA aircraft designers to provide better integrity for the structure that carries the sport pilot and passenger, the FAA said. "This is great news," said Paul Stumpf, of Stumpf Balloons in Andover, Vt. "At 660 pounds, it was virtually impossible to build a Light Sport category airship." The final rule’s effective date is June 4, and the FAA will accept comments through May 21.

Alert! How to Reduce Your Chances of a Fuel-related 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.
News Briefs back to top 

Able Flight Flying Scholarships Go To Iraq Veterans

Able Flight, a nonprofit group that offers flight training to people with disabilities, on Tuesday announced its latest round of scholarships, including its first awards to veterans who were wounded during their service in Iraq. Staff Sgt. John Borders and Tank Armor Crewman Rob Laurent both were injured by improvised explosive devices while serving in Iraq. Borders has already begun ground school. Both veterans expect to start flying later this year. Laurent said he hopes to "show others in similar situations that through hard work and opportunity we can do things that we, or others, thought we could never do." The other new students are Jorge Urrea, who was paralyzed in a motor vehicle accident in 1992, and Sean O'Donnell, who was a high school senior when a motor vehicle collision left him paralyzed. Able Flight made its first awards last December, and so far has given away six scholarships.

Build A Plane Needs Airplane Donations

Build A Plane, a nonprofit group that helps kids learn science, engineering and math by building real airplanes, sent out a call this week for more aircraft donations to support its programs. The aircraft don't have to be airworthy -- an unfinished kit project, a neglected inheritance or even aircraft parts can be put to good use by some program somewhere, the group said. More than 50 projects are underway in the U.S., India, the U.K. and Nigeria, but the number of schools requesting aircraft exceeds the number of aircraft donated by about 3 to 1. "We desperately need airplanes," the group said on Monday.

Donors receive receipts for their contributions, which are tax-deductible. Build A Plane has drawn support from industry leaders, including Cessna chief Jack Pelton, aircraft designer Burt Rutan, Cirrus CEO Alan Klapmeier, air show performer Patty Wagstaff, CNN anchor Miles O'Brien and EAA President Tom Poberezny. Programs now in development will offer aviation-themed lessons for high school students. To donate an aircraft, contact Katrina Bradshaw at 920-279-3714 or via e-mail.

Boeing Joins Virgin In Biofuel Effort

Boeing and Virgin Atlantic announced on Tuesday that they will work together to develop biofuels for jet aircraft and will demonstrate the results using a 747-400 by next year. The demonstration will be the first by any commercial airline. The two companies also said they would work together to reduce fuel burn and cut aircraft emissions on the ground by exploring alternatives to traditional operations at airports. For example, by towing airplanes to "starting grids" close to the runway before running the engines, fuel consumption and carbon emissions could be reduced by up to 50 percent. Trials in London and San Francisco have produced positive results, and work continues to develop effective procedures. Virgin also announced that it has ordered 15 of Boeing's fuel-efficient 787-9 Dreamliners. "This revolutionary aircraft will bring a step change to the industry, substantially reducing environmental impact and incorporating innovative design and advanced technology, while providing an enhanced flying experience for our passengers," said Steve Ridgway, CEO of Virgin Atlantic. Further details about the biofuel project will be announced later this year.

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News In Brief back to top 

On The Fly

The FAA "Fact Sheet" that tries to debunk the "myths" about the agency's proposed changes to its financing methods, which AVweb told you about last week, has been posted online...

NOAA's Hurricane Hunter WP-3 Orion aircraft will tour the East Coast next week, offering public tours at five airports from Florida to Rhode Island...

When British Airways shows "Casino Royale" as an in-flight movie, cameo appearances by rival Richard Branson and a Virgin Atlantic aircraft are edited out...

Barrington Irving, a Florida college student, has made it to Dubai so far on his solo flight around the world in a Columbia 400... Aviation Technology Group hired Citigroup to raise $200 million so it can get its tandem two-seat Javelin Mk-10 very light twinjet to market. The company is selling preferred shares to institutional investors through a private placement, a notice filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission reveals…

Some wing-walk safety patches installed on DA42 aircraft could affect single-engine climb performance, the FAA says, and should be removed.

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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New On AVweb back to top 

Across the Pond #3: Fuel-Cell Planes and More VLJs

AVweb's European correspondent Liz Moscrop reports on upcoming tests of a hydrogen fuel-cell airplane, new planes from Diamond and Grob and much more.

Click here for the full story.

Renter's Aircraft Insurance Coverage: The Quiet Problem

Hundreds of thousands of pilots are flying without any insurance protection -- when they rent or borrow someone else's airplane.

Click here for the full story.

If You Think "Bargains" Are Something Alien to Aviation — Think Again!
Spending hard-earned money on your aircraft and its avionics can be expensive. But don't think good deals aren't available in today's marketplace. Bennett Avionics provides pilots with quality avionics to meet their needs and maintain their budget. Before you buy anywhere else, check out Bennett Avionics at (860) 653-7295 or online. You'll be glad you did!
AVweb Audio News -- Are You Listening back to top 

Sun 'n Fun Podcasting Round-Up

As we pack up and head home from the 33rd Annual Sun 'n Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Florida, let's take a moment to recap the six exclusive audio interviews we turned into webcasts during the show. Here's the checklist, in case there are any you've missed.

Attention, LSA Builders & ROTAX 912 Engine Operators
BASA, the industry's leader in aviation supplies, software, and publications, offers the ROTAX Engine Introduction DVD with tips and techniques for trouble-free operation of Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) with the ROTAX engine. This DVD also provides an introduction to the specific concepts important to maintaining the ROTAX 912. Go online for complete details and bonus features!
Question Of The Week back to top 

Question of the Week: Is AFSS Consolidation Affecting the Quality of Your Weather Briefings?

This Week's Question | Previous Week's Answers


Now that HondaJet is a reality, speculation has run rampant that Honda competitor Toyota might one day (soon?) enter the general aviation market.

Last week, AVweb asked readers what segment of G.A. they most thought could use a Toyota product — singles? twins? turboprops? LSA?  While some readers (22% of those who responded) thought Toyota was most likely to introduce a light sport aircraft, an overwhelming majority of you thought the hypothetical Toyotacraft would be a four- to five-place piston single.

(For a complete breakdown of answers, click here.)


Now that automated flight service station (FSS) consolidation has started in earnest under contractor Lockheed Martin, have you noticed any changes in aviation weather briefing quality?

Click here to answer.

Please feel free to e-mail us to explain your answer.

Have an idea for a new "Question of the Week"? Send your suggestions to .

This address is only for suggested "QOTW" questions, and not for "QOTW" answers or comments.
Use this form to send "QOTW" comments to our AVmail Editor.

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FBO Of The Week back to top 

FBO Of The Week: Augusta Aviation

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Augusta Aviation at KDNL in Augusta, Ga.

AVweb readers Jim and Karen Lindemulder says the FBO owners went out of their way to help them.

"Good Friday evening our Skylane experienced multiple instrument failures while flying over Georgia. Control vectored us to Daniel Airport for assistance, where we were met on the ground by the smiling faces of Sherrell and Steven Gay of Augusta Aviation. The Masters Golf tournament was in progress and every hotel and rental car was taken. There were no mechanics available at the late hour and we considered a ferry flight to another facility, but Sherrell could tell by my wife's face that we really needed a night on the ground. She made many personal phone calls and located the last room available 35 miles away and gave us their own truck to get there. When we returned in the morning, their mechanic had already checked out our plane and determined the pitot heater was not working well and allowed ice to form in the lines. We were gratefully humbled when we were told that there was no charge for any of the services, even though we did not buy fuel. We will definitely stop to see them whenever passing through!"

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!

Don't Purchase or Sell an Aircraft Without the Used Aircraft Guide
Aviation Consumer's Used Aircraft Guide can pinpoint the aircraft that best fits your needs and budget, resulting in savings when you buy and more when you sell. Buying the right aircraft can minimize maintenance and operating costs, too. Order your Used Aircraft Guide online.
Pictures Of The Week back to top 

Picture of the Week: AVweb's Flying Photography Showcase

Submit a Photo | Rules | Tips | Questions | Past Winners

Each week, we go through dozens (and sometimes hundreds) of reader-submitted photos and pick the very best to share with you on Thursday mornings.  The top photos are featured on AVweb's home page, and one photo that stands above the others is awarded an AVweb baseball cap as our "Picture of the Week."


It's our usual practice to take a mini-vacation from "Picture of the Week" when we're on the road at major air shows — and that means reader submissions tend to drop off while we're gone.  This year's trek to Sun 'n Fun was no exception, with only 135 photo submissions arriving in our box over the last two weeks (a number that's more typical of a single week during the summer season).  The incredible thing, however, is that every single one of the photos in our box this week was a true "POTW" contender.  After copying over some 60-odd photos into our "final consideration" folder, it became apparent that we had a truly amazing week on our hands.  In fact, we've squirreled away 40 photos (unseen!) to augment next week's selections.  So, with no time to waste, let's dive in to this week's selections!

Join the Fun:  Want to see your photo on AVweb.com?  Click here to submit it to our weekly contest.  The top winner each week receives and an AVweb baseball cap and the adoration of hundreds of thousands of web surfers!

medium | large

Used with permission of Ray L. Riepe

The End of a Perfect Day

What a photo!  Ray Riepe of Manchester, Washington claims the top spot in a week full of tough competition.  We love a photo that tells a story, and what more can you say about Dean Schafer towing his Turbo Arrow IV back to the hangar after what must have been a rainy return flight?


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copyright © Sparky Sargent
Used with permission

FireDancer Lights Up the Night Sky

Sparky Sargent of Washington, Oklahoma breaks out the camera under the night sky to produce a photo so colorful and engaging that it almost beat out Ray Riepe's for the top spot this week.

Do yourself a favor and check out the full-size version of Sparky's photo.


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Used with permission of Allen Faraday

Wing-Walking at Oshkosh

Allen Faraday of Raymond, Maine snapped this pulse-pounding photo at EAA AirVenture 2004.  Air show season is definitely in full swing, Allen — hope to see you at Oshkosh this summer!


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Used with permission of Lee Barthold IV

Skynight at Sunset

Lee Barthold of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania sees us out this week.  Lee writes, "This is taken out of the window of a 206 while I am flying my company's Cessna 320 (Skynight). You will notice a camera hole in the bottom of the plane for survey work."

Want more?  Visit the "POTW" slideshow on our home page for more reader-submitted photos!

To enter next week's contest, click here.

A quick note for submitters:  If you've got several photos that you feel are "POTW" material, your best bet is to submit them one-a-week!  That gives your photos a greater chance of seeing print on AVweb, and it makes the selection process a little easier on us, too.  ;)

A Reminder About Copyrights: Please take a moment to consider the source of your image before submitting to our "Picture of the Week" contest. If you did not take the photo yourself, ask yourself if you are indeed authorized to release publication rights to AVweb. If you're uncertain, consult the POTW Rules or send us an e-mail.

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.

Aviate, navigate, communicate.