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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.
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.
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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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 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.
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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
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.
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
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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.
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 rules effective date is June 4, and the FAA will accept comments through May 21.
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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, 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 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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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.
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 email@example.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.
HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVweb's NO-COST weekly business newsletter, AVwebBiz? Reporting on breaking news, Business
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Michael Erb, U.K. CEO Martin Robinson and IAOPA secretary John Sheehan. AOPA pointed out the discrepancies between GA in Europe and its U.S. counterpart. AOPA estimates that GA in the U.S. is worth
US$103 billion, a good 60 to 80 percent more than European estimates.
Other numbers of significance flagged up in the paper are 90,000 pilots engaged in "private powered flying" in Europe and 20,000 private powered aircraft flying between three and four million hours a
year. There are 40,000 microlight pilots, 90,000 glider pilots and 22,000 gliders, 115,000 hang glider and paraglider pilots, 120,000 parachutists and 5,300 balloon and airship pilots. Business
aviation is growing exponentially and the paper acknowledges the value of flight training to the entire aviation industry. There are also concerns that there are grey areas between commercial and
business aviation. The document also highlights some of the challenges GA encounters, such as access to airfields and airspace, excessive provisions of the Joint Aviation Regulation (JARs) and
IAOPA Europe is calling for transparency from the regulators, flexibility in imposing regulations and accountability from the administrators. Full text is available on the IAOPA Europe website, which also carries several useful articles on regulatory and other issues.
Green Light For Grob
Heartening news, too, from Grob Aerospace. The spn program is airborne again after last year's fatal crash temporarily stopped development
and the aircraft will participate in a flying display at AERO Friedrichshafen. The company will demonstrate spn (D-CSPN) Apr.
19 and 20. The manufacturer's debut at the Lake Constance event marks its first public appearance
since resuming flying on Feb. 23, putting the flight test program of the industry's first all-composite light jet back on track.
The spn light jet ceased flying temporarily after the second spn test aircraft (D-GSP) crashed on Nov. 29 last year, killing
its pilot. In agreement with the Federal Office of Civil Aviation (LBA), the flight test program resumed after completing a 300-hour maintenance check, which was combined with a thorough inspection of
the entire aircraft. Prior to last year's fatal crash, the aircraft had logged some 294 flight hours and 454 cycles. D-CSPN is now continuing the flight test program with specific focus on systems and
The third spn test aircraft will shortly join the program and is scheduled to fly in the second quarter of 2007. Grob Aerospace previously announced that a further two additional spns will be built at
its Tussenhausen-Mattsies facilities, to join the first test program. The fourth aircraft, which will join the flight test program in early fall 2007, will be a fully conforming test aircraft,
together with the first series production aircraft. Grob Aerospace is on course for European EASA certification during the first quarter of 2008, with U.S. FAA certification following in the second
Diamond's Super Star DA50 Takes To The Skies
Proving all that glitters is not gold, Diamond Aircraft hit the headlines again on April 4, when its spanking-new, single-engine, DA50 Super Star
flew for the very first time in Wiener Neustadt, Austria. This is a remarkable feat, as the aircraft has gone from design to flying reality in under 11 months.
Christian Dries, CEO and owner of Diamond Aircraft flew as pilot in command with Soeren Pedersen, Director of Sales, as chief test pilot. The DA50 Super Star has a MTOW of 1,660 kg (3,670 lbs) and is
equipped with a Teledyne Continental TSIOF-550J engine, rated at 350+ hp, with FADEC control and twin turbo-chargers.
Mr. Dries said, "The DA50 Super Star will surely be a big hit, with powerplants including the 350-hp big bore as well as turbo-diesel engine options. I have a team that is unmatched in general
aviation manufacturing. I know that they design and build the safest aircraft in the world. We have planned an aggressive development and certification schedule with production start no later than
Very Light Jets Workshop
Talking of regulations, the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation -- EUROCONTROL -- is organizing a very light jet (VLJ) workshop aimed at providing information on the current VLJ projects, their performance/development status/timeframe and target market, at providing a commercial
feasibility insight from a European perspective, estimating the impact of VLJ operations on European airspace and airports and discussing issues related to the regulation and charging. Invitees
include: (I quote) national authorities (civil and military), air navigation service providers (civil and military), airport operators, international organizations, airspace users organization,
commercial aircraft operators community, general aviation community, VLJ manufacturers and aviation press. I'll report back to you on this.
On that note, I had a request from a reader as to where he could go to get involved in standing up for GA in Europe. Apart from IAOPA, another good
starting point is the General Aviation Awareness Council.
No, he's not a participant on Jackass, but here in Europe we've produced our very own oddball daredevil. Yves Rossy jumps out of aircraft with four jet engines strapped to his "wings." The idea is
he'll stay airborne 'till his fuel runs out. Rossy, or "Fusion Man" as he calls himself, was due to make his maiden flight in
Geneva last month, but was grounded due to inclement weather. His future plans include crossing the Grand Canyon and jumping out of a hot air balloon.
If you fancy seeing him in action and taking in some more serious news too, you could always stay on in Switzerland an extra couple days for another event taking place in Geneva between May 22-24. The
European Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (EBACE) is the place in Europe where business aviation gets business done. All the biggest
European business aviation news is announced at this show, including aviation purchases and new products. Close to 10,000 attendees from Europe and beyond will rock up to Geneva this week, in a show
that has mushroomed since its debut in 2001.
No club-flying news this month, thanks to me being in Brazil with those kind folks at Embraer. However, look out for reports on the exciting new Phenom developments. Club news is back next time (with
prices as requested).
For more aviation news and information from Europe, read the rest Liz Moscrop's columns.
And why do they continue to rent or borrow aircraft with no protection from loss?
Many non-owner pilots think they are covered under the FBO's or owner's policy. In a few instances, they may be, but many FBO's are no longer providing coverage for renters due to the
In addition, the renter pilot doesn't know what, if any, coverage he or she may have under the owner or operator's policy. What if the owner or operator's policy has lapsed or had been cancelled
at the time a loss occurs?
In sum, the major reason for the prevailing ignorance about non-owned coverage is a lack of understanding the need for this coverage. (This ignorance is not because the coverage is complicated or
difficult to understand; rather, non-owners don't realize they need it.) Most insurance companies sell their products through commissioned agents, and commissions for non-owned pilot insurance are
low. Thus, investing time in helping the pilot community understand the need for this insurance has not been a priority of insurers or their agents. But now Avemco seeks to educate the renting pilot about the critical need for this product.
Part of Avemco's effort in this regard has been to assist FBO's in recognizing the value this product has for their businesses: (1) Renter coverage could take care of the deductible portion of the
FBO's loss; (2) ADL coverage could reduce or eliminate the hull loss paid by the FBO's insurer when the loss is a result of the renter's negligence; and (3) Renter coverage may broaden the sources of
potential insurance recovery in the event of an accident, which could ultimately result in lower insurance costs for the FBO.
There is one final person that would benefit from increased renter aircraft insurance: the injured person. When an accident causes bodily injury or property damage, a loss settlement is more likely if
the responsible renter or borrower has non-owned coverage. And, as mentioned above, the renter will have the benefit of coverage for defense costs as well.
Want to read more about aviation insurance issues? Check out AVweb's Insurance section.
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You'll be glad you did!
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.
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Now that HondaJet is a reality, speculation has run rampant that
Honda competitor Toyota might one day (soon?) enter the general aviation
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.
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
NOTE: 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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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!"
AVweb is actively seeking
out the best FBOs in the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!
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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."
*** THIS WEEK'S WINNERS ***
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
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?
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
Want more? Visit the "POTW" slideshow on our
home page for more reader-submitted photos!
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,
send us an e-mail.
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
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
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.