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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.
FRIEDRICHSHAFEN WRAPS LARGEST SHOW YET
show, held every other April in Friedrichshafen, 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.
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THAT AIRPLANE BURN AUTOFUEL? BUYER BEWARE!
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.
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. [more] Cessna said it plans to deliver 40 Mustangs by
the end of the year. More...
Certified on Liberty XL-2; Is It Right for Your
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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. More...
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."
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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
FIXES LSA RULE FOR AMPHIBIANS, LIGHTER-THAN-AIR AIRCRAFT
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
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. More...
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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. More...
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. More...
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. More...
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FAA's "Fact Sheet" on GA user fees now posted
NOAA's Hurricane Hunter will tour the East Coast next
British Airways edits out rival Richard Branson in in-flight
Barrington Irving has made it to Dubai on his solo RTW
Aviation Technology Group hired Citigroup to raise $200
million to fund development of its Javelin jet
Some safety patches on
DA42 wings should be removed, FAA says.
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'N FUN PODCASTING ROUND-UP
Now that the AVweb staff
has returned 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. More...
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OF THE WEEK: AUGUSTA AVIATION
AVweb's "FBO of
the Week" ribbon goes to Augusta Aviation at KDNL in Augusta,
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
Keep those nominations
coming. For complete contest rules, click here.
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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OF THE WEEK: AVWEB'S FLYING PHOTOGRAPHY SHOWCASE
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, starting with this week's winning photo, from
Manchester, Washington's Ray Riepe.
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 Mary
and Editor In Chief Chad
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
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